[[caption-width-right:300:"The [[SpiritWorld other world]]'s not watching for nothing!"]]

->"And so it all begins. This boy's name is Yusuke. He's 14 years old, and is ''supposed'' to be the hero of this story, but oddly enough... he's dead."

Originally a manga by Creator/YoshihiroTogashi, ''[=YuYu=] Hakusho'' tells the story of Yusuke Urameshi, a bitter, beleaguered, junior high punk -- and legendary street fighter. One particularly bad day gets worse for Yusuke after he dies saving the life of a small boy from a car accident. He discovers that the forces of the Spirit World were expecting the boy to miraculously survive the accident but did not expect Yusuke to even be a part of it. Because of this [[PetTheDog surprising]] [[SenselessSacrifice (if ultimately useless)]] HeroicSacrifice, they offer Yusuke a chance to return from the dead. With the help of Botan (a perky female ''{{shinigami}}'' "Angel of Death" or essentially "[[TheGrimReaper Grim Reaper]]") and the approval of Koenma (the snarky son of King Enma, the judge of the dead in the Buddhist belief system, and the part-time stand-in for his father) Yusuke returns to the living world.

But Koenma has other plans for Yusuke, as both his fighting ability and newfound spirit awareness makes him a prime candidate to be a Spirit Detective, an agent of the spirit world hunting down renegade demons who threaten peace on Earth. With much reluctance, Yusuke takes on the job, and finds himself facing all manner of supernatural baddies. Lucky for him, he has the help of Botan as a liaison and tactical support. Early on in his career they send him to the OldMaster Genkai, a short, crotchety old woman who nevertheless is a highly capable spiritual guru and martial artist.

As his closest teammates, he gathers some more than capable fighting partners in the form of Kazuma Kuwabara, his old school rival; Kurama, a benevolent reformed fox-spirit trapped in a human body; and Hiei, a [[TokenEvilTeammate not-so-benevolent, not-so-reformed demon]] who reluctantly tags along with Yusuke and his entourage [[RecruitingTheCriminal as part of his sentence.]]

Serialized in 1990, ''Yu Yu Hakusho'' became an instant phenomenon throughout Japanese culture and set many standards in the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Storytelling art of storytelling]] (and animation-wise,) fight choreography; becoming one of ''[[Magazine/ShonenJump JUMP]]''s "Golden Trio" alongside ''Manga/DragonBall'' and ''Manga/SlamDunk'', bringing sales up to their record all-time high of over six million copies nationwide. During ''[=YuYu=] Hakusho'''s initial animation run in UsefulNotes/{{Japan}}, it was one of the few shows to compete at all with ''Anime/DragonBallZ'' during the early '90s. It is a classic {{shonen|Demographic}} anime featuring colorful characters, lots of humor, and very clever fights. It wasn't as popular in the States as other series, but was one of the first anime to air (mostly uncut) on Creator/AdultSwim, until it migrated to Creator/{{Toonami}} with an edited weekday version. It was among Creator/FUNimation's earliest shows to dub alongside ''Dragon Ball Z,'' and therefore, starred some of its earliest regular cast members and kickstarted their reputation. Then 19 year old Justin Cook, who was the Line Producer and played the lead role, is now the chief producer at the studio. In the UsefulNotes/{{Philippines}}, the series was titled "[[CompletelyDifferentTitle Ghost Fighter]]" (and with different character names) and went on to be one of the landmark anime series there as well.

Character Sheet is [[Characters/YuYuHakusho here.]]
!! This show provides examples of:


[[folder: A]]
* AbusiveParents:
** Mukuro's father is a more direct example of downright evil treatment.
** Yusuke's mother Atsuko is not exactly devoted. She's an alcoholic who neglects, beats, and screams at him (no wonder he's become a punk). And on top of that, she leaves her son's dead body surrounded by loads and loads of trash, which nearly gets burned in an arson.
* AccidentalHug: Between Yusuke and Kuwabara in Episode 9.
* AdaptationDyeJob: The original black and white manga had the four main fighters all with dark hair. Yusuke and Hiei retain the dark hair for all color depictions (Yusuke has blue-ish highlights and Hiei has white highlights), while Kuwabara consistently has red hair in color depictions (it's been stated that this reflects attempts by Japanese kids to try and dye their hair blonde themselves, which typically turns red instead). Beyond that there are significant differences on color.
** Color ''Jump'' pages (while admittedly a limited, sober palette) have Kurama with black hair.
** Togashi's own color illustrations sometimes also depict Kurama with violet hair instead of black (most notably on the second kanzenban cover), and he vacillates between having Botan as blue-haired or blonde. The anime settled on going with blue hair for Botan.
** Genkai and Koenma are blond in some of the colored artwork for the manga, with Koenma's uniform being green instead of purple.
* AdaptationalHeroism:
** A minor version, since Kuwabara was never really that bad of a guy in the first place, but towards the beginning of both the manga and the anime, Kuwabara's gang gets into trouble for getting into a fight and Kuwabara winds up sticking his neck out for one of his friends and promises to a teacher to stay out of fights and pass an upcoming exam. In the manga this fight is never shown and is implied to be the usual delinquent behavior from him, but in the anime the fight ''is'' shown, and he started the fight only because the gang he was fighting was harassing (and possibly threatening to molest) Keiko and he wanted to help her out.
** Yusuke, while still a delinquent in the anime, has some of his bad traits toned down, like his smoking habit, gambling, and shoplifting.
* AdaptiveAbility: Kuro Momotaro uses Steaming Spheres to gain an immunity to whatever attack was last used against him.
* AddictionPowered: Chu in the ''Dark Tournament'' arc in the uncut version. Cartoon Network's Toonami edited version has Chu as a fighter who seems like a bumbling fool, but is very skilled and dangerous.
* AffablyEvil: Sensui's main personality, Shinobu, shows some signs of this, talking respectfully to Yusuke as if they were having tea and crumpets together. Just make sure you shake his hand when he asks you to.
* AlasPoorVillain:
** The story takes a moment to focus on Byakko's shock and horror when he is betrayed and executed by Seiryuu for failing to beat his opponent. There's even a hint of a tear on his bodiless head.
** [[spoiler:Sensui's]] life as a Spirit Detective was not an easy one...
** Even [[spoiler:Toguro]] has a sad past that drove him to be the way he is.
* AllJustADream: Some of the ''Eizou Hakusho'' shorts.
* AndIMustScream: Kurama's CoolAndUnusualPunishment of [[spoiler: Elder Toguro]].
* AndThisIsFor: {{Invoked|Trope}} by Yusuke in the ''Dark Tournament'' Arc, while pummeling the particularly odious Dr. Ichigaki, who has [[spoiler: beaten the snot out of Kuwabara and enslaved innocent martial artists]].
* AnotherDimension: Itsuki traps Kuwabara, Kurama, Hiei, and Kiyoshi Mitarai in a pocket dimension while Yusuke is fighting Sensui.
* AntagonistInMourning: Kuwabara, who fought Yusuke constantly before the series started, was this when Yusuke died.
* AntiHero: Yusuke (PragmaticHero), Kurama (LovableRogue), and Hiei (NominalHero). Though Hiei could theoretically shift to UnscrupulousHero when Yukina is involved. He also shows more heroic tendencies when dealing with Kurama and Mukuro. Kuwabara would be a normal hero in most other settings, but he's got enough hardscrabble street fighting background to qualify here.
* ArcNumber: Seven for the Chapter Black arc. It's declared that the "seven" will dig a grave for humanity, [[spoiler:but it's seven personalities; Itsuki remarks that Sensui saw all of his followers as expendable]].
* ArmorPiercingSlap: Keiko's usual punishment for Yusuke acting up. You would think Keiko was the most powerful force on Earth with how often the guy gets beat on by her.
* ArsonMurderAndJaywalking: The cruelties of [[TrainingFromHell Genkai's training]] include: Four weeks locked in a cave, balancing on spikes, being buried alive in a snake pit, and not being allowed to shower.
* ArtEvolution: The anime starts off with the somewhat 80-ish type animation where characters are poorly drawn, but improves greatly by the ''Dark Tournament'' arc.
* ArtifactOfDeath: The Forlorn Hope can grant the user a wish, but only at the cost of their life.
* TheArtifact:
** Yusuke's Spirit Detective tools, they get phased out around the time of the Dark Tournament. This bit actually gets {{lampshade|Hanging}}d by Botan when she laments that Yusuke never bothered to use them. They make a brief comeback at the start of the Chapter Black arc.
** Hiei's true demon form. In the case of Hiei's true form, he was originally supposed to be a StarterVillain, but then he got SavedByTheFans and promoted to a main character. His true form got phased out as well. There's also the fact that putting something as vulnerable as an eye all over your body would probably work against whatever power-up a full demon form would give.
%% * AssholeVictim: Gonzou Tarukane and [[SmugSnake Butajiri,]] who are both killed by Younger Toguro under Sakyo's orders. [[spoiler: And the rest of the Black Black Club as well, for that matter. They end as victims when Sakyo (himself a member of the BBC) has Younger Toguro kill the other remaining members when they try to stop him from completing his plan.]]
%% SquarePegroundTrope: AssholeVictim is supposed to be a murder mystery trope, not whenever someone who is a victim is an asshole or deserves it.
* AssimilationBackfire: When Sensui's minion Gourmet eats Elder Toguro to get his powers, Elder Toguro ends up taking over his body later.
* AssKickingEqualsAuthority: Invoked by Yusuke and played straight by the entire demon world during the ''Demon World Unification Tournament'' arc.
* AuthorityEqualsAsskicking: The three leaders of the Demon World are all S+ Class demons.
* AxCrazy: A great deal of demons, most notably Elder Toguro.

