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A cult anime series about three wars fought by Earth with alien technology, against alien enemies, over control of a powerful energy source. Initially a major success, its relatively adult story content is credited with introducing Western audiences to the sophisticated dramatic potential that Japanese animation had to offer (or even the animation medium as a whole).

This in turn led to a major rise in popularity of anime that was oriented towards the original Japanese productions unedited by American producers--somewhat ironic, because ''Robotech'' is actually a CutAndPasteTranslation of three different anime series, edited together by Carl Macek of Harmony Gold, who wanted to bring the Japanese anime ''Anime/SuperDimensionFortressMacross'' to western television, but was unable to since it did not possess the [[SixtyFiveEpisodeCartoon sixty-five episodes]] needed for a syndication deal. Macek's solution was to tie ''Macross'' to two other unrelated series with [[FollowTheLeader similar elements and art styles]], ''Anime/SuperDimensionCavalrySouthernCross'' and ''Anime/GenesisClimberMospeada'', and to turn the whole thing into a multi-generational saga, using ''Macross'''s Protoculture--now retrofitted to be the fuel source behind the various technology used by the different races--as the uniting factor between each series.

The series was thus divided into three sagas, each based on its respective parent show and portraying a particular generation of characters. They are:

* '''"The Macross Saga" (36-episode ''[[Anime/SuperDimensionFortressMacross Macross]]'' arc)''', the story of pilot Rick Hunter and the crew of the SDF-1 battle fortress. Of the three sub-series, this one has the most in common with the original anime: aside from the names, the biggest changes were made mostly to help fit all three series together, such as the relationship between the Zentraedi and the Robotech Masters. This mostly comes in the form of backstory dialogue, though a few episodes late in the series have some Southern Cross footage of the Masters spliced in.
* '''"The Robotech Masters" (23-episode ''[[Anime/SuperDimensionCavalrySouthernCross Southern Cross]]'' arc)''' had probably the biggest number of changes (starting with moving the setting from the faraway planet Glorie down to Earth, and ending with, well, the ending, which became a BittersweetEnding due to the series coming up next). It features Dana Sterling, the (first) daughter of Max and Miriya Sterling from Macross. Having been left on Earth in the care of General Rolf Emerson, she has joined the Army of the Southern Cross, and unlike her high-flying parents, pounds the ground in a Veritech Hovertank. Naturally, she ends up on the front lines when the Robotech Masters, the men behind the Zentraedi, invade the earth searching for the [[AppliedPhlebotinum Protoculture]] Matrix hidden in the wreckage of the SDF-1 ''Macross''.
* '''"The New Generation" (25-episode ''[[Anime/GenesisClimberMospeada Mospeada]]'' arc)''', concerns the Invid, enemies of the Masters and the Zentraedi, who conquer the Earth after it is accidentally seeded [[spoiler:or rather intentionally seeded according to the Shapings' design if you buy into the book version]] with the Invid Flower of Life, the source of Protoculture, after the conclusion of the war against the Robotech Masters. Earth forces that left the planet between the first and second generations return to save their homeworld, including Scott Bernard, who quickly finds himself [[EverybodysDeadDave the only survivor]] of the first counter-invasion, and finds himself gathering a RagTagBunchOfMisfits on his way across the ScavengerWorld the Earth has degenerated to in order to reach the Invid home hive of Reflex Point.

In addition to redubbed anime, several comics, novels, and games have attempted to tell the story, with varying levels of success, within and between the Robotech "generations". One of the most ambitious was ''The Sentinels'', which chronicled the story of the ''Macross'' heroes as they go into space towards the Robotech Masters' homeworld in an attempt to stop any further wars. Naturally, they miss them, only to find the planet besieged by the second faction of the Invid, and meet a collection of alien races fighting to free themselves from Invid domination. Although the animated series fell apart after a few episodes were created, the story continued in comic, novel, and RPG form, each offering similar [[AlternativeContinuity variant takes on the story]]. Another stillborn project was ''Robotech: The Movie'' (a.k.a. ''Robotech: The Untold Story''), which spliced footage from the show with scenes from the anime ''Anime/{{Megazone 23}}'' in order to create a story set between the "Macross" and "Robotech Masters" sagas. Unlike ''The Sentinels'', this project was completed, but its tepid reception during test airings (resulting from audiences believing that the film was appropriate for kids) caused Harmony Gold to shelf it, and it has never had a wide release inside the states, though it was released in Latin America. The fact that the rights that Harmony Gold/Cannon Pictures had for ''Megazone 23'' expired is another reason the film will never see the light of day (a heavily edited version is included as a bonus feature on various ''Robotech'' [=DVDs=]).

One of the stranger aspects of all of this was how Harmony Gold was able to gain the US trademark for ''Anime/{{Macross}}'' simply by defending the rights to ''Robotech''. At the time, Japan and the US did not have reciprocity for copyrights, and Bandai/Big West (the owners of ''Macross'') had sublicensed the international distribution rights to Creator/TatsunokoProduction, who licensed all aspects of ''Macross'' except the Japanese model kits to Harmony Gold. Bandai also licensed several mecha designs to FASA for use in ''TabletopGame/BattleTech'', and they were incorporated and used in the miniatures game. FASA had sued Creator/PlaymatesToys over alleged copyright infringement for a design in their ''WesternAnimation/ExoSquad/Robotech'' crossover line that resembled a "Mad Cat". Harmony Gold countersued FASA for the longstanding use of ''Macross'' IP in ''TabletopGame/BattleTech'', citing their license from Tatsunoko. The suit was settled out of court, and the settlement was sealed so the settlement terms are not known. However, the suit forced FASA to voluntarily remove the offending designs (now known as "[[FanNickname The Unseen]]") out of fear of renewed legal hassles. Big West subsequently successfully sued Tatsunoko, as ''their'' license to ''Macross'' was originally only to cover the original animation content of Macross, and ''not'' any derivative content based thereon.


[[folder: The end result of the convoluted legal snarl: ]]

* Harmony Gold can continue to release the original ''Robotech'' stories, and can also release the original ''Macross'' in the US, but cannot create derivative works based on it for film or TV. However, they can still create merchandise featuring the characters, including books, games and comics.
* However, they ''can'' create derivative content based on ''Mospeada'' and ''Southern Cross'', which are both wholly owned by Tatsunoko in the first place. Consequently Harmony Gold's more recent sequels, most notably the original feature-length film ''WesternAnimation/RobotechTheShadowChronicles'', are all set in or after the part of the Robotech timeline drawn from ''Mospeada''. References to the characters or events from the ''Macross'' or ''Masters'' seasons are [[WritingAroundTrademarks subtle at best]].
* In addition, they effectively have veto rights for the imports and English translation of ''Macross'' merchandise and series that are not covered by the original license. Consequently, all ''Macross'' productions with the exception of the original series, ''Anime/MacrossPlus'' and ''Anime/MacrossII: Lovers Again'' [[note]]the latter two were "snuck in" by LA Hero under Harmony Gold's radar at a time when their TV production and licensing divisions were badly savaged by a "headhunting" raid by Haim Saban. By the time HG could have contested it, it was too late.[[/note]] are blocked from being sold or translated in North America. Under Harmony Gold's unchallenged interpretation, Creator/ShojiKawamori cannot make or distribute his own drawings and designs within North America. This has not made them popular.
* In recent years, the terms of said legal proceedings were partially unsealed as part of a legal case between Creator/TatsunokoProduction and Harmony Gold, and '''Harmony Gold''' was found to be partially or fully in breach of the terms of their original contract, and were forced to relinquish all rights by 2021 as part of a new settlement. This has also affected a follow-up case, where Harmony Gold were finally taken to court over the terms of the original FASA settlement, due to the fact Harmony Gold were found to have never owned The Unseen in the first place, because they were never covered as part of the original arrangement!

A ''Robotech'' edition of the ''Mospeada'' [[Main/OriginalVideoAnimation OAV]] ''Love, Live, Alive'' was released in 2013 as a sequel, of sorts, to ''The Shadow Chronicles''.

A couple of licensed VideoGames were also created around the TurnOfTheMillennium: ''Videogame/RobotechBattlecry'' and ''Robotech: Invasion''.

This show is also where a lot of now-popular anime voice actors got their starts, including Creator/WendeeLee, Creator/RichardEpcar, Creator/TonyOliver, Creator/BarbaraGoodson, and Creator/CamClarke.

The film rights were originally purchased by Creator/WarnerBros, but now Creator/SonyPictures have acquired the rights and plan to move forward with a Robotech franchise, and have announced that the first film will be directed by Andy Muschietti.
!!This show provides examples of:

* SixtyFiveEpisodeCartoon: At 85 episodes (36 from ''Macross'', 23 from ''Southern Cross'', 25 from ''Mospeada'', plus an extra clip episode cobbled together to help bridge the narrative gap between the first two sagas) ''Robotech'' well exceeds this trope. (Otherwise, it would have stopped five episodes into ''The New Generation''!) But of course the reason ''Robotech'' exists in the format that it does is because the producers had this trope in mind.
* TheAce: Max Sterling in the ''Macross'' phase -- a subversion in that he is a secondary character yet indisputably the best pilot, and a nice guy to boot whom everyone likes. Roy Fokker, Rick Hunter, Dana Sterling, and Scott Bernard all qualify to a lesser extent as the main characters.
* ActionGirl: Quite a few - Miriya Parina-Sterling (Macross Saga) and her daughter Dana Sterling (Masters Saga), also Marie Crystal and Nova Satori (also from Masters Saga) and finally Rook Bartley (New Generation) and Dana's sister Maia Sterling (Shadow Chronicles).
* AdaptationExpansion: The novel adaptation by Jack Mckinney has quite a bit, including a prolouge featuring an attack on a Robotech Master outpost by the Invid, and explaining that the Super Dimension Fortress derives its name from the fact that [[YearInsideHourOutside time inside moves 1/24th the speed of time outside]]. It also gives Veritech fighters an UnusualUserInterface of a psionic pickup in the helmet, requiring Battloid mode to be partially commanded by thought.
* AdaptationInducedPlotHole: Several exist as a result of adapting the source material into a single continuity. It is, however, noteworthy that this generally comes up only in the later two parts of the show. The ''Macross'' section is actually a very faithful adaptation, right up until the very end; it's only when they tried bolting things on to ''Macross'' that the problems began to pile up. The novelizations tried to answer these, with varying degrees of success. Examples:
** The first and most obvious one being the "mystery of the invisible SDF-2". The reason? [[spoiler: In the Masters section there's 3 mounds which in ''Robotech'' are supposed to represent the ruins of the SDF-1 and Khyron's ship that crashed into it, inside which is found the Flower of Life which is supposed to be the source of Protoculture. Basically they had to make up the SDF-2 to account for the third mound, and had it that Lisa Hayes was to be its commander. No such ship appears in the original ''Macross'' (yet. An SDF-2 (the ''Megaroad'') would come up later), so we don't see it in the Macross Saga footage.]]
