[[quoteright:277:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Eyeshield_21_Team_2960.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:277: [[BattleCry We will]] ''[[BattleCry kill them!]]'']]
->''In American football, unless you become champions, it's the same thing as if you lost in the first round. There is only one truth. Winning!''

Sena Kobayakawa was a short, scrawny first year student at Deimon High School. He had always been the target for bullies, from which his childhood friend Anezaki Mamori would always try to protect him when she was around. One day, a group of bullies cornered him and dragged him off to the tiny club room for the school's AmericanFootball team, where he was rescued by the team's only starting lineman, and recruited to be the team secretary.

In short order, Sena was discovered to be a fast and agile runner, trained by a lifetime of running from (and running errands for) bullies. In addition to his team secretary duties, he was quickly [[DealWithTheDevil recruited]] to be the team's starting running back by the team's captain: demonic Youichi Hiruma. To keep him from becoming a recruitment target for every other club in the school, he was given a secret identity: Eyeshield 21, the mysterious hero from Notre Dame, who always plays wearing a helmet with a dark green eyeshield.

Between its [[EvilGenius captain's]] [[{{Blackmail}} extortion]], [[ClusterFBomb swearing]] and [[TrainingFromHell training from hell]], the ultra-rookie Deimon Devil Bats is forced to round up a dedicated team without blackmailing the other sports teams' players. The goal: the high school national championships, the Christmas Bowl.

On the way, they [[UnderdogsNeverLose win a bunch of games]], they [[AvertedTrope lose a bunch of games]], create [[TheRival fierce but friendly rivalries]], [[ComingOfAgeStory learn epic manliness]], and generally get ordered around by the whims of their [[DevilInPlainSight captain]].

''Eyeshield 21'' is a less known but very well recieved sports manga. Its defining trait is its unique and individually interesting characters (including those from other teams). Each have an instantly recognizable personality and appearance and their interactions make up a large bulk of the comedy in the manga (the rest is Hiruma). Similar to ''SlamDunk'', it explains the rules of the sport (American Football) as the story progresses, allowing even a beginner to follow along with the games.

SentaiFilmworks started releasing the series in North America, sub-only, in May 2010. Though with the quality of the anime, most would say it would be wise to stay clear from it. (This is likely due to its short-lived dub which aired on [[{{Toonami}} Toonami Jetstream]] a couple of years earlier. [[{{Macekre}} It wasn't well received.]])

The manga has now ended, after 333 chapters.
----
!!Provides examples of:

* AccidentalAthlete:
** Sena's speed comes from years of evading bullies and running errands for them. Which is actually kind of depressing....
** Monta first caught Sena's attention by catching an errant ball.
** The Ha-Ha Brothers were initially blackmailed into playing as linebackers until they discovered their love of the game.
** Karin Koizumi's talent was discovered when she tossed a stray ball back to the practicing team. She was then practically forced to join the team, [[spoiler: while all she ''wants'' to do is [[TheChick to draw shoujo manga and play the piano]]....]]
** Shin, unbelievably, is also one. He had no intention of playing sports in high school, and only tried out for the White Knights because Sakuraba asked him to.
** Furthermore is Ikari, who joined the team after three suspensions from school in order to defend the football team's glory, what with the golden age having graduated.
* AccidentalMisnaming: Because of some confusion on Sena's part, the team thought Raimon Taro's name is Kaminari Montarou. Hiruma later convinces "Monta" that his nickname comes from Joe Montana, a famous wide receiver in the NFL. (Hiruma added the last part to make Monta happy; Montana was a quarterback.)
* ACupAngst: Suzuna. She's ''very sensitive'' about this.
* AdviceBackfire: Jo Tetsuma is so literal that he takes everything WAY OVERBOARD. When told to 'keep hydrated' in preparation for a match, he went through twenty-something water-bottles in less than five minutes, resulting in the one time he ever deviated from his pass routeórunning off the field in the middle of a game to get to the bathroom after getting a stomach cramp.
* AgainstTheSettingSun
* AffablyEvil: Marco. There's no two ways about it, whether he's on your team or not, Marco's a decidedly sinister guy who likes to drink soda, share it with anyone he talks with, and likes to wear Armani suits....
* AllThereInTheManual: Some biographical info (like relative intelligence amongst the Devil Bats, the full names of the main American players) were only/first revealed in the manga compilations' "side" pages.
* AlwaysIdenticalTwins
* AlwaysSaveTheGirl: Hiruma, [[PetTheDog of all people]].
* AlwaysSomeoneBetter: There's at least one on every major opposing team. Monta, particularly, usually ends up facing off against a receiver hyped as his superior by far.
* AmbiguouslyBrown: The entirety of the Taiyō Sphinx, Agon
* AmbiguouslyGay: Subverted with Kisaragi, who certainly ''seems'' to have a huge crush on Gaou. Ultimately, it's stated on bonus materials (Devilbats Spy bits) that while he ''likes'' girls, it's just that he only likes girls that are... *ahem* [[AmazonChaser ridiculously strong]].
* ArcNumber: 21 of course. It's in the title and on the jersey of the hero, and becoming the real Eyeshield 21 is the ultimate personal goal of the protagonist. However, it also pops up more often than any other number. Sena's testing number in the first chapter, and Hiruma winning money to return from America with games of blackjack are obvious examples. Even Yamato's prediction of 42-0 could be interpreted as 2 * 21 = 42. Another example could be Hiruma and Agon combining for the Flying Dragon at the beginning of the final volume. Their jersey numbers are 1 and 2 respectively. Sena's birth date also falls on December 21.
* ArtEvolution: The style starts off rather rough and sketchy, with character designs leaning more towards cartoon-ish and perspective being more exaggerated. In general, the characters were more lanky and angular. As the series went on, the style became more conventionally shonen, with smoother, more serious looking re-designs and beefier bodies. Nearly all the characters got more attractive without losing what made them distinctive.
* AttackAttackAttack:
** Hiruma's philosophy on football and everything else.
** Seibu is also primarily focused on offense, to the point of packing no defensive power whatsoever. They get by on their ability to score pretty much at will, but they give up points to even the weakest teams.
** Ojou and Taiyou invert this by focusing entirely on defense. Taiyou in particular uses the mighty Pyramid Line to compensate for their quarterback's moderate talent.
* AudibleSharpness
* AwesomenessByAnalysis:
** Hiruma can analyze his enemies and come up with 18 different strategies at same time, even under severe pressure. Yukimitsu can analyze and discover the enemy's formation's weak-point and can make the best use of it. Mamori created a sign language so she could communicate the things she observes about the opponent's formations from the bench.
** Parodied by Sasuke Kanagushi of the Dokubari Scorpions; by paying attention to tiny details in their positions, he can accurately predict the movements of the opposing team. However, against Hiruma, as Takami says: "[[OutGambitted His enemy's just plain too evil.]]" Hiruma manages to stay one step ahead of Kanagushi using, among other things, ''[[ItMakesSenseInContext blush and lipstick]]''.
** Heinrich Schultz of the German team goes the extra mile by memorizing every last little detail about a player so that the can reliably predict their actions when he goes against them.
* AwLookTheyReallyDoLoveEachOther: Hiruma and Mamori occasionally get moments like this, especially towards the end of the series.
* BaldBlackLeaderGuy: Banba looks and acts the part to the Sphinx, despite apparently being Japanese.
* BandagedFace
* BashBrothers:
** Despite being the leaders on the opposite sides of the spectrum for their consideration on talent, Agon and Hiruma are a very effective combination. Agon who runs on pure reaction is complemented perfectly by Hiruma who works on the opposite, pure mental ability. Despite their abhorrence of each other, they work together far better than any other combination of characters on EVERY TEAM.
** There's also Sena and Monta, and more literally Unsui and Agon.
* BecomingTheBoast: Musashi and the 60-Yard Magnum.
** And the three brothers, and Monta, and, you know, Sena.
* BecomingTheMask: Sena, from a coward gopher runt into a determined running-back like he was touted as.
* BelligerentSexualTension: Mid-series, it is [[ShipTease implied]] that Hiruma and Mamori may be like this (however by the end of the series they bicker [[AwLookTheyReallyDoLoveEachOther considerably less]]).
* BerserkButton:
** Be prepared to face an enraged Ikari if you insult ANY of the Ojou White Knights. [[HairTriggerTemper And the fact that he quickly assumes the worst]] when people are talking about ANYTHING doesn't help at all.
** And be prepared to face an enraged Tetsuma if you hurt Kid. Similarly, don't call Tetsuma an idiot in front of Kid. This enough to piss him off, and make him drop his [[ObfuscatingStupidity lazy, uninterested facade]] for an instant.
** The best way to piss off Mamori? Threaten anyone she's taking care of. Especially Sena and Suzuna.
** Mocking your team's dream in front of [[CowardlyLion a certain shorty-no-power-scaredy-cat-boy?]] Forget the scaredy-cat part. He'll kill you if he can, or at least, [[{{Awesome/Eyeshield21}} hand you your asses in a most awesome way.]]
** Don't insult any player who clashed with [[BloodKnight Gaou]] but nevertheless faced him bravely. [[UnstoppableRage He's been known to completely lose it over stuff like that.]]
** Juumonji doesn't exactly cotton to being referred to as "trash". But what ''really'' gets Juumonji's goat is when his ''friends'' are called "trash".
** Let's not talk about Suzuna's [[ACupAngst bust]], or [[TheNapoleon height]]. In general, [[OlderThanTheyLook don't talk about her child-like features.]] [[UnstoppableRage It's safer]] [[HilarityEnsues that way]]. [[WhatAnIdiot Then again, her brother often forgets about this.]]
** [[CoolAndUnusualPunishment Shaving Agon's head.]] More generally, showing him that there's somebody better than him out there or ignoring him completely.
* BewareTheNiceOnes:
** Subverted with Hiruma, [[http://read.mangashare.com/Eyeshield-21/chapter-130/page007.html you know ''something is going to be wrong'' when he starts act nicely.]]
** Played a little straight with Sena; he might be a coward, but piss him enough by insulting his teammate and you'll pay a big price.
** Kurita is one too. No, not that he has a dark side or anything; Kurita's simply ''too'' nice of a guy [[DoesNotKnowHisOwnStrength who doesn't know his own strength when it comes to personal interaction (especially hugging.)]] And when he's excited enough on field, [[TheJuggernaut you don't want to face him.]]
** Takami, who is generally a really swell guy. It's just that occasionally he really just gets into the zone, and he can be very intimidating at those times.
* BigEater:
** Kurita, who is actually gigantically fat, although most linemen (especially the bigger ones) are like this.
** One of the "Devil Bat Spy" bits claimed that Mamori can out-eat Kurita, but only when it comes to cream puffs. Considering Kurita once ate A HUNDRED OF THEM, that would be no small feat. Of course, it could be a fabrication, but she's rumored to be quite crazy about them...
** Shin is an aversion. He has a very strict, regimented diet, and is rather picky (he won't eat junk food).
* BigEntrance: Sena pulls off one in the game against the Cyborgs, complete with ThreePointLanding. [[AwesomeMoment It's as awesome as it sounds.]]
* BigFancyHouse: Jumonji, to emphasize his father's elitist personality.
* BigGame: Arguably Christmas Bowl, although the games before it had this feel to them, like the matches against Shinryuuji and Ojou.
* BishieSparkle: Parodied on Taki. Played straight on Kisaragi. Also briefly parodied on Monta when filming the video sent to America.
* {{Bishonen}}:
** Kiminari Harao, quarterback of the Taiyo Sphinx, is androgynous-looking and wears an Egyptian-style skirt ''on the field'', and his entire team wears eye makeup. He also gets more chocolate from girls on Valentine's Day than anyone else in the tournament. He also has the 2nd most friends out of anybody in the tournament, after [[TheHeart Suzuna]].
** Kisaragi from the Hakushuu Dinosaurs, who is downright beautiful in the most feminine way possible. When the team manager, Maria, steps into the showers to talk to Marco, while the other guys hide their genitals, Kisargi hides ''his chest.''
