[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ShugoChara.jpg]]

-->''My own heart, unlock!''

''Shugo Chara!'' is a [[ShoujoDemographic shoujo]] manga by PEACH-PIT, serialized in ''Nakayoshi'' from 2006 to 2010. Compiled in 12 volumes, it won the 2008 Kodansha Manga Award during its run. ''Shugo Chara!'' received its own anime adaptation that began in fall of 2007, available on [[http://www.crunchyroll.com/library/Shugo_Chara CrunchyRoll]] under the accurate but somewhat cumbersome title ''My Guardian Characters''. In addition to its success, it was also adapted into a musical in 2009.

Amu Hinamori is a middle-school kid whose cool and cynical exterior has made her one of the most popular (and unapproachable) girls in school. Yet beneath this "Cool and Spicy" image lies a shy, clumsy and lovestruck girl who wishes that she had the confidence to express [[BeYourself her true character]].

One night she prays to her "Guardian Spirits" for the strength to be more honest to herself, and is shocked when her prayers are answered by three magical eggs. These hatch into her three Shugo Chara, or Guardian Characters, each one representing a different facet of her hidden personality: her sporty and energetic side, her artistic side, and her domestic side. With the aid of her Guardian Characters, which can bring her buried personality traits to the surface (sometimes against her will), Amu slowly learns to embrace and accept her HiddenDepths.

[[ButWaitTheresMore But Wait, There's More!]] Amu soon falls in with her school's "Guardians", an AbsurdlyPowerfulStudentCouncil whose four members each have their own Guardian Character. She discovers that her multiple Guardian Characters make her TheChosenOne, able to transform into a MagicalGirl with three different forms, one for each Guardian Character she has. With her new powers, she must hunt down the mysterious "[[MacGuffin Embryo]]" and battle against the agents of the Easter Company, who are creating [[MonsterOfTheWeek Monsters Of The Week]] from her classmates' deepest insecurities.[[note]]Which has less of a focus in the manga than it does in the anime.[[/note]]

----
!!'''This show provides examples of:'''
* AbsurdlyPowerfulStudentCouncil: The Guardians (in grade school, no less).
* TheAce: Amu has shades of this. Though it is mostly thanks towards her Chara. She's still excellent at [[WarriorTherapist psychological help]], though.
** The anime only Lulu is a more straight example. Jewelry making, dancing, rock climbing...she can do anything!
* AdaptationExpansion: The anime [[PragmaticAdaptation speeds up the pacing]] to introduce Character Transformation right off the bat, allowing a formerly StoryArc driven series to play out as a MonsterOfTheWeek show in the vein of ''Anime/SailorMoon'', in turn stretching a 48 chapter manga into a 100+ episode anime.
* AesopAmnesia: Averted during one of the last episodes of the second season: A noticeable amount of said season contained the aesop of telling somebody about your problems and believing that they would not make anything worse. Therefore, when the Guardians decide to [[spoiler: infiltrate [[AmusementParkofDoom Dream Egg Land]], they also decide to call their parents to tell them that they will be home much later tonight, rather than actually tell them what happened and ask for their assisstance... Except for the fact that Amu, having learned this aesop [[PoorCommunicationKills the hard way]] earlier, is hesitant to yet again not inform her family that something is wrong. She eventually does do it, but only after rationalizing that this time, her family might ''actually'' be in danger, unlike the incident involving Ikuto freeloading.]]
* AirVentPassageway: Kiseki and Yoru pull off an escape this way in the Easter building in episode 81. [[JustifiedTrope Justified]], since the Chara are small enough to fit in normal air ducts, and can fly to avoid making noise or being too heavy.
* AlphaBitch: Yamabuki Saaya, played for laughs, since when compared to Amu, she's nowhere as popular.
* AmbitionIsEvil: Averted constantly, consistently, and absolutely. [[spoiler: Even with [[CorruptCorporateExecutive Gozen]], it was less the fact that he was the CEO of a large company, but rather the emotional detatchment caused by it. This is shown fully when Hikaru decides to stay as head of the company, but, this time, starts becoming more honest about it.]]
* AnnoyingYoungerSibling: Played straight in a number of respects with Ami, but also subverted: Amu can and indeed sometimes wants to take care of her well, but Ami's boisterousness, as well as their parents' [[DotingParent tendencies]] becoming amplified within regards to Ami, can be rather anger-inducing. This pretty much sums it up:
--> Ami: When I grow up, [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming I want to be just like onii-chan!]]
--> Some episodes later.
--> Ami: [[SubvertedTrope When I grow up, I want to be just like Utau-chan!]]
--> Amu: I thought that you wanted to be like me...
* TheArtifact: X-eggs and Character Transformations in the manga.