** Why does Dana Sterling have green hair as a baby but is a blonde by the time she grows up (dye job? recessive gene from her dad's side of the family? Or because she was originally two different characters?)
** Why, when they come across Zor Prime, do they act surprised when they analyze him and find out he's human? (Never mind shoehorning in "and not just a micronized Zentraedi" so as to point out their alleged familiarity with HumanAliens--surely the races are so similar as to be practically the same species, as they can interbreed?) Maybe the fact that the original ''Southern Cross'' character, actually was a (brainwashed) human, Seifriet Weisse.
** Why cities such as UsefulNotes/NewYorkCity (complete with famous RealLife theatre) exist in ''The New Generation'' series when [[spoiler: the Earth got nuked by the Zentraedi and they barely managed to rebuild before being invaded again by both the Masters and then the Invid? (Maybe because there were no Zentraedi, or Masters, in ''Mospeada'').]]
* {{Adorkable}}: Max Sterling.
* AfterTheEnd: Earth is devastated no fewer than three times in the series.
* TheAgeless:
** The Zentraedi apparently have biological immortality due to a protoculture-based genetic engineering, despite having a life expectancy lower than humans due to being a ProudWarriorRace and MartyrdomCulture.
** Subverted with the Robotech Elders who are said to be the original inhabitant of the planet Tirol as they looked ancient.
* AllJustADream: A nightmare by Rick Hunter in the original series spans the whole episode where he is hospitalized, focusing on if he should continue to love Minmei. Rand and Ariel also have one in ''New Generation''.
* AlternativeForeignThemeSong: In France the opening theme composed by Ulpio Minucci was replaced with a song by Bernard Minet.
* AmazonianBeauty: Bela and Gnea, members of a {{Proud Warrior Race}} from a LadyLand planet, as seen in ''The Sentinels''.
* AncientAstronauts: Wildstorm's version of Minmei's [[ShowWithinAShow big film]], ''Little White Dragon'', made it explicit that the giants were actual Zentraedi stranded on Earth. The posters claim it was [[VeryLooselyBasedOnATrueStory 'based on a true story']] -- and the stinger has Dolza telling Breetai about [[RealAfterAll a lost recon vessel that sent a distress signal from Earth about a thousand years ago...]]
* AnimationBump: The sections of the Sentinels movie set on Tyrol are better drawn and rendered than the sections on or around Earth. This is because they are the earliest footage, from back when the Japanese animation team was allowed creative control over the story. Creator/CarlMacek believed that the lead director was intending to repurpose the footage as an independent series (the original story centered on Rem, Jack and Karen) for release in Japan. Macek started by having extremely detailed scripts for every episode written by himself or Ardwright Chamberlin, neither of whom had any experience writing or directing original animation. The lackluster scripts, in addition to a pissed-off animation crew, lead to the subpar animation that followed.
* AnguishedDeclarationOfLove: Lisa gives one to Rick right before Khyron's attack on the SDF-1 at the end of the first series.
* AnyoneCanDie: The ''Macross'' series had a surprisingly high body count among its main cast, which shocked western audiences during its heyday. [[SacrificialLion The first among them]] was [[spoiler: [[ColonelBadass Roy Fokker]]]], who was followed by [[spoiler: Ben Dixon]] only two episodes later. Countless billions were also killed when the Zentraedi [[OrbitalBombardment bombard Earth's surface]], annihilating over 2/3 of its populace. Several scenes are shown of people on the ground as they get vaporized, including a soldier [[spoiler: asking a young girl how old she is. After she replies "two", he grabs her as they both vanish into white.]] And, in the final episode, [[spoiler: Captain Gloval and the entire bridge crew of the SDF-1[[note]]minus Lisa, who'd been shoved into the bridge's lone escape pod[[/note]] die when Khyron and Azonia [[TakingYouWithMe steer their damaged ship directly into bridge]]]].
* ApocalypseHow: Each series ends with one of these. Original Series faces a Class 1, Southern Cross' war is a Class 0, and the Invid Invasion is another Class 1.
* AppliedPhlebotinum: Robotechnology and Protoculture in particular.
* TheArtifact: Just ''why'' is the ship called the "Super Dimension Fortress" anyways?
* AscendedExtra: Several unnamed, minor, or background characters not only receive names but also extended character development. Especially in the novels and comics.
** The nameless Chief Engineer of the ''Macross'' with the weird eyes who appeared twice became Dr. Emil Lang, [[TheProfessor Earth's Chief "Robotechnician"]] since being TouchedByVorlons during the initial exploration of the SDF-1.
** Dr. Lazlo Zand is introduced in the novels as a character but is based on a one-time appearing character who had eyes similar to Lang's. The eyes are just an artistic quirk of Haruhiko Mikimoto although Robotech decided to create an in-story reason for them. This nameless character was present during a conference scene and had only two lines. (The ''Southern Cross'' novelizations invented a subplot from whole cloth where he tried to exploit Dana Sterling's heritage to achieve [[AGodAmI Protoculture godhood]].)
** Gunther Reinhardt was the lavender haired commander of the returning expedition. He is seen again in ''WesternAnimation/RobotechTheShadowChronicles''.
* ATeamFiring: At least in ''The New Generation'', where Scott's Team seems completely incapable of landing a rifle hit on the [[HumongousMecha giant crab mechs]] the Invid like to terrorize the world in.
* AttackOfThe50FootWhatever: Zentraedi.
* AttemptedRape: In "The Movie": Becky is assaulted by an unscrupolous dance director, but her boyfriend Mark, who was spying on her fearing she'd be attacked by Andrews' goons ''and'' didn't trust the director, sees what's happening and barges in ''wearing PoweredArmour''. Luckily for the director ([[BringMyBrownPants who looks like he soiled himself]]), Mark shows ''extreme'' self control and limits himself to a threat and taking Becky away.
* AuthorityEqualsAsskicking: Zentraedi officers are stronger, larger and usually more skilled than their subordinates. A common Zentraedi soldier dealing with a VF-1 in hand to hand is easily defeated, but a Zentraedi officer like Khyron is a match for the usual pilot as long as he wears body armour, and Breetai once fought off Rick, Ben and ''Max'', demolishing the mechas of the first two, wearing his normal non-armoured uniform and armed with a Zentraedi-sized ''metal pipe'', and [[NighInvulnerable shrugged off Rick's fighter exploding on his face]].
* BatmanCanBreatheInSpace:
** Rick Hunter, while stranded with Minmei during ''The Long Wait'', used an unpressurized flight suit and scarf to try holding his breath for a quick space walk. Additionally, the tuna didn't suffer from any freezer burn.
** Breetai at one point in the '''Macross Saga''' survives being blown out of his ship by clinging onto assorted spiked protrusions and climbing over the hull until he finds a door leading back in, despite lacking any sort of protection. That said, the Zentraedi were engineered to be workers on hostile environments, so a certain level of protection against the vacuum is warranted.
* TheBattlestar: The SDF-1.
* BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor:
** Rick Hunter spends much of '''Macross Saga''' being obsessed with Minmei, so much so that he forgets his initial CharacterDevelopment during the initial ''Reconstruction Blues'' era episodes, and he is so blinded by this obsession that more often than not he can't see that his boss, Lisa Hayes, has become increasingly infatuated with him during their adventures together. Towards the end of these '''Macross Saga''' episodes Rick finally does get to be with Minmei, only to find that he can't relate to her anymore, as she really can't understand what he's been through and how his experiences have changed him, and it finally occurs to him that he should be with Lisa.
** Minmei herself experiences this - she wanted to be a pop star more than anything, only to find it lonely at the top.
** The Zentradie also experience this after hearing and experiencing human culture and decide to defect from their masters to the human race. Two years later many of them have grown unsatisfied living among humans, trying to work normal jobs, unable to function properly without regular combat to keep them focused and motivated, leading to acts of violence and defection. Khyron and his team eventually pick up on this unhappy "warrior without a war" mindset and use it to their advantage.
* BelligerentSexualTension: A number of the series couples have this or start out as this, the most prominent example being Rick Hunter and Lisa Hayes (Macross Saga), but also shown in Marie Crystal and Sean Phillips (The Masters) and finally Rand and Rook (The New Generation).
* {{BFG}}: The Veritech's cannons, the SDF-1's reflex cannon, and the Grand Cannon.
* BigBrotherInstinct: Roy Fokker serves as a surrogate big brother for Rick Hunter in ''Marcross Saga'' while Scott Bernard serves as a big brother to Rand in ''New Generation''. Both also serve as BigBrotherMentor to the younger heroes.
* BigDamnHeroes: Many notable occurrences happen, such as when Rick rescues Minmei and Lisa (multiple times actually), or when the SDF/Zentraedi barely defeat Dolza's armada.
* TheBigGuy: Breetai for the Zentradie, Ben Dixon for Macross Saga, Sgt. Angelo Dante for the Southern Cross/the Masters, and Lunk for the New Generation
* BigGuyFatalitySyndrome: In ''The Sentinels'', [[spoiler: Breetai]] activates a SelfDestructMechanism to [[TakingYouWithMe take down]] [[spoiler: the Invid Regent]].
* BigThinShortTrio: Bron, Konda, and Rico, respectively
* {{Bishonen}}: Max, Kyle, Konda, Bowie, Zor Prime, Rem, ''several'' Tirolian clones, Lancer ...basically, a lot.
* BittersweetEnding: Several examples from each series.
** In Macross, while Earth was still recovering, both the SDF-1 and the SDF-2 get destroyed in Khyron's suicide attack (which he turned into one after getting too severely damaged to escape into space), and most of the main bridge crew aside from Lisa get killed.
** Then in the Robotech Masters, Zor Prime attempted to destroy the Protoculture factory in the SDF-1, but accidentally released the spores instead, which then causes the Invid to invade Earth. Since Earth's defenses were already really exhausted from all the fighting with the Robotech Masters, they weren't able to put up much a fight against the Invid.
** Then in the New Generation, while the humans are able to persuade the Invid Regis to leave Earth relatively intact (and she even destroys the neutron bombs the Expeditionary Fleet launched in a [[SaltTheEarth Scorched Earth]] attempt), Scott decides to leave Ariel alone while he tries to find Admiral Hunter (although WesternAnimation/RobotechTheShadowChronicles shows that they still end up together after all).
