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Series / The Librarians (2014)

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Filing evil under 'history'
I’m offering you a life of mystery, of misery, of loneliness, and adventure. More than that, I’m offering you the opportunity to make a difference and to save the world every week. Twice before Friday. Are you in?

The Librarians is a TNT series that acts as a continuation of The Librarian films. Bob Newhart, and Jane Curtin reprise their roles in the first episode, and film protagonist Flynn Carsen (Noah Wyle) is present in a recurring capacity for the first three seasons. However the series follows a new set of protagonists when the Library does the unprecedented - calling on three Librarian "trainees" while Flynn is still an active Librarian.

  • Ezekiel Jones (John Kim), a young consummate thief who can hack an NSA computer as easily as he can steal a Fabergé egg.
  • Cassandra Cillian (Lindy Booth), a brilliant scientist and mathematician who possesses a trace of magic.
  • Jacob Stone (Christian Kane), polymath, linguist, expert in architecture, art, art history, archaeology and world cultures of the past and present, and other fields like bar fighting.
They're shepherded by Eve Baird (Rebecca Romijn) as their new Guardian, with the mysterious caretaker Jenkins (John Larroquette) helping them understand the deep history of the Library. Together they hunt down mysterious artifacts and magical phenomenon to Save the World every week - twice before Friday.

The series had a four-issue comic miniseries published by Dynamite Comics, and a series of tie-in novels (and the Lost Lamp in 2016, and the Mother Goose Chase in 2017, and the Pot of Gold in 2019). The show itself was cancelled in 2018 after four seasons.

A different series from the Australian sitcom of the same name.

The Librarians provides examples of:

  • Adaptational Villainy: In "And The Christmas Thief", The Patron Saint of Thieves is depicted as a villainous figure out to destroy Christmas. Saint Nicholas, the actual Patron Saint of Thieves from Christian mythology, is a heroic figure known secretly giving gifts to people (a trait that would lend itself to traditional depictions of Santa Claus). More specifically, he's the Patron Saint of Repentant Thieves, giving him more in common with Ezekiel than his greedy relatives.
  • Added Alliterative Appeal: This is a big part of Flynn's speech patterns.
    Flynn: Did I not mention the mummies nor the medallions in my message to meet me at the monolith of Mut?
    Eve: Nope. Next time, mummy memo.
  • All Animals Are Dogs: In "And the Cost of Education", Ezekiel meets the gaze of a gargoyle, which Jenkins chastising him for doing so after it starts following him "like a stray dog". Ezekiel names it Stumpy. Excalibur is also a friendly puppy, including barking.
  • All Myths Are True: The premise of the series. Whether it be ancient legend or urban myth, odds are there is some truth to it.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us:
    • In the pilot, Lamia and her Mooks invade the Library after Cassandra lets them in, stealing both the artifacts they need, as well as many others. In order to prevent a total looting, Charlene and Judson seal the Library in its Pocket Dimension, cutting it off from the rest of the world.
    • At the beginning of "And the Loom of Fate", Dulaque uses a Trojan horse ploy to just walk into the Annex, in order to use the portal that the team created to find the Library to access the Loom.
    • In "And The Broken Staff", Prospero and Moriarty infiltrate the Library through the original manuscripts in its reading room, so that they can get to the Tree of Knowledge at the Library's heart.
      Eve: Again?! This is the third time this place has been attacked since I started working here. We need to have a serious talk about the so-called security.
    • In "And the Wrath of Chaos", DOSA raids the Library, during which Apep sneaks in, in order to destroy the Library for good. Both were part of Flynn and Eve's Batman Gambit, however.
  • Alternate Timeline: Eve ends up jumping between several of these in "And the Loom of Fate" after Dulaque cuts a thread from the titular Loom and history starts breaking down. In each timeline, one of the LITs became Librarian instead of Flynn, and the world ultimately ended up going to hell one way or another, after Baird dies saving the Librarian from Dulaque.
  • Ambiguously Gay:
    • Cassandra becomes Prince Charming in "And the Fables of Doom" (see Gender Bender below), and later remarks that she enjoyed all those girls buying her drinks. In "And the Loom of Fate" the alternate Cassandra who became the Librarian seriously implies that she and her Baird had an intimate relationship. It becomes less ambiguous at the end of "And the Eternal Question", when she kisses Estraya.
    • The Italian duchess in "And the Broken Staff", when Cassandra manages to succeed at their misled goal while Ezekiel had been failing all night.
  • Anachronistic Clue:
    • In "And the Crown of King Arthur," Stone immediately recognizes that the "Crown of King Arthur" painting on display in the Munich museum, supposedly painted in AD 1146, must be a fake because it uses carmine red dye which was not discovered until the 1500s.
    • He does it again in "And the Image of Image": Jake and Ezekiel seem to find the actual Picture of Dorian Gray but after a quick glance Jake declares it a fake since the colors are too vibrant. No matter how well preserved, a painting that old would have its colors fade with age.
  • And I Must Scream: Fortuna was severed from her body long ago. At the end of her episode, she gets reverted back to a bronze statue, presumably for the rest of eternity.
  • And Starring: The main cast ends with "and John Larroquette." Meanwhile, Fake Guest Star Noah Wyle is always credited as a special guest star; apparently this was due to guild reasons as you can't star in two shows at the same time.
  • And the Adventure Continues: The first season finale ends with Stone, Ezekiel and Cassie going on their own adventure, while Eve and Flynn go on their first date which involves stopping an evil cult.
  • Anti-Interference Lock Up: In "And the Point of Salvation," Ezekiel leads his teammates to a supposed weapons store. Once the whole team is inside, Ezekiel locks the door, saying that he'll come back to get them once he's found a safe way out of the lab they're currently trapped in.
  • Anti-Magical Faction: Season 3 introduces the Department of Statistical Anomalies (DOSA), a government agency dedicated to containing the influx of magic into the world.
  • Apple of Discord: The Apple of Discord shows up in one episode, where it spreads chaos by corrupting whoever holds it into the worst version of themself. It has no effect on Ezekiel, because he's already the worst version of himself.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism:
    • Ezekiel "There is no way we're in a Labyrinth" "the Minotaur is dead" Jones. To be fair, as stated, the latter is because according to myth the Minotaur was killed by Theseus.
    • In "And the City of Light", Jenkins repeatedly and insistently states that there's no such thing as UFOs. In this case, he's right. Lampshaded by both Eve and Ezekiel:
      Eve: Minotaurs, Haunted houses, Santa Claus, yes, but UFOs, don't be silly.
      Jenkins: UFOs don't exist.
      Ezekiel: Says the guy with a teleporting door.
      • Flynn later echoes that there are no such things as UFOs.
    • Lampshaded again by Ezekiel in "And the Point of Salvation"
      Ezekiel: "Crazy"? So, on a scale of "running from minotaurs" to "Santa Claus is now a best mate of ours," where would a time loop fall?
    • Subverted in "And the Crown of King Arthur":
      Jake: So Bigfoot is real, but vampires aren't?
      Flynn: No, vampires are real, but Dracula isn't because I killed him.
    • In "And the Eternal Question", Jenkins confirms that there has never been a case of spontaneous combustion in humans. Vampires, however...
  • Arc Welding:
    • It turns out, all the artifacts the LITs had collected in the seemingly unconnected adventures over the course of the first season played a vital role in the finale. The few that didn't manifested as bad ends in an alternate dimension.
    • In the Season 3 finale, something each of the former LITs have gained over the course of the season ends up being instrumental in defeating Apep: Jacob's magical tattoo given by the Monkey King, Cassandra's new Psychic Powers, Ezekiel's love potion, which he got from Cindy and of course, Flynn getting the Eye of Ra.
  • Arc Words:
    • Season 2's "Power, Focus, Effect," The three elements of a working spell.
    • Season 3 has "Magic corrupts", or some variation on that theme.
  • Armed Females, Unarmed Males: Flynn is The Librarian, and his latest Guardian is Colonel Eve Baird. Flynn uses books and knowledge to win the day while Baird prefers a pistol and her military training. This gets zig-zagged as the series progresses with Baird using her weapons less and allowing the Librarians-In-Training do their thing with reasonable supervision.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking:
    • In "And the Point of Salvation, when Jenkins learns that DARPA is experimenting with magic.
      "DARPA does terrifying enough things with science alone. Stealth bombers, military drones, internet comment sections."
    • Also used in the Dorian Gray episode, with literal jaywalking: "Drug overdose, binge drinking, walking into traffic."
  • Artifact Domination:
    • While trying to rescue Santa, Ezekiel Jones is given Santa's hat which is a magical talisman. While wearing the hat, Ezekiel is filled with the "Spirit of Christmas" and spreads cheer and goodwill. He is also compelled to grant anyone's "Christmas wishes" if he is able to. He even does a bit of Christmas baking before he's rid of it.
      • At the end of the episode, the hat is given to Dulaque, and he's tricked into granting the heroes' wishes in order to defeat himself.
    • The next episode had the Apple of Discord, an item that turned whoever held it into the absolute worst version of themselves.
      • Jake Stone (a burly art historian) went to a museum, saw paintings hung in the wrong collections and started to rearrange them, all the while threatening physical violence against the staff for getting it wrong and casually ignoring the guards pointing their guns at him.
      • Cassandra Cillian gets hold of it next and her Ludicrous Precision goes up to eleven, becoming a Mad Mathematician. First she figures out the exact math of dislocating human limbs and proves it on the Big Bad's Dragon. Then she triggers a power plant meltdown, just to see how widespread she can make the area of devastation grow.
      • Eve and Flynn grab it at the same time, so they begin to make plans to rule the world together. Soon enough, they realise that their ultimate goals are just slightly off and Eve snatches the apple away from Flynn's grasp.
      • Eve's plan is to obtain complete dominion over first the team, then the world of unsuspecting normal people, keeping them 'safe' in complacent servitude.
      • Flynn Carsen takes back the apple and verbally berates a gathering of powerful supernatural beings, lamenting the sacrifices he has had to make to be the Librarian. He declares that, with his knowledge and experience as the Librarian, he could be a god!
      • Ezekiel Jones grabs it and is completely immune. As an unapologetic self-centered narcissistic thief, he's already the worst possible version of himself that he can be.
  • Artifact of Doom: Eve and the LITs run across these all of the time. Literally, every episode.
  • Artistic License – Military: The Librarians visit a facility that is staffed by Canadian soldiers who, for whatever reason, wear US Marine uniforms.
  • Asians Love Tea: When the representative of the Eastern Dragons shows up at the Annex to demand an arbiter, Jenkins offers him refreshments. He tells Jenkins he wants the tears of his enemies, wrenched from their bodies as they're tortured to death. Jenkins, deadpan, tells him that they have Jasmine tea. The representative has a look of delight on his face, and, unironically states that Jasmine tea would be lovely.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: Cassandra, when she's Drunk on the Dark Side. Math leads to melee skills.
  • Back from the Dead: In the Season 2 finale, Excalibur is reforged by the Lady of the Lake and given to Eve and Flynn to aid in defeating Prospero.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Stone and Ezekiel during the fight in "And the Eternal Question". Stone uses the positioning to kick the bad guys away while on the back of the other, first Ezekiel then himself.
