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->''"Humankind cannot gain anything without first giving something in return. To obtain, something of equal value must be lost. That is Alchemy's First Law of EquivalentExchange. In those days, we really believed that to be the world's one, and only, truth."''
-->--'''Alphonse Elric''', from the first OpeningNarration

'''This page covers the loose 2003 adaptation of ''Fullmetal Alchemist''. For tropes related to Hiromu Arakawa's original manga and its direct anime adaptation, ''Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood'', see ''Manga.FullmetalAlchemist''.'''

Brothers Edward and Alphonse Elric live in a world where alchemy is possible, although governed by the law of EquivalentExchange ("to obtain, something of equal value must be lost"). As young boys, the Elrics -- who showed promise in alchemy at an early age -- lost their mother, and in their grief, they attempted to bring her back to life via the forbidden practice of human transmutation. Ed and Al paid a steep price for their hubris: the former lost an arm and a leg (which were replaced with mechanical limbs), while the latter became a soul attached to an empty suit of armor. The Elrics seek to return their bodies to normal by pursuing the Philosopher's Stone, an artifact believed to allow alchemists to perform any form of alchemy (including human transmutation) without the necessary Equivalent Exchange. In order to make real progress in their search, Ed becomes a State Alchemist, working for the government to help solve their problems while he and Al research the Stone's existence. During their adventures, Ed and Al discover startling truths about their world, alchemy, the Philospher's Stone, their own family, and the forces working to manipulate the Elrics' search and lead them towards the Stone (for a much more sinister purpose than what the brothers have in mind).

This show OvertookTheManga about halfway through its run, but rather than running numerous {{filler}} episodes to make up for it, the anime's writers consulted with Hiromu Arakawa to craft a [[GeckoEnding wholly different ending to the story]]. The approach makes this show a PragmaticAdaptation, but one made with approval from (and the encouragement of) the original ''mangaka''. [[TheMovie A theatrical film]] -- ''Anime/FullmetalAlchemistTheConquerorOfShamballa'' -- resolved a number of plot threads left hanging after this show's conclusion.

''Fullmetal Alchemist'' can be watched in its entirety on [[http://www.youtube.com/show/fullmetalalchemist YouTube]] and [[http://www.hulu.com/fullmetal-alchemist Hulu.]], and the first half on Netflix.
----
!!Tropes:
* AcceptableBreaksFromReality: In RealLife, [[spoiler:Fritz Lang [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fritz_Lang looked nothing]] like [[http://fma.wikia.com/wiki/King_Bradley King Bradley]] and is almost 30 years younger at the time]], but it hardly takes away from the story.
* AchillesHeel:
** Alphonse has his blood seal which bind his soul to his armour. He is especially vulnerable to water as it will wipe it away. When he [[spoiler: becomes a living Philosopher's Stone he loses this weakness but gets a new in the form using the stone - which happens even when Al does regular alchemy - drains his life-force]].
** [[spoiler:The homunculi can only be defeated by the remains of the person they were created to replace. Wrath is an exception because he was created with the aforementioned remains]].
* AdaptationExpansion: The show either worked in or expanded numerous scenes imported from the manga. Episode 13, "Fullmetal vs. Flame", combines two side stories (Ed vs. Roy and Fury finding a home for Hayate), a 4-koma ("MINISKIRTS!!!"), and Ed's search for information regarding Dr. Marcoh.
** [[spoiler:Hughes]] also received an expanded character arc, which turned him into a more prominent character prior to [[spoiler:his death]]. [[spoiler:His death scene also ended up far longer and more dramatic.]]
* AdventureTowns: The Elrics visit some in the early episodes.
* AerithAndBob: One of these names does not sound very European: Ed, Al, Roy, Izumi. Can you spot it?
* AesopAmnesia: PlayedForLaughs. In the episode Truth Behind Truths, Edward gets many reminders that being small isn't so bad. At one point he even beats himself up for saying it. Yet when it seems he's finally absorbed the lesson, only a couple of scenes later his height is commented upon and he goes ballistic as usual.
* AfraidOfNeedles: Ed
* AllDeathsFinal: Alchemy cannot revive the dead. [[spoiler:Those who try to do so end up making homunculi -- and end up losing ''at least'' part of their body as Equivalent Exchange.]]
** [[spoiler:The only subversion to this rule occurs after Envy kills Ed, since Al -- at this point, a walking Philosopher's Stone -- performs the world's first perfect human transmutation.]]
* AllLovingHero: Both of the Elrics (despite Ed's [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold typical demeanor]]) are definitely this. Especially evident in episodes where the brothers visit AdventureTowns to find leads on the Philosopher's Stone; they go there looking for a lead, but the minute something bad happens to someone, they drop everything and rush to help that person for no other reason than the fact that it's the right thing to do.
* AloofBigBrother
* AlternateContinuity: To the manga.
* AlternateHistory[=/=]AlternateUniverse: The world of Amestris is apparently one [[spoiler:for our world]]. And the ending of ''Anime/FullmetalAlchemistTheConquerorOfShamballa'' suggests that this might also be the case due to [[spoiler:Ed and Al's involvement]].
* AnachronismStew: A fleet of giant rocket-powered transport planes... In [[spoiler:the WeimarRepublic? StupidJetpackHitler!]]
** Also appearing in the series at various points (presumably as [[EasterEgg Easter Eggs]]): a string of modern real-world flags, not at all early-20th-century-looking comic books, and [[ProductPlacement Snyder's]] pretzels.
** Rather, those are probably meant to show that time doesn't flow linearly in the Gate. [[spoiler:Both Ed and Hohenheim see the bombings of Nagasaki and Hiroshima before they happen, after all.]]
* AnimatedActors: The Chibi Party OVA.
* AnimatedArmor: Al, of course. And [[spoiler:Barry the Chopper]], as well as several others in Lab 5 such as The Slicer [[spoiler:Brothers]].
* AnimationBump: The series as a whole is animated quite well, but the larger action scenes and key dramatic moments such as [[spoiler:the failed transmutation]], [[spoiler:the death of Hughes]] and [[spoiler:the discovery of Shou Tucker's chimera and the subsequent confrontation]] definitely get a boost.
* AntiVillain: While many of the villains receive a lot of humanization, [[spoiler:Scar]] ends up so sympathetic that he nearly qualifies as an AntiHero toward the end. [[spoiler:Lust]] also becomes more sympathetic toward the end. On the other end of the spectrum, Kimblee and Barry the Chopper are far more unambiguously villainous in this version than they are in the manga/''Brotherhood''.
* AnyoneCanDie: [[spoiler:[[AFatherToHisMen Hughes]], [[PoweredByAForsakenChild Nina]], Alexander, Scar, and Ed.]]
* ArchEnemy: Envy to Ed, Pride to Roy, Kimblee to Scar.
* ArmorPiercingQuestion: Barry to Al. "How do you know your memories are real?"
* ArmorPiercingSlap: Ross to Ed.
* ArtEvolution: The tone darkened over time, and quality of the animation increases. Ed ages considerably over the show, as does Winry.
* ArtificialHuman: The homunculi
* ArtificialLimbs: Ed of course being the main example, but many people show up who have them.
* AscendedExtra: Rose, General Hakuro, Basque Grand, Shou Tucker, Lust, Sheska and Marta are all given larger roles in comparison to the manga. [[spoiler:Lust]] in particular is given substantially greater CharacterDevelopment in this version.
* TheAtoner:
** Roy
** [[spoiler:Scar]] over time.
** [[spoiler:Hohenheim]].
** Marcoh
* AxCrazy: Barry the Chopper. Envy gets like this whenever he loses restraint. Then, of course, there's Solf J. Kimblee.
* {{Badass}}: Ed, Roy, Izumi, Scar, Envy... A lot of them, really.
* BadassBoast: Scar, who has in just about every appearance just far completely destroyed every single State Alchemist he's run into, is stopped from taking out the Elric brothers by the [[BigDamnHeroes timely intervention]] of yet another State Alchemist... [[LargeHam Major Alex Louis Armstrong]]:
-->'''Alex Armstrong:''' Don't pray just yet, [[IAmYourOpponent you're facing the technique]] that's been [[MemeticMutation passed down the Armstrong line for generations]], '''''that's hardly a blessing!'''''
