Anime / Carnival Phantasm

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The Nasuverse is a setting filled with an immense amount of backstory, an extremely complicated set of rules for its Functional Magic, and protagonists who sometimes have to ask hard questions about themselves and the people around them. In any given work, death, deceit, and betrayal abounds.

So, let's ignore all of that and focus on the characters involved having fun!

Based on the official Type-Moon gag manga Take Moon by Eri Takenashi, Carnival Phantasm takes the casts of Tsukihime and Fate/stay night and places them in a series of wacky situations, such as the Fifth Grail War being reduced to a game show or grand prix.

There are 3 'Seasons', with the first released mid-August 2011, the second released at the end of October 2011, and the third getting its day at the very end of 2011. Included on the final disc release was the OVA Fate/Prototype, a short animation showing off concepts and designs meant for the original incarnation of Fate/stay night.

During the Type-Moon Fes. 10th Anniversary Event of 2013, they displayed a new Carnival Phantasm episode.

As this is essentially a spinoff of both Tsukihime and Fate/stay night, many of the tropes used on their respective pages would also apply here. Please limit the tropes used to examples specifically pertaining to Carnival Phantasm.


Carnival Phantasm contains the following tropes:

  • A-Cup Angst: DON'T mention Akiha's or Rin's "not developed parts".
  • Actor Allusion: Shinji being an internet Troll probably has 'touches' on Hiroshi Kamiya doing Izaya Orihara, who is an in-universe Troll.
  • Adorable Abomination: Grail-kun, a Super-Deformed version of the Angra Mainyu-tainted Great Holy Grail, whose cheerful solution to each and every problem is a kitchen knife.
  • And That's Terrible: The reaction to Gilgamesh's Game-Breaker episode in the first episode, which is a a parody of South Park, being what the Japanese dubbed version says when Kenny dies. It becomes a running gag throughout the rest of the series, especially the Ilya's Castle special, being exclaimed whenever something bad happens to Lancer.
    Rider: [Gasp]
    Saber: Lancer died!
    Shiro: [to Gilgamesh] You're not human!
  • Anachronism Stew: A bit - Type-Moon works are typically set during their debut year. Granted, other TM works are more careful about the timeframe, while CP... doesn't need to be.
    • During episode 5, Ilya is playing on an Xbox 360 at home. That makes sense for a German 18 year old in 2010, when the episode was produced, but F/SN is set during 2004.
    • During the special, Riesbyfe uses the "Mutter" social app. Melty Blood takes place a little after Tsukihime, at the turn of the millenium.
  • Animal Motifs:
    • Lancer is frequently compared to a dog. After all, he is Cu Chulainn.
    • Saber is compared to a lion multiple times, including getting a lion-themed kiddy-ride as a race car.
  • Animation Bump: Parodied. In the first episode of Taiga Dojo, she realizes her segment is fully animated and so blows the budget on her Super-Deformed antics, while Ilya protests. In the following episode, their budget has been cut and so Taiga is reduced to a colorless line art while Ilya has no intermediate frames.
    Caption: "Budget spent by Taiga: 325,000 yen.note  (It's real!)"
  • Arc Words: "Death is always close by." This is only in Final Dead Lancer, but it still fits the trope.
  • Ascended Extra: Hibiki and Chikagi going from website-only characters to getting a special episode dedicated to them, complete with Promotion to Opening Titles.
  • Ascended Meme: Fans often joked that the major difference between Saber and Saber Alter was that the latter didn't have her Ahoge and that she could probably will the transformation just by pulling it off, which was the plot of at least one doujinshi and a joke in Fate/hollow ataraxia. Cue Saber doing just that in Episode 8.
  • Attention Whore: Sakura puts up with Shinji not because she's intimidated by him, but because being abused by him makes her look good. When she accidentally makes him reform, she gets pissed at Rider for making her look less sympathetic and important. (This is also an extended joke on how female protagonists in Asadora Soap Operas are "meant" to be treated (and Sakura being aware of that), but most non-Japanese viewers are likely to miss that component.)
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • Lancer's Gae Bol Car is a dragster. Incredibly fast, but ...
      Rin: Hey, Archer. Did you know? Dragsters can't turn. [Lancer's Gae Bol Car explodes after crashing to the wall.]
    • Unit-Lion was capable of winning after being run off the road by Assassin's decorated truck, and appears to be capable of tapping Heroic Spirit... but it runs on money. In the end, Shirou and Saber were rendered so broke by Unit-Lion that they had no choice but to spend the wish they won from the race to just get their money back.
  • Back from the Dead:
    • Aside from Episode 11's Sequel Hook, Lancer mysteriously comes back to life in the 2013 episode after being killed by Black Keys and a "Servant Strengthening Device".
    • The talking cell phone constantly annoys Chikagi, gets snapped in half by her...and returns a few seconds later to annoy her some more.
  • Badass Adorable:
    • The Saber Lion, a ferocious man-eating animal that happens to look like a Super-Deformed version of Saber wearing a cute lion onesie.
    • Caster is super-moe in the show, especially since she's rarely seen with her hooded cloak.
  • Badass Boast:
    • Gilgamesh's I AM the rules, whenever someone accuses him of breaking the rules.
    • "I am an elegant gothic lolita waitress, sir!" Even better is that Saber Alter uses it to take down Gilgamesh.
    • After Shirou tells Shiki it's impossible to be in two places at once, Shiki retorts with, "I'll make it happen!" (Otherwise he'll be killed.)
    • "My Riding skill is A+. I can ride even granny bikes to speed!" Even better is that Rider is clearly having fun!
  • Badass Unintentional: Berserker, without making any deliberate effort on his part. The time he was sent to do an errand for Ilya was also the same day he won the 5th Holy Grail War by himself.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Hilariously subverted. Shiki and Shirou do wind up literally back to back at one point, both facing the same lethal threat. Unfortunately, said lethal threat is Saber and Arc, who are extremely pissed that each respective guy tried to be a player all day to their universe's respective love interests. Needless to say, the end results involve a lot of unmanly screaming from each guy as Saber and Arc kick their asses. It is the fact that they stick together against the odds that allows them to pull an off-screen maneuver in order to escape most of the wrath of a force that could magic-nuke a forest and safely retreat thanks to Shiki's prior actions. Made even better by a previous sly little shot shown between Shiki and Shirou running about trying to please everyone: the shot shows Shiki confidently taking off his glasses to combat a wild bear he meets in the woods on his way to seeing one of the girls. The man can take on a bear with nothing but his magical eyes and his knife, but still trembles in fear of his girlfriend. Of course, the bear would have simply killed him; Arcueid can do much worse. He even points this out in episode 4.
  • Bait-and-Switch:
    • Done with the Holy Grail War in the first episode. The intro montage introduces it as usual, as a battle to the death between the seven Servants, until Ilya makes the sudden announcement that the rules have changed.
    • Wow! You mean Lancer actually survived the final battle in the Ilya Castle special? Oh, wait ...
    • Wow! You mean Lancer actually survived every death in the series? Oh, wait ...
  • Bait-and-Switch Credits: Done by the Tempest: Ilya's Castle game.
  • Ban on Magic: In the first episode, the characters aren't allowed to use their Noble Phantasms in order to minimize the damage caused by this Holy Grail War. Gilgamesh happily disregards this and kills Lancer with the Gate of Babylon.
  • Batman Gambit: Somehow, someway, Sakura already knew Shirou's plan in Episode 12, given her sneaky way of following Shiro around all his other dates, and subtly brings his plan crashing and burning down. Why else would she be the only one smiling as the rest of the girls are having a tense staredown with Shiro and Shiki?
  • Beach Episode: Episode 2, centered around the Tsukihime cast enjoying themselves at the beach.
  • Berserk Button: Lancer still doesn't like the word 'dog', which distracts him during a card game with Archer.
  • Big Ball of Violence: Standard interaction between Arcueid and Ciel. Apparently, they're actually friends.
  • Big Damn Movie: Phantasmoon: the Movie premiered in Extra.
  • Bishie Sparkle:
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Sakura in episode 6 and again in episode 12. Most of her internal monologue the first time ends with how awesome she is. Entirely Played for Laughs in both cases with her actions in episode 6 being a part of the drama spoof and in 12 it's part of her role as Foil to the Zany Scheme. She also is disappointed that Shinji is turned into a good guy. See Demoted to Extra below as to why.
  • Bland-Name Product:
    • The sponsors littering episode 9. Also, Ilya's consoles and Japanese games in episode 5. On the other hand, though they are obscured, the covers for Battlestations: Pacific and Dead Space are ones from the real world and have not been modified.
