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Disney's Hercules: The Animated Series is an American animated series based on the 1997 film of the same name and the Greek myth. The series premiered in syndication on August 31, 1998, and on Disney's One Saturday Morning on September 12, 1998. The syndicated series ran 52 episodes, while the Saturday morning run ran 13.
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The series follows Hercules, as a teenager, training as a hero, as well as trying to adjust to life. With his free-spirited friend Icarus, his future-seeing friend Cassandra, and his teacher Philoctetes ("Phil"), he battles his evil uncle Hades. Like all teenagers though, Hercules has to worry about peer pressure when the snobbish prince Adonis ridicules him. The series notably contradicts several events in the original film.

The series was released on Disney+ in 2019.


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Tropes:

  • 65-Episode Cartoon: Although as noted, the episodes were divided between network TV and first-run syndication.
  • Abled in the Adaptation: Tiresias, the blind seer, and Homer, the blind poet, are both able to see in this series.
  • Accidental Misnaming: In a handful of episodes, minor characters will misread or mis-pronounce our hero's name as "Heracles". This itself is a reference to the character's name in the original Greek myths; "Hercules" is his Roman name.
  • Actor Allusion:
    • Along with those under Casting Gag, one episode has Helen of Troy dressed as a mermaid. Her voice actress is Ariel herself, Jodi Benson.
    • The Minotaur is voiced by Michael Dorn, who previously voiced a descendant of the Minotaur on a couple episodes of another Disney series, Gargoyles.
  • Adaptational Badass: Echidna. She was noted for spawning monsters in Greek mythology not for fighting. In this series she is a Kaiju capable of defeating Hercules.
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  • Adaptational Heroism: Medusa, though to be fair in the original myths she was a Villainy-Free Villain, is a sympathetic character who befriends Hercules.
  • Adaptational Jerkass:
    • Chiron in Greek Mythology was the one Centaur to be a decent person, as well as a wise mentor and Hercules' friend. In this series, since the role of Hercules' mentor was moved to Philoctetes, Chiron is portrayed as Phil's smug rival.
    • Adonis was basically known for being extremely good-looking, enough so that Aphrodite and Persephone fought over him, and literally nothing else. Here, he’s a Royal Brat who’s always tormenting his classmates.
  • Adaptational Villainy:
    • Midas, while already greedy and gold-obsessed in Greek myths, wasn't particularly malevolent or cruel, but rather a tragic figure, and quickly came to hate his gift once he realized he couldn't eat anything because of it and turned his own daughter to gold as a result. Here's, his incapacity to eat is seen by him as an annoyance rather than a real problem, and he otherwise gleefully enjoys his ability, turning everything to gold constantly and even coming up with an Evil Plan to turn the entire Earth into gold out of greed, though he still goes through a Heel Realization after turning his daughter by accident.
    • While Minos in Greek Mythology wasn't exactly an angel, and he did cruelly force the Greeks to regularly send him young men and women to be devoured by the Minotaur, he was otherwise described as a fair (if harsh) ruler, to the point he would become one of the judges in the Underworld after his death. Minos in this series is depicted as a Card-Carrying Villain known as the worst tyrant, who had a Giant Robot built for the sole purpose of sinking any ship coming close to his coast For the Evulz. Also, while in the Greek myth he had the Labyrinth built as a way to contain the Minotaur and sent him humans to feed because he feared Poseidon's wrath otherwise, here he is seemingly doing it just so he can enjoy seeing people get killed by a bull monster.
    • Hecate in the original myths was a neutral-to-relatively pleasant goddess and sorceress who generally kept to herself and was close friends with both Demeter and Persephone. Here, she's an arrogant Wicked Witch who is scheming to render Hades powerless so she can take over the Underworld herself.
  • Adaptational Ugliness:
    • While she was part-dragon, Echidna's human half was said to resemble a beautiful nymph. Here, she's depicted as an ugly she-dragon.
    • Hecate is also given this treatment, visually looking like a bit of a prototype of Yzma, whereas the original myths depicted Hecate as quite beautiful.
  • An Aesop: About Once an Episode.
  • Anti-Villain: The giant spider in "Hercules and the Kids". He's not really evil at all, and is an extremely friendly and helpful guy to his friend, it's just that he's hungry and people are part of his diet.
  • All Animals Are Dogs: In one episode, Pegasus behaves like a dog, including asking for Herc to throw him a discus.
  • Alliterative List: When Hades takes over Prometeus Academy, he institutes his own take on the three R's: revenge, requital and retribution.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: Icarus idolizes Cassandra, who couldn't care less.
  • All Myths Are True: The Greek gods rule over Greece and later Rome when the Romans put out an ad for gods. The Egyptian gods rule Egypt and come to Rome after reading said ad but demands that the Romans demolish the Colosseum to make way for pyramids, causing the Romans to go for the Mediterranean Olympians who understand their culture better. Scandinavia, Iceland, and Greenland are also shown to be ruled by the Norse gods.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: Hercules is a Cute Clumsy Guy with Super Strength. Guess how well it goes...
  • Alpha Bitch: Adonis is a rare male example; a bitchy and snobby character that causes problems for our Nice Guy protagonist.
  • Anachronism Stew: Continuing from the movie, myths and heroes that happened after Hercules are either contemporary or retired, and things from much later ages show up - such as potatoes and chocolate, which come from America.
    • The fact that Aladdin has already taken place and Jafar can go to the Underworld is one of the biggest examples of Anachronism Stew in both series' continuity, which is really saying something. Even the vaguest version of "Arabian Nights" Days should logically be a few hundred years after Ancient Grome...
  • Animation Bump: The episode "Hercules and the Dream Date" has MUCH more fluid animation compared to other episodes, and was made with digital ink-and-paint (which allowed for some shading), resulting in less of a filmed look and more in-line with the later DTV sequels. This was because it was produced at the Australian studio, which often had more fluid looking character animation in their projects.
  • Ancient Grome: There are some elements that are more Roman than Greek, and two gods are called their Roman names rather than their Greek names: Bacchus (Dionysus) and Cupid (Eros).
  • Ascended Extra: A number of gods appeared as background characters in the original movie, but didn't speak or even get identified (it was just easy to tell who they were). Nearly all of them show up in the series, with the same character designs, in expanded supporting roles.
  • Aside Glance: Once Hercules receives a message from Adonis that starts by calling him "friend", he immediately turns to the audience with a disbelieving look on his face.
  • Athens and Sparta: The infamous rivalry between the two cities is played for laughs and is largely due to their patron gods, Athena and Ares.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Played straight and yet silently subverted in the episode "Hercules and the Argonauts". The Golden Fleece turns out to have none of the mythical powers attributed to it, but it does have the power of flight. At first Jason is impressed by this, but then Hercules reluctantly points out that he has a flying horse and Icarus has wings made of wax, causing Jason to feel that it wasn't worth 30 years of his life because it's not that special. However, nobody seems to call much attention to the fact that the fleece allowed Jason to endow his entire ship with the ability to fly through the sky at high speeds, which definitely is something exceptional.
  • Baleful Polymorph:
    • One episode featured Circe, who turned all of her ex-boyfriends into animals, including Icarus becoming a platypus (and Adonis becoming a peacock and Hercules a lemur.) Cassandra returns everyone to normal, but she's surprised to find the pig-men guards are actually bipedal, talking pigs.
    • In the Calydonian Boar episode, Artemis changes Phil into a boar to teach him why hunting endangered animals is wrong.
    • While cramming for a test, Herc, Cassandra, and Icarus list off Io (woman changed into a cow), Alectryon (lazy soldier changed into a rooster), and Arachne (a weaver who got turned into a spider monster).
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: In one episode, Hercules asked Aphrodite for a girl who would be crazy about him. What he got instead was a clingy jealous Yandere who freaks out when he tries to end the relationship.
  • Been There, Shaped History: Most of the episodes dumped Hercules into various Greek myths, such as replacing Phaeton (Apollo's son, who failed miserably at driving the sun chariot) and facing the Minotaur alongside Theseus (which he actually did in some versions of the myths). Thus, Hercules became responsible for practically everything in Greek mythology before he even became famous. It Makes Sense in Context.
  • Berserk Button: As revealed in the Aladdin crossover, Hercules HATES being called "Jerkules".
