[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Gundam.jpg]]
[-[[caption-width-right:300:The face that launched a thousand spinoffs.]]-]

->''"It's a Gundam!!"''
-->-- The LastWords of many a {{Mook}} in the franchise, as demonstrated [[http://youtu.be/6lvJ6eFcCJE here]].

''Gundam'' is a [[LongRunners long running]] series of HumongousMecha {{Anime}} shows started by Creator/YoshiyukiTomino in 1979, TropeMaker for the RealRobot genre, and basically the Japanese equivalent of ''Franchise/StarTrek''. Gundam is a CashCowFranchise and a veritable [[MerchandiseDriven merchandising empire]], encompassing not just televised anime, but also manga, {{OVA}}s, video games, plastic models, toys, theme park rides and a racing team sponsorship. Its works include:

[[index]]
[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Anime ]]

* ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam'' (1979-1980 TV series)
** ''Anime/MobileSuitZetaGundam'' (1985-1986 TV series)
** ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamZZ'' (1986-1987 TV series)
** ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamCharsCounterattack'' (1988 movie)
** ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam0080WarInThePocket'' (1989 OVA)
** ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamF91'' (1991 movie)
** ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam0083StardustMemory'' (1991-1992 OVA)
** ''Anime/MobileSuitVictoryGundam'' (1993-1994 TV series)
** ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamThe08thMSTeam'' (1996-1999 OVA)
** ''Film/GSaviour'' (2000 live-action movie)
** ''Gundam Evolve'' (2001-2005 OVA)
** ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamMSIGLOO'' (2004-2009 CGI OVA)
** ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamUnicorn'' (2010-2014 OVA)
** ''Manga/MobileSuitGundamTheOrigin'' (2015-ongoing OVA)
** ''Manga/MobileSuitGundamThunderbolt'' (2015-2017 ONA)
** ''LightNovel/MobileSuitGundamTwilightAXIS'' (2017-ongoing ONA)
* ''Anime/MobileFighterGGundam'' (1994-1995 TV series)
* ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamWing'' (1995-1996 TV series)
** ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamWingEndlessWaltz'' (1997 OVA)
* ''Anime/AfterWarGundamX'' (1996 TV series)
* ''Anime/TurnAGundam'' (1999-2000 TV series)
* ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamSEED'' (2002-2003 TV series)
** ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamSEEDDestiny'' (2004-2005 TV series)
** ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamSEEDCE73Stargazer'' (2006 ONA[[note]]"Original Net Animation" -- ''Stargazer'' was originally released online, rather than on TV or DVD. This was a bigger deal in 2006 than it is now.[[/note]])
* ''Anime/SDGundamForce'' (2004 TV Series)
* ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam00'' (2007-2009 TV series)
** ''[[Anime/Gundam00AWakeningOfTheTrailblazer A Wakening of the Trailblazer]]'' (2010 movie)
* ''Anime/ModelSuitGunplaBuildersBeginningG'' (2010 OVA)
* ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamAGE'' (2011-2012 TV series)
* ''Anime/GundamBuildFighters'' (2013-2014 TV series)
** ''Anime/GundamBuildFightersTry'' (2014-2015 TV series)
* ''Anime/GundamReconguistaInG'' (2014-2015 TV series)
* ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamIronBloodedOrphans'' (2015-2017 TV series)

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Related Works ]]

* ''Franchise/GundamExpandedUniverse''
[[/index]]

Gundam works are generally stories about how WarIsHell, covering conflicts between different groups of people fighting WorldWarWhatever over ideology, resources, and other familiar real world issues -- as opposed to fighting an AlienInvasion, RobotWar, or other external threat. This conflict usually takes the form of the established Earth government fighting against people living in the enormous [[SpaceStation space colonies]] in Earth orbit in a {{downplayed|trope}} form of TheWarOfEarthlyAggression (though it's a toss up whether Earth or the colonies are actually the aggressors in any given series).

The plot of a Gundam series usually falls into one of two archetypes. The original version was an OrdinaryHighSchoolStudent getting drawn into the ongoing war against his will when TheEmpire attacks their DoomedHometown; they end up FallingIntoTheCockpit of the latest SuperPrototype Gundam in order to save themselves and/or their friends, and gradually grow into an AcePilot in their own right. A variation of this arose as the franchise expanded, where the protagonist is a ChildSoldier and already an AcePilot at the beginning of the story, sent on an important mission to use their powerful Gundam to strike a devastating blow against their enemy. Either way, the series is usually a ComingOfAge story, where the protagonist suffers trauma and loss during the course of the conflict, but grows as a person in the process of examining their motivations and their place in the world and eventually deciding how to best live up to their ideals and fight for what they believe in.

While works continue to be set in the original "Universal Century" [[TheVerse verse]] established in ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam'', the franchise also has over a dozen {{Alternate Continuit|y}}ies that allow the franchise to delve into other genres, such as SuperRobot fighting tournaments, ToBeAMaster modeling competitions, and SavingTheWorld HeroicFantasy.

