[[quoteright:332:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/exosquad-show.jpg]]

->''"Humans are great creators, Lieutenant, though often unaware of the consequences of their gift."''
-->--'''Marsala'''

A Western-made HumongousMecha series produced in 1993 by Will Meugniot and Creator/{{Universal}}.

''Exo Squad'' takes place sometime in the 22nd century, when Humans have fully {{terraform}}ed and colonized Venus and Mars. The ''Neosapiens'', an artificially-engineered race, have TurnedAgainstTheirMasters and launched an invasion of Earth and Venus.

The story focuses on the [=ExoFleet=], the Homeworlds' space navy, in particular, Able Squad, a group of Exo-frame (MiniMecha) pilots led by Lieutenant J.T. Marsh.

''Exo Squad'' has been commonly compared to ''MobileSuitGundam'', both in quality and the maturity of the themes portrayed in the series. In addition, Will Meugniot himself [[WordOfGod made a direct comparison]] to the Gundam series, saying that Gundam is similar to the Pacific Theater of WorldWarII, while ''Exo Squad'' is the European Theater. Among animation fans, it's often compared with ''WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}}'', ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries,'' and ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' as an example of how Western animation can be every bit as mature and well-made as the best {{Anime}}. Surprising, considering what [[Creator/{{AKOM}} studio was behind the animation.]] Lastly, Exosquad has been favorably compared to ''{{Robotech}}'' and it wasn't suprising when an extension to the toyline included re-issues of some of the Matchbox ''Robotech'' mecha under the ''Exosquad/Robotech'' label.

A division of DVD and airing rights between a few companies, including {{Disney}}, prevented ''Exo Squad'''s release for quite some time--long enough that many fans thought that it would never happen. Releases finally began in April 2009, and there was much rejoicing (yay). The entire series is also currently (9/29/2011) available on Hulu for your viewing pleasure.
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!!Tropes:

* AbandonShip: After Captain Marcus's unsuccessful attempt to liberate the homeworlds, [[spoiler: the ''Resolute's'' crew is forced to take to the escape pods. Captain Marcus stays aboard.]]
* AccidentalAimingSkills
* AgentProvocateur: Captain Barca is one, constantly enticing younger [[SpacePirate Pirates]] to rebel against Simbacca, while on Phaeton's payroll.
* AirVentPassageway
* AlasPoorVillain: [[spoiler:Even Phaeton gets one; in the midst of the final battle, as his bunker is falling around him, he goes on a digression about the ''only'' time he was happy. "It was a beautiful day, and the sun was warm. I heard bells in the distance...and for a moment, I was at peace."]]
* AnimeHair: Although not as outrageous as regular Anime hair, the hairstyles of the 22nd century Earth are really weird. Random strips of people's (both male and female) hair are shaved. Hairstyles that are a random mix of mohawks and mullets? Weird mixes of crew cuts and Afros? It defies description.
** Justified with military personnel. E-frames are operated by having the pilot connect through a port located at the base of their skulls. Shaved strips and caps provide easier access. Even Kaz Takagi required one despite the rest of his hair being a mullet.
*** Could also be an example of TheProducerThinksOfEverything, given the real-life tendency of civilian fashions to draw inspiration from the military.
* AntiVillain: Captain Marcus. He's not strictly ''evil'', nor even particularly villanous by the standards set by the Neo Sapiens, he's simply an incompetent JerkAss who is desperate to save the Homeworlds before the Neo Sapiens solidify their hold on them.
** Even when he was in open disagreement with Admiral Winfield, Captain Marcus chewed out a fellow captain for questioning the Admiral's ''courage'', which he considered above reproach.
* AnyoneCanDie: For a Western Animation show, a ''shocking'' number of people die. [[spoiler:Including James, Nara's younger brother, and Alec [=Deleon=], both of which were very shocking.]]
* AppliedPhlebotinum: The pirates' Dark Matter cloaks, the [=GRAF=] weapon.
* ArtificialGravity: The first episode had it disabled on a cargo vessel that had been attacked by SpacePirates, though the animators apparently couldn't decide whether to go with no or full gravity (or magnetic boots). The GRAF ([=GRAvity Focus=]) shield is a weaponized application of gravity, in spite of its defensive-sounding name.
* AttackAttackAttack: Marcus' default strategy
* BadassBystander: From time to time, we see what would normally be {{Red Shirt}}s kicking rather impressive amounts of ass when Able Squad isn't around. Many of them still die, of course, but they never go down like chumps.
