* AccidentalInnuendo:
** In the original Japanese, Aster (having the D-HERO deck), often says things like "the power of the D" or similar in reference to destiny. When "the D" is taken to be the OTHER one, some really hilarious accidents occur. Which puts an [[HoYay interesting]] spin on his search for "the Ultimate D"...
** And then there's his caretaker whose name is changed from "DD" to "The D" in English...
* AmericansHateTingle:
** Yubel gets shunted off to the side a lot in the English-speaking fandom, but they (and their relationship with Jaden) appear fairly popular in Japanese fan art. Part of this is likely because their motivation was degraded from a sadomasochistic view of love to just being a PsychopathicManchild.
** The GX anime in general was a lot better received in Japan than in English-speaking fandom, especially when it was first airing.
* AntiClimaxBoss:
** Despite having a prior episode of build-up as "the ultimate D card" and being a fusion of his two strongest monsters, Aster's Destiny End Dragoon hits the field at the end of the turn, does nothing, and is KO'd the next turn and Chazz then KO'd Aster.
** [[spoiler:Despite having a very powerful deck, Darkness/Nightshroud has a rather poor showing against Jaden in his final Duel with him.]]
* SugarWiki/AwesomeMusic: The dub's guitar soundtrack.
* AssPull: In true series tradition. Jaden's deck focuses on Fusion, so count on him constantly fusing his E-HEROES in different ways never seen before, and the new one will do exactly what is needed to do to help him win. Not to mention all the E-HERO support cards that are not too useful in real life due to how situational they are, but in the show Jaden pulls them out in instances that always let him win.
* AuthorsSavingThrow: Season 3 gave most of Jaden's friends fairly unflattering treatment, with most either becoming a Duel Zombie in the first alternate dimension or "dying" in the second, while [[CreatorsPet Jesse]] received so much attention even when he wasn't around. Season 4 gave many of them more development and established their goals in life, while Jesse was shipped off back to his own school for most of the season.
* BadassDecay:
** Chazz in Season 3; he's worfed by Adrian, turned into a Duel Ghoul early on (admittedly after an impressive LastStand) and beaten by Jaden in a few turns during this point, and like many of the old characters, is sent to the stars halfway through the season.
** Bastion in the second season, to the point he pulls a FaceHeelTurn, only to be even ''more'' mocked.
** In their first appearance, the Phantom Demons/Sacred Beasts were [[PersonOfMassDestruction cards of mass destruction]] that drain the life of lesser cards just by being summoned and have much stronger effects than their real-life cards to boot. When they reappear in Season 3, they're demoted to simply powerful cards, use their weaker real-life effects, and it takes Armityle, a FusionDance of the three, to restore them to their previous status. Later on, [[spoiler:Adrian]] brushes even ''Armityle'' aside.
** Zane, so much. After Season 1 established him as the best duelist in the Academy, so good that even Jaden at his best could only get a draw out of him, Aster not only beats him in Season 2, but publicly humiliates him, setting off a string of defeats. While his FaceHeelTurn and subsequently more brutal dueling tactics do temporarily reverse the decay, it sinks in even deeper once he acquires the Cyberdark cards. Zane's Cyber Dragons were legitimately good cards and highly sought after in the metagame for it during the time of ''GX'', but the Cyberdarks are a terrible archetype whose ace monster relies on Zane discarding most of his deck to get it up to the power levels of his Cyber End Dragon. His only victories on-screen with the deck are against Atticus (who uses a Dragon deck that Zane's Cyberdarks are pretty much designed to counter), and Syrus (who duels far worse in this instance than in his previous duels). The writers themselves seemed to realize Zane took a step back, because in Season 3 he goes back to using his Cyber Dragons as his main monsters.
* BaseBreakingCharacter: Jesse Anderson. The fans seem to be divided on whether he's the [[EnsembleDarkhorse best character in the entire show]] who deserves his own spin-off or a bland, spotlight-stealing Marty Stu, with not much middle ground.