Lore-wise, the Gundam series (particularly the original Universal Century timeline) are notable for the remarkably consistent fictional technology; in UC, this is based on the original [[MinovskyPhysics Minovsky Particle]]. Also notable is the presence of Newtypes, who are essentially {{psychic|Powers}}s akin to "[[Franchise/StarWars Jedi]] in [[HumongousMecha giant robots]]". Newtypes, or some SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute, appear in most Gundam shows.

Creator/KunioOkawara created many of the iconic HumongousMecha designs, including the RX-78 Gundam. However, the franchise has also had mecha designs by Hajime Katoki, Kazumi Fujita, Junya Ishigaki, Mamoru Nagano, Syd Mead and several others.

----
!!The ''Gundam'' franchise is the TropeNamer for:

* [[GetAHoldOfYourselfMan/{{Gundam}} Bright Slap]] (now GetAHoldOfYourselfMan)
* CharClone
* ColonyDrop
* EnsignNewbie
* "Gundamjack" (now GrandTheftPrototype)
* MinovskyPhysics
* MobileSuitHuman
----
!!The ''Gundam'' franchise provides examples of the following tropes:

* AbsentAliens: One of the hallmarks of the show is that there are no signs of extraterrestrial life, which originally made the show stand out from the pack. The only exceptions so far are ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamSeed Gundam SEED]]'' mentioning a winged SpaceWhale fossil found on Jupiter in passing, ''Manga/MobileSuitCrossboneGundam'' with [[spoiler:the microbial "Angel's Call"]], and ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundam00 Gundam 00]]'', which includes StarfishAliens in [[Anime/Gundam00AWakeningOfTheTrailblazer the movie]].
* AceCustom: Generally fielded by TheLancer or TheRival while TheHero himself usually has a SuperPrototype.
* AerithAndBob: There are some very strangely named characters in Gundam, there are also a scattering of people with completely mundane names. If we listed every bizarre name in every series, well... we'd be here all day.
* AirborneAircraftCarrier: Most of the {{Cool Starship}}s in the series qualify as these. Particularly if you count flight-capable HumongousMecha as 'aircraft'.
* ALighterShadeOfGray: While Gundam usually goes out of its way to show that [[GreyAndGrayMorality both sides of the conflict have good and bad people]], it's generally still the case that one side has the moral high ground.
* AllThereInTheManual: There are loads of supplements like side-stories and model kit manuals. You won't miss vital information by ignoring them... usually.
* AloofDarkHairedGirl: There's at least two in a series. She's always an important female character, usually the main character's (possible or {{canon}}) LoveInterest, TheBaroness or the TeamMom.
* AlternateContinuity: TV series, movie trilogies, manga, video games, and novels all retell the same stories... and all slightly differently.
* AlternateUniverse: So far there's:
** Universal Century: ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamMSIGLOO'' (January UC 0079), ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam'' (September UC 0079), ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamThe08thMSTeam'' (October UC 0079), ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamThunderbolt'' (late UC 0079), ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam0080WarInThePocket'' (December UC 0079), ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam0083StardustMemory'' (UC 0083), ''Anime/MobileSuitZetaGundam'' (UC 0087), ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamZZ'' (UC 0088), ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamCharsCounterattack'' (UC 0093), ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamUnicorn'' (UC 0096), ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamF91'' (UC 0123), ''Anime/MobileSuitVictoryGundam'' (UC 0153), ''Film/GSaviour'' (UC 223)[[note]]generally treated as CanonDiscontinuity, but not formally de-canonized[[/note]], ''Anime/GundamReconguistaInG'' (RC 1014)[[note]]It has been confirmed that the Reguild Century is in the far future of UC, though when precisely UC ended and RC began is unknown at this time.[[/note]]
** Future Century: ''Anime/MobileFighterGGundam'' (FC 60)
** After Colony: ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamWing'' (AC 195), ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamWingEndlessWaltz'' (AC 196)
** After War: ''Anime/AfterWarGundamX'' (AW 0015)
** Correct Century: ''Anime/TurnAGundam'' (CC 2345)
** Cosmic Era: ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamSEED'' (CE 70), ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamSEEDDestiny'' (CE 73), ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamSEEDCE73Stargazer'' (CE 73)
** Anno Domini (00): ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam00'' (2307 AD in the first season, 2311 in the second), ''[[Anime/Gundam00AWakeningOfTheTrailblazer A Wakening of the Trailblazer]]'' (2314 AD)
** Advanced Generation: ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamAGE'' (AG 115-201)
** Post Disaster: ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamIronBloodedOrphans'' (PD 323)
* AlternativeCalendar: Used for every series but ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundam00 Gundam 00]]'', largely to avoid having to set a definitive "[[ExtyYearsFromNow X years in the future]]" setting. Amusingly, the first few series (from ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam'' to ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamCharsCounterattack'') simply filed the serial numbers off by setting them in the year "UC 00XX", where XX was the year in the 20th century that the show was released. ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam'', for example, was released in 1979 and set in UC 0079.
