Percy Jackson & the Olympians

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Percy jackson book 1.jpg

"Being a half-blood is dangerous. It's scary. Most of the time, it gets you killed in painful, nasty ways."


Percy Jackson & the Olympians is a Fantasy series by Rick Riordan based on Greek mythology. A Sequel Series, The Heroes of Olympus, The Trials of Appollo, Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, and The Kane Chronicles soon followed. Its first two books,The Lost Hero and The Son of Neptune, have already been released. The Film of the Book, Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, was directed by Chris Columbus, the same guy who directed the first two movies in the Harry Potter film series.

In the books the Greek gods have moved to the United States, and their home, Olympus, is now located above the Empire State Building. They have many demigod children with mortal humans. Unfortunatly, these demigods attract mythological monsters, so they must travel to a safe haven in Long Island, NY, called "Camp Half-Blood", and learn to fight. The books get progressively Darker and Edgier throughout the series as a war with the Titans approaches.

The books in the main series are:

  • The Lightning Thief
  • The Sea of Monsters
  • The Titan's Curse
  • The Battle of the Labyrinth
  • The Last Olympian

There are also three companion books:

  • The Demigod Files: Includes three short stories and information about Camp Half-Blood.
  • The Ultimate Guide
  • Demigods and Monsters
  • The Demigod Files

Please add all new character tropes to the Character Sheet.

Tropes used in Percy Jackson & the Olympians include:
  • Abusive Parents: Many gods neglect their children. It's the biggest reason why there is a Titan army. There are kids who are never claimed.
    • Nemesis, God of Balance and Revenge, to Ethan. The one time they meet, she blinds his left eye with the promise that he would bring balance to the world once again.
    • You've got Kronos, Father of the gods, who ate his own children to keep them from rebelling against him.
    • In the first book, Percy's stepfather, "Smelly" Gabe, treats both Percy and his mom like dirt. Thankfully, Sally Jackson uses the Medusa head from Percy on Gabe, sells the statue, and gains enough money from it to go into writing.
  • Abusive Precursors: The Titans.
  • Achilles' Heel: Figuratively and literally. Taking a dip into the River Styx enables you to become invincible so no weapon will harm you, except at a tiny spot somewhere on your body. Along with Achilles' actual heel, the final book has two--a spot on Percy's back and a spot near Luke's armpit. Additionally, the tiny weak spot isn't the only Achilles' Heel of taking a bath in the Styx. While you Take a Level In Badass in addition to becoming invincible, you do so basically by turning your body Up to Eleven, meaning you need especially long periods of rest in-between fights. Meaning that if someone throws enough Mooks at you, you will drop from exhaustion faster than a normal mortal or half-blood.
    • In addition, it is implied that bathing in the Styx amplifies the bather's own personal "fatal flaw"—you become heavy with one emotion (such as pride) that can be used against you. This is somewhat subverted in that the weakness that Percy has, personal loyalty, doesn't actually link in to a defeat in the finale.
  • Achilles in His Tent: Clarisse in The Last Olympian.
  • Action Girl: Tons. Annabeth, Thalia, Bianca and Zoe to name a few. Just as helpful as the boys, usually.
  • Adaptational Jerkass: Subverted with Hades. While Percy believes him to be the Big Bad in book one, his uncle is actually quite reasonable if a bit old-fashioned, stiff, and Brutally Honest. He reveals that he took Percy's mother hostage because Percy was framed for stealing his helm. When Percy reveals that Ares and Luke actually took it, as well as the lightning bolt, Hades returns his mother unharmed and they agree to a truce. Indeed, while Hades dislikes that Percy exists, he also admits that he owes the kid for protecting his son Nico to the bitter end, and prepares to spare him from the final book's bloodbath.
  • Affably Evil: Geryon. He makes omelettes from the eggs of endangered species, slaughters the cattle of the sun, sells to Kronos' army, and enslaves Nico. On the other hand, he doesn't interfere with quests, holds barbecues for his captives, and gives people a grand tour of his ranch.

Grover: You slaughter Apollo's sacred cows?! You Monster!!
Geryon: What gave it away, my three bodies?

  • A Form You Are Comfortable With: Most of the Gods and Goddesses upon their first appearances. Occasionally subverted when they decide to show their true forms, but Percy usually doesn't look when they do this.
    • He doesn't look because looking on the true form of a god is fatal to mortals.
  • All Myths Are True: If it showed up in any Greek mythological story, it's not a myth. And it probably wants to kill you. When Percy asks about God in the first book, he's told that he would be getting "metaphysical", since the Olympians don't know if He exists any more than we do.
    • The Kane Chronicles, the other YA Fiction series by Rick Riordan actually taking this a step further, suggesting not only that all Greek myths are true (the series ties in to the Percy Jackson series) but by also stating all Egyptian gods are real. Moses of the Abrahamic religions is also mentioned.
    • The Kane Chronicles had a line about the Faust Family being deeply involved with supernatural whatsits as well, so it can be assumed European fairy tales might just be fair game as well.
  • All There in the Manual: The Demigod Files and Demigods and Monsters. (The former is significant in that it explains a lot of the "dragon" business in The Heroes of Olympus and gives Clarisse Character Development.)
  • Always Save the Girl: Aphrodite urges this course of action on Percy in The Titan's Curse.
  • Amazon Brigade: The Hunters of Artemis.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Nico to Bianca, Tyson to Percy at first.
    • Apollo to Artemis, no matter what he says in most traditions she was born first.
  • Apocalypse Maiden: Thalia in The Titan's Curse.
  • Army of the Ages: The fortress of the Greek god Hades is guarded by dead soldiers from all of history: Skeletal Roman legionnaires with spears are joined by undead US Marines with assault rifles.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: The cannibals Marrow Sucker, Skull Eater, and Joe Bob,

Dionysus playing Pac-Man: The world will fall, the gods will die, and I will never achieve a perfect score on this stupid machine.

    • The punishments in the Underworld:

Even from far away, I could see people being chased by hellhounds, burned at the stake, forced to run naked through cactus patches or listen to opera music.

  • Ascended Extra: Hestia, who appears in the first book stoking the campfire at Camp Half-Blood, but Percy doesn't find this out until book five.
  • Attention Deficit Ooh Shiny: All demigods have ADHD, which is a sign of their battlefield reflexes and greater sensory perception. The disorder is handled well, though, since Riordan's son has ADHD and he knows what he's talking about.
    • This ties in fairly well with the way gods and demigods are often portrayed in the classic myths, particularly the Jerkass Gods trope. People with neurological disorders who don't learn early on how to cope with their disabilities often grow up to be maladjusted and sometimes even outright cruel because they can't empathize with ordinary people.
  • Author Avatar: Percy is basically the representation of the author's son who has ADHD and dyslexia. It seems the gods do as well.
  • Back from the Dead: Thalia and a few others.
  • Badass Army: The demigods as well as Kronos's army of monsters.
  • Badass Bookworm: Annabeth most prominently, but her dad and Daedalus count too.
  • Badass Normal: Mr. Chase, Percy's mom and Paul Blofis.
  • Barrier Maiden: Thalia in tree form
  • The Bermuda Triangle: With mythological sites that used to be around Greece and Rome are now located in America. This site is the new location for The Sea of Monsters, in place of the Mediterranean Sea.
  • Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: It seems that most any legendary figure in the history of western civilization who did something important was a demigod: George Washington was the brainchild, of Athena, Harriet Tubman was a daughter of Hermes, Hitler was a son of Hades
  • Big Applesauce: It's where Mount Olympus is located, and Percy's home town.
  • Big Bad: Kronos
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • Quite often in the books, especially in The Last Olympian. Special mention should probably go to Hades, the Ares Cabin, and the Party Ponies, who get three moments in the series.
    • This is Mrs. O'Leary's sole reason for existing.
  • Big No: Several.
    • Kronos. Not so much dragged out, but it was in allcaps, and the idea remains the same.
    • Tantalus' "Nooooooooo!" in The Sea of Monsters after Dionysus sends him back to the Underworld.
    • Sisyphus in The Demigod Files. "NOOOOOOO!"
    • Zoe when Atlas is about to stab Artemis.
    • Atlas being returned to his chains. "NOT AGAIN!"
  • A Birthday, Not a Break: Percy forgets his sixteenth birthday.
  • Black and Gray Morality: Help the Gods who are often jerkasses and sometimes cause problems, or serve a Titan who devoured his own kids and uses humanity as a source of cheap amusement or as a snack.
  • Blessed with Suck / Cursed with Awesome: Your Mileage May Vary depending on whether you prefer being dyslexic, but having a perfect understanding of ancient Greek, and whether you are willing to tolerate having ADHD as a side effect of your supernatural combat instincts. And then there's all the monsters you attract, especially if you carry a cell phone
  • Bound and Gagged: Several times in the book series, for the enjoyment of the fans.
  • Break the Cutie: Nico, Thalia, Luke, and Annabeth.
  • Bring Them Around
  • Broken Bridge: Inverted. In the fifth book, Percy destroys the Williamsburg Bridge in an attempt to stop Kronos's army.
  • Butt Monkey: Humanity in-universe, or at the very least Westerners. Whether it's tourists being turned to stone by Medusa, children being lured into a Lotus Eater Machine for eternity, or innocent shoppers being stretched to death or hacked up by Procrustes, it sucketh verily to be a human in the Percy Jackson universe.
    • And if humans are lucky enough to avoid those fates, then they usually end up being the innocent victims of divine temper-tantrums, cosmic playthings for the gods, and in general are oblivious to the world around them.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: In a series saturated with Parental Abandonment, you know this is coming. It's Luke's whole reason for wanting to tear down Olympus in the first place.