* BadassBookworm:
** ''Every single alchemist''. The two main requirements for performing alchemy are knowledge of what we know as chemistry and being in good shape. Shou Tucker and Izumi are the exceptions. Tucker [[spoiler:turns up with his torso practically bent backwards on the back of a bear that walks on two legs]]. Izumi, IncurableCoughOfDeath aside, can beat Al in a straight fight without alchemy [[spoiler:[[NoOneShouldSurviveThat or half of her internal organs]]]], but isn't much of a bookworm.
** Sheska eventually reveals herself to be this.
* BadassMoustache: King Bradley [[spoiler:AKA Pride]]
* BadGuyBar: The Devils' Nest
* BadSamaritan: Homunculi sent into the world to trick unsuspecting alchemists into thinking they're helping, and then tricking them into making Philosopher Stones for them.
* BaitAndSwitchCredits: I'm sorry, ''when'' did those serpent things show up? Oh right, ''never''.
** Of all the battle scenes depicted in the third and fourth opening and fourth ending sequences, hardly any occur between the characters or in the locations shown.
* BareYourMidriff: Envy, Wrath and Winry. The first two are ''guys''.
** Envy ''is'' awfully androgynous, though.
* TheBaroness:
** Dante in the series, Eckhart in TheMovie.
** Lust as well. Even Sloth can come off as this at times.
* BelligerentSexualTension: Subverted. At first it seems like Ed and Winry will go this route, but towards the end it becomes clear that they're LikeBrotherAndSister.
* BerserkButton: Don't EVER call Ed short. Or imply it. It hurts his feelings, pisses him off, and may end with you being hospitalized and humiliated. And then you'll be ashamed for being beaten by a shrimp.
** A more dramatic, one-time example: Ed does ''not'' take [[spoiler: Tucker's]] NotSoDifferent speech well.
** Don't ever insult Winry's skills as an [[ArtificialLimbs automail]] mechanic. (Or break it. She'll throw a wrench at your head.)
** Don't get in the way of Envy killing Hohenheim or make fun of him for it. Just mentioning Hohenheim in front of him will piss him off.
** If you're a State Alchemist, do not get in Scar's way. This changes after his CharacterDevelopment, but he will make an exception for [[MadBomber Kimblee]].
* BetaTestBaddie: The homunculi
* BewareTheNiceOnes:
** Alluded to when Al tells Ed that he'd want bloody revenge should Ed ever be murdered.
** [[spoiler:Tucker, Bradley and Dante]], who initially seem like kind and understanding authority figures, turn out to be something much worse.
* BicepPolishingGesture: Armstrong, constantly.
* BigBad: [[spoiler:Dante]]
* BigBrotherWorship: Al towards Ed.
* BigEater: Ed, but Gluttony embodies the trope [[ExtremeOmnivore quite literally]].
* BigFriendlyDog: Alexander
* BigGood: Hohenheim
* BigScrewedUpFamily: Al loses his body when he and Ed botch an attempt to revive their mother, [[spoiler:creating a villainous duplicate and the new Sloth instead]], Ed hates his father, [[spoiler:Dante is technically the Elrics' EvilStepmother, another homunculus is one of her former lovers, and two other homunculi are Ed and Al's half brother and Izumi's son.]]
* BishieSparkle: Armstrong and his entire family.
* {{Bishonen}}: Several of the characters, most notably Ed, Roy, and Scar, are given less rounded faces and (in the case of Ed and Scar) pronounced jawlines to hike up the pretty.
* BittersweetEnding: [[spoiler:In the end, Dante is defeated and Amestris is free from her manipulation of the government through King Bradley, but Ed is stuck in the world on the other side of the Gate apart from Al, and Al has lost the memory of his travels with Ed. Hawkeye and Mustang survive and have each other, but Mustang's dream of taking over from Bradley and righting the wrongs of his regime are crushed.]]
** ''Anime/FullmetalAlchemistTheConquerorOfShamballa'' fixes some of this, while adding a Bittersweet Ending of its own: [[spoiler:Al regains his memories and the brothers are reunited, [[YouCantGoHomeAgain but choose to strand themselves on Earth to ensure the Gate is sealed forever]], and Winry gets left behind again.]]
* BodyHorror:
** Human transmutation.
** The fate of [[spoiler: Tucker]].
** Wrath and his self-transmuting.
* BodySurf: [[spoiler:Dante and Hohenheim.]]
* BookEnds: The "Humankind cannot gain" speech is narrated by Al throughout the series to reflect what has been learned over the course of the story.
** ''Conqueror of Shamballa'', after a BatmanColdOpen, we're shown a scene of Edward in [[spoiler:our world]], hitchhiking on a cart full of familiar characters. [[spoiler:The film ends the same way, though with Alphonse and Noah joining Ed]].
* BrainsAndBrawn: Ed and Al, respectively.
* BrattyHalfPint: "[[BerserkButton WHO DID YOU CALL A SUPER MINI SHRIMP YOU'D NEED A MICROSCOPE TO SEE!?]]"
* BreakingTheFourthWall: At the start of one episode, Roy calls to complain he hasn't appeared on screen for a few episodes.
* BreakTheCutie: [[spoiler:Rose, Edward, Alphonse, and Wrath.]]
* BreakingSpeech: Dante deconstructs Ed's belief in Equivalent Exchange by showing him the many ways it doesn't work in real life.
* BreatherEpisode: The "Flame Alchemist" LowerDeckEpisode, featuring the zany hijinks of Mustang and his crew (and no Ed or Al), came right as the series was doubling down on the darkness, but before it would be too much of a distraction from the main plot.
* BunnyEarsLawyer: Maes Hughes is either this or ObfuscatingStupidity.
* BurningTheShips: When setting out on their journey, the Elric brothers burn down their childhood home so there will be no turning back.
* ButNowIMustGo: Whenever the Elrics leave an {{Adventure Town}}s.
* CallBack: Just like its source material, this series loves its Call Backs. Expect nearly everything that happens in the first half of the series to be referenced at least once at some point in the second, if not sooner. Even a filler episode. (See ChekhovsGunman)
* CallingTheOldManOut: Ed to Hohenheim.
* CanonForeigner: Lyra, Frank Archer, Dante, [[spoiler:Wrath, Sloth]], many of the single-episode characters (e.g. Majahal and Lujon) and every new character introduced in TheMovie.
* CameBackWrong: [[spoiler:Every single homunculus and Nina Tucker.]]
* CerebusSyndrome: The anime starts out pretty lighthearted but eventually becomes dark. Just when it seems like it's going to get lighthearted again, it goes back to being dark and just gets [[FromBadToWorse worse from there]] until there are little to no comedic moments.
* CheerfulChild: Nina and Elicia, although [[spoiler:the latter is a lot more subdued after her father's death]].
* ChekhovMIA: Hohenheim, the father of protagonists Edward and Alphonse Elric, and a very skilled alchemist. He returns just in time for the start of the third act of the story.
* ChekhovsGunman: Lyra, a wind-using alchemist and Yoki's lackey, is a seemingly innocuous addition to the anime's Youswell episode; she later [[spoiler:becomes the container for the BigBad via GrandTheftMe]].
** Minor example, Majahal. He is essentially a FillerVillain who appears to never be mentioned until after episode 4... however, much later in the series, [[CallBack Edward reveals that he still feels guilty for having been responsible for Majahal's death]].
* ChildSoldiers: Ed became a "dog of the military" at age 12. It's not standard practice, though; he's just a ChildProdigy.
* CityOfCanals: Aquroya, which much like its inspiration, UsefulNotes/{{Venice}}, is sinking into the mud it's built on. Unlike Venice, which has several hundred years left without intervention, Aquroya has a mere five.
* ClassyCatBurglar: Psiren, whose high-profile heists have revitalized the trade industry in the sinking, UsefulNote/{{Venice}}-like city Aquroya.