** Not helping things was the fact that ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam'' and ''Anime/MobileSuitZetaGundam'' had scenes identifying the date as 20XX (as in, 2079 for the original show); these were quietly {{Retcon}}ned out of later releases. In response, fans attempted to pin down a specific year as UC 0001, using a couple of concrete dates[[note]]As in, a specific date AND day of the week[[/note]] from ''Gundam 0080'' (January 14 falls on a Monday) and ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamZZ Gundam ZZ]]'' (0088 is a leap year, and by extension so is 0080 and all other UC years that are multiples of 4); the general consensus is that it's 2047[[note]]The last official timelines ever published that include the AD era have 2045 as the last AD year mentioned, with 2047 being the earliest possible candidate after that based on the above dates. Still, it's just theory.[[/note]].
* AmbiguousTimePeriod: The series takes place in the future, but due to the excessive use of [[AlternativeCalendar alternate calendars]] how far in the future is impossible to pinpoint.
* AMechByAnyOtherName: The series' signature HumongousMecha, Mobile Suits.
* AnyoneCanDie: The series was, after all, [[Creator/YoshiyukiTomino created by a man]] who was ''nicknamed'' KillEmAll.
* ArmoredCoffins: Effective ejection systems are the exception rather than the rule in the franchise; in most instances, the pilot's best chance to survive is to pop the cockpit hatch and try to escape on foot -- which is rarely an option while your mecha is exploding.
* AttackDrone: A staple of the franchise are attack drones controlled by a pilot's psychic abilities, rather than onboard AI. Some shows have non-psychic versions available, but that just means they're manually remote-controlled instead.
* BadassBeard: While several characters qualify, it's worth noting that the red "beard" protrusion is one of the defining features of the Gundam's distinctive faceplate after the V-Fin.
* TheBattlestar: Most warships have impressive firepower in addition to their mobile suit payload... [[PlotArmor which would be nice if they ever hit anything other than mooks]].
* {{Bishonen}}: Having downright ''pretty'' guys (more often than not, including the protagonists themselves) has been a hallmark for the series since about ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamWing Wing]]''. Despite most of them being hardened soldiers, which doesn't typically lend itself toward that sort of thing.
* BittersweetEnding: By far the most common sort of ending to a Gundam series. Only a handful have unambigiously happy (''[[Anime/AfterWarGundamX Gundam X]]'', ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamWing Gundam Wing]]: Endless Waltz'') or downer (''[[Anime/MobileSuitZetaGundam Zeta Gundam]]'') endings.
* BrokenFaceplate: A pilot's helmet visor being cracked or outright shattered is a good indication that they're in a lot of trouble, though it's not usually an immediate death sentence since their cockpit is also pressurized.
* {{Canon}}: ''Gundam'' has an unusual take on this, partly because the Western definition of "canon" in regards to fiction doesn't exist in Japan. All animated works are considered "official", while [[ExpandedUniverse everything else]] is "non-official". This means that the various contradictory AlternateContinuity works (namely, the TV shows and their CompilationMovie remakes) are equally "canon", while some non-animated works like ''Crossbone Gundam'' are "non-canon" despite being praised for their quality and attention to not mucking up the timeline. This makes it ''completely impossible'' to come up with any kind of "one true version" of events: see ContinuitySnarl below.
* CentrifugalGravity: Seen in everything from individual ships (many of which come equipped with rotating "gravity block" sections) all the way up to the kilometers-long space colonies themselves (whose ''entire structures'' spin along one axis), because Gundam's tech level generally isn't advanced enough to support ArtificialGravity.
* CharClone: Being the TropeNamer and TropeMaker, of course. With the exception of the {{OVA}}s, there's at least one in every series where the original Char doesn't appear... except ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamZZ'', where Char was originally ''intended'' to appear, but was scrapped when ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamCharsCounterattack'' was given the green light.
* TheCoconutEffect: Consciously averted. When Tomino wrote the original series, he decided to use particle-based weapons rather than lasers specifically because lasers would be invisible, instant-hit weapons and would kill a lot of the drama of battle.
* CollateralAngst: When a protagonist's love interest dies (and [[AnyoneCanDie they do]]), the writing focuses mainly on how the protagonist feels rather than the tragedy of said love interest's life being cut short.
* ColonyDrop: The TropeNamer; Gundam series are extremely fond of dropping large objects onto targets from orbit.
* CombiningMecha: Comes and goes in phases. The original Gundam had the ability to separate and recombine; this was downplayed later. The CE timeline has this in spades, as the titular mecha combine with "packs" that seem expressly designed to [[MerchandiseDriven ship more plastic models]] of the mecha.
* CompanionCube: Many pilots either start or come to view their mobile suits this way. Relatively minor examples will do things like ask their mecha for more power when they're going all-out, while the most extreme cases will do things like asking for advice and then ''behaving as though the mobile suit has given it''.
* CompilationMovie: Gundam ''loves'' these. The television series generally get compilation movie ''trilogies'', and even some of the [=OAVs=] have gotten compilation movies of their own.
