* AdaptationDisplacement: The anime is far more popular than the sound novels or even manga, as expected.
* AlternateCharacterInterpretation: ''Everyone'', since each arc shows a different character through a different lens and allows the reader to see through their thoughts.
* AngstWhatAngst: Rena's world view at the start of Tsumihoroboshi-hen. [[BreakTheCutie It doesn't]] [[AxCrazy work out]].
** Higurashi: Outbreak in a nutshell.
* {{Anvilicious}} / SomeAnvilsNeedToBeDropped: Above all else, the series' main theme and moral seems to be about the importance of having a good [[AbusiveParents child protection program.]] The recurring theme of child abuse and the slogging bureaucratic "attempts" to fight it (and in one memorable case, actively ''ignoring'' it) are the genesis of several slaughters [[spoiler: and the main tragedy itself]]. Unfortunately, this is TruthInTelevision in Japan, where even now child abuse is seen as a [[ValuesDissonance "family problem"]], and this holds true for many other places in the world of course.
** If you're troubled or in danger, don't keep it to yourself, [[PowerOfFriendship talk about it with someone]].
** FamilyUnfriendlyAesop: In Tsumihoroboshi, the moral can be seen as "Stick by your friends, even if they've brutally murdered some adults and are now attempting to blow up the school." However, the same arc lays down a more down-to-earth message: while you should certainly stick with your friends, it's okay to keep things from them that they don't need to know. Otherwise no one would be friends because they couldn't bear to tell others about the mistakes they've made.
* BrokenBase: The fanbase is divided on whether to use the PS2 or original graphics.
** Similarly between the original BGM and the [=MangaGamer=] ones.
** A bigger broken base is Higurashi Kira. Since each episode focused [[FanService on]] [[ShipTease very]] [[ParodiedTrope dif]][[MagicalGirl ferent]] [[HeartwarmingMoments elements]], it is very difficult to have one definite opinion about the whole OVA. Especially since the last episode is rather different from the first three, being more serious and closer to the feel of the original series. Cue discussions which of the episodes are good and which aren't.
** The OVA's in total are this. A lot of fans hate the lack of horror in most of them, despite the fact that [[spoiler:the Endless June is finished and thus there's no need for the HatePlague or drama]].
* CargoShip: Chie x Curry, Rena x Kenta-kun.
* CompleteMonster:
** The leader of the OrphanageOfFear in [[spoiler:BigBad Miyo Takano]]'s past was a sadistic disciplinarian who believes in brutalizing the children by whipping any he deemed 'disobedient' so that the others could hear. When one boy accidentally spilled the ink in his pen, the orphanage leader forced him to ''eat'' the ink. [[spoiler:Takano herself]] was even forced to clean a filthy outhouse with her mouth and saw one of her friends turned into chicken feed. With this treatment, it's little wonder [[spoiler:Takano]] ended up as such a delusional psychopath.
** Teppei Houjo is also a ChildHater who commits child abuse in inventive and chilling ways. Among other things, he forces Satoko, an 11 year old, to strip naked so he can use her for a 'table' and humiliate her. He regularly uses psychological torture on her as well, and murdered Rika, another child, for getting involved. Even [[spoiler:BigBad Miyo Takano]] considers [[EvenEvilHasStandards him utter scum]].
** Nomura herself, despite having very little screentime, can be seen as the ultimate monster of the franchise as well. Being the ManipulativeBitch she is, she tricks [[spoiler:Takano amidst her DespairEventHorizon]] into helping her, in the side helping to indirectly cause the Great Hinamizawa Disaster [[note]] basically murdering Rika to trick a special forces unit into exterminating 2000+ people via improvised gas chamber and making a sulfide gas cover story under the pretense that they go psycho without Rika keeping [[HatePlague Hinimizawa Syndrome]] in check[[/note]], all for her goal of closing up a competing company. She also [[KarmaHoudini gets away with everything, never meeting any other characters and leaving]] [[spoiler: [[KarmaHoudini Takano]]]] [[KarmaHoudini to take all the blame]].
* CrackPairing: In Hirukowashi-hen Rena/Tomitake, [[LesYay Takano/Rena]], Ooishi/Rena (OVA Only), Irie/Rena (Game Only).
** Keiichi/Oryō (OVA) takes the cake.
* CrowningMusicOfAwesome This is part of the reason why the show is so terrifying at points. The soundtrack is particularly epic in ''Kai''. See [[AwesomeMusic/WhenTheyCry its own page]].
* EarWorm: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPLO4tnvNko The opening of Kira]] will be stuck in your head for a few days, whether you like it or not. As if it wasn't bad enough, having the characters nodding their heads on the beat adds an ''Eye Worm''.
