%% Do not link to AndTheFandomRejoiced, the page for which even says not to link to it. It is for in-universe examples only.
* BaseBreaker: Either Rin is a completely broken person who needs a big hug, or a selfish monster who should never be allowed near a pool.
* BestKnownForTheFanservice: What story? This is the show where hot guys swim a lot!
* BrokenBase: In regards to the ending. A lot of people see Rei's decision to [[spoiler: give up his spot on the relay for Rin]] as an incredibly kind gesture and the perfect ending for his CharacterDevelopment, since it's a sign of how much he has grown and [[spoiler: how by [[AFriendinNeed putting the teams' needs over his own]], he's given them a much bigger chance to win the Nationals]]. Others see it as completely ''derailing'' his CharacterDevelopment, because this ending would be unfair after all the hard work he did, and it makes him seem like a permanent outsider.
* CargoShip: Haruka X Water, Makoto X Shovel, Makoto X Water Bottle, Rin X Goggles, Nagisa X Hoodie, etc, etc.
** [=HarukaXWater=] can be argued as ''canon'' after episode six, which has Haruka recount an encounter with a waterfall when dared to tell a story about his love life.
* CrackPairing: Makoto x Shovel was the most popular crack ship prior to Episode 1.
* CrowningMusicOfAwesome: The music from the PV's is quite well-loved amongst the fanbase.
** The OP [[http://soundcloud.com/lightninghalos/rage-on "Rage On"]] and ED [[http://soundcloud.com/kimuravl/splash-free "Splash Free"]] are magnificent.
** The last episode's [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=drFbSfxNDFE EVER BLUE]].
** Don't forget [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e2M--QZ6jZM&list=FLnENPxxnzmSXVgZoRhnD4Ow&index=2 Melody of Ever Blue]]!
* DieForOurShip: Thankfully defied; when two female characters (Gou and Amakata) entered the fray, the fandom sought hard to defy this trope and determined on waiting before actually attacking them. Sadly, there has been some HetIsEw [[http://frozenviolets.tumblr.com/post/48933996829/sugarkitty-chan-sonjanevermind-i-hate-this even BEFORE the two]] [[http://liebeliebe.tumblr.com/post/45581730711/hetamushitama-liebeliebe girls appeared]]. But in a lighter note, [[http://doitsutheshizzle.tumblr.com/post/54533691413/trapruka-its-called-swimbros-stop fandom immediately started shooting it down]]. So it pops up every now and then, but unlike other fandoms where Yaoi-loving fangirls are pretty much expected to hate on every female character in sight, most fans of Free! tend to [[http://harukanal.tumblr.com/post/54771875683/free-has-a-great-male-cast-males-are like the female characters]] and call other fans out on their immature behaviour.
** Regarding Gou, it helps a lot that there's implications in the show that Seijuurou, a minor character who is the captain of Rin's swimming team, has a crush on her, and since he isn't generally paired with anyone else, even hardcore yaoi shippers tend to like Seijuurou/Gou, if only as a side pairing. And since Ama-chan is the boys' teacher, hardly anyone ships her with them anyway.
** Most fans are still doing their best to avoid this, but the [[ShipToShipCombat ship war]] between Makoto/Haru shippers and Rin/Haru shippers is beginning to heat up. Even more so after episode 7, when [[spoiler:Rin defeats Haruka in a swimming race, saying that he will never swim again with Haruka after his less-than-graceful reaction to this]], which has the Makoto/Haruka shippers out for Rin's blood.
*** Though, there ''is'' [=MakoRin=] shipping and some just TakeAThirdOption and [[OneTrueThreesome ship them three together]]
** Some particularly insecure yaoi fangirls have targeted, of all people, Gou's friend Chigusa Hanamura. Her sin? Makoto once told her she looked cute. [[http://fyeahcontroversialcharacters.tumblr.com/tagged/Chigusa-Hanamura The rest of the fans have reacted... strongly.]]
* DoubleStandard: From both sides of the fence; some people who usually enjoy fanservice that appeals to them attack Free! for its fanservice that appeals to others but not them, while people who would attack fanservice in general and shame those who like it would then revel in Free!'s fanservice.
* EarWorm: Pretty much most of the music released thus far, but especially the music from the original commercial.
** The ED, ''Splash Free'', is just as catchy, if not even more so, than the original PV.
* EnsembleDarkhorse: Gou is gaining quite a fanbase. Probably due to her being catapulted into the AudienceSurrogate role for the consistently squeeing fangirls and boys.