* ConservationOfNinjitsu: A single enemy in a new mobile suit is usually far more dangerous than a swarm of them attacking at once -- even if it's the exact same model.
* ContinuitySnarl: By Sunrise's policy, only animated works are truly "official". However, that still makes it impossible to determine a single "real" version of events, given that the franchise's full-length TV series are usually turned into movie triologies, which are AlternateContinuity to a greater (''Zeta'''s movie trilogy retconned its entire sequel series, ''ZZ'', out of existence) or lesser (the ''Mobile Suit Gundam'' movie trilogy just removes some of the wackier SuperRobot influences and replaces shoddy animation with higher quality work) extent... and yet, they're all equally canon in Sunrise's eyes.
* ConvectionSchmonvection: Generally averted -- the bigger {{Wave Motion Gun}}s can ruin your day with even a near-miss.
* CoolHelmet: Sort of; the Gundams' iconic V crest attached to their heads.
* CoolShip: The main character usually has a ship to haul his Cool Mecha around.
* CorporalPunishment: The main character usually ends up on the wrong end of a punitive beatdown at least once, and that's not even counting the ''[[GetAholdOfYourselfMan therapeutic]]'' beatdowns he's also likely to receive.
* CosmeticallyAdvancedPrequel: New works set in early time periods (like ''Thunderbolt'' and ''The Origin'', both set in the same period as the original ''Mobile Suit Gundam'' but made decades later) tend to include more modern-looking technology (like touchscreen interface controls) than the original shows set in that era.
* CrapsackWorld: The various Gundam settings are usually ''not'' pleasant places to live, often involving mass murder on the scale of millions or ''billions'' of people at a time, and the risk of humanity driving itself entirely to extinction. The only good news is that the protagonists are usually able to prevent ''complete'' disaster.
* CurbStompBattle: Gundams tend to be an instigator of many of these. They're made from a [[SuperPrototype stronger material]] than other mobile suits, and their pilots are [[AcePilot exceptionally skilled,]] so they often mop the floor on the battlefield.
* CyberCyclops: The "bad guy" mobile suits tend to have a single, [[GlowingMechanicalEyes glowing camera]]; they're typically referred to as "mono-eyes".
* DarkAndTroubledPast: Usually the main character, when they're the OvertAgent type that start out as an experienced AcePilot already. The {{Ordinary High School Student}}s tend to have dark and troubled ''presents'' instead.
* {{Deconstruction}}: This series is one of the earliest known examples of removing the "super" from the SuperRobot genre, transforming the HumongousMecha into a glorified tank.
* DoomedHometown: The main character's hometown, frequently a space colony, is usually wrecked early in the series. Sometimes directly leads to FallingIntoTheCockpit.
* DownerEnding: Less common than the BittersweetEnding, but more common than the HappyEnding. See ''[[Anime/MobileSuitZetaGundam Zeta Gundam]]'' and ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam0083StardustMemory''.
* DualWielding: Ever since the original series, the classic melee loadout for a Gundam has been a pair of beam sabers, and if there's a variation from this formula, it's usually because the suit in question is fitted with even ''more'' blades as well.
* EnergyWeapons: FrickinLaserBeams, {{Wave Motion Gun}}s, {{Laser Blade}}s, and everything in between.
* EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses: ''[[Anime/AfterWarGundamX Gundam X]]'' and ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamAGE'' are only TV series that are totally devoid of a princess (or a princess-in-exile, or the daughter of an important official, be it government or a scientist) in a major and/or supporting role. And it's not uncommon for said character to be the [[ShipTease love interest]] for a major character, either[[note]]Of all the Gundam characters this trope applies to, there is only ONE who is not a love interest for a character in the show she appears in - Kycillia Zabi[[/note]].
* EvolutionaryLevels: Used, subverted, and played with. Newtypes from the UC timeline are initially presented as this, but they ultimately don't seem to have much effect on the world beyond a handful of ridiculously skilled {{Ace Pilot}}s. ''[[Anime/AfterWarGundamX Gundam X]]'' has an ending that explicitly states Newtypes are nothing of the sort, though since it's an alternate universe it's still an open question for the UC timeline. The CE timeline's Coordinators are a mixed bag -- some of them consider themselves this, but many do not. ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundam00 Gundam 00]]'''s Innovators are the concept played completely straight. The X-Rounders of ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamAGE'' are still on the fence; on the one hand, both sides are trying to cultivate them, but one of the series' most powerful considers them to be an evolutionary ''throwback'' rather than advancement.
* ExpandedUniverse: Sunrise's policy divided non-animate works in two categories. If the work doesn't contradict with official animate "white" works, then it's "gray", somewhat acceptable add-on to the timeline (just don't expect Sunrise to support the events). Whatever contradict with official works is "black", outright non-canon. Note that the "gray" status isn't permanent, new animate work may push the work to "black" by add new events that contradict it, or make it "light gray" by has some of TheCameo (the story is still gray, but whatever appear on screen is "white").
