[[quoteright:250:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/lt/flcl.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:250:[[WidgetSeries You will never see these characters]] [[HilarityEnsues appear so rational again.]]]]

->''"[[NothingExcitingEverHappensHere Nothing amazing happens here]]. [[TemptingFate Everything is ordinary.]]"''
-->-- '''Naota''', [[GenreBlind who really should have known better.]]
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'''''FLCL''''' ([[ItsPronouncedTroPay pronounced ''Fooly Cooly,'']] [[NoPronunciationGuide not "Eff-ell-see-ell"]]) is a 6-episode {{OVA}}, following the story of Naota, a young Japanese boy who lives with his father and grandfather, has become the object of inappropriate attention from his brother's ex-girlfriend, and generally thinks of his life and town as boring. That "boring" life of his changes when he gets run over by Haruko Haruhara, a [[ManicPixieDreamGirl manic older girl]] who rides a Vespa, identifies herself as an intergalactic police officer, wields a Rickenbacker bass guitar with a [[ChainsawGood chainsaw-like]] pullstring motor on the back as a [[StealthPun blunt instrument]], and has no qualms about harassing Naota both physically and sexually. After his initial contact with Haruko, Naota's forehead starts to spawn giant robots -- and the wackiness grows exponentially from there.

While a galaxy-spanning SpaceOpera plot sits somewhere in the background of everything that goes on in ''FLCL'', its real appeal lies in one of two places: as the story of a young boy coming of age filled with allegorical and symbolism-soaked writing and imagery that ranges from clever to truly brilliant (along with strong characterization and goofy, off-the-wall humor) -- or as a bunch of insane almost-nonsense strung together by '''other''' insane almost-nonsense to form a big ball of crazy that fascinates viewers while it brings loads of laughs between the cartoonish antics and the [[LeaningOnTheFourthWall hilariously]] [[BreakingTheFourthWall broken]] [[NoFourthWall fourth]] [[FourthWall wall]].

''FLCL'' features gorgeous animation, excellent voice acting, and a rocking soundtrack (the majority of which is comprised of songs from Japanese alternative rock band Music/ThePillows) -- all of which fans have come to expect from Creator/StudioGainax. Fans of its English dub will hold it up as one of the Gold Standards of SuperlativeDubbing.

A long-standing rumor says numerous artists, writers, and voice actors who worked on ''FLCL'' had just finished working on ''[[Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion The End of Evangelion]]''; since this crew felt emotionally drained due to the latter project's bleak tone, Gainax envisioned ''FLCL'' as a way for them to unwind.

One school of thought says that when you get some of the best storytellers Gainax has, put them in a room, and [[WhatDoYouMeanItWasntMadeOnDrugs give them The Good Drugs]], you get ''FLCL'' (give them '''[[HyperboleAndAHalf all]]''' the drugs, and you get ''Anime/PantyAndStockingWithGarterbelt''). [[labelnote:*]]And ''Anime/DeadLeaves'' is what happens when someone at I.G. slips them the brown acid.[[/labelnote]]

This axiom sums up how numerous fans feel about ''FLCL'': ''"If you wish to understand'' FLCL, ''watch the series from beginning to end, and [[TrueArtIsIncomprehensible the desire]] [[MindScrew will pass.]]"''

Creator/AdultSwim has stated numerous times that of all the anime the network has ever aired, it considers ''FLCL'' as [[AdoredByTheNetwork its favorite]].

The original Synch-Point DVD release of the OVA fell out of print, but {{Funimation}} re-released the series on DVD and BluRay in February 2011 (with the [[SuperlativeDubbing original dub]] included). You can also legally watch the show (in the United States) on [[http://www.hulu.com/flcl Hulu]], Netflix, and [[http://www.youtube.com/show/flcl YouTube]].

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!!''FLCL'' contains examples of the following tropes:

* AbnormalAmmo: Guess what Canti's gun uses as ammo? Naota himself, of course because he [[FridgeBrilliance fits.]] so well. Naota ''thought'' he was [[TheAce piloting]] Canti when in fact he was [[ButtMonkey cannon fodder]] the whole time.
* AccidentalMisnaming: Haruko and Mamimi both call Naota "Takkun" ([[SpellMyNameWithAnS Or do you spell it "Ta-kun"?]]). It doesn't translate well, but it's an affectionate diminutive, like "Jimmy" or "Billy". Naota, with all his hangups about being a grownup, hates being addressed as such.
* AccidentalPervert: In episode 4, Mamimi startles Naota by jumping up in a flash and he ends up reaching for her... only to end up holding her '''''panties.'''''
* ActionInsuranceGag: In episode 3, "Marquis de Carabas", the robot Canti falls off the roof of the school building and smashes into the car belonging to Naota's teacher, wrecking it. One of the other students leaning out a window says that the teacher was still paying off the car's loan.
* AdaptationDistillation: One useful fan theory states that the entire plot is just ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'' boiled down to six episodes and served hyperactive on a bed of heartwarming comedy. It's a deconstruction ''[[{{Reconstruction}} of a deconstruction]]'', with the MindScrew left intact, and not a single [[FreudWasRight phallic symbol]] removed.