** Rei as well. He had a surprisingly large fanbase, despite not appearing in the anime for some time. Now that his introduction episode has outed him as an {{Adorkable}} {{Tsundere}} and part-time ButtMonkey behind the StoicSpectacles, he's only become even more popular. And, well...[[{{Fanservice}} the speedo probably helped.]]
** More-or-less Secondary Character (and captain of the Samezuka swim team) Mikoshiba Seijuuro is also getting quite more popular with each episode, and being the one characters to normally be shipped with G/Kou.
* FandomRivalry: Fans of Free and fans of ''Manga/KOn''[[note]]or just about any moe/slice of life anime with lots of cute girls doing cute things, but ''especially Manga/KOn''[[/note]] tend to hate each other's guts. Basically, both sides claim that their favored show is the best thing since sliced bread and the other is shallow pandering and/or personifies everything that is currently wrong with the anime industry. Bonus points if neither side realize that both shows are [[NotSoDifferent actually pretty much the exact same thing]], [[GenderFlip except genderswapped]].
** And the YuGiOhZexal fandom, over a misunderstanding where Free! took one of their ship names.
* FanNickname: Swimming Anime.
** Certain translations of the anime have been adamant in super imposing "GAY SWIMMING" over the anime's title. Seeing how they've been putting forth the effort of translating the anime anyway, [[JustForFun this probably isn't as derogatory as you might think.]]
* FanPreferredCouple: Either Makoto/Haruka or Haruka/Rin.
** After Episode 3 aired--and even before then--Nagisa/Rei has certainly grown in popularity.
** For the het crowd, Gou/Seijuurou.
* FriendlyFandoms: With ''Manga/AttackOnTitan'', curiously enough. Probably has to do with the fact that both are the most anticipated/hyped/controversial show of their respective seasons. See also MemeticMutation below.
* FunnyAneurysmMoment: Hey, remember those [[DarkerandEdgier drowning anime]] jokes from earlier? [[spoiler: They became real in Episode 5]].
* GeniusBonus: The "See You Next Water Time" card at the end of episode 11, showing Rin in front of the Sydney Harbor Bridge and the Sydney Opera House, could easily be construed as just a visual short hand for Australia, bordering on EiffelTowerEffect. [[http://images.sydney.com/__data/assets/image/0007/217978/milsons-pt-olympic-pool-bridge.jpg It turns out that is the actual view from the North Sydney Olympic Pool]].
* GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff: [[NiceGuy Makoto]] is well-liked by the English-speaking fandom as a whole, but seems especially popular on [[{{imageboards}} /a/]].
* HateDumb: Has gained a rather strong base from '''angry''' ''Manga/KOn''[=/=]''LightNovel/HaruhiSuzumiya''[=/=]''LightNovel/FullMetalPanic'' fans clamoring for a continuation of their series. There is also a more base reason for many (male) anime fans to hate this series: their LesYay-filled {{moe}} fests are being compromised...by ''female''-pandering, HoYay-filled [[{{Bishonen}} bishie]] fests. [[DoubleStandard Because it's okay for male anime fans to ogle over female moe characters, but god forbid female fans do the same with male characters.]] Then there are the extreme misogynists and paranoiacs who are seriously lamenting how KyoAni and women (not just fujoshi, but women ''IN GENERAL'') now has '''''[[InsaneTrollLogic killed the entire anime industry]]'''''. Because, if a pioneering studio like KyoAni makes ''one'' anime for women, then obviously this means ''every single anime studio in existence'' will follow in their footsteps and ''every anime ever made from now on'' will consist of nothing but Bishounen and HoYay. [[http://imgur.com/9ZSbhma Here]] is an example of such thinking.
** PeripheryDemographic: On the flip-side there are straight male fans ''and'' female fans who aren't super fond of HoYay who tend to look beyond the gratuitous FemaleGaze and/or the male/male ShipTease are more drawn to the interesting story potential, not to mention the ActuallyPrettyFunny humor.
* HilariousInHindsight: MamoruMiyano (Rin's VA) recently [[http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/interest/2013-10-27/the-guy-who-voices-rin-from-free-admits-he-cant-actually-swim revealed]] [[IDontKnowMortalKombat HE doesn't know how to swim]].
* HoYay: [[HoYay/{{Free}} Now, with a page of its own!]] '''Caution! Entries have unmarked spoilers.'''
* JerkassWoobie: ''Rin''.
* LGBTFanbase: The series has already attracted hordes of fangirls (but it does have quite a few gay (and straight) fans already as well).
* MartyStu: Some fans accuse Makoto and Haru of being one.
* MemeticMutation: [[Memes/{{Free}} Now with a page of its own!]]
* MemeticSexGod: Due to being so popular among the fangirls of the internet, the main four are all portrayed as thus, though since Rei missed out, due to not being in the original PV.
