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  • Absolute Cleavage
  • Absurdly Sharp Blade
  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: Duke Everlue owns one. And Happy goes for a swim.
  • Accidental Murder: Zeref's magic is custom tailored for this. He ultimately kills Zancrow by waking up in his arms.
  • Action Girl: Pick any girl.
  • Adaptation Expansion
    • The anime filler so far has given screen time to Fairy Tail's less plot-important members, most notably Loke and Lisanna.
    • The anime also throws in an occasional Chekhov's Gun/Gunman, or otherwise mentions points that came up much later in the manga. For instance, Laxus's symbol being used by everyone from the beginning of the story, or mention of Siegrain and Jellal being twins before fans can form ideas about them being the same person.
    • The backstories of the Oracion Seis members (being slaves forced to work on the Tower of Paradise like Erza) are shown and integrated into several scenes and motivations, as opposed to being relegated to All There in the Manual trivia as in the manga.
    • It's done this a lot with the Edolas Arc, which glossed over quite a bit in the manga. For example, we get to see some of Gajeel's adventure as he searches for Fairy Tail, and he even gets to meet his Edolas counterpart, who is never shown or even mentioned in the manga.
    • The anime also expanded Ultear's Troubled Backstory Flashback to not only show how torturous of an experience the experiments done on Ultear were, but why they happened: as it turns out, Brain, the to-be leader of Oracion Seis, was running the facility to strengthen young wizards to use as candidates for members of his six-man guild. However, after Ultear returned to the facility to willingly strengthen herself and take revenge against her mother, Brain noticed that she was becoming too powerful to be a proper subordinate, and he had already gathered five other children to form his guild, so he up and left the facility right before it fell at the hands of the vengeful, overpowered little girl (and kind of expected it to happen).
    • There's more dialogue between Laxus and Hades in the anime than there is in the manga. The most significant part is when Laxus tells Hades that strength isn't as important as having the courage to stand up to someone stronger, then adds, "Ain't that right, Natsu?"
  • Adventure Guild: They're everywhere.
  • Aerith and Bob: The names ranges from Lucy to Jellal, Makarov to Erza, Elfman to Ur, Meldy to Laxus. There are western names, Eastern-ish names, as well as names that fans have never heard of.
  • The Alcoholic: Cana, she drinks entire barrels of alcohol. She drinks 30% of the guild's alcohol. She started drinking at age 13, 2 years before the minimum age of the country. on her guild card her likes are: alcohol and her dislikes are: non-alcoholic drinks. Also recently introduced is Bacchus of Quatro Cerberus who not only has managed to drink cana under the table but has also created his own drunken martial arts style
  • A Lesson in Defeat: By Gildarts, to Natsu.
  • All There in the Manual
    • Cobra's pet snake Cuberos was actually a human turned into a snake. And she's a member of Fairy Tail, to boot. This is nearly, if not utterly, impossible to tell from just reading the manga or watching the anime, and you'd have to read the extra information that comes with the published volumes to find out.
    • There's a lot that's only said in the extra info. Like all of the members or Oracion Seis being involved in the Tower of Heaven; Brain was Jellal's mentor, and everyone else was just doing regular work on the tower. Adaptation Expansion put scenes in the anime depicting this, though.
    • Gildarts hates Iwan Dreyar. We never see them interact in the manga or anime, but from this little fact we know that there was bad blood in the past, even if we have no idea what it was.
  • All Part of the Show: The townsfolk of Magnolia think the fighting in Laxus' arc was part of the preparation for Fairy Tail's parade.
  • Almighty Janitor
    • Natsu beats the Big Bad most arcs, but he's still not an S-Class wizard, even though Erza admits that he's at least as strong as her, if not stronger.
    • Gray is usually portrayed as Natsu's Rival, so that throws him into the mix.
    • Juvia was an S-Class wizard for Phantom Lord, but she lost that rank when they disbanded (to be fair, Fairy Tail seems to have higher standards).
    • Gajeel was considered Phantom Lord's strongest, above even Juvia.
  • Alternate Universe: The focus of the Edolas arc.
  • Amulet of Concentrated Awesome: Lacrima, especially the Slayer Lacrima that Laxus and Cobra use that give them the same abilities as a Dragon Slayer.
  • Anchored Ship: Jellal and Erza
  • Animated Tattoo: Reedus Jonah.
  • Anti-Hero: Phantom Lord, being a legal guild that more or less acts like a dark one, is a Type V before their attack on Fairy Tail. Jellal, Ultear, and Meredy are Type IVs (Pay Evil Unto Evil) after their Heel Face Turn.
  • Anti-Villain: More than half of the bad guys are sympathetic to a degree. (See the YMMV page for Type IVs)
    • Type I: Kageyama (dark guild member, but can't commit a mass murder when given the chance), Azuma.
    • Type II: Juvia before her Heel Face Turn, Jellal (who is also a Type III), The [1], Ultear and Meredy.
    • Type III: Reitei Lyon and his group, Laxus, Knightwalker, Hades.
  • Arc Number
    • 7. All dragons disappeared at the same time, seven years prior to the story's present, on the 7th day of the 7th month of the year 777. This was also the same year that Lucy's mother (and possibly several other people) died. There have also been several Quirky Miniboss Squad with seven members. And in Chapter 253 we have a seven year Time Skip.
    • In the same arc as the above, but earlier We have 7 teams headed by legitimate members of Fairy Tail, 7 paths lead to battles, 7 Fairy Tail members (Makarov, Erza, Mirajane, Gildarts, Carla, Pantherlily, Wendy) that aren't members of one of the seven legitimate teams. There are 21 (7 x 3) wizards holding hands for the protective magic prior to Acnologia's final attack.
    • Also 3 as well: the Dragon Slayer in the Fairy Tail guild, three active S-Class wizards currently at the guild. Makarov is the third guild master. Lucy starts off with three gold keys and three silver keys. Three S class wizards at any given time. You start off with Laxus, Mystogan, and Erza (Gildarts has been gone so long some people think he's not coming back.) Laxus is thrown out in the same arc that Mirajane gets her magic back. Mystogan leaves at the end of the arc where Gildarts returns. And then Gildarts leaves shortly after Laxus comes back.