* CodeName: Every state alchemist gets one. It's where the series gets its title.
* ConspicuousCG: The armor soldiers and airships in TheMovie.
* CooldownHug: Ross does this to Ed [[spoiler:when he's exposed to red water and gets a power overload]].
* CorruptCorporateExecutive: Mugear
* CostumeCopycat: The Tringham brothers.
* CreatorCameo: Director Seiji Mizushima makes a blink-or-you'll-miss-it appearance in episode 13; manga author Hiromu Arakawa's bovine self-caricature makes several stealth appearances throughout the series.
* CreepyChild: [[spoiler:Wrath]]
* CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass: Hughes
* CrystalDragonJesus: Cornello's cult has their clothing based off of Catholic priests.
* CurbStompBattle: Pretty much every battle with the homunculi will result in this [[spoiler:unless you have a [[AchillesHeel body part of whomever the Homunculus is a result of from human transmutation]]]].
* CultureChopSuey: At least one scene has Ed eating rice out of bowls with chopsticks in what is otherwise a setting based on early twentieth century Europe.
** They tend to sit and bow in a Japanese manner, despite being European. You can see Japanese flags in early episodes, despite Japan being non-existent, and the modern flag not even having been thought of yet, assuming the dates given correspond to a real world calendar.
** In one episode, Breda is playing shogi with several of Mustang's men, explaining that it's a game from "a country in the east". So yes, the Fullmetal Alchemist world does have a {{Wutai}} (which presumably is where Izumi hails from).
* CursedWithAwesome:
** Edward's automail, SteamPunk prosthetics which offer full mobility but presumably require constant maintenance. They give him an advantage in combat, as they are sturdy, disposable, transmutable and throw off opponents, but they are still prosthetics--meaning he had to lose his right arm and left leg to begin with--and a constant reminder of the price he and his brother paid for trying to resurrect the dead.
** Scar's right arm, which is tattooed with a transmutation circle, but which can only take apart things, whereas a normal alchemical circle deconstructs something and puts it back together in a desirable shape. Scar dislikes it due to how the arm is a transplant from his brother, who thus sacrificed himself to save Scar, and how it utilizes alchemy which is taboo to Scar's people, the Ishbalans.
** The homunculi, who are practically immortal and possess amazing superpowers, yet bitterly resent their existence and supernatural forms. Likewise with Al and the other souls-bonded-to-suits found in Laboratory 5, who are likewise, [[AchillesHeel almost]] immortal and yet, with the exception of Al, see themselves as not-human. Lust even compares the two situations when trying to explain to Ed why she wants to become human.
* CuteKitten: The episode "Fullmetal VS Flame" features them.
* CutSong: "Melissa" (the first opening song) and "Undo" (the third) were unused in the North American airings of the series; "Ready Steady Go" (the second opening) replaced them instead, with the opening finally changing once "Rewrite" (the fourth) comes along in the final stretch of the series.
* DamselInDistress: [[spoiler:Rose when Dante takes her under a trance.]]
* DarkerAndEdgier: The series as a whole compared to the manga and ''Brotherhood''.
* ADayInTheLimelight: Episode 37 focuses solely on the hijinks within the military, with the Elric brothers making no appearances whatsoever. Even the opening's altered to reflect this.
* DeathByAdaptation: [[spoiler:Yoki, Scar, Doctor Marcoh, Selim Bradley and Izumi Curtis]] all die here but live in the manga.
* DemotedToExtra: Selim Bradley, who becomes a major character in the manga, appears in only a few scenes and has a completely different identity in this.
* DeathCourse: Played for laughs (also as a ShoutOut to ''Film/RaidersOfTheLostArk'') when Ed sets off a series of traps in Lab 5.
* DeathIsCheap: The fact that it is ''not'' cheap (in a literal sense) is the reason Ed and Al are missing body parts. They didn't pay enough when trying to bring their mom back.
%%* DeathSeeker: [[spoiler:Hohenheim]] shows shades of this.
* DeliberatelyMonochrome: A subtle example. Scenes set in [[spoiler:our world]] are decidedly more muted and faded, emphasizing how mundane and realistic [[spoiler:Ed's new home]] has become. This is in contrast to the more fantastical and radiant trappings of Amestris.
* DependingOnTheWriter: Some of the episodes written and/or directed by staff outside of the core team have odd visual/setting/plot/tonal inconsistencies. The most {{egregious}} example is likely episode 10, which feels like it belongs to a different show altogether.
* {{Determinator}}: Ed is going to figure out how to make The Philosopher's Stone no matter what. [[spoiler:And when he realizes the price it takes, he will take down the conspiracy made to create the stones by any means necessary.]]
* DisappearedDad: Hohenheim, who left the family while Ed and Al were in the single digits [[spoiler:because his body was starting to decay and he refused to let his wife and the children see.]]
* DisconnectedByDeath: [[spoiler:Hughes is killed by Envy after the homunculi discover he knows too much about their plans.]]
* DistantFinale: The (non-canon) Kids OVA [[spoiler:shows Ed in 2005 in our world, having just turned 100 years old]].
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: Obvious allusions to [[ANaziByAnyOtherName Nazism]], Catholicism, imperialism in the Middle East, and to colonialism tout court. Ishbalans even offer striking parallels with Native North Americans. The Ishbalans were originally based on the Ainu, but also seemed to have allusions to the Middle East and Islam (Ishbalans are monotheists and have similar beliefs). Odds are that they were based on several different TruthInTelevision parallels.\\
Despite the similarity of certain Amestrian religions to Christianity, it is mentioned that Christianity ceased to be practiced in Amestris several centuries ago, presumably around when alchemy first became successful, [[spoiler: causing the split between their timeline and that of the world on the other side of the gate--that is, early-20th-century Europe.]]
* DrivenToSuicide: [[spoiler:Mustang almost went there]].
* DroppedABridgeOnHim: [[spoiler:Izumi]] dies offscreen between the end of the show and the start of TheMovie.
* DubInducedPlotHole: Which causes a {{Broken Aesop}} in the final episode: [[spoiler:Ed is said to be "not dead for long" rather than {{Only Mostly Dead}}, meaning Al succeeds at the task that he and Ed had spent the whole show learning to accept was impossible.]]
* DudeLooksLikeALady:
** Envy, who looks almost perfectly female (and has a female, albeit androgynous-sounding, voice actress) save for his lack of breasts. His outfit doesn't help matters.
** Barry the Chopper [[spoiler:when he was human]].
* EarlyBirdCameo: Barry the Chopper ([[spoiler:is dealt with by the Elrics in the flesh well before they encounter him as a possessed armor at Lab 5]]), and Lyra ([[spoiler:shows up as Yoki's lackey in Youswell and later becomes Dante's servant...and body]]).
** Easier to miss: Izumi and Sig can be spotted with their backs to the camera at a train station in an early episode, Frank Archer can first be seen as one of many soldiers at [[spoiler:Hughes' funeral]], and [[spoiler:Envy's dragon form and Haushofer]] show up in the final episode before going on to play larger roles in TheMovie.
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: For the first dozen episodes or so, the writers don't all seem to be on the same page regarding the laws of alchemy and particulars of Amestris, leading to such oddities as alchemy being used on remote targets, Ed knocking Al into a river without concern for his blood seal, signs appearing in Japanese, a reference to alchemy use causing physical exhaustion that is never mentioned again, and Ed transmuting flowers out of snow. One particular error in the broadcast version, wherein Ed discovers he can use alchemy without a transmutation circle by punching his fist, was even modified for the DVD release (to a shot of Ed clasping his palms together).
* EarnYourHappyEnding: In the last episode, Hohenheim tells Ed that this is what he and his brother have been doing all along.
* EngineeredPublicConfession: Used to take down Cornello as he admits his religion is nothing but a sham in a concealed microphone. All of Lior hears it.
%%* EpilogueLetter: Sheska to Winry.
%%* EpisodeTitleCard
* EquivalentExchange: The foundation of alchemy and what Edward and Alphonse believe as a philosophy: to make something, something of equal value must be paid in return.