Hades to Kronos: "And if there's one thing we can agree on, it's that you were a TERRIBLE father."

  • The Call Knows Where You Live: Half-bloods smell like lunch to monsters.
  • Camp Unsafe Isn't Safe Anymore: In the second Percy Jackson book, Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters, Camp Half Blood is "no longer safe" because someone has poisoned Thalia's pine tree, which usually keeps the camp safe from outside monsters. However, the camp was never safe from anyone on the inside who wanted to hurt anyone else on the inside, as demonstrated by the ending of the first book.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: A staple of the series; if anyone has any sort of vital information, they will hold it back for longer than necessary. Most often they have their reasons for it, but it still gets very noticable after a few books. And when they do try to tell straight away, they're generally interrupted by someone or something else before they can get to the point. Of course, this is based on Greek mythology so it's not surprising.
  • Celestial Bureaucracy: The Underworld, all the way. You know the Ancient Greek tradition of putting a coin in the dead's mouth to help them pay their passage across the River Styx? Charon charges people's credit cards. And if you're a kid and don't have one? Well, you're kind of screwed.
    • Messed with in the movie. Charon takes drachma like in the original myths. When Grover tries to pay him with U.S dollars, he BURNS THE MONEY. The scene is even complete with a recession joke.
  • Cerebus Syndrome
  • Changeling Fantasy
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Remember Circe's assistant in The Sea Of Monsters? Now read the second book of the second series.
  • The Chessmaster: Kronos
  • Circles of Hell: What did you expect? This is Greek mythology. Within the Underworld, there's the Isles of the Blest at the top, Elysium below that (or encircling them), the most widely populated Asphodel Fields, and then the Fields of Punishment.
  • Coast Guard: In the first book, after the kids escape from the Underworld and into Los Angeles, the US Coast Guard rescues their sorry butts in the middle of dealing with the huge natural disaster. Plus, the Coast Gaurd awards the kids with Junior Coast Guard Badges.
  • Cool Sword: Riptide and Backbiter.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: Percy mentions being forced to listen to opera music for eternity as one of the tortures inflicted in the Fields of Punishment.
  • Corrupt Hick: Geryon qualifies. He makes omlettes out of the eggs of endangered species, slaughters the sacred cattle of the sun, sells to the titan army, and tries to sell Nico to Luke.
  • Creator Provincialism: The United States is literally the current center of western civilization. Canada is mentioned, but only because it's where Laystrigonian giants are from.
    • In the sequel, Canada is featured more.
  • Crossover Cosmology: The Roman god Janus appears in the fourth book. Word of God said in an interview that the Roman gods exist in Percy Jackson's world but are younger than the Greek gods. Riordan's other novel series, The Kane Chronicles, which features Egyptian gods, also takes place in the same universe.
    • The Heroes of Olympus takes this a step further, suggesting that the gods do go around in their Roman aspects and there is an opposite camp for their children.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Bianca is electrocuted inside a giant bronze automaton. Zoe is killed by a combination of dragon poison and her father. But the laurels definitely go to Silena, who's disfigured by the acid breath of a giant, two-hundred-foot-long worm and launched into the pavement.
    • Silena's death doubles as Fridge Horror when you think about whose child she is. A daughter of Aphrodite having her face melted with acid? That would be like Annabeth contracting dementia. Or Percy drowning!
  • Crystal Dragon Jesus: Consciously averted. Percy initially equates the concepts of God and the Greek gods, but Chiron is quick to point out that God is "metaphysical" and therefore in a different category from the Olympians.
  • Cue the Flying Pigs: A particularly dangerous one is the Clazmonian Sow.
  • Dangerous Sixteenth Birthday
  • Darker and Edgier: The series gets progressively darker with each following book, finally capping off with the deaths of Silena, Beckendorf, Luke and more and quite a few tearjerkers in The Last Olympian.
  • Dark Secret: Zoe is the daughter of a titan general, Kronos' right hand. Also she was the mastermind behind at least one of "Hercules'" great victories; it's implied she may have helped him with others.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Pretty much everyone is a deadpan snarker (though Percy probably gets the most in). The chapter titles are almost always deadpan snark in some way: "I Accidentally Blow Up My Pre-Algebra Teacher" is the first.
  • Dead Person Conversation: With King Minos, Bianca, Achilles. Nico does this regularly being the son of Hades
  • Death Is Cheap: The monsters and Luke/Kronos.
  • Defanged Horrors
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Zoe, Thalia, and arguably Annabeth.
  • Did Rachel Just Throw a Blue Plastic Hairbrush at Kronos?
    • Also, from Maria di Angelo:

Zeus is un imbecile.

  • Deus Ex Machina: In the movie Poseidon has to speak to Percy in order for him to snap of from the effect of the lotus flowers, later on Persephone has to betray Hades for them to escape into Mount Olympus
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: It took all the Olympians, Poseidon's army, a cross country trip through the USA and the entirety of the final book but they did defeat Typhon the Storm Giant.
  • Disability Superpower: All half-bloods have ADHD, which enhances their battle awareness, and dyslexia, which is caused by their brains being hardwired for ancient Greek.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: What? It's the Greek gods. It's only natural.
    • On the other hand what kind of creep betrays his friends, humanity and the gods just to get back at his Dad? Now that's disproportionate!
    • Percy and his mother also get a hand in this. Her husband may be a horrible person, but we never see him do anything worthy of being turned to stone, effectively killing him.
      • Still, imagine what Poseidon would've done to him. It's kind of the choice between being turned into stone or seaweed.
        • YMMV: It's revealed at the end of The Lightning Thief that Gabe physically abused Sally when Percy wasn't around.
        • It's part of the original myth of Perseus, who did turn his would-be stepfather, King Polydectes, who was also abusive towards Perseus' mother, forcing her to work as a palace slave, into stone with Medusa's head. But that was because it was Polydectes who sent Perseus to fetch the head in the first place, but didn't believe it when Perseus got back, so Perseus showed him the head.
        • This is changed in the film. Here Gabe is literally Too Dumb to Live as Percy puts the head in the fridge, chains up the door, and puts a note on the door saying to never open it. Disregarding the warning Gabe breaks the chains and opens it to get a beer.
  • Divine Parentage: Of course.
  • Down in the Dumps: In book three, Percy and crew wander into the "junkyard of the gods" and end up setting off a giant automaton. Naturally.
  • Dramatic Thunder: It tends to happen a lot thanks to Zeus, so naturally it's lampshaded.
  • Dream Spying: All. The. Time.
  • Drives Like Crazy: The Gray Sisters.
    • Thalia driving the airborne sun chariot in schoolbus form. Mainly due to her Acrophobia. She can drive well on land, though.
  • Dodgeball Is Hell: A bit more literally than you might think at the beginning of the second book.
  • Duel to the Death: Happens so often, you lose count.
  • Due to the Dead: Heroes are cremated with funeral shrouds embroidered to indicate their divine parentage and just what made them great.