* AddedAlliterativeAppeal: Haruhara Haruko. [[IncrediblyLamePun Har har har.]]
* AirplaneOfLove: It represents Mamimi's longing for Tasuku (see {{Yandere}} below).
* AllThereInTheManual: [[http://www.avclub.com/tvclub/tvshow/flcl,311/ AV Club's review of the series]] gives a lot of detail people are likely to miss.
* AmbiguousDisorder: Mamimi clearly is suffering from an undiagnosed mental problem. On a good day she is a CloudCuckooLander, on a bad day she CannotTellFictionFromReality.
* AnimatedActors: Parodied.
* ArcWords: The title itself, appearing at least OnceAnEpisode, although it's [[MindScrew never really explained]] to either the viewer ''or'' the characters. Kamon later lampshades this, asking Naota just what the hell it means. Supposedly, ''"furi kuri"'' is a covert way of saying "sex," but used here, it also has a deeper meaning--the way an adolescent would picture thoughts of sexual encounters and eventually maturing to understand them when they come of age. This is the underlying development Naota's character undertakes.
* ArtShift: Frequently throughout the series. There are two different sequences done to look like a manga, and at one point, it even goes ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' for a few scenes.
* AutobotsRockOut: The number of non-rock tracks can be counted on one hand.
* BadassLongcoat: A HumongousMecha Badass Longcoat, complete with revolvers, a shotgun, a lever action rifle (which it twirled with awesome cowboy-badassery when it needed to chamber another round) and a Luger with an extended magazine, first appearing as a crotch gun.
* BadassNormal: Amarao bikes 80 kilometers in an afternoon on his exercise bike and can last longer against the inhumanly powerful Haruko as long as he has bullets in his gun (as opposed to TheMenInBlack {{red shirt}}s that fall in the dozens to her). In addition, Amarao and his MIB red shirts work for the government in the '''Immigration Department'''. Said Immigration Department outfits all of its agents with guns, has access to high-powered anti-tank rifles, and sports a high-tech NASA-esque Central Command Center which can monitor intruders '''IN SPACE'''. [[note]] He might not be all that normal. Haruko uses his head to open an N.O. channel, much as she uses Naota (though less successfully), and Naota gets run over by scooters, shot out of cannons, chewed up by... whatever that is in Canti's chest.[[/note]]
* BaseballEpisode: Episode 4 "Full Swing"
* BecomingTheMask: Ninamori tries very hard to be more mature than she is actually is, to the point that she goes on a rant about how she idealizes Literature/PussInBoots for transcending the mask and becoming what he is pretending to be.
* BettyAndVeronica: Mamimi (Betty) and Haruko (Veronica). Ninamori is the ThirdOptionLoveInterest. [[spoiler:However, [[DidNotGetTheGirl he loses both girls in the end]]. Mamimi gradually loses interest in Naota as he grows more independent and closer to [[SecondLove Haruko]], and Naota inevitably rejects Mamimi altogether when he realizes that Mamimi never once had feelings for him and [[ReplacementGoldfish still loved Tasuku]], [[LovingAShadow Naota's older brother]], instead. She leaves at the end of the series. [[ButNowIMustGo Haruko does this as well]]. As for Ninamori, she is the most likely girl (and out of all of Naota's {{Love Interest}}s, she had the most sincere affection for him) [[LastGirlWins to end up with Naota]] in the future.]]
* BetweenMyLegs: Mamimi in episode 2, and Haruko in episode 4.
* BeyondTheImpossible:
** What happened to Ninamori in episode 3; doesn't Haruko have to smack her with the bat for that to happen? Justified in this case. There's a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment where Ninamori and Naota knock heads at the subway. For a second you see both of their heads light up red, like Ninamori just briefly picked up Naota's N.O. potential.
** Canti flying with the fake wings.
** The fact that this series isn't defined as {{hentai}} or {{ecchi}} despite all its sexual imagery.
* TheBigDamnKiss: Final episode, epic battle, then it happens with our protagonist. Also happens in the manga.
* BigOlEyebrows: Amarao's massive ''nori sheet'' eyebrows.
* TheBlank: Canti has a TV for a head. A head that can display Japanese ''kanji'' to communicate, though only done once.
* BlueWithShock: Occasionally, but it should be exclusively noted that when Kamon sees [[spoiler:Naota kissing Haruko]], his face roars through ''[[UpToEleven the entire color spectrum.]]''
* [[BreakingTheFourthWall Bombing The Fourth Wall Into Rubble]]:
** The "Behind the Scenes" aside for the BulletTime scene in Episode 1.
** In the fourth episode Haruko talks to the viewers while riding her Vespa down the Medical Mechanica building.
** In episode five Naota actually gives the audience an AsideGlance and asks "Do you find this difficult to understand?"
** "Let's just stay with anime. It's hard to be in manga form. Takes time and it's a lot of work. After the first episode they said not to do the manga thing again, but then we get accused of being lazy." The best part is that Naota apparently isn't in on the break. When Kamon mentions anime, he responds, "anime?"
* BoundAndGagged: The hospital nurse in episode 1 after she's MuggedForDisguise by Haruko.
* BulletTime: Used in episodes 1 and 3 for pure screwiness.
