[[quoteright:283:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/MobileSuitGundam.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:283:''Yes my sweet, yes my sweetest, I wanna get back where you were...'']]
->''"It is [[AlternativeCalendar the year 0079 of the Universal Century]]. A half-century has passed since Earth began moving its burgeoning population into gigantic orbiting space colonies. A new home for mankind, where people are born and raised. [DramaticPause] And die."''
-->-- '''OpeningNarration'''

''Mobile Suit Gundam'' (''Kidou Senshi Gundam'', lit. "Mobile Soldier Gundam") is the original Franchise/{{Gundam}} show, created by [[Creator/YoshiyukiTomino Yoshiyuki Tomino]]. It started in 1979 as a planned 52-episode series, but it was cut down to 43 due to the show pulling in horrible ratings. However, the merchandise for the TV show sold rather well, allowing the series to go straight into syndication, where it found its audience. A largely reanimated CompilationMovie trilogy successfully convinced the people with the money to further develop the series, and Mobile Suit Gundam eventually spawned a massive franchise. Though there are now a large number of sequels, side stories, and [[AlternateContinuity Alternate Continuities]], the original ''Mobile Suit Gundam'' remains the most popular show of the franchise.

The series follows OrdinaryHighSchoolStudent Amuro Ray, opening in the midst of a stalemate in the war between the [[TheFederation Earth Federation]] and the [[TheEmpire Principality of Zeon]]. Though the Earth Federation has (or, rather, ''had'') superior numbers and resources, the Zeon military has annihilated much of the Federation's population with [[DepopulationBomb chemical weapons]], decimated their fleet with their new [[HumongousMecha mobile suit]] technology, nearly ended the war in a stroke with a ColonyDrop, and follow up by invading Earth.

While fighting a losing battle on Earth, the Federation stepped up its R&D program to develop its own mobile suits, resulting in the SuperPrototype "Gundam". While doing final tests on the Gundam in a [[DoomedHometown remote space colony]], they are attacked by a small Zeon force led by [[TheRival Char]] [[AcePilot Aznable]]. Amuro ends up FallingIntoTheCockpit in order to save the colony, and from there is pulled into the war between the Earth Federation and the Principality of Zeon. But, of course, things aren't as simple as they appear to be...

The original RealRobot series, ''Mobile Suit Gundam'' literally [[TropeMaker created a genre]], and eventually spawned numerous sequels and side stories. Its direct sequel is ''ZetaGundam'', and there are also a trio of {{OVA}}s set in the same time period as ''MobileSuitGundam: The08thMSTeam'', ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundam0080WarInThePocket Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket]]'' and ''[[GundamIGLOO MS IGLOO]]''.

A manga adaptation is in progress under the name ''Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin''.
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'''This program provides examples of:'''

* AlasPoorVillain: Ramba Ral, Crowley Hamon, and any Zabi other than Gihren are played for sympathy at the last.
* TheAbridgedSeries: WebVideo/GundamAbridged
* AchillesInHisTent: Amuro abandons the White Base twice. The first time (figuratively) he refuses to fight, causing Bright to [[BrightSlap slap]] him back to sanity. The second time, Amuro physically deserts the White Base when Bright threatens to take him off the Gundam.
* AdaptationDistillation: The CompilationMovie trilogy, which are often considered of higher production value than the series. They streamline the plot (albeit at the expense of crucial character and plot development), and cut out a lot of elements that Tomino didn't really want in there to start with (Like the G-Fighter/Armour and Gundam Hammer). They also improve on the animation, which was [[OffModel not great]] in the original series.
** The novelization is greatly compressed when compared with the TV series, completely skipping the Earth-bound portion of the plot and cutting out a lot of the characters and mecha (Zeon only has two MS, the Zaku II and Rick Dom).
* AerithAndBob: Standard names like Ryu, Kai, Matilda, etc. put alongside Kycilia, Dozel, Artesia, and, of course, Bright. In a funny twist to this, Tomino, the director and writer, decided to name the lead character Amuro because he thought it was exotic and a made up name. Turns out it is the name of a Japanese island and is in fact a real name.
* AllYourBaseAreBelongToUs: Twice during the series; [[WorthyOpponent Ramba Ral]]'s assault on the White Base, and the Zeon's attack on Jaburo.