  • Armor Is Useless: Played straight with both genders in almost all situations. Only Erza (and not always) and a few warriors use armor in battle, the rest only magical barriers if anything at all.
  • Arson, Murder, and Lifesaving: Worth squat as far as the new council is concerned.
  • Art Evolution: Compare the first chapter to the most recent. The artwork's much smoother, lines are thicker and characters are less lanky.
  • Ass Shove: While everyone sleeps off their latest party/brawl in chapter 200, Max is seen with a broom sticking out of his butt.
  • Attack of the 50 Foot Whatever
    • Lullaby was huge in the manga. He's noticeably even larger in the anime.
    • Makarov also, his Titan magic allows him to change his size at will.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Guildmasters and the Magic Council. Though not so much for certain council members.
    • Subverted by the Oración Seis. The leader, Brain, actually goes down pretty easy; the actual strongest member is Midnight. Or not. As of chapter 156, the strongest member appears to be Brain's Super-Powered Evil Side.
  • Author Appeal
    • Ignoring the Fan Service, Mystogan's identity makes it seem that Hiro Mashima loves parallel world plots.
    • Also, Pantherlily's appearence makes much more sense if you know Mashima likes Blacksad.
  • Awesome McCoolname
    • Gray Fullbuster is a name that'd look good on your resume.
    • Natsu Dragoneel deserves a mention as well.
  • Ax Crazy: Several villains:
    • Gajeel,
    • Laxus (for a while),
    • a good number of the Oración Seis,
    • and the leader's Super-Powered Evil Side Zero, who crosses Ax Crazy and teeters into Omnicidal Maniac.
    • Zancrow is pretty much the best example of Ax Crazy that Fairy Tail has to offer. Heck, just by his looks alone, you can tell that he's some kind of psycho.
  • Babies Make Everything Better: How Happy got his name.
  • Backstory: Everyone has one. Everyone.
  • Badass: Many.
    • Erza and Mirajane are foremost examples.
    • Gildarts. Strong enough to make Natsu, who never gives up no matter who the enemy is, cower in fear and admit defeat.
    • Mystogan, who is on the same level as Laxus and Gildarts despite actually having no magic, considering he comes from Edolas.
  • Badass Grandpa
    • Makarov, nearly ninety and he can still kick ass.
    • Master Hades... aka former Fairy Tail guildmaster Purehito.
    • Note that both of the above have awesome Badass Mustaches.
  • Bat Deduction: The trick to finding Mavis's grave.
  • Bathtub Bonding: Between Lucy and Cana before the Exam arc.
  • Battle Aura
  • Bavarian Fire Drill: Small scale one in the Edolas arc. Carla tells the enemy she's a princess. It doesn't keep their pursuers from chasing them for long, though it does save Lucy. It's inadvertently true, though.
  • Beach Episode: Chapter 261. Full of fanservice.
  • Beat Them At Their Own Game: When Erza's Requip armor and weapons prove utterly useless against Ikaruga, an assassin with Implausible Fencing Powers, Erza decides to fight her using an outfit with no magic and ordinary swords. And wins.
  • Beleaguered Childhood Friend: Jellal is (sometimes) this for Erza.
  • Beware the Nice Ones
    • During the Laxus arc, Mirajane finally gets pushed too far, and both we and her opponent get a demonstration of why she used to be an S-ranked wizard with the nickname "Demon".
    • Also a possible Brown Note moment too, simply because the wizard she pummeled had a demon form of his own that he ended up using and still got his ass handed to him, proving that you DO NOT FUCK WITH MIRAJANE'S NAKAMA unless you are ready to have her rip you a new one then pummel you into the ground.
    • Makarov too. He was perfectly content to ignore Phantom Lord's unprovoked attack on the guild...until they attacked team Shadow Gear. Then he led everyone in the immediate vicinity in a march right up to Phantom Lord's doorstep. And don't even get me started on Fairy Law...
    • Basically almost anyone in Fairy Tail, no matter how nice or friendly they seem, mess with their nakama and they will go into a frenzied rage that will leave you a pile of ash.
  • Berserk Button: Attempts to harm their True Companions or, worse still, their guild as a whole, push this for all of Fairy Tail wizards.
  • Beyond the Impossible
    • Natsu and Gray manage to cause noticable physical harm to each other in a PILLOW FIGHT in episode 31 of the anime. Erza was also involved. They even somehow sent Lucy flying.
    • Gildarts just broke a freaking black hole!
  • BFS
    • Erza has plenty of these.
    • Pantherlily's sword is big. I do not mean Cloud Strife's sword big. I mean BIG. It's not quite Jack Rakan big, but the handle alone is large as Lily himself. And Lily's a pretty big guy. Lily's sword is actually significantly bigger than he is (at least in the anime). Happy comments on how absurdly large it is and uses a little size comparison to show that Lily's sword is at least 4 times as big as he is. That's why Lily is able to knock chunks out of a floating island with his sword.
  • Bifauxnen: If some scans are to be believed, Midnight of Oración Seis is a woman who looks like a Bishounen male. If that's the case, then "she" is also Daddy's Little Villain. He's actually a dude who looks like a girl.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Zeref and Hades are the most involved of Fairy Tail's antagonists, but they have separate goals.
  • Big Breasts, Big Deal: Within the Freaky Friday episode; Gray ends up in Lucy's body, and the first indication is that he starts bitching about how her back hurts.
  • Big Damn Heroes
    • Edolas!Natsu is introduced this way. Yay.
    • There are a lot of these in the Edolas arc.
      • In Chapter 180, Gajeel probably pulls the biggest damn heroes moment in the arc. Too bad it's all offscreen.
      • Mystogan sending everyone back to Earthland just in the nick of time.
      • The entire Edolas Fairy Tail Guild during the final battle of the arc.
    • This actually seems to be Gajeel's hat in the guild.
    • Gildarts pulls one of these off just in time to save Cana from being killed by Bluenote, despite having already left the area beforehand.
