Anime: Mobile Suit Gundam Wing
"With high expectations, human beings leave Earth to begin a new life in space colonies. However, the United Earth Sphere Alliance gains great military power, and soon seizes control of one colony after another in the name of "Justice and Peace"..."
"The year is After Colony 195..."Shin Kidou Senki Gundam Wing
(lit. "New Mobile Report Gundam Wing") is one of the more famous (or infamous, if you prefer) of the Gundam Alternate Universes
. Aired in Japan in 1995, it was brought to the United States (and eventually worldwide) in 2000 on Toonami
, pushing Gundam into the Western mainstream.
In the year After Colony 195
, the United Earth Sphere Alliance
rules the Earth Sphere (the Earth, Moon, and associated space colonies) with an iron fist, with the help of Humongous Mecha
known as Mobile Suits. Rebellious elements
within the Space Colonies decide to fight back, sending five powerful Mobile Suits
- Gundams - down to Earth to wreak havoc on the military forces.Relena Darlian
, the daughter of an important colonial diplomat, accidentally discovers the identity of the pilot of one of the Gundams: a boy named Heero Yuy. Because she can positively identify him, Heero tracks Relena down and swears to kill her (something he is never quite able to get around to doing)
is known for its political twists, as the Gundam pilots find themselves having to blast their way through the various groups in power behind the UESA, and eventually their own force, while Relena fights in her own way to bring peace to the world.
It was followed up by a three-part OVA, Mobile Suit Gundam Wing Endless Waltz
, where the remnants behind the rebellion try one more time for World Domination
. The OVA was then
followed up by an extended movie version
, adding about 20 minutes in between various scenes and an almost completely overhauled Where Are They Now
ending which resulted in a more fully realized story.
Aside from a number of prequel and sequel mangas, an official sequel, the novel New Mobile Report Gundam Wing: Frozen Teardrop
was published in August of 2010. Frozen Teardrop takes place on Mars (and uses the Mars Century calendar to keep track of the orbital differences) about 20-30 years after the events of Endless Waltz
. The children of various characters end up getting embroiled in battles and political intrigue right alongside their parents and mentors. The story also fleshes out the backstories for Heero Yuy and Treize Kushrenada.
The series was brought to Western shores via Toonami
in 2000 and was a smash hit. Two versions of the show were aired during its initial run: a slightly-Bowdlerised
version that omitted some violence and dialogue, and the uncut version shown during the "Midnight Run" (which was likely the inspiration for the [adult swim]
programming block introduced just a year later). In fact, the combined success of both this series and Dragon Ball Z
(the two ran back-to-back for most of their runs) can be tracked as the source of the major Anime boom in the 2000's.
With a cast full of attractive male characters and the Gundams themselves mixing practical military designs with aesthetic appeal, Gundam Wing
is often credited (read: blamed) for introducing female fans
to the genre of Mecha Shows
Character Sheets are found here.
The show contains examples of:
- Abusive Parents: If a character's grandparents are shown in Frozen Teardrop's Flashbacks, they're guaranteed to be revealed at least Jerkasses. Treize's dragged their daughter away from her husband and forced her into a political marriage, while Relena's forced one of their daughters to live locked away in a single room with her cat as her only companion (and, to a lesser extent, made the other live with the Darlian family regardless of whether she wanted or not).
- Action Girl: Noin, Sally, Hilde, Une, Cathy Bloom, and to a more limited extent, Relena (who is a pretty decent shot when under pressure).
- Adaptation Expansion: Glory of Losers can best be described as the TV series rewritten with full knowledge of all the After Colony stories. In Chapter 2 alone, we get Duo's Endless Waltz flashback, scenes from Episode Zero, and Heero referring to Zechs' Leo as a Gryph, a pre-series mecha from Frozen Teardrop.
- Alpha Strike: The Heavyarms has one of the most impressive alpha strikes in anime history. Hand-held gatling guns, Chest Blaster gatling guns, head-mounted vulcans, and a swarm of missiles all going off at once. Good times!
- Alternate History: It's mentioned that the After Colony calendar started with the first colony sent to space...in the 1970s.note This could explain the Anachronism Stew down the line.
- Specifically, the diverge from our time came sometime in the 1950's, around the Cold War.
- Anachronism Stew: This series takes World War II era fashion and technology, and combines it with the fashion and technology of The Nineties, and space-age technology and fashion.
- There's also a pronounced European flavor going on. It's a mix, though, from the different parts of the early-mid 20th Century.
- And not to mention the mooks on both sides dressing like WW1 or WW2 soldiers (or fighter pilots in the case of those using mecha).
- An Ass-Kicking Christmas: The "Eve Wars" Story Arc took place during Christmas Eve.
