One that runs through all the series and not just the first one: just how much have the Greek Gods moved from being Jerkass Gods? It is clear they aren't all smiles and rainbows, but a fan can get a lot of mileage about wondering what their specific deal is. Have they become less jerkass over time, or have they become better at hiding it and pretending to be a lot nicer than they actually are? Do they have Blue-and-Orange Morality by human standards, so trying to go 'good gods and bad gods' isn't quite tenable? Are the Gods just so complicated they can be both loving and distant in equal, genuine measures? Or are they complete monsters and revel in it? Fans can run with a wide variety of interpretations. Trials of Apollo give more insight on the gods behavior, by virtue of having a god as a protagonist.
One for Zeus specifically: Does he have an Inferiority Superiority Complex as the source of his behavior? He quarrels with Poseidon over who their mother Rhea likes better, is paranoid Poseidon is constantly plotting against him, demands respect when no one respects him, closes off of Olympus due to wounded pride in a later series, and tries to blame others for his mistakes while downplaying his own. He massive ego and demand people respect and obey him comes across as at least partially trying to cover up his own mistakes and knowledge he is a failure that no one likes, particularly compared to a non-senile Ra and Odin, who don't get mocked or defied nearly as much as he does.
The preteen to teenage main characters aren't nearly as psychologically affected by always having to fight monsters that are trying to kill them so often as they probably would be in real life. At the very least, there's no sign of PTSD. However, given that they have to do this for years on end, it could be safe to assume they just get desensitized by it, or as demigods are more geared to handle such things.
Neither Percy nor his mother seem particularly worked up about her having killed her husband through petrification in the first book. There's no denying that Gabe was a grade-A Jerkass who Percy concludes was also a Domestic Abuser towards Sally, but the fact that she outright murdered him and then sold the resulting statue for money, instead of considering something like, say, divorce, is never called into question.
Anti-Climax Boss: After being hyped up as a threat even bigger than Kronos, Typhon gets defeated in one paragraph, two at most, by a literalDeus ex Machina no less.
Author's Saving Throw: The Last Olympian does away with concerns over the Kissing Cousins nature of the demigods dating each other by clarifying gods do not have a DNA, so even though most of the gods are related to each other, its not really that Squicky for their children to date one another so long as they dont share a godly parent.
Hermes, again for his parenting skills. Some argue that he did what he could regarding Luke, and see him as The Woobie or a tragic figure at worst. Others argue that he really should've known better, that he should've given Luke more attention. Him considering attacking Annabeth for talking back to him is especially a source of discussion, a genuine slip-up in the heat of the battle? Or a moment of him showing his true colors, but stopping himself at the last second?
Rachel. A likeable, funny character and a standout Badass Normal in a cast of empowered mortals? Or an unnecessary character who is a threat toPercabeth, despite having no chemistry with Percy? The latter died down after she became the new Oracle, essentially ensuring that she won't date anyone, at least sexually, but there are still debates on whether or not she fits into the series.
Procrustes/Crusty appearing in the first book. He is yet another Monster of the Week, appearing right after another monster, but all he does is hold Annabeth and Grover hostage, without really gaining anything from it. Really, his entire chapter could be skipped and one wouldn't miss anything. No wonder he's been Adapted Out relatively consistently so far.
While Percy's encounter with Circe does get mentioned later, even in much later books, Annabeth freeing Blackbeard is completely forgotten about in Sea Of Monsters, even though he's Blackbeard and they stole his ship, yet the next chapter continues on like nothing happened.
Common Knowledge: For whatever reason, many fans, even long-time readers believe that Sally turned Gabe and his friends into stone by dropping Medusa's head on the poker table. She didn't. She only turned Gabe into stone and then sold his corpse as a live-like sculpture, with his friends not even being mentioned. While dropping the head on the poker table is convenient to get rid of both her husband and any potential witnesses, using Guilt by Association in this context would've made her look too cruel.