  • Badass Boast: Jenkins when Prospero enters the library: "I usually resist playing this card—at least in supernatural circles—do you... know who I am?" When Moriarty manages to reason his way through, if not identifying him as Sir Galahad specifically, at least successfully landing in the ballpark of "former Knight of the Round Table", Jenkins clarifies his point: "I've been threatened, tortured, and bullied, bothered, grilled, menaced long since before you two were even a glimmer in your writer's ink pot."
  • Badass Bookworm: Cassandra proves that a little math can go a long way when she's Drunk on the Dark Side, effortlessly defeating Dark Action Girl Lamia with a few jabs.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Morgan le Fey in "And the Rule of Three". Granted, the team saves the kids, but hurting them was just a means to an end. Morgan still got to siphon all the excess magic generated and keep it, the intended goal.
  • Baffled by Own Biology: Having been since immortal since the days of King Arthur, Jenkins/Galahad finds himself suddenly mortal again in the early part of Season 4. This leaves him very baffled about many of the problems that come from having the body of a man in his sixties or seventies physically, such as arthritis, the symptoms of a cold, deteriorating eyesight necessitating glasses, and, this particular gem:
    Jenkins: And what's the deal with poop?!
  • Bat Deduction: Cassandra deduces patterns from chaos while seeming to free associate aloud.
  • The Bermuda Triangle: The subject of "And the Trial of the Triangle".
  • Betty and Veronica: Jacob seemed to be getting into this situation with Cassandra (Betty) and Lamia (Veronica). However, he has trust issues with Cassandra and Lamia was killed to open the portal to the Loom of Fate.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Cassandra Cillian is a cute math nerd who usually would not hurt a fly. Harm her friends however, and she'll kill you. Under the effects of the Apple of Discord, which turns the person holding it into the worst possible version of themself, Jacob becomes a belligerent art snob, Eve a control freak, and Flynn a megalomaniac, but it's cute, sweet, friendly Cassandra who the Apple proves has it in her to become someone who would - and could - trigger a major disaster causing over half a million deaths just for the fun of proving that she can.
  • Big Bad:
    • Season 1: Dulaque, the immortal leader of the Serpent Brotherhood.
    • Season 2: Prospero
    • Season 3: Apep, the Egyptian god of chaos.
    • Season 4: Nicole Noone, Flynn's first Guardian.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • In "And The Eternal Question", Stone and Ezekiel are about to be overrun by a group of vampires, when Jenkins comes swooping in, Dual Wielding blades, making short work of the enemies.
    • In "And the Silver Screen", Jake, Ezekiel and Cassandra jump into Flynn and Eve's movie just in time to keep them from being shot.
    • Cassandra has her own moment earlier in the episode when she rescues Jake and Ezekiel from being hanged with some well-timed sharpshooting.
  • Bigger on the Inside: The inside of the library exists in its own demiplane and is "as big as it needs to be".
  • The Big Guy: Jake, the best fighter after Eve.
  • Big "NO!": Upon ending up in a world where Jake was the Librarian and Flynn is a professor, Jake greets her with a kiss. Eve responds with this trope.
  • Big Red Button
    Eve: If I have learned anything in my years of military training, it's that you never press the big red button.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Wexler College's motto is "Appareat diabolus ignis". Although Cassandra understood what was chanted by the cheerleaders, she only tells Baird that she doesn't want to know what they are saying. The motto translates roughly to "The devil appears [with] fire."
  • Black Eyes of Evil: Anyone possessed by Apep.
  • Blatant Lies: The team's cover stories are frequently this and they are constantly shocked that it keeps working.
    • In "The City of Lights", Ezekiel tries to convince a woman that a magic gas lamp is an optical illusion and that "Colonel Baird" is an Australian slang term. When she questions why they expect her to believe that they mention that, weirdly, people usually do.
    • Inverted (or at least played with) by the fact that the team's default response to being asked who they are or what they're doing there is, "We're the Librarians," and it's usually just accepted. Technically true, but still blatantly ridiculous misdirection that everyone buys. They discuss the improbability of this. In "And the Reunion of Evil", Cassandra suggests that magic might be at play to get this cover to work so often, which is confirmed in "And The Curse of Cindy".
      • invokedWord of God points out that it was foreshadowed as early as the first episode. Each time it's said, a VERY specific musical sting is used, with a 'magical' tone.
  • Boisterous Bruiser:
    • Stone loves a good bar fight.
    • So does Santa Claus in his Odin incarnation.
  • Book Ends: The first episode of season 3 is "And the Rise of Chaos". The finale is "And the Wrath of Chaos".
  • Brick Joke: When sending Baird off to pick up Jacob, Flynn suggests she be prepared for anything, such as ninjas, leading her to reply, "Ninjas? In Oklahoma?" Later, when she and Jacob are attacked by ninjas:
    Jacob: Who are these guys?
    Baird: Ninjas, possibly?
    Jacob: In Oklahoma?
    Baird: That's what I said!
  • Buffy Speak: Eve calls things she doesn't understand "thingy-mijiggs."
  • Burn the Witch!: In And the Steal of Fortune, Fortuna, goddess of luck doesn't grasp the fact that witches are no longer burned in America, and demands that Cassandra be burned for apparently cheating at a roulette table.
  • The Bus Came Back: Nicole Noone, Flynn's original guardian, missing since the the first film, returns in the season four premiere "And the Dark Secret". Though it seems she's now a Good Girl Gone Bad.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: From the episode "And The Drowned Book"
    Flynn An immortal magician from Shakespeare's plays has teamed up with a super villain genius that he's pulled from literature to take advantage of the fact that magic has returned to the world to restore his power and to accomplish some sort of unknowable and yet terrifying plot for world domination.
    Baird So, Tuesday, then?
  • Call-Back:
    • Charlene's last line in the first movie is "I hope you saved the receipts." This is also her last line in the first episode as she severs the link to the library.
    • The antagonists of the first movie, the Serpent Brotherhood, resume that role during the first season.
    • Flynn refers to several of his previous adventures in the pilot, including the time when he killed Dracula in Curse of the Judas Chalice.
    • Flynn brings up Simone from the Judas Chalice, when Eve asks how long Flynn has been alone without a Guardian. She was referenced indirectly in "And the Eternal Question", to show that not all vampires are evil.
    • The dart trap in Rome is "very familiar" to Flynn. The last time he had seen a trap like that, he and Nicole Noone beat it by waltzing.
    • Eve's speech to the LITs in "And the City of Lights" ties back to the confrontation she had with Jenkins in "And the Horns of a Dilemma" about the readiness of the LITs for fieldwork.
      Eve: (to LITs) It wasn't your fault. You did good, all of you, but sometimes, you just lose.
      Eve: (to Jenkins) I've gone into the field with experienced soldiers with a good plan, good Intel, and still come home with nothing but dog tags.
    • The season 1 finale is one Call-Back to a previous episode after another.
      • Flynn finds Eve's ability to remember the alternate timelines 'vexing', a word he had used frequently in the first episode.
      • Stone briefly alludes to the plot of the first movie during "And the Loom of Fate" when speaking of the previous Librarian who faked his own death.
    • Jenkins fully explains to Baird how Flynn's predecessor Edward Wilde did a Face–Heel Turn due to the temptations of power being the Librarian offered. He explains that the Guardian's real job is to prevent that from happening.
    • In "And the Fatal Separation", Jenkins mentions how Shangri-La had to be rebuilt after being partially destroyed when Flynn was there to retrieve the Spear of Destiny. The villain from that movie also shows up as the antagonist here. Charlene also recalls the first meeting between her and Carson.
    • "And the Dark Secret" brings back Nicole Noone, explaining what happened to her after the end of Quest for the Spear and once again calling back to the dance through the temple.
  • The Cameo: The season 1 finale has an uncredited Jerry O'Connell as Dulaque-as-Lancelot.
  • Car Fu: Stone uses a truck to briefly take down the Minotaur.
  • Charm Person:
    • Santa is one. He can spread goodwill to people.
    • Cassandra, when she becomes Prince Charming.
    • Cyndi thinks she is this in "And the Curse of Cindy". Instead, it's just a love potion.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • Several come back around for the season 1 finale to save the day: Ariadne's thread, the Libris Fabula, the witchcraft app, and a Tesla lamppost all work together to link the Annex back to the Library; the dragons from "And the Apple of Discord" and the villain from "And the Heart of Darkness" are respectively responsible for the devastation of the alternate Cassandra's and alternate Ezekiel's worlds; Bathsheba's oil of healing, the vial Flynn drank from to slow the bleeding of his wound from Excalibur also reappears just in time to save Eve's life.
    • Apep is defeated by a combination of several of them in the season 3 finale: the magic tattoos Stone got from the Monkey King in "And the Fatal Separation" gives him a soul, Cassandra's newly evolved psychic abilities give him a human mind, and the vial of love potion Ezekiel kept from "And the Curse of Cindy" gives him a heart. Combined, these make Apep human, enabling the Librarians to use him as the sacrifice to reseal the Pure Evil.
  • Chekhov's Skill:
    • Eve's previous experience in "Santa's Midnight Run" allows her to remember her own identity while passing between alternate timelines, because she's already coped with being in many places at once.
    • In "And the Rise of Chaos", Baird teaches Stone how to punch better, and he knocks the punching bag across the room. At the end of the episode, he does the same to the Big Bad.
    • In "And the Reunion of Evil", Cassandra uses a spell to crack the ice the crystal was stored in. She uses it again once she is tied to that same block of ice, about to be sacrificed.
  • Christmas Episode: "And Santa's Midnight Run" where Santa is disrupted from his usual Christmas run.
  • Clapper Gag:
    • Flynn and company leave the annex without turning off the globe artifact, and Jenkins, the library worker left behind, tries the Clapper action to turn it off. It doesn't work.
    • At one point there are warning alarms going off in the Annex, and the three LITs are yelling over it for quite a while. Then Flynn enters and claps twice, silencing the alarm.
  • Classical Mythology: A room in the Library has statues of Greek gods and their Roman counterparts. There are also two sets of identical-looking artifacts that must never touch, lest they react like the magical equivalent of a matter/Anti Matter explosion. So, you don't want Zeus' lightning bolt to touch Jupiter's lightning bolt.
  • Class Reunion: "And the Reunion of Evil" is initially framed as this, until we learn that they are all Jotunheim, frost giants disguising themselves as humans.
  • Cloudcuckoolander's Minder:
    • Basically Eve's job. She takes to it like a duck takes to water where Flynn is concerned.
    • Stone is the unofficial minder of Cassandra, often helping her focus when her mathematical abilities get sidetracked by random imagery that comes with them.
  • Colonel Badass: Eve, who was formerly a Colonel in the US Army serving with the NATO Counter-terrorism Group.
  • Combat Stilettos: When Baird starts turning into a fairy-tale princess, she suddenly finds herself trying to run and fight in heels. She wonders how most women walk around in those things. Then again, most women don't go to military academies and spend their lives in the military.
  • Comically Missing the Point: When Ezekiel questions Jenkins when he claims they are looking for a troll, Jenkins responds, "I understand your skepticism. Trolls are not indigenous to the Pacific Northwest."
  • Commuting on a Bus: Flynn's role in the new series.