"We need a shroud. A shroud for the son of Hermes."

  • Dying Moment of Awesome: Anyone who dies goes out with a really, really loud bang.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Hestia. Pay attention to that little girl at Camp Half-Blood in "The Lightning Thief".
  • El Cid Ploy: Silena disguises herself as Clarisse to lead the children of Ares into battle in the final book. She dies just as Clarisse shows up.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Maybe the gods, definitely Typhon and the Titans.
  • Everyone Can See It: Between Percy and Annabeth.
  • Everybody Hates Hades: Averted and invoked by many but also discussed extensively and eventually rectified in the books.
  • Everyone Is Related: Technically, with like one or two exceptions.
    • This is sort of subverted in the fifth book where it's explained that gods have no DNA so it's totally not creepy for half-bloods from different god parents to date. They do specify that two demigods from the same parent (a son and daughter of Athena, for example) would never ever consider dating.
  • Everything Makes a Mushroom: In the second book, Tyson and Percy, playing with chemicals, make a "miniature mushroom cloud" near the trash can.
    • Yes, but Tyson is a Cyclopes (and good at crafting), so for all we know he was playing with depleted uranium or somesuch.
      • In a normal (well, mortal, anyway) school? really?
        • The test was who could make an explosion first so they were probably using dangerous chemicals.
      • Even if the explosion were somehow nuclear it wouldn't make a mushroom cloud, it would have to be much larger and hotter to do that.
  • Everything's Better with Rainbows: The ever-handy Iris message.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: It's Percy Jackson and the Olympians. The titles of the books and chapters do this a lot, too, only remove any context and most mythical elements, making them sound bizarre and hilarious, at the expense of making Percy sound like a madman.
  • Fan Nickname: R.E.D.
  • Fail O'Suckyname: Gabe Ugliano? Keeping a rebellious streak aside, there's absolutely no way Percy's mom would have sacrificed her maiden name for that surname.
  • Fallen Hero: Luke, other half-bloods, etc..
  • Fatal Family Photo / Retirony: Why, Beckendorf? Why did you have to take out her picture?!
  • Fatal Flaw: Played straight with Annabeth, Percy, and the entire Hades bloodline. Played with in that Athena points out Percy's fatal flaw, but it never ends up being used effectively against him.
    • Actually, it does get used against him, quite effectively. Just, never after Athena tells him about it, which may be in part due to Kronos' titanic ego and the fact that they're at war from the point he finds out.
      • While it's not used directly against him per se, we do frequently see Percy get reminded during TLO to stop trying to fight every single battle and save everyone himself, since he'd wear himself into the ground that way. It may not have been mentioned by name, but it's still present.
  • Fighting a Shadow: Monsters turn to sand when killed, but eventually return.
    • In The Kane Chronicles we finally find out why: they're being banished to the deeper regions of the underworld, and it takes them awhile to claw their way back out.
    • And in the newest series, something has happened in the underworld that lets monsters (and the dead) return to earth with relative ease. May, or may not, be related to the events in The Kane Chronicles.
      • Nope, it's because Gaea opened the gates of Tartarus.
  • Fireball Eyeballs: Two examples:
    • Ares, god of war, has creepy flaming eyes because he's a representation of violence and rage; he normally wears sunglasses to cover them up.
    • Hestia also has flames for eyes, but hers are described as much warmer and less creepy; since she's goddess of the hearth, the literal "home fires," this makes sense.
    • Similarly, Hyperion has miniature suns for eyeballs.
  • First Girl Wins: Rachel never stood a chance of being with Percy.
  • First-Person Smartass
  • Flirty Stepsiblings: A really loose example, but Silena, Aphrodite's daughter, and Beckendorf, Hephaestus' son, are technically step-siblings, seeing as their divine parents are married.
    • While accurate it should be pointed out that Hephaestus and Aphrodite are an arranged marriage. Most myths state that Zeus had Aphrodite marry Hephaestus so that she would stop causing so many problems with the other male gods and he felt Hephaestus was a person of good character who would be a good husband. While true Hephaestus was also, unfortunately, rather ugly so Aphrodite had NUMEROUS infidelities.
    • In other stories Hephaestus knew what he was getting into and had a good sense of humor about it, hence his prank booby traps of epic proportions.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: The Mother of all Monsters, the Mighty Echidna.
  • Foil / Evil Counterpart:
    • Probably accidental, but Hyperion is pretty much this for Hades - one is a god and the other is a titan, Dark Is Not Evil vs Light Is Not Good, and both their names start with "H".
    • Luke for Percy.
  • Freudian Excuse: Some of the half-bloods blame their parents for not loving them, abandoning them, etc. and use this as their excuse for joining Kronos's "dark side".
  • Foreshadowing: You can guess that Bianca and Nico are Older Than They Look in The Titan's Curse, when, to evade their pursuers in Washington, D.C., they duck into the Metro. To Bianca and Nico, the Metro seems new to them, and they mention that the last time they came through D.C., the Washington Metro did not exist. This initially does not make sense because the di Angelos are in their teens, and transit buffs know that the first segment of the Washington Metro opened in 1976, well before they were supposedly born. Once you learn about their stint in the Lotus Hotel & Casino, and the establishing scene of them being put up in the hotel in The Last Olympian, It Makes Sense in Context.
  • Full-Name Basis: Riordan must really like the name "Rachel Elizabeth Dare", because he repeats it constantly whenever she shows up, instead of just using it once and then switching to "Rachel" through the rest of the book.
  • Genre Blindness: Percy and Annabeth have an absolutely terrible track record in terms of recognizing the various mythic monsters and traps they stumble across, even though most of them are obvious variations on well-known episodes from things like The Odyssey.
    • Lampshaded once when Percy mentions that they should know they are walking into a trap but after walking for hours, not eating, and craving a bed to sleep on they tend to do stupid things.
    • By the time Labyrinth rolls around, they're more or less Genre Savvy, whereupon the universe actually starts changing the rules just to throw Genre Savvy people off.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Seriously, of all the ways for Mr. D to get Percy's name wrong, his favorite is Peter Johnson? Especially given the reputation of his followers, back in the day...
    • The series never outright calls any of the demigods illegitimate, though at one point Hera calls Percy "one of Poseidon's...children," and Percy knows she definitely implied something else.
    • In the movie, Persephone hates Hades so much she has "visitors" every once in a while. When she comes across Grover, she says, "I haven't had a satyr... visit before." Mreowr...
      • Also in the movie, Medusa tells Percy "I used to date your daddy." As any student of Greek mythology knows, it was more of a one-night stand. A non-consensual one-night stand.
    • When the protagonists are at the Hoover Dam

Zoë: "Let us find the dam snack bar."
Grover [smiling]: "The dam snack bar?"
Zoë: "Yes. What is funny?"
Grover [trying not to laugh] "Nothing, I could use some dam french fries."

    • At the meeting with Hyperion, Thalia tells him "That's a load of Minotaur dung." Given that minotaurs are half bull, guess what that can be translated as.
    • The fact that Chiron and Mr. D are running the camp arguably counts, given that Dionysus was eromenos to Chiron in some stories, and apparently learned "the bacchic rites" from him.
    • Ganymede is mentioned in one book. His special realtionship with Zeus isn't.
    • The 'Honeymoon Special' waterbed in Crusty's Water Bed Palace has dynamic stabilizers to stop wave motion 'wink,wink,nudge,nudge'.
  • Giant Enemy Crab: Attack Its Weak Point For Massive Damage! With some bonus Someday This Will Come in Handy.
  • God: Mentioned in The Lightning Thief during a handwave by Chiron.

Chiron: God capital "G" God is something else entirely. We won't delve into the metaphysical.