Crack Pairing: Tons. Rachel/Nico, Thalia/Nico note These first two became even more crack with the reveal of Nico's sexuality in The Heroes of Olympus, Percy/Clarisse, Rachel/Luke, Apollo/Hermesnote Which is actually technically possible in the source material, especially given the fact that both are involved in same-sex relationships with mortals and other gods, etc.
Luke Castellan. While he does have a fairly sympathetic backstory and motives, he is still responsible for starting a war in which dozens of demigods and many more mortals died and would end up bringing The End of the World as We Know It had he fully succeeded. The fans tend to bring up his affection towards Annabeth as a redeeming quality, even though it didn't stop him from trying to kill the girl multiple times and effectively torturing her at one point.
Hades as well. Fans praise him as an aversion to Everyone Hates Hadesand for being a step up fromZeus, glossing over the fact that the entire premise of the books was his fault and that he's not a particularly nice person either way. He tried to keep his children away from camp despite Zeus demanding that they be sent to stay there, and when that failed, he put a curse on the 12-year-old host of the Oracle for giving the prophecy in the first place, making it so that no one would be able to take her place until he and his children were accepted by the other gods.
Nico di Angelo gets the most love in this category, going from cute, annoying kid to an emo badass over the course of the series.
Fandom still showers attention on his sister, Bianca di Angelo, too. Never mind that she dies in her introductory book. Many fanfics explore either her life after death or her life in a "What if?" scenario should she have lived.
The twins, Artemis and Apollo, also get a lot of love, despite their very minor appearances. Quite a few fanfics are dedicated to them. Apollo was popular enough to have his own spin-off.
Similar to the above, the Hunters of Artemis get a lot of attention in fanfic, especially notable considering that very few members are named. Artemis's lieutenant, Zoë Nightshade, is especially popular.
Calypso has quite the following, and avoids the Die for Our Ship treatment that Rachel first suffered. Many rejoiced when she returned in the sequel series.
Beckendorf, a Genius Bruiser and nice guy who spends the fourth and fifth books at the front of the fighting.
With Michael Vey, as both feature disabled protagonists with special powers.
With Michael Ford's "Spartan Quest" trilogy, for both being action-packed middle grade book series with young boy protagonists discovering their Secret Legacy and joining a badass, but dangerous fighting camp.
With Harry Potter, as well, due to their similarities (young boy discovers his true origins, abandons his once awful life and enters a world full of wonders, but dangers as well) and for the target demographic (middle schoolers) being almost the same.
"Funny Aneurysm" Moment: Percy and Nico's first meeting is a pretty funny scene where Percy saves Nico's life and Nico proceeds to talk his ear off about mythology. It's significantly harsher after The Heroes Of Olympus showed a glimpse of Nico's POV in that scene —basically, he saw Percy as a mythical hero come to life, which only made his crush on Percy and Percy's failure to save Bianca that much harder for him to accept.
Genius Bonus: It might or might not be intentional, but the mention of a statue of Susan B. Anthony strangling Frederick Douglass in The Last Olympian might be a roundabout reference to how the two civil rights leaders, formerly steadfast allies, became divided over the issue of the Fifteenth Amendment allowing black males to vote, but not women of any race (and to add insult to injury, it was the first Amendment that explicitly mentioned male and only male citizens).
Growing the Beard: Most agree that The Titan's Curse was where the series really began to show its quality.
Percy catching Annabeth when she nearly falls off Olympus becomes cringe worthy after the events of the third The Heroes of Olympus book, Mark of Athena, where he catches her again while she's being dragged by Arachne's threads into Tartarus and this time around, he chooses to fall with her.
Promise (which seems to be the Arc Words in Luke's life), after reading The Diary of Luke Castellan.
The tense relationship between Nico and Percy becomes downright depressing after The House of Hades, where it's revealed Nico was hiding his true feelings about Percy.
It's easy to miss it, but in his introduction scene, Mr. D quips how his father (Zeus) likes punishing him. This is bad enough but it becomes ten times worse when you read the Trials of Apollo.
