* AccidentalInnuendo: Well, this ''is'' the internet.
--> ''"But Bittenfeld, knowing it's a [[DudeLooksLikeALady trap]], decides to [[ThatCameOutWrong plunge in anyways!]]"''
* AlternateCharacterInterpretation: Invoked very deliberately with most characters. The story is about the conflict between two galactic superpowers, and both sides have characters with sympathetic goals... whose means to reach those goals usually boil down to trying to destroy one another. The series also doesn't shy away from showing that even fundamentally good men sometimes make short-sighted decisions that end up hurting innocents, even if it looked like the right decision at the time, nor are they immune from acting rashly on self-interest or sentimentality.
* {{Anvilicious}}: Surprisingly averted for the most part. While there are a good deal of filibusters and author tracts in-verse (even from the narrator), they come from different perspectives, all not necessarily treated as better than others. Yang himself lampshades this by pointing out contradictions and hypocrisies in his own beliefs. Those said, there are times when SomeAnvilsNeedToBeDropped.
* BigLippedAlligatorMoment: Episode 62, in which Attenborough inexplicably shows up in a pirate costume for exactly one scene. This is never brought up again.
* CompleteMonster: [[TheEvilPrince Prince Otho von Braunchsweig]] is the son-in-law of Kaiser Frederich IV and the most ruthless member of the nobility. Dissatisfied with the former Kaiser's grandson being made the new ruler of the empire instead of Braunschweig's daughter, Braunschweig launched a civil war with the goal of seizing absolute power for himself. He continued the Goldenbaum Dynasty's despicable policies of eugenics, [[PoliticallyIncorrectVillain believing nobles to be inherently superior to commoners]], and allowed himself and his fellow aristocrats free reign in oppressing the planets under their control. [[SmugSnake Braunschweig]] was an [[GeneralFailure incompetent military leader]] who [[BadBoss treated his subordinates terribly]], threatened a genius admiral's family to force the admiral to serve him, executed the sole surviving noble of a battle for merely suspecting him of treason, arrested his loyal right-hand advisor for privately criticizing one of Braunschweig's insane orders, and overall cared nothing for the soldiers whose lives he threw away in pursuit of his own personal glory. However, Braunschweig's most monstrous act was a crime known as the Westerland Massacre. When the colony world of Westerland killed his oppressive nephew, Braunschweig was outraged—not that his nephew had been killed but the fact that the commoners' "ingratitude" had killed a fellow aristocrat--and decided to MakeAnExampleOfThem by [[NukeEm nuking the entire planet]], murdering its entire population of two million civilians. Not only was this a war crime, but after it was carried out, it resulted in mass defections from his soldiers and [[EvenEvilHasStandards suicides from allied nobles]]. In a series filled to the brim with GreyAndGrayMorality, Braunschweig was by far the most despicable human being present, embodying the absolute worst of the [[AristocratsAreEvil corruption inherent in the Goldenbaum Dynasty's aristocracy]].
* EnsembleDarkhorse: You would expect that either Reinhard or Yang Wenli would be the most popular characters of the show. Granted, they are popular, but who is the absolute darling of ficwriters and discussants? The enigmatic, electronic-eyed and utterly ruthless [[TheChessmaster Paul von Oberstein]].
** In {{Website/Pixiv}} and similar circles, Muller is unusually popular, launching several rarepairs in the process.
** Attenborough, whose [[CompositeCharacter importance was]] [[AscendedExtra considerably pushed]] in the anime compared to the original books, is beloved because of his quotable lines and comic relief moments, and for being a reasonably competent tactician in his own right.
* EstrogenBrigade: Not all that surprising in hindsight.
* FanPreferredCouple: Getting Reinhard/Kircheis and Reuenthal/Mittermeyer out of the way first, you'd be surprised at how popular Ferner/Oberstein -- usually unrequited -- is with fanartists.
* FoeYayShipping: How some fans interpret the relationship between Reinhard and Yang.