      • He brought Fried and Bickslow back with him, much to Rustyrose's horror.
    • Chapter 244. Laxus. Nuff said.
    • The original Big Good,the first master of Fairy Tail, Mavis Vermillion in chapter 255.
    • This is practically Natsu's signature move with regards to Lucy: in fact, she relies on it once when she jumps from a tower in the Phantom Lord guild, having heard Natsu in the distance and knowing he'd come to save her.
  • Bigger Bad: Master Hades up until the S-Class Trial arc, when he becomes the direct Big Bad. He's indirectly responsible for the Tower of Heaven continuing after the revolt, the events of Galuna Island, and for Oracion Seis existing in the first place.
    • Zeref is also an example, as it's 400 years after he's done anything and people are still talking about him and trying to clean up demons and other pieces of dark magic he left behind.
  • Big Good: Erza had this position at the start before the other protagonists caught up and she became The Big Guy. Now held by Makarov and Gildarts.
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: YUKA SUZUKI. His eyebrows look like they could cannibalize Maito Gai's and Amarao's without even trying.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Those familiar with English will get a laugh when Mystogan appears in the second OVA as the school gardener, with a spray can (a literal mist gun) in each hand.
  • Bizarro Universe: Edolas, where the land's in the sky, Gray's extremely sensitive to the cold and has an open crush on Juvia, Jet and Droy are the strongest of the guild, Elfman's a wuss, Lucy's a Delinquent, and Natsu loves to drive but is a complete wuss when not driving. Alzack and Bisca are also Sickeningly Sweethearts. To add to that Fairy Tail as a whole is an illegal guild, due to all guilds being banned, and thus being the only magic guild who resists the King's orders. Also, the only person from Earthland who can still use magic normally is Lucy thanks to the mana potion Mystogan had her drink; he provides such for the others later, too.
    The anime implied that King Faust might be the Edolas version of Makarov. Although astute viewers would have noticed that Edolas' Fairy Tail stated that their guildmaster was killed. And Faust looks a whole lot more like the new head of the magic council. If what we've seen of him so far says anything, their personalities are a pretty good match. Edolas-Gajeel's a Non-Action Guy Intrepid Reporter and he and Earthland-Gajeel get along smashingly. Porlyusica is actually an Edolas version of Grandine the sky dragon.
  • BLAM Episode: Fillers in the anime tends to be this when they're not stories from the manga. And sometimes when they are based off bonus stories from the manga.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Lucy, Wendy/Gray and Erza/Natsu respectively.
  • Blow You Away: Erigor, Ren, and, eventually, Wendy.
  • Bloodless Carnage
    • While some earlier removals of blood are forgiven, the anime leaving Gray unharmed after being impaled by a ice tiger is not. To top it off, they had him try to stop the bleeding with ice anyway.
    • Getting really silly when Gajeel claims that his dragon's breath (it's made of blades of iron) has torn Natsu's body to shreds. Natsu doesn't have a scratch on him.
    • And then there's Erza vs Ikaruga.
    • Finally subverted to an extent during Gray and Ultear's fight, where he actually slashes at his chest and freezes his blood to use as a weapon. Granted, there was a flash of light drawn instead of blood when he did the deed, but the wound is shown sealed with ice, and we actually get to see the ice on his shoulders turn a deep crimson. So that can be forgiven.
  • Boke and Tsukkomi Routine: Usually Lucy, Max and Warren are the Tsukkomi. Parody in episode 29 by Gray in an attempt to replace the missing Lucy and is quickly told how bad he is much to his dismay.
  • Book Ends: The first and last fights of the Laxus arc both end the same way: with Gajeel Taking the Bullet in order to save someone from a fatal attack from Laxus.
  • Boomerang Bigot Porlyusica hates humans
  • Brain Bleach: Natsu, Gray, and Gajeel all find themselves in serious need of the stuff after spotting Makarov naked in the Yosoko Fairy Hills OVA.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy
    • Jellal all the way.
    • Sherry during the Oración Seis arc, due to Nirvana affecting her negative feelings.
    • And Juvia, during the fight with Vidaldus.
  • Brawler Lock: Erza and Edolas Erza due to Combat Breakdown induced Fearful Symmetry.
  • Bread and Circuses: The capital city of Edolas looks more like a giant amusement park than a city. This helps keep the populace happy despite the fact that their ruler is a greedy nutcase.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: The anime has done this occasionally, with Lucy complaining at the end of one Filler episode about how it has No Ending, and how another episode ends in the middle of a fight with a Cliff Hanger. Also at one point, the Narrator has one of the characters provide the audience with an explanation for a problem that would otherwise go unexplained. It would appear that Happy is better at talking to the audience than other characters.
  • Broken Bird: Erza, after she was enslaved and tortured, witnessed the death of a close companion, and then suffered betrayal from her childhood crush. She can't even seek comfort in anyone else because telling anyone about what happened will get all of her old friends killed. It gets better though.
  • Bunny Ears Lawyer: Most of Fairy Tail, and don't get started on Blue Pegasus.
  • Butt Monkey: Lucy gets quite a lot of grief from Natsu, Gray, Erza and Happy, though it's not limited to them. Despite being the closest thing to being the main heroine of the story, Lucy is basically the butt monkey of the group, whether its being on the recieving end of another character's actions or simply being the victim of circumstances. That's why we love her though.
    • One event that is a combination of both is when Lucy is watching a sleeping Natsu and thinking that he's pretty cute when he's sleeping when she gets sent flying through the roof by a fist to face because Natsu was acting out his dream. Seen here and here.
    • Lucy can funnily be a quite literal example of a Butt Monkey in the sense that she gets spanked quite a few times which has never happened to any other character in the series, and Lucy seems to suffer from it every time.
  • The Cameo
    • Episode 48 racks this Up to Eleven during the Fantasia parade. If you pay attention, you can see, amidst the audience, The Galuna Devils village chief, his son, and the chick who likes Gray (in human form during night, for some reason), The contractors from the Everlue arc, Kageyama and his Gonk-ish friend (out of jail, for some reason), Lyon and the Lamia Scale wizards, Erza's friends, Bora and the anime-only That Guy And That Chick from the Phantom Lord arc, and a girl that looks suspiciously like Wendy.