* ArtEvolution: Especially in the eyes and the chin. If you look closely, the eyes are later shaped like a square, with the chin lines being more straight.
* BrotherSisterIncest: [[spoiler:Hoshina Utau's real name is Tsukiyomi Utau. No wonder Ikuto brushes off her romantic advances.]]
* BecomingTheMask: Borderline. [[spoiler:Nikaidou-sensei slides right back into using his ditzy teacher persona after his HeelFaceTurn, and no one in the school, sans the Guardians, is any the wiser.]]
** And [[spoiler:Kairi]] as well.
* BerserkButton: ''Don't'' use the word 'prince' in regards to Tadase or belittle Nagihiko's strange family upbringing.
* BigFancyHouse: A few times, in fact, almost all of which have TheThingThatGoesDoink.
* BigEater: [[IdolSinger Utau Hoshina]] might not look like it, but she can eat three big bowls of Ramen in less than 20 minutes... and still isn't satisfied.
* BishieSparkle: This is a magical girl show, so every single male gets a sparkly scene. It's even lampshaded, when [[spoiler:Nadeshiko returns as Nagihiko. As an attempt to change his mind, Tadase sparkles, but it doesn't work. Later, when Amu encounters them and is told about Nagihiko being the new Jack, she sparkles as well, and [[HaveIMentionedIAmHeterosexualToday the rest is history]].]]
* {{Bishonen}}: Nearly all the boys, mostly Ikuto and Tadase.
* BitingTheHandkerchief
* {{Bokukko}}: Miki
* BouquetToss: In the last chapter of the manga, at [[spoiler:Nikaidou and Yukari's]] wedding. Guess who catches it? [[spoiler:Amu]].
** An earlier anime filler episode had the same thing happen. Except, she then got into an ImagineSpot that got a little [[UnwantedHarem crowded]]...
* BrattyHalfPint: Yaya can be this way at times. Also, Rikka, one of the primary reasons for her being [[TheScrappy so hated]].
* BridalCarry: Quite a few times, Ikuto has ended up with Amu in his arms. Even once in an outfit that ''resembles'' a wedding dress!
* BrokenAesop: Well, not so much "broken" as "badly written". Episode 21 of Party/Dokki Doki tries to remind the viewers that it's okay to make mistakes. However, it places too much focus on the "importance" of making mistakes, going so far as to say that mistakes are "treasures". As a result, it comes off as implying that making mistakes is the "only" way to learn.
* ByThePowerOfGreyskull: ([[JapanesePronouns First-person pronoun]]) no kokoro, UNLOCK! (''My heart, unlock!'')
** Yaya being, well...Yaya prefers to do it her own [[ThirdPersonPerson "unique"]] way.
* CallingYourAttacks: "Negative heart, LOCK ON! OPEN... HEART!!!"
* TheCastShowOff: All members of the idol group Shugo Chara! egg (who sing at least two of the OpeningTheme songs of the anime's second series) make an appearance in TheMusical. Yuuka Maeda was cast as Amu, the leading role, and Kanon Fukuda was cast as Nadeshiko. The other two girls played generic female students and the X-eggs.
* [[CatGirl Cat People]]: Ikuto, as well as a {{Filler}} character from ''Doki''.
* ChristmasEpisode: It was so nice, they did it twice.
* ChromaticArrangement: Ran, Miki and Suu hatch in that order.
* ClingyJealousGirl: Utau's motivation right there.
* CloudCuckooLander: Suu. Who instead of worrying about [[spoiler:what Nikaidou was going to do with her, was more worried that his place was messy. Also, she thought he was going to eat them.]]
** El counts, big time.
* [[spoiler: TheCollector]]: [[spoiler: You know those 100 + episodes of Shugo Chara, in which Easter did horrible evil things to capture the Embryo for an assumedly just as horrible and evil goal? Well, turns out ''The Boss'' is really just a collector of shiny objects, and wants to add the Embryo to his TrophyRoom]].
** Played with within the fact that [[spoiler: he's not just doing it for shiny objects: They're meant to be a substitute for actually ''feeling'' anything, which doesn't work. That and it's played up that somebody did all of that for something so petty, saying that doing that for what is essentially nothing is even worse than somebody who would do what Gozen did for larger goals.]] Contrast with [[spoiler: Tadase, who wants to take over the world, but is one of the friendliest boys you'll ever meet [[BerserkButton until the word "prince" comes up.]] ]]
* CorruptCorporateExecutive: Kazuomi Hoshina, plain and simple. He isn't at all above ruining children's dreams and using his own stepson Ikuto as a puppet to do his evil bidding, including such things as [[spoiler:forcing Ikuto to transform with a black egg filled with evil energy that can kill him (not like he cares about Ikuto's well-being) and making him attack Amu, the girl he loves.]] Such a nice guy...not.