* GeniusBonus: In episode 39, Yang explains his view on the political situation between the Alliance, the Empire, and Fezzan to Julian. Anyone with a background in political science (especially in international relations) will recognize his explanation as a simplified version of the Realist school of though, especially the Balance of Power theory.
* HarsherInHindsight: There's a moment as early as episode 17 where a character mentions to another that if he's in trouble, "I'll get you to come save me". [[spoiler: And then, around sixty episodes later, Yang is shot and dies, with Julian arriving minutes too late.]]
** [[spoiler:Yang]] died within a single year after marrying [[spoiler:Frederica]], and during which they spent less then three months living in peace together. Considering how things turned out in the end, his inner monolog after proposing to her about how he didn't peruse her romantically before this point because he doesn't deserve family happiness becomes tragically accurate.
* [[HeartwarmingInHindsight Heartwarming]] + HilariousInHindsight: Episode 13 has Kesler having to deal with Reinhard's "scorched earth" tactic on a planet, while dealing with a woman named Vier, whom he would have did ChildhoodFriendRomance with, but left to join the military, and when he sees her again, he hears she was married and has a son, but find out her husband died in combat, and the kicker, Vier is voiced by Creator/SakikoTamagawa, who is currently the wife of Creator/ShuichiIkeda (Kesler's voice actor).
* ItWasHisSled: It's pretty well known just ''how'' far the series takes its AnyoneCanDie policy.
** Likewise, [[spoiler:the Empire defeating the Alliance]] is a rather hard spoiler to avoid, given that it comes up in almost every discussion of the show.
* MagnificentBastard: Many who vary in effectiveness, but Reinhard is the best of the lot.
** Or possibly the second best, as there was someone capable of easily manipulating ''him'', who knew perfectly what Reinhard was planning, and made sure he had the means to succeed (and even covertly teased him about his ambitions), ''without Reinhard noticing''. [[spoiler:His identity? ''Emperor Friedrich IV''.]] And it's strongly implied that [[spoiler:he ''wanted'' Reinhard to take the throne and reinvigorate the Empire, knowing fully well that the Goldenbaum Dynasty's days were numbered.]]
* MemeticMutation:
** [[http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b85/NiteRabbit/1268252176292.jpg Are]] [[http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b85/NiteRabbit/1265307751256.jpg you]] '''[[http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b85/NiteRabbit/1271877793442.jpg frustrated?]]'''
** [[http://i660.photobucket.com/albums/uu328/Smokie1/1310957216257.png?t=1311435488 This wiki would be better]] [[http://i660.photobucket.com/albums/uu328/Smokie1/Ifonly2.jpg if only Kircheis were here...]]
** Louis Mashengo. Yang Wenli never remembers who he is and often wonders why he is around.
** Taking Oberstein's ever-stoic face and captioning in things like "rofl XD"
** The screencap of "You may have killed millions of people, but at the very least, you made me happy." is sometimes used as a way to sum up the way people feel about their favorite morally questionable characters.
* MoralEventHorizon: Oberstein keeps teetering on the edge, and arguably crosses it with [[spoiler:the Westerland incident]] - made only worse by the fact that his actions proved to have an overall ''positive'' effect for Reinhard and his followers.
** Adrian Rubinsky starts out as a ruthless schemer who only cares about profiting from the war. At the end of the show, however, [[spoiler:he dies of a malignant brain tumor. ''Then'' we find out that his death would trigger bombs ''all over Heinessen'', killing god knows how many people in the process. Any why? Only so he ''might'' take Kaiser Reinhard down with him. For someone who was a MagnificentBastard for most of the show, this act of pointless destruction sure makes him seem like a monster.]]