* BigLippedAlligatorMoment: In Episode 20, while Jaden, Syrus, and Chumley are scrubbing each other's backs, [[https://24.media.tumblr.com/05f0eec3d86e2f5d6b150e6b07dc92fa/tumblr_n49j43vtkE1s9gsu0o4_500.png Jaden would then realize that he's scrubbing a bear's back]] while the bear scrubs a seal. That hilarious incident was never mentioned since, and it was also cut from the dub due to partial nudity.
* BrokenBase:
** Yubel being PutOnABus for most of Season 4. Some say good riddance to them, others want to explore their and Jaden's relationship with each other more.
** Jaden's new personality in Season 4. Is his new attitude too dark and unpleasant, and inferior to his big-hearted and energetic personality from before? Or did it make him much more impressive and provide a lot of character development?
** Season 4 not being dubbed ''at all'' is still a sore topic for the English-speaking fans of the show.
** Season 4 in general. Either the best season of GX (or of YGO in general), or the worst.
** The series itself. Fans of it cited the DeconstructorFleet and AffectionateParody route it took, well-rounded characters and a tone that progressively got DarkerAndEdgier. Detractors cited the poor pacing, [[TheyWastedAPerfectlyGoodPlot rushed storylines]], large filler at the beginning (the first major antagonist only made an appearance in Episode ''29''), [[TheyWastedAPerfectlyGoodCharacter under]][[PutOnABus used]] [[SpotlightStealingSquad cast]], and [[BrokenBase controversial Season 4]].
* CompleteMonster:
** [[Anime/YuGiOhGX Anime]]: [[KnightOfCerebus Brron]], [[EvilOverlord Mad King of Dark World]], is [[AxCrazy demented]] and {{sadist}}ic, ruling the [[AnotherDimension Spirit World]] as its vile dictator and being responsible for its deplorable state and the oppression of its denizens. His [[TheDragon right-hand man]], Zure, oversaw Brron's will, detaining anyone who defied him in internment camps while killing Duelists who could be threats to him. The executions occurred at his fortress and involved releasing monsters at disarmed Duelists while Brron himself and his minions watched the spectacle. After learning of Jaden's presence in his domain, Brron orchestrated a plot that involved turning Jaden evil by sacrificing all of his friends one by one with his set of "Wicked Doctrine" cards to create the "Super Fusion" card. After his defeat, Brron, before dying, mocked Jaden by saying that he would never see his friends again before dying.
** [[Manga/YuGiOhGX Manga]]: [[BigBad Tragoedia]] was formerly a human from the village of Kul Ena. After the village was annihilated, Tragoedia was trialed by the malice inside of his heart, resulting into him becoming a ''ka'', or Egyptian Spirit Monster. After trying and failing to kill the priests, he's [[SealedEvilInACan sealed away for thousands of years]]. Once released, Tragoedia has his spirit either possess or corrupt Duelists to Duel others in pain-inducing shadow games where the loser will be [[AndIMustScream trapped in a dimension of darkness for eternity]]. Just [[ForTheEvulz for the sheer fun of Koyo being harmed by what he loves doing]], Tragoedia gives Koyou Hibiki a special punishment, where his life will slowly and painfully deplete with every passing Duel Koyo has. While [[DemonicPossession possessing Principal MacKenzie]], Tragoedia manipulates the American students into draining the energy of other students through Duels to restore his body, [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness only to drain their life energy when they've fulfilled their purpose.]] Once Judai/Jaden and Manjoume/Chazz confront him, he reveals that the only reason he sent hundreds of people into the dimension of darkness was [[ForTheEvulz to kill his boredom]], throwing away any possible sympathy for him about [[FreudianExcuse his village being massacred]]. He then Duels the two for the sole reason of seeing them in pain during their Shadow Duel. Willing to [[BadBoss inflict Penalty Games on his own minions]] if [[YouHaveFailedMe they fail him]], Tragoedia is a {{sadist}} who only takes pleasure in causing people suffering.