* AlternativeCalendar: The Universal Century.
* AntiVillain: Several examples, but most famously Ramba Ral. Often overlaps with PunchClockVillain and MyCountryRightOrWrong.
* AnyoneCanDie: The series was, after all, created by a man who was ''nicknamed'' KillEmAll. In this case there are only a few main character deaths, though.
* ApocalypseHow: Stellar/Societal Disruption. Over half of humanity's population is killed in the One Year War, but humanity survives and is able to rebuild.
* TheArtifact: The TV series still carried many SuperRobot elements. The later movie versions retconned many of them away.
* BadassMoustache: Ramba Ral
* BigBrotherMentor: Ryu Jose, and to a degree, Bright.
* BigScrewedUpFamily: The Zabi family; the Deikuns aren't far behind.
* BittersweetEnding: [[spoiler: Amuro defeats Char, but is about to let himself die until he hears his friends' voices and is able to reunite with his adoptive family. Char survives, finishes his "revenge" by killing Kycilia and escapes, but is separated from his beloved sister Sayla forever. To add insult to injury, the CoolShip, ''Whitebase'' is destroyed, along with the Gundam, Guncannon and Guntank, leaving the protagonists without a home to go back to]].
* BlackAndGrayMorality
* BlingOfWar: ''[[AllThereInTheManual Mobile Suit Variations]]'' reveals that several of the high-ranking Zeon officers had custom-built mobile suits, many of which had highly ornate engravings and other detailing. Of particular note are [[http://www.mahq.net/mecha/gundam/msv/ms-06f-dozle.htm Dozle Zabi's custom Zaku II]] and [[http://www.mahq.net/mecha/gundam/msv/ms-07b-mquve.htm M'Quve's downright gaudy custom Gouf]].
* BlondeBrunetteRedhead: The [[CoolShip White Base]] girls -- Sayla, Mirai, and Frau.
* BootstrappedTheme: ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gP61DrdKokU Soldiers of Sorrow]]''/''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qnEowbJfZ4E Ai Senshi]]''. It's not the series' theme, yet it pretty much became the theme of the ''entire franchise'', even becoming the BGM for the 30th anniversary video. Being a perfect example of LyricalDissonance probably helped.
* BridgeBunnies: Mirai as White Base's pilot, Sayla as Communications Officer [[spoiler:later replaced by Fraw Bow]], plus [[ThoseTwoGuys two male navigators]] who play no role in the plot outside of navigating.
* ButForMeItWasTuesday: The entire White Base crew knows and fears Char Aznable, the Red Comet. Conversely, for most of the series Char doesn't even know who Amuro is and they meet face-to-face very late in the series (Char helps Amuro pull his car out of a mud puddle). Of course, after Amuro kills Lalah the whole thing becomes very personal.
* ButNotTooForeign: WordOfGod is that Amuro is half-Japanese and half-North American, but over the years they've [[FlipFlopOfGod flip-flopped]] on whether his mother was American, Canadian, or Mexican.
* CharClone: The original, actually, from which all {{Char Clone}}s derive.
* CharacterDevelopment: What set it aside from several other HumongousMecha shows of its time, aside of the RealRobot aspect.
* ColonyDrop: Operation British in the back story is the TropeNamer. Zeon [[DepopulationBomb nerve gassed]] a space colony, and then deorbited it in an attempt to destroy the Federation HQ in South America (which, being an ElaborateUndergroundBase whose exact location was secret, was effectively invulnerable to everything up to and including nukes). Unfortunately for them, the Federation intervened and inflicted enough damage on their missile that it broke up in the atmosphere, with the only major damage being to ''[[EpicFail Sydney, Australia]]''.
** The effect is still pretty terrifying. The blast was 60,000 megatons, devastated southeastern Australia (killing 10 million people in Sydney alone), and left a 500 kilometer crater in the continent that leaves a massive gulf along the coastline.
* CombiningMecha: The Gundam is formed from three separate parts; later in the series, even more optional parts are added.
** The Guncannon and Guntank are also merely plug-and-play parts that can be attached to a Core Fighter.
** The Core Fighter, a little jet with anemic firepower, can combine with the G-Fighter in the TV series and the Core Booster in the movies.
* CompilationMovie: Three of them.
