* AccidentalInnuendo:
-->'''Lancer:''' "You are as good as naked before my spear."
* AlternateCharacterInterpretation: Kirei provides an interesting case. We already know he enjoys the suffering of others, but it is unclear whether or not that is his greatest wish. While Angra Mainyu creates slaughter for him and he believes this to be his realization, one should not forget that the Grail interprets any wish in the most murderous way possible. Kirei's subconscious desire might have been something else entirely.
* AwesomeEgo:
** Gilgamesh, especially with his newfound HiddenDepths.
** Also Rider, one of the few Servants not to resort to assassinations or petty tricks, but rather meet the enemy head on. Plus his TakeOverTheWorld agenda
* AwesomeMusic: The score for the anime is composed by YukiKajiura. [[AwesomeMusic/YukiKajiura Nothing more need be said.]]
* BaseBreaker:
** Kiritsugu is quite a controversial character among the fandom.
** Tokiomi Tohsaka. His perceived blandness (actually referenced in-universe as the reason Gilgamesh hates him!) and the wild popularity of his ArchEnemy Kariya might have something to do with it. Not to mention the controversy regarding Tokiomi's decision to give Sakura to the Matou family, causing the girl years of physical torment. But it seems that he didn't know what would happen to Sakura and truly thought it'd keep her from losing her magical potential due to family rules, had quite a few PetTheDog moments with his family ''and'' genuinely trusted his [[spoiler: disciple Kotomine, only to be stabbed in the back by him.]]
** Episode 24 of the anime, for cutting out important aspects of [[spoiler:Berserker's]] behavior and his [[spoiler:fight with Saber]], as well as altering Kariya's final scene in a way which made Sakura seem considerably more insensitive to him. Mainly splits along your opinion of his overall importance to the plot and [[spoiler:Saber's character]].
** Are the Servants, aside from Saber and Gilgamesh [[OlderIsBetter better than the ones in the following war]]?
** Saber herself, due to her HonorBeforeReason worldview clashing with the series' [[DarkerAndEdgier darker tone]] as well as her [[WorfHadTheFlu initial weakness]]. Fans who came to the {{Nasuverse}} through ''Fate/ZERO'' tend to have a lower opinion of her, while fans who played/watched the ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'' anime first are more forgiving.
* BrokenBase: The anime is almost universally praised by the average viewers. However, among bloggers, the opinion is more or less split, mostly due to the heavy InfoDump nature of the work.
* CompleteMonster: Caster, AKA Gilles de Rais, and his master Ryuunosuke are a SerialKiller and EvilSorcerer duo. Ryuunosuke first met Caster while invoking a magic ritual for fun after slaughtering a group of innocent people, except a child he was saving for later. Caster freed the child...and then had him gruesomely killed by a summoned monster because it was too much fun to take away a victim's hope after allowing it. The two formed a partnership and proceeded to commit many murders together in the Grail War. Caster proved willing to [[spoiler:summon a horrid EldritchAbomination monstrosity he couldn't even control in close proximity to a populated city]], while Ryuunosuke also used the magic toys Caster gave him to begin kidnapping children for the purpose of sacrificing them with Caster later.
* CrackIsCheaper: The Blu-Ray box set for season one, ''SEASON ONE'', is a whopping [[http://fatezerousa.com/product-default.php $369.98]]. It should be noted that they like to claim that as a ''SALE''. "Regular" price is $480. For 13 episodes. 20-23 minutes of animation per episode. With the first episode having at least 40 minutes of animation.
* CrazyAwesome:
** Rider, who uses his Noble Phantasm to pop over to Saber's place for a drink. When they are surrounded by Assassins, he calmly invites them to sit down and drink with them.
** Berserker fits the variety that is actually completely batshit. The first time we see him he's playing baseball with the weapons from the Gate of Babylon, and almost kills [[LadyOfWar Saber]] with a lamppost. The second time, however, he turns this trope UpToEleven when he [[HolyShitQuotient hijacks a jet fighter to dogfight Gilgamesh and his Vimana]].
* CreepyAwesome: Ryuunosuke and Caster. Also serves a rare in-universe example where they see themselves this way.
* CrowningMomentOfAwesome: ''"The King is never lonesome! For his wishes are our wishes!"''