    • Also, non-Japanese viewers might think "Eneloop" is one for Energizer. Eneloop is a 100% real brand in Japan, produced by Panasonic. The show doesn't ding copyright because you never actually see the Eneloop logo on anything. The one time we do see batteries in Archer's hands, though, they are labeled "Banasonic".
      • The most popular fansubs of the episode call them "Enerloop", which would qualify, but the katakana used by Ilya at one point are very obviously "Eneloop", flat out, in kana.
    • There's a box from Amezon in Kohaku's room at the beginning of the Koha-Ace anime.
    • From the Special episode, Riesbyfe uses the "Mutter" social media app.
  • Blatant Lies: "I gotta act fast to make Sakura happy!" You're only trying to delude yourself with that one, Shirou. You've got to act fast to save your own skin.
    • Rider claims that she's repeatedly injuring Shinji by accident thanks to a skill called "Airhead." He doesn't buy it for a second.
  • Boke and Tsukkomi Routine: This is the standard format for Back Alley Alliance.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: All the freaking time.
    Sakura: [to Rider] You got more votes than me in the popularity polls anyway!
  • Brick Joke: The last "Grail-kun" segment is about Kotomine agreeing to kill Lancer with the "Servant Strengthening Device," a.k.a. kitchen knife. In the Hibichika special, Lancer suddenly dies from being stabbed with tons of Black Keys, obviously by Kirei. Any more doubt you had that Kirei was implementing Grail-kun's idea is dispelled with the fact there's one kitchen knife amongst the Black Keys.
  • Brother–Sister Incest: Not appearing on-screen, and neither is actually related to their "sibling", but:
    • Ahika desperately wants to get the MVP "spend the night with Shiki" prize in the beach volleyball segment.
    • Shinji attempts this in Episode 6, but Rider gives Sakura Caster's Rule Breaker to stop him.
    • In Episode 10, Brainwashing Detective Hisui-chan investigates several murders; one victim is Tohno SHIKI, and the word "siscon" is written in marker on his chest.
  • The Bully: Fits Gilgamesh to a T. To quote Caster:
    Gilgamesh: [Evil laugh] Rule breaker!
    Caster: HEY! That's my line!
    Gilgamesh: Your things are my things!
  • Butt-Monkey:
    • Lancer is abused constantly and dies nearly every episode with the cameo in the Phantasm Moon skit being one of the Butt Monkey-est moments in the whole show. He even gets dragged into completely unrelated scenes just to be abused throughout the series, especially in the second season. It may be a reference to Lancer's E-grade Luck from his Fate/stay night Servant Status page.
      • Double subverted during the final boss encounter in Ilya's Castle. Lancer, to his delight, survives the battle... only for Ilya to activate a trap, to his annoyance, which collapses the entire castle. Unfortunately for Lancer, he doesn't make it out alive.
      • Lampshaded by Kotomine, when he approaches Grail-kun and begs him for help after addressing Lancer's uselessness. Grail-kun suggests that he kill Lancer and form a contract with a different Servant.
    • Whereas Lancer is the definite buttmonkey for the show in general, especially in the Fate sections, Ciel takes most of the abuse in the Tsukihime ones. Maybe it's the blue hair?
    • Shinji is one to a lesser extent, as he very rarely appears without getting defeated or kicked around. Lancer simply one-ups him in that he appears more often. Once again, blue hair.
    • Sakura could apply as not only does Shinji generally bully her, but her personality is twisted into someone self-centered and unsympathetic (all while having her tragic back story Played for Laughs)
    • Waver Velvet gets to share a moment of this with Lancer in the season three finale as they are both lifted up by Berserker with Saber Lion biting on Lancer's arm.
  • Bystander Syndrome:
    • In the Phantasmoon segment, Phantasmoon loses interest in fighting Trauma Monster Ilya when it turns out Kaleido Ruby is at fault for the mess.
    • In episode 8, while Berserker is trying to smash the cafe, nobody inside does anything about it, the people inside being Arcueid, Gilgamesh, and Nrvnqsr Chaos, all of whom should be able to beat Berserker in a straight fight. Only Saber does anything, which is to kindly ask him to calm down.
  • Camera Abuse: During the game show in episode 1, Berserker suddenly beats up a cameraman, shown from the camera's perspective.
  • The Cameo:
    • Aoko Aozaki in her Mahou Tsukai no Yoru form shows up briefly in an advertisment on the back of a book Arcueid is reading.
    • The opening also showcases a whole bunch of Type-Moon characters that never made it into the episodes proper; e.g., Caren Ortensia.
    • Kara no Kyoukai fans may spot a familiar blue kimono/red jacket combo in the audience in the first episode.
    • If you look very closely to the right side of the first time we see the audience in the first episode, you can spot Saegusa Yukika, Makidera Kaede and Himuro Kane. They can also be seen as bystanders in Episode 10.
    • Arcueid herself constantly pops up in the Fate sections, usually completely unruffled by the chaos occurring around her. Some are easier to spot than others, such as being a customer at the cafe in episode 8.
    • The finale of season two also has Red Saber popping up during the Tiger Dojo.
    • Season three's finale has brief glimpses of cast members from essentially every Nasuverse continuity, even ones that debatably aren't part of it or definitely aren't.
    • Episode 6's mushroom monster that Marvel Phantas-moon (Arcueid) fights against is Kinoko Nasu's avatar.
    • The 2013 episode shows many characters from the Nasuverse, notably from Fate/Zero and Fate/EXTRA, in a massive rush of Super-Deformed characters. Also, Hibiki Hibino and Chikagi Katsuragi, two characters appearing only on the Type Moon website, appear prominently during the first part of the episode.
  • Captain Obvious: Occasionally when Lancer dies, someone will quip "Lancer died!".
  • Cargo Ship: Invoked. Assassin is very, very "attached" to his gate. It's even gotten to the point that he talks to it, and apparently hears it talk back. Not to mention the nature of these "conversations"...
  • Catch-Phrase: "This is all within my calculations." by Sion, minor variations of which are used to end the Back Street Alliance gags at the end of the second through fourth episodes as well.
  • Cat Smile: Done by the male protagonists of all people. It's also the Neko Arcs' default expression.
  • Characterization Marches On: Looking back later on (especially in a post-Fate/Grand Order world), some of the characterization here can seem a little strange as things have gone forward.
    • The biggest one for sure is Lancer and his joke about dying all the time... since Lancer himself and his very popular Alter Berserker version are incredibly famous in Grand Order for being unbelievably hard to kill and carrying teams to victory. Now, that's probably part of the franchise-wise, decade-plus-long gag, but Grand Order is just so much more popular and well-known than any other Nasuverse work that Lancer dying all the time can just feel weird to newer fans. Episode 11 is the one that would more match Lancer's future mechanics characterization.
    • A little more seriously, Sakura as a yandere-ish stalker. In the wake of the animated Fate/Zero (earlier episodes of which aired in tandem with CP releases), the animated Unlimited Blade Works and Fate/EXTRA CCC in general (even though that's not quite the same Sakura), this interpretation of Sakura's character has fallen sharply out of favor with the fanbase, even as a joke. These days it just comes across as the writers being mean and forcing Sakura to be out of character.
    • Illya also gets a little bit... since she's based mostly on her Fate route self with a bit of Zero thrown in for flavor. Nowadays, the complete lack of any Prisma Illya content for her, or even much in the way of UBW or Heaven's Feel route refs, feels perplexing (especially since Prillya had been running for a couple years when the main body of CP episodes came out, though the real explosion of Prillya popularity was a few years out yet).
  • Chastity Dagger: In Episode 6, Rider throws Sakura Caster's Rule Breaker to use for this purpose, which also purges the evil from Shinji's heart. Sakura is upset at this because Shinji being an entitled jerk was the only thing that made some other characters look good.
  • Chewing the Scenery: Comes as no surprise that Gilgamesh would be an expert at this, though Assassin and Lancer have more than their share as well.
  • The Chew Toy: Lancer. If an episode isn't providing physical humor where he's grievously abused, it's because it has no Fate segment. Even then, he'll probably be abused.
  • Chick Magnet: True to their source material, both Shiki and Shirou have several hot girls vying for their attention all at the same time. Trying to figure out a way to accommodate all of them is the subject of at least two of the shorts.
  • Christmas Cake: Caster sees herself as being one. Fortunately, things are looking well for her.
  • Close-Call Haircut:
    • Berserker pulls this off on Caster while using a tennis ball.
    • Done again in episode 2 by Miyako on Ciel during the volleyball match, cracking Ciel's glasses.
  • Colony Drop: Red Arcueid uses "Blut die Schwester" from Melty Blood and Fate/Extra to win a beach volleyball match.