** Haruto Sakuraba definitely counts.
** Hayato Akaba might count, too.
* {{Blackmail}}: Hiruma's modus operandi for ''everything.'' In fact, he's the [[Pantheon/{{Knowledge}} god]] of it, having discovered the [[http://www.mangareader.net/134-6856-18/eyeshield-21/chapter-81.html perfect method for blackmail]].
* BlondGuysAreEvil: Hiruma. Also, Clifford.
* BloodKnight: Gaou Rikiya defines this trope; He finds the very concept of "holding back" completely alien and perplexing. At the same time, he will absolutely never break the rules while on the field. Quarterback gets rid of the ball .1 seconds before Gaoh smashes them? Gaoh doesn't smash them. Kid and Hiruma also note that this trait makes him even more dangerous than he might initially appear.
* ABloodyMess: [[http://www.mangareader.net/134-7039-2/eyeshield-21/chapter-264.html Hiruma returning from an injury during the Hakushuu game]].
* BoisterousBruiser:
** Rodchenko, the enormous, bench-press world record holder Russian football player.
** Gaou as well started to be like this.
** [[DumbMuscle Ootawara]] is always seen sporting the same dopey smile in pretty much every situation. It seems like he simply doesn't know how ''not'' to have a great time. Bonus points in that every time he becomes boisterous, ''[[GeniusDitz he's]] [[DumbassHasAPoint goddamn]] [[CaptainObvious right.]]''
* BookEnds: The first and last chapters have similar color spreads that show the growth of the players through the series.
* BoringInvincibleHero: Subverted. The Devil Bats win against teams who are genuinely worse than them, and lose against the better ones.
* BrilliantButLazy: Agon.
* BrotherChuck: Actually justified in this case; Daigo Ikari hasn't been around lately because he's too ''old'' to be in the youth cup, having spent a few years in juvenile hall after one of his messier outbursts.
* BunnyEarsLawyer: Almost ''everyone'' in this manga is a BunnyEarsLawyer. Hiruma's over-the-top devilish attitude; Sena's cowardice; Taki's idiocy; Mamori's overprotective tendencies, her bad art and her love for cream puffs; Monta's resemblance to a monkey; Shin's training habits and poor luck with technology; Kisaragi's obsession with strength, and so on.
* BusmansVocabulary: Action movie star Bud Walker seems to think he's constantly filming a movie, if all the jargon he spouts is any indication.
* CallBack:
** The entire last chapter was this. The chapter title parallels the first chapter, the surprise at the sudden game, and, of course, fighting the weakest team in the league for the first game.
** A minor one also came sometime before the Hakushuu game. For one of the chapters, we were given a full-color two-page spread of what all the characters were up to. ''Agon'' was shown to actually be training, struggling to do push-ups while Yamabushi sat on his back. This is a call back to an earlier chapter where someone mentions Unsui trains till he bleeds (while showing Unsui doing ''one handed'' push ups with Yamabushi on his back) and Agon has never had to work for anything.
** An additional one occurs just before the [[spoiler:Japan/USA game]]. Back in Las Vegas, Monta and Sena killed their amazing winning streak by betting everything on Red 21, which are the Devilbat's main color and Eyeshield's number, respectively. Fast forward to Yamato confronting [[spoiler:Mr. Don]] at a casino, betting on red. This time, the ball lands on Red 21.
* CallingYourAttacks
* CampGay: Sanzo, so much. Crossdresses, wears make up, and is called the "Queen of Shinryuuji".
* TheCameo: In Volume 36 during a poker game between Hiruma and Clifford {{Kaiji}} shows up including the trademark "Zawa Zawa" sound effect.
* CaptainEthnic: In the last TournamentArc, many of the foreign players shaped up to be this, from the cold, ruthless Heinrich Schultz from Germany to the gigantic Olympic weightlifter Rodchenko from Russia.
* CaptainObvious:
** "Now I remember, this is pain!" says Sena, "It hurts!"
* CastOfSnowflakes: Especially considering that given the sport, characters have some of their most important moments in helmets and padded uniforms. Despite this, each character is easily distinguishable.
* CatchPhrase: Almost every single character in the story has one. Notable are Himura's "Ya-ha!" and "Fucking (thing/nickname)" and Monta's "Max!" with a verb either before or after the max.
* CensorBox: Hiruma's cheerful exchange with Apollo before the NASA Shuttles game is completely in English and almost completely covered with the Shounen Jump logo.
* CharacterDevelopment: One of the big draws of the series is the fact that almost every main character gets at least some.
* CharlesAtlasSuperpower:
** Sena's speed and near-inhuman footwork came from constant training... via running errands and evading bullies for 10 years.
** Monta's incredible catching ability came from 10 years of training only in catching, [[RunningGag which is why his throws are sooo bad....]]
** Karin's throwing ability came for years of drawing shoujo manga and playing piano. [[TheChick Which was her actual hobby from beginning.]]
** Yamato Takeru's ability was implied to come like this, too
** Unsui was born without natural talent, and is called the strongest average person, a title he gained through intense training.
* CharlieBrownFromOuttaTown: Number 88 on the Japanese world cup team is bandaged like a mummy, but is stated to be a familiar character choosing to obscure their identity for some reason. [[spoiler:It was Rui Habashira]].
* ChekhovsGun:
** Taken to nearly literal extremes by [[spoiler:the 60-Yard Magnum.]]
** Remember all the way back in the first chapters when Hiruma says he broke his 40 yard dash record? His running a 5.1 instead of a 5.2 ends up being one of the deciding factors [[spoiler: against Shinryuuji.]]
** [[spoiler: And the pop quiz]] that Hiruma gives Mamori and [[spoiler: the bet he almost loses]] comes back more than 200 chapters later.
** Subverted with the [[spoiler:Chris Cross]] play first shown as a card at a rest stop during the Death March. The play was called their trump card when fighting the [[spoiler:Teikoku Alexanders]] (around 200 chapters later), with Sena and Monta as the pair running in the play. [[spoiler: They screw up and fumble the ball, with the Alexanders gaining possession.]] Played straight later on in the same game when Hiruma [[spoiler: turns it into the Evil Cross, one of the most [[MindScrew Mind Screwing]] plays in the entire series, second only to the Dragon Fly.]] Later, it's used by Hiruma [[spoiler: and Agon]] in the match against [[spoiler:America]] in the World Cup.
* ChekhovsGunman:
** Musashi was initially introduced as the carpenter working on the club house long before [[spoiler: he was revealed as one of the founding members of the Deimon Devil Bats, and their ex-kicker.]]
** [[spoiler: Marco]] also seemed to be of little consequence at first, appearing no more important than the other throwaway captains in the Kanto tournament. In fact, [[spoiler: the Dinosaurs]] as a team are first mentioned as early as chapter 52 when they're listed with a bunch of other teams. While the other teams end up not having any significance at all, they advance to the Kanto finals.
** Similarly but not to the same degree, [[spoiler: the Poseidons]] were originally mentioned in chapter 89 as one of the teams in the fall tournament, but their write-up was shorter than most and jokey at that, basically implying that they're a silly team of losers on the order of the Cupids.
** For that matter, the Ha-Ha Brothers, who first appeared as the nameless bullies antagonizing Sena in the first chapter before ending up (unwillingly [[spoiler:at first]]) joining the team later.
** Subverted by Miyake, one of the students who tried out for the team at the same time as Yukimitsu and Komusubi; Introduced with BossSubtitles, given a motivation, close-ups... ''clearly'' this guy is going to be important, right? Nah. He washed out of the tryouts during the Hell Tower phase, and now he's just a comic background character who hangs out with JerkJock soccer player Muro.
* TheChick: .
** Usually subverted or even averted, since most of the girls on a team are either a [[TeamMom good, caring manager]], a [[PluckyGirl determined cheerleader who takes training that would make most actual players cry]], or even a [[DrillSergeantNasty scary delinquent queen who makes everyone practice through force and intimidation.]] There are several who played this trope straight, like the White Knights manager, and Suzuna, though.
** Koizumi Karin, quarterback of Teikoku Alexanders. Subverted since she's good at her job, but actually never wanted to get involved in football in the first place...
* TheChikan: Hiruma and Agon save a girl from one. Not for her sake, but their own.
* ChronicHeroSyndrome: Basically all nice guys in Devilbats had this, which Hiruma used ''effectively'', often to great effect.
* ClubPresident
* ClusterFBomb: Hiruma calls practically everyone "fucking (something)", with "something" usually being a slightly demeaning nickname such as fatass, shrimp, baldie, or idiot. A more extreme example is when Monta nearly got himself ejected from the Tokyo tournament via yelling at a referee before Tetsuma intervened; Hiruma proceeded to unload a machine gun onto Monta while sprinkling him liberally with "fucking"s.
* CombatCommentator: The most infamous? [[spoiler:The Anti-spoiler Onihei.]]
* CoDragons: [[TheJuggernaut Gaou]] (Line) and [[InLoveWithYourCarnage Kisaragi]] (CB) to [[ManipulativeBastard Marco]] (QB/Safety/Team Captain) of the Hakushuu Dinosaurs.
* CoolBigSis: Mamori, at least for Monta, Sena and Suzuna. Maruko Himuro is implied to be one, too.
* CowardlyLion: Sena. He'll run at the first sight of trouble, but if his friends (or team) in danger, he'll run ''straight at the problem.'' [[JerkJock Agon]] [[{{Awesome/Eyeshield21}} learned that the hard way.]]
* CrashIntoHello: Sena met Suzuna this way. Played differently in that Sena deliberately threw himself in Suzuna's way to catch her when she was jumping, something she worked out the second time it happened.
* CreepyChild:
** Hiruma, who could unnerve an American soldier when he was just in elementary school.
** And then Gaou, who [[MadeOfIron crushed a car that hit him at elementary school age]]. He's got a little brother who [[StrongFamilyResemblance looks just like a miniature version of Gaou]].
* CripplingOverspecialization: Both played straight and inverted; the only thing Monta's good at is catching. This makes him bad at baseball, his favorite sport, but he's a spectacular receiver in American football.
** Of course, other players is no exempt from this. [[FragileSpeedster Sena is dazzlingly fast, but had no strength to push another in power games.]] Takami of Ojou White Knights, thanks to his [[HugeSchoolGirl build]] and training, is a quarterback with [[ImprobableAimingSkills precise and high- altitude pass,]] but thanks to injury in his legs, can't move quick enough to avoid sacking. [[MightyGlacier Kurita is obscenely strong and unmovable, but also can't run jack to save his live.]] And Yukimitsu, all that he had is [[AwesomeByAnalysis ability to deduce possible pass route on the fly]] and [[TheDeterminator sheer determination,]] and [[WeakButSkilled that's all.]] In fact, it was said that Deimon is "team of specialist", they had the best man in one aspect but poor on another. They can only work perfectly thaks to [[EvilGenius Hiruma's]] skill.
* CurbStompBattle:
** Despite the build-up, [[spoiler: The substitute Japanese team trounced the Russian team with ease.]]
** [[spoiler: The all-stars also made quick work of Militaria and won by a decent margin against Germany. The fact that both of these victories happened in the same chapter is a testament to that]].
** [[spoiler: What makes this even more awesome is that Militaria watched the Russian game, and saw the benchwarmers play, assuming they were the starters. So, when Gomery starts getting cocky, he gets to meet [[OhCrap Agon, Gaou and Shin.]]]]
** This also happened in the Tokyo Tournament. The most prominent is the match between Amino Cyborgs and Deimon Devilbats. The scientifically advanced, calculating, purported "Tournament Stormers", the Amino Cyborgs, got trounced 38-8 by the [[RagtagBunchOfMisfits Deimon Devilbats]]. To be fair, the Devil Bats spent all summer on the Death March...
** Also when the White Knights played the heavily built-up Sankaku Punks in the Fall tournament, having only beaten them by one point when they played them in the spring. Ojou won in a complete shut out; the Punks never stood a chance.
** Gaou is pretty much a [[NighInvulnerable walking monster of]] [[BloodKnight destruction]]. But Mr. Don makes quick work of him, ''[[FingerPokeOfDoom in one strike]]''. Even more awesome is the fact that Gaou survives the hit [[spoiler: thanks to Agon who had reduced Mr. Don's strength by chopping his hand; if Mr. Don managed to get him full-power, Gaou would be dead.]]
