|YMMV • Radar • Quotes • (Funny • Heartwarming • Awesome) • Fridge • Characters • Fanfic Recs • Nightmare Fuel • Shout Out • Plot • Tear Jerker • Headscratchers • Trivia • WMG • Recap • Ho Yay • Image Links • Memes • Haiku • Laconic • Source • Setting|
Xena: Warrior Princess starred Lucy Lawless as an amazonian leather-clad warrior-woman fighting monsters while battling inner demons based on sins from her warlord past. Xena originated on Hercules: The Legendary Journeys as a Worthy Opponent to the title character, and became so popular with fans that she got her own show.
Immediately after her split from Hercules, she gained a friend and traveling companion in Gabrielle. Gabrielle was an aspiring bard who wanted to chronicle Xena's adventures. They became Heterosexual Life Partners who were the greatest source of Les Yay the 90s could offer. Word of God goes back and forth on how "official" their relationship was, with conflicting sources.
Xena had many things in common with Hercules, even sharing certain plot lines between the two series. The one main difference was that while Hercules was a bit hesitant to kill, Xena had no such qualms and would regularly kill enemies. The show was equal parts satire, dark drama and lowbrow comedy, often in completely nonsensical combinations. Anachronism Stew was par for the course.
The series ran from 1995-2001, and at one point was the most popular show in the world, surpassing Baywatch for the title.
The series also had several comic book spin-offs by Topps Comics and Dark Horse Comics (including two crossovers with Evil Dead), which ended following the show's end. However, in 2007, Dynamite Entertainment acquired the rights to the comics and published two story arcs (Contest of Pantheons and Dark Xena), which essentially act as an Alternate Continuity and a Fix Fic, ignoring many of Season Five's plot developments and discarding the series finale entirely.
Produced by Renaissance Pictures.
Has a characters page.
Xena: Warrior Princess provides examples of the following tropes:
- Action Dress Rip
- In "The Xena Scrolls" in Season 2, which has Xena's identical descendant and Gabrielle's identical descendant in the nineteen forties, the reincarnated Xena does this, signaling the moment that she's being possessed by her ancestor and is about to kick serious ass.
- She also did this in episode 2, "Chariots of War".
- She also does it in "Warrior... Princess", when she is posing as Diana at the latter's wedding.
- Acting for Two
- Three Xena look-alikes -- Princess Diana, barmaid Meg, and Virgin Priestess Leah -- show up through out the series.
- Gabrielle got one: her grown-up Fetus Terrible, Hope.
- Also, Ted Raimi played Joxer and his two identical triplet brothers: assassin Jett and Camp Gay musician Jace).
- Xena, Gabrielle and Joxer also have multiple identical descendants, reincarnations and clones.
- Not to mention one episode that featured identical reincarnations of all three... but with Xena and Joxer switched (to enable Xena and Gabrielle to finally get a Happily Ever After).
- Actor Allusion
- "The Play's The Thing" features a Centaur actor played by Peter Muller, who played Deric the Centaur on Hercules. (And his name is Dustinus Hoofmanus.)
- "Here She Comes, Miss Amphipolis" sees Xena go undercover at a beauty pageant. Lucy Lawless is no stranger to beauty pagents.
- Autolycus being made to punch himself in the face by Xena while she's inhabiting his body brings to mind a certain other role that Bruce Campbell has had.
- Adrenaline Makeover: Gabrielle's haircut in Season 4.
- Aliens Speaking Greek: Xena travels the world, but never has any problems communicating with people. While one might initially assume that she's merely multilingual (she has many skills, after all), the fact that Gabrielle and even Joxer don't have language problems imply that everyone is actually speaking Greek.
Semi-averted in that during classical period throughout much of the Mediterranean world, Greek was the common tongue. So much so that one variant, Koine, is the Greek word for common. Of course once Xena and Gabrielle travel to Asia all bets are off.
- Aerith and Bob: In a world full of traditional Greek names, we had the distinctly French and relatively normal-sounding Gabrielle (though it was originally a Hebrew name, derived from the masculine Gabriel).
- All Amazons Want Hercules: Averted? Parodied? Amazons have crushes on Joxer in Lyre Lyre Hearts on Fire and Kindred Spirits, and Joxer ain't Hercules. In fact, even when Hercules is around, so is his friend Iolaus who gets more female attention than Herc does.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: Or at least, according to Ares, every time he tries to seduce Xena.
- Alternate Continuity: The Xena comic series by Dynamite Entertainment takes place as if the series finale and the "Twilight of the Gods" arc never happened.
- Alternate Reality Episode: "Remember Nothing" (Xena never becomes a warlord) and "When Fates Collide" (Caesar & Xena rule Rome).
- Ambiguously Gay: Xena and Gabrielle. SO MUCH. Not that they didn't have their flings with men.
- Anachronism Stew: Anteas (Abraham) almost-sacrifice of Ikiss (Isaac), the siege of Troy, the reign of Julius Caesar, and the birth of Christ all happening during the same three years. The Stew gets thicker in later seasons with such events as Octavius' rule of Rome, Cleopatra and Antony's affair, Katanas and the events depicted in the poem Beowulf.
- Ancient Greece / Ancient Rome: Yes, at the same time.
- Ancient Grome: One episode was devoted to Bacchae, and thus featured Bacchus in a major role. As opposed to, say, Dionysus and his Maenads.
- And Then There Were None: The plot of "Ten Little Warlords'.
- Annoying Arrows
- Callisto provides the picture for this trope, after her becoming a godly pin-cushion in "Maternal Instincts".
- Xena also provides an example of this in the finale.
- Anyone Can Die: By the end of the series, the only recurring supporting character who hadn't died was Autolycus. Even the Olympian Gods... The ones confirmed to be killed by Xena and Hercules are Zeus, Discord, Posiedon, Hades, Hephestus, Artemis, Athena and Deimos. The Furies were also killed.
- Archangel Michael: Recurring character in Season 5 and Season 6.
- Arrow Catch
- Commonly done by Xena, occaisionally preformed by other characters.
- Gabrielle never caught an arrow during the show, but she did block one or two with her staff.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: In "The Return of Callisto" a prison warden is showing a new recruit the ropes, and describes the prisoners as "murderers, thieves and perverts."
- As Lethal as It Needs to Be: Xena's chakram killed enemies or knocked them out, according to Rule of Drama. (Though it was always lethal if she used it as a melee weapon.)
- The Atoner
- Also Xena's daughter Eve in the final season.
- And, of course, Najara.
- Ax Crazy: Callisto. Xena when she was a Warlord. Najara.
- An Axe to Grind: The Horde loves throwing axes.
- Badass Cape: Xena sported one when she was a warlord. Other characters, such as Hades, also sported capes from time to time.
- Badass Longcoat: Xena and Gabrielle wear these in season 5.
- Badass Normal: Xena, who has gone toe-to-toe with Ares at times (although, rampant speculation about her ancestry casts doubt on the 'normal' part of the title). Gabrielle becomes this as the series progresses.
- Bald of Evil: Averted mostly. Many, many bad guys with long, flowing hair in the Ancient Greek tradition.
- The Bard: For a while Gabrielle wants to be a traveling bard. She also meets Homer, who it turns out is called "blind" because he closes his eyes when he recites.
- Bare Your Midriff
- Gabrielle's green halter top and burgundy skirt; later, she switched to a red top that was barely more than a bra and a shorter matching skirt. Not that anyone complained.
- Callisto's outfit also shows a decent amount of midriff.
- Xena's Japanese armor in the finale.