* DoubleStandard: Sola-Ui being a StalkerWithACrush towards Lancer and [[spoiler:coercing Kayneth into giving her the Command Spells]] earns her a lot of hatred and titles such as "whore" and "slut", and while certainly not harmless, her actions are incredibly tame compared to those of many other male characters, such as Gilgamesh, Caster and Ryuunosuke, and Kirei, all of whom get little to no flack for it. Having a vagina is apparently a worse sin than being a CompleteMonster or a consummate JerkAss, it seems. Although her lack of charisma or other notable characteristics that the former possess may play a role as well.
** Especially considering her actions aren't fully her fault, but due to a curse on [[ChickMagnet Lancer]] that did ''not'' mix well with poor Sola-Ui's already present emotions and frustrations, [[MoreThanMindControl although she could have resisted the curse initially]] if she had tried. (Key is, ''initially''). Should've read up on the mythology of your hero there, Kayneth, and '''not''' summon a dude who's cursed into making women desperately fall in love with him ''[[BlessedWithSuck without him even wanting to]]''.
*** That's not Kayneth's fault, either. If Waver hadn't taken the item needed to summon Alexander, he would have had Rider as a Servant in the first place. It's likely Kayneth only summoned Lancer as a last-minute resort.
* DracoInLeatherPants:
** Gilgamesh, unsurprising since this also applies to his original incarnation. Perhaps [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] as GenUrobuchi has stated in an interview that his favorite characters are Gilgamesh and Kirei.
** Disturbingly Caster and Uryuu also get some of this, with some labeling them {{Yandere}}s. Caster at least show a bit of a human side while talking about [[spoiler:his old companion Jeanne D'arc]], but Uryuu has no such soft spots, and the closest he gets to a ''dere'' side is with Caster, who he appreciates mostly because they're equally depraved.
* EnsembleDarkhorse:
** Lancer was this even before the anime aired, given his appearance in ''Fate/Unlimited Codes''.
** Rider is also well loved for his [[BoisterousBruiser boisterous]] [[RatedMForManly manliness]] (which won over a lot of ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann'' fans), his surprisingly in-depth philosophy on what a real king is, and his Reality Marble, literally built on ThePowerOfFriendship.
*** The most recent TYPE-MOON populatity poll clocked Rider as the ''second'' most popular male character in the Nasuverse (being beaten only by longtime fan-favorite Archer) and the ''sixth'' most popular character overall, leaving other Ensemble Darkhorses of the franchise (such as Cu Chulainn, Kotomine, and even Gilgamesh himself) in the dust. For a character that Nasu admits is more of Urobuchi's creation than his, it's quite impressive.
** Kayneth has also received an unexpected fandom from /a/. And {{Pixiv}}.
** Kariya is ''absolutely adored'' in both Japan and the West. But especially Japan.
** Ryuunosuke is impressively popular for a homicidal sadist. Apparently, he is loved by the female staff members of Creator/{{Ufotable}}.
** [[{{Adorkable}} For]] [[ThisLoserIsYou whatever]] [[HoYay reason]], Waver has a lot of fans, especially in the Western fanbase.
** Probably the best example of this, however, would be Kirei's wife Claudia Ortensia, whose actual appearance in ''stay night'' lasts less then a minute; the only reason we know what she looks like is a minuscule appearance in the [[AllThereInTheManual Character Materials]], and so little is known about her that for a long time she didn't even have a ''name''. With the airing of the anime, Kirei's new fanbase on Pixiv has taken quite a liking to Claudia; fanart of her with Kirei is common and they have become a mildly popular ship, but she also gets surprising amounts of fanart depicting her alone, though her design probably helped with the latter.
* EvilIsCool: Gilgamesh and Kirei are some of the most popular characters in the entire franchise.
* FanDumb: The influx of new fans that the anime has ushered in have the unfortunate habit of bashing ''stay night'' in the midst of praising this work, with some new fans mistakenly believing that Nasu based his work on Urobuchi's and not the other way around. Some of these people have never even played the visual novel, leading this into ComplainingAboutShowsYouDontWatch territory.