- Animation Bump: The Gundams are very complex, detailed machines...except usually they're not drawn that way because it would send the budget for fight sequences through the roof. While you can make out every scratch, joint, and piece of weaponry on the Gundams in the opening sequences, in the show proper their designs are heavily simplified whenever they're moving...and then when they're standing still for extended periods, they're all detailed again. However, a few important plot-altering battles (especially the grand finale) treat us to fully detailed, animated Gundams in all their glory.
- On the other hand, the movie gives us consistently detailed Gundams throughout, and actually redesigns them so they're even MORE complex.
- Granted it's not actually animated but the ongoing External Retcon manga adaptation Endless Waltz: Glory Of Losers is even more detailed in both the mobile suit designs(since it uses the all the redesigned versions of the Gundams by Hajime Katoki) and made all the battles and destruction even more intense.
- Apocalypse How: Zechs and the White Fang attempt to cause either a Class 5 or Class 6.
- Aristocrats Are Evil:
- The Romefeller Foundation.
- Subverted with the Peacecraft Royal Family, and a rare few others like Marquis Weridge.
- Armies Are Evil: The series' two organized military forces, the United Earth Sphere Alliance and OZ, both have shades of this. Sometimes they're tyrannical (such as the Alliance destroying the Sanc Kingdom for opposing its expansionist goals, and OZ threatening the colonies with missile attacks in order to get the Gundams to cease their assault in Episode 10. Other times they can be noble, however.
- Armor-Piercing Question: In the final encounter between Wufei and Treize, Wufei breaks Treize's speech about the loss of civility and pomp in Mobile Doll warfare by asking him if he knows how many people have died for him. Treize deflects this trope beautifully by giving Wufei an exact figure. And then commenting that he knows the names of every single one off the top of his head.
- Distressed Damsel: Relena Peacecraft gets captured a few times, in the most polite manner possible.
- Do Not Adjust Your Set: Happens a few times throughout the series. The ones who did this include Quinze and White Fang (twice, with the second time done with Zechs), Lady Une (on the final episode), and in Endless Waltz, Mariemaia and Relena.
- Don't Sneak Up On Me Like That: This happens if a pilot loses control of the zero system: maddened by the visions, he tries to clear his head by getting rid of all possible threats, and the system obediently keeps finding him new targets. There was at least one case where the pilot's allies had to abandon the attempts of calming him down and quickly vacate the area.
- The Dragon: Lady Une to Treize.
- Co-Dragons: Treize and Tuberov to Duke Dermail.
- Dragon-in-Chief: Treize. At first he's the Dragon to Dermail, but after leaving Romefeller he proves how influential he was when the troops loyal to him break away to form the Treize Faction. Romefeller is divided until he returns and becomes their leader.
- Driven to Suicide: Heero tries to kill himself twice note in the series.
- Dual Wielding: Quatre's Sandrock Gundam wields a pair of massive heat shotels as its primary weapons.
- Dub Text: The Latin-American dub makes Quatre canonically in love with Trowa.
- Dude Looks Like a Lady: Quite a bit of role reversal with the main male cast based and modeled after women, while the female cast is much more masculine then you'd see in other anime.
- Early-Bird Cameo: Wing Gundam made an appearance towards the end of the series prior. Much like in this series, it gets destroyed.
- Early Installment Weirdness: While largely the same as the rest of the series, the first episode had a few odd moments such as Heero laughing when he shot down an enemy Mobile Suit.
- Easter Egg: When Heero is disabling the self-destructing missile at New Edwards Base, the front of the casing has a little badge that reads "Intel Outside."
- There's another egg hidden in the Wing's schematics seen when Heero's in the hospital. It names the Gundam's composition as "Gundarium theta".
- Sandrock's OS apparently makes use of the ALICE System from Gundam Sentinel.
- Elites Are More Glamorous: The Specials/OZ, whose characters play important roles, and feature more in battle than the Alliance military in the first episodes.
- Elite Army/Elite Mooks: The Specials (who received better equipment and training) was this to the regular Alliance. This caused a bit of friction between the two groups. Despite this, OZ barely stood a chance against the Gundams. Eventually, OZ does develop more advanced mecha that prove to be more of a match.
- Empathic Weapon: Several of the Gundams show signs of intelligence over the course of the series. Sandrock acts on its own when Quatre triggers its self-detonation device, urging him to get out of the cockpit. Heero also often addresses Wing Zero as though it were intelligent and capable of holding a conversation. Overlaps into Evil Weapon whenever the ZERO System gets involved, especially with Epyon.