[[folder: B]]
* BackToBackBadasses: Kurama and Hiei in the ShortAnimeMovie.
%%* BadassCrew: The four main characters.
* BadBoss: Though nicer than most examples, Koenma's treatment of Ogre is less than benevolent.
* BarehandedBladeBlock:
** Yusuke was able to catch Hiei's sword with two fingers when he was testing how strong Yusuke was after his training for the Dark Tournament.
** Genkai does this during her fight with Shishiwakamaru.
** During the ''Dark Tournament,'' Hiei was able to block Bui's [[ImpossiblyCoolWeapon insanely large axe.]] [[IntimidationDemonstration Twice.]] Not to mention melting it.
* BarredFromTheAfterlife: At the beginning, delinquent Yusuke dies saving a child from being hit by a car, which puts the CelestialBureaucracy in a bind: He was scheduled to go to Hell, but his HeroicSacrifice partly redeemed him... But not enough to qualify for Heaven. He ends up working for them fighting demons.
* BashBrothers: Yusuke and Kuwabara do this most often. [[spoiler:Toguro and Genkai long ago might have been something between this and a BattleCouple.]]
* BatmanGambit:
** This is Kurama's modus operandi of choice.
** Sakyou pulls a pretty big one on Tarukane, counting on the latter to try to hustle his friends at gambling. It ends with Tarukane losing his shirt, then his head.
** Sensui sends Game Master, a little boy whose psychic powers bring games to life, to stall the team from rescuing Kuwabara. The game he chooses to play has the villain die when the player wins, meaning [[SecretTestOfCharacter they have to kill the boy to get to Sensui.]] Sensui counts on Koenma using a large chunk of his spirit energy [[spoiler:stored in his pacifier]] to bring the boy back to life, ensuring that the [[DangerousForbiddenTechnique Mafukan seal]] that that energy would otherwise go towards would not be strong enough to hold Sensui, so he could continue to Demon World.
* BattleAura:
** Seen several times in the ''Dark Tournament'' arc. Arc Villain Toguro at the higher reaches of his strength produces an aura which dissolves weaker demons. Of special note is Toguro's unwilling subordinate Bui, whose major power is literally and explicitly called Battle Aura; he uses it to fly and shoots pieces of it for attacks. The reason for Bui's insanely heavy armor is that [[spoiler:Bui's raw power is greater than his fine control, and he can't turn the aura off. The armor acts a PowerLimiter to keep his aura restrained until he decides to take his armor off]].
** Becomes more common as the series goes on. Yusuke starts showing one in the ''Dark Tournament.'' The ''Chapter Black'' arc BigBad's aura is so strong it physically prevents energy attacks from hitting him. Yusuke, Yomi, Mukuro, and Raizen's old friends each produce massive auras in the Demon World Tournament.
* BattleOfWits:
** The ''Sensui'' arc focused on this for the most part, the Kaitou and Gamemaster fights being the best to define this.
** The series as a whole was one of the first to exploit fighting strategically in mid battle rather than pummeling others with the superior powers.
* BeamOWar: Yusuke and Rando's Rei / Spirit Guns colliding with each other, Yusuke's Rei / Spirit Gun colliding with Chu's Suiken yoki orbs twice, Yusuke's full power Rei / Spirit Gun being canceled out by Sensui's smaller yet just as powerful Resshuu Kou Kyu Ha.
* BeamSpam: Yusuke against [[spoiler:Yomi, firing his near infinite amount of Demon Gun at Yomi's [[DeflectorShields Demon Energy Barrier]] before finally breaking the barrier with YinYangBomb shots]].
* BelligerentSexualTension: Yusuke and Keiko. They fight constantly from the very first episode, but they clearly care a lot about each other.
** {{Subverted|Trope}} after the ''Saints Beasts'' arc. While we tend to see them argue with each other more often than not in their interactions, neither Yusuke nor Keiko seem to refute the notion that they're in a relationship (or something at least akin to it). Yusuke mentions to Toguro that he hopes to "grow old" with her after winning the Dark Tournament, and a lot of the set-up to the ''Demon Kings'' arc involves Yusuke clarifying his hopes to marry her by the series' end.
* BerserkButton:
** Hiei is depicted as being extremely cold and not caring about anyone or wanting any friends, which is why his reaction to people threatening his sister is a bit surprising.
** Kurama, likewise, used to be pretty evil, but after growing up as a human he has developed an attachment to his family. Threatening them will make you pretty dead pretty fast.
* BetterThanNew: Yusuke appears to be permanently [[FinalDeath dead,]] however this trope is invoked [[spoiler:as his [[SuperpoweredEvilSide demonic half]] awakens]].
* BewareTheNiceOnes:
** It's generally not a good idea to get the soft-spoken and outwardly friendly Kurama mad.
** Kuwabara is probably the friendliest in the group, and he's not to be trifled with, either, if you don't want a Jigen-tou through your chest...
** Yukina, of all people, when she reveals [[spoiler:she was searching for her brother to remind him he promised to exterminate all the Koorime]].
* BigBadWannabe:
** [[SmugSnake Gonzou Tarukane.]] While he is dangerous thanks to his wealth and his connections (being the founder of the Black Black Club, and hiring various demons and humans to do his dirty work), he overestimates his chances of winning, loses everything when Younger Toguro is defeated, and doesn't compare well to most of the antagonists in the series. [[spoiler:It doesn't help that the Toguro Bros. were actually working for the real Big Bad, who had caused him to lose his money, and that they end up killing him after this is revealed.]]
** Some of the {{arc villain}}s in the ''Dark Tournament'' are pretty haughty, but end up getting taken out with relative ease. Most notably are Shishiwakamaru and Suzuki from Team Uraotogi, who are each primed to be intimidating foes, yet [[spoiler:each lose easily to a severely weakened Genkai]].
** Also, Risho of Team Masho, who takes particular glee in the potential of taking victory over Team Urameshi, even though it would mostly be by technicality (Yusuke, Genkai, and Hiei were all kept at bay by a bogus call from the Tournament Committee and a trap from outside the ring, and Kurama didn't actually lose -- he won both of his fights, and Butahiri just fixed it so Bakken got to beat on his unconscious body). Then comes Kuwabara, who -- despite suffering from crippling injuries -- [[spoiler:[[ThePowerOfLove easily wipes the floor with Risho]] once he realizes Yukina is watching the fight]].
* BigBrotherInstinct: Threatening and later possessing Kurama's little stepbrother was a very, ''very'' stupid move. Threatening Yukina will get you cut up by Hiei pretty quickly.
* BigGood: Koenma throughout the entire series. Genkai as well from ''Chapter Black'' onward.
* BigShutUp: Koenma and Botan likes to shed out this phrase a lot. Especially flooded within ''[=YYH=]'s'' drama [=CD=]s.
* BilingualBonus: The dub is ''littered'' with these for people who speak both Japanese and English. To [[SubbingVersusDubbing sub fans]] who are monolingual in English, these lines sound like straight-up {{Bowdleris|e}}ation -- the most infamous being "A mulberry (''kuwa'') is a tree, and Kuwabara's a man!" It makes more sense when you see the translation of the original line: "Just as a cherry blossom is a flower among flowers, Kuwabara is a man among men!" That's also why there's little pink petals floating down in the scene.
* BishonenLine: Sensui manifesting his Seikoki (Sacred Energy) into a PoweredArmor.
%%* BlackAndGrayMorality: ''Chapter Black'' Arc.
* BlandNameProduct: "Megallica" and "Narlboro," at least.
* BlockingStopsAllDamage:
** Subverted when Hiei faces an enemy with a weapon far stronger than his sword. Blocking the thing actually cuts his sword and bracing it with his arm cuts his arm. He only gets a draw by taking a hit to make him drop his guard.
** Also subverted in the final battle between Toguro and Yusuke. Yusuke sends the most powerful attack he could muster against Toguro and he blocks it and eventually stops it after an intense struggle. [[spoiler:Toguro then dies because the strain of blocking it was equal to taking the hit.]]
* BloodBath: It's revealed in a flashback that the [[spoiler:Black Black Club]] bathed in the blood of the [[DarkIsNotEvil innocent demons]] they had slaughtered, mostly ForTheEvulz.
* BloodlessCarnage: A jarring moment in the ''Chapter Black'' arc. Yusuke blows an opponent's arm off with his Spirit Gun and not one drop of blood is shown. Odd because the ''Dark Tournament'' showed some fairly graphic dismemberments.
* BloodFromTheMouth: The ''Dark Tournament'' is loaded with it. Yomi gets it, too.
* BloodbathVillainOrigin: Sensui's villain origin involves him walking in on a group of humans [[ColdBloodedTorture torturing]] demons, his worldview is shattered, and in a fit of [[BlackAndWhiteInsanity madness]] he kills everyone there. Also, part of the atrocities the humans committed against the demons was bathing in their blood.
* BloodyMurder: Mitarai's and Gama's powers.
* BlowYouAway: Jin is a wind master.
* BoardToDeath: What happens during the ''Dark Tournament'' when [[spoiler:Sakyo reveals his plan to open a gateway to the Spirit World to the rest of the Black Black Club, and then has Toguro kill them when they object]].
* BodyToJewel: Yukina's tears, apparently this is part of being an ice demon.
* BoisterousBruiser: Chu and Jin are the best examples, though Kuwabara counts as well.
* BoundAndGagged: Kuwabara when Sensui captures him to use his Jigen-tou.
* {{Bowdlerise}}:
** Mukuro's back story went from [[spoiler:being her father's sex slave who disfigured herself to keep herself from being molested by him]] in the manga to [[spoiler:being an already cybernetic slave who couldn't remove the shackles from her arms even after she escaped and had to pay for her freedom with the flesh from half her body]]. Still badass either way.
** When Cartoon Network aired this as part of Toonami (back when Toonami was a daytime anime series that aired a lot of series that, these days, would air uncut or lightly edited on the Saturday night version that's a part of Creator/AdultSwim), the episode that had Yusuke fighting a female demon who was actually a man had it changed to a {{manipulative b|astard}}itch who faked her injuries so she can weaken any male fighters who [[WouldntHitAGirl have qualms about beating up women.]] Also, Chu (the drunken fighter) was changed to a boisterous Australian who [[CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass acted like a fool to mask the fact that he was a powerful fighter.]]
** Similarly, Kurama [[TakingTheBullet Taking the Sword]] in Yusuke's fight against Hiei, deliberately cutting his hand, and throwing his blood in Hiei's eye was toned down to him simply jumping in front of Hiei and backhanding him.
* BreadEggsMilkSquick: At the end of the ''Dark Tournament'' Arc in the uncensored anime, [[spoiler: right before Genkai comes back to the group,]] Yusuke says: "Back to skipping Detention." Kuwabara says: "Video Games." Kurama says: "My human family." And Hiei finished the series with "Various Crimes."
%%* BreakfastClub: Sensui's Seven.
* BreakingTheFourthWall:
** In the manga, characters verbally refer to previous chapters and their appearance rates.
** Not to mention Yusuke predicting two page spreads in the next chapter.
* BrownNote: The Chapter Black tape supposedly makes anyone who watches it despise the entire human race. It's ambiguous whether this is some sort of psychic brainwashing, or the atrocities shown on the tape are just that bad.
* BuryYourGays: Played with. [[spoiler: Yes, Sensui (KilledOffForReal) and Itsuki (implied to at the end of the arc) die, but it's more of a RedemptionEqualsDeath scenario. Plus, Itsuki, [[ThePhilosopher being]] [[PsychoSupporter who he is,]] tells off Team Urameshi (prompting a moment of NotSoDifferent and/or SympathyForTheDevil) before he takes Sensui's corpse and spirit into his own little dimension to spend eternity with him. Because the antagonists [[BatmanGambit got what they wanted all along,]] Yusuke and co. feel as if ''they're'' the ones who have lost.]]
* BusCrash: Murota. He's also a literal MauveShirt, so it's understandable if you have no clue who he is... He gets eaten, dammit. That isn't cool.

[[folder: C]]
* CallingYourAttacks: "Spirit Gun!"
* CameBackStrong: Yusuke's death triggers the awakening of his latent spirit powers. [[spoiler: His second death awakens his demonic atavism.]]
* CantCatchUp: Even Yusuke suffers this after the ''Dark Tournament.''
** Kuwabara zig-zags the trope. He is never one of the more powerful fighters and actually loses more than wins in the ''Dark Tournament'' (one time being teleported out of the ring by the same basic ability, used by two different fighters). But he has enough pluck and his spirit awareness continually manifests new abilities that keep him relevant and helpful even though, strictly speaking, he is far from the most powerful fighter. He does seem to surpass Kurama and Hiei by the end of the Chapter Black arc, as he remains standing while the other two are blown clean off their feet by Sensui's aura, but then he quits training to focus on school.
* CannotSpitItOut: Subverted, of all couples, by [[spoiler: Yusuke and Keiko]]! According to [[spoiler: Keiko's dad, Yusuke's favorite way to make up with Keiko after a fight]] is to propose marriage.
* CapitalismIsBad: Though in this case it's plutocrats pissing on [[WhatMeasureIsANonHuman demons]] rather than the poor.
** During the ''Dark Tournament'' arc, demons fight against each other in order to get a wish granted by the human-run committee and to entertain their immoral human sponsors as they [[PassThePopcorn casually gamble large amounts of money.]] When the human businessmen aren't gathering them for the [[BloodSport Dark Tournament,]] they summoned (via human psychics), [[DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything captured, and bought demons to be kept]] [[SlaveryIsASpecialKindOfEvil as slaves]] (of whom some female demons are implied to be [[RapeIsASpecialKindOfEvil kept as]] {{Sex Slave}}s). One businessman in particular, Gonzo Tarukane (the founder of the Black Book Club), kidnapped the innocent snow maiden Yukina due to her tears producing rare jewels and tortured her [[ColdBloodedTorture physically]] and [[MindRape emotionally]] to get them and sell them. In the absolute worst case, the Black Book Club [[spoiler: tortured and slaughtered the demons in their possession to [[BloodBath bathe in their blood as part of the Festival of Vices]] [[ForTheEvulz to entertain themselves]]]].
** In the succeeding ''Chapter Black'' arc, Shinobu Sensui used all of the aforementioned actions that occurred via capitalism [[HumanityOnTrial to make his case]] as to why [[HumansAreTheRealMonsters humans deserved to destroyed off the face of the Earth.]]
* CastFullOfPrettyBoys: The TrueCompanions' gender ratio is pretty much 50/50 -- somewhat skewed by Atsuko and George Saotome, though -- but the only girls who really get any spotlight and character development are Genkai and Mukuro. The others have their moments, but the guys are pretty much the focus of the show. There aren't many female villains, either.
* CelestialBureaucracy: Koenma and Enma.
* CerebusSyndrome: The manga starts out as an episodic comedy about Yusuke as a ghost, along with Botan, trying to help the living with their problems. After a couple volumes of this, it abruptly shifts into {{shonen|Demographic}} action mode. This gets far fewer complaints from fans than many CerebusSyndrome victims, however, because most fans know the series from the anime adaptation, which skips the comedic stories from the manga and rushes ahead to the action portion.\\\
During the final arc the show suddenly becomes less action oriented and for the first time focuses on how the events actually affect Yusuke and the gang's everyday lives, suddenly showing several episodes filled with lots of character development and quiet drama as opposed to high speed punching and explosions.
* ChangedMyMindKid: Hiei leaves the rest of the team early in the Chapter Black arc, claiming he has no loyalty to the human world. Yusuke assures everyone else that: "He'll come and rescue us in the end when we need him the most." He does.
* CharacterMagneticTeam: At the beginning, it was only Yusuke and Botan. By the ''Dark Tournament'' arc, four more members join to form the FiveManBand, six more by the end of that arc, three allies by the ''Sensui'' arc and finally over a dozen by the final arc. The majority were [[DefeatMeansFriendship former enemies]] in some form or another.
* CharlesAtlasSuperpower: Some of the contestants in Genkai's tournament are just normal humans, but presumably through training managed to get abilities like a Spirit Gun or bulking up his arm for a super strong strike.
* ChekhovsGun: Many.
** The biggest one is when Koenma describes the difference between spirit and life energy to Yusuke in the 5th episode. When drained of spirit energy in the climax of the ''Four Saint Beasts'' arc, Yusuke taps into his life energy for a HeroicSacrifice.
** There was also "Goblin City" in the ''Chapter Black'' arc, a video game Yusuke plays at the arcade during the time Kuwabara is fighting Seaman. About six episodes later, guess what the team has to play against Game Master?
** The Mafuukan, ([[spoiler:Koenmna's pacifier. This also explains why he wouldn't let Ogre remove it during the Dark Tournament]].)
** The egg Yusuke throws into the fire to save Keiko early in the series [[spoiler:is Puu!]] It gets lampshaded when Koenma has to remind Yusuke about the egg during the ''Dark Tournament'' arc, as he'd completely forgotten about it after he came back to life.
* ChildhoodFriendRomance: Yusuke and Keiko.
* CirclesOfHell: [[spoiler:Younger Toguro goes to the deepest pit of hell out of his own, complex guilt about everything]].
* ClarkKenting:
** The "mysterious" masked fighter that comes to the ''Dark Tournament'' as the gang's fifth member is obviously Genkai, even wearing the same robes as her and having her characteristically short stature. Despite this, nobody notices until [[TheReveal unmasking time]] comes... sort of. Kuwabara flat-out asks Yusuke if Mask is Genkai, and Yusuke pretty much tells him: "That's what I thought, but that's not her voice." Kuwabara is pretty firm in thinking this, until the mask gets ripped and young Genkai is shown beneath it. Genkai's fighting style has the body's cells rejuvenated to the time they were strongest when it's used. It's... really something of a DoubleSubversion.
** Right after Yusuke comes back from the dead he explores the town in sunglasses and messed up hair. And goes unnoticed.
** In that same episode there's also a certain blue-haired fortune teller with a fake sounding accent who knows about Yusuke, so [[SarcasmMode you can understand why]] he couldn't tell it was Botan in disguise.
* ClearMyName: After coming back to school, Yusuke was framed by one of the teachers in hopes of getting him expelled. Koenma helped clear it up so Yusuke could start his first case.
* ClothingDamage:
** Yusuke pretty much loses his upper clothing in almost all of his major fights. His opponents sometimes do as well. Taken to its logical extreme in his fight against Yomi, where after taking a volley of energy blasts, his shirt ''explodes off his body.'' Not a fiery one, mind you, but still. This is flat out pointed out in the actor's commentary for the episode where Justin Cook and co. discuss the characters' tendency to lose their shirts right before the aforementioned shirt explosion. They then wonder what the characters' pants are made of to prevent them from being destroyed as well. It may be justified by the fact that in a fight, attacks will tend to be focused on the torso and head.
** Hiei's shirt is usually either ripped off or thrown off by the end of most of his battles.
** {{Lampshade|Hanging}}d by Koto (the announcer cat-girl): "Well, they've burned their skin, shortened their breath, and somehow lost their shirts. All in all, I'd call this a successful fight."
* ColdSniper: This role is fulfilled by the character of... Sniper. Although he's not a sniper in the traditional sense; he doesn't actually use a sniper rifle and he doesn't do a lot of hiding. He can attach his spirit energy to both his target as well as any random objects, resulting in said objects homing in on the target at incredible speeds. From dice, to rocks, to knives and forks, to even ''[[ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill gasoline tankers]].'' Later in the fight, however, he opts for a good old fashioned [[MundaneSolution pistol]], albeit at close range.
* ComingOfAgeStory:
** The ending to the second-to-last episode and essentially the main point to the whole Three Kings Arc is this, as George/the Narrator so explains. Supposedly, now that Yusuke is done kicking ass in Demon World, his next adventure is to allow himself to "grow up". There are also other sprinklings and hints of the "coming of age" theme throughout the series. Though mainly adhering to Yusuke, this applies to Kuwabara and Keiko as well.
** In-Universe, it's implied that carrying the role of Spirit Detective was this for Kuroko Sanada, as well. She started training for the job while fourteen and rather obese, and through building her skills (and attaining a sudden growth spurt), managed to slim down into something resembling a young, female Sensui, which then led to a pretty successful run on the job. After accomplishing quite a bit during her tenure, she chose to retire so that she could move on and form a family of her own.
* ContainmentField:
** The Kekkai barrier is used to separate the Human World from the Demon World. Unfortunately, this ContainmentField only sort of acts like a net to only filter and keep out A- and S-Class-ranked demons. Sounds good, except C- and B-class demons are enough to destroy Earth if they come through en masse.
** [[SpellMyNameWithAnS L/Ruka]] tries it on Hiei. She somehow manages to live through it.
* ContinuityNod:
** Kurama was a demon fox before he was injured in a botched robbery and reincarnated as a human to recover his energy. When the Spirit World SDF arrive near the end of the Chapter Black arc, several of them mention that one of them was the one who injured him.
** When Botan sees Yusuke's appearance after his [[spoiler:Mazoku transformation]], she remarks that she's having flashbacks of Rando, a villain from Season 1.
* CoolOldLady: Genkai, in her 70s, is a badass fighter, wise mentor, and impressively sarcastic.
* CorruptCorporateExecutive: Sakyou and the rest of the Black Black Club.
* CounterAttack: Sensui's Reshuuken fight style.
* CruelMercy: Why did Hiei spare the Ice Maidens? Because he realized they were dead inside and exterminating them would have put them out of their misery. He also does the same in the Dark Tournament: when a defeated Bui asks Hiei to finish him, Hiei just tells him to kill himself and go away.
* CurbStompBattle:
** The first time Hiei fights on the good guys' side, he slashes up the guy that pissed him off before his opponent could even start to attack. Most of Hiei's battles are like that: Hiei's first battle in the Dark Tournament takes a few minutes because he doesn't attack, then he incinerates his FIRE USER foe; later in the Dark Tournament, Hiei faces Makintaro and cuts his arm off the very moment the referee starts the match, and when Makintaro insists on fighting Hiei finishes him with a blade in the brain; against Bui, the two play a little, then, after Bui apparently wins by throwing his DeathOrGloryAttack back at him, Hiei unveils that such an action only powered him up and defeats Bui with a POKE and a punch; Hiei's "battle" with Sniper consists of Hiei appearing from nowhere and piercing him with his blade; also, Hiei's battle with Sensui, only this time Hiei is on the receiving side. Hiei isn't exactly a FragileSpeedster, but he can't take a punch as well as most of the team, and can easily attack someone's vitals, so the only question is which side of the CurbStompBattle he's on.
** The three members of Team Toguro apart from Younger Toguro, vs. Team Gorenja in the semifinals. Karasu blows one member to pieces before he can do much, Bui instantly slaughters his foe with his axe, and Elder Toguro, taking on the remaining three at once, defeats them all instantly, killing one and weakening the other two so that he can finish them off easily.
** Yusuke curb stomps Bakken in retribution for [[KickThemWhileTheyAreDown his treatment of Kurama]].
** Genkai's matches against both Shishiwakamaru and Suzuka in the Tournament semi-finals turn out to be this. Made all the more notable because both had been hyped up as sizable threats before then (each had made quick work of Kuwabara, teleporting him outside of the ring). Even Hiei and Kuwabara seemed to treat them as formidable opponents. However, Genkai (despite being severely weakened after giving much of her energy to Yusuke just before) makes quick work out of each of them, without so much as breaking a sweat; she defeats Shishi with her incredible knowledge of techniques, then beats Suzuka with nothing but her fists.
** [[spoiler:Sensui vs. Yusuke (round one, anyway), then Sensui proceeding to kick the collective asses of Youko Kurama, Hiei AND Kuwabara.]]
** Yusuke, after [[spoiler:awakening his demon half]], kicks the ever loving piss out of Sensui [[spoiler:when it [[SuperpoweredEvilSide takes over]]]].
** Yusuke's fight against [[ColdSniper Sniper]] was so very much this. In all his experience, Yusuke was always used to fighting enemies head on, but never against somebody who methodically kept his distance and chipped away at him. If it wasn't for Hiei's [[BigDamnHeroes big damn heroic moment]], Yusuke would've been dead a second time.
** The battle of Shura vs his father Yomi also counts. Shura even tricks Yomi into getting in close, only to blast him point blank in the face with an energy blast that resembled a nuke. [[NoSell Yomi didn't feel a thing.]] Kid never had a chance, and as Yusuke notices that he's closer to Shura's level than Yomi's, he suspects that neither does he.
** Early in the series, before Yusuke died, he used to hand these out to Kuwabara every time they fought, but Kuwabara keeps coming back for more because he sees Yusuke as his rival.
** Kuwabara versus Elder Toguro. Elder Toguro [[NoSell No Selled]] a few of Kuwabara's sword attacks and chipped away at him, but didn't manage to land any hits that mattered before Kuwabara literally beat him into the ground.
* CustomUniform: Yusuke's school "uniform" is one of these.
* CuteMonsterGirl: Koto and Juri especially; the former has a fox tail and ears, and the latter has a dragon tail and ears.