* CreepyCoolCrosses: Ikuto and Utau. They wear so much of them that it's more of a fashion statement than a religious one.
* CurtainsMatchTheWindow: Several characters.
* DarkMagicalGirl: Utau.
* DarkSkinnedBlond: X-Dia.
* DatingSim: The first NDS game have a minor example of one. Hunting X-Eggs and playing mini-games gives coins to Amu, which she can use to buy things and give to boys. Each one have a favorite color and type of item, and while Amu doesn't end with anyone, the game unlocks some romantic scenes. The avaiable boys are Ikuto, Tadase, Kuukai, Nagihiko and later in the game [[spoiler:[[TeacherStudentRomance Nikaidou]]]].
* DefeatMeansFriendship: [[spoiler:Mr. Nikaidou, who became the teacher at Amu's school again after she defeated him and foiled his plans. It does help that he got to see his long-lost Guardian Chara again, plus some dose of EpiphanyTherapy.]] Also, [[spoiler:Amu and Utau]].
** Special example. [[spoiler:Amu and Lulu already start becoming friends before they have to fight, but that's because Amu doesn't know Lulu's secret.]]
* DetachedSleeves: Kairi's Character Transform "Samarai Soul" and Amu's transformation with Miki and [[spoiler: Dia]]
* DisappearedDad: Utau and Ikuto's father, a prominent violinist, disappeared after he was going to be forced to give up playing the violin and run the Easter company. It is never revealed what eventually became of him.
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything:
** An instance of Amu and Ikuto licking the same ice cream should be innocent, but the pose, sound effects and music invoked the trope. Especially since the ice cream cone they're licking is [[IndirectKiss Tadase's.]]
** You can't mention this trope in this series without recalling when Ikuto recovers Amu's stolen Humpty Lock. Before giving it back, Ikuto decides to hold it up to Amu's chest and stick his Dumpty Key in Amu's Humpty Lock in an act strikingly similar to intercourse, with the background literally going magical, softer music begins playing in the background, and Amu blushes wildly as Ikuto gets closer and closer to slowly inserting the key into the lock. Literally, of course. Amu gets startled halfway through, crushing the moment and revealing that the key is too large for the lock [[spoiler:for now...]].
** Amu and Ikuto aren't the only victims of these. The whole arm-wrestling scene in episode 91 just feels like a G-rated {{yaoi}} sex scene, [[ItMakesSenseInContext at least when taken out of context]]. Not only Nagihiko tells Kuukai to "be gentle" at the start [[note]]As in "Be gentle, this is my first time"[[/note]], the scene also involves a lot of grunting, groaning and {{luminescent blush}}ing, and ends with [[SomethingElseAlsoRises Rhythm's egg rising from the pocket it was in]] and [[TheImmodestOrgasm Kuukai screaming out loud]] as he wins the match.
* DoubleStandard[=/=]{{Lolicon}}[=/=]SelectiveSquick[=/=]ValuesDissonance: Averted for the most part when it comes to Amu and Ikuto's relationship ([[spoiler:Amu is 12 while Ikuto is 17]]) considering that outside of a few of Ikuto's classmates who teased him about it briefly, nobody in-universe seems to care (Well, Tadase does, but thats less because he's 17 and more because he's [[ForgottenFriendNewFoe Ikuto.]][[spoiler: When he reconciles with him, he's completely fine with it.]]). In fandoms though; of course, since the older one is a [[MenAreTheExpendableGender male]], [[BrokenBase the fanbase is really divided.]]
** Much of the fanbase think the Amu/Ikuto relationship is cute and legitimate like any other couple. However because of the DoubleStandard, some viewers (especially new ones) might be turned off by this series because of this. Debates about this situation tend to get pretty [[SeriousBusiness serious]].
* {{Doting Parent}}s: Amu's parents crank this up to eleven.
* DreadfulMusician: Yamabuki Saaya can't sing. She can play piano, though.
* [[PlotTailoredToTheParty Eigen Plot]]: Sometimes has shades of this to give Amu a reason to Chara Transform with with Miki and Suu instead of her 'standard', Ran. It's not too noticeable, but there certainly seems to be a lot of artists and cooks with broken hearts around for some reason...
* ElaborateUniversityHigh: Seriously, is that a school[[note]]It has at least elementary and middle school divisions[[/note]] or {{Disney}} Castle?
* ElegantGothicLolita: Utau's daily wardrobe has elements of this. It even extends to Il and El's lace-printed Eggs.
* EnigmaticMinion: Ikuto.
* EpiphanyTherapy: [[spoiler: Nikaidou-sensei's HeelFaceTurn is encouraged by Suu's Remake Honey making his Shugo Chara that he thought was gone come back and talk to him. It leaves, but it is pointed out by Suu that he had said "See you again," and was therefore not gone forever.]]