    • Elie and Julia make a cameo in chapter 102.
  • Calling Your Attacks: It's a shonen series, what did you expect?
    • Subverted beautifully by Happy at one point to trick his opponents. He calls out a poison gas attack, but it turns out it was just flour.
  • Cannot Spit It Out
    • A non-romantic example is Cana, it turns out, is Gildarts' daughter. However, she was originally raised by her mother who apparently never told Gildarts about her, and after her mother died, Cana sought out Gildarts but couldn't work up the nerve to tell him she was his daughter. She's been trying to work up the nerve for 12 years.
    • And then there's Bisca and Alzack.
    • Juvia lives and breathes this trope, although only towards Gray.
  • Cast of Snowflakes
  • Catapult Nightmare: Erza invokes this in chapter 75 when remembering her past as a child slave.
  • Cat Fight: As though it weren't already obvious, the first thing that Juvia does in her hypnotized fight with Lucy is to rip her top off.
  • Catfolk: The Exceed.
  • Cats Are Mean
    • Subverted with Happy. No matter what anyone tells him about what horrible things he was supposed to do, he refuses to accept it, and fights against expectations to stick by his friends.
    • The Exceed in Edolas effectively rule the human world from afar, murdering any humans which are in excess of the population to both demonstrate their power and to prevent the humans from draining the limited magical supply. They also dispatched a hundred covert assassins to assassinate the Dragon Slayers of Earthland, only changing the mission to "capture" once they realized that the targets made for excellent sources of magic. This is ultimately inverted at the end of the arc. The Exceed don't actually have the ability to do all that. Everything was simply an act to protect themselves by intimidating the human population, which had done horrible things to them in the past. The "assassination mission" never actually existed; Carla isn't remembering downloaded or transmitted instructions, she's seeing snippets of the future with the clairvoyance she inherited from her mother, Queen Shagotte, who herself turns out to be a Broken Bird Wearing The Queenly Mask. The actual purpose of sending all those eggs to Earthland was to save their children and preserve their race against the End of the World the Queen foresaw.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: Done gradually and tactfully. The first couple missions are simple rescues, then comes confronting a Rival Turned Evil. The next one has the entire guild fighting a rival guild with Natsu's Evil Counterpart, who kicked it off by destroying Fairy Tail's guild hall. Tower of Heaven involves a Brainwashed and Crazy slavemaster trying to revive Black Wizard Zeref. The Raijinshu Arc inverts this, as the only thing at stake is one town and it's heavily implied that Laxus holding Magnolia hostage is an empty threat. It returns with the Nirvana Arc, where a Mad Scientist attempting to bring out an artifact that can turn people Brainwashed and Crazy. The Edolas Arc has the few survivors of being sucked through the Anima trying to stop a parallel world from turning Earthland's wizards into lacrima. And S-Class Trial is once again trying to revive Zeref, only thing time, it's an entire dark guild led by Makarov's former mentor. And they inadvertently succeed in reviving him. Except he was awake all the time
  • Chainmail Bikini
    • Most of Erza's armor is actually pretty covering, but some are revealing pieces of metal Fan Service. She has an actual metal bikini too.
    • Played straight, on the other hand, by Edolas Erza.
  • Chainsaw Good: Because having a sword for an arm isn't badass enough, the anime gives the possibility to Gajeel to use his power to transform his arm in what looks pretty much like a chainsaw.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: If the Vanish Brothers (and by extension, mercenary guilds) are anything to go by, a mere human who trains hard enough can hurl people through solid walls, catapult a grown man several meters into the air, punch so hard they create an impact crater, attain an iron body, and probably more without using any form of magic whatsoever.
  • Chaste Hero: Natsu.
    • Hilarious Example: Edo!Lucy offers to drop her towel so she can compare her body to Earth!Lucy's. Natsu isn't interested, he thinks they should do mirror sketches.
    • Chapter 261 reverses this into him actively attempting to peek on Lucy and the rest of the girls while they're in the bath. He's joined by Gray, Jet, and Droy.
  • Chekhov's Armory: You can generally assume any attention-getting detail that's suddenly unmentioned will be critically important in some point in the future.
    • Chekhov's Gun
      • In the anime, the sign that Laxus taught his grandfather has spread throughout the entire guild, as seen in episode 2.
      • In this cover page for the chapter "Bye Bye Fairy Tail", look who's missing.
      • Gildarts's beating of Natsu telling him that fear isn't evil and is sometimes necessary.
      • Mystogan never formally quits being a member. He just stays behind at the end of the Edolas arc.
    • Chekhov's Gunman: Zeref, Virgo, and Lucy's Mother, among a ton of others.
    • Chekhov's Boomerang: Erza's right eye.
    • Chekhov's Skill: Gray learnt how to handle himself in a motorcycle chase against Racer, and can strip in a split second. In his fight against Sugarboy he steals a motorcycle to pursue him and and dodges an attack by taking off his jacket quicker than the eye can see.
  • The Chessmaster: Jellal attempts to play this role, even using actual chess figures to represent other characters. Unsuccessfully: he ends up as a pawn for his supposed minion.
  • Chivalrous Pervert
    • Loke and everybody from Blue Pegasus except for Ichiya. Especially the chivalry part.
    • The summon spirit Taurus, whose contract essentially stipulates that as long as Lucy stays hot, he'll gladly protect her sexy, sexy body. So, to that end, on one occasion he summons himself to block an attack that Lucy couldn't otherwise have dealt with.
  • Child Mage: Most wizards learn magic at a very early age.
    • Wendy is the resident Child Mage.
    • Romeo now counts as well.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Erza and Jellal, although they are a more tragic variant.
  • The Chosen One: Parodied. Lucy wonders if she's this when she's the only one who can use magic in Edolas. She is immediately shot down. Then everyone else gets their own mana potions to drink, and they're right back to using their powers.
  • Chunky Updraft
    • Mirajane.
    • Also Gildarts, even more than the above character.