[[folder: D]]
* DangerousForbiddenTechnique:
** The Dragon of the Darkness Flame, since Hiei has to use his own body as bait to lure the dragon from the depths of Demon World; losing control would mean being devoured.
** The Spirit Wave. According to Genkai, if Yusuke lost control, the energy would destroy him from within.
%%* DarkActionGirl: [[spoiler:Mukuro]].
* DarkIsNotEvil: [[spoiler:At worst, most demons play pranks on humans.]] At least in the manga. For most of the series, they do seem extremely bloodthirsty. It's explained away in the manga by [[spoiler:King Yama brainwashing demons in order to set up cases]], but in the anime just has Enki "change the system" and the way demons act once he [[spoiler:becomes King of Demon World]].
* DarkerAndEdgier: Many fans profess that the Chapter Black arc is a ''stark'' contrast with most episodes before it - and usually for the better. Included, but not limited to are some serious moral dilemmas for the characters, ''considerably'' different kinds of adversaries where simple fisticuffs won't win any fights, a deranged and disturbed villain who's not in it for the good fight, but the absolute success of his agenda and the destruction of the human race, and an overall creepier and more ominous atmosphere. Most fans would cite Chapter Black as the series at its most mature and at its peak.
* DarkestHour: The Chapter Black arc is where the series takes a [[DarkerAndEdgier darker turn]] in general. Near the end of the arc, [[spoiler:Sensui kills Yusuke (and Puu dies as a result). The tunnel to Demon World becomes complete. Yusuke's HeroicSacrifice awakens greater power in his friends, who attempt to avenge his death in a three-on-one battle against Sensui, but fail nonetheless. At the end of the episode "Attempting Revenge", Kuwabara, Kurama and Hiei fall helplessly before Sensui, knowing that even after their friend's sacrifice, they still failed him]].
* DavidVersusGoliath: Every. Single. One. Of Hiei's fights and most of Yusuke's fights. Hiei is only 4'10".
* ADayInTheLimelight: Hiei and Kurama each get 2 episodes in the last arc detailing their backstories in full, and show how they ingratiate themselves to life under their respective Demon Kings (Mukuro for Hiei, Yomi for Kurama).
* DeadSidekick: Played with during the Dark Tournament arc, where [[spoiler:Yusuke's friends exploit the trope by faking Kuwabara's death at the hands of Toguro so that Yusuke's anger and grief will give him the power needed to defeat Toguro]].
* DeadToBeginWith: See page quote.
* DeathByIrony: Gouki, who eats souls to survive, dies by taking a blast of spirit energy into the mouth.
* DeathGlare: Hiei is really good at these along with being a hostile PerpetualFrowner. However, what is truly impressive is that when really pissed off, both Yusuke and Kurama managed to pull {{Death Glare}}s that make any of Hiei's look like fluff in comparison.
* DefeatMeansFriendship: Played straight ''and'' subverted. Despite Kuwabara being beaten up by Yusuke on the regular, they don't really become friends until after Yusuke dies. Hiei works with Yusuke as part of his sentence, and they become friends that way. Six demons from the Dark Tournament become friends with Yusuke's team after losing to them.
* DeflectorShields: Yomi's Demon Energy Barrier which completely blocks out demon energy of any sort.
* DemonOfHumanOrigin: The Toguro brothers were once human, but asked to be transformed into demons as their prize for winning the Dark Tournament.
* DemotedToExtra:
** After the Chapter Black Saga, Kuwabara only sits around and studies.
** Atsuko is another example, her role took a back seat even before the Dark Tournament Saga, even though the first opening showed her attending the tournament.
** Keiko after the Chapter Black Saga as well.
* DepravedHomosexual: Subverted, played around with, possibly averted and inverted with [[spoiler:Sensui]]. Played straight with Itsuki and Karasu.
* DeusExMachina: During Yusuke's fight with Yomi in the Demon World Tournament, Yusuke gains the upper hand when he spontaneously generates a new kind of energy. Hiei at first thinks it's sacred energy, but then Koenma exclaims that "No, it's not! This is something brand new!"
** Yusuke's revival and subsequent victory over Sensui came totally out of left field when he's randomly revealed to be descended from one of the three S-class kings of the Demon World who can take control of his body at will...
* DisappearedDad: Yusuke and Kuwabara's dads, but [[spoiler:they are both BackForTheFinale]]. Kurama's human father is also dead, although he does later acquire a stepfather when his mother remarries.
* DishingOutDirt: Risho is the shinobi "Master of Earth" and can do such things as coating himself in rock-armor.
* DistressedDude: Happens to both Yusuke and Kuwabara. In the latter case... well, see BoundAndGagged.
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: Gouki's soul-eating tastes (that of little children) is rather close to the edge of pedophilia.
** Also, [[spoiler:Sensui's speech before he dies sounds a ''lot'' like him recalling [[ComingOutStory coming out to himself]], especially [[DubText in the dub]]]].
* DramaticThunder: The anime pretty much uses this whenever they can. But it was used to death during the Maze Castle arc. Might have been a way of foreshadowing Suzaku's [[ShockAndAwe power]].
* DrunkenMaster: Chu becomes more dangerous after taking a swig of Ogre Killer. Taken to whole new levels when his most powerful attack actually involves mixing his energy with alcohol to make an energy ball powerful enough that two shots of Yusuke's Spirit Gun couldn't equal it. The first shot weakened the attack and the second shot burst through it, punching a hole in the middle, but not stopping it. He also has a special kind of alcohol that... well... induces vomiting. Once he's emptied his stomach, he gets drunk even faster, which summons more of his demonic energy for him to use.
* DubNameChange: To name a few, in the Filipino dub:
** Yusuke -> Eugene
** Kazuma -> Alfred
** Kurama / Shuiichi -> Denise/Dennis (Yes, they thought he was a girl)
** Hiei -> Vincent
** Koenma -> Jericho
** Genkai -> Jeremiah (Yes, they thought she was a guy[[note]]The name Jeremiah is technically unisex, but is usually associated with guys.[[/note]])
** Keiko -> Jenny
** Botan -> Sharlene
** Yukina -> Mikaela
** A couple minor, "why even bother?" ones in the Creator/FUNimation dub, too.
** Suzuki -> Suzuka (changed back in the remastered dub)
** Shuuichi (Kurama's stepbrother) -> Kokoda
** Kirishima (Kuwabara's friend with brown hair) -> Miyamoto
** Sawamura (Kuwabara's friend with the buzz cut) -> Komada
* DubText: Mostly with Itsuki. Some of his lines are completely made up. The bit about stalking Sensui(etc.) was neither in the manga nor in the Japanese version of the anime.
** Also, Toguro and Genkai's relationship 50 years ago got a RelationshipUpgrade from the manga and original Japanese in the dub.
* DudeLooksLikeALady: In one of the earlier chapters, Yusuke fights a bewitching FemmeFatale who tries to use her femininity to make opponents underestimate her, trying to play on an opponent's WouldntHitAGirl sense of chivalry. After a CrotchGrabSexCheck, Yusuke finds out it's just a regular guy fighter dressing like a girl to trick opponents. Yusuke even berates him for not being a ''real'' transvestite, in one of the series' [[OutOfCharacter odder]] moments of open-mindedness on Yusuke's part. Miyuki accuses Yusuke of violently attacking her because of 'what she is'. He calls her out, saying if s/he hadn't been in the way of the mission, he wouldn't have attacked her at all.
** If you watch the uncut version that is. In the EditedForSyndication American dub that aired on Creator/CartoonNetwork, [[ShesAManInJapan all the references to the female fighter actually being a man were changed]] to the fighter being a {{Manipulative B|astard}}itch who fakes her injuries so she can make her male fighters feel guilty about beating up a woman—and uses that moment of weakness to strike back.
** During the final chapters of the manga, the usually calm Kurama is mistaken as a girl (more exactly, everyone thinks he's Kuwabara's girlfriend), which really gets under his skin. Later, Keiko and Yusuke ask him to infiltrate a girls-only school to help them solve a case, and he nearly snaps on them.

[[folder: E]]
* ElectionDayEpisode: The final story arc features an invocation of this. While this isn't an election in a conventional sense (as there are no ballots of any kind cast), but the Tournament for the Kingship of Demon world is referred to by Yusuke Urameshi as being a "Presidential election where we cast our votes with our fists".
* EmpathyPet: Puu.
* EsotericMotifs: The Artifacts of Darkness, a Mirror, Sword, and Jewel.
* EvenBadMenLoveTheirMamas: Kurama's relationship with his human mother, Shiori, is what turned him into a decent person. He was originally planning to leave her once he regained his powers, but after she was injured protecting him, he decided to stay.
* EvenEvilHasStandards:
** Toguro refuses his elder brother's offer for assistance prior to his match with Yusuke in the Dark Tournament finals, right before smacking the crap out of him. When Elder Toguro gets angry and remarks that they sold their souls together, younger Toguro responds, "That may be. [[LampshadeHanging But I never sold my standards]]." The fact that he had basically bad-mouthed his former lover he had killed the last night and disgraced her memory didn't help at all.
** Earlier, he openly condemned Botajiri's attempts to rig the match against Team Masho. He specifically wanted Yusuke to level up and give him a good challenge. He didn't care if Yusuke died before that fight, but he didn't want him out of the tournament based on a technicality.
*** Also, the usually amoral and even sadistic referee Koto seriously objects to two of Team Masho's members' dirty methods of fighting and Botajiri's rigging of the matches.
** Before his MoralityPet little sister Yukina showed up, Hiei played the TokenEvilTeammate role pretty straight. However, he was so disgusted with Seiryuu killing [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness his teammate]] that he [[ItsPersonal chooses to be the one to take him on]], instead of fighting the BigBad on the next floor, leaving them for Yusuke.
** Hiei also happens to have the strongest stomach for cruelty and such, but even he got visually pissed off when Bakken was purposefully extending his fight with Kurama. In fact Hiei was so mad, he would've used his Dragon of the Darkness flame again, which would've killed him in his current state.
* EverybodyWasKungFuFighting: Though it starts off different, it very quickly becomes about the unusual martial arts the protagonists and antagonists use in battle, especially coming into play during the Demon Tournament arc.
* EvilCounterpart:
** Sensui, who's also a [[StrawNihilist Nietzsche Wannabe]], a FallenHero, and a DarkMessiah...
** Less obviously, Toguro, who is what Yusuke would become if he decided to go completely BloodKnight and forget about what he's actually fighting for.
** Karasu can be one for Kurama; being a SoftSpokenSadist who keeps his cool (for the most part) and is the EvilGenius of his own group as Kurama is TheSmartGuy of his. They also both have AnimalMotifs; Kurama is a kitsune demon, and Karasu has a crow image going on. The difference between them is that while Kurama is genuinely friendly and shows some respect and regret over killing his more worthwhile opponents, Karasu is a pure {{Sadist}} who enjoys torturing his prey under a FauxAffablyEvil facade.
* ExactlyWhatIAimedAt:
** In his first fight against Hiei, Yusuke defeats him by [[spoiler:having a Spirit Gun reflect at the Forlorn Hope and hit him from behind.]]
** In the Dark Tournament, Yusuke [[spoiler:shoots a Spirit Gun in a wall outside the ring to make the explosion extinguish Bakken's White Mist. This doesn't hit Bakken directly but plays a big part in his defeat.]]
* ExplainingYourPowerToTheEnemy:
** Yusuke is forced to fight someone in complete darkness. His opponent has a helmet-type device that allows him to perceive and alter the flow of energy around and inside him, a) letting him see in the dark (which Yusuke has no way of doing), and b) strengthening parts of his body temporarily. He explains all of this during the fight. The viewer is left screaming at the television for the opponent to just beat the shit out of Yusuke, which he can do with impunity thanks to the Night Vision Helmet.
** {{Subverted|Trope}} in the Chapter Black arc when Yusuke keeps insisting that, had he known of Kido's powers, he could have taken him out easily. Genkai berates him for this, telling him that not all of his enemies will be stupid enough to hand over valuable information like that.
** For the most part, this is actually an ''averted'' trope. ExplainingYourPowerToTheEnemy, while it makes utterly no sense in-universe, is mainly used so the ''reader/viewer'' can understand the ability being used. In the anime, the ''narrator'' explains the abilities or items characters are using most of the time, and thus this trope stays averted for the most part.
* ExtremityExtremist: The fighting style of the EvilCounterpart listed above.