* HairDecorations: Amu has her X-hairclips, Yaya wears pigtails with large bows and Rima has a hairband.
* ExcitedTitleTwoPartEpisodeName: Such as "Remake Honey! The Person I Want To Be!" Many feature a character's name in it, like "Nadeshiko! Goodbye Despite Spring!?", "Rima! Unlock the Heart!" and "Utau Hoshina! The Last Battle!".
* {{Expy}}: Probably at least part of the reason for NanaMizuki being cast as Utau, but her singing voice can't hurt.
** And, lest we forget, ''[[IncrediblyLamePun Su]]''[[RozenMaiden iseiseki, ]][[MemeticMutation desu.]]
** Put Kukai, Tadase, and Nagihiko together and you basically have the trio from the infamous Boku no Pico OVA series.
* EyepatchOfPower: [[spoiler: Ikuto's Seven Seas Treasure transformation.]]
* EyesAlwaysShut: El. [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] by Ran, who remarked that she was awake, though her eyes are still closed.
* {{Filler}}: Yes. Shugo Chara is a MONTHLY manga, it's primarily aimed for kids, and there's not much TV Tokyo can do about it, seeing that the manga releases are SLOW. It didn't help that Peach-Pit was also doing RozenMaiden and ZombieLoan at the same time they made this.
** Shugo Chara Party is an entire filler ''season''. And after that they decided to just stop production with no indication of any plans to adapt the last arc of the manga.
* ForgotICouldFly: At one point, Amu gets scared by a silhouette of what appears to be a giant centipede. Turns out it's the Chara, standing on each other's shoulders trying to reach a high place... until Miki points out, "Uh, guys? We can fly."
* FourEyesZeroSoul: Nikaidou-sensei. He [[{{ManipulativeBastard}} manipulated]] his innocent students so he could destroy their hopes and dreams to try for a promotion. [[spoiler: It's eventually subverted when he becomes a good guy.]] Yukari also probably counts. [[spoiler: Again, post-redemption subversion.]]
* FourTemperamentEnsemble: Ran is Sanguine, Miki is Phlegmatic, Suu is Choleric, and Dia is Melancholic. By extension, Amu is Supine.
* FriendlyEnemy: Ikuto
* FrillyUpgrade: A partial example with [[spoiler: Amulet Fortune]] while it's not based on a previous outfit, it's still simultaneously the most powerful and the frilliest outfit Amu gets in the series.
* FullNameBasis: Tadase insists on calling Ikuto by his full name every time they meet.
** Yamabuki Saaya insists on using her full name everytime she appears.
* FusionDance: The Character Transformation mechanics are of the Power Booster type.
* FutureBadass: Of ALL the people, [[spoiler: Tsukasa may or may not be Tadase in the future. Which will bring up TONS of WildMassGuessing since Tsukasa is known as the first Guardian President.]]
** [[spoiler: That's more or less still debatable and open-ended. There's no outright confirmation that Tsukasa is the future "Tadase". Amu questions if he really is "Tsukasa", and even Yoru says that it wasn't the guy who gives him sardines. Even KISEKI stated to "Tsukasa", or Tadase, really, that Amu and the others are behind him, but that he'll join them soon to go back to their time. Not to mention, that the real Tsukasa is the brother of Tadase's mother. Unless he brainwashed them, how is that possible? It's in Chapter 48 as a whole. Shouldn't we wait until it's more clear before we jump the bandwagon? Obviously, this isn't the end point.]]
* GenkiGirl: Ran (Amulet Heart as well, to an extent), Yaya and Rikka
* TheGentlemanOrTheScoundrel: Amu must choose between Tadase (the Gentleman) and Ikuto (the Scoundrel)
* GhostInTheMachine: Essentially what a Guardian Chara is, albeit external.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: In Episode 51, Amu has a shirt on that says "[[JustinTimberlake Rock Your Body]]". She's 11. Of course, it is in English, so a lot of the Japanese watchers might not understand it anyway. But still...
** Look at DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything above.
* GirlishPigtails: Let's see... Yaya, Utau, Amulet[[spoiler:s]] Clover [[spoiler:and Diamond]], and [[spoiler:Pure Feeling]].
* GirlPosse
* TheGlassesComeOff: Subverted. Nikaidou originally only wore his glasses as a disguise to look like an innocent teacher and took them off when he was away from the school. After he [[spoiler: leaves Easter]] he wears them almost all of the time.
* TheGlassesGottaGo: Supposedly, Sechiro is a "Bishonen" without his glasses, but the way It's spoken makes it seem like it means "Handsome".
* GoodAngelBadAngel: Il and El, Utau's Charas, are a devil and an angel.
* GratuitousEnglish: One of the first X-characters, and Amu's Dad. Though not gratuitous, Rhythm and chara-changed Nagihiko spout random English.