    • Boreas is not happy about the Spartan Academy theme song which recalls how Ares, in building Sparta, performed some Literal Ass-Kicking on the North Wind.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Demeter is excessively happy and typically brushes off the complaints that Nemesis brings to her, but even she won't tolerate Pan's hubris. She warns him to make up for it with a substantial offering by sundown or else she'll have Nemesis smite him.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: Fear and Terror, the witless sons of Ares. They're about as strong as Hercules, but they're hopelessly dimwitted, lack motivation to do their father's bidding, and would rather play It's All Greek to Me (their trivia board game). Thanks to Athena's owl, though, they gain the intelligence to subdue Ares and Athena, outfight Hercules, and get farther on the board than they ever have before.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Herc has this toward Icarus. For instance in "Hercules and the Grim Avenger", Herc briefly goes anti-hero when the Minotaur's destructiveness injures him. The same is true when he believes he's been kidnapped by Aladdin.
    Hercules: I'm in no mood to play games!
  • Big Friendly Dog: Cerberus acts like a puppy; a giant, three-headed puppy, but still a puppy, so all he wants to do is play fetch, run, do tricks, and slobber over others. Even Hades begrudgingly admits it's kind of cute.
  • Biting-the-Hand Humor:
    • In the Medusa episode, after taking Hades's offer, she is sent to a Minion Orientation session which is basically mocking Disney's own "Traditions" classes for new park hires, complete with Pain and Panic saying "We aren't employees, we're cast members".
    • In "Hercules and the Romans", Hades scoffs at being renamed "Pluto", saying the name isn't fit for a dog.
  • Black Comedy: Episode 6 mentioned Icarus's father inventing "Self-sacrificing sheep", which are sheep with carrots dangled in front of them by a string mounted to their heads, causing them to mindlessly run in a straight line off of ledges. Thankfully the one we see is spared when it lands on one of the dolphin's pulling Poseidon's boat-sled.
  • Blessed with Suck: Herc's super-strength, when combined with an adolescent's typical clumsiness.
  • Blood Knight:
    • Nemesis, demi-goddess of vengeance, who has a strong fixation towards smiting enemies of the gods and blasphemers and a Terminator-like focus towards finding victims. It comes with the territory.
    • Tempest also, who states "I'm an amazon. I have violent needs," and whose combat resume has a section titled "things I've skinned alive."
  • Blood-Splattered Warrior: In "Hercules and the Living Legend", Hercules trains to fight a dragon but ends up getting hit by tomatoes. The way Hercules is covered by tomato juice that looks like blood.
  • Boot Camp Episode: Herc and Icarus infiltrate Spartan Military Academy to save Adonis, who has to go through basic training in accordance to family tradition. Ironically, Cloudcuckoolander Icarus warms up to the military lifestyle.
  • Both Sides Have a Point: Hercules and Parenthesis spend "Hercules and the Hostage Crisis" debating the merits of heroes and scholars, as well as the lack thereof. The climax proves they're both right, as the situation requires both fists and knowledge, not just one or the other. In the end, Hercules asks to work part-time in the library and Parenthesis agrees in exchange for some fighting lessons.
  • Brainless Beauty: Helen of Troy. 1000 ships weren't launched for her intelligence after all.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Adonis regularly antagonizes Hercules, and occasionally other gods and beings more than capable of killing him. Hercules is too good to do anything to him, but Gaea nearly kills him for disrespect and Zeus smites him twice.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Daedalus is almost as wacky and strange as his son, but he's a very good shop teacher and inventor.
  • The Burlesque of Venus: In the episode "Hercules and the Dream Date", Aphrodite (Venus's Greek incarnation) appears to a bramble of flowers miraculously appearing, a beaming light, her rather cheesy introduction song topped off with, wait for it, stepping out of a giant clam that floated in.
  • Burp of Finality: Subverted. In "Hercules and the Long Nightmare", the Hydra eats Hercules and all three heads burps when done, but Hercules is dreaming the whole time.
  • The Caligula: King Minos of Crete fits this to a T. His idea of greeting people who come to his kingdom by sea is to have his giant mechanical guardian (Talos) chuck a giant boulder that says "Welcome to Crete" and sink the ship. He also loves the sound of screaming participants as he feeds them to the Minotaur.
  • The Cameo:
    • In "Hercules and the Bacchanal", Ursula can be seen at the convention Phil goes to.
    • Sebastian and one of Ursula's eels appears in the Atlantis episode.
  • Captured on Purpose: In "Hercules and the Disappearing Heroes," Hercules allows Hecate to capture him and drain his strength so he can be taken to the Underworld with the other prisoners, and Phil and Icarus can follow and free them.
  • Cassandra Truth:
    • With the Trope Namer being a main character, this is a given.
    Cassandra: I joke and they listen. But if I foresee a shower of boiling lead, no-one even puts on an umbrella.
    • Averted at times, however. In "Hercules and the Big Lie", Icarus not only believes her vision that he will Find the Cure!, but also he asks her to give him directions.
  • Casting Gag: Lots of them.
    • A recurring villain on the show was Echidna "the mother of all monsters" voice by Kathy Lee Gifford. In one episode, Hercules accidentally used one of Zeus's thunderbolts to destroy the mountain imprisoning her husband Typhon, voiced by her old talk show partner, Regis Philbin.
    • Merv Griffin appears as a gryphon with a talk show. Wink Martindale (who worked with Merv on Headline Chasers) was a riddle-giving Sphinx. (He was also working for Disney's Buena Vista TV arm at the time, as the host of Debt on Lifetime.)
    • "Hercules and the Dream Date" has a guest character in Galatea, Hercules' date for the Aphrodesia Dance, who's completely obsessed with him. Galatea was voiced by Jennifer Aniston, who was dating Tate Donovan at the time. What's more is that Aphrodite - who brings Galatea to life - is voice by Jennifer's Friends co-star Lisa Kudrow.
    • William Shatner as Jason in "Hercules and the Argonauts", because who better to play the captain of the Argos than the captain of the Enterprise. And his pilot, George Takei, voices astronomy teacher Ptolemy.
    • Linda Hamilton as Nemesis the Demigoddess of Vengeance in Hercules and the Romans. Who better to play a sociopathic Terminator-like goddess than Sarah Connor herself?
    • Dan Castellaneta, voice of Homer Simpson, plays the original Homer in a few episodes of the series.
    • The professor of Physical Education, Physedipus, is voiced by fitness instructor Richard Simmons.
    • One of Circe's ex-boyfriends was transformed into a hyena with an Annoying Laugh. He is voiced by Jim Cummings, who voiced Ed in The Lion King (1994) and Timon & Pumbaa.
  • Ceiling Banger: The Bacchanal makes so much noise it’s heard in the Underworld! We see Hades in a bathrobe banging on the ceiling of the Underworld while Pain and Panic stand by wearing pajamas and weary faces.
  • Chain of Deals: "Hercules and the Bacchanal" has Herc and Hermes going one of those in order to get Phil's island out of the bottom of the ocean. Poseidon's condition is getting eye lotion from the monster Argus, who wants a love arrow from Cupid, who wants some water from the Pool of Forgetfulness, and Pain and Panic can give the water in return for fireproof shorts, who Hermes knows that Hephaestus can forge as he owes him a favor.
  • Character Name and the Noun Phrase: All episode titles follow this pattern.
  • Claustrophobia: The minotaur apparently is claustrophobic; he says that he "hate[s] labyrinths" and gets all sweaty while he's in his own.
  • Clip Show: "Hercules and the Yearbook" and "Hercules and the Big Show".
  • Closer Than They Appear: In "Hercules and the Gorgon", Hercules's shield says, "Monsters are closer then they appear". Medusa makes sure to say that when her monstruous visage appears on the reflection.
  • Clothing Damage: During his high school graduation, Hercules is escaping monsters causing him,to be late. His cap and gown are shredded by the time he arrives to the ceremony.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Icarus. Maybe all that exposure to the Sun fried his brains somewhat (and that's putting it mildly)?
  • Commonality Connection: In "Hercules and the Big Lie", Icarus winds up solving the problem with Briarius the hundred-handed giant when the two of them bond over being fans of the same superhero.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: Some monsters have Hercules on the ropes during their clashes, dodging several attacks, disarming Hercules, and/or eating him.
  • Cool Loser: Hercules is a bit awkward socially, and he was bullied when he was younger. But now, he's a (mostly) sweet-natured hero in training and the son of Zeus. And yet, he is seen as a "loser" in school for no real reason, except that Adonis wants it to be that way, so that nobody else can challenge his popularity. Then again, Hercules is clearly happy with being friends with other outcasts like Cassandra and Icarus. And that is maybe enough to make his own popularity suffer.
  • Covered in Gunge:
    • In "Hercules and the Living Legend", Hercules trains to fight a dragon but ends up getting hit by tomatoes. The way Hercules is covered by tomato juice that looks like blood.