* EndingFatigue: After the VN's Watanagashi-hen ''could have'' ended on a dramatic high note, Keiichi says it best:
--> ''Please, somebody end this case. This extremely cruel, pitiful and sad case...please end it.''
** Tatarigoroshi-hen is labelled "[[BlatantLies The Shortest Scenario]]" in the VN. In the anime, it's an episode longer than the previous arcs.
* EnsembleDarkHorse: Rena is ''Higurashi's'' most iconic character, the most commonly related to the show, and her popularity dwarfs the true protagonists'. Despite being relevant in all arcs and only being central in one, this may be because said arc is the series' turning point. Still, the creator seems to have taken this in stride; see WolverinePublicity.
** Tomitake is one as well.
** Shion is quite iconic in this series as a well-known Yandere.
* EpilepticTrees: If we go by Saikoroshi-hen's continuity (in ''Rei''), Rika mutters to Hanyuu at one point that [[spoiler:she should return to being Rika Furude and stop being the witch [[UminekoNoNakuKoroNi Bernkastel]]]].
* EvilIsSexy: [[spoiler:Miyo Takano]].
* FandomBerserkButton: Dumbing down the series by summing it up as 'that series with the killer lolis' is a good way to annoy many people. Similarly with those who only focus on the horror and gorn aspects of the show, and ignore the emotional element behind it all.
* FriendlyFandoms: On good terms with the NipponIchi and PuellaMagiMadokaMagica fandoms.
* FunnyAneurysmMoment / [[spoiler:{{Foreshadowing}}]]: [[spoiler:In Watanagashi-hen (episode 5 of the anime), Mion explains that she's the nice, pleasant twin, whilst Shion is mean and nasty. Then in episode 8, we find out that it's the other way around (Mion is evil, Shion's the victim) and THEN in Meakashi-hen, we find out that Mion was right all along]].
** The first dialogue between Tomitake and Keiichi sounds very weird after ''Tsumihoroboshi-hen''.
-->'''Tomitake:''' What is she doing in such a place?\\
'''Keiichi:''' Beats me. Maybe she's checking up the body she has cut in pieces and buried here?
* GrowingTheBeard: Watanagashi-hen is often considered this point.
* HarsherInHindsight: Rena is nearly strangled to death by Rina Mamiya. She's [[VisualNovel/HiganbanaNoSakuYoruNi not the only person in a Ryukishi07 work who was strangled]].
** In the eyes of some, [[spoiler:Takano's]] FreudianExcuse loses all sympathy when you realize that their machinations have caused [[spoiler: Rika ''centuries'' of torment.]]
* HellIsThatNoise: The organ riff of [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jv3MqnhWhec Shiritori no Itadaki ~ Blanc Pur]] in ''Minagoroshi-hen'', which sounds appropriately like a funeral music. When it starts playing you just know something bad is going to happen. That music marks the end of the HopeSpot in that arc [[spoiler:when Tomitake is cornered and about to be injected with the H173.]]
** The cicadas at first, and for a long time until you become desensitized by their ubiquity. But when they shift between day and night cries, or break a period of silence, the aural bombardment begins again.
* HoYay - Notable in Keiichi's "K" persona in ''Kai''. On the other side of the fence, the official artwork and such often exploits the fact that, out of the core seven characters, only one of them is a guy for all it's worth.
** There's also a bunch of LesYay between the female cast members. The animators take advantage of this in their anime-only scenes, and official arts.
* ItWasHisSled: Rika's [[spoiler:stuck in a GroundhogDayLoop, people die in this series and they come back to life, Rika has NotSoImaginaryFriend who is a God, the HatePlague]], Mion has an identical twin sister, [[spoiler:Satoshi is alive]]... Everything about this series is well-known.
** Also the infamy of the Eye Opening chapter.
* JerkassWoobie: [[spoiler:Shion]] in both ''Watanagashi-hen'' and ''Meakashi-hen''. She gets better in other arcs.
* {{LesYay}}: Several pieces of official art. Usually revolving around [[{{Twincest}} Mion & Shion]] (first season) or Satoko & Rika (sometimes with Hanyuu; second season). Similar behaviors pop up throughout the series.
* MagnificentBastard: [[spoiler:Miyo Takano, the series' BigBad]].
** Also, [[spoiler:Nomura, [[TheManBehindTheMan the person responsible for manipulating Takano into destroying Hinamizawa in the first place]]]].
** Shion tries her hand at being this in the first half Musubienishi-hen, disguising herself as her sister to manipulate Keiichi into pretending to be her boyfriend and hero. At least until she resigns from her mischief after Keiichi blows her cover and realizes who she really is, after which she really opens up to him in tears after hearing him say "That's why... this one's on me..." before his loss of consciousness.