  • Cliffhanger Copout: Wendy gets hit by a spell and vanishes into thin air at the end of the chapter, and at the start of the next she's just inside Hologorium, who conveniently popped up right then and is clinging to the ceiling.
  • Clothing Damage: Lots. Especially for Lucy.
    • It's mostly Lucy and Erza who gets this, though Erza usually switches armor shortly after. Despite having in the most battles, Natsu doesn't seem to get this as much. Although after a long fight, Erza will leave her damaged clothing on for a long time.
    • Possibly justified with Natsu, since he doesn't ever wear a shirt to begin with. Just a vest and a scarf. His pants and vest are often frayed and worn by the end of a fight, though. And recently his scarf changed colors under ominous circumstances.
    • Gray subverts this. He takes his clothes off in advance. And not just before fights. Avoiding clothing damage is not the reason, he just likes taking his shirt off.
    • Jellal, when fighting Natsu. His overcoat catches fire as he takes it off and it burns to ashes in an instant. This is the only affect Natsu's attack has on him. Though the suit he's wearing after that is completely wrecked once Natsu find's a suitably outrageous power up.
  • Colony Drop: The King Faust plans to use the lacrima of the Fairy Tail guild as a magical bomb on Extalia.
  • The Comically Serious
    • Mystogan would like some more apple.
    • Erza as well.
    • Gajeel, from time to time.
    • Fried has his moments.
    • Virgo wants to know if you would punish her after she does something.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: Observe...
    • Natsu and the gang (12 members) have been easily defeated by Oración Seis (6 members)
    • Shortly afterwards they were separated into pairs (2 members)
    • Each pair fought a whole guild (30+ members) and won.
    • And the good guys who later fought an Oración Seis one-on-one won.
    • Also in the beginning Erza and Lucy took down most of Eisenwald.
    • Raijinshuu, Lucy (by herself), Natsu and Gray vs the Naked Mummy guild they lose everytime.
  • Continuity Cameo: There are multiple Rave Master references including The Ten Powers.
  • Continuity Nod
    • Any new members of Fairy Tail we are introduced to appear in the background of the Guild whenever they can, and at one point you can see Romeo hanging with Macao when Wendy introduces herself to the guild. Lyon and his group appear on newspapers and magazines from time to time, as well. The fact that they didn't do this with Mest is the first sign that he's not what he seems.
    • The horn from the demon that Erza vanquished and brought to the guild in her introduction is seen as a display in the guild 200 chapters later.
    • Mashima recently has been using this in reference to the extra details included in the anime such as Makarov's character design as a young man and Ultear's Ice Make magic having the same rose theme as Ur's, which was only made known in the anime
    • In the Daphne Arc at one point Happy and Lucy mimic Cobra and Hoteye's Catch Phrase/Verbal Tic respectively.
    • Gajeel and Natsu once argue about The Tortoise and the Hare, later it's parodied in a filler episode.
  • Continuity Cavalcade
    • The second OVA, for example: Carla dressing as Laxus and accidently blurts out that she wants to take over Fairy Academy.
    • From the same OVA, Gajeel seems to be channeling Bixlow for a moment.
    • The tenth ending has the whole series up until the Tenrou Island arc done in a board game-like setting.
  • Conveniently-Timed Attack From Behind: The council, especially the new council always seems to time themselves to arrive right after the day has been saved so they can arrest or take a character in to custody for property destruction/illegal war/manipulating the council/being a member of Oración Seis. If they're so high and mighty would it really kill them to try this on the villains as well.
  • Cooldown Hug
    • Natsu and Lucy in chapter 174.
    • Lisanna looked like she wanted to try that with Elfman when he lost control of himself. Didn't work out.
    • There's also a brief one between Erza and Gray during the Phantom arc.
  • Covert Pervert: Erza might be one if this page is any indication.
  • Covers Always Lie: In the volume 6 cover, Levy is slightly more busty than she should be... Though to be fair, it's also a question of Art Evolution. The page caption is from the start of the series, where she was actually drawn having breasts, just quite smaller than the ones she got in the caption. Nowadays, she is the series' resident Pettanko, not counting Wendy who is simply too young to have grown breasts.
  • Crap Saccharine World: The capital of Edolas is a shiny amusement park of a city kept prosperous with stolen magic, while the rest of the world is literally falling apart.
  • Cross Counter: This image.
  • Crossover
  • Crowning Moment of Awesome: "The Grand Magic Games, day 3, Pandemonium. I think I'll never forget the events of this day. As she becomes covered with wounds the fairy that should have fallen to earth dances. Here is TITANIA. Almost like... A scarlet flower, blooming fully with pride."
  • Cry Cute
    • Carla's crying is strangely endearing for some reason.
    • Makarov in the flashback when Laxus invents the "I'm always watching over you" symbol.
  • Curb Stomp Battle
    • Makarov vs Jose at the end of the Phantom Lord arc turns into this, when Makarov unleashes Fairy Law, defeating Jose and all of his summoned minions in one blast.
    • Gildarts repels all of Natsu's attacks without moving an inch before flaring his Battle Aura and reducing Natsu to tears of fear.
    • Later, Hades wipes the floor with Makarov using the same kind of light magic as him. He even blasts a hole through Makarov's chest.
    • And then he does it again with Lucy, Natsu, Gray, Erza, and Wendy. Guy's a former Master for a reason.
    • Reversed in chapter 248 when Hades' source of power the Devil's Heart is destroyed and the good guys' power source the Tenrou Tree is restored.
  • Cute Kitten: Natsu has Happy, Wendy has Carla, and Gajeel has Pantherlily.
  • Cute Little Fangs: Variation with the Dragon Slayers; every Dragon Slayer has very pronounced teeth, thought not pronounced enough for fangs to stick out of closed mouths. Even Wendy has them. Just compare her teeth when she's smiling to any other girl in the series.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: The anime openings frequently show Natsu flying around using his fire magic as propulsion because it looks cool. In the actual anime and manga, he can only use his magic to enhance his jumps, and needs Happy to fly. Somewhat subverted; he uses it against Jellal (who can achieve flight by casting Meteor on himself) in the anime.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: All of the main characters were set on the path that eventually led them to Fairy Tail by some past trauma. Each of character arcs has the spotlight character confronting: although not necessarily in direct combat: and overcoming the villain who inflicted such trauma on them, all the while relying on their True Companions to help them through.
