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PuellaMagiMadokaMagica/TropesAToF|'''Tropes G-M'''|PuellaMagiMadokaMagica/TropesNToS | PuellaMagiMadokaMagica/TropesTToZ

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* GeckoEnding: A mild example: the anime ends with Homura walking towards a BolivianArmyEnding while manifesting a pair of Lovecraftian butterfly-like wings. The manga ends on a far more bittersweet note with Madokami taking her into the afterlife.
* GenericCuteness: What happens when Creator/UmeAoki is on character design.
* GenreDeconstruction: In RealLife, a MagicalGirl is a soldier fighting in an urban enviroment without infrastructure supporting her and whose enemies may or may not be innocent looking civilians. The [[MentorMascot magical animal friend]] is [[spoiler: deliberately giving these powers to children who may not have the emotional strength and experience to handle them]].
* GermanExpressionism: Borrows a lot from it, especially the witches' barrier. Even during real world sequence, the atmosphere feels dark and surreal. Have we mentioned that {{Faust}}ian motifs and GratuitousGerman are abundant?
* GhostInTheMachine: [[spoiler: What happens during a contract is that Kyubey takes the 'little girl inside the head' (i.e. soul) out of his contractee and turns it into a soul gem. Thus, a magical girl's body is a ''magical meat-puppet'' controlled and powered by this gem.]]
* GirlyRun:
** Madoka runs in this fashion in the opening.
** [[spoiler:{{Meganekko}}!]]Homura does a very shaky, unsure version of this, but it's possibly justified by the fact that [[spoiler:It's before her [[TookALevelInBadass power-leveling]], and she's still recovering from that heart condition]].
* TheGlassesComeOff: Just before [[spoiler:the last "iteration" of past]], Homura takes off her glasses and uses her powers to restore her eyesight. [[spoiler: This marks the transition between "Moemura" and the Homura that is introduced in Episode 1.]]
* GoryDiscretionShot:
** Zigzagged [[spoiler:when Charlotte eats Mami in Episode 3]] we don't see the bite but afterwards we see it [[spoiler: dive down and tear the corpse apart like a wild animal]]. It pans away again, to the [[spoiler: [[HeroicBSOD disbelieving and horrified Sayaka and Madoka]] watching on]], but ''the sounds continue''--this just makes it ''worse''.
** [[spoiler:Averted in the manga, where we get to see the entirety of Mami's demise.]]
* GratuitousFrench: The themed cafe that will appear in Matsudo, Chiba is called Cafe du Madoka Magica (Cafe of the Madoka Magica). "Du" (de + le) is masculine; it should be Cafe ''de la'' Madoka Magica.
* GratuitousGerman:
** The language of choice for the bizarre creatures at the end of the first episode. They speak in a highly disturbing, screechy and childlike voice, which is even scarier if you can understand bits of what they're saying. Those flying scissors aren't just for show... [[note]] For those who really want to know...: They're saying that they've never seen flowers like them before. This would be creepy enough as it is, but then they say things like "Let's just cut them off." and "We present the roses to our queen."[[/note]]
** In Episode 2, there is some German scribbled on the wall. It is a quote from ''{{Faust}}'' about a destroyed world being rebuilt...
** [[http://wiki.puella-magi.net/Deciphering_the_runes Translating the runes scattered around]] yields more ''Faust'' quotes.
* GreyAndGrayMorality: Madoka is the only 100% good character. Everyone else in this series has a little good and bad in them. Even Kyubey has an understandable reason for what he does, and [[spoiler: the witches are [[FallenHero fallen heroines]]]].
* GrillingTheNewbie: The girls in Homura's new class grill her about her past, which she replies with as dispassionate 'I was hospitalized for a long time' as humanly possible. [[spoiler:Because she has experienced this routine countless times.]]
* GrotesqueCute: The third episode's witch, Charlotte. While she looks [[TastesLikeDiabetes like a character from a happy children's show]], [[spoiler:she [[NightmareFuel bites Mami's head off]], then messily eats her corpse, much to Madoka's ([[WhatDoYouMeanItsNotForKids and probably some of the audience's]]) horror. When it tries to eat Homura, it manages to seem almost comical.]]
* [[spoiler:GroundhogDayLoop, SaveScumming: Homura's wish was to 'start over her relationship with Madoka' and 'protect her instead of her protecting me'. Thus she gained power over time and can reset the month between Madoka's debut as a MagicalGirl and her death/corruption because of Walpurgisnacht. As for SaveScumming, her repeated resets are comparable to a player attempting to save a certain NPC by resetting after every failure and trying a different strategy next time, picking up out-of-character knowledge of the enemies and events of that chapter in the process.]]
* TheGreatestStoryNeverTold: [[spoiler: In the end, Homura is the only living witness to everything that has happened, and the new version of Kyubey says he'll have to take her word for it since no proof of it remains.]]