    • The first season focuses on the trio of LITs and their Guardian while Flynn is off searching for how to get the Library back in this world.
    • For the second season, Flynn goes off to retrieve missing relics from the library and find his own solution to defeat Prospero while the cast of the first season reform as their own team to restore the library their own way.
    • In the third season, Flynn goes off to try and find the missing Charlene, in order to gain her help in defeating Apep. After "and the Trial of the Triangle", he seems more willing to be a team player. He appears in every episode of the season after that.
  • Continuity Cavalcade:
    • The season 1 finale, "The Loom of Fate", brings together events, themes, and artifacts from the entire season.
    • The season 3 finale, "And the Wrath of Chaos", called back to many of the events in the season to finally defeat Apep, mostly at the final battle.
  • Continuity Nod: When Charlene returns in season 3, she's wearing the coin pendent Flynn got for her in Judas Chalice.
  • Contrived Coincidence: In the pilot, Flynn lampshades how both the magical safe he's opening and the nuke Eve is disarming have the same sequence.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: All the highest-ranked executives of Golden Axe Foods are actually members of a cult that's been sacrificing people to the minotaur for millennia in exchange for wealth and power.
  • Cosmic Retcon: Thanks to some time travel in the season 4 finale, the bulk of the season is retconned thanks to Flynn convincing Nicole Noone to work for the Library instead of against it. When Flynn returns from the time jump, he wakes up just in time for the same practice tethering ceremony from the season opener.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Cassandra. Under the effects of the Apple of Discord, she uses her knowledge of mathematics to disable Lamia effortlessly, as well as use a single power station to create a chain reaction that would destroy all of the power grids in Europe. In a later episode, she manages to fight off a supernatural Serial Killer and win!
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The only reason why Cassandra didn't kill Lamia was because even though she's an elite assassin, she wasn't even worth the effort to subdue her.
  • Cursed with Awesome: Cassandra's synesthesia is really cool and allows her to do things like calculate how the sun would fall on a specific day of the year, but triggering it cripples her with sensations for a while and her magnificent brain is also housing a tumor the size of a grape. This flaw mostly disappears after season 1 and the tumor is removed during Season 3.
  • Danger Room Cold Open:
    • While technically not a Cold Open as it's after the title card, the scene in the warehouse in "And the Horns of a Dilemma" definitely qualifies.
    • "And the Trial of the Triangle" had Flynn getting kidnapped by strangers in black in the cold open. It's actually just the team giving Flynn an intervention.
  • Dark Action Girl: Lamia is evil and a skilled fighter, nearly equal to Flynn.
  • Dating Catwoman:
    • It doesn't get as far as a date, but Lamia and Jacob exchange flirtation when they cross paths in "And Santa's Midnight Run" and "And the Apple of Discord."
    • Baird and Moriarty are teased throughout Season 2. It's solidified in "And the Happily Ever Afters" where they believe they are dating.
  • Daywalking Vampire: The vampires in "And the Eternal Question", though only in their island due to a rock in the soil, moissanite. If they leave it, they'll combust.
  • Deal with the Devil: Exactly the plot in "And the Infernal Contract". And the devil isn't above Loophole Abuse. As a twist on the usual trope, the devil can only have one deal at a time, with each new deal canceling the previous.
  • Decomposite Character: The Patron Saint of Thieves is Santa Claus' brother, when the big guy himself is usually depicted as the Patron Saint of Repentent Thieves.
  • Demonic Possession:
    • In the season 2 finale, it's revealed that Prospero has been possessing his creator Shakespeare ever since he manifested. The Librarians cast him out, and then send Shakespeare back to his own time.
    • Apep also does this in Season 3 to anyone he needs.
  • Deus ex Machina:
    • In "And the Cost of Education", just as Cassandra is about to be killed by an Eldritch Abomination, she's randomly saved by a trio of women who claim to possess a total understanding of both time and magic, who stop time and transport Cassandra back to Earth after offering her a chance to join them (which she declines).
    • In "And the Final Curtain" the Lady of the Lake randomly turns up in a pond and gives Eve Excalibur in order to break Prospero's staff.
  • The Dog Was the Mastermind: In "And The Steal of Fortune", the one behind the plot to steal people's luck is the casino owner's girlfriend, actually Fortuna, the Roman goddess of luck.
  • The Dragon:
    • Lamia, to Dulaque.
    • Moriarty, to Prospero.
  • Dramatic Drop: Jenkins (off-screen), when Cassandra first mentions the name Dulaque. Makes sense, considering she's talking about his father Sir Lancelot du Lac.
  • Drunk on the Dark Side: The Apple of Discord makes a person into their worst possible self:
    • Stone imprisons the group and takes off to see a landscape display in a museum, then fights with security because the display is wrong.
    • Cassandra nearly cripples Lamia using physics and mathematics, and then sets out to cause a cascade failure of the European power grid, projecting nearly a million deaths in the process.
    • Baird wants the unconditional obedience of the group. Flynn wants to become a god and rule the world.
    • Averted with Ezekiel, who is immune because he's already his worst possible self.
  • Empathic Weapon: Excalibur, which is a sentient object (with, apparently, the personality of a dog).
  • Empty Fridge, Empty Life: Col. Baird, taken all the way to an empty apartment, save for a single folding chair.
  • The End Is Nigh: What Jenkins says to Eve at the end of "And the Rule of Three"
  • Enemy Mine: In the timeline where Cassandra became the Librarian, Morgan le Fay taught her how to open portals to other dimensions so that she could evacuate what little remains of humanity. Lamia also assumed the role of Guardian, thinking that Dulaque had gone too far.
  • Episode Title Card: The show's main title always has the episode title appear under it—"THE LIBRARIANS" appears first, with the second part (e.g. "and the Apple of Discord") materializing below a moment later.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Each of the LITs get one.
    • Cassandra was working as a janitor at a hospital and gives the correct diagnosis where the doctor had it wrong.
    • Jones is shown trying to steal an antique dagger from a museum after Carsen makes it clear that he's heard of him, and doesn't like it.
    • Stone is shown acting like a typical home town boy in a dive bar...until he shows just how smart he is by deciphering the meaning of Lamia's tattoo.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Ezekiel, although not technically evil, is pretty much amoral and very open about it, except for when he discovers in "And The City Of Light" that old townspeople are possessing the new townspeople. He is furious and declares bodysnatching to be just wrong.
  • Even the Girls Want Her: Cassandra, after becoming Prince Charming in "And the Fables of Doom".
  • Everyone Hates Hades: In "And the Fangs of Death", Anubis is depicted as an evil god of death. In actual Egyptian mythology, Anubis is a neutral god who was revered for protecting and guiding the dead to the afterlife.
  • Everyone Knows Morse: Subverted. After being kidnapped by Ray, Carsen tries to send a message to the others via his Comm Link by tapping on it with his foot. Naturally, the first guess the others have is Morse code. Then Stone realizes that it's actually Chinese telegraph code, which allows for more information to be sent with fewer taps, provided the recipient recognizes it for what it is. Then Ray hears the taps and demands why Carsen is using Chinese telegraph code to send messages. This is a first clue that Ray is actually the Library's spirit.
  • Evil Brit:
    • Dulaque (Evil Briton actually, given that he's Lancelot). Morgan le Fay could also qualify, since she's originally British, although her current guise is that of an American woman.
    • Prospero, an evil British fictional wizard. His sidekick is Moriarty, who also fits the trope.
  • Evil Costume Switch: Played with; when Cassandra is corrupted by the Apple of Discord, she simply slips out of her dress to reveal a tiny undershirt and tight shorts.
  • Evil Is Hammy: When Flynn, Baird and Cassandra touch the Apple of Discord, they become way more hammy, while Stone is quiet and menacing.
    • Dulaque is just hammy all the time. Especially when eating pizza.
    • As soon as her true identity is revealed, Morgan le Fey turns up the ham up to eleven.
    • Most of the Fictionals from season 2 also ham it up. Justified in that they are bound by their own narratives.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Flynn's voice while under the influence of the apple of discord is noticeably higher pitched that it normally is. It's also inverted earlier in the same episode, as when Cassandra is turned evil by the artifact, her voice goes even squeakier and high pitched than normal.
  • Exact Words: The Patron Saint of Thieves is defeated this way in "And The Christmas Thief": His plan to destroy Santa's sleigh requires him to be gifted the sleigh by someone who stole it, so Santa Claus sends him a letter bequeathing the sleigh to him willingly, meaning that he can never accept it as a gift, since he can only accept gifts that were stolen.
  • Excalibur: A magical self-aware flying sword who's Flynn's best friend in the movies and whom he nicknamed "Cal". Excalibur melts away at the end of the series' second episode, "And the Sword in the Stone", after healing Flynn when magic returns to the world. In the second season finale, "And the Final Curtain", Eve recovers Excalibur with the help of the Lady of the Lake, and Flynn uses it to defeat Prospero.
  • Excalibur in the Stone: The Serpent Brotherhood's plot in the pilot hinges on this, returning Excalibur to the Stone in order to restore magic to the world. They partially succeed, though Excalibur is removed before the process is complete.
  • Expecting Someone Taller: Flynn says this to Apep in "And the Wrath of Chaos", when he reveals his true form.
  • Fake Defector: In "And the Wrath of Chaos", Flynn and Eve execute a plan wherein she pretends to sell the Library out to DOSA, knowing that Apep will hitch a ride. This enables Flynn to confront Apep with the Eye of Ra, while simultaneously ensuring that all the artifacts are securely removed to a safe place just in case Apep wins.
  • False Flag Operation: Dulaque has an agent of the Eastern Dragons steal a great treasure from underneath their noses, leading blame to be pointed at the Western Dragons, in order to wake the dragons and cause worldwide destruction.
  • Fantastic Racism: Neptune himself came up with a delicious shrimp recipe because he hates shrimp so much he wants to wipe them all off the face of the Earth.
  • Fast-Killing Radiation: Rasputin dies after being tricked into plunging the magical artifact Koshie's Needle, which can deliver a One-Hit Kill to even an immortal, into a conduit at Chernobyl, channelling all of its radiation into him in an instant.
  • Fictional United Nations: The conclave of magical races that the Librarian is designated to preside over is described exactly as this trope.
  • Fiery Redhead: Averted by Cassandra, even when Drunk on the Dark Side.
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: The LITs—Stone, Cassandra, and Ezekiel, in order. Stone is a down-to-earth brawler (who also has an IQ of 190), Cassandra is a brainy-focused scholar with the ability (and interest) to understand magic better than the other two, and Ezekiel is a professional thief who has great skill with tech.
  • Five Stages of Grief: Cassandra goes through this in "And the Eternal Question", as her tumor reaches terminal status.
  • Fixing the Game: Cassandra does this in And the Steal of Fortune by analyzing a roulette table and and figuring out which number the ball will land on. This attracts the attention of Fortuna, roman goddess of luck, as she steals luck and Cassandra is turning her back into a statue. They eventually beat her by fixing every game in the casino, with the help of Ezekiel's hacking and Cassandra's psychic powers.
  • Flynning:
    • The sword fight between Dulaque and Jenkins in "And the Loom of Fate." Especially when you consider that these two are Lancelot and Galahad the two greatest swordsmen of King Arthur's court.