  • Dark Is Not Evil
    • Mirajane's takeover. Her attacks are even called things like "darkness stream" and "evil spark".
    • Fried counts as well. Glyphs of Darkness combined with a demon transformation of his own; his title is even "Fried the Dark". He's also the most sympathetic member of the Raijinshu.
  • Darker and Edgier: The S-Class trial.
    • The Big Bad is The Man Behind the Man to Ultear, who has been The Chessmaster to several other big bads. Not only that, but he's the first one in the entire series to ever beat Makarov in a fair fight. Makarov's only other loss was due to a sneak attack.
    • Most, if not all, of Hades' Quirky Miniboss Squad are more powerful than previous Big Bads. They use lost magic, which is absurdly powerful. One of them is basically a more powerful version of Natsu. He can eat Natsu's flames, and uses fire that Natsu chokes on.
    • And to top it off, the goal of the whole thing is to revive Black Wizard Zeref.
  • Daydream Surprise: How Midnight is finished off when his illusions backfire on him.
    • A hilarious one happens where Lucy declares her undying love to Gray and tries to lay him down. Thank you, Juvia.
  • Dead Little Sister: To both Mirajane, the older child, and Elfman, the middle child.
  • Deader Than Dead: How does being broken up at the atomic level and shot into the sky sound? And yet, Jellal got better...
  • Deadly Upgrade
    • Natsu after he eats Aetherion magic.
    • Whenever he eats magic that's not fire.
    • The reformed Ultear has an ability to unlock untapped magic potential in other wizards, which has an excruciantingly painful effect as experienced by the Fairy Tail members who decided to accept it. Somehow, the only subversion is Erza, who didn't feel a thing.
  • Death By Origin Story: The only non-psycho-demon to die outside an origin story is Simon. However, several other villains probably died and we just never heard about it.
  • Death Seeker: Possibly all Jellals. Confirmed for Earth Jellal after the Time Skip, as he admitted to Erza during a one-on-one talk that nothing he could do could ever make up for his actions during the Tower of Heaven arc. In response, she gives him an Armor-Piercing Slap and a Get a Hold of Yourself, Man! lecture to snap him out of it.
  • Death Glare: Gildarts takes it to a whole new level by breaking Natsu's will to fight with a look.
  • Deceptive Disciple
    • Laxus. At least, he tried to become one.
    • Played straight with Ivan, who is Laxus's father also master of the dark guild Raven Tail.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Surprisingly averted, for the most part: despite lots of Heel Face Turns, there are very few who fit this trope.
    • Juvia and Gajeel meet this trope as they were once part of the rival guild Phantom Lord.
    • Gajeel wants to make Pantherlily his cat... so they battle. Gajeel really wants a kitty.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen
    • Erza, although she completely thawed out after Tower of Heaven.
    • Carla seems to be one as well.
  • Designated Girl Fight: The only times when Lucy doesn't end up fighting a girl are when Erza fights the girl instead. Though neither of them got paired up with Juvia in the Phantom arc. And when Ultear fought Natsu she was disguised as an old guy.
    • The majority of Lucy's fights have been against men. Although she always fights someone who fights uses something else so her fights are more like Pokémon battles, only with her taking a more active role with her whip.
  • Destructive Savior: One of the reasons Fairy Tail is one of the most notorious guilds around, despite the relatively high caliber of their wizards. Erza, Gray, and Natsu are especially bad at avoiding property damage.
    • In chapter 23 the Magic Council formally charges Erza for the MASSIVE property damage that occurred throughout the arc. Fortunately for Erza it was just a formality: she wouldn't have actually spent any time in jail. Unfortunately, Natsu busted into the proceedings in a misguided attempt to help her and got both of them thrown into jail for the night.
    • This turns out to be to their advantage during the conclusion of the R-System arc. Natsu even lampshades it:

 Natsu: Wizards from Fairy Tail specialise in property damage!

    • Gildarts takes this trope to its logical conclusion. The townspeople literally change the town's layout when they hear Gildarts is returning in order to give him a clear pathway to the guild.
    • Except now, the Magic Council has decided they have had enough of the property damage.
  • Determinator: Any given hero, but Natsu most often.
  • Deus Ex Machina
    • The guild is completely worn out after having fought all of Phantom Lord's best members and mooks, but their almighty leader is still in top shape. It's a good thing Makarov came back and destroyed them all with a single spell.
    • Also Wendy being able to revive Jellal from a coma to speed up the search for Nirvana.
    • The X-Balls from Edoras Arc. No more needs to be said.
    • Mavis' Fairy Sphere saves Tenrou Island from the Diabolus Ex Machina of Acnologia's attack. However, Mavis won't be able to use it again, and the guild was still split apart for seven years.
  • Deus Exit Machina: Typically, arcs that have more than a small team of heroes have something near the beginning happen that keeps the strongest guild members there from kicking all the villains' asses themselves, which they don't get out of until only the strongest villains are left.
    • Makarov gets his magic drained at the beginning of the Phantom Lord arc and trapped behind a Containment Field during the Laxus arc (the same barrier also trapped Natsu and Gajeel).
    • Erza got turned into stone during the Laxus arc and poisoned in the Oración Seis arc.
    • Lately, Loke's been coming up with excuse upon excuse to be of no help.
    • Also the Edolas arc, in which Mystogan by all accounts could solve the conflict in ten minutes, and is the only one who actually knows what's going on from the beginning, doesn't bother to show up, instead settling for sending Lucy of all people as a backup. And that's exactly what happens. Of course, there is a perfectly valid reason for why he was waiting. How else would he get his exploits mentioned here???
    • Gildarts, Fried and Bickslow leave the S-class exams just before Grimoire Heart arrives. Bad timing. They could have beeen of some use. They however return.