* CuteBruiser: Chuubou, the tiny middle schooler on the Japanese World Cup team. He may not look like much and he might act like even less, but he's got an explosive power that can stop both Yamato and ''Rodchenko'' in their tracks. Of course, this has the unexpected (and undesirable) side effect [[spoiler:of catching the attention of Japan's #1 benchpresser and #1 (almost literal) player killer, Rikiya Gaou, who [[CurbStompBattle owns him completely at the first try.]] Later, Chuubou manages to improve and later [[LookWhatICanDoNow knocks Gaou out,]] which promptly reignites his interest in the technique, leading to Gaou doing a variation of the technique.]]
* CuteSportsClubManager: Mamori Anezaki, Wakana, Juri/Julie, Maruko/Maria, and Megu, to name a few. Eyeshield 21 loves this trope.
* DangerousForbiddenTechnique:
** The physically tasking, injury-risking Devilbat Dive.
** The Devil Stungun will allow opponents to easily steal the ball, while increasing the chance of breaking through.
* DeclarationOfProtection: A plantonic version occurs when Banba says to Harou, who knows he's an average player at best and is frightened by the extreme power of their next opponent the Hakushuu Dinosaurs who are known for breaking the opposing quarterbacks. [[spoiler: While the Taiyo Sphinx ultimately lost, Banba kept his promise to make sure that Harou wouldn't be harmed at the cost of him being badly hurt by Gaou.]]
* {{Delinquents}}: The "Ha-Ha Brothers", the Zokugaku Chameleons (''every last one of them'' has a motorcycle) and the Dokubari Scorpions. And Ikari, from Ojou, who's so rowdy his teammates hold him in ''chains''. He's only ever missed practice twice... because he was ''under house arrest''.
* DemotedToExtra: Ishimaru's plainness has become a running gag in the series, and is especially prevalent after the second popularity contest; He came in 9th in the first, and 21st in the second. Sure, he's second string, but Yukimitsu gets more screen time, and he doesn't even play!. Adding insult to injury, a survey posed to fans pitted Ishimaru versus Unsui, asking who was more forgettable. Ishimaru won by a fair margin, with the victory caption reading 'His presence is faint!'
* {{Determinator}}:
** Not the typical shounen manga example, but Yukimitsu has the highest determination stat out of anyone in the team. Through a sheer refusal to give up, he [[spoiler: bests Agon and Ikkyu ''at the same time,'' sees through the Oujou White Knights' final play and thwarts it to allow the Devilbats the chance they need to win, ''and'' is ready and waiting to receive a pass from Hiruma '''after Hiruma's been tackled.''']] This guy is one spider bite away from being [[{{SpiderMan}} the poster boy of this trope.]] One of the manga chapters focusing on Yukimitsu is titled "First in Tenacity."
** Kurita Ryoukan deserves a mention here as well, as his determination actually rises the more people he has to protect. When he's protecting one quarterback, he's the premier amateur lineman of Japan. When he's protecting two, he successfully stands up to [[{{WorldsStrongestMan}} the Don]] and holds him off ''alone,'' a feat ''nobody else managed.''
** Shin. Oh, boy. When the White Knights go to dinner to celebrate their victory against the Punks, Shin does one handed chin-ups instead of eating. Later on he manages to reach Sena's speed of 40 yards in 4.2 seconds, just to be able to compete with him.
** Many of the characters, especially for the Devilbats, get their {{Determinator}} moments. The line "I'll do it even if it kills me!" shows up a lot. Even Hiruma gets his {{Determinator}} moment when he returns to the game after having his throwing arm broken.
* DevilInPlainSight: Hiruma Youichi. [[MeaningfulName "Devil In Broad Daylight"]] indeed.
* [[spoiler:DistantFinale: The last chapter of the manga takes place two years later, and shows the cast entering college.]]
* DownToTheLastPlay
* DramaticUnmask: "I'm sorry, Mamori-nee-san, I'm going, they need me...."
* DramaticWind
* DrillSergeantNasty:
** "Sgt." Gomery from Militaria, right down to calling people "maggots" and such. Because American Football is '''''war''''', maggot, do you understand me? And cut that hair, boy!
** Then we've got the Chameleon's manager, Megumi Tsuyumine. She makes everyone in her team practice through force and intimidation.
** Hiruma often does this when necessary.
* DumbassHasAPoint: Mainly Ootawara when he got insightful, but there are other idiot characters as well.
* DumbMuscle:
** Otawara, in many ways. For one thing, he's barely literate. For another thing, he [[FanDisservice frequently forgets to dress his lower half]].
** Taiyou's offensive linemen, barring Banba, aren't so bright themselves.
** While having a powerful throwing arm, Homer of NASA Aliens admits that he's not the sharpest knife in the drawer.
** Tatanka probably qualifies as well; after learning several foreign languages in an attempt to emulate Mr. Don, he discovered he'd somehow become worse at speaking English.
* EducationMama: Yukimitsu's mother
* ElaborateUniversityHigh
* EvilCounterpart:
** Hiruma, despite arguably being evil himself, has a whole bunch. The last one, Clifford was built up as one of these, with a similar level of intelligence and skill at gambling, hacking, etc; Their jerseys even sport the same number, 1. Not to mention the pronounced physical resemblance between them. There's also Agon and Marco, both of whom give Hiruma a run for his money when it comes to being seriously bad people.
** Arguably, Mr. Don is intended to be an evil version of Gaoh, as well, though that's another case where it's a "lesser evil" kind of deal.
** The Hakushuu Dinosaurs could be seen as this to the Devil-Bats as a whole. Both are darkhorse teams run by {{Manipulative Bastard}}s and based around a few key players, and are willing to do just about anything to get to the top.
* EvilLaugh: Kekekekekeke...
* ExactlyWhatIAimedAt:
** When he got tackled by Agon near the sidelines, after Hiruma's [[Awesome/{{Eyeshield 21}} fake spike trick play]], Monta yelled, "CATCH MAXXX!!", which Agon responded, "It's useless, the ball is in your hand already. Your dream is over now!"[[spoiler: It's revealed that [[Awesome/{{Eyeshield 21}} he had actually tried to grab the SIDELINE,]] forcing the clock to be set back and allowing the Devil Bats one more chance to pull ahead and win.]]
** In the game against the White Knights in the Kantou Tournament semifinal, the White Knights, with only one minute left, send their strongest runner, [[TheJuggernaut Shin,]] to score a touchdown. Sena is benched with an injury, and as a replacement, they call in [[WeakButSkilled Yukimitsu.]] Yukimitsu clearly can't stop Shin, since he's the weakest of the Devil Bats, and really, ''no one'' can stop Shin. With three seconds left in the game, Yukimitsu, instead of trying to hold Shin back, ''[[WhatTheHellHero pushes him into the endzone.]]'' Then it's revealed, [[spoiler: Ojou's plan was to score ''right as time ran out,'' leaving Deimon no time to catch up. Yukimitsu realized this, and ''saved'' Deimon, by giving them [[DownToTheLastPlay the one second they needed to mount a comeback.]] And they did it.]] As Shin said, "Even though you're an enemy, that's... ''[[WorthyOpponent magnificent.]]''"
* {{Expy}}:
** Ikkyu seems to be based on [[DragonBall Vegeta]], having the exact same hairdo, having a similar short stature, and being similarly {{pride}}ful.
** Possibly Kobanzame from the Kyoshin Poseidons. He has a slightly longer-than average nose, lies about his confidence and abilities on a regular basis, claims any good idea that comes up is his, is [[ImprobableAimingSkills incredibly accurate]] (albeit only over short distances), secretly has absolutely no self-esteem, believes that he is holding all of his friends back but is too terrified of being alone/loves the team so much that he simply ''[[{{Determinator}} will not quit]]'', and is good at his job precisely ''because'' he's a horrible coward. Sounds very similar to [[CowardlyLion Usopp]] from OnePiece, doesn't it?
** Joe Tetsuma looks like [[{{Golgo13}} Duke Togo]], never changes his facial expression, practically never speaks and follows orders to absolute precision. Strangely enough, he catches [[IncrediblyLamePun bullets]] rather than shooting them.
** President Arnold Oberman is literally Arnold Schwarzenegger with a different last name.
** The manager for the Yuuhi Guts is a basically just a female Domon Kasshu.
* FakeDifficulty : Of course, if the Devil Bats always won easily, the series would be pretty boring, but it can get pretty excessive in how there's always someone with inhuman abilities in the other team to be overcome by something only figured out in game.
* FakeUltimateHero:
** Sena starts out as this, but he's surprisingly [[AccidentalAthlete good at this job.]] Though the "fake ultimate hero" angle mostly comes from the badass persona Hiruma had cultivated around Eyeshield 21.
** Sakuraba also starts as one (thanks to a certain Model Company), but he nearly trains himself to death to improve his skills. It works.
** Kiminari Harao of the Taiyo Sphinx. He's an at-best average player who relies entirely on his team's powerful offensive line and secretly knows he's not his team's real ace.
* FanDisservice:
** The running gag of Otawara's frequently missing pants complete with frequent farts. On top of that, at one point he dons a maid's uniform (alongisde Sakuraba, who can actually pull it off). ItMakesSenseInContext.
** In a rare in-universe example, NASA Aliens/Shuttles players had a habit of showing their body to impress girls... except it plainly doesn't work. None of them are aware of this. Similarly, the beach football team "Sexy Queens" had a habit of showing their "beautiful" (by their own standards; they frankly look like ''Film/{{Borat}}'', swimsuits and all) bodies, and wearing easy-to-tear material in beach football games to do so.
* {{Fanservice}}: The various cheerleading teams, most especially the Devil Bats, Wild Gunmen and Poseidons. For female readers, the fabulously fit athletes working out and sometimes removing their shirts.
* FissionMailed:
** When the team loses the Fall Tournament semifinal, [[TearJerker everyone breaks down in tears]], until Hiruma reveals they still have a chance in the consolation game.
** At the end of the game against Shinryuuji, the clock runs out when Monta is tackled too far up the field for the Devil Bats to get set up to stop it with a spike and the game is over. [[spoiler:Then the ref calls for the clock to be wound back because Monta was tackled out of bounds -he ''caught the boundary line'' on his way down- and 4 more seconds are put back on the clock for Deimon to win with.]]
* FiveManBand: Many.
** Deimon:
*** The Hero: Sena
*** The Lancer: Monta (Or Hiruma)
*** The Big Guy: Kurita (who leads all the other big guys, the linemen)
*** The Smart Guy: Hiruma (And Yukimitsu)
*** The Chick: Mamori (Team Mom), later Suzuna (standard)
*** Sixth Ranger: Musashi
*** Team Pet: Cerberos
** Ojou:
*** The Hero: Shin
*** The Lancer: Sakuraba
*** The Big Guy: Ootawara
*** The Smart Guy: Takami
*** The Chick: Wakana
*** Sixth Ranger: Ikari (who plays TheBigGuy with Ootawara)
*** TagalongKid: Torakichi
** Shinryuuji:
*** The Hero: Agon (for a given value of "hero")
*** The Lancer: Ikkyu (shares this role with Unsui actually)
*** The Big Guy: Yamabushi
*** The Smart Guy: Unsui (also doubles as Lancer)
*** The Chick: Sanzo (who's probably a parody of this trope)
** Seibu:
*** The Hero: Riku (or Kid)
*** The Lancer: Kid (or Riku)
*** The Smart Guy: Also Kid.
*** The Big Guy: Tetsuma and Ushijima
*** The Chick: Their coach.
** Poseidon:
*** The Hero and Smart Guy: Kakei
*** The Lancer: Mizumachi
*** The Big Guy: The Hiroshis (LITERALLY)
*** The Chick: Kobanzame
** Teikoku:
*** The Hero: Yamato
*** The Lancer: Taka
*** The Big Guy: Achilles (And Heracles)
*** The Smart Guy: Heracles (being the team captain)
*** The Chick: Karin
* FiveBadBand: There's a couple of them.