- Also fairly standard for female guest stars and recurring characters. This show really liked its Fan Service.
- Barehanded Blade Block: Done by Xena on more than one occasion -- for example, in the episode "Cradle of Hope".
- Bathe Her and Bring Her to Me: "The Path Not Taken"
- Battle Ballgown: Xena wears one of these in "Soul Possession". To her wedding. It's actually pretty nice. Also, the dress that she wears in "Return of The Valkyrie" could be taken as this.
- Battle Couple: Xena and Ares, Xena and Gabrielle, Darnell and Glyphera.
- Battle Cry: Xena's ululation.
- Beach Episode: "Here She Comes, Ms. Amhipolis" starts with Xena and Gabrielle admiring the New Zealand coast then they see a bunch of scantily clad women running on the beach in slow motion.
- Beard of Evil: Ares, plus many guest characters.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: Xena and Ares. So much.
- Beyond the Impossible
- Xena's dizzyingly complex schemes to get herself and her friends out of trouble and her utter disregard for the laws of physics.
- Not to mention her actually killing Gods.
- Or how Callisto's soul managed to impregnate Xena.
- Or how Xena caused Lucifer's fall from grace.
- Bi the Way: Xena and Gabrielle start out having a few male romantic/sexual interests, but end up getting more and more subtext-y until it is openly Word of God that they are Common Law married. Not that Word of God didn't flip-flop on it.
- Big Bad: Callisto. Ares. Caesar. Alti. Dahak. Hope. Athena.
- Bigger Bad: Dahak, who is once referred to as "The blind force behind every evil deed."
- Big Damn Heroes
- Bill, Bill, Junk, Bill: A variation occurs in the Groundhog Day Loop episode "Been There Done That", as Xena is explaining her predicament to Gabrielle and Joxer, answering the questions she know that they'll ask in advance:
Gabrielle: We've repeated the same day that many times.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing
- Xena, moreso while she was on Hercules: The Legendary Journeys.
- Gabrielle in Season Five.
- Also Varia, Velasca and (occasionally) Amarice.
- Ephiny inverts this, by being unfriendly toward Xena and Gabrielle originally, before becoming one of their best and most trusted friends.
- Callisto for the first ten minutes of "Surprise", on Hercules.
- Black Sheep: Joxer is a Heroic Wannabe in a family where his father is a warlord and his brother Jett is an infamous assassin. On the other hand, due to Joxer and Jett's reluctance to talk about him, third brother Jace may qualify for this trope even more so.
- BLAM Episode
- The fifth season episode "Married With Fishsticks", which mostly forgets about the story arc going on at the time to do a pointless filler episode where the feuding Aphrodite and Discord accidentally send Gabrielle into an alternate world where she's a mermaid, and is entirely populated with mer people. The whole thing is incredibly weird, and ends with it apparently being All Just a Dream as Gabrielle wakes up back with Xena.
- Arguably, the sixth season episode "You Are There" also counts. (See Clip Show below.)
- Blondes Are Evil: Callisto, Mavican, Najara, Krafstar and Hope.
- Booze Flamethrower: One of Xena's signature moves.
- Boyish Short Hair: Gabrielle provides the picture for this trope.
- Buffy-Speak: A few examples:
- Gabrielle describing how to survive a battle when you have no fight experience:
Gabrielle: See the pointy bits on the ends of those swordy things? Stay away from them.
- And in "Warrior... Princess":
Diana: (impersonating Xena) Oh, this? This is... my round killing thing.
- Then there's the "loud-speaking-thing" (it's a primitive type of megaphone) in "Altared States".
- Bury Your Gays: It's complicated. As aired, future versions / reincarnations were still happily together, but the core couple was broken up by Xena's death. The comics continuity removes that last bit.
- Bus Crash: Phantes, Ephiny's centaur husband, dies off-screen between her first and second appearance on the show.
- But for Me It Was Tuesday: Deconstructed. The Xena-led raid that killed Callisto's family was a source of mild regret for Xena at the time (it involved an accidental fire that killed women and children), but she never gave it much thought afterwards. It's not until Callisto returns All Grown Up and with a massive thirst for vengeance upon the woman responsible for the deaths of her parents and sister that Xena realizes the full consequences of her actions and the fact that she's unknowingly created her worst enemy.
- Butt Monkey: Joxer.
- Cain and Abel: Pao Ssu and K'ao Hsin.
- California Doubling: The New Zealand variant standing in for ancient Greece and other parts of the world.
- Camp: Apparently you can have lesbian Camp.
- Canon Dis Continuity: Many fans do not officially consider the two-part "Friend in Need" arc to be the finale, and neither do the writers of the Xena comics -- thank you, Dynamite Publications! The "Dark Xena" arc is basically a Fix Fic -- constructing a story to undo the finale and other events (such as the deaths of the Olympian gods).
- Catch Phrase
- "I have *many* skills."
- "I just cut off the flow of blood into your brain. You'll be dead in 30 seconds".
- Celebrity Paradox: According to "Soul Possession", Bruce Campbell does exist... and has a sizable fee for appearing at conventions.
- Cerebus Syndrome: The first two seasons were heavy on camp and occasionally had a serious episode. Then, in Season 3, Gabrielle got pregnant with her Fetus Terrible daughter, Hope, setting off a season-long storyline meant to put Xena and Gabrielle through emotional hell. Also, the Season 3 finale ended on a cliffhanger featuring Gabrielle and Hope dying in a firey pit. Subsequent seasons had even less comedy.
- Chainmail Bikini: Not Xena herself, but almost every minor female character on the show. Also Gabrielle in later seasons.
- Chekhov's Boomerang
- The "Hinds Blood Dagger", which originated on Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, but later appeared on Xena in "Sacrifice 2".
- Surprisingly, NOT the Chakram.
- The "cleavage dagger" which Gabrielle picked up in season 1 and which kept popping up throughout the show.
- Christmas Episode: "A Solstice Carol". (Possibly the only Christmas Episode in which the C-word is never spoken, for obvious reasons.)
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: In a season one episode Xena's older brother Taris turns up. He hadn't been mentioned before, and never is again.
- Classical Mythology: Not the way you were taught.
- Clear My Name
- Clip Show: Several.
- Season 1: Athens City Academy of the Performing Bards. Gabrielle goes to bard school and takes part in a storytelling contest, with her stories naturally relating to Xena. Besides reusing old episodes, there are also clips from the Steve Reeves movie (Stallonus' story), Spartacus (Homer's) and two HTLJ episodes ("The Warrior Princess" and "The Gauntlet").
- Season 2: The Xena Scrolls. Arguably the most well-known of the bunch, as it marked the franchise's start of casting familiar actors as their characters' descendents. Set during the WWII-era, a timid professor (Xena), a tough archeologist (Gabrielle) and a supposed French soldier (Joxer) explore a temple containing the imprisoned Ares.
- Season 3: Forget Me Not. Feeling guilty and anguished by the Dahak/Hope storyline, Gabrielle goes to the temple of Mnemosyne. Over the course of the episode, she faces up to different actions and events that put a strain on her friendship with Xena, as well as placing a new spin on the events of a pivotal two-parter. It also uses cut footage to good effect AND serves to close a Plot Hole that had been hanging (namely, how did Gabby get to China before Xena?).
- Season 4: Deja Vu All Over Again. A geeky fan thinks she's Xena reincarnated so her boyfriend takes her to a past life specialist - only to find they are the characters' descendants (but with Xena and Joxer switched around).
- Season 5: Punch Lines where Gabrielle recalls to Aphrodite an incident with the god of despair.