* CatSmile: Haruko
* CatStereotype: Naota's cat fits the old, fat and lazy grey cat stereotype.
* [[ChekhovsGun/AnimeAndManga Chekhov's Water Gun]]: Ninamori uses a water gun she had been showing off for the entire episode to cool off Naota after he's ejected from Canti.
* ChewToy: Hitting Naota with a guitar is a legitimate plot point. Hitting Naota with a Vespa is a RunningGag.
* ClothingDamage: Kitsurubami after Haruko lobs her ammo back at her.
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}:
** Mamimi; it's played for laughs for the most part, but in episodes 2 and 6 her loose grip on reality is shown to have a nasty, vengeful side.
** [[spoiler:Haruko]] ''pretends'' to be this but it gets more and more apparent that she's a bit twisted by the end of the series.
* ColorFailure
* ComingOfAgeStory: A really, really ''weird'' one, but still. It comes to its ultimate conclusion when Naota grows out of his "all-consuming desire to be an adult" phase and matures to realize that he still needs to be a kid while he is one.
* CompanyTown: Medical Mechanica, [[MindScrew maybe.]] Or it [[MindScrew might]] just be a [[spoiler:giant alien steam-iron]].
* ContemplateOurNavels: In "Fire Starter," Naota yells at Kamon not to let Canti be seen in public, only for Kamon to counter with a long-winded discourse on the implications of such an advanced piece of technology being introduced to an otherwise normal family.
* CoolBike: Haruko's yellow Vespa, which is apparently sentient, and can be repaired with toy Franchise/{{Gundam}} parts.
* CovertPervert: [[spoiler:''Canti'']], of all characters. Those novels he's seen reading? '''''Porno.'''''
* CrashIntoHello: By way of a Vespa.
* CultSoundtrack: By Music/ThePillows.
* CuteLittleFangs: Haruko.
* CurbStompBattle: Many of the fights are noticeably one-sided. The most prominent ones include almost all of Canti's fights against the robots that spout out of Naota's head. They usually knock Canti around for a little while, until Naota merges, [[MindScrew or something]], with it and the one-sided fight gets turned to their favor. Another is Haruko against TheMenInBlack agents, who all go down without too much of a fight. [[spoiler:The last is Haruko against a Naota fused with Atomsk's power. The only thing that stopped him from finishing her off her was his love for her.]]
* DarkerAndEdgier: The manga takes a very different approach to the story, including [[spoiler:Naota actually killing his father over Haruko, a full-on assault on the Medical Mechanica factory, and Haruko's feelings for Naota being more oblique. Rather than leaving him on the notion that he should grow up as a regular child, she leaves him with a Vespa he can use to pursue her, which he desperately tries to work to the point of making his hands bleed.]]
* DarkSkinnedBlond: Kitsurubami; see MeaningfulName below.
* DeadpanSnarker: Pretty much everyone, unless they're unconscious.
* DemonHead: In "Brittle Bullet", Haruko gets one when she's wearing an Elvis Presley costume and talking with Naota in his room.
* DerangedAnimation: Episode 5 was directed by the same guy who directed ''DeadLeaves'' and ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann''. And that's just one of the episodes.
* DevilInPlainSight: Haruko, though her over-the-top sexuality and undeniable charisma overwhelm just about everybody's better judgment.
* DidntWeUseThisJokeAlready: During the second round of scenes done in manga style, Kamon wonders why they are doing more manga scenes again.
* TheDitz: Mamimi again.
* DivingSave:
** Mamimi to Naota in Episode 1 "Fooly Cooly".
** Naota performs one on Mamimi during the big fight in Episode 2 "Fire Starter".
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything / DoubleEntendre: There are dozens of examples of both, mainly sexual, though not always.
* DramaticWind
* DrinkingGame: [[DrinkingGame/{{FLCL}} Here it is]]
* DualWielding: [[spoiler:Naota]] in the final episode, who dual wields ''guitars''. [[spoiler:More specifically, his own Flying V and Atomsk's Gibson EB-0.]]
* DullSurprise: Affects both the Japanese and English dubs, but moreso the former. Manages to be part of the charm, though.
* DVDCommentary: There are Japanese commentaries for all six episodes, with the director and...somebody.
* EveryoneIsJesusInPurgatory: Or Kamon seems to believe. [[invoked]]
-->'''Haruko:''' What's he talking about?\\
'''Naota:''' He wrote a whole book on the deep mysteries of ''[[Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion Eva]]''.
* EveryoneLives: Barring mass destruction of property and the destruction of a bunch of robots, total death: 0 (in the anime, anyhow).
** Technically, Kamon is dead for part of episode 4, but [[UnexplainedRecovery he got better]] inexplicably.
* EvilInc: Medical Mechanica. Very few details are given about them, other than that they produce robots (possibly with medical functions, since Canti is capable of taking x-rays,) have imprisoned Atomsk for some unspecified reason, and built a giant clothing iron to iron out all human thought.
** The giant iron is suggested to be a back-up plan by Medical Mechanica in case Atomsk got free, so that he wouldn't have access to N.O. fields.
* EvilPlan: Several. Haruko wants to capture the Pirate King for his power, who wants to escape Medical Mechanica to do more stealing, who in in turn want to 'iron out the wrinkles in human brains'. And that's just the evil plans; the GambitPileUp is one reason why this show is so confusing.
