%% 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.
** To a lesser degree, Nitori; while he has quite a few fans (and is even listed under EnsembleDarkhorse on this page), a decent section of the fandom finds him annoying.
** And now Sousuke. Overly protective as a result of a misunderstanding, or a bully who thinks he knows what's best for Rin better than Rin does?
* BestKnownForTheFanservice: What story? This is the show where hot guys swim a lot and show off their half-naked bodies!
* BrokenBase: In regards to the Season 1 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.]]
** Sousuke may become the next prospect target, however...
* 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 Gou.
** Aichirou Nitori has gained a following as well.
* 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.]]
** Season two added "EVEN MORE GAY SWIMMING".
* 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/]].
* 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]].
** It's already smirk-worthy when Rin accuses Nitori of being his stalker but when you remember that a year before MamoruMiyano voiced ''Anime/{{K}}'''s Saruhiko Fushimi, a textbook example of a StalkerWithACrush, this gets an additional snicker and a fond "You hypocrite."
** [[http://archiveofourown.org/works/1038593/chapters/2072005 One fanfic]] written after the end of Season 1 correctly predicted a red-headed energetic newcomer to the ''Free!'' cast who was a relative to one of the canon characters. Even the character's ''motif animal'', the sea otter, was predicted! [[labelnote: Fun Fact]]The only difference between Momotaro's reveal and the fic is that the relative there was the discarded character Kaede, repurposed as ''Haru's'' relative. [[/labelnote]]
** Remember when fans speculated during the PV era that Rin would join the swim team [[CasanovaWannabe to pick up chicks]]? Momotaro is essentially that prediction come to life.
* HoYay: [[HoYay/{{Free}} Now, with a page of its own!]] '''Caution! Entries have unmarked spoilers.'''
* JerkassWoobie: ''Rin''.
* LauncherOfAThousandShips: Unsurprisingly, Gou. Being the sole female in an ensemble of athletic and attractive male characters who all seem to like her to some extent, she gets paired with every one of them, except her brother.
* 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.
* 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.]]
** The [[https://31.media.tumblr.com/0582cb9fce2769b1ecc023bddf001aec/tumblr_inline_n8hokeCmN41qm6qc1.jpg look]] Sousuke gives Haru during the relay. A meta on [[http://wafflesex.tumblr.com/post/91341871327/let-me-briefly-talk-about-this-from-episode-2 Tumblr]] sums it up perfectly: "That isn’t the face of someone who’s aiming to win, that is the face of someone who’s aiming to ''chase''." Even [[TheStoic Haru's]] unsettled by it.
* 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.
* SelectiveSquick: The show's vocal male {{Hatedom}} is pretty pissed off to see a female-oriented anime getting such a following, especially when the {{Fanservice}} is aimed at women and not at men.
* 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.
** New[[labelnote:ish]]he's a returning character from High Speed![[/labelnote]] character Sousuke inspired this in record time[[labelnote:*]]you could say... with [[JustForPun high speed]][[/labelnote]]. He's got a childhood connection to Rin, meaning [=RinHaru=] shippers feel threatened by the potential existence of new ship [=SouRin=]. Some even pre-emptively accused [=MakoHaru=] shippers of [[PairTheSpares Pairing The Spares]] so Rin won't be a threat to [=MakoHaru=]. Bear in mind that at the point in time these feelings erupted, this character had only been introduced in the promotional material for season 2. ''[[FanDumb He didn't even have a canon color scheme yet.]]''
*** Of course, this works both ways. Since Sousuke had only appeared in promotional material, they really had no way of knowing what he would be like in-story. Even so, people (mainly [=MakoHaru=] shippers) are eager to pair him off with Rin. The day Sousuke was announced (within the hour, in fact), quite a few [=MakoHaru=] fans on Twitter declared that Sousuke would destroy [=RinHaru=] and preemptively declared [=RinHaru=] as sunk.
* 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'''.