- Season 6: You Are There. A reporter and his crew from the 20th century are in ancient Greece, interviewing everyone they come across about Xena. Viewers were also treated this season to "Send in the Clones," which saw Xena and Gabrielle resurrected as clones in the present-day. Also, "Soul Possession," which brought back the geek trio from Season 4 and saw them faced with a deal made with Ares long ago.
- Cluster Bleep Bomb: Eve, surprisingly, during "You Are There". Also counts as a Berserk Button, as her swearing was caused by his badmouthing Xena.
Reporter: Who would have expected to hear such words from the messenger of Eli?
- Conservation of Ninjutsu: Lampshaded at the end of "One against an army" when after beating the Persian cavalry almost single-handed Xena says they must have had an off-day.
- Courtroom Episode: "The Execution"
- CPR: Clean, Pretty, Reliable: Reviving Gabrielle with hysterical screaming and poundi--er, ancient Greek medical techniques.
- Crap Saccharine World: "Paradise Found"
- Crapsack World: There is war everywhere. Bandits prowl the roads and warlords battle for territory. Kind rulers are scarce and the gods don't care about the plight of mortals. When the gods do show up, they tend to make things worse.
- Credits Gag: The "No Animals Were Harmed..." disclaimer in the ending credits.
The musical genre was not harmed during the production of this motion picture. In fact, the Producers sincerely hope you were A-MUSE-D by this episode.
- Though it shared recurring characters with its parent series, there were only two guest appearances by Hercules and Iolaus. Both appear in Season 1's "Prometheus". Iolaus appears in Season 2's "The Quest" and Hercules in Season 5's "God Fearing Child".
- Xena, Gabrielle, Ephiny, Joxer and Callisto have all made appearances on Hercules.
- Crossover Cosmology / All Myths Are True: The later seasons establish that, along with the Greek Underworld, the Judeo-Christian Heaven and Hell also exists. Xena and Gabrielle were also introduced to the idea of reincarnation after visiting India. Also, the Alternate Continuity comic series by Dynamite Entertainment features an all-out war between the Greek and Egyptian Gods.
- Curse Cut Short
- In Season 3 episode "Fins, Femmes and Gems", Xena does this to Gabrielle when Gabrielle's singing a song about herself (It Makes Sense in Context).
Gabrielle: Well, listen to my story about Gabrielle, cute little gal that's looking really swell, perfect hair, such a lovely lass, nice round breasts and a firm young-- (Xena covers her mouth)
- Amarice after Joxer and Arman laughs at her after slipping in "Animal Attraction".
Amarice: You wanna know where my sense of humor is? I'll tell you, you mother--!
- Dark Action Girl: Callisto, Xena herself prior to the show's beginning.
- Dark Is Not Evil
- As mentioned on the HTLJ page, Hades. He rules the Underworld and tends to dress in all-black, but is a fairly pleasant guy.
- Not to mention Xena's revelation that without her dark past, she wouldn't be the hero she became, and that, in the end, it was all worth it.
- Darker and Edgier: Started out slightly darker and edgier than Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and got progressively more so as the series continued.
- A Date with Rosie Palms: Alluded to in "Warrior... Priestess... Tramp":
Leah: Life as a priestess to the virgin goddess Hestia isn't all that hard, the most important rule is to know who you are.
- Daydream Surprise: In "Paradise Found", Xena imagines breaking Gabrielle's arm.
- Dead Little Brother: Lyceus
- Death by Childbirth: Meg's father.
Meg: My father died in childbirth!
- Death Is Cheap
- Xena and Gabrielle died and came back so many times that Hades probably had a revolving door installed. Which didn't stop Xena from being Killed Off for Real in the finale.
- It is also worth noting that every time either Xena or Gabrielle visited a new culture or place, that particular afterlife was incorporated into the show's mythology. We saw the Greek Elysian Fields and Tartarus, the Amazon land of the dead (which is apparently some place different from the traditional Greek afterlives), Judeo-Christian Heaven and Hell, Xena and Gabrielle were introduced to the idea of reincarnation after visiting India, and of course the finale.
- Death of the Old Gods: The show plays fast and loose with this trope. Early on, Xena runs into a monotheistic cult that seems to be analogue of early Christians, but later turns out to worship Pure Evil. Later on still, she is sent forwards in time a few centuries and sent on a quest by the The prophet Eli to wipe out all the remaining pagan gods.
- Death Takes a Holiday: Done twice in the first season:
- In "Death in Chains", Celesta (a.k.a. Death) is captured by Sisyphus when he fears his own death, intending to let her eternal flame burn out (an event that would kill Celesta and result in there being no death, ever). During her imprisonment, no-one can die, either, resulting in an army of undead bandits coming after Xena and several terminally ill people being stuck in constant suffering. Obviously, Celesta is eventually freed.
- In "Mortal Beloved", the psychotic Atyminius usurps Hades' power by stealing his Helmet of Invisibility, confining him to his palace. Atyminius then uses his newfound powers to completely turn the order of the Underworld upside down, sending innocents to Tartarus and allowing the wicked into the Elysian Fields. It all gets put right in the end, of course.
- Deconstructive Parody: "A Day in the Life" pokes fun at little things usually overlooked like how do Xena and Gabrielle know which direction to go, how do they get food, how do they pass the time, hygiene, the call of nature, etc. Through the characters of Hower and Minya, the show also pokes fun at the fandom.
- Defeat by Modesty: Averted by Xena, who grabs her weapons before her clothes if she is attacked while naked. This provides a handy distraction.
- Description Cut
- In "The Titans":
Thea: She may appear sweet, but who knows what destructive powers she may possess?
- Done twice in "Animal Attraction" first when Gabrielle said Xena hates flowers (Xena is sniffing flowers and looking at a teddy bear at the market) then when Arman and Amarice say Xena always has things together (Xena is vomiting).
- Deus Exit Machina: In "The Quill is Mightier...", Gabrielle has one of her scrolls (upon which she is writing a story) enchanted by Aphrodite, causing anything written upon it to come true. The first thing Gabrielle writes on it? "Xena had gone fishing". Hilarity Ensues, including the depowering of both Ares and Aphrodite. When the characters realise that they need Xena later, and write that she has returned, she does so pulling a giant cartload piled high with fish, after spending several days fishing with no idea why.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Lots. Xena killed most of the Olympian Gods, a couple non-Olympian Gods, Mephistopheles the King of Hell, the demon Yodoshi, a super-powered Alti, the archangel Michael and stopped the ultimate evil Dahak numerous times. And then some.
- Directed by Cast Member
- Bruce Campbell did "The Key to the Kingdom".
- Renee O'Connor did "Déjà Vu All Over Again" and "Dangerous Prey".
- Michael Hurst, who starred on Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and made several guest appearances On Xena directed quite a few of the better done episodes. In fact, he was such a reccurent director, that the cast and crew, (all the way up to the executive producers) started to call him "Cup-Of-Blood-Michael" due to his love of using fake blood, and penchant to want more and more. You can thank him for the episode "To Helicon and Back"; One of the most gruesome and violent episodes in both the shows history, and that of television.
- Discount Lesbians: Done a lot:
- Xena and Gabrielle's first kiss was when Xena was inhabiting Autolycus' body.
- In the finale, Gabrielle helps Xena drink from the Fountain of Strength by kissing her.
- In "The Debt 1", Lao Ma hid Xena from her pursuers in a bath tub. When Xena was underwater for too long, Lao Ma gives her an Underwater Kiss to give her air, but given all the Subtext between them, there may have been more to that.
