* AmericansHateTingle: Arguably [[TheEvilPrince Gihren Zabi]], who is [[CompleteMonster far less tolerated in western countries than by Japan]] for [[ANaziByAnyOtherName obvious reasons]]. However in Japan, while he is not as popular as the massively-popular Char he is the poster boy for the Zabi Family and is significantly popular enough to have his own game series [[VideoGame/GihrensGreed named after him]]. His Sieg Zeon speech is also considered a major moment in Gundam history and has been repeated in various conventions. This is possibly due to lax laws on the depiction of Nazi aesthetics in Japan along with possible influence of Japan's infamous record of [[ValuesDissonance war crimes denial about it's actions in WWII]]. Interestingly enough, [[MisaimedFandom this appeal in Japan was a far cry from how Tomino wanted to audiences to view the character.]]
** The show itself was dubbed and shown on Cartoon Network right after the surprise success of ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamWing'', but failed to take in the hoped-for ratings, probably due to the animation being 20 years old by then. It was pulled after 9/11 four episodes from the end, though the final episode nevertheless managed to air that December when Char was voted surprisingly high in Toonami's "New Year's Evil" contest.
* BigLippedAlligatorMoment: Frau Bow giving the kids a bath in "Trap of M'Quve".
* BrokenBase: Which version of the show is better: The original 43 episode series, or the trilogy of [[CompilationMovie compilation movies?]] Fans of the original series cite its pacing as one of the main reasons to watch it over the movie trilogy, with more time being given to develop the characters, while fans of the movie trilogy prefer it for its higher quality animation and [[{{Retcon}} retconning some of the sillier aspects of the original series]] (Such as the G-Armor parts, which are replaced with the Core Booster support fighters).
* CompleteMonster: [[TheEvilPrince Prince Gihren Zabi]], the franchise's first BigBad, is the eldest son of the Zabi family; [[DragonInChief de facto]] dictator of the Principality of Zeon; and the franchise's original CM. A cold, Machiavellian personality who fully believes that DespotismJustifiesTheMeans, Gihren [[ItsAllAboutMe doesn't care about anyone's lives]], including those of his own family members, and is willing to do anything to TakeOverTheWorld. He takes being compared to UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler as a compliment; turns his little brother's funeral into a political rally while the rest of his family looks on in horror; preaches a MasterRace philosophy [[StrawHypocrite which he doesn't buy into himself]]; uses a ColonyDrop to exterminate vast swathes of earth's population; deploys [[DeadlyGas chemical weapons]] against the very colonies he claims to be liberating; and later blasts his [[{{Patricide}} own father]] and General Revil into oblivion just so they won't reach an armistice. When his sister Kycilia, [[EvenEvilHasStandards no angel herself]], confronts him about what he's done, Gihren's sneeringly offhanded disregard for her anger cements his status as an utterly hollow psychopath. Had he won, he admits that he would have reduced the earth's population to less than a billion and kept it that way so that they could never rise up against him. [[Anime/MobileSuitGundamThe08thMSTeam Side]]-[[MobileSuitGundamThePlotToAssassinateGihren stories]] involving him only add to his list of crimes--he helped [[MadScientist Ginias Sahalin]] and his [[WeaponOfMassDestruction Apsalus Project]]; and arranged, through his secretary, Cecilia Irene, two elaborate [[FalseFlagOperation false assassination plots]] with himself as the supposed victim in order to {{frame|Up}} Kycilia and [[WoundedGazelleGambit garner public support]] for clamping down on his political opposition. When Det. David Schiller became an UnwittingPawn in one of these schemes, he was rewarded by seeing his entire family, members of the anti-Zabi faction, imprisoned or executed. Decades after his introduction, Gihren remains the standard to which ''Gundam'''s other monsters aspire to.
* DracoInLeatherPants: Char.
** Even Gihren Zabi gets it himself in some circles of the fandom, especially the Japanese fan circles. That is despite him being behind the bulk of Zeon's war crimes in the One Year War and taking comparisons to Hitler as a compliment. There are even games allowing Zeon to win that envisions a Earth Sphere led by Gihren as a glorious future!
* EnsembleDarkhorse:
** Char, full stop (in Japan, he is just as iconic as [[Franchise/StarWars Darth Vader]] in America).
** Rambal Ral; the man has such a dignity and likability about him that it inspires a strong RootingForTheEmpire. His Gouf is similarly popular.
** The mobile suit [[http://www.mahq.net/mecha/gundam/msgundam/msm-04.htm Acguy]] has a large number of fans who consider its big head, stumpy limbs and plump frame to be UglyCute. Its derivatives, the even more bizarre looking Agg, Juagg, and Agguguy, aren't horribly unpopular themselves considering they were never actually on the show.