* GuestStrip: PMMM continues the trend of inviting talented semi-pro and Pixiv artists to draw eye catches and end-of-episode preview art, something that has been traditionally done at the last few pages of {{Doujinshi}} for decades. The full list of ending cards can be found on the [[Trivia/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica trivia page]].
* GunsAkimbo[=/=]GunKata: [[http://sadpanda.us/images/423480-M5O6NMA.gif Mami shows off her veteran skills by wielding dual flintlocks like gunblades.]]]
* GutPunch: [[spoiler: Mami's death]] in [[WhamEpisode Episode 3]] is a shock to the system. Every episode after that is arguably more of a GutPunch.
* HairDecorations: All of the magical girls have some form of this; Mami's hat, Madoka's ribbon etc. In the movie trilogy, Sayaka gets a new hairpin when she transforms.
* {{Hammerspace}}:
** One of Homura's abilities. [[spoiler: It's shown that she's got an entire armory hidden literally up her sleeve.]]
** Mami has the ability to summon muskets from under her hat and skirt.
** Sayaka once summons swords from her cape.
** It's not entirely apparent where Kyoko stores her spear because it sometimes vanishes between shots with no evidence of her dispersing it (Episode 8).
* HardWorkHardlyWorks: Like most things in this show, ruthlessly played for drama. [[spoiler: No matter how hard or how many times Homura tries, she can ''never'' overcome Madoka's destiny because her effort is exponentially making Madoka's magical potential (and thus her desirability to Kyubey) stronger. Likewise, Walpurgis is utterly unaffected by her attacks, possibly for the same reason; Madoka is the only one with the chops to challenge her, no matter what Homura does.]]
* HeartIsAnAwesomePower: Mami's power is to create ribbons. Sounds pretty lame on the surface, but after some research into engineering and practice, she learnt to harness it to create [[http://benigmatica.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/madoka-magica-03-04.jpg rifled muskets]], a {{BFG}} called [[http://static4.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20130105090739/thebiogateroleplay/images/6/62/Tiro_Finale.jpg Tiro Finale]] and, by TheMovie, [[spoiler:''a fully-functional copy of herself'']].
** Mami also notes that [[spoiler:Homura's power to [[TimeStandsStill stop time]]]] counts too, as it has very little offensive capability, but with some work could be extremely powerful.
* TheHeartless: [[spoiler:Without a witch's grief seeds to infect, the grief of mankind becomes demons that Magical Girls have to fight; the demon's output can be consumed by Kyubey.]]
* HeldGaze: Hitomi mistakes the staring between Madoka and Sayaka for this at the beginning of Episode 2, while they were in fact communicating telepathically via Kyubey. [[MistakenForGay This leads her to draw conclusions...]]
* HeroesPreferSwords: Played with.
** Sayaka is the only one to use a sword as her weapon. Although her outlook and motivations fit the classic hero mold, she is far and away the weakest of the magical girls and [[spoiler:eventually turns into a witch]].
** [[spoiler: Homura steals a katana from the Yakuza but she's an anti-hero and she never uses it.]]
* HeroicSacrifice:
** [[spoiler:Kyoko kills Oktavia (aka Sayaka) with an explosion that kills her as well so the latter won't die lonely.]]
** [[spoiler: If what Kyubey told Madoka in Episode 9 is true, becoming a magical girl can be viewed as such, with delayed consequences. A magical girl's sacrifice extends the life of the universe.]]
** [[spoiler: In another timeline, after both of them suffered mortal wounds from failing to defeat Walpurgisnacht, Madoka brightens Homura's soul gem with her only remaining grief seed, thus giving the latter the chance to go back again and try to save everyone but at the cost of dooming her self to become a witch. Cue the request for and subsequent MercyKill.]]
** [[spoiler: Madoka pulls this ''again'' in the end by using her wish as a ResetButton that prevents witches from being born (and gives the already witchified magical girls peaceful send-offs) ... but while doing so, [[RetGone erases herself from physical existence]] because she has risen [[AscendedToAHigherPlaneOfExistence above]] physical existence. Bonus, the finale aired on Good Friday. Significant? With her last words to Kyubey ordering him to fulfill her wish, it's made clear that she doesn't care what she becomes as long as the world is saved.]]
** [[spoiler: Kyoko in ''The Different Story'' uses Oktavia's Grief Seed to cleanse Mami's Soul Gem, but doesn't have another one left to use on herself and runs out of magical energy before she has a chance to cleanse her Soul Gem.]]
** [[spoiler:It was shown in Episode 10 that in the first timeline, Madoka sacrificed herself to defeat Walpurgisnacht. This is Homura' reason to make a contract with Kyubey.]]
* HeWhoFightsMonsters: [[spoiler:Witches are magical girls who let their soul gems become too corrupted]]. [[spoiler:Sayaka]] is a more specific example.
* HiddenEyes: When [[spoiler:Sayaka]] eventually goes LaughingMad, you can see a SlasherSmile, but not much else...