- The episode where Xena had to walk through a wall of fire and wake up Gabrielle by kissing her.
- Aphrodite kissing Gabrielle while being not quite herself because of Caligula.
- Arguably, cross-dresser beauty contest winner kissing Xena.
- Distracted by the Sexy: Happens every now and then, such as in "The Prodigal", in which Gabrielle and some of Potidaea's female residents dance sexily to distract Damon's soldiers.
- Documentary Episode: "You Are There"
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: In "Kindred Spirits", Xena and Gabrielle act like a couple whose marriage is being tested by career vs. family obligations.
- Dogged Nice Guy: Joxer towards Gabrielle.
- Domestic Abuse: Gab Drag, anyone?
- Downer Ending
- Dragon Lady: Pao Hsu
- Dragon with an Agenda: Ares thinks that Callisto will follow his orders in "Intimate Stranger". She has other plans.
- Dress Hits Floor
- Dropped a Bridge on Him
- When Xena, prophesied to spell the end of the Greek Gods' reign, gains the power to kill gods, a group of them led by Athena attacks, and the whole group (except Athena herself, given a decent battle), some of whom were recurring allies or villains throughout years of the show as well as its parent series Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, gets taken out more casually and anticlimactically than any Star Trek Red Shirt, one after another after another.
- And who could forget the episode "Endgame," which killed off the (much beloved) Amazon regent Ephiny two minutes into the opening teaser. Still at least Ephiny died on screen; the following season Amarice, who had been Xena and Gabrielle's companion for a good run of episodes earlier that season, was unceremoniously killed offscreen during the teaser for the episode "Lifeblood" (by then the actress, Jennifer Sky, was starring in Cleopatra 2525, but Amarice's character arc ended with her being happily left with a tribe of Amazons, so mentioning her again just to say she was dead seemed, well, kind of mean and pointless).
- There's also Ephiny's Centaur husband, Phantes. Offscreen, he is brutally ripped apart by war dogs sometime prior to the events of "Is There a Doctor in the House?"
- Dumb Blonde: As mentioned on the HTLJ page, this is completely subverted with Aphrodite. She's extremely vapid and shallow (at least at first), but very cunning.
- Emergency Impersonation
- Xena stands in for a look-alike princess (Diana) whose life is in danger. Later on, another look-alike, who turns out to be a sassy barmaid (Meg), is added into the mix, and they all swap lives for a while.
- And after that, a Hestial Virgin look-alike (Leah) appears.
- And in season 1, Gabrielle pretended to be Xena who was poisoned.
- Season 5, Xena pretended to be the assassinated Cleopatra and manipulated Brutus and Marc Antony against each other.
- The Emperor: Ming T'ien and Augustus.
- Everybody Was Kung-Fu Fighting
- Everything's Better with Princesses
- See the show title.
- Gabrielle is an Amazon princess.
- Everything's Better with Spinning. Almost everybody's style of handling any weapon, but primarily Xena's mighty physics-defying Chakram and Gabrielle's Sais.
- Evil Costume Switch: Pao Ssu switched from her chipao to the regalia of an empress.
- Evil Counterpart: Draco, Callisto and Najara and Ilainus all to Xena.
- Evil-Detecting Horse: Argo can tell something is wrong with Xena when Callisto's spirit takes control of her body.
- Evil Parents Want Good Kids: What Borias and eventually Xena wanted for Solan.
- Evil Sorcerer: Alti
- Evil Twin: Hope for Gabrielle and Jett for Joxer.
- Express Delivery: Gabrielle carries and gives birth to Hope within one day. This was likely intentional to highlight the supernatural quality -- in the first season finale, Ephiny was in labor for at least an entire day.
- Fan Boy: Hower and Minya.
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Pomira and the Amazons are Native Americans in Greece.
- Fantasy Kitchen Sink
- Feminist Fantasy
- Five-Man Band: When they were traveling together in the first 2 season 5 episodes.
- Foot Focus: On Callisto when she escapes from prison in "The Return of Callisto".
- Forged by the Gods
- The Chakram.
- The Dagger of Helios can kill gods.
- Four Lines, All Waiting: "Animal Attraction" to allow Lucy Lawless more rest due to her pregnancy.
- Freaky Friday Flip
- In "Intimate Stranger" and "Ten Little Warlords", Xena and Callisto switched bodies (due to a Real Life Writes the Plot incident in which Lucy Lawless broke her pelvis in an equestrian stunt -- see Written In Infirmary below).
- Xena also shared bodies with at least two other characters over the course of the series: Autolycus, in a spirit possession (also cross-referenced with Not Quite Dead and Almost Kiss), and a young girl.
- Frying Pan of Doom: Used in "A Day in the Life". Unfortunately, it was the only one Gabrielle had.
- Gaius Julius Caesar: Played by Karl Urban, Caesar was one of Xena's most reccuring (and hated) foes.
- Gatling Good: Used in "The Xena Scrolls".
- Gender Rarity Value: Joxer and the Amazon Rhea in "Kindred Spirits". She wants to have a baby, and he's the only male around. They don't have sex, because Status Quo Is God.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar
- Girls Behind Bars / Prison Episode
- "Locked Up and Tied Down"
- "The Black Wolf"
- Give Him a Normal Life: Solan, Xena's son.
- God of Evil: Dahak
- Good Hair, Evil Hair
- Gotterdammerung: The Twilight of the Gods.
- Grand Theft Me: Callisto switches bodies with Xena in "Intimate Stranger".
- Groin Attack: Xena has inflicted this on many a hapless Mook. Gabrielle too.
- Groundhog Day Loop: The episode "Been There, Done That".
- The Gump
- Guttural Growler: Justified when a mook in the first episode apparently suffered a throat injury in his first round with Xena.
- Harping on About Harpies
- Has Two Mommies
- In the episode "Cradle of Hope", Gabrielle finds a baby abandoned in the bushes and takes care of him with Xena for a while. In the end, the local king adopts the child and asks if there's any way he can repay Xena -- and she asks only that he name the baby Gabriel. The entire episode was probably the first example of blatant Les Yay in the series.
- Eve has roughly three mommies. Xena was basically impregnated by the dead Callisto, and started to raise the baby with Gabrielle as "father" [sic]. Then Xena and Gabrielle disappeared before Eve turned one, and Eve was raised by Augustus... and no mother whatsoever.
- During Xena's pregnancy, Ares demands to know who the father is. Xena cheekily responds that Gabrielle was. Ares' response? "That I would have paid to see."
- Heel Face Door Slam: In "The Path Not Taken", Xena, after encountering some of her former warriors back from her days as a warlord, convinces one of them, Marcus (who also happens to be her one true love) that her commitment to reform is genuine. Later on, Marcus sacrifices his life by taking an arrow meant for Distressed Damsel Jana. Fast forward to "Mortal Beloved", where Xena is contacted by Marcus' ghost to go to the Underworld -- no thanks to Atyminius usurping Hades' power, all the blessed people who used to play in the Elysium Fields have been sent to Tartarus, and all the evil folks condemned to Tartarus are partying it up in Elysium. When she gets there, she finds Marcus, and realizes that if he's in Elysium now, he must have been in Tartarus before. He confirms it - one good deed wasn't enough to make up for a lifetime of crime. Eventually however, he's allowed to stay in Elysium for good after helping Xena give Hades back his powers and thus putting things right in the Underworld.
- Heel Face Revolving Door
- Callisto worked with Xena almost as often as against her.
- Ares too.
- Heel Face Turn
- Xena prior to the start of the series.