* BadBoss: Captain Marcus and Phaeton. Phaeton much more so than Captain Marcus.
* BeastAndBeauty: Nara Burns and Marsala, slightly subverted as Marsala is a very dependable individual despite what Terrans might think of him.
* BenevolentBoss: Admiral Winfield
* BigEater: Wolf Bronsky.
* BigDamnHeroes: Wolf Bronsky.
* BigGood: Admiral Winfield.
* BlackAndGrayMorality:
** The Humans enslaved the [=NeoSapiens=] for a long time. They were only freed because they revolted and took their freedom. However, since then, humans have been reasonably amicable (well, some of them) to the Neos. Also, the humans are being driven to extinction; they're fighting only because they have to. So Gray.
** The [=NeoSapiens=] were slaves for many years and had to fight for their freedom. They constantly have to prove themselves to many humans, and some never see them as equals. But they are launching a war of annihilation against humanity; the current slave status of humanity is temporary until more Neos can be born. So Gray, with some bordering on Black.
** The Pirates, given their backstory, are barely surviving out in the vast emptiness at the edge of the Solar System. They prey on ships for survival. Gray.
** Phaeton, however, is what really puts the Black into the series. In the first [=NeoSapien=] rebellion, he sold out the rebel leadership (including Marsalla) just to save his own skin. His current war is all about himself and what he wants, not about the overall [=NeoSapien=] cause. He's willing to engineer anything from super-strong Neos to a new race of super-smart ones (that were likely going to do to him what he did to humans) Personal loyalty to Phaeton is what keeps you alive, not loyalty to the [=NeoSapien=] cause. Phaeton is using the general feelings of his people to propel himself to power, nothing more.
* BlondeBrunetteRedhead: Nara Burns, Rita Torres, and Maggie Weston, respectively.
** Except that both Torres and Weston have reddish hair and Maggie's is actually a darker shade.
* BodyHorror: Auto-Mutation Syndrome. Some of Ketzer's plant-people too.
* BoisterousBruiser: Wolf Bronsky.
* BookEnds: In the first episode, Sean Napier saves Phaeton from an assassination attempt, even though he's prejudiced against Neo Sapiens (he even refuses to shake Phaeton's hand). In the last episode, Shiva saves Napier's life, and Shiva refuses to shake Napier's hand.
* BrainUploading
* CannotSpitItOut: Not only are Nara and Marsala both unable to express their feelings for each other, they each have instances where they unknowingly slap the other down.
** Dealt with in the final episode, where Nara is on the verge of professing love to Marsala, only for him to gently but firmly rebuff her, while expressing the hope that in the future, he can remain a friend to her, [[IWantMyBelovedToBeHappy and her children]].
** There's shades of this with [=DeLeon=] and Weston too, though it's more subtle and doesn't get as much airtime as Nara/Marsala.
* TheCaptain: Admiral Winfield and Jonas Simbacca.
* CasualInterplanetaryTravel: People travel between Earth, Mars, and Venus, as if it were to another country.
** Actual travel times are never given, but the Exofleet travels back and forth between the inner planets, and even makes a foray to a planet beyond the orbit of Pluto, over the course of a war that lasts three years. So yeah, those ships are pretty fast.
* {{Catchphrase}}:
** Marsh: "Frame up!"
** Torres: "Can it, Bronski!"
** Butler: "Any heroes in here?" "No, sir!" "Good! The only heroes I've ever seen were dead!"
** Bronski: *belch*
* TheChainsOfCommanding
* CharClone: Thrax. TheRival, flies a red E-Frame, does a HeelFaceTurn. Granted, he isn't a blonde, but given that he's a Neo, that's acceptable.
* {{Cincinnatus}}: Admiral Winfield becomes a rancher after the war. Marsh planned on leaving the Exofleet to "build things," presumably architecture or construction, but when the show is CutShort, he's still in the Exofleet.
* CloningBlues
* TheCommiesMadeMeDoIt: [[spoiler:Diana]].
* CommunicationsOfficer: Alec [=DeLeon=], with his specialized Communications E-Frame.
* ColorWash Orange and purple.
* CoolShip: The ''Resolute II'', the original ''Resolute'', as well as Phaeton's flagship in Season 2... before it's destroyed going up against the ''Resolute II''.