* [[spoiler:HiveMind: Kyubey, according to an interview with Urobuchi.]]
-->''[[spoiler:There are many bodies, but only one consciousness. Therefore, even if you kill the body, there isn't any sort of damage. Killing one is just like pulling out a single strand of hair. The scene where Kyubey eats his corpse was a scene that came in after the early stages of the script; I was trying to write Kyubey as something that humans can't relate to. Imagine what your response would be if one of '''your''' compatriots had just died.]]''
* HopeSpot:
** In-universe example in [[spoiler: Episode 9. The main characters ask Kyubey if it's possible to restore Sayaka to human form. He replies that [[MetaphoricallyTrue it's never been done before]]. Not only does it fail, but he was counting on it failing and only presented the hope as a trap.]]
** It could be argued that the [[spoiler: anime timeline -- as opposed to the timeline in the epilogue / the previous timelines]] is a HopeSpot. [[spoiler: Everything seems to be going well from Homura's perspective: Madoka hasn't contracted and that's all that matters. Then it turns out that even with enough military hardware to be a OneManArmy she can't stop Walpurgisnacht, Kyubey knows about her time traveling, she's the cause of all Madoka's problems in the newer timelines, and her resets are making things ''worse''.]] It takes the events of Episode 12 to [[DarkestHour pull everything out of the tailspin.]]
* HonorBeforeReason: Sayaka refuses help from any magical girl who does not meet her ideal of justice. [[spoiler: She gives Kyoko a grief seed from a witch just because Kyoko briefly helped her in the fight. She also refuses a grief seed from Homura despite knowing that her soul gem was too tainted for her to go on that way.]]
* [[spoiler:HumanityIsInsane: Never outright stated, but [[BlueAndOrangeMorality the Incubators consider emotion to be a mental disorder]].]]
* HumansAreCthulhu: [[spoiler: Kyubey uses this as an analogy to explain his relationship with humans. He may seem strange to them but humans are just as strange to their non-human livestock.]]
* HumansAreFlawed: One of the main themes is that [[spoiler: selfless wishes are not entirely selfless and despite noble intentions, humans can screws things up without meaning to]].
* HumansNeedAliens: [[spoiler:Kyubey tells Madoka human society came about as the result of the Incubators granting wishes.]]
* HumorlessAliens:[[spoiler: Human humor is as strange to Kyubey as the rest of human emotions.]]
* HurtingHero: Every MagicalGirl inevitably becomes a BrokenBird due to the solitary and traumatic nature of MagicalGirl life.
** [[spoiler: Mami's CoolBigSis persona is a mask to hide her pain.]]
** [[spoiler: Sayaka attempts to be TheCape and eventually breaks down.]]
** [[spoiler: [[FallenHero Kyoko]] ceased being a hero at all (until Episode 9).]]
** [[spoiler: Homura has watched her dearest friend die or witch out; in one time line she had to MercyKill this friend.]]
* HyperspaceArsenal: Many magical girls can generate a multitude of weapons to fight witches. [[spoiler: Homura has a literal one of these; she stole rocket launchers from the Yakuza and the Defense Force and pulls them all out when needed.]]
* IdiosyncraticEpisodeNaming: Each episode title is a line of dialogue from the said episode.
* IfWeGetThroughThis: "...we're all going out for cake!" [[spoiler:[[VideoGame/{{Portal}} The cake is]] unfulfillable.]]
* IJustWantToBeSpecial: Madoka starts off like this. When the call of 'one wish in exchange for service in battling monsters' comes, she admits to not being interested in the wish as much as helping others in a cool outfit - in her own estimation, she's not especially smart or talented, and she wants to accomplish things. [[BreakTheCutie It doesn't last.]] Homura tries to disabuse her of the notion at one point, saying that even if she isn't unique, she's still loved and needed by others, and shouldn't think of herself as useless.
* IKnowYouAreInThereSomewhereFight: [[spoiler: Kyoko and [[TalkingTheMonsterToDeath Madoka]] try it on Sayaka, and it fails.]]
* ImaginationBasedSuperpower: Generally, a magical girl's abilities and signature attack will remain the same, but they seem to be able to use it for minor things on the fly; this generally adheres to NewPowersAsThePlotDemands meets MundaneUtility. For example,
** Mami mostly sticks to summoning enchanted muskets, but can enchant a bat to harm familiars and can create a barrier using a length of chain as a boundary and conduit.
** Kyoko creates a pair of binoculars so she could [[spoiler: spy on Sayaka]].
** Homura once used her powers to [[TheGlassesGottaGo fix her eyesight]] despite the fact that her power has nothing to do with healing. This one could double as [[FridgeBrilliance fridge brilliance]] when you think Homura could be using her powers to [[spoiler: time-travel her eyes back to a time when she didn't have bad eyesight]].