* FanPreferredCouple: If {{Pixiv}} is any indication who's preferred with Saber, [[http://danseru-kun.tumblr.com/post/27902367932/a-bit-surprising-discovery-regarding-the-amount Saber x Gilgamesh is the most popular, followed by Lancer x Saber.]] The anime has created a veritable [[TheShipYard Love Boat]] in its wake, to the point where nearly every character is shipped with at least one non-canon love-interest. As a corollary to the Saber x Lancer ship, [[HoYayShipping Lancer x Kayneth]] is widespread on Pixiv, often drawn by the same people drawing the Saber x Lancer and complete with {{doujinshi}}. [[http://thessaliah.tumblr.com/post/27944032452/danseru-kun-thessaliah-danseru-kun-a-bit Kirei Kotomine holds the top two records of the most number of shipping fanarts, paired with Gilgamesh and Kiritsugu respectively.]] Other popular non-canon couples are [[HoYay Caster x Ryuunosuke, Kotomine x Kariya, Kotomine x Tokiomi, Gilgamesh x Tokiomi, Tokiomi x Kariya, Berserker x Kariya, Rider x Waver, Waver x Lancer]], and [[LesYay Saber x Irisviel]]. You may have noticed a [[HoYayShipping trend]]. Given [[BlueBishounenGhetto the ratio of male characters to female]], it was probably inevitable.
* FoeYay: Kiritsugu and Kotomine, Saber and Lancer.
* FridgeBrilliance:
** Iskander's [[spoiler: death scene mirrors his life as explained in the flashback. Carrying on towards a goal he fails to reach, endlessly pushing forward, while everyone behind him lies dying.]]
** The passage from the Bible that Kotomine recites at the end of Episode 23? Psalms ''23''.
** The episode featuring [[spoiler: his death]] aired on June 10th, [[spoiler: the date of his historical death]].
** [[spoiler:Angra Mainyu]] comparing itself to Kiritsugu isn't a StealthInsult or just a case of HarsherInHindsight (in light of Kiritsugu's below quote); it makes perfect sense when one is familiar with FateStayNight, which reveals that [[spoiler:Angra Mainyu is not in truth an ancient all-powerful evil deity, but a random, average man from a village in the middle of nowhere who was chosen as a scapegoat by the village to carry 'all the evil in the world' in hopes that someone taking all of it upon himself will save the rest of the village from sin. It's origins is a normal man that turned into a monster to save people. Much like Kiritsugu, except that he made himself into the scapegoat intentionally.]]
* GameBreaker: Gilgamesh. He's canonically the strongest possible Servant and Tokiomi had every reason to believe he had instantly won the War by summoning him. He has stats comparable to Saber or Berserker, 1 B(A+), A and 1 A+ level skills (respective Divinity (which would be higher if he didn't hate the gods), Golden Rule and Charisma), and 2 Noble Phantasms that can only be described as blatantly overpowered. Gate of Babylon give him access to any Noble Phantasm with a physical form (except Excalibur and Avalon, although he has the stronger prototype of the former) and Ea is capable of [[EndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt destroying the entire world at best,]] [[BeamOWar and overpowering Excalibur at worst]]. If his {{Pride}} didn't hold him back from fighting at full power, he could've ended the War in a matter of hours after it's beginning.
* GeniusBonus:
** Alexander's messenger from Ionioi Hetairoi is [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mithrenes Mithrenes]], as one of the many examples of ShownTheirWork.
** Careful observation in the anime will reveal some easy-to-overlook but brilliant details for lovers of CoolPlanes: [[spoiler:The F-15 that Berserker turns into a Noble Phantasm is shown activating the afterburners, thrust vectoring (which the actual plane, or at least that particular model of the F-15, simply can't do but thanks to Berserker's ability actively changing and enhancing the jet can), and crippling the Vimana using the jet's ECM package.For bonus points, several of the maneuvers Berserker pulls are actual dogfighting maneuvers.]]
* HarsherInHindsight:
** Kiritsugu's line, "Even if I am to carry ‘all the evils of this world’--it won’t matter. If that can save the world, then I’d gladly accept it." [[spoiler: ''Fate/stay night'' has already revealed (and ''Fate/ZERO'' will reveal later) that, having been immersed in the mud of Angra Mainyu, he bore, and after five years died from, the curse of All the Evils of This World.]]