- Joxer. Granted, he wasn't good at being bad, but by the end of his first appearance, he realizes being a hero (or in his case, trying to be) suits him better.
- Callisto is the ultimate example. She becomes a freaking angel.
- Hell-Bent for Leather: A good chunk of characters. We have Xena, Ares, Callisto, Hades, Draco, Jett, Alti, pretty much any warlord featured on the show ever...
- Her Codename Was Mary Sue: "The Quill is Mightier..."
- Her Heart Will Go On: Xena and Marcus.
- Heroes Gone Fishing: Xena literally goes fishing a few times. One notable occasion ends with her returning with a cart full of fish for the end of the episode fight. Another memorable case has her use the MacGuffin of the week as fish bait.
- Heroic Blue Screen of Death
- Heroic Fantasy
- Heroic Sacrifice
- Joxer, among others.
- Gabrielle in the aptly named episode "Sacrifice 2".
- Hide Your Lesbians: The show features one of the best known and longest running examples of this trope in the implied relationship between Xena and Gabrielle. Though the subtext becomes more and more explicit throughout the series, particularly during the final season, they're never officially confirmed to be anything more than Heterosexual Life Partners, and both characters are seen engaged in serious relationships (in one case, even a short-lived marriage) with male characters at various points throughout the series. It should be noted, though, that in later seasons, they stopped having Temporary Love Interests.
One episode set in the modern day, with the Xena TV show existing had Xena reincarnated in one of Joxer's identical descendants, marrying Gabrielle reincarnated in one of Gabrielle's identical descendants. Their friend was Joxer reincarnated in one of Xena's identical descendants. Then, a later episode showed Ares appearing to switch them back into the bodies that look like they used to look, with the result being that Gabrielle and Xena were alive in the modern era and were about to get married as wife and wife. And they were cloned, with heavy implications that their modern day clones were a couple. And they met up as a completely separate reincarnation in the 1940's which ended up with the pretty explicit implication that Xena, reincarnated in her identical ancestor, and Gabrielle, reincarnated in her identical ancestor, would become life partners, though at the time same sex marriage was illegal. So really, Gabrielle and Xena's relationship is confirmed, it just doesn't appear to happen until their various reincarnations.
- High Heel Face Turn: It was Hercules who inspired Xena to turn a new leaf.
- Hijacked by Jesus: Although most of the gods being jerks was inherent in the premise, the universe of both Xena and Hercules is strange about this depending on the situation, especially Ares, who tends to waver between being a Jerkass and being an evil bastard, depending on the needs of the plot. Hades is usually treated as just a dark but very overworked and unappreciated ruler of the Underworld. Although the producers seemed intent on making up for lost time in the last two seasons of Xena. The prophet Eli was an exceedingly thinly disguised Crystal Dragon Jesus and Xena was put on a quest to kill all the Pagan gods.
- Historical In-Joke: Oh so many.
- Holier Than Thou: Hestian Priestess Leah
- Honest John's Dealership: Salmoneus
- Honor Before Reason: In "Tsunami", Xena goes out of her way to rescue Macon, an unapologetic and convicted murderer.
Macon: Why? I'm a killer. Why'd you come back? What'd you expect?
- Hot Amazon: Any Amazon episode had several, and then there's Xena herself...
- Hot Chick with a Sword: Take your pick.
- Hot Gods: "Indeed"
- Hot Springs Episode: "Animal Attraction", which is also a tribute to The Wild West.
- Human Mom, Nonhuman Dad
- Xenan, son of Ephiny (human) and Phantes (Centaur).
- And, of course, Hope, whose mother is Gabrielle and father is Dahak.
- Then there's Eve whose mother is Xena and her father is implied to be God.
- Human Popsicle: Xena and Gabrielle slept for over twenty years and ended up stuck in the future.
- Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: "Dangerous Prey"
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: Gabrielle everytime she was Joxer's "sidekick".
- I Am Spartacus
- Identical Stranger
- For Xena, there was Meg (a harlot), Diana (a princess) and Leah (a priestess), who all happened to look like Xena. In addition to all of them having being confused for Xena at some point, there were also stories in which they were being confused for each other before Xena arrived on the scene!
- Lucy Lawless also had two Hercules: The Legendary Journeys roles that were not Xena or the doppelgangers from her own show.
- If You Kill Her You Will Be Just Like Her: Gabrielle goes a little Ax Crazy after Perdicas is murdered by Callisto and literally ends up one incredibly easy sword thrust away from killing the sleeping Callisto; at the last moment, she drops her sword and states that she can't do it.
- The Immodest Orgasm: Gabrielle loudly fakes sex noises to distract some guards in "The Prodigal".
Gabrielle: Ohhhh! No wonder they call you "the Mighty"!
- Impossibly Cool Weapon: Combined with Does This Remind You of Anything?, Xena's chakram, a handheld stand in for Captain America's Shield.
- Improbable Weapon User: Lampshaded in "A Day in the Life" when Xena says she likes getting creative during battle.
- Indy Hat Roll: "Xena Scrolls" -- Gabrielle's umpteenth great grand-daughter is an Indiana Jones expy.
- Innocent Innuendo: At the beginning of "Altared States", we see Xena and Gabrielle's clothes are strewn on the bushes and we can hear comments such as, "How was that?" "Very nice!". It turns out that Xena is showing Gabrielle how to catch fish by hand while wading.
- Insane Troll Logic: Xena's plan in "A Tale of Two Muses".
"You want to teach the children to kill so they won't learn to dance?!"
- Instant Awesome, Just Add Ninja: In Ancient Greece.
- Instant Drama Just Add Tracheotomy
- This happens to a bounty hunter after Xena gets a dagger through his neck, courtesy of another bounty hunter. Xena cuts him a new breathing hole out of mercy. He still dies, though (though because of Applied Phlebotinum, not anything Xena did).
- Xena does this in the first season episode "Is There a Doctor in the House?" You never see the guy again, though, so we don't know how it ultimately turned out.
- Interspecies Romance: Ephiny marries Phantes, her former Centaur enemy, sometime after the events of "Hooves and Harlots", and they later have a child together.
- I Want You to Meet An Old Friend of Mine: In "The King of Assassins" and "Key to the Kingdom", Evil Dead veterans and frequent collaborators Bruce Campbell and Ted Raimi are reunited on-screen.
- Jerkass Facade: Autolycus, who Xena calls on it in "The Quest":
Xena: I was in there. I know. Despite all your bluster, Autolycus, you're a nice person.
- Jerkass Gods: Very much in keeping with Greek Mythology.
- Jumping Out of a Cake: Joxer organized a bachelor party for Ares. The girl who jumped out was Meg, the Identical Stranger of the woman he's going to marry.
- Karma Houdini: Satrina, Xena' ex-slave girl partly responsible for Borias' death.
- Killer Rabbit: A real one in "In Sickness and in Hell".
- Kill It with Fire: How Xena deals with the Harpies in "Mortal Beloved". And Hades in "Motherhood".
- Kill the God: Lots.
- Kiss of Death: See Last Kiss below.
- Knight of Cerebus: Callisto, Hope and Gaius Julius Caesar.
- Large Ham: Many. Xena herself ventures into this territory on some occasions.
- Last Kiss: Xena and Marcus -- twice -- in "Mortal Beloved". The first time, Marcus' second chance at life is just about to end (Hades only gave him 48 hours), so Xena kisses him passionately before stabbing him in the heart. Later, when she meets the now-dead Marcus in the Elysian Fields, they kiss again before she has to leave the Underworld.