* {{Immortality}}:
** Magical girls have a HealingFactor from their Soul gem. [[spoiler: It's an ImmortalityInducer that makes them TheUndead. Most girls turn into witches long before it becomes noticeable.]]
** [[spoiler:Kyubey]] has a variant of ResurrectiveImmortality. [[spoiler: Homura pumped one of his bodies full of lead and one second later an identical Kyubey jumped out of nowhere and ate it. He claims to have an endless supply of bodies.]]
** In TheStinger of the anime. [[spoiler: Homura might be proving that you can theoretically live forever as a magical girl as long as you don't exhaust your magic and never give up hope.]] The manga goes a bit further [[spoiler: in the timeline by showing that eventually Homura stops fighting and joins Madoka beyond existence. It is not shown when or how this happens.]]
** At the end of the anime, [[spoiler:Madoka gains CompleteImmortality becomes she's now an abstract concept/goddess.]]
* InMediasRes: PlayingWithATrope. [[spoiler:Episode 10 explains the alternate timelines, [[ResetButton but every timeline has technically the same start]], due to being parallels of each other. However, the start for the anime is explained in Episode 10, which explains Homura's intentions that were not explained in the first two episodes. In other words, the anime starts at the ''how many times is it now'' parallel timeline, but we learn of the beginning in Episode 10.]]
* InSpiteOfANail:
** [[spoiler: Homura has used her power to reset time to approach the series a countless number of ways, but the outcome is always Madoka becoming a magical girl and either dying or turning into a witch.]]
** [[spoiler:When Madoka makes her final wish, despite having radically changed the course of human history (namely, those killed by witches no longer died that way), Mitakihara still exists more-or-less the same, along with every character other than Madoka herself.]]
** [[spoiler:Sayaka always becomes a witch, and always does so at the exact same train station (post-Godoka, she disappears there instead).]]
* IronicEcho:
** Madoka's mother tells her to make mistakes when she's young, because the older you get, and the more responsibilities you have, the more important it is to not make mistakes, and recover quickly when you do. When Madoka observes that it'll hurt, her mother tells her adults are always in pain, and that's why adults can drink alcohol: when you're an adult, it's only as fun as it hurts! [[spoiler: Later on, we find out that Kyubey's contract demands that Magical Girls experience despair equal to the happiness gained by their wishes, and, drawing from most magical girl show tropes, it ties in Madoka's mother's words to a coming-of-age theme.]]
** In the hospital Kyosuke says he can't feel the pain anymore after smashing the CD Sayaka gave him in a fit of rage. [[spoiler: After Sayaka becomes AxCrazy and LaughingMad in her fight with Elsa Maria she repeats this.]]
** [[spoiler: One of Kyubey's sales pitches to Madoka is that she can wish herself to become a god if she so desires because of her enormous magical potential. In Episode 12, Madoka's wish breaks the laws of causality, prompting Kyubey to ask if Madoka really wishes to become a god. Madoka simply states that he can call her whatever he wants, so long as her wish is fulfilled.]]
* ItAlwaysRainsAtFunerals:When [[spoiler:Sayaka]]'s body is recovered and she is given a proper funeral in Episode 11, it immediately starts raining.
* ItSucksToBeTheChosenOne: [[spoiler: MagicalGirl life is, at best, lonely and plagued by combat fear. At worst it involves watching teammates die or cross the DespairEventHorizon and becomes witches thus forcing those remaining to kill them and know that this could happen to them at any time.]]
* IWasToldThereWouldBeCake[=/=]TheCakeIsALie: [[spoiler:In Episode 3, Mami suggests that Madoka use her wish to ask Kyubey for a cake feast to celebrate their partnership. In Soviet Russia, cake eats you]].
** [[spoiler: Don't worry. The cake shows up in Episode 12...Except everybody enjoying the cake is either dead, or, in Madoka's case, about to die.]]
* JerkJustifications: Homura is mostly Type 3 ("That's the way I am, I can't fix it") while Kyoko is Type 1 ("Kindness is weakness").
* JerkassHasAPoint:
** Both Homura and Kyoko tried to snap Sayaka out of her SanitySlippage--Homura violently so--in Episode 8. [[spoiler:They failed]].
** Later on in the series, [[spoiler: Kyubey]] gives a justification for his seemingly heinous actions: [[spoiler: He's trying to avert the heat-death of the universe]].
* KilledOffForReal: PlayingWithATrope.
** It is normally impossible to revive someone. [[spoiler: Which is why Mami's death is so crushing to Madoka and Sayaka.]]
** [[spoiler: Homura has a temporary solution (time travel) and attempts to defy this trope for Madoka's sake.]]
** [[spoiler: Due to TimeTravel and Madoka's CosmicRetcon, no one stays dead but she herself AscendedToAHigherPlaneOfExistence and [[RetGone technically no longer exists]]. Mami and Kyoko [[BackFromTheDead come back to life]], thanks to never having died in the first place because the witches that killed them never existed. However, Sayaka dies in the new timeline "using up her power" fighting demons, though she may have also AscendedToAHigherPlaneOfExistence with Madoka.]]