** On a similar note, the narration for Kiritsugu's death, seen from Shirou's point of view in [[VisualNovel/FateStayNight the sequel]], reveals that Kiritsugu allowed Shirou to take on his dream because he died fully believing that he won't turn out the same as him, and that's why he was able to die peacefully. [[spoiler:Not only is Archer more or less Kiritsugu with swords and bows instead of guns, Shirou quite explicitly becomes Kiritsugu in one of the Bad Ends of Heaven's Feel.]]
** Also, the episode where [[spoiler:Kiritsugu was forced to kill Natalia]], whom he considered a surrogate mother, aired on ''Mother's Day''.
*** Somehow manages to happen ''again'' when [[spoiler:Kiritsugu kills Iri and Ilya (Or rather the Grail's illusions of them)]]. That episode aired on ''Father's Day''.
** Kiritsugu and Irisviel's final meeting manages to do this ''thrice'' in rapid succession. Irisviel wishes for Ilya to come see Japan someday (she does... as another Einzbern tool of war doomed to die), for her to see the cherry blossoms (which can be seen as a reference to the TragicDream in Heaven's Feel route) and the summer clouds (Shirou staring at the summer clouds while thinking about his loss and about how his life changed is a scene people might remember from the epilogue of the Fate route).
*** Even worse, later on, when Irisviel talks with Maiya, she hopes for the Fourth War to be the final one... so that Ilya won't have to take her place in the next one should they fail. Her asking Kiritsugu to bring Ilya to Japan is doubly effective because [[spoiler:after the end of the war, Kiritsugu spends several of the last years of his life trying to do that and failed because the Einzberns won't let him, and due to the curse he was too weak to break through their defenses.]]
* HilariousInHindsight:
** Ironically, despite being the prequel to an {{Eroge}} from a BishoujoSeries company, this series probably has had about as much {{Yaoi}} made of it during the airing of the anime as all the hentai and yuri that has been done for ''stay night'' over the years since it was released.
** There had been several inevitable jokes on message boards about Saber and the Black Knight involving Monty Python. [[spoiler: It's revealed that the servant Black Knight's true identity is Lancelot. In ''Film/MontyPythonAndTheHolyGrail'', John Cleese played both Lancelot AND the Black Knight.]]
* HoYay:
** Kirei and Gilgamesh, Caster and Uryuu (Takeuchi even says that they "should get married already"), and Rider and Waver (who get an official 4koma implying they restored mana ''that way''). Especially since both Rider and Caster are [[WordOfGay canonically bisexual]], not to mention Gilgamesh's relationship with his friend Enkidu was brimming with homoeroticism in the [[EpicOfGilgamesh original epic]]. And that Gilgamesh's image song is basically him mourning Enkidu. Berserker and Kariya also have a bit with the brief [[spoiler: blood-sucking scene]] they get.
** It helps that Gilgamesh has been officially out of the closet with his pansexuality since F/HA and that he's from an era and culture when there were very different views on sexual orientation than today. Not to mention that one of the Type-Moon running gags is having Waver Velvet (old or young) totally ignore women who make moves on him such as ''stay night'''s Rider in a Drama CD (who as of ''VisualNovel/FateHollowAtaraxia'' is quite firmly established as BiTheWay).
* IKnewIt: The fan theory that Berserker, the "Black Knight", is [[spoiler:Lancelot]].
* IronWoobie: Irisviel. The matter-of-fact, almost cheerful way in which she explains that [[spoiler:her body has degraded too much for her to use magic alone, engage in her favourite hobbies, or even ''dress herself'' without considerable effort]] is downright heartbreaking.
* ItGetsBetter: Some people dismiss the anime after watching the first episode, which consists of forty minutes of introductions and InfoDump. However, after that episode, things start to really pick up.
* LauncherOfAThousandShips: Saber, unsurprisingly given the highly skewed gender ratio. Kotomine as well due to his large amounts of HoYay and StalkerWithACrush undertones.
* LesYay: Saber and Irisviel have a knight-and-lady relationship, and Irisviel treats Saber less like a tool and more like a human being, similar to Shirou's future attitude towards Saber. Irisviel was a little bit too enthusiastic when dressing Saber as a {{Bifauxnen}}. Also, Irisviel holds [[HealingFactor Avalon]] within her, which works strongest when Saber is in close proximity--after the fight with Kirei, where Irisviel lay mortally wounded, Saber's presence literally saved her life.