** El has been known to fall into this.
*** "Shuddup!!"
** At the theme park in episode 99, you can see "Well Come" instead of "Welcome". Of course, [[spoiler: since the park was built by Easter, it could be a way of saying "Well, come here if you think you can stop us".]]
* GrowingUpSucks: As people grow up, they break their heart's egg and become a corporate zombie. And even if you do gain a chara and achieve your dreams, they still leave you at some point.
** Only if you stop ''believing'' in your dreams. You see, it's not a definite thing, so this trope can potentially be a subversion (or even an aversion) depending on the person.
*** ''Definitely'' the believing part. [[spoiler: Tsukasa may or may not be the future version of Tadase and you can still see Kiseki with him, plus the fact that Amu's Shugo Chara returned to their egg form.]]
*** [[spoiler:Tsukasa is the exception, though. Kiseki still mentions that he can't show up outside the Road of Stars. Nor can Yoru now that Ikuto has succeeded in his dream, for that matter.]]
* HalfIdenticalTwins: Subverted with [[spoiler:Nadeshiko, who pretends to be twins of opposite genders in front of Amu.]]
* TheHeartless: The X-charas are pretty much the same as the original heartless, but on a smaller scale.
* TheHecateSisters: Ran, Miki, Suu
* HelloProject: Buono!, Shugo Chara Egg, and Guardians 4 were all created for the purpose of doing theme songs for the show. The first two OP's were done by Buono!, who did all of the ED's. Beginning with Doki, Buono! began to only do the ED's. Meanwhile, Shugo Chara Egg did the first two Doki OP's, with Guardians 4 doing all other OP's after that, although Shugo Chara Egg would return in Party to both "host" the show, as well as do the two "Dokki Doki" OP's (G4 did both of the Party OP's).
* TheHomewardJourney: During the first ChristmasEpisode, Su gets lost.
* HonestAxe: Done with Pepe's pacifier in episode 8 of ''Party''.
* IdiotHair: Tadase and Tsukasa.
* IdolSinger: Utau and filler character Yua Sakurai.
* IJustWantToBeNormal: The fortune teller who awakened Amu ironically wants to become a housewife and forget that Charas and the supernatural exist.
** Amu's own hesitations about being a magical girl contribute to the whole mess in the Dia arc.
* ImagineSpot: Amu has a few. They tend to be hilarious.
* IncomingHam: Yamabuki Saaya.
--> "'''OH-HOHOHOHOHO'''!!"
** [[InvoluntaryTransformation "YOU DARE CALL]] [[BerserkButton ME A PRINCE!?"]]
* IndirectKiss: Discussed when Amu winds up holding Tadase's ice cream cone and she has to resist the temptation to lick it. Then Ikuto turns up and licks it, and then [[DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything invites Amu to lick it with him, while Tadase stands there watching.]]
* InnocentCohabitation: [[spoiler:Ikuto hides/sleeps in Amu's room for a few days.]]
* InstantFanClub: There are actually several of these, with overlapping memberships; they're formed prior to the start of the series. The Guardians as a whole, the boys individually, and Amu and Rima even before they join, each have fanclubs. Each fanclub is based on the target's outward character, not the inner one.
* InvisibleToNormals: Only people with a Shugo Chara of their own, and a few select others, can see Shugo Chara.
** Actually, normal people can see the charas, but they have to believe in them to see them. Almost no sane person would believe it if someone told they had a little versions of their would-be-selves hatch from an egg, and it can give you special abilities and transformations.
* IWantMyBelovedToBeHappy: [[spoiler:Tadase]] does this when [[spoiler:he]] realizes how much [[spoiler:Amu]] and [[spoiler:Ikuto]] care for each other.
* KamehameHadoken: Referenced in an ImagineSpot by Amu. It's also a parody on DragonBall, specifically Goku.
* LampshadeHanging: Lots, usually by Amu commenting on even the tiniest things that really should just not happen.
* LargeHam: Yamabuki Saaya.
* LivingCrashpad: In the manga, Amu meets Ikuto when she falls down a hole and lands on him. This is changed in the anime.
* LoveFreak: El. Also the only form of Amu's with a tendency to do InTheNameOfTheMoon poses.
* MacGuffin: the Embryo.
* MagicalGirl: Amu, and to a lesser extent, the other female Guardians. Also, Ikuto and the male guardians qualify as Magical ''Boys''.
* MagicMusic: Utau's singing has various magical effects inside and outside of battle.
* MagicSkirt: Season 1 gave Amu a perfect example- covering even though it appears to be at ''right angles'' to her body. Then season 2 goes the opposite direction and chucks a PantyShot into the intro. Then again this may be the animators trying to point out that Amu is wearing some kind of cheerleader shorts under there.