  • Godly Sidestep: Soon after Percy learns about the gods, he asks the obvious question and is informed that the gods are "the lower-case 'g' kind" and they "don't deal in metaphysics."
  • Gods Need Prayer Badly: Averted, except in the case of Pan. The belief of the Satyrs, Dryads, and other nature spirits are what have kept him from fading away.
    • Actually played straight they just don't so much need pray directly as people indirectly invoking them. Ex: Dionysus is invoked anytime someone has a party. But rare example of there being a back effect, the death of a god harms what they are god of.
    • Kronos regains a little bit of his power every time a half-blood joins his army.
    • Another example potentially can be found in that they basically say Apollo and Helios had their roles merged 'because' the Romans merged the two gods.
  • Gray Eyes: The entire Athena cabin (most notably Annabeth), along with the goddess herself.
  • Green Aesop: Various sea and river creatures get uppity around water pollution, and the quest for Pan eventually turns out to be all about the current state of the environment; this one is extremely well-done, though.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: The Minotaur is just one of the first examples.
  • Hawaiian-Shirted Tourist: Mentioned word for word in Lightning Thief.
  • Heel Face Revolving Door: Daedalus and Prometheus.
  • Hell Hound: Several in the series, including the quite nicely oversized hellhound named Mrs. O'Leary.
  • The Herald: Grover. Chiron.
  • The Hero Dies: Played straight, and yet not, in that the hero was not who we all thought he was.)
  • Heroic Bastard: All of the half-bloods, of course, with the possible exception of Athena's children (it depends on whether you can consider children born from thoughts bastards or not). Despite this, the B-word is never outright mentioned, although Hera alludes to it at one point.
  • Heroic Lineage: Again, of course.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Beckendorf, Luke, and Bianca.
    • Um, hello! Zoe Nightshade? She jumped in front of one of the most powerful Titans in the world to save Artemis.
  • The Hero's Birthday
  • Hero's Journey
  • Honor Before Reason: Percy doesn't want to kill the poor pitiful cyclops.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: Grover and the other satyrs believe this, given their belief that humans mistreated the earth following the death of Pan. Grover goes so far as to play a version of Deer Hunter...where the deer shoot humans, and he laughs gleefully while they do so. Even Hades, the Lord of the freakin' Dead, thinks this, as the events of the 20th-century led to overcrowding in the Underworld even though those events were caused by squabbling demigods, not humans. Percy also shows shades of this at first, given that he's dealt with nothing but bullies and his abusive step-father for his whole life. He grows out of this over the course of the first book however, growing to care for the safety of an innocent family and seeing his step-father as one of the worst examples of humanity rather than being par for the course.
  • Humans Are Morons: Given the setting, the vast majority humans come off as this, incapable of accomplishing anything greater than desk-jockeying without divine parentage. It doesn't help that the gods are continually messing with mortal minds, affecting their emotions, blinding them to the existence of the supernatural, and making humans see everything in a form they are comfortable with.
    • Your Mileage May Vary on whether mortals are incapable of accomplishing anything without divine parentage. As an example, Isaac Newton is legendary because he was a demigod. But there are all the people you've never heard of who he said laid all his groundwork. And why have you never heard of them? They were mortal!
  • Humans Are Special: Most aren't particularly notable, but many have traits (i.e., a high level of creativity, stunning looks, above-average intelligence) that make them desirable to the gods. YMMV on if that's a good thing, especially given Zeus' way of...erm, treating those he takes a shine to.
  • Human Mom, Nonhuman Dad: Percy, Clarisse, Thalia, Luke, and the opposite in the case of some other half-bloods.
  • I Can Still Fight: Annabeth and Pollux in The Last Olympian.
  • I Cannot Self-Terminate: Luke needs to destroy himself to defeat Kronos, but can't do it without Percy giving him Annabeth's knife.
  • Idiot Hero: Percy is… not the sharpest blade on the weapons rack…
  • I Found You Like This: Percy collapses after fighting the Minotaur outside of Camp Half-Blood. After winning the fight, he awakens inside the camp being tended to by Annabeth Chase.
  • In Which a Trope Is Described: Every chapter likes to explain exactly what happens in said chapter, usually in sarcastic and witty ways: "I Accidentally Vaporize My Pre-Algebra Teacher", "A God Buys Us Cheeseburgers", "Grover Buys a Wedding Dress", "Pigs Fly"...
  • I Gave My Word: An oath on the River Styx is magically binding. Unless you are a god.
    • Gods are supposed to be bound by it as well and if they break their word exiled from Olympus for a decade without receiving any divine food. Of course, Zeus being the god in charge of enforcing oaths and not exactly a great role model he decided to not enforce the consequences on himself and the same with Poseidon.
    • In fact, a promise is not binding unless sworn on the River Styx, something taken advantage of several times in the series.
    • But, according to the books, Zeus is punished through Talia, who is turned into a tree. Arguably, Poseidon's punishment may be due to Percy being the child of the prophecy.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: Riordan didn't bother with some of the minor half-bloods, but the worst offender has to be Demeter's daughter. Demeter is the goddess of grain, fertility, and harvesting. Her daughter is Katie Gardner.) Grover, who has a big fixation on nature (he's a satyr, it's his job), has 'grove' in his name, along with his surname, Underwood.
    • Also, in the case of Silena Beauregard (daughter of Aphrodite) whose surname means beautiful gaze in French.
    • Don't forget Conner and Travis Stoll. The sons of Hermes, god of theives. Percy even points this one out it's so obvious.
      • Maybe the gods are especially intrigued by people with thematically appropriate surnames and single them out for affairs?
        • It might be interesting to point out that in the end of The Lightning Thief's dedications, there is a Travis Stoll listed. He was one of the students who read the draft.
          • Conner and Travis Stoll are real brothers who at one point were in Riordan's class. Charles Beckendorf, albiet with a different appearence, was also a student.
    • Also, Percy is able to sneak these by people who are more familiar with Greek mythology. A shining example from the fourth book... "Red cattle. The cattle of the sun. They're sacred to Apollo." "Holy cows?" "Exactly. But what are they doing--"
  • 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.
    • 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 surgery, etc. And 5th Avenue is a disaster.
  • Inferred Survival: Even after the climax, it's revealed that Kronos is still out there somewhere, as he is immortal and cannot die. It is said that Kronos might be scattered so thin across the world that he might not be able form a consciousness again, but what would be the fun in that coming true?
  • Interspecies Romance: Where would a series based on Greek Mythology be without it?
  • It Was a Gift: Good gifts, cursed gifts, it's all good.
  • Jedi Mind Trick: Manipulating the Mist.
  • Jerk Jock: The Ares Cabin in general, and Clarisse in particular.
  • Kid Hero: Just about every single half-blood in this book. Just about.
  • Kissing Cousins: Percy's father, Poseidon, is Annabeth's great uncle, making the two of them second cousins. However, considering the giant cluster-fuck of incest that is Greek mythology, this doesn't come up at all.
  • Lamarck Was Right: The big three weren't born as rulers of their domains, they divided the world up after defeating their father. In addition, gods apparently don't have DNA. As such the heroes inheriting some of their parent's powers, especially when it comes to children of the big three, is an example of this.
    • Does it count as Lamarck Was Right if it's explicitly a divine legancy instead of being biological?
  • Leeroy Jenkins: And how!
  • Let's Get Dangerous: In The Last Olympian, it's calm, quiet Sally Jackson and Paul Blofis. Who thought that two humans, one of whom can't even see through the Mist, could kick so much monster butt?
  • Libation for the Dead: Nico must offer food and drink to consult spirits. One chapter in Battle of the Labyrinth is even titled "Nico Buys Happy Meals For The Dead." Typically he uses french fries and coke.
    • Midas, his Treacherous Advisor, complains that it's traditional to use animal blood for necromancy. Nico tells him to shut up.
  • L Is for Dyslexia: Half-bloods are all dyslexic, since their brains are "hard-wired" to read Ancient Greek instead of English.
  • Like a Badass Out of Hell: In The Last Olympian after Percy gets the Curse of Achilles in the Underworld, he faces off againgst Hades' army and wins.
  • Living Labyrinth: Daedalus's Labyrinth grows over time.
  • Load-Bearing Hero: Percy and Annabeth both pull this one, except they're holding up the sky, technically making them load-bearing heroes for the entire planet.