* BlackBestFriend:
** Claudia Grant is this for Lisa Hayes.
** And Bowie Grant was this for Dana Sterling, having grown up together after their parents left them on Earth.
* BlitheSpirit: Dana. Minmei to some extent as well.
* BoldlyComing: The novelizations make it clear that the original Zor literally seduced the secrets of the Flower of Life from the Invid Regis - even though discovering the intricacies of a humanoid form was a large part of the process for her.
* BridgeBunnies: [[TropeNamer The originals]].
* TheBrigadier: Emerson from ''Southern Cross''.
* CanonForeigner: Most of the cast of ''The Sentinels'' and ''Shadow Chronicles''. Thomas Riley "T.R." Edwards is a particularly significant example since he served as both an EvilCounterpart of Roy Fokker in adaptations before becoming a major villain in ''The Sentinels''.
* CannotSpitItOut: Part of the reason it takes so long for Rick and Lisa to hook up is that Lisa can't seem to articulate her feelings properly.
* TheCaptain: Gloval.
* CaptainCrash: Rick gets his Veritech trashed ''a lot''. This is lampshaded in the episode ''Phantasm'', in which Rick dreams he crashed while trying to fly a bike.
* CelebrityIsOverrated: Minmei starts to feel this way after the Earth's been destroyed, mostly because of how hard life is for everyone, and also because she never gets to spend any time with Rick.
* [[ChekhovsGunman Chekhov's Gunwoman:]] Lynn Minmei, both in the series and in the movie.
* ChineseGirl: Again, Lynn Minmei.
* ChronicBackstabbingDisorder: Khyron is literally referred to as "The Backstabber."
* CitadelCity: The SDF-1 becomes one after the space fold to Pluto, with a city being rebuilt within it.
* ClipShow: Shortly after the SDF-1 returns to earth after the initial trip back from Pluto, Admiral Gloval gives a rehash of the events thus far. Considering all that happened, it was rather needed. The episodes between sagas also were mostly clip shows to help try mesh the snags between shows.
* CloningBlues: Zor Prime, full stop. Also Musica and the other civilians in the Robotech Masters' fleet who come to realize the value of individuality.
* LesCollaborateurs: Some of the [=REF=] soldiers encounter these guys working with the Invid in the "Invasion" mini-series since they didn't harm them and they resent the [=REF=] withdrawing from the Earth after being defeated by Invid forces. [[JerkassHasAPoint They have a point actually.]]
* CombiningMecha:
** In ''Invid Invasion'', the Alpha and Beta Veritechs are able to combine.
** ''The Sentinels'' had the titular alien [[LaResistance Resistance fighters]] arrive in the ''Farrago'', a combination of ships from each of their member species created as a trophy for the Invid Regent. The original ships are able to separate and recombine. When Rick Hunter organizes a group of humans to join, they add a REF-issue BaseOnWheels as their contribution to the ship.
%%* CommanderContrarian
* CommandRoster:
** TheCaptain: Henry J. Gloval
** NumberTwo: Lisa Hayes and Claudia Grant
** BridgeBunnies: Kim Young, Sammy Porter, and Vanessa Leeds
** [[ThePilot The Pilots:]] Mainly, Roy Fokker, Rick Hunter, Ben Dixon and Max Sterling
** [[IdolSinger The Idol:]] Lynn Minmei
* ConservationOfNinjutsu: Played straight during the battle of Earth. The Zentraedi Main Fleet consisting of over 4,800,000 ships vs Earth and Breetai's Zentraedi fleet, which only numbered about a million (assuming the entire Imperial Fleet defected with them). Guess which side wins... There are several justifications for this, though. First, the Zentraedi never figured anyone would be stupid enough to attack an armada of five million ships. Second, at the same time the attack was going on, Minmei's song was being broadcast to the ''entire'' Zentraedi fleet. The Zentraedi, having ''no'' culture of their own, are transfixed... well, most of them. Third, one of the ships on Earth's side is the SDF-1, which was Zor's personal ship and is notably stronger/different than most other ships of its type to protect both Zor and [[MacGuffin the Protoculture Matrix]] on board (and that the Zentraedi want to capture relatively intact ''precisely'' for this reason). Fourth, the attack came right after the Grand Cannon (the largest and mightiest [[WaveMotionGun Reflex cannon]] ever built) took out around one million of the Zentraedi fleet, distracting many warships in the process (as the Zentraedi didn't want to risk it fired again). Fifth and final, Zentraedi defectors helped plan the attack, which involved using the highly regimented society of the Zentraedi against them. Once the leaders were taken out, the enemy was flung into disarray. Still, they were long/impossible odds...
* CoolBike: The Cyclone motocycle/PoweredArmor.
* CoolSpaceship: SDF-1.
* CoversAlwaysLie: The Parkfield Playtime release of ''Codename: Robotech'' in the UK. As well as the terrible day-glo cover art which doesn't match the original art style at all and is obviously meant to scream [[AnimationAgeGhetto "we are marketing this for kids"]], but the character on the front doesn't even appear in the feature (outside of the title sequence, briefly): it's the adult Dana Sterling from ''The Masters'' segment,[[note]]a.k.a. Jeanne Franciax from ''Anime/SuperDimensionCavalrySouthernCross''[[/note]] when the feature covers ''[[Anime/SuperDimensionFortressMacross The Macross Saga]]'' only and doesn't even get to the point where baby Dana is born! Mercilessly parodied in [[http://www.anime-games.co.uk/VHS/anime/codename-robotech.php this online review.]]
* CrazyEnoughToWork: Rick devises a plan to help win against the fight against Dolza's armada. They utilize psychological warfare by having Minmei sing during the battle, and broadcasting it throughout all of the Zentraedi ships to shock them long enough so the humans and their Zentraedi allies could wipe them out.
* CutAndPasteTranslation: One of the most famous examples. Less glaring in the initial Macross Saga, which handled the story similar to the series it was adapted from with the exceptions of names and changes made to emphasize Robotech specific worldbuilding.
* DarkSkinnedRedhead: Exedore, without the usual personality type.
* DarkerAndEdgier: Compared to contemporary sanitized anime adaptations like ''Anime/{{Voltron}}'', the relatively unvarnished depiction of war and its bloody consequences in this series was a real shock in the 1980s.
** Compared to the original series, as well: the Macross Saga famously was, in general, a direct translation of key events in Macross and not much editing-out of violence; come the finale, however, it gets much more bleak, as [[TheCaptain Captain Global/Gloval]] and the BridgeBunnies, who SURVIVED the destruction of the Macross in the Japanese version, are outright [[KillEmAll KILLED in the Robotech version]].
* MoreDeadlyThanTheMale: The idea between the all-female Quadrano Battalion of the Zentraedi is, in the words of their creator Azonia, that "There is ''nothing'' more fearsome than an angry female". Given their combat record, she's apparently right.
* DeathSeeker: [[spoiler: Zor Prime]]
* DecoyProtagonist: Back when the series originally aired on television, Roy received so much focus that viewers believed ''he'' was the main character, instead of Rick. [[spoiler: Which made his eventual death shocking for them]].
* DemotedToSatelliteLoveInterest: {{Invoked}} in the ''Literature/{{Robotech}}'' ExpandedUniverse. Miriya was the greatest Zentraedi female ace, and when she got her HighHeelFaceTurn and [[BestHerToBedHer married Max Sterling]], for the rest of the original series she was his counterpart and got equal screentime with him. Then during the Malcontent Uprisings, the brass made the official decision to turn her into a propaganda piece; "homemaker, mother, ''former'' freedom fighter." Miriya abided by it, but still played an important role in the finale (and returned to badass status during the Sentinels series).
* DesignatedLoveInterest: That darned Rick Hunter comes dangerously close to this one too in regards to Lisa Hayes during the ''Reconstruction Blues'' episodes. His behavior towards Lisa in these episodes - specifically ''A Rainy Night'' and ''Private Time'' - is so atrocious (he degraded and humiliated her in front of her subordinates for crying out loud) that after a while you have to wonder what it is exactly she sees in him. And then you start to feel that there's really no good reason for Lisa to even like Rick other than the plot says so (and the original Japanese writers were even worse).
* DeskJockey: [[spoiler: Henry Gloval]] becomes this after being promoted to admiral. [[spoiler: It still does not keep him from going down in combat]].
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: Macross has numerous allusions to WWII, including:
** The Zendraedi's warrior culture is extremely similar to the militaristic culture of WWII Japan.
** When the war begins, their first strike is a carrier-launched surprise-attack on a coastal military base.
** The wedding of Max and Miriya evokes the spur of the moment weddings that often occurred before American soldiers shipped out for duty.
** Near the end of the war, the Zendraedi use carpet-bombing to raze the entire Earth's surface, Curtis Lemay style.
** After the Zendraedi have largely lost the war, their culture starts incorporating elements of their former enemy's culture, mirroring the post-war Americanization of Japan.
** The novelizations add additional backstory, including one of the factions in the Global Civil War (the arrival of the SDF-1 prompted it's ending) being called the Neesians, short for North-East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere (one of the official names of the group of nations effectively ruled by Japan before and during WWII).
** Lampshaded in the Wildstorm comic books where the Who's Who issue explicitly refers to Dr. Emil Lang as the Werhner Von Braun of Robotechnology. It is worth noting that the Robotech Universe chooses to remain vague on the nature of the many factions in the Global Civil War, although the Neasians have been described as Fascist. History leaves us in no doubt as to Von Braun's origins. But Lang, although he happens to also be of German origin, isn't implied to be from any unsavory faction.
** Anatole Leonard's attempts to get rid of the officers who oppose him by assigning them to dangerous outposts and missions is compared to Roman emperors pulling similar tricks to get rid of their political rivals.
** When Marie Crystal runs out on Sean Philips in ''Love Song'' after being led to believe he's been unfaithful to her, her high heels come off her feet, evoking Cinderella losing the glass slipper.
** Scott Bernard and his quest to free Earth from the Invid is said to have been based on the Holy Crusades.
* [[DoomedHometown Doomed City:]] Toronto gets leveled when the SDF-1's barrier overloads.
* DownerEnding: Even worse in the books.
** Depends on which books, and which ending. The novelization of the Invid Invasion, for example, ends more or less on an upbeat note, with a hint of more adventures to come as Scott Bernard heads back into space to find some missing personnel and clean up the loose ends. A later novel called ''The End Of The Circle'' picks up at the same point as ''Shadow Chronicles'', but proceeds with wildly varying, yet ''completely'' different tones, ranging from Downer ([[spoiler:Sera wastes away without the Regis, and Ariel/Marlene is next for most of the book]]) to just plain stone cold stupid ([[spoiler: After a variety of weirdness including the main characters' kids summoning the SDF-1's missing fold drive by chanting "Ro-Bo-Tech", Minmei is stranded in a pocket universe with Rem -- a ''Sentinels'' character who was another clone of Zor -- and pregnant with Rem's child, who is somehow going to actually ''be'' the original Zor, bringing time loops into everything at the last minute.]])