  • Comedic Sociopathy: The show runs on this for much of its humor, with notable moments including Berserker destroying Fuyuki while going shopping, and Saber immediately suggesting they feed Lancer to Saber Lion.
  • Comically Serious: Kotomine.
  • Cool Car:
    • Rin gets one near the end of the Ilya Castle special, and she doesn't care who or what gets in her way. Poor Sakura.
    • BerSer-CAR also counts, being Berserker transformed into a tank.
  • Correlation/Causation Gag: Done in episode 12 when Hisui's hammer strikes a nail at the same time a Magic Nuke goes off across town. She simply takes a quizzical look at the hammer and keeps pounding.
  • Covert Pervert: Aoko is one of these to Shiki, raising him from childhood to be her ideal husband.
  • Cursed with Awesome: In Episode 6, Sakura frames her beauty as a curse that turned her brother into an entitled, cowardly rapist, calling herself a "beautiful, ill-fated girl".
  • Crazy-Prepared:
    • Assassin, with an emphasis on Crazy. In order to compete in the 5th Holy Grail War race he brings the Ryudou Shrine gate with him on a semi-truck, then has one of Caster's Protection Charms to ensure that he does not have an accident while driving. It's only because of Ilya and BerSer-CAR that he loses. Also overlaps with invoked Crazy Awesome; both Rin and Archer think what he did was both impressive and completely insane.
    • Shirou and Shiki TRY to do this for their insane date plans. It... fails.
  • Cry Cute:
    • Poor Rin Tohsaka, driven to a rolling bundle of tears by the difficulty of operating a Blu-Ray recorder. Aww...
    • Also, when Caster cries in joy like a little-girl when Souichirou not only continues to love her in spite of her Saber-stalking hobbies, but asks for her hand in marriage and a honeymoon together in Hawaii. Double Aww...
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Season 2 Episode 1: Berserker vs. the other Servants. Most of it inadvertently. Made even funnier by the fact that Berserker fails to even notice most of them.
  • Dancing Theme: The opening, Super Affection, with all the main heroines dancing along to the tune. That it is extremely derivative makes it no less awesome.
  • Day in the Limelight: The second season seems to have a lot of these;
    • Episode 5 follows Berserker as he attempts to get batteries for Ilya. In the process he singlehandedly wins the 5th Holy Grail War as well.
    • Episode 6 gives us the previously ignored Sakura and to a lesser extent Rider going into some... darker, but not too dark places.
    • Episode 7 partially focuses on Caster, Soichirou, and Assassin finally appearing instead of the cardboard cutout.
    • Episode 8 is about Saber. All of them.... except Lily.
    • In the third season, Lancer finally gets to try and avert his destiny of always dying. And ultimately succeeds.
    • The first half of the Hibichika Special is basically this for the titular characters, who were created for Type Moon's mobile site.
  • The Day the Music Lied:
    • Played for laughs in episode 4 when Shirou & Shiki are making plans for their dates which all overlap with other girls. They are accompanied by a rocky BGM just for it to stop when they realize that the plans they made are all impossible.
    • Same in episode 1: When Shirou decides to destroy the Grail and end the war, the music sweeps up until the Grail is broken and its contents revealed... to be Neco Arc.
  • Delayed Reaction: It takes Lancer a full 3 seconds to realize that the pretty girl he was accosting is actually Bazette. Their reaction to said realization is priceless.
    Lancer: WHOOOOAAAAAA~!!!
  • Demoted to Extra
    • Not Satsuki Yumizuka, who in fact gets a decent chunk of screentime considering her low overall importance. She has a dedicated slot concerning her and the Back Alley Alliance at the end of the episodes during Episodes 2 through Episode 4. Rather, the person who got hit with this trope the hardest is Sakura. One of the three main heroines of Fate/stay night, and she doesn't even get a speaking role for the entirety of season one! Isn't it sad, Sakura? When she finally gets an episode devoted to her, it focuses more on Rider with the joke being that all Sakura has going for her is putting up with Shinji. And Sakura is really not portrayed as sympathetic, even in an episode about her abuse....
    • Assassin is STILL at the Temple Gates being forgotten about as the opening points out. He is represented by a cardboard cutout everywhere that's not the Temple Gates (including the beginning -and- ending credits). He's unable to leave the shrine gates, so he can't appear much in the series. Until later he participates in the race... with the gates riding on his racecar.
    • Bazette has been in the opening and closing the whole time before she finally shows up in Extra in a moment which clearly defines that being Lancer's Master affords her the same status as her Servant.
  • Determinator: Both Shirou and Shiki in episode 12 as they literally run themselves ragged to implement their Zany Scheme.
    • Kohaku in the Koha-Ace anime as she lets nothing stop her from delivering important(?) news to Akiha.
    • Akiha is superhuman, true, but she's simply nowhere near the same level as Arcueid. However, she persists in matching Arcueid point-for-point in a volleyball match up to five hundred and twenty five points through sheer, single-minded determination (and long after everyone else had dropped out of the running), all for the sake of the grand prize - having Shiki all to herself. Of course, at the end of the match, Akiha is completely exhausted while Arcueid doesn't even look winded, so it creates the implication that she wasn't even trying.
  • Disappears into Light: Taiga actually encourages this when the characters are fighting Ilya at the end.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: In the Hibichika Special, Shiki and Shirou are rather horribly "punished" for the terrible crime of... planning to take the main heroines of their games, Arcueid and Saber, for dates. All secondary heroines who have routes are in on it, in a serious Out-of-Character Moment. Shiki is the one who gets off easily - he is "only" stalked by Ciel, attacked by Akiha while taking a shower, and locked out of the mansion. Shirou gets life-leeching curses from Rin, and worms from Sakura.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Rider flashes in front of Shinji in order to divert his attention from beating Sakura up.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Arcueid in episode 1, showing up before a dedicated Tsukihime segment. Hibiki and Chikagi in episode 12.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: In the most heartwarming ways possible: Caster's episode revolves around this, and she definitely earned it.
  • Eldritch Location: Ahnenerbe, the Neco-Arcs' restaurant, is a nexus within the Type-Moon multiverse, contains a portal to the Great Cat’s Village, and exists in multiple locations, often appearing and disappearing.
  • Elegant Gothic Lolita: Saber Alter names herself as such in episode 8.
  • Epic Fail: Remember that date plan Shiki and Shirou had in Season 1? The one that they themselves thought was impossible? In the very final episode, you get to see them try to pull it off. And fail. MISERABLY.
  • Evolving Credits: Each opening has two short sections where it flashes several manga-like stills in succession. The first set comes from various skits from that season, while the second is exclusively stills from that episode. The Hibi Chika and EX specials, not being part of any season, instead take both sets from that episode.
  • Expressive Hair: In the EX Season scene where the Emiya household are discussing what to do with the money Caren left them, Saber's ahoge changes to match her mood and expressions.
  • Expy: Seihai/Grail-kun is a psychotic version of Doraemon complete with all the similarities in dialogue patterns found in the original manga.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: Whether it's trying to make all the girls happy or only one of them, Shirou and Shiki will always suffer for it.
  • Fanservice
    • Aside from the Beach Episode of the Melty Blood/Tsukihime faction, we have Caster providing a surprising number of Panty Shots.
    • Episode 7 features Arcuied lounging around on her bed wearing just a large mens shirt. And then immediately proceeds to go spear fishing for squid in her bikini.
    • Episode 9 has a brief shot of Sakura, Caren, and Bazette as Race Queens.
    • Bazette makes her appearance in clothing that leaves very little to the imagination, accompanied by camera angles that leave even less.
    • And Saber Extra/Red Saber, who's damn proud of it.
    Taiga: Your dress is see-through.
    Red Saber: Fool. It's not see-through. I'm letting people see.
  • Fate Worse Than Death: In Episode 4, Shiki says that Arcueid will inflict this unto him if she finds out about his "infidelity" in Episode 12.
  • Fish out of Water: At one point, Arcueid enrolls herself in Shiki's school in order to spend more time with him. This backfires quickly: not only do the demands of work and his schoolmates keep Shiki from her anyway, she's hopelessly unused to the regulated and regimented lifestyle of being a student. She quits school after a single day and gets herself hired as a janitor instead.
  • Foil: The series outright admits that the only thing Shinji has going for him is that he makes the people around him look good.
  • Framing Device: Each episode opens and ends with a scene at Ahnenerbe, a cafe run by Neco-Arc, Neco-Arc Bubbles, Neco-Arc Chaos, and Neco-Arc Destiny. The cafe also appears sporadically throughout the various shorts.