** Hakushuu Dinosaurs:
*** TheBigBad & TheEvilGenius: Reiji "Marco" Maruko, ManipulativeBastard, Team Captain, quarterback and safety. He's also the one you can blame for the team's deliberately brutal style of play.
*** CoDragons: [[TheJuggernaut Rikiya Gaou]] and [[PsychoSupporter Hiromi Kisiragi]], described as Hakushuu's Right Hand and Left Hand by Marco, Hiruma, and most commentators. Gaou breaks quarterbacks, runningbacks and linemen, while Kisiragi cripples recievers.
*** TheBrute: Subverted. Marco clearly has former team ace [[DirtyCoward Tengu]] slotted for this role, due to his status as their best linebacker, but Tengu pissed off Gaou (which never ends well) and Marco was forced to use himself and Gaou to fill the gap in the defence.
*** TheDarkChick: Team Manager Himuro "Maria" Maruko, a SugarAndIcePersonality turned EmotionlessGirl, courtesy of Marco's [[LoveMakesYouEvil interest]] in her. She's also the TokenGoodTeammate.
** The Pentagram:
*** The BigBadDuumvirate: Donald "Mr. Don" Oberman, both TheJuggernaut and a GeniusBruiser, who leads the team on skill and sheer force of personality & Clifford D. Louis, Hiruma's EvilCounterpart, and ManipulativeBastard and {{Chessmaster}} extraordinaire, who serves as the field leader, is the one member of the team to not be afraid of Mr. Don, and does extra duty as TheEvilGenius
*** TheDragon: Patrick "Panther" Spencer, who doubles as the TokenGoodTeammate and serves as their main offensive power.
*** TheBrute: Tatanka, perhaps the series crowning example of DumbMuscle.
*** TheDarkChick: Bud Walker, action movie star and wannabe cornerback. What exactly is he doing here?
* FoeTossingCharge:
** Otawara in the first Ojou/Deimon game.
** This is Gaou's ''modus operandi'' when playing offense--the Hakyuushuu Dinosaurs run a north-south game wherein they basically follow Gaou, who runs over and through anyone who gets in his way. [[WorthyOpponent Until Kurita, anyway.]]
* {{Foreshadowing}}:
** Sena's test number for the Deimon entrance exam? 021.
** Whenever a supposedly "insignificant" off comment is made about a team, it always comes true (unless it's said by Onihei of course). For example, in chapter 19, Agon predicts Ojou can only make it to 4th at best. Ojou got 3rd in the Kanto tournament, and ''4th overall''. One random member of the Dinosaurs suggested "they should just aim for 3rd", which is what Hakushuu ended up getting.
** When Yukimitsu explains that a Ballista is a weapon of firing spears, Sena asks, "Firing... a Spear Tackle?" Monta then jokes about Otowara picking up Shin and tossing him over the offensive line to tackle. [[spoiler: Turns out, Sena wasn't completely wrong, but Shin is on the other side of the ball for the Ballista.]]
* ForgottenChildhoodFriend: Riku
* FourIsDeath: Yamato's prediction for the game against Teikoku is 42-0, as 42 is pronounced as shi-ni in japanese, which is a homophone of "to die". Additionally, chapter 4 of the series is appropriately titled "Kill 'em".
* FragileSpeedster: Sena starts as one. Being forced to play defense and choosing to endure [[TrainingFromHell the Death March]] toughens him up enough to take multiple full power blows from Agon and Shin, a full power blow from Gaou which can lay everyone but two players in whole the series out, and a blow from Mr. Don, the stronger one of the two players beyond Gaou, and still gets up to play. His fragility goes WAY down as he gets used to the brutal beatings.
* FreudianExcuse: Less than you'd think.
** There is no explanation what so ever for Agon's behaviour - [[ForTheEvulz the man is just plain evil.]]
** [[BloodKnight Gaou seems to break bones for the fun of it.]]
** It is hinted that Hiruma [[spoiler:has a far from normal relationship with his father]], but it doesn't explain his manipulative, borderline sadistic, nature at all.
* FunnyAfro: Sports writer Kumabukuro. In the anime, his daughter starts to look like him when she gets excited. It's not very funny.
* FunWithForeignLanguages: The NASA Aliens' Gonzales brothers have some interesting kanji tattoos due to Watt's cluelessness regarding the language. More specifically, the older Gonzales' tattoo reads "Big Shit" (which is somewhat appropriate) and the younger one's reads "Piss."
* GeckoEnding: The anime got one after the final battle between the Devil Bats and the White Knights. They skipped directly to a DistantFinale, without even ''pretending'' the tournament was over.
* GenderBlenderName:
** Kisaragi's given name, "Hiromi", is almost always a girl's name, which fits in pretty well with his overall feminine aesthetic.
** Maruko "Marco" Reiji and Himuro Maruko; In Marco's case, it's deliberately referred to and the reason he insists on being known by his nickname... and on calling Hirumo "Maria."
* GeniusBruiser:
** Many of the power players, like Shin or Banba, are implied to be this, having good grades while also being tremendously physically powerful. But the most promninent might be Hayato Akaba, ace Tight-End of the Bando Spiders, who spends most of his time as technical advisor for his team due to tournament rules, and manages to ''analyze the movemements of all of the opposing players and share it with his team''. He still manages to throw ''[[TheBigGuy Kurita]]'' with relative ease.
** Parodied by Amino Cyborgs. While they definitely had brains and muscle, [[MusclesAreMeaningless their overall strength and stamina didn't make it.]] As said by Juumonji (who is pretty much a GeniusBruiser among the Devil Bats): "Sure, we might be idiots, who cannot attend a high-prestige school like Amino High School, and stupid enough to take [[TrainingFromHell spartan, injury-risking training provided by Doburoku-sensei]].... But tell me, with all your muscles and your brains, can you [[CharlesAtlasSuperpower PUSH A TRUCK ACROSS THE UNITED STATES IN FORTY DAYS, 2000 KM, ON FOOT?]]"
* GeniusDitz: Taki's math ability ends at the six times table (his other academic abilities are about the same level), but if a question is phrased in American football terms, he will answer it correctly without fail.
* GenreSavvy: Kid likes to quote, [[TemptingFate "Something bad will happen after something so good"]] and vice versa. It ''always'' happens.
* GentleGiant: Kurita. Yamabushi as well, unless your name is Ikkyu.
* GetAholdOfYourselfMan:
** Mostly verbal. Takami did the straight ArmorPiercingSlap, though, as well as the Ha Ha Bros literally kicking some sense into Komusubi.
** When [[JerkAss Harao]] begin to chide his teammates for their failures, [[TheStoic Banba]] calls him out, pointing out his shortcomings as a quarterback.
** When [[SmallNameBigEgo Natsuhiko Taki]] realizes that [[HeroicWannabe he is nothing]] compared to fellow Tight End [[TheAce Akaba Hayato]], Musashi grinds his pride to dust with the truth that Taki isn't the special talent blessed by the gods that he claims to be. Then [[spoiler:"Is that it? Ha, ha, ha.... I realized it now. That's why I always failed at everything. I didn't have that kind of talent since the beginning. I should have realized it sooner.... [[LetsGetDangerous If that's the case, SO BE IT!]] If God didn't give me the talent, then [[BlasphemousBoast I'll defeat God with]] [[{{Determinator}} MY OWN POWER!!]]]]
* GoingCommando: There's an {{Omake}} devoted to how much of an average day Otawara spends without underwear. Apparently he frequently forgets it while changing in the locker room.
* {{Gonk}}: The linemen of the Taiyo Sphinx (barring Banba), especially the incredibly squat and wide Niinobu Kasamatsu, who looks positively inhuman.
* GoodEyesEvilEyes: Shun Kakei's "fox eyes", though he just really hates Eyeshield posers.
* GratuitousEnglish:
** Although words like "tacchidaun!" can't be avoided, Hiruma's "fakkin" nicknames are just part of his charm.
** In the dub, having Americans like the NASA Aliens call football "American Football".
* GratuitousFrench: Taki tends to say "Monsieur" instead of "-san".
* GretzkyHasTheBall:
** The manga gets the rules of American Football ''mostly'' right, but players [[UnnecessaryRoughness often perform acts violent enough that in any real game a referee would be jumping in]]. Much more prominent in the anime, especially when it's in filler.
** Another clear example is when Kamagaruma uses the Chariot Bump at one point to try and keep Monta from catching a long pass, which is clear pass interference.
** Subverted in that Hiruma seems to be fond of what would be intentional grounding at the NCAA football or NFL level. However, intentional grounding is not illegal on the high school level.
** Also subverted at the end of the Seibu game. [[spoiler: On the Devil Bats' all-or-nothing onside kick, Monta rips the ball out of Tetsuma's hands, but his shoulders had already hit the ground. All of the Devil Bats get mega pumped and start opening up paths for Monta to block, creating problems for those familiar with football rules. However, the ref calls the play down where Tetsuma was down, meaning the Gunmen retain posession. And the Devil Bats lose the game.]]
* GroupieBrigade: Sakubara's fans before his ImportantHaircut.
* HardWorkHardlyWorks:
** Unsui's inablity to catch up to Agon.
** Leonard Apollo, during his time in the NFL, trained three times as much as anyone else, but never made it to the starting lineup and was junked in favor of a Deion Sanders-like ace.
** The Yuuhi Guts, who work super hard but are still a below-average team.
** Played straight with Yukimitsu, who works harder than anybody and still isn't good enough to start at the beginning of the fall tournament. [[spoiler: Subverted during the Shinryūji game, as it works in Yukimitsu's favor against genius and hyper-talented Agon.]]
** The Zokugaku Chameleons, who trained long and hard all summer for the fall tournament, but lost in the second round.
** Subverted with the Devil Bats as a whole, though. There are numerous scenes where they're shown pushing themselves at practice, and that's not even counting the Death March. Subverted especially in case of Sena and Monta, as their hard works paid off in awesome way with Sena's amazing footwork and speed, and Monta's ability to "read" and "listen" to the ball, making him able to predict ball movement.
* HeroicBSOD:
** Kurita, after Gaou breaks Hiruma's arm, sending him out of the game [[TenMinuteRetirement for about one quarter and halftime]]. He even loses the ability to understand Komusubi, signifying that he was no longer a strong man.
** Komusubi, at one point, felt that his lack of height had become too great a liabiliy, especially since the players and even the ''cheerleaders'' of the Kyoshin Poseidons were exceptionally tall. It takes [[EpiphanyTherapy some talk from Sena]] and the Ha-Ha Bros (very literally) [[GetAHoldOfYourselfMan "kicking" some sense to him]] to get him back on track.
** Sakuraba (still in his FakeUltimateHero phase) goes through one when he realizes that no matter how hard he trains, he'll never be as good as Shin. His friend Takami [[DontSaySuchStupidThings reacted]] [[GetAHoldOfYourselfMan violently]] to that, having gone through the exact same thing when he dealt with a childhood injury that kept him from keeping pace with the rest of the team.
** Monta got one when he realized he's going to face Honjou Taka, the son of his lifetime idol.
* HeroicResolve: Agon's "happy game over" comment gives Sena's wrecked legs revitalized strength.
* HeroicRROD: Sena's maximum speed, at first, is his own bane. Before Kantou Tournament, he can only run at his maximum speed once since it overexerts him and makes him pass out. Even after strenuous stamina tranining, during the match against Shinryuji, Sena's legs were on the verge of total collapse from trying to keep up with Agon.
* HeroicWannabe: Natsuhiko Taki thinks he's a genius in football, but he's not as great as he thinks.
* HeterosexualLifePartners:
** Sena and Monta are nearly inseperable after they meet. More apparent in the anime.
** Kid and Tetsuma also definitely count, knowing each other since early childhood.
* HonorBeforeReason: Surprisingly, [[spoiler:the Americans]]. Including [[spoiler:Mr.Don and Panther]].
* HorribleJudgeOfCharacter: Kurita can't see anything wrong with Hiruma. Think about that for a minute.
* HotBlooded:
** Daikichi Komusubi.
** One egregious case: The Kantou Area Commisioner is so HotBlooded (literally), that his office ''didn't need a heater in the midst of winter.'' .