For that matter, the fact that he named a hippocampus that he developed a particular attachment to "Rainbow".
It is mentioned that monsters (which Tyson technically is) age differently from mortals and he is, sort of, a child.
Towards the end of The Lightning Thief, Grover speculates that he will be reborn as a flower. Along comes Undertale, a video game which also involves a young, sweet-natured goat-like creature dying and being reborn as a flower.
In the same videogame, what happens to a monster if you kill them? They turn into golden dust- just like in this series.
Chiron's cover as Mr. Brunner is a teacher in a wheelchair. In the Nasuverse, the Heroic Spirit Chiron is summoned into a certain Holy Grail War by Fiore, a mage in a wheelchair.
Hell, when Luke gives him the enchanted sneakers, Percy admits the gesture made him blush almost as much as Annabeth. Who he then jibes for being obvious about her crush on Luke.
Percy and Nico share a bit in The Last Olympian. And then in later books, it turns out that Nico actually has/had feelings for Percy.
Travis and Connor Stoll (from the Hermes cabin). Percy and Tyson, too, but the Stolls are almost never without each other. Of course, the Stolls are also full siblings, which makes it kinda squicky.
The descriptions of Luke are pretty generous. And seeing as they're told from Percy's point of view...
Inferred Holocaust: In the first book when Percy, Annabeth, and Grover face Hades, the god of the dead becomes so enraged that he causes not one but two earthquakes, and Percy remarks that it will not have been a peaceful night in L.A. When the kids resurface, Los Angeles is burning. No casualty numbers are given, but it could qualify as a "Funny Aneurysm" Moment, as Hades had just finished complaining about how the Underworld was overcrowded and didn't need more subjects. Kinda ironic.
Manhattan sounds pretty bad by the end of the last book. Everyone had fallen asleep, which probably includes people who were cooking things, people who were in the hospital getting surgery, etc. And Fifth Avenue is a disaster.
Ethan Nakamura, he ultimately betrays Percy, despite the latter saving his life, because he is the son of Nemesis, Goddess of Revenge. He wanted to be accepted by his mother, in response she gauged his eye out, leaving him with nothing but hatred against the Gods. When Percy promises him to make the Gods claim all their children, Ethan has a brief Jerkass Realization, before being submitted to a Fate Worse than Death by Kronos.
Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Percy Jackson, of course. Be they mortal, demigod, god, or monster, Percy has been shipped with practically every named character in the series.
Les Yay: Silena and Clarisse, Annabeth and Thalia, Zoë and Bianca. And just... the Hunters as a whole.
Clarisse and Silena in particular considering they play out the relationship between Achilles and Patroclus to its tragic conclusion. And we all know about them.
Magnificent Bastard: Luke Castellan, while introduced as a friendly mentor figure, is The Dragon to Kronos. Holding a resentment towards the gods due to feeling abandoned by his father, Hermes, Luke manipulated countless other demigods into joining Kronos's forces, convincing Silena Beauregard to act as his spy by tricking her into believing nobody at camp would get hurt. Under Kronos's orders, Luke steals both Zeus's Master Bolt and Hades's Helm of Darkness in an attempt to start a war between the gods, convincing Ares to help him when the war god catches him. In The Lightning Thief, when Percy is claimed by Poseidon, Luke summons a hellhound to trick Percy and Chiron into believing that Hades is the true culprit. When Percy succeeds in his quest to find and return Zeus's Master Bolt, Luke lures Percy into the woods and poisons him with a pit scorpion, not taking the risk Percy beating him in a fight. In The Titans Curse, to have her serve as bait for the goddess, Artemis, Luke risks his life by holding the sky to trick Annabeth into taking his place when she holds it to save his life. In The Battle of the Labyrinth, Luke persuades the inventor, Daedalus, into giving him the string of Ariadne so that he can find a route for Kronos's forces to invade Camp Half-Blood. Luke later allows the spirit of Kronos to take over his body after gaining nigh-invulnerability from the River Styx. Despite Luke's manipulative nature, he truly believed he was doing what was best for demigods, and when he realized how much he hurt Annabeth, ends his own life to stop Kronos.