* ExpositionDiagram: In episode 3 "Marquis de Carabas" and episode 5 "Brittle Bullet".
* ExtraordinarilyEmpoweredGirl: Haruko, though it becomes apparent by the end that she needs Naota because he has an even greater (if untapped) power potential.
* EyeScream: Naota controls Canti by having the robot plug into him via a sharp syringe-like plug that goes right into his eye. Naota understandably screams horrifically when it happens.
* FakeOutOpening: The series begins as your typical SliceOfLife story... for the first few seconds, that is, until Haruko comes charging in out of nowhere on her moped, runs Naota over and beans him on the head with her guitar and a giant horn spontaneously sprouts out of his head. Then things manage to briefly return to yet ''another'' FakeOutOpening, until Haruko shows up at his home, giant robots start shooting out of his skull, and all hell breaks loose.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: During Kamon's "electric chin massage", there's a brief shot with a plug in the foreground with the cord leading up to Kamon [[spoiler:hinting that he's a robotic body double.]]
* FreezeFrameBonus: Quite a few. [[http://www.flclw.com/images-pics/hidden-frames/ Here are some.]]
* GainaxEnding: Surprisingly averted, and almost ''{{inverted|Trope}}'' since the ending is what makes the [[WhatDoYouMeanItWasntMadeOnDrugs rest of]] [[WidgetSeries the series]] make sense. [[MindScrew Sorta]].
* GeniusDitz: Naota's dad, Kamon, can seem very moronic, childish, and perverted at times, but can also be very astute and wise in the next second. For example when Naota runs away from home, his teacher questions where he went and Kamon goes off on a random tangent about when he failed to take care of the class hamster it died, only to swing back around and say "Unlike that hamster, Naota's enjoying his freedom."
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: Abused beyond recognition. For instance:
** Episode 4 shows that the female officers are turned on to near-orgasmic levels by Haruko [[spoiler:tugging a naughty tentacle]] out of Naota's head (which soon turns into a guitar) when they break out in ''massive nosebleeds.''
** In one scene, Haruko starts kicking Naota repeatedly in the crotch, and Naota acts like he's getting a foot job.
--->"No! Don't noogie noogie there! Or you'll... aaaahh!!"
* TheGhost: Tasuku Nandaba, Naota's older brother. We only catch a very brief and vague, envelope-obscured profile of him on a postcard in Episode 6, with his American girlfriend (to Mamimi's utter despair), Worse yet, the postcard has writing scribbled all over it.
* GoingCommando: Mamimi does in "Full Swing," though it's because she fails to notice that her panties have been accidentally pulled off... by [[AccidentalPervert Naota]].
* GoofyPrintUnderwear: [[http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/LupinFLCL.jpg Kamon]], in a ShoutOut to ''Franchise/LupinIII''.
* GratuitousEnglish: Not so much in the show, but various songs on the show's soundtrack - including the ending theme, "Ride on Shooting Star" - are filled with it. Though we still have to point out Ninamori's red "USSR" t-shirt in Episode 3.
* GratuitousJapanese: The dub often doesn't translate things like sound effects (Mamimi says "kakiiii~n!" while describing how to hit a baseball to Naota), grunts (Americans don't say "yoisho" when picking up heavy things, Haruko), that kind of thing.
* TheGreatestStoryNeverTold: There seems to be a grand SpaceOpera in the background of this show.
* GretzkyHasTheBall: Naota is shown striking out looking every inning against Haruko's pitching. The problem is that Mabase isn't scoring any runs, and a given player can only bat at most twice every three innings if the team doesn't score, because the maximum number of batters you can send to the plate without scoring is six, while there are nine in a lineup, and everyone (or their substitutes) must bat once before anyone can bat twice.
* GrievousHarmWithABody: The robot that comes out of Ninamori's head starts using her as a weapon against Canti.
* GroinAttack: During the manga style sequence in Episode 6, Haruko kicks Naota in the crotch.
* HandsOnApproach: Haruko, again.
* HappyPlace: Gainax's.
* HeWhoMustNotBeSeen:
** The {{Bigger Bad}}s, presumably Haruko's superiors in the Space Police Brotherhood.
** Naota's brother Tasuku is never fully shown on-screen.
** Other than the killer robots that come out of Naota's head, Medical Mechanica, whether it be an individual or an organization, is never seen.
* {{Honorifics}}: Many of them get left in the dub, especially from Kamon and Mamimi.
* HumongousMecha: The biggest one of them actually manages to be even more bizarre than ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion''. [[spoiler:It's a giant skyscraper-sized ''hand'' dressed as a cowboy with a hand at the end of each digit. In each finger-hand is a gun.]]
* HurricaneOfPuns: The series is loaded with wordplay, but the beginning of episode 5 has something like a dozen Japanese puns back-to-back, none of which translate to English. The dubbers, who had done a [[SuperlativeDubbing fantastic job]] up to that point, pretty much had to throw their hands in the air for this scene, which meant English viewers got a bizarre caption about the correct way to spell "mackerel." Instead of a joke about confusing the kanji for "blue" and "mackerel" (which the dubbers obviously couldn't work with, as noted), they tried to find another joke that fit the formula and ended up with a relatively obscure joke about how "if [[Series/StarTrekVoyager Seven of Nine]] heaves a sigh" you get a "[[IncrediblyLamePun sigh-borg]]," referring to Canti. Mamimi points out that "confusing robots with cyborgs is a common mistake."