* ConvectionShmonvection
* CustomUniform: It would actually be easier to list the named characters who ''don't'' have a unique costume, among them Sean Napier, who spends most of the series wearing a slightly modified version of his old Chicago Police Department uniform, and Alec [=DeLeon=], whose clothing and body armour are identical to those worn by the long line of nameless Exofleet troopers seen boarding a transport craft in the first episode.
* CutShort: The series ends on an unresolved CliffHanger.
* CurbStompBattle: At lot these occur on both sides of the war. When Captain Marcus was in control of the fleet it was taken UptoEleven.
** CurbStompCushion: Not that fleet didn't put up fight and got some hits in.
* DeadpanSnarker: Oddly enough, [=DeLeon=]'s ''E-Frame'', when Bronsky is piloting it. [[ButtMonkey At Bronsky's expense.]]
* DeathNotification: Butler personally records a message to the family of every jump trooper who dies under his command, despite the fact that he has no way to deliver these messages, or even to know that the trooper has any surviving family left on the Home Worlds.
* DefectorFromDecadence: Marsala, a Neosapien who fights for the [=ExoFleet=]. Other unnamed Neosapiens can be seen amognst the Exo Fleet's ranks, though they are a very underrepresented minority.
* DesignerBabies: The Neo Sapiens, [[LegoGenetics and their various spin-offs.]]
* DropPod: Small ones for the [[SpaceMarine Jumptroopers]], and larger ones for the [[MiniMecha E-Frames]].
* DropShip: For the Jumptroopers.
* EarthShatteringKaboom: [[spoiler:Mars (it got better), Earth (attempted only), and "tenth ([=COUNTING PLUTO!=]) planet" Chaos]]).
* EatTheDog: ''There aren't any dogs on Venus. Not after the famine.''
** Most likely ParentalBonus as well since kids would assume the animals starved with the humans.
** ''Strange I haven't even heard a bird in a year. Even the pigeons are gone.'' In the ruined New York City.
* EightiesHair
* EverybodysDeadDave: Colleen O'Reilly's graduating class, wiped out during the Neosapiens' initial assault.
* EvilGenius: The Neomegas, Praetorius, Ketzer.
* EvilOverlord: Phaeton.
* EvilutionaryBiologist: Ketzer.
* ExecutiveMeddling: The writers wanted the [=ExoFrames=] to be fully-enclosed, but the executives insisted on being able to [[InSpaceEveryoneCanSeeYourFace see the characters' faces]] inside.
** TropesAreNotBad. While it doesn't make a lot of sense to have the front of the E-Frames so poorly protected, being able to see the pilots does do a lot from a dramatic standpoint.
* FaceDeathWithDignity: [[spoiler:Captain Marcus]]
-->''Go back and tell [[spoiler:Winfield]] to watch. Tell him... [[spoiler:Matthew Marcus]]... knew how to die.''
* FaceHeelTurn: Phaeton was a trusted governor-general of Mars and former collaborator to the humans. [[spoiler:And Captain Marcus was a loyal, if HotBlooded and incompetent, officer before he mutinied against Admiral Winfield.]]
* FakeDefector: Episode 12.
* FantasticRacism: There's plenty of this on both sides of the war. There was already a fair amount of prejudice against the Neo-Sapiens (as witnessed by the derogatory term "Sapes") even before the war, and the Neo-Sapiens themselves are pretty strongly prejudiced against humans (often referring to them dismissively as "Terrans" and sometimes just "Vermin").
* FinalBattle: Starting from Episode 48 in the The Fall of the Neosapien Empire part 2. The Exofleet arrive on Earth to retake it from Phaeton. From then on to episode 51 We see Exofleet fighting from space, Earth resistance forces from America to Austrialia fighting, The Abel Squad and C5 Jumptroop fighting in their areas. Any Characters that we have seen are shown at least once. One scene we see the whole earth with little explosion to show the FinalBattle is everywhere.
* FiveBadBand: Once the Neos begin creating a number of new Neo Sapien subspecies, the different breeds fit the role of a quite well, except that they're missing a DarkChick.
** TheBigBad: The original Neo Sapiens.
** TheDragon: Neo Lords, NighInvulnerable fighters with normal Neo intelligence. One of them becomes Phaeton's personal top enforcer late in the series.
** TheEvilGenius: Neo Megas, the super intelligent subspecies who quickly come to feel superior to the original Neos and become TheStarscream.