* DarknessInducedAudienceApathy: The second half of Season 3 elicited this reaction from some viewers. The only characters that remain unequivocally "good" are Ojama Yellow, Jim, Axel, and Syrus (after the latter overcomes his doubt and anger toward Jaden).
* DieForOurShip: Alexis is subjected to this from some shippers who pair Jaden, her canonical crush, with anyone other than her (aforementioned "some shippers" are often {{Yaoi Fangirl}}s).
* DracoInLeatherPants: Hell Kaiser/Zane Truesdale.
* EnsembleDarkhorse:
** Professor Banner appears to have a small following, given that he was the most prominent teacher aside from {{Jerkass}} Crowler and an unfailing NiceGuy. [[spoiler:The reveals about him being another Shadow Rider added to this, and he stuck around after death as a result.]]
** Jim "Crocodile" Cook, for being an AwesomeAussie {{Expy}} of Steve Irwin who uses a very creative and EnsembleDarkhorse deck himself, the Fossil deck.
* EvilIsSexy:
** Hell Kaiser/Zane, Possessed Jesse, Darkness/Nightshroud Atticus and The Supreme King.
** The ladies have less to offer, but there's still the Shadow Rider vampire Camula.
** [[AmbiguousGender Yubel]] is in a category all on their own.
* EpilepticTrees: Since quite a lot of things were hinted at but never filled in, this should come as no surprise.
* FauxSymbolism: All three Sacred Beasts are named after Judeo-Christian angels.
* {{Fanon}}: The Supreme King is often called "Haou" by the fandom...which is "Supreme King" in Japanese.
* FriendlyFandoms: ''5Ds'' and ''GX'' fans typically like each other a lot more then they would like ''ZEXAL'' and the original series fans, largely due to how they had entire seasons not dubbed by 4Kids. It's also likely because the people who quit after ''DM'' probably didn't get back in with ''5Ds'', while people who stuck through ''GX'' probably stuck through ''5Ds'' as well.
* FunnyAneurysmMoment: Remember the fun Jaden and the gang had about Syrus' card crush on [[DarkMagicalGirl Dark Magician Girl]]? Flip it around, add in StalkerWithACrush tendencies, and throw in a pinch of NightmareFuel, and you have the premise for Season 3.
* GeniusBonus:
** For those attentive enough, the series is full of references to alchemy and tarot, including a {{Foreshadowing}} to the antagonist of the final season.
** The Duel in Episodes 153-155 appears to have been structured to mirror or strongly resemble a Jewish wedding, beginning with Magic Chronicle as Yubel's dowry and the ketubah (Jewish wedding contract) and ending with a "cracked glass" when Jaden manages to take back Super Fusion and [[spoiler: join his soul to Yubel's]], something he reveals only after the worlds start shaking apart and the window in Sheppard's office cracks and shatters. With the exception of a couple of Jaden's more convoluted turns, it's actually possible to trace every single turn back to the ceremony, in perfect sequence. The resemblance even continues after the Duel--in a Jewish ceremony, the ceremony is complete when the bride and groom retire together, away from the guests (represented in this case by Syrus and Ojama Yellow). The German dub even adds a touch of its own, with Syrus commenting that "[Jaden] and Yubel are united among the stars".
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: In the dub, Atticus attempts to get Alexis to form a singing duo with him, and suggests "Bro-bro and Sissy" for the group's name. He also happens to be wearing, at the time, a rather fabulous purple jacket covered in sequins and frills. Quoth Chazz, "[[AmbiguouslyGay So which one's he?]]"
* GrowingTheBeard: Season 3 for Jaden's CharacterDevelopment, better pacing, and an overall darker tone.
* HilariousInHindsight: The [[TakehitoKoyasu voice actor]] for Takuma Saiou/Sartorius, the one who played Arcana Force XXI - The World in the GX cartoon, ended up voicing Dio Brando in the 2012 cartoon adaptation of ''Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure''. [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tLOsSI8OhNo For those curious, here's every time he says Za Warudo.]]