- Laughing Mad: Invoked. That "Alalaes" war cry isn't just intimidating in a traditional sense -- if you're on the other end of it, it makes her sound completely insane.
- Lava Pit
- "Sacrifice 2"
- "Soul Possession".
- "A Necissary Evil"
- "Maternal Instincts"
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: In "The Play's the Thing", Joxer is once again bearing the brunt of comedic misfortune. As the episode ends and the executive producer credits appear, Joxer whines, "I'm gonna tell my brother." The whole episode can be seen as a history of the show itself.
- Licking the Blade: Callisto licks a dagger at one point. Also, in the episode sharing her name, she kisses Xena's Chakram.
- Literary Agent Hypothesis: Like Hercules, there was an episode that suggests the series is based on the real life of Xena as found by the "Xena Scrolls" written by Gabrielle.
- Living MacGuffin: In one episode Xena and her two doubles (Diana and Meg) try to rescue Diana's baby. The baby is such a plot device that it's not even given a name or gender.
- Load-Bearing Boss: A couple, but The Deliverer is a good example.
- Lotus Eater Machine: Solan says that people in the Elysian Fields live the best day of their lives without their loved ones. They are made to think they are on a trip and will be back soon. Which is why Solan chooses to stay in Tartarus so he can watch his former life with Xena.
- Love Goddess: Aphrodite and Cupid.
- Made of Explodium: The Harpies, oddly enough. Also the Furies.
- Mama Bear
- Xena to Solan and especially Eve, seeing she was a baby being targeted by the Greek Gods.
- Gabrielle does it with Hope, but it ends poorly, namely that Hope kills Xena's son. Oh, and she's the spawn of an evil God named Dahak.
- Meaningful Name
- Khrafstar, who is revealed to be a servant of Dahak. This is rather subtle example of the trope if you're not familiar with Zoroastrianism, from which Dahak was derived. See this definition from the Oxford Dictionary Of World Religions:
Azi Dahaka is the personification of the Lie, often depicted in mythology as a terrible dragon with three heads, six eyes, and three jaws, whose body is full of khrafstras (evil spirits or beings).
- Also Eve, who was destined to bring about the "Twilight of the Gods"; Evening and Twilight both being times of day. This was another incredibly subtle example, even more so in universe, as the person who named her was utterly clueless about her destiny.
- Mediation Backfire: In "Been There, Done That", Joxer attempts to intervene in order to stop the feuding families. He gets a couple dozen arrows to his face for his trouble (but again, this being a Groundhog Day Loop, he gets better).
- Mind Rape: Caligula does this to Aphrodite.
- Mini-Dress of Power
- Molotov Cocktail: Xena invents the Molotov in "Warrior... Princess".
- Mood Whiplash: A minor case in the first episode: The first half of the prologue is relatively slow and played for serious drama, as Xena rides across the countryside of Greece, sees reminders of what she used to be amid flashbacks to screaming and fire, shows signs of wanting to make amends, and finally buries her old gear... and then, just as she seems ready to disappear, an over-the-top Large Ham of a villain shows up, harassing a bunch of innocents, and the fight that breaks out suddenly veers all the way into equally silly, almost cartoonish Camp.
- Mugging the Monster: Happens to Xena very often - some don't realise just who it is they're attacking, others attack even when they know Xena's reputation.
- Murder by Cremation: "Blind Faith". Gabrielle is fed into a crematorium while in a coffin. She's alright though.
- Musical Episode: Three, if you include "A Tale of 2 Muses" which is a dancing episode.
- The Music Meister
- Solan qualifies as this, as he is the driving force behind Xena and Gabrielle's being transported to the musical world of Illusia after they tried to kill each other.
- Also Terpsichore's Lyre, from "Lyre, Lyre Hearts on Fire". is an inanimate version of this, as the musical aspects of the episode only begin when the Lyre is unearthed by Draco, and are abruptly ended when the Battle of the Bands is won. By Xena
- My God, What Have I Done?: Joxer after his first kill. Even though it was in self-defense (against a warlord, no less), he is completely guilt-ridden over his actions.
- My Name Is Not Durwood: Xena calling Gabrielle "Mavis" in "The Furies".
- Naked on Arrival
- When Xena and Gabrielle arrive in Illusyia in "The Bitter Suite", both are completely naked, having lost their clothes to the rapids that brought them there.
- When Hope hatches from her cocoon in "Sacrifice, Part I", she is completely naked, with only cocoon skin and goo to save her modesty.
- Naked People Are Funny: In "The Bitter Suite", Xena and Gabrielle wake up in Illusyia completely naked. Gabrielle notices her own nudity when she is musing over whether or not she is in the Elysian Fields before running away, hands over her chest protectively, to avoid being seen nude by Joxer, who later provides her with clothes. Xena is initially dressed in blue and beige robes by Callisto, but when she confronts Ares, he strips her completely naked with two quick sword slashes, exposing her firm, shapely body before his minions, much to her quiet yet humorous anger.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Herod
- The episode "Cradle of Hope" featured a baby prophesied to be the next king. In that case, Xena heads off the infanticide by convincing the king to adopt the child and make him his lawful successor.
- There's also the complete reversal where Gabrielle sends her daughter floating down the river to save her life... from Xena, because the baby is prophesied to bring about DOOM. While it's never entirely clear, there are hints within the narrative that perhaps the ensuing destruction could have been avoided if Hope had been brought up by a loving mother instead of having people try to murder it all the time.
- Not a baby, but the Archangel Michael says that as long as Xena's daughter is alive, Xena has the power to kill the Greek Gods. What do the Gods do? Attack Eve. What does that cause Xena to do? Kill the Gods. Xena was never particularly fond of the Gods, but would she have gone on a killing spree if they hadn't endangered her daughter?
- Nineties Anti-Hero: One of the more well-rounded examples.
- No Bisexuals: Subverted, by the two main characters no less.
- Nobody Poops
- Averted in "A Day in the Life".
Gabrielle: You used my scrolls?!
- In "A Tale of Two Muses", Xena uses a flushable toilet.
- Non-Singing Voice: Both Gabrielle and Callisto in "The Bitter Suite," and Gabrielle again in "Lyre, Lyre, Hearts on Fire" (although the latter counts as a subversion - Renee O'Connor is one of three performers who do Gabby's singing here, according to the soundtrack album credits!). Averted with Xena and Joxer in both episodes, Ares in the former, and Draco (and Amoria) in the latter.
- Nothing Is the Same Anymore: "The Deliverer", which saw Gabrielle commit her first kill (thus losing her blood innocence), the introduction of Dahak and the beginning of the "Rift" arc. A shaken Gabrielle even laments, "Everything's different now."
- Not So Dire: In "The Price" we see Xena and Gabrielle in a struggle with something which turns to just them fishing. Their fun is ruined however when corpses start floating down the river.
- Offhand Backhand: Xena, quite often with regular Mooks.
- Official Couple: In an odd case of this, the episode "The Xena Scrolls" have the descendants of Xena and Gabrielle find the title scrolls which detail Xena's life and which name Marcus as Xena's "one true love." Obviously, most fans chalk this down to Canon Dis Continuity.
- Off with His Head: Pompey and Discord.
- Once Killed a Man with A Noodle Implement: The assassin Sinteres is said to be deadly with any weapon. King of Thieves Autolycus, posing as Sinteres, has to demonstrate this by killing a man with a thrown toothpick although Xena's use of a grappling hook helped.