    • In "Hercules and the Complex Electra", Hercules is grabbed by a Fury that dunks him in mud puddles, covering the hero-in-training in mud.
  • The Cowl: Theseus faces the Minotaur as the "Grim Avengerr", complete with costume, faux-Batman voice, secret hideout, and constantly referring to himself in the third person. (In the movie, Theseus was stated to be one of Phil's long-gone pupils.)
  • Crazy Jealous Guy:
    • Hephaestus whenever Hades starts hitting on his fiance Aphrodite. After the first beating Hades learned to book quickly whenever he shows up again.
    • Icarus hates it when any other guy starts looking at Cassandra.
    • Galatea, to violent extremes.
  • Crossover: With the earlier Disney series Aladdin: The Series. It contained an example of Let's You and Him Fight.
  • Crossover Cosmology:
    • Hercules encounters Egyptian and Norse gods. The Olympian gods also become Roman godsnote , they even like their new Roman names (except Hades, see Shout-Out). The Fates also moonlight as the Norns.
    • It's also possible for a dead Arabian genie to go to the Greek underworld. (Then again, it being possible for genies to die at all is a deviation from mythology.)
  • Cute Monster Girl: A few examples, notably Medusa and Amphitrite.
  • Cutting the Knot: "Hercules and the Kids" shows how Alexander the Great got the idea to cut the Gordian Knot. As a kid he had trouble keeping his sandals tied and Hercules tries to teach him how. When his schoolmates are wrapped in silk by a giant spider, he tries to untie them but eventually gives up and just cuts them loose. The final scene reveals that as an adult he wears velcro sandals.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Terpsichore, the Muse of Dance (the one with the crop top and Bantu knots in her hair) gets to interact with Hercules directly in "Hercules and the Muse of Dance".
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Electra. Yeah, she produces furies from her rage, but she's not using them to attack anyone, it's just a natural consequence.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • Cassandra hardly said anything that wasn't droll and sarcastic.
    • Hades as well, once again.
    • Adonis, Aphrodite and Medusa all have their moments.
  • Deconstructor Fleet: Befitting an expansive series on Hercules' goal to become a true hero and join the Gods on Mount Olympus, the series shows many examples of heroic figures that end up being deconstructed thoroughly.
    • Jason from Jason and the Argonauts deconstructs the concept of a Heroic Vow and Determinator tendencies, since, after decades of searching, Jason has become so delusional and focused on finding the Golden Fleece much of his own crew has abandoned him and the only ones that remain stayed because of long-term contracts and openly despise him. Even when he finds the Fleece it ends up not being as spectacular as he thought and his journey to find it was the only thing that kept him from caving into depression all those years.
    • Orion the Barbarian Hero ends up thoroughly deconstructing the "no-regrets" Destructive Savior archetype, in that his pursuit to stop some renegade monsters ends up irresponsibly trashing every city state he goes to, leaving many homeless and hating him much to Orion's confusion.
    • Achilles ends up deconstructing the Showy Invincible Hero archetype by showing how pathetically vain such a figure would be despite their heroics and how selfishly non-heroic and a complete laughingstock such a figure is when it turns out they're not so invincible.
    • Hercules himself ends up deconstructing the concept of a hero being a Hunter of Monsters, when he meets a friendly Gorgon Monster Girl named Medusa and wrote her off as a freak despite her being nothing but kind to Hercules and his friends. Icarus, a social outcast himself, angrily calls Herc out on this and firmly establishes the Aesop that a person's character, monster or mortal, decides their worth.
    • Medusa herself deconstructs the character from the original myth, who wasn't actually guilty of anything evil and beings turning to stone from looking at her was something she couldn't control. The episode emphasized how terrible it would be to live when anyone who looks at you turns to stone.
  • Description Cut: In "Hercules and the Parents Weekend", a monster captured some of the parents. Adonis's dad said he was probably taking "swift and decisive" action. Cut to the next scene showing Adonis decided to have himself crowned the next King of Thrace.
  • Devil in Plain Sight: Hades, even more so than the movie. It's made clear in the first episode that he wants to overthrow Zeus and rule Olympus. Despite his repeated attempts to take over Olympus the rest of the gods still keep him around.
  • Didn't See That Coming: The Fates (and likely everyone else) in "Hercules and the Big Sink".
  • Disguised in Drag: To avoid being spotted by Phil during their Chain of Deals, Hermes and Hercules dress up as a female Centaur (front and back end, respectively). It works a little too well, as Phil falls for "her" and his actual female Centaur companion is the jealous type.
  • Disney Death: Several instances where it seems something unfortunate happens to Hercules or his friends and allies. Usually subverted.
  • Disney Villain Death:
    • As a god, Hades can't die, but in "Hercules and the Apollo Mission" he is defeated by being punched off of Mount Olympus.
  • Distracted by the Sexy:
    • At the end of the episode where Herc and Meg met and get their minds wiped of the encounter, one of the Muses complains about the unsatisfactory nature of the ending. The Narrator tries to explain they don't have enough time to tell the rest of their story together, but the Muse insists. So the narrator pulls down an image of an adult Hercules and begins to recap the movie, only for the Muse to be entranced by the muscular adult Hercules, causing the narrator to end the episode in a huff.
    • Mr Pygmalion is so enamored by his wife's beauty that he doesn't care that she's an mentally unbalanced shape changing clay monster. Even when she wraps him in her tentacles and carries him off.
  • The Ditz: Ares' sons Fear and Terror. The two of them are even dumber than Icarus. When playing their triva game "It's All Greek To Me" they aren't able to get any further than start because they can't answer a single question, even one a simple as the name of the god of war. When Ares told the to steal Athena's owl from her, they gave up because she didn't have it, until he told them to go back and just steal the owl regardless of who had it. When attempting to high five each other in a later episode they miss and accidentally ram their heads together.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Hercules enjoys great success in the Big Games, until a blood test determines he is a demigod and has an unfair advantage over the other athletes. As a result, he's disqualified and permanently banned from the competition.
  • Dramatic Irony: Hercules and the Prometheus Affair is about Herc setting out to right the wrong of Prometheus' punishment without knowing that it was his father's decree, Prometheus kindly keeping this fact from him. On the other end all the gods except Hades don't realize that is was Hercules who freed him when they organize a manhunt for the escaped Titan.
  • Dumbass Has a Point: Icarus in "Hercules and the Gorgon". When Hercules gets upset that Medusa is a Gorgon despite being a good person and calls her a "freak", Icarus calls him out.
    Icarus: Well, well, the hero's too good to have a freak for a friend. What you gonna do? Get rid of her, stick her head in a purse? What are you gonna do then? Get rid of all the freaks? Freaks who flew too close to the sun?!
  • Dumb Muscle: Ares' demigod sons Fear and Terror are dumber than a sack of hammers and hit ten times as hard. Either one can stalemate Hercules in a straight fight.
  • The Dreaded: Like his mythological namesake and counterpart, Typhon the Father of All Monsters is this for the Greek World as a Titan described as so dangerous he could topple Olympus with a sneeze, sent everyone including almost all the gods running, and had to be personally taken on by Zeus and sealed under a mountain to be stopped. Made even more apparent when it's revealed Zeus needed last minute help from Hera to defeat Typhon the first time and the fact Typhon was able to easily take down Zeus at full strength in both encounters.
    • Gorgons. Anybody who looks at one turns to stone. As such, every mortal is terrified of these creatures and feels they should be killed.
  • Dungeon Bypass: In "Hercules and the Labyrinth", Herc breaks through the walls of the Labyrinth to get to Icarus inside. He's about to go out the same way when Icarus shows him the secret passages his dad Daedalus had installed for just such an occasion.
  • Eaten Alive: There are several instances of monsters trying to eat someone alive. In the case of Hercules, the hero-in-training is eaten and somehow escapes. Phantasos ate Hercules as a three-headed Hydra and Typhon, though they were in dreams.
    Hercules: [in his nightmare of being eaten by the Hydra] Help. Can't...get out. Stuck in...pancreas!
  • Eating the Enemy: Some of the battles Hercules has with monsters have him eaten for a brief moment. Miraculously, the hero-in-training escapes by his own means or by accident. This includes Pain and Panic, Ladon, Arachne, and Jealousy. There are some close calls, like Orthos, Doubt, a giant serpent in the River Styx, a three-headed serpent Poseidon fought, as well as a herd of man-eating mares. Phantasos ate Hercules as a three-headed Hydra and Typhon, though they were in dreams.
  • Endangered Species: The Calydonian Boars in "Hercules and the Calydonian Boar". Artemis is particularly angry about the fact that there's a bunch of hunters hunting them to prove their toughness.