    • Oddly enough, averted when it comes to Flynn himself.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • The dull minutes read in "And The Apple of Discord" include accepting cell phone technology as a branch of magic. This is what allows Morgan le Fay to collect magical energy in "And the Rule of Three".
    • Given how "And the Loom of Fate" implies that Fate had been directing other episodes' seemingly-unrelated events to converge upon the season finale's conclusion, the fact that Eve's bomb and Flynn's casket had identical combinations in the pilot may have been this, not coincidence.
      • Also in "And the Loom of Fate", alternate-timeline Librarian Cassandra became a powerful wizard. Much like she took Merlin's role at the end of "And the Fables of Doom".
    • Dulaque's true identity was foreshadowed as early as "And Santa's Midnight Run" where Dulaque namedrops Morgan la Fey. In "And the Apple of Discord", the representative of the Fae Legion calls him "The son of Ban". Lancelot's father was King Ban of Benwick.
    • When Jake and Ezekiel were looking for information on other magical staves in "And The Broken Staff", one of the library entries was about the Staff of Zarathustra, which became a plot point in "And The Hollow Men."
    • In "And the Self-Fulfilling Prophecy", the Oracle of Delphi says that Baird will change the future of the Library forever.
    • Throughout the series, saying the line "We're the Librarians" was accompanied by a musical chime, right before the target immediately accepts them. Only a handful of times did this fail, when they knew the actual librarian. "And the Curse of Cindy" revealed that there is actually a magical incantation tied to it that makes people compliant.
    • In "And the Steal of Fortune", as the Librarians enter Fortune Downs, they pass a pillar labeled "Lady Luck" that is empty except for two twisted steel beams. This hints at the later reveal that the bronze statue of Fortuna in front of the casino had come to life and walked away.
  • Frankenstein's Monster: Prospero summons him in season 2. He's a lot closer to his original characterization than the version popularized by Boris Karloff, being well-spoken and just wanting to be loved. He quickly performs a Heel–Face Turn when Flynn and Ezekiel persuade him to get plastic surgery and go into sports, where he will become a beloved idol of millions.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: In "And the Fables of Doom", Jenkins crosses off a list of things that can't be causing the magical occurrences from a blackboard because they're already in the library. If you look closely at the blackboard, several things written down appear in season two (Shakespeare's Quill, the Pipes of Pan and the Spear of Destiny).
  • Friendly Neighborhood Vampire: In the Season Three episode "And the Eternal Question", the team comes across what seems to be an entire spa of them, but it turns out only the mother and daughter are good, the son and employees not so much.
  • From Bad to Worse: The LITs evidently have a knack for making this happen — Colonel Baird in particular. Lampshaded by Jenkins in "And the Heart of Darkness".
    "You know, Colonel, you have an incredible talent for turning a bad situation into a worse-case scenario."
  • Full-Name Basis: How Santa refers to everyone. Even Santa.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Flynn calls the leads of the series "Librarians in Training" or "My little L.I.T.'s"
  • Gender Bender: When everyone starts getting sucked into fairy tale roles in "And the Fables of Doom," Cassandra becomes Prince Charming, and then later Merlin.
  • Genius Bruiser: Jake Stone is the team's muscle. He also speaks or reads more than twenty languages and has honorary degrees at universities on four continents.
  • Genius Loci: The Library. It can expand itself as necessary, and sends out invitations to people it deems worthy of protecting it. The Library's problems in the early second season stem from the fact that the Library's mind and spirit have become separated from its physical structure and lost in the world in human form with no memory of its origins. This situation is rectified by Flynn in "And the Hollow Men."
  • Genre Roulette: While always about finding and stopping magical mishaps, all episodes are essentially different genres. One episode features a Fractured Fairy Tale whereas one basically plays with Haunted House and Slasher Movie tropes.
  • A God Am I:
    • Flynn, under the influence of the Apple of Discord, declares himself to be a God because he knows about magic that other men can't even dream of.
    • Katie Bender claims to be the Angel of Death.
  • Godzilla Threshold:
    • When the Serpent Brotherhood raids the Library in the pilot, Charlene and Judson seal it in its Pocket Dimension, essentially cutting it off from the real world.
    • They very nearly do it again when DOSA takes over the Library at the end of Season 3, in part to seal away Apep. They didn't, mostly because only Charlene and Judson know how.
  • Grand Theft Me:
    • Prospero emerges from The Tempest and takes over Shakespeare's body because he was written so passionately.
    • Apep possesses various human hosts to carry out his duty. When they are of no use to him, or when he needs to recharge, he releases his host and returns to his sarcophagus.
    • In "And Some Guy Named Jeff", Jeff manages to switch bodies with Jenkins.
  • Gratuitous Latin: Having a quotation from "The Second Coming" in Latin incorporated into Lamia's Serpent Brotherhood tattoo is probably meant to make it sound extra ominous, as well as to allow Stone to flex his intelligence by both translating it and identifying its source. It has the bonus effect of making the Serpent Brotherhood seem really pretentious, since "The Second Coming" was written in English to begin with.
  • Groin Attack: Eve shoots a Minotaur in the joy department... while sliding between its legs. It doesn't do much.
  • "Groundhog Day" Loop: In "And the Point of Salvation," the Librarians investigate a quantum computer created using an ancient Atlantean artifact only to end up trapped in a loop. Ezekiel is the only one who's aware, and by the midway point of the episode, he's at his breaking point trying to get everyone out alive. And then he breaks a crate in frustration only to find a health power-up inside. It turns out they're not trapped in a time loop; they're trapped in a video game.
  • Hates Rich People: Implied. In "The Librarians and the Infernal Contract", Stone has to infiltrate a party by posing as a valet. Jenkins points out that they're currently among the Upper Crust of the community, to which Stone replies that the Upper Crust is merely a bunch of crumbs held together by dough.
  • Haunted House: Subverted. The haunted house in "Heart of Darkness" was originally constructed as a refuge that gives the people inside anything they need, but no one ever expected a serial killer to find the house. She used its power to remain young and travel around the world looking for more victims and it was powerless to stop her because no one else ever asked for its help. All of the standard haunted house tropes (creepy exterior, ominous music, knives flying at the characters) were actually the house's way of trying to warn them about Katie.
  • He Knows Too Much: The CEO of Golden Axe has the Librarians sent into the Labyrinth because they've caught on to the disappearances of their interns.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • Toyed with in the second episode. With his last breaths, Flynn gives Excalibur to Cassandra, telling her to use the last of its magic to heal herself. But when Flynn dies moments later, the distraught Cassandra uses Excalibur to revive Flynn instead. When he realizes what she did, he isn't happy.
    • In "And the Loom of Fate", we learn that it was Baird's fate to die protecting her Librarian from Dulaque's attack.
    • The Eye of Ra, the only artifact capable of defeating Apep and resealing Pure Evil, requires a human sacrifice to work. Flynn was willing to sacrifice himself, but instead the other Librarians transform Apep into a human himself and use him as the sacrifice.
  • Hidden Depths: In-universe, Stone keeps his amazing intellect and love of art a secret from his family and friends because he doesn't want them to look at him differently. Instead, he worked as a roughneck while publishing books on medieval art and architecture under pseudonyms.
  • Historical Domain Character:
  • Homeworld Evacuation: Things have gotten so bad in the timeline where Cassandra became the Librarian that this was the only choice. They were going to go to other dimensions instead of other planets, however. Then Flynn arrived...
  • Human Sacrifice: In "And the Reunion of Evil", after the Frost Giants discover that their recharging crystal is inside Cassandra, they decide to sacrifice her before draining the crystal.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Every episode title begins with "And," designed to be read in conjunction with the series title as "The Librarians and _______." They frequently make use of Double-Meaning Title, as well.
  • Idiot Ball: In "And the Trial of the Triangle", Flynn is stuck in a game where he must answer questions truthfully in order to advance, and lying carries a penalty of being attacked. Somehow, despite the rules being so straightforward that a five-year-old could grasp them, and the penalty for lying being similarly clear, he insists on answering every question evasively.
  • I Just Want to Be Loved: Cyndi in "And the Curse of Cindy". She was on a reality show, and believed the lies that the other contestants were her true friends. So she used a Love Potion to make sure no one would make her feel like that again.
  • Immortal Apathy: Jenkins is initially uninterested in aiding the Librarians-in-Training, preferring to stick to his studies and research. He even gives a speech about how he used to care, but felt that he was ultimately accomplishing nothing. But a bit of defrosting and he becomes much more willing to help.
  • Immortality:
    • Jenkins is actually Sir Galahad, Knight of the Round Table, who has been alive for over a millennium. As demonstrated later, he can't be killed by normal means. Dulaque too, to an extent, since he's Sir Lancelot.
    • Judson and Charlene who, in the third season, are revealed to have been the first Librarian and Guardian, respectively. Judson passed to another plane of existence five years before the first season, and Charlene joins him here in the Season 3 episode "And the Fatal Separation". They can still communicate with Flynn through a mirror.
    • The Librarians meet other immortal beings throughout their adventures, including:
      • Morgan le Fay (Episode 1x07 "And the Rule of Three").
      • The Minotaur (Episode 1x03 "And the Horns of a Dilemma")
      • A contract demon, although Baird manages to use Loophole Abuse to make him human (Episode 2x06 "And the Infernal Contract").
  • I'm Mr. [Future Pop Culture Reference]: Subverted slightly in "And the Silver Screen". In trying to replay the narrative of a movie they are stuck, Flynn has to give aliases for himself and Baird, but isn't told what they were in the script, and so calls her "Lady Gaga Van Damme", and himself "Dr. Julius Irving III"
  • Impostor Forgot One Detail: In "And What Lies Beneath the Stones," Jacob realises that what looks like his estranged dad is actually a shapeshifter when, after Jacob finally telling him what he really does, his dad hugs him and tells Jake that he loves him... something his real dad wouldn't do in a million years.
  • I Need to Go Iron My Dog: At the end of "And the Broken Staff", Eve and Flynn are arguing what their top priority is, and both suddenly stop and turn to Jenkins to settle the argument. He tries to come up with a reason to leave, but gives up immediately.
    Jenkins: Well. I'm... I'm... Excuse me. I'm gonna go take care of my... desperately not wanting to be here.
  • Insistent Terminology:
    • Cassandra does not appreciate it when Ezekiel calls her tumor a "brain grape." Subverted in that she then tells them to "follow the brain grape".
    • "Not calling him 'Santa'". (Especially funny when Santa can't help but call Santa by Santa's name. Because Santa speaks in the third person.)
    • Morgan le Fey is a sorceress, not a witch. She dislikes the gender associations the latter term has.
  • In Spite of a Nail: In each Alternate Timeline Eve visits, a different LIT became the Librarian instead of Flynn, but she ended up as their Guardian and developed a close connection with them, died in her duty, and something caused the world to go to hell.
  • I Work Alone: Flynn spends the first episode saying this repeatedly; eventually he learns better, even if he repeatedly slips in the series.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Ezekiel. Professional thief, general smartass, but genuinely good-hearted, and willing to put his life in danger to stop the bad guys. However, he doesn't think he's a hero, just a rogue.