* DressingAsTheEnemy by way of MuggedForDisguise: Max knocking out a Zentraedi to dress up his Veritech while trapped on an alien ship.
* DuringTheWar: Every season references the previous war.
* DubNameChange (with a little bit of RaceLift thrown in for good measure): A sample:
** Rick Hunter (Hikaru Ichijyo)
** Lisa Hayes (Misa Hayase)
** Claudia Grant (Claudia [=LaSalle=])
** Dana Sterling (Komillia Jeinus and Jeanne Francaix)
** Nova Satori (Lana Isavia)
** Bowie Grant (Bowie Emerson--note that this takes away the blood relation between him and Rolf Emerson and establishes one with Claudia, above.)
** Scott Bernard (Stick Bernard)
** Rook Bartley (Houquet et Rose)
** Marlene/Ariel (Aisha)
** A partial one: Roy Fokker (Roy Focker). The spelling was changed possibly as a hat-tip to the famed aircraft designer Anthony Fokker, while it's been stated that the ''pronounciation'' was altered from the actual "FOKK-er" to "FOE-ker" to avoid parents accidentally hearing obscenities that weren't there.
** An odd one: Captain Global's last name isn't changed at all, actually; while it's spelled with a B in Romaji, "B" and "V" are indistinguishable in Japanese (there is no proper "v" sound in Japanese), so "Gloval" is an acceptable spelling. Now, as to why they changed him from Bruno (jap.) to Henry (eng.), especially when they make him RUSSIAN in the dub? That's a whole other matter.
** Another odd one: Minmay's name is changed from Lynn Minmay in Japanese (a glaringly {{Engrish}} spelling for a girl who's canonically half-Japanese-half-Chinese) to Lynn Minmei in English... which is actually how her name is properly spelled in Kana. They probably kept "Lynn" instead of changing it to "Rin" as written in Kana like her given name, because [[LuckyTranslation Lynn is a well-known name in English already]].
* DudeWheresMyRespect:
** Many Robotech {{Fan Hater}}s don't realise that this show is one of the main reasons why there even ''is'' an anime industry outside of Japan. Quite a few of them are a bit too young to remember when anime (then called Japanimation) was practically unheard of in the USA. Older anime fans remember that the only reason Robotech was created was because of the popularity of ''Star Blazers'', which fused together separate different incarnations of the same series, ''Anime/SpaceBattleshipYamato'', made sizable edits for an American audience, and was one of the first English dubbed anime to broach maturer themes with an emphasis on the story being shown in order. Sound familiar? It's only Robotech that's most well known for it in modern anime fandom.
** As mentioned above and at other places on this and the YMMV page, Harmony Gold in some ways fostered the situation through their actions. Even bigger problem is that Harmony Gold chose not to credit any of the character designers, writers, mecha designers, directors or animators. Some ignorant ''{{Anime/Robotech}}'' fans think that Carl Macek single handedly created Robotech although the things that are praised in it are already present in Macross. They'd also likely get more respect if they'd actually allow for more official Macross series releases. So far, the only Macross series that's had a subbed release under Harmony Gold is the original Macross.
* TheDragon: Breetai, who matches one in size, too!
* TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt: Humanity is always threatened with extermination by the invaders.
* EnemyMine: The Zentraedi under Breetai's command team up with humans when Dolza sends the main Zentraedi armada to Earth. Exedore explains that they're doing this because Dolza would also kill off any Zentraedi who've been exposed to human culture. Many of his men were already planning to rebel and join the humans anyway after being exposed to human culture, so Breetai figured it would be best to work together anyway.
* ExpandedUniverse: The novelization of the series and the comic books, [[ContinuitySnarl which conflict with each other extensively and the original material somewhat]]. At their worst the expanded universe materials are ghastly, at their best they can be quite good. This is especially true of the novels.
* FallenHero: Coronel Jonathan Wolfe.
%%* FighterLaunchingSequence
* FiveBadBand: The Zentradi senior hierachy:
** [[BigBad Commander-in-Chief:]] Dolza
** TheDragon: Breetai
** NumberTwo: Exedore
** TheDarkChick: Azonia
** [[TheLancer Loose Cannon:]] Khyron
* FourStarBadass: Breetai demonstrates [[FourStarBadass Four Star Badassery]] when he takes on three VF-1 Valkyrie veritech battloids armed only with a pipe.
* FlauntingYourFleets: For example, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qG75QBL5C-o&feature=PlayList&p=D56E887A3A6EAF1B&playnext_from=PL&index=20&playnext=2 here]], starting at 0:24.
%%* {{Foreshadowing}}
* FrothyMugsOfWater: Rico, Bron, Konda, and the "punch" at the SDF-1 landing celebration. [[GettingCrapPastTheRadar Worth noting spiking punch with alcohol]] [[FridgeBrilliance isn't exactly unheard of.]] Other than that, this trope is surprisingly often averted in the series.
* FunWithAcronyms: SDF-1 is the short version of Super Dimensional Fortress One
* GeneralRipper: Supreme Commander Leonard, especially as {{Flanderized}} in the ExpandedUniverse.
* GeniusDitz: Dana.
* GiantEnemyCrab: Invid MechaMooks.
* GirlInABox: Ariel/Marlene.
* GreenSkinnedSpaceBabe: Green-''haired'', at least; one in each series.
* GroinAttack: After falling in love with him, Miriya teaches Max how to cripple a Zentraedi battle pod without killing it: by shooting it in the groin. We always knew that woman was a real ball-buster...
* HalfHumanHybrid: Dana (half-Zentraedi) and Ariel (half-Invid). Possibly Rook (implied in old pre-retcon material to be the daughter of RDF pilot Kyle Bartley and Zentraedi female ace Vala Norri).
* HandWave: The human-like appearance of the enemies is explained away via the MillionToOneChance that's left, but must be true.
* HeelFaceTurn: Miriya Parino, Breetai, Exedore, Rico, Bron and Konda
* TheHero: Rick Hunter for ''Macross Saga'', Dana Sterling for ''The Masters'', and finally Scott Bernard for ''New Generation''.
* HeroicBSOD: Several characters go through them at various points throughout the story, such as Rick when [[spoiler: Roy Fokker died]], Lisa when she finds out Minmei is at Rick's apartment, and Minmei towards the end of the series after she gives up singing.
** Scott Bernard suffers one when he finds out that a large contingent of reinforcements that arrived earlier were wiped out entirely by the Invid. He gives up hope until he sees Ariel screaming in fear at the Invid, and promptly pulls a BigDamnHeroes moment.
* HeroesWantRedHeads: Scott and Ariel in ''The New Generation''. From the same era, blonde bombshell rebel Rook with red headed smart-ass survivor Rand.
* HitAndRunTactics: Partially {{averted}} in Creator/PalladiumBooks' {{Anime/Robotech}} {{Tabletop RPG}} 'verse. A machine gun has to do 100 HP of damage (in a single burst, which is all but impossible) to a HumongousMecha before it counts, so people with ordinary weapons can't use this strategy against heavy armor. However, you can use this strategy with land mines vs HumongousMecha or HumongousMecha vs naval or space craft.
* HiveMind: The Invid. The human-form ones can evidently unlink at least partially and don't 'need' it, but the ones with their memory still mostly maintain their presence on it.
%%* HoverTank
* HumanityIsInfectious: For all the mecha and weapons Earth has, this trope is at heart the ''only'' thing that saves humanity.
* HumansAreBastards: The Invid Regess is firmy convinced of this. In a variation, she at least partially blames this on the Robotech Masters (she says it was already true before the Masters, but that their shadow made it far worse), and in she gives Mankind the benefit of doubt.
* HumiliationConga:
** Lisa Hayes suffers a few of these throughout the series, namely in ''A Rainy Night'' where she actually allows Rick Hunter to chew her out in front of her subordinates, gets stood up by him in favor of the bratty pop singer Lynn Minmei in ''Private Time'', then goes off and gets drunk when she overhears Rick with Minmei in ''Seasons Greetings''... basically she spends the bulk of the ''Reconstruction Blues'' era episodes suffering because of the UnresolvedSexualTension between her and Rick.
** Developing a death wish at the drop of a hat in ''Bye Bye Mars'' after stumbling upon a few her of dead boyfriend's belongings and having to be rescued by Rick probably counts too.
* HumongousMecha: One of the few series to actually justify having them. The Zentraedi are enoromous, and their "mecha" are actually PoweredArmor for them, so the humans had to match that.
* IdolSinger: Minmei, Bowie, Musica, and Yellow Dancer.
* InLoveWithLove: A couple of characters had a bit of this throughout ''Macross Saga'' - specifically Rick towards Lynn Minmei, Lisa towards Lynn Kyle. (see LovingAShadow below)
* {{Insufficiently Advanced Alien}}s: A variant with the Zentraedi, who know how to use their highly advanced technology just fine, but are only barely capable of maintaining it, and can't repair it when it finally gets broken. Nor can they build it from scratch in the first place. Justified InUniverse; the Zentraedi were created as warrior-slaves by another race, the Robotech Masters, and they deliberately kept them ignorant of how to fix and build their gear in order to keep control over them -- the Zentraedi have to stay loyal to the Robotech Masters, or have their supply lines cut.
* IsThisThingStillOn:
** In Khyron's first appearance, a subordinate says that his fleet collided with four friendly ships and that the subordinate had won a bet. While Breetai is still watching them.
** Roy Fokker had a similar moment in the first episode when he is giving an airshow when Rick Hunter comes barnstorming into the airspace. Fokker is yelling at Rick through the mike's radio function forgetting that the speakers are also amplifying his speech to the audience and they are laughing it up. Embarrassed, Fokker orders the mike to be switched to radio only.
** As a meta-example, Robotech's ratings took a dip after the episode 'Force of Arms' because viewers had assumed the show was over now that the Zentraedi were destroyed and Rick had picked Lisa over Minmay. When they came back, they were shocked to find that the show was still going on, and that it was dealing with the aftermath. Some fans who had watched Robotech never came back, and didn't learn about Southern Cross or the Invid saga until years after its first run.
* {{Jerkass}}: Many, with the biggest one being Zor in his early days for how he 'discovered' the secrets of Protoculture and the Flower of Life: [[BoldlyComing he literally seduced the Invid Regess]] to convince her to spill the beans, in the process he convinced her to adopt her humanoid form, and then left her to fight with her husband the Regent.