* InformedWrongness:
** A Season 1 episode features the one-shot character Mitsuo/Pierre, a gambler who uses cards that rely on coin tosses to trigger their effects, and uses Second Coin Toss to redo the toss if he fails to get the needed result. Alexis declares that the only reason he's winning the Duel with her is that he relies on Second Coin Toss to win his coin throws and without it he would have lost them all, and proceeds to destroy it and then attack for the win when he gets his last toss wrong. We're supposed to see him as a cheater and a coward, but his strategy is perfectly valid and worked very well. The only reason he lost is that he didn't use his monster's effect to try and inflict 1000 damage to Alexis, if he had taken the risk and got it right, he would have just won in two turns.
** Dimitri in his Yugi impersonation. Despite Jaden's claim that he can't be favored by the heart of the cards, he ''did'' manage to draw and use all of Yugi's ace monsters, including one of the envoys, and while Jaden wins for a lucky draw we don't see an actually unlucky draw from Dimitri, making the claims that the heart of the cards can't be with him quite hard to believe.
* JerkassWoobie:
** Viper. All he wanted was to reunite with his dead adopted son, and he would no longer have any reason to be an antagonist if he met his goal.
** Adrian wanted to create an idealistic world, and though [[UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans he kills two people in the process]] ([[spoiler:Echo and Aster]]), the former willingly sacrificed herself and the latter started a Duel to protect the former, knowing the consequences of losing. Both are [[NeverFoundTheBody presumably]] killed by the far less sympathetic Yubel.
** Camula may count, She's the {{last|OfHisKind}} of a race of vampires that were wiped out hundreds of years ago by humans who attacked them unprovoked and she sealed herself in a coffin to survive and waited for eons to be freed. She seeks to restore her race but she sacrifices The Souls of those she defeats in Duels to do so.
** Zane/Hell Kaiser. He's vicious and sadistic in Season 2, and his actions (especially the duel against Syrus) absolutely cannot be excused. On the other hand, he's ''eighteen'' and was [[ColdBloodedTorture tortured]] [[BeingTorturedMakesYouEvil into insanity]] in the Underground, having been lured into that environment during a [[DespairEventHorizon serious mental breakdown]] that resulted from a bad losing streak and no support system. He wasn't even told [[ElectricTorture what the collars did]] until ''after'' the first time they zapped him. And by Season 3, he's dying of a heart condition. He becomes a regular [[TheWoobie Woobie]] in Season 4, because by then he's dropped the {{Jerkass}} behavior and is an IllBoy who spends the majority of his screen time in a hospital bed or {{wheelchair|Woobie}}.
* LauncherOfAThousandShips: Jaden. Also Alexis, being the only major, non-jailbait female protagonist. This is the guy who doesn't know [[ObliviousToLove what a fiancée is]], let alone know [[ChasteHero how to have sex]]. Ironically, Jaden/Alexis lemons tend to be [[PornWithoutPlot exceptionally graphic]].
* MemeticBadass: A lot of jokes are made around a) how unnaturally good Jaden is at Duel Monsters, or b) How he, depending on the persona, had a really high death count. Generally, outsiders to the show might only know him as "the guy who killed all his friends."
* MemeticMutation:
** From the manga, Jesse's '[[DissonantSerenity It]] [[BlatantLies was]] [[NightmareFuel a happy Duel]]'.
** Taking innocuous or cute scenes and pictures of Jaden, then adding how he [[MoodWhiplash "killed millions"]] and other unspeakably bad deeds. Sometimes he's depicted as being ObliviouslyEvil with these.
** Chazz it up! Chazz it up! Chazz it up!
** [[http://gxdai.tumblr.com/post/137183405785/yu-gi-oh-gx-episode-13-judai-plays-a-card-game This tumblr post]] for summing up just how different the GX anime became as it went on.