    Artemis: You know, there aren't a lot of Calydonian Boars left. If they go, what's next? Unicorns?
    Hercules: Gee, I never thought of it like that...
  • Enemy Mine:
    • When Athena and Ares see both Athenians and Spartans are going to be eaten, they work together during the "War Games".
    • Pain and Panic convince Hercules to help against Hecate when she tries to take control of the Underworld from Hades, as she while she doesn't want to rule Olympus, she does want to collect all the souls on Earth to increase Underworld production rates.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: As with the original mythology, Typhon and Echidna are quite Happily Married and Echidna in particular is shown to be a Doting Parent to their offspring even if her husband was willing to try and eat them and was surprised when his wife told him not to.
  • Everybody Laughs Ending: "Hercules and the Long Nightmare" ends like this as after being advised by Zeus and Morpheus to not have painful deaths in dreams, Phantasos suggests the "Not Wearing Pants" Dream.
  • Everyone Went to School Together: Hercules and most of his classmates are all noted figures in Greek Mythology.
  • Eviler Than Thou: Hecate tries a couple times to be this, as she wants to overthrow Hades and rule the Underworld, then destroy humanity. When one of her plans fails, Hades demonstrates why he's boss.
  • Exact Words: When a monster is attacking the school:
    Adonis: There will be no feasting on flesh today. Instead, you shall taste my blade.
    (hands his sword to a lackey)
    Adonis: Here. Make him taste my blade.
  • Expy:
    • Prometheus is (at least in appearance) clearly based on Hulk Hogan.
    • The Eagle who torments him is channeling Dustin Hoffman.
  • Failed a Spot Check:
    • "Hercules and the Tapestry of Fate": one of the ways altering the Fates' tapestry affected reality was making Cassandra look and act like Helen. Not that Icarus could figure that out, much to the disbelief of Hercules.
    • "Hercules and the Bacchanal": after Poseidon submerges Phil's island, Hercules admits he should've expected something like this when Cassandra showed up wearing a life-jacket. She thought the subtle approach would work best; it didn't.
  • Faux Action Girl: Athena is a warrior goddess, and the goddess of wisdom, but she is often beaten easily.
  • Fallen Cupid: In "Hercules and the Comedy of Arrows", Icarus sneaks into Cupid's arrow factory in order to find a way to break up Cassandra and Melampus. He winds up creating loathe arrows - arrows that induce hate instead of love - that Pain and Panic steal, becoming Hades' own personal cherubs who sow hatred all across Greece.
  • Fertile Feet: Aphrodite when she makes her entrance, complete with theme song.
  • Fiction 500: Adonis of Thebes carries around a checkbook to buy off nearly any schmuck to do his bidding. Croesus, richest man in the Greek World and owner of Atlantis, was one before his city sank, to the point he could buy off Poseidon and Hades's services despite both being Olympian Gods, in addition to the Fates.
  • Find the Cure!: Icarus sets off to do this in "Hercules and the Big Lie", after he hears that Herc has Catastrophia.
  • Fountain of Youth: In "Hercules and the Spring of Canathus", Pain and Panic take water from the eponymous spring that reverses age and squirt Hercules, Pegasus, Icarus and Adonis with it, turning them into babies. Pain accidentally gets some water on himself and changes as well.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: Played for Laughs when Circe hypnotizes Bob the Narrator to stop him from pointing out how evil and manipulative she is and switch it so that he's complimenting her.
    Bob: Mysterious, dangerous, cunning, evil (Circe points her scepter at him) gorgeous, lovely, beautiful!
    Thalia: Uhh, Bobby? You okay? I've never seen you like this now! Of course, I've never seen you at all...
  • Freudian Slip: Hercules accidentally calls Tempest, an Amazon he has a crush on, "Temptress".
  • Friend to All Living Things: Played for Laughs with Artemis who just can't catch a break from animals' affections.
  • From Bad to Worse:
    • As an awkward teenager, Hercules doesn't know his own strength and clumsily goes about inadvertently destroying things or humiliating himself. It's a recurring theme throughout the animated series.
    • In "Hercules and the First Day of School", Hercules confront Orthos who attempts to eat Herc but realizing he's "stale" and a nobody, discards him. They then attempt to eat Adonis after learning he is a prince. However, upon realizing Herc is strong, they decide to take him on.
    • In "Hercules and the Visit From Zeus" Zeus becomes mortal temporarily, which Hades uses as an opportunity sending Cerberus to kill him. Herc sticks a pillar in Cerberus' mouth, only to play fetch with the three-headed dog.
    • In "Hercules and the Parent's Weekend", Echidna's son Ladon attacks Prometheus Academy. When Hercules first confronts Ladon, he wields a spoon rather than an actual weapon, causing Ladon to literally walk over him.
    • In "Hercules and the Return of Typhon", Hercules battles Echidna which initially ends with Hercules "feeding the baby" by being thrown into Ladon's mouth before being spat out. Hercules resumes the battle but unintentionally releases Typhon from his imprisonment.
    • In "Hercules and the Prometheus Affair" Hercules rescues Prometheus, not knowing his father Zeus imprisoned the Titan himself. While battling the eagle, Herc finds his spear and shield missing from his hands.
    • In "Hercules and the Complex Electra", during a Fury attack, Hercules is grabbed by one Fury lifted off the ground in its talons, then it dunks him in mud puddles, covering the hero-in-training in mud. The Fury then throws Herc into a tree, and a group of Furies try pecking at his head, until the hero-in-training defeats them. It is later revealed that the Furies appear as Electra gets angry, and Herc makes her angrier, in which more Furies appear and attack.
  • Fun with Acronyms: The People's Order of Titan Liberators or P.O.O.T.L's (pronounced "poodles") from "Hercules and the Hostage Crisis".
  • Godly Sidestep: At the end of one episode, Zeus is about to give the meaning of life on a chat show. However, they run out of airtime just before he states it.
  • Gone Horribly Right: In "Hercules and the Dream Date" (essentially a retelling of the Pygmalion myth), Herc asks Aphrodite to make Galatea "crazy about [him]." She quickly turns into an ultra-possessive nightmare.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Cassandra is cynical and rude sometimes, but she's at most a Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
  • Gorgeous Gorgon: Medusa. She's green, fanged and with snakes for hair, but is adorable once you get past that (though Medusa herself disagrees with the "gorgeous", as Aphrodite's offer of shades that block her powers is rejected in lieu of Hades making her fully human by day). Hercules even dated her once.
  • Grand Finale: "Hercules and the Yearbook", a clip show that takes place after Hercules and Megara got married sometime after the end of the movie.
  • Guile Hero: As ever, Odysseus. Hercules finds the idea of a hero who relies on brains instead of powers very interesting and enjoys reading about his exploits.
  • Happily Adopted: Emphasized; it's Herc's mortal parents who show up at school for a Parents' Day thing.
  • Hate Sink: Frequently Adonis, as the real villains tend to be too funny to hate.
  • He Is Not My Boyfriend: What Cassandra says about Icarus.
  • Heel Realization: After losing his second chance, Achilles recognizes that he wanted to be a hero for all the wrong reasons and squandered the best thing that ever happened to him. In his crippled state, he helps Hercules fight off a monster. While Achilles feels it's time for a younger face to get the limelight, he still sets out to help others as best he can.
  • Henpecked Husband: Defied by Darius, Tempest's father. He takes Hippolyte's aggressive streak in stride, but he never hesitates to stand up for himself.
  • Hero Insurance: There's a lot of property damage involved in battles, but it's always rebuilt. Deconstructed in "Hercules and the Falling Stars", when Hercules and Orion demolish so many buildings fighting constellations even the jaded townspeople find it out of line.
    Phil: You trashed four city-states in three hours. You think that's heroic?
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Herc becomes more and more anti-heroic as he deals with the Minotaur, to the point where he seemingly plans to kill the creature. Theseus talks him down from the edge, saying that, "Neither of us wants to be like him."
  • He Will Come for Me: The kidnapped Icarus and Abu tell Hades and Jafar that Herc and Aladdin will come to save them. Unfortunately, their respective heroes attempting a rescue was what the villains had in mind.
  • High School A.U.: Although the series is in the same universe (ostensibly) as the original movie, it is a High School AU of Classical Mythology in general.
  • Hydra Problem:
    • In "Hercules and the Son of Poseidon", Hercules boldly confronts a three-headed sea serpent, only to be nervous after seeing the monster up close and is initially easily defeated.
    • Obviously in "Hercules and the Long Nightmare" when Hercules fights the Hydra, revealed to be Phantasos in Hercules' dreams.