    • Gildarts lives and breathes this trope. He could have taken out Master Jose and ended the Phantom Lord arc in less than half the time it took had he not been on the 100 year mission. It's debatable if he would have been any use during Fighting Festival; Fried would have just set his runes to lock in anyone over 40, rather than 80.
    • Subverted in the Tournament Arc. Just when fans are wondering why Laxus, Mira, and Gajeel aren't on Fairy Tail's team, you find out that they submitted two teams. The second team is Gajeel, Mira, Laxus, Juvia, and Jellal disguised as Mystogan.
  • Diabolus Ex Machina
    • Immediately after the guild alliance destroyed Nirvana, the new magic council comes to arrest two of the people who helped to save everyone. Well, they were well-known villains. They were going to have to get arrested some time, might as well be then.
    • Again, at the end of the S-Class Trials arc, just as the arc appeared to be wrapping up, the Black Dragon shows up...
    • The first day of Magic Games for Fairy Tail
  • Difficult but Awesome: Quite a few of the highly specialised wizards. The strongest example is Fried, who can basically rewrite the laws of nature.
  • Dirty Old Man: Makarov likes to take on this role during times of peace, or as close to peace as things get.
  • Disability Immunity: One of Erza's eyes isn't real (though she can still see through it, which is a subversion of this trope). This gives immunity/resistance to magic that involves her eyes, including illusions and petrification through staring (since it only goes through one eye).
  • Dishing Out Dirt: Jura, Max, Hoteye, and Mikuni.
  • Distracted by the Sexy
    • Gender-reversed version. Juvia gets incredibly distracted when fighting Gray. Of course, then she misunderstands things and thinks that he's in love with Lucy, and gets ticked.
    • Gemini pulls this on Hibiki. Turning into Lucy and removing her top. Lucy was not pleased.
    • Natsu manages to try and get Lucy to pull this on Hughes. It doesn't work.
    • Lyon is distracted long enough by the sight of Juvia's underwear as she leaps down from above for her to kick him in the face.
    • This tends to happen to Taurus as well.
  • Distress Ball: Happens to Erza during the arc with Jellal, though slightly justified. She just had waaay too much faith in her old friend and thus, let her guard down enough that he was able to slap her with the magical equivalent of the Standard Female Grab Area. All so that Natsu could save the day, of course.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?
    • Gray was inside Juvia, not Lucy.
    • Not to mention the one Exceed who waves his hand like he's playing RPS... except, without changing it from rock. And apparently, as of Chapter 198, Erza, Lucy, Gray and Natsu have done it too. Hmm.
  • Dojikko: Wendy. She's improved.
  • Double Agent: Gajeel. He's first revealed to be infiltrating Fairy Tail for a Dark Guild, and then later is shown to be playing that part in the service of Fairy Tail.
  • The Dragon
    • Ultear thusfar, has played second to most of the villains. Though she turns out to be the real Big Bad in the Tower of Paradise arc. Aaaand she's back as the Dragon of the latest Big Bad, Master Hades.
    • More recently, Cobra of Oración Seis seems to be this to Brain. He is loyal, gets extremely happy when their plans seem to succeed, and stands to defend him from Natsu, although that's probably because Brain is too busy guiding Nirvana towards Cait Shelter to deal with him. And it turns out Cobra fits the role almost literally, being the Poison Dragon Slayer.
    • Some fans give this role to Midnight, being the strongest member of Oracion Seis except for Brain's Super-Powered Evil Side and the leader's son.
    • Gajeel to Master Jose of Phantom Lord.
  • Dragon with an Agenda: Ultear, to Lyon and Jellal. And later to Master Hades.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: Erza posing as her Edolas counterpart. What made this strangely amusing was Erza stripped her counterpart of her clothes in the process, leaving Edolas' Erza mostly naked.
  • Drop the Hammer: Gray's Ice Make Hammer.
  • Early-Bird Cameo
    • In the anime, Everlue's face can be seen on a request on the board, presumably the one Natsu picks up in the next episode.
    • In episode 34, you can see kid versions of some of the Oración Seis during Erza's flashback.
    • Wendy, who was made the "fateful encounter" that Lucy meets (in the manga it was originally Natsu and Happy).
    • A twist on the theme, the 10th opening credits and episode 113 show us Romeo 7 years older.
  • Easily Forgiven: Everyone but Jellal, regardless of how horrible their plans were. Granted Jellal caused the most suffering for any member of the main cast and is the only one who killed another character onscreen. This also applies to outside the story. Fans pretty readily ignore characters' past actions. Again, Jellal is not always accepted by them, despite him being the only one with reasonable evidence that he wasn't completely in control of his actions. Of course, Jellal did kill three people (villains) before that potential excuse kicks in. Still, a lot of other forgiven criminals are known to have or at least attempted murder.
    • Gajeel is an aversion of this. While he is forgiven, it's not until he proves his loyalty to Fairy Tail in the Raijinshu arc that they really regard him as one of their own.
    • Speaking of which, Laxus with his Raijunshu tribe turned against Fairy Tail and tried to destroy not only the Guild but the entire town where it resided... twice. The only punishment he got for it was expulsion from the Guild, and most of the characters felt even that was too harsh.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Acnologia, the Black Dragon of the Apocalypse, definitely qualifies compared to what we know of other dragons. The gap between it and human beings is so immense that communicating with it to fathom its thoughts is completely impossible even though it's fully capable of understanding human speech.

 Zeref: In spite of that, the reason it doesn't use words is because it doesn't think of humans as anything more than insects. You wouldn't stop and talk to a pest buzzing around you. It's the same for the dragon. You also wouldn't bother taking an obnoxious insect seriously even for a moment. There are things in this world that you cannot oppose or fight back against, no matter how hard you try.

  • Elemental Baggage: Subverted. The ice wizards make ice, the fire wizards make fire, et cetera, et cetera. Sure, being able to eat one's element gives a Dragon Slayer a temporary boost, but for the most part the elemental wizards don't need the element on hand.
  • Elemental Powers: Many of the different wizards who are able to to manipulate and control an element.
  • Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors: Averted for the most part.