* JerkassHasAPoint: So abundant that an alternative name for this series could be "Jerkass Has a Point: The Series":
** Lynn Kyle started off a well intentioned pro-peace anti-war advocate but gradually degenerated into a {{Jerkass}} control freak due to stress from living in a war zone where his views weren't easily achievable, alcoholism, and resentment of not getting any return on the emotional investment he'd made in his cousin Lynn Minmei. While war is an undeniably terrible thing and peace greatly preferable to war, Kyle took his black and white view of the situation to an irrational extreme, making him a reversal of Rick Hunter, who also began the series with a similar black and white view of the world but eventually learned to accept the shades of gray that exist in reality. Kyle's final appearance in ''Private Time'' had him splashing water in Minmei's face (when she claimed to be tipsy) and then forcefully hauling her out of a restaurant after she irresponsibly blew off a media engagement to have lunch with Rick Hunter and then chastises her for running out on the concert she was supposed to give before telling her that he's leaving as her manager. Although he was an unreasonable jerk Kyle was also undeniably right when he chewed Minmei out for not appreciating the good fortune she'd had in life. At least at the end he's finally self-aware enough to realize he's part of the problem and genuinely wishes Minmei well as he walks out of her life. Also, some of his points against war are genuinely good, and Lisa ''uses them when talking to her father''.
** Prior to their last meeting, Minmei called Kyle out a few times for copping an ItsAllAboutMe attitude in light of how everyone was suffering equally and also for his own ingratitude towards the Veritech troops who had protected and rescued them in their time of need. This back and forth calling each other out for their bad behavior ultimately led to Kyle's realization above, driving them further apart;
** Khyron is a violent BloodKnight, often seeking battle with the humans even when it doesn't benefit the Zentraedi and trying to sabotage the peace talks, the latter under the justification that the Grand Fleet ''will'' come and kill them all, Earthlings and Zentraedi all, if they catch wind of that. Not only Breetai agrees with the latter point, but the Zentraedi Grand Fleet shows up as soon as Dolza is informed; previously, during the ambush on Mars he shot down a soldier that tried to attack early, stating that they needed to wait and that if ''he'' could do it then his men could do the same. Not only that soldier trying to attack early nearly ruined the ambush, but following episodes make clear that if you can't wait as long as he can you're a suicidal idiot.
** In the "The Masters" saga of ''Robotech'' colonel Fredericks of the Global Military Police, whose job is both of military intelligence and to enforce military discipline, often offers harsh criticism of Dana's actions as an officer. Thing is, Dana's squadron is more a [[AllBikersAreHellsAngels biker gang]] than a military unit, in her first on-screen encounter with the GMP Dana ''toppled a security robot just because'', and Fredericks has shown some respect for Dana's battlefield prowess;
** Being effectively Fredericks' disciple, Nova Satori has her moments, especially when trying to bust Musica and Bowie when the first one comes to Earth. Thing is, Musica may be on Earth's side, but she's still a triumviroid ([[CloningBlues clone subject of the Robotech Masters]]), and the last time a subject of the Masters apparently joined the Earth defenders he was actually a brainwashed spy, and as a member of the GMP her job description includes hunting down spies ''and'' those who help them;
** Again in "The Masters", supreme commander Anatole Leonard of the Army of the Southern Cross often acts as a BloodKnight, advocating offensives against the technologically superior Robotech Masters in spite of the enemy's superior firepower and defences, rudely ordering the commander of the first counterattack wave to send in the new fighters against the Masters' motherships in spite of the failure of the better-armed large warships, and not caring that the Masters' troops could be actual human beings and not brainwashed micronized Zentraedi (and in fact he apparently refuses to even consider the idea, kicking Dana out of a meeting when she proposes it): aside for being ''less'' bloodthirsty than his superiors in the government (even [[FacePalm facepalming]] at some of their demands), the Masters are unwilling to talk, and the only way to defeat them is through the desperate counterattacks he demands; the new fighters are apparently the ''only'' reason the first wave survives, as they are launched at the same time as the Masters' launch their corvettes for the final blow and prove a match for them; an with the Masters unwilling to talk the actual identity of their soldiers doesn't matter (and in fact believing them being basically biological robots is useful for the troops), and Dana in that meeting was being insubordinate to the point of calling him a fool (Dana is a ''lieutenant''. She was lucky to not get demoted to private);
** ''Robotech II: The Sentinels'' has another instance at the press conference before the launch of the Pioneer Mission and the Robotech Expeditionary Force with the heavily armed SDF-3 to try and reach a compromise with the Robotech Masters before they attack Earth. When Exedore explains that the Pioneer Mission includes so many heavily armed warships in spite of being a diplomatic reason is because they don't know how the Masters will react and there are no apparent threats to Earth anyway, Leonard jumps up and starts screaming apocalyptic predictions that ''come to pass exactly'': he's not so optimistic about the lack of an enemy threat, and as the watchers already know ''the Masters are already coming to Earth'' (also making the Pioneer mission useless), and that's without Tesla, TheDragon to the Invid Regent, suggesting to track down Zor's ship (the Regent refuses because he hates the Masters too much to abandon the attack on Tirol, but that could have been another threat to Earth), or the Regess deploying the Sensor Nebula to track down the Flower of Life (and that ''is'' another threat to Earth); he declares that "the departure of the SDF-3 and its weapon systems will make Earth hopelessly vulnerable to attack!", and the Masters' motherships have DeflectorShields that make them heavily resistant to anything less than the [[WaveMotionGun Reflex Cannons]] mounted ''exclusively'' on the SDF-3 and some of her escorts, and it's only the return of two waves of REF ships that give the Southern Cross the firepower to score a PyrrhicVictory; he shouts that in case of attack the Robotech Expeditionary Force will be at the other side of the galaxy , and when the Masters arrive the REF is in fact going in that direction. He's so right, and being a jerk about it, it's almost painful to watch...
** Sergeant Angelo Dante. Generally acting sarcastic, dismissing his commanding officer in the 15th Squadron for being a woman and scatterbrained, and when Zor Prime, a bioroid pilot of the Robotech Masters, is shot down and captured and, having lost his memory, is reassigned to the 15th Squadron in the hope he'll recover it and help the Earth armies, treats him as a spy. He's right on two points: his superior officer is the above-mentioned Dana Sterling, [[GeniusDitz a tactical genius with few peers, an incredible ditz outside battle]], and rather childish and spoiled; Zor Prime is a (unwitting and brainwashed) spy, who got his memory wiped and his bioroid shot down by friendly fire ''precisely'' to insert him as a spy, the Masters hoping he'd give the the location of Earth's reserve of Protoculture with the device that transmits everything he sees and hears to them (he succeeds, and as a bonus he accidentally gave forewarning about Earth's counteroffensives against the Masters);
** The twice-mentioned Dana Sterling. She's childish, spoiled and thoughtless, treats Zor Prime as her own personal property, and gets mad when Dante continues keeping an eye on him in spite of mounting evidence he's a spy. But when it comes to tactical decisions she's usually right (she's been even described as a tactical genius, and has proven it by taking on the suicide missions of downing a Masters' mothership and then perform a recon in arms and completing th first succeessfully with minimal losses and aborting the latter when it became effectively impossible and ''still'' bringing home some useful data plus [[GrandTheftPrototype a completely intact bioroid]] that had tried to cut her escape), and can be counted on providing useful advice when her subordinates have emotional issues;
** Octavia's rant when the Masters imprison her and Allegra for their sister Musica's defection may sound jerkish... Except at this point she's still loyal, even if her clone, raised to think as one with both Octavia and Allegra, has defected (even if this opens a whole other can of worms, what with the Masters' society rejecting individuality...);
** After overcoming the Masters' brainwashing and joining the Southern Cross for real, Zor Prime becomes this out of [[TheCynic cynism]]. Musica feels bad for having effectively betrayed her people and sisters? he points out she's beyond forgiveness for betraying those who trusted her, just as ''he himself is'' (the fact he ignores how he had been brainwashed into doing it doesn't matter to him: he betrayed first his companions in the 15th Squadron and then the Masters). He declaring he should have stayed on the Masters' mothership that he blew up, never mind how disrespectful to the soldiers who fell in combat until then? He can't trust himself to not fall again to the Masters' conditioning, he's a security risk. Calling Nova and confirming her suspicions about Musica being a Tirolian triumviroid? Read again why he feels he should be dead, and add to it that his phone call is the only reason why Nova (who had almost worked out what was happening on her own) didn't arrest the whole squadron;
** As "The Masters" is full of such guys, it's only appropriate that the eponimous Robotech Masters join the group. In the latter part of the saga the Masters interrupt offensive operations against Earth to try and deal with the Invid Sensor Nebula before it can detect the presence of the Flower of Life and thus summon the Invid... And then often wonder ''why'' the Southern Cross starts launching continuous offensives against their fleet in spite of the Masters' technological superiority translating in superior firepower and robust DeflectorShields that always cause ''heavy'' losses to the Southern Cross. They also imprison Allegra and Octavia for Musica's defection... But as they are triumviroids, that is ''a trio of clones based on the same genetic matrix and raised to think and act as one'', it's only natural they expect the other two to try and defect at the first chance (as they in fact later tried to do) or otherwise do something dangerous now that their sister has started thinking on her own and isn't there to balance them anymore, and strangely generous on their part to not just execute them on the spot;
** During the Battle of Reflex Point, the Invid Regess points at the Robotech Expeditionary Force's all-out offensive trying to reconquer Earth, even having weapons of mass destruction ready in case they lose, as proof that HumansAreBastards. Sure, she may not know just what the Invid Regent did on Tirol, but considering that the Invid occupation of Earth translated in the conquerors not only letting the Humans do as they wished as long as they didn't try to oppose them not tried to break the tigh regulations on Protoculture (that, incidentally, is the fuel for the mechas and guns that can actually pose a danger to the Invid) but also ''repairing Earth's ecosystem after the Zentraedi's bombardment brought it on the brink of collapse'' it's easy to see why she had such a low opinion of the REF. [[spoiler: That and she had recognized the REF new equipment as coming from the Haydonites, meaning their ancient enemy was manipulating the Humans into trying to do the dirty work for them...]];
** In ''The Sentinels'', every scene involving the Regess, be it her recorded voice or her in person, has her insulting the Regent and his crusade against the Tirolian race, detailing ''why'' she's insulting him. Every single insult and their justification is spot-on.