    Herc: [The three-headed Hydra grabs Herc and start snapping at him] Phil, I need a sword! Find me a sword!
    Phil: Kid, the last thing you used to defeat the Hydra is a sword. You got enough mouths to feed already!
    Herc: What am I supposed to do?!
    Phil: Remember why you here: fight your fear, not The Hydra!
  • Hypocritical Humor: In the Circe episode, Adonis mocks Icarus for having only lasted as Circe's boyfriend five minutes, despite the fact that he only lasted three seconds.
  • Hypocrite:
    • With Achilles seemingly back in action, Phil is torn between sticking with training his current pupil or cashing in on the fame of an established hero. When finally forced to make a decision, Phil stays with Achilles and leaves innocent people in the lurch in the process, so Hercules accuses him of never believing the hero rules he's always preaching. It cuts Phil pretty deeply and makes him take stock of things.
    • On separate occasions, an irritated Hercules has called Triton and Medusa freaks, despite having been on the receiving end of such insults for years and knowing how much it hurts. Both times he gets chastised for not being more understanding and realizes his folly.
    • When Hercules agrees to settle the fate Athena's pet owl Ibid (along with the captured Athena and Ares) by against Fear and Terror in their game "It's All Greek To Me" he complains about them using the owl's intelligence to answer questions. Thanks to Ibid's intelligence boost, Fear points out that Hercules had also been using him to cheat on his midterms so he has no right to complain.
  • Identical Stranger: Melampus, who looks and acts exactly like Icarus, culminating in a scene where Icarus is in the foreground doing a series of crazy poses that make sense in context, while Melampus is in the background doing the exact same wild poses for no discernible reason. Played for Laughs in the episode where Cassandra falls for him while - of course - continuing to disdain Icarus, despite the two being practically the same person albeit with Melampus showing more social graces.
  • Icarus Allusion: Icarus himself appears. Naturally, he has a permanent tan and lightning bolt-shaped hair (except when he, Herc and Adonis are drafted to the Spartan Army; Icarus gets a crewcut and starts going gung-ho).
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: All episodes follow the pattern "Hercules and the (noun)".
  • If I Wanted You Dead...: Medusa uses a variation.
    Medusa: Listen, if I wanted you stone, you'd be stone, okay?
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: Medusa leads a lonely existence due to her uncontrolled stone gazing ability turning everyone she meets to stone. She soon gets attracted to Hercules after rescuing him from drowning. In order to see him again, she accepts Hades's offer to make her human during the day at the cost of being his monster servant at night.
  • Ignored Aesop: While Hercules learned to care about more than outer beauty with Galatea, Mr Pygmalion clearly hasn't when it comes to his gorgeous clay monster wife.
    Mr Pygmalion: The wife's as loony as they come! But look at her! Look at me! Ya see ME complaining?
    • Aphrodite hangs a lampshade on this, telling Hercules that not everyone gets the lesson.
  • I'm a Doctor, Not a Placeholder: In "Hercules and the Green-Eyed Monster", when Hercules was asked to put some sense into Icarus, he said he was "a demigod, not a miracle worker".
    • Inverted in "Hercules and the First Doctor," where Hercules says "I'm a hero, not a doctor" to inspire Hippocrates, who is a doctor, to get back to work with his help and stop the plague Hades spread in Athens.
  • Immortal Immaturity: Ares and Athena. The former regularly proves to be an ill tempered Jerk Jock, especially with the regards to the rivalry with his sister. Athena isn't any better despite being the goddess of wisdom and will resort to the same childish pranks as her brother.
  • I'm Not Afraid of You:
    • Subverted in "Hercules and the Son of Poseidon" when Hercules boldly confronts a three-headed sea serpent, only to be nervous after seeing the monster up close.
    • In "Hercules and the Long Nightmare", after being afraid of his dreams, Hercules boldly confronts Phantasos as a three-headed Hydra and Typhon.
  • In the Style of...: "Hercules and the Golden Touch" is a James Bond spoof.
  • It Is Pronounced "Tro-PAY": Trivia. "Actually, it's 'try-VEE-ah'." Fridge Brilliance sets in when you realize that 'tri' means three, and 'via' means street or way. Trivia is mentioned as also being the god of where three streets meet.
  • It's All My Fault: "Hercules and the Big Lie." To get out of an embarrassing situation at a comics convention, he tells Icarus that he has Catastrophia, a (seemingly) serious disease that Hades is trying to spread. Icarus puts himself in danger to Find the Cure! and Herc blames himself for getting him into this mess. Played with when he adds to Cassandra that it's also partly her fault for urging him to lie to get out of it.
  • Jerkass: Adonis. He can't qualify as a Jerk Jock if he's too lazy to play sports. Some episodes portray him as a Jerk with a Heart of Gold, though not much.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Tempest is a hot-blooded and arrogant warrior, but also honorable and eventually warms up to Herc when she sees how nice he is.
  • Jerk Ass Gods: Averted for the most part, with this being Disney. The worst traits of the gods are either played down or written out all together. The closest would be Nemesis, Ares and Hades. Nemesis is only doing her job (if with a bit too much enthusiasm). Ares is close to being a Jerk Jock, but too ineffectual and not mean enough. Hades is about the only one and his smooth persona covers up much of his jerkiness.
    • The Egyptian gods play it straight. Averted with the Norse gods, except Loki but that is par for the course.
    • Athena sometimes dips into this with her rivalry with Ares though like him she is presented as harmless. In her debut appearance she wanted Hercules to steal a weapon Ares planned to use to destroy Athens, so she could use it to destroy Sparta.
  • Kaiju: Typhon and Echidna. While Echidna's status as this in the myths is debatable due to size inconsistencies, there is no question that this story faithfully depicts Typhon as a giant, destructive monster.
  • Kavorka Man: A Running Gag has girls fawning over Ajax despite his appearance and terrible hygiene.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch:
    • In "Hercules and the Prince of Thrace", Adonis gets this courtesy of Gaia's Vengeance. Gaia herself curses Adonis with death for disturbing her slumber. Given how he forced his workers to dig despite the warning, how he treats his servants, and how he bullies Hercules, who's to say he didn't deserve this fate?
    • Adonis is on the receiving end of this again by Circe turning him into a peacock.
    • He's the the receiving end from Hades when he tricks Posiden to change the River Styx so Athens in his domain. Hades subjects Hercules and his classmates to hilarious tortures. Adonis' torture? His man servant is now the master and Adonis has to obey his every whim.
  • Kryptonite Factor: The Cronus Stone is this for all the gods since it is a cursed rock that drains their powers and makes them fall into a eventually permament sleep. It even affects demigods like Hercules, removing his divine strength. Bonus points for the stone's resemblance to Kryptonite.
  • Kryptonite-Proof Suit: Achilles wears a piece of armor around his heel.
  • Large Ham: Hades. Also Icarus, specially when getting into character as Hades for the Drama Festival. And Adonis, who lacks any humility
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Several episodes used the water of the Lethe river, which causes memory loss, as a plot device. One such episode even involved Hercules meeting a younger Megara, with the episode ending on them losing their memories of each other.
  • Lawful Stupid: The Obstructive Bureaucrat who almost forbids Hercules from fighting the Catoblepas because he doesn't have a license. "Deadly chaos is no excuse for breaking the law!" Fortunately he fixes both issues a training license, which lets him fight until 5:00 (which is in 6 minutes) and has the courtesy to get incapacitated by the Catoblepas before that time limit becomes relevant.
  • Laughably Evil: Hades and all the other villains in the series, or at least the ones who can actually be considered evil.
  • Lemony Narrator: Bob, who often interacts with the Muses in the episode openings.
  • Let's Fight Like Gentlemen: Briares, the hundred-handed giant, challenges Hercules to a game for the cure to Catastrophia in "Hercules and the Big Lie". When Pain and Panic try to crush Hercules' hands while he's hanging off a cliff, Briares intervenes and has two of his hands toss them away.
    Briares: Hey! I play hard, but I play fair!
  • Let's You and Him Fight: During the "Grim Avenger" episode, Hercules winds up fighting Theseus, even though they're both heroes who should be united against the Minotaur. Herc later refers to "[getting] in a fight with a wrong guy" as a "rookie mistake".
  • Loser Friend Puzzles Outsiders: In the crossover with Aladdin: The Series, Jafar comments, "This is Hercules' best friend?" upon meeting Icarus. Hercules is The Chosen One who will defeat Hades, and, in spite of his dorky nature, is a force to be reckoned with; Icarus, while he is a Gadgeteer Genius, is also a kooky Manchild. Hades is just as surprised about a monkey being Aladdin's best friend.