* ConservationOfNinjutsu: When Ramba Ral first appears in the Gouf, Amuro can barely hold his own and is nearly taken down with it. Later, Goufs appear somewhat regularly and Amuro can destroy several of them at a time. Possibly [[JustifiedTrope justified]] by Ramba Ral being an ace pilot and Amuro not being used to the Gouf's speed and weapons.
* CyberCyclops: Zeon's mobile suits. The Zaku series is probably the most famous for HumongousMecha as a whole.
* DeathByAdaptation: [[ItWasHisSled Amuro is killed in Tomino's novelization.]] However, this wasn't due to his KillEmAll attitude but because he didn't anticipate any sequels, and he has said that he wouldn't have done it if he knew better.
* DeathByFallingOver: Happens more than once. First Garma's girlfriend Icelina slips and falls off the top of the aircraft she was chasing after the White Base on in an ill-conceived attempt to avenge his death (though this part was cut from the compilation). Later on, Amuro's dad falls down a flight of stairs and breaks his neck. Eerily, this is also how M'Quve's voice actor died in RealLife.
* DoomedHometown: Side 7.
* DownerEnding: In the novelization of the series, Amuro [[spoiler:is actually ''killed'' by a random beam bazooka blast from behind during the Battle of A Baoa Qu.]] The novelization differs in several other points (such as actual use of the G3 Gundam), but this is the most shocking change.
** So much so, ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsAdvance'' actually uses the novelization Amuro's fate as part of the AlternateUniverse plot.
** [[spoiler:And of all things, ''SD Gundam G Generation DS'' used THAT DownerEnding to set up the Villain Route.]]
* DoubleWeapon: The Gelgoog, Zeon's answer to the Gundam, has a double-ended beam naginata, one of the earliest examples of this in speculative fiction.
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: Fans of the franchise who haven't seen the original series will be surprised to find there are no mid-season upgrades, only one Gundam, several machines and weapons that aren't mobile suits and plenty of battle scenes that do not revolve around actual mobile suit battle. There's also the Guntank and Guncannon, which are reasonably far from the types of mobile suits seen in later installments. The series can have something of a rough around the edges feeling, given that Tomino was in the process of figuring things out.
** In-universe, the (rather logical) explanation for all of this is that the One Year War is the very ''beginning'' of Mobile Suits, and for technological and logistical reasons it's easier to keep fighting with what they had. For example, the Guntank and Guncannon fill long- and mid-range fire-support roles that later Mobile Suits can do with better mobility, and quite a few of the Federation's land battles were won through the use of old-style tanks and tactics.
* EnergyWeapons: Mostly based on Minovsky reaction-derived mega-particles, though there's lasers here and there.
* EngineeredPublicConfession: [[spoiler: How [[TheMole General Elran]] gets caught - Amuro corners him with incriminating evidence whilst the general's soldiers (who Amuro had warned beforehand) monitor the cameras in his office.]]
* EvilIsBigger: If the Brow Bro, Elmeth, and Big Zam are any indicator, someone at Zeon's department of design likes to build large. (The Brow Bro and Elmeth were designed around the use of psy-commu weapons, then in its infancy, which forced them to be larger than Mobile Suits. The Big Zam was designed to be able to take a whole ''fleet'' on by itself, and is big in order to fit everything it needs.)
* FallingIntoTheCockpit: Amuro, even when his dad was the one who built the Gundam itself. To a lesser extent, the entire ''White Base'' crew; at age 19, Bright was the most junior officer of the White Base's original crew until a Zeon attack left him as acting captain.
* TheFederation: The Earth Federation, naturally.
* FictionalGenevaConventions: The Antarctic Treaty sets out the laws of war for both the Federation and Zeon. It's treated more as a guideline.
* ForgottenPhlebotinum: The super napalm used in the second episode; a mecha-scaled flamethrower would have been awesome and useful, if impractical in vacuum and limited in ammunition. Somewhat rectified in recent years, as newer video games included it as part of Gundam's arsenal, as well as its inclusion in the newest Gundam MG model kit.
* FullNameBasis: ''Everyone'' calls him "Ramba Ral". Nobody calls him just "Ramba". Sometimes (in the series) they call him just "Ral", but mostly it's "Ramba Ral". Also Challia Bull, and often, but not always, Fraw Bow.