Narm: There's a reason why Antonio Caparo's art for the series is reviled, with special mention often being given to his artwork of Nico.
Never Live It Down: Rachel kissing Percy in The Last Olympian is a big one among Percy/Annabeth shippers. Even though Percy and Annabeth werent dating at the time, the way fans describe it would have you believe otherwise.
Rewatch Bonus: For those that read the sequel series, every single scene regarding Nico and Percy takes on a new meaning once you learn Nico had a crush on Percy since the day he was rescued.
Sailor Earth: With the sheer number of Greek Gods, major and minor, with dozens or hundreds of unclaimed children with many of them fighting on the side of Kronos it is very easy to begin imagining any number of demigod characters. This got taken even further with the advent of the gods' Roman counterparts, creating even more possibilities.
While Zeus is portrayed faithfully to his mythological counterpart, he can be really obstructive, ungrateful and flat out abusive without ever learning from his mistakes or suffering any form of comeuppance due to his invincible status, and the sequel series makes it even worse.
Back in the day, it was seen as somewhat of a Follow the Leader to Harry Potter and a lot of other Young Adult fantasy novels that use the supernatural and fantastical elements as metaphors for growing up. And they're not wrong... even if this is considered to have been one of the better ones.
The Un-Twist: The fulfilling of the prophecy in The Titan's Curse It says "One will be lost" and everybody assumes it means someone will die. But it never outright states dying, so with the usual Prophecy Twist you could expect Bianca to be lost and later found. It turns out she gets Killed Off for Real.
The mystery of who Percy's dad was could've been resolved immediately if someone had noticed Percy's control of water (at the fountain on the school field trip and in the bathroom when Clarisse was going to dunk his head). But somehow, no one put two and two together. What were their guesses before Poseidon claimed him?
Grover (best friend who saw the fountain, presumably heard about the toilet incident, and sensed how strong Percy's aura is): Nemesis
Annabeth (demigoddess of battle and wisdom, who was there to witness the toilet water incident and was drenched herself): Zeus (who rules the skies)
It was easy to narrow down the suspects in the mystery of the theft of the lightning bolt, considering that the theft took place on the one day of the year that the campers were allowed to visit Olympus. But Chiron thought that the theft was conducted by Hades because...he's big and scary and evil looking.
Another one for Chiron: he knew about the theft for months, but waited until there were only TEN DAYS LEFT to do something about it.
Later in Sea Of Monsters, Percy didn't realize that Tyson isn't human until Annabeth literally spills it out to him. While the Mist covers his lack of a second eye, it doesn't coverhis massive size or resistance to fire.
Many monster encounters would be easily avoided if Percy used a little bit of common sense. At least with "Aunty Em", he lampshades how much of an idiot he was, but he has no real excuse for blindly trusting "C.C.", a woman who owns a spa island that only hosts women and "animals" and promises him to make him "the best version of himself", even though she only met himthat day. Predictably, Percy is transformed into a (guinea) pig and Annabeth has to stand up against Circe and save him.
The Woobie: Everyone not named Gabe, Ares, or Kronos:
Luke's mother, May Castellan, also deserves a special mention here. She became a victim of Hades' curse on the Oracle, becoming an incomplete Oracle in the process, having visions that overtake her entire body and cause her to grab people and yell prophecies at them. This drove her son away, and seemingly unaware of that, she continues to bake cookies and pack lunches for a son that will never come home.
In The Last Olympian, the narration actually says that Hermes "looked like he needed a hug." If that's not baiting woobiedom, nothing is.
MRS. JACKSON. Ridiculously nice, sweet, and caring, and yet gets get stuck with an abusive slob of a husband and serious financial problems. Luckily, things get much better.