** TheBrute: Neo Warriors, super tough foot soldiers that are literally animinalistic and pose a dangerous physical challenge, but possess only minimal intelligence.
* ForScience: Professor Algernon
* FourFingeredHands: Neosapiens- two fingers and two thumbs.
* GeneralFailure: Captain Marcus.
* GeneralRipper: Also Captain Marcus.
* GeneticEngineeringIsTheNewNuke
* GentleGiant: Marsala.
* GoingDownWithTheShip [[spoiler: Captain Marcus.]]
* GreenSkinnedSpaceBabe: Averted. The female Neo Sapiens are neither attractive nor sexy.
* HeelFaceTurn: The Pirate Clans, Professor Algernon.
** This is also Marsala's backstory-- he was a rebel leader in the first war. [[spoiler:He seemingly does it again, turning the squad over to [[BigBad Phaeton]] once they arrive on Mars, but it turns out to be a BatmanGambit.]]
* HeyItsThatVoice: Several voice actors latter became well known. Creator/LisaAnnBeley goes on voice [[GundamWing Relena]], [[GundamSeed Murrue]], and [[{{Gundam00}} Sumeragi]]. Teryl Rothery and Creator/GaryChalk appear on ''Series/StargateSG1'' as major supporting characters (And the latter voices an [[Franchise/{{Transformers}} Optimus a few times]]) . Most of the other VA's could be heard in anime, cartoons, or video games.
* HumansByAnyOtherName: Humans in this show are exclusively referred to as Terrans.
* HurlItIntoTheSun: How Neos "exile" dissident humans.
* HeroicSacrifice
* HumongousMecha: The occasional example turns up, though they are rare. The [=ExoFleet=] has at least one that comes complete with its own torso-mounted hangar bay for launching E-Frames.
* IfYoureSoEvilEatThisKitten: Or rather, If You're So Evil, MindRape your commanding officer. [[spoiler: He does. [[IDidWhatIHadToDo Otherwise]], he would have been found out as a FakeDefector.]]
* InSpaceEveryoneCanSeeYourFace
* InstrumentalThemeTune: The second season. Listen to it [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Llx__vldoA here]].
* InsufferableGenius: Professor Algernon
* InvisibilityCloak
* ISOStandardHumanSpaceship: The ''Resolute'' and most of the [=ExoFleet=]. The Pirate vessels have more elaborate [[BarbarianTribe tribal]] [[SpikesOfDoom decorations]] and colors, and Neo-Sapien ships are built to [[TheAestheticsOfTechnology nonhuman aesthetics]].
* KilledOffForReal: Subverted multiple times with [[spoiler:Neosapien cloning and memory-transfer technology]].
** It should be noted that [[spoiler: most characters who were cloned were eventually killed off ''again''.]]
* TheLadette: Sgt. Rita Torres.
* LaResistance: The Earth Resistance, The Venusian Resistance.
* TheLancer: Alec [=DeLeon=] to JT Marsh, sometimes Marsala to Marsh and Marsh to Admiral Winfield.
* LatexSpacesuit
* LesCollaborateurs: The Mayor of UsefulNotes/{{Chicago}}[=/=]Phaeton City, [[spoiler:Diana]], Amanda Connor, Professor Algernon initially.
** Phaeton was a collaborator for the ''Terran'' side in the first war.
** One sign of the show's complexity (at least, for a Western cartoon) is that each of the collaborators above had their own reason for helping the Neo Sapiens. The Mayor of [[strike:Chicago]] Phaeton City was trying to save his own neck, [[spoiler:Diana]]'s family was being held ransom, Amanda Connor genuinely bought Phaeton's propaganda, and Algernon cared nothing for who was in charge, [[ForScience only being allowed to follow his own pursuits]].
* LegoGenetics: Neo Warriors and Neo Lords.
* LikesOlderWomen: Kaz Takagi, always chasing after Maggie Weston.
* LiteralCliffHanger
* MaleGaze: When Alec comments that Phaeton can't appreciate the finer things in life, he (and the camera) focus directly on Maggie's posterior.
* TheManBehindTheMan: Algernon for Xenobius.
* MerchandiseDriven
* MidSeasonUpgrade: The experimental equipment installed on the Able Squad suits mid-series, including a cluster missile launcher, [[InvisibilityCloak cloaking systems]], a {{hologram}} projector, and the [[SphereOfDestruction Solar Flare]].