  • Freak Out!: In Episode 4, Rin goes into complete panic mode when she realizes that the machine Shirou wants her to record a show with is actually a Blu-ray player.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: Chock-full of it! Just about every eye catch passes on screen for barely five frames, and so do many mini-gags. Probably done on purpose, as the series was released straight to disc.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Gilgamesh is this to the rest of the Fate/stay night cast rather than a full blown villain. Kotonime even states he's not invited to the Holy Grail Wars because he doesn't follow the rules.
  • Funny Background Event:
    • In the second episode (the beach volleyball competition), after Ciel crashes into Nanako trying to save the curry plate, the camera pans back to Sion and Akiha commenting on what just happened. Just a little beyond them, Hisui can be seen brainwashing Miyako with her classic finger-spinning motion. Internal Shout-Out and Mythology Gag, anyone?
    • Don't miss the Mt. Rushmore of Fate villains in the background during the second stage of Tempest: Ilya Castle.
    • Several during the dancing portions of the opening theme, ranging from numerous foreground characters having different expressions or poses to Berserker wearing a giant Native American headdress and Gilgamesh throwing confetti in the background.
    • And during the Grand Prix, right near the end, it's a "blink or you'll miss it" thing, but just as Shirou and Saber are catching up in the final stretch, you can see (but not hear) Gilgamesh yelling "bastard" repeatedly. He has a habit of saying this around Shirou.
    • During the Phantasmoon segment in episode 4, it turns out that the little black dog that Akiha feeds is a part of Nero that broke free and ran away. This information is courtesy of a "Lost Dog" poster next to Arcueid in the preceding shot.
    • That same little dog is the one that takes the sandwich off the table during the Nrvnqsr/Kuzuki Sharing Tables segment in Episode 5.
    • What's that on Shiki's nightstand when he fails to wake up in episode 12? The Fate/Zero collection.
    • Speaking of Episode 12, rewatching it and checking the background in Shirou's scenes reveals Sakura figured out he was cheating on her almost immediately and has been following him the whole day.
    • These things are basically all over the place and finding them all requires a frame-by-frame viewing, especially with the animators being masters at keeping a regular watcher's attention directed elsewhere in the scenes.
  • The Gadfly:
    • Neko Arc in spades when it comes to the Holy Grail.
    • Arc is a shameless bully to Ciel and is clearly enjoying herself.
    • Archer could remind Rin that programming a Blu-Ray Recorder is extremely simple, but after she refused his assistance he prefers to simply hang back and watch her flail about while enjoying himself immensely, up until the very last moment. Rin is not amused.
    • Assassin is barely in Episode 7, but uses his few lines to push Caster's buttons.
    • Between this and Chewing the Scenery, annoying other characters seems to be Gilgamesh's sole reason for doing anything: every time he shows up he tries to either derail the plot or have fun at the expense of everyone else, and he almost always shows up in time to steal the show.
  • Gag Dub: The Ilya's Castle Episode is a Gag Dub of a minigame in Fate/hollow ataraxia, with everyone's voice actor in character for the rest of the anime instead of for the game.
  • Gag Series: The entire show is based around throwing the quirky cast of Tsukihime and Fate/stay night out of their depressing stories and instead turning them into insane caricatures of their canon selves for comedic (and often heartwarming) purposes.
  • Game-Breaker: In-Universe example. At one point, the various Servants get involved in a Pop-up Pirate gameRules , with Lancer being the pirate. Saber inserts her sword, Archer inserts his sword... cue Gilgamesh with Gate of Babylon.
  • Game Show: The first episode involves the Fifth Holy Grail War being turned into one of these.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar:
    • In the Ilya's Castle Episode, Ilya complains that all Japanese men are pedophiles.
    • In Episode 10, Brainwashing Detective Hisui-chan is investigating a series of murders in a small city. One of the dead shown is Tohno SHIKI, crucified like a scarecrow with the word "siscon" written in marker on his chest.
  • Girly Run: Sakura in episode 12.
  • Gratuitous English: Taiga is just full of them.
    • In episode 3...
      Shiki: Are you sleeping??
  • Greek Chorus: The Neco Arcs, in a half-assed way.
  • Gretzky Has the Ball: The rules of beach volleyball are stated to not be in play even before starting, which is fortunate. Even if Ciel did manage to keep the ball in play and not rescue the curry, her team would have lost the point anyway because she was the last one to touch the ball despite it bouncing off her face. (Official rules of Volleyball state that the same player may not touch the ball twice in a row during a play.)
    • Justified Trope: Not only are the rules not in play, but she was told to do so by ARCUEID, who hates her.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: After losing his club early in Episode 5, Berserker uses Lancer as a replacement for the rest of the day, culminating in Berserker becoming so proficient in wielding Lancer that he becomes Berserker's Noble Phantasm.
  • Grotesque Cute: Grail-kun has a cute voice and looks like a fun representation of all the world's evil while spewing out liquid darkness. In episode 11, he "helps" Lancer avoid his deaths, while watching from afar like a strange stalker.
  • Heavy Sleeper: Taiga in the Fate sections, Shiki in the Tsukihime (and it ends up coming back to bite him twice).
  • Hopeless with Tech: Rin Tohsaka, a trait of hers which isn't touched upon much at all in her native series, but which gets played to full hilarious effect in this one.
  • Humiliation Conga: During "Berserker's First Errand", the first Servant to get defeated by accident is Gilgamesh, who gets a club dropped on him and gets smashed through multiple floors of a building. Later on, during Berserker's rampage... He gets trampled. There's something karmically satisfying about seeing him getting humiliated in such a manner. note 
  • Hyperspace Arsenal:
    • You thought Ciel pulling multiple Black Keys out of her school uniform was weird? Let's see you guess where she hid them on her skimpy bikini.
    • Riesbyfe and Lancer have this for Gamaliel and Gae Bolg in Episodes 2 and 11, respectively.
  • I Am the Noun: Gilgamesh when he ignores the "no Noble Phantasms" rule in the Holy Grail War in episode 1.
    Gilgamesh: I am the rules.
  • I Call It "Vera": Rider quickly names her granny bike, "Unit Pegasus" in episode 9.
  • Idiot Hair: Never make Saber remove her ahoge. You will regret it (or love it, like Gilgamesh).
  • I Know Mortal Kombat: Gilgamesh is good at riding motorcycles because he reads bike enthusiast magazines, plays racing games, and builds models.
  • Insane Troll Logic: Someone who can change into the shape of a beast must make a pretty tasty meal; just ask Arcueid.
  • Intercourse with You: The Dancing Theme opening, Super☆Affection, is about a girl wanting to be with her lover.
  • In the Blood: EX Season shows us that Caren inherited just a little bit more of her father's sadism than she would like to admit.
  • In the Name of the Moon: Phantasmoon, for obvious reasons.
  • Invisible Block: In Koha-Ace, Kohaku gets hit by one after trying to jump over an obstacle.
  • Ironic Echo: Inter-Works example. At one point Arcueid gets seriously pissed off at Ciel 'stealing' Shiki away, but Shiki reminds her that Ciel saved his life once, so he can't be cold towards her, and that Arcueid should treat her better. This is an echo of what happens in Ciel's Good End of Tsukihime, where Ciel's attempts to make Arcueid go away are foiled by Shiki reminding Ciel that Arcueid was the one who saved him from Roa in the end, so he can't be hard on her.
    • Also within the same episode: when Arcueid transfers into Shiki's class, she drags Shiki away from Ciel when the bell rings, throwing Ciel's previous line (with appropriate changes) right back at her.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Lancer being fed to Saber Lion in episode 8. A conversation on Youtube between her and Archer suggests that she can eat other Servants just the same...
  • It's All About Me: Not just Gilgamesh but also Sakura in episode six:
    "I'm such an idiot... even though I have such a great body."
  • Jerkass: Sakura, contrary to her normal characterization, tends to be completely vile to everyone around her in her few appearances.
    • What makes Sakura's jerkassery so bizarre is that she's a Jerkass to the people that care for her, drop-kicking Rider who was trying to help her from her abuse from Shinji and going Yandere on Shirou, yet is forgiving of Shinji's abuse of her, because being abused by him makes her look better.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Even though Saber Alter is the complete opposite of Saber, she still loves Shiro enough to get him a present for his birthday.
  • Know-Nothing Know-It-All: Sion in episode 2 when she also falls for Ciel's fake volleyball rules.
  • Large Ham: Gilgamesh and Neco Arc, primarily. Lesser examples are Rin as Kaleido Ruby. Even Saber Alter gets into the act.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: The Trauma Monster in the Phantasmoon Movie in the EX episode is Ilya lamenting that she doesn't have her own route. After her defeat, Kaleido Ruby states that, "This came from changing the game mechanics," which is exactly what happened because Ilya did have a route planned for her in Fate/stay night but most of it got folded into Heaven's Feel.