** The Yuuhi Guts, particularly team captain Daisuke Atsumi and manager Katsuko Konjo.
* HotSpringsEpisode
* HugeGuyTinyGirl: Komusubi's parents.
* HuskyRusskie: Rodchenko takes it to the next level: He's the ''world record holder in the bench press''. This is also implied to be his downfall as he's ''very'' top heavy and comparatively lacking in lower body strength.
* HyperspaceArsenal: Hiruma
* ICanStillFight: Hiruma after Gaou breaks his arm.
* IdenticalStranger: Subverted. While the Devil Bats meet a man who looks exactly like Ishimaru in America, Ishimaru himself isn't with them and the only confusion is immediately dismissed because, well, they know Ishimaru's back home.
* IdiotCrows
* TheIdiotFromOsaka: Aki Reisuke and Hera Kureji of the Teikoku Alexanders. Kureji manages to make it ''intimidating'', somehow. The ace players of the Alexanders are each shown to have an idiocy rating, with Aki at the top with 60%.
* IKnowMaddenKombat: Full of it. Mizumachi uses a swimming technique as a lineman. The defensive line of Seibu tries to use street-fighting on the field, which failed since their enemy (the Ha Ha Bros) [[{{Delinquent}} had been fighting almost constantly since middle school.]] [[{{Delinquents}} Zokugaku]] also reverts to brutal fist-fighting when all else fails. And let's talk about how [[FragileSpeedster Sena]] got his speed in the first place....
* ImagineSpot: Very common, usually when players show off their named and themed abilities. For instance, Shin's "Spear Tackle" gets shown as a literal knight with a spear. Kamagaruma is shown riding a chariot when he uses his "Chariot Bump" attack. Sena himself occasionally sees his blockers as shields.
* ImportantHaircut: Sakuraba gets a crewcut at the beginning of the fall season [[spoiler: after finally quitting his contract with Jari Productions to focus on football.]] This move ends up cutting away at his massive fanbase until only the real fans (all ''three'' of them) are left. Ironically, he signs with Jari Productions again soon after. Yukimitsu also started doing his hair differently at the start of the Kanto tournament. Hiruma dyed his hair blond shortly before starting the team in the first place, as well. Agon shaving his head also marked his decision to go all out in the tournament, starting with Militaria. [[spoiler:Then he removes his wig completely to call his brother out.]]
* ImprobableAimingSkills: Almost every major quarterback is shown to have these. This is Takami's most prominent ability, beside his height. The Kid is practically an Olympic champion of sharp-shooting. Hiruma uses this for ''everything''. Karin brings this to a new level: all her passes are supposed to be catchable, no matter where the receiver is or how he's doing... well, as long as they're in Teikoku Alexanders, anyway. Subverted with Homer, who doesn't have any accuracy and relies on power and his receiver to do anything.
* InformedFlaw: Musashi's kicking is supposed to be peerlessly powerful with the drawback that he's not entirely accurate. Despite this, he never misses a single kick in the entire series (apart from one in a flashback which was directly blocked by Shin), even when his rival Kotaro, who's known for his 100% accuracy more than his power, misses a pivotal one. This even includes [[spoiler:the '''60-yard''' kick he scores to win the Christmas Bowl against Teikoku.]]
** To be fair, Kotaro only missed that kick thanks to ''hurricane-force winds.''
* InstantBandages
* InstantFanClub: Sakuraba's fangirls. The first game between Deimon and Ojou was covered extensively by the media solely because of his fame. Only three remain after he changes his look. Once they get to the Kanto tournament, they're all back.
* InstantHumiliationJustAddYouTube: Before the NASA Aliens game.
* InsultBackfire: The Amino Cyborgs take it as a compliment that their muscles look artificial.
* IWroteOurStory: According to the epilogue, Karin did.
* JerkAss:
** Hiruma. Admittedly, Mamori tends to [[WhatTheHellHero call him on it]], but this guy waves his guns around in the middle of school and everything's just ducky.
** Agon is a much bigger jerkass than Hiruma. Hiruma at least cares about football and his team. Agon doesn't even care about his teammates, especially in the International Youth Cup arc [[spoiler: where his cunning plan, as Hiruma points out, amounts to "When we're losing, the great me will save everyone". Everyone hates him so much for this, they decide to foil his plan and beat their opponents with all their strength. They do so.]] In the end, however, he mellows a ''little'' bit.
** Kakei started as one, but his experience in the USA and his meeting with Yamato Takeru changed him. He still believed in superiority of physique in American Football... until a certain shrimp forced him to reconsider his beliefs.
** While Mizumachi sometimes acts like a dick toward shorter players, even pushing Komusubi to want to leave the team. He's not really a jerkass, he's just very tactless.
** Harao is quite a jerkass, until [[HypercompetentSidekick Banba]] [[GetAHoldOfYourselfMan scolds him for that.]]
** All the members of the American Pentagon are fairly unpleasant (with the obvious exception of Panther, Sena's WorthyOpponent) but Mr. Don takes the cake. He had Yamato, who at the time was hailed as Eyeshield 21, the strongest running back at Notre Dame High School, expelled from the team (it's implied by abusing his power as the son of the US president) just because it offended his sensibilities that someone so obviously inferior (i.e Japanese) would claim the title. And he wears an almost permanent sneer. [[spoiler: Yamato's revenge is a moment of great joy.]]
* JerkAssFacade:
** The most prominent is Musashi. He says things like, "I already discarded them (Hiruma and Kurita), don't bother,"[[spoiler: read: "I'm sorry, my father is sick and nobody can take care of the company but me"]], "I'm tougher than you thanks to my work as carpenter, first year weaklings, so I guess I'm the one who sould be quarterback"[[spoiler: read: "I'm a second year, I'm your senior, let me risk being crushed by that monster so you can still play next year]].
** Hiruma himself might not be all bad, either, as LampShaded by Mamori.
** Marco, as well. In spite of his sinister aura and intimidating appearance, and, indeed, his usually less-than-noble intentions, he's shaken pretty easily and is more frightened of Gaou than anyone else.
** Harao's jerkish tendencies spring from his feelings of inadequacy as a player. He acts the way he does to distract people from the fact that he lacks any real talent.
* JerkJock:
** Every element of this is taken to its psychopathic extreme by Kongo Agon. Hiruma would be a HeroicComedicSociopath version.
** Agon is the most vile, arrogant person in the story. [[EvilerThanThou Then Mr. Don appears.]] In fact, both Mr. Don and Clifford manage to be such gigantic asses that they grate on ''Agon himself.''
** The replacement players for the Yuuhi Guts, stars of Yuuhi's other sports teams, are played up as villains in the anime. In the manga, they were depicted as perfectly nice guys -- though selfish in that they were only playing for extra credit.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Several. Including Rui Habashira [[spoiler:who secretly supports the Devilbats during their match against Teikoku by building them a snowbat]] and Hiruma himself. Mizumachi also is actually a pretty decent guy, if you can forgive his lack of tact.
** Hiruma ''seems'' to be at first glance. But on the other hand, he does care for his teammates/friends, in his own psychotic manner, gives them support when necessary, and even at his worst, ''never'' asks anything of them that he is not prepared to go through himself. And then you have the reason he became the manager of the Devil-Bats in the first place: [[spoiler: He promised his first friend that they would reach the top of the football circuit in Japan, and by hell, that is what they are going to do.]] In addition, he put himself in harm's way to try and protect Mamori and Suzuna from GAOU, of all people. Sure he taunts his opponents, but unlike Agon's insults, they tend to be more childish and absurd then genuinely cruel. The one time Hiruma might've kicked the dog (calling Tetsuma stupid and incompetent), he plainly states seconds later "I was just lying, no one thinks of Tetsuma like that!", then reveals that he's trying to get Kid to show his competitive spirit.
* TheJuggernaut: Gaou is the straight version; at least until he meets Kurita, who's much slower but [[MightyGlacier pretty much unstoppable]]. Yamato Takeru is also practically unstoppable on the field; the best thing Deimon can do is slow him down. Not even Shin, widely regarded as the strongest Japanese linebacker EVER, can completely stop him. Tetsuma will go exactly where he's commanded, trampling everyone in his way. Then Mr. Don... oh, God, Mr. Don.
* JumpingOffTheSlipperySlope: Marco did this [[HeroicBSOD after realizing that his team's strength was nothing compared to the Teikoku Alexanders]], who won every Christmas Bowl and had ''[[ImplacableMan never been scored against for 20 years straight]].''. He decides the most probable way to win is [[ShootTheDog to destroy the enemies completely, using brute strength, injuring the opposition if he can get away with it.]] Of course, since his [[MotiveDecay original goal]] was to show his [[{{Ojou}} senior]] LoveInterest [[ThePromise the "morning sun after the victory"]], the latter didn't really appreciate it.
* {{Keet}}: Mizumachi, UpToEleven.
* KarmaHoudini:
** Gaou of the Hakushu Dinosaurs targets quarterbacks intending to break their bones in games. His only karma was that his team lost against the Devil Bats, and despite intentionally breaking Hiruma's arm, he's still invited to be a part of the Japan high school all-star team.
* {{Kevlard}}: Kurita has this mildly. The average high schooler can't really hurt him, but a lot of the linemen he plays against are around his size and can do plenty of damage.
* KickTheDog: Agon's hobby.
* KnowWhenToFoldEm:
** Despite [[AttackAttackAttack his love for offense,]] Hiruma knows that sometimes, he should just give up. The first time is against Ojou, and he's rather an asshole about it. Then, in the match against Seibu, he realizes that none of his carefully crafted scenarios will work against the Kid. [[spoiler:Musashi's appeareance changed that, though.]] Also his poker game against Clifford, although his tactical retreat really pissed Clifford off.
** Monta giving up baseball, since his ability is much more suited for American Football.
* LargeAndInCharge: Played straight and subverted. Mr. Don of team USA played this straight, as well as [[HuskyRusskie Rodchenko of the Russian Team]]. There are several subversions, though: Teams led by less-than-competent players, while his second-in command is larger and [[HypercompetentSidekick more competent]], like the Kyoshin Poseidons (nominally led by Kobanzame, who defers practically every decision to the tall Kakei, including recruiting and tactical planning), the Taiyou Sphinx (led by [[FakeUltimateHero Harao]], but held together by rock-solid Center Banba), and the Hakushuu Dinosaurs (led by Marco, a talented player and a capable leader, but their biggest strength is [[TheJuggernaut Rikiya Gaou,]] without whom they wouldn't be half the team they are). Another type of subversion: Shinryuji is led by the biggest player, 3rd year senior Yamabushi, but the team is pretty much steered by [[JerkJock Agon]].
* LawOfConservationOfDetail: You can tell how important a team is going to be by the number of named players.
* {{Leitmotif}}: Most of the main characters have one but the one that really stands out is Hiruma's (appropriately named the same). It starts playing each time Hiruma yells [[CatchPhrase YA-HA]] and [[DynamicEntry jumps down from somewhere high, shoots his guns]] and explain his next crazy plan to the team.
* Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Sena and Monta have one when the Deimon team went to US.
** Sena: What... what is going to happen to us?
** Monta: This manga entering the US version?
* LetsGetDangerous: During the Bando game, [[spoiler: Taki goes into a {{Heroic BSOD}} because he failed so often, but quickly recovers, ties his hair into a ponytail, and suddenly becomes serious. He goes on to clinch the victory.]]
* LightningBruiser:
** Type 1: Ootawara, whose speed is ''insane'' for someone his size. That said, while powerful, he's actually one of the weaker opposing players to deal primarily in strength; at the beginning of the series, Shin can bench more than him.
** Type 2: Yamato and Shin. Shin's just a tad slower [[spoiler:initially]] than Sena but has incredible physical strength and resilience. Yamato runs at slightly below Sena's pace and while he isn't noted to be especially strong, he takes pride in being a more complete player than Sena because he can take hits and hit back. His main strength, though, is his ability to run without being taken down by tackles.
** Gaou doesn't ''seem'' to be this at first, but in reality he is. Kid notes that Gaou's blitz speed keeps increasing, such that he starts getting closer to Kid with each play. Furthermore, regardless of the fact that he doesn't actually fall for feints, he was ''still'' fast enough to nail Riku with his right hand while Riku was on the left side of his body (for reference, Riku ''wins fights'' simply by using his running style).