Artemis (preparing to launch Atlas back under the sky): Get ready!
Percy (holding up the sky): Aaaaaargh - ow…

  • Locked Into Strangeness: Percy and Annabeth get matching gray streaks in their hair after holding up the weight of the sky in The Titan's Curse.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Percy, for much of the series. Sally and Paul, too. And of course poor Mr. Chase in Frisco.
  • Lotus Eater Machine: Lotus Hotel & Casino, named after the Trope Namer.
  • Mad Oracle: May Castellan.
  • Made of Iron: Luke and Percy. And Achilles and the Nemean Lion.
  • Magical Negro: Averted quite nicely:
    • The centaur Chiron originally appears as a wheelchair-bound Latin teacher. But early in the series, we learn that his wheelchair is merely a Hammerspace device to conceal his horse legs. Although he's Percy's mentor, he doesn't merely serve and glorify Percy—he's plenty capable of his own badassery.
    • Tyson originally appears to be mentally challenged AND homeless. Turns out he's a Cyclops, and his intelligence is naturally lower than a human's. Like Chiron, he doesn't merely serve the humans in the series, and is a complete Badass. He always keeps his Cloudcuckoolander and ditzy tendencies, though.
    • Played straight when Apollo briefly appears as a homeless man.
  • Mango Of Discord: Hilariously used by the Stoll brothers to pull a prank of the Aphrodite cabin in the Demigod Files.
  • Marked to Die: Zoe realized from the beginning who the one meant to die by a parent's hand was.
  • Matter of Life and Death: Words spoken by Rachel to convince her father that Percy is in danger.
  • Meaningful Name: Most of the more minor half-bloods have names which reflect their divine parent. Hephaestus has a kid whose last name is Mason, Apollo has sons whose last names are Yew and Fletcher...
    • A rather tragic example: "Zoe" means "Life".
    • Also Rachel Elizabeth Dare, in a Steven Ulysses Perhero-ish way. And boy, does Rick Riordan feel proud of that particular idea.
      • Her initals are RED, and she has red hair. Probably coincidence.
    • People might not necessarily remember Mrs. O'Leary, but they sure remember her cow.
    • Perseus Jackson, people!
  • Mega Neko: The Nemean Lion
  • Moment of Awesome: The children of Hephaestus are skilled with technology and make fireworks the size of Patriot missles. Which make for massive, animated re-enactments of the Battle of Thermopylae, Hercules slaying the Nemean Lion, and George Washington crossing the Delaware. And they launch them all off on the last day of camp.
  • Monumental Battle: The Gateway Arch in the first book.
  • Monumental Damage: Again, the Gateway Arch. The Chimera burns a hole in it.
    • "Great, we just blowtorched a national monument."
  • More Hero Than Thou: Inverted by The Titan's Curse Percy practically begs Artemis to let him hold up the sky for her because she could fight better than he could.
  • A Mythology Is True
  • Named Weapons: Anaklusmos/Riptide (Percy's pen-sword) and Backbiter (Luke's sword).
    • Subverted hysterically with Clarisse's "Maimer" (electric spear), which all the campers call "Lamer".
  • Narrative Profanity Filter: Both English and Ancient Greek.
  • Nature Spirit: The nymphs and dryads.
  • Neurodiversity Is Supernatural: Demigodhood causes dyslexia and ADHD.
  • Never Found the Body: More like Never Found the Disembodied Evil Titan Soul...
    • A truer example: Bianca's body was never recovered, nor is Michael Yew's.
      • Then again, it's not like you need to find the bodies when Hades or his son can tell you whether or not they really died.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Herod: Kind of. By killing Maria di Angelo in an attempt to kill Nico and Bianca, Zeus just gave Nico a reason to hate and want to destroy the gods, which is what Zeus was trying to prevent. Luckily, Nico didn't act on it. But Hades, in anger at his mistress being killed, cursed the Oracle so she goes all crazy. Luke's mom volunteers to be the Oracle but gets driven mad. Luke feels left alone and resents his parents as a result
  • No Eye in Magic: Percy, Grover and Annabeth encounter the actual Medusa from Greek Myth. Percy sees her through a glass gazing ball, so he doesn't get Petrified. In The Film of the Book, he uses an iPod Touch to glimpse ahead before turning corners for the same reason.
  • Noodle Incident: One of the key events of a year at Camp Half-Blood prior to the series involves a centaur in a prom dress; Annabeth remarks, "Now that was a weird summer." Later on in the series, Percy mentions a very lost pizza delivery boy turning up on the enchanted hidden beach by the camp--"but that's another story."
    • This line from The Sword of Hades

Nico (to Persephone): Family spat? You turned me into a dandelion!

    • This is sometimes used in an individual book to refer to events that happened in previous ones without giving the details away. For example, from Battle Of The Labyrinth, in a conversation between Percy and his mom;

"I told them you were all right," my mom said, but she sounded like the weight of the sky had just been lifted off her shoulders - and believe me, I know firsthand how that feels.

  • No Matter How Much I Beg: In Book 2, Annabeth wants to hear the Sirens, but doesn't want to get killed. She then asks Percy to tie her up and never let her go, so Percy fills his ears with wax so he can't hear the Sirens and her pleas. Unfortunately, she still has her knife, so she eventually escaped. Percy comes after her and manages to grab her before she could drown. Also, he realizes that she can't hear them underwater, so he creates a giant air bubble for them to stay in until the song's over.
  • No One Could Survive That: Luke's 50-foot fall in Titan's Curse, which, of course he did survive.
  • Normally I Would Be Dead Now: Played so straight it hurts.
  • Not a Date: Percy insists his planned afternoon with Annabeth at the start of Battle of the Labyrinth is not a date, though his mom thinks otherwise.
  • The Nothing After Death: The Asphodel Fields of Greek mythology, the most widely populated part of the Underworld.

Grover: "Imagine standing in a wheat field in Kansas. Forever."

  • Official Couple: By the end of the series, there's Percy and Annabeth, Clarisse and Chris, and Grover and Juniper, among others.
  • Offing the Offspring: In book three: one shall fall by a parent's hand. (It was Zoe Nightshade.)
  • Oh My Gods: Practically the trope namer.
  • One-Winged Angel: Subverted Kronos is defeated before he can show his true form and make his enemies despair.
    • Ares does pull one at the end of the first book, but only after already losing the fight from getting stabbed in the heel. He was about to go kill Percy for sure when Kronos evidently changed his mind and he settled for cursing Percy and going somewhere to heal instead, turning into his full divine form to warp somewhere else. But looking at it would have killed Percy.
  • Outgrown Such Silly Superstitions: Percy attempts to tell this to Dionysus. He is promptly set straight.
    • A very interesting example shortly thereafter: Dionysus tells Percy humanity will do this...with science.
  • Overly Long Gag: In Titans Curse- anything involving the word DAM(N)
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Silena leading the Ares cabin to battle in the last book. Even Lampshaded by Clarisse.

"Seriously, not one of you noticed?!"