    • However, Natsu's fight with Erigor play this back and forth. The fight starts off shaky for Natsu, since Eligor's wind disperses and extinguishes Natsu's fire before it can touch him. But then Natsu turns up the heat so much that the air pressure changes and Eligor loses control of the wind.
    • Gray and Juvia's fight also plays with it a bit. You'd expect Gray to freeze her and have an easy victory, but when she gets mad, she can boil herself.
  • Elemental Shapeshifter: Juvia can transform her body into water.
  • Enemy Civil War: Faust orders Code ETD, which crystallizes the Exceed forces sent to capture our heroes, then declares war against them all in a bid to steal their magic.
  • Enemy Mine: Natsu and Gajeel teaming against Laxus, though it's more "rival mine" since they were supposed to be in the same guild by then.
  • Energy Absorption: Part of Jellal's Batman Gambit, the Tower of Paradise is really made out of magic-absorbing Phlebotinum, so firing the Kill Sat at the tower actually harvests the energy necessary for the ritual.
  • Enfante Terrible: Mirajane was one of these until the death of her sister Lisanna caused her to turn into the mild-mannered Proper Lady she is now.
  • Escalating Brawl: The first time we see Fairy Tail, Natsu causes one of these. Luckily Makarov stops the brawl before they resorts to magic.
  • Everyone Can See It
    • Bisca and Alzack, minor characters who are the only ones unaware of the fact that their feelings are mutual.
    • Juvia's crush on Gray, at first. Gray might be paying attention more often these days.
  • Evil Counterpart
    • Gajeel is originally introduced as Natsu's. Currently he's The Rival. (Since Natsu's original rival became The Lancer of his Five-Man Band.)
    • In recent chapters, Ax Crazy Zancrow has taken on this role, who was revealed to be a God-Slayer, which is apparently far above the level of Dragon Slayer.
    • Also Lyon to Gray until his Heel Face Turn.
    • Erza Knightwalker is this to Erza in more ways than one.
    • Makarov has had two: Master Jose and Master Hades.
    • It looks like Bluenote is going to be one for Gildarts.
    • Natsu and Gajeel each get a new one in the Tournament Arc: Rogue and Sting. They're Third Generation Dragon Slayers (meaning they were both trained by a dragon and they have Slayer Lachrima) and they killed their dragon parent to become "true Dragon Slayers".
  • Evil Twin: Sort of. Apparently it wasn't supposed to be incredibly obvious in the manga who Siegrain and Jellal were, so in the anime they threw in the thing about Siegrain being his evil twin immediately, right at the start of the arc. Of course, they're really the same person.
    • An inversion with Mystogan though he is from another world.
  • Expy
    • Jellal to Sieg Hart and other uber-wizards from Mashima's previous work Rave Master, in what is probably the most obvious example of Expy-ing ever. In short: they look exactly the same! And his familiar alias, Siegrain, and his use of Altealice, one of Sieg Hart's spells. The author claims that it's done in the name of fanservice, though. Guess what? Sieg Hart isn't the original either.
    • Also Bisca looks like a little like Reina.
    • Aquarius and Undine, from the oneshot Fairy Tale, although it's only the upper body.
    • A more minor one -- Kageyama's character design just happens to coincide with Shikamaru's so much. Guess what kind of magic he uses...
    • Edolas!Lisanna looks suspiciously similar to One Piece's Nami. See for yourselves.
    • Edolas!Erza's spear, Ten Commandments, is an expy of the magic sword of the same name, wielded by the main character of Rave Master.
    • Midnight bears a striking resemblance to Albel Nox from Star Ocean Till the End of Time.
    • Natsu is basically a Hot-Blooded Haru with fire powers instead of a sword, Lucy is basically Elie without the amnesia, and Gray is basically Musica with... no, that's right all on it's own.
    • Laxus looks a lot like Captain Hardner, at least in his original appearances when he's chomping on a cigar. Less so during the Raijinshu arc, but the resemblance is still there. Both of them start out calm and get more and more Ax Crazy as the arc progresses, and both of them are defeated by the combined efforts of The Hero and a dragon who's Made of Iron.
    • And now we have what could be called a Whole Concept Expy during the Magic Tournament arc. The first round of the tournament features a game called Hidden, the concept and rules of which have been lifted entirely out of the multiplayer stages of the Assassin's Creed series. The competitors must move through a town populated by masses of clones of themselves. They have to blend into the crowd and locate the real participants and get a hit in on them in order to score points and lose points if they strike a clone instead.
    • One of the captains of the reformed Magic Council looks exactly like Uryuu Ishida, right down to the push-glasses-up-bridge-of-nose-dramatic-glint habit.
    • We also have Bacchus whose fighting style is basically an Expy of Neji & Rock Lee's. I'm sure some fans were happy to see how a Drunken Gentle Fist would look like.
    • Gemma and Sabertooth seem to be what Laxus and Fairy Tail would have turned into had he not been stopped in the Fighting Festival.
  • Extreme Omnivore
    • We've seen Natsu eat meat and mushrooms... and fire... and etherion. Supposedly, he's also tried eating lightning.

 Natsu: Souls are edible?! Do they taste good?

    • In Episode 9 Team Natsu minus Lucy was willing to chop up/cook/freeze and eat monsters to satisfy their hunger.
  • Evil Costume Switch: Juvia when Mind Controlled by Vidaldus. However, she is made of water, so her clothes are just more water she layers over herself, so it wouldn't exactly be hard for her to change.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: Zancrow really should have been more careful while handling a legendary Black Wizard who commands absolute power over life and death. He becomes one of the few confirmed casualties in the series when Zeref kills him. Later followed by Master Hades. Turns out interrupting the self-imposed exile of an unstoppable Black Wizard really isn't a good idea.
  • Evil Versus Evil: King Faust and his underlings lost no time backstabbing the Exceed. Leaders of the latter presented themselves as nasty, murderous, specieist tyrants by that point, and Faust was a power-grabbing megalomaniac. Partially subverted, when later Exceed were revealed to be just pretending to be powerful and evil, with the help of their queen's propthetic abilities, to keep humans frightened and avoid annihilation. But they still were serious dicks.

Notes

  1. Except Brain
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