* {{Moe}}: Gou is quite adorable.
** Makoto and Nagisa also certainly qualify, as well as Rin's new teammate, Nitori Aiichirou.
** ''All'' of the kids when they were younger.
* NarmCharm: This show takes swimming ''waayy'' to seriously, but that's kind of the point and the fans love it.
* NamesTheSame: It's a bit of a long bow, but each of the guys shares a name with a (fairly) famous magical girl, and typically one they have something in common with.
** Haruka is [[SailorMoon Sailor Uranus]] - while it wasn't a forefront for her character, Uranus said a fair few times she liked to 'feel the wind' when she raced, [[GenderFlipped and was also often mistaken for a boy]]. Bonus points for being [[LesYay all-but-canon lesbians]] with Neptune, the soldier of the sea.
** Makoto is [[SailorMoon Sailor Jupiter]] - they share the colour scheme of green, and are both the tallest of their respective groups of five. They are somewhat reminiscent of each other character wise also. (Correct if wrong, but it has been said that Makoto (Jupiter) was so named because 'Makoto' was a '''masculine''' name in 1992 - not 100% sure on that one, though).
** Rin is [[YesPrettyCure5 Cure Rouge]] - they again share a colour scheme, and Rin's proficiency in multiple strokes could be consistent with Cure Rouge's ability for all sports. Moreover, they're both quite easily annoyed and very often shipped with the main characters from their respective series.
** Nagisa is [[FutariWaPrettyCure Cure Black]] - The most tenuous link. Their hair kind of looks the same?
** Rei is [[SailorMoon Sailor Mars]] - Another tenuous link. Their eyes are the same colour, and Rei appears to be the smartest of the Inner Senshi after Ami - possibly, one could say Rei is after Rin in the Free!verse. Also, his relationship with Haruka is quite reminiscent of Usagi-Rei from SailorMoon - without the fighting, but they still seem to get on each other's nerves from time to time, but are really close underneath.
* NeverLiveItDown: From the way it's talked about on the Internet, you could be forgiven for assuming the show is nothing but a plotless collection of scenes where guys take their shirts off.
* NightmareFuel: The ending of Episode 5 can be unsettling for beginners who swam in the ocean once.
** [[spoiler: Rin's violent rage after being taken off the relay and losing his race. Even Nitori is scared by him.]]
* PeripheryDemographic: Despite being an obviously female-oriented series, it has nonetheless its share of ''straight male'' fans. As said above, they tend to be drawn to the humor aspects.
* ShippingGoggles: ''Especially'' prevalent in the original PV, where fans were writing fanfiction based on less than ten seconds of interaction between the boys. [[http://squick-too-quick.tumblr.com/post/44725923400 Case in point.]]
* ShipToShipCombat: Tensions between Rin/Haruka and Makoto/Haruka shippers had been brewing through Episodes 1-5, but after Episode 6 it seems the sparks of animosity have ignited between the two groups.
* ShipMates: Gou/Seijuuro is not only a cute pairing, but it takes Gou away from the slashable team guys without going the HetIsEw and DieForOurShip ways.
** You can also see some [[LesYay Gou/Chigusa]] shipping around.
** Makoto/Haruka fans who don't hate Rin tend to pair him with Nitori.
** And Rei/Nagisa goes well with everything.
* ValuesDissonance: A good part of the discussions over the end chalk up to the ''very'' Japanese mindset that goes by the [[TeamSpirit "team above everything" mentality.]] For the Japanese, Rei's decision [[spoiler: to let Rin have his spot for the relay]] was [[HeroicSacrifice the most selfless and kind action he could ever pull]], making him the hero of the day and possibly ''even more'' of a team member than before; for the Westerners, it's completely unfair as it's seen to stunt Rei's reason to even be there ''and'' it totally derails his character and motivation.
* VisualEffectsOfAwesome: All over the original PV, especially the gorgeous water animation and highly attractive [[FemaleGaze male anatomy.]]
* WhamEpisode: Episode 5. ''What the hell.''
* WhatAnIdiot: Yes, Rei, go ahead and swim. You're an inexperienced swimmer practicing at night, in open ocean water, while everyone else is sleeping. What could possibly go wrong?
** For some, the mere fact that the team organized a swimming camp near the sea... with a guy who barely can swim among the assistants. It's often remarked in real life that '''you must never EVER try learning how to swim in open ocean'''.
* WhereEverybodyKnowsYourFlame: In the ED, the guys are dancing in a suspicious club with shirtless guys wearing masks in the background. OPs and EDs are generally pretty weird compared to the actual show, so who knows what's going on.