* [[spoiler:KillThemAll]]:
** [[spoiler: In all the previous timelines she has gone through, Homura has always been the only survivor.]]
** [[spoiler: The final scene implies that everybody but Homura has died and that she's doesn't have much time left either.]]
* KillerRabbit:
** The witch Charlotte starts off looking like an adorable little stuffed doll.
** [[spoiler:Kyubey himself is far more dangerous than he appears.]]
* KnightInSourArmor: Madoka and Homura both exemplify this, but ''especially'' Madoka. [[spoiler: She sacrifices all semblance of her own identity to change the magical girl system. She creates a new world where suffering runs just as rampant as ever, acknowledging good cannot exist without evil. And why? Because, by god, magical girls deserve to die happily, and she's willing to become the embodiment of hope itself in a despair-filled world.]]
* KnightTemplar: [[spoiler: Kyubey comes off as this due to his BlueAndOrangeMorality.]]
* LateArrivalSpoiler:
** [[spoiler:Mami being KilledOffForReal]] due to fan-reactions, blogs, and 4chan mentioning it ''everywhere.''
** [[spoiler: Sayaka's transformation into a witch is the quickest one ''ever''!]]
** The reason why the headline at the top exists. If you did not know that Episode 3 was a WhamEpisode and did not decide to look at the spoilers you've seen the series properly. Otherwise, good luck.
** [[spoiler: Ultimate Madoka is one the covers of the [[http://www.madoka-magica.com/zenkouhen/blu-ray_dvd/ Blu-Rays]] [[http://www.amazon.co.jp/3-Puella-Madoka-Magica-Blu-Ray-Import/dp/B0089KCYZM/ref=sr_1_11?ie=UTF8&qid=1373853193 of the Movies, and reversable on some of the normal DVD covers!]].]]
** [[spoiler:Meganekko ShrinkingViolet!Homura]] is the artwork for the second disc of the series' Blu-Ray release. This is a ''full disc'' before [[spoiler:this all comes out]].
* LaughingMad:
** [[spoiler:Sayaka]], at the end of Episode 7 and the beginning of Episode 8.
** Walpurgisnacht gets in on this too when it finally appears.
* TheLawOfConservationOfDetail:
** This trope was one reason why the storyline was predicted [[FirstEpisodeSpoiler ahead of time]], due to the numerous ''{{Faust}}'' references. Lists are on TheWikiRule ([[http://wiki.puella-magi.net/Main_Page here]]), [[Trivia/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica the Trivia page]], [[Fridge/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica and the Fridge page]]. There is, however, [[SequelHook one notable one]] that is very easy to pass off: [[spoiler:Homura, near the end of the anime, is shown with only one of Madoka's hair ribbons. Madoka gave Homura both]]. It may be [[JustifiedTrope justified]] in that she keeps the other one somewhere safe, and is why she's willing to give Madoka's mother the other one.
** [[spoiler:In the manga, Homura wears her hair in pigtails in the new universe by using both ribbons.]]
* LawyerFriendlyCameo: ''[[VideoGame/DanceDanceRevolution Dog Drug Reinforcement]]'' makes its debut! Supports up to three players!
* LeaningOnTheFourthWall:
** In the first episode Madoka explains that she remembered seeing Homura in a dream before actually meeting her and Sayaka tells her that she's acting like an anime character.
** [[spoiler:In Episode 12, when Homura seems to recognize Tatsuya's "imaginary friend" (Madoka), Madoka's mother asks, "Is she some kind of anime character or something?"]]
* {{Leitmotif}}: Each of the six main characters has one. [[FriendToAllLivingThings Madoka]] has [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9rBtD_SnJo "Sagitta Luminis"]] (Arrow of Light), [[KnightTemplar Sayaka]] has [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Nui4mGSCUk "Conturbatio"]] (Disorder) and later [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nOvrWuozoW8 "Decretum"]] (Decision) (same motif, different arrangements), [[TheObiWan Mami]] has [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kIMf1CSAZYc&feature=related Credens Justitiam]] (Believing in Justice), [[{{Determinator}} Homura]] has [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3yUxl95mGAI "Puella in Somnio"]] (The Girl in the Dream), [[FallenHero Kyoko]] has [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W5R_HZoeKCA "Anima Mala"]] (Evil Soul), and [[ManipulativeBastard Kyubey]] has [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DTNQNkQCoXA Sis "Puella Magica"]] (You should be a Magical Girl).
* LeonineContract: In at least one case, Kyubey has forced a wish out of someone because they have no other options. [[spoiler: Mami, for instance, says she didn't have a choice because she was dying from a car crash.]]
* LevelAte: Charlotte's labyrinth is this while also having a hospital theme.