* {{Expy}}: To say the franchise is addicted to this trope is an understatement. There's [[CharClone a Char]] in ''every single series''.
* FallingIntoTheCockpit: A popular way to select new crack Gundam pilots. There are some notable subversions and aversions, most notably in some of the [=OVAs=] and [=AUs=].
* TheFederation: The Earth government is usually one.
* FighterLaunchingSequence: Pretty much everyone announces their name and which mecha they're using before launching from the CoolShip.
* FiveManBand: The Universal Century was slightly more dynamic, but it came into full swing in ''Anime/MobileFighterGGundam'' and ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamWing''.
* TheForceIsStrongWithThisOne: Newtypes and such can often sense each other.
* FrozenFace: Mobile suits, being mecha, don't really have any means for showing expressions. That said, the shows usually manages to convey emotions through them regardless, with visual tricks like camera angles and lighting, plus creative use of the one feature that ''does'' change: their GlowingMechanicalEyes.
* FrickingLaserBeams: A staple of the franchise, though the specifics of how they work varies from series to series.
* GatlingGood: The head gatlings, another iconic weapon for Gundam-type suits. Mostly used for dealing with small, fast threats like planes and missiles.
* GetAholdOfYourselfMan: Bright Noa, the TeamDad of the UC timeline, is the king of this trope. So much so that it was originally called the Bright Slap. Used in several other timelines as well.
* GiantRobotHandsSaveLives: Usually played straight.
* GlowingMechanicalEyes: Mobile suit cameras (positioned in their heads like eyes, naturally) ''always'' glow when activated.
* GrandTheftPrototype: Previous TropeNamer. Highly advanced Gundams featuring experimental technology and extremely high combat performance get stolen with alarming regularity in the franchise.
* GreyAndGrayMorality: Gundam is notable for rarely portraying either side of a conflict as faceless, mindless evildoers -- there are good people and bad people on all sides of a conflict. That said, the protagonists' faction will usually be ALighterShadeOfGrey.
* HeroesPreferSwords: Whilst their enemies often get more exotic melee weapons, the hero's suit ''will'' have a beam sabre or two.
* HeroicSacrifice: From both throwaway and major characters; a side effect of AnyoneCanDie.
* HoverSkates: Mecha can often move this way, even if they can't out-and-out fly with their thrusters. Some mecha are explicitly designed for it, most notably the Dom from various Universal Century works.
* HumongousMecha: Obviously.
** AMechByAnyOtherName: They're called "mobile suits" in general, though different timelines have variations like "mobile fighters", "mobile dolls", and "mobile bits". Non-humanoid versions are usually called "mobile armors".
* IdiosyncraticEpisodeNaming: Not individual episodes, but almost all of the Gundam TV series (as well as ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamF91'', which was ''[[ExecutiveMeddling intended]]'' as a TV series) are named after one of the protagonist's mobile suits. The only exceptions so far are ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamSEED Gundam SEED]]'' (named for the series SuperMode), ''Anime/GundamReconguistaInG'' (named for the Towasanga faction's plan to conquer Earth by force[[note]]''G'' in Reconguista in G meant to be ''ground'' as in the Earth's surface[[/note]]), and ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamIronBloodedOrphans Iron-Blooded Orphans]]'' (named for the protagonists, rather than any of their mecha).
* InfoDump: Happens in some spots, e.g. the introduction of the Specials in ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamWing''.
* LatexSpaceSuit: For use by both males and females, though only pilots; other crew get bulkier, more conventional space suits.
* LongRunner: The first series premiered in 1979 and the franchise has been going strong since. BigNameFan Burke Rukes once pointed out on his old website that if one were to watch all of Gundam from [[Anime/MobileSuitGundam MSG]] to [[Anime/TurnAGundam Turn A]], it would take about a week, and that was ''without'' counting work, sleep, and bathroom/meal breaks. And mind you, this was after the Gundam's 20th anniversary in 1999 -- the franchise has expanded considerably since then.
* LoveAcrossBattlelines: A staple of the series, as part of the standard LoveHurts {{Aesop}}.
* LoveHurts: Very, very rarely does a romance with a Gundam pilot work out for anyone.
* LoveTriangle: Almost all series have this.
* MadeOfIndestructium: Gundams are typically made of this; in UC it's named "Gundarium" in honor of the Gundam which was the first to use it[[note]]it was initially named "Lunar Titanium" in the original series, as it was an artificial alloy of Titanium discovered by Lunar scientists[[/note]]; in AC it's called "Gundanium" and the Gundams are named after ''it''; and in AD the Gundams use "GN Composite Armor", which is just normal armor reinforced with AppliedPhlebotinum.
* MadeOfExplodium: Frequently what mook mecha are made out of. Given an actual explanation in the UC works ([[MinovskyPhysics a Minovsky reactor breached by beam weaponry will likely go nuclear]]), but other series use it as well. Anime/MobileSuitGundamWing (and it's classic MechaMook the Leo) are most infamous for it.
* {{Magitek}}: Newtype technology, designed to augment and be augmented by a pilot's PsychicPowers.
* MaskPower: TheRival and/or CharClone usually wear one.
* MechaMooks: Dozens of variants in the franchise, usually limited to two or three examples per series. The bad guys usually have one that's influenced by the original Zaku II from ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam'', with the "[[GasMaskMooks gas mask]]" face and its iconic [[CyberCyclops mono-eye]]. In fact, the word "Zaku" is even derived from "zako" which means "mook" in Japanese.