* EsotericMotifs: All the homunculi have Ouroboros tattoos. In the movie, [[spoiler:Envy, the last homunculus]], becomes a literal one when transformed into a serpent.
* EvenEvilHasStandards: When [[spoiler:Dante]] erases Gluttony's mind, turning him into a creature of pure hunger, even ''Envy'' looks a little bit horrified.
* EveryoneLovesBlondes: Winry for Ed and Roy for Hawkeye.
* [[spoiler:EvilMentor: Dante, the elderly pharmacist introduced as Izumi's alchemy teacher, turns out to be the BigBad.]]
* {{Expy}}: The police inspector in Episode 10 is an obvious ShoutOut to [[SympatheticInspectorAntagonist Inspector Zenigata]] of ''Franchise/LupinIII.'' Long gray coat, long bearded face, old-fashioned hat, preference for handcuffs - Ed even calls him "Ossan" in Japanese.
* ExtremeOmnivore: Gluttony, a homunculus who is not only always hungry, but is seemingly capable of eating anything.
* EyepatchOfPower: King Bradley, the Fuhrer of the country the series takes place in. [[spoiler:Roy Mustang]] gains one near the end of the series as well.
* EyesAlwaysShut: Falman, a soldier in the manga even calls him "Squinty Eyes".
* EyeScream: In the finale, [[spoiler:Hawkeye arrives too late to protect Mustang from Archer. He doesn't die, but he was shot in the eye.]]
* FakeMemories: Barry the Chopper suggests to Al that his memories aren't real, that Ed created him himself, and that Alphonse Elric never existed.
* FanService:
** Psiren, Lust, and Winry's skimpy outfits
** Ed and Armstrong's constant shirtlessness.
** Izumi's revealing attire.
* FatalFamilyPhoto: [[spoiler:Hughes' death, where Envy uses the photograph to morph into his wife.]]
* FemmeFatale: Lust is practically the ''archetype'' of this.
* FemmeFatalons[=/=]WolverineClaws: Lust again.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: In regards to the manga version. Example 1: Mustang's [[spoiler:defeat of Pride in the final episode has a ''lot'' in common with his defeat of Lust in the manga (both homunculi impale him with their respective weapons during the battle, and both are ultimately killed by Mustang burning them with his bare hands until their regenerative abilities are exhausted)]]. Example 2: [[spoiler:At the end of the anime, Mustang loses an eye. In the manga, he goes completely BLIND.]] Example 3: [[spoiler:Hawkeye emotionally shoots Archer to death after thinking Roy is dead. She does the same in the manga to Lust, but it doesn't work in the latter case.]]
* FreezeFrameBonus: Anytime someone is reading a piece of paper and there's a close-up shot of it, take a minute to read it. They have the most ''random'' things written on them.
* FunctionalMagic: Alchemy
* GadgeteerGenius: Winry and her automail skills. Edward seems to prefer her automail over everybody else's.
* GambitRoulette: [[spoiler:Dante's plan]].
* GeckoEnding: It diverges from the manga in many aspects, some from the very beginning, and divorces from the source entirely about halfway through.
** This isn't frequently recognized, but plot points from the manga continue to show up in the anime right up until the last few episodes, the final definitive points they have in common being [[spoiler:Ed and Al meeting Hohenheim in Risembool and Ed exhuming his mother's grave]]. The ''context'' of these points is merely altered more significantly in the second half of the series than the first.
%%* GeneralRipper: Frank Archer
%%* GeniusDitz: Sheska
* GentleGiant: Al and Armstrong: the former has a very sweet heart (since he is a kid), but he's bound to a giant set of armor that can intimidate others; the latter is more than willing to fight for the side of good and he has the large, muscly build to prove it.
* GeometricMagic: Alchemy requires tracing shapes and diagrams into a flat surface to perform spells.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: The anime in general is quite dark and violent for a {{shonen}} series, but more specifically some of the later episodes sneak in some rather heavy sexual innuendo, such as [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bl2gWX0gMik Hawkeye's]] [[EroticDream dream]] in episode 37 (wherein the dub is only too happy to play up the suggestive subtext), and later more seriously in the form of the not-so-subtle implication that [[spoiler: Rose was raped and impregnated by Amestrian soldiers during the rebellion in Liore]].
** As an aside: During the series' run on Creator/AdultSwim, the final episode (and only the final episode) aired with a special disclaimer warning of "extreme violence". The episode in question is not significantly gorier than many previous ones (such as one, for example, in which a character appears to have their throat slit quite graphically onscreen, which was aired unedited and with no disclaimer); the reason for the additional disclaimer is suspected to be the scene in which [[spoiler:Bradley [[WouldHurtAChild throttles his own son to death]]]].
** There's also an episode where Ed and company stumble across a young girl being cornered by a gang of thugs in the forest, and save her. From the predatory expressions on the men's faces and the way the girl clutches her clothing to herself, it's quite obvious that it was an [[AttemptedRape attempted gang rape.]]
** Psiren. Full stop.
* {{Ghostapo}}: The Thule Society in TheMovie is a nod to mystic Nazi hijinks, though it's more of a precursor given [[WeimarRepublic the time period]].
* GoodScarsEvilScars:
** For Scar it's not just an IncrediblyLamePun; that's how he got his name.
** [[spoiler:King Bradley/Pride.]]
* GoneHorriblyWrong: How the Elrics got in their current condition.
* GovernmentConspiracy: [[spoiler:The homunculi have infiltrated the upper echelons of government in order to conduct large-scale experiments and incite conflicts in the hope of obtaining more and better Philosopher's Stones for Dante. They even caused the Ishbalan war.]]
* GrandTheftMe: [[spoiler:Dante. Hohenheim used to do this, but apparently stopped after meeting Trisha Elric and having kids]].
* GreenRocks: Red rocks, actually: the red stones. Their abilities include [[spoiler:healing injuries, amplifying alchemical power (temporarily bypassing equivalent exchange, though not without the risk of a rebound; the alchemic equivalent of a backfire), and giving the homunculi extra "lives".]]
* HamToHamCombat: Armstrong and Sig Curtis have a "flex off" in the episode ''Assault on South Headquarters.''
* HealingFactor: The homunculi can recover from any injury.
* TheHeavy: Envy is this on a personal level due to his hounding of the protagonists, while Pride turns out to be this on a more national level. The BigBad is more TheManBehindTheMan.
* HellishPupils: The homunculi
* HermeticMagic: Yet again, alchemy.
* HeroicBSOD: "Edward, my friend..." Ed does not react well.
* HeroicSacrifice: More than once.
* HeWhoFightsMonsters: Scar went from a victim of genocide by alchemy to hunting down and killing every state alchemist he could find; with alchemy. [[spoiler:He eventually becomes aware of this.]]
** ...which does not stop him from [[spoiler:murdering ''7,000'' Amestrian infantrymen as his dying act.]]
* HeWillNotCrySoICryForHim: Ed irritably asks Winry "What are you crying for?" after she admits to having opened his pocket watch. She replies "Because you won't, neither of you will! So now I'm crying for you both!"
* HiddenVillain
* HisNameReallyIsBarkeep: Fuhrer King Bradley. King is his actual first name.
* HistoricalHilarity: Creator/FritzLang shows up in TheMovie and acts as a genial comic relief mentor to Ed. He correctly guesses that Ed is not a native of Earth and discusses the subject of parallel words with him at one point, wondering what his otherworldly double would be like. Ed gives him a sideways look but doesn't let on [[spoiler:his counterpart is a genocidal war criminal dictator: King Bradley aka Pride.]] Makes sense, given that Lang was Jewish [[spoiler:and his counterpart is basically the alternate universe version of UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler]].
** The alias he uses is even "[[http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Film/DrMabuseTheGambler Dr. Mabuse]]."
* HoistByHisOwnPetard:
** [[spoiler:Dante, in trying to get Gluttony to get over Lust and help make the Philosopher's Stone. She transmutes away all his reason, turning him into a mindless monster. When the Elrics ruin her plan to create the stone and she tries to escape, Gluttony eats through the floor of the elevator she's on and goes after her despite her trying to reason with him.]]