  • Karma Houdini
    • Averted with Cassandra. She betrays the Library and the team in the first episode, after the promise of a cure for her brain tumor. The majority of the team welcomes her back with no repercussions after she is betrayed by the villains. Jake, however, likes her and even enjoys working with her, but still says he won't ever trust her again.
    • Morgan le Fey escapes, bloodied but victorious, at the end of "And the Rule of Three".
    • Flynn calls out Mr. Drake for stealing the Apple of Discord from the dragons, but we don't actually see any repercussions that occur for that betrayal.
  • Lampshade Hanging: The Librarians hang lampshades on everything, from Eve lampshading the absurdity of her job to Flynn lampshading his own speech patterns.
  • The Lancer: Ezekiel, being the most likely to go against Eve's orders and do his own thing. A lot of the time, it works out.
  • Large Ham: Flynn is even more of a ham here than he already was in The Librarian movies. He reenacts Hamlet's death scene in the season 2 finale, leading Shakespeare himself to cringe at the overacting.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Imprison the Minotaur for centuries? Nasty creature. Holds a grudge.
  • Last of His Kind: Or last three of their kind. The Serpent Brotherhood killed off all but three potential Librarians. Flynn and Eve track down the three that remain and make them Librarians-In-Training with Eve as their joint Guardian, while Flynn goes looking for the Library. These three in fact survived because they didn't answer their Call to Adventure; while hundreds of people did get invitations to interview, as seen in the first film, the Brotherhood started killing the ones who turned up for their interviews first, only getting interested in those three when every other invitation recipient was dead.
  • Last-Second Word Swap: A alternate Ezekiel claims that Baird was like a mother to him and she responds "That's mathematically im...probable". note 
  • Law Of Narrative Causality: Weaponized by Prospero in a powerful form of story-based magic only a Fictional would dare use.
  • The Leader: Eve, as Guardian, typically has to call the shots to make sure the three Librarians keep on track.
  • The Load: Cassandra initially believes the others see her as this, as she's the least physically capable of the group.
  • Loony Librarian: Noah Wyle's character, who made recurring appearances in the series. Merlin also counts to some extent as the overseer of the group.
  • Loophole Abuse: Baird pulls this in "And the Infernal Contract", wishing that the Devil was human, thus negating his powers.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: In "And the Happily Ever Afters", Propsero traps Eve, the Librarians, and (voluntarily) Moriarty in a small town under the illusion of each living the life they've always wanted.
  • Love at First Sight:
    • Happened to Ezekiel of all people. Years ago on "The Life Show", he saw a very lonely girl named Cyndi Croger (yes, that Cyndi) get treated like dirt by the others on the show. Now, you would think it would be nothing, a crush that passes on someone you've never actually met. However, years later he meets her in person leading a cult of obsessive love slaves so she never feels unloved again. Apparently, as Stone points out at the end, Ezekiel's feelings for Cyndi were still so strong it allowed him to be the only one immune to the potion she was using that had Stone, Flynn, and everyone in the cult under her spell. Not that surprising really. She is pretty cute when she smiles.
    • Flynn admits that this happened to him the moment he first saw Eve in Berlin.
      Eve... From the moment I laid eyes on you in that German steam tunnel, I've loved you. I love you more than anyone I've ever known, anything I've ever learned. I love you more than learning itself.
  • Lovecraft Lite: "and the Cost of Education" has the Librarians fighting to stop a tentacled other-dimensional horror from eating people at an academy built by a mad occultist. Lovecraft himself is even name-dropped as having based his books on actual creatures, but while the tone of the episode is occasionally serious, it's still never close to being a Cosmic Horror Story.
  • Love Potion: A subversion of Type 2. While commonly called a love potion, it is more aptly an Obsession Potion. It was romanticized into a love potion by poets long ago. Too strong a dose, and the targets start becoming violent.
  • MacGyvering: In the first episode, Flynn needs a blowtorch. He makes one out of a picnic lunch, hooked to the oxygen tank from an extensive first aid kit.
  • Magic A Is Magic A: Often averted. Cass notes, for example, that the devil in "And the Infernal Contract" was mixing three very distinct and different magical styles in one protection spell.
  • Magical Library: The series pretty much establishes that the Library is in fact sentient and goes so far as to handle recruitment. It is also a repository of many magical artifacts.
  • Magical Particle Accelerator: A literal example, where a physics student builds a ridiculously small particle accelerator (as in, it fits on a small push cart instead of being the size of a building) that works despite the fact that it really shouldn't. She explains that the equations came to her one day, and she used them to design the accelerator. Cassandra realizes that the accelerator functions mostly through magic and is powering the summoning circle at Wexler College.
  • The Magic Comes Back: In the series premiere, the aim of the Serpent Brotherhood is to bring magic back to the world. They succeed, to a major extent, and release a good chunk of the magic trapped in the stone, setting up the backstory for the rest of the series.
  • The Magic Goes Away: In the series premiere, Flynn explains how the world was once full of magic but has since waned due to magic being placed into mystical artifacts and rituals by humans. This is explained as a good thing, because magical artifacts are more easy to control, allowing for technology and stopping wild magic from unleashing monsters and random side-effects.
  • Magic Is Evil:
    • Jenkins believes that magical artifacts need to be locked away forever, and that magic never leads to anything good. This is spoken by someone, who is immortal thanks to, presumably, magical means. His Door also involves the liberal use of some Magitek. Stone also shares that opinion. Cassandra vehemently disagrees and thinks that responsible use of magic should be allowed. In her opinion, things like fire and chemicals were also dangerous until people learned to control them and use them for good.
    • Cass's argument is turned around on her in the same episode as it's made clear that unlike science, magic has very few known rules and is highly dangerous in untrained hands, always coming with some price tag when used. So it's less Magic Is Evil and more "Magic is Dangerously Unpredictable."
  • Magic Mirror: How Judson and Charlene communicate with Flynn after passing into another plane of existence.
  • Magitek / Post-Modern Magik: A recurring theme of the series.
    • The first occurence was in "And the Rule of Three", when a spell got turned into an app which could grant people's wishes.
    • "And the Cost of Education" had a portable particle acceleration summon a being from another dimension locked in Wexler college. The ladies of the lake seem to anticipate the blending of magic and technology and using it.
    • Used again in "And the Image of Image", when Dorian Gray created a new photo collage portrait to pass on his sins, made of the selfies of his nightclub patrons. More under Sufficiently Advanced Magic.
    • Ezekiel has also written an app that appears to download new clippings as soon as they appear in the book at the Annex.
    • The scientists in "And the Point of Saving" were using technology to study a magical artifact before it exploded.
  • Make Wrong What Once Went Right: In "And the Loom of Fate", Dulaque damages the Loom in order to alter history towards his benefit by preventing Camelot from falling. Though, from his twisted worldview, it's actually Set Right What Once Went Wrong. After all, every possible future timeline that would be destroyed, including the actual future, are timelines in which Camelot fell...
  • Man of Wealth and Taste: The Devil in "And the Infernal Contract" is a well-dressed middle-aged man (played by John de Lancie) who enjoys attending high-society parties and discussing wine and champagne. He also enjoys a Friendly Enemy conversation with Jenkins, pointing out how the latter is a legend in certain circles (quite literally, in this case, since Jenkins is Sir Galahad).
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Every time the LITs need to get access to a place where it's strange for them to go, they just need to state they're "The Librarians" and the listener makes some logical leap that explains why they're there, though it doesn't always work and on one occasion the person realizes after the fact that it doesn't make sense. It's not clear if this is simply The Masquerade at work or some form of magic until Running Gag in Season 3 when Stone asks if it always works for Carsen. It's revealed that the phrase is an incantation, "a bit of white magic," that when said correctly has the desired effect, confirming it to be outright magic.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Lamia was the name of a woman in Greek mythology cursed by Hera. She is typically depicted as becoming a serpent woman. In the series, Lamia is somewhat of a knife nut who prefers killing people via overhand stabbing, never mind working for a serpent-themed cult.
    • Cassandra can see everything. However, that power comes with a curse. And she can barely tell anyone about what she does, because most people wouldn't believe it.
    • Eve was named so because she was born at the stroke of midnight on Christmas Eve.
    • Club Effigy foreshadows the mystery of the episode. Dorian Gray is forming his own effigy, a portrait of himself, made of a collage of other people's photographs.
  • Missing Reflection : In "And the Eternal Question", that's how Jake and Ezekiel discover the island inhabitants are vampires.
  • Mobile Maze: The Labyrinth actually exists in seven dimensions at once. It is also actually a curse, rather than "just" magical architecture, so those who enter as a curse find themselves lost no matter where they go, even if they manage to leave the physical area that was originally the labyrinth.
  • Morality Chain: The reason that Guardians exist is to be this to the Librarian, because otherwise the temptation to use magic to change the world could eventually lead them into Knight Templar territory.
  • Motive Misidentification: DOSA opposes the Librarians because they think the Librarians are terrorists and intend to use the magic they collect.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: The Serpent Brotherhood imprison Cassandra near the end of the pilot, making her decide to help the Librarian after all. She plays an essential role in stopping them after she was the one to let them into the Library in the first place.
  • Niceness Denial: "...And The Infernal Contract", Stone is gloating about how Ezekiel is turning good after the reveal that he isn't using magic to steal stuff. Ezekiel counters by handing Stone back his own wallet, now devoid of cash.
  • Nightmare Hands: In "...And the Heart of Darkness" Ezekiel finds a partly open closet and mutters repeatedly to himself, "Movie guy is wrong." as he goes to investigate the closet. He opens the door and finds it empty. But then as he turns his back, a large number of hands start reaching out of the closet for him
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Once the little girl gets hold of the magic book in "And the Fables of Doom", Baird becomes a Ninja Princess, Stone becomes a Robot Huntsman and Cassandra becomes Merlin Prince Charming.
  • Noodle Incident: The mission in Ecuador that gave Cassandra PTSD. We see a brief flashback revolving around the main climax of it, but most of the other details are left vague.
  • No-Sell:
    • Bullets don't seem to do much except irritate the Minotaur. Morgan le Fay on the other hand, finds them amusing.
    • The Apple of Discord turns everyone who touches it into the worst version of themselves. A Running Gag throughout the episode is how they cannot let Jones get his hands on it. It turns out that he's completely immune, because he's already the worst version of himself. And if a Jerk with a Heart of Gold thief is the worst possible version of him, then his capacity for evil must be quite small.
    • Jones also doesn't fall under the Love Potion in "And the Curse of Cindy". Jenkins theorizes that it's because he was so obsessed with himself, there wasn't room to obsess over another. Stone thinks it was because he was already in love with her after watching her on the TV show.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: The Canadian accents in "The Librarians and the Fangs of Death" are all over the place with none being particularly close. One actor also speaks in a Scottish accent, presumably while trying to portray a Newfoundlander.
  • Not Evil, Just Misunderstood:
  • Not My Lucky Day: In And the Steal of Fortune, Ezekiel and Stone encounter dozens of victims of "one in a million" incidents, causing dozens of injuries. Later at the racetrack and casino, they notice that no one seems to be able to pick a winner.
  • Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist: The Big Bad of season 4, Nicole Noone wants to destroy the Library because she believes it is ultimately malevolent and the world is better off without it, but it shows how little she was really doing it for the world when she instates herself as the almighty dictator of the alternate reality when the Library never existed.
