Legendary Journeys
"Atlantis" | Episodes of Hercules: TLJ | "Hero's Heart"

Beanstalks and Bad Eggs
Beanstalks 04.jpg
Hercules and Autolycus Marvel at the Magical Beanstalk
Series Hercules: The Legendary Journeys
Season 4
Antagonist Typhoon
Setting Greece
In-Universe Date Year 2
Production # V0129
Filming Dates 22 May to 3 June 1997
Original Air-Date 29 September 1997
Written By Melissa Rosenberg
Directed By John T. Kretchmer
Episode Chronology
Order in Series 60 of 111
Order in Season 1 of 22
Order in Franchise 111 of 304
Previous Episode in Series "Atlantis"
Next Episode in Series "Hero's Heart"
Previous Episode in Franchise "A Comedy of Eros"
Next Episode in Franchise "The Furies"
Title Image
Beanstalks title.jpg


Hercules is standing over a dying old woman, surrounded by her family. She laments the loss of her mother, taken by a giant years ago, as well as asks him to find her. Just before the woman dies, she tells Hercules how to find her mother. Partnering with Autolycus, Hercules goes to the home of the warlord Otis and they steal a pouch from a boobytrapped chest. Though successful, Autolycus gets greedy and triggers the alarm while stealing some jewels that were in with the pouch.

Away from the hideout, Autolycus opens the pouch and finds just a bean. Angry at having wasted his talent, he tosses the bean away and it quickly grows into a beanstalk that reaches into the clouds. As Hercules fights Otis' men, who came looking for the jewels, Autolycus climbs the stalk and sees a large castle in the distance. Thinking of treasure he ignores the dangers of the clouded pathway and comes to the large entrance. Hercules soon arrives and Autolycus picks the large lock.

Hearing someone singing, they find a young woman at a harp, watching over three, large golden eggs. She is elated to see people her size, but warns them to leave before the owner of the castle wakes up. She is Leanna, the mother of the dying old woman, as well as explains that time passes more slowly here. She is happy to hear her daughter died surrounded by family, but again urges the two to leave. Just then, the whole room begins to shake and a giant enters the room. Hercules recognizes him as the kind giant Typhon, Echidna's husband, but this is actually Typhoon, his brother and not so nice. Elsewhere, Otis pays a mercenary to climb the stalk and hunt down his jewels.

Typhoon and Leanna begin arguing about the eggs, Fee, Fi, and Fo-Fum. Hercules and Autolycus try to escape, but are nearly caught when Typhoon is tripped up. Hercules gets out, but again the thief's greed gets the best of him. He is caught and Hercules is confronted by the mercenary. Before anything can happen though, a monster in the clouds eats the mercenary.

Leanna talks Typhoon out of killing Autolycus, but they argue more. The thief notices the giant and the lady are hiding their feelings, so he tries to give Typhoon some tips on wooing women, with predictably bad results. Meanwhile, Hercules goes back after Leanna and finds out she was ordered to be here by Hades to watch over the Harpy eggs. She will be free after they hatch. Soon Typhoon enters and attempts to win her over, but fails and smacks Autolycus into the eggs, breaking them open and releasing the infant Harpies.

Imprisoned, Hercules and Autolycus trick a Harpy into giving them the key to their cage, but Hercules leaves the thief locked in. He convinces Typhoon to free Leanna, but she doesn't really want to go. As they talk, the Harpies escape and everyone looks for them. In the process, Hercules fights and tosses the monster into the distance.

The Harpies still manage to get to the stalk and make their way down, but are saved by Hercules and Autolycus. Leanna decides to stay with Typhoon and raise the Harpies to be good. Once down, Hercules expresses his wish to end the "partnership" with the King of Thieves, but as he swings away, Autolycus reiterates the fact that they are partners and the beanstalk is pulled into the clouds.


No permanent cases of Harpies were reported during the production of this motion picture.


Background Information[]

  • The overall plot is based on "Jack and the Beanstalk," an anonymous adventure story dated to 18th-century England.
  • Michael Hurst does not appear in this episode.
  • Alyssa's house was previously seen as Cassandra's house in "Atlantis" and as Hercules and Serena's house in "Judgment Day."
  • The baby Harpies were created by Richard Taylor and WETA and were clearly an evolution of the Gremlins from the 1984 film of the same name.
  • At 38:02 Typhoon says "To the moon, Herc". In the sitcom The Honeymooners (1955-6), Ralph Kramden often said "To the moon, Alice," "To the moon, Norton," and other variations.
  • At 32:00 Hercules says to Typhoon "What we have here is a failure to communicate". This is a direct quote from Cool Hand Luke (1967), where the chief guard (Strother Martin) says it to Luke (Paul Newman).
  • There are several references to a scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark in the scene where Autolycus takes the pouch he and Hercules are after. Indiana Jones must overcome a weighted trap for the idol he is after, he uses a pouch filled with dirt to attempt to overcome the trap, removing some of the dirt before using the dirt pouch, and he rubs his face. All things Autolycus did. Hercules rubs his fingers together while Autolycus takes the pouch they are after the same as Satipo, Jones' traveling companion, did while Jones took the idol he was after. Also in both instances the trap was still sprung. Autolycus set off the trap by carelessly taking a diamond after defeating the trap while Jones seemingly just guessed the weight wrong.
  • At 41:54 the three Harpies begin to mimic a routine made famous by The Three Stooges. The same gag is performed by reanimated skeletons in Army of Darkness (1992), another Bruce Campbell-Sam Raimi collaboration.
  • Using similarities in pronunciation, "harpies" are used as punning references to "herpes", i.e. "once you have harpies you can't get rid of them".

Memorable Quotations[]

"Once you have harpies you can't get rid of them."


"I hate to break it to you, Big Guy. You've got harpies."


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