[[folder: F]]
* FaceDeathWithDignity: [[spoiler: Sakyou]] staked his life on Toguro's victory over Yusuke and is perfectly willing to give it up once Yusuke wins.
* FaceFault:
** The [[TournamentArc Dark Tournament arc]] features this several times (most memorably when a contestant abruptly leaves the ring in the middle of his power-up to go vomit), but it is usually reserved for the comic relief characters of Koenma and Jorge. The dub [[LampshadeHanging hangs a lampshade]] on this and [[DeconstructedTrope deconstructs]] it when Koenma yells at Jorge to get up because "surprise time's over" and Jorge replies that his horn got stuck in the floor.
** Earlier, in the fourth episode Kuwabara and his gang are pressured to pass their next test and if they don't they will all get kicked out of school. The group talks and explains they need to study to get their grades up. When they ask Kuwabara what he got on his last test he sheepishly responds a Seven. Cue Face Fault.
* FaceHeelTurn: [[spoiler:The younger Toguro and Sensui]] were both heroic individuals before turning evil.
* FacialMarkings: Sensui's bindi, [[spoiler:Yusuke's tattoos in his demon form (also comes with longer hair)]].
* FailureGambit: The series's villains have a habit of relying on these, usually in conjunction with [[spoiler:SuicideByCop]].
** [[spoiler:Toguro, as Genkai's former teammate, seeks his own death at the hands of Yusuke, her student, for reasons only speculated in the series—perhaps as a form of atonement, or to prove to himself that the decision he made to abandon his humanity was a mistake.]]
** The third season BigBad, [[spoiler:Sensui, sought to go to the Demon World simply so that he could intentionally die there [[TheAtoner as penance]] after seeing the world inhabited by the creatures he felt remorse over formerly hunting and killing]]. The fact that Yusuke, [[spoiler:a human-demon hybrid, killed him]] was a bonus.
* FateWorseThanDeath:
** [[spoiler: Elder Toguro, forever bound to the branches of a tree that saps him of his LifeEnergy and tortured with Kurama-related hallucinations. The tree will not let go or stop until the victim's life force is drained, and as Elder Toguro has nearly [[FromASingleCell unlimited regenerative powers]], he will be forever bound, unable to die due to his own healing power.]]
** [[spoiler: Younger Toguro willingly chooses one of these after his death: being sent to purgatory.]]
** The demon who blinded Yomi spent 500 years painfully nailed to a wall of Yomi's palace.
** What Hiei did to Mukuro's father in the manga. Hiei binds a special plant to him, giving him a healing factor not unlike that of Elder Toguro. Hiei gives the putrid shell as a birthday gift to Mukuro to torture for all eternity. Given what the man did to Mukuro, this is a ''very'' [[KarmicDeath karmic]] FateWorseThanDeath.
** Somewhat averted with [[spoiler: Sensui. His fate: having his soul never leave his body even after death and thus being confined to eternal sleep and no afterlife, would seem like a FateWorseThanDeath to most, but apparently Sensui actually finds this preferable to being judged by Spirit World in the afterlife]].
* FauxPaw: Botan does this when behaving "catty".
* FeelingTheirAge:
** A major character point with regards to the BigBad Younger Toguro. He used to be human but was so afraid of getting older he [[DealWithTheDevil sold his soul]] to become virtually immortal (he later saw [[WhoWantsToLiveForever immortality to be boring]] and so sought for a fighter strong enough to kill him).
** Suzuka has a vision of old age similar to Younger Toguro's: He despises old people for their natural decay of strength and beauty. However, instead of selling his soul to become immortal, he just wants to die before getting old.
** [[OldMaster Genkai]] is a formidable fighter despite her years but still far from what she was at her prime.
* FillerVillain: Yakumo.
* FinalBattle: The final arc is the Three Kings saga, and the last fight the main characters are involved in is Yusuke vs. Yomi in the Demon World Tournament. [[spoiler: Yomi wins but loses the fight after that.]]
* FingerGun: The Spirit Gun is one that actually fires. Several characters do the regular version.
* FlashStep: The only main fighter that isn't normally seen to use this is Kuwabara, because he's too slow. He actually does do a flash step in his fight against Rinku. Even though Rinku proves to be faster than he'd let on up to that point, he was clearly already moving too fast for an ordinary person to track, and Kuwabara was faster than even that level. He's just slow compared to his teammates. [[LightningBruiser Hiei]], in particular, uses flash steps a lot.
** Hiei's speed is much more fun when you consider him cutting the enemy's arm so fast and RETURNING to where he was standing that the enemy did not even know he moved at all. Flash Stepping to your enemy's back? Beginners. Flash Stepping to hurt your enemy and then Flash Stepping back? Expert.
** Enemies do it too, of course. A non-battle example: after Younger Toguro finishes his IAmNotLeftHanded demonstration for Yusuke, he finishes it off by flash stepping behind Yusuke to tell him about the Dark Tournament and give him an ultimatum to join.
* FlexibleTourneyRules: Boy, are they ''ever''—and intentionally. The Dark Tournament is done as a commercial gig, so teams are allowed to negotiate their own rules and conditions for a match, which adds some variety to the proceedings and makes for a better show. And that's leaving aside the Tournament Committee twisting the rules when bribed.
* {{Flight}}: Sensui's Seikoki (Sacred Energy) allows him to fly as an angel, which is also why he's also called "Black Angel".
** Earlier in the series, there's Jin, who controls and shapes wind to make whirlwinds and other various tricks. Flight is as natural to him as walking. In the same tournament, there's Bui, who is the first in the series to flying with nothing but his energy.
** Yusuke gains this ability on [[spoiler:becoming a demon]]. During the Three Kings saga, numerous high-level demons demonstrate the ability, including the five out of the Dark Tournament Six who weren't Jin; clearly it comes naturally with a high enough power level.
* FloatingContinent: The Koorime's glacier.
* FoldSpindleMutilation: Suggested in a flashback of atrocities inflicted by humans upon demons.
* {{Foreshadowing}}:
** The final round of the Dark Tournament is foreshadowed fight by fight in Team Urameshi's first round against Team Rokuyukai.
*** Kurama: [[spoiler:Has an obvious advantage at the start of both fights (as Suichi vs Roto and as Yoko vs Karasu) but loses it for unexpected reasons. While his sadistic opponent toys with him, Kurama keeps his cool and devises a plan. By distracting both Roto and Karasu and planting a seed in their bodies, Kurama snatches victory from defeat and reduces both his opponents to demon plant fertilizer]].
*** Hiei: [[spoiler:Is evenly matched to start against Zeru and Bui, but both opponents land a strong blow that appears to utterly destroy Hiei. Instead Hiei not only survives through sheer bad-assery but counters with his ultimate technique that soundly defeats his opponent]].
*** Kuwabara: Fights physically weaker opponents Rinku and Elder Toguro but has some difficulty hitting their body and/or his vital organs. Eventually the opponents suspend Kuwabara in the air through some rope or tentacle attack and throw Kuwabara to the ground. [[spoiler:Despite this, Kuwabara fights through the pain but fails to kill his opponents]].
*** Yusuke: Fights an all-around strong and able warrior in the form of Chuu and Toguro. Yusuke and his opponent reveal surprise after surprise and many secret techniques. [[spoiler:The fight inevitably boils down to a no-holds-bar, winner-take-all confrontation where both warriors use every ounce of their strength to decide a winner]].
** During the final match against Toguro, Yusuke's spirit energy takes the form of a giant bird and flies around the stadium before it settles back into him, foreshadowing the form Puu (who is a representation of Yusuke's spirit) will eventually take. Puu also settles down around Yusuke right after taking that form, just like the energy did.
** When Koenma tells Yusuke that Sensui's tunnel to the demon world is going to open much sooner than he originally thought, Yusuke [[LeeroyJenkins decides to run to the cave and take on the psychics right now.]] Koenma can be heard screaming [[spoiler:"I don't need another rogue agent"]] in the background before the communication device is shut off.
** From the same episode, Kaito claims that Demon's Door (the cave where the tunnel is being "built") is "where scorned lovers go to die". [[spoiler:This is likely referring to Itsuki's... relationship with Sensui.]]
** In the House of Four Dimensions, Kurama and Kaito engage in a contest of wits within Kaito's territory for the team's dislodged souls. Yanagisawa, as a bystander in Kaito's territory, realizes he shouldn't even risk laughing since uttering the wrong sound could trigger the taboo and remove his own soul. [[spoiler:Kurama's strategy to defeat Kaito turns out to be making him laugh.]]
** Another one involving Kaito: when he first appears, he (pretending to be evil) forces the heroes into a battle of wits in his psychic territory, where failure has a horrible price. Though the others are unable to beat him, Kurama eventually wins by getting inside his head and exploiting his weaknesses - introducing the fact [[HoistByHisOwnPetard that psychics have to play by the same rules in their territories as everyone else.]] Kurama is ultimately forced to deal with the same situation again, with far more deadly results, against [[spoiler:Gamemaster]], and wins in much the same way - while the things they learned against Kaito come back [[spoiler:as tragic rather than triumphant]].
* ForgottenPhlebotinum: Kuwabara can create two Spirit Swords at once and make a really long one that zigzags to get through an opponent's defenses. These abilities are never used outside of the fight where they're introduced.
* TheFourGods: The Four Saint Beasts are based on them.
* FourIsDeath: The Four Saint Beasts, the four members of Team Toguro.
* FourPhilosophyEnsemble: Yusuke is the Realist (sometimes can be quite the Cynic), Kuwabara is the Optimist, Kurama is the Apathetic and Hiei is the Cynic.
* FourTemperamentEnsemble:
** Yusuke '''(Choleric)''' - short-tempered, cocky, impulsive and insecure
** Kuwabara '''(Sanguine)''' - loyal, clumsy, stubborn and short-tempered
** Kurama '''(Phlegmatic)''' - analytical, calm, calculating and cunning
** Hiei '''(Melancholic)''' - aloof, cold, cynical and reserved
* FriendToAllLivingThings: Yukina, [[spoiler:except in regards to the rest of the Ice Maidens. A possible {{subver|tedTrope}}sion of the trope, if anything]].
%%* FriendlyTarget: Averted and taken advantage of.
* FromASingleCell: Elder Toguro can regenerate from anything. The only way to will kill him is by destroying his heart or brain which is a bit difficult as he's able to move around all his organs and body parts to wherever he wants in his body and can even ooze through cracks in the ground.