** The Neo-Warriors and Neo-Lords are a biological example.
* MildlyMilitary: Not as bad as some shows, especially considering this is a cartoon, but Able Squad sure does get away with a lot. They got thrown in the brig once for a year, which is pretty harsh, but after that, they could have flown past the Resolute mooning Admiral Winfield, and wouldn't have even gotten a slap on the wrist for it. Also, the rank system seems a bit vague at times. Able Squad has three lieutenants in it, one sergeant, and the rest are presumably Exo Troopers (which is probably equivalent to Private). Maggie Weston is a technician, and therefore probably not in the normal chain of command, but that doesn't explain why both Marsh and Burns are lieutenants. (The closest thing to an explanation is a brief segment narrated by Admiral Winfield which talks about how some people say that Burns is inexperienced, implying that perhaps she was a fresh graduate from officer training at the start of the series then assigned under a more experienced officer to learn the trade.) This gets cleared up later in the show when Marsh is promoted to Commander. To add to the confusion, in one episode, a character talks about when Lt. Marsh was an Ensign, which is the only time a Naval rank is mentioned in regards to an E-Frame pilot.
* MilitaryAlphabet: Able Exotroop squad, Charlie Six jumptroop squad, etc.
** Interestingly, the show uses UsefulNotes/WW2 alphabet instead of modern one, probably, to further emphasize the historical parallels between it and the Neosapien War.
* MilitaryMaverick: Takagi starts as a minor example, and gets worse when he's hanging around with Yuri Stavrogan. Stavrogan himself is a big deconstruction of the trope: he's an AcePilot, one of the best in the fleet, but his disregard for regs, being a bad influence on other, younger troopers, and his tendency to go all LeeroyJenkins have resulted in him becoming a reserve pilot, meaning that he only gets to fly when a squad is understrength or to fill in for someone who's injured. No commanding officer wants to keep Stavrogan in their unit because he's too undisciplined and causes too many problems. Sure enough, at the end of his first appearance he gets transferred to a unit for repairing E-frames because once again he's almost gotten multiple people killed due to disobeying orders and encouraging others to do the same.
** Stavrogan does get better in his second appearance, when the entire squad that he'd been working with is wiped out by Neos. ''That'' appears to have finally gotten him to wise up. While much more focused on the mission and troop safety, he does still use some well played LoopholeAbuse to get around one particular order.
--->'''Stavrogan:''' J.T said not to risk the squad by trying to rescue him. But orders are meant to be interpreted... and my interpretation is that he meant not to risk the ''whole'' squad trying to save him. (Stavrogan takes half the squad to successfully go back and save J.T.)
* MindProbe
* MindRape: After Phaeton's chief finance minister discovers his invasion plans and refuses to go along, Phaeton forgoes simply killing him for something [[FateWorseThanDeath much worse]]:
-->Phaeton: "Take him to the neural research center. If he thinks like a slave, we will give him the mind of one."
* MixAndMatchCritters: The Neo Warriors and the Neo Lords.
* TheMole
* MultinationalTeam: The Able Squad. Let's see: JT is most likely North American, Alec is French, Bronsky is from Eastern Europe, Takagi may have Japanese roots, Maggie seems to be from somewhere around the Pacific, Nara is Venusian, Marsala is Martian/Neosapien. Torres is the only one whose background is a mystery.
* TheMutiny
* MyBrainIsBig: The Neo Megas
** Perhaps justified. It's shown that aside from improved intelligence, Neo-Megas have other abilities that Terrans and regular Neo Sapiens lack. This could translate into Neo-Megas having an extra lobe or two in their brains.
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: Livia, when she finally realizes that Phaeton is an OmnicidalManiac, and stares in horror at the enormous anti-matter bombs he's set up.
* MySpeciesDothProtestTooMuch: While the vast majority of the Neosapiens fought to conquer the homeworlds, aside from Marsala, there were other Neosapiens who served with Exofleet (mentioned but rarely shown), and there were Neosapien sympathizers like Mardek providing intel to the Exofleet.
* ANaziByAnyOtherName: Deliberately paralleled.
* TheNeidermeyer: You guessed it, it's Captain Marcus.
* NicknamingTheEnemy: The Terrans use either "Neos" or "Sapes" for Neosapiens. The first one is PC, while the second is a FantasticSlur, as Marsh points out once.
** It's also somewhat nonsensical as a slur, as "Neosapien" is obviously derived from the scientific name for humans: "Homo sapiens". But then, language doesn't always make sense.