Even Dionysus has a little of this after he revealed his relationship with Ariadne to Percy in the third book, and after one of his sons dies in the fourth book. And then you get to his chapter in Percy Jackson's Greek Gods...
Tropes which only apply to the films:
Adaptation Displacement: While the books are generally beloved, the movies have made much more money. It's not uncommon to hear that people were introduced to the books because of the movies and ended up hating the movies retroactively.
Angst? What Angst?: Percy seems to handle the sudden death / disappearance of his mother very well...
Anti-Climax Boss: Kronos in Sea of Monsters, possibly intentional because the rest of the books might not be adapted to film.
The Sea of Monsters somehow not being in Poseidon's domain. Ignoring that this is in complete contrast to the books, the Greek myths, and basic logic, two of Percy's other powers (water healing him and his navigational intuition) are later shown to work fine within the Sea of Monsters, making this seem like even more of a lazy excuse for why he couldn't control the water to save himself and his friends from Charybdis.
Percy lamenting Tyson's "death", especially in contrast to the original book. In the book, he knew Tyson from school for some time before they ended up at camp and he found out they were brothers, he had to endure constant ridicule from the other campers over the relationship, Tyson was gone from the story for much longer than he was in the film, and Percy didn't spend nearly as much time reflecting on it. In the movie, the two have only known each other for a day or two, the only character who teases him about it is Clarisse, and Tyson is only gone for a few minutes of screentime, yet his sacrifice appears to drive Percy over the Despair Event Horizon until his friends manage to talk him out of it. As with the above, it comes off as a cheap excuse so that when Tyson does come back, Percy can waste time hugging it out with him instead of preventing the resurrection of Kronos.
Some were a little disturbed that Sally resorted to murdering Gabe by petrifying him instead of just divorcing him, by Percy's suggestion no-less. In the movie, Gabe is instead petrified by his own stupidity because he ignored a sign warning him not to open the fridge, which was storing Medusa's head. Even Rick Riordan, who notoriously loathed the movies, thought the change was Actually Pretty Funny.
Awesome Music: Despite the films shortcomings, they both have great soundtracks.
Badass Decay: Although her actual status as a badass is somewhat disputed (see Broken Base below), Annabeth still does a lot of things in the first movie and is actually helpful in several situations. Come the sequel and she does absolutely squat anymore despite tagging along as a main character for the whole film. Her position as the abrasive Action Girl has been taken over by Clarisse while Annabeth has become little more than a constant Damsel in Distress.
Broken Base: Whether or not Annabeth counts as a Faux Action Girl. Those who claim she is point to the fact that she has to be saved from Medusa by Percy, doesn't figure out the Lotus hallucination until after they're outside it and then does nothing in the climax - despite claiming to have lots of experience with battle strategy at camp. Those who say she isn't point to her beating Percy in their first duel (and he needs a power boost from water to match her), being the one to use Car Fu against Medusa, successfully shooting some guards and the hydra and merely being Overshadowed by Awesome - since only one person can wear Hermes's sneakers.
Contested Sequel: The first film was already a contested adaptation, but the sequel ended up becoming this to it. While some appreciated it being Truer to the Text, others had actually come to respect the first film for adapting concepts from the source material while still trying to do its own thing. Whereas the second film borrowed so much from the books that it created a huge mess from trying to juggle all of it at once.
Evil Is Sexy: Medusa. Of course, she is played by Uma Thurman.
Fandom Heresy: If you call either of these movies "good", or gods forbid, "good adaptations", even after they have been disowned by Rick Riordan himself, let's just say... good luck. Heck, even mentioning them in the same breath as the books is bound to rile someone up.
Follow the Leader: Sea of Monsters has Kronos as the main antagonist despite him spending the entire book slowly reforming in a sarcophagus. Kronos' "Titan made of lava" appearance is also reminiscent of his appearance in Wrath of the Titans
Ham and Cheese: In the European Spanish dub, Hades's voice actor Gonzalo Abril seems to be intentionally blowing his delivery while vocing his character, which is exceptionally odd given that he directed the entire dub and is the only cast member that is not acting normally.