* MegaCorp: Anaheim Electronics from the UC Timeline is a quintessential example.
* MegaCrossover: The ''VideoGame/GundamFighter'' Flash game, with over 80 Gundam characters from various shows.
** ''DynastyWarriorsGundam'' also features crossovers from the various universes, and the later entries in the ''VideoGame/GundamVsSeries'' have gone this direction as well.
* MeleeATrois: First introduced in ''Zeta Gundam'' and used repeatedly since. It usually takes the form of two major players each battling it out for their own interests, with the smaller protagonist faction fighting in support of loftier ideals.
* MerchandiseDriven: Much, ''much'' more money is made on Gundam modeling kits than the anime itself.
* MidSeasonUpgrade: Nearly every Gundam show actually features ''two'' Gundams piloted by the main character -- the one they start with, and the one they use after their original is destroyed and/or their piloting abilities have increased to the point where their older ride is holding them back. Sometimes this is a literal upgrade to the existing mecha, but just as often they switch to an entirely new model.
* MilitariesAreUseless: In numerous Gundam series, the military units are composed of weaker "grunt" mobile suits that are largely ineffective and are destroyed in large numbers by the much more powerful Gundams and other "hero mechs", which are always piloted by the main characters (protagonists and antagonists) of the narrative. The "grunt" mobile suits are always piloted by characters who don't have major narrative roles, assuming they are ever seen at all.
* MilitaryBrat: Numerous series have characters that are children of military personnel, though usually in a non-combat capability, like researchers or engineers.
* MindlinkMates: In the UC continuity, powerful Newtypes of the opposite sex, particularly teenagers, tend to instinctively gravitate toward each other and form psychic and romantic bonds. Unlike most portrayals of lovers with psychic bonds, however, [[LoveHurts it often ends badly]].
* MiniMecha: While HumongousMecha take all spotlight, several series do include small mecha, usually doing labor work in the background. The first that appear in anime is Junior Mobile Suit from ''Zeta Gundam'', unless you count Ball from first series as one.
* MinovskyPhysics: Yet another TropeNamer, in the UC timeline, but implemented in every timeline to a greater or lesser extent.
* MoeAnthropomorphism: MS Girl is originator of the Mecha Musume.
* MoralMyopia: Common among the both heroic and villainous factions, though the protagonists will usually at least ''try'' to overcome this sort of thinking.
* MythologyGag: While there are often indirect references to the original series in any given show, they often take this a step further by using the ''sound effects'' of the original series; this can range from the White Base's alert klaxon, to various booster/vernier sounds, to the classic "Pfeeew!" of the original Gundam's beam rifle.
* {{Novelization}}: All of the anime series except ''[[Anime/AfterWarGundamX Gundam X]]'' has at least one. ''Beltochika's Children'' is rather amusing case; it was originally Tomino's rejected plot of ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamCharsCounterattack'' which, in turn, is adapted from Tomino's novel ''Hi-Streamer''. In other word, it's novelization of TheFilmOfTheBook, with all three by same author!
* NuclearOption: Notable for averting the NuclearWeaponsTaboo. The UC and CE timelines, in particular, are fond of throwing nukes around. UC generally treats them as dangerous and powerful weapons but not necessarily evil incarnate (the ''good guys'' use ''illegally obtained'' nuclear missiles on at least one occasion), while CE is rather less forgiving.
* OfficiallyShortenedTitle: Works within the ''Gundam'' universe are typically given a long-form title ''Mobile Suit Gundam [Title]'', which is shortened to simply, ''Gundam [Title]'' in most usage; eg, ''Anime/MobileSuitZetaGundam'' is called ''Zeta Gundam'', and ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamSEED'' is called ''Gundam Seed''. They occasionally mix things up a bit (eg, ''G Gundam'''s full title is ''Anime/MobileFighterGGundam'', since the MotionCaptureMecha used by the heroes in that series are [[AMechByAnyOtherName called mobile fighters]] as opposed to conventionally-piloted mobile suits), and works with especially long titles may have more than just "Mobile Suit" cut from the short version (eg, ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamCharsCounterattack'' is usually rendered as just ''Char's Counterattack'').
* PhlebotinumGirl: Ubiquitous. In fact, the proposed name for the trope was "Newtype Girl".
* PhlebotinumHandlingRequirements: Various types of Mobile Suits can only be piloted by Newtypes.
* PinkMeansFeminine: Which is why so many female pilots, from ''Anime/MobileSuitZetaGundam'' all the way through to ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamAGE'', have pink mobile suits (or, at least, suits with pink highlights).
* PointDefenseless: Is it a hero ship? If not, a whole armada's flak screen might as well be made of fireworks.
* PoorCommunicationKills: Both used straight and subverted. Characters frequently end up fighting and killing each other unnecessarily because they aren't able to communicate well enough to realize neither side actually wants to fight. But just as often, they ''will'' establish that communication (thanks to handy PsychicPowers) and end up fighting and killing each other ''anyway'' because even though they don't want to fight, they still have incompatible ideals and neither side is willing to back down.