** Sleggar Law appeared in only a handful of episodes yet is incredibly popular. In fact legendary anime director Noburo Ishiguro loved Sleggar so much that he admitted to modelling Roy Focker from ''Anime/SuperDimensionFortressMacross'' after him.
* EvilIsCool: Zeon gets a lot of love from the fanbase.
** Char Aznable. It would be hard for him to be a bigger dick. It would also be hard for him to be a bigger badass.
** Ramba Ral. A man with a charismatic presence, cool custom Gouf, and enough of sympathetic presence that you want him to win.
* FashionVictimVillain: M'quve. Nice, uh, frills.
* FirstInstallmentWins: Pretty much. Of all the UC series it's always this period that gets side stories, video games, and such. Even though Zeta Gundam was more popular at the time of its airing, these days it's overshadowed by its progenitor. Some fans refer to this as "the Star Trek syndrome;" while the sequel series may be vastly superior, the original show inspired a fandom.
* HilariousInHindsight:
** [[TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}} Da red wunz go fasta, ya gitz?!]]
** A Federation ship carrying children is sent out into dangerous situations. Years later, ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' would do just that on a weekly basis.
** Although Char may be a DarthVaderClone, there's one thing that he had before Char - [[LukeIAmYourFather a familial connection to one of the heroes]][[note]]''Film/TheEmpireStrikesBack'', where Vader was revealed to be Luke's father, was released roughly 4 months after the last episode had finished airing[[/note]]. He even encourages Sayla to join him, like Darth Vader did with Luke!
* HoYay: Fans get giddy at the [[spoiler: Char and Garma]] subtext, especially during the shower scene and their ''arranged plans''.
* HypeBacklash: After listening to UC fans promote Mobile Suit Gundam 0079, it can be somewhat disappointing for some fans of other Gundam series to watch the show. Not because it's bad, but because it cannot live up to the hype its fans create for it. The same can be said for individual characters such as Char Aznable and Amuro Ray.
* LoveToHate: Char is this to the parts of the fanbase who aren't giving him leather pants, as is Kycilia Zabi. Gihren Zabi arguably qualifies as well. There's no doubt he's a total bastard, but he's just so ''good'' at it.
* MagnificentBastard: Kycilia Zabi, who manages to outmaneuver her vile older brother Gihren and assume command of Zeon as it enters its darkest hour, without losing audience sympathy or her flair for the dramatic. Various sidematerials have expanded upon her behind the scenes actions, making it clear that of all the backstabbing social climbers in the Zeon command structure, she was undoubtedly the greatest.
* MemeticBadass: Char ("[[LawOfChromaticSuperiority Da Red wunz go fasta, ya gitz?!]]) and Bright ("[[GetAHoldOfYourselfMan Slapping spineless wimps]] into '''[[TookALevelInBadass MEN OF DESTINY]]''' since 1979).
* MemeticMutation: Besides the whole [[LawOfChromaticSuperiority red thing]], there's the infamous line ''Once the Big Zam is mass produced''.
** "[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iHdy0P-GEIQ Char, you double crossed me, Char!]]"
** Let's not forget a certain "Jumping onto White Base."
*** [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8e8zUqP8yu4 AAAAAAH!]]
** The infamous [[GetAHoldOfYourselfMan Bright Slap]].
*** "Not even my father hits me!" God knows how many characters in other series utters this line because of Amuro saying it.
** "This is no Zaku boy, no Zaku!"
** "Blame it on the misfortune of your birth."
** Kai [[https://ayatayatadit.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/kai1.jpg sipping coffee]] is a popular reaction image.
** Many of the show's [[OffModel infamous errors and animation oddities]], especially those from episode 15, became such on sites like 4Chan. Most notably, the shot of the Gundam peering over a cliff from episode 18.
* MisaimedFandom: Yes, the Federation has corrupt leaders. Yes, Zeon has many good, moral, people who serve it. Yes, the Titans are bad. That being said, it's a little scary how many fans will knee-jerk a SEIG ZEON for a regime that murdered, not millions, but BILLIONS of people and continue to wipe out metropolitan centers every few years... FOR FREEDOM.
** This seems to have seeped in writers of many of the UC side stories where the majority of Zeon characters are presented as the heroic ones while any good characters in the Federation are typically a TokenGoodTeammate, which ignores that while there was fairly even balance of sympathetic characters in the original series on both sides, the worst characters were all in Zeon.
* MoralEventHorizon: Many found that Char crossed it when he [[spoiler:arranged Garma's death]].
** What really makes Char's crossing of the moral event horizon work is that he didn't just kill [[spoiler:Garma, he also killed the entire crew of the Gaw that Garma was on. And ''this'' is coming from a man who had been shown to genuinely mourn the loss of his subordinates.]] Chew on that for awhile.