  • Lovable Alpha Bitch: Helen. A nice and friendly cheerleader.
  • Make Way for the Princess: A gender-flipped example occurs at the end of "Hercules and the Visit From Zeus". Just after Herc has told his father that he's no longer asking for him to do something about Adonis, Adonis snobbishly orders everyone out of the way for an entrance. This causes Zeus to hit him with a lightning bolt.
  • Meadow Run: A variant appears in "Hercules and the Grim Avenger"; Cassandra, who has developed a crush on transfer student Theseus, imagines them running across a beach to each other.
  • Meaningful Echo: In "Hercules and the Grim Avenger", Theseus, as the titular superhero, tells Herc to "lead, follow, or get out of the way", before adding that he intends to lead, so that one is out. Later, Herc, angry and determined to track down the Minotaur, tells Theseus, "Lead, follow...just get out of my way." Theseus' expression indicates he wasn't expecting Hercules, who has been trying to rein him in the entire episode, to react this way.
  • Mirror-Cracking Ugly: Once Medusa returns to her gorgon visage, she causes the bathroom mirror to break (she's not that ugly, but her "turns people into stone" ability had to have some impact!), leading to an angry "Oh, who asked ya?"
  • Muggle Sports, Super Athletes: Hercules gets the chance to be a sports hero when he competes in the Big Games. His Super Strength makes the mundane events a snap, but Ares eventually catches on and ensures he's disqualified. It turns out that Zeus himself decreed that demigods aren't allowed to compete in such games, due to having an unfair advantage. Of course, no one (not even Zeus!) bothered to tell Hercules this when he joined up.
  • Multiple Head Case:
    • In "Hercules and the Son of Poseidon", Hercules boldly confronts a three-headed sea serpent, only to be nervous after seeing the monster up close and is initially easily defeated. While trying to eat Herc, the heads themselves also fight over which one gets to eat him and accidentally tosses him away.
    Hercules: Enough! Leave now or prepare to fight to the finish! (All three heads look at him, Herc chuckles nervously) Did I say, "fight to the finish"? (Stammering) No, no, no. When I say finish— (monster attacks, leaving Herc dazed) Too...many...heads.
    • In "Hercules and the Long Nightmare", Hercules fights a three-headed Hydra in his dreams. Phantasos transforms into the Hydra and thinks he's won, but Hercules fought his fear by tying the three heads together and grabbing its tail, throwing the Hydra away and defeated it.
  • Musical Exposition: The episode "Hercules and the Prometheus Affair" has Prometheus Academy teacher Mr. Parentheses telling Hercules the story of their namesake...by song.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • Hercules after accidentally release Typhon from his imprisonment.
    • In "Hercules and the Grim Avenger", Herc fights the Minotaur until he realizes he's destroying the buildings.
  • Mythology Gag: In one episode, a deliveryman mistakenly calls Herc 'Heracles', his Greek name.
  • Never Heard That One Before: During the Aladdin crossover, Al calls Hercules "Jerkules" during their fight. "You know, everyone thinks they're being clever when they call me that..."
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: In a series where everyone is a teenager going through the learning process, mistakes are pretty much inevitable.
    • In "Hercules and the First Day of School", Herc defeats Orthos, but destroys the cafeteria in the process.
    • In "Hercules and the King of Thessaly", Herc defeats Pain and Panic after the minions turn into a giant lion. But they destroy the town of Thessaly in the process.
    • Hercules after accidentally release Typhon from his imprisonment.
  • No Sympathy: Bob the Narrator has zero sympathy in "Hercules and the Bacchanal" for the trouble Hercules gets into. It's not because Herc brought it on himself, either; he's just mad that he didn't get invited to the big party when virtually everyone else did. The Muses offer to take Bob out for ice cream after the episode.
  • No Indoor Voice: Icarus tends to speak in loud, energetic tones.
  • Not So Above It All: Athena, despite being the goddess of wisdom, can be pretty childish and immature in her continuous feud with her brother Ares. At times she's shown to be little better than he is, if at all.
  • Not So Different:
    • Aladdin and Hercules realize that they're both heroes trying to protect their friends, although not before spending much of the episode fighting each other.
    • Hercules thinks his mortal parents are so embarrassing, but Cassandra says every teenager feels that way. She proves her point with an informal poll, asking a group of students if they would rather kiss a Gorgon or be seen shopping with their parents. Every single one of them chooses the former.
    • Ares and Athena. Despite Athena often acting as Hercules' ally, when it comes to the rivalry with Ares she has proven to be just as bad as he is, resorting to the same childish pranks he will.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Because of his clumsiness, Hercules causes accidents and makes a lot of mistakes in his battles. For instance, destroying a building or losing his weapons. This is a recurring theme throughout the animated series.
    • Pain and Panic do this frequently whenever they screw something up.
    • Hercules and the Secret Weapon has Ares undergo this at the end of the episode when he learns Hercules' name and realizes he tried to execute Zeus' son.
    • In "Hercules and the Big Games" Echidna has this after Ares and Athena enter the field to defeat her.
    • Aladdin gives out this expression in the Aladdin crossover when he realizes that he and Hercules made a big mistake in fighting each other. He gets this earlier when he tries swing-kicking Herc off Pegasus, only to find that it has no effect.
  • Old Superhero: Achilles's death was Retconned so that when his heel was hit he was instead crippled, and we see him as a weakened old man.
  • The One Guy: The island of the Amazons is Lady Land through and through, except for Darius (Hippolyte's husband and Tempest's father). All things considered, he gets a fair amount of respect, despite the Amazons' general low opinion of men. The mooks defer to his commands if Hippolyte's not around, and he's the only one who can talk Hippolyte down from any acts of extreme violence.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: Hecate's spell slowly causes Hades to lose his powers and life force. As he gets near the end, he talks about how he loves Zeus and Poseidon like brothers. A disturbed Zeus tells him they are brothers, and asks if he's feeling all right.
  • Opinion Flip Flop: In one episode, Hercules tells Zeus that he'll find some way to deal with Adonis's bullying himself. Zeus praises his son for his maturity...and immediately changes his mind when Adonis enters the area and opens his mouth.
  • Opponent Switch: A deconstruction of the idea when Hades and Jafar decide to attack each other's nemeses thinking they'll be easy to deal with and unbalance as an Outside-Context Problem, but end up lacking the experience needed to deal with their respective heroes. Hades sends Jafar after Hercules, only for Jafar to get easily trounced admit he isn't used to dealing with Super Strength. Amused that Jafar's enemy is only a "clever mortal", Hades sends his minions after Aladdin and they get tricked and knocked right back to the Underworld.
    Jafar: Well, that was indeed worth a chuckle, but I couldn't help but notice that Aladdin IS STILL ALIVE!
    Hades: You win. The kid is trickier than I thought.
  • Our Hydras Are Different: In "Hercules and the Long Nightmare", Hercules faces the Hydra in his dreams. However, the episode that it is Phantasos transformed into the multi-headed monster.
  • Parental Bonus: It's DISNEY.
    (Glass case next to Zeus's throne holding Thunderbolts): "In Case of Insurgency Break Glass" (also a Continuity Nod)
  • Plucky Comic Relief: Icarus was included to make and do zany things for laughs.
  • Power Parasite: Hecate's plans in both of her appearances involve leeching power from someone into a minion.
  • Power Up Letdown: When Jason finally finds the golden fleece he's disappointed that instead of all it's rumored powers it just grants flight, after hearing that Hercules has Pegasus and Icarus invented wings. Subverted however, as unlike the both of them it can impart flight onto whatever it's touching, including an entire ship.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Hades's is further shown in the crossover with Aladdin. Here Hades doesn't take it personally when Aladdin first defeats Pain and Panic. Needless to say Jafar was shocked:
    Jafar: That's it? Aladdin humiliated you! Don't you want your revenge?
    Hades: How about I rule the cosmos first, and then I'll take it?
  • Punch-Clock Hero: Sick of normal school work, Tempest takes the job of defending the village in "Hercules and the Techno Greeks" in order to satisfy her violent needs. She's displeased when Hercules ends up doing the job for free before she can jump into action, while Hercules is disgusted by the concept of charging people for heroic deeds.
  • Putto: The love god Cupid is portrayed as something of a Manchild in a diaper and wings, while his cherubs looks more like the traditional idea of the putti. They act as his helpers not unlike Santa Claus and his elves, helping manufacture love arrows and distributing them all across Greece (and presumably Rome and some parts of Persia).