  • Lemony Narrator: The narrator of "Berserker's First Errand" seems to be cheerfully oblivious to the Comedic Sociopathy that is taking place in the story she's describing.
  • Lethal Chef:
    • Inverted. Neco-Arc Babbles makes a Ramen that tastes so delicious that eating it is akin to the sensation of falling in love... Even though it looks so toxic and hideous the Directors could not show it onscreen without censor-blurring it.
    • Arcueid's attempt to make okonomiyaki from a very vague description also counts. She doesn't even butcher the pig and octopus (which she thought was a squid when she caught it) before trying to cook them.
  • Let's Play: A special episode has the characters acting out a game of Illya's Castle from Fate/hollow ataraxia. You can just TELL the seiyuu had SO much fun with it.
  • Lighter and Softer: This show is so cheerful and heartwarmingly cute that you can hardly believe it originated from two of the most violent and depressing sagas in the H-Game industry.
  • Little Miss Badass: Miyako in episode 2 once she overcomes her fear of the volleyball.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Acknowledged by the closing credits, which have all the characters form a "chain" of people where in most cases every character has some kind of relation to the ones on either side of him, with varying degrees of how obscure that connection is.
    • Interestingly, a couple of the more obscure connections include Roa between Master Panda and Taiga, of all people, and the "link" between Berserker and Caster makes more sense if you know their backstories, because Hercules and Medea very likely knew each other personally in lifenote . In fact, even at the end of the credits, there's one last hand stretching out to Saber, but its owner is off-screen.
  • Lover Tug-of-War: In the beach episode, a three-way one between Arcueid, Ciel, and Akiha. Shiki is perfectly fine with this, and grins happily while he unconvincingly "protests":
    "It hurts, so stop it....."
    • One of the Eyecatches from episode 3 shows Shiki, Arcueid, and Ciel in A Lady on Each Arm situation, while inverted Akiha fumes. Shiki is naturally rather happy with the situation.
  • Luminescent Blush: Several examples, but Rin takes the crown during episode 4 as she does so several times out of embarrassment.
    • Rider gets one in episode 9 as part of her reaction to the vehicle she'll be using.
  • Made of Iron:
    • Shinji in episode 6 after Rider "accidentally" hits him with her Noble Phantasm and he exclaims that such an attack would have killed anyone other than him. Poor Lancer, though.
    • Again, Shirou and Shiki in episode 12, as they apparently survive a combined Fantastic Nuke and retreat back to the Tohno mansion.
  • Magical Girl: Up through episode 6, Arcueid-as-Phantasmoon shows up at either the beginning or end of each segment to do a spoof commercial for various episodes of a Magical Girl anime centering around her.
    • Kaleido Ruby, Magical Amber and Magical Caren also appear in the second season as rivals for Phantasmoon.
  • Magic Nuke: In Episode 12, Red Arcueid and Saber use Blut die Schwester and Excalibur on Shiki and Shirou at the same time, resulting in an enormous explosion.
  • Magic Versus Science: Played with in a short where Magus Prodigy (and Walking Techbane) Rin has to do Shirou a favour and help him record a television programme when his job keeps him working late. Rin, trying (and failing) to apply knowledge of VCRs to a Blu-Ray recorder, is left in a blind panic and requires Archer to explain to her all that she needed to do and why. And then she ends up recording the wrong channel.
  • Man Bites Man:
    • Ilya really likes sleeping next to Shirou. So when Rin pushes her away so she cuddle up by him, Ilya retaliates by chomping on Rin's head like a piranha.
    • Saber Lion can be seen gnawing on Lancer's arm in Episode 12's epilogue.
  • The Many Deaths of You: Always Played for Laughs with Lancer in a They Killed Kenny manner.
    • Episode 1: Impaled by Gilgamesh's Gate of Babylon and electrocuted by a stage light.
    • Episode 2: Doesn't appear. Or does he?
    • Episode 3: Hit by a car.
    • Episode 4: Killed in an accident before the episode starts. His body is later fed to Nrvnqsr Chaos's puppy by Akiha, with a disguised Arcueid watching nearby.
    • Episode 5: Turned into Berserker's new weapon and finished off after being used as his Noble Phantasm.
    • Episode 6: Taken out by Rider's Noble Phantasm (as collateral damage).
    • Episode 7: Struck by lightning (on a sunny day).
    • Episode 8: Fed to Saber Lion.
    • Episode 9: Crashing his dragster. It can't turn.
    • Episode 10: Crushed by a falling I-beam.
    • Ilya Castle Special: Fails to escape the crumbling castle.
    • HibiChika Special: Stabbed by a "Servant Strengthening Device." and a number of Black Keys
    • Episode 11: Subverts all previous deaths! Then dies to the volleyball in episode two... Then rises from his grave.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Hilariously done in episode 8, when Saber Alter returns to Shirou after a day of work and quite clearly drunk. We then get treated to Shirou welcoming her back in an apron.
  • Meido: Saber in episode 8.
  • Melodrama: Episode six portrays Sakura's life as a cheesy soap opera. It fits perfectly. When Rider accidentally gets Sakura to defend herself and reform Shinji, she gets pissed because now she can't play the victim for sympathy.
  • Mistaken Nationality: Because of her curry obsession, multiple characters seem to think Ciel is Indian.
  • Mood Whiplash: Episode 6 opens with Shinji's Domestic Abuse of Sakura, with shouting, smashed plates and Shinji KICKING a crying Sakura in the ribs. It does NOT feel right for a comedic series.
  • Motor Mouth: Everyone in the Illya's Castle episode. Justified from a meta perspective, as the actors had to talk fast to keep up with what's going on in the game.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Red Saber, an in-universe example.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Almost everything in this show, to some extent.
    • The crowning example has to be the beach volleyball game, which ends up getting spoofed as a Melty Blood match, complete with Miyako pulling off dramatic kung-fu poses before striking the ball, Ciel activating Blood Heat and bringing the Seventh Holy Scripture to bear, Akiha inverting to give herself a power boost, and Arcueid channeling Red Arcueid and dropping the moon onto the court.
    • Inverted in Episode 1, with the Holy Grail War becoming a mundane but bloody hilarious Game Show.
      • And by extension, the Grail War Race. It was essentially the Type-Moon version of Wacky Races. But the most prominent example was the epic rapid-fire coin inserting on Shirou's part near the end.
    • Kuzuki Souichirou and Nrvnqsr Chaos sitting in a restaurant, with Nrvnqsr's beasts acting up.
    • Yes, it's a "Granny Bike," but in the hands of Rider...
  • Mundane Utility:
    • Saber works at a cafe to help out and make money to buy Shirou a birthday present. While there, her B rank Charisma comes into play, meaning that while she's an awful waitress, the customers and staff worship her and do whatever she says.
    • Caster's crafting of a good-luck charm for Soichirou. It gives him actual, incredible luck. Justified as Caster's Crafting skill is exceptional (Rank A), even though (like Saber's Rank A in Riding outside of Fate/Zero) it never comes into play in the original stories. Also given to Assassin during the race for the grail, to help his driving.
      • Caster also employs her Crafting skill to assemble and paint garage kits of Saber. She's even got an airbrush, a compressor and a respirator mask.
    • Rider using her A+ rank in Riding to accelerate a pedal bike to faster than a racing motorcycle.
    • Caren using her Shroud of Magdalene to sort male and female chicks apart. Normally it's used to bind men until they are attacked.
    • Caster using her Rule Breaker as her wallet's "keychain."
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: At least Grail-kun seems to think so, if his "Hero Creation Kit", "Friendmaker", and "Servant Strengthening Device" are anything to go by. This is another Mythology Gag, as the Holy Grail in FSN was a Jerkass Genie that would interpret any wish as slaughter.
  • Mythology Gag: All over the damn place, considering this is a crossover gag manga/anime OVA.
    • Perhaps too many to list, so here's a particularly obscure one. During Episode 4, the Neco Arcs are playing Fate/Stay Night... and reaching this bad ending. That specific bad end is considered by the game itself to be among the hardest bad endings to get, as it requires playing very specifically to piss Saber off as much as possible. The Neco Arcs complain that "the choices are too difficult".
    • An interesting one to Fate/hollow ataraxia is during the Holy Grail Grand Prix where Rider and Shinji's vehicle is a "Mamachari" or Granny's Bike. In Hollow Ataraxia Shirou and Rider argue over whether Rider should take Bike No. 1, which is implied to be a speed bike, or Bike No. 2, the aforementioned Granny Bike.