** Utau's skirt when she transforms into Lunatic Charm does this as well.
* {{Malaproper}}: Ami just adores her sister's "shugoi chara" (a pun on "sugoi" which means "awesome", or "great" or similar expressions, and on "shugo" from "Shugo Chara"). Also, depending on who you ask, this could also be an example of an IncrediblyLamePun.
** Nikaidou-sensei is an inversion, since he deliberately refered to Amu as "Himamori-san" ("hima" means "to have free time") in order to belittle her. [[spoiler: He ceases to do so after his HeelFaceTurn]].
* MeaningfulName: [[IdolSinger Utau]]'s name can mean "sing." Another possible example is Ikuto Tsukiyomi and Yoru. Tsuki can mean "moon" and Yoru can mean "night." Ikuto has several scenes on the backdrop of the night moon.
* {{Motifs}}: Traditional playing cards. The Guardians all have titles relating to the Jack, Queen, King, Ace and Joker, and Amu's three (later four) Chara eggs are decorated with hearts, spades, clubs, and diamonds.
** Amu actually does seem to have a lot of "good luck" symbolism going on actually. As well as the playing card example mentioned above (Within certain varieties of card games where it is used The Joker can be a ''very'' good thing to draw.), there would be the fact that all of her Character Transformations are titled "Amulet (Suit)", [[spoiler: With the sole exception of Amulet Fortune, the latter word of which, again, denotes good luck]] (Whereas, nowadays, an "amulet" is more seen as any piece of neck-based jewellery, earlier it was generally viewed to mean a piece of said jewellery that brings excellent luck.), the Humpty Lock (And the Dumpty Key.) has an intentional resemblance towards a four leaf clover, and, after [[spoiler: the anime's final battle, the last portion of Amu's mental speech afterwards would be "The four leaf clover... In the language of flowers, it means, "Shinjitsu no Ai". True love."]]
* TheMole: [[spoiler:Nikaidou and Kairi.]]
* MonsterOfTheAesop: The X eggs, and later the [[spoiler: ?, Mystery, or Riddle Eggs, whatever you want to call them.]]
* MoodWhiplash: Maybe it's because this series is aimed at children, but the mood switches from serious to comedic many, many times. One particular case was when [[spoiler:Amu didn't have her charas, couldn't transform, and had to face off against Utau - but then Ikuto showed up, which prompted Utau to switch her attention to Ikuto, glomp him, and start whining about how she hadn't seen him for days.]]
* MostWritersAreAdults: All the main characters are 12 or under, but act like high-schoolers.
* NoblewomansLaugh: Saaya Yamabuki.
* NoOntologicalInertia: Things created or affected by Mystery-Chara-Transformed people revert to normal after their initiators are dealt with.
* NoRomanticResolution: with amu at least.
* ObfuscatingStupidity: Mr. Nikaidou frequently trips over his feet and can't spell Amu's last name right in the beginning. [[spoiler: After his HeelFaceTurn, he cuts back on this and merely becomes a very relaxed teacher.]]
* OddlyNamedSequel: Anime-wise: ''Shugo Chara! Doki!'' and ''Shugo Chara! Party''. Manga-wise: ''Shugo Chara! Encore!''
* OffModel: And in the ''intros'' of all things
** Arguably, the puppets representing the charas in the stage musical could be considered this. Specifically, they have "bivalve" mouths (to their credit, they ARE voiced by the anime seiyuus).
* OnlyKnownByTheirNickname: [[spoiler:Dia, which is the "nickname" (derived from "Diamond", her symbol) Amu gave her since Dia became an X-Egg and left Amu before Amu learnt her name. It stuck, and Dia never bothered to reveal her real name even after getting purified]]. Peach-Pit did mention, however, that Ran, Miki and Suu [[spoiler:were named after members of a certain band, and that Dia's true name has something to do with said band as well]].
* OurSoulsAreDifferent
* OutOfFocus: Typical for the Yamabuki Saaya's, and Suzuki Seichiro's of the story. However, during Party the Guardians themselves suffer from this.
** The ''charas themselves'' at the end of the manga.
* OvertookTheManga: Came dangerously close at the end of both the first two series.
* PaintingTheMedium: In the fansubs, different fonts are used for each Guardian Character, perhaps to show how exaggerated they are.
* PairTheSpares: [[spoiler: Kukai and Utau]]
** Happens a lot in Encore.
* PlayingCardMotifs: The guardians' positions are King, Queen, Jack, Ace, and Joker -- the Joker in particular is a WildCard, as it can only be held by someone with at least three charas. Amulet's charas are also named Amulet [Suit].
* PowerDyesYourHair: All of the ? Character Transformations, along with [[RedEyesTakeWarning red eyes]].