  • Psychoactive Powers: Electra summons the Furies when angry... usually when someone disagrees with her anti-establishment views. Though it's worth mentioning the Furies don't do much harm, and explode into clouds before Hercules can so much as punch them.
  • Race Lift: In the original myths, Andromeda was described as the Princess of Ethiopia. Here, she is a white girl. Likewise, Ethiopian king Memnon is now a snake monster in league with Hades.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: "Hercules and The Muse Of Dance" has Hercules learn ballet. He enjoys it, but he has to prove its usefulness in combat before Phil lets him dance in the recital.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • After learning his lesson about not focusing on outer beauty Herc assumes that Mr. Pygmalion learned the same lesson before. Only for him to say no, he hasn't. He's just shallow enough that he cares more that she is gorgeous and madly in love with a toothless old man like him than that she's also a clay monster with a yandere personality. Some people really do value looks over personality and as Aphrodite said, not everybody learns their lesson.
    • When Hecate launches her plan to take over the Underworld, Pain and Panic try to get Hercules to help stop her. Naturally he's not interested and they really have to work to get him to want to help Save the Villain.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Darius, essentially the king of the Amazons, is much more friendly and just than Hippolyta and comes to the aid of both Hercules and his daughter when his wife proves to be unreasonable.
  • Rebellious Spirit: Electra is very anti-establishment, but Zeus only knows exactly what that is or what her real issues with it are (she and the kids like her are a Take That! to egdy Goths). All we know is she's happy they get detention, hates heroes as "enforcers of the established order" and can command Furies to appear whenever she's mad, leading them to attack those who annoy her.
  • Relationship Sue: Played with in-universe; Hercules tried to make one out of clay. It failed; When it was time to ask Aphrodite to bring her to life, he hadn't even considered what her personality would be like, so he just asks for her to be crazy about him. Aphrodite, apparently favoring object lessons, interpreted this as a Clingy Jealous Girl. It doesn't take Galatea long before she invokes Ax-Crazy as well.
  • Riddling Sphinx: The Sphinx is a quizmaster, voiced by game show host Wink Martindale. His riddle was "What does a man do standing up, a woman sitting down, and a dog on three legs?" The answer is shake hands.note 
  • Run or Die: There are multiple instances in the series. Hercules runs away from monsters that are too large or that gave him enough trouble, such as Pain and Panic, transformed into a giant lion or the man-eating mares.
  • Sandal Punk: This show is set within a Disneyfied version of Ancient Greece.
  • Sadly Mythcharacterized: Subverted with Artemis—you'd probably expect her anger at people hunting the Calydonian Boar to be out of character, as she's the Goddess of the Hunt, but Artemis was also the Goddess of Wild Animals and generally perceived as very protective of the animals that were sacred to her, the Calydonian Boar being one of said sacred animals (in short, Artemis was the Goddess of sustainable hunting and hunting for necessity, not just killing animals indescriminantly). Indeed, Artemis in the episode seems to primarily have a problem with the hunters nearly driving an endangered species to extinction for a stupid reason rather than the hunting in and of itself.
  • Sadly Mythtaken:
    • Aside from the usual stuff, a number of gods that weren't in the movie make appearances some using their Roman names (Bacchus, who was Dionysus in Greece, and Cupid, who was Eros). In particular the god Trivia stands out, presented here as a god of useless knowledge, where Trivia was actually the Roman name for the goddess Hecate, who makes a separate appearance of her own in the series as a demigoddess of the night. The only thing they got right was that he was the god of where three roads meet, which is among Hecate's schticks. As for the issue of the title character's name, this got inverted when they managed to sneak in the name Heracles during "The Spartan Experience".
    • The Trojan War is implied to take place after The Odyssey (which chronicles Odysseus' return home following said war). Additionally, Achilles was not suggested to be a participant in the "war", which is instead a simple inter-school feud that gets blown out of proportion by a tabloid journalist, being already a washed-up has-been after the discovery of his weakness at some time in the past (in the original myth, said weakness again is discovered after the Trojan War).
    • While Adonis is attributed a variety of fathers depending on the story, none of them were from Thrace.
    • In the show the god of nightmares is Phantasos, whilst he was indeed a god of dreams it was not bad dreams but surreal dreams. The actual god of nightmares was Phantasos’ brother Phobetor. Though this might have been done on purpose to avoid any confusion with Ares’ son Phobos.
    • Ares' two sons appear to be demigods instead of full blooded gods.
  • The Scream: There are many instances where Herc screams, whether there's a giant monster he's afraid of or if the hero-in-training is sent flying into the air.
  • Screams Like a Little Girl:
    • Adonis may be a jerk, but he's such a sissy, that he actually screams like a girl.
    • One of the Techno Greeks says they do this and hide when the Centaur gang attacks their home every week. He feels it works for them since they always live to see another week.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: "Hercules and the Big Sink" has Croesus, Greece's richest man, who's loaded enough to buy off several gods.
  • Seduction-Proof Marriage: In the crossover with Aladdin: The Series Phil begins flirting with Princess Jasmine. She cuts him off with a curt "I'm married", and he apologizes.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: "Hercules and the Big Kiss" has Cassandra end up having to kiss Icarus awake. He was put into the magical sleep because of her efforts to avert a vision that showed her kissing him.
    • "Hercules and the Secret Weapon" has Cassandra and Icarus fly to Sparta to warn Hercules about a vision where Ares learns he was sent to steal the Armageddon Bow by Athena. Which they explain to Hercules while Ares is within earshot.
  • Series Continuity Error:
    • Although the series takes place during the time period when Hercules is training with Phil, Hades seems to be already aware of him and actively trying to kill him. In the movie, Hades doesn't learn that Hercules is still alive until shortly after Hercules finishes his training. Course you could say this is an Alternate Continuity. It was the Muses who were telling the story after all and they may have embellished a little to compress the story. Think of the series as the untold tales the movie couldn't cover.
    • Some of the Olympian gods who appeared as background characters in the movie look completely different in the series, notably Cupid/Eros, who goes from being a good-looking young man with large wings to a comically obese and diminutive middle-aged man with tiny wings.
  • Shapeshifter Weapon: Nemesis can turn her arms into any weapons. Galatea, being a statue turned to life, can also change its clay limbs.
  • Ship Tease: Bacchus kisses the muse Thalia on the cheek in "Hercules and the Bacchanal".
  • Shout-Out:
    • So, so many.
      Hades: They wanna name me "PLUTO"?! What kind of name is that?! "Pluto"?! That's a name for a god? What is that?! I wouldn't name my dog "Pluto"!
    • In "Hercules and the Dream Date", Cassandra tells Herc "Come with me if you want to live", right before Galatea does a T-1000 transformation.
    • The Grim Avenger episode is a reference to the Worlds Finest comic books with Theseus as The Cowl stand in for Batman and Hercules as The Cape stand in for Superman. The Minotaur plays the role of The Joker. Theseus even has a rich playboy civilian identity. The Norse Mythology episode is a reference to the fights in Marvel between Thor and Hercules. They were both written by Greg Weisman who's a big comic book fan.
    • Also from the Grim Avenger episode, Icarus asks, "Who was that helmeted man?"
  • Shoot Him! He Has a... Wallet!: An attempted invocation occurs during the episode that introduces Medusa (who in this continuity is a sweet girl with a nasty ability who just wants a chance at love). Hades tries to get Medusa to turn Hercules into stone when he approaches with something in hand after finding out she's a Gorgon, arguing that it's probably a sword and she can't wait for a positive identification. She turns Herc to stone (by accident) and then finds out he was coming to apologize and that the object in his hand was a bouquet.
  • Shown Their Work: The writers seemed incredibly keen on parodying and satirizing Greek mythology.
  • Shrouded in Myth: Zeus is famed for defeating Typhon by incapacitating him with a thunderbolt and then throwing a mountain on top of him. An entire holiday (Titan Smithin' Day) is based around the story and features reenactments. However, it was actually Hera who threw the thunderbolt, as Zeus needed time to pick up the mountain. Not even Echidna knew what really happened. Hercules is stunned that everyone's favorite holiday is based on a myth, but Zeus tells him these things happen and concedes everyone needs help now and then.
  • Slasher Smile: Hecate does this constantly, regardless of the situation. Whether she's on the verge of victory or about to get blasted by Hades, that smile never goes away.
  • Sibling Rivalry: Athena and Ares are an infamous example in-universe.
  • Snark Knight: Cassandra never stops snarking, but she's still heroic when she needs to be.