    • This is why you never underestimate Aphrodite. Her daughter could have easily influenced the Ares cabin's love for war and loyalty to their campmates--love is capable of blinding one to the truth, after all. Which makes this a bit of Fridge Brilliance.
    • It is also implied that by that point Clarisse's stubbornness was the only thing keeping the Ares cabin from entering the war. So her cabin-mates were happy to make any excuse to come to the battlefield. Saying "we fell for the disguise" was as convenient an excuse as any.
  • Parental Abandonment: Every half-blood is abandoned by their immortal parents and gets occasional visits if they're lucky. Lots of half-bloods never even learn who their divine parent is.
    • Also averted by the mortal parents like Sally Jackson and later Paul Blofis, and Annabeth's parents.
      • Not so averted by Luke's mom May. She's there, but she ain't there. Thalia's mortal mom doesn't sound like she would have won any parenting awards either, not even when she was alive.
  • Parental Favoritism: Greek gods are genetically guilty of this.
  • Patchwork Kids: You'd be amazed by how many fanfics feature Percy/Annabeth crosses that have one gray eye and one green eye, blond hair with black streaks, green eyes with flecks of gray, etc.
  • Pet the Dog: Dionysus, who's quite a grouch and always seems happy to put Percy and his friends down, helps out Grover in The Battle of the Labyrinth, supporting him when he announced that the god Pan was dead. He also showed genuine grief for his son Castor when he died, and helped cure half-blood Chris who had previously gone insane. It's also subtly implied that he's a hell of a lot more pleasant when he's around his wife, who he genuinely loves (despite the standard Greek god one night stands applying).
    • Ares gets one as well, when he gives a So Proud of You line to his daughter Clarisse.
    • Which is made sweeter and/or kinda sad when it's been made pretty clear he's literally abusive and Clarisse was still worried she'd get hit or blamed somehow.
  • Physical God: Well, yeah.
  • The Plan: Kronos pulls off quite a few.
  • The Power of Friendship
  • Power Trio: Typical for anything Greek, since three is a sacred number. So many examples, but here's just a few:
    • Obviously, the Big Three: Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades.
    • Then there's their kids, Thalia, Percy, and Nico (they start off numbering four, but Bianca gets offed fairly quickly and before her parentage is even known).
    • Thalia, Luke, and Annabeth.
    • It's a camp rule that any hero who sets out on a quest is allowed to take two and only two companions, specifically because three is a good number. The rule is broken twice, the first time with disastrous consequences.
      • It was actually broken only once—the first time more than three people travel on a quest was due to the prophecy. Camp rules don't apply when the Oracle tells you what's what.
    • The most obvious one: Percy, Annabeth, and Grover. They're the three main ones for most of the quests and are really close.
  • Product Placement: A freakish amount in the first book. Burger King! Coca-Cola! Oreos Double Stuf cookies! Even Lunchables! And that just scratches the surface.
  • Prophecies Are Always Right
  • Prophecy Twist: One in every book. In fact, it wouldn't be Percy Jackson without 'em.
  • Psychic Dreams for Everyone: Well, almost everyone. How nifty.
    • It's even Lampshaded. During a war, Percy and another half-blood have an exchange about how they need to sleep but really don't want to. Percy, in narration, explains that demigods' dreams suck, since they're frequently visions and prophecies and other psychic junk which isn't fun at all, and the more tense things are the worse the dreams are. For a while, Percy even had Kronos showing up in his dreams to taunt him (and Kronos is good at it, too.)
  • Punny Name: Cassandra Dare (as opposed to Cassandra Truth)
  • Put on a Bus: Thalia, the Hunters, Chris. The implication is that they're off having adventures, just like Percy and his friends.
  • Really Seven Hundred Years Old: All the gods, plus several demi-gods.
  • Rebellious Prisoner:
    • Percy's mother acts like this when Hades takes her hostage, mistakenly believing that Percy stole his helm. She tells her son not to worry about her. To his credit, Hades is revealed to be a Reasonable Authority Figure; when Percy proves he was framed by Ares and Luke while returning the helm, Hades returns her to the mortal world unharmed.
    • It runs in the family; Percy also reacts this way whenever he is captured or incapacitated. When Luke corners him, Annabeth and Tyson about the Golden Fleece, Percy honestly says that he doesn't have it because he gave it to Claire to deliver, since this was her quest in the first place and so she can win her father's approval, and proceeds to do an Engineered Public Confession that Luke poisoned Thalia's tree, clearing counselor Chiron's name for the deed. Later, when Hades as a Cruel Mercy imprisons Percy to spare him from the final battle and have his son Nico take Percy's place in the Prophecy, Percy is fighting the whole time and nearly strangles Nico when the latter comes to free him. Nico did betray him to his father, but under the condition that Percy wouldn't be hurt. He also admits he should have known Hades would use Exact Words. In the sequel series, when Hera wipes his memories and uses him for a pawn in a new scheme, Percy during a dream tosses her into a river after getting his memories back.
  • Recycled IN SPACE: Although it's done well in this case. Many of the plots or subplots are the major arcs of well-known Greek myths. Sea of Monsters is Jason and the Argonauts and the Oddessey stuck together. Silena's fight against the monster in the final book and Clarisse's subsequent beatdown of the monster that killed her is Patroclus stealing Achilles' armor and Achilles' fight with Hector, complete with dragging the corpse around behind her chariot. Riordan was quite clever in working the myths into his books.
    • This is Justified in the fifth book, when Prometheus says that patterns repeat themselves in the world.
    • This also comes up in The Kane Chronicles, where the reason gods want mortal hosts is that they can change those patterns.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Daedalus in The Battle of the Labyrinth. Silena, Ethan, and Luke in The Last Olympian.
  • Reformed but Rejected: Nico di Angelo, until the very end.
  • Refusing Paradise: Percy Jackson refuses the offer to become lieutenant to his father, Poseidon, and gain eternal immortality. He refuses it on the grounds that he's about to enter high school and he doesn't want to lose the possibilities his mortal life gives him, but it's heavily implied it's so he can stay with Annabeth.
  • Riddling Sphinx: When the half-bloods meet a sphinx in the Labyrinth in Battle of the Labyrinth, it tries to administer a multiple-choice standardized test, with mundane trivia questions. Annabeth, who was expecting a riddle that would test her cleverness, is not amused.
  • Romantic False Lead: Luke is one for Annabeth. Rachel is a False Lead for Percy.
  • Running Gag: "He cursed in Ancient Greek" and "I said something really intelligent like..."
  • School Saved My Life: Mr. Bruner points this out about Percy's Greek History before Percy knows anything. Then it is taken to the extreme when he goes to Camp Half Blood. Played straight for almost everyone.
  • Science Is Wrong: Among other things, the seasons are caused by Persephone moving between the Underworld and Olympus, not the Earth's tilt, and global warming is simply Zeus being ornery.
  • The Scottish Trope: Saying "The Furies" or the names of any god or titan causes thunder to rumble (and apparently, gives power to that god/titan).
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Zeus killed Maria di Angelo in order to prevent Big Three children so that Kronos won't try to take over the universe. Hades, in anger at his mistress being killed, cursed the Oracle so she goes all crazy. Luke's mom volunteers to be the Oracle but gets driven mad. Luke feels left alone and resents his parents as a result. Kronos uses this as an opportunity to manipulate Luke into helping him rise. Zeus just caused the prophecy to take place in the worst way possible.
    • That was kind of the beauty of it. You can't avoid fate. The only way to not fulfill a prophecy is to not hear it, because once you do, it will happen.
  • Semi-Divine: Most of the main characters are demigods.
  • Sequel Hook: The prophecy at the end of The Last Olympian.
  • Sequel Series: The Heroes of Olympus
  • Shipper on Deck: Aphrodite is a big Percy/Annabeth shipper. Though (understandably) she thinks life is a soap opera (Lampshaded by her beau, Ares), and so assures Percy that she won't let things be easy for them ( unintentionally lampshaded by Annabeth herself at the end), with plenty of Wangst, indecision, etc.
  • Ship Tease: Thalia/Luke. Two best friends who ran away together for roughly three years. Then Luke joining the Titans because one of his reasons was because of her death. The Titan's Curse also has a lot of moments where you find out that Thalia once considered joining the Hunters, but did not want to because she would be away from Luke. Then there was their final battle in The Titan's Curse which implied quite a bit.
    • Also, Annabeth/Luke. It started out as a crush on Annabeth's side. Annabeth also defends Luke many, many times in the books. In The Last Olympian, Thalia said that she [Annabeth] always saw Luke as her hero.
    • And there is so many Percy/Annabeth moments that it could make a shipper faint.
  • Ship Sinking: Thalia/Luke by the end of The Titan's Curse. Good luck, shippers.
    • Though fans still ship them. There is the whole breaking her vow thing there. And Thalia seems to generally care for him, still. It did seem like Luke was shunning Thalia by the fifth book when he went to Annabeth's house and said that Thalia would never leave the Hunters. But by The Last Olympian, it implies that Thalia enjoys being part of the Hunters. She's the freakin' lieutenant.
  • Shout-Out: Too many shout outs to Greek Mythology to list. The author really has Shown Their Work
  • Shown Their Work: If a monster is named in the books, it exists in Greek Mythology exactly like it does in the books. References to the Illiad and The Odyssey abound. if there's a place described that exists in real life you can recognize it from descriptions. Even epithets are alluded to (grey eyed Athena for instance). Riordan has clearly read the Theogony, the Illiad, The Odyssey, and a number of other minor books including Ovid's Metamorphoses. It shows up with bits like Apollo mentioning he really hates it when girls get turned into trees, or a thermos that perfectly mimics Odysseus' bag of winds.
    • Rick Riordan had been an editor of mythology books in the past - and it shows. He even brings other mentions into its sequel series, bringing in "Roman aspects".
  • Snicket Warning Label: Percy warns the reader to put the book down if any of the descriptions of a demigod sound familiar about them, because if they figure it out, the monsters will find them.
  • So My Kid Can Read: Literally.
  • So Proud of You
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Canon example. The two first gods of earth and sky are Uranus/Ouranos/Ouranous and Gaia/Gaea.
  • Steven Ulysses Perhero: Several demigod children, including Travis and Connor "Stoll", the sons of Hermes, god of thieves, and Katie "Gardner" and Miranda "Gardiner" both daughters of Demeter, goddess of Agriculture.
  • Stuffed in The Fridge: Seems to be a recurring theme in Hades's family, what with being the God of the Underworld and all.
  • Summon to Hand
  • Superhero Summer Camp
  • Super Reflexes: This is given as the reason why many of the demigods end up diagnosed with ADHD, because of their enhanced "Battle Reflexes". There is a similar explanation of dyslexia being the result of having a brain hardwired for ancient Greek; both were written in for the benefit of the authors son, who has both ADHD and dyslexia.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: In the first book, Ares does this.