- Empathy Doll Shot: The teddy bear shows up in these instances: In the first opening, where Relena is brushing away snow from a teddy bear at an attack site (which was revealed to be the scene in which the boy who would become Heero Yuy destroyed a military base in Endless Waltz), in episode 36, when the Sanc Kingdom is under attack, and in the final episode, where Heero gives Relena a teddy bear for her birthday.
- Enemy Civil War: Two examples in this series:
- The first between the United Earth Sphere Alliance and OZ. OZ ultimately ends up winning and either forcing them to surrender, or destroying the last remnants of any holding out.
- Later within OZ itself between the Treize Faction and Romefeller, which occurred largely because Treize was against Romefeller's use of unmanned combat drones that minimized the sacrifices that human soldiers made in war.
- Enfante Terrible: Most of the main cast in some form or another.
- Mr. Fanservice: Particularly Heero, Duo and Zechs, but the other boys have their own strong following as well. This show singlehandedly brought thousands of female fans not only into the Gundam franchise, but anime in general. Rumor has it they purposefully made the pilots more appealing to broaden their demographic and garner female interest; it worked. The massive amount of yaoi fangirlism this show has spawned is staggering.
- Even Evil Has Standards: A few examples:
- In episode 13, Zechs and two OZ troopers are attacking a holdout Alliance base. After a brief skirmish, he orders them to surrender, and they initially agree, but the other two OZ troops continue to open fire on the surrendering soldiers. The Alliance then launches a last ditch attack, which kills one of the OZ soldiers, and the other one turns on Zechs for not being ruthless enough against their enemies by slaughtering them all. Zechs, partly due because he has to defend himself, and also because he's appalled at the two trooper's lack of decency towards surrendering soldiers, destroys the second mobile suit himself.
- When the mobile doll technology on the verge of mass production, Treize protests this decision by the Romefeller Foundation, and resigns his position, because he feels taking humans out of the battle diminishes the sacrifices and the roles they play in those conflicts. Consequently, many OZ troops believe in this as well, and split off to form the Treize Faction.
- Everyone Is Related: Frozen Teardrop takes it to an extreme; not only is every single character of relevance in the Mars Century era related to one of the original cast, but the flashbacks take great pains to draw new connections; pretty much noboy expected Trant flipping Clark to be revealed as Heero's uncle.
- Everyone Went to School Together: Frozen Teardrop shows that the real Heero Yuy, Doctor J, and Quinze's brother were classmates in college, and that Heero introduced J to Relena's future mother and aunt. Not to mention J developing the first ZERO System back then and using data from the Peacecraft sisters in its development.
- Everything's Better with Princesses: Relena, although she becomes The High Queen for a few episodes, until a coup.
- Evil Laugh: Heero does a particularly memorable one in the first episode (especially in English). And Quatre gets one of the creepiest ones period in episode 21, courtesy of Brad Swaile.
- Zechs is a Char Clone, Relena is Sayla Mass, Mariemaia is Mineva Lao Zabi, and both the original Heero Yuy and King Peacecraft were based on Zeon Zum Deikun.
- Quatre seems to be a younger version of Lawrence of Arabia. A pretty, white haired, sensitive warrior-poet who reluctantly leads an Arab army in a guerrilla war. Not to mention their Beware the Nice Ones scenes. Or the Ho Yay.
- Frozen Teardrop gets a bit absurd with this, combining it with Generation Xerox to have a story set 30 years later but with effectively the same cast as the TV series.
- Famous Last Words: "It's a Gundam!" - Many, many Red Shirts.
- The Federation: The United Earth Sphere Alliance
- The Earth Sphere Unified Nation, despite its One World Order connotations turns out to be a pretty benevolent one, much more so than the UC Earth Federation at any rate.
- Fictional Country: The Sanc Kingdom, which official sources identify as Denmark.
- Foreshadowing: The title card in the series' first opening, "Just Communication". Look familiar?◊ It should. It's the colony from the last episode where Une's speech on war is given, where the colony representatives are.
- In one scene in the second episode of the series, Quatre is looking out at the landscape and wondering if "They" know how beautiful the Earth really is. It sounds like sentimentality, but fast forward to Endless Waltz where we learn what Operation Meteor orignally involved, and the line becomes a lot more chilling.
- Friend to All Living Things: Despite being a terrorist, Trowa seems to get along with the animals of his circus very well. One of his first episodes has him fearlessly reaching for a caged lion, which acts like a kitty towards him after some seconds as he explains that it's all about showing fear.
- One often ignored scene has Heero playing fetch with a pair of dogs while smiling, and encouraging Quatre to do the same.
- Relena is also implied to have this trope in the ending where she's around various animals. Including rhinos.