** Gihren Zabi crosses it at Garma's funeral, when he turns his younger brother's send-off into a self-aggrandizing political rally (and piratecopies Hitler's salute "Sieg Heil" into "Sieg Zeon"), then reveals himself as a CompleteMonster when he [[spoiler:murders his father.]]
** [[spoiler:M'Quve arranging for Ramba Ral's death by denying him better mobile suits.]]
* {{Narm}}: The crew crying and blaming themselves for [[spoiler:Ryu]]'s death. Changed for the [[CompilationMovie compilation movies]], fortunately. In the movies, Amuro just beats up Hayato for letting Ryu go into battle.
** While the compilation movies may have toned down the banshee-like wailing of the White Base crew, [[spoiler:Ryu]]'s death in itself lost a lot of its impact. Tomino shoehorned it in for continuity, at the expense of the plot, and [[spoiler:Ryu]]'s sacrifice came right after [[spoiler:Matilda]]'s death by similar means. The White Base Crew (and Amuro) spend more time mourning [[spoiler:Matilda]] than they do [[spoiler:Ryu]], who in the series was so mourned that Bright had a PTSD type breakdown and couldn't captain the ship for several episodes.
** The symbolic images involving the Newtype powers can get very ridiculous. Near the end of the series it looks like Amuro is tripping balls rather than feeling traumatized due to [[spoiler:Lalah's death.]]
** The movie trilogy dub from the '90s, especially Bright's [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zXQYsYwmxo inexplicable cockney accent]]. The TV series dub is considered to be a huge improvement.
** [[spoiler: Gihren Zabi's]] lifeless body bouncing softly against a video screen in zero gravity shortly after being shot through the head by [[spoiler: his sister, Kyscilia]]
* NeverLiveItDown: [[DeadpanSnarker Kai Shiden]] is labeled a DirtyCoward by most of the crew early in the series for his bitter complaints about the situation they're in, despite the fact that he repeatedly undertakes dangerous assignments when necessary.[[note]]And after the war, he's left the danger of a MS cockpit for the safe career of ''war journalist''[[/note]] While the other characters eventually realize their mistake, the majority of the ''fandom'' seems to have ignored that and consider him a spineless jerk.
** In other circles however, he's an EnsembleDarkhorse with a level of popularity that surpasses even Char Aznable. It helps that, come Zeta, he's effectively the Gundam series equivalent of James Bond.
* RescuedFromTheScrappyHeap: Kai Shiden. He get much better as the story progresses.
* SeinfeldIsUnfunny: Inevitable, given the number of homages the later shows in the franchise did, it means many plot points in the show don't stand out now as much as they did when they were first done. The show wasn't very successful when it initially aired, in fact leading it to end three episodes earlier than originally planned, meaning it didn't have the animation budget that later Gundam shows did, which can be clearly seen in how its animation is a lot less detailed and a lot slower paced. The dated animation and EarlyInstallmentWeirdness tone didn't appeal to many newcomers, even among several UC fans who prefer the later installments and OVA series.
* {{Squick}}: In the novel version, aside from the gross plot changes, WordOfGod states that Amuro's crush on Sayla culminated in him [[spoiler: making a ''locket'' out of her ''pubic hair''.]]
** It should be noted that ''Amuro himself'' initially thought this was disgusting, but was pressured into it by Kai and Hayato. It's apparently a combat pilot superstition that if a pilot gets into a relationship with a woman he must take an "Amulet" with him on missions or risk bringing misfortune and death on the entire squad.
* StrangledByTheRedString: Amuro and Lalah's relationship just comes out of nowhere, as does their instant attachment to one another. The series justifies it, what with their Newtype powers having caused them to identify with one another, but that doesn't help make the relationship any more real to the audience. The strangling Newtype would become a tradition in Zeta Gundam.
* TooCoolToLive: [[spoiler:Ramba Ral]] and [[spoiler:Sleggar Law]] are two examples.
* VindicatedByHistory: It's tough to believe that this show was canceled early due to poor ratings. And it's now the progenitor of one of the most renowned franchises in anime history.
* {{Wangst}}: Amuro can get pretty whiny at times. He has his reasons, of course, but even so.
** And it should be noted that he stops his petulant whining about two-thirds of the way through the series.
** Hayato's as bad, or worse. His entire personality is based around resenting Amuro for being better than he is, and whining like a bitch whenever Bright praises the latter's performance. Perhaps his wangstiest moment comes following the latter's desertion, when he's so mad that Amuro wasn't executed for it, that ''he'' [[InsaneTrollLogic deserts]]. You go kid. That'll show them.
* WhatAnIdiot: Hayato deserting when Amuro wasn't executed for deserting. Logic clearly was not involved. Thankfully for both of them they weren't part of the regular military at that point and Ryu even reasons to Bright that they were on the spot draftees, so it would be too harsh to apply strict military rules to them.
* TheWoobie: Miharu Ratokie. Lalah Sune, too.