  • Spared by the Adaptation:
    • Tragically, in Greek Mythology, Icarus, son of Daedalus, flew too close to the sun using artificial wings of wax and feathers, and fell to his death. It's mentioned that he did fly too close to the sun, thus the hairstyle and (purportedly) the general loopiness. (The opening had him "flaming out" and being caught by Herc and Pegasus.) He also says he "learned his lesson" and uses the wings for more lower-level gliding.
    • Achilles was killed after he has injured in his heel. Here, it became a Career-Ending Injury and he's introduced as an out-of-shape has-been hero. This is a Retcon from the movie too, since there, when Hercules is apparently killed in one scene, Phil says "There goes another one, just like Achilles."
    • The Trojan War here takes the shape of an elaborate prank war between Prometheus Academy and a rival school. Homer, the journalist for "Greekly World News" sent to cover it, decides that this is too mundane and reworks the story into an epic war between kingdoms for the love of Helen, whose face launched a hundred — no, a thousand ships.
    • Medusa in her myth of origin was killed by Perseus, someone who Phil in the movie mentioned as a previous failed protégé. In the episode she appears in, she survives.
  • Starter Villain: After Hercules has a lousy first day at school, he goes looking for a monster to fight to provide his worth. He encounters a two-headed Cyclops that Echidna put on a diet (famous Greeks only); they won't bother with a lowly hero-in-training, but they will prowl the school looking for an already famous student to eat.
  • Stay in the Kitchen: Lampshaded, Inverted and ultimately Defied in the episode "Hercules and the Girdle of Hippolyte". Herc and resident Amazon classmate Tempest get into an argument during a Home Economics class. Taking Phil's lead, Hercules insists that Tempest do all the work, on the grounds that she's a girl, so of course she has to do the housework. Tempest, being an Amazon, was raised to believe that men are the ones who should do all the housework. Later Herc actually meets Tempest's parents. When her father intervenes in her mother's overly militaristic handling of Tempest's mistakes her mother actually tells him to "Get back in your kitchen." He refuses and then delivers the episode's aesop.
  • Stealth Pun: In "Hercules and the Poseidon's Cup Adventure", Adonis, trying to bribe Hercules to get him to row for his ship, gives him sandals imported from Marathon, "Designed by the goddess of victory herself". As in, designed by Nike.
  • Stock "Yuck!": The cafeteria of Prometheus Academy serves liver and onions on Thursdays in honor of their namesake's eternal punishment. Everyone but Icarus hates it. Then after Hercules frees Prometheus and he starts teaching there he insists on canceling "Liver Thursdays" for obvious reasons.
  • Straw Feminist: The Amazons are essentially this. At times they're basically what you'd get if you took a bunch of sexist, old-fashioned barbarians and gender-flipped them. They're more demeaning, disrespectful and patronizing of their society's men than pretty much any guy in the show is towards women.
  • Super Doc: Hippocrates, the Greek World's First Doctor. He's so skilled that he managed to nullify any new entries into the Underworld and almost put it out of business while he was alive, and when he ended up in the Underworld he started curing dead people, bringing them back to life and depleting the Underworld population.
  • Superheroes Wear Tights: When Hercules learns how to dance, Cassandra sees the future and says that thanks to him, all heroes will wear tights.
  • Super Senses: Phil's old friends Nestor and Meleager have super sight and super hearing respectively.
  • Super Strength: Hercules has shown to be a very strong being, just like in the original myth and film. He can lift anvils as if they were nothing and wreck pillars with his bare hands.
  • Take My Hand: Icarus does this to Hercules after he falls into a river in "Hercules and the Gorgon". Herc can't grab his hand and goes over the Inevitable Waterfall.
  • Take That!: The guidance counselor, Mr. Parenthesis, says that they use oxen guts to predict students' future careers. Hercules asks why they don't use an aptitude test, and Mr. Parenthesis says they tried that, and that the oxen guts were more accurate (by 72%!).
  • ¡Three Amigos!: Hercules, Cassandra and Icarus (Ego, Superego and Id, Big, Thin, Short Trio, Nice, Mean, and In-Between).
  • Through A Face Fullof Fur: Icarus turns red when he flies too close to the sun, before bursting into flames and nose diving when he loses his waxed wings, as seen in the intro.
  • Toothy Bird: The Caucasian Eagle, as depicted in "Hercules and the Prometheus Affair", is depicted with teeth. Justified if this version is a child of Typhon and Echidna like his mythical counterpart, as he's likely not a normal eagle.
  • Totally Radical: Parodied with the school's history teacher, who tries to talk to his students with various '90s slang and terminology. Not a single student has the slightest idea what he's trying to say.
  • Trumplica: Croesus is depicted as the supremely wealthy ruler of tourist destination Atlantis City (a pun on Atlantic City) living in a tower with his name on it.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Mr Pygmalion is a short, toothless old man, so Hercules is naturally amazed to see that 'Mrs' Pygmalion is a read haired stunner. Though its justified since she is actually a statue Aphrodite brought to life to be his loving wife.
  • Unholy Matrimony: Typhon and Echidna—an eldritch Kaiju and a scary she-dragon respectively, but quite Happily Married, bordering on Sickeningly Sweethearts.
  • Unmanly Secret: Or Unamazonly Secret as the case may be. Tempest has a crush on Orpheus the singer/bard, a crush she is deeply ashamed of and desperately hides.
  • Valley Girl: Aphrodite talks like this, but it's only her speech. She's actually one of the wisest and most level-headed deities, who consistently has good advice for people.
  • The Vamp: Circe manages to seduce the narrator in her Establishing Character Moment.
  • Villain Song:
    • Hades' "My Town", which he sings during a hostile takeover.
    • Circe's "One Good Man", where she manipulates the guys into competing to become her new boyfriend.
    • Echidna's "What's a Mother to Do?", which is all about her frustration over how her brood of monstrous offspring can't seem to act like proper monsters.
  • Visual Pun: As likely as in any other Disney show; for example, in one episode we see Poseidon holding a sea creature that barks and making it meow instead—in other words, a dogfish and a catfish.
  • Vocal Dissonance: Played for laughs when Argus (the famous 100-eyed Giant) emerges looking like a snarling, threatening beast and then politely talks with the voice of Harvey Firestein.
    • Typhon, the giant monster feared by the gods, has one of the most least threatening high pitched voices in the series.
  • Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World: This show is basically this trope within a Classical Mythology setting. Hercules is here a young hero in training, who has to fight his evil uncle Hades and many other villains and monsters. But he must also go to High School and deal with normal teenage issues.
  • Weapon Jr.: One episode has Hercules training with a "junior javelin" despite wanting to use a real one. At the end, Athena offers him any weapon in existence to beat the villain with. Having learned his lesson he asks for the training weapon, wins and turns down the offer of an actual javelin from the woman he impressed.
  • Weird Sun: The sun is on a chariot driven by Apollo. It can also be put out as shown when Hercules put out its flames by dumping a fountain of water on it.
  • Whole Plot Reference: "Hercules and the Golden Touch" plays as a James Bond film, complete with Sequel Hook. ("Hercules will return in From Sparta With Love.)
  • Wicked Witch: Hecate is depicted as one, being a witch who wants to take over the Underworld.
  • Wild Teen Party: "Hercules and the Bacchanal" has the title party, which Hermes notes as a bad idea - "Olympus barely survives Bacchus' parties, and all our furniture is made of clouds!" - and indeed, once Poseidon gets annoyed by how loud it is Phil's island is sunk.
  • Women Are Wiser: Gender flipped given the amazon's flip on gender roles. Here Hippolyta's husband acts as the voice of reason to his wife temper.
  • Writing Around Trademarks: Lampshaded in "Hercules and the Big Games" when Bob discusses the various games of Greece. After naming a few of them, he then mentions a famous contest held every four years in Olympia, but he adds they can't say the name outright "due to trademark restrictions." "Big Games" has to suffice.
  • Yandere: Galatea, who due to Herc requesting her to be "crazy about me" once Aphrodite gives her life, becomes clingy, possessive and downright violent - not helped by how she shapeshifts her clay body to point of weaponizing it...
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: After everything in "Hercules and the Tapestry of Fate" is restored, Hercules and Icarus find themselves back at the ticket booth, but this time getting the last two tickets for the big Orpheus concert. The Fates say this is thanks for fixing the tapestry, but Hercules finds this curious since he and Icarus caused the mess in the first place. One scene cut later, Hercules and Icarus learn that Orpheus has "suddenly" lost his voice, thus causing the concert to be cancelled. The Fates proceed to laugh at them.
  • Young Future Famous People: The students of Prometheus Academy. "Hercules and the Kids" also features a young Alexander the Great in elementary school who gets mentored by Hercules.

 
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