** Also when [[spoiler:Bradley reveals his most treasured possession (the skull of the man Dante created him from) to his son Selim, imparting its importance, but not its meaning on the boy. Selim later rescues it from the family safe and brings it to his father during Roy's attack on the Fuhrer's mansion. Bradley freezes up in the presence of the skull and loses his regenerative capabilities, allowing Roy to immolate him.]]
** Mugear. He tried to get red stones processed so they could be used as alchemic modifiers and killed Nash Tringham when he objected. He's killed in a cave-in after the mining of the red stones causes the cave to collapse.
* {{Housewife}}: And God knows Izumi won't let you forget it!
* HugeGuyTinyGirl: Sig and Izumi. She is of average size, but Sig makes up for it by being ''utterly enormous.''
* IconicItem: Ed's watch, red coat and armblade, Roy's gloves, and Al's armor.
* [[spoiler:IChooseToStay]] in TheMovie.
* IdenticalGrandson: The (non-canon) Kids OVA gives use [[spoiler:Ed's three great-great-grandchildren, who are identical to Edward, Alphonse, and even ''Winry''.]]
* IdenticalStranger:
** The Earth versions of several Amestristan characters: Fritz Lang ([[spoiler:King Bradley]]), Maes and Gracia Hughes, Alfons Heidrich (Alphonse Elric), Noa (Rose) and the two gypsies driving the truck that pick Ed [[spoiler:and Al]] up at the end of the movie (Scar and Lust).
** Heidrich's coworkers are human versions of Greed's chimeras, and one of them bears a strong resemblance to Yoki.
* IdiotHair: Edward
* IfYouCanReadThis: Any book on alchemy shown onscreen is copied from ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' player's manuals on alchemy. Evidently, Amestris runs on a D20 system.
** On the other hand, the letter Ed is writing to Winry in episode 7 actually does consist of him boastfully describing his exploits in the State Alchemy Exam (albeit in slightly questionable English) and reveals quite a bit about his character at that point in the story.
* ImageSong: In order; Ed, Roy, Al, Winry, Hughes. There's also a few group songs, two with all five.
* ImmortalityImmorality: [[spoiler:Hohenheim]] and [[spoiler:Dante]].
* ImmuneToBullets: Lampshaded.
* ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice: [[spoiler:Edward towards the end.]]
** This is how Ed [[spoiler: unintentionally kills Greed.]]
* ImplacableMan: All the homunculi.
* ImposterForgotOneDetail: Pointed out to Envy [[spoiler:by Hughes when the former is trying to imitate Maria Ross. Hughes is able to realize she is fake because Envy's version of Ross does not have a mole underneath her right eye.]]
* ImprobableAge: Edward becomes a state alchemist at twelve.
* ImprobableAimingSkills: Riza Hawkeye. She [[MeaningfulName earns her name]].
* IncurableCoughOfDeath: Trisha, [[spoiler:Izumi Curtis]], and [[spoiler:Alfons Heidrich]] in TheMovie.
* IngestingKnowledge: Scar is able to do this with his arm.
* InMediasRes: The story begins in the middle of Ed and Al's search for the Philosopher's Stone and Ed's career as a State Alchemist. The next several episodes are a flashback to show how they got there, building up to the time period of the first two episodes.
* InstantRunes: Sometimes averted, sometimes played straight.
* InterruptedSuicide: [[spoiler:Marcoh talked Roy out of shooting himself.]]
* ItGetsEasier: Ed breaks down crying and does a HowDareYouDieOnMe after [[spoiler:killing Greed, but kills Sloth, who looks like his mother, with cold precision]].
* FromBadToWorse:
** The poor Elric brothers...
** Poor ''Rose'', too.
* IWasQuiteALooker: Pinako, apparently, was pretty hot back in the day.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Edward, Roy, Izumi, and Greed.
* JerkWithAHeartOfJerk: Psiren, the PhantomThief.
** SubvertedTrope: She ''was'' stealing for a benevolent cause, but not the one that she pretended to be stealing for.
* JustBetweenYouAndMe: Causes Cornello's downfall in an EngineeredPublicConfession.
* JustFriends: Ed pulls this off with three different women: Winry, Rose, and Noa.
* JustLikeRobinHood: Catburglar (and local celebrity) Psiren.
* KarmaHoudini: General Hakuro. You can infer [[spoiler:what happened to him after the fall of the dictatorship, but we're never shown what happened to him.]]
** Shou Tucker as well. [[spoiler:He turns himself into a chimera and loses whatever sanity he may have had, but doesn't get any punishment past that.]]
* KillItWithFire: Roy Mustang, codenamed the Flame Alchemist. Go on, guess what he does with his alchemy.
* KilledOffForReal: [[spoiler:Trisha (illness), Cornello (eaten by Gluttony), Majahal (fell on his own sword), Nina (MercyKill via Scar), Basque Grand (via Scar), Mugear (cave-in), the younger Slicer Brother (suicide), the older Slicer Brother (seal destroyed by Lust), Marcoh (eaten by Gluttony), Yoki (stabbed by Lust), Barry the Chopper (via Scar), Maes Hughes (shot by Envy), Law and Dorochet (killed by Lust and Gluttony), Lujon (stabbed by Lust), Lyra (body taken over by Dante, eviscerated by her in her body), Greed (impaled by Ed), Marta (impaled by Pride), Kimblee (via Scar), Scar (gunshot wounds), Lust (stabbed by Wrath), Sloth (evaporated by Ed), Selim (strangled to death by Pride), Pride (burned by Mustang), Archer (gunshot wounds from Hawkeye), Dante (eaten by Gluttony)]] and in the movie, [[spoiler:Izumi (succumbed to illness), Wrath (sacrificed by Al), Gluttony (sacrificed by Al), Envy (sacrificed), Hohenheim (suicide), Heidrich (shot by Rudolf Hess), and Eckhart (shot by a Hughes {{Expy}})]]. Basically, this is a show where AnyoneCanDie.
* KillTheCutie: Poor [[spoiler:Nina Tucker]].
* KindheartedCatLover: Al, perhaps a bit ''[[ImTakingHerHomeWithMe too]]'' much...
* KnifeNut: Hughes
* KnightTemplar: Frank Archer. To him, using humans as guinea pigs and massacring entire towns are completely justified if it's for the good of the nation/military.
* KryptoniteFactor: The homunculi become vulnerable when [[spoiler:they come into close proximity to the body of the human of whom they are a ShadowArchetype.]]
* LargeHam:
** Armstrong
** "I '''LOVE''' DOGS!!!" and "All female officers will be required to wear...TINY MINISKIRTS!" Travis Willingham refers to this incarnation of Mustang as "Armstang" - a mix of Mustang and Armstrong (a role he also auditioned for but didn't get).
* LaserGuidedKarma: Perhaps a case of Sidewinder Karma - [[spoiler:Wrath kills Lust, the only person the manchild-like Gluttony ever cared for. Then Dante inadvertently turns Gluttony into a mindless monster and he gets trapped in the sunken city beneath Central, supposedly never to be seen again. Between the end of the series and TheMovie, Wrath pulls a HeelFaceTurn and helps Al to get back to the last place The Gate was seen: the sunken city. Upon their arrival, they're attacked by a monstrous and mutated Gluttony, who's out to kill Wrath for what he did to Lust. Gluttony inflicts a mortal wound on Wrath, but that was Wrath's plan all along. While Gluttony munches on Wrath like a chew toy, Al transmutes both of them to summon the Gate, and Wrath freely accepts his fate.]]
* LifeEnergy:
** Souls have power, quite literally. In fact, [[spoiler:[[PoweredByAForsakenChild they're what a Philosopher's Stone is made of]].]]
** Even more so is the fact that [[spoiler:all of the energy for alchemy is souls from beyond the Gate, i.e. our world.]]
* ALightInTheDistance: Edward and Alphonse's mother, Trisha Elric, would light a lantern to use in order to help guide her sons home.