    • In the OVA EX, the Holy Grail Monster's true form is revealed to be Illyasviel von Einzbern, who's pissed off that she didn't get a route in Fate/Stay Night. Rin mentions Ilya was originally going to have a route, but it was cancelled.
  • Nice to the Waiter: As arrogant and condescending as he is, Gilgamesh sees himself as such, and pays for his lunch at Ahnenerbe with an absurd amount of gold and jewels.
  • Nightmare Fetishist:
    • In Episode 2, Akiha pictures herself winning the MVP prize - a night alone in a private room with Shiki - with the other love interests watching from a doorway. The only movement in the scene aside from a panning effect is Shiki's arm elongating into a tentacle-like appendage with a grotesque sound and closing the door.
    • In Episode 4, Shiki sports a wistful expression as he says something worse than death awaits him if he angers girlfriend, while picturing Red Arcueid about to tear him apart.
  • Noble Bigot: In episode 2, Miyako is disappointed that she's paired with "foreigners" - Ciel and Arcueid - and thinks to herself that Ciel must be Indian because she reeks of curry.
  • No Kill Like Overkill:
    • In Episode 1, Gilgamesh using Gate of Babylon to win a game of Blackbeard.
    • In Episode 2, Arcueid turning into Red Arcueid and using Blut Die Schwester from Melty Blood and Fate/Extra to win a game of beach volleyball.
  • Noblewoman's Laugh: Rin, in episode 4. While assuring Shirou that, because she's a genius, recording a TV show will be easy for her. The results are hilarious, especially when she realises it's a Blu-ray player and she doesn't know what to do. Or rather, is told by Archer that it is a Blu-ray recorder. She thought it was a MegaDisk.
    • Then there's also Akiha's very nervous one in episode 2.
  • Noodle Implements: Len, what is the seaweed/chikuwa/snack food for?!?
  • No Pronunciation Guide: Inverted by Nrvnqsr Chaos—he properly pronounces it when asking a cashier for a receipt, but she asks how to spell it (and it appears on the screen spelled properly), and he has to think about it for a few seconds before giving up and writing "Nero" (the usual spelling of the pronunciation) on a sheet of paper for her.
  • Nose Bleed:
    • Aoko gets one of these about every time Shiki talks to her.
    • Also Caster, when she spies on Saber.
  • Occidental Otaku: Caster is Greek, but her room is stuffed full of self-made Saber memorabilia, including figurines of Saber's various forms and replicas of Saber Lily's and Saber Alter's armor, and the dress she used to humiliate Saber in "Unlimited Blade Works".
  • Odd Friendship: Shiki and Shirou qualify, as Canon dictates they would not get along.
    • Arguably, this is due to circumstances; they meet in the cafe after Shirou fails miserably with trying to fix the rocket, and join forces for the common goal of the super date plan, and need to help each other as much as possible to keep them both from getting killed.
  • Offscreen Teleportation:
    • In Episode 1, Arcueid is the Sole Survivor of the audience watching the Grail War game show. In Episode 2, which is set immediately after, she's playing beach volleyball with the other Tsukihime characters.
    • In Episode 12, Sakura can be seen staring balefully at Shirou and Rin from the background before he runs off, then is sitting in another theatre when he arrives.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Upon realizing that Shirou has a Blu-ray player and not a VCR, Rin is struck dumb with horror.
    • Assassin, Caster, and (to a lesser extent) Archer get one each in Episode 5 before Berserker defeats them. Berserker himself when he realizes he'd forgotten about the errand and envisions a fairly angry Ilya.
    • Even Saber has a few of her own: one when she gets caught trying to nap with Shirou in episode 3 and another when she sees Gilgamesh is her next customer in episode 8.
    • Shiki and Shiro constantly in episode 12, whenever there's a hiccup in their Zany Scheme. Given the potential that their lives are on the line, it's completely justified.
  • Only Sane Man:
    • Satsuki seems to be the only member of the Back Alley Alliance who can avoid entering Cloud Cuckoo Lander territory.
    • Sakura and Shirou share this role within the Emiya household, especially when Caren offers them a large lump sum of cash.
  • Out-of-Character Moment:
    • In the Ilya's Castle segment, Saber becomes a high-pitched fast-talking loon whenever she sees food, whereas the rest of the characters stay relatively in-character. This is especially hilarious during the Mushroom Trip and Die Lorelei stages:
      "Ilya, I'll stop your madne—ah, Mapo Tofu!!! Outta the way, outta the way!!! MAPO~! MAPO~!!! Invincible!!! Ilya, I'll stop your madness."
    • A more obscure version is Shiki and Shirou's buddy buddy attitude. Kinoku Nasu has gone on record and stated that they "would definitely get along badly."
    • Kotomine Kirei, while a sociopathic sadist in canon, is in Carnival Phantasm an exasperated referee who doesn't want anyone to get hurt... because it'd mean he'd have to pay to clean up the damage.
    • The last half of the 2013 special where Shiki and Shirou's other love interests go Yandere on them. Rin actually uses magic to suck Shirou's life force out of him.
    • Sakura in the series compared to the normal games to the sheer extent that it might overflow and be considered "normal" for the series.
  • Panty Shot: Caster lampshades the shortness of a tennis skirt, while the camera focuses on her underwear.
  • Perverted Drooling: Akiha for Shiki in the Beach Episode. Kohaku manipulates her to make her go along with her Zany Scheme.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • Episode 8 showcases what happens when someone gets on Gilgamesh's good side, prompting him to shower the room with gold and jewels!
    • Episode 9 is perhaps the only time ever where Shinji genuinely praises Rider.
  • Phrase Catcher: Lancer, doubling as a Shout-Out to the Japanese version of South Park.
  • Precision F-Strike: Combined with their Oh, Crap! moment from episode 12, both Shiki and Shirou react with a completely appropriate, "Oh shit!" when they realize they forgot about Akiha and Ilya.
  • Pun:
    • Boomelancer, a pun that works betters in Japanese due to the ambiguity of 'L' and 'R' for them, which gives us 'BoomeRancer'.
    • In episode 9, Berserker can apparently transform into a car. He is dubbed the "Berser-car."
  • Punch-Clock Hero: Phantasmoon is more than happy to fight the Trauma Monster Ilya—at least until she learns that Kaleido-Ruby is there to fight, and that technically it's her fault that Ilya is loose to begin with. Phantasmoon promptly loses all interest.
  • Rage Breaking Point: Saber's first day at waitressing is marred when Gilgamesh shows up for lunch, Nrvnqsr Chaos orders 666 meals, Zouken almost has an accident, and Berserker goes berserk and smashes the front of the store when she tells him they don't sell Jump magazine. Gilgamesh saying he wants to have her for takeout is the last straw, causing her to rip her Idiot Hair out and turn into Saber Alter.
  • Really Dead Montage: Lancer gets one when Berserker uses him as a Noble Phantasm against Archer.
  • Relax-o-Vision: Audio variant — the yodeling that covers up the sound of Satsuki helping Akiha (reverted to childhood) use the toilet.
  • The Rival: Blue Saber (Artoria Pendragon) takes an immediate dislike to Red Saber (Nero Caesar) even before meeting her, considering her a ripoff. When they come face-to-face in the third special, they take shots at each other.
  • Rule of Cute: Whenever the Super-Deformed modes kick in, not to mention whenever we finally get to see the characters we've come to love over the last 10 years being happy children with fun childhoods.
  • Rule of Funny: Powerful enough to bend the grimdark despair of even the Nasuverse.
  • Running Gag:
    • Lancer being subject to grievous harm for no real reason. Also, Assassin not being present in any non-temple scenes and getting replaced with a cardboard cut-out (yes, even in the ending).
    • The Afterschool! Alleyway Alliance segments have Sion repeatedly saing "This was within my calculations before she, Satsuki, and Riesbyfe turn, snap their fingers, and say the name of their sketch in unison.
    • In the Phantasmoon segments, there are two recurring jokes: 1. Fate heroes appearing as "mysterious allies" to Phantasmoon (the one exception is Master Panda, who of course did not appear in the Tsukihime visual novel), and 2. Ren dramatically giving Arcueid random food items for no reason.
    • In Episode 6, Sakura beating up and berating Rider for trying to help her stand up to Shinji.
    • The Season 1 DVD commentaries all include a moment where Ciel shoots Neko Arc.
    • The Church and Magus Association basically being out of money after having to cover up so much chaos.
  • Sadist: Smacking Lancer with a wad of bills awakens Caren Hortensia's inner sadist, causing her to develop a Strong Family Resemblance to her father.