* NoDelaysForTheWicked: In "Mindset", Napier and the Able Squad abuse Neosapiens' flawlessly functioning infrastructure to covertly move across Earth's surface.
* NoIndoorVoice: Rita Torres. {{Justified|Trope}}, as she's a sergeant.
* NonuniformUniform
* OhCrap: Phaeton's reaction to having his E-Frame dropped into lava is understandable.
* OnlySixFaces: Neo Sapiens have limited physical variety, so they use facial tattoos to distinguish individuals.
** This is played with in the show; it's stated that the broodmarks are there because Terrans can't be bothered to tell the difference.
* PeopleJars: Neosapien brooding labs.
* ThePlan: Marsala, despite his Neo-Sapien programing, is a master of this. He even fools Phaeton who had become TheChessMaster.
* PlantPerson: What Ketzer generally turns people into.
* ProudWarriorRaceGuy: Simbacca, and all the [[SpacePirate Pirate Clans]]. [[JustifiedTrope Justified]], the dark matter they use for their [[InvisibilityCloak cloaking technology]] affects their brains, making them aggressive and reckless.
* PsychicPowers: Livanus, [[spoiler:Nara Burns]].
** The Neo-Megas can communicate with each other across large distances using super-sonic frequencies. Functionally, it's indistinguishable from telepathy except dogs can hear it too.
* PoweredArmor: Most of the Exosuits are MiniMecha, although there are types resembling conventional spacecraft, and the multi-seaters border on HumongousMecha-- the Jumptroopers' armor fits the classic PoweredArmor mold best, as does Phaeton's personal powersuit.
* {{Pun}}: In one episode, a member of [[LaResistance The Resistance]] is talking trash about the [=ExoFleet=] and how useless they've been during the war (mind you, [=ExoFleet=] had spent much of its time up till this point fighting the Neo Sapien fleet, helping the Resistance cells on various planets, and doing covert ops on Mars). Marsala walks up to the man and drops a tray of food on him, apologizing and claiming that he's "All Thumbs" [[note]] Neo Sapiens such as Marsala have four fingered hands, two of which are opposable thumbs, and the other two look like thumbs, as well.[[/note]]
* PunishedForSympathy: The Neosapien ace Thrax is demoted for repeatedly showing mercy to Terrans, such as refusing to finish off Kaz Takagi after winning a space duel against him on Mercury and disobeying direct orders to [[spoiler:detonate thermonuclear charges under Venus City, killing all Terran soldiers and captured civilians inside]].
* PunyEarthlings: Neo Sapiens are stronger, tougher, have sharper senses, can survive in more extreme environments, need less food, [[WeAreAsMayflies live longer]], mature faster, have PhotographicMemory, and don't have to sleep. Human's only advantage is [[TakeAThirdOption adaptable thinking]], which the Neos are [[CreativeSterility somewhat lacking]].
** And of course, numbers.
* TheQuisling: Several, but the one that fits the trope to a T is the mayor of [[strike:Chicago]] Phaeton City.
** Dude was brown-nosing Phaeton ''before'' the Neosapiens even invaded.
* RammingAlwaysWorks: Subverted
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure: Admiral Winfield.
* RedemptionEqualsDeath: [[spoiler:Captain Marcus]]
* RedShirt: At one point a new member joins Able Squad, and is killed ''less than a minute later''. [[spoiler:She gets better... [[CloningBlues in a way]].]]
* TheRemnant:
** For most of the length of the show, the Terran [[{{Thememobile}} [=ExoFleet=]]].
** After Terrans retake Venus, some of the Neosapien garrisons become guerrillas, hoping that Phaeton would send more reinforcements to rescue them. The reinforcements never reach the Venusian surface.)
* TheRenaissanceAgeOfAnimation
* SacrificialLion: [[spoiler: Lieutenant Alice Noretti. First seen at a briefing for the E-Frame squad leaders in the first episode, then as a BadassBystander, then joined Able Squad and died on her first mission in the same episode, then was brought back as a [[HalfHumanHybrid cloned Neosapien-Terran]] infiltrator, and finally killed herself in a bid to prevent her Neosapien programming forcing her to harm her former comrades. Marsh kept a photo of her in his E-Frame throughout the entire series]].
* SergeantRock:
** Rita Torres. "Who are you, somebody's mother?" "That's SERGEANT Mother to you!"
** In the same episode, when she gets called Sir, she fires back "You got sand in your eyes? I'm a Sergeant! I ''work'' for a living!"