Ares: "I am the god of war! I take orders from no one! I don't have dreams!"
Percy: "Who said anything about dreams?"

  • Take That: The Sphinx scene in Battle of the Labyrinth takes quite a jab at standardized testing.

"Think? How am I supposed to test whether you can think?"

  • Theme Naming: Sometimes coinciding with with Incredibly Lame Pun. Other examples include Annabeth, daughter of Athena (and whose name contains 'Athena' plus a few extra letters), Clarisse, daughter of Ares (same). Other examples include Nico de Angelo and, possibly, Ethan Nakamura ("village in the middle," i.e. divided loyalties).
  • Thicker Than Water
  • Time Master: Kronos is an evil example of this.
  • Title Drop: In book 5 Hestia says: "I am here because when all else fails, when all the other mighty gods have gone to war, I am all that's left. Hearth. Home. I am the last Olympian."
  • Together in Death: Silena and Beckendorf.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Nearly everyone at times, but a particularly egregious example is when they enter Hephaestus' junkyard and after explicitly being told not to touch or take anything, everyone does exactly that. Bianca's death was likely only because she drew the short straw offscreen.
    • It's even worse for Grover. When told not to touch anything in the junkyard, his immediate response is to pick up a golden crown and bite a piece off!
  • Took a Level in Badass: Nico, in The Titan's Curse after he realizes he is so much more awesome than he thought.
    • Also Percy, after taking a dive in the river Styx.
  • Totally Radical: Lots and lots of it, probably because it is told from the first-person narrative of a young teen, but actually written by a 40-something.
    • Intentionally used in universe. This is how Percy realizes the true nature of the Lotus Casino, the kid he's playing with uses old slang.
  • Troubled but Cute: Nico di Angelo, after his sister Bianca dies.
  • True Sight: certain characters can see through the mist.
  • Tsundere: Several characters, the most notable being Annabeth (who is initially mean to Percy - whether this is due to him being a son of Poseidon or the fact they end up hooking up is unknown) and Clarisse (The Stolen Chariot side-story reveals her worst fear to be her father's anger).
  • Trailers Always Spoil: If you see the cover of the first book, or the movie posters or trailers, and have any amount of Greek Mythology knowledge at all, you'll know that Percy is Poseidon's kid as soon as half-bloods are first mentioned.
    • Actually, the trailer states upfront that he is the son of Poseidon. The line "Yeah, I think I am the son of Poseidon" was included in most advertisements as well.
  • The Unchosen One: Percy acted on the prophecy thinking he was the hero, but it was actually Luke.
    • Actually played with as no one realized there were two demigod heroes of the prophecy: one was Luke who had to die for things to be set right and the other was Percy who's choice to give Luke the knife saved Olympus rather then destroy it.
  • Underwater Kiss: Percy and Annabeth. Cue happiness.
  • Unperson: When Zoë Nightshade betrayed her sisters the Hesperides by helping Hercules, they kicked her out and any mentions of her were blotted out from recorded myths.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: After The Titan's Curse, Percy and Annabeth both have matching streaks of grey in their hair from the effort of holding up the sky. This is never mentioned again, and none of the mortals who show up later notice this. Maybe they dyed it?
    • Hair grows out, so maybe after a year the color returned to normal and they could cut the grey streak out.
  • Uranus Is Showing: Averted because he is called Ouranos.
  • We Are as Mayflies: Humans, from the perspective of the gods or any of the other mythological races.
  • We Can Rule Together: Luke offers this to Annabeth and Thalia
  • Weirdness Censor: The Mist.
  • Weirdness Magnet: Half-bloods have a 'scent' that mythological creatures (mostly monsters) can pick out and follow. If the half-blood isn't strong and/or isn't aware that something's weird about them, the scent is weak, enough to make monsters suspsicious enough to check it out but not enough to be certain. A demigod realizing he or she is not normal intensifies the scent and can make monsters certain enough to attack; after that, the demigod can basically count on monsters seeking them out in the mortal world and attacking every now and then. At the summer camp/safe haven, most of the camp activities involve combat, fitness, and survival skills for good reason.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: Happens with plenty of half-bloods, but Nico, in particular.
    • Percy, too. Grover points this out in the first book.

Grover (to Percy) "You're glad your dad is alive. You feel good that he's claimed you, and part of you wants to make him proud. That's why you mailed Medusa's head to Olympus. You wanted him to notice what you'd done."

    • This is also a major driving force behind Luke's actions.
  • What Do You Mean It's Not Heinous?: The Lotus Eater Casino - you never age, never have to pay for everything, and party into eternity. The horror!
    • Less for Percy and crew, since they're on a time sensitive mission at the time.
    • Actually, it's pretty scary if you leave after being in there for years. Everyone you know is either dead or in the old folks home.
    • Probably it's pretty heinous for the friends and families that never see them again, or for the kids who actually had plans for their lives that included doing more than getting high and partying.
  • Why We Can't Have Nice Things: Percy, in the case of Gabe's car, Paul Blofis's car, Meriwether College Prep's gym, the St. Louis Arch, Alcatraz, Mount St. Helens, Goode Middle School's band room...New York City...
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Percy is much more willing to kill monsters than humans. Justified because monsters come back to life eventually.
    • He also can't kill humans, at least with Riptide.
  • Wicked Stepmother: Subverted: Annabeth makes her stepmother out to be all sorts of resentful for bringing monsters around, but when we actually meet Mr. and Mrs. Chase...
    • Smelly Gabe is a male version. Paul Blofis is a male subversion.
  • Wig, Dress, Accent: Silena Beauregard's Clarisse disguise in the last book. Fooled at least the important people. It is explained that this worked specifically because they wanted to believe it.
  • Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: Zoë replaces all of her (second person?) pronouns with this. Told to quit it more than once:

Thalia: For you. Not thee.
Zoë: But you use you for the beginning of a sentence.
Thalia: And the end. Not thou. Not thee. Just you.
Zoë: [throwing her hands up in the air] I hate this language. It changes too often!

    • This is an especially irritating example given that Zoë is using the thee/thou set of pronouns wrong. Though largely discarded now, they are the English familiar pronouns, like the tú set of Spanish pronouns. Arguably Fridge Brilliance, given that Zoë is not a native English speaker.
      • It also makes sense for her to use the familiar forms; she has little to no respect for heroes, so why would she use a more polite form of address, especially since they can't tell the difference anyway?
  • You Can See Me?: Percy is shocked when Rachael can see both his sword and the skeletons chasing him.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: Not often, but there are a few instances.
    • It's lampshaded at one point. Annabeth tells the gods how trying to fight a prophecy almost never works (Yeah, Oedipus, ask your dad how that worked out), and the gods, who don't like being told ANYTHING very much, concede the point.
  • You Monster!: Subverted.