* PowerGivesYouWings: [[spoiler:Seraphic Charm and Amulet Diamond, Utau and Amu's most powerful forms, both have giant wings or wing-like extensions.]]
* PsychologistTeacher: Deeply subverted; [[spoiler:Mr. Nikaidou willingly compounds his students' psychological problems for his own gain until the guardians oust him.]]
* PunchClockVillain: Ikuto Tsukiyomi.
* PungeonMaster: El in episode 19 of Party.
* PutOnABus: [[spoiler:Kuukai and Nadeshiko]], in the fourth volume, are sent off to make room for new Guardians. They're not gone for good, however.
** [[spoiler:So did Lulu,who we probably won't see again.]]
** [[spoiler: Kairi, but the characters do get PutOnABus and go out to see him for an episode later.]]
** [[spoiler: Yamabuki Saaya was supposed to be PutOnABus, but decided to stay, so she could never be seen again... uhh... I mean, so she could continue her rivalry with Amu.]]
* RapunzelHair: Rima, get some scissors. You too, Nagihiko. [[FetishFuel Or not.]]
* RecapEpisode: Four and a half so far, including the first two episodes of ''Doki''.
* RememberTheNewGuy: [[spoiler: Parodied for us (the audience), but Played Straight for Amu and her Guardian characters.]]
** [[spoiler: Kusukusu greets Temari as if she's met her before. She has, but Amu and her Guardian characters aren't aware that Nagihiko and Nadeshiko are one in the same.]]
* RomanticTwoGirlFriendship: Borderline and one-sided, actually. Rima gets ''really really'' jealous when anyone else gets close to Amu. Other than these times, she doesn't show actual romantic interest in Amu.
** Yaya and Rima seem to got this in Episode 44 of Shugo Chara! Doki!! when they were trapped in a secret underground base.
** And Rima and Nadeshiko, who she is noted as being much warmer to than Nagihiko. Their combination egg healing move is called Queen's Waltz.
* ScaryShinyGlasses: Nikaidou does this a lot, and [[spoiler: Kairi]] does it once in a while too.
* SchoolClubFront: The Guardians use their AbsurdlyPowerfulStudentCouncil position to hunt X-Charas and fight Easter.
* SchoolIdol: The Guardians in general and Tadase in particular.
* SexyDiscretionShot: In episode 7 of ''Party'', when Nagihiko goes into an empty room to change into his Nadeshiko clothes. He grabs onto the collar of his shirt... and the scene cuts to his clothes coming off, perhaps to keep the PG rating. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwiDA1Et3_Y Watch the scene here.]]
* ShipSinking: With the words "[[spoiler:I'll get mad because we're siblings!]]", the LoveTriangle collapsed. Of course, since it's a shoujo series, another one sprung up after it.
** The chapters of Shugo Chara Encore! also sank some ships, especially [[spoiler:Yaya x Kukai. Any hopes of them getting together even after he moved onto middle school fell flat.]]
* ShipTease: Pretty much every time Amu and Ikuto meet each other. Also whenever Amu has fantasies about members of her harem. And with Nagihiko during his first episode. And a few times with Nadeshiko too. And (borderline) did we mention that [[spoiler:Utau]] is seemingly {{Tsundere}} for Amu as well? (this is getting out of hand)
** Her harem does love to tease her, when you think about it.
** Even in the last chapter of Encore! [[spoiler: Tadase and Ikuto both catch Amu when she nearly fell after catching a wedding bouquet. The boys also insist the other one let go of her. Of course, even Peach-Pit couldn't sink the manga's main love triangle in the end.]]
*** Well, Encore does heavily imply that Amu will get together with [[spoiler: Ikuto when she gets older]] in said last chapter, courtesy [[spoiler: seemingly time-traveling lookalikes]].
* ShoutOut: (Possibly) to ''ShakuganNoShana'', Shana's "Shut up, shut up, shut up!". Another example would be the pose that [[spoiler:Rima]] does when imitating the "Bala-balance!" gag. The pose is clearly taken from DragonBall's [[http://danbooru.donmai.us/data/3a174a4a3aa886435c4d328a78f28ca1.jpg famous]] FusionDance pose.
** Ran, Miki, and Suu were named after the members of Candies, a Japanese girl group from the 1970s.
** The "Humpty" lock, and the "Dumpty" Key were named after the nursery rhyme "Humpty Dumpty".
* SpellMyNameWithAnS: [[FanTranslation Scanslations]] insist on using Sue, Iru and Eru when the manga raws themselves ''clearly state'' that these Charas' names are Suu, Il and El.
** Even without [[WordOfGod official sources]], Il and El make sense on an intuitive level: Enjeru -> Angel -> El and Debiru -> Devil -> Il. Furthermore, "el" is a common suffix for angelic names.