* ImplausibleDeniability: Naota's father tries to pass off Canti as the TV. When Ninamori asks why it's walking around, he says it's a TV Walkman.
* ImprobableWeaponUser: Haruko and her Rickenbacker bass; even weirder, it incorporates a pull-start gasoline motor. Oh, and did we mention that [[SwissArmyWeapon it's also a pump action shotgun, smashing weapon, anti-tank ordinance baseball bat, a machine gun, and a hoverboard?]]
* IndirectKiss: Kitsurubami unconsciously takes a sip from Amarao's exercise bottle and promptly goes BlueWithShock, and a couple other colors.
* InitialismTitle
* InsertCameo: The enormous animated hand is actually rotoscoped from the director's hand.
* InstrumentOfMurder:
** Haruko's bass.
** In the manga, at one point Haruko spends time plinking around on a ukelele. When one of the rogue robots attacks Mamimi and Canti, it's revealed to contain a gun.
* IronicEcho: Watch episode 1 and listen to how Haruko uses the words "Lunch time". Now go back to "[=FLCLimax=]" and listen to how she she pronounces "Launch time".
* KarmaHoudini:
** Mamimi's apparent pyromania is never questioned. While there is no concrete evidence that she was the one who [[spoiler:started the fire at her elementary school]], it is very heavily implied, and no one ever thinks to ask about it. [[spoiler:In the manga, she tells Haruko that she's been too busy setting fires to hang out with them.]]
** [[spoiler:Haruko too.]] Though Naota cost her her best possible chance of [[spoiler:capturing and consuming Atomsk]], she still got arguably the most powerful "axe" in the Universe as consolation, and is free to keep pursuing her target.
* KissOfLife: Haruko reviving Naoto via CPR naturally plays this trope for all it's worth.
* LastGirlWins: [[spoiler:Ninamori]] is the last one of Naota's {{Love Interest}}s introduced in the show, but by the end of the show, it's clear she has the purest affection for him, and will probably be with him when they're both older. However, Yoji Enokido's novelization of this episode has a much older [[spoiler:Ninamori]] narrating it as a frame story, and she says that she didn't see Naota again after high school.
* LecherousLicking:
** In "Marquis de Carabas" and "Brittle Bullet".
** A FreezeFrameBonus during the end credits shows Haruko suggestively licking her guitar.
* LesYay: [[invoked]] Haruko talks Mamimi into pretending to make out to tease Naota. It's Himamori who sees them, ruining the gag.
* LetHimChoose: In the final episode, [[spoiler:Commander Amarao]] attempts to [[spoiler:talk Naota out of helping Haruko. Naota ignores him, turns around, and walks to Haruko.]]
* LetsGetDangerous: In the final episode, [[spoiler:Haruko]] goes absolutely berserk after finding out [[spoiler:Naota absorbed Atomsk's power]]. She'd shown plenty of skill before, but this time she's able to fly under her own power and clash guitars with [[spoiler:Naota]] hard enough to part the clouds.
* LoopholeAbuse: AintNoRule says you can't put a robot on your baseball team roster. [[spoiler:Not that it does them any good against Haruko, apparently.]]
* LoveMartyr: Naota.
* ManChild: Nearly every adult on the show, to some extent. It really irritates Naota, and ends up being a major plot point as it leads him to try to act older than he is. His father Kamon is the most obvious example, being an unemployed, lecherous anime freak who makes scant money selling a self-published tabloid to convenience stores. In the anime, Naota seems to make some peace with his father, who hints at being a little more intelligent than he first appears. In the manga, their relationship gets ugly.
* ManicPixieDreamGirl: Subverted; [[spoiler:Haruko]] looks like one of these, but she has her own ulterior motives.
* MasterOfDisguise: Haruko, in a goofy, seemingly incompetent way. On both occasions where she fully disguised herself, her victims were completely fooled until she decided to drop the act. Hell, her entire goofy personality is an act, she acts like this to lower everyone's guard. Her actions in the final episode reveals her true agenda, and her true personality.
* MeaningfulName[=/=]PunnyName: Kitsurubami is a light, traditional Japanese brown. It's also her skin color.
* MediumBlending: The live action moped in the end credits.
* MediumShiftGag: In two of the anime episodes, the art suddenly changes to manga style for a while. It also shifts to ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark''-style animation for Amarao's haircut.
* MegaNeko: Naota's cat, who's apparently also used as a medium by Haruko to talk to her superiors. He also seems to be capable of tightly-controlled, high-speed, inertia-lacking flight that can be used as a form of attack in case Haruko has screwed up some how. It's a bit odd the first time you see it. His being voiced by [[Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion Hideaki]] "MindScrew" [[WhatDoYouMeanItWasntMadeOnDrugs Anno]] might have something to do with that.
* MexicanStandoff: Haruko and Commander Amarao end up in one in "Brittle Bullet".