[[folder: G-H]]
* GeniusCripple: Yomi, although blind, didn't let that stop him from being the first person in the series to manipulate Kurama, who's known for being the Batman of YYH. And not only that, Yomi gets away with it.
* GentleGiant:
** Both Kuwabara and Kurama are the tallest members of Team Urameshi but are very compassionate.
** Shinobu Sensui stands at least 6' and it would be hard to believe someone like him would ever consider destroying humanity.
* GhostlyGape: Shishiwakamaru can summon ghosts with this kind of face in addition to his sword getting this kind of face via opening its hilt to reveal that it contains strange, [[EvilIsVisceral muscular tissue]] with said face.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: In episode 5 of the TV-Y7/Toonami version, it is still made very clear that Yusuke's mom is drinking harder then usual to get over the sudden death of her son - not only that, she's hanging out at the bar with crossdressing men.
%%* GlowingEyesOfDoom
* AGodAmI: Yusuke had a moment like this when it turned out that [[spoiler:[[TomatoInTheMirror he's really an]] [[SuperWeight uber-powerful]] {{Youkai}}]], shouting "KNEEL DOWN AND WORSHIP ME, YOU INSECTS!!". Subverted in that he immediately reveals it to be [[ItAmusedMe an immature prank]] and says that they should have seen their faces.
* GoingToGiveItMoreEnergy: In his fight with Byakko, Kuwabara follows this trope to the letter. It almost doesn't work, until we see that the last of Kuwabara's energy was ''just'' enough.
* {{Gonk}}: Gonzo Tarukane. As ''WebVideo/YuYuHakushoAbridged'' puts it, he looks like a walking ballsack.
* GoodHairEvilHair: Kuwabara and Yusuke's pompadours signify their {{delinquent|s}} anti-hero status; Sensui's slicked-back hair clues us in to his FaceHeelTurn and the fact he's the BigBad of that arc.
* GoodIsNotNice: Yusuke and Hiei can be real jerks sometimes, though they are not without their redeeming qualities.
* GoodScarsEvilScars: Subverted. [[spoiler:Sensui's scars are multiple, as you'd expect of a villain; however, they are entirely covered by his shirt, as you'd expect of a good guy (because he used to be one). Itsuki becomes scarred over his eye from taking Kuwabara's Rei-ken: a simple heroic scar. Mukuro's scars are also "bad guy" scars that cover half of her body; however, seeing how she got them (by pouring acid over herself to prevent her "father" from raping her as a child), as well as her usual hiding of them, makes them "good guy" markings.]]
* GoshDangItToHeck: The Viz translation is full of hilariously inoffensive language like "holy spit", "dumb cluck", and aloof badass Hiei calling people a bunch of weenies.
* GreaterScopeVillain: In the manga [[spoiler:King Enma is responsible for just about everything, in the name of keeping his public image as powerful as possible—after all, Team Urameshi work for him, so if they take out a criminal, he can take credit for it]].
* GreenThumb: Kurama's abilities generally involve altering plants with spirit energy.
* TheGrimReaper: Botan is a spirit guide who takes the souls of the departed to the afterlife.
* GroinAttack: Episode 3 has Yusuke (in his [[AstralProjection ghost state]]) taking control of an unconscious young teenage schoolgirl's body so that he can protect Kuwabara who is on his way to school. During his fight against the school thugs that had tried to attack Kuwabara, Yusuke (in the body of the schoolgirl) is able to battle and defeat each of them with no problem and in the end, he delivers three groin kicks to the last thug before knocking him out with a hard right punch. Afterwards, Yusuke leaves the body of the young teenage schoolgirl, who is quite shocked to see what has transpired.
* GrowingMusclesSequence: Toguro undergoes different ones, depending on the percentage of his power he unleashes. Byakko has one every time he absorbs Kuwabara's blows. Chu gets a small one from drinking a special supernatural alcohol. Suzuka uses a technique to accomplish this.
%%* HalfwayPlotSwitch: ''Repeatedly.''
* HandCannon: Yusuke's Spirit/Rei Gun.
* HeadPet: Puu perches on top of Yusuke's head.
* HealingHands: Genkai and Botan, but mostly Yukina.
* HeavySleeper: Yusuke early in the Dark Tournament. This is explained as Genkai's training being so strenuous that he has to sleep a lot to recover his energies—though it can be pretty ridiculous when he spends the entire trip to the island, all the way through the first fight in the Tournament, asleep. The smell of alcohol finally wakes him up, because it reminds him of his home.
* HeelFaceReturn: Hiei gets caught by Yusuke for stealing from his boss, but he returns a couple arcs later as an AntiHero AloofAlly, and stays that way for the rest of the series.
* HeelFaceTurn: Kurama, Hiei, [[spoiler:Chuu, Rinku, Jin, Touya, Suzuki, Shishiwakamaru]], etc.
* HellSeeker: [[spoiler:Younger Toguro]] is one of these, in addition to being a DeathSeeker. [[spoiler:He chooses to be punished in the deepest level of Hell, even though he could have gotten off with a lighter sentence, because he feels that he could never be punished enough for what he let happen to his old martial-arts pupils and the aftermath of such.]]
* HelloNurse: During the Dark Tournament, a "nurse" is brought out to inspect Hiei and the Masked Fighter after the fight with the Dr. Ichigaki Team. Koenma orders Ogre to hit him on the head so that he can go see the nurse.
* HeroicBSOD: During the Dark Tournament final round, where Toguro [[spoiler:pretends to kill Kuwabara in order to bring Yusuke's {{Power Level|s}} to his own level, becoming a WorthyOpponent]]. Interesting though at this time, his BattleAura becomes the polar opposite of Toguro's own BattleAura, which killed well over a quarter of the stadium's spectators.
* HeroicResolve: Yusuke tends to get a power-up whenever the people he cares for are about to be killed, allowing him to save them (almost) every time.
* HeroicSacrifice: This story ''loved'' to [[PlayingWithATrope play with]] and {{subvert|edTrope}} this trope as often as it could. Even when it seems it's [[PlayingWithATrope played straight]], there's always a catch. It figures since the whole story is based on a SenselessSacrifice.
** Best example played straight is Kuwabara in the Dark Tournament, where he sacrifices himself to Toguro to unlock Yusuke's full power.[[note]]Of course it turned out Toguro ''didn't'' kill him (and possibly never intended to), but Kuwabara didn't know that going into it. When he realized he wasn't going to die, [[FakingTheDead he played along anyway]].[[/note]]
-->--'''Kuwabara''': Hey Koenma, you risked your life on Urameshi's fight and now I'm gonna do the same. So make a place for me, and make sure my wake is as good as his.
** [[spoiler:Yusuke]] attempts to invoke this during the Chapter Black arc after realizing that he's horribly outclassed by Shinobu's (Sensui) Divine Energy. His friends fail as well, though [[spoiler:his Demonic Atavism is awakened by his second death, giving him the strength to fight with Shinobu on equal terms]].
* HeroismIncentive: Botan bribes Urameshi with wrestling tickets to go compete to become Genkai's apprentice and stop a demon from learning her techniques. It doesn't work out for Yusuke, though, as when he wins the competition, he's informed that he has to stay and train, so he misses the event.
* HerosEvilPredecessor: Sensui Shinobu. He was the Spirit World Detective before the main character Yusuke Urameshi took the job. Seeing humans committing evil deeds against the demons he was fighting against, he had a FaceHeelTurn and started fighting for the demons instead.
* HomeFieldAdvantage: The first of the 4 Sacred Beasts, Genbu, can use his powers over earth to meld with the stone that comprises the castle and move freely through it.
* HomoeroticDream: When Yuusuke is trying to come back from the dead, but needs someone to kiss him in order to transfer a spark of life energy to "jump start" him, Kuwabara gets a dream in which he does just that. It gets better: Yusuke had to provide the dream ''himself'' (as a ghost, he could communicate through the dreams of the living, and Kuwabara is extremely susceptible. Yusuke did this to help him study for a test once). The kiss has to be from one of the three people who care about him the most—who turn out to be his mother, his not-quite-girlfriend Keiko, and Kuwabara, who was a big time AntagonistInMourning. Yusuke was horrified, but he did it anyway. Kuwabara thought it was a hellish nightmare, kissing Yusuke's dead body.
* HonestAdvisor: Yomi recruits Kurama for the purposes of his honest advice. And possibly some revenge, too, but he gives a lot of weight to Kurama's opinions.
* HopeSpot: Right before [[spoiler:Yusuke's second death]].
* HostageSituation:
** Roto tries doing this to Kurama by using his human mother as the hostage during their fight in the Dark Tournament. [[spoiler:It doesn't work for long]].
** Multiple villains try pulling these on Kurama throughout the series. It's generally [[BerserkButton a very good way]] to get him to kill you painfully. [[spoiler:Unless your name is Yomi. Then you just get a PrecisionFStrike.]]
* HowDareYouDieOnMe: Kuwabara, at Yusuke's wake. It is just so unfair Yusuke would die before Kuwabara got to beat him up!
* HugeGuyTinyGirl: Kuwabara and Yukina, [[spoiler:Younger Toguro and Genkai 50 years ago, Enki and Koko]].
* HumansAreTheRealMonsters:
** Sensui is ''very'' hung up over this.
** In a late-series one-shot, Yusuke investigates an apparent case of demonic activity at Keiko's school, but realizes that it's only two of the girls trying to force the third to leave because they don't like her performance or attitude on the team. The narrator concludes that humans are perhaps as bad as demons, and possibly worse, especially when Yusuke sells the uniform he borrowed from Keiko to someone online after she refuses to pay him because Kurama did most of the work. Which then gets subverted when Togashi's editor pointed out that [[spoiler:Yusuke's a demon at that point]].
* HunterOfMonsters: The "Spirit Detective" job description.
* HyperAwareness: Yomi has six ears, and they are so sensitive that he can hear every word being spoken within the confines of his kingdom. His other senses are improved as well, to the point that he can tell someone is glaring with loathing from their heart rate and the heat from the blood vessels in their eyes.

[[folder: I-L]]
* IAmYourOpponent: Pretty much how almost every one-on-one fight is set up.
* ImAHumanitarian: After Yusuke [[spoiler:becomes a demon]], he no longer regards the casual eating of innocent human beings as an atrocity, and casually tells [[spoiler:his ancestor]] that if eating humans is what will restore his strength, he'll gladly kidnap a few innocent human beings ("really bad ones" in the English dub) and [[KickTheDog "stuff them down his throat himself"]] if that's what it takes to get a good fight out of him. He compares it to humans eating hamburgers, saying that a species higher on the food chain preying on one lower is just the natural order, and that humans have simply thought themselves above it.
* IHaveYourWife: Kurama is forced to not retaliate against Roto lest Roto order the demon stalking his mother to kill her. Kurama manages to immobilize Roto, steal the trigger to signal the demon, then kill him.
* IKnowMortalKombat: Game Master/Amanuma, in the most literal way possible.
* IWasQuiteALooker: Everyone who sees the masked fighter's face before she's revealed to be a younger form of Genkai agrees that she's beautiful.
%%* AnIcePerson: Seiryu and Touya, plus Yukina.
* IdiotHero: Yusuke. He's basically a smartass version of [[Manga/DragonBall Goku]].
* ImageSong: Lots of them on the [[NoExportForYou CDs]]. Each of the four main characters has around three or four songs by themselves, at least one song with other characters and most everyone else has at least one song by themselves.
* ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice: Happens in the movie as a KarmicDeath.
* IncurableCoughOfDeath: The reason Toguro sold his soul to be a demon.
* IndyPloy: In the DVD of the anime, Yusuke bounces his Rei/Spirit Gun off the Mirror of the Forlorn Hope [[spoiler:to take Hiei in his true form down]]. He guessed that might work.
* InfinityPlusOneSword: a non-video game version but given that Kuwabara's dimensional sword can cut space and dimensions, it's heavily implied that his sword can cut through anything or anyone regardless of how durable or strong. Hell, his dimensional sword was the only thing that [[InvincibleVillain Sensui]] had to actively [[NotSoInvincibleVillain avoid]] rather than [[NoSell tank like he had been doing to Hiei and Kurama's attacks.]]
* InstantArmor: Risho the demon-ninja used his power of rocks like this during the Dark Tournament. Sensui's Holy Light armor also qualifies.
* InterspeciesRomance: Kuwabara/Yukina, [[spoiler:Sensui/Itsuki, Raizen/Lady Doctor]], and, if you really want to stretch it [[spoiler:for a technical half-breed or hybrid, Yusuke/Keiko]].
* InvincibleHero: Averted. Yusuke's victory is almost ''never'' a ForegoneConclusion, and he's always pushed to the limits of his ability. [[spoiler:[[OurHeroIsDead He actually DIES fighting Sensui]], and he also loses early in the Demon World Tournament to Yomi]]. Sniper also easily had him outclassed in every sense of the word. If it wasn't for Hiei, Yusuke would be DeaderThanDead. Again.
* InvokedTrope: Toguro invokes [[spoiler:DeadSidekick]] on Yusuke, and Kuwabara ''appears'' to invoke [[spoiler:HeroicSacrifice]] but really went for [[spoiler:DisneyDeath]]. Subverted later when Yusuke tries to [[spoiler:pull a HeroicSacrifice in order to inspire a HeroicSecondWind out of Kuwabara and the others—which isn't enough to defeat Sensui]].
* IronicEcho: In the Dark Tournament Arc, Kurama gets into a fight with a demonic bomber named Karasu. Early on in the fight, Karasu seems to have the upper hand and as a result mimics putting a pistol to his head and saying, "Bang", indicating to Kurama that he should just simply shoot himself rather than continue fighting Karasu. About ten seconds later, Kurama transforms into his much more powerful true form, and suddenly it's Karasu who's on the ropes. Guess what gesture Kurama decides to make this time.
* ItIsPronouncedTroPay: Couple names in the dub: Urameshi = ''Yu''rameshi, Mitarai ('mee-tah-rye') = Mitari ('mih-tar-ee'). The Brazilian dub had this in a lesser scale, with a few names using "L" in lieu of "R" (such as Rinku = Linku and Roto = Loto), but Chu's name was separated in two syllables, as ''Chi-yu''.
* JerkAss:
** Yu Kaito seemingly starts out this way, contemplating whether or not to damage the captured souls of Hiei, Botan, and Kuwabara just to mess with Kurama, but later it's revealed [[spoiler:he was on Genkai's side and trying to teach them a lesson about themselves,]] though whether or not he really meant this remains unknown.
** And then there's Kiyoshi Mitarai, who laughs and acts up like a jumped-up little egomaniac as he's trying to murder Kuwabara and his friends before we learn he has a FreudianExcuse, and he gets better.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold:
** Kuwabara is introduced as a delinquent and is shown doing nothing but repeatedly trying to beat up Yusuke. Later, after Yusuke dies, he sees Kuwabara rescue Keiko from some thugs, let himself get beat up and study his heart out to save a friend's job (thus preventing his family from living on the streets), pulling Keiko out of a fire, and going through humiliating lengths to save a kitten.
** Yusuke also began like this. He used to be a chain-smoking, gambling, greedy delinquent without a goal in life (and, according to Botan, he was even arrested before), but if him jumping in the way of a runaway car to save a wandering child is any indication, he wasn't all that bad.
* KarmaHoudini:
** The arsonist that lit Yusuke and Atsuko's apartment on fire, which nearly killed Keiko in the process during her recovery of Yusuke's body, is never mentioned to have been apprehended.
** Mr. Iwamoto, despite all of the illegal things he's done in Mr. Takanaka's presence alone, is still employed by the end of the series.
* KickThemWhileTheyAreDown: Though, he wasn't ''technically'' down. Bakken beats the absolute crap out of an unconscious/already badly injured Kurama in the Dark Tournament, claiming that he's still standing and in the ring and therefore must continue fighting.
* KillAllHumans: Sensui—subverted because he ''is'' a human, among other reasons.
* KissOfLife: Or, Kiss Of Transferred Life Energy, to facilitate Yusuke's resurrection.
%%* LargeHam: Kuwabara. Also, "Beautiful" Suzuka before Genkai {{curb stomp|battle}}s him.
* LaserBlade: Kuwabara's Spirit Sword. Although it is technically made out of his ki, it still greatly resembles and even sounds like a real LaserBlade.
* LastDisrespects: While Kuwabara goes on a screaming fit about Yusuke dying at his funeral in the start of the manga, [[SubvertedTrope his outburst is a sign of genuine mourning]]. In contrast, their school principal calls out some teachers who are at the funeral making snide comments about both Yusuke and Kuwabara's behavior.
* LastMinuteHookup: The finale of the manga shows that the three pretty girls from the Dark Tournament (the announcer, the ring girl, and the nurse) each have crushes on Toya, Jin, and Suzuki.
* LastNameBasis: Nearly everyone except Yusuke who has an established surname is referred to almost exclusively by that instead of their given name by the other characters (and even for Yusuke, he's still mostly called "Urameshi" by anyone who isn't Keiko, Botan, Kurama, Genkai or Koenma). Kuwabara is the most obvious example, but it's so prevalent that the fact that when hiding his true demon name Kurama tends to go by his human alter ego's given name Shuichi instead of his surname is almost surprising.
* LeftTheBackgroundMusicOn: [[spoiler:George the ogre]] turns out to be the narrator.
* LevelGrinding: Hiei personally slaughtered hundreds of A-Class demons in order to get himself to S-Class level.
* LightIsNotGood: [[spoiler:In the manga, it turns out the reports of demon attacks were not only greatly exaggerated, they were set up and the "evil" demons were brainwashed to behave that way, THEN were captured and executed before they could talk. When Yusuke wondered how many innocent demons he may have captured, Kurama advised him to "better not think about that". This plot element was cut out in the anime.]]
* LimitedWardrobe: Played with. Most everyone has their regular attire for the average day, but they can and do change clothes often enough depending on the situation. However, their clothes usually remain assigned by color: Yusuke - green, Kurama - red, Kuwabara - blue, and Hiei - black.
* LiteraryAgentHypothesis: [[spoiler:The entire show is the recordings of Yusuke's career that Koenma had edited as a documentary. His right hand ogre got the job as narrator.]]
* LittleMissBadass: Genkai in her younger days.
* LoadBearingHero: The heroes run into a trap like this in Maze Castle, calibrated so that it takes the combined strength of all four of them to hold it up, and that anyone running out would survive at the cost of their friends' lives.
* LookWhatICanDoNow: Yusuke shows off his new powers after Genkai's training, and Kuwubara does the same a few episodes later.
* LoveRedeems: [[spoiler:Raizen and his love for the lady doctor.]]