* MagnumOpus: Either Tsumihoroboshi-hen or Minagoroshi-hen are often considered the best novels of Franchise/WhenTheyCry. As a whole, ''Higurashi'' is frequently considered Ryukushi's best work by a large portion of the fandom, with another large part preferring ''[[VisualNovel/UminekoNoNakuKoroNi Umineko]]''.
* MemeticMutation: Their laughs.
** On Hanyuu in the last arc: Why can't anyone her horns?
*** [[UnusualEuphemism I'd her horns.]]
*** They're handlebars.
** U SODA?
** [[ImTakingHerHomewithMe Omochikaeri~]]
* MemeticMolester: Rena's going to [[ImTakingHerHomeWithMe take you home!]]
* MemeticPsychopath: While much of the cast does in fact go crazy at some point, Rena seems to get the worst of it in terms of exxageration, often being falsely labeled as a {{Yandere}}.
* MisaimedFandom: Remember kids, according to this fandom it's a-ok to [[spoiler: beat defenseless little girls to almost death]] because you find them clingy and annoying. Nevermind that this is [[spoiler: a {{Yandere}} tantrum from the culprit instead of a HatePlague-caused hallucination]], and that [[spoiler: the little girl's brother found out and [[PunchedAcrossTheRoom was MOST pissed off]]!]], nooooooo...
** The many deaths of Teppei also get cheered on by most. See TheScrappy below for why.
* {{Moe}}: Rena, Rika and Satoko. Rika is well aware of that and uses her cuteness for her advantage numerous times. She even won the 2007 Saimoe Tournament.
* MoralEventHorizon: The Shion arc is a veritable LensmanArmsRace of inexcusable acts starting with [[spoiler: Onryu]] ordering the ColdBloodedTorture of Shion during the "distinguishment scene" and culminating a few episodes later, with the brutal murder of Satoko. Even more so, [[spoiler: Miyo]] in Minagoroshi-hen after she caps an 11 year old girl in the head after playing mind games with her (and after promising to spare her life before she executed another member of the [[TrueCompanions protagonist clique]] in front of the poor little girl's face).
* MostWonderfulSound: "Nipah~"
* {{Narm}}: Sakoto's FreakOut in Tatarigoroshi-hen is difficult to take seriously when she somehow manages to knock the much-larger-than-her Keichii across the entire room with one shove.
** It's more believable in the manga and VN where she just knocks his hand away.
* NauseaFuel: Often accompanies the NightmareFuel.
** Then there's the part where [[spoiler:Satoko actually throws up.]] The sound was [[NauseaFuel very convincing.]]
* NeverLiveItDown: Rena's AxCrazy reputation. [[spoiler:The only arc in which she was ''truly'' crazy was Tsumihoroboshi-hen, what with the stalking and poisoning in Onikakushi-hen being hallucinated by Keiichi.]] In the other arcs, she's only mildly bipolar and not really all that psycho.
** Shion's usually a decent person, but [[spoiler:her RoaringRampageOfRevenge in Watanagashi-hen/Meakashi-hen was [[NightmareFuel so horrifying even by the standards of the series]] that she will be forever known as "That [[AxCrazy psycho]] {{Yandere}} chick who [[ColdBloodedTorture tortured everyone to death]]."]]
* PanderingToTheBase: The first episode of ''Rei'' and all of ''Kira'' due to there gratuitous use of fanservice. [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_RaUPlVeD2E Just look at Kira's trailer!]]
* RescuedFromTheScrappyHeap: Satoko post Meakashi-hen.
* RewatchBonus: As a series based on a lot of mysteries and deceptions, reading Higurashi is a completely different experience the second time around, in no small part due to massive amounts of foreshadowing. In particular, reading Onikakushi-hen while knowing that [[spoiler:Keiichi is hallucinating from Hinamizawa Syndrome]] turns just about everyone's actions on their heads.
* TheScrappy: Teppei for being a total scumbag to the point of being completely unentertaining (unlike more malicious characters like [[spoiler: "Trollkastel" and Takano]]. It gets so bad that in a series that's very much against violent solutions, his deaths are more often than not cheered on by the fans.
** There's also the fact that, you know, he's a child abuser.
** It's really telling just how hated he is when during the 08/2013 character poll, Teppei didn't even get on the list (there were 18 characters on the list) considering that he's a relatively major character.
* ShipTease: The rule of thumb (more or less) is that there will be ShipTease between Keiichi and the main female character of the arc. In ''Onikakushi-hen'' and ''Tsumihoroboshi-hen'' it's Keiichi×Rena; in ''Watanagashi-hen'' and ''Meakashi-hen'' it's Keiichi×Shmion; in the alternate PS2 final chapter its Mion; in ''Tatarigoroshi-hen'' and ''Minagoroshi-hen'' there is slight teasing for Keiichi×Satoko (though less romantic and more brother-sister like). Keiichi and Rena are usually shown to have [[RedOniBlueOni some kind of complementarity]] in most arcs though.