Annabeth: You're a monster.
Geryon: What gave it away? Was it the three chests?


Tropes which only apply to the film

  • Adaptational Villainy: Unlike the books, which averted Everybody Hates Hades, he is a villain in the movie, although not the main villain, who is Luke.
  • Adaptation-Induced Plothole: In mythology, Medusa was killed by Perseus, yet turns up alive in present day here. The books explained that monsters don't die permanently, and can actually re-form themselves over time. Thanks to this little tidbit being left out, many mythology buffs who saw the film ended up scratching their heads when she showed up.
    • Also, the absence of the Mist.
    • Luke's plot in general. His entire plan was to have Percy take the bolt to Olympus - but in the movie he's shown to give them a map to lead them straight into danger. Not only does it make no sense, it actually sign posts him as the villain. Not to mention the fact that in the movie, he's the one who gives them a way to Hades.
      • No, Luke's plan was to get the bolt to Hades. He provides exactly what Percy thinks he needs, a way into and a way out of Hades, but only three pearls not the four he would need if his quest succeeded. If we assume that Luke doesn't know the exact specifics about where the Pearls are (ie, doesn't know about the Medusa, Lotus Eaters etc) then it makes perfect sense: Give Percy what he needs to get into Hades, and enough of an escape route that he thinks he's safe. His only real mistake was not anticipating that Persephone would turn on Hades, and see "Sadly Mythtaken" below, he had good reason to suspect that wouldn't be an issue.
  • Affably Evil: Medusa, more or less.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: Film Grover. He's good for a laugh for anyone with a passing knowledge of Greek satyrs. Couldn't they have just given him a loincloth?
  • Black Vikings: Grover could pass. After all, he isn't ancient. Persephone on the other hand is pushing the political correctness scale a bit.
  • Black Dude Dies First: Grover. More like Black Dude Decides To Stay Behind In Hell Hades And Make Out With Satan's Hades' Wife Till The Others Find More Pearls To Rescue Him. Or Zeus moves his arse and handwaves the whole thing.
  • Composite Character: Though it has never been stated outright, movie Annabeth has Clarisse' first major scene, personality, and hair color. She's really more Clarisse than she is Annabeth.
    • Film!Luke takes over Ares' role as the person who duped Percy into taking the Bolt to Hades, as well as the person who's serving Kronos.
  • Dawson Casting: Played with in case of the lead character: in-story, Percy was aged from 12 to 16 to match Logan Lerman's age. This is not as bad as many other examples, but many fans weren't happy with this decision. Also, wrap your head around this: Annabeth is about 13 in the book, 16 in the movie, and Daddario is 24 in real life!
    • Daddario and Brandon T. Jackson (Grover)'s most notable roles were adults prior to this film; Daddario in White Collar, Jackson in Tropic Thunder.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: A particularly Egregious example occurs at the end of the film. So, Percy, your step-dad was a Jerkass, so surely he deserves to die by being turned into stone by Medusa's head, right?
    • To be fair Percy put Medusa's head in a fridge with chain's and a sign that says not to open it. Not his fault his step-dad didn't listen.
    • This did happen in the end of the book to thou albeit in a different way. Gabe is demanding snacks for his poker game and Percy's mother more or less lobs a Medusa Grenade onto the table killing Gabe and his poker friends. She ends up on the news showing off her "modern art."
    • Your Mileage May Vary as to whether this was disproportionate, as it's revealed at the end of the book that Gabe was physically abusing Sally when Percy wasn't there, and nothing in the movie says this isn't so. In fact, the same is implied.
  • Dull Surprise: Percy seems to handle the death disappearance of his mother very well...
  • Estrogen Brigade Bait: Logan Lerman makes his bid at becoming a teen sex symbol.
  • Everybody Hates Hades: In this story even Persephone hates his guts. So much, that every now and again, she takes a large number of secret mortal lovers right under his nose. This is meant to be the same Persephone who grew to genuinely love Hades in the myths (Hades only cheated on her one time, a saint compared with his brothers, and the woman who he did it with? Persephone had her trampled to death).
    • Crosses over with Sadly Mythaken - after all, one of Persephone's many epithets was Kore - the Maiden.
  • Faux Action Girl: Annabeth. Despite supposedly being the best fighter in the camp, she's easily beaten by Percy once he's told how to use his powers, is completely helpless against Medusa, isn't able to recognise when they've been enticed by the lotus eaters until after they escape (due to Percy), and does nothing during the final battle.
  • The Film of the Book
  • Gorgeous Gorgon: Medusa, played by Uma Thurman.
  • G-Rated Drug: The Lotus Hotel in the film. While in the book, it was the arcade games that kept you there, the film has them literally eat lotus blossoms during their stay. This is treated as them getting high.

Annabeth: I think I figured it out, I know why we're here.
Percy: Why are we here?
Annabeth: To HAVE FUN!

  • Hey, It's That Guy!: The movie seems to be full of this, starring the likes of The Bride and Boromir/|006 and James Bond. Not to mention rather than going to Percy, it seems Poseidon could have just had Titus Pullo handle things like normal.
  • Informed Ability: We are told that Annabeth is a wise combat schemer, probably a combat pragmatist, but in the movie she offers no actual aid to the heroes and just kind of acts like a tag-along child with specks of damsel in distress. All the combat and ideas on how to solve problems are given by Percy the only exception being the idea to keep Medusa's head for later.
  • Informed Flaw: Percy's ADHD (apparently severe enough to put him into a special school) doesn't seem to affect his life in any way.
  • MacGuffin: The three pearls they need to get home.
  • Mushroom Samba: The effect of the lotus blossoms, apparently.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Percy slicing off the Hydra's heads, not knowing that it would come back with ten instead of five.
  • Product Placement: Apple products. Also, when Percy, Annabeth, and Grover go to see Luke on how to get into the Underworld, he's playing Modern Warfare 2, more specifically the "Favela" map on the OpFor side. Does that count as foreshadowing?
  • The Queen's Latin / Aliens of London: The gods all have British accents in the movie.
  • Race Lift: This was done to Grover, Hephaestus, and Persephone.
    • Though to be honest none of them ever had their race specifically stated in the books.
      • Untrue, Grover is stated as having brown curly hair and white skin, kinda different than the actual actor, hmm?
      • True for Hephaestus and Persephone though, who even if they had been described as particularly pale, are still DNA-less gods who possess the ability to change their appearance. There's no reason that any of the gods or their children had to be white; they don't live in Ancient Greece anymore.
  • Rock Me, Asmodeus: Invoked. Hades has the appearance and mannerisms of a Heavy Metal star.
  • Running Gag: Grover getting flirted with by hot girls, from the camp to the underworld counts.
  • Sadly Mythtaken: The story centers around a summer solstice deadline, but Persephone is shown living in the underworld with Hades—something that's supposed to happen during the fall and winter months.
    • Actually there's a reasonable explanation for this one. Persephone knows that there will be a war if the lightning bolt isn't returned. If we assume she also knows that Hades has made a deal with Percy then it's quite reasonable for her to have dropped back to Hades specifically to sour the deal if Percy tries to go through with it. As she says in the movie, she's got plenty of incentive to make sure it doesn't happen.
    • Also, it depends on which part of Greece is telling the Persephone myth; The northern part of Greece says that Persephone is away in the fall and winter months, with her mother Demeter showing her displeasure with the season of winter, while the southern (hotter) parts of Greece explain that Persephone is away for Summer and that Demeter is punishing everyone with the season of Summer, which was unbearably hot and painful for that region.
  • Sassy Black Woman: Oh, Persephone...
  • Shirtless Scene: Remember those two scenes with Percy swimming, which was the first thing shown in the commercial? It wasn't in the book.
  • Shout-Out: While passing the river of lost dreams thing in Hades, one can see a little sled floating by.
  • Title Drop: Count the number of times they say some variation of "Lightning Thief" in this movie.
  • Uncle Tomfoolery: Grover
  • World of Snark