[[folder: M-N]]
* MadeOfIron:
** This being a shounen series, of course, practically every single character absorbs insane amounts of punishment, though usually offenses that produce cutting force seem much more effective at putting people down. Kuwabara, however, takes it UpToEleven: being not as agile or as quick as Yusuke, Kurama and Hiei are, he tends to get hit a ''lot'' in his fights, which does little if anything to shorten them; no matter how many of his bones you break he just takes it and gets back up for more. This is {{justified|trope}} in the Dark Tournament by Rishu, who says that a [[{{Muggles}} normal human's]] body would have died by that point but Kuwabara had been subconsciously using his spirit energy to keep his body alive. He frequently deals out such nasty hits that one foe literally ''ran away'' from him at the prospect of pummeling him over and over again to no effect while attempting to dodge his Reiken (Spirit Sword) for another thirty minutes.
** A more literal example, Gouki almost literally claiming his skin is as hard as steel.
* MagicAIsMagicA: There are a lot of random powers that pop up, but there is a broad sense of consistency in how it works. Overall, the different forms of energy, how they manifest and can be used is well documented, with a good portion of the fighting being about strategy instead of raw strength. [[OldMaster Genkai]] and Koenma often have the job of explaining what is going on and, sometimes, why this new ability is still in line with what was previously said.
* MagnificentSeven: Subverted and inverted with Sensui's group [[spoiler:and Sensui's own personalities]].
* MasqueradingAsTheUnseen: Subverted when Team Urameshi are accused of this in the Dark Tournament Arc when the Masked Fighter, previously seen as a young woman, is later seen as an old woman. It is quickly cleared up that both are the same person, and that the old woman could become young.
* MaybeEverAfter: [[spoiler:Hiei and Mukuro. It was originally intended to be less vague, but shipper backlash caused it to end the way it did.]]
* MeaningfulFuneral: Yusuke's in the first episode. Seeing how much he truly meant to everybody convinced him to undergo the trials to regain his life.
* MeaningfulName:
** "Urameshi" is what Japanese ghosts who are haunting a house wail; "Kuwabara kuwabara" is a charm against ghosts; "Kurama" and "Hiei" are Japanese mountains said to be sites of demon activity; all of the [[TheGrimReaper ferry girls]] have names associated with flowers and plants ("Botan" - peony, "Ayame" - iris, "Hinageshi" - poppy). This plant naming even goes for Sensui, whose name is a kanji anagram of "suisen" (daffodil) and Itsuki (flowering tree), perhaps to note the severity of their FaceHeelTurn.
** Mt. Hiei was forbidden to women until recent history; Hiei inverted this by being born on a floating mountain where men are the ones who are forbidden.
* MeddlingParents: Raizen [[spoiler:when he possesses Yusuke during his final fight with Sensui]].
* MenDontCry: Completely and utterly averted. During Yusuke's wake, Kuwabara broke down into a hysterical sobbing fit, and his friends had to pick him up and '''''drag''''' him out of the room. Yusuke cries for [[spoiler:Kuwabara's apparent death in the Dark Tournament]].
* MindRape: Chapter Black is supposed to be watched along with Chapter White to get a balanced look on humanity's potential for great good and great evil. Watching ''just'' Chapter Black by itself will drive you nigh insane.
* MistakenForQuake: It is announced that the preliminary round of the Dark Tournament will take place on the ferry to the island. When the ship's deck opens to reveal the fighting ring:
-->'''Kuwabara:''' Aaaah! Earthquake!\\
'''Hiei:''' Fool, there can't be earthquakes on the water!
* MonstrosityEqualsWeakness:
** All over the place. Generally, humanoid enemies are real threats, whereas more monstrous ones are just cannon fodder.
** Inverted by Younger Toguro, who is at his "weakest" when he looks completely human.
* MookChivalry: the big groups of monsters don't just all attack at the same time, but for drama's sake they always fight one on one.
* MoralityKitchenSink: Between the main characters and supporting cast alone, we have varying degrees of what would be considered "good". And that's before getting into Chapter Black.
* MoralityGuidedAttack: One of the functions of Genkai's Spirit Wave technique is demonstrated to have this effect. During the fight against Team Ichigaki, she uses it to expel the [[MindControlDevice Barukis]] that [[MadScientist Dr. Ichigaki]] had attached to [[TheWoobie three marital artists]] [[BrainwashedAndCrazy to make them fight and kill others against their will]]. Yusuke and Kuwabara at first mistakenly assume them to have been killed by her attack, but then once they are conscious she explains that it would only have killed them if they were evil at heart.
* TheMovie: There are two—a half-hour one and a feature-length one.
* MrExposition: Kurama and Hiei, sometimes Genkai or Koenma.
* {{Muggles}}: Anyone without any or high enough spiritual awareness or sixth sense.
* MultiArmedAndDangerous: Itsuki and his shadow hands.
* MultiGenderedSplitPersonalities: The former spirit detective Shinobu Sensui has developed no less than 7 identities, one of which is a girl called Naru, who represents the last remnants of his innocence.
* MundaneMadeAwesome:
** Remember that Rock Paper Scissor game? As Kurama notes, "It's a very serious human game."
** Also the quiz game between Kaito and Game Master. Sure it's a multiple choice test of general knowledge. But then they go to memorizing the whole question database to recognize a certain question with just the first word and press the buzzer or even memorizing the complex formulaic pattern the questions follow to hit the buzzer before even the first word to answer... correctly every time.
* MusclesAreMeaningless: Played straight and subverted: Kurama and Genkai possess enormous strength but both are fairly thin, whereas each time Toguro powers up his musculature increases and each of his common levels—20%, 30%, 45%, 60%, 80%—give him a relatively identifiable build. What's odd is that when Toguro powers up completely, Kurama even says, "The structure of those muscles... ingenious." And then absolutely no character around or above Toguro's level follows suit.\\\
Unlike a lot of {{shonen|Demographic}}, the general build of each character does not change as they become stronger. In fact, with the exception of Toguro the size of one's muscles has no bearing on actual strength. Explained by Genkai that the physical body has its limitations, but the augmentation of spirit power to their body is crucial.
* MyDeathIsOnlyTheBeginning: ''Inverted''. As it turned out, Yusuke's ''resurrection'' was only the beginning.
%%* MyKungFuIsStrongerThanYours
%%* MysteriousParent: Raizen.
* NeverMessWithGranny: Genkai is in her 70s but she's one of the strongest humans in the series before giving Yusuke most of her power.
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: Yusuke letting Sensui power up for their battle led directly to [[spoiler:his second death]].
* NiceJobFixingItVillain:
** Of course, Yusuke's [[spoiler:second death]] led to him [[spoiler:being revived as an insanely-powerful demon hybrid that later defeated Sensui]].
** During the [[TournamentArc Dark Tournament]], Elder Toguro could have easily [[CurbStompBattle killed Kuwabara in a single attack]], and he wouldn't have even seen it coming. However, he instead chooses to MindRape him by telling him that [[spoiler: Genkai has been dead for two days and his friends hadn't told him]], and that allows Kuwabara to find the strength to defeat Elder Toguro for Genkai's honor.
* TheNineties: The manga/anime takes place in the 1990s. Botan bribes Yusuke with a Tokyo Dome events, dated back in 1992. A [[FreezeFrameBonus Spirit World intelligence report on Gonzo Tarukane has the date stamp of 1993.]]
* NoBadassToHisValet: Kurama and Hiei. Raizen and the Lady Doctor.
* NoGoodDeedGoesUnpunished: The ''one'' good thing the delinquent Yusuke does gets him ''killed''.
%%* NobleDemon: Hiei, Kurama
%%** And probably a good half of the demons in the series, particularly in the Three Kings arc.
* NonNaziSwastika: There was a minor villain with a swastika tattooed on his forehead. This was removed in the English dub. Lampshaded in ''WebVideo/YuYuHakushoAbridged''.
* NormallyIWouldBeDeadNow: Kuwabara's fight against Rishu. He's tapping into his life energy just to be able to stand.
* NotJustATournament: The Dark Tournament arc is already pretty, well, [[DarkerAndEdgier Dark]], but then it is revealed that the ''true'' purpose is for betting and power brokering behind the scenes. The later Demon World Tournament is a complete aversion of this trope, especially considering where it takes place.
* NotSoDifferent: A major underlying theme of the series is that the differences between humans and demons morality-wise are baseless. At first it seems that demons are made out to be AlwaysChaoticEvil. But later we find many humans in the series who are actually worse and many demons who truly have a good heart at least deep down. The case is brought even further in Chapter Black. Then at the end of the manga, [[spoiler:it is revealed that in the past, Spirit World residents actually made demons look evil so they could rule, not to mention King Yama brainwashing them. This later became a norm so demons have no obligations of being good and usually [[ThenLetMeBeEvil turn out evil]]]]. But whether one is human or demon, anyone can have just as much potential for good or evil. [[OurDemonsAreDifferent Well, at least in this show.]]
* NotWorthKilling: Suzuki was once soundly defeated by Younger Toguro and demanded to be killed by him, but Toguro refused and said Suzuki wasn't worth it.

[[folder: O-R]]
* ObliviousYoungerSibling: Shuuichi, Kurama's little stepbrother, is completely oblivious to his brother's demonic heritage and supernatural activities.
* OddFriendship: Kuwabara and Hiei. Hiei constantly belittles how much of a [[WhatAnIdiot dumbass]] Kuwabara is while Kuwabara keeps up with the [[TheNapoleon short]] jokes. Kurama even jokes about how one day they might even become [[LoveObstructingParents in-laws]].
* OddlySmallOrganization: The underworld's cleanup squad for when things go wrong consists of one detective and any friends he might make along the way. [[spoiler:Though this is rendered a bit moot by the manga's ending, where it was revealed that Yusuke might not have been needed as badly as we originally thought.]]
* OffModel: Some scenes in the anime have this. For instance, there's a tendency for Sensui to have a really weird, long neck.
* OfficialCouple:
** Yusuke and Keiko
** Also [[YaoiGuys Itsuki and Sensui]], by WordOfGod.
** In the final volume, Togashi pretty much pairs off ''EVERYBODY''. A rundown:
** [[spoiler:Hiei and Mukuro is implied but still leaves room for speculation. Kuwabara and Yukina is made much more likely. Yusuke's dad comes back into the picture and gets back with his mom. Chu falls for a new character named Natsume, who eventually returns the sentiment. The trio of Juri, Koto and Ruka admit to loving the trio of Jin, Suzuki and Touya. Koenma and a female reaper also are implied to get together.]]
* OhCrap:
** Pretty much any time Toguro shows up is an "Oh crap!" for ''someone''.
** Bui gets a literal OhCrap moment during his fight against Hiei.
** Don't forget what happened to Zeru and Ura.
** The Kuwabara vs. Elder Toguro fight is filled with this on both sides. Kuwabara gets it most of the times that Toguro reforms himself, and Toguro feels it whenever Kuwabara organizes a counterattack with his Spirit Sword. Epitomized greatly when Kuwabara finally defeats Toguro with his "Spirit Flyswatter", as it was the first time that someone was actually able to hit his vital organs.
* {{Oireland}}: Jin is given an irish accent in the English dub.
* OldMaster: Genkai is in her 70s and teaches Yusuke. She's even a previous winner of the Dark Tournament.
* OnTheNextEpisodeOfCatchPhrase:
** Yusuke's "The other world's not watching for nothing!", which can only be heard in every Japanese voiced preview with subs. This is also his victory line in many ''Manga/YuYuHakusho'' video games.
** In the Latin American dub this line was replaced by Yusuke saying "Mi existencia ¡No será en vano!" (My existence won't be in vain!).
** In the Brazilian dub it became "Não conheci o outro mundo por querer!" (I never wished to know the other world!)
* OneGenderRace: The Koorime usually reproduce asexually and are all female [[spoiler: this is apparently because any time they reproduce with males, the resulting child will be only male and be extremely violent. Hiei is such a child]].
* OneSteveLimit: Averted. Kurama shares the same human name with his little stepbrother, Shuuichi.
* OneWingedAngel:
** Younger Toguro, [[SerialEscalation who gets repeatedly more monstrous as he increases his power to 100%, and then keeps going]].
** Subverted with Sensui, who was also conveniently nicknamed "Black Angel."
* TheOnlyOneAllowedToDefeatYou: Kuwabara proclaims this in the very first chapter of the manga and continues to for several arcs.
* OOCIsSeriousBusiness: The entire series starts with one such moment; Yusuke is a selfish delinquent who doesn't give two hoots about how his actions affect others, only to make the ultimate act of selflessness and sacrifice his life to save a boy from being hit by a car. Both his peers and family still living and the powers that be in the afterlife are gobsmacked by this!
* OptOut: Kuwabara didn't participate in the final arc, instead deciding to focus on his academics.
* OralFixation: Koenma's pacifier, not so out of place in his infant form but much more noticeable in his older and more {{Bishonen}} guise. Apparently, several centuries of soaking in a junior god's essence also makes it a potent magical object.
* OrcRaisedByElves: Kurama is a reincarnation of a [[{{youkai}} silver-haired fox demon]] that born into a human child called Shuichi Minamino. In a beginning, he only would stay in his human body until regaining forces to come back, but the loving cares of his human mother made Kurama emotional bonds with her at the point of wanting to save her life when she was ill at the start of the series. First appearing as a possible enemy, when he saw the efforts of Yusuke for saving him and his mother at cost of his own life, Kurama decides to join to his side without hesitation, and later convince [[HeterosexualLifePartners demon Hiei]] to do the same.
* OrificeEvacuation: Jiaki, the first demon Yusuke caught.
* OrganDodge: Elder Toguro could rearrange the organs in his body at will, theoretically making it impossible to strike a fatal blow to him. Kuwabara just finds a way to hit every single point on his body simultaneously. [[spoiler:That is enough to stun Toguro, yet still winds up being nonfatal.]]
%%* OurDemonsAreDifferent
* OurHeroIsDead:
** The very first freaking episode! ({{Lampshade|Hanging}}d during [[spoiler:Yusuke]]'s fight with [[spoiler:Sensui]]. Turns out he's [[spoiler:part demon]].)
** Also during [[spoiler:the fight with Toguro, when Kuwabara [[FakingTheDead "dies"]]]].
* OutGambitted: Roto's Roto's strategy for victory involves threatening to kill an opponent's loved one if they retaliate. Kurama simply has Roto immobilized with a Death Plant before being killed.
* OvershadowedByAwesome: Kuwabara, who is an extremely powerful individual in his own right but his actual combat intelligence and physical power leaves him as the least powerful member of the core four characters. In the Dark Tournament saga he loses more fights than he wins. But what he lacks in one on one combat he makes up for in extremely powerful spiritual awareness (made clear early in the series) and he develops some techniques that keep him useful, his dimension cutting sword made him the pivotal element during Sensui's saga.
* ParentalAbandonment: Yusuke's dad is out of the picture, and Kuwabara is raised by his big sister.
* PassiveAggressiveKombat: Kurama, at least twice; at the end of the Four Saint Beasts arc, Hiei mentions how he always has to have the last word; and more [[IncrediblyLamePun literally]] at the beginning of the Sensui Arc.
* PersonalityPowers: The psychics after the tunnel to Makai (Demon World) is opened.
* PettingZooPeople: Yoko Kurama, the two announcers in the Dark Tournament arc and a few others.
%%* ThePhilosopher: Itsuki, [[spoiler:Sensui's Minoru personality]].
* PhysicalGod:
** Any S-Class fighter. Sensui himself stated that he can't even use 1/5 of his full power because to do so would put too much stress on the planet. Thankfully the Demon World is much bigger and more durable.
** According to Sensui, A-Class demons have power roughly equivalent to the gods of various religions and myths (in the dub, he states that they are on par with the Titans of Greek mythology).
* PhysicalScarsPsychologicalScars: [[spoiler:Sensui]] is covered in scars to point out how utterly insane he is.
* PintSizedPowerhouse: Hiei and Genkai. Rinku counts, as well. [[spoiler:He actually does beat Kuwabara, albeit by fighting dirty]].
* PlayingWithFire: Hiei is a natural fire demon but the Jigan eye was actually artificially implanted and reduced his original power to a fraction of what it once was, but the eye grants him use of the primal darkness flame that constantly threatens to overwhelm even him. Zeru is a more common fire demon and powerful in his own right, but easily incinerated by Hiei "Dragon of the Darkness Flame" attack.
* PostGameRetaliation: In Genkai's disciple selection test early on, she has all her applicants get lots of paper. If their paper changed color, they could start her selection trials. If not, they were told to leave. Two [[ArrogantKungFuGuy self-proclaimed experts]] angrily attack Genkai over being rejected. She promptly [[KiManipulation blasts them with spirit energy]] across the courtyard and into her entrance gate. (It turns out that her paper lots were not random; they only changed color if those holding them had a certain amount of spirit energy.)
%%* PostHistoricalTrauma: The Chapter Black videotape.
* PowerLimiter: Younger Toguro's percentage strength, Karasu's mask, Bui's armor, Hiei's binding bandages on his right arm, Yusuke's Spirit Cuffs, Sensui's personalities, etc.
* ThePowerOfLove: Rather hilariously referenced [[http://kissmanga.com/Manga/Yu-Yu-Hakusho/76?id=55573#13 when a half-dead Kuwabara]] went straight from being [[CurbStompBattle owned]] [[http://kissmanga.com/Manga/Yu-Yu-Hakusho/76?id=55573#19 to knocking the other guy halfway out of the stadium with one punch]] [[http://kissmanga.com/Manga/Yu-Yu-Hakusho/77?id=55580 and then quickly regenerating his injuries]] ''and'' [[http://kissmanga.com/Manga/Yu-Yu-Hakusho/77?id=55580#3 refilling his spiritual power.]]
* PowerTattoo: Hiei's Dragon of The Darkness Flame, tattooed on his arm.
* PrecisionFStrike:
** Kurama drops one right before subjecting Elder Toguro to a FateWorseThanDeath.
** [[Awesome/YuYuHakusho "This ends here, you soulless fuck."]]
* PsychicStatic: Yusuke does this to Murota. It might be considered a slight subversion; he concentrates simply on exactly what he intends to do. Unfortunately for poor Murota, a straight jab from Yusuke is enough to put him through the wall even if he sees it coming.
* PsychoForHire: Karasu, among others.
* ThePsychoRangers: Team Yusuke vs. Team Toguro.
** Yusuke - Younger Toguro (Team leader, well-balanced)
** Kuwabara - Elder Toguro (Closest to the Leader, versatile abilities)
** Kurama - Karasu (Intelligent and precision fighters)
** Hiei - Bui (Brute force fighters)
** Koenma - Sakyo (The team's boss and only participating in the tournament to fill the vacant slots)
%%* PsychoSupporter: Itsuki. HappinessInSlavery, SubordinateExcuse, and MadLove also apply to him.
* RandomPowerRanking: The classifications for power are (in increasing order) D, C, B, A, S. [[note]]The classification is set up by the Spirit World, so S-class means "anything the Spirit World fighters can't handle", which goes from those just above A-class to true warrior gods whose powers make weak S-class demons look like nothing.[[/note]]
* RasputinianDeath: Byakko at first seems to explode because Kuwabara overloaded him with the spirit energy absorption, but he turns up later to fight around a lava pit. He is then knocked into the lava pit, and shows up afterwards burned and asks Seiryu for help, who then kills him [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness for being too weak]].
* ReadingsBlewUpTheScale: In the Three Kings arc, a group of Raizen's old training buddies come out of seclusion to pay their respects and join the new tournament. They collectively flex their power to "see if they've still got it" and Yomi's strategist's energy-reading device goes off the scale before it explodes. Miles away from the energy source.
* ReallySevenHundredYearsOld: Koenma, who in fact ''is'' seven hundred years old. Kurama in his true form is over a thousand.
* RealMenWearPink: Kurama doesn't look all that impressive at first glance. After all, he is an [[{{Bishonen}} effeminate-looking red-haired pretty-boy]] that half the time wears a pink school uniform, [[EvenBadMenLoveTheirMamas is something of a mama's boy]], [[SomethingAboutARose and has this thing for roses to boot]]. Guess which character is the biggest badass in the FiveManBand (to the point that ''Hiei'' is scared of him), rakes up the highest on-screen body count and regularly delivers beat-downs of epic proportions to anyone who pisses him off.
%%* RedOniBlueOni: Hiei and Kuwabara.
* RedStringOfFate: Kuwabara claims his and Yukina's Red String of Fate will lead the group to her. It ''works'' (though it's most likely just his high spiritual awareness at work).
* RetiredBadass:
** Genkai, a medium who retired to seclusion after winning the Dark Tournament 50 years ago.
** Kuroko Sanada, Yusuke's predecessor as (the first) spiritual detective, who now lives happily on an estate with a husband and two kids. Although from time to time she (or one of her kids) has to kill a demon who dared to trespass.
* TheRival: Kuwabara, Hiei, and Kurama. Yusuke seems to collect them.
* RockPaperScissors: First appears as one of Genkai's tests and after that happens with Kuwabara throughout the series.
* RunningGag:
** Several times Koenma has [[StealthHiBye appeared]] right behind Yusuke (or below his line of sight, or in a form Yusuke doesn't recognize), speaking to and startling him in the process. Botan does this to Yusuke once as well. The entire gag got subverted toward the final matches of the Dark Tournament arc, where Yusuke's spirit energy/reiki level became powerful enough to enable him to detect Koenma's presence as soon as he turned up.
** Also Yukina being Hiei's sister. But Kuwabara doesn't know. The other characters like to poke fun at this.