* ShipToShipCombat: Between "[=KeiMii=]" and "[=KeiRei=]" shippers, but it stays mild and peaceful.
* TastesLikeDiabetes: The beginning of each arc. After that...
** A straighter, and more sugary, example is Kokoroiyashi-hen. It has a TearJerker in it but then it goes straight back to the diabetes.
* SpecialEffectFailure: The passages where the girl's eyes shift to "split pupils" in the LiveActionAdaptation are a bit… conspicuous.
* SignatureScene: Keiichi bashing [[spoiler:Mion and Rena]] with a baseball bat at the start of the story is probably this.
* TheyWastedAPerfectlyGoodPlot: Many fans regard [[spoiler:Satoshi's reappearance]] in ''Kira'' as a pointless yaoi OneSceneWonder.
* ThisIsYourPremiseOnDrugs: Bipolar murder mystery anime on PCP.
* TheUntwist: [[spoiler:The manga arc ''Yoigoshi-hen'', which is in a Great Hinamizawa Disaster timeline, features a woman claiming to be Mion, but characters point out that Mion died 20 years ago, and "Mion" is shaken when she meets another major character who bears an uncanny resemblance to Satoshi. She even delivers a monologue that resembles Shion's speech in ''Watanagashi-hen'' ("I'm the demon inside Mion!" etc. etc.). Yes, she's actually Shion. It's a bit different from ''Watanagashi-hen'' though; Mion's ghost actually possesses Shion for most of the story.]]
** More generally, [[spoiler: the fact that Miyo Takano is the BigBad. She was so suspicious from the start that various fans were sure there'd be some other explanation for it. Nope, as it turns out.]]
* WhatAnIdiot: In the anime, after Keiichi [[spoiler:is almost killed by Shion posing as Mion, he narrowly gets away after being warned by her that if he sees her again, he shouldn't come near her. The next night, she comes and throws pebbles at his window. Being the kind of character he is, Keiichi goes down and talks to her. Naturally, she promptly stabs him]]. In the game and manga, this scene is played out in a somewhat more believable way.
** Also, in both that and Watanagashi-hen: [[spoiler:"YES! You've caught me, I'm the psychopathic murderer! Now, before I surrender to the cops outside, will one of you please follow me alone into this underground soundproof torture chamber?"]]
** In Saikoroshi-hen, [[spoiler:Rika, after finally escaping an everlasting cycle of paranoia, murder, torture and death, abandons all caution and and gets hit by a truck. Had it not been for Hanyuu, this would have restarted the entire cycle once more.]]
** [[spoiler:Irie-sensei not realizing that Takano was just a bit [[MadScientist amoral]] and for that matter the BigBad of the series, given some of her less... subtle statements showing a certain lack of regard for ethics, as revealed by the flashbacks in Matsuribayashi-hen (Though granted, she had a [[{{Blackmail}} lot over his head]] and he might not have thought he could have done anything useful and gotten away with it).]]
** In Tatarigoroshi-hen, [[spoiler:Mion perfectly knows what Keiichi was doing during the night of the festival, so she probably asks Rena and Rika to do as if he had gone to the festival as an alibi. Fine. Then they tell Keiichi to come to the trash field, probably to explain the whole deal to him. It doesn't occur to either Rena or Mion to explain him at least the basics while nobody is around; like the ''entire way'' back from school.]] [[GoneHorriblyWrong The rest is history.]] Granted, they couldn't guess it would turn ''that'' wrong, but they still had absolutely no reason to wait so much to tell him anything.
* WhatDoYouMeanItsNotForKids: It isn't despite the cheery beginning atmosphere of every episode, the cute faces and the flowers... It's more like NightmareFuel - or a BlackComedy.
* {{Woolseyism}}: The French version of the sound novel doesn't hesitate to take a few liberties with the original text, and they usually work extremely well.
** Hanyū's VerbalTic "Au au au !" becomes "Mééé euuuh !" [[note]]untranslatable, but it expresses a childish and embarrassed protest[[/note]], which is incredibly cute and fitting; similarly, Rika's [[UnsoundEffect "Nipah~~*"]] becomes "Ehéééé~~*".
** Satoko is given a ''very'' elevated speech full of subjunctives and more or less obscure words, and uses the distant pronoun "vous" to adress everyone. Her nickname to Satoshi "Nii-nii" is also adapted as "Totoche".
** In lieu of "Kei-chan", [[TheGadFly Mion]] usually calls Keiichi "p'tit gars"[[note]]pronounce "ptee gah"[[/note]] ("lil' guy") while [[TheTease Shion]] calls him "mon cœur" ("sweetheart"). They do call him "Kei" sometimes, but not often.
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