* MindScrew: The whole series, but especially:
** The fight at the end of episode 2, where Canti taps into Atomsk's power via Naota and what appears to be a [[http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/flcl_mindscrew_6502.png literal Mind Screw]].
** The first half of episode 4, where an increasingly stressed Naota begins to suffer hallucinations of murdering both his father and Haruko when he suspects they're sleeping together. Eventually he gets better after working out his frustrations on a vending machine, his TV, a robot of his father, and a baseball-shaped satellite bomb about twice the size of a tank.
** Our very own SweetDreamsFuel page posits that this series is one of the few examples of ''Consensual'' Mind Screw. [[EpilepticTrees They may be on to something...]]
** Forget the supernatural stuff, think about the ''basic conversations.'' At least in the dub.
* MisplacedKindergartenTeacher
* MissingMom: Naota's mom gets only one blink-and-you-miss-it mention, indirectly referred to as deceased by Amarao while he's giving a quick rundown of Naota's family situation. There's also the implication in said rundown that this may be related to Kamon's bizarre personality in the series - he had been an assistant editor at a counter-culture magazine before suddenly quitting to... open up a bakery (or move in with his father who might have already owned the bakery), write about the deep mysteries of EVA, and publish a trashy tabloid 'zine. Perhaps the death of his wife precipitated the dramatic change in lifestyle.
* MoodWhiplash: Proving that even this Gainax production can't be completely free of angst. It's only briefly touched for a few characters before the show goes back to the gags.
* MoreDakka: Episode 5 contains nearly too much dakka to comprehend.
* MuggedForDisguise: In episode 1 Haruko overpowers a hospital nurse and steals her uniform to gain access to Naota.
* MundaneUtility: Canti doing housework.
* MurderousThighs: Ninamori pulls this in episode 3 when a robot emerges from her head and temporarily takes control of her, first attacking Naota then Canti in this fashion. Neither one are seriously harmed though.
* NiceHat: Actually, nobody likes Naota's hat. Not even Naota, really. He's wearing it to hide the [[spoiler:cat ears.]]
* NoBigDeal:
** Mabase's residents find the weird situations and events in the plot somewhat weird, but not nearly enough so. For example, they seem more interested in the mayor's sexual escapades than in the massive robot battle that happens in the elementary school.
** Ninamori's response to all the crazy stuff happening to her. In fact, "It's no big deal" is something of a SurvivalMantra that she uses when she spends the night at Naota's house, especially in response to everything Kamon has to say about the scandals.
* NoSwastikas: Somehow {{averted|Trope}} in Episode 5, when Kamon is seen wearing a Nazi officer's uniform with a legitimate swastika on the sash.
* {{Nosebleed}}: In "Full Swing," after seeing the [[DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything guitar]] pulled by Haruko from Naota's head, all of the female officers at the Bureau of Interstellar Immigration command center break out into these - ''profuse'' ones. Kitsurubami herself goes weak at the knees.
* NothingExcitingEverHappensHere: A complaint of Naota's at the start of the series. He gets proven wrong very quickly.
* NotSoStoic: Ninamori in episode 3.
* ObfuscatingStupidity:
** [[spoiler:Haruko]]. Warning: Do not make her mad.
** Amarao is an inversion of this. In the beginning, he shows up and nonchalantly explains the mechanics and goings-on of all the events in Mabase and with Haruko. However, when put to task to actually confront and put a stop to these things, he's shown to be weak-willed and ineffectual. This is symbolized by his nori eyebrows. When they're in place, he has an air of authority and almost sagely knowledge about him, but when this fašade is broken and he's shown to still be the scared child he always has been, they fall off.
** Possibly Kamon/ Or Obfuscating Silliness.
* OcularGushers: Commander Amarao during the final confrontation in "[=FLClimax=]".
* OncePerEpisode: Every episode ends with Little Busters playing in the background.
* PantyShot: Mamimi provides plenty of these. Episode 4 is the piece de resistance - Mamimi leaps up from beside Naota so fast, in a startled reflex, he grabs ahold of her and unintentionally pulls Mamimi's panties ''clean off'' - '''''and''''' ''she doesn't even notice.''
* PhysicalGod: The Pirate Lord Atomsk is a being capable of stealing solar systems. His mere physical presence on Earth weakens gravity for miles in all directions as everything is pulled into his N.O. channel.
* PragmaticAdaptation: The manga adaptation isn't so much a retelling of the anime as it is a completely different story with the same premise and characters.
* PrayerPose: Episode 2, "Firestarter". After Canti the robot floats into the sky, he assumes a kneeling position with his hands clasped in prayer.
* ProductPlacement:
** Notice in the third episode that the drink pouches are rendered very realistically; a planned product placement deal fell through, but the producers decided to leave it in, mostly because they'd already spent the time and money to render them.
** The guitars featured in the show are real guitars. Haruko's is a Rickenbacker bass guitar model 4001, [[spoiler:Naota]] gets a Gibson Flying V, and Atomsk's is a 1961 Gibson EB-0.
** Haruko's scooter is a real Vespa as well, the mid-1960s 180 Super Sport model.
** When Naota finds his dad in the fifth episode, if you look closely at the shots of a ticking clock, you can see it's a Seiko, although it's so brief that's it's probably not intended to be an advertisement.