  • Number Obsession: Cassandra is a synesthete who can perform complex math formulas in her head. When under the influence of the Apple of Disord, Flynn tries to divert her with a Logic Bomb by asking her to calculate pi to the last digit, but she laughs him off, telling him she's not some computer he can just shut down. Stone has more success when he asks her about Eulers's Number and suggests the solution is "3", which causes her to pass out when she realizes what he said. Stone tells Flynn that Cass had been writing notes about it that he'd noticed, suggesting she was obsessed with Euler's Number.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Jacob Stone has spent his whole life like this, hiding a 190 IQ and a passion for art history from his redneck family because he believes they won't understand.
  • Obvious Stunt Double: Jenkins' fight scenes are primarily shot from the back to try and hide John Larroquette's stunt double's face.
  • Odd Friendship: Jenkins and Ezekiel Jones starting around "The Apple of Discord."
  • Of Corsets Funny: When a magical book turns Eve into a fairytale princess, her Waistcoat of Style morphs into a corset. She is not impressed.
  • Older Than They Look: The three Librarians and Eve all look quite young, and you'd be mistaken for thinking they were twenty-somethings. In reality, only John Kim (Ezekiel) is in his 20's. As of the first season, Lindy Booth (Cassandra) is 36 while Christian Kane (Jake) and Rebecca Romijn (Eve) are both over 40.
  • Omnidisciplinary Scientist:
    • Mostly averted with the LITs. Each of the three Librarians in Training has a knowledge base that doesn't overlap with that of the others, so they have to work together to solve each episode's mystery. Stone specializes in art history, Cassandra is a math genius, and Zeke has great knowledge of technology (to get past security systems).
    • Played straight with Flynn, who's collected over two dozen degrees over the years and has learned even more while being the Librarian. He can walk someone through disarming a nuclear bomb while doing the same to an ancient mystic artifact. This is highlighted in the first season finale. The three alternate Librarians can only work to limit the damage caused by the reintroduction of magic because they are only familiar with their specialties while the alternate Flynn, despite never having taken up the position, easily solves problems in three different universes because he's studied so many different subjects.
    • A variant in the case of Jake. While he's strictly an art historian, there doesn't seem to be any actual limit to the history of art he's familiar with. Where most historians specialize in a certain period when their subject of interest was prominent, Jake can classify ancient Chinese art in one episode, then ramble about American architectural trends in another and distinguish between the works of similar artists that professional critics missed. He also knows architecture, history, and anything from the humanities needed for the episode. Cassandra might similarly know anything from any branch of math or science (except computers, where Ezekiel knows whatever the episode needs).
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business:
  • Open Mouth, Insert Foot: In season 2, after Flynn and Moriarty trade Sherlock Scans, the latter "deduces" that Eve is a duchess, claiming that despite the assembled royalty at the museum event they are all at, Eve outshines them all in beauty. Flynn, completely missing the obvious flirting, comments "You call that a deduction? She's not a duchess. She's an ordinary person. Her accent should have given her away like that."
  • Our Minotaurs Are Different: Minotaurs are extremely durable, strong, and immortal. In "And the Horns of a Dilemma" they release one from the labyrinth it had been trapped in by a company that had been sacrificing interns to it to keep revenue up.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: "And the Fangs of Death" features Wolf Men created by Anubis, and spread like a virus via bite, although the change is gradual.
  • Parental Substitute: Eve becomes this to Ezekiel in an alternate timeline where he became the Librarian as a teenager, much to her horror. Less horror than she felt when she briefly wondered if she'd dated him in this timeline as she had with other alternate Librarians.
  • Pass the Popcorn: When Stone first confronts his father in "And What Lies Beneath the Stones," Cassandra and Ezekiel stand back listening eagerly, outright comparing it to a soap opera which they begin to brainstorm titles for until Stone angrily shushes them.
  • Phrase Catcher: Eve gets pretty fed up with Jenkins saying "Huh" every time she tells him of some new disaster.
    "If you say huh one more time, I swear..."
  • Plot Tailored to the Party: It's surprising how often an encyclopedic knowledge of art history comes in handy when saving the world. Hacking, theft, mathematics and science knowledge are less surprising, but all three LITs' skills turn out to be applicable to the plot more often than not.
  • Pocket Dimension:
    • The Library isn't really underneath the Metropolitan Public Library. It actually exists in one of these, which is just accessible from the Public Library until Charlene and Judson seal it off.
    • In the second episode, the Minotaur's Labyrinth works like a whole series of these, linked together in a network only Cassandra's unique brain can visualize coherently.
    • The "heart" of the Library is located in an entirely separate pocket dimension linked to the main complex, containing a vast forest meant to camouflage the Tree of Knowledge.
  • Portal Door: Jenkins uses the few magical artifacts he has in the Annex to build a "back door", a portal that connects a broom closet door to another door anywhere in the world. However, navigation is not easy and requires the use of sympathetic magic. Jenkins claims that it's a good thing he can even hit the target city. This allows the titular characters to travel the world without spending hours flying or driving. Unfortunately, it also leaves the Annex open to anyone who might stumble on the door from the other end (such as Morgan le Fay). Also, the pilot episode showed the Library itself having multiple doors leading to other parts of the world. In fact, the elevator that led to the Library was itself a portal, since the Library doesn't exist in our dimension. Later on, Jenkins manages to come up with a single-shot portable version, although that one appears to be used more as a link to the regular "back door".
  • Power at a Price
    • A magical book brings fairytales to life and gives the reader health and vigor. However, it requires life energy as fuel and it will drain it from nearby people. First one person gets sick and dies, then multiple and if the magic is not stopped you end up with whole nations devastated by plagues. If the reader loses control of the magic, he/she will end up sucked into the book forever.
    • A spell can make your wishes come true but it follows the rules of witch magic: whatever magic is used for, it will return to the caster threefold. If enough people abuse it to curse opponents in close proximity, the backlash gets exponentially more powerful and is enough to kill a hall full of people.
  • Pride: The Lovecraft Lite monster in "And the Cost of Education" is attracted to expressions of extreme pride and self-aggrandizement. The first victim is a college football team mascot (apparently, thinking that an obscure team from Wexler College has a chance of beating Michigan State is a form of extreme pride). The second victim is an arrogant architecture professor, who takes offense at Stone criticizing his "groundbreaking work". When it comes time to lure out the creature, everyone turns to Ezekiel, who does this naturally.
  • Profound by Pop Song: Jenkins compares the feud between Eastern and Western dragons as being not unlike the East/West coast hip hop rivalry of the 1990s. Ezekiel is amazed that Jenkins is familiar with hip-hop at all.
    Jenkins: Ah, well, as Eric B. and Rakim so aptly flowed, "I'm paid in full".
  • Public Domain Canon Welding: In the second season, Prospero, of William Shakespeare's The Tempest has come to life, and uses his knowledge of magic to summon Professor Moriarty to aid him. Flynn and Baird are able to stop him by using a time machine stored in the Library (which also housed other time machines, including the one by H. G. Wells and (while not public domain) we get a hint of a blue police box.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: From "And the Apple of Discord".
    Eve: Don't! tell ME! what to do!
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: The team is pretty much the bottom of the barrel of Librarian candidates. The Serpent Brotherhood was able to kill every other candidate in the world in the first episode, saving them for last because they weren't smart enough to realize they were putting this trope into effect.
    Lamia: How are you going to stop us? Hmm? With your little knock-off Librarians? One doomed by her gift, one who fled his gift, one who abuses it!
  • A Rare Sentence: Eve lampshades the absurdities of the things she says in this job quite a lot.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot:
    • Wyle's reduced presence in the first season is down to his commitment to the fifth season of Falling Skies — he commented that Steven Spielberg doesn't pay his actors not to show up. He had said he will be full-time in any second season, but he remained a recurring character. Season 3 continues the trend up until "And the Trail of the Triangle"; he appears in every episode after that.
    • Similarly, Jane Curtin was committed to Unforgettable.
  • Really 700 Years Old:
    • Both Dulaque and Jenkins are implied to be at least 1000 years old, if the episode "And the Apple of Discord" is to be believed. "And the Loom of Fate" reveals that they're actually Lancelot and Galahad. Also, Santa Claus is several thousand years old and has had many incarnations throughout history, but looks like a man in his 50s (Bruce Campbell). Additionally, Katie in "And the Heart of Darkness is an unaging serial killer and Mabel in "City of Lights" has been stuck in at her current state for nearly 100 years (as long as she doesn't leave town). Then there's Morgan le Fay, who is about Dulaque and Jenkins's age, but has kept her youthful looks thanks to magic.
    • Season 3 confirms the implication from Judas Chalice that Judson was the original Librarian, and also reveals Charlene was his Guardian, making them both several thousand years old.
    • Nicole Noone returns during "And the Dark Secret", where it's revealed she traveled back in time 500 years accidentally, and took an immortality artifact so that she could be reunited with Flynn.
  • Refugee from TV Land: They are called Fictionals and there are two kinds: the more common kind are characters pulled from books by use of a particular magic spell, and the more rare one are characters so popular or so well written that they're actually capable of walking out of their stories under their own power.
  • Refusal of the Call: Two of the LITs, in different ways.
    • Stone not only turned down an opportunity to interview for the position of The Librarian, he also turned down scholarships to two major schools in favor of working with his dad at the family oil company.
    • Ezekiel Jones initially threw away his invitation to become the Librarian, because he doesn't like authority or formal education.
    • Averted by Cassandra, meanwhile, who was in hospital at the time having her tumor diagnosed for the first time. However, upon learning of the offer (and of the mysteries of the library), she Jumped at the Call.
  • Reverse Arm-Fold: Alternate Ezekiel's preferred posture.
  • Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory:
    • Eve, after Dulaque alters history in "And the Loom of Fate". Jenkins later speculates that it's a side effect of when she substituted for Santa in "And Santa's Midnight Run". Eve herself suspects that Jenkins also remembers everything but is hiding it.
    • All the Librarians have a bit of it during "And the Echoes of Memory", but they only remember it as dreams. Only Eve remembers the Library when it initially disappears, and she slowly loses it over the episode. When Flynn convinces Nicole not to destroy the Library, only he and Eve remember all that had happened.
  • Rule of Three: The Wiccan version is the subject of "And the Rule of Three".
  • Rules Lawyer: Jenkins definitely comes across as a stickler for rules to the members of the Conclave.
  • Running Gag:
    • Stone really wants to use the glowy globe, and is repeatedly shown throwing it in the air in an attempt to make it work.
    • Whenever Eve tries to rearrange Flynn's desk for her own use, it always goes back to the way he has it. In the Season 1 finale, it finally accepts Eve's method as the preferred default.
    • Every time the Librarians call Jenkins in the Annex, he's using a different, old fashioned phone handset.
    • Ezekiel refusing to believe Jenkins and Flynn when they remind him that the Library has no proof that aliens exist.
    • "We're the librarians" being accepted as a valid excuse for just about everything. "And The Curse of Cindy" reveals that this is a magic spell. On top of this, it never seems to work for any of the titular Librarians except Flynn, to the point where it's lampshaded by Eve in "And the Steal of Fortune."
    "Why does anyone even try that anymore?"