Harsher in Hindsight: Persephone claiming that Hades is cruel and abusive, while also knocking him out with the lightning bolt, is uncomfortable to watch with the assault allegations against Rosario Dawson in 2019.
Magnificent Bastard: Luke Castellan, son of Hermes, became disillusioned with the gods following the death of his friend, Thalia, and them abandoning their children. Luke steals Zeus' lighting bolt and frames the son of Poseidon, Percy Jackson, to start a war between the gods. Befriending Percy when he arrives at Camp Half-blood, Luke tricks him into delivering the bolt to Hades by hiding it in the shield that he gives him. Though seemingly defeated, Luke returns and plans to use the Golden Fleece to raise Kronos from the dead. Using a spy to poison Thalia's tree, and putting the camp in danger, Luke kidnaps Grover and chases the heroes through the Sea of Monsters, at one point seemingly killing Percy's half brother Tyson, eventually managing to use the Fleece to raise Kronos. Always having a quip at hand, and constantly keeping Percy on the defensive, Luke proves to be as smart as his book counterpart.
The scene in Medusa's shop. While it isn't that creepy in the book (there the scene is a lot less ominous up until the Uncle Ferdinand bit), the movie added a panicking woman whose husband had already been turned to stone and she's hysterical with fright. She eventually gets turned into stone too, and the only mention that's made of it is when Annabeth explains how she scraped her wrist (the woman had been holding her wrist when she had been turned to stone and Annabeth had to pull her hand free).
The movie-version of Annabeth. People unfamiliar with the books don't like her for being a rather one-dimensional Tsundere. People who did read the books despise her for being nothing like her book counterpart, not even in looks. The Jerkass, (potential) Faux Action Girl characterization is a far cry from the Badass Bookworm the readers grew to love. It only got worse in Sea of Monsters, where she was also turned into a Damsel Scrappy.
Persephone. Not only is she completely misplaced in the first movie, with her book counterpart appearing the first time in Book 5 and having no business being in the Underworld in summernote Since she's supposed to be on Olympus at the time, she's also practically a completely different character, as the Persephone from the myths and the books was Hades' loving, reasonable wife and both are quite celebrated for being probably the only healthy relationship in all of Classic Mythology. She's been turned into a cheating, abusive hag for seemingly no reason.
Signature Scene: The Lotus Casino segment in the first film is this for fans of the books due to it being generally considered the most faithfully adapted scene from the source material.
So Bad, It's Good: Some moments are like this. A lot of it overlaps with what's on the Narm page. But Grover dancing in the Lotus Casino is a notable example.
Special Effect Failure: A lot of the CGI looks really bad. Special mention goes to when the Minotaur grabs Sally—when he shakes her in his fist, she stays awkwardly straight and still the whole time, which makes her look like a JPEG being dragged around the screen.
The fact that all the camp characters were given an Age Lift from tweens to late teens, given how it makes the idea of having multiple sequels borderline impossible without eventually replacing the actors. The fact that it was clearly inspired by the success of the latterHarry Potter movies, while completely ignoring that that series became popular for it's first installments, doesn't help.
Making Hades the bad guy, as usual. Even though the original book series is credited for avertingEveryone Hates Hades, regardless of what one thinks of him as a character, they took a morally complex character and turned him into a one-note bad guy, simply because everyone else has done it before.
Award Snub: Even with the COVID-shortened Tony season, the musical didn't earn a single nomination for the 74th Tony Awards. Particularly egregious are its exclusions from the Best Original Score category, populated entirely by straight plays despite The Lightning Thief being the only eligible musical with original music, and the Best Lead Actor in a Musical category, populated entirely by Aaron Tveit for Moulin Rouge! and Aaron Tveit for Moulin Rouge! alone.