** To complete the list, we have the Invid Regent. Who, in the one ''Sentinels'' scene in which he appears with his wife he quickly counters her later tirade of insults by pointing out that ''her'' is responsible for their situation in the first place, having got seduced by Zor into giving him the secrets of Protoculture, and that the supposed evolution she's gone through since then looks suspiciously like an imitation of the [[HumanAliens humanlike Tirolians]]. Notable because not only the Regess doesn't counter either of his points, but on Earth (long after she got fed up with him enough to dump him) she tacitly aknowledged the second by ''researching a better form into which transmutate herself and the Invid'' (the fact the research ultimately indicated the Human form as the best one may or may not be a coincidence).
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Rick Hunter has shades of this, as does Sean Philips and Sgt. Angelo Dante. Even Rand has moments of this.
* KarmaHoudini: A few:
** Miriya: one can only imagine all the terrible things she did before encountering Max and the gang, and she doesn't exactly suffer for whatever crimes she committed prior to the series either.
** Before the First Robotech War, [[spoiler:Anatole Leonard and T.R. Edwards]] were members of the Anti-Unification League, planning to reignite the Global War and use the chaos to take over the world, and took personally part in sabotaging Project Valkyrie and [[GrandTheftPrototype hijack Armor-1]] (Earth's only functioning ''space warship'', armed with ''[[NukeEm Reflex missiles]]''), the latter resulting in the death of many crewmembers who tried to resist and the destruction of Antartic Base and the [[WaveMotionGun Southern Grand Cannon]] that was being built there, and would have resulted in the destruction of Macross Island and Alaska Base too had Roy not resolved the situation. They never paid for that, they were never found out, and in fact [[spoiler: [[TheBadGuyWins Leonard effectively ''succeeded'']]]].
* {{Kawaiiko}}: Minmei.
* KeystoneArmy: Breetai devises a plan to take out Dolza's large base/ship during the battle of Earth, so as to throw the lower chain of command into confusion, and allowing them enough time to defeat them while they're disorganized.
* KilledOffForReal:
** [[spoiler:Roy, Ben and then most of the population of Earth.]] Quite a series of shockers for the typical 1980s North American audience accustomed to NeverSayDie. Also a number of characters, most notably [[spoiler:Scott's fiancée and Col. Wolfe]] in "New Generation".
** The destruction from Dolza's attack in the first part continues to hang over the whole story, too. There's no magic recovery, Earth is a ''wreck'' afterward.
** It is not immediately clear in the early episodes whether the main protagonist is Rick Hunter or Roy Fokker. It's only with [[spoiler:the death of Roy]] that [[spoiler:Rick comes fully into the spotlight...and Roy was a major character, with well-developed personality and connections. His presence is still felt many episodes later.]]
*** Interestingly, the dynamic between Roy and Rick would not be seen in anime again until years later, with the [[Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann Kamina/Simon pair]].
* KissingCousins: Minmei and Kyle, although it seems largely one sided on Kyle's part. Minmei doesn't seem romantically interested in him, despite what he may say, or what Rick sees.
%%* KudzuPlot
* TheLancer: Max Sterling, Sgt. Angelo Dante, Rand, but ironically '''not''' Lancer (he and Rook tag-team TheSmartGuy and TheChick).
* LandmarkOfLore: The Statue of Liberty.
* LargeAndInCharge:
** Among the Zentraedi, the officers tend to be taller and larger than the common soldiers, with Breetai being OneHeadTaller than the average soldier (even when Micronized in ''The Sentinels'' he's positively ''gigantic'', around 2.5/3 meters tall and having trouble passing through doors) and Dolza ''towering'' over him.
** {{Subverted}} by Exedore: as Breetai's second in command he's fairly high-ranking, but to Zentraedi standards he's a runt.
** The Invid. The average Invid is shorter than a Human or a Tirolian, royal caste Invid are human-sized (at least post-transmutation, when they have effectively human form), the Regent is about as tall as the Invid Soldier power armour (''2.5 meters tall'') and larger than them, and the Regess' human-like form is ''at least'' twice as tall.
* LargeHam: The Invid Regess. It helps her role as [[MrExposition Mrs. Exposition]]. Most notable is how she presents herself to Scott's group when they reach the core of Reflex Point:
--->"The Hive has been contaminated. Foolish humans... You have come here to look upon the face of the Invid... So be it. You ''shall'' see."\\
''*Light goes out*''\\
''*[[IncomingHam Regess starts materializing in a light]]*''\\
"Behold! '''I''' am the Invid! I am the Soul and the Spirit!"\\
''*An holografic galaxy appears to accompany her narration.*''\\
"I have guided my people across the magnitude of cosmos, from a world that is lost to a world that is found. I have led my people in flight from the dark tide of Shadows that engulfed our forefathers. That threatens to engulf ''us'' even now. I am the power, and the light. I am the Embodyment of the Life Force, that creates and protects."\\
''*The light returns, and the Regess appears in all her glory, in the form of a woman with alien dress and [[UncannyValley looks]]*''\\
"In the primitive terminology of your people, I am... ''[[{{Beat}} *dramatic pause*]]'' The Mother."\\
''*Everyone looks at her in shock*''\\
"[[{{Understatement}} You are surprised.]]"\\
''*Continues her speech, [[MrExposition hammily explaining why the Invid are on Earth]]*''
* LaResistance: Scott Bernard's rebellion against the Invid; The Sentinels.
* LegacyCharacter: Dana Sterling.
%%* LeitMotif
* LetThemDieHappy: Nova doesn't intend this trope when she tells Captain Komodo, who is in unrequited love with her, to come back from a mission. He dies in the action knowing that at least she wishes him well.
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters: Multi-generations of them on both sides of the conflict.
* LoveAtFirstPunch: This is how Max and Miriya's relationship start off. First they fight on opposite sides, then she tries to kill him with a set of knives...and then he asks her to marry him and she replies; "Of course, Max, if you wish it. What is 'marry'?".
* LoveTriangle:
** Between Lisa, Rick, and Minmei in ''The Macross Saga''.
** The prequel arc of the Wildstorm comic set up one between Roy, Claudia, and Jan Morris (the aging starlet Minmei defeated in the Miss Macross pageant) -- although it's played as [[NoGuyWantsToBeChased Jan's pursuit of the handsome test pilot]] aggravating issues between the other two.
* LovingAShadow: Rick and Lisa both felt this towards other characters - Rick to Minmei, Lisa to Lynn Kyle (Minmei's cousin, who reminded her of her dead lover). Fortunately, they got over it.
%%* MacrossMissileMassacre: {{Trope Namer}}.
* MagneticPlotDevice: The Protoculture Matrix.
* MasochismTango: Lisa, Rick and Minmei's triangle can be pretty painful to watch at imes.
* TheMentor: Roy Fokker for Rick Hunter in ''Macross Saga'', Scott Bernard for Rand in ''New Generation''.
* MilitaryMaverick: Dana.
* MinionWithAnFInEvil: Bron, Konda, and Rico [[spoiler:are the first sympathetic zentraedi who lead the defection to the SDF-1]]
* MobileFactory: A number of examples.
* {{Mooks}}: Zentraedi, Triumviroids and Invid.
* TheMovie: ''Robotech: The Movie'' was adopted from ''Anime/{{Megazone 23}}'', but after endless [[ExecutiveMeddling conflicts with Cannon Films]], as well as poor feedback from the test audience, Macek shelved the film, and has since [[CanonDisContinuity disowned it]].
* [[MrExposition Mrs. Exposition]]: The Invid Regess seems to have an almost compulsive need to explain ''everything'' she's doing and that is happening, [[LargeHam in a suitably melodramatic way]].
* MsFanservice: Multiple examples, from shower scenes of Minmei and Dana to skinny dipping for Rook and Ariel, but generally avoided with Claudia, Lisa and Miriya.
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: Zor Prime when he regains memory of the original Zor's past.
%%* {{Narrator}}
* NeverSayDie: Despite all of the changes made, this was averted wholesale (See Killed off for Real above).
* NiceGuy: Scott Bernard.
* NiceJobBreakingItHero:
** Everything save for the [[spoiler: Children of Shadows]] was caused by one such moment: Zor solving Tirol's energy problems by [[{{Jerkass}} seducing the secrets of Protoculture out of the Invid Regess]] and bringing them to Tirol, where he developed the Robotechnology. Cue the Robotech Masters using his Robotechnology to create an empire with the Zentraedi as enforcers and, to cap it off, ''defoliate Optera of every trace of the Flower of Live'', thus driving the Invid in their RoaringRampageOfRevenge.
** In the third episode captain Gloval orders his crew to use their untested Space Fold Drive to reposition the ship behind the moon to flank the attacking Zentraedi - [[PhlebotinumBreakdown This backfires spectacularly.]] Not only does the ship appear [[TeleportationMisfire beyond the orbit of Pluto,]] it brings a spherical chunk of ocean and most of the island of Macross (including the city that was built around it during it's reconstruction) along for the ride. And on top of that, the Space Fold Drive [[ItOnlyWorksOnce vanishes in the process,]] stranding them there.
*** In the novels, this is even worse. The citizens of Macross Island survived because they had already evacuated to the bunkers, which were sealed. The Daedalus and Prometheus were regular supercarriers only intended for sea combat. When Gloval orders them to be pulled in and connected to the SDF-1, part of those orders are to collect the bodies of the crews for burial, catalogue their supplies, and retrofit them for use in space.
** The SDF-1's barrier system overloads while over Toronto caused a chain reaction which destroys the city, killed a chunk of Khyron's forces, and Ben Dixon. Not just that, but the whole reason they were over Toronto in the first place was because Gloval was trying to have the civilians evacuated from the SDF-1, but the military had denied their request, feeling that allowing the SDF-1 too close to Earth would attract danger. Toronto was the first city to act against this and actually offer shelter... and then the barrier overload happens, which among everything else just causes the military to point and say "see, we were right!"
*** Doubles as a NiceJobBreakingItHerod moment. The only reason the barrier overloaded is because Khyron ignored communications saying that the barrier was building up to critical mass due to the sheer amount of firepower being thrown at it all at once. He wanted the glory of capturing the SDF-1 for the Zentraedi Armada.
** Azonia, worried that Breetai's peace offerings could cause trouble for the Zentraedi, called Dolza and informed him. Dolza reacted by assembling the Zentraedi Grand Fleet and coming to Earth to bomb it into rubble and kill every single member of Breetai's force, ''Azonia included''.
** Zor's tendency to do this may be genetic: his clone Zor Prime attempted to protect Earth from the Invi by destroying the Flower of Life that was there before the Sensor Nebula could detect it and warn them, but all he obtained was to ''seed the entire planet with the Flower of Life '''and''' get the Sensor Nebula to detect it''.