* ScoutOut The [=ExoScouts=] Troop 119 were on a camp out on Mars when the war broke out. Their Scout Master went for help at some point but was never seen again, presumed dead. They have been relying on their scout skills to stay alive on Mars until such time that they can be rescued. Ironically, the first time they encounter any [=ExoFleet=] forces, they end up having to rescue Sgt. Torres.
* ShoutOut: The Jumptroops are an homage to the Mobile Infantry from the Literature/StarshipTroopers novel. They're even shown moving "on the bounce" in combat.
* SoundtrackDissonance: The ''extremely'' serious and epic closing credits theme song, superimposed over the giggling airplane cartoon logo for Universal Cartoon Studios.
* SpaceIsAnOcean: Averted. In space battles, the E-Frames zip around like angry bees, and the ships move in on each other at all directions.
* SpacePirates: The Pirate Clans.
* SphereOfDestruction: Marsh's Super Nova.
* SpiritualSuccessor: ''{{Robotech}}'' to such a degree that Matchbox's ''Robotech'' toys were re-released under the combined ''Exosquad/Robotech'' label.
* TheSquad: Able Squad and, in season 2, Jumptrooper squad Charlie 5.
* TheStarscream: Draconis and Typhonus.
* StealthInSpace
* StoryArc: Both a major one for the series (the struggle between the Terrans and the Neo Sapiens) and smaller four or five episode arcs, with each arc typically centering on a particular planet.
* StraightForTheCommander: In the first battle for Earth, the Able Squad is able to turn the tide of battle in Terran favor by assaulting the enemy flagship, buying the Terran fleet time to escape the massacre more or less intact.
* SuperPrototype: Phaeton's command E-Frame is far more powerful than others, capable of shrugging off attacks that would destroy a mass-produced model.
* SuperSoldier: The Neosapiens, while not bred for war, are [[PunyEarthlings built pretty well for it]]. Later, they make actual MixAndMatchCritters Super soldiers of their own.
* SupportingLeader: Sean Napier.
* SurroundedByIdiots: Phaeton usually blames military failures on the incompetence of his Generals. Fair enough, but he also acts surprised when [[SendInTheClones clones]] of those same Generals fail him again.
** Late in the series, Draconis' clone bemoans that he must pay the price for one of his predecessors betraying Phaeton, having been relegated to a miserable assignment. Draconis is probably the only example of Phaeton learning from his mistakes.
* SwissCheeseSecurity: A TV reporter has unfettered, unescorted access to the bridge of the [=ExoFleet=]'s capital ship during military operations. Winfield insists the camera be turned off the second he noticed it, however, at least reducing the potential for a security leak.
* {{Thememobile}}: The Exo-Fleet, which has Exo-Carriers, Exo-Cruisers, and Exo-Frames (called E-Frames for short).
* ThemeNaming: Exo-''everything''
* TradingBarsForStripes: Alec chose to serve in Exofleet rather than serve time in prison.
* TrojanPrisoner
* TrueCompanions
* TurnedAgainstTheirMasters
* UnstableGeneticCode: The Auto-Mutation Syndrome.
* VillainousBreakdown: After being being defeated by J.T. Marsh in the first season finale and developing Automutation as a result, Phaeton gets this but good.
* WeHaveReserves: Phaeton actually has many of his subordinates cloned in case they died or double-crossed him.
* WellIntentionedExtremist: Captain Marcus
* WeWillUseManualLaborInTheFuture
* WhatCouldHaveBeen: A third season was planned that would have shown the surviving Exo-Squad humans and Neosapiens joining forces to battle an invasion from another alien race but the series was unfortunately canned before that could happen - on a cliffhanger no less.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: In a brief scene in the final episode of season one, it seems like TheSquad's E-frames somehow became self-aware, prompting Marsala to quip the opening quote of this article. It is never explained.
** When Marsh is promoted to Commander, he is given command of two squads, counting Able Squad. This second squad is almost never seen.
* WorthyOpponent: Thrax and Kaz Takagi.
* WrenchWench: Maggie Weston.
* YouHaveFailedMe: Not surprising, seeing as how Phaeton could easily replace an executed general... with a clone of said general. Mind you, Phaeton does tend to give them several chances first.
** Which is kind of funny in that he presumes that the clone would not repeat the mistakes of the executed predecessor.
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