* LightIsNotGood: {{Invoked}} with the [[spoiler:demons]], according to a [[http://wiki.puella-magi.net/File:Demons.png concept art sheet]].
* LighterAndSofter: The second drama [=CD=] (appropriately named "Sunny Day Life") is probably the closest we will get to a canon depiction of the show as a conventionally cute MagicalGirl series.
* LimitedWardrobe: Almost every girl is shown with two outfits each: her school uniform (Homura, Sayaka, Mami)/one casual outfit (Kyoko) and her magical girl costume. Madoka is slightly better; in her PJs on occasion as well as when [[spoiler: Ultimate Madoka is seen with a more complex uniform]]. The manga avoids this.
* LiteralGenie: [[spoiler:A case of ZigZaggingTrope. Kyubey gives exactly what is asked for without ''twisting'' the intentions of the wish in any way, but the unfolding plot reveals that most girls [[BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor wish for something that won't necessarily make them happy in the long run]].]]
* TheLittleDetecto: Soul gems, in addition to everything else they do, also function as handy witch detectors.
* LiveActionAdaptation: There's going to be a comedic one, courtesy of Website/NicoNicoDouga.
* LockAndLoadMontage: Homura [[spoiler:does this after she loots tons and tons of firearms from the local {{Yakuza}}]].
* LoveMakesYouEvil:
** Played with in regards to Sayaka. [[spoiler:Since she became a MagicalGirl in order to heal Kyosuke, it fills out one of the main aspects of the trope. Kyoko later suggests she go a step farther and add a dose of IfICantHaveYou by breaking his arms and legs so Sayaka can be the only one he can depend on. Once Hitomi tells Sayaka she has her own feelings for Kyosuke and says she intends to act on them, it essentially leads to Sayaka's MyGodWhatHaveIDone moment, which ''then'' leads to her DespairEventHorizon [=/=]witch transformation.]]
** Homura [[spoiler: in the third movie, rebellion. To be specific, she deliberately becomes a witch to trap madoka, strips her of part of her control over law of the cycle, and then seals it when she rewrites the universe; she becomes so insane that even {{kyubey}} has an OhCrap moment, and]] safely gives Gasai Yuno and Sengoku Nadeko a run for their money.
* LoveTriangle: [[spoiler:Hitomi reveals to Sayaka that she also likes Kyosuke and plans on confessing to him. She gives Sayaka 24 hours to do something about it ... and since she doesn't, she acts on her own word and confesses.]] See also the above trope.
* LuckyCharmsTitle: 魔法少女まどか☆マギカ, Mahō Shōjo Madoka ☆ Magika.
* LyricalDissonance: The opening may have an [[EarWorm irritatingly cute demeanor]], but the lyrics are ''very sad''. [[spoiler:This is because it's actually about Homura's endless, hopeless struggle to save Madoka.]]
** The ending for the first two episodes, added for the disc release, sounds [[TastesLikeDiabetes even more painfully cute]] (and it's performed by Madoka's voice actress!) in spite of its lyrics about [[{{Angst}} loneliness and depression]].
* MacrossMissileMassacre: Homura pulls one off in Episode 11 with stolen hardware.
* MadeOfEvil: The Witches are born from despair and curses. It is their very nature to kill people.
* MadeOfIron: Justified. [[spoiler:Magical girls have their souls separated from their bodies which allows them to take hits that would severely injure or kill any normal human being. Any damage can be repaired by magic later as long as the soul gem stays safe.]]
* MadeFromRealGirlScouts: [[spoiler:A soul gem [[SoulJar contains its owner's soul.]]]]
* MagicalAccessory: Many of the Soul Gems take the form of jewelry.
* MagicalGirl: It's half of the title but it could also be called [[spoiler: young witch]].
* MagicalGirlWarrior: The job of a Magical Girl is to hunt and slay witches. There are archers, gunners, swordswoman, etc.
* MagicSkirt: Madoka's magical girl skirt is justified since there are a lot of frills underneath. The other skirts are rather short and the show has a tendency to show a lot of leg, but never more. This especially apparent when [[spoiler:Kyoko]] is carrying [[spoiler:Sayaka]] in her arms in Episode 9. There is a side shot with [[spoiler:Sayaka]]'s leg conveniently in the way.
* {{Magitek}}: [[spoiler: Kyubey's race because they're [[SufficientlyAdvancedAliens Sufficiently Advanced]] {{Starfish Alien}}s.]]
* MakeAWish: Everyone who wants to become a magical girl is granted one wish and each magical girl will gain different abilities depending on the nature of her wish. [[spoiler: It sounds great until the characters learn that each wish has a price which will get higher with each person that will be affected by it.]]
* ManipulativeBastard: [[spoiler:Kyubey's MO is to appear to MG candidates when they are emotionally vulnerable and thereby unable to refuse a Miracle Contract.]]