* LGBTFanbase: ''Rider''. Similarly, [[HoYay he and Waver]] are a FanPreferredCouple. It helps that the historical figure he's based on was in fact bisexual.
* LoveToHate: Caster. In fact, even himself and his Master Uryuu [[{{Discussed}} discuss]] how they are exactly this, being the villains in the great act that God writes. Then just to make their point, they summon Cthulhu-esque EldritchAbomination to spite God while "remaining aware" of their "role". [[CompleteMonster Goddammit, Caster.]]
* MagnificentBastard: Kiritsugu's guile and pragmatism leads to some stunningly vicious planning, with himself and Saber as the most powerful pieces. [[spoiler:Kirei]] becomes this near the end.
* MemeticMutation
** WAGA ARU G [[labelnote:Explanation]] Lancer consistently refers to Kayneth with "''waga aruji''", or "milord".[[/labelnote]]
** Being Lancer is suffering.[[labelnote:Explanation]] There is a perception in the fandom that Lancers tend to meet terrible ends. It didn't help that both Lancers have E-Rank Luck, making them each a CosmicPlaything. The phrase "Being x is suffering" itself was borrowed from the ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica'' community.[[/labelnote]]
** NicoNicoDouga seems very fond of [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&NR=1&v=lSvOmu_ezbo remixing Kayneth's dialogue]], mostly to make fun of his CListFodder status.
** Team [[{{Netorare}} NTR]] [[labelnote:Explanation]] A FanNickname for team Kayneth, referring to how Sola-Ui falls in love with Lancer.[[/labelnote]]
*** In the same vein, other [[FanNickname Fan Nicknames]] for the teams include Team Cool (Caster and Ryuunosuke) and Team Yuetsu [[spoiler:(Kirei and Gilgamesh)]]; see below for explanations.
** KFC: [[spoiler:Kayneth's Fried Circuits]] [[labelnote:Explanation]] Started by a thread on /a/ where Kayneth's face is photoshopped on the KFC logo.[[/labelnote]]
** Army of Bros [[labelnote:Explanation]] Iskandar's Ionioi Hetairoi.[[/labelnote]]
** [[MemeticBadass Tohsaka Rin]]: [[DwayneJohnson Boots to asses]] since eight years old. [[labelnote:Explanation]] After she defeated Ryuunosuke in her DayInTheLimelight, people decided that The Rin was also The Rock.[[/labelnote]]
** Happy Mother's Day Kiritsugu! [[labelnote:Explanation]] The episode that aired on Mother's Day was a Flashback Episode that ended with Kiritsugu shooting down the plane his adoptive mother was on.[[/labelnote]]
** COOOOOOOOOL/KUUUUUUUUURU [[labelnote:Explanation]] Ryuunosuke's GratuitousEnglish CatchPhrase; see below under {{Narm}}.[[/labelnote]]
** [[GratuitousJapanese Yuetsu]]! [[labelnote:Explanation]] The Japanese word for "pleasure", alternatively translated as "joy" or "entertainment"; one of the plotlines involves Gilgamesh making Kirei realize what exactly the source of these things is for him. It's probably a result of the frequent use and the HoYay that comes with it that made it into a memetic word among the fandom.[[/labelnote]]
** REJOICE, ''insert character name here''. [[labelnote:Explanation]] Kirei Kotomine's line towards Shirou at the start of ''Fate/stay night'' has turned into a memetic CatchPhrase for the priest.[[/labelnote]]
** ''(Insert violent sequence here)'': [[http://i.imgur.com/RyzHul.jpg (IT'S) MORE FUN]] [[http://i.imgur.com/ZcilOl.jpg IN THE PHILIPPINES!]] [[labelnote:Explanation]] It's a reference to both the Philippines' current tourism slogan, and the revelation that Alimango Island, where Kiritsugu's StartOfDarkness took place, is an actual location from that country. Needless to say, a number of Filipinos couldn't resist.[[/labelnote]]
* MemeticMolester:
** Kotomine's obsession with Kiritsugu (and to a lesser, but no more insignificant, degree, Kariya) gets milked for all its worth on Pixiv.