* PowerCreepPowerSeep: In many video game crossovers, established mobile suit performance is pretty much thrown out the window. In fact, the RX-78 from the original series is usually not just keeping up with other units, but a powerful one due to PopularityPower.
* PowersDoTheFighting: A minor staple in the franchise. If a mobile suit has AttackDrones, expect them to do this once in a while.
* PsychicChildren: About half the ''Gundam'' universes prominently feature youngsters with psychic powers of one kind or another, most of whom end up getting turned into as ChildSoldiers because of them.
* PsychicPowers: Newtypes and their various {{Exp|y}}ies from most of the franchise's timelines.
* RealRobot: It invented the genre, though it's always been stuck somewhere between the RealRobot and SuperRobot styles.
* RecurringElement: The visual style of the Gundam -- especially the iconic "face" -- is pretty consistent throughout the franchise. The setting in each AU also includes an "Earth vs space" aspect in almost every case. A recurring theme includes the question of when -- and if -- violence is an acceptable way to resolve your differences. Haro, the cute ball-shaped RobotBuddy, is a partial example, having shown up in UC, CE, and 00, but none of the other settings.
* RedBaron: It's usually the enemy {{Ace Pilot}}s that get awesome nicknames (starting with Char as the Red Comet), but occasionally allies do as well (such as Mu la Flaga from Gundam Seed, known as both "the Hawk of Endymion" and more informally as "the man who makes the impossible possible"). Oddly, the main character rarely gets this treatment.
* TheRemnant: {{Exaggerated|Trope}} in the Universal Century continuity. The Principality of Zeon is defeated in the One Year War, but the various Neo Zeon factions continue to be the standard villain for most of the later UC series, with their last holdouts only falling in 0123; ''Unicorn'''s adversaries get bonus points for being TheRemnant of ''another'' Remnant.
* {{Retcon}}: Between all the AlternateContinuity versions and {{OVA}}s, they're inevitable. They're usually not too bad, but exceptions (such as ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam0083StardustMemory'''s ColonyDrop) do occur.
* RingworldPlanet: Helped popularize the "[=O'Neill=] cylinder" design. Ring-world shaped colonies exists in ''Anime/GundamWing'' and in the in the case of Universal Century, in the beginning of ''Anime/GundamUnicorn''.
* SensorSuspense: Tends to do this by having stuff suddenly appear immediately before they come under attack. The BridgeBunnies suddenly yelling "Heat source detected!" out of the blue usually means bad things are about to happen.
* SeriesFranchise
* SeriesMascot: Aside from the Gundams themselves, there are the Haros.
* SlidingScaleOfGenderInequality: Most tend to hover between "Know Your Place, Woman!" and "Men are More Equal". Female combatants are usually around, but they're less common than male ones, and tend to be less skilled and/or stuck with less powerful mecha than their male counterparts. And pretty much the only woman capable of keeping up with the (invariably male) series protagonist in terms of both piloting ability and mecha strength -- Haman Karn of ''Zeta'' and ''ZZ'' -- is a villain.
* SoLastSeason: The MidSeasonUpgrade has been a staple since ''Anime/MobileSuitZetaGundam'', and even Anime/MobileSuitGundam had a limited version of it.
* SpaceOpera: A {{Downplayed}} example, with the action usually restricting itself to Earth and Earth orbit, and never expanding past the solar system. With the single exception of ''Anime/Gundam00AWakeningOfTheTrailblazer'', it sticks to AbsentAliens, as well.
* SpellMyNameWithAnS: Whoo boy. Too many examples to list, but common to a greater or lesser extent in basically every series. The most infamous examples are probably the Principality (Duchy/Archduchy/Grand Duchy) of Zeon (Zion/Jion) and Mu (Muu/Mwu -- though thankfully no Moo) la (ra) Flaga (Fllaga/Fraga). And then there is Quattro Bajeena, whose name has on at least one occasion been translated as "Quattro Vagina", due to the katakana used in his name. (And given Jamitov "Hyman"[[note]]say it aloud[[/note]], it's very possible it ''is''... uh, meant to, be spelled with a "V"...)
** None of this is helped by the fact that Sunrise is, at this point, absolutely ''infamous'' for coming up with names [[AerithAndBob that are meant to sound "foreign" and "sci-fi future" to Japanese audiences,]] [[AsLongAsItSoundsForeign but are often absolute nonsense that aren't informed by the zeitgeists or cultural memetics of any real-life civilization]]. For the Spacenoids, this can sort of work since they're meant to be very different and their own thing anyway (who says some dude born in space can't be named "Zeon Zum Deikun"?) but when Earth folks are ''meant'' to be named things like "South Burning", "Milliardo Peacecraft" and "Lady Une" (with Lady as a ''first name''), and when the kana interpretations for what the creators ''wanted'' the names to be end up all over the place, the result is a ton of confusion.
* SpiritualAntithesis: The entire franchise in general (even the LighterAndSofter entries to a degree) is arguably an antithesis of what Creator/GeneRoddenberry's work in ''Franchise/StarTrek'' represented. If there are strange new worlds to see in the Universal Century for instance, expect them to have a lot of the same problems we deal with on Earth. And expect humanity to bring its conflicts, bloodshed and hubris to the stars, as well as with all that's good in mankind.
* SpiritualSuccessor: Happens fairly often with AU series. To wit:
** ''Wing'' to ''G'' (MultinationalTeam in five garish, SuperRobot-style Gundams), and the last story arc to ''Char's Counterattack'' (CharClone tries to blow up the Earth).
** ''X'' to the original series, sort of, being an alternate BadFuture to the One Year War.
** ''Turn A'' to ''X'' (post-apocalyptic stories set mostly in America and on the Moon whose title Gundams are equippedd with terrifyingly powerful and exotic weapons).
** ''SEED'' to the original ''Gundam'' (first major Earth/Colonies war) and ''Destiny'' to ''Zeta'' (a follow up series featuring a new cast, but where characters for the original show are still around and active).
** ''00'' Season 1 to ''Wing'' and Season 2 to ''Zeta''.
** ''AGE'' to the entire Universal Century from the original through to ''Crossbone''.
** ''Gundam Build Fighters'' to early ''G'' (Gundam vs Gundam FightingSeries), and to the ''Gunpla Builders'' OVA series, which itself is to an obscure manga called ''Plamo Kyo Shiro''.
** ''Reconguista in G'' is this to Turn-A due to the setting, the director, being set after the Universal Century, and the Gundams being non-standard in design (the Turn-A's V-fin serves as a mustache, those of the G-Self are swept forward).
** ''Iron Blooded Orphans'' is a send-up to ''X'', ''Wing,'' and ''00'', with the violence and deconstruction of the genre taken UpToEleven.
* StandardSciFiHistory:
** Many series features Stage 1: Exploration and Colonization of Space. And then jump right into Stage 2: World War changing the world.
** The Universal Century subverts the standard progression. The rather idealistic founders of TheFederation definitely thought they would bypass Stage 2 into something akin to ''Star Trek''. Instead, the timeline is marked by multiple Stage 2 scenarios that by the time ''Victory'' takes place, it's just barely functional.
* StealthPun: BigNameFan Mark Simmons observed that SNRI, the rival to Anaheim Electronics, was created shortly after '''S'''u'''nri'''se bought the rights to ''Gundam''.
* StockFootage: And plenty of it. More of a problem for some series than others (the CE timeline was particularly infamous for indulging in it), and generally less of an issues in the movies and {{OVA}}s. ''Anime/MobileSuitVictoryGundam'', ''Anime/TurnAGundam'', and ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundam00 Gundam 00]]'' are also notable for largely avoiding it. There are some scenes reused (as in, you could count them on one hand), but much of the time it's a two-second clip that's only reused once, or it's just a split-second explosion to change scenes.
* TheSmurfettePrinciple: Downplayed. Every series has female pilots, but they're almost always outnumbered by male ones, and (with the exception of the manga ''EcoleDuCiel''), they're never the main character. Well, it is {{Shonen}}, after all...
* SuperPrototype: Just about anything with the word "Gundam" in its name, and a lot without it.
* SuperweaponSurprise: In the UC timeline, and the CE that mirrors it, mobile suits are these, with the subversion that they're used to ''attack'' instead of defend. The first Gundams in both universes are this ''again'', in that they're BiggerStick mobile suits that catch the other side by surprise too! More typical examples also appear in most timelines, as well.
* SwordFight: Only with HumongousMecha and {{Laser Blade}}s!
* TelepathicSpacemen: Newtypes from the Universal Century and their various equivalents.
* TransformingMecha: Varies between series, with some series chock-full of such mecha, and others devoid of them. ''Anime/MobileSuitZetaGundam'' springs to mind as the Gundam series with the most TransformingMecha, which includes the title mech.
* TranslationConvention: In Japan, the Army and Navy use [[UsefulNotes/CommonRanks the exact same ranking system]], which has caused a good deal of confusion over what to use in the US dubs -- for example, is [[Anime/MobileSuitGundam0083StardustMemory Kou Uraki]] an Ensign or 2nd Lieutenant? Typically, this is handled by treating the Space Forces as a Navy, and the rare few series that focus on ground combat forces (like ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamThe08thMSTeam'') use Army ranks.
* VillainousValour: It's not uncommon to see highly courageous behaviour from Gundam adversaries, whether ordinary mooks or major villains.
* WarIsHell: A recurring theme.
* TheWarOfEarthlyAggression: The most recurring theme in the series, and the one that generates most conflict overall.
* WarriorTherapist: TheRival tends to be one, resulting in [[TalkingIsAFreeAction philosophical debates]] during running mecha battles.
* WaveMotionGun: There's always at least one, whether mounted on a suit, a ship, or a space station.
* WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity: Most cyber newtypes and their alternate universe expies are not known for rationality or mental stability.
* WonTheWarLostThePeace: Happens repeatedly, where despite the antagonists being defeated, war erupts again in a few years anyway -- usually to justify a sequel. The Universal Century, with the most sequels, suffers this the worst, amounting to about 20 years of more-or-less constant fighting spread out over five or six distinct conflicts (depending on how you count them). However, it also happens with ''Gundam Wing'' (and its sequel ''Endless Waltz''), ''Gundam Seed'' (and its sequel ''Gundam Seed Destiny''), ''Gundam 00'' (and its sequel ''A Wakening of the Trailblazer'') and ''Iron-Blooded Orphans'' (where the season one finale leads to a brief period of peace and a mid-series TimeSkip, both of which end with the beginning of season two).
* WorldHalfFull: Virtually all Gundam shows take this attitude -- thought the world may be in serious trouble, the protagonists can and ''will'' fight to make it a better place than it was when they started.

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