- Only Mostly Dead: In "The Greater Good", Xena temporarily dies after Callisto poisons her -- in her words, she has to fully "go under" to fight the poison. Later, in "Is There a Doctor in the House?" Gabrielle is severely injured and stops breathing for several minutes before being revived. The end of that episode confirms that Gabrielle's soul did indeed make it to the Elysian Fields, so she was technically dead for those few minutes.
- Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Happens very often, particularly among the minor characters and extras, usually played by New Zealand and Australian actors called on to sport American accents with varying degrees of success. Lucy Lawless was known to do this a few times herself.
- Opening Narration:
"In a time of ancient gods, warlords, and kings, a land in turmoil cried out for a hero. She was Xena, a mighty princess forged in the heat of battle...."
- Opening Shout-Out: The show made fun of the "the power, the passion" part of the opening narration.
- The Other Darrin
- Our Banshees Are Louder: Xena and Gabrielle encountered a trio of banshees in Britainia. They didn't display any high-pitched screams, and were described as shades that could take solid form at will (the latter making it difficult for Xena to land a punch). These banshees were also shown to be worshipful of Hope and Dahak. Their mannerisms are also reminiscent of Deadites.
- Our Vampires Are Different: "Bacchae" appeared on both Young Hercules and Xena, ultimately destroyed in the latter.
- Out-of-Genre Experience:
Salmoneus (Ares in disguise): One week it's a melodrama, the next it's The Three Stooges.
- Pinball Projectile: The chakram, which bounces off pillars, rocks, and Mooks' heads, is the Trope Inspirer.
- Pirate Girl: Nebula
- Playing with Fire: Callisto as a Goddess. Occasionally Ares, Hades and other Gods too.
- Please Don't Leave Me: Adds much fuel to the Les Yay fire when Xena screams, "Don't you leave me!" while trying to resuscitate a not-breathing Gabrielle.
- Please Wake Up: Xena to Gabrielle, word for word, as she is dying in Is There A Doctor in the House? She does. Does both, that is, dying and then being awoken by Xena.
- Poorly-Disguised Pilot: Season 5's "Lifeblood" showed clips for a new series, Amazon High, that explained the "origin" of the Amazons through a series of vision-quest flashbacks.
- Power Tattoo: Gabrielle's dragon tattoo in the Finale.
- Precision-Guided Boomerang: The chakram.
- Pressure Point: Xena's favorite interrogation method was a nerve pinch that cut off blood flow to the victim's brain. And she liked to explain that as it happened.
- Prince and Pauper: Both Xena and Joxer have several identical lookalikes. Xena has the princess Diana, the tramp-turned-cook Meg, and the priestess Leah. Joxer has two identical triplet brothers named Jett and Jayce.
- The Problem with Fighting Death
- Production Posse: Both Hercules and Xena were Directed by Sam Raimi and both feature Recurring Character, Autolycus the King of Thieves (Played by Bruce Campbell) and Joxer the Mighty (played by younger brother, Theodore Raimi).
- Punny Name: Tons -- the most wince-worthy being, perhaps, two soldiers named Thelonius and Monk.
- Pure Is Not Good: Pao Hsu was able to harness her powers because of her purity, of hate.
- Rage Against the Heavens: Xena as the Slayer of Gods, killed most of the Olympian gods, and a few non-Olympians.
- Real After All: "Altared States": Gabrielle never reached the loud-talking-thing.
- Real Life Writes the Plot: Xena's pregnancy in Season Five.
- Reality Writing Book: The magic scroll in "The Quill Is Mightier..."
- Reckless Sidekick: Gabrielle. Never Joxer -- would the latter lead to You Can Keep Her?
- Redemption Equals Death: Xena herself.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni
- Xena is usually the Blue Oni. She thinks through her actions more than Gabrielle, has less rage and blood-thirstiness than Callisto, is nowhere near as jittery as Joxer, and even keeps her cool around Ares. Hercules only flips the dynamic by virtue of being in less internal anguish.
- Pompey and Caesar.
- Reincarnation Romance: Between Xena and Gabrielle.
- Reports of My Death Were Greatly Exaggerated: Xena-in-Callisto's body, almost word-for-word, in "Ten Little Warlords".
- Rings of Death: Xena's Chakram.
- Rule of Symbolism
- As a Feminist Fantasy, expect to see Xena's chakram breaking swords, spears and arrows as a motif.
- In one episode Xena and Callito have a teeter-tottering fight on a series of ladders and rails, defying the laws of physics and gravity, and somehow managing to create a see-saw out of the materials around them. It makes little sense, but perfectly depicts how Callisto sees both herself and her bond with Xena.
- Scenery Gorn
- Secret Test of Character: In the pilot, Draco is instructing new recruits to shoot arrows at him while he stands in front of a target. He spares the one guy who shoots the target and not him.
- Self-Deprecation: "The Plays' the Thing" and "Deja Vu All Over Again".
- Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: The Twilight.
- Sequel Episode: "Warrior... Princess..." and its sequels "Warrior... Princess... Tramp" and "Warrior... Priestess... Tramp".
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Euripides was very fond of this.
- Sex Face Turn: How Hercules got Xena to turn a new leaf.
- Shaky POV Cam: In "A Family Affair", this is used during Xena's first encounter with the Destroyer (In a Shout-Out to Evil Dead, the sequence includes banging against a closed door.)
- Shamu Fu: More than once Xena went into combat armed only with fish.
- She Fu: Xena, sometimes taken to the extreme.
- She's Got Legs: Xena certainly does. Gabrielle (when her outfits got smaller, anyway) and Callisto certainly have nice sets of legs, too...
- Shirtless Scene
- Ares got a few. Not that anyone complained...
- So did Marcus, and this was after he was dead.
Xena: You lost weight.
- At the end of "The Play's the Thing", Joxer is left alone hanging over the stage with a rope around his feet, whining that he is going to tell his brother. Joxer is played by Ted Raimi, whose brother is director Sam Raimi, one of the producers of the show.
- Not to mention the occasional reference to a certain Buffus the Bacchae Slayer.
- The reworked title for the play "Message of Peace" is Faster Chakram, Kill, Kill, Kill!
- At the end of "The Xena Scrolls," Ted Kleinman is attempting a pitch to Rob Tapert. What he describes is essentially the climatic scene from Evil Dead II. Tapert even responds with, "Done it."
- "Tsunami" is a shout out to The Poseidon Adventure. Made clear with one character who keeps praying to Poseidon.
- "Takes One to Know One" is this to Clue and other murder mysteries.
- Sick Episode: "In Sickness and in Hell" where Xena has lice, Gabrielle has foot rot and later they both get food poisoning.
- Sidekick: Gabrielle and Joxer.
- Simple Staff: Gabrielle's Weapon of Choice.
- Skyward Scream: Xena in "The Ring".
Xena: ... who am I... WHO AM I?!?!
- Slap Slap Kiss: Amarice and Arman.
- Snow Means Death
- Xena's vision of her and Gabrielle being crucified on a snowy mountain in season 4. That came true.
- It also snowed during Xena's first trip to Japan with Akemi. Both women would die there, one just a few days after the snow fall, and the other some years later.
- Something Completely Different
- Several episode were set in the present time and portrayed the show as being a re-enactment of the "Xena Scrolls" written by Gabrielle.
- "The Bitter Suite", and "Lyre, Lyre Hearts on Fire", the musical episodes.
- "'You Are There" features a modern-day reporter (played by Michael Hurst) following Xena and Gabrielle around. With no explanation.