* {{Pun}}: The extremely complex airsoft fight scene was complicated even for this series; mixed into the fray was musing on the Japanese word ''saba'' (the Japanese name for the mackerel) and its kanji that is pretty tough to wrap your head around without an appreciation of the JapaneseLanguage, both written and spoken. What you might appreciate without it is that they are participating in a "survival game", or '''''saba'''-gē''.
* PsychicBlockDefense: Amaro uses his ''nori'' eyebrows for largely the same purpose.
* PuttingOnTheReich: [[http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/kamon1.png Kamon]]. Now ''that's'' ThoseWackyNazis.
* RaysFromHeaven: Episode 2 "Fire Starter". As Kanit rises into the sky, rays of sunlight stream down through the clouds as he assumes a prayer pose.
* RealNameAsAnAlias: Amarao reveals Haruhara Haruko's (Western style: "Haruko Haruhara") real name to be "Haruha Raharu" (Western order: "Raharu Haruha"). She moves a ''syllable'' over and adds "-ko". On the other hand, we have no idea which, if either, is actually her real name.
* RedEyesTakeWarning: Ninamori in "Marquis de Carabas", the hand monster in "Brittle Bullet" and Mamimi in "[=FLCLimax=]".
* RedHerring: [[spoiler:Amaro]] claims in the final episode that [[spoiler:Haruko is chasing after Atomsk because she's in love with him (a theory supported by Haruko swooning over Canti after he gains Atomsk's Gibson EB-0 and calling out his name)]]. Turns out that [[spoiler:she just wants his power instead]].
* RedShirtArmy: The fifth episode featured a whole crew of [[TheMenInBlack Men in Black]] that were hired to take out Haruko. [[DerangedAnimation They were offed in an incredibly awesome fashion]].
* ReferenceOverdosed
* RuleOfCool: ''The OVA''. Let's see...
** The most powerful weapons in the universe? '''Guitars.''' Some of which have [[ChainsawGood pullstring motors]].
** Haruko's preposterous moped tricks during the ending.
** Haruko fights the HumongousMecha in episode 5 wearing a PlayboyBunny outfit.
* RuleOfSexy: Why is Haruko fighting the Gunslinger while wearing a PlayboyBunny outfit? Seemingly solely for this trope.
* RuleOfSymbolism: Spicy, sour and bitter food and drink are treated as adult things, while sweet things are childish (Amarao having a SweetTooth is meant to accentuate his being a ManChild.)
* SarcasticConfession: Haruko tells Naota she's an alien in the first episode.
* ScarsAreForever: The ferocious hit Canti takes from being [[spoiler:whacked on the head by Haruko's guitar]] leaves the poor 'bot trying to salvage the back panels she obliterated. By the end of the series, he ''still'' hasn't succeeded in piecing his head back together again.
* ScaryShinyGlasses: Episode 1 "Fooly Cooly" and Episode 3 "Marquis de Carabas".
* ScoobyStack: Haruko, Naota's father and Canti in "Full Swing".
* SecondLove: Haruko for Naota because he did have feelings for Mamimi at first.
* SeizaSquirm: A typically bizarre subversion - after Haruko runs over Naota in the first episode, while freaking out about what to do she seemingly rolls and slides around at random, while staying in seiza.
* SerialEscalation: How weird and surreal can this episode be? How many puns and {{Double Entendre}}s can we fit into this episode? How many guns can one giant robot hold at one time?
* SexyShirtSwitch
** In the anime -- Ninamori and Naota's pajamas.
** In the manga -- Ninamori and Tasuku's shirt.
* {{Shotacon}}: Eventually subverted. Mamimi gets over Naota as a sign of both her maturation, as she no longer needs to rely on her perceived relationship with Tasuku, and his maturity, as he no longer wants to be in what seems to him an adult relationship with her to express that he isn't just a kid. She sums this up by calling him "Naota" instead of "Ta-kun" at the end of the series, recognizing his independence and individuality. Haruko leaves Naota behind after telling him he's still only a kid in the last episode, admitting that as he has begun to grow as his own person, she can no longer use him as an N.O. channel. This is a [[GagSeries certain kind of series]], after all, so nothing really comes across as FanService.
* ShoutOut: To lots and lots of other anime, with references ranging from sly and subtle to blatant ripoffs.
** ''Franchise/LupinIII'' and ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'' in particular amount to {{running gag}}s, and one character is named after a [[Creator/CordwainerSmith Carmichael Smith]] novel.
** There's at least three for ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark''. One comes in the form of a 30 second ArtShift, though the other two aren't as blatant.
** Music/ThePillows gave a musical shout out in the show's closing theme "Ride on Shooting Star"; it ends with the line "Beep beep, beep beep, yeah!", originally from Music/TheBeatles' "Drive My Car".
** A shot of Mamimi's phone in the last episode says "Cyber Dying" which is probably a reference to [[Franchise/{{Terminator}} Cyberdyne]].
** Haruko's sky-surfing [[PlayboyBunny bunnygirl]] is an explicit (she says so) reference to the ''[[Creator/StudioGainax Daicon IV]]'' music video, which was the first appearance of she who would become Gainax's signature bunnygirl, Misty May.