[[folder: S]]
* SacrificialRevivalSpell: This was Kurama's reason for stealing the Forlorn Hope, a magic mirror that grants any wish, but kills the user to do so. He was going to use it to save his terminally ill mother. {{Subverted|Trope}} in that Yusuke prevents this by joining him in the wish, so the Forlorn Hope takes half of each of their lives to save her.
* SamusIsAGirl:
** In the Dark Tournament arc, everyone assumes the mysterious masked fighter is a man until the mask is blown off in battle and a young woman is revealed.
---> '''Kuwabara''': He's--!\\
'''Yusuke''': --a "she!"
** In the Three Kings arc, it is assumed Mokuro is a man until she reveals herself to Hiei. It's technically the "Two Kings and a Queen" arc.
* SchoolUniformsAreTheNewBlack: Before [[TournamentArc the Dark Tournament]], Yusuke, Kuwabara, and Kurama would go everywhere in their school uniforms. This includes joining a contest to become the pupil of an OldMaster in the mountains, attacking the castle of demons intending to take over the human world, and raiding the mansion of an evil rich guy to rescue a MysteriousWaif. Yusuke is an interesting example in that his "uniform" is not in fact the school uniform since he specifically wears the wrong color as a form of rebellion.
* SecretTestOfCharacter:
** Played perfectly straight when Yusuke is faced with the dilemma of killing his mentor to learn her ultimate technique. He refuses, but not immediately. Good thing, too, because if he had refused without hesitating, he would have failed the test as it would have indicated a lack of desire to get stronger.
** Early in the series when Keiko is caught in a fire, Yusuke is told that he could sacrifice the energy he was collecting in his spirit egg (the means by which he could return to life) in order to lead her to safety. He did so without hesitation, which impressed Koenma so much that he offered Yusuke another chance to return to life. Of course, he also had plans to make Yusuke the next Spirit Detective. This test really paid off, as Koenma revealed that the way Yusuke was going, the egg's inhabitant would have devoured his soul.
* SempaiKohai: Yusuke was being sarcastic when he called post-FaceHeelTurn Sensui 'sempai', but he's notably more respectful to happily retired Kuroko Sanada than he is to ''anyone, ever''.
* SenselessSacrifice: The absolute worst part of Yusuke's [[spoiler:(first)]] death is that the child he saved ''was supposed to miraculously survive anyway''. Yusuke literally died for nothing. Botan tells him that if Yusuke hadn't shoved the kid out of the way, the little boy would have gotten one less scrape (because his ball would absorb the car crash impact). So Yusuke's sacrifice actually ''made things worse''. Luckily for him, it's the thought that counts.
* SerialEscalation: Many, MANY times. The younger Toguro maxing his power [[spoiler:to 120%]] is a good one to cite.
* ShaggyDogStory: The plot starts with Yusuke's completely useless sacrifice.
* SatelliteLoveInterest: Keiko, whose entire personality seems to be comprised of being angry at Yusuke, being worried about Yusuke, or crying over Yusuke.
* ShipperOnDeck: Kurama for [[spoiler:Hiei and Mukuro]]. Botan for [[spoiler:Koenma and the female reaper]].
* ShirtlessScene: Too many to count, with both protagonists and antagonists. However, Kurama, the most popular {{Bishonen}}, doesn't have ''any'' of these.
** Actually, Kurama does appear shirtless (completely nude to be accurate) in the movie
* ShockAndAwe: Suzaku. Yusuke pretends to try and use the rubber soles of his shoes to absorb his attacks.
%%* ShootTheDog: Kurama killing Amanuma.
* ShootTheShaggyDog:
** The entire series starts with one; Yusuke threw business in the afterlife out of whack when he sacrificed his life to save a kid from being hit by a kid, since he was not supposed to die. As it turns out, the child Yusuke saved wasn't even going to die; the ball he was playing with would've kept him alive if slightly injured.
** [[spoiler:The entire Chapter Black saga is an example of this, partially due to Sensui's BatmanGambit above, and partially because Team Urameshi put so much effort into stopping something that the SDF could have done on their own. And Yusuke died, but got better.]]
%%* {{Shonen}}
* ShoulderTeammate: Quite literal. The elder of the two villainous Toguro brothers is often seen riding around on his much larger (but younger) brother's back. Kuwabara even insults him by calling him a "shoulder monkey" at one point.
* ShoutOut: There are actually quite a few.
** There are three shout outs to ''Franchise/SailorMoon.''[[note]]Creator/YoshihiroTogashi is the husband of Sailor Moon creator Creator/NaokoTakeuchi.[[/note]]
*** In a manga-exclusive story, Kurama throws a rose in front of two rival gangs a la Tuxedo Mask. (He actually tells them "Just call me Tuxedo Mask.." while throwing it in the Viz dub.)
*** Juri's transformation sequence when she recovers from the Idunn Box is based off of Sailor Moon's transformation sequence.
*** Koenma's disguise in the Demon World Tournament is him wearing the Tuxedo Mask garb.
** During the Dark Tournament, there was a shout out to Franchise/SuperSentai of all things (it's one of the teams ruthlessly offed by the Toguro team; they even use the ''Series/HimitsuSentaiGoranger'' codenames).
** One of the biggest is how Yusuke dies in the beginning. He saves a child who ran out into the street with a soccer ball, only to later be told that the soccer ball would have cushioned the child, saving the boy's life without leaving a scratch on him. This is a situation that would have, without Yusuke's unfortunate intervention, been exactly the same as what happened to Tsubasa in ''Manga/CaptainTsubasa''.
** Not to mention when Kuwabara goes to the 'Megallica' concert in episode 75.
** When Yusuke and Kuwabara are arguing after their first arrival at Genkai's house, several ''Franchise/StreetFighter'' characters can be seen, including Dhalsim, E. Honda, Zangief (with a scar on his chest instead of all the hair), and middle-aged Ryu.
** There is a momentary shout out to ''Literature/TheStarsMyDestination'' during the Dark Tournament when an audience member is shown with the N♂MAD tattoo.
** In Episode 21, there's a glimpse of a poster of Music/OingoBoingo's "Good For Your Soul" album on the wall in Kuwabara's room. No name changes either, as with "Megallica;" the album's cover is mimicked in full, complete with artist and name.
* SingleTargetSexuality: Itsuki is "Sensui-sexual". He even [[spoiler:loves all of Sensui's personalities, no matter how vile. His official favorite is Shinobu, the original one, although Naru--[[TheCutie a young girl]] who is [[NaiveEverygirl naive and innocent]]--comes in second]]. It's worth pointing out that Itsuki's manga version talks about how he started hanging around young Sensui because he knew the other would break eventually and he ''loves'' to see [[BreakTheCutie pure things shattered]].
%%* SinisterShades: Younger Toguro wears them.
* SissyVillain: Suzuka starts out like this, but after [[DefeatMeansFriendship having Genkai beat the crap out of him]], he has a HeelFaceTurn and eventually becomes a genuinely tough fighter under her tutelage.
* SoWhatDoWeDoNow: Kuwabara smacks Yusuke for daring to feel this way after they all nearly died.
* SomethingAboutARose: Kurama, with the addition of using it as a weapon.
* SortingAlgorithmOfEvil: Every new bad guy the heroes go up against is billed as really strong and evil, but after a while, the show makes you ask why Spirit World placed such top priority against nobodies like Kurama and Hiei in the first season. However, it actually works with a bit of Fridge Logic. Because of the barrier, S-Class and A-Class demons can't cross over. So a high B (Toguro) IS the strongest force imaginable, but not someone you would send the new guy after (why Yusuke never heard of him). Sensui was an unknown threat (at least in the dub, Koenma thought he was just some crazy guy who disappeared) and all his forces were strong in different ways (the introduction of territories) and had only activated a few months prior. As for anything beyond Sensui: Those were A- and S-class demons who would never have been a problem because of the barrier. It is sort of like how a cop doesn't have to worry about someone with a nuke (for the most part).\\\
The show is considered to have one of the most broken algorithms in anime because it started to follow the ''Anime/DragonBallZ'' pattern of being ''completely'' outclassed by the next BigBad. The first few major fights Yusuke won by luck (i.e. having moss in his ears and making Rando HoistByHisOwnPetard), but once he TookALevelInBadass there was no reason why each set of villains was more powerful than the last.\\\
It's probably Toguro who really kills it. Up until that point, all of the antagonists were relatively equal, to the point that Hiei completely destroyed the penultimate Saint Beast. Then Toguro shows up and he's completely above and beyond anything they've faced, actually [[spoiler:pretending to lose]]. Then he comes BACK and reveals that he was only at 20% power. While the Dark Tournament competitors were probably on a steep power slope, there's no real indication. Yusuke goes through not one but two sudden power-ups to defeat Toguro, & he keeps those power-ups, so the other bad guys need to get stronger. Oddly enough, Sensui admits to being weaker, just more experienced until [[spoiler:his seventh personality breaks out the sacred energy]]. Even Toguro only being a B demon isn't so bad, until they actually GO to Makai and A-Classes suddenly become red shirt armies while low-to-mid S-Classes can take on hundreds at once & supposedly have planet-exploding power. It gets so bad that new characters have to come out of nowhere to claim the title of strongest.
* SparklingStreamOfTears: When Yukina cries, her tears literally become extremely expensive gems.
* SpectatorCasualty: The Dark Tournament is full of these. Just about every major match has at least one instance where an attack--deliberate or otherwise--plows into the audience stands and kills the demon spectators.
* SpellMyNameWithAnS: Keiko/Kayko. The official romanization of her name is Keiko, but for whatever reason Creator/FUNimation chose to spell it Kayko (which is impossible to spell in any romanization of Japanese).
* SplitPersonality: [[EverythingsBetterWithSamurai Shishiwakamaru]]. When you see him in the Dark Tournament, you see that bird boy is/can get crazy as hell.
* SpiritedCompetitor: The biggest example would have to be Jin, but there are many others: Yusuke, Kuwabara, Chu, Younger Toguro...
* SpiritualSuccessor: Considering the similar themes, and how they share the same anime director, some have stated this show is the unofficial precursor to ''Manga/{{Bleach}}''.
* SpoilerOpening: Yes, Kurama and Hiei do become good guys.
* SpontaneousWeaponCreation: At one point, Hiei uses his ability to create a sword made out of Dark Fire. He's reluctant to use this more than he can help though, since it reminds him too much of Kuwabara's Spirit Sword.
%%* StalkerWithACrush: Karasu.
* StealthMentor: Hiei and Younger Toguro have aspects of this.
* StealthPun: Is it an accident that Yusuke's "Rei Gun" is, well... A ray gun?
%%* StoryArc
* StoryBreakerPower: As per WordOfGod and in-universe examinations Raizen is acknowledged to have formerly been the most powerful demon in the series. Hundreds of years ago when he was in his prime Raizen had a power level so amazing that he could have easily defeated the other Two Kings of Demon World without batting an eyelid. You'd probably then wonder what is preventing Raizen from [[CurbstompBattle ending the war between the 3 kingdoms by himself]]. Raizen does have the potential to regain his old power level, but since he's a breed of demon who gains his power from eating human flesh Raizen's decision to not eat humans out of love for Yusuke's female ancestor has led to him starving to death. In his weakened state Raizen can't fight like he used to and has retired to his castle waiting for a successor to assume his throne before he dies, Yusuke being said successor. Notably, despite having about a year left before his starvation kills him he can defeat Yusuke's newly acquired S-Class power level with a wave of his hand—like an adult kicking a child's ass, showing that Yusuke is still a runt in the litter as far as S-Class demons are concerned. Hell, it takes Raizen being literally '''minutes''' away from death plus a year of hard training for Yusuke to fight on par with Raizen.\\
For additional perspective, Kurama makes it a point that though the S-Class rank is still an awe-inspiring rank for a demon to attain, there are some demons in the ranks of Demon World that transcend the ranking system so profoundly that they might as well be considered gods; in fact the classing system of S-Class usually just translates into Spirit World lingo for "Demons too powerful for us to handle," and Kurama claims that such demons are rather offended by being classed in a ranking system when there is no way to comprehend their power. Raizen clearly was one of those demons who transcended the ranking system as old comrades/rivals speak of him in his prime with awe and reverence, that he was the most powerful demon alive in their era, and is arguably the most powerful demon that has ever lived—if the Two Kings that rival Raizen's kingdom saw Raizen fight in his prime they would "piss their pants," showcasing that only Raizen's self-imposed weakness has kept this cold war going.
* StraightGay: By WordOfGay, and pretty much the only one in anime in existence, [[spoiler:Sensui]].
* StrawmanFallacy: The Chapter Black video. Koenma flat-out says it was never meant to be seen by itself; presumably there's at least one companion video showing the other aspects of humanity.
* StrongFamilyResemblance: Averted with the Toguro brothers. Younger Toguro is tall, handsome, and muscular. Elder Toguro is small, pale-skinned, and has long scraggly gray hair.
* SubvertedRhymeEveryOccasion: Karasu's "Mad bomb."
--> '''Mad bomb''': Out of luck, now you're... [smirks and growls]
* SummonMagic: Used by Rando, Kurama with plants, and Hiei with the Dragon of the Darkness Flame.
%%* SupernaturalFiction
* SupernaturalGoldEyes: Kurama may look like a red-haired, green-eyed young man in his human form, but as soon as he drops the human disguise and turns into his real [[PettingZooPeople demonic form]], his eyes change to this color. Itsuki also has this type of eyes, and they are a hint that he isn't exactly a human psychic. Elder Toguro has them too.
* SuperpoweredEvilSide:
** Subverted with Sensui's Kazuya personality which is still technically weaker than his main personality.
** [[spoiler:Possessed Mazoku Yusuke]]. Not evil, per se, but a whole lot scarier.
* {{Synchronization}}: Between Yusuke and Puu.