* NotableOriginalMusic: There was a soundtrack CD released, the first of its kind in the US. The French version of Robotech has a [[http://www.coucoucircus.org/da/generique.php?id=338 opening theme]] along with Harmony Gold music.
* TheNotLoveInterest: Minmei is pretty much this at the end of Macross Saga as Rick ''finally'' figures out that he's meant to be with Lisa.
* {{Novelization}}: The Jack [=McKinney=] novels.
%%* NukeEm
* OhCrap: In an anime of this caliber, there are plenty.
** Max Sterling, upon finding out that his dream woman, Miriya Parino is in fact a Zentradi Pilot and is trying to kill him.
-->'''Miriya:''' I am Quadrano Leader Miriya Parino, Zentradi Air Force!
-->'''Max:''' There goes our first date.
** Rick Hunter, as he finds himself caught in friendly fire, thanks to Lisa. Oops.
** Another one from Rick is finding out that the woman who he called an 'old sourpuss' is his commanding officer.
** Rick and Lisa, while captured, witness the horrifying firepower of the Zentradi fleet as it blows up an unknown planet in a show of force.
** The Earth's military upon seeing Dolza's ''entire Zentradi Fleet'' warp into Earth's orbit. [[IWarnedYou They find out that Lisa was in fact right.]] Cue carpet-bombing of the entire planet.
** The look on Dolza's face when he sees the SDF-1 finally breach his fortress with its shield intact, prepared to launch its final [[MacrossMissileMassacre Macross Missle Massacre]].
* TheOmniscientCouncilOfVagueness: The Robotech Masters.
* OneGenderRace: The Praxians from ''The Sentinels''. The male and female Zentraedi were segregated by gender, and effectively fulfilled this trope.
* OneWordTitle: ''Robotech'', which, as a compound word, is also a {{Portmantitle}}.
* OnlyPointTwoPercentDifferent: The Zentraedi.
* OnlySaneMan: Sgt. Angelo Dante is this compared to Dana, Bowie and pretty much everyone else in his squad.
%%* OnTheNext
* PointDefenseless: As impressive as they look while firing, the turrets/mechs on the surface of the SDF-1 don't seem to accomplish anything aside from getting blown up. Averted at several points in the novelizations, where the Destroids arrive just in time to relieve the exhausted fighters, including a memorable moment when the ''SDF-1'' Monsters arrive on deck just in time to rip the attacking Zentraedi mecha a new one with their [[BigFreakingGun sixteen inch guns]]. Played straight, and painfully at that, in the "New Generation" saga, where the Regis' Invid rely ''exclusively'' on mechs and [[RammingAlwaysWorks kamikaze attacks]] yet the final generation of REF ships have an unbelievably low number of point defence turrets, with the ''Garfish''-class light cruisers (their ''most numerous'' capital ship) having none at all. {{Justified}} by the fact the previously encountered Invid belonging to the Regent also fielded gun-armed capital ships and the best way to deal with the Invid's ZergRush is to blow up the carriers before they can launch the mechs, but still has dreadful results (the opening battle of the "New Generation" has the REF Mars Division ''[[CurbStompBattle annihilated in two minutes with a single survivor]]'', who merely survived his plane's crash, and the Battle of Reflex Point at the end sees the whole force of the REF [[DeathOfAThousandCuts slowly losing]] as the Invid start bringing in carriers faster than they can be shot down).
* PoorCommunicationKills: [[RunningGag Every saga has one such occurrence causing a lot of avoidable trouble]]:
** When Breetai first comes to Earth he's still deciding what course of action to adopt and Earth wants to talk, but then the SDF-1 wipes out Breetai's scouts and Earth command (wrongly) assumes the Zentraedi will refuse to talk, and attack. It's only at this point that Breetai decides that conflict is inevitable...
** When the Masters arrive to Earth, Leonard wants to talk, but before that he trains a few guns at the mothership orbiting over Monument City (the capital) and sends a few fighters to do a fly-by as an implied threat, with the Masters keeping their shields down because, at this point, they aren't completely hostile. Then an officer in control of a missile launcher panics and fires all his weapons, scoring a hit because the Masters didn't expect such a stupid action and started firing their point defence guns late, at which point the Masters decide for war.
** Due their experience with the Regent's forces, the Robotech Expeditionary Force believe that the Invid on Earth have enslaved everyone they didn't kill and they have to kill all of them for the good of the universe, even if it means destroying Earth itself, and thus outright refuse to communicate. The Regess is actually a PragmaticVillain who couldn't care less for the Humans and prefer to keep them calm long enough to complete her plan and leave Earth, ''[[PetTheDog that she actually healed of the damage caused by the Rain of Death]]'', but nobody on the REF side even imagines until the Battle of Reflex Point, where they meet her and find out she had no idea why the REF continues to attack.
** This is also the Regess' own fault: the Invid have installed numerous jamming stations to prevent [[LaResistance the anti-Invid resistance to coordinate with the REF]], thus the people on Earth cannot warn the REF command that these Invid repaired the damage from the Zentraedi bombardment (in fact Lancer and Scott are surprised when they land and find a blooming ecosystem) and aren't completely evil, and any ship that comes close enough to see is attacked and shot down. At least one such stations ends up being destroyed on the REF's request to get some data for the attack on Reflex Point, but by then it's too late.
* {{Portmantitle}}: ''Robotech'', is a compound word. Is also a OneWordTitle.
* PossessionImpliesMastery:
** Averted in the Macross generation considering that the SDF-1 crew barely understand what the retrofitted ship can or can't do, making each new manuever in combat a desperate shot in the dark.
** Averted with the Shadow Technology (the [[StealthInSpace Shadow Device]], the [[WaveMotionGun synchro cannon]] and the [[BigBulkyBomb Neutron-S missiles]]) provided by the Haydonites: the REF ''thinks'' they've mastered it, [[{{Justified}} as they developed it themselves with the help of the Haydonites]], but in ''The Shadow Chronicles'' it turns out they don't, as [[spoiler: the Haydonites manipulated the REF in the development: the Neutron-S missiles are not gigantic nukes as the REF thinks but ''black hole generators'', while the Shadow Device and synchro cannon will overload and explode if exposed to the Haydonite disruptor wave]].
%%* ThePowerOfLove
* PoweredArmor: Many models:
** Mankind has two models: the Cyclone series of the Robotech Expeditionary Force and the MODAT prototypes of the Southern Cross (the latters only appearing in ''The Untold Story''). Both types are [[CoolBike motorbikes that change into powered armour]], but the [=MODATs=] are more powerful and large enough to straddle the line between this and MiniMecha;
** The Zentraedi have two models of powered armour... That, being made for giants, are larger than most mecha in the series;
** The Invid have the Soldier.
* PragmaticVillain: The Invid Regess. She lets the Humans on Earth do as they please as long as they don't attack her children, during the invasion she let the Southern Cross survivors leave (while keeping pressure on them to make sure they don't get any funny idea), and she even ''tolerates the presence of a few REF strongholds on Earth'' (Jonathan Wolfe's city and resistance base and Point K's army of ten thousand [=VFs=]) as long as they don't act out (Wolfe was luring soldiers into Invid hands to keep his city safe, and after he turns them we see an Invid army approach his city. Why? Because she doesn't care in the slightest of what the Humans do as long as they don't oppose the Invid or pose a danger. But if they do... Well, the first (and only) we see of Point K is ''its ruins from the Invid reaction to them starting to pose a danger''.
* ProudWarriorRaceGuy: The Zentraedi.
* PunchClockVillain: The Zentraedi could be considered this as they were only acting under orders from their bosses, the Robotech Masters, and even the Robotech Masters themselves could be seen as this given that at one point they openly state that they never actually wanted to harm the human race (all the conflicts stem from a series of [[PoorCommunicationKills communication clusterfucks]]).
* RagtagBunchOfMisfits: Scott Bernard's rebellion against the Invid; The Sentinels.
* ReactionlessDrive: The Tirolian Motherships have it. This actually backfires on them once, as improper protection allows Dana to down the Robotech Masters' ''flagship'' with a single shot from her Spartas, but, knowing well their technology and not being stupid, the Masters track down the flaw and fix in time for their flagship to be rescued (indeed, in the rescue attempt Dana shoots the rescuing mothership in another weak spot expecting to shoot that one down too, but it does nothing).
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure:
** Captain Gloval and Commander Breetai in the First Robotech War.
** General Rolf Emerson in the Second Robotech War.
** Scott and surprisingly enough, the Invid Regess, [[spoiler:who leaves after being convinced by Ariel/Marlene that humanity isn't all bad, and decides to even take out the neutron-S missiles the REF launches in an attempted scorched earth attack before leaving.]]
* {{Roboteching}}: The TropeNamer.
* SpannerInTheWorks: The defenders of the SDF-1 ''Macross'' and Minmei were this to the Zentraedi plans to capture the ship.
* ScaryDogmaticAliens: The Invid could be taken as a stereotype of [[spoiler:Communist China]], and the Zentraedi as...[[spoiler:Americans]].
* ScrewTheRulesImDoingWhatsRight:
** Captain Gloval defies the orders from his superiors to take off from the Earth in order to bait the Zenreadi forces away from Earth.
** The Original Zor could count as this as he rebelled against his species corrupt rule and took the last known Protoculture Matrix where he hid it aboard his Battle Fortress known as the SDF-1 that was crewed by a mixture of Tirolians and Zentraedi. Their mission was seeding a mutated strain of the Flower of Life on the worlds of the Local Group. During this time, their expedition came under attack from the now war-like Invid who called for Zor death but not before he sent the SDF-1 on a course for a distant unknown world to hide the Protoculture Matrix. The novelizations avert this by implying that the ''Protoculture itself'' has an independent will and caused Zor to send the ship to Earth, which turns out to be the original source of the Flower of Life as part of a complex, long range plan to free itself of all the entities that were using it for their own ends.
* SecondLove:
** Lisa Hayes is this for Rick Hunter (and vice versa) - they even make it to the altar in ''Sentinels''.
** Ariel (AKA: the other Marlene) is this to Scott Bernard in ''The New Generation''/''The Shadow Chronicles''.
* SequelHook: Most installments have ''at least'' one:
** "The Macross Saga" has the episodes showing the Robotech Masters are coming to Earth (for the second part of the series) and the announcement Earth is going to send a diplomatic expedition to the Masters' homeworld (for the intended ''Sentinels'' spin-off);
** "The Masters" has the Masters' warnings about the Invid, and concludes with the narrator announcing that the Invid are in fact arriving (for "The New Generation);
*** The Masters have also mentioned someone called Disciples of Zor as a possible enemy, and someone called Children of Zor was slated to appear in the aborted ''Robotech: Academy''.