  • Say My Name: "SEEEEEIIIBAAAAAAA!" Shirou really doesn't like it when she loses.
    • Saber gets her own "Shiroooouuuu!" in episode 5.
  • Scary Shiny Glasses:
    • Shiki sports this when explaining to Shirou his master plan for dating all the Tsukihime heroines at once.
    • Ciel gets her own when taunting Arcueid over the fact that the school is her time to spend with Shiki, and that the True Ancestor doesn't belong there.
  • Screw Destiny: Episode 11 is about Lancer's struggle to stop dying in every episode by the story's will.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Supernatural Powers!: Arcueid. Relatively mild version. She still drops the moon on her opponents (and her team!) during a volleyball game.
  • Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: Gilgamesh breaks the "No Noble Phantasm" rule in the first episode, and when called out on it proclaims "I am the rules!".
  • Sequel Hook: Even though there's the announcement at the end of season 3 that that's the end of Carnival Phantasm, Taiga, Shiki and Shiro are clamouring for a continuation. And after the last stinger of the show, Ayaka Sajyou calls.
  • Serious Business:
    • Archer and Lancer play a simple game of karuta with immense intensity.
    • Saber treats waitressing at Ahnenerbe like managing a military campaign, cowing the customers and staff alike with her B-Class Charisma.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: Lancer tries to undo all the deaths he will experience in the entire series with a little prodding from the Holy Grail itself (It Makes Sense in Context). Of course, he dies trying... Or at least, that's what you think happened before you see his hand burst through the ground from his "grave" after the credits.
  • Sexy Backless Outfit: Phantasmoon and Meido Saber.
  • Sleep Cute: Shirou and Illya, courtesy of a sleep spell Illya put on him
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: Lancer tries to stop the chain of his deaths. In the end, he appears to fail when the volleyball that smashed through the Holy Grail Rocket in Episode 2 ends up smashing against his head... until the Sequel Hook reveals that he actually survived.
    • The Holy Grail Race War ends with Shirou and Saber winning due to spending all their coins... but decide to wish for their money back.
  • Show Within a Show: The Magical Girl Phantasmoon show apparently exists within the Fate universe, seeing as Rin records it by accident.
  • Sickeningly Sweethearts:
    • Lancer and Bazette are obviously portrayed as a lovey-dovey couple here. Caren gets annoyed by their antics really quickly.
      Caren: The world is ruled by money, right?
      Gil: It doesn't really work for sweetheart couples like them...
    • Caster and Kuzuki play this surprisingly straight as well, though in their case it's endearingly played for "Awws" from the audience.
  • Slasher Smile: Sakura has several in episode 12, even during the party in the epilogue when she has no reason to be Yandere! She cracks a menacing smirk, with the Shadow looming behind her, at Shinji getting eaten alive by one of Nero's wolves, and for that she's entirely justified.
  • Sleep Cute: Ilya tries to take advantage of the nap that Shirou is having ... until the other girls want in, too!
  • So Beautiful, It's a Curse: Sakura, according to... herself.
  • Softspoken Sadist: Caren discovers that she really enjoys hitting Lancer with large wads of money.
  • Spoiler Opening: There are some fairly obvious ones, such as Rin's Walking Techbane moments and Berserker's new Noble Phantasm, but there are parts where the credits show a series of Freeze-Frame Bonus still shots of the current episode and future moments; e.g., Saber dressed in Meido.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: The characters from Fate generally get a lot more focus episodes than Tsukihime's, which is lampshaded several times.
  • Straight Man: Satsuki in the Afterschool! Alleyway Alliance segments.
  • Stalker Shrine: Caster has one to Saber that she tries to keep secret from Souichirou. He eventually sees it, and doesn't care.
  • Stalker With a Crush:
    • Caster has... a lot of Saber pictures, clothing, models, and what-have-you. Departing from the norm she is still romantically attracted to Souichirou, with her crush on Saber appearing to be more interest in her looks.
    • Episode 12: Sakura to Shirou during the zany scheme to date everyone.
  • Statistically Speaking: Rider's skill in Riding is ranked A+. This allows her to pedal a granny bike faster than a car.
  • Stock Footage: In episode 4, Shiki and Shirou imagine Arcueid and Saber's wrath. In episode 12, that same animation is re-used when incurring their actual wrath.
  • Straw Loser: Shinji's status is lampshaded by Sakura. She actually complains when Rider turns him good because his entire purpose is to make others look better.
  • The Stinger: The season 3 finale has Ayaka Sajou, the female protagonist of the original draft of Fate/stay night, making a phone call to the deserted cafe to lead into the Fate/Prototype OVA included on the DVD.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Played with, as although Caren Hortensia looks nothing like her father, Kirei Kotomine, it's lampshaded how similar they are in terms of personality.
  • Super-Deformed: All the cute-and-funny time!
    • The Neco-Arcs who serve as the show's Greek Chorus are chibi Cat Girl (boy in the case of Neco-Arc Chaos) versions of Arcueid.
    • Saber Lion in particular is a chibi version of Saber in a lion onesie.
    • In one of the extra episodes, Akiha Tohno, Hisui, Kohaku, and almost the entire case of the Fate saga appear drawn in the super-deformed style of the Koha-Ace manga and Capsule Servant, a PlayStation Vita tower defence game included with the re-release of Fate/hollow ataraxia.
  • Superpowered Evil Side:
    • Akiha transforms into her red-haired form whenever she is angry.
    • To win a game of beach volleyball, Arcueid turns into Red Arcueid and uses Blut die Schwester, and does so again in Episode 12 when Shiki's date deception is discovered.
    • When Gilgamesh makes her truly angry while she is waitressing at the Neco-Arcs' cafe, Saber rips her Idiot Hair out and transforms into Saber Alter, dressed in her Elegant Gothic Lolita civilian clothes. Her charisma is so powerful even Gilgamesh is intimidated enough to say, "I'm sorry."
    • In the ending to Episode 12, the Shadow appears behind Sakura as she breaks into a Slasher Smile at the sight of Nrvnqsr Chaos eating Shinji.
  • "Super Sentai" Stance: The Five Ren Cat Rangers In order  adopt these poses three times in the Extra episode.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Shirou gets one while on three simultaneous dates. He's not a very good liar.
    • I'm so excited about our date that it looks like I'm acting suspiciously!
  • Sweet Tooth: Yes, Caren eats that entire cake during the post-credits epilogue in episode 12.
  • Sympathetic Sue: invoked Parodied in episode 6: this is apparently how Sakura sees herself.
  • Take That, Us: The third special opens with cheerful acknowledgement that Saber is a huge cash cow and overused, the Tsukihime remake is taking forever, and that Kinoko Nasu and Type-Moon never seem to get anything new done. There's also a bit where the neko characters complain about a visual novel being too difficult, this being a comedic spinoff crossing two different visual novels.
  • Tempting Fate: Archer and Nanako share a table in the cafe, and start talking about their respective "masters"—namely, they start making fun of them, concluding that "all female masters are idiots." Just as they start laughing, the cafe door is heard opening, along with an ominous growl. The still shot right afterwards implies that Rin and Ciel heard everything and promptly attack them both.
  • They Killed Kenny Again: Poor Lancer gets this treatment in almost every episode, to the point where it becomes a Running Gag. It gets to the point where he comes back to life with no explanation in the 2013 special, after getting killed. Thankfully, the writers decided to give him a break, and he gets to enjoy a beach vacation without anything unpleasant happening to him for the rest of the episode.
  • Through His Stomach: The only times Saber tells Shirou she loves him is when he's offering her large amounts of food.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone:
    • After being killed in essentially every episode, even in episodes where he didn't have a proper appearance, Lancer finally gets an episode devoted to going back and preventing each death. Sadly, the person giving him the chance is basically in it to see Lancer suffer even more, so it doesn't quite go as planned.
      • That said, even after everything that happens, including seemingly being killed a new time by the volleyball from episode 2, the Sequel Hook at the end of the episode shows that Lancer lived.
    • They throw Lancer another one in the 2013 special. Though he still gets killed in the beginning of the episode, he actually spends a day at the beach unharmed.
  • Troll:
    • Shinji in Episode 6.
      Shinji: [in front of his computer] Some idiot fell for my elaborate trick again! Dumbass. You mad? You mad?
    • The sentient cell phone in the HibiChika Special uses every possible opportunity to push Chikagi's buttons.
  • Troll Fic: The "Brainwashing Detective Hisui" stories are crazy, even by Nasuverse standards. At the end of each story, it is revealed that they were just written by Kohaku. When Hisui calmly comments "It's good" Kohaku is rather shocked, implying she didn't try to write a serious story.