* SpoilerOpening: Quite a few times, mostly to the viewers who don't seem to read the manga. [[spoiler:Omigod, there has to be a new Jack's Chair! We can't leave it empty after Kairi got [[PutOnABus Put On A]]-- Wait, is that Nagihiko wearing the Seiyo Academy uniform ''with the Royal Cape''?]]
* SpotlightStealingSquad: [[TheScrappy Rikka]] in ''Party''. The show pretty much becomes "Babysitting Rikka" by this point.
* StealthHiBye: Tsukasa makes a habit of suddenly appearing wherever the Guardians may happen to be. Even if they had to go through hell to get there.
* {{Stripperiffic}}: Several of the Character Transformations. Special mention goes out to Amulet Heart (very short MagicSkirt and halter top), Black Lynx (a male example of BareYourMidriff with very, very short pants), and Amulet Devil (a batwing-shaped top and small, tight shorts that hardly qualify as a bikini).
* StockFootage: The openings of ''Shugo Chara! Party'' are made nearly entirely from this[[note]] Otherwise, they mostly consist of the live-action music videos for the songs[[/note]], making it looks like a bad dub opening.
* StudentCouncilPresident: Tadase.
* SurprisinglyGoodEnglish: The narration at the start of every episode in the first season.
* TakeOverTheWorld: Kiseki, Tadase's Shugo Chara, has claimed multiple times he wants to do this. How this will be achieved... Not sure.
* [[{{TalkingtoHimself}} Talking to Herself]]: Amu and [[spoiler:Dia]].
* TemptingFate: In episode 25, Amu is undecided about if she likes Tadase, Ikuto or Kukai. At one point, she decides that "At times like these, I depend on Nadeshiko!" [[UnsettlingGenderReveal And then...]]
* ThereIsOnlyOneBed: Why the InnocentCohabitation scenes are so popular.
* ThirdPersonPerson: Yaya, Suu, Utau.
* TheTelevisionTalksBack: Happens in both the first chapter of the manga, and the first episode of theanime.
* ThoseTwoGirls: Amu has seemingly befriended two girls, Wakana and Manami, yet they never seem to do much.
* TransformationSequence: In the anime, Amu's first transformation happens in midair, leading one to believe in an instantaneous transformation. Of course, the roughly 15-second conversation ''during'' the fall would put her about half a mile underground, so maybe physics doesn't play a big part in this show.
** Or at least six feet.
* TransformationTrinket: The Humpty Lock and the Dumpty Key for Amu and Ikuto, respectively. As the rest of the Guardians and Utau show, Character Transformation doesn't always require having something to use it.
** Arguably, the Shugo Charas themselves are the trinkets, as the characters transform by merging with their Charas, and become a different kind of MagicalGirl depending on which Shugo Chara they use.
* TroubledButCute: Ikuto
* {{Tsundere}}: [[spoiler:Utau]] is Type A towards Amu after DefeatMeansFriendship.
** So is Rima for [[spoiler: Nagihiko]].
* TwoTeacherSchool : Pretty much the only adults we see at Seiyo Academy are Nikaidou-sensei and Tsukasa. And Tsukasa isn't even a teacher. Not only does Nikaidou teach Amu both years, but he also teaches her in gym and seems to be the only person seen in charge during assemblies.
* UnknownRival: Saaya Yamabuki.
* UnlimitedWardrobe: Amu's [[http://images.wikia.com/shugochara/images/8/88/Amu-s-outfits-amu-hinamori-fan-club-8657134-640-518.jpg numerous punk-inspired outfits]] in addition to her tough demeanor lead people to think she has a 'cool and spicy' personality.
* VerbalTic: Ikuto's guardian chara constantly adds "~nya", the japanese equivalent of "meow", to all his sentences (see "catboy" above). Su constantly adds "-desu" to hers, but she's probably just speaking {{keigo}}.
** Pepe also has one, it being "-dechu."
* WarriorTherapist: There's nothing to get someone to give up evil schemes, follow their dreams, and generally be an all around better person in the future than crossing paths with Amu.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: The manga ends with a few things left unexplained.
* WholesomeCrossdresser: [[spoiler:Nadeshiko]]
* WrittenSoundEffect: A lot of these are present in the first opening for ''Doki''.
* YouGottaHaveBlueHair: Amu and most of the Charas (justified since they can have any hair color). Ikuto, Nadeshiko/[[spoiler:Nagihiko]] and Kairi could probably have stylized black hair.
* YouNeverAsked: Rima does this after she shows Amu she can Character Transform.
* ZettaiRyouiki: Many of Amu's and Utau's outfits feature this.
** Amu's legwarmers tend to be just a little bit too low. JUST BARELY
** If Utau wore thigh-high socks, she would be a Grade S, since she already has the pigtails and the tsundere attitude.
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