[[folder: T-Z]]
%%* TeamShot
* TalkingInYourSleep: Despite sleeping heavily, Yusuke still reacts accordingly to things that happen around him. He can even ''fight'' in his sleep, apparently sleepwalking while dreaming of fighting Genkai; he managed to knock out three opponents who wanted to take advantage of his sleeping state on the ship.
* TeenPregnancy: Atsuko is 28 when Yusuke dies, meaning she was only ''14'' when he was born.
* TeethFlying: Happens off-screen in an early episode of the dub. Kuwabara is set upon by a group of thugs while he's taken a vow not to fight at all, even in his own defense. As Yusuke and Botan watch helplessly from the sidelines, Botan makes the horrified observation, "Is that a tooth?".
* {{Telepathy}}: Hiei's Jagan eye grants him this power. Kuwabara also displays it with Yukina in the Rescue Yukina arc.
* TenLittleMurderVictims: During the beginning of the Chapter Black arc, in the house of four dimensions.
* ThirdEye: Hiei dramatically reveals one that allows him to react with inhumane speed. Later it is reveals he has extra eyes all over his body.
* ThisIsForEmphasisBitch: In episode 80 of the English dub:
-->'''Hiei:''' You ready?!\\
'''Yusuke:''' Bring it on, bitch!!
* ThwartedCoupDeGrace:
** Rando uses the Shrinking Curse on an extremely energy-depleted and defenseless Yusuke, but [[spoiler:he's HoistByHisOwnPetard, being shrunken himself when Yusuke is revealed to having had his ears full of moss from falling in a swamp earlier in the fight]]; as Genkai explains after that, [[spoiler:spoken curses have to be heard by the victim or they will turn on their users]]. Yusuke gets up and [[spoiler:delivers an elbow drop to the shrunken Rando to defeat him.]]
** Karasu pins Kurama to the ground after exploding a field of energy bombs on him and delivers a final energy blast, but Kurama uses the last of his energy to [[spoiler:create a vampire plant that pierces a previously inflicted wound in Karasu's chest and sucks his blood, killing him.]]
* ToServeMan: Demons (usually) eat humans for food. It doesn't say whether ''all'' species of demon have to eat human flesh to survive, though. This leads, later in the series, to [[spoiler:a [[WhatMeasureIsANonHuman what measure is a human]] discussion, as well as Raizen's death via [[LoveRedeems starvation for his medieval Japanese human lover]], from whom Yusuke is descended]]...
* TournamentArc: Three of them: Genkai's Tournament, the Dark Tournament, and the Demon World Tournament.
* TrainingFromHell: Genkai's specialty. Memorably she made Yusuke balance with one finger on top of a spike.
* TranquilFury: Kurama's default angry-mode.
* {{Transflormation}}: The FateWorseThanDeath that Hiei inflicts on Mukuro's [[AbusiveParents abusive father]].
* TransformationSequence: Toguro going to full power [[PowerLevels 100%!!!]]. There is something about someone's skin bulging all over with tendons and convulsing that is [[BodyHorror very creepy]].
* {{Transvestite}}: [[spoiler:Miyuki.]] (see DudeLooksLikeALady)
* ATrueStoryInMyUniverse: In the last few minutes of the second to last episode several hints are given, and then in the preview for the final episode Yusuke says "well, the secret's out" and it's finally revealed: The show you've been watching is a compilation of footage taken by the Spirit World as they monitored Yusuke's adventures.
* TrulySingleParent: [[spoiler:Yomi clones his son Shura from his own genetic material]]; also, most of the ice maidens ([[spoiler:except, of course, Hiei and Yukina]]).
* {{Tsundere}}: Keiko is a Type B; i.e., "more deredere". She's a rather nice GirlNextDoor unless provoked. Usually Yusuke provokes her, but a creepy gangster bullying one of her friends caused her to slug him so hard she knocks teeth out. Keiko can be a little bit of a BadassNormal in the strictly human arena.
* UnknownRival: Kuwabara to Yusuke for some time before the start of the series. Kuwabara is gleeful the first time Yusuke remembers his name.
* UpdatedRerelease: The Blu-Ray version for the Funimation dub. As explained by Yusuke himself [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sG7X7sp_22s here.]]
* UrbanFantasy: Largly set in urban Japan staring teenage delinquents, but demons, magic, and the undead all factor in.
* VictoryIsBoring: Yusuke falls victim to this after [[spoiler: he wins the dark tournament, although he is then punished for his complacency as the next arc starts with him getting kidnapped]]. It then happens AGAIN after [[spoiler: beating Sensui, because being an S-rank demon leaves him as the most powerful fighter in the human world by miles]].
* VitriolicBestBuds: Yusuke and Kuwabara, most prominently.
-->'''Kuwabara:''' ''"Dammit Urameshi, listen to me! I [[FakingTheDead did that]] because you... you're you, you moron! Don't you friggin' lose to that jackass! I'll never let you live it down! [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming You're... my best friend!]]"''
* VillainBall: Gonzo kidnaps Yukina to make tons of money off of the extremely valuable jewels she cries in place of tears. Even taking into account Yukina's extremely brave nature and her refusal to cry, there were [[PragmaticVillainy much more practical and less needlessly cruel]] ways to get her to shed tears than ColdBloodedTorture. It never once occurred to him to simply make her cut onions.
* VillainousGlutton:
** Gonzo Tarukane is fat, ugly, and has a satisfying death scene.
** Also, Gourmet.
* WaveMotionGun: Hiei's Dragon of the Darkness Flame.
* WhamLine: ''[[EldritchAbomination That Toguro]]'' is only a '''B''' class Demon?!?!
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: It's never explained who set Yusuke's house on fire.
* WhatMeasureIsANonHuman: Played straight on multiple occasions, and also somewhat inverted—coupled with CarnivoreConfusion—in the debate over whether ''demons'' have the right to eat ''humans''.
* WhatTheHellHero: The only reason Toguro killed [[spoiler:Kuwabara]] is because Genkai [[IWillPunishYourFriendForYourFailure told him that making Yusuke watch him kill one of his friends would unlock his true power]].
* WhipItGood:
** Kurama's Rose Whip.
** Miyuki's got one too.
* WolfMan: Kuro Momotaro uses one of his Steaming Spheres to transform into his last Beast Armor: the Armor of the Wolf, which resembles a werewolf.
* WhyWontYouDie: It's almost comical how Byakko manages to survive not one but two near-death experiences against Kuwabara, with the latter expressing particular shock that the beast was able to survive ''getting pushed into molten lava''. That said, Seiryu is quick to [[KilledOffForReal kill him off for real]] after deeming him a [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness disgrace to the villains]].
* WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds: Shinobu Sensui was a heroic spirit detective, but had a mental breakdown after [[spoiler:discovering humans torturing demons, throwing his life's work of protecting humans into question -- one that isn't helped by his subscription to BlackAndWhiteMorality]]. His mind, now fractured into seven {{split personalit|y}}ies, embarked on a plan to destroy humanity as a way of ending the confusion and guilt, along with a [[spoiler:SuicidalCosmicTemperTantrum over his terminal illness.]]
* WorldOfSnark: The whole main and supporting cast with the exception of Yukina. Even some of the villains can turn out snarky at times.
* WorldOfCardboardSpeech: Yusuke gives one every few sagas as he learns what it means to have a sense of responsibility.
* WorldsStrongestMan:
** [[spoiler:Sensui.]]
** After [[spoiler:Sensui]] dies, Kuwabara is confirmed to be the WorldsStrongestMan. Possessing [[spoiler:A-Class power]] and [[spoiler:a sword that can cut through dimensions]] will do that to you. Unfortunately, Kuwabara is in the same boat as [[Anime/DragonBallZ Krillin]]. Being the WorldsStrongestMan is meaningless when you CantCatchUp.
* WouldntHitAGirl: Kuwabara when trying to beat up Miyuki, [[spoiler:who, ironically, in the manga and uncensored anime, [[ShesAManInJapan wasn't a girl]]]].
* WrapItUp: Togashi had plans for the final arc of the manga that Jump rejected; as such, he quickly threw together a short tournament arc and an epilogue to conclude the story. The anime mitigated this by fleshing out the tournament storyline and giving a (somewhat) more thorough finale.
* XanatosGambit:
** Sensui [[spoiler:sets up eleven-year-old Amanuma so that the only way the heroes can advance is to kill him. If they let him live, the Makai Tunnel opens without a hitch, and Sensui can die happily. If they kill him (which they do), Sensui knows that Koenma will [[BatmanGambit feel guilty and drain his energy resurrecting the kid, thereby rendering him unable to defeat Sensui]], and the Makai Tunnel ''still'' opens without a hitch and Sensui dies happily]]. Either way he buys himself time.
** It's implied that Mr. Akashi was hoping Kuwabara would hit him for changing his test to give him a failing grade, so that even if his deception came to light, Kuwabara would still have violated his end of the bargain.
* XanatosSpeedChess: Just about all of Kurama's fights. While he usually has a vague {{plan}} going in, he almost always has to rely on a stroke of genius to save the day.
* YaoiGuys: Karasu, Itsuki. Sensui is debatable, since he's not very preoccupied with relationships beyond using people while trying to destroy humankind... but there are [[StraightGay very subtle cues]] in his backstory and in the way he acts.
* YinYangBomb: Toward the end of the series, [[spoiler:Yusuke mixes human energy and demon energy]]. The resulting combination is far more powerful than the two were separately.
* YouGottaHaveBlueHair
--> '''Koto (to Botan):''' Stick to what you're good at, honey, like [[LampshadeHanging dying your hair]] ''[[LampshadeHanging un]]''[[LampshadeHanging natural colors,]] for instance.
** Gets lampshaded a second time when Botan rushes to Yusuke to inform him of an update on his current case, and he jokes "What's the problem, ran out of your hair dye?" Koenma even comments on Yusuke's remark, "That's Botan's natural hair color, it makes no sense to joke about it Yusuke."
* YouHaveFailedMe:
** After [[spoiler:Zeru is obliterated by Hiei's [[DangerousForbiddenTechnique Dragon of the Darkness Flame]]]], Gaou and Imajin, two other Team Rokuyukai members, attempt to flee the arena out of fear but are [[spoiler:killed by Chu]].
** After being cornered by Youko Kurama during their fight in the Dark Tournament, Ura Urashima [[spoiler:starts to reveal a secret about Team Uraotogi but is killed when Shishiwakamaru [[ConvenientlyTimedAttackFromBehind throws his sword at him from out of the ring.]]]]
* {{Youkai}}: Nearly 80% of all the antagonists in the series and 3/5 of the [[TrueCompanions Nakama]].