* LiteraryAgentHypothesis: If TheMovie and ''Kids OVA'' are anything to go by, it's implied that [[spoiler:either the Elric brothers eventually had their experiences made into a movie in our world or their story inspired Arakawa to make the franchise in the first place]]. Alfons in the movie even lampshades it by suggesting to Ed that he become a novelist.
* LongHairedPrettyBoy: Ed, Envy, and Al in TheMovie
* LongSongShortScene: The ending themes were further truncated in the American broadcast.
* LoveMakesYouCrazy: Majahal
* LossOfIdentity: To an extent, the homunculi.
* LowerDeckEpisode: "Flame Alchemist", in which the Elrics do not appear and Mustang and his crew take the spotlight.
* MadeOfIron: Al, in a quite literal sense.
* MagicAIsMagicA: This trope lies at the very core of the show and of its [[TheReveal reveals]].
* MagicFromTechnology: Alchemy is used as an explanation for the SteamPunk setting.
* MagicalRealism: Hints of it in [[spoiler:Earth]]. While Alchemy doesn't work, it's hinted in TheMovie that if there's something akin to Alchemy present, it's very subtle.
* ManlyTears: Armstrong does it a lot. Ed and Roy to a lesser extent.
* MartialPacifist: Scar's master.
* MeaningfulFuneral: [[spoiler:Hughes]]
* MeaningfulName: The Fuhrer is named ''King'' Bradley [[spoiler:although in his case it's justified]]. There's also sharpshooter Riza [[ImprobableAimingSkills Hawkeye]] and, on a subtler level, Roy (Roi means "king" in French. Guess who wants to replace King as Fuhrer?). Scieska is Polish for 'path', and she is a living path to lost documents.
* {{Meganekko}}: Sheska
* MercyKill: Scar does this to [[spoiler:Nina and Alexander]].
* MiniatureSeniorCitizens: Pinako.
* MinorCrimeRevealsMajorPlot: Whether we're talking about the Elric Brothers' human transmutation attempt to revive their mother or [[spoiler:Maes Hughes getting killed because HeKnowsTooMuch]], we end up coming into some horrifying revelations not only about the power in Amestris [[spoiler:being secretly controlled by a body-snatching bitch and her set of homunculi created [[CameBackWrong from such attempts at bringing loved ones]] BackFromTheDead as Ed and Al's own mother, but also about the very nature of alchemy in itself being PoweredByAForsakenChild]].
* MoodWhiplash: This is more common early in the series. Later, things become much more consistently [[FromBadToWorse unfunny]].
* MotiveRant: When Ed busts Tucker for human transumation, the latter babbles justifications for it. Ed tells him to shut up with his fist.
* TheMovie: ''Anime/FullmetalAlchemistTheConquerorOfShamballa''. It wrapped up some of the anime's loose ends.
* MistakenIdentity: Al is almost always mistaken for Ed by someone they are meeting for the first time due to Ed's code name and Al's appearance.
* MysteriousParent: Hohenheim
* MythologyGag: Ling Yao and Xiao-Mei appeared in cameos.
** Hiromu Arakawa's self-caricatures (in which she depicts herself as a cartoon cow) make cameo appearances in a couple of late episodes.
* TheNapoleon: Ed, and he is ''not'' happy about it. He does get visibly taller over the course of the series, and in the TheMovie, he's only slightly shorter than average-sized characters.
* {{Necromantic}}: Trying to bring back the dead with alchemy is a ''bad'' idea.
* NewPowersAsThePlotDemands: Scar's arm. It's initially introduced as simply having the power to deconstruct matter but it also has other functions such as decoding information and feeding it into Scar's brain. Justified as in this adapation it is [[spoiler: an incomplete [[GreenRocks Philospher's Stone]]]], so it's more complicated than Manga!Scar's arm.
** The homunculi a couple of times.
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: The first half of the series is all about Ed and Al unwittingly doing the legwork for [[spoiler:Dante]] and the homunculi, the second half is about them trying to undo all the damage. Examples include [[spoiler:creating Sloth; overthrowing Cornello and causing a civil war in Lior; shitcanning Yoki, which leads to Lyra going to work for Dante; encouraging Hughes to look into Lab 5/the homunculi; accidentally setting Greed free; finding Dr. Marcoh and exposing him to the homunculi; finding Wrath and letting the homunculi get their hands on him; ect.]]
* NighInvulnerability: Homunculi are not impervious to damage anymore than a normal human is, but can regenerate it right away. (Though the rate of regeneration seems to vary between them, e.g. [[spoiler:Pride]] is able to regenerate almost instanteneously, while [[spoiler:Wrath]]'s regenerative abilities seem considerably less developed, and [[spoiler:Lust]] falls somewhere in between.) They don't have great armor, just tons and tons of Hit Points, with the specific exception of Greed, whose special trick ''is'' turning his body into super-armor.
* NoFourthWall: One of the [=OVAs=] casts the audience as a new alchemist.
* NoHuggingNoKissing: Although Mustang and Hawkeye have a brief ShipTease at the end of the series when Mustang talks about how the imperfect nature of the world makes it beautiful.
-->'''Hawkeye''': Just shut up and eat.
* NoNameGiven: Scar and his brother.
* {{Nosebleed}}: "When I become Fuhrer, all female officers will be required to wear...''TINY MINISKIRTS''!"
* NotEvenBotheringWithTheAccent:
** The [[spoiler:Earth]] scenes in ''The Conqueror of Shamballa'', where everyone speaks without an accent (despite taking place in the WeimarRepublic). Possibly justified in that having the cast speak with German accents might distract from the plot and that it could be a case of TranslationConvention.
** Though it's averted with the ending of the series, which ''does'' have [[spoiler:Dr. Haushoffer]] speaking with a clearly German accent.
* NotSoDifferent: This happens often throughout the first part of the series. In order: Cornello, Majhal, Bald, Tucker, Barry the Chopper, and Psiren. Ed eventually [[LampshadeHanging lampshades]] it. Wrath also invokes this trope a few times, gleefully pointing out how he wound up with Ed's [[spoiler:sacrificed arm and leg]] and how [[spoiler:Izumi more or less took him (and Al) on as surrogate sons and {{Replacement Goldfish}}es for Wrath--her actual son]].
* ObfuscatingStupidity: Hughes
* OcularGushers: Al, despite not having any tear ducts. Also Armstrong whenever he sheds his ManlyTears.
* OedipusComplex: Ed, but [[spoiler:Envy]] even more so. Wrath has his parental issues too, but they're directed more at his mother, [[spoiler:Izumi]].
* OlderThanTheyLook: Marta looks like she's in her 20s, but is actually old enough to be Ed and Al's mom.
* OnTheNext
* TheOnlyOneAllowedToDefeatYou: Envy towards Hoenheim.
* OpeningNarration: There are two different ones; the first is by Alphonse, the second is by Edward (in the dub at least, Al did the second narration originally).
* OutOfTheInferno: [[spoiler:Pride]] does this several times during his final battle against Mustang. He even states he's invoking the trope on purpose to test his HealingFactor, since he's never had an occasion to do so before.
* OverEnthusiasticParents: Hughes, so much.
* OverprotectiveDad: Hughes
* OvertookTheManga: A somewhat unusual case, in which the creator of the manga ''specifically asked'' the people making the anime to do this, since the manga was nowhere near being completed at the time the anime came out.
* EeriePaleSkinnedBrunette: Lust and Wrath
* PathOfInspiration: Cornello's cult.
* ParentalAbandonment: Poor Elric brothers.
* PhlebotinumBreakdown: If you don't know your stuff, alchemic reactions can backfire on you pretty spectacularly. Even if you '''do''' know your stuff, alchemic reactions can backfire on you pretty spectacularly. As ANYONE who committed taboo can attest...
** Roy Mustang forgets he can't make fire in the rain when he first encounters Scar, and [[ActionGirl another character]] has to jump in with pistols to save him.
* PiggybackingOnHitler: In TheMovie, the Nazis and Thule Society seem to be piggybacking on ''each other''. The former see their Thule comrades' plans to open Shambhala/Amestris as a key in forging their thousand-year Reich while the latter generally considers ''them'' a grand distraction preventing the outside world from interfering with their scheme.