* LiteralGenie: Tetsuma takes instructions very literally; If you tell him to run, he'll run... but he won't stop if you don't tell him to stop.
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters:
** There's at least one (and usually more) notable player on the opposing teams.
** This has the unfortunate side-effect of several Devilbats [[spoiler: being pushed out of the narrative by the all-stars in the last arc. Komosubi and Taki in particular are last seen cheering on the sidelines during the last game of the world cup; they are conspicuously absent from the final chapter, with no explanation given.]]
** Additionally, pretty much every minor or incidental character gets further characterization in the bonuses in the collected volumes.
* LoopholeAbuse: Leonard Apollo said that if they failed to beat Deimon by at least 10 points, the NASA Aliens would never go back to America. When they failed to meet that goal, Apollo revealed that he was just going to change the team's name to the NASA Shuttles; that way, it technically wouldn't be the NASA Aliens going back. On the other side, Hiruma said that if the Devil Bats didn't beat the Aliens by at least 10 points the entire team would leave Japan. However he never said they would not come back.
* LovableJock: Basically 2/3 (and maybe more) of named characters. Even some JerkJock characters, like Mizumachi, for example, [[PetTheDog has some endearing traits]] that makes you like them.
* LoveMakesYouEvil: Marco. He was actually a pretty decent guy until he realized average guys couldn't defeat Teikoku. He then resolved to do anything, including (and often) crippling anyone who gets between him and showing Himuro "the morning sunshine after a victory."
* MamaBear: Just don't threaten Sena or Suzuna when Mamori's nearby. This is a woman who is brave enough to face ''Gaou'' should he endanger them.
* ManlyTears: Frequently happens with Sakuraba and Yukimitsu, but it happens to practically everybody, even the jovial Panther and hard boiled Habashira. Frequently reaches OcularGushers level with regards to Kurita.
* MeaningfulName: Nearly everyone.
* MeetCute: Sena and Suzuna, with a CrashIntoHello.
* MightyGlacier: The Taiyo Sphinx' Pyramid Line, and most of the offensive linemen in general.
* MiracleRally: The Devil Bats often find themselves trailing by a huge number, especially against strong teams like the Shinryuji Nagas and the Teikoku Alexanders. They always fight back in the 2nd half to win. Most of it is thanks to Hiruma's tactical decisions, [[ZanyScheme which are often seen as crazy or outright insane but proven to be effective and successful.]]
* MobstacleCourse
* MoralityPet: Kurita. Sure, Hiruma inflicts his bizarre violence all over Kurita, but the things he does for Kurita (like attending Deimon instead of Shinryuuji) show he's [[PetTheDog not as bad as he appears]].
* MrFanservice: Not too evident at the beginning, but post-ArtEvolution...
* MundaneUtility: Sena uses his run to take back a letter from one of the Huh Huh Brothers, Hiruma uses his ImprobableAimingSkills to make fun of people, and in a recent chapter there was a "uselessly badass" pillow fight.
** Mizumachi pretends to attack Agon at one point late in the manga...[[{{MundaneMadeAwesome}} purely to cause him to react with his Godspeed Impulse straight into a high five with Sena and Shin.]]
* MusclesAreMeaningless: Subverted and played straight at the same time. [[GeniusBruiser Akaba]], [[PintSizedPowerhouse Chuubou]], [[{{Delinquents}} the Ha Ha brothers]] all show that muscles are not everything. Shin has quite a lot of muscle, and was even stronger than the comparatively gigantic [[DumbMuscle Ootawara]] for a long time. [[HuskyRusskie Rodchenko]] is the world champion of weightlifting, but Chuubou easily counters him. The Amino Cyborgs, particularly Atsushi Munakata, all had impressive muscles, but the [[RagtagBunchOfMisfits Devilbats]] [[CurbStompBattle make quick work of them]]. However, to be fair, there are players who have huge muscles and impressive power, like [[BloodKnight Gaou]] and Mr. Don. There's also Daisuke Atsumi, the captain of the Yuuhi Guts. Despite being so muscular that he practically lacks a freaking ''neck'', he's a below-average player on a below-below-average team of perennial losers.
** MusclesAreMeaningful: You can still rate physical power from their build, though.
* MyKungFuIsStrongerThanYours: Many of the "quarterback battles" between Hiruma and the opposing quarterback turn into a football version of this.
* NakedPeopleAreFunny: Otawara, if you can get past the FanDisservice.
* NeutralFemale: Mildly subverted, since [[TeamMom Mamori]] is often incorporated into the games by analyzing the game from the bench and informing Hiruma via hand signals.
* TheNicknamer:
** Suzuna. She has the nerve to call [[DevilInPlainSight Hiruma]] "You-nii", which also happens to be "Elf-bro" when translated into English.
** Also, [[ClusterFBomb Hiruma]]. He usually refers to someone by "fucking" followed by a trait of theirs, such as "fucking shrimp" for Sena.
* NoblewomansLaugh: She hasn't ''actually'' done it, but in the manga, Yukimitsu dreads the day his mother eventually lets this loose, because it suits her so well. Mamori also does this during Deimon's field day.
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed:
** One of the creators said that Sena is based off of Marshall Faulk, as he is a huge St. Louis Rams fan. He also, however, bears many similarities with [=LaDainian=] Tomlinson (the eyeshield, the number 21, the position as a running back), but by all accounts these are coincidental.
** Homer might be based on Brett Favre, with whom he shares both a powerful throwing arm and a tendency to misfire passes.
** Mr. Don, in what appears to be a coincidence as well, resembles Tim Tebow - mostly because of his beard and gigantically muscular frame.
** Morgan, the star running back who edged Leonard Apollo out of his job, resembles Deion Sanders from what little we see of him, Sanders having been perhaps the most infamous fame-loving, money-flaunting egotist in NFL history
* NotSoDifferent:
** Rui Habashira does this to Hiruma while choking back tears after the Chameleons were knocked out of the fall tournament.
** After Hiruma traps Marco using his own trick, Marco asked whether, if Hiruma were in his shoes, he would use the same tactics (using [[BloodKnight Gaou]] to [[ShootTheDog crush their enemies completely]]). Hiruma's answer: "Of course, fucking eyelashes!"
* OccidentalOtaku: Jeremy Watt of the NASA Aliens.
* OddFriendship:
** Taki and Akaba get along very well, despite seeming almost ridiculously incompatable.
*** Doesn't hurt that they're possibly the two biggest [[BunnyEarsLawyer Bunny Ears Lawyers]] in the ''entire series.''
** Akaba and Kotaro.
** Shin and Sakuraba.
** Hiruma and Kurita.
* OfficialCouple: Hiruma and Mamori. It's somewhat obvious. [[spoiler:She even [[SubordinateExcuse follows him into college]] and shares a car with him!]]
* OffModel: The anime is riddled with this. [[{{Squick}} Suddenly Hiruma is creepy for a whole new reason.]]
* OldMaster: Doburoku-sensei. Sumito Sendoda of Shinyuji Nagas also counts.
* OneHitKill: What happens when Shin uses his Trident Tackle against [[{{Mook}} most regular players.]] Subverted since several strong or strong-willed players manage to hold it off, even [[FragileSpeedster Sena.]] However, Shin isn't to be underestimated; The Trident Tackle stopped Yamato and his Caesar's Charge flat.
* TheOnlyOneAllowedToDefeatYou: Shin, towards Sena. Vice-versa as well, but not as much.
* OnlyKnownByTheirNickname: There are characters, like Kid, that are known mostly by their nicknames. Marco is a deliberate case, since [[GenderBlenderName he didn't like his girlish real name.]]
* OpposingSportsTeam: Dozens of them. Several are portrayed much more sympathetically than usual, however, and the series doesn't shy away from the fact that the Devil Bats are crushing a lot of people's dreams, either. Teikoku, however, plays it a little straight. The team's structure forces players to compete against each other to get to the first string. Consequentially, in every game, the players are working more against each other than with each other. They can get away with it because the first string is ''that'' good, but it's clear that the entire setup is ''wrong.'' And the team is mostly made up of aces stolen from other teams, as well...
* OvertookTheManga
* PetTheDog:
** Almost every character originally played as a villain or antagonist gets one of these, from arrogant ace Harao to slimy agent Miracle Itou. Mr. Don also manages to get in on this... though, true to form, he manages to strangle a woman while Petting The Dog. Even Agon manages to pull off some strange variant of this when [[spoiler:he takes off his helmet as simultaneously a sign of challenge and encouragement to his older brother, who has always sacrificed everything to raise Agon up.]] Still a dick though.
** In an omake, Hiruma had a literal PetTheDog opportunity, which he completely ignored until it turned out the dog's sad little puppy face was a trap to trick a potential victim into coming close enough to become food. Hiruma and Cerberus are really made for each other.
* PhenotypeStereotype: Just see the Youth World Cup. [[spoiler:Finland: Best dental care in the world, USA: Of the players in the Pentagram, two are blond, one is black, and one is Native American. India: turbans, Russia: has the strongest guy, who loves material wealth, Germany: sharp features, analytical and good memories, France: led by a {{Bishounen}} prettyboy]]
* PintSizedPowerhouse: So much for Chuubou Akira. Also Komusubi.
* ThePlan: Hiruma, with all his trick plays.
* PlanetOfHats: The other schools are designed around themes - to the point of looking like ''theme parks''; Ojou High School looks like Notre Dame university, while Taiyo's architecture is ridiculously Egyptian-themed. Taiyo students even look Egyptian because their ''other'' hat, surfing and going to the beach, gets them really tan. The Occults actually try to curse their opponents, Zokugaku students mostly get jobs involving motorcycles, etc.
* PluckyGirl: Katsuko Konjo, manager of the Yuuhi Guts, needlessly follows an intense workout regimen so brutal that it would make most other teams' actual players plead for mercy.
* PointlessBandAid: Monta
* PolarOppositeTwins: Unsui and Agon, with Unsui being a reasonable, generally respectful young man, while Agon... well, let's just say that Sena described him as ''evil''.
* PoorPredictableRock: Most of the opposing teams have one or two defining strengths or gimmicks, like the Seibu Wild Gunmen's quick-draw passing, the Taiyo Sphinx and their "Pyramid Line", or the Bando Spiders' kicks. In that vein, the Devil Bats themselves fit the trope early in the series, by always relying on Sena's speed or Monta's catches. Later, their reliance on the Devil Bat Ghost also came back to bite them. Basically lampshaded in the match against the Wild Gunmen, after Musashi returns to play. Kid makes the observation that without a good kicker, Hiruma's tactics were basically analogous to a person playing rock, paper, scissors - but only using rock and scissors.
* PostVictoryCollapse:
** While most of the Devil Bats showed obvious signs of fatigue and exhaustion during the Death March, Hiruma chased after his receivers while screaming passing patterns and strafing them with machine gun fire with no indication that the endless running (while hauling around a machine gun) had any effect on him. Even when they reached Las Vegas, he continued to harass them and shoot at them in the hotel...until he got to his room, where he collapsed, face-first and unconscious on the bed, with his shoes still on his feet and his gun still in his hand.
** After exhausting himself to defeat the Bando Spiders' Spider Web, Sena makes it almost to the locker room but collapses in Suzuna's arms before he gets there.
* PowerTrio: Oodles.
** Ojou:
*** Id: Ootawara ({{Dumb Muscle}})
*** Ego: Sakuraba (the most normal)
*** Superego: Shin or Takami (Takami is more typically intelligent while Shin is the least emotional)
** Shinryuuji:
*** Id: Agon (relies on his talent and instinct)
*** Ego: Ikkyu (prideful but reasonable)
*** Superego: Unsui (the most cautious of the three)
** Seibu:
*** Id: Riku (actions based on emotions rather then what's strategic)
*** Ego: Kid (intelligent, but insecure)
*** Superego: Tetsuma (the one whose emotions are the most controlled)
** Taiyou:
*** Id: Kasamatsu (easily enraged and tricked) or Kamagaruma (impulsive)
*** Ego: Harao (reasonably intelligent, but hampered by insecurity)
*** Id: Banba (the real brains of the team)
** Poseidon:
*** Id: Mizumachi (lives for fun)
*** Ego: Kobanzame
*** Superego: Kakei (thinks the most strategically of the 3)
** Bando:
*** Id: Kotaro (values passion most)
*** Ego: Juri ({{only sane man}})
*** Superego: Akaba (values intellegence most)
** Hakushuu:
*** Id: Gao (animal instincts personified)
*** Ego: Maria (desires victory, but not at the expense of others). Alternately, one could argue that Kisiragi is the Ego: he's Marco's Left Hand in contrast to Gaou's Right, worships strength every bit as much as Gaou does, but relies on brainpower to use his strength effectively, putting him right between the two of them.