* FullPotentialUpgrade: The RX 78-2 needed multiple upgrades due to Amuro's growing capabilities, the best-known of which is the Magnet(ic) Coating on its joints to make them react faster. (Of course, even this wasn't enough, and the [[Anime/MobileSuitGundam0080WarInThePocket NT-1 "Alex"]] was designed just for him...)
* GeniusBruiser: Prince Dozle Zabi is 7' feet of pure Zabi muscle and leads his troops in person heroically in the Battle of Solomon. Might be a bit of a GentleGiant, since [[PetTheDog he truly cared for his family]] (namely his little brother Garma, his wife Zenna and his daughter Mineva, and was apparently well-loved by his subordinates. Thank God Mineva didn't take after her father in appearance.
** That probably also explains why the indestructible Big Zam was so easy to destroy. Most of it was simply the cockpit.
* GetAHoldOfYourselfMan: Now ''this'' is where the infamous Bright Slap comes from. We also have Sleggar and Ryu mastering this technique.
* GundamFighter
* HalfTruth: The opening narration for the early episodes lays the blame for the slaughter of half of the human race on both the Federation and the Principality of Zeon. This isn't actually the case, however, since it was Zeon's colony-drop that wiped out most of the population.
** The series actually qualifies this in further narration. The Federation and Zeon wiped out half of each other's population, which still makes Zeon's body count higher because the population of Earth is bigger than the population of Side 3.
* HeroicSacrifice: From both throwaway and major characters. [[spoiler: Poor Matilda, poor Ryu, poor Michelle, poor Woody, poor Lalah...]]
* HollywoodHomely: Invoked. Despite the Zabi family being frequently described as ugly, only Degwin and Dozle (and in The Origin, Sasro) are particularly ugly. The rest of the family ranges from average to beautiful. The Zabi males, however, are [[UnfortunateImplications considerably darker]] than most of the other main characters.
* HotBlade: Being a step behind the Federation in EnergyWeapons science, Zeon's standard mecha melee weapons for most of the war are superheated metal blades like the Zaku's heat hawk and the Dom's heat saber. General consensus is that they're good, but not ''quite'' as good as a beam saber.
* HoverMecha: The MS-09 Dom. The MS-09R Rick Dom and MSN-02 Zeong ''look'' like they might count, but they're designed to fight in space (and the Zeong isn't meant to ''hover'').
* HugeGuyTinyGirl: Dozle Zabi and his wife Zenna. Zenna appears normal size, but Dozle is gigantically tall at 210cm coupled with a broad muscular frame built up like a brick house. And his daughter literally fits in the palm of his hand.
* HumongousMecha
** RealRobot: Started the genre. Despite this, it still has many SuperRobot hangups, mainly in the TV series.
* {{Hypocrite}}: Zeon claims to be liberating the colonies, even as it destroys several of them.
* IHaveNoSon: Though Amuro's mother makes a show of seeing him off when he returns to the White Base at the end of the North America arc, it's clear she can't bring herself to love him anymore after watching him kill a Zeon soldier and the two of them have no further contact for the remainder of their lives.
* ILetGwenStacyDie: [[spoiler:Lalah, for Amuro and Char.]]
* ImageSong: Char gets his own song, "Char ga Kuru" albeit not sung by his respective seiyuu.
** One might argue that the first ending is actually also an image song, though in the same case as above. That, or "Eien ni Amuro" (Forever Amuro) is a tribute to Amuro.
*** At least Andrew W.K.'s versions of "Tobe! Gundam" and "Eien ni Amuro" sound like tributes... only awesome.
* ImpossiblyGracefulGiant: Thanks to EarlyInstallmentWeirdness, the RX-78 is far more agile than later Gundams - it even pulls off the occasional UnnecessaryCombatRoll. You could probably {{Handwave}} it as not having the multitude of thrusters all over its body that future Mobile Suits do, but still...
* InASingleBound: Thanks to its thrusters, the Gundam can jump high enough to engage enemy fighters in their own airspace.
* InsultBackfire: Gihren takes it as a ''compliment'' when his father compares his world view with that of Adolf Hitler.
** Though he'd never heard of Hitler before Degwin made the comparison onscreen, and Gihren didn't hear very much detail about Hitler. In this sense it's almost an Insult Backfire Backfire.
* InterserviceRivalry: The Zeon forces would probably have beaten the Federation if they could resist the urge to play politics with each other. One memorable case is when M'Quve "loses" a request by Ramba Ral (who's not part of Kycilia's faction) for the new Rick Doms. ''Gihren's Greed'' suggests that if M'Quve had provided Ramba Ral with the support he needed, he'd have been able to capture White Base.
** [[AllThereInTheManual Supplemental material]] also makes clear that this is part of why Zeon has so many mobile suit variations; there were several companies and design teams all pushing their own programs and diverting resources to pet projects, and many [[AceCustom Ace Customs]] (for example, M'Quve's Gyan) are just rejected prototypes that some ace or Zeon bigwig liked and kept for their personal suit. Conversely, all of this tail-chasing meant that Char's preferred design, the Gelgoog, didn't go into mass production until it was too late to affect the outcome of the war.
* ISurrenderSuckers: At one point, White Base sets up a ceasefire with the Zeon forces to let the civilians off the ship, and uses the ceasefire to secretly plant Gundam behind enemy lines before the fighting restarts.
* LadyAndKnight: [[LadyOfWar Kycilia Zabi]] and her [[TheDragon Dragon]] [[SmugSnake M'Quve]] have got this vibe going. Kycilia is a ManipulativeBastard and EvilGenius, who nevertheless maintains a very feminine air to her persona. M'Quve, who always addresses her as "Lady Kycilia" serves as her [[TheStrategist strategist]], enforcer, and go to whenever dirty work is required; he is obsessively loyal to her, and to top it all off, pilots a mecha (the YMS-15 Gyan) designed to resemble a knight.
* LatexSpaceSuit: Pilot suits. Averted on the Federation side with the suits worn by civilians and the ship's crew, which are much bulkier.
* LawOfChromaticSuperiority: The "Char custom" is probably the most iconic example.
* MaskPower: Char, of course. Also, Kycilia.
* MeaningfulName: Zaku comes from the Japanese word for {{Mooks}}, ''zako'' (雑魚, "small/inferior fish") which, incidentally was what they were actually called in ''SDGundamForce''.
** Some fans believe Zaku to be derived from the word 'Zakuzaku', which (fittingly enough) means 'cut up roughly'.
** This is also played straight with the Musai-class Battlecruisers, the word 'musai' meaning 'lacking skills or abilities'.
* MegaCrossover: The GundamFighter Flash game, with over 80 gundam characters from various shows
** SD Gundam G Generation World, the newest SD Gundam G Generation game, holds Mobile Weapons and Pilots from any series, up until A Wakening of the Trailblazer and Unicorn. Yup. More than 1000 Mobile Weapons and 500 Pilots in a PSP and Wii Game.
* MidSeasonUpgrade: The G-Armour, a transport/fighter-bomber/tank that is compatible with the Core Block System, provides the Gundam and its sister suits with a great deal of extra tactical utility.
** In the Compilation Films, the G-Armour is replaced with the Core Booster, basically a set of Core Fighters [[MechaExpansionPack with additional fire-power]]. The reason being that Tomino felt the G-Armour was too 'Super-Robot'.
* MildlyMilitary: A deliberate choice on the part of the White Base officer cadre - given their desperate situation and the fact that most of their crew were green recruits and civilians, they decided that it would be easier for all concerned if they played fast-and-loose with the formalities. The mainstream Federation military is notably more rigid and disciplined.
* MinovskyPhysics: TropeNamer.
* MissingBackblast: Averted, as [[spoiler:Miharu]] finds out.
* MerchandiseDriven: Like you would not believe. It's interesting to note that this was a necessity - since the show was pulling low viewership numbers, the only thing that kept it on air past a certain point was a strong toy line - the full story of which is chronicled in GundamSousei.
** What's impressive is that they were able to ''justify'' this to a believable extent - competition between manufacturers, a fundamental difference in the weapons designing process between the two sides, the scale of the war, etc.
* MoodWhiplash: At one part, the kids catch Zeon troops planting time bombs to destroy a series of Gundams at Jaburo and have to find and dispose of them themselves before they explode. An otherwise tense scene is made rather odd with some more comical moments added in.
* {{Mukokuseki}}: Mostly averted. Mirai Yashima, the one with more direct Asian heritage, looks noticeably more Asian than the rest. Amuro is an aversion, since he's ButNotTooForeign (his mother is either American, Canadian or Mexican, depending on the canon you follow).
* ANaziByAnyOtherName: SIEG ZEON! HAIL ZEON! Gihren Zabi is directly compared to Hitler by his father at one point, though if one looks more closely, they're more similar to ImperialJapan.
* NonIndicativeName: Char's Newtype Corps is three people, including himself, two of which (Challia Bull, Lalah Sune) end up dead before they even get to A Baoa Qu.
* NoseArt: Many of Char Aznable's AceCustom mobile suits featured his trademark red paintjob. PlayedStraight to the point of parody, where several mangas even featured "Char Aznable" custom ''[[JokeCharacter RB-79 Ball]]'' designs, painted red with horns attached.
* NoSell: An interesting variation in the first episode. When Amuro is shot at point blank with a Zaku machine gun after starting up the Gundam for the first time, he starts screaming in abject terror, but the Gundam itself stands stalk still as the bullets bounce off its fancy new super alloy armor.
* NicknamingTheEnemy: Some of the English localizations had this. The Federation forces were nicknamed "Feddies", while Zeon forces were nicknamed "Zekes". Some weapons received nicknames too, such as 'skirts' for Zeon's Dom fast assault suits, which used hover-jets to propel their massively-armoured frames.
* NuclearWeaponsTaboo: Averted. Nukes are used extensively in the opening battles of the war, resulting in up to a ''billion'' civilian casualties. [[SmugSnake M'Quve]] also launches an explicitly nuclear missile when it becomes clear that he's lost. Mobile suits also have nuclear reactors in them that GoCritical when hit by beam weapons; this happens several times in the series, including in [[DoomedHometown Side 7]] during the first episode.
* TheOjou: Iselina Eschenbach is a very tragic version of the trope. Mirai is technically one, but she tries her best to not let her family connections interfere.
* OffModel: While it ran rampant throughout the series, one episode was taken out of circulation because of it.
* OvershadowedByAwesome: By the end of the One Year War, Hayato, Sayla, and Kai are all highly competent pilots who qualify as aces several times over. They just have the bad luck of serving alongside the OneManArmy that is Amuro Ray. Zeon, meanwhile, has its own examples in the MS-14 Gelgoog and MSN-02 Zeong (particularly and especially the Gelgoog), suits that equal or exceed the Gundam in performance but pale before Amuro's supreme piloting skills.
** This is also {{Deconstructed}} to an extent - even as late as ZetaGundam, 8 years later, Amuro lives under virtual house arrest and Bright flies a shuttle, while Hayato, Sayla, and Kai (especially) live and work in relative freedom.
* PastelChalkedFreezeFrame
* PsychicPowers: Newtypes.
* RammingAlwaysWorks: Averted. Ramming ''sometimes'' works (at huge expense in lives and equipment), but mostly it's just an excellent way to get killed.
* RealRobot: The TropeMaker.
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure: A healthy share of the Federation officers are like this, and whilst Zeon doesn't have as many, they're still visibly present.
* RedShirtArmy: In most games, both the Zaku II, Gouf, GM and Ball qualify for this. In Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 2, this is increased to ''every'' One Year War-era suit except for the Gundam, Char's Zaku and Gelgoog, and the Zeong.
** In SD Gundam G Generation Wars, this is, however, not so much the case. While they can still get blown up in one attack, provided a strong enough Mobile Suit, the GM, Zaku II, Gouf and Ball can actually become some of the most lethal Mobile Weapons at Level 99, provided they get both the +3 inheritance bonus, a Level 99 pilot from the beginning and a target to kill.[[note]]The reason for needing a Level 99 pilot? The Pilot's level determines the Suit's upgrade amount (3 points, +1 to ATK, DEF or EVA at level 1, while 20 points and +10 to ATK, DEF or EVA per certain number of points).[[/note]]
* ReportingNames: The White Base is codenamed "the Trojan Horse" by the Zeon forces.
** The Earth Federation refers to Lalah's Elmeth as the "Tricorn Hat."
* RightBehindMe: At one point, Kai is praising Matilda's virtues and explaining why she's his ideal girlfriend. She promptly walks by and tells him to focus on repairing the White Base, and wishes him good luck in finding a girlfriend.
* SelfMadeOrphan: [[spoiler:Gihren kills his father via [[WaveMotionGun Solar Flare]], and then his younger sister offs ''him''.]]
** Tragically, [[spoiler:Amuro is indirectly responsible for his father's brain damage and subsequent death.]]
* SeriesFranchise: But man, the staff had ''no idea'' this would turn out to be the case at the time. (They knew they were making a pretty good show - they just had no idea they were ''inventing a genre'' or a ''series''.)
* ShellShockedVeteran: Amuro Ray, towards the end.
* ShoutOut:
** "Sieg Zeon!" is taken directly from AdolfHitler's infamous quote, "Sieg Heil!"
*** Zeon is an outright reference to Nazi-Germany. Heck, their political leader, Gihren Zabi, is even ''compared to Hitler'' in-series, and takes it as a complement!
* ShowerScene: In one scene Amuro trips over a puddle of water coming from Mirai's room and sees Mirai, naked, and the children struggling to fix the tap in the sink. He fixes it for them.
** Fraw Bow and the kiddies get a scene where she tries to keep the kids from horsing around in the shower. [[NippleAndDimed Fraw's nipples are in plain view]].
** Sayla got a bath scene
** Near the beginning of the series Char got a shower scene. In YAS' The Origin, that scene was a lot longer and left a lot less to the imagination.
** Hamon is seen in a towel, having just got out of the shower.
* SmokingIsCool: In the original series, during Gihren's speech Char is seen in a bar, drinking. In the equivalent scene in The Origin, Char is shown drinking AND smoking. Keep in mind that he's an ace pilot who probably couldn't afford to risk his lung health.
* SortingAlgorithmOfEvil: {{Justified|Trope}}, in that the mobile suits that Amuro fights are all top-of-the-line at the time, and Zeon is forced to continually develop more powerful suits as they come to terms with the Gundam, and later the Federation's GM's.
* SpikesOfVillainy: The Principality of Zeon are big fans - more so here, in fact, than at any other point in the faction's history.
* [[{{StabTheSky}} Shoot The Sky]]: the Gundam's "[[{{FanNickname}} Last Shooting]]" in the final episode.
* SparedByTheAdaptation: [[spoiler: In the novels, Degwin Zabi is just said to be dethroned. This suggests that he survived as he did not accompany the fleet that was destroyed by the Colony Laser.]]
** [[spoiler: Hayato, as well. In fact, of the three main pilots, only Kai survives in the novelization.]]
* SpellMyNameWithAnS: Lots of 'em, including the Principality/Duchy/Archduchy/Grand Duchy of Zeon/Zion/Jion. Also Kycilia/Kashiria, Gihren/Ghiren/Giren, and Mineva/Minerva Zabi. Amuro's last name also frequently shows up as "Rei" instead of the official "Ray".
** Fun fact : Char Aznable is what happens when [[NamedAfterSomebodyFamous your translation of]] [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Aznavour Charles Aznavour]] goes horribly wrong.
* StealthPun: Zaku is Japanese for small fry. The Zaku Mobile Suit, with the exception of the ones that are AceCustom models that follow the LawOfChromaticSuperiority, are piloted by {{Mooks}}.
* StockFootage: Mostly involving the Gundam launching or combining with its various parts.
* StupidStatementDanceMix: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8e8zUqP8yu4 "We're jumping onto White Base - AAAAAAAHHH!"]]
* SuperPrototype: The Gundam. The Big Zam and YMS-15 Gyan later in the series, as well, and for a certain definition of 'prototype', the Elmeth and Zeong.
* VideoGame/SuperRobotWars: As it is the original Gundam series it does appear in quite a few of the games.
* SuperweaponSurprise: More than one, and used by both sides.
* SureLetsGoWithThat: Bright accuses Sayla of stealing the Gundam so she could prove she was as good as a man in battle. She lets him think that rather than tell him [[spoiler:she was looking for Char, to find out if he really was her brother Casval]].
* SwissArmyWeapon: A very basic example - the Gundam's beam sabers can extend their handles to become short-bladed tridents.
* SwordFight: With mobile suits, and between Char and Amuro in person during the final episodes!
* TagalongKid: Katz, Kikka, and Letz, who are White Base's [[BrattyHalfPint Bratty Half-Pints]].
* TankGoodness: Guntanks. They do one job, and they do it well. (Just, y'know, more on land than space.)
* TelepathicSpacemen: Newtypes.
* ThemeNaming: Several characters are named for World War II aircraft; Kai is named for the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kawanishi_N1K N1K2-J Shiden Kai]], while Amuro himself is named for the infamous [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitsubishi_A6M_Zero "Zero"]].
** A few postwar fighters get referenced, too. The name of M'Quve's assistant Uragang is a corruption of the Dassault Ouragan, which first saw service in the ArabIsraeliConflict.
* UnfinishedUntestedUsedAnyway: All three of Zeon's late-game superweapons, the Big Zam, the Colony Laser, and the Zeong. Results were decidedly mixed. To elaborate:
** The Big Zam proved devastatingly effective, but they hadn't fitted in the close-ranged defences yet, letting Amuro and Sleggar eventually take it out.
** The Colony Laser was fired prematurely, destroying it after it had wiped out only half the Federation fleet and letting the other half win the war.
** The Zeong went into battle missing its legs. This had no real effect on its performance, other than perhaps not allowing Char to use one of his famous kicks.
* {{Unobtainium}}: Played straight and subverted. Early on the Gundam is all but indestructible, much to the surprise and misfortune of Zeon troops. However by the latter half of the series, Zeon gains access to beam weaponry, and it turns out to be equally deadly to the Gundam as it is to everything else. Afterwords tactics in the entire Universal Century timeline focus on avoiding getting hit at all, as no matter how much armor you have, beam weaponry punches right through it.
* VisualPun: During its stay in the neutral zone of Side Six, the White Base's weapons are literally tied down with red tape.
* WarfareRegression: Minovsky Particles can screw up electronics and telecommunications. As a result, war in the Universal Century is goes back to visual ranges.
* WarriorTherapist: Char and Amuro tend to talk a lot while they're fighting. Being the first Gundam, every subsequent series following it followed suit.
* WeakButSkilled: Initially the reason that Char can keep up with Amuro. [[LensmanArmsRace Later on it's the reason Amuro can keep up with Char.]]
** And by the end of the show, Gundam can't keep up with Amuro's reflexes, which is fixed through an off-screen upgrade.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: More like Amuro's ''dad'', who never actually got a death scene even though he ''did'' die at Side 6.
** Only in the series; the CompilationMovie adds a scene where he falls down some stairs and breaks his neck. The animation doesn't seem to confirm that he died but left it open to interpretation (i.e. given his behavior in that scene up to that point, maybe he just passed out drunk). The whole thing comes off as rather arbitrary, really.
** On the other hand, M'Quve disappears after Odessa in the films. The manga ''Char's Deleted Affair'' depicts him dying in a similar fashion as the TV series, only at A Baoa Qu instead of in the Texas Colony.
* WhatTheHellHero: Amuro's mother denounces him for becoming a soldier and killing other soldiers who could have had children of their own in spite of Amuro's intention of protecting the refugees.
* WhipItGood: The 'heat rod', WeaponOfChoice of Zeon's Gouf mobile suit, which Ramba Ral in particular uses to devastating effect.
* WorstAid: After having his arm impaled by the blade of Char's fencing foil, Amuro pulls the broken piece out. This can probably be forgiven as he was in a depressurized area of A Baoa Qu, and his main motivation appears to be patching his normal suit.
* WorthyOpponent: Char and Amuro eventually consider each other this. Earlier, Ramba Ral came to respect Amuro.
* YouAreInCommandNow: Happens to Bright during the opening episodes; despite being 19 years old and only a Lieutenant, he ends up in command of the ''[[CoolStarship White Base]]'' when every other officer on the ship is killed or critically wounded.
* YouKeepUsingThatWord: According to the novel the "Colony Laser" is a hollowed out colony filled with a large number of mirrors with a single focal point. Therefore the Colony Laser is not, in fact, a laser.
** That said, the Gryps Colony Laser that shows up in Zeta Gundam is a bona-fide laser cannon the size of a space colony, so the Novel may just be the odd one out.
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