* MisaimedFandom: Alexis was a {{Deconstruction}} of MsFanservice, she was annoyed by how people saw her as an attractive girl and wanted to be seen as a person and a Duelist instead of just a pretty face. However, fans don't care for that -- haters bash her as being a slut due to her appearance and outfit, while others ignore her personality because it's counter-productive to {{Shipping}} and [[PornWithoutPlot porn]].
* {{Moe}}:
** Blair, and her Maiden in Love monster from her first appearance.
** Any character shown as a child in flashbacks is ''adorable'', and they have inspired protective instincts in many viewers. ''Especially'' since those flashbacks often come [[MoodWhiplash during or shortly after some traumatic event in the present]] (for instance, showing nine-year-old Zane learning about the Cyber Style during the episode in which he [[KickTheDog defeats Sheppard]] post-FreakOut).
* {{Mondegreen}}: Oh 4Kids... their dub of Episode 154 will forever haunt them. The filter voice they put on Yubel distorted her voice so oddly that, at one point, she ended up sounding like she dropped an [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n4sDFMPmLWY F-bomb]] when she says ''fight''.
* MoralEventHorizon:
** Zane Truesdale in the second season crosses the line after donning his Hell Kaiser persona when he electrocutes and almost kills his little brother Syrus in a Duel, never giving a damn about doing that, only about winning.
** Adrian when he sacrifices Echo and apparently kills Aster to obtain Exodia.
** Yubel at every attempt in the third season with Jaden.
* {{Narm}}:
** [=4Kids'=] attempts to invoke NeverSayDie reach truly ludicrous levels in Season 3, when defeated Duelists are "sent to the stars", and characters repeatedly use the phrase verbatim as a threat. There are any number of other things they could have gone with, including the old stand-by "send them to the Shadow Realm," but they chose that one.
** Many dramatic episodes and scenes get utterly ruined by the dub's voices and dialogue, but Episode 65 may be the worst. An absolutely [[NightmareFuel nightmarish]] duel full of ElectricTorture, Zane's DespairEventHorizon, the resulting FreakOut... and an opponent with a ridiculous "Mike Tyson" caricature for a voice.
* NightmareFuel: It's still ''Franchise/YuGiOh''
** Yubel, period. Even creepier when the dub gave it the voice of a spoiled 5-year-old girl.
** Brron, who is... some kind of semi-human-only-not-really skeleton... thing.
** Titan's {{fate|WorseThanDeath}} when he abuses the power of Shadow Games.
** Darkness/Nightshroud, with his MindRape and [[TheGrimReaper Grim Reaper-esque]] form.
** The Underground is less supernatural, but still incredibly disturbing.
* OneSceneWonder:
** Dimitri, especially in the dub. He may only have two episodes and is a minor character who never appears again, but the usage of the original series themes and cards, the genuinely good Duel he gave Jaden, and of course Marc Thompson's NarmCharm impersonation of Dan Green's LargeHam voice acting, make Dimitri far more memorable than a lot of other characters with larger roles.
** Franz, a rogue card designer from Industrial Illusions that uses a counterfeit copy of The Winged Dragon of Ra, and is very good with it; he summons it on his first turn, uses a Field Spell to force it to obey him, and is able to fully utilize all of its abilities. He's only around for one episode but his schtick sounds like he could be the main villain of a season.
** In the manga, Zane only gets one duel, but it is an absolutely ''awesome'' [[OneHitKill one-turn]] CurbStompBattle against [[spoiler:[[AdaptationalBadass Chazz]], who is much more formidable than his anime counterpart and has just ''beaten Jaden'']].
* RootingForTheEmpire: Yeah, Chazz is technically the "bad guy" whenever he's dueling Jaden, but by God, so many people just want to see him come out on top for once!