*** Superego: Marco (goes for the most straight forward path to victory regardless of those he hurts)
** Teikoku:
*** Id: Yamato (plays for the love of competing)
*** Ego: Karin (the peace keeper)
*** Superego: Taka (the intellectual)
** Team America:
*** Id: Panther
*** Ego: Mr. Don
*** Superego: Clifford
* PutMeInCoach:
** Panther ''[[TrueCompanions and his whole team]]'' [[PoseOfSupplication knelt down]] for this. Panther went on to beat back Deimon for the win.
** The Yuuhi Guts manage to score a single touchdown and overall give better performances than the hastily created "team" of other teams' aces.
** [[WeakButSkilled Manabu Yukimitsu]], of all people, scores the first touchdown against the Shinryujii Nagas.
** Shin tries to do this with regards to an offensive tactic during Ojou's first game against the Naga, however he is denied becuase they had not practiced the ballista enough.
* QuirkyMinibossSquad: The Cyborgs and the Scorpions, seeing as how Deimon defeated them with a considerable lead. The Guts and Chameleons could be considered a deconstruction of this trope.
* RagtagBunchOfMisfits: Deimon; in fact, only three (later two, one forfeited himself) of the players on the team had any prior experience in football.
* RatedMForManly
* RealityIsUnrealistic: In a reverse of the above examples of GretzkyHasTheBall, the attention to detail is somewhat staggering, to the point where people not intimately familiar with high-school level Football might assume that a mistake was made. For instance:
** During the Bando game, Kotarou lands the kickoff just out of bounds right by Deimon's endzone. In college and professional football, this results a penalty that results in the ball being started at the 40 yard line. However, at the high school level, this is allowed due to the quality of most high school kickers.
** Many people are unaware that American football games can end in ties and were thus perplexed by the [[spoiler:America vs Japan]] match ending in a tie. However, even in the NFL, if the score is still tied at the end of the sudden death overtime period whole in the regular season, the match ends as a tie. Obviously, this cannot occur during the playoffs, so the game continues until someone scores. In regards to the World Cup, an explanation is given: Morgan was so confident that the Americans would crush all their opposition that he didn't bother to write an overtime rule into the tournament guidelines.
* TheRealRemingtonSteele: Hayato Akaba of the Bando Spiders claims to be the ''actual'' Eyeshield 21. After Sena beat him, he gave up the title, which Sena had ironically abandoned before the game. Then it turns out that Yamato Takeru of the Teikoku Alexanders was the ''real'' Eyeshield 21 (due to it being a title passed down from player to player in Notre Dame), and was the one Shun Kakei played against. Eventually, however, [[spoiler:the lie of Sena being Eyeshield 21 is made true when he goes to play at Notre Dame high school for a short while.]]
* RedOniBlueOni:
** Akaba and Kotaro of the Bando Spiders, who also have a ThreeAmigos thing going on with team manager Juri. They're very similar, liking many of the same things for tellingly different reasons. The blue oni, Akaba, feels that technical ability is the most important thing in football, while the red oni likes things that are "smart", and likes passion.
** Kakei and Mizumachi of the Kyoshin Poseidons are a pretty exaggerated example- Kakei takes being unemotional to new levels, while Mizumachi is the biggest spazz in the series.
** There's also Agon and Unsui. Agon is driven by spite and hedonism while Unsui has the self-discipline of a monk. Agon has a perpetual sneer while Unsui rarely ever emotes at all.
* RightBehindMe: Sakuraba overhears Takami praise him in a discussion about his hopes for the wide receiver with his coach. It's what ends his HeroicBSOD.
* RightHandCat: Leonard Apollo has one named Hillary in the anime. He loves that little thing.
* TheRival:
** Seijuro Shin, the stone-faced star linebacker of the White Knights, is Sena's rival. Agon is arguably Hiruma's, Ikkyu Hosakawa is Monta's and Gaou is Kurita's. Additionally, Sena also faces opposition from Riku of the Seibu Wild Gunmen, the person who taught him to run in the first place, [[spoiler:and the real Eyeshield 21, Yamato Takeru]].
** Hiruma also has notable rivals in the other 'control tower' players, Marco and Takami. More than one occasion of detected tactical malice from any of these three has given others the willies.
*** By contrast, this trope is subverted a bit by the LACK of malice, animosity, or negativity between Sena and Shin. The two simply have a great deal of respect for each other, and each recognizes the other as the best possible rival based on their skills.
** Monta also has Sakuraba and Tetsuma as rivals, and Komusubi is a rival to all three of the Ha-ha bros.
** And of course, Sena and Panther.
* RollerbladeGood: Suzuna is an ''expert'' when it comes to rollerblading and ice-skating. She wears her rollerblades pretty much all the time.
* RousingSpeech: Well, duh. This is an anime about football.
* RuleOfThree: Ended right at its 333rd chapter.
* RunningGag: Several. Shin's cluenessness with technology, Monta's inability to throw, Mamori's inability to draw, Ishimaru's plainness...
** Also passing birds cheeping "Ahou!" (which translates to 'Stupid!') when someone does something particularly idiotic. Commonly occurs with Taki.
** Whenever anyone kicks anyone without saying a word, it's a compliment. At first Hiruma used it, the the Ha-Ha Bros adopted it, and now... pretty much everyone does it.
* {{Ruritania}}: The Republic of Militaria seems to be like this, except, naturally, with a strong focus on its military.
* SamusIsAGirl: And so is Karin Koizumi, the quarterback of the Teikoku Alexanders and probably the best QB in the country. The guy Kotaro thought was their ace quarterback is actually on the fourth string because he can't compete with her.
* ScaryBlackMan: A bizarre example being Banba, who looks and acts the part despite being ethnically Japanese. The series tries to justify his appearance by explaining that he's just really tan from frequent surfing and likes Egyptian culture, but it doesn't explain why he's drawn with the facial features of a Black Egyptian.
** Ironically enough, the only actual black guy of any significance, Panther, is extremely friendly and humble, often letting people push him around.
* ScaryShinyGlasses: Takami gets these in the final game between Ojou and Deimon. His teammates find it a little unnerving, especially because he's usually so benign.
* SecondPlaceIsForLosers: There is no award for effort, nor for putting up a good fight. Only winning matters. Yes, the players may respect one another for their valiant struggles, but some move on to the next match and some get eliminated from the tournament.
* SelectiveObliviousness: Mamori as a running gag in regards to Sena's identity as Eyeshield 21. He's practically ClarkKenting it and yet she keeps missing the signs. She's knows Sena is the same build as Eyeshield. She knows he's joined the Football club and she's never seen Eyeshield 21 without his mask. When she figures out that Sena leaves before Eyeshield 21 shows up, here is her thought: "Everytime Eyeshield 21 shows up... Sena never seems to be around. Maybe they... don't get along well?" The justicification is that she sees Sena as such a wimp, she simply ''cannot'' think of him as someone who could be a successful football player. It's even lampshaded by Hiruma: "Preconceptions are harsh..."
* SeriousBusiness:
** Okay, yeah, it's not that unreasonable for people to get a little crazy in high school sports... but did you know that ''beach football'' is SeriousBusiness? No, seriously, it's the only thing keeping the Houston youth from dealing drugs. It is true, though, that placing your energy into something like sports to get away from bad habits is perfectly viable. Doburoku took a group of drug abusers and gave them an outlet to put their energy and time into. Kinda funny since he is an alchoholic with a massive gambling addiction.
** For Hiruma, [[{{Blackmail}} blackmailing]] is one.
** For Mamori, creampuffs. It's even been stated that she eats more creampuffs than [[BigEater ''Kurita'']] and she can apparently discern their weight and size by sight.
** ''Kicking'' is serious business for Kotarou and Musashi.
* SheIsNotMyGirlfriend:
** Mamori had one of these moments when Doburoku mistakenly assumed Hiruma was her boyfriend. Suzuna was [[ShipperOnDeck intrigued]]. It doesn't help that this is a RunningGag in the anime.
** In the Devil Bat's Investigation Files, when asked if Rui Habashira and Megumi Tsuyumine are dating, his answer: [[SesquipedalianLoquaciousness "Well, you see, if a man and woman are seen together, that doesn't mean they are doing girlfriend/boyfriend things. The relationship between a man and a woman isn't as simple as whether or not they're going out."]]
* ShipperOnDeck: [[http://pics.livejournal.com/mayura_4_loki/pic/0002b4e7/ Suzuna ships Mamori and Hiruma in ''and'' out of the series]].
* ShipTease:
** There was a considerable amount of Ship Teasing for both Sena/Suzuna and Hiruma/Mamori throughout the series... though ultimately, nothing was confirmed. But you mustn't forget, this ''is'' [[MaybeEverAfter a Shounen manga]].
** Also, the scene with [[ManipulativeBastard Marco]] and [[EmotionlessGirl Maria]] after the Dinosaurs lose. We don't know ''what'' exactly was said, but given that Marco is the poster boy for LoveMakesYouEvil, and she's in the middle of saying he didn't have to go as far as he did to impress her, right before it fades out... ''something'' must have happened.
** Rui and Megumi also get teased a bit in the side chapters.
** For Hiruma and Mamori, [[spoiler: the fact that she chose to stay as Hiruma's manager in the DistantFinale when every member of their team is now split up is quite telling.]]
** For Sena and Suzuna, after the game against [[spoiler: the Dinosaurs,]] at the celebratory party, Sena sees Suzuna in a dress and comments, "Wow! So adult like!" Suzuna is dissapointed he didn't look flustered or embarrassed.
* ShirtlessScene: Mizumachi, Shin... [[FanDisservice Ootawara]], although with Ootowara, shirtlessness isn't the problem--it's ''pantslessness.''
* ShoutOut:
** Unbelievably, the manga has a little shout out to MarvelComics' infamous ''NFL Superpro''. Seriously.
** In addition to many shouts out to other Shonen Jump manga; Toganou is almost always seen reading Shonen Jump, as well, and created a manga that combines elements of many manga serialized in Jump... [[RecursiveCanon including Eyeshield 21]]. Other Jump shout-outs show up throughout the series. A filler episode in the anime has every member of the team dress up as Eyeshield and do an homage to {{Naruto}}'s shadow clone technique.
** Ken Kamaguruma of the Taiyo Sphinx is clearly based on Jean-Pierre Polnareff from ''Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure'', from his hair to his "Chariot" techniques.
** In the episode where the Devil Bats go on a one-night cruise before a big game, someone eats their dinners, and Suzuna turns the episode into a mix between DetectiveConan and PhoenixWright. A blatant shout out to Detective Conan starts with a set of doors opening and closing between breaks.
** Many players in this manga are [[NoCelebritiesWereHarmed based on certain players in the NFL, or other famous people]]. Shin, for example, is both a [[Manga/FistOfTheNorthStar Kenshiro]] Clone and a BruceLeeClone.
** The Bando Spiders' uniform is basically a football version of Spiderman's iconic costume.
** A FourthWallMailSlot column talking about how easygoing Ishimaru is claims that it'd take something like "[[{{Cyborg 009}} kidnapping him and turning him into a cyborg for a black-market organization]]" to rile him.
** While trying to think of a way to get past Yamato, Taki suggests Sena dig underground, a reference to Manga/{{Naruto}}
's fight with Neji.
** Some of the Kanto team's mascots are shout-outs to other works. For example, the Kita Eskimo's mascot is [[VideoGame/MegaMan Ice Man]].