** In Mami's backstory [[spoiler: he appeared when she was dying from a car crash.]]
** In Kyoko's backstory [[spoiler: she was homeless and starving.]]
** In Episode 9 he [[spoiler: convinces Kyoko to try ([[SenselessSacrifice and fail]]) to save Sayaka as it would lead to her death and force Homura to fight Walpurgisnacht by herself, thus requiring Madoka to become a magical girl.]]
* MaskOfSanity: [[spoiler:[[MurderSuicide Mami's actions]] at the end of the third timeline make it clear that she's wearing a very easily broken one of these.]] It's significant enough that Homura even outright [[DiscussedTrope discusses it]] during ''Rebellion''.
* TheMasqueradeWillKillYourDatingLife: Being a magical girl is a lonely job.
* MaybeMagicMaybeMundane: Homura's apartment is a bit of a mystery. It's a WhiteVoidRoom full of floating video screens that can display images directly from Homura's memories. It seems like it must be magical, since the rest of the world is only marginally more high-tech than ours and [[spoiler:she must be recreating the whole thing after every time reset]]. But Homura has very specialized powers that don't really lend themselves to building a hyper-futuristic room.
* MeaningfulName:
** There is a good reason they are called magical ''girls''. [[spoiler: It's [[LostInTranslation Japanese wordplay]]: In written Japanese "magical girl" contains the characters for "young girl" and "witch" - "magical girl" can then be read as "[[TomatoInTheMirror young witch]]"]]. Also, [[spoiler: Kyubey's full name is Incubator, which hints at his actual purpose, - and coincidentally is formed from the same root as ''incubus''.]]
** The name Madoka can be written with the character for "circle"or "round" in Japanese reflecting the [[spoiler: cyclical nature of the magical girl-witch incubator relationship]] as well as the [[spoiler:circular repetition of timelines that revolve around her.]] Her last name, Kaname, can also be read as "pivot" or "vital point", which is apt to say the least [[spoiler:due to [[GroundhogDayLoop Homura's time-meddling]] making Madoka's existence the pivotal point of every timeline she creates]].
** The final and most powerful Witch seen in the series is Walpurgisnacht. This is the name of spring festival in Central and Northern Europe, and tradition dictates that it is a time that witches would gather together. [[spoiler:Walpurgisnacht is a fusion of many different witches.]]
* {{Meganekko}}: Surprisingly enough, [[spoiler:'''Homura''' was a timid glasses girl getting really serious about her goal.]]
* MementoMacGuffin: In the last episode, [[spoiler: Homura]]'s weapon of choice changes to [[spoiler: a bow that looks identical to Madoka's, but in Homura's purple-and-black color scheme instead of Madoka's pink-and-white.]]
* MentalTimeTravel: [[spoiler:The mechanics behind the fulfillment of Homura's wish involve her consciousness traveling back one month so she can 'redo her meeting' with Madoka.]]
* MercyKill:
** [[spoiler:Sayaka receives one from Kyoko because she has become a witch.]]
** [[spoiler: Madoka asks this of Homura in one timeline because she doesn't want to become a witch.]]
** [[spoiler: At the end of the anime, Madoka performs a CosmicRetcon that basically does this to every magical girl that is about to become a witch (including ones that existed in the past) by taking them [[AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence someplace else.]]]]
* MetaphoricallyTrue: [[spoiler:Kyubey's multiple truth statements can be easily misread by those not adept at picking out logical fallacies. When asked if there is any way to turn a witch back into a magical girl he says, "That's impossible" followed by "Magical girls do impossible things all the time". An emotionally distraught fourteen year old isn't likely to realize that these two statements are unrelated (just because you can do some impossible things does not mean you can do ''all'' impossible things) until it is far too late.]]
* MetaTwist: [[spoiler:Because of Gen Urobuchi's [[VisualNovel/SayaNoUta previous]] [[LightNovel/FateZero works]], many expected a KillEmAll DownerEnding. It didn't happen.]]
* MillionToOneChance: What Kyubey says about [[spoiler:Kyoko's desperation move]] -- it's never been tried, it's completely illogical, and even ''he'' doesn't think it'll work -- raises all the flags for this trope. [[spoiler: It doesn't work. It's completely illogical, so ''of course'' it doesn't work.]]
* AMillionIsAStatistic: [[spoiler:Kyubeys have energy quotas per ''planet''. As long as they fulfill their quotas, they don't care if a whole civilization, along with their planet, perishes.]]
* MindRape:
** This happens to Madoka, when she [[spoiler: was caught in the witch Kirsten's barrier. The witch then uses her powers to torture Madoka by re-playing Mami's death over and over while subjecting her to BodyHorror.]]
** [[spoiler: Kyubey does this when he shows Madoka how the world has been affected by his [[DealWithTheDevil contracts]], and how if it wasn't for the Incubators humanity would still be in caves.]]
* MiniDressOfPower: All the girls' MagicalGirlWarrior outfits have short skirts.