** Along with that, he seems to have become the local LauncherOfAThousandShips in there.
* {{Moe}}:
** WAVER.
** There is no way your Mommy can be '''this''' cute, can she Ilya?
* MoralEventHorizon:
** In-universe example: Saber confronts Kiritsugu about crossing it when he [[spoiler:forces Kayneth to have his own Servant, whom Saber respected, commit suicide]]; Kiritsugu justifies it by invoking NecessarilyEvil and WarIsHell. Also an out-of-universe example, for some.
** Caster also crosses this line in record time, by killing a child after giving him [[HopeSpot a brief moment of hope]] '''one minute''' after summoning.
*** Kirei is highly complex, and whether or when he crossed it in ''Fate/ZERO'' can be debated, but [[spoiler:his murder of Tokiomi (though some see him as an AssholeVictim) who deeply trusted him, could count]]... however, where he ''really'' seals the deal is when [[spoiler: he uses Tokiomi's corpse to drive a wedge between Aoi and Kariya ForTheEvulz, which ends up in the latter strangling the former.]]
* {{Narm}}:
** Berserker's battle cries in the anime sound more like the mooing of a cow as opposed to a menacing scream one would expect.
** Ryuunosuke's GratuitousEnglish CatchPhrase in the anime straddles the line between this and intentional comedy. Especially once [[TalkativeLoon Caster]] picks it up as a sign of respect.
* NauseaFuel: The animated version gives us a long, hard look at what Zouken did to Sakura in the first episode. [[spoiler: Insects, Bugs, Worms, oh my]]. Y I K E S.
* SpecialEffectsFailure: The integration of the CG and hand-drawn animation can be... spotty sometimes. The opening minute of Episode 6 and Berserker in particular, although the Berserker case may be an intentional attempt to convey just how ''wrong'' he and his armor feel.
* TooCoolToLive:
** [[spoiler:Rider.]]
** Berserker may also count, just based on the incredibly awesome shit he pulls off despite being supposedly ''too screwed up in the head to fucking THINK STRAIGHT'', never mind fighting tactically the way he does. The fact that he makes a weapon out of a [[spoiler:jet]] alone despite his mental handicap practically makes him a shoo-in for this.
* TheWoobie:
** Subverted by Kayneth. After his moment of BreakTheHaughty by Kiritsugu, he finds his body crippled and his spirit broken, desperately dreaming of still winning the War, while his Servant causes him trouble and his fiancee is obviously madly in love with said Servant and probably planning to run away with him. In that situation, it's not all that hard too feel kinda sorry for the guy, [[spoiler: but he ruins it shortly thereafter by showing us that people apparently don't change that easily, since he [[KickTheDog kicks the dog]] by murdering Kotomine's father just to get at the extra Command Spell and stay in the Grail War.]]
** Technically, Kayneth was getting the Command Seal because he was claiming the bounty for Caster. [[spoiler:He killed Risei to ensure that nobody else would be able to obtain additional Command Seals from him, specifically using a gun to implicate Kiritsugu, though that part doesn't work out.]]
** Kariya Matou. Severely contaminated with the same worms which permeate Sakura's body, constantly forced to undergo BodyHorror to participate in the Grail War, and in the end, he was barely acknowledged as a participant of the war ''or'' as an opponent to Tokiomi. And Sakura, whose freedom was his reason for joining the war, stays in Zouken Matou's clutches, further demoralized by Kariya's failure.
** Kiritsugu is a mix of StoicWoobie and JerkassWoobie, and even a touch of IronWoobie and even the normal kind of {{Woobie}}.
* VisualEffectsOfAwesome: It's done by Creator/{{Ufotable}}. The next episode preview sequence also is worth a mention; showcasing work that almost looks like something from {{ILM}} or Creator/{{Pixar}}.
** Want proof? [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7OYPb3fTP0&list=LLp0oRwJayXXXc2QINQuCPtA Here]](warning: spoilers). And remember ''that still isn't as high a quality as it goes.'' That's only in non-Blu-Ray 720p. Imagine that... ''[[UpToEleven but in 1080p Blu-Ray quality.]]''
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