    • It finally works in the finale of Season 4, when Cassandra, Stone and Ezekiel have to break into an asylum in an alternate world where the Library never existed.
  • Sacrificial Lion: Excalibur. Never before have people cried over the death of a sword. But, then again, Cal's back at the end of Season 2!!
  • Sadly Mythtaken: "And the Fangs of Death" does a very poor job at getting Egyptian mythology right. Just for starters, Apep summons Anubis to him, then calls him the God of Death and the original werewolf. NO god would ever help Apep. Even Set, the actual god of evil, would join Ra to fight him, so Anubis, a fairly benign god, would certainly not help him. Anubis' role as a god is heavily tied to death, but he is generally seen as a protector, guide and judge of the dead, rather than the actual god of death, a role typically filled by Osiris. His status as the "original" werewolf is sketchy at best; the closest thing Egypt had to a werewolf was the wolf-headed deity Wepwawet, who was a god of war. Beyond this, werewolf myths are largely European in origin.
  • Science Fair: "Rule of Three" is set at a high-grade STEM competition with displays of robotics, molecular engineering, mathematical breakthroughs and advanced genetics. True to this trope, there's still a baking soda volcano. It actually wins.
  • The Scottish Trope: A piece of Prospero's staff was guarded by John Dee with Shakespeare's help. They made the password one that no one would ever think to speak out loud, since the hiding spot was a private stage, especially not for someone created by Shakespeare like Prospero: Macbeth.
  • Screw Destiny:
    • At the end of season 1, Flynn saves Eve by pouring the healing green liquid into her mouth, as her wound was from an ordinary sword, not Excalibur. It's stated that this is the only version of Eve to have survived in The Multiverse, as it's her destiny to die for her Librarian.
    • This is attempted in "And the Self-Fulfilling Prophecy". In a sense, it fails, as the parts of the visions seen always came true. In another sense, when a prophecy from a Prophecy Cube is no longer true, it shatters.
  • Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: Flynn, upon having an epiphany inspired by Judson, decides to do away with the old Librarian sink-or-swim tradition and instructs Jenkins to teach the new Librarians about the world of magic (much to his displeasure). And even before that, the Library itself eschews the centuries-old rule of only having one Librarian at a time.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: The subject of the episode with the same name. The twist is that they can be broken, either by someone outside the prophecy, or by creating an even bigger prophecy to encapsulate it.
  • Sensible Heroes, Skimpy Villains:
    • Normal Cassandra wears a conservative flower dress. Evil Cassandra strips off the dress the minute she sees it in a mirror.
    • Also compare and contrast Eve with Lamia; Eve wears practical outfits and Lamia is dressed like she's going to a party.
    • In the season one finale, we see a universe where Cassandra became the Librarian. Since Eve is dead, Lamia took her role, and dresses like a combination of her normal wear and Eve's.
  • The Shangri-La: After appearing in the first movie, Shangri-la re-appears in the season three episode "And the Fatal Separation", when Stone is sent there to be trained by the Monkey King, who rebuilt the city after Flynn's disastrous first visit. Soon the city is raided by collector Sterling Lam, who seizes Monkey's prized staff for himself. Whoever has the staff at sunset will gain control of the city. The Librarians team up to recover the city and save the Monkey King from Lam's magical mind-control. According to Jenkins, the city itself is a very strong magical source whose location was a closely-guarded secret in the magical community.
  • Shapeshifter Guilt Trip: Attempted in "And What Lies Beneath the Stones". The Monster of the Week assumes the other Librarians' form to convince Jacob not to hit it. This fails completely, as he has no problem attacking the creature, knowing that it really isn't his friends.
  • Sherlock Scan: Flynn performs one in "And the Drowned Book" on Moriarty. He appropriately gives one right back. Later, Moriarty performs one on Jenkins. While he does not figure out his exact identity, he does conclude that he is a Knight of the Round Table.
  • Ship Tease: There are hints of an attraction forming between Jake and Cassandra.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The Library's alarm system is clearly inspired by the Cloister Bell from Doctor Who. Funnily enough, lots of people in this show are suited, bow-tie-clad intellectuals. They show up out of nowhere. They introduce themselves with a job title that seems pretty irrelevant (the Librarians instead of the Doctor). They start acting weird and asking weird questions; but when something actually weird happens, they usually react with very little shock. They leave as quickly as they arrived, through a door that often leads to a room much too big for the room that this door should lead to.
    • "And the Heart of Darkness"
    • In "City of Light" some of the possessed people do the memetic "point and screech" from the 1978 Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Ezekiel also refers to the story.
    • "And the Loom of Fate"
      • The team questions whether there will actually be a "doorway to heaven" in the pyramid. This was the mistranslated name given to the Stargate, which was first found buried near the pyramids in Egypt.
      • The alternate Flynn says that the job of Librarian seems to involve an awful lot of running. He even does the eleventh doctor's 270 degree spin during the climax. After doing a fair amount of running. And he wears a bow-tie. Bow-ties are cool.
      • Stone is dressed as Nathan Drake from the cover of Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception.
      • Ezekiel casually tells the legion of ghosts to "Sod off, deadites.".
    • Season 2 is full of these To Shakespeare. Fitting given the Big Bad is from one of his plays.
    • "And the Infernal Contract" has a reference to the Doctor Who episode "Victory of the Daleks", when Stone refers to their potential to die saving people as an "occupational hazard."
    • The episode "And the Hollow Men" has a similar plot concept to the Doctor Who episode "The Doctor's Wife".
    • End of "Infernal Contract", blink and you miss it there is a sign for Frack in the background when Baird is about to leave. Michael Trucco, who played Eve's friend, was on Battlestar Galactica (2003) where the word Frak is used a lot.
    • The bad guy in "And The Image of Image" is Dorian Gray.
    • In one episode, Baird tells Jenkins that they can't just pretend that magic does not exist and keep telling people that it was "swamp gas".
    • Ezekiel tries to bypass a Glenn-Reider security system, Jenkins and Charlene both use the patronizing "you're adorable" in reaction to someone else's naivete at one point, and the dagger of Aqu'abi makes an appearance in the pilot, all references to Dean Devlin's previous show Leverage. Also, in "And Santa's Midnight Run" the teddy bear with a cast on its leg from "The Broken Wing Job" makes an appearance among the gifts Jacob is wrapping.
    • In "And the Point of Salvation", The Librarians get trapped in a Video Game. The first weapon that Stone grabs is a crowbar, while Eve seems to prefer a pipe wrench. The scenario is a reference to Half-Life; a quantum accident at a government facility causes, among other things, the scientists in the area to become zombies. For added fun, the zombies attack whenever an alarm sounds.
    • The faerie trickster Puck is voiced by Brent Spiner as he did in Gargoyles.
    • In "And the Final Curtain", the Library's room of time machines includes a blue police box and a DeLorean.
    • In the same episode, when Flynn, Eve, and Moriarty are in the past, the latter tells the former two to "come with me if you want to live."
    • Season 3 seems to involve an Ancient Egyptian god named Apep (AKA Apophis) possessing people, causing their eyes to turn a different color and their voices to grow deeper, while also being able to make the host body healthier. Another not-quite corporeal god named Anubis appears out of a round portal. Sound familiar?
    • "And the Self-Fulfilling Prophesy" introduces its antagonist— the Reaper— as holding a pair of sickles across its body in a manner similar to weapons held by a very different reaper.
  • Shown Their Work:
    • Cassandra is introduced as a synesthete, and part of her form of synesthesia is completely unlike it is in real life - but it turns out to be justified, as Flynn points out, the hallucinations she's shown experiencing, which are not a part of synesthesia, are actually caused by a brain tumor. This is apparently subverted in Season 3, after the tumor is taken out. Not only does Cassandra retain her powers, they're augmented. Plus, she has Psychic Powers now.
    • In "The Point of Salvation", the video game they are trapped in works rather like an actual video game; for one, enemies don't pop out at random, and are affected by trigger points in the environment. The game resets every time one of the Librarians dies, because it's an escort mission. Their way of escaping the gameworld and subsequently breaking it highly resembles what happens when an actual glitch is exploited, and all the Librarians, barring poor Ezekiel, escape via rocket jumping using hand grenades. In the same episode, the term "Faded Giant" is used, correctly, to describe the meltdown of a nuclear reactor.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!:
    • "And the Loom of Fate" features two examples of this trope:
      • Ezekiel faces all of humanity, possessed by the spirits of the underworld, uttering a ghastly moan up to his window. He gives them a smug look.
      Ezekiel: Sod off, deadites!"
      Jenkins: Really? Wild magic, cruel kings, mad wizards? Yes, it was a pip!
      Dulaque: The people need to be ruled by wisdom. The stupid, little humans need to be ruled by kings!
      Jenkins: No, no. They! Have! earned the right to rule themselves. The time of kings has passed!
    • Cassandra delivers an epic one to Katie Bender in "And the Heart of Darkness".
    Cassandra: You think you're death? I was 15 when I was told that my death sits [inside my head]. So I see it every time I look in the mirror. Every day. EVERY! SINGLE!DAY!
  • Sink or Swim Mentor: New Librarians were originally immediately sent into the field to deal with apocalyptic crises with no training and only a guardian for protection. If the Librarian survived, then it was on to the next assignment, and if they didn't, it was time to start looking for the next candidate. Jenkins mentions that Librarians are actually considered to be disposable and that the Library goes through them like "tissue paper". Flynn eventually decides to make some changes by having the Librarians-in-training handle cases that won't necessarily result in certain death and the end of the world. He even drops the hands-off approach, by ordering Jenkins to allow them to use the annex and to guide them.
  • Skewed Priorities: Charlene can't help but always think about the budget, even in life-or-death situations. When the Serpent Brotherhood invades the Library in the pilot, she and Judson's spirit have to use their combined powers to cut it off from the world. Charlene's last words before that? Her resignation to the fact that Flynn won't be saving any receipts without her to prompt him. Even in Season 3, after Flynn and Eve find her on vacation, they nearly manage to convince her to return by claiming that Cassandra has expressed a wish to do the Library's accounting, nearly throwing Charlene into a panic. For reference, Charlene used to be Judson's Guardian, making her a badass several thousand years old.
  • The Slow Path: After Flynn and Eve are Trapped in the Past in the season 2 finale, they have Shakespeare turn them to stone (long story) and ship them to the Library for safe keeping, with instructions in place that will ensure they are freed at the correct time.
  • The Smart Guy: All the Librarians, past and present, fit this bill.
    • In terms of mathematics and physics, Cassandra is so good at it that she can actually think in seven different dimensions.
    • Art-historian Jake Stone is an expert on all periods and styles of all of the arts and damn-near omnilingual.
    • Ezekiel Jones can hack government systems with an ordinary smartphone.
    • Flynn Carsen knows more than all of these people combined.
    • Jenkins fills the role from a narrative position, usually explaining the supernatural elements encountered in the episode.
    • Though she rarely gets a chance to show it, Eve is an expert in military operations. However, she does regularly use that experience to organize the team on missions.
  • Southern-Fried Genius: Stone was working on an oil rig in Oklahoma, but has a 190 IQ and writes literature on art history under pseudonyms.
  • Split-Personality Takeover: Santa has several different personalities and they can take over if he doesn't have his talisman.
  • Stable Time Loop: Plays heavily in the season 2 finale. It gives everyone a headache.