* PinocchioSyndrome: [[spoiler:The homunculi. Lust in particular.]]
* PlayingWithFire: Roy Mustang, code-named "Flame Alchemist".
* PlotBasedPhotographObfuscation: Hohenheim's face is obscured on the only family picture the Elric's have.
* PossessionBurnout: Those possessed by [[spoiler: Dante or Hohenheim.]]
* PostEpisodeTrailer
* PoweredByAForsakenChild: [[spoiler:Used as TheReveal no less than ''three different times''.]]
* ThePowerOfBlood: Used in Ed and Al's attempt to bring their mother back.
* PragmaticAdaptation: In spite of being really different from the manga, the anime has still received critical acclaim.
* ProductPlacement: In episode 26, there's a blink-and-you'll miss it appearance of... Snyder's of Hanover. [[BigLippedAlligatorMoment Yes, the pretzel company.]] Apparently Amestris has [[AnachronismStew very modern snack foods]].
* PsychoForHire: Kimblee and Barry the Chopper
* PsychopathicManchild: Gluttony
* PublicDomainSoundtrack: The old chestnut, the first movement of Beethoven's Fifth, is used to surprisingly great effect for TheReveal of what's on the other side of the gate. [[spoiler:It really gives you the feeling that you've suddenly been transported from the fantastic world of the anime to the "real" one.]]
** Chopin's "Tristesse" shows up in the denouement of the final episode.
* PuttingOnTheReich: King Bradley.
* QuirkyMinibossSquad: Greed's minions.
* RaidersOfTheLostParody: In the 5th Laboratory episode of the 2003 anime series, there is a Giant Rolling Ball of Doom sequence a la ''Film/RaidersOfTheLostArk''.
* RapeAsDrama: [[spoiler:Rose's rape turns her into a catatonic mute.]]
* RealIsBrown: The scenes on [[spoiler:Earth]] at the end of the series are in much duller colors compared to those seen in Ed and Al's world.
* ReallySevenHundredYearsOld: [[spoiler:Hohenheim, Dante, and most of the homunculi]].
* RedemptionEqualsDeath: [[spoiler:Scar, Lust, and Wrath]]
* RedEyesTakeWarning:
** All Ishbalans have red eyes, but it's subverted because they're nice (if bitter) people.
** At first this seems to be played straight with Scar, but Ed later realizes that being scared of Scar's red eyes was a racist reflex. More fitting into the trope, the homunculi have purple eyes.
* ReplacementGoldfish:
** The homunculi. [[spoiler:Wrath and Sloth are a particularly poignant example, as they were made as Replacement Goldfish, and then adopted ''each other'' as replacement goldfish for their creators.]]
** Earlier, Barry attempted to convince Al that he is one of these, created by Ed.
* ReusableLighterToss: Done by Roy with Havoc's lighter. [[{{Lampshaded}} His ex-wife gave him that lighter!]]
* RidiculouslyCuteCritter: Black Hayate.
* SacrificialRevivalSpell: [[spoiler:Ed is killed by Envy, then Alphonse transmutes his own life into Ed's, then Ed transmutes ''his'' life and body into Al's life and a new body for him, to boot. Alphonse can't repeat the process after that because Ed gets stuck in a parallel universe]].
* SandInMyEyes: Or rather, "It's raining."
* SaveBothWorlds: In TheMovie. From ''Nazis''.
* ScaryShinyGlasses: Shou Tucker
* SchizoTech: The world mixes 1920s tech with alchemy and cybernetic limbs.
** And ''[[spoiler:full-body prosthetics]]''.
** Clothing and morals are also (relatively) modern, where turn-of-the-century outfits coexist with gender equality.
** Also, there's a lack of aircraft. [[spoiler:Which serves as a plot point in the ending as well as TheMovie.]]
** Firearms are also reminiscent of both TheFifties and the Vietnam War, compared to the WW2 guns in the manga.
* {{Seinen}}: After the halfway-point, the show takes a [[BlackAndGrayMorality notably darker turn]] than the second series and manga. The antagonists are less fantastic, but, in many ways, [[AdultFear more sinister]], the outlook is [[FailureIsTheOnlyOption bleaker]], [[TheRevolutionWillNotBeCivilized shows that the repercussions]] [[NiceJobBreakingItHero of the Elrics' early exploits]] [[RapeIsASpecialKindOfEvil are far worse than the evil they'd stopped]], the body count is [[AnyoneCanDie MUCH higher]], and contains an infamously BittersweetEnding.
* SerialKiller: Barry the Chopper, the Slicer brothers, and Scar.
* SevenDeadlySins: The homunculi
* ShadowArchetype: The homunculi are largely [[spoiler: the "shadow" of the deceased person whose human transmutation backfired]].
** Several characters have other characters who parallel or mirror them in some form. Examples include:
*** Tucker to Edward
*** [[spoiler:Dante]] to Edward
*** Scar to Alphonse
* ShapeshifterGuiltTrip: Envy loves this tactic, but it's subverted hilariously when Envy takes Roy's form ''against Edward''. "I don't think you could've picked an easier target!"
* ShipSinking: [=EdWin=], [=EdRose=], [=RoyEd=] and pretty much every major Ed-ship was sank in the anime when [[spoiler:Ed and Al go to the alternate dimension forever.]]
* ShipTease: This anime in particularly is famous for shipping ''everyone''.
* ShirtlessScene: Armstrong is a mobile ShirtlessScene. Ed has a tendency to [[ClothingDamage tear his shirt]] in order to show off his arm.
* ShootingSuperman: Note to train hijackers - shooting Al won't help; all that happens is the bullets will ricochet off him and hit you.
* TheShortGuyWithGlasses: Fuery
* ShortTank: Winry
* ShownTheirWork:
** ''Conqueror of Shamballa'' is a fairly accurate portrayal of the political climate in 1920s Germany. Although there were some obvious deviations from the actual history, [[LikeRealityUnlessNoted they were clearly intentional]]. The Munich scenes were based on photos taken from the city itself. Also, the firearms used in the same scenes are models that were more or less available in 1923.
** The [[spoiler:UsefulNotes/WorldWarI scenes]] towards the end of the series are likewise based on the fact that Zeppelins ''did'' bomb London at the time. In fact, [[spoiler:Ed's "Earth-death"]] is based on a historical account of one of the airships crashing in the city.
* ShoutOut: The Gate ''heavily'' resembles "The Gate of Hell" sculpture minus some of the Biblical figures.
** The two Protagonists' last name is [[TheElricSaga Elric]]
** The first scene of the fourth opening animation is likely a visual homage to a similar scene in Creator/FritzLang's ''Film/{{Metropolis}}''.
** When Ed goes into Laboratory 5, he trips a number of traps just like the ones in ''Franchise/IndianaJones''. There's even a giant boulder!
** Coincidentally, TheMovie itself wouldn't be out of place in the ''Franchise/IndianaJones'' continuity, what with the presence of Nazis and otherworldly beings [[spoiler:which technically includes the Elric brothers]].
* ShutUpHannibal: Ed gives one to Shou Tucker when the later tries to justify his human transmutation.
* SickeninglySweethearts: Hughes for his daughter. They even have an ImageSong together! How much cuter do you get than that?!
* SilentCredits: Right after [[spoiler:Hughes']] MeaningfulFuneral.
* SlasherSmile: Envy, Wrath, and Kimblee do this a lot.
* SlidingScaleOfIdealismVsCynicism: This series is on the cynical end of the aisle, whereas the manga is more idealistic.
* SociopathicSoldier: Kimblee used to be the second type during the Ishbalan war.
* SparedByAdaptation: [[spoiler:Shou Tucker]] dies in the manga, but lives in this version, and becomes a fairly important secondary character.
* SpellMyNameWithAnS:
** Noa/Noah
** Scieszka/Sheska/Scieska
** In some cases, the subtitles and liner notes for the same DVD spell the same name differently.
* SpotTheImposter: "The Other Brothers Elric".