- Something Only They Would Say: When Callisto manages to swap bodies with Xena, Xena-in-Callisto urges Gabrielle to ask Callisto-in-Xena what Gabrielle has been dreaming about since the death of her husband. When "Xena" says that it's been the moment in which Gabrielle can have her revenge, Gabrielle knows she's lying, not just because it's out of character, but because she had already told Xena that she hadn't had any dreams since Perdicus's death.
- Spontaneous Reverb: In the episode where Xena meets the slave girl who teaches her how to fight. At one point the slave girl is on the bow of the boat, singing. She brought her own reverb.
- Springtime for Hitler: In "The Play's the Thing" (a Whole-Plot Reference to The Producers), a pair of con artists get a hold of one of Gabrielle's plays and convince her to put it on as a play. As it's overly talky, lacking any action and full of Gabrielle's beliefs, they expect it to fail and to be able to keep all the money (including what was donated by some vicious warlords). Problem is, the cast and producer Joxer make changes (which Gabrielle ultimately agrees with) to transform it into a rousing, violent adventure story.
- Stepping Stone Sword: In one episode, Xena is scaling the wall of an enemy stronghold and, when it looks like she is about to fall short, her allies fire arrows into the wall that she uses as rungs to scale the last few feet.
- Xena's costume, though slightly better then most.
- Moreso Gabrielle, particularly her "incredible shrinking costume" in later seasons.
- Not to mention the Amazons, the Furies, the Banshees...
- Stupid Sacrifice: Marcus, Xena's true love.
- Suddenly Sexuality: For all the talk of subtext, it has to be remembered that when the show began, Xena and her partner Gabrielle were just really good friends and only expressed interest in heterosexual relationships. However, there is not a sudden reversal on this, nor do the characters ever become loudly and openly lesbian. The level of suggestion escalates over time. As most people will know, later in the series a lesbian relationship between them is strongly implied, though intentionally not made explicit; the one time the question was directly put to Xena and Gabrielle, the episode ended before they could answer. Most fans agree this was caused by the producers catering to the fans more than anything else. Notably, Melissa Good, a fanfic author known for her tasteful portrayal of a lesbian relationship between Xena and Gabrielle, became a story editor in the show's final season, where the lesbian subtext became the most overt.
- Superman Stays Out of Gotham: Aka "Hercules Stays Away From Wherever Xena Happens to Be." In "A Necessary Evil," Gabrielle actually suggests getting Hercules' help for their current problem (a now-godly Velasca), but Xena states they don't know where to find him. Otherwise, the possibility of getting Hercules' help for major threats (such as against Dahak or Hope) is never even brought up.
- Swarm of Rats: In the episode "Death in Chains".
- Take Up My Sword: In "The Greater Good". Could also be seen as a character arc for Gabrielle throughout the entire show, depending on how you take the events in "A Friend In Need".
- Talking to the Dead: From the very first episode, with Xena at her brother's grave.
- Team Pet: Argo, and later Argo II, Xena's horse(s).
- Temporary Love Interest: Xena had a good number of these before switching to Les Yay with Gabrielle.
- Ten-Minute Retirement: In the pilot, Xena buries her weapons, renouncing her life of violence. It doesn't last.
- Theme Music Power-Up
- Theme Tune Cameo: Twice. She whistles it in "Fins, Femmes, and Gems" and plays it on a lute on "Lyre Lyre Hearts on Fire".
- The Three Faces of Eve: Ironically they all look the same. Diana (maiden), Leah (mother), Meg (whore).
- Throwing Your Sword Always Works
- The Time of Myths
- Title Drop: Not just the title of the show but also the title of the episodes.
- To Hell and Back: Hell. Heaven. Elysium. Tartarus. Valhalla. The Amazon Land of the Dead.
- Took a Level In Badass: Gabrielle. Her earliest costume was a very modest dress while later episodes had her with a green midriff revealing top and a skirt with her fighting staff. And later a more revealing costume, shorter hair & a pair of Sai. Averted with Joxer, who is the son of a warlord and travels with Xena and Gabrielle for quite a lot of time, passes through many battles, and yet remains a very poor fighter.
- Training the Peaceful Villagers
- Trapped in Another World: The Amazon founder Cyane is actually from the 20th century. This explains why some of the Amazon's rituals are familiar (the Amazon purification ritual is a sauna, the Amazon royal challenge is pro wrestling).
- True Love Is Boring: Can't have a "Warrior Princess" being happy, now can we, Gabrielle?
- Unnecessary Combat Somersault
- Unresolved Sexual Tension
- Xena and Gabrielle. SO MUCH.
- Also Xena and Ares, Xena and Hercules, Xena and Iolaus, Xena and Lao Ma and Xena and Borias.
- Also Gabrielle and Joxer.
- Unusually Uninteresting Sight: The reporter from "You are there".
- Villain of the Week: Try Warlord of the Week, especially in season 1.
- Viral Marketing: In a very early example, in 1995 the show's website (itself unusual for a show at the time) featured an archive of e-mails between researchers working on "The Xena Scrolls".
- Virgin Sacrifice: Genia in "Many Happy Returns".
- Visions of Another Self: A few episodes but played out as Flash Forward setups with the characters in the modern day.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Xena and Gabrielle squabble occasionally, but it's almost always played for laughs. Keeping in mind what happened the ONE time it wasn't played for laughs...
- Walking Shirtless Scene
- Also Draco in the first episode.
- And Xena on one occasion or another.
- And Gabrielle, in "If the Shoe Fits".
- Walking the Earth
- War Is Hell: It may be a campy show but Xena refuses to shy away from the terrible effects of war.
- Was It All a Lie?: Xena and Marc Antony in "Antony and Cleopatra".
- Weapon of Choice
- Xena's Chakram.
- Gabrielle's Sais, and (to a lesser extent) her staff.
- We Help the Helpless
- Wham! Episode
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Xena's older brother.
- Whip It Good
- White Sheep
- Whole-Plot Reference: The episode "The Play's the Thing" is based off the plot from The Producers, with Gabrielle getting caught in the scam. At one point, when Joxer and her actors are trying to offer constructive criticism, someone suggests the name be changed. Gabrielle sarcastically asks "To what? Springtime for Warlords?"
- Who Wants to Live Forever?: Callisto eventually got sick of her godhood-induced immortality when she had nothing to live for and wanted Xena to kill her with the Hind's Blood Dagger, but Xena refused to give Callisto what she wanted until she saw Gabrielle perish, realizing that Callisto now had something worth living for. However, Callisto may have just been playing off of Xena's fragmented emotional state in the moment, to achieve her goal.
- With Catlike Tread: Bandits trying to kill Xena in her sleep in "A Day in the Life" ruin their own chances by shouting "Now you will die, Xena!"
- A Wizard Did It: Trope Namer... sort of.
- Woman in White: Celesta
- The Woman Wearing the Queenly Mask
- World of Badass
- World of Ham
- Written in Infirmity
- When Lucy Lawless was thrown from a horse during a stunt on The Tonight Show, it triggered a story arc where Xena was in a death-like trance and her soul had to be carried in the bodies of other characters on the show. Thus, "Xena" could still appear on the show while Lucy Lawless was recuperating. Two of the soul-carriers were Xena's enemy Callisto and Autolycus, the King of Thieves.
- Gabrielle spraining her ankle in "One Against an Army" was written because Renee O'Connor really did sprain her ankle during production. It's even acknowledged in the credits.
- Xanatos Speed Chess: Xena and Gabrielle are the masters of this.
- Yellow Peril: Ming Tzu and Khan.
- You Look Familiar: Many examples, but Cupid and Julius Caesar, both played by Karl Urban, stand out.
- You Mean "Xmas": "A Solstice Carol" -- subtle.