* MistakenForGay: Madoka and Sayaka in the second episode by Hitomi, since Sayaka spent time flirting with Madoka in Episode 1.
* MoodWhiplash: Episodes 1 and 2 were fairly tame, although ominous. Then came [[WhamEpisode Episode 3]], complete with a new ending.
* MonsterOfTheWeek: The witches. They're ''not'' harmless mooks and fighting them is an emotionally scarring experience. It is even more scarring when [[spoiler:[[FallenHero the witches themselves were once magical girls like the protagonists]]]].
* MoreDakka:
** In one scene, Mami achieves this trope using only an unlikely number of single-shot rifles.
** In Episode 11 [[spoiler: when Homura attempts to take on Walpurgisnacht alone, there is a long one-sided battle consisting of Homura expending a small army's worth of weaponry against Walpurgisnacht, including rockets, mortars, and a ''naval barrage''. Unfortunately, it's nothing but TheWorfBarrage.]]
* MoreHeroThanThou: Every magical girl or magical girl candidate is adamant about being the only one who will have to throw herself on the blade for the sake of somebody else. As they all get in each other's way doing this, it causes an amount of conflict that would be downright ridiculous if it weren't so depressing.
** Mami is seen as the exception by Sayaka, Madoka, and even Kyubey, as she was willing to go out of her way to save them and show them the ropes before they decide to become magical girls, and has been hunting down witches to protect people.
* MorningRoutine: After the ActionPrologue, Madoka brushes her teeth and gets ready for school with her mother.
* MortonsFork: On Walpurgisnacht, Homura's choices are:
** [[spoiler:Lose to Walpurgis alone and see it destroy the city (possibly killing Madoka),]] or
** [[spoiler:Defeat Walpurgis alongside Madoka and see Madoka eventually destroy the world,]] or
** [[spoiler:Rewind time again, thus making Madoka (and the witch she eventually becomes) more powerful and able to destroy even more.]]
** [[spoiler:On top of all that, if she accepts that her situation is hopeless, the despair will turn her into a witch as well.]]
* TheMovie: Three - a two-part compilation followed by an entirely new story picking up where we left off.
* MundaneMadeAwesome: In Episode 7, after having her advice rejected by Sayaka, Kyoko is shown furiously taking bites out of an apple.
* MundaneWish: In Episode 3, Madoka can't decide on a magical wish but wants to help Mami in her fight. Mami suggests that she use her wish to ask Kyubey for a cake feast to celebrate their partnership.
* [[spoiler:MurderSuicide: In one of the alternate timelines, Mami snaps when she finds out that magical girls eventually become witches. She succeeds in killing Kyoko, but is killed by Madoka before she could kill Homura.]]
* MusicalisInterruptus: In Episode 8, Kyubey finally manage to convince Madoka to make her wish while the overly optimistic music is building up in the background. However, [[spoiler: Homura puts a stop to not only the [[BigDamnHeroes proceedings]], but the music as well]].
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: Several examples:
** Sayaka after her DespairEventHorizon. [[spoiler: She eventually loses her humanity/sanity as a result.]]
** Kyoko felt this way due to her telling Sayaka her backstory, and why she's such a JerkAss who only cared about herself. It helps explain why Sayaka began to care less and less about the reason why she became a magical girl in the first place. As well as finding out more about their roles and the [[SoulJar gems]]. This may be one reason why she seemed to be trying so hard to help Madoka save her later on.
* MyGreatestSecondChance: [[spoiler:Homura has gotten ''many'' second chances to undo her [[MyGreatestFailure greatest failure]]. Four of those were seen in episode 10, and it's strongly implied there were more. Unfortunately, FailureIsTheOnlyOption.]]
* MythicalMotifs: When Kyoko and Madoka discuss the mission to confront the witch Oktavia ([[spoiler:aka Sayaka]]), a pair of windchimes can be seen in silhouette: a diving mermaid and a {{unicorn}} rallying itself to charge. Oktavia's motif is the mermaid. The unicorn is likely to represent [[spoiler:Kyoko]], who wants to "purify" the witch (as unicorns did water). [[spoiler: She is ultimately forced to kill her using her spear, hence the unicorn rearing up and lowering its horn for the attack]]. It's also revealed in [[VideoGame/PuellaMagiMadokaMagicaPortable the PSP game]] that [[spoiler: Kyoko's witch form rides a unicorn]].
* MythologyGag: That black cat that keeps on popping up in the opening? [[FauxSymbolism Okay, it doesn't show up in the anime proper,]] but you can interpret it entirely differently. A black cat is normally associated with witches ([[Manga/PuellaMagiKazumiMagica you know]], [[Series/SabrinaTheTeenageWitch the one on a broomstick, casting spells,]] [[Franchise/HarryPotter wearing a pointy hat, and so on]]). Now think about this for a moment: what was one of the biggest {{Wham Line}}s that Kyubey mentioned?