* SlowMotionPassBy
* SmallNameBigEgo: Natsuhiko Taki
* {{Sneezing}}
* SortingAlgorithmOfEvil: Regional Tournament to National Tournament to Christmas Bowl [[spoiler:to World Cup]]. Expert analysts predict Sena will soon be the first running back in space. Subverted in the National Tournament when Deimon face super-hyped, 10-time undefeated champions Shinryuuji first, then their ultimate rivals Ojou second, and finally fellow darkhorse team Hakushuu in the grand finale.
* SpeedStripes
* SpikesOfVillainy: Hiruma is very pointy.
* SpiritedCompetitor: Most of TheRival characters, like Seijuro Shin, Patrick Spencer, Kengo Mizumachi, Riku Kaitani, Ichiro Takami, Haruto Sakuraba, Jo Tetsuma (at last), Shun Kakei (at last), ''Rikiya Gaou'',.... The list goes on and on.
* StealthPun:
** The Bando Spiders rely on their kicks; [[spoiler: They're all legs]].
** The nickname "Panther" is one in Japanese, since it can be formed from a phoenetic shortening of his real name, "Patrick Spencer." (Pansaa = ''Pa''torikku Supe''nsaa'')
* StockFootage: Used to an almost obscene level during matches in the anime. Combined with the frequent appearance of characters drawn OffModel, it's not far from torture for anyone who has read the wonderfully detailed and dynamic manga.
* TheStoic: Shin, Banba, and Kakei are all rather unemotional. Akaba might also count. Tetsuma is also notable in this regard. Subverted with Hiruma; he can be trigger-happy, laughing mad, cursing and threatening all the time, [[spoiler:but when his plans fail completely, he takes it with stoic silence.]]
* StoutStrength: Kurita, Komusubi, Kasamatsu and Omosadake are all powerful linemen of pronounced girth; Komusubi and Omosadake are sumo wrestlers, even.
* SubordinateExcuse: At the start of the series, Mamori became manager of the Devil Bats solely to relieve Sena's workload and protect him from [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold Hiruma's]] 'bullying'. Then, in an interesting turn of events, the epilogue has her as the manager of [[spoiler: the Saikyoudai Wizards, whose captain is Hiruma.]] Considering [[spoiler: the two have had varying amounts of ShipTease throughout the series, and that they're [[MaybeEverAfter sharing a car]]...]]
* SugarAndIcePersonality: Maria/Maruko, at first she appears to be your typical {{emotionless girl}}, but flashbacks revealed she actually used to be quite dere for Marco till he recruited Gaou.
* TakeAThirdOption: Subverted with Hiruma and his in-game pop-quiz; he makes you guess A, B, or C, while the answer is...12.5.
* TalkingIsAFreeAction: The players manage to fit astonishingly long stretches of dialogue and thought into actions which probably take place in the blink of an eye - while running, throwing, blocking, catching. It's amazing they have enough breath to play.
* TeamDad: Hiruma, in his own warped, violent, abrasive way.
* TeamHandStack: Many of the Devil Bats' huddles during football games break with a cry of "Crush them! YA-HA!" "YA-HA!", while in the manga they did the same, but used "kick their asses!" instead. Many of their opponents have similar hand stack cries.
* TeamMom: Mamori for the Devil Bats. She even (sort of) managed to mother Hiruma. Some of the managers from the other teams are Team Moms too.
* TeamPet: Cerberus, but he's not, like, ''cute'', or anything. Hell, he's a ''wild'' dog, people shouldn't even be ''around'' him, a fact that Hiruma owns up to completely. There's also Butaberus the pig.
* TeamSpirit
* {{Tearjerker}}: Several over the series, an early flashback showing one for Kurita. After buying 100 cream puffs expecting a huge turnout for club tryouts, he sits alone in the dark, eating them in tears. Someone saying how tasty pastries are has never been sadder.
* TemptingFate:
** "You put [[FakeUltimateHero Sakuraba on the offense?]] Thank you. You made our job easier, reducing one pass target on the field". And then Sakuraba turns out to be a phenomenal receiver, given his tenacity and height.
** "We already know Eyeshield 21's weakness. We can stop him". [[LookWhatICanDoNow And then here comes the Devilbat Ghost.]]
** The most prominent example is Onihei. Everything he predicted will be inverted, or at least, subverted.
* TerribleArtist: We're frequently reminded why Art is Mamori's weakest subject in school.
* TestosteronePoisoning: A funny in-universe example where every member of the Devil Bats basically 'mans up' by getting BigOlEyebrows and very intense eyes during the Hakushuu game. Even the {{Team Pet}}s got in on the act, and Mamori and Suzuna had to resist it with every last bit of their female instinct.
* ThoseTwoGuys:
** The recruits from the basketball team.
** There are also Mamori and Suzuna's friends. The latter gets some screentime but no dialogue.
** Two idiots from the soccer team, Muro Satoshi and Miyake (Mitaku in the fan scanlations, for some reason), whose schtick is insulting people, [[LaserGuidedKarma which often backfires on them.]]
* ThisCannotBe: What happens to ''almost every one'' of Sena's opponents, and, to an extent, all the teams to face the Devil Bats, given that they're considered to be mediocre by every other team up until the middle of the series.
* ThreeAmigos: Sena, Monta, and Suzuna. Kotaro, Akaba, and Julie as well.
* ThunderingHerd: Aside from the players, in early episodes Sakuraba is often pursued by a ThunderingHerd of fangirls from his InstantFanClub
* [[spoiler: TimeSkip]]
* TokyoTower: Or should we say Hell Tower?
* TookAlevelInBadass: Nearly ''everyone'' in the Devil Bats. Well, except Hiruma and [[spoiler: Musashi]], but the former's already too badass to start with and the latter's pretty much a legend. There are also several players who go through this, like Sakuraba, Otawara, and Riku.
* TournamentArc: Interestingly enough, this makes up the majority of the manga, starting roughly in the mid-90s chapterwise and running pretty much the end, which makes sense.
* TrademarkFavoriteFood:
** Hiruma with ''sugarless'' bubblegum and Marco with soda.
** Don't forget Mamori's cream puffs and Monta's bananas.
* TrainingFromHell:
** The Devilbat's training on the infamous "Death March", a U.S cross-country hike from Houston, Texas to Las Vegas, Nevada where they either run, push a truck or, in Sena's case, kick a pebble all the way. When it broke in half, ''he had to kick both pieces of it''.
** Other teams get into it, too; the Zokugaku Chameleons' training involved chasing and being chased by and ''carrying'' their motorcycles.
** Mamoru Banba of the Taiyo Sphinx underwent some mysterious training prior to the Kanto tournament; the details are never revealed, but he ended up with scars all over his body.
** The Yuuhi Guts' training is incredibly intense... but sadly it doesn't translate to on-field success.
* TricksterArchetype: Hiruma
* TriggerHappy: Guess.
* TheTropeKid: Musyanokoji Shien.
* TrueCompanions: Although they're not always ''friendly'' to each other, the Devil Bats have many moments, probably the best being an unplanned, unspoken onside kick to the second half of the Devil Bats/Nagas game. The entire team knew it was coming despite Hiruma's words to the contrary.
* UglyGuyHotWife: Hatsujo and his girlfriend. Every time the Cupids lose (which is often, they're a bottom of the barrel team with the only moderate talent being Hatsujo himself), you can't help but feel like Hatsujo's the ''real'' winner, you know?
* UnknownRival:
** Both inverted and later played straight with Kotaro and Musashi. Kotaro initially considered himself to be Musashi's rival without having a clue of exactly ''who'' Musashi was, and later became a more normal kind of unknown rival himself.
** We never know the [[TheRealRemingtonSteele identity of real Eyeshield 21...]] until the Christmas Bowl.
* TheUnintelligible: Komusubi speaks and writes in a language only understood by powerful men.
* UnstoppableRage: This what happens when you tick off Gaou. Additionally, Ikari of the White Knights is ''always'' in this mode, thanks to his temper.
* UnusualEars: Hiruma
* UpToEleven: Mr. Don is by far the most ridiculous character in the manga. Here is a small list of his crazy attributes: [[spoiler: He's the son of the president, who he looks OLDER than despite being 18. He can swat away both Gaou and Yamato AT THE SAME TIME with minimal effort, and he knocked Kurita out of a large chunk of the game with one hit. He rides around in limos drinking with women (again, he's 18). He knows like, every language. He runs around a 4.4 40-yard dash despite his inhuman strength. The one time his offense falters, he calls a time-out to make a crazy speech to the crowd about how they came to see "the men chosen by God as they effortlessly hunt down a tiger!"]] Mr. Don is NEVER anything less than completely over the top in any aspect.
* VerbalTic: ''"...MAX!"'', "Ahaha!", Ikkyuu sticks "oni" into his sentences a lot. Mr. Don can't seem to express any kind of opinion without repeatedly remarking that "it makes me sad."
* VersusCharacterSplash
* VitriolicBestBuds: Komosubi and the Ha Ha brothers. For all their fist fighting and one-upping, they're quick to defend each other if their skill as a line is questioned.
* VivaLasVegas: In the manga, at the end of the Death March, the Devil Bats have to win enough money for tickets back to Japan.
* WalkingTechBane: Shin. He was even forced to pay 23,000 yen for accidentally damaging a vending machine.
* WardingGestures
* WaxOnWaxOff: "Kick this stone across the U.S., and don't lose even a tiny bit of it."
* WeakButSkilled:
** Osamu Kobanzame, the weak, indecisive quarterback of Poseidons, who is overshadowed by his junior teammates, but has amazing accuracy in short passes, and foot speed (triggered by fear), which results in 0 interceptions in the tournament. He also went through [[TrainingFromHell Mizumachi-style training without complaining]].
** Hiromi Kisaragi's athletic skill is below average, but his Ptera-Claw is formidable against a receiver like Monta.
* WhatTheHellHero: Musashi punches Hiruma hard enough to draw blood when Hiruma orders Sena to continue marking Agon, even at the risk of permanently crippling his legs. [[spoiler:Subverted because it's actually staged as part of a trick play.]]
* [[spoiler: WhereAreTheyNowEpilogue: The final chapter. Most of the members of the team are now at university (different ones), and now play football against each other and go to the Rice Bowl, thus ending the series the same way it started.]]
* WhoNeedsOvertime: Hiruma always chooses to go for the "surprising win" instead of overtime, although it's [[JustifiedTrope justified]] since the team only has 14 players (4 borrowed from other sport clubs), so continuing with a ''really'' exhausted team is a poor option. Most of the time, it's decided after thinking through the options very thoroughly.
* TheWorfEffect:
** Onihei's team was built up as a powerhouse and an overall favorite in the tournament, so that when they got their asses handed to them by the Kyoshin Poseidons, we'd know who the ''real'' power was. Similarly, Taiyo and Seibu both bit it against Hakushuu to illustrate how brutal the Dinosaurs were.
** Subverted in the Ojo versus Sado game, where Otawara gets bowled over twice - but he was faking weakness so Shin could test out his Trident Tackle on opponents, and when he gets to let loose his LightningBruiser properties soundly trounce Sado.
** For Seibu's introduction, Deimon is late to their game against Ojo, and they see the score is 20-7. While everyone is impressed that Seibu scored against Ojo's defense, Hiruma points out that ''Seibu'' has 20 points, and are handing the White Knights their asses.
* WorthyOpponent: Patrick "Panther" Spencer.
** Also Shin.
** [[spoiler:Yamato Takeru]] considers Sena to be this.
** And Heinrich Schultz
** Gaou thinks Kurita is one.
* WrongGenreSavvy: Toganou often wonders if Hiruma is not human.
* YamatoNadeshiko:
** Mamori, with some dashes of MamaBear.
** Dinosaurs manager Maruko Himuro is implied to be one.
** Karin Koizumi might be one, subverted since she's a quarterback.
* YouShallNotPass: Played straight by Banba. His quarterback is the first (and only) quarterback that survived the onslaught from the beastly Rikiya Gaou.
* YoungerThanTheyLook: Most of the football players from other teams look like they'd fit in better in real NFL matches than in high school, most notably Musashi and "The Kid." There was even a metatextual "Old Man's Face" contest between them. Musashi won.

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