  • True Love's Kiss: Ilya claims that she is the only one who can break the sleeping spell she cast on Shirou by kissing him, as she is the Princess; however, one can't help but wonder how effective Saber would be at the task.
  • Tsundere: Rin has a crush on Shirou and Akiha has a crush on Shiki, but neither of them will admit it.
  • Two-Timer Date: Episode 12 has Shirou and Shiki trying to juggle three and five dates respectively all on the same day. It goes as well as one could expect, especially when it turns out that they'd each forgotten one other date that they'd also scheduled on that day.
  • The Unsmile: When Gilgamesh orders the full-course lunch special with a smile, Saber awards him with a livid grimace.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight:
    • None of the Tsukihime cast in Episode 2 appear to care that there is a crashed rocket ship at the Tohno Family Beach despite the fact there is a sign that clearly states, "Unauthorized entry is prohibited."
    • Then again, they are playing volleyball for the right to spend a night with Shiki. Volleyball with special skills and super-powers in use. Which means they don't really care about anything else.
    • Also, Arcueid vs. just about anything. Berserker assaulting the cafe she's eating at? Waitress pulls her Idiot Hair and turns into a superpowered dominatrix? "Eh." Completely in character for her.
  • Unwanted Assistance:
    • Sakura kicking Rider around just to make her point.
    • Rider gets Shinji to feel this way by doing a sadistic version of this that keeps getting him hurt every time he tries to be a Jerkass, basically an animated version of a doujinshi with the same plot. Bonus points for milking his perception of how useless she is and weaponizing it.
  • Unwanted Harem: Averted for both Shiki and Shirou - they both want to date all their girls, and pay the price for it. Or at least, Shiki wants to date them all whereas Shirou just wants everyone to be happy, but has the handicap of being, well, Shirou.
    • The Harem Seeker part would have been averted in the last episode if the option "Date Main Heroine" had won fan vote over "Date all girls at once".
      • The 2013 special, which among other things features the dating scenario as if the "Date Main Heroine" option had won, shows that even THAT wouldn't have worked... To sum things up, every single girl who hasn't been chosen turns Yandere.
      • The setup for this section implies that they have already scheduled dates with all the girls for that day, thus the "Date Main Heroine" option includes an unspoken "Cancel dates with other girls in last moment" action.
  • Villainous Breakdown: In Episode 9, Gilgamesh really loses his temper just as Shirou and Saber are catching up to him, Archer, and Rin as they are about to reach the finish line, to the point that he not only utters the word "bastard" many times, but also calls both Shirou and Saber "goddamn brutes".
  • Villainy-Free Villain: Parodied in the White Princess Phantasmoon segments. In the closing previews "the demon Akiha" is always set up as the next episode's villain, but her evil plots amount to... opening a makeup line, or drawing a manga, or feeding a stray dog (with Lancer's dead body, but still).
  • Visual Pun: BerSer-CAR.
  • The Voiceless: Neco-Arc Bubbles doesn't say anything, simply nodding her head enthusiastically and grunting affirmatively.
  • Wacky Racing: Premise of episode 9. The Holy Grail War is reduced to a grand prix race with everyone using randomly selected vehicles, whether a racing bike, a coin-fed robo-lion, or just a shopping bike.
  • W.A.F.F.:
    • The entire segment about Caster and Kuzuki. Caster gives Kuzuki a good luck charm which proceeds to give him multiple wins in multiple events, Issei attemps to out Caster about her Saber-stalking hobby, and it ends with Kuzuki complimenting how well sculpted her latest Saber figure is. He then proceeds to give her a beautiful engagement ring and asking her to go with him to Hawaii. DAWWWWWWWWW.... (And just to up the above even further: Taking Hollow Ataraxia into account, the above could quite easily be canon.)
    • Saber's birthday gift to Shirou in Episode 8. Naturally, a cooking implement, but the whole reason she started a part-time job was just to do this.
    • Lancer and Bazett share a lovey-lovey moment before Caren Ortensia yanks him away in the Extra Episode.
  • Weapon Tombstone: The Shoot the Shaggy Dog ending of episode 11 has Grail-kun bury Lancer, with his tombstone being a combination of Gae Bolg laid sideways and a stick saying "YOU LOSE". Lancer's hand bursting out of the ground and reclaiming Gae Bolg only makes The Stinger all the more triumphant.
  • Widget Series: A fair few might characterize CP as one itself, since it's a goofy, unabashed gag show which uses a pair of dark psychological horror visual novels as source material. However, much more notable is that a couple episode themselves rely on references to other WJTs, and these are so obscure outside of Japan that the vast majority of non-Japanese viewers are likely to miss the references entirely. To wit:
    • The actual gimmick of Episode 5 ("Berserker's First Errand") is that it's an extended gag on a classic, long-running Japanese reality TV show called "Hajimete No Otsukai" or "My First Errand". You see, Japan, being a pretty low-crime, public-safety focused country, is rather more okay with the idea of Free-Range Children and sending kids to do errands at younger ages than some other societies. In particular, very young kids, around 4 or so, are often sent on their very first errand... with the expectation that they'll probably screw up, and that the mistakes they make will be a teachable moment. "Hajimete" records these on film to watch the kids as they go about the errands in very adorable, kid-like ways and document the ways they get off-track. The nearest American counterpart might be America's Funniest Home Videos, though it's significantly less mean-spirited than AFV can be. The episode's humor, of course, comes from the narrator still playing the "Hajimete" parody completely straight, complete with describing Berserker picking up a "dog", and hurrying to complete his errand (while ignoring his winning the Grail War on accident). As the gimmick of the series largely doesn't even exist outside of Japan, though, it's rarely ever been exported, so most non-Japanese viewers miss the reference entirely.
    • Episode 6 can catch people off guard because of the weird tone shifts... that seem like a joke on something, but you can't tell what. Well, that's because they, and the whole episode, are a joke on the "Renzoku Terebi Shousetsu" (literally "Serial TV Novel"), AKA the "Asadora" (or "Morning Drama"), an incredibly long-running series morning Soap Operas. The interstitial bumpers are a direct joke on the ones used by Asadora, and a lot of the contrived drama and trials and travails of Sakura during the episode are jokes about the structure of Asadora seasons and how the shows inevitably treat their (young, female) protagonists. As the shows almost never get exported (outside of record-setting ones like Oshin, anyway), though, it's extremely unlikely non-Japanese will understand what the episode is specifically parodying.
  • Wife Husbandry: Aoko has apparently been pulling Husband Husbandry on Shiki. When he meets her again to thank her after many years, she suddenly begins cheering that her Hikaru Genji plan worked perfectly.
  • World of Badass: Again, it's the Nasuverse. Literally every named character is a badass. How that translates to this show is a bit different from the Nasuverse's norm, though.
  • World of Ham: Almost everyone hams up the scenery at some point due to Rule of Funny.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Caster attempts to do one when Issei exposes her Saber fetish to Kuzuki. It fails, only for him to start praising the figurines she made because of their high quality, and then propose to her.
  • Yandere: Sakura in Episode 12. Also part of a Funny Background Event as it's very easy to miss her being the first to get wise to Shirou's Zany Scheme when she begins showing up everywhere else that Shirou goes to during his segments and always gets there before he does! The special season episode shows her being even more yandere than before by having her put crest worms in Shirou and Saber's food when Shirou decides to only date Saber.
    • In defense to Sakura, pretty much every girl does this: Rin leaves the house and sets up magic circles that drain Shirou's energy. Akiha uses her magic hair on Shiki while he is bathing. Ciel follows Shiki around and lets him know by forcing curry on him to the point where he hallucinates that the faucet water in his house is curry. And, to top it off, the maids lock Shiki out of the mansion!
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: Lancer survives the onslaught in Ilya's Castle final battle and was overjoyed as credits roll... cue Ilya blowing up the castle, and everyone ran away as Lancer constantly complain that it should've just ended after Ilya is beaten, until he finally died falling to the Bottomless Pit.
  • Zany Scheme:
    • Shiki and Shirou's plan to keep all their potential love interests happy falls square into this trope. It starts with Shiki having to be in two different places at exactly the same time, and it only gets worse from there. Shirou's plan can be recapped thusly: "I'll just tell them all to deal with it because I want everyone to be happy! They'll understand!"
    • Also, Akiha Vermillion's plans in the Phantasmoon segments. Coming second in manga contests and starting a cosmetics line? You fiend!
  • Zettai Ryouiki: Rin Tohsaka, Sion Eltnam Atlasia, Phantasmoon (Arcueid Brunestud), Magical Amber and Magical Caren, and Saber when in Meido outfit.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Anime/CarnivalPhantasm