  • Stealth Pun: The logo of the Golden Axe company is a symmetrical two-headed axe, also known as a "labrys". Guess what mythical location powers the company? A labyrinth.
  • Sufficiently Advanced Magic:
    • In "The Rule of Three", a magical spell is turned into a phone app.
    • Later, Ezekiel proceeds to do the same thing to the clippings book, his phone alerting him if something new has appeared. He also has an app that automatically dials the magical door at the Annex. It's not entirely clear how he managed to do it, since he doesn't appear to have any understanding of magic.
    • "And the City of Lights" works in reverse. The town was founded in part by Nikola Tesla and has lots of really old tech about the town. Instead, it created a magic-like effect on all the inhabitants.
    • "And the Image of Image": turns out that Dorian Gray started a nightclub. He takes pictures of patrons and turned them into a digital photo collage of himself, replacing his titular portrait. Any damage to him gets sent to the people in the picture. When the team tries to delete the copy on his computer, he says he put it in The Cloud. The team baits the club's patrons into taking photos of him, and use geotagging to turn those pictures into a photo collage of Eve, at which point she jumps off a roof and kills Dorian in a puff of logic.
  • Sundial Waypoint: The group arrives on the wrong day to actually observe this trope in action, but Cassandra runs through the calculations to pinpoint multiple locations where sunbeams and shadows would fall on or around the Black Forest henge in her head, in less than a minute.
  • Tastes Like Purple: Cassandra's synesthesia episodes, in which she often conflates numbers and geometry with colors, flavors or scents. Downplayed after the first season.
  • Team Kids: Flynn and Baird are the Team Mom and Team Dad. (Lampshades when Flynn is under the influence of the Apple of Discord and hammily announces "Daddy's home!") This makes Stone, Ezekiel, and Cassandra the Team Kids, with Jenkins as a sort of grumpy Honorary Uncle. There's also a degree of competitiveness between the "siblings" as Ezekiel will steal Stone's wallet to prove he's not going soft, and Cassandra keeps trying to use magic, to the amusement of Ezekiel and the consternation of Stone.
  • Team Mom: One of Eve's roles.
  • Team Power Walk: Done twice, but never played entirely straight.
    • Done by Eve and the Librarians in "And The Image Of Image" as they arrive at the club Effigy and then promptly ruined by Cassandra when she loses her balance on her high heels, all in slow-motion.
    • In "And The Tears Of A Clown" as they arrive at a carnival and they've get out a car in slow-motion... disguised as clowns.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork:
    • Jones is continually getting on Stone's nerves. On the other hand, Stone has absolutely no problem working with Cassandra despite saying outright that he'll never trust her after she betrayed the team in the pilot.
    • Jenkins. He liked the relative solitude of the Annex and being left alone with his research. He keeps helping the Librarians, though, however much he complains about them.
  • They Called Me Mad!: Josiah Wexler was a classic mad scientist. The quote under his statue at Wexler college is, "They all said I was mad!"
  • Third-Person Person: Santa. Not only does he refer to himself in the third person, he also refers to everyone else in the third person as well. Eve finds it annoying.
  • This Is the Part Where...: In "And the Heart of Darkness" the team investigate a haunted house, and as they encounter multiple strange events Ezekiel frequently mentions "this is exactly the point in the movie where the guy in the audience says, 'Get the hell out!'"
  • This Is Your Brain on Evil: Anyone who touches the Apple of Discord becomes the worst version of themself, with Cassandra Cillian in particular becoming rather murderous. Ezekiel Jones is the only person immune to its effects, as he is already the worst possible version of himself.
  • Time Bomb: The opening of the first episode features Eve and Flynn each trying to defuse their own time bomb—a nuclear warhead for Eve, and a booby-trapped magical safe for Flynn. Improbably, both have the same deactivation code.
  • Time Crash: The damage to the Loom of Fate causes time to start to fray into various timelines, and if not stopped, would eventually cause this.
  • Travel Montage: The episode "And Santa's Midnight Run" uses it repeatedly to map out Santa's path to release the goodness.
  • Trojan Horse: How the Librarians infiltrate Shangri-la in "And the Fatal Separation".
  • Truer to the Text: When the Librarians encounter Frankenstein's Monster as a Fictional in "And the Broken Staff," Ezekiel—only familiar with the character via movies and pop culture—expects him to be slow-witted and afraid of fire. He learns the hard way that the Monster is characterized quite differently in the original novel that the Fictional was summoned out of. (Oddly, this is not true for pretty much any other Fictional who appears over the course of the season.)
  • Two Guys and a Girl: The Librarians in Training, Ezekiel, Jake and Cassandra.
  • Ultra Super Death Gore Fest Chainsawer 3000: Averted in The Librarians and the Point of Salvation. The video game the Librarians become trapped in works remarkably like an actual video game, with scripted events caused by triggers in the environments, obscure pipe puzzles, and incorporates no-clipping and rocket-jumping into the plot.
  • The Unpronounceable: One of the representatives for the conclave in "And the Apple of Discord" has a name like this. Jones bemoans it's just a bunch of consonants.
  • Vagueness Is Coming:
    • At the end of "And the Rule of Three", before Morgan le Fey escapes, she explains that she's fleeing Earth to hide from something dangerous that's coming that the Librarians won't be able to stop. And after Jenkins translates her warning, he merely says that "the end, an end, is coming". It isn't till the season end that we find out she was hiding from the return of Camelot and subsequent collapse of the current timeline.
    • "And the Self-Fulfilling Prophecy" offers similar foreshadowing, as the Oracle of Delphi predicts that Baird will change the Library forever, but not how or why.
  • Villain's Dying Grace: When Prospero strikes down the treacherous Moriarty, the latter spends his last breaths telling Flynn how to beat him.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Dulaque is a well-respected philanthropist... and secret head of an evil cult that wants to rewrite the world with magic.
  • Visual Calculus: Justified. Due to a malignant brain tumor, Cassandra, already an intelligent scientist and mathematician, developed synesthesia, linking all five of her senses to her memory. The hallucinations caused by this allow her to process information and solve complex equations at incredible speeds, which the show depicts in the form of glowing calculations and images. However, the fact that the tumor which jumpstarted the ability will one day kill her and can overwhelm her once triggered, causing Psychic Nosebleed, makes her use it only sparingly until she is able to get the tumor removed in "And the Eternal Question", which unexpectedly makes the ability even stronger.
  • Wannabe Line: One episode has Jake and Ezekiel end up in one of these. Needing to get inside to save the world, Jake starts to do the usual tough-guy routine with the bouncer, but the confrontation morphs into a conversation about British vs. American authors, which distracts the bouncer enough for Ezekiel to slip inside.
  • We Can Rule Together: When Flynn and Eve are both touching the Apple of Discord, they decide the best plan of action is "Ditch the LITs, take over the world, get a penthouse with a view."
  • Weirdness Censor: The campus of Wexler College seems to be full of it. The sample student, Mindy, believes that 1 in 5 students and teachers transferring in the middle of the night is totally normal, as are warts that give you screaming nightmares.
  • Welcome Back, Traitor: Cassandra, who despite allowing the Brotherhood into The Library in the first place, is forgiven as she'd been tricked by them into thinking they would cure her brain tumor. Plus, as Eve points out, she did sacrifice her own chance at a cure to save Flynn. That being said, Stone is not willing to trust her ever again, even though he likes her.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: DOSA want to stop magic harming everyone too. Unfortunately, they are much more militaristic and believe that the Librarians are terrorists.
  • We Used to Be Friends:
    • Dulaque and Jenkins appear to have been quite close in the old days, before each chose their current paths. With the reveal that they're really Lancelot and Galahad, this means they're actually father and son.
    • "And the Fatal Separation" reveals that the leader of DOSA is a former mentor of Eve.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: At the end of "Rule of Three", Jenkins calls out Eve for letting Morgan le Fey escape. She then points out that the alternative was letting all her victims die, which she is not willing to do.
  • Wicked Cultured: Dulaque, who stops Lamia from killing Cassandra because he doesn't want blood on his new rug. He also has an extensive private collection of artwork and artifacts.
  • Wicked Heart Symbol: In "And the Broken Staff," Prospero summons the Queen of Hearts, who wears a skimpy costume with a heart motif.
  • Wire Dilemma:
    • When Flynn is trying to walk Eve through disarming her bomb in the pilot:
      Flynn: You see the blue wire?
      Eve: Yeah. [she begins to cut it]
      Flynn: Don't touch the blue wire.
      Eve: GAH! [she recoils away from the blue wire] Start with "don't!" Start with "don't!"
    • In "And the Point of Salvation" Ezekiel is confronted with a security panel with four wires. To his dismay and confusion, no matter which wire he cuts it turns out to be wrong. It's actually a hacking minigame.
  • The Worf Effect: Lamia is an elite assassin who is beaten by almost every character in the series, several times in "The Apple of Discord."
  • World of Snark: The series features the LITs bantering back and forth during every episode. Eve is capable at snarking about her disbelief about the craziness that surrounds her. And when Flynn's in an episode, he and Eve spend the majority of it engaging in Snark-to-Snark Combat.
  • Would Hurt a Child:
    • The Villain of the Week of "And the Fables of Doom" drains the life from the children he reads the fairy tales from in order to extend his own life.
    • Morgan le Fey in "And the Rule of Three" sabotages a science fair in order to generate excess magic to siphon off and keep herself young and full of power while she hides from the collapse of the timelines intended to return Camelot to the world.
    • And Katie in "And the Heart of Darkness", an unaging serial killer child who has often preyed on other children, as well as adults.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Katie draws the LITs in by pretending she and her friends were attacked by the Monster of the Week, when in reality she is the monster and the "friends" she's talking about are her latest set of victims.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: In "And the Disenchanted Forest", Cassandra reveals that she has never been to summer camp and has only seen movies about it. Therefore, when the Librarians go to summer camp as part of their next assignment, she does what she expects is normal for the genre: playing a bunch of pranks on Ezekiel. She is surprised and disheartened to learn that, unlike what the movies would suggest, Ezekiel does not enjoy these pranks and calls her out on "not living in reality."
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Invoked by name several times by Baird in "and the Infernal Contract" to convince her old friend turned politician that he can win on his own merits.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: In "And the Loom of Fate", Dulaque kills Lamia as a blood sacrifice to open the portal to the Loom.
  • Your Days Are Numbered:
    • Cassandra has a brain tumor that will eventually kill her. This tumor is removed in Season 3, making her gift even more powerful.
    • At the end of the first episode, Flynn is stabbed by Excalibur, leaving an incurable wound. He spends most of the second episode slowly dying from it, but is magically healed by Excalibur.
    • In the season one finale, Baird learns that it's her fate to die protecting the Librarian. She survives thanks to the potion found at the start of the series.
    • In "And the Self-Fulfilling Prophecy", the Reaper comes and gives Baird an hourglass to indicate when she will be killed.
  • Your Head Asplode: Jenkins mentions that Josiah Wexler exploded and then specifically mimes his head exploding and splattering around messily.


Video Example(s):


Flynn Rights a Wrong

Flynn prevents Nicole from making a terrible mistake.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / SetRightWhatOnceWentWrong

Media sources: