%% ZeroContextExample entries are not allowed on wiki pages. All such entries have been commented out. Add context to the entries before uncommenting them.
[[caption-width-right:298: Counterclockwise from top left: Ritsuko Akagi, Misato Katsuragi, Gendo Ikari, Asuka Langley Soryu, Rei Ayanami. In the seat: Shinji Ikari. In the background: Evangelion Unit 01.\\
Not pictured: [[DysfunctionJunction Sanity.]]]]
->''"This is a giant robot saga the same way ''Series/TwinPeaks'' was a cop show."''
-->--'''Comic Buyer's Guide'''

''Neon Genesis Evangelion'' (''Shin Seiki Evangelion'') is a 26-episode science fiction/action/drama {{anime}} series which aired on Japanese television in 1995-96. In 1997, Gainax followed the series with the film ''Death and Rebirth'', a ClipShow revision of the series which condensed many of the series' episodes into an hour-and-a-half timespan (while also expanding a few scenes). ''Death and Rebirth'' also featured the first half-hour of ''The End of Evangelion'', a full-length movie that brought the story to a much more definitive (but by no means less controversial) conclusion than the television series did.

In the year 2000, a global cataclysm known as Second Impact changed the entire world. The event annihilated Antarctica (which caused global flooding), shifted the planet's axis (which caused global climate change), led to half Earth's human population dying, and resulted in geopolitical unrest. Fifteen years later, fourteen-year-old Shinji Ikari finds himself summoned to the fortress city of Tokyo-3 by his estranged father, Gendo, for a single purpose: to pilot a HumongousMecha called an Evangelion and battle physics-defying beings known as Angels, which threaten to destroy what remains of humanity (though the show does not explain exactly how they plan to do so, and for what reason, until much later).

What starts off as a relatively standard HumongousMecha premise, over the course of the series, gradually transforms into a dramatic character study rife with psychological analysis, religious references, genre {{deconstruction}}, social commentary, and exploration of themes such as societal alienation, depression, and the repressive pain of human subjectivity. Prior to ''Evangelion'', people considered this approach unprecedented and revolutionary -- and after ''Evangelion's'' runaway success, [[FollowTheLeader numerous other anime producers created shows with a similar approach]] (with varying degrees of success).

''Evangelion'' defined the career of Hideaki Anno, whose personal battles with depression at the time of its creation directly inspired many of the show's themes. Anno has since come to fully own it, even as it's spun off into numerous extra adaptations which either play on the themes of the anime or ignore them to varying degrees. See [[Franchise/NeonGenesisEvangelion the franchise page]] for details on those.

Plans for a LiveActionAdaptation were announced by Creator/{{WETA}} back in May 21, 2003. However outside of concept art, the film has since been languishing in DevelopmentHell. Fans have noted that the movie ''Film/PacificRim'' is a SpiritualLicensee of the series (albeit one with less focus on drama), and may be the closest thing to a live-action adaptation that the series could receive. [[http://www.crunchyroll.com/anime-news/2014/04/24/evangelion-x-transformers-collaboration-teased A crossover]] with the ''{{Transformers}}'' franchise has also been teased.

An [[Recap/NeonGenesisEvangelion episode guide]] has recently been finished.

Compare ''Anime/BrainPowerd'', ''Anime/FafnerInTheAzureDeadAggressor'', ''Anime/{{Gasaraki}}'', ''Anime/GuiltyCrown'' and ''Anime/RahXephon'' for works with a similar tone.

Contrast ''Anime/{{FLCL}}'', ''Anime/GaoGaiGar'', and ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann'', each pretty much the polar opposite of ''Evangelion'', the first and last of which are [[Creator/StudioGainax made by the same studio]].

For similar anime in general, compare ''Anime/RevolutionaryGirlUtena'', ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica'', and ''Anime/SerialExperimentsLain''.

For other TV shows with a similar theme and narrative, see: ''Series/ThePrisoner''.

For a similar setting and story in the field of TabletopGames, see: ''TabletopGame/CthulhuTech''.

For a similar story and themes in video games, see: ''VideoGame/{{Drakengard}}'', ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2SonsOfLiberty'', ''VideoGame/SpecOpsTheLine'', ''VideoGame/{{Xenogears}}'', and ''[[VideoGame/ShadowOfTheColossus Shadow of the Colossus]]''.
%%NOTE: Tropes specifically found in ''Anime/RebuildOfEvangelion'' should go on ''that'' page, not this one.
!!The ''Neon Genesis Evangelion'' franchise serves as the TropeNamer for the following tropes:

* AssimilationPlot: Used to be called "[[spoiler:Instrumentality]]", but was changed after it was realized how spoilerific that title is.
* MindRape: Arael's invasive mental contact with [[spoiler:Asuka]], described as such during the scene.
* ReiAyanamiExpy: Rei ended up as something of a FountainOfExpies.
* UnfamiliarCeiling: The Japanese title of the second episode. Ironically, Shinji ends up in the NERV medical ward so often it eventually becomes a ''familiar'' ceiling.
* ZettaiRyouiki: Literally "Absolute territory", but has since taken a life of its own.

!!It also provides examples of the following tropes:


* AmbiguousRobots: The Evas themselves.
* AncientConspiracy: SEELE, [[TheOmniscientCouncilOfVagueness Omniscient Council Of Vagueness]] that it is, has led one for an undefined amount of time, ever since the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. [[spoiler:By following the Scrolls' predictions and manipulating everyone in their path, their goal is to bring about the [[AssimilationPlot Human Instrumentality Project]] via Third Impact, effectively bringing about the entire series because of it.]]
* ApocalypseHow: Second Impact was a Planetary event that bordered on Societal Collapse. The explosion melted the Antarctic ice cap and shifted the Earth's axis; coastal regions were flooded, and the entire ecosphere was thrown into chaos. Wars broke out, some going nuclear; many species went extinct; the oceans around Antarctica are completely dead; and roughly half of humanity is dead. [[spoiler:The driving force behind the creation of [=NERV=] is that Third Impact will raised the severity to Total Extinction]].
%%* AppliedPhlebotinum: Quite a bit, namely the AT Fields.
* ArtisticLicense: Misato having a [=RHD=] Renault A310. Can be justified that she probably had brought the automobile to a professional car shop that converted the vehicle from [=LHD=] to [=RHD=] and from gas to electric.
* BathOfPoverty: Asuka, who suffered a mental breakdown after being MindRaped by an Angel and ceased being able to pilot her Eva, is found by Nerv personnel in a destroyed house sitting in a tub filled with nasty brown water. ([[{{Squick}} Please let that have been rust]]...) Things just keep getting worse for her from there.
* BehemothBattle: The eponymous [[GiantMecha EVA mechs]] are used by NERV to fight [[OurAngelsAreDifferent angels]], which resemble [[AlienGeometries weird]] [[{{Kaiju}} giant aliens]] with no uniform appearance. the only thing that qualifies them as "angel" is that they have a "blood pattern blue".
%%* CataclysmBackstory: The Second Impact.
* CitadelCity: Tokyo-3, designed to fight back against the angels. Defense systems surround the city, buildings can retract underground, and there are structures holding scaled-up weapons to support the [=EVAs=].
* DrivingQuestion: Many, but possibly the biggest one is the nature of the Evas, which is also the closest one to getting a straight answer.
* DropTheHammer: Jet Alone Prime's primary weapon.
* TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt: What apparently happens if an Angel ever merges with Adam. [[spoiler:It happens anyway, but through other means. All sentient life is seemingly reduced into sludge, forming a HiveMind.]]
* EvilOnlyHasToWinOnce: Should an Angel ever manage to penetrate into the depths of Tokyo-3 and manage to merge with Adam, the need for protection will be rendered moot.
* ExactTimeToFailure: The Evas can run for ''precisely'' 5 minutes disconnected from their power cord... except almost every time this happens they simply go berserk and kill the Angel anyway. It's also used a few other times to add drama to incoming disasters.
* {{Kaiju}}: The show is directly inspired by ''Series/{{Ultraman}}'', and has as much in common with this mini-genre as HumongousMecha.
%%* MagicalComputer: Appropriately, the MAGI.
%%* MildlyMilitary: NERV.
%%* MissionControl: Straight down to spewing technobabble purely for the sake of the viewer.
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: It never comes up in the show itself, but if you keep a close eye on the opening, you'll see a frame that informs you that "AT Field" in fact stands for "Absolute Terror Field."
* NewNeoCity: Even moreso in Japanese, where Tokyo-3's name translates as "''New'' Tokyo No. 3". {{Justified|Trope}}, though, in that it is, in terms of ''Evangelion'''s alternate-history, ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin -- after the original Tokyo was destroyed, at least THREE new cities were built around Japan, all named New Tokyo.
%%* OmniscientCouncilOfVagueness: SEELE
* OurSoulsAreDifferent: [[spoiler:Souls are, in the Evaverse, not an ethereal/theological concept, but proven to exist as a form of entity/energy there is present in all living things, and controls the thought pattern, personality, and the sense of the self in a being, and a whole (though relatively young) field of science, "metaphysical biology" is dedicated to the study of souls. It appears that souls are also capable of being split into fragments (although doing this seems to inevitably cause some sort of insanity in the person it happens to) which can remerge with other fragments of the same soul, and being extracted from its original host and transferred into another.]]
* PeopleInRubberSuits: A truly bizarre in-universe example. [[spoiler:This is basically what the Evas are.]]
* {{Precursors}}: The mysterious "First Ancestral Race" left Adam and Lilith on Earth, at least according to [[AllThereInTheManual the first draft and one video game that pretty much just exists to deliver supplemental material]]. The show itself merely alludes to them; In episode 21, Gendo points out to Fuyutsuki that the Geofronts found under Antarctica and Japan were "left behind by someone, who was not us."
* RapidFireTyping: Played straight (as a JustifiedTrope) and subverted in episode 13, when it takes Ritsuko a significant amount of time to dismantle and restructure the Magi in order to program a back-hack for the attacking Angel.
* RealityWarper: An AT-Field, the primary weapon of the Evangelion mechs and their enemies the Angels, is basically the territory within which you can alter reality to your own designs. It's mostly used to create DeflectorShields, but there are plenty of more exotic applications as well.
* RidiculouslyHumanRobots: The Evas bleed and seem to have at least some kind of personal set of emotions. [[spoiler:[[TheReveal It turns out, of course, that they're not really robots at all]]]].
-->'''Ritsuko''': We call it Evangelion. It is a synthetic cyborg created to fight the Angels.
* RougeAnglesOfSatin: [[LiteralGenie Well]], [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CgYIimWk6YY it's not ENTIRELY inaccurate]].
* SchoolUniformsAreTheNewBlack: Shinji will wear his school uniform even when he goes out at night to wander the streets of Tokyo-3. Rei is also an example.
* ScienceFantasy: ''NGE'' is among the [[MohsScaleOfScienceFictionHardness very softest science fiction]]. Those HumongousMecha? They are revealed to be [[spoiler:biological. CLONED FROM ANGELS! Who are aliens. Aliens with weaponized pseudo-Christian Kabbalah and existentialism-based force fields. And with human-like DNA but a different wavelength color(!?). All predicted by the Dead Sea Scrolls.]] The bodies of [[DoingInTheWizard wizards]] and [[DoingInTheScientist scientists]] alike are strewn across the field.
* SelfDestructMechanism:
** The Geofront has one. [[spoiler:It's meant as a last-ditch attempt at preventing an Angel from making contact with the CapturedSuperEntity kept underground. Naturally, it ends up getting abused.]]
** Eva-00 has one as well, as (presumably) the other Evas. It does its job when Rei [[spoiler:explodes her Eva around Armisael]].
* SingleSpecimenSpecies: Despite the common denomination of Angels, each of them is completely different from the others, with the exception of the red core near their center. Well, it's more accurate to say that ''most'' of them are completely unique...
* StateSec: NERV. They are not only funded directly by the UN ([[spoiler:actually [[AncientConspiracy SEELE]]]]), they have special legal protection and are the sole organisation operating Evas. There was one instance where an American admiral was forced to cooperate by a NERV ''captain'', which shouldn't be possible in real life; in another example, the same captain requested a prototype weapon from the Japanese military and immediately got it without any red tape (they just waived a requisition order in their faces and had Rei's EVA fetch the canon). It is said that their expenses involving Eva repairs and collateral damage could immediately bankrupt a small country. They also happen to have an ElaborateUndergroundBase as their main headquarters and a CapturedSuperEntity in the basement.
* TokyoIsTheCenterOfTheUniverse: Why are the Angels attacking Tokyo-3? Turns out that the "Black Moon" from which all life on Earth emerged just happens to be right underneath Japan, and their ultimate goal is to get in there and reunite with Adam. Subverted [[spoiler:when Adam wasn't there originally and they were completely heading the wrong direction]], and then played straight after episode 8 [[spoiler:when Gendo has Adam brought there]].
* TheWarRoom: Central Dogma's command center, with MissionControl, natch.
* WhatDoYouMeanItsNotSymbolic: An in-universe example. All of the religious terms given to the elements of the seeding system cloud their (rather mundane) purposes. For instance, the "Spear of Longinus" is a control rod; the "Dead Sea Scrolls" is an instruction manual/troubleshooting guide.
* WhenItAllBegan: Second Impact
* {{Zeerust}}: NoNewFashionsInTheFuture? Check. Cassettes? Check. Video games? Asuka loves her [[BlandNameProduct Seca]].

''See the [[Characters/NeonGenesisEvangelion Character Sheet]] for more spoileriffic details, particularly with the main characters.''

* ActionGirl: Asuka, Misato and Rei. Asuka, in particular.
* AlasPoorVillain: [[spoiler:Ritsuko]], and to some extent [[spoiler:Gendo.]]
* TheAllegedBoss: Misato is qualified. Her orders come off as more motherly than bossy, and she acts like a sister at home.
* {{Angst}}: Shinji may provide the cover image, but don't be fooled. [[DysfunctionJunction EVERYONE has something to angst about.]]
** DeusAngstMachina: The entire plot of the franchise can summed up as "Shinji doesn't want to get in the robot, bad stuff happens when Shinij doesn't get in the robot, Shinji is convinced to get back in the robot, ''[[FromBadToWorse WORSE things happen when Shinji is in the robot,]]'' Shinji cries about it."
* AlternateCharacterInterpretation: Invoked, come episodes 25 and 26. "The you which exists in my mind and the me which exists in your mind" is this.
* ApocalypseCult: The members of SEELE like to dress themselves up in Judaeo-Christian Kabbalistic occult symbolism while [[spoiler:bringing about their plans to awaken the {{Eldritch Abomination}}s]].
* BadassAdorable: Shinji, Rei and Asuka all qualify for this trope in one way or another.
* BigBad: SEELE. All the catastrophic events that take place in the series are all by-products of their plan to bring about Human Instrumentality.
* ChildSoldiers: The pilots, who are even ''called'' [[GratuitousEnglish "Children" both individually and collectively]].
* ClaspYourHandsIfYouDeceive: Gendo in, like, half of his appearances.
* CommonEyeColors:
** Shinji has blue eyes in the anime, presumably to play off the sense of innocence or purity that provides, but he has brown eyes in the manga for more of an everyman look.
** In the first volume of ''Raising Project'', his eyes are brown on the cover and blue in the first chapter artwork.
** Yui has light green eyes in the manga.
* ConspicuousGloves: Gendo always wears gloves, and they cover burns he receives in an early episode rescuing Rei. He later has an embryo EldritchAbomination implanted in one of his hands, which make the gloves even more necessary.
* CosmopolitanCouncil: The members of SEELE.
* CreatureHunterOrganization: This is one of the roles of NERV, being the ones in charge of the Evangelions who were made specifically to fight angels.
* CyberCyclops: Unit 00, and some of the failed Evangelion heads in ''End''.
* DeconstructedCharacterArchetype: Half the characters are first presented as classic anime stereotypes, but as the series progresses they are revealed to be extremely messed-up individuals whose behavior is an endless source of troubles.
* DysfunctionJunction: One of ''the'' defining examples of this trope in anime. The psychological issues of virtually every single member of the main cast could fill a sizable portion of the DSM-IV.
* EveryoneWentToSchoolTogether:
** There are a lot of trios in ''Evangelion''. One of these trios is Ritsuko, Misato, and Kaji, who went to college together. There's also Gendo, Yui, and Fuyutsuki; Yui was Fuyutsuki's favorite student at university, and Gendo was his advisee and Yui's boyfriend. And then there's obviously Shinji, Asuka, and Rei, who are all in the same homeroom.
*** Kensuke, Toji, and Shinji, complete with an [[Film/TheThreeStooges endearing label]] from Asuka.
*** Justified, as [[spoiler:the Marduk Institute is not real: Unit 01 and 02 have the souls of their respective pilots’ mothers; the deal with 00 is never fully explained]]. Presumably, [[spoiler:the attack on unit 03 was predicted in the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the fourth pilot could have been anyone, as Misato said everyone in Shinji’s class was a candidate]].
* FatalFlaw: Pretty much every major character has one. Some have more than one. It could be said that during [[spoiler: Instrumentality]] they are all forced to face them.
** Shinji: A crippling fear of being rejected and hated by others.
** Asuka: An overwhelming need to validate her own existence through the approval of others, [[spoiler: which eventually leads to self-esteem so low that it renders her unable to pilot an EVA]].
** Rei: A general disregard for her own life, [[spoiler: due to being a clone]], as well as being incapable of understanding the feelings of herself or others, [[spoiler: also due to being a clone.]]
** Misato: Much like Shinji, an overwhelming fear of rejection. As opposed to Shinji, she deals with it by never allowing her relationships to deepen to the point where she can be hurt to be begin with.
** Ritsuko: An inability to live outside of her mother's shadow, despite her attempts otherwise.
** Gendou: An inability to let go of his late wife, leading to much misery for his son and the [[SmallStepsHero rest less the entire world]].
* FiveManBand: The five Children superficially resemble this quite nicely, but all [[SubvertedTrope subvert]] the typical characterizations of their positions and are ultimately too complex to be described so simply. To further the subversion, the Children are never all together at once and thus never truly become one.
** TheHero: Shinji Ikari, the main protagonist and pilot of Unit 01 who is also incredibly timid, passive and hesitant to the point where he's [[FailureHero almost never in control of the situation]].
** TheLancer: Asuka Langley Soryu, the hyper-competitive loud-mouthed pilot of Unit 02 who is actually far more similar to Shinji than she initially appears, but [[InferioritySuperiorityComplex hides her guilt and insecurity through false bravado]].
** TheBigGuy: Toji Suzuhara, the bulky jock and pilot of Unit 03 who gets severely crippled before he ever gets to do any fighting and also proves to be one of the [[OnlySaneMan most rational characters in the series]].
** TheSmartGuy: Kaworu Nagisa, The WiseBeyondTheirYears philosopher and replacement pilot for Unit 02 who is completely naive to the nature of humanity and ends up as [[OutGambitted SEELE's patsy]].
** TheChick: Rei Ayanami, the demure and feminine pilot of Unit 00 who is a cold EmotionlessGirl with [[WhatIsThisThingYouCallLove no understanding of human emotions or feelings]].
* GuiltComplex:
** Shinji, in spades. It's his fault Touji's sister got hurt because he should've been more careful when fighting the Angel that almost killed him. It's his fault Asuka hates him because he can't do anything right. It's his fault [[spoiler:he had to kill Kaworu]] because he could've chosen to TakeAThirdOption. It's his fault [[spoiler:Asuka died because he couldn't get his Eva out of its restraints in order to save her]]...
*** This behavior is so ingrained in him that some fans think it was a minor breakthrough for him when he was angry at ''his father'' during the Unit 03 incident. But then he goes back to kicking himself in the head again.
** Misato also blames herself often for things she had no control over.
* HeroKiller: [[spoiler: The Mass-Produced EVA series]].
* HeterosexualLifePartners: Touji and Kensuke, eventually extended to Shinji [[spoiler:until the Unit 03 Incident]].
* HotBlooded: Deconstructed in more ways than one. First Asuka, who at first seems to be the typical HotBlooded AcePilot. [[spoiler:It becomes apparent however, that her sense of self worth is possibly even worse than ''Shinji's'', and that her brash attitude covers up the fact that she requires the praise of others for validation.]] The trope is further deconstructed when characters in combat fly into berserker rages which prove either to be completely ineffectual or come at great cost to the characters.
%%* HotScientist: Several.
%%* HumongousMecha:
%%** Jet Alone is the size of an Evangelion.
%%** The Evas are a subversion.
* MamaBear:
** All the Evas, but particularly Unit 01 to Shinji. This goes as far as the Unit 01 ''moving and behaving'' like a raging bear.
** Misato definitely deserves a mention for her very protective attitude towards Shinji and even the other pilots, whenever their safety was an issue. She even goes as far as to [[spoiler:slap Ritsuko]] when she felt Shinji's life was being threatened.
* MasculineGirlFeminineBoy: Gender role subversion runs rampant in ''Evangelion'', especially with Shinji and Asuka. Played for drama in that Shinji wants Asuka to be more feminine, and Asuka wants Shinji to be more masculine, but they just end up clashing against each other due to wanting the other to change first.
* TheMasochismTango:
** Shinji and Asuka's "relationship".
** This can be the case with Touji and Hikari in the background, but it never gets developed [[spoiler:because of the Unit 03 incident]]. Amusingly enough, Asuka is quick to put two and two together in this case.
* TheMenInBlack: NERV's Intelligence Division {{Mook}}s.
* NeverBeHurtAgain: This can be said to be one of the central themes of Evangelion at work. ''All'' characters want to avoid getting hurt in varying degrees. Even [=SEELE's=] [[AssimilationPlot ultimate plan]] can be said to be this trope taken to the extreme.
* TookALevelInBadass: While Asuka has already proven to be a capable fighter, her taking on not only one but nine Mass Production Evangelions in ''End Of Evangelion'' and [[spoiler: seemingly]] succeeding right after snapping out of her catatonic state clearly tops the previous displays of her fighting ability.
* RescueRomance: Although their relationship is really too complex to point to one thing as the source of Asuka’s feelings for Shinji, it seems probable that him diving into a volcano to save her probably had something to do with it. [[FridgeLogic However]], when you consider that she wasn’t just rescued by him, but also shown up by him by doing something really [[BigDamnHeroes heroic looking]], it takes on a new light. Considering her InferioritySuperiorityComplex, being rescued while also being outshone by Shinji likely left her feeling very conflicted which is [[DeconstructedTrope probably the reason]] she has so much difficulty [[CannotSpitItOut acknowledging her feelings for him, even to herself.]]
* RunningOnAllFours: Evas when Berserk.
* SempaiKohai:
** Ritsuko and Maya
** Surprisingly absent from Shinji's school, where all pupils seem to be the same age and in the same grade. This is a deliberate subversion, as [[spoiler:all of the students in Shinji's class are potential Eva pilots]].
* ShellShockedVeteran: Kaji may actually be the most damaged of NGE's cast, just the best at hiding it, says Sadamoto. Misato is also one, and Shinji and Asuka too by the end. Gendo is one as well.
* SolarAndLunar:
** Rei is [[http://wiki.evageeks.org/Theory_and_Analysis:Rei_and_the_Moon frequently associated with the moon]], initially as a visual motif, but later it turns out to be foreshadowing, while Asuka is associated with the sun.
* StressVomit: Maya Ibuki does this after seeing Unit 01 devouring another angel...
* SunglassesAtNight: With the exception of flashbacks, Gendo is never seen without his [[ScaryShinyGlasses scary shades]], even when NERV suffers a station-wide blackout in Episode 11.
* ThemeNaming: More stylistic naming instead of thematic, but characters all have their last names in kanji and their first in katakana.
* TraumaCongaLine: This trope could easily be named "Shinji Ikari Syndrome". However, most of the main characters suffer from this to different degrees as well.
* {{Twinmaker}}: [[spoiler:Rei Ayanami]] appears as three clones over the course of the series, each replacing the last.
* UrbanLegendLoveLife: Misato and Kaji are both perceived (possibly even by each other) as far more flirty and promiscuous than they actually are.
* WeaknessTurnsHerOn: Implied to be one of the causes of Asuka's attraction to Shinji.
* WithFriendsLikeThese:
** Despite being friends since college, Ritsuko keeps Misato in the dark about all of NERV's most important secrets until near the end of the series. She also gets into frequent (and sometimes physically violent) arguments with Misato about how to handle situations which could endanger the pilots, and while she never misses an opportunity to poke fun at Misato, her jibes become very cruel after things really blow up between Misato, Shinji, and Asuka. It gets to the point where their relationship at the end of the series can best be described as just a few steps away from getting into full-on WeUsedToBeFriends territory. [[spoiler:And eventually, after the events of Episode 23, it ends up there.]] It may be argued with some justification that Ritsuko never really considered Misato or Shinji "friends," and was just manipulating them the entire time.
** Asuka probably deserves mention as well, though in her case the trope is {{deconstruct|ion}}ed since her hostile behavior ends up driving most potential friends away.
* TheWorldMocksYourLoss: Rei embodies this trope for Shinji [[spoiler:due to her kind of being a clone of his mother]]...[[KudzuPlot sort of]].
* YamatoNadeshiko:
** Rei Ayanami is a reminiscent Yamato Nadeshiko. A "good old fashioned woman" who is reserved, modest and pretty, who also will fight for her family and country when necessary. Rei is reserved, beautiful and has little to no concerns fighting to the death to either protect or save the world/Shinji/NERV.
* {{Yandere}}: The Akagis. Like mother, like daughter.

* OneHundredEight: Kaiji notes that SEELE has 108 dummy corporations working for its UN front.
* TenMinuteRetirement: Shinji does this frequently: when he runs away in episode 04, when he leaves Nerv after the Unit 03 debacle, when he breaks down in the movie...
* ActionInsuranceGag: Both the TV series and the manga by feature Misato getting angry about her car being thrashed via N2 Mine going off close to it and having payments left.
* AdamAndOrEve: The names humanity gave to the Seeds of Life: Adam and Lilith, Lilith being Eve's predecessor as the first woman.
** For more fun: The short-hand term for Evangelion is "Eva", the form of "Eve" in most European languages, including most importantly Greek and Latin. The parallel is easier to see when you consider [[spoiler:Evangelions are made from Adam's flesh, as Eve was made from Adam's rib]].
* AchillesPowerCord: The Evas need an external power source and an early episode even has Shinji do a power cord transfer at one point to move into an area that his current cord doesn't reach. If the [[CutTheJuice connection is severed]], they can only function for a limited time on backup power.
* AfterSchoolCleaningDuty: Shown in one scene where Shinji and Rei stay behind to clean the school, and Shinji causes Rei to blush by remarking on how she has very motherly mannerisms, and would perhaps be good as a [[HouseWife housewife]].
* AIIsACrapshoot:
** Mostly averted; the MAGI computers never turn evil, but [[spoiler:the most human of them betrays Ritsuko at the worst possible moment]].
** Subverted with [[ShadowArchetype the Evas]] [[spoiler:when you find out they aren't actually robots]].
* AlienGeometries: Leliel. That cool marble looking thing that can disappear and reappear at random? ''That's its shadow'', its four-dimensional [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dirac_sea shadow made of anti-matter]].
* AllAccordingToPlan: Used by Gendo and SEELE to indicate that current events have not upset "the plan". Considering that they ultimately have different motives, by the end of the series it becomes clear that this is just lampshading that with a few exceptions most of the individual fights against Angels have little bearing on the larger plot.
* AmbiguousSituation: Numerous instances, most notably Gendo's silent line and the final scene of ''End''.
%%* ApocalypseDayPlanner
* ApocalypseWow:
** The brief scenes of Second Impact in the series.
** Third Impact in ''End''.
* AppendageAssimilation: Unit 01 tears off one of Zeruel's "arms", and reshapes it to replace the arm that was torn off earlier in the battle.
* ArcSymbol: Both SEELE and NERV's logos. The former is [[spoiler:Lilith's face]], and has a similar portrayal to BigBrotherIsWatchingYou, which is [[spoiler:what the corportation really is]]. The latter is a fig leaf, which has a very distinct shape, and is the leaf Adam and Eve used to hide their nakedness after eating the fruit of the Tree.
* ArcWords:
** "I mustn't run away."
** "Hedgehog's Dilemma"
** "Unfamiliar ceiling"
** "I'm home." "Welcome home."
** [[AssimilationPlot "Do you want to become one with me?"]]
* ArtisticLicenseBiology: A fairly mild form of it; it ''is'' SF biology, after all. Though it might be argued it's meant as ''meta''biology and actual science has very little to do with the show.
** It's also not what a Hayflick limit is. The Hayflick limit is the number of times a (non-stem) cell can divide. Why is there a limit? Because cells that don't have it are cancerous.
* AscendedFridgeHorror: NGE takes the idea of a child as the pilot of a HumongousMecha and strips it down to spotlight the fact that these shows are basically about ChildSoldiers. [[MindScrew We think.]]
* AssimilationPlot: NGE was the former TropeNamer, but [[spoiler:Instrumentality]] was deemed too spoileriffic.
* AwesomeButImpractical:
** This applies to pretty much every bit of technology NERV owns. The Evas themselves are badass and extremely powerful, but can only operate for a couple of ''minutes'' on a battery, and have various unpredictable problems caused by their [[ThingsManWasNotMeantToKnow only-vaguely-understood operating principles]] and [[ChildSoldiers immature pilots]].
** In universe: the Jet Alone, a gigantic nuclear-powered mecha that lacks the Eva's [[BeehiveBarrier AT field]], making it pointless for Angel defense.
* {{Baka}}: Part of Asuka's catchphrase. According to her, Shinji, Kensuke and Toji are also the "stupid trio" -- this is rendered as "the Three Stooges" in the dub.
* BecauseDestinySaysSo: According to the Dead Sea Scrolls. There is, however, an interesting interplay between destiny and [[GambitPileup human will]].
* BerserkButton: [[BerserkButton/NeonGenesisEvangelion Has its own page.]]
* {{BFG}}: Any Eva gun, but especially the Positron Rifle, which is the size of a train and utilizes the entire power output of an industrialized country.
* BigNo: Asuka, [[spoiler:at the end of her MindRape]].
%%* BigShutUp: In a funny scene in episode 16.
* BittersweetEnding: The conclusion of Shinji's battle with the last Angel [[spoiler:(Kaworu)]] comes across as this. [[spoiler:The Angels are gone and mankind is safe - but Tokyo-3 has been ruined; Kaji is dead; Toji is a cripple; Kensuke, Hikari, and their families have moved away, taking Pen-Pen with them; Asuka is catatonic; Ritsuko is in prison; Misato is a nervous wreck; Rei is [[WeHaveReserves "the third one"]]; and Shinji is utterly broken psychologically after having to kill the only person who has offered him unconditional love in the course of the whole series. [[FromBadToWorse The worst is still to come]].]]
** ''The End Of Evangelion'' can be described as a happy ending as viewed in a cynical light. [[spoiler:[[TheBadGuyWins Instrumentality occurs along with the Third Impact]], [[ApocalypseHow significantly changing the Earth's geography and atmosphere]] and [[AssimilationPlot causing all of humanity to morph into a single being]] - [[MeaninglessVillainVictory but Shinji chooses to let people to escape from this state]], [[DysfunctionJunction knowing that even if people end up hurting one another]], [[RousseauWasRight no one means to in the end]]. Shinji eventually wakes up on the surface of the Earth and finds that Asuka is alive, showing that people can actually recover from Instrumentality and that more could come soon. Humanity has another chance, but they'll have to adapt to an extremely altered environment that is more hostile than the world after the Second Impact.]] Given the how dark the movie is, it's hard to notice the "happy" part of the ending.
** Depending on how you interpret things, the manga ending is this. [[spoiler:Humanity has been restored in the wake of the aborted Instrumentality, and everyone who survived the End of Evangelion are shown to be living normal lives. However they've lost all of their memories from their time at Tokyo-3, but as Shinji's chance encounter with Asuka and Keisuke at Tokyo shows, there's still a possibility to re-established those lost ties, as the future is now wide open for everyone to take advantage of.]]
* BlackBox: The Angels are described this way by the scientists "not in the know"; they also complain about how dangerous using the S2 organ is, since they know nothing about it.
* BlameGame: When the Jet Alone goes rogue, the various officials related to the project are preemptively doing this by trying to avoid the direct responsibility of giving the self-destruct code.
* BlueWithShock: Several instances.
* BloodyHorror: Gendo takes control of Shinji's biomech and forces him to kill Unit 03 against his will forcing him to experience (through the mech) ripping someone apart and having blood splattered all over him. It was traumatic enough to teach Shinji to never disobey Gendo's orders.
* BodyHorror:
** Certain angels will invoke this with infectious attacks, like Bardiel and Armisael.
** The fate of [[spoiler:Unit 02]].
* BreakTheCutie: Every last character you found the faintest bit sympathetic, in ''End of Evangelion'', and several other instances that begin much earlier. Shinji and Asuka (''especially'' Shinji) embody this trope.
* BrightIsNotGood: The last two episodes are a complete psychological breakdown ([[spoiler:and recovery!]]) which feature the most desaturated, brightest colors in the series at many parts.
* BrokenBird: ''All'' the female characters, by the time it's all said and done. Of course, more than one were very broken already...
* BugBuzz: Cicada chirps frequently accompany outdoor scenes. The reason given for this is that Japan has been in a perpetual summer since Second Impact, and since the ecosystem is returning to its former state, cicadas are coming back to Tokyo-3. They're also used to dramatic effect in episode 4, where Shinji is overwhelmed by the din of cicada sounds at one point.
* BuryYourGays: Of course, ''all'' the relationships end badly, so Shinji and Kaworu's relationship is not unique here. It ''is'' unique in that Shinji is AmbiguouslyBi (as it it's uncertain if he just sees Kaworu as a friend or if he loves him) and that [[spoiler:[[ShootTheDog he's the one that has to kill Kaworu]]]].
* ButtMonkey[=/=]TheChewToy: NERV itself, including the people who work there, are constantly hit time and time again. In the earlier episodes this can be rather funny, as in episode 12 where NERV undergoes a blackout resulting in huge problems with maintaining functionality, widespread problems in accessibility, everyone's jobs being disrupted- cue the following:
--> '''Fuyutsuki''': [[TemptingFate Regardless of the cause, it would be disastrous if an Angel were to attack right now.]]\\
'''Voice over speaker''': Radar has detected an unidentified object.
** However, later on when things go FromBadToWorse, this [[DesignatedMonkey stops being funny.]] [[note]]This happens right about the same time everyone starts having their [[TraumaCongaLine respective mental breakdowns]].[[/note]]
* CataclysmBackstory: The Second Impact.
* ChargeIntoCombatCut: This happens with the first Angel in Episode 1. We only find out how the first battle went through flashbacks in Episode 2.
* ChekhovsClassroom: Early on in "Magma Diver", Shinji is doing homework on thermal expansion. That episode's Angel, Sandalphon, which is able to somehow withstand the heat and pressure of swimming in magma, is defeated by pumping its body full of coolant.
* ChekhovsGun:
** Rei says she was born to be an Eva pilot, and when she stops being that, she will cease to exist. [[spoiler:Neither is metaphorical.]]
** The Jet Alone foreshadows a much greater conspiracy.
** The AT Field? [[spoiler:Everyone has one.]]
* ChekhovsGunman: In the manga, Toji's sister is his motivation for [[spoiler:getting in Unit-03]]. SEELE's also a bit of a Chekhov's Gunman.
* ClipShow:
** About half of episode 14 is a clip summary of the first half of the series, packaged as an internal SEELE report about Gendo's activities.
** Episodes 25 and 26 of the original TV-broadcast re-uses old footage all over the place.
** The ''Death'' sequence of ''Death and Rebirth'' is a clip show version of the entire series...26 episodes packed into 70 minutes. But then again, it also contained some new scenes that would later be used in the Director's Cut episodes.
* TheComicallySerious: Some of the bumbling, useless UN officers.
* [[CooldownHug Cooldown Stroke]]: In ''End of Evangelion'', when [[spoiler:Asuka touches Shinji's face in the same way that Yui had done earlier, which stops him from strangling her]].
* CreepyCoolCrosses: The Angels' energy blasts, and [[spoiler:the shot of Misato's pendant in the final sequence of ''End of Evangelion'']], among many others.
* CreepyDoll: Asuka's mother, Kyoko, kept one around during her confinement in a mental hospital, talking to the doll as if it were Asuka. The creepiness of this skyrockets when [[spoiler:Kyoko asks the doll to "die with [her]", and later when Asuka discovers her mother hanged both herself and the doll]].
* CrossPoppingVeins:
** Asuka, continuously.
** Misato, whenever she finds Kaji flirting with and/or groping another woman.
* CrypticConversation:
** Gendo and Fuyutski's interactions are made almost entirely of this trope.
** Any scene involving SEELE.
* CurbStompBattle:
** Happens every time the Evas go berserk, and the first time the Dummy Plug is activated.
** In ''End of Evangelion'', Asuka's fight against the JSSDF and the MP [=EVAs=]...at first.
* CurtainCall: At the GrandFinale, all of the named characters of the show appear at one final scene, congratulate Shinji on his epiphany, and then congratulate you, dear viewer.
* DarkerAndEdgier: ZigZagged with the manga. Some consider it even darker than the anime, with [[FanNickname Evil Manga Kaworu]], [[spoiler:Toji dying instead of getting injured after Unit 03 is destroyed]], Gendo's villainous traits being played up, and having him outright saying to Shinji's face that he doesn't love him. On the other hand, the main characters (especially Shinji) are generally more mentally stable than in the anime, [[spoiler:and while the movie had a DownerEnding, the manga ending is more [[BittersweetEnding bittersweet]], if not a downright EarnYourHappyEnding.]]
* DarkestHour: Taken UpToEleven in ''The End of Evangelion''.
** One might argue that they already go here in the battle between Unit 03 and Unit 03, and again in Unit 01 vs. the last Angel.
* ADateWithRosiePalms: Notoriously in ''The End of Evangelion'', where Shinji masturbates next to a comatose Asuka.
* DefeatEqualsExplosion: When the Angel's cores are destroyed, they explode and leave a lake of red gunk.
* DefusingTheTykebomb: Rei's the ApocalypseMaiden and Shinji's interactions with her is akin to him wandering around a powder keg with a zippo, not having a clue the crap's flammable. Surprisingly, it works to some extent, and in the movie Shinji becomes the tykebomb and Rei takes a stab at defusing him.
* DescriptionCut[=/=]IronicEchoCut:
** Episode 11 sets up long chains of both. After all, the whole point of the episode is how the characters, while isolated by a power outage, still manage to think the same.
** The ''Death'' segment of ''Death & Rebirth'' is practically nothing but these.
* {{Determinator}}: {{Deconstructed|Trope}} by Asuka, since playing it straight leads to her breakdown when she is no longer able to keep up.
* DiabolusExMachina: The double-bladed swords used by the M-P-Es suddenly turning into copies of the Lance of Longinus.
* DownerEnding:
** Episode 26, depending on interpretation (the ambiguity of Shinji's epiphany doesn't help.) Whatever the hell happened, at least Shinji ends it finally happy.
** Played ''very'' straight by ''End'' though; although a brighter future is possible, the film ends with Shinji weeping.
*** An even darker ending, "Last B", was in the storyboard stages for ''End'' at some point. It starts with [[spoiler:Shinji lying on the beach while holding hands with someone. He notices that he will probably never see his friends again, but that he also will keep on living anyways. He then squeezes the hand he is holding and sees a short flash of Rei. It is then revealed that nobody is lying next to him, and the hand he is holding belongs to that arm Rei lost earlier in the film]].
* DoYouWantToCopulate: Rei has no visible reaction whatsoever to [[spoiler:Shinji seeing her naked, then falling on her and accidentally groping her]]. In the manga, she actually looks surprised but doesn't say anything.
* DroppedABridgeOnHim: [[spoiler:Ritsuko Akagi]] in ''End of Evangelion''.
* DudeShesLikeInAComa: First subverted when Shinji tries to kiss Asuka in her sleep, but ultimately decides against it. Then, in ''End of Evangelion,'' Shinji [[spoiler:''[[ADateWithRosiePalms pleases himself over a scantily clad and]]'' comatose Asuka]].
* DyingForSymbolism: Really, all of these are up to anybody's guess, but in ''End of Evangelion'' [[spoiler:Kaworu's death possibly represents the death of Shinji's sanity, Asuka's death could mean the death of Shinji's hope, Misato's death could represent the death of Shinji's love (Gendou might count), and the god-like Rei's death at the end could mean the death of Shinji's fear and return to peace. This movie is virtually the definition of Mind Screw, so you may have a different interpretation.]]
* EarnYourHappyEnding: '''The manga ending'''. After enduring a slightly different version of the events of the End of Evangelion, humanity seems to have been given a fresh start. Even the Earth seems to have recovered, with the first scene showing a heavy ''snowfall'' on Shinji's hometown, whereas before Japan endured an eternal summer. However in return everyone who survived (Shinji, Asuka, etc.) have lost all their memories of the time they spent at Tokyo-3, and have all went their separate ways. That said, as Shinji's chance encounters with both Asuka and Kensuke at Tokyo demonstrate, it's still possible to re-establish ties anew, and as Shinji muses, the future is now full of possibilities.
* EldritchAbomination: Strongly evoked by the Angels and even more by [[spoiler:Adam and Lilith]].
* EmpathicWeapon: Due to synchronization, the pain an Eva feels when it is damaged is felt by the pilot, and at a high enough synch level, the pilot actually suffers the same wounds. [[spoiler:Asuka's fight with the MP Evas in ''End'' graphically demonstrates this, as she appears to lose an eye and have her guts ripped open inside her plugsuit, and actually has her right arm split in two as a result of the MP Evas' fake Lances damaging Unit 02. Thankfully, we don't see what happens when the Eva is ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice at the end of the fight.]] The trope is also deconstructed in that Shinji's empathy with his Eva is psychologically dysfunctional. For example, Shinji describes [[spoiler:Unit 01's destruction of the possessed Unit 03]] along the lines of "Father used my own hands to hurt [[spoiler:Toji]]," despite the fact that (a) it was the Eva's hands, not his own hands, and (b) he was not in control of the Eva at the time; the dummy plug was. Also, Shinji's apology to Asuka when he fights the Kaworu-controlled Unit 02 can be seen as Shinji seeing the Eva as an extension of Asuka, so that attacking it is at some level equivalent to attacking Asuka.
* [[spoiler:EndOfTheWorldSpecial:]] Shinji [[spoiler:remade the world]] in the manga ending. [[GainaxEnding Probably.]]
* EpiphanicPrison: ''End of Evangelion'' thrust Shinji into one. His solution? ''[[spoiler:Destroy the world.]]''
* EverybodyLaughsEnding: It has precisely one, during an ending scene that is ActuallyPrettyFunny, with Shinji and Asuka getting into a spat that is broadcast live to the whole NERV complex.
%%* ExplodingCalendar: The episode 9 montage.
* EyeScream: A few times.
** Sachiel pierces Unit 01's right eye ''all the way to the other side of the skull''.
** The ''EndOfEvangelion'' scene where [[spoiler:Unit 01 bursts through Lilith/Rei's eye]] has come to symbolize for many how much of a MindScrew ''End'' is.
** Also from ''End'': [[spoiler:the scene where the MP Eva's Lance of Longinus hits Unit 02 in the face, and the resultant injury to Asuka.]]
* EyesDoNotBelongThere:
** In the manga, as a result of [[spoiler:swallowing Adam, Gendo has a large eyeball in the middle of his left palm.]]
** In ''End'', Rei/Lilith manifests a huge eye in her forehead that the [[spoiler:Unit 01/Tree of Life]] is absorbed into.
* FamousLastWords
** [[spoiler:"What took you so long?" - '''Kaji''']]
** [[spoiler:"You liar." - '''Ritsuko''']]
** [[spoiler:"I'm sorry, Shinji." - '''Gendo''']]
* FearfulSymmetry: The Angel Israfel, in the episode "Both of You, Dance Like You Want to Win!"
* FighterLaunchingSequence: With mecha instead of fighters.
* FirstChurchOfMecha: Evas were made as a substitute for God, apparently.
** It's more complex than that, but there's no way to explain it in short. Oh, and they aren't just a substitute for God, going by the Japanese notion of 'kami', the Evas pretty much ''are'' Gods.
* FiveRoundsRapid: Conventional military efforts tend to do precisely jack against the Angels.
** There is one notable exception when the UN Pacific Fleet defeats Gaghiel by getting two battleships inside it and firing their cannons by remote, then self-destructing the ships and killing it. They did have Unit 02's help though.
* FlashBack: Especially in Episode 21.
* FlawedPrototype: Jet Alone. To be more specific, there were two Jet Alone models created. The first appeared in the television series. The second was improved and renamed Jet Alone Prime, appearing in the game ''Evangelion 2'' for the {{PS2}}.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: Ritsuko in Episode 11 talks about the three Magi supercomputers and how each one contains an aspect of her mother, Naoko Akagi. She talks about how much she admired her mother as a scientist and how much she hated her as a woman. In ''End of Evangelion'' [[spoiler: Guess which personality belongs to the Magi supercomputer that chooses Gendo's scheme over Ritsuko?]]
** In Episode 7, the representative from Japan Heavy Chemical Industries mockingly compares Evangelion Unit-01 to "A hysterical woman".
** In Episode 22, Hyuga talks with Misato about the production of [=EVAs=] 05 through 13 having begun in several countries around the world. They finally appear in [[spoiler:''End of Evangelion'' as the tools of SEELE.]]
* FreudianExcuse: Oh boy, where to begin? Every single main character is mentally unstable to some degree, as are most of the secondary characters. Given the crap they have been going through for the last 15 years, everyone has very good reasons for it.
* FuroScene: Numerous instances, but most memorably Asuka's in episode 22...which, typically for the series, is not so much titillating as it is disturbing, [[spoiler:what with it showcasing her mental breakdown and all.]]
* GainaxEnding: What ''ThePrisoner'' was for the UK, ''Evangelion'' was for Japan. After 24 episodes of mecha action and conspiracy plotting, the show ends with [[spoiler:a look into Shinji's psyche, where he ultimately finds peace of mind]]. Some fans consider ''End Of Evangelion'' (the alledgedly planned ending that is also concurrent with the TV show's last episodes) to be this, but ultimately it provides a more of a conclusion than the TV series, not least because it follows up on a lot of the {{Foreshadowing}} from the series and closes many of the running plotlines due to its blatant KillEmAll nature.
* GambitPileup: As the series goes on, it becomes increasingly difficult to know who knows what, who has what interests, and who's leading the game.
* GambitRoulette: A whole lot. [[spoiler:Yui could have arranged her own "accidental" death in order to save humanity from being lost forever to Instrumentality. She would've been counting on Gendo's undying love for her to have him rescue her soul to inhabit Unit 01 where she could build up Shinji's confidence and ensure he was at the center of Instrumentality so that he could resist it and convince Lilith/Rei to let anyone come back who had the strength of will to rebuild their own AT Field.]]
* GetAHoldOfYourselfMan:
** Kaji does this to Misato in episode 15 -- also notable as one of the few (only?) scenes in which he is completely sincere.
** Happens twice in ''End of Evangelion'':
*** Shinji tries this to [[spoiler:get Asuka out of her coma]], but it doesn't work.
*** Misato does this to Shinji later to try to get him to
* GiantEyeOfDoom:
** Shinji comes face to face with his Eva, in episode 2. Here's looking at you, kid.
** In a way, Matariel, because it has camouflage that looks like eyes, and its actual working eye cries tears of ''acid.''
** Sahaquiel is a gigantic eye with wings that bombs the planet from space, leaving giant craters that get ever closer to Tokyo-3. It's taken to an even greater extreme in ''Rebuild.''
** The explosion of [[spoiler:Third Impact]] in ''End of Evangelion'' is shaped like an enormous eye that literally brings widespread death and destruction in its wake- thought it could be an artsy ShoutOut to Anno's previous anime, ''Anime/NadiaTheSecretOfBlueWater''.
* GoodMorningCrono: Spoofed in the final episode, when Shinji is shown what his life ''could have'' been like -- a clichéd shounen series.
* GoryDiscretionShot: All that is shown of [[spoiler:Kaworu]]'s death in the anime is [[spoiler:the silhouette of his head falling into the LCL lake]]. The manga represents his death as [[spoiler:Shinji strangling him in a field similar to where they first met]].
* GothSpirals: The Lance of Longinus and Lance form of Unit 01 qualify.
* GovernmentConspiracy: The coverup regarding Second Impact.
* GraspTheSun: [[spoiler:Asuka]] in the ''End of Evangelion''.
* GrillingTheNewbie: Shortly after [[ExtremeDoormat Shinji]] arrived in his class, there were [[OpenSecret already rumors he was the Eva pilot]] after his first fight. The moment he [[TheReveal innocently confirmed it]], everybody (save [[ClassRepresentative Hikari]], [[ThoseTwoGuys Kensuke, and Toji]]) surrounded him to ask him questions related to the [[HumongousMecha Eva]].
* HammeredIntoTheGround: During the episode "Both of You, Dance Like You Want to Win!", Shinji and Asuka are defeated when they first face the Angel. Each of their Evas [[NoodleIncident somehow]] end up buried head-downwards with legs sticking up in the air.
* HatesBeingTouched: The Absolute Terror Field is essentially weaponized personal space. Later in the series it's revealed that all humans have A. T. Fields holding their shapes together, created by their fear of intimacy and rejection. There is a persistent UrbanLegend among fans that "Absolute Terror" is a pre-existing psychological term, but this is false.
* HeartDrive: The Angel's cores; they're the major weak point ''and'' a source of [[spoiler:limitless life energy and "immortality."]]
* HeroicAlbino: Rei is actually a DoubleSubversion. She's borderline obsessed with making a HeroicSacrifice. [[spoiler: She's also the series' ApocalypseMaiden and when Gendou gets her to cause Instrumentality she demonstrates she opposes it, rather graphically. She tries to reason to Shinji that everyone has the right to life and when Instrumentality does occur Rei reverses it.]]
* HeroicBSOD: Shinji and Asuka are the king and queen of this trope towards the end of the series, though it's debatable who's the king and who's the queen.
* HeroicSacrifice: Multiple, and subverted in some cases.
* HesBack: Played straight with Shinji; subverted with Asuka, who [[spoiler:comes out of her coma, but simply dies fighting 5 minutes later]].
* HiddenEyes:
** Shinji and Asuka on various occasions.
** Shinji's uncle, aunt, and bullies in the manga.
** Yui does this a few times, too.
* HighPressureBlood: The Angels, and Unit 01 in the first episode, spray enormous fountains of blood that can literally paint the town red. [[spoiler:The Rei/Lilith hybrid actually paints a stripe of blood on ''the moon'' when she dies]]. Justified, perhaps, when you consider how much blood there is in something taller than office buildings and what's needed to move it around, and when you consider how much pressure is required to pump blood in an organism that size.
* HintDropping: Asuka does this towards Shinji a couple of times. Since Shinji is too socially inept and unsure of himself to pick up on these attempts, this also fuels much of Asuka's anger towards him. Ironically, her anger towards him is also a big part of what keeps Shinji from realizing how she feels.
* HitMeDammit: Toji tells Shinji to hit him back as a "macho" way of apologizing. The manga adaptation subverts the trope, with Shinji deciding it'd be more interesting to have Toji owe him one instead. In ''Rebuild'', he actually hits Toji right away.
* HiveMind: This would be part and parcel of [[spoiler:Instrumentality as envisioned by SEELE -- the souls of all of humanity combined into a gestalt where individuality would be completely erased]].
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: The only reason Unit 01 wakes up when it runs out of power during the Zeruel battle is because Zeruel's merciless -- and ''rhythmic'' -- beating of Unit 01's core simulated a heartbeat in the entry plug.
* HopeSpot: Most notably [[spoiler:Asuka's very brief recovery]] in ''End''.
* HorrorDoesntSettleForSimpleTuesday: The events of ''End of Evangelion'', according to WordOfGod, occur on ''New Year's Eve''. [[spoiler:That's right, we never see Christmas as this is Japan, and everyone gets Tanged to death just before 2016 comes.]] [[SarcasmMode Great]].
%%* HotForTeacher:
%%** In the AlternateUniverse.
%%** It's hinted that Maya may feel this way about Ritsuko.
* HumansAreTheRealMonsters: [[spoiler:The reason for the plot. The First Ancestral Race sent Adam to Earth, and Lilith ended up there too. Lilith didn't know what to do, so she just used her blood as the basis for life. This life, the Lilim/human race, ended up populating the planet. So the Angels are now trying to reunite with daddy and eradicate the human race so that they can have their own planet.]]
* ICantDoThisByMyself: In ''End of Evangelion'', Shinji says this to Asuka when the burden of creating a new world falls on his shoulders. [[spoiler: She refuses.]]
* ImmuneToBullets: The Angels are for the most part immune to conventional weapons, and super-weapons only slow them down. Only an Eva can hurt most of them, due to their usage of "AT fields".
* IncestIsRelative[=/=][[spoiler:InterspeciesRomance]]: Shinji's attraction to Rei, and vice versa. They can even date or ''marry'' in some of the wacky schoolday video games and the mangas based on them.
* InfantImmortality: In a blink-and-miss-it moment, this is averted in Episode 19 [[spoiler: when Unit 02's head crashes into the shelter and kills several people, including a baby that was audibly laughing a few seconds earlier.]]
* InstantExpert: ''Triply'' subverted in the first two episodes. At first, everyone's really excited because it looks like Shinji just might save the day, despite having absolutely no experience piloting the Eva unit. Then he trips, gets beaten up rather brutally by the Angel, and the next thing we see is him waking up in a hospital bed. However, it turns out that he really did turn around and beat the Angel...but this turns out to be due less to Shinji's own abilities and more to [[spoiler:the fact that the Eva units are actually alive and intelligent, and more specifically because Yui Ikari's soul is inside Unit 01. It's MamaBear doing the fighting, not Shinji.]]
** It becomes more and more apparent as the series goes on that the "pilots" were chosen according to the "it's not what you know, it's ''who'' you know" principle ... they're there [[spoiler: to keep the Evas from going berserk and are, almost uniformly, a ''hindrance'' as far as the whole fighting angels thing goes; the Evas would be ''much'' more effective without them]].
* InternalMonologue: Lots of it, most notably in episodes 14, 16, 20, and 22, and encompassing the entirety of [[GainaxEnding 25 and 26]].
* ItSucksToBeTheChosenOne: Hoo boy. Just take a look at episode 1 where Shinji is emotionally blackmailed into fighting a monster that shruged off an N-2 mine.
%%* JigsawPuzzlePlot: The reason the earlier episodes are easier to follow is that most plot threads are resolved in the episode they are introduced. [NEEDS BETTER DESCRIPTION]
* KavorkaMan:
** Gendo, hence the ''[=ReDeath=]'' meme "IT'S GENDO!".
** Shinji also, as he is fourteen, lacks self-confidence and social skills to a spectacular extent, isn't particularly handsome, and still has at least Rei, Asuka, and Kaworu expressing interest in him, with some continuities taking it up to a pretty huge UnwantedHarem.
* KilledOffForReal: [[spoiler:Kaji; Naoko Akagi; Kyoko Soryu; Misato's father; and Toji in the manga.]]
* KillEmAll: [[spoiler:The movie looks like it, though it depends on your interpretation whether what happened to them actually counts as death. It is certainly {{implied}} that there can be a potential EverybodyLives.]]
* LastEpisodeThemeReprise: Episode 26 features "THE HEADY FEELING OF FREEDOM" and "Good, or Don't Be.", both of which are instrumental versions of the opening.
* LatexSpaceSuit: The plugsuits for both sexes have a button that once pressed automatically makes the suit shrink to conform to the pilot's body. However, it is shown in episode 8 that they don't conform ''entirely'' to the pilot's body, with Shinji rather embarrassed to wear Asuka's shapely, feminine plugsuit, and Toju and Kensuke taking a humourous interest in Shinji's chest as a result. This is subverted in episode 10, "Magmadiver," where Asuka wears a special plugsuit that expands to a balloon-like shape and causes her no small amount of embarrassment.
** FutureSpandex: Female plugsuits. Remember, {{Clothes Make|TheSuperman}} '''[[MemeticSexGod Teh Rei]]'''.
* LightIsNotGood: And comes with MindRape, in the case of Arael.
* LiteralMetaphor: Kaworu's {{leitmotif}}. Notice that he's entering Heaven's Door as the choir sings "Und der Cherub steht vor Gott". Also, "Einen Freund geprüft im Tod" could describe his relationship to Shinji, [[HoYay other interpretations]] notwithstanding.
* LivingRelic: Revealed near the end of ''End of Evangelion'' to be [[spoiler:the ultimate fate of Unit 01, and by association Yui Ikari]].
* LivingShadow: Leliel, the 12th Angel.
* LockedInARoom:
** Asuka and Shinji's training to fight the Seventh Angel is a variant; they're not actually locked in a room, but they do have to spend almost every waking moment together.
** Kaji and Misato in an elevator during the attack by the Ninth Angel.
* LotusEaterMachine: At some level, the Evas. Some of the Angel's attacks (notably Leliel's, Arael's, and Armisael's) and [[spoiler:Instrumentality]] are this.
* LovecraftianSuperpower: The Evas are literally PoweredByAForsakenChild, and Leliel (AlienGeometries), Iruel (nanites), Sahaqiel (CastFromHitPoints), Arael (MindRape), Armisael (more BodyHorror), and [[spoiler:Giant Naked Rei (AssimilationPlot, GoMadFromTheRevelation, and associated tropes, in addition to dissolving)]] all certainly qualify. Not to mention the AndIMustScream factor of the dummy plug: Picture being unable to control your body, but you can still feel the bloodlust of the thing controlling your body, only to learn that it just [[spoiler:killed one of your closest friends.]]
* LovecraftLite: Despite the CosmicHorrorStory atmosphere, humanity manages to be competent in the technological sense with the Evangelions. [[BrokeYourArmPunchingOutCthulhu The punching out doesn't negate the psychological sacrifices, however]].
* LukeIAmYourFather: [[spoiler:Or rather, Mother. Unit 01 contains the soul of Shinji's long lost mother. Unit 02 actually holds the maternal aspect of Asuka's mother, Kyoko. At least that helps explain the term "Eva", which was made from Adam. Sounds like Everybody is Mecha Jesus In Purgatory, huh?]]
** Foreshadowed by Shinji's reaction the first time he's inserted in the entry plug: [[spoiler:"It smells like blood... But I feel comfortable in here." He's nestled in a fluid-filled chamber inside a being that has the soul of his mother embedded in it. Pregnancy metaphor, anyone?]]
* MadnessMantra: A favorite of the series. To wit:
** Shinji: "I mustn't run away, I mustn't run away, I mustn't run away..." (Used as ArcWords, to the extent that they're practically his CatchPhrase)
** Asuka: "I don't wanna die... I don't wanna die... I don't wanna die... I don't wanna die... I don't wanna die... [skip a few] I DON'T WANNA DIIIIIIIIIIIE!!"
** Shinji: "I can't take it anymore... I can't take it anymore... I can't take it anymore... I can't take it anymore... Ican'ttakeitanymore... Icanttakeitanymore..."
** Asuka: "I'll kill you... I'll kill you... I'll kill you... I'll kill you..."
* MarilynManeuver: Asuka's introduction.
* MarshmallowHell: Misato accidentally does this to Shinji when they, along with Asuka, Toji, Kensuke, and Kaji, are stuck in a too-small elevator.
* MayDecemberRomance: At the very least, toyed with.
* MergerOfSouls: [[spoiler:The [[AssimilationPlot Third Impact]] as envisioned by [[AncientConspiracy Seele]]]] would've resulted in all human beings on the planet having their souls merged into one singular whole, with all individuality dissolved. [[spoiler:Although the process is initiated in the middle of the ''End of Evangelion'' movie, it fortunately gets aborted before it reaches the point of irreversibility]].
* MillionToOneChance: Ritsuko likes to predict that there's a 0.000000001% chance of Misato's plan succeeding, with lower probabilities as the series progress. There's also a subversion since [[spoiler:the chances were actually 100% each time, as the happenings ride on a pretty accurate prophecy-based schedule]].
* MindScrewdriver: Yes, this is what ''End'' was meant to be.
** Even the English ''DVD'' of ''The End of Evangelion'' is screwy, being shiny on both sides so it's difficult to tell which side goes up.
* MoreThanMindControl: Manga Gendo [[spoiler:uses Shinji's insecurities and loneliness to try to convince him he's every bit as evil, desperate and vengeful as he is]].
* MurdererPOV: [[spoiler:Kaji's death.]]
* MurderSuicide: Attempted by Asuka's mother, except the "Asuka" that was murdered was the rag doll that Kyoko thought to be Asuka. It's not clear whether Asuka's more angry that her mother committed suicide or that she didn't get to die along with her.
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: Shinji's reaction to [[spoiler:his DudeShesLikeInAComa moment]].
* MythArc: The Angel war, NERV, the Evas, and the tangled web of secrets surrounding all three.
* NeverMyFault: Shinji is a universal target for people unfairly shifting blame.
* NightmareFuelColoringBook: Shown in ''The End of Evangelion'' and the Director's Cut version of episode 22. The drawings are implied to be of [[spoiler:Asuka]]'s design.
* NoHoldsBarredBeatdown: The instances of Unit 01 going {{berserk|Button}}, and the activation of the Dummy Plug. Honorable mention however, is the end of Episode 19, where we bear witness to a horribly vicious one.
* NonIndicativeFirstEpisode: Anno reportedly complained about the first episode being "a failure" and out of tune with the rest. It was supposed to create an atmosphere of total despair.
* NoPeriodsPeriod:
** Averted for Asuka in both the anime and the manga--her period causes her a realistic amount of discomfort, shame, anxiety, pain and mood swings. Her written-out thoughts show that "menarche" is as much a source of anxiety for her as "sex".
** Possibly implied to be the case with Rei by a cryptic piece of her dialogue in episode 14.
* NoSenseOfPersonalSpace:
** Asuka, to both Kaji (mostly) and Shinji (when she's not shunning him).
** Kaworu in the manga, which is one of the reasons Shinji doesn't like him. This actually leads to a rather funny scene where Kaworu barges into Shinji's shower stall looking for soap, then wonders why Shinji's freaking out.
* NostalgiaHeaven: The end of the last episode, if you get past the MindScrew location.
* NuclearWeaponsTaboo: Assuming that N2 mines really are "non-nuclear".
* ObstructiveBureaucrat: During the Jet Alone incident, Misato has to deal with a five-person chain of command to force a deactivation command on the mech, who ultimately agree to grant her clearance... effective upon the arrival of the paperwork. Note that this is during an imminent ''nuclear disaster.'' After being given this message, she says "screw it", takes charge, and deploys Unit 01 to hold it steady so she can hang onto Jet Alone's back and manually input the shutdown command.
* OfficialCouple: Amongst the tangled mess of unspoken/unrequited feelings, manipulations, and misunderstandings, Misato and Kaji as well as Gendo and Yui are stands out as the closest things the show has to this trope.
* OmniscientMoralityLicense:
** In the original ending, [[spoiler:Gendo Ikari]] may have this at a metaphorical level, if we accept the interpretation that [[EveryoneIsJesusInPurgatory he represents God and more generally, the father archetype]].
** ''TheEndOfEvangelion'' suggests this for [[spoiler:Yui Ikari]] and Shinji's other two {{Spirit Advisor}}s, [[spoiler:Rei Ayanami and Kaworu Nagisa]].
* OneHundredAndEight: The number of dummy corporations set up by SEELE and NERV to fund the Marduk Institute.
* OneWomanWail: The track "INTROJECTION" from the album ''Neon Genesis Evangelion III''.
* OnlyPointTwoPercentDifferent: The Angels [[spoiler:because of panspermia]]. And it gets found out because a sequence in the Angel's HardLight tissue is somehow comparable to a human genome.
* OutOfClothesExperience: Especially Shinji and Rei, but it happens once or twice to Asuka too. And to manga Yui. Also, to [[spoiler:humankind]] in ''TheEnd''.
* OverlyLongGag: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kKSa6BgoRCY The elevator scene]].
* OverTheShoulderMurderShot: [[spoiler:Unit 01]] does this to an Angel in an incredibly disturbing scene.
* PantyShot:
** Played straight in episode 8: Asuka + sun dress + breeze = "viewing fee".
** Subverted twice in the manga, first when Toji tries to teach Shinji how to turn cleaning the stairs into a peeping opportunity and gets caught by Hikari, and then when Shinji, Toji, and Kensuke first meet Asuka in the arcade.
** [[SexyDiscretionShot Implied]] in the AlternateUniverse sequence in episode 26, when Rei thinks Shinji looked up her skirt, as well as in one of the ''Petit EVA'' shorts, when both Shinji and Unit 01 get a look up Asuka's skirt while tunneling under the school grounds (don't ask, just go watch the clip).
* PillarOfLight: The explosions set off by the Angels Sachiel and Zeruel turn into crosses and in one instance, an inverted cross. Likewise, the N2 mine, the only conventional weapon capable of harming the Angels, forms a pillar of light when it explodes. [[spoiler: Second Impact also qualifies - twin pillars this time.]]
* PossessionImpliesMastery: Significantly averted: Unit 01 keeps going out of control and doing things that Ritsuko and her staff can hardly believe. This is presumably because [[spoiler:NERV didn't so much "invent" the Evas as copy them from the Angels that they possess]].
* PrecisionFStrike: The English dub of the series uses moderate swearing throughout, but does not drop the F-bomb until the movie, at which point it does so twice in suitably memorable fashion.
%%* QuitYourWhining: Misato attempts this with Shinji. [[spoiler:It fails.]]
%%* RageAgainstTheHeavens: And the heavens rage back, apparently.
%%* RagingStiffie: Shinji in the AlternateUniverse.
%%* ReadingsAreOffTheScale
%%* RedemptionEqualsDeath: Subverted in gruesome ways.
* RescueIntroduction: Shinji meets Misato when she rescues him during the First Angel's attack.
* TheReveal: Quite a few later on, but like everything at that point in the show, there are times when it can get a little hard to figure what exactly is being revealed.
* RidingIntoTheSunset: Occurs in a very odd and somewhat disturbing fashion in ''[=EoE=]'' as [[spoiler:after Instrumentality is overturned, Unit 01, fossilized and still carrying Yui's soul, flies into space accompanied by the Lance of Longinus, beginning its "eternal reminder" journey]].
* RoomFullOfCrazy: Post-its all over the guts of the Magi; quantum physics graffiti in the room where Rei was born; random religious symbols and artifacts strewn about the place; graphs from a particle accelerator...heck, we're talking about a ''[[ElaborateUndergroundBase massive underground complex]]'' full of crazy here.
* SacredFirstKiss: Subverted. Shinji and Asuka kiss, but it's painfully unromantic, it doesn't lead anywhere, and she never does stop bullying him, although she does later on [[spoiler:seem to be pissed off that he wasn't more enthusiastic about it]]. A different subversion happens in the manga; Shinji and Asuka are just about to kiss, but are interrupted by Kaji and Misato.
* SanitySlippage: Oh so much...
** [[spoiler: Episode 22, in particular, pretty much revolved around Asuka's mental breakdown.]]
** Shinji goes through a gradual one over the latter half of the series, and finally cracks in ''End''.
%%* ScaryShinyGlasses: Gendo.
* ScreamerTrailer: The show and, by extension, its [[Creator/HideakiAnno director]] are very fond of this effect.
* SexyDiscretionShot:
** At one point, Misato and Kaji are in bed together, nude. The "camera" turns away, and stays focused, unmoving, on a nearby table while you hear the two of them going at it.
** ''End'' features a couple. The [[spoiler:"Shinji wanking"]] sequence is an Unsexy Discretion Shot; we hear what's going on but only see the [[JustForPun output]]. Later on, Shinji is treated to a trippy flashback of Misato and Kaji screwing around in college. We mostly just see their feet, but the movement (and Misato's squealing) during the scene makes it decidedly more graphic than any of the TV sex scenes.
%%* {{Shapeshifter}}: Several Angels.
* ShapeshiftingExcludesClothing: After a certain event, the only thing left of people are their clothes and pools of orange fluid.
* ShooOutTheClowns: When Pen-Pen leaves, you know things are going downhill. %%WHEN?
%%* TheSiege: Subverted
%%* SinisterGeometry: Ramiel.
%%* SixthRanger: Subverted twice.
* SlapOnTheWristNuke: N2 Mines. Although they are devastatingly effective against unshielded targets ([[spoiler:Tokyo-3 and the Geofront in ''End'']]), their effectiveness against the Angels ranges from significant ([[spoiler:Israfel takes six days to recover from one]]) to minimal ([[spoiler:Sachiel is damaged but heals ''very'' quickly]]) to useless ([[spoiler:Sahaquiel and Zeruel are completely unfazed]]).
** They are also used against Asuka in ''End'', one of which hits Unit 02 in the head, and another that is stopped with a punch. In the manga, these are, however, left out during Asuka's seemingly final battle.
* SmashCut: Often, usually skipping from [[CurbStompBattle an Eva having its butt whooped]] to a replay of the damage.
* SmokingHotSex: In episode 20, Misato says she only smokes after "things like this".
* SolemnEndingTheme: Several different versions of "Fly Me to the Moon".
* SpiritAdvisor:
** [[spoiler:Yui Ikari]] to Shinji and Gendo -- and also to Fuyutsuki in the videogame ''Evangelion: Another Cases''.
** In ''TheEndOfEvangelion'', [[spoiler:Rei and Kaworu]] become this.
*** This raises questions about OmniscientMoralityLicense, though, as they all do some pretty questionable stuff.
* SuggestiveCollision: Shinji falls with Rei, causing him to land on top of her, with one hand on her breast. Being an EmotionlessGirl, she doesn't react in any way.
* SurrealHorror: The series periodically slips into this, particularly during encounters with the Angels and ''The End of Evangelion''.
* SuspiciouslySpecificDenial: "Non"-nuclear mines.
* [[spoiler:TakesOneToKillOne]]: The Evas are basically the only weapons humanity has which can go toe to toe with the Angels themselves, partially because [[spoiler:they are ''derived'' from Angels]].
* TanksForNothing: In both the opening episode and the movies, tanks will fire massive barrages at the Angels, and do no damage at all.
%%* TechnoBabble: Reams of it.
* TeenGenius: Asuka [[UnreliableNarrator claims]] to have a college degree, but it's never addressed.
* TellMeAboutMyFather:
** Shinji asks both Rei and Kaji about Gendo at different points. [[spoiler:Neither of them offer up much info.]]
** He also asks about his mother at one point... to Gendo, of course, so it had much the same result.
* TemptingFate:
** In episode 11, when the power goes out in the city, one of the characters comments that it would be really bad if an Angel were to appear now. Cue next scene, showing an Angel appearing and approaching the now defenseless city.
** In episode 22, Asuka complains about how the Angel hasn't shown up--just before she gets hit by its MindRape beam.
* ThroughHisStomach: Hikari's method for getting close to Toji.
* ThroughTheEyesOfMadness: It's debatable whether the final two anime episodes really happened or were all taking place in Shinji and the other protagonist's heads.
* ThrowTheDogABone: Shinji's only moments of 'happiness' are so far and few they deserve their own drinking game. Let's see: when Gendo or Misato actually praise him overtly; when Rei reacts somewhat warmly to his presence; when he can hang around with Toji and Kensuke; [[FreudWasRight when he thinks he's fusing with his mom]]; when Kaworu stands close to him looking handsome and saying ambiguous things. That's all. [[YankTheDogsChain Every form of comfort has gotten out of his reach]] by the time ''The End of Evangelion'' happens. But congratulations, Shinji and [[spoiler:all the children of the world]]!
* ToiletHumor: In the first ''Petit EVA'' short, Unit 01 trades lunches with Shinji...but its lunch is nothing but batteries. Unit 01 expects Shinji to eat, so he does. The last scene shows Shinji coming out of a bathroom stall holding his butt and groaning.
* TomatoInTheMirror: [[spoiler:Humanity, being the ultimate result of the terraforming process started by Lilith, is the 18th Angel, and every single living thing on Earth is just protoplasmic ooze held bodily together by energy fields which are the physical manifestation of the ego. Angels are another, alternate conception of humanity, with the ability to exert physical control but with limited self-understanding.]]
* TransformationTrauma:
** Especially in ''End of Evangelion'' where [[spoiler:Rei merges with Lilith and embryonic Adam and becomes a giant... something... and subsequently ushers in the infamous "Everyone hugs and turns into Tang" sequence]].
** On the other hand, the trauma is noticeably absent in the case of [[spoiler:Gendo merging his hand with Adam]]. Heck, he's so stone-faced about it that in the manga, he even [[spoiler:''eats Adam'']] in a very insane and squicky scene. Later, when [[spoiler:Adam appears as an eyeball in his left palm]], Gendo's reaction is basically "Oh, there you are."
* TraumaSwing: During [[spoiler:Asuka]]'s MindRape and during a flashback to Shinji's childhood in ''The End of Evangelion''. However, unlike other examples of this trope, neither one actually sits ''on'' a swing.
* {{Trickster}}s: The Evangelions, Rei, [[spoiler:Lilith]] and the Angels (with special mentions to [[spoiler:Kaworu]] in all versions, Adam, and Iruel) are noteworthy examples. Yui (especially as a [[spoiler:SpiritAdvisor]]) is a more debatable case, and let's say Gendo is very mysterious and manipulative.
* {{Tsundere}}:
** Anime: Asuka is a glorious Type A; Misato has a few tsundere characteristics too.
** Manga: Some fans view manga!Shinji as a tsundere character, mainly in his sarcastic treatment of [[spoiler:Asuka and Kaworu]].
** Non-canon: In ''Shinji Ikari Instrumentality Project'', Yui is a Type B with [[DomesticAbuse violent approaches]] and HilarityEnsues, whereas Rei tends to be a Type B who gives the cold shoulder to Shinji whenever she can't deal with her feelings towards him.
%%* TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture
* TwoKeyedLock: In episode 13, Hyuga and Aoba unsuccessfully try to do this to shut off the MAGI system before an Angel (which has taken the form of a computer virus) can infect it.
%%* TwoTeacherSchool
* TheUnreveal: So many examples, but two very noteworthy [and memetic] examples are [[spoiler:who killed Ryouji Kaji]][[note]]WordOfGod is that it was by a random {{Mook}}[[/note]] and [[MemeticMutation "Ritsuko Akagi, the truth is..."]].
** The manga had this to offer out for the latter - [[spoiler:"Ritsuko Akagi. Until now, your work was quite exemplary. I did love you."]]
*** As seen in the AllThereInTheManual entry below, there's some evidence to indicate the anime version was [[spoiler: "[[TitleDrop I need you]]".]]
* UnusualEuphemism: One episode mentions thermal expansion in several different scenarios. One of these scenarios involves Shinji hearing Asuka and Misato giggling and talking about touching each other while at a [[HotSpringsEpisode hot spring]]. Shinji looks down and complains about "thermal expansion".
* UnwantedHarem: Shinji is [[KavorkaMan quite pimpin']], for a skinny teen with a crippling social phobia.
* [[spoiler:UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans: SEELE's ultimate plot.]]
* {{Vibroweapon}}: The Progressive Knives, the enormous combat knives each Eva unit carries. They can hurt Angels, but are generally a last-resort weapon.
* WallSlump: [[spoiler:Misato's death in ''The End of Evangelion'', where she leans against the wall to hide her mortal injuries after being shot from Shinji, then collapses against it when he leaves.]]
* TheWatson: Sometimes Maya, sometimes Misato, sometimes Shinji. Actually, so few characters know what's ''really'' going on that they ''all'' have their Watson moments.
* WeHaveBeenResearchingPhlebotinumForYears: Shinji, a slightly disfunctional boy, witnesses an EldritchAbomination attacking the city then is promptly thrown into the cockpit of a HumongousMecha that's not really a mecha at all: it's [[PhysicalGod alive]] and is VERY [[TheBerserker bloodthirsty]]. It takes a few episodes until he gets the explanation about what the hell is going on but never gets [[AwfulTruth told]] [[GoMadFromTheRevelation about]] [[SealedGoodInACan what]] [[LukeIAmYourFather he's]] [[MamaBear piloting]] until three episodes from the end. It's unclear which is worse: that [[LockedOutOfTheLoop he was told so late]] or that [[ThingsManWasNotMeantToKnow he was told at all]]. Regardless which one is true, Shinji got an all-expenses-paid visit to the DespairEventHorizon for his effort.
* WeHaveReserves: [[spoiler:The Reiquarium]].
** [[spoiler:All of Shinji's classmates are potential Eva pilots]].
* WellDoneSonGuy: Shinji; one of the central pillars of his character is to do ''something'' to get Gendo to acknowledge him.
* WhatMeasureIsANonhuman:
** Shinji angsts about this after the double whammy of [[spoiler:learning Rei's secret and being ordered to terminate Kaworu]].
** There's also the little thing about [[spoiler:the Angels' nature]].
* WhatTheHellDad:
** You'll be saying this to Gendo quite a bit. Shinji does in the manga but not in the anime.
** Asuka actually inverts this in ''End Of Evangelion'' when she realizes her mom's soul is in Unit 02. She sees it as her mom protecting her in battle.
* WhiteMaskOfDoom: Several of the Angels have what look like white masks with little more than eyeholes.
* WorkingWithTheEx: This applies to Kaji and Misato, who was none-too-pleased when she found out that Kaji would be staying with NERV after delivering Asuka and Unit 02, and lashed out at him at nearly every chance she got afterwards. The bickering led Ritsuko to comment that they sounded like an old married couple.
* YankTheDogsChain: Shinji, over and over and over...

* AdultFear: While the plot focuses mainly on adolescent characters, the themes of self-loathing, social phobia, and the inevitability of hurting and being hurt by those close to us strike a nerve for many adult viewers, which is to say nothing of the conspiracy-related plot threads and the horrific portrayal of war (and the notion of being attacked by your own government and countrymen) in ''The End of Evangelion''. It's also worth noting that the series contains what is probably one of the most thorough and realistic portrayals of manic depression in ''any'' medium. All of this is a case of RealLifeWritesThePlot: Hideaki Anno was going through a ''very'' rough patch in his life.
* AdultsAreUseless: {{Zigzagged|Trope}}. Adults can't pilot the Evas, but they made, maintain, prepare, and otherwise function as integral team members around them. Played more strangely by the quasi-military setting, as the adult characters can go from a supervisory body to the pilots, to genuine help, to active hinderences and back, some times within the same episode.
* TheAntiNihilist[=/=]BeYourself: Played in a straight but horrifyingly cynical way.
* CannotSpitItOut:
** A central theme of the series is that characters can't admit their deeper feelings for one another, and/or can't find the right way to comfort those they care about. So many examples, it's almost easier to list the aversions, and even the aversions tend to have a tragic cast to them.
** Asuka is a simultaneous example and subversion; she has no problem letting everyone know the "depths" of her feelings for Kaji, but this becomes a way of deflecting attention from her developing feelings for Shinji.
** Another exception: [[spoiler:Kaworu, the final Angel]], is the only character in the whole series (and possibly the only person in-universe since the death of Yui) who expresses love to Shinji in so many words.
** Misato finally comes to terms with just how deeply she cares for Kaji...[[spoiler:after he's dead]].
** Even [[spoiler:Gendo]] admits to [[spoiler:his fear of bonding with his son]] once [[spoiler:his vague apocalyptic plan has failed and he realizes he's going to be killed]].
* CatchPhrase: In the anime, Shinji is constantly saying "I mustn't run away!"; also Asuka's repeated refrain of "What are you, ''[[{{Baka}} stupid?]]''" Let's also not forget all the times when Gendo tells Fuyutsuki to "handle the rest of this" "Scenario" and variants of "So," "Yes," and "I understand."
* ContemplateOurNavels
* CosmicHorrorStory: But the PsychologicalHorror of it all is also coupled with contemplations on existentialism.
* {{Cyberpunk}}: ''Evangelion'' has quite a few transhumanist, cyberpunk and post-cyberpunk traits, such as TheSingularity.
* FamilyUnfriendlyViolence: So much, it is rumoured the series generated a reinforcement of censorship laws in Japan.
%%* FatalFlaw: Most of the characters have at least one.
* FourIsDeath: Unit 04 explodes on its activation test. Unit 03, the actual fourth Evangelion, is [[spoiler:infected by an Angel and eventually killed in a brutal manner by a dummy plug-controlled Unit 01]]. The pilot was, naturally, the Fourth Child, who just became the fourth person his new girlfriend makes lunches for.
** When Shinji reaches 400% synchronization rate, his body disintegrates into LCL.
* GreyAndGrayMorality: Opponents NERV/SEELE and the Angels share a common goal: [[spoiler:to defeat the opponent and initiate Third Impact for their own ends. NERV and SEELE want to hijack it and start the Human Instrumentality Project, and the Angels want ''their'' planet back]].
* HumansAreFlawed[=/=]HumansAreTheRealMonsters[=/=]HumansAreSpecial: NERV and SEELE's motivation is that humanity, as it exists, can't be happy. Kaworu, despite having been raised (and perhaps created) by SEELE values the achievements of human culture and respects Shinji's ability to pick himself up and keep going after heartbreak instead of giving up on life the way Gendo and SEELE have. The belief that humans, not Angels, should have the future is the motive for his HeroicSacrifice, and he later appears after Third Impact as a SpiritAdvisor and the symbol that not all HumansAreBastards: he's the one person to ever show pure, untainted kindness to Shinji, and if even an Angel can do that...
* {{Irony}}:
** The show was meant as a deconstruction of MerchandiseDriven GiantRobot series. It has become the most heavily marketed, publicized, referenced, and rereleased animated production ''ever''.
** Rei, who throughout the series is tormented by the knowledge that she is replaceable and struggles to establish an identity of her own, has become one of the most [[ReiAyanamiExpy archetypal anime characters in history]], and most of her "clones" lack the HiddenDepths of her character.
** ''Euangelion'' means ''good news'' in Greek. Considering how it "ends," it's not exactly good news.
* LonelyTogether: Basically subverted. The conditions are there, but the characters are ultimately too screwed up to really help each other, as demonstrated by scenes like Misato's failed attempt to console Shinji after [[spoiler:Rei's death]]. Asuka in particular is very bitter that Shinji only wants to be with her because he doesn't have anyone else.
* LoveDodecahedron: Played for angst rather than laughs. [[http://img2.me/7sYfO.png Here's]] a schematic diagram.
* LoveMakesYouEvil: And that man's said evil--or at least, morally ambiguous BatmanGambit--makes the whole world suffer.
* MessianicArchetype: Yui Ikari, the self-sacrificial Rei Ayanami, and Kaworu [[spoiler:"[[MemeticMutation He Died For Your Sins]]"]] Nagisa. Shinji even has [[EveryoneIsJesusInPurgatory a few "temptation scenes"]] involving [[spoiler:the choice of rejecting the world completely and being Tanged forever]] or, in the manga, [[spoiler:of going ballistic on humanity with his Luciferian dad]]. Granted, he's a darkly ironic and/or pathetic kind of messiah.
** "Blessed are the meek, for [[spoiler:they shall inherit the earth]]."
* HumongousMecha: A mecha series that uses both {{Super Robot|Genre}} and {{Real Robot|Genre}} tropes, and promptly {{deconstruct|ion}}s them.
%%* PsychologicalHorror
%%* CosmicHorrorStory
%%* ScienceFantasy
* NumberOfTheBeast:
** Ritsuko uses a "Type 666" firewall to protect NERV's MAGI from hacking by SEELE in ''End of Evangelion''.
** In "Rebirth" Misato is seen in (or in the bay next to) parking bay 667, which the English voice actors joked was the Neighbour of the Beast.
* NewWaveScienceFiction: When you boil down the {{Cyberpunk}} elements and enter the Angel's domain, that's where things get really far out. ClassicalAntiHero? Check. StarfishAliens? Check. Post modernism? Dear Anno, there's so much subtext. Much of the controversy about this series stems from, in addition to RealLifeWritesThePlot, using anything (and EVERYTHING) as a symbolic device, to the point of [[FlipFlopOfGod inconsistent meanings per symbol]].
* OedipusComplex: The relationship of the Ikari family, and whenever a character's parent comes up.
* OneHundredAndEight: The Marduk Institute, ostensibly an advisory group put together to select Eva pilots, is actually just a group of 108 dummy companies owned by NERV and SEELE.
* ParentalAbandonment: ''Evangelion'' deals with its consequences.
* PoorCommunicationKills: A major theme of the series. [[spoiler: [[KillEmAll And they're not kidding about the "kill" part]].]]
* RedOniBlueOni: Asuka and Rei, who've taken up where Kei and Yuri left off and ran with it. 3-4 paired figure sets a year for more than a decade. Also notice that their hair and eye colors are inverted -- Rei's red eyes and blue hair vs. Asuka's blue eyes and red hair. It even carries over to their Evas once Asuka is introduced.
* SexIsViolence: Loosely implied throughout the series, then made {{Squick}}-inducingly obvious during ''The End of Evangelion''.
* SaveTheWorldClimax: ''Every'' fight has the fate of humanity hang in the balance, but it's all a plan by a few fractions of humanity to initiate the end of the world on their own terms. As their plans collide, the end of the world ends up in the hands of a mentally fractured teenager, with disastrous results.
%%* {{Tragedy}}: The {{fatal flaw}}s of the characters should tell you something.
* WarIsHell: With everything involved in that CrapsackWorld, ChildSoldiers have it even worse. ''The End of Evangelion'' is where it is at its highest point.

* TheAbridgedSeries: ''WebVideo/EvangelionAbridged''.
** There's also another few, most notable out of them being Reborn Zombie's ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FUn1O-1dcyc Evangelion Abridged]]'' and The Puerto Rican Pizza Dude's ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xo4dX233zFI A Parody of Evangelion]]'', although the majority of the latter seems to have been banned by Bandai Channel. The former is still active, the latter seems to have gone dormant.
** Creator/LittleKuriboh made a one-episode abridgement for a charity event.
* AdaptationDistillation: The manga, to a degree. Some fans consider some of its changes to be an improvement upon the original {{anime}}. More attention is devoted to character relationships, several filler plots (including some of the less consequential Angels) are cut altogether, and a very controversial scene ([[spoiler:[[ADateWithRosiePalms you know the one]]]]) is changed to be more acceptable and more appropriate. On the other hand, Asuka's screentime (so to speak) is cut down some, although the core parts of her story are preserved, and others are added[[note]]the arcade fight scene[[/note]], expanded[[note]]the tragedy with her mother[[/note]], or alluded to[[note]]the battle with Gaghiel[[/note]].
* AdaptationExpansion: The manga details more of the odd relationship between Shinji and Rei, gives Kaji a tragic backstory, makes Kaworu much more prominent, and the battle with the MP Evas is expanded since [[spoiler:Shinji gets in on the action]].
* Creator/AdultSwim: Aired on the network during the mid-2000's, bringing about a NewbieBoom.
* AllThereInTheManual: There are a few guidebooks that attempt to elucidate the series. Given that it's intentionally left up to the reader, they are less than helpful. There's also a PS2 game (''Neon Genesis Evangelion 2'') that contains a large amount of backstory for the series, including on the "[[{{Precursors}} First Ancestral Race]]". The in-game info is based on interviews with Creator/HideakiAnno; however, since it's never been confirmed, the canonicity is technically up for debate.
** It's worth noting that the voice actress for Ritsuko, Yuriko Yamaguchi, practically spells out Gendo's silent line from ''The End of Evangelion'' in her essay in the film's theatrical pamphlet, but non-Japanese fans are still scratching their heads nearly fifteen years after its release since [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gfr9uBXMKTM the essay]] was [[NoExportForYou never made available to them]]. The manga version of events further complicates the mystery by offering a different version of events leading up to the line (which is actually "heard" in the manga), and some fans believe that the manga line could also apply to the original version events despite obvious differences in characterization and the line's incompatibility with Yamaguchi's essay.
* AlternateContinuity: Especially noticeable in the video games and mangas ''Girlfriend of Steel 2'' and ''Manga/ShinjiIkariRaisingProject'' as well as in ''Manga/NeonGenesisEvangelionCampusApocalypse'' and the Hobby Japan-exclusive "sequel" ''Evangelion ANIMA''.
* AlternateUniverse: In the {{omake}} at the end of ''End of Evangelion'', and during the Third Impact sequence in episode 26; the latter has of late become an official {{Elseworld}} with its own manga.
* AnimeThemeSong: "A Cruel Angel's Thesis" is definitive of the franchise.
* ArtisticLicensePhysics:
** That's not what a Dirac sea is... at all. The show also fails quantum physics forever by throwing it around as a metaphor combined with RuleOfCool.
** An in-universe example for whoever came up with the "Second Impact" cover story. Regardless of speed, a meteor as small as they described would airburst from friction, not capable of surviving our atmosphere long enough to hit the ground. Also, regardless of speed or angle, it would take a ''gigantic'' (dozens or hundreds of kilometers) stellar body to knock the Earth's axis off enough to cause the changes in seasons shown (for that matter, how would Adam's self-destruct be forceful enough to cause that?). Not to mention that an impact that destructive would hurl a shitload of ejecta into the atmosphere, causing a global nuclear winter that would lead to far more negative long-term effects than shown in the show (maybe Adam's explosion was focused up and out, not down?).
*** Adam was in the process of terraforming the Earth to support Angelic life as opposed to Lilim life. That's what caused the climate changes, not his subsequent explosion when they did whatever it was they did to regress him into embryonic form. That Earth is still habitable at all is only because they shut him down before he could finish. That it was caused by the explosion itself is just part of the cover story.
* AuthorAppeal: The Judeo-Christian overtones, giant Adams, etc. probably also count as AuthorAppeal, when you compare ''Eva'' to ''Anime/NadiaTheSecretOfBlueWater'' and other Gainax/Khara series. So do the angsty characters, ethical debates about biotechnologies, DNA imagery, etc.
* AuthorTract: Having been inspired by Anno's own battle with depression, the series contains numerous in-depth discussions of the human condition and concludes with a lengthy expose on the thought process that leads Shinji to overcome his own depression, go on living and reject the [[spoiler:AssimilationPlot]] he finds himself a part of.
* AuthorAvatar: WordOfGod says Shinji is this, but Anno has mentioned that there are small aspects of himself in every main character; for instance, he is a vegetarian like Rei and was edgy (before his marriage) like Asuka.
* BarbieDollAnatomy: Played straight, averted, and subverted, depending on which part or version of the story you're talking about.
* BilingualBonus: Many. For example, the Japanese title for the last episode is "The Beast That Shouted "I" at the Heart of the World." The fact that "I" is pronounced the same way as "ai," the Japanese word for "love," triggers a second meaning. "The Beast that Shouted Love at the Heart of the World" is a classic science fiction story (and also the title of an anthology) by Creator/HarlanEllison. There are also numerous songs in English, from the original compositions used in ''The End of Evangelion'' and ''Rebuild'' to "Fly Me To The Moon" and "Hallelujah" in the TV series. Additionally, there is a lot of [[GratuitousEnglish English]] and [[GratuitousGerman German]] terminology, and some unsubtitled dialogue in German, especially in the English dub.
** In particular, the legendary LyricalDissonance of "Komm, Süßer Tod" is completely lost on ''The End of Evangelion'''s original audience, as the song wasn't even subtitled for the film's Japanese release.
* BishonenLine: [[spoiler:Kaworu.]] If you're familiar with this trope, the revelation doesn't come as much of a surprise.
* BookEnds:
** The bookend Reis, one in the first episode and the other in ''End''.
** Another easily-overlooked example, probably Fridge Brilliance: Shinji's first line inside Unit 01 is "Kimochi warui" (something akin to "I feel disgusted/unwell.") [[spoiler:This is more famously Asuka's last line in ''End''.]]
** Episodes 1 and 24 have an interesting case of bookends. In episode 1, the Angel towers over Shinji. In episode 24, however, Unit-01 towers over the Angel.
** The boat [[spoiler:Ritsuko]] is riding during her first appearance is visible in the foreground during [[spoiler:her death scene]].
* BraggingThemeTune: Played straight, despite the lyrics being about [[ThisLoserIsYou Shinji]].
** Shinji does save the world multiple times and [[spoiler: becomes a god during the final.]] So it is not like it is incorrect.
* BreakingTheFourthWall: Both the original ending and ''Evangelion: Death'' include visual references to a theater stage. ''The End of Evangelion'' takes it even further. A young Shinji is shown building a sand castle of the [=GeoFront=]...and then the camera backs up and shows that he's under stage lighting. Later on, there is a live-action sequence, which includes equivalents of several of the characters. The latter is even described as being a "dream" and "not Shinji's reality," hence the postmodern overtones of the movie.
* CerebusSyndrome: As the series progresses to its final episodes, all attempts at making jokes are dropped.
* CoversAlwaysLie: A mild example at the back cover of ''End Of Evangelion'''s DVD; Toji and Kaworu are shown wearing plug suits, even though Toji does not appear at all and Kaworu only at the very end of the series.
* CutShort: Not the series itself -- controversial as it is, the TV ending does wrap things up pretty neatly, if only from a thematic standpoint. Rather, in the original cut of ''Death and Rebirth'', the "Rebirth" episode just...ends. Right in the middle. This effectively pissed off a number of Japanese fans who saw the movie in theaters (and Western fans who bought the VHS/DVD) expecting the final conclusion to the series, only to find out that they had to wait for ''The End of Evangelion''.
* DeconstructorFleet: The series took a lot of the [[AcceptableBreaksFromReality nagging questions]] about HumongousMecha series and anime in general - [[CompetenceZone "Why are all the central protagonists the same age?"]] [[EmpathicWeapon "Why would a vehicle care about its pilot's mental state?"]] [[PlotTailoredToTheParty "Why are the mecha's abilities so closely matched to their enemies?"]] [[HardWorkHardlyWorks "How did the main character suddenly become the best fighter with zero experience?"]] etc. - and returned pretty much the most depressing, terrifying answers possible.
* DependingOnTheArtist: The show's artwork and animation quality varied a good bit from episode to episode. For example, episode 19 has noticeably thicker lineart in close-ups, 16's coloring is somewhat lighter and saturated, and 9 brought us a [[DudeLooksLikeALady very bishie Shinji]]. Episode 11, having been animated with help from Ghibli, has received some flak for the significant difference in art style. Also, due to the budget shrinkage that led to, well, [[GainaxEnding you know]], much of episodes 21-24 needed to be redrawn for DVD, leading to further variation in the styles. Also, see OffModel below.
** For some reason, whether Misato has lipstick on or not rotates, sometimes several times in the same scene.
** Most of the female characters' hair lengths change frequently, particularly Misato who sometimes has fairly long hair and sometimes it appears to only reach down to her collarbones.
* DerangedAnimation: Numerous examples, but especially episodes 25 and 26 and ''The End of Evangelion''.
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: The less said about the points related to FreudWasRight, the better.
* DudeLooksLikeALady:
** Shinji is essentially a GenderFlip of Anime/{{Nadia|TheSecretOfBlueWater}} (see [[http://evangelion.wikia.com/wiki/File:Sadamoto_nadia-shinji.png here]] for notes from [[WordOfGod Sadamoto himself]]). He was described by Sadamoto as looking like "a boyish young girl" (more evidence [[http://i528.photobucket.com/albums/dd325/Synapsidia/EVA/048272545b0140dfe444054e96364e821.jpg here]]), and was made as such to distinguish him from the mecha heroes at that time. Shinji's feminine facial features are brought up by Misato in the first episode, and during the eighth and ninth episodes he's made to look like a girl from nothing more than [[http://i528.photobucket.com/albums/dd325/Synapsidia/EVA/FemmeShin1.jpg a wardrobe change]].
** One of the official games that had its scripts designed from interviews with Anno also had Fuyutsuki say that Shinji looked just like Yui and then [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r26VFYHj1dY&feature=related crossdress Shinji]] for the role all while saying how beautiful "she" looks; Fuyutsuki's actions soon become overtly sexual.
** Shinji and Kaworu also make rather pretty girls with little more than a hair and eyelash change (and breasts); in the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5N_18EljyPk GenderFlip version of episode 24]], longer haired Shinjiko ends up looking like a young version of Yui.
* DVDCommentary:
** {{The Movie}}s feature commentaries by Creator/AmandaWinnLee, her husband and Taliesin Jaffe, which are generally [[LoveItOrHateIt beloved/despised]] (some have even nicknamed it "Commentary of Evil") for being mostly riffing, with a lot of conjecture about the possible meanings behind the films' abstract symbolism, and details on the process of dubbing the films and remastering the audio.
** The Platinum Edition of the TV series featured commentaries on several episodes as well, albeit less memorable ones.
* EasterEgg:
** Creator/SpikeSpencer (Shinji's English dub actor)'s famous rant about the original ending from Shinji's POV, which includes gems such as "W-what's an Eva? Is that sort of a Freudian thing, or...um...am I real?" and "I mustn't run away, I mustn't run -- okay, I got that, good, okay, now if I ''were'' to run away, let's analyze that, where the ''fuck'' would I go!?" [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4hzjuf686oA Take a listen]]. It's even better if you think about how much Spencer's Shinji voice sounds like Larry the Cucumber from ''WesternAnimation/VeggieTales''.
** ''End of Evangelion'' has an awesome one. Early in the movie when Misato checks the computers, the screen with orange text has her saying "So that's what happened during Second Impact". However, the text is in fact a brief bio of StudioGainax with IMPORTANT-LOOKING, ALL-CAPS phrases like SECOND IMPACT and ADAM inserted at random.
* {{Expy}}
** Shinji, Ritsuko, Asuka, and Kensuke are similar to Nadia, Electra, Grandis, and Jean from ''Anime/NadiaTheSecretOfBlueWater'', respectively. Also, Asuka may be viewed as a partial expy of Jung Freud of ''{{Gunbuster}}'' fame.
** Additionally, the later Gainax productions ''Anime/{{FLCL}}'' and ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann'' seem to exist to represent how Shinji would have turned out if he was raised more successfully. Gainax staff have said that while creating the male protagonists for their recent major productions, they asked themselves how Shinji would have turned out if he had been brought up in different circumstances.
** The Evas themselves are loosely based on the God Warriors, giant radioactive cyborgs from Creator/HayaoMiyazaki's ''Manga/NausicaaOfTheValleyOfTheWind'', which Anno worked on during his brief stint as an animator for Creator/StudioGhibli.
* FanDisservice: Many instances, with Shinji [[spoiler:masturbating over a comatose Asuka]] and the more bizarre aspects of [[spoiler:the Rei/Lilith hybrid]] in ''End of Evangelion'' being two of the most extreme, as well as the [[spoiler:"naked Yui tempting Shinji" sequence]] in the manga.
* FanFiction: Attempts to [[FixFic fix the story]] through ''massive'' fan rewrites, or crossovers with everything from ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' to the [[Creator/HPLovecraft Cthulhu Mythos]] to ''Franchise/StarTrek'' have become so prevalent that they now deserve their own subgenre of the craft.
* {{Fanservice}}: Every character below the age of 31. The anime actually lampshaded this in the "next episode" previews, as Misato always promised "more fanservice!"
** Ironically, episodes that Misato promised would have fanservice, always seemed to have ''less'' than episodes where no such promise was made in the previews.
* FilkSong: Everything by Fight Star. Also "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p0j5XWnb8aE A Thousand Angels]]" and "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5I9XkHgveyg With Me Now]]" by Rachel Macwhirter.
* GagDub: ''EvangelionReDeath'', which is notable not only for becoming one of the first highly popular and [[MemeticMutation meme-spawning]] Gag Dubs in Western fandom, but for doing so years before the genesis of Website/{{Youtube}} and the AbridgedSeries phenomenon.
* {{Gainaxing}}: Especially Misato.
* GenderFlip: Several fans have theorized that the three leads are examples; noting [[http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y176/may_chan/TG%20Images/Evangelion/Evangelion_TG_Would_be_Better.jpg how few would speak ill of]] a sad little {{Moe}} Shinji, HotBlooded JerkAss Asuka, and TheStoic Rei were they the opposite genders. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9ZOf-3q2x4 This video]] shows a nice example of that idea.)
* GenreBusting: It's simultaneously a GiantRobot, RealRobot and mecha {{Deconstruction}}, a sci-fi thriller, a psychological drama, and a [[MindScrew trippy]] {{Postmodern|ism}}ist diatribe.
* GenreShift: The series moved from a shonen magazine (Shonen Ace) to a seinen magazine (Young Ace), more due to its infamous {{Schedule Slip}}s than for actual changes in the content.
* GeodesicCast:
** The casting for the show pretty much revolves around the PowerTrio, with a few characters even being part of more then one. In fact, the only two characters that ''don't'' fit into a trio are Pen-Pen, that Jet Alone guy, and the students' teacher...crap, that's three!
** A meta example also appears in the American dub of the series, as the voice actors for the BridgeBunnies and the voice actors for the pilots all got married after the production for the series was done. TiffanyGrant (Asuka) married Matt Greenfield (Hyuga), Creator/{{Amanda Winn|Lee}} (Rei) married Jason C Lee (Aoba), and Creator/SpikeSpencer (Shinji) married Kendra Benham (Maya).
* GratuitousEnglish: Frequently. Also, each child pilot is referred to as a "Children" in the Japanese soundtrack: Rei Ayanami is called the "First Children"; Asuka Langley Soryu is called the "Second Children"; Shinji Ikari is called the "Third Children"; and so on.
* GratuitousForeignLanguage: The title itself is gratuitous Greek which would translate into English as "New Beginning Gospel" or "Gospel of the New Genesis" which may be more appropriate [[spoiler:considering the way Shinji and Asuka are left at the end of ''End of Evangelion''...]]
* GratuitousGerman: ''Gehirn'' = brain, ''Nerv'' = nerve, ''Seele'' = soul. Also, Asuka's dub dialogue features the occasional German word or phrase, and she has an entire conversation in German on the phone in one episode. And her German is so bad, it does worse things to a German-speakers ears than Arael did to Asuka's mind.
** In the case of Asuka, the English dub was even more fond of this trope (with Asuka shouting ''"PERVERSER MENSCH!"'' ('perverted human') where the Japanese original had the much less cumbersome ''"ecchi!"'', just to name one of the many examples). However, it's safe to say that the English voice actresses for her had a somewhat better grasp of the language and got the pronounciation at least ''kinda'' right.
* HeavyMithril: Kinda. British rock band Fightstar are fans of the series and titled several songs from it. Their song "Lost Like Tears In Rain" even ends with the line "It's Neon Genesis".
* IfYouCanReadThis: The show's scripts are periodically used as dummy texts.
** On the other hand, in one episode freeze-framing the show during a particular scene will reveal a shockingly detailed account (written in SurprisinglyGoodEnglish, no less) of the official cover story for Third Impact.
** Misato, in ''End'', was reading what really happened at Third Impact. If a curious person decides to read it, they find that it's really a company biography detailing the history of Gainax with words like GEHIRN inserted in all caps here and there to make it look plot relevant to the casual observer.
* InvertedPortrait:
** At an early point in the opening credits, Asuka and Rei's [[BarbieDollAnatomy naked silhouettes]] pan over the screen in the background. Asuka is upside-down while Rei is upright.
** Rei's silhouette can be seen, reflected upside-down in water, spinning against the dark blue background of the ClosingCredits.
* KudzuPlot: Invoked by, and at the same time resulting in the MindScrew.
* LeaveTheCameraRunning: Appears frequently in the later episodes since the studio was getting increasingly short on money and time. This resulted in lots of still images, many scenes showing the characters from a great distance, and liberal use of StockFootage, presumably to save some coin for the scenes where the AnimationBump was needed (and it was well worth saving the money for those stunningly animated fight scenes.) Notable examples include:
** Misato watching the train Shinji has apparantly boarded leave the station.
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kKSa6BgoRCY&feature=related The elevator ride with Rei and Asuka]]. The Directors Cut version at least mixes it a little bit up. That is to say, Asuka moves briefly and only once. The same shot is reused in ''[[RebuildOfEvangelion Evangelion: 2.0]]'', but for a much shorter amount of time (making its inclusion a bit of a joke for fans).
** Misato being questioned by SEELE after Leliel's defeat: the longest still shot in the series at 80 seconds.
** Shinji holding Kaworu in Unit 01's hand for one full minute before he [[spoiler:crushes him]].
** Asuka curled up in Unit 02 at the bottom of the lake.
** [[spoiler:Misato and Shinji's LastKiss.]]
* LicensedGame: A number of games were created for ''Evangelion'', including ''Neon Genesis Evangelion 64'', a {{Nintendo 64}} adaptation of the anime and ''EndOfEvangelion''; ''Evangelion: Jo'', a PS2/PSP adaptation of the first ''RebuildOfEvangelion'' movie, anime, and ''[=EOE=]'': and ''Neon Genesis Evangelion: Battle Orchestra'', a PS2 PlatformFighter.
* LonelyPianoPiece
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l12TvP5nMVg "Rei I."]]
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zhlzvJYieEY "The Sorrow of Losing the Object of One's Dependence."]]
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2h8hXPRt_E "Opening of Dream,"]] as well as the other versions of it found on the ''S2 Works'' set.
* LostInTranslation: As a result of the varying translators and distributors, some nuances of the screenplay, particularly several instances of ArcWords and phrases, are lost or at least obscured by the English translations, especially in the dub. This is acknowledged in the DVD commentary of ''End of Evangelion''.
* LyricalColdOpen: "Zankoku na Tenshi no These."
* LyricalDissonance: "Komm, Süsser Tod", legendarily so. (It used to be right at the top of that trope's page.)
* MeaningfulName: Quite a few:
** "Shinji" ironically evokes the words for "truth" or "to believe" and can also mean "divine child." Shinji's name is even punned on in ''Rebuild 1.0''; Misato exhorts Gendo to "believe in his own son", invoking of course the word shinji.
** "Rei" can mean, among other things, "zero," "ghost" and "cold."
** "Yui" puns on the word "yui" meaning "the only one."
** "Gendo" is "limit" or "boundary."
** "Ikari" uses the character for "anchor" (part of the nautical theme), but with a different character would be "wrath" or "anger."
** "Nagisa" means "shore", but if you split the kanji in two you could read it as either "[[spoiler:messenger]]" or "[[spoiler:dead person]]."
** The Japanese word given to the Angels, "shito," actually means "apostle" and in the original draft they were named accordingly in English. The "shi" in it is the same as in "shisha" (messenger; the literal meaning of Greek angelos and the Aramaic term it served as the translation of) and "tenshi" (heavenly messenger, i.e. angel in the English sense). It also sounds very close to the Japanese word for "person" or "human being," "hito", maybe hinting at one of the deep secrets of the series.
** The Angels' appearances and attacks are based on their names: for example, Sandalphon, the angel of embryos, starts off as an embryo in a volcano; Arael is the angel of birds; Israfel, who's beaten with music, is the angel of music; [[spoiler:Kaworu aka Tabris]] is the angel of free will, and [[spoiler:chooses to die rather than kill humanity, i.e. kill Shinji]].
** "Evangelion" comes from "eüangélion", the Anglicanized version of the Greek word meaning "gospel" or "good news", which has led the series' title to sometimes be interpreted as "New Century Gospel" or "New Beginning Gospel".
** "Seele" is German for "soul"; "Nerv" for, well, "nerve"; and "Gehirn" for "brain".
* MediumBlending: The real-life photographs scattered throughout the series, particularly in the last two episodes, and an entire live-action sequence in ''The End of Evangelion''.
* MindScrew: This show is the codifier for this trope in anime, especially in ''End''. The fact that it also named GainaxEnding should definitely tell you something.
** The plot basically goes like this: some aliens attacking Earth, and they need to be destroyed. The show is constantly setting you up for a big reveal by hinting at the truth and constantly introducing new plot threads that come from the aliens. And then... nothing. The final episodes, which in any other show would have given you TheReveal, got rid of the "alien attack" element and let the "psychoanalytical drama" element completely take over.
* MoodWhiplash: Toji's just been nearly mortally wounded and is scarred for life? Cue cheery rendition of "Fly Me to the Moon".
** Episode 9 has the [[MonsterOfTheWeek Angel Of The Week]] turn out to be an AsteroidsMonster. One GilliganCut later and we're watching the after-action report, which shows... Units 01 and 02 both [[AmusingInjuries planted into the earth like vegetables, head first]], while Asuka berates Shinji, neither of them the worse for wear. When set against the Angels of previous episodes, all of whom seemed perfectly willing to kill the Evas, it's kind of jarring.
** Episode 26 has [[spoiler: after the first breakthrough in his [[EpiphanicPrison introspective mindscape]], Shinji experiences a reality that's played as a straight highschool ''romantic comedy.'' Contrasted against the MindScrew that is Shinji's [[BattleInTheCenterOfTheMind revelation sequence]], the scene is incredibly jarring.]]
* NoPronunciationGuide: In the English dub, "Eva" is pronounced like "ey-va" in the series, while in ''End Of Evangelion'' it's closer to "evva".
** Going by the Greek/Latin form of both "evangel" and "Eve", it should be pronounced "ey-va". Going by the Japanese, it's either or.
* OurAngelsAreDifferent: And how! Ironically, these are a lot closer to the actual, very trippy angel descriptions in Literature/TheBible, such as "beryl-coloured wheel within a wheel, each rim covered with eyes" and the like. [[spoiler:Of course, they're not ''really'' angels, though. They're aliens. But they weren't meant to be.]]
* {{Postmodernism}}: Oodles of it, especially in TheMovie. The show is so postmodern the leaders of the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superflat superflat]] movement claim it as one of its precursors. Now that's some homage...
* POVSequel: ''The End of Evangelion'' is generally considered to show the the series' ending in a relatively objective light, whereas the last two episodes of the series show Shinji's personal experience.
* ProductPlacement: Asuka plays a Sega Saturn in episode 22. Also, Yebisu/Yebichu beer. The manga has UCC Coffee and Coca-Cola vending machines, and also an iPod in recent chapters.
* PsychoStrings: Unit 00's {{leitmotif}} and its derivative, "The Beast." ''End'' also has the track "The End of Midsummer."
* PublicDomainSoundtrack: The series uses various pieces of classical music for half or more of its soundtrack. The frequency of classical music appearing goes up as things get worse. Also when they started to run out of money.
* TheRenaissanceAgeOfAnimation: Released around the same time as ''Anime/SailorMoon'' and ''Anime/DragonBallZ's'' dubs to start the North American Anime craze of the mid-late 90s.
* RousseauWasRight: Hidden so carefully under a thick veil of cynicism that you'd be forgiven for missing it entirely. But at the end of the day, all of the characters -- [[spoiler:even Gendo and SEELE]] -- want nothing more than to be loved and accepted, and their actions, however twisted, all stem from their fear and misunderstanding of themselves and others. See the SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism entry for more details.
* SameContentDifferentRating: The Evangelion manga moving from ''Shonen Ace'' to ''Young Ace'', thus cementing its {{Seinen}} demography since 2009. The actual reason for moving was Sadamoto's infamous {{Schedule Slip}}s and the fact that ''Young Ace'''s editorial puts less pressure on their manga-ka because the magazine is less mainstream than ''Shonen Ace'' but still is just as popular. With that said, the actual contents in the series did not change at all to justify its newfound mature demography. If it wasn't for Sadamoto's tight schedule ''Kadokawa Shoten'' surely would have transfered ''Evangelion'' to just another {{Shonen|Demographic}} magazine.
* SceneryGorn: ''The End of Evangelion'' is unprecedentedly, ''lovingly'' meticulous in its depictions of violence and destruction on a massive scale.
* SceneryPorn: Especially notable whenever Shinji runs away.
* SelfDeprecation: Hideaki Anno said a few horrible things about Evangelion.
--> '''Anno''': "I don't know why everyone loves this show so much, the characters are so sick!"
--> '''Anno (to a man who spent all his money for textbooks on''' '''''Evangelion''''' '''merchandise)''': "You're an idiot. Study harder."
--> '''Anno''': "This show really is interesting, isn't it? I never realized how interesting it was."
* ShadowArchetype: A good example is Gendo-Shinji: Gendo gives a pretty good idea of an embittered, corrupt and still antisocial adult Shinji. The Evangelions are also pretty good shadows for [[spoiler:the pilots' mothers]] and possibly the pilots themselves. The Angels may also represent [[spoiler:humankind's basest instincts]].
* ShipTease: Shinji/Asuka. Shinji/Misato. Shinji/Kaworu. Shinji/Rei. Kaji/Ritsuko. Gendo/Ritsuko. Maya/Ritsuko. Toji/Hikari. Plenty of others.
* ShoutOut: [[ShoutOut/NeonGenesisEvangelion See here]].
* SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism: Falls on both the idealist end ''and'' the cynical end simultaneously, via {{Ambiguous Situation}}s and playing [[spoiler:[[ApocalypseHow planetary extinction]]]] ''and'' [[spoiler:MeaninglessVillainVictory]] completely straight, simultaneously.
* {{Soaperizing}}: ...to the point where the last 2 episodes abandon the rest of the plot.
* SoundtrackDissonance: ''Evangelion'' '''loves''' this trope. Examples include:
** At the beginning of [[spoiler:Asuka]]'s MindRape, the freaking ''Hallelujah Chorus'' starts playing while we see them go through a traumatic FreakOut.
** The battle with the Seventeenth Angel in Episode 24, accompanied by a rousing rendition of Beethoven's "OdeToJoy".
** The ending credits of ''Death'', a visage of an apocalyptic landscape with an overwhelming sense of foreboding, set to Pachelbel's "Canon in D".
** The brutal fight with the Mass Production Evas and confrontation between [[spoiler:Ritsuko and Gendo]] in ''The End of Evangelion'', set to the soothing strains of Bach's "Air on the G String".
** And of course, Instrumentality itself, [[spoiler:mind-melting psychological trauma of epic proportions]], accompanied by "Komm, süsser Tod", an original composition featuring upbeat, jazzy soft rock with [[LyricalDissonance lyrics about suicide]].
** In an ironic twist, "Komm, süsser Tod" ends up being used in an entirely different soundtrack dissonance moment in ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsAlpha 3''. In sharp contrast to the nihilistic lyrics, an instrumental version of the song is played during the upbeat ending for the ''Evangelion'' campaign, which sees the events of the film averted and most of the cast [[SparedByTheAdaptation alive and happily reunited]].
** This series exemplifies this trope so much that examples alone could fill an entire page.
* SpellMyNameWithAnS:
** Somewhat justified with Ka(w)oru. The Japanese spelling would correctly be transcribed Kaworu, but the "w," depending on speaker, can become near silent to totally none existent. More generally, the "o" particle in the language is in fact "wo," but with the same issue, typically being transcribed without the "w" in romaji.
*** The synch tests a few minutes into episode 24 show that the official romanization of his name is "Kaworu." This also shows up on [[spoiler:the Mass-Produced Evas' dummy plugs]].
** Asuka's last name as well. Is it Soryu, or perhaps Souryu or Sohryu?
* SpoilerOpening: Played straight and subverted. The opening is loaded with information from all over the series, including prominent shots of all major characters and Evas, thus spoiling their introduction up until nearly a third of the way through the series. On the other hand, the opening also contains {{Foreshadowing}} of events right up to TheMovie that viewers will not appreciate as such except in retrospect.
* SquatsInAName: The Angels' names and some terminology may be biblical, but the series itself has nothing to do with Christianity.
* StealthPun: When Sachiel shanks Unit-01 through the eye in the second episode, it went berserk and jumped several city blocks at the Angel. Well, what do you expect from a one-eyed, one-horned flying purple people eater?
* StockFootage:
** Note how much time the characters spend on elevators and escalators in most episodes; also, Eva launch sequences. The end of the [[spoiler:Unit 01 vs. Kaworu]] scene was also the longest still shot in anime history back then and might still be (but the end of the "Ode to Joy" sounded ''good''!). Let's also not forget the original episodes 25 and 26, which consist almost entirely of reused footage, as the studio had run out of budget by that point.
** The same clip of Shinji eating breakfast is reused several times, as is a clip of Misato drinking beer.
** And one scene of a forest being destroyed was actually recycled from [[NadiaTheSecretOfBlueWater Nadia]].
** The clip of Shinji waking up with a start in the hospital is used numerous times.
* VideoGame/SuperRobotWars:
** Has appeared in ''[[VideoGame/SuperRobotWars4 F, FF]], [[VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsAlpha Alpha]], Alpha 3, [[VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsMX MX]]'', and ''[[VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsL L]]''.
** Best known for Shinji getting [[Anime/MobileSuitGundam Bright]] [[GetAHoldOfYourselfMan Slapped]]. Also has such things as Sachiel versus [[GiantRobo Alberto the Shockwave]][[labelnote:*]]HowUnscientific![[/labelnote]], Eva-01's [[KatanasAreJustBetter Magorok E Sword]] and [[MechaExpansionPack F-Type Equipment]], and Shinji actually Bright Slapping [[Anime/MobileSuitGundamSEED Kira Yamato]].
* SurprisinglyGoodEnglish:
** The American pilots who fly Unit 03 to Japan and NERV employees heard during its activation test speak perfect, unaccented English accompanied by Japanese subtitles. This is because Gainax actually had an American in-house translator, Michael House, working for them at the time of the show's production, and used him to voice the roles, [[http://www.evamonkey.com/platinum-booklets/episode-commentaries-14-20.php along with two of his friends.]]
** Several vocal pieces in ''The End of Evangelion'' soundtrack, namely "Thanatos ~ If I Can't Be Yours", "Escape to the Beginning", "Komm, Susser Tod", and the unused "Everything You've Ever Dreamed" are performed in English, by British and American singers, with natural-sounding lyrics. ''Rebuild'' does this for numerous tracks, as well.
** Averted, however, in the case of German. Asuka, who is German by birth, sounds even to a native English speaker distinctly ''not'' German when speaking in that language. This in itself is a bit of a meta-inversion of [[SurprisinglyGoodEnglish the trope in question]]: native English speakers tend to be, for obvious historical reasons, much more familiar with German phonetics than native Japanese speakers, making it more obvious to English viewers when a speaker is failing to approximate fluent German speech, whether or not the English viewer could themself fluently speak any dialect or extraction[[hottip:*:such as, uh, English]] of German.[[note]]Think about how recognisably obvious it is for a series or film to contain [[PoirotSpeak bad fake German]], even if it was produced by English speakers who presumably could tell the difference but didn't care. Ditto here, [[GratuitousGerman it's even got its own trope]]![[/note]]
* [[SurprisinglyGoodForeignLanguage Surprisingly Good German]]: While the Japanese voice actress for Asuka struggled with German, her [[TiffanyGrant English dub VA]] nails it.
* [[SuspiciouslyAproposMusic Suspiciously Apropos Media]]: Sometimes the characters will be watching a movie or TV show, or listening to the radio, or, hell, really any indirect dialogue, and what is being said always relates to [[DysfunctionJunction their mindsets]], their situations, [[AWorldHalfFull their world at large]], or [[ContemplateOurNavels philosophic inquiries]] that appear later in the series.
** For example in episode 4, ''The Hedgehog's Dilemma'', after Shinj slips out of his TenMinuteRetirement he and Misato stare at each other at the train station right after his train leaves. The woman at the intercom then says:
--->'''Woman''': If you are accompanied by small children, please keep them close.
* ThemeMusicPowerUp: Whenever "The Beast II" plays, something's going to die.
* ThemeNaming:
** Most characters' family names are those of Japanese ships that were sunk during WorldWarII. Additionally, Asuka's second family name, "Langley" complements this scheme too: ''Langley'' was an American ship sunk in World War II. Similarly her mother's second family name ''Zeppelin'' in this case references a German aircraft carrier that wasn't completed (just like Kyouko's mind was left fractured).\\
Maya Ibuki is both an example of the theme and an exception -- while the HIJMS ''Maya'' was sunk at Leyte Gulf, the ''Ibuki'' would have led the Imperial Japanese Navy's "next generation" cruiser class, but the keel was never laid and the class was canceled.
** The few important human characters that don't fall into this category are named after ship parts, and Nagisa (shore) is close as well.
** Hikari and her two sisters Kodama and Nozomi are named after Shinkansen lines.
* ThereAreNoTherapists: The world would fare better with them.
** Using TheOtherWiki as source, one could easily diagnose:
*** Shinji with [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avoidant_personality_disorder#Symptoms avoidant personality disorder]].
*** Asuka with [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Histrionic_personality_disorder#Characteristics histrionic personality disorder]]. Something of a case of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narcissistic_personality_disorder#History narcissistic personality disorder]], save that it stems from self-loathing rather than true self-love. Not to mention her obvious [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pediophobia pediophobia]].
*** Rei with [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schizoid_personality_disorder schizoid personality disorder]].
*** Gendo, as shown in [[WholeEpisodeFlashback Episode 21]] might also be a case of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antisocial_personality_disorder#Symptoms ASPD]].
*** And Misato could be a potential sufferer of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Borderline_personality_disorder#Signs_and_symptoms borderline personality disorder]]. Specifically, "borderline" type.
*** It should also go without saying that all of the above and a few others have [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Posttraumatic_stress_disorder post-traumatic stress disorder]].
* ThisLoserIsYou:
** Shinji gets this treatment a few times. It's been theorized that Shinji, and even the whole show, were meant as {{Take That}}s against otakus. What makes it funnier is that Shinji might be an AuthorAvatar of Anno himself, so he'd be including himself as a target with that giant middle finger.
*** Funnier, or possibly sadder, since Anno genuinely doesn't have a very high opinion of himself.
*** Sadamoto confirms in the manga's BonusMaterial that Shinji is based on Anno.
** Kensuke also falls under this, to an extent. He's essentially a pathetic otaku who wants nothing more than to pilot an eva, which he never does.
* TitleScream: The eyecatches originally had this during the show's development. These versions can be heard on the ''[[NoExportForYou S2 Works]]'' CD soundtrack set, where they are marked "F-0" and "F-1."
* TrainingMontage: Shinji and Asuka training for the second battle with the Seventh Angel.
* TropeOverdosed: Need we say more?
* {{Troperiffic}}: Deconstructing them, playing them straight, codifying them, and subverting them among other things. Just look at the length of these pages.
* UnbuiltTrope: Many examples (leading to its SeinfeldIsUnfunny status among some modern viewers).
** The most obvious is Rei, who would appear to be a brilliant {{Deconstruction}} of the EmotionlessGirl archetype if not for the fact that she more or less created it.
** Many tropes that Eva deconstructs have actually been deconstructed in older SuperRobotGenre shows, notably the ones that come from the 1970's; in fact the stream of LighterAndSofter shows that defines the SuperRobotGenre as a whole isn't so apparent in the 1970's era of Super Robots.
* UnfamiliarCeiling: Played with. Shinji is peeved because the NERV sickbay's ceiling is becoming too familiar to him.
* UnitedNationsIsASuperPower: It having undergone heavy reforms following the Second Impact and the Valentine Treaty of February 2001. To illustrate, ''all'' of the world's national militaries are explicitly under direct control of the UN - and are effectively ''subordinate'' to [[GovernmentAgencyOfFiction UN Special Agency]] [[NGOSuperpower NERV]].
* UnroboticReveal: Twice, first with the Evas and then with the dummy plugs.
%%* VideoPhone
* VocalEvolution: The voice actors' performances become more nuanced and multidimensional as the series does. This is more obvious in the English version, but it is true for the Japanese original as well.
* TheWalrusWasPaul: A possible interpretation.
* WeirdnessMagnet: Primarily Shinji, as the plot mainly revolves around the MindScrew that happens to him (and let's face it, how often do ''you'' accidentally fall on a naked blue-haired [[spoiler:clone of your dead mother]]?); Misato, due to her wacky angel-beating schemes and [[HilarityEnsues zany alcohol problem]]; Gendo has psychosis-induced plot-distorting abilities and lacks a sense of ridicule, especially in the manga and (on 'shrooms!) in ''Shinji Ikari Instrumentality Project''; the rest of the cast, to various degrees.
* WhamEpisode:
%%** Episodes 18 to 24, each to varying degrees.
** To a lesser degree, Episode 14. Even though half of it is a clip show and nothing particularly dramatic happens, it's the point at which the show begins to switch tracks from a by-the-numbers mecha show to a bizarre MindScrew with existentialist undertones. Notably, this is the first episode with a mind trip sequence, as well as hints about the connection between the pilots and their [=EVAs=] and the first appearance of the [[PlotCoupon Lance of Longinus]].
* WithFriendsLikeThese: By around episode 8-10 the [=DVDs=] [[LampshadeHanging brought this up]]. When your best friend is a DeathSeeker you know you have this.
* WriterOnBoard: ''End of Evangelion'' apparently subverts this; [[WordOfGod Anno]] has made several statements (supported by [[{{Foreshadowing}} hints in the TV series]]) to the effect that it was the planned ending, but there are still fans who say otherwise. A lot of people believe that the hospital scene is nothing but this.
* YouGottaHaveBlueHair: Misato and Kaji (dark purple and sorta greenish respectively); both can be argued to be stylized blacks. Rei and Kaworu are subversions; her blue hair and his gray hair are side effects of [[spoiler:her being partly cloned from Lilith and him being the 17th Angel]].
* YourSizeMayVary: The Evas are exactly as tall as they need to be to look cool/imposing/sinister in whatever shot they're in.