* {{Steampunk}}
* TheStoic: Hawkeye
* StrongFamilyResemblance: Ed and Al look a lot like their father. [[spoiler: In the movie Al looks like a younger Ed.]]
* StupidJetpackHitler: Pretty much the plot of ''Anime/FullmetalAlchemistTheConquerorOfShamballa''. Hitler only has a minor cameo in the story, and it's actually his backers, the occultist Thule Society, that are responsible for the crazy plot.
* SugarAndIcePersonality: Hawkeye and Sloth
* SupportingLeader: Roy
* ThanatosGambit: When [[spoiler:Greed]] realizes that he's going to die anyway, he provokes Ed [[ItGetsEasier (who had never killed anyone up to this point)]] into killing him. As he's dying, [[spoiler:he reveals the KryptoniteFactor of a homunculus so that Ed will be able to take out the other homunculi.]]
* ThemeNaming: Most of the military characters are named after weapons, vehicles, and companies from around World War II. The homunculi, meanwhile, are named after the seven deadly sins, [[spoiler:and their master Dante is named after Dante Alighieri, author of ''TheDivineComedy''.]]
* ThirteenIsUnlucky: Warehouse 13 is fodder for a ghost hunt episode. It actually turns out to be Warehouse '''B''', and Mustang's men are just a bunch of panicky idiots.
* ThoseWackyNazis: In TheMovie. Taken to disturbing levels by [[spoiler:Earth's Hughes]], who's simultaneously a comic relief character ''and'' a Nazi supporter.
* TitleSequenceReplacement: The Creator/AdultSwim run used only two of the series' four {{Title Sequence}}s.
* TogetherInDeath: [[spoiler:Wrath and Izumi]] in TheMovie.
* TomatoInTheMirror: Al, once Barry screws with his mind.
* TrainTopBattle: It ends with Ed turning the locomotive's tender into a water cannon.
* TransformationOfThePossessed: [[spoiler:Dante’s]] physical deterioration although with {{Empty Shell}}s instead of hosts.
* {{Transgender}}: Being a shapeshifter, Envy can change his gender at will.
* TrappedInAnotherWorld: [[spoiler:What happens to Ed in the end. An even bigger twist? It's a version of our world.]]
** [[spoiler: Al joins him on Earth at the end of the movie.]]
* {{Tsundere}}: Winry and Izumi. Ed can sometimes be viewed as a male example.
* UnintentionalPeriodPiece: While the manga version makes some parallels between the Ishval conflict and the then-nascent WarOnTerror, this version makes far more references to it and is generally far more in tune with the cynical, highly-politicized zeitgeist of the '00s. [[{{Gundam 00}} This wouldn't be the last time Seiji Mizushima worked on an anime after watching far too much CNN]].
* VainSorceress: [[spoiler:Dante, the main villain.]]
* VillainEpisode: "Reunion of the Fallen", which is [[DownerEnding damn depressing]] to boot.
* VillainousBreakdown: Quite a few of them.
** Envy flies into a homicidal rage after [[spoiler:Dante sends Hohenheim through the Gate, depriving him of the chance to kill him.]]
** Wrath flips out after [[spoiler:Edward kills his "mother", Sloth ([[NiceJobFixingItVillain with his help, no less]]).]] Gluttony falls into a depression when Ed tells him [[spoiler:Wrath killed Lust]].
** In TheMovie, Eckhart just loses it all together once she [[spoiler:crosses over to Amestris and has her paranoid delusions "confirmed".]]
** [[spoiler:Dante, the main villain,]] has one after the final confrontation while trying to flee the scene. [[spoiler:She rants angrily about how the Elrics have squandered the Philosopher's Stone, knowing full well that she most likely won't have enough time to create a new one before her current body rots away. To her credit, though, she manages to restrain herself well, even when a mindless Gluttony decides to pop in for a visit...]]
** Pride gets into a rage after [[spoiler:his adopted son, Selim, brings his remains to him when he was fighting Roy. He proceeds to strangle him, and breaks his neck.]]
* VillainyDiscretionShot: [[spoiler:During the several centuries he lived with his lover Dante, Hohenheim joined her in killing people and stealing their bodies in order to remain young. He did [[TheAtoner repent, though]], and planned on dying of old age in his current body.]]
* VillainousCrossdresser: Barry the Chopper in his first appearance. It's ''really'' creepy. Also played with with Envy.
* WalkingSpoiler: The BigBad.
* WeimarRepublic: [[spoiler:''[[TheMovie The Conqueror of Shamballa]]'' has a good chunk of its setting in early 1920s Germany (or rather, Munich in 1923). Over the course of the film, the Beer Hall Putsch even takes place.]]
* [[spoiler:WelcomeToTheRealWorld: Near the end of the series, it is revealed that on the other end of the Gate can be found our world, from which the souls of the dead flow to power alchemical transmutations.]]
* WhamEpisode:
** [[spoiler:Maes Hughes' death]] in episode 25, which plays out similarly to the same scene in the manga, but with different dialogue, marking it not only as an important event in the story, but also as an important point of story divergence.
** Episode 40: [[spoiler:Ed learns that Scar is planning on luring the military to Lior to transmute them into a Philosopher's Stone and that Rose was captured and [[RapeAsDrama gang-raped]] by a group of soldiers sometime during the previous raid (impregnating her and traumatizing her to the point that she can't speak). Lyra[[note]]actually Dante using her body as a vessel[[/note]] returns and plans to help Scar and Rose with the endeavor. King Bradley is revealed to be a Homunculus (Pride, specifically) and kills Marta]]. Yeah, this is the point where things start looking ''really'' grim...
** Episode 50, simply because [[spoiler:Ed DIES. So far in this anime, anyone who has died stays dead, period. So when Ed gets stabbed by Envy, a lot of people thought he was really dead.]] The scenes shortly ''before'' that are also a huge game-changer, as they finally reveal what's at the other side of the Gate: [[spoiler:''[[WelcomeToTheRealWorld our world]].'' Specifically, London in UsefulNotes/WorldWarI.]]
* WhamLine:
** From episode 18:
-->'''Ed:''' The last ingredient to the stone...[[spoiler:''is live human beings!'']]
** From episode 44:
-->'''Lyra:''' Have you come with valiant efforts to save me?
-->'''Hohenheim:''' Not this time, [[spoiler:Dante]].
** From episode 50:
--> '''Ed:''' (''to Envy'') Y-You're...[[spoiler:his ''son!?'']]
* WhamShot:
** The blue rose petal on [[spoiler:the old woman]] from episode 4, proving that she's actually [[spoiler:the presumed dead Corrine]].
** King Bradley's secretary [[spoiler:killing a man with a jet of water formed from her hand]], signaling to the audience that she [[spoiler:isn't actually human]].
** In episode 50, [[spoiler:Envy's true form, which looks like Hoenheim]].
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: With [[spoiler:Envy, Pride and Greed]] as the only unambiguous exceptions, a lot of the Homunculi are alluded to be "replacements" for previous ones; Envy refers to Wrath as "the new Wrath" and Lust informs Greed that she's the second among them to bear that name. Greed also implies that there used to be another Sloth, and Envy even states that if Edward kills any of them [[BigBad "you-know-who"]] will just replace them. We are never shown how the previous ones died.
* WhatMeasureIsANonHuman: Homunculi and chimeras. The question is a central part of [[spoiler: the homunculus Lust]]'s character arc.
* WigDressAccent: Ed changes the color of his hair and wears platform shoes at one point in the series.
* WrenchWench: Winry, a childhood friend of the Elric brothers and the mechanic responsible for keeping Edward's automail prosthetics in working shape.
* YouCantGoHomeAgain: At the end of the movie, [[spoiler:Edward and Alphonse elect to remain in our world, sealing off the gate back home behind them.]]
** Earlier, Ed and Al [[InvokedTrope invoke this]] by burning down their house, so that they have nowhere to return to.
* ZeppelinsFromAnotherWorld: Literally. [[spoiler:At the end of the anime, they're Ed's cue that he's not in Amestris anymore. He's in London during UsefulNotes/WorldWarI.]]
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