* SomeAnvilsNeedToBeDropped
** [[MyCountryRightOrWrong Nationalism]] and [[TheFundamentalist Religious Extremism]] are nothing but tools for SleazyPolitician to meet their goals at price of others. These messages was given within the show that emphasized through the [[TheFederation Free Planets Alliance]]'s [[spoiler: the manipulation of nationalistic zeals for sake of public support caused them to launch a [[HopelessWar failed invasion]] into Imperial territories along with civil war among the disgruntled military and the government before its defeat by [[TheEmpire Galactic Empire]] due to its moments of weakness]] and the [[PathOfInspiration Terrarist Church]] who wish to restore the prestige of [[InsignificantBluePlanet Earth]] by [[BrainwashedAndCrazy any]] [[ChurchMilitant means]].
* StoicWoobie: Oskar von Reuenthal. He has mommy issues, which are his FreudianExcuse for never being able to form a lasting relationship with his lovers, knocks up a woman who ''[[SlapSlapKiss wanted to kill him]]'', and is wrongfully accused of treason ''twice'', the second time deciding to go along with it because he's too prideful to [[ClearMyName clear his name]] a second time despite knowing that he's outnumbered and will probably die. No wonder why he he's Mittermeyer's drinking buddy, who wouldn't want to buy the guy a drink (besides Oberstein and Lang)?
%%TearJerker to its own tab
* ValuesDissonance:
** There are a couple of jokes about Frederica's cooking ability that given that she's both a naval officer and later, [[spoiler: a politician]] would seem a little out of place in a modern, western show.
** While Frederica may hold a relatively low official rank, the ''unofficial'' power she commands is rather substantial. [[spoiler: As both Yang's wife and his adjutant, Frederica is basically his closest and most important advisor, and inherits his full political power following his death. It also seems likely that, with the end of the war and the new peace, that she will continue to hold a prominent role in Heinessen/Imperial politics.]]
** A greater source of dissonance, at least from the point of view of modern liberal democracies, is the willingness to admit that autocracy can be preferable to democracy under certain circumstances. In the end, [[spoiler: the Autocracy dominates the entire inhabited galaxy (with Heinessen left as a Democracy reservation), though there are hints that it will become a Constitutional Monarchy through gradual reforms]].
*** This is especially troublesome since the [[UsefulNotes/ImperialGermany actual history]] of [[UsefulNotes/TheSoundOfMartialMusic the Empire's obvious inspiration]] does [[UsefulNotes/OttoVonBismarck not leave]] [[UsefulNotes/FrancoPrussianWar much room]] [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarI to be hopeful]] and [[AMillionIsAStatistic millions upon millions]] [[FascistButInefficient of reasons]] to be doubtful.
*** What makes it troublesome is the way that it is portrayed : although the series is entirely willing to suggest that an enlightened autocracy may be preferable to a corrupt democracy, and that citizens themselves may prefer the rule of a dictator, it poisons an otherwise magnificent deconstruction of both arguments through a consistent bias in favor of the Empire. The portrayal of a corrupt democracy is far, far more convincing than the more one-dimensional portrayal of the Galactic Empire's corrupt autocracy, and Reinhard von Lohengramm's ascension and the defeat of the powerful nobles is treated like a panacea. Even without the worst of the nobles, the institutions that maintained them and the Empire's war machine, not to mention its ceaseless abuse of those not of Northern/Western European descent, are kept out of sight and out of mind throughout. Reinhard would never have been able to change the root of the problem and even if Hilda made the empire a parliamentary democracy, it is quite likely that the voters would decide to elect a militarist dictator through constitutional means. Which happened previously in series history as well as in real-life Germany with [[UsefulNotes/NaziGermany disastrous results]].
* ValuesResonance: In LegendOfGalacticHeroes, a narcissistic corrupt douchbag is elected into power and becomes Chairman of a country that ends up becoming decadent, corrupt, and inefficient, with hategroups running rampant. [[DonaldTrump In 2016, a narcissistic corrupt douchbag was elected into power and became President of a country that could become decadent, corrupt, and inefficient, with hategroups already starting to run rampant.]] [[{{Understatement}} You can see how this makes the series just a touch more relevant nowadays.]]