* SugarWiki/SuperlativeDubbing:
** Episode 18 and 19 with Dimitri, the copycat Duelist. In the original, Dimitri was just himself and only decided he ''was'' Yugi towards the end of the Duel, but in the dub Dimitri acts like he's Yugi all along. What ''really'' sells the episode though is the absolutely {{Narm|Charm}}tastic impersonation of Dan Green's Yami Yugi that Marc Thompson delivers, taking Green's LargeHam, cranking it up, and giving a few lighthearted jabs at his mannerisms and catchphrases. The dub also re-uses parts of the original dub soundtrack as further nostalgia fuel when Dimitri makes his moves.
** In Season 2, the dub keeps Aster's father's fate a mystery until the final confrontation between Aster and his stepfather. In the original, Aster knows he's dead from the beginning, but in the dub he disappears the same night he was robbed of his best card, and Aster searches for him for the majority of the season. This ultimately ''adds'' to the horror when it's revealed his soul has been swallowed by D-HERO Plasma, and the [[NightmareFuel nightmarish sequence]] that results is completely unedited.
* TastesLikeDiabetes: Episode 20 with that Maiden in Love deck is absolutely sickening.
* TheyWastedAPerfectlyGoodCharacter: One of the more prominent issues with the series is that ultimately, Jaden has to solve all the conflicts on his own. His friends will generally at best do nothing against the antagonists and at worst get worfed so Jaden can beat the antagonist later.
* TheyWastedAPerfectlyGoodPlot:
** Jesse is TheChosenOne, but of what?
** What was Yubel during the twenty episode absence after possessing Jesse but before confronting Jaden?
** Rogue card designer with a counterfeit Egyptian God? The whole thing resolves in ''one episode''.
** What were [[spoiler: Jaden and Yubel off doing after they fused]]? It's implied that Jaden was gone for quite a while, enough for most people to think that he was gone for good, so what were they doing?
*** It's implied that they were going to [[spoiler:go and kick the Light of Destruction's ectoplasmic patuckus]], making this closer to OffscreenMomentOfAwesome given that it wasn't actually shown.
** While the concept wasn't really wasted, the history of the Phantom Demons/Sacred Beasts is not explored at all, such as how evil versions of the God Cards were created and how they got sealed under the island.
** It's mostly based on the video games but a lot of people would prefer if Blair used Lightsworns instead of her current deck considering how much better the deck is.
* UglyCute: The Ojamas.
* VindicatedByHistory: ''Anime/YuGiOhZEXAL'''s issues put this series in a much better light, and people in the west look at it much more fondly than they used to. Jaden has also been looked more favorably on, especially with his relationships with Yubel and Jesse, whom he both loves dearly.
* {{Woolseyism}}: Yes, the dub did manage a few.
** The Bio Bands and Survival Duels in the dub were known as ''Death Belts'' and ''Disclosure Duels'' originally. God knows why the faculty weren't tipped off to the true nature of Viper's actions when he pitched the idea in that version.
** Banner's German accent.
** In Season 2, the dub keeps Aster's father's fate a mystery until the final confrontation between Aster and his stepfather. In the original, Aster knows he's dead from the beginning, but in the dub he disappears the same night he was robbed of his best card, and Aster searches for him for the majority of the season. This ultimately ''adds'' to the horror when it's revealed his soul has been swallowed by D-HERO Plasma, and the [[NightmareFuel nightmarish sequence]] that results is completely unedited.
** While the symbolism of the name is lost, it could be argued that Nightshroud is a more impressive name for a villain than simply "Darkness".
** The D, in the Japanese named "DD" for "Destiny Duelist". The dub established "The D" was an alias and gave him the proper name "Kyle Jables", take from Kyle Gass and Jack Black of ''Music/TenaciousD''.
** A bit of a mean one that nonetheless works -- the monkey Duelist being trained by Kaiba Corp in Season 1 was named "Sal" in the Japanese version, meaning [[FunWithAcronyms "Super Animal Learning"]]. The dub renamed it "Wheeler", after one of Kaiba's favorite insults for Joey, "Dueling monkey".
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