** A few references to Franchise/{{Gundam}} as well. Haruko fixes the Vespa with what appears to be a toy Gundam, and Kamon references the infamous Gundam Hammer in the first episode.
** In episode 3 Naota eats some very spicy curry, and for a split second his face [[http://www.flclw.com/images/hidden/naota-scream.jpg turns into]] [[Franchise/{{Scream}} Ghostface's mask]].
* SidekickExMachina
* TheSidewaysSmile
* SlasherSmile: '''HARUKO.'''
* SliceOfLife: Begins this way until Haruko arrives, and carries traces of it throughout the course of the series, although this would be a very broad definition of the term "Slice of Life".
* SlidingScaleOfRealisticVersusFantastic: Far, far on the fantastic end.
* SomethingSomethingLeonardBernstein: The ending theme goes "RIDE ON SHOOTING STAR/ nuhnyenarnenanyeerrrnyerrr"
* StepfordSmiler: Ah, Ninamori, trying so hard to pretend not to be a twelve-year-old girl with a twelve-year-old girl's desires. She even goes off on a fairly unsettling rant about how she idealizes Literature/PussInBoots because he represents her desire to [[BecomingtheMask Become the Mask.]]
* StockFootage: Some. You can see they've reused sequences here and there; Ninamori's "'It's no big deal.' (eats a spoonful of curry)" sequence is the most obvious.
* SweetDreamsFuel: The page in question refers to it (the whole series, not just the incident mentioned above) as [[MindScrew Mind Lovemaking.]]
* ThemeMusicPowerUp: "Little Busters" is sometimes used as a cue that Canti is about to kick some serious ass just in time for the end credits.
* ThemeNaming: Naota (ナオ太), Haruko (ハル子) and Mamimi (マミ美) all have names that are otherwise written in katakana (syllables) but end with kanji (characters with meanings).
* ThisIsUnforgivable: Naota's father to Naota in "Brittle Bullet".
* TitleDrop: They happen often, and the earliest one happens in Episode 1:
-->'''Kamon''': ''Ah, your brother is away, so she's sinking her fangs into YOU, Naota! Fondling around! FOOLING around! FOOLY COOLY!!!''
:: The characters also have several conversations about the meaning of the words "Fooly Cooly". In the manga, when Haruko gives a weird explanation for the growths on his head that FLCL is an acronym for, Naota responds "Fuli? Culi?"
* TookALevelInBadass:
** During the climax of Episode 5, Naota breaks free of his dependence and desire for Mamimi's affection -- by outright rejecting it -- and summons Canti to fight the giant gunslinger robot.
** In Episode 6, [[spoiler:he absorbs the power of Atomsk and enters a sort of SuperMode.]]
** A number of ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann'' fans think of Simon's "rebirth" scene as a SpiritualSuccessor to Naota's "rebirth" in ''FLCL''.
* TVHeadRobot: Canti
* UltraSuperDeathGoreFestChainsawer3000: In Episode 2, a fairly tame monochrome handheld video game about burning down a city inspires Mamimi to [[spoiler:go on an arson rampage]] -- but then again, she already had a few screws loose to begin with...
* UnreliableNarrator: When Amarao is explaining Haruko's relationship with Atomsk, he claims that Haruko's trying to free him because she's in love with him, and during the explanation the viewer is shown a rather psychedelic-looking humanoid from behind, suggesting it's him. [[spoiler:Atomsk is actually a giant bird monster, and Haruko wants to steal his power instead.]]
* UnusualEars: The cat type.
* UnusualEuphemism: A number of fans think of the title of the show as one -- either as a mispronunciation of "Furry Curry" or as the onomatopoeia of [[{{Gainaxing}} bouncing breasts]].
* UnusuallyUninterestingSight: The whole series runs on this. '''Why does no one comment on the strangeness of Ninamori growing a huge monster out of her head?!'''
* UpToEleven: The manga somehow manages to be ''even weirder.''
* VerbalTic: Haruko adds "nya" and "pyon" at times, especially during Naota's nekomimi incident in Episode 3, to come across as manic and mischievous. The English dub worked in said tic and others like it -- which helped to make it ''better''.
* VillainousBreakdown: Haruko becomes absolutely livid after Naota absorbs Atomsk's power. But then he kisses her, she forgives him, and then offers him to come with her into space. Just like [[spoiler: she had asked him before the previous night]] to continue their relationship. But [[spoiler:she and he both realized that he was still a kid and wasn't ready to leave everything and go with her.]]
* WordSaladLyrics: The ending theme, "Ride On Shooting Star", which is about...I dunno, orange slides and revenge lobsters?
* WheelOfFeet: The mayor's secretary and Haruko both do this in Episode 3.
* WidgetSeries: They don't get much crazier than this one.
* WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds: [[spoiler:Mamimi]], in Episode 6, comes off as one of these.
* XRaySparks: At the end of "Fire Starter", Haruko is electrocuted by the giant hand and you can briefly see her skeleton.
* {{Yandere}}: Mamimi, though the object of her obsession -- [[TheGhost Naota's brother, who went to America to play baseball]] -- already has an American girlfriend.

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