** "The New Generation" has the unexplained disappearance of admiral Hunter and the mention the Invid lost their homeworld ''twice'', that, with the talk about 'Children of Shadows', end up as the hook for ''The Shadow Chronicles'';
** ''Robotech II: The Sentinels'', being made of the completed episodes of what should have been a whole series, has the indications the Tirolians and the Robotech Expeditionary Force will both fight the Regent's faction of the Invid and the Regess announcing her intention to deploy the Sensor Nebula, that will show up in "The Masters" and lead to her coming to Earth;
** ''The Shadow Chronicles'' and ''Love, Live, Alive'' have both indications that the REF is going to search for admiral Hunter, the tale that should be told in ''Shadow Rising''.
* {{Shapeshifter}}: The Zentraedi's "micronization process."
* ShipperOnDeck: Claudia Grant ships Lisa Hayes with Rick Hunter; Max Sterling showed signs of this as well. Roy was all for Team Minmei though.
* ShoutOut:
** The visual references that ''Macross'' made to several other popular anime of the day, as well as to the Macross production staff, are largely left intact. The novels and older comics also incorporate some homages and extra data from the component series, and also include references to several science fiction properties.
** In "The Big Escape" (Macross Saga episode 12), Lisa Hayes suggests that humans and Zentraedi might actually be related somehow, and it is commented upon by both Zentraedi and human scientists that physical makeup, cell structure, biology, etc between the two species is almost identical. In the original ''[[Anime/SuperDimensionFortressMacross Macross]]'' anime; humans, Zentraedi and Meltrandi (female Zentraedi) were all directly related species of HumanAliens, being different offshoot branches of [[{{Precursors}} The Protoculture]].
** See that fighter Roy and Rick fly? Looks pretty sweet doesn't it? Guess what, its color design's real. The VF-84 ''Jolly Rogers'' fighter squadron did fly white jets with yellow ribbons, black tails and skull & crossbones logos.
** To the Franchise/LupinIII Franchise: A video game in episode 24, intended to be similar to the game "Cliff Hanger", which uses footage of the car-chase scene from ''Anime/TheCastleOfCagliostro''. The character playing the game seems to be in Lupin III cosplay, complete with smoking cigarette.
* ShoutOutThemeNaming: In the ''Shadow Chronicles '' comic prequel and animated film, there are two ships Icarus and Deukalion. In mythology, Icarus and Deukalion are the respective sons of Daedelus and Prometheus who are known in ''Robotech''/''Macross'' lore as lending their names to the two supercarriers that form the arms of ''Anime/{{Macross}}'' SDF-1.
* SixthRanger: Zor Prime.
* SmartGuy: Louie Nichols
* SnapBack: The city inside the SDF-1 is shown to be seriously damaged in many space battles, not to mention ''every time the ship transforms''. It's always fine in the next episode. [[{{handwave}} It could be said]] that eventually they would figure out where damage would be and make it easily repairable. This is [[{{Lampshade Hanging}} lampshaded]] in the novels, where the civil engineers were marvelous, able to both synthesize new building materials at an incredible pace, and devised a way of setting up the city in such a way it sustained minimal damage during transformation. The novels particularly have this as a secondary reason for the Zentradi to do a HeelFaceTurn: The humans know how to ''repair'' things, an [[LostTechnology almost magical ability]] from their point of view. This is Lampshaded by the fact that when Breetai's main viewscreen on his ship's bridge is smashed by a veritech flying through it, it is never repaired, simply replaced by another screen with the smashed viewscreen still in place.
* SortingAlgorithmOfEvil: {{Subverted}}: the Zentraedi (who appear first) are actually the ''strongest'' faction thanks to sheer numbers; they're followed by the Robotech Masters, who have more advanced technology than their old SlaveMooks Zentraedi but just don't have the numbers to compete; following them are the Invid, who the Masters originally considered an ''annoyance'' until losses against the Southern Cross depleted their own numbers, implying that the only reason the Invid conquered Earth was that the Masters and the Southern Cross effectively destroyed each other. Then possibly played straight with the Children of Shadows, who may be far more dangerous than the Invid even after they build up their forces on Earth.
%%* SpaceIsCold
* SpearCounterpart: ''The Sentinels'' introduced the Invid Regent, the estranged mate of the Regess from "New Generation" who served as the BigBad.
* SpiritualAntithesis: Oddly, ''Anime/{{Macross}}'' and ''Robotech'' became this as their timelines progressed. In ''Macross'', the Zentradei become more like humanity, while in ''Robotech'', thanks to repeated invasions, humanity is becoming a warrior race like the Zentradei.
* TheSpock: Exedore.
%%* TheSquad
* TheStarscream: Khyron, who gets bonus points for [[spoiler:DragonTheirFeet during the ColonyDrop]].
* SupportingLeader: Roy Fokker and Captain Gloval in ''The Macross Saga''. General Emerson in ''The Masters''. Implied with Admiral Rick Hunter in ''The New Generation''.
%%* TankGoodness
* {{Tie In Novel}}s: Jack [=McKinney=]'s adaptation of the unproduced ''Sentinels'' sequel, and several other original stories.
* TookALevelInJerkass: Rick Hunter and Lynn Kyle both went through this in the "Reconstruction" era episodes of ''Macross Saga''. Granted, Rick had been a bit of a jerk earlier in the series but he started to grow up, getting over his initial infatuation with Minmei and seemingly moving on to Lisa... only to regress back to being infatuated with Minmei (who also got a bit derailed herself). His behavior towards Lisa in ''Brokenheart'' and ''A Rainy Night'' is especially disgusting, and they're supposed to be the show's primary couple! Kyle started off a nice guy with slightly unrealistic views of war and peace who degenerated into an alcholic control freak in the aftermath of the war, due in no small part to his unhealthy relationship with Minmei, which he himself eventually got tired of and left her when he realized the situation was hurting her as much as it was him.
* TookALevelInKindness: ''Robotech: The Sentinels'' portrays Rick Hunter as a much wiser and kinder person than he was in the actual ''Macross Saga'', which makes sense given that ''Sentinels'' is set around 10 years later, which seems to have given him enough time to finally grow up and grow more into his responsibilities.
%%* TragicHero
* TransformingMecha: Referred to in-universe as veritechs.
** EnsignNewbie, TheSquadette: Dana Sterling.
* TheTokyoFireball: Twice in ''The Macross Saga''. Once in the first episode, and then in the climactic battle with Dolza.
* TheyLookLikeUsNow: Zentraedi becoming human sized. The Masters, particularly Zor Prime being sent in as a HeelFaceMole, and the Invid Simulagents.
* ThisIsNotADrill: Frequently on the SDF-1.
* TownWithADarkSecret: In ''The New Generation''.
* UnreliableNarrator: The narrator often says things that directly contradict what we actually see happen, most notably Lisa Hayes "volunteering" for a certain mission in ''Blind Game''.
* UnwittingInstigatorOfDoom: Humanity repairing the SDF-1 restored the ship's main cannon and targeting system. This allowed the automated boobytrap to fire upon the Zentraedi when they arrived. Earth firing the first shot and demonstrating possession of Protoculture technology, led the Zentradi to abandon non-violent first contact.
* VillainWithGoodPublicity: [[spoiler:T.R. Edwards and ''Anatole Leonard''. Before the Zentraedi they were members of the Anti-Unification League, planning to take over the world and personally involved in a plan that, even if stopped, resulted in the death of thousands and the destruction of the [[WaveMotionGun Southern Grand Cannon]]... And ''nobody ever had any idea''. And while Edwards eventually loses the good publicity, it's for something completely different.]]
* VillainWorld: Invid-occupied Earth. [[spoiler:Also, Earth between the departure of the Sentinels and the final battle of the Second Robotech War, as it was effectively in the hand of Anatole Leonard, [[VillainWithGoodPublicity former member of the Anti-Unification League]]]].
* WagonTrainToTheStars: The SDF-2 and SDF-3 missions.
* WaveMotionGun: The Macross reflex canon. It doubles as a fancy light show for special occasions.
* WeHaveReserves: Dolza's Grand Fleet consists of ''4.8 million ships''. It would have been more, but the others had just defected...
* WellIntentionedExtremist: Basically ''every'' villain but the Children of Shadow (who are apparently evil), Corg (who is apparently crazy), and possibly the Children of Zor (who were to appear in the aborted ''Robotech Academy'') has good intentions. Even the Regent:
** Bodolza wanted the means to free his people, that were on the SDF-1. If he had to kill an entire planet to achieve it... Well, it's not like he hadn't given them the choice of surrender before doing it.
** Khyron and Azonia wanted to save the surviving Zentraedi from the Robotech Masters' revenge. As they expected the Masters to win (and in fact it nearly happened), that meant either the destruction of Mankind's military capability or the capture of the Protoculture Matrix.
** T.R. Edwards and [[spoiler: Anatole Leonard]] wanted a strong and independent Humanity. To them that meant taking over the world and kill every alien who could pose a threat.
** In spite of what they had done in the past, by the time they show up the Masters wanted to save their race and to defeat the Invid. That recovering the Protoculture Matrix and rebuilding the Tirolian Empire, and if they had to kill Earth's population... Well, they didn't fire first, and they did give them a chance to surrender and/or leave the planet.
** The Invid Regent's main goal was to recover the Protoculture Matrix and the Flower of Life and save the Invid. His means to that are a mere consequence that by now he's gone crazy.
** The Invid Regess too wanted the Protoculture Matrix and the Flower of Life, and once she got them she remained on Earth and occupied the planet because that was were the Flower was. And [[PragmaticVillain she treated the Humans well, as long as they didn't actively fight her children]].
* WhamEpisode: [[spoiler:Episode 18, "Farewell, Big Brother"]]. Goddamn [[MemeticMutation pineapple salad]]!
** The canon comic book miniseries "To the Stars" reveals that [[spoiler:[[VillainWithGoodPublicity T.R. Edwards and Anatole Leonard were members of the Anti-Unification League]]]]. While Edwards' membership doesn't surprise anyone, [[spoiler:Leonard]]'s comes out of the blue.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: Due to the time skip the casts of both ''Macross Saga'' and ''The Masters'' get shuffled out with little to no closure.
* WholesomeCrossdresser: Lancer/Yellow Dancer.
* YouNeedToGetLaid: Claudia Grant is constantly telling Lisa Hayes this in one way or another. The Bridge Bunnies agree with Claudia.
* YouGottaHaveBlueHair - For American anime fans who grew up in the '80s, Max and Miriya are the ur-example. Max is especially notable since he's fully human, so his hair color can't be explained away as a sign of alieness.