- Gambit Roulette: Treize and Zechs engineer the war between the Earth Nation and White Fang as part of their Well-Intentioned Extremist plan. The manga version is a lot more explicit on this point, with Zechs confessing the truth to Heero, but the anime strongly implies the same. The thing is, it just gets hard to follow exactly what they are doing.
- Gatling Good: Gundam Heavyarms is almost the personification of this trope. Never mind the Heavyarms Custom in Endless Waltz, which uses four gatling guns simultaneously. Plus four more of them hidden in its chest.
- Gender-Equal Ensemble: Has a primary cast of seven men (Heero, Duo, Trowa, Quatre, Wu Fei, Zechs, and Treize), and seven women (Relena, Hilde, Catherine, Dorothy, Sally, Noin, and Lady Une).
- Gender Is No Object: Played straight for the most part. Gender differences and double standards are brought up a few times, but men and women serve together in the various military groups, fight together in the battles, and there are both male and female high ranking military and political leaders.
- Generation Xerox: Frozen Teardrop takes this to the point of absurdity. Sally's daughter Kathy, Duo's son Duo (Jr?), Quatre's sister Katherine, and even Trowa's seemingly unrelated protegee Trowa Phobos all look and act pretty much identically to their counterparts from the anime.
- The real Heero Yuy as a young man; not only did he look exactly like Heero the Gundam Pilot (someone completely unrelated to him), but he had a romance with Katrina Peacecraft (who had a twin sister, Sabrina Peacecraft), who looks exactly like her future granddaughter Relena. This is of course not even mentioning Relena's mother, another Katrina Peacecraft, who also looks just like her daughter, but at the very least that was teased at in one episode by Marquise Weridge's comments to Relena. (He's strongly implied to be one of her relatives, or a family friend.)
- Duke Dermail and his granddaughter, Dorothy.
- Relena also looked very similar to Darlian's wife Maureen, which is partly why Relena refused to believe they weren't her real parents at first.
- Genius Bruiser: Trowa Barton.
- Genki Girl: Hilde Schbeiker, also a Shorttank
- Get a Hold of Yourself Man: Noin slaps a cadet in this fashion in episode 4, at Victoria Base.
- The Glasses Come Off: Peace-loving Lady Une.
- Grand Theft Prototype: Wouldn't be Gundam without them:
- In episode 34, when Zechs steals the Wing Zero from OZ before they got a chance to destroy it.
- When the rebel faction, White Fang, captured OZ's Lunar Base, which, at the time of the raid, was developing the Virgo II mobile dolls. They also captured OZ's battleship, Libra, which became their base of operations.
- After stealing critical data on Libra, Hilde did a Taurusjack and escaped the battleship, before she was attacked by the mobile doll versions of Mercurius and Vayete, which were programmed with Heero and Trowa's combat data, respectively. She was saved by Duo.
- In episode 47, when Zechs was about to fire Libra's main cannon at Treize, Lady Une wakes up from her coma and steals the Wing Gundam. Une then knocks Treize out of the way and takes the blast for him. Only the lower body was destroyed, and she survived.
- Grey and Gray Morality: Click the link for the full details.
- Guilt Complex: Quatre. Lampshaded by Duo in Endless Waltz:
Duo: Oh, man, Quatre loves to blame himself for everything if you let him. I wouldn't be surprised if one day he starts saying his lack of effort is the reason there's no air in outer space.
- Gundam Fighter
- Gundam Vs Series: Wing Zero (Assist: Vayeate) and Heavyarms Kai (Assist: Mercurius) show up in Gundam vs Gundam; Deathscythe Hell (Assist: Sandrock Kai), Tallgeese (Assist: Noin's Aries), and Epyon (Assist: Virgo II) join the fun in the sequel, and the movie versions of Wing Zero (Assist: Deathscythe Hell EW) and Altron (Assist: Trowa's Serpent) are PSP-exclusives. Next's opening calls the hypothetical Wing-themed Vs. game White Fang vs. OZ.
- Gundam Extreme Vs has Wing Zero EW (Assist: Tallgeese III), Heavyarms Kai EW (Assist: Sandrock Kai EW), and Tallgeese III (Assist: Noin's Taurus), with Deathscythe Hell EW (Assist: Altron EW) and Relena (as a navigator) added later. The sequel Full Boost brings back Epyon and the TV version of Wing Zero.
- Guns Akimbo:
- The Endless Waltz version of Heavyarms
- Wing Zero
- Trowa does this once in a Taurus
- Handshake Refusal: when future rivals Heero and Zechs meet face-to-face for the first time, Zechs offers his hand. After a pause, Heero accepts the gesture while remarking that he's never shaken hands with anybody before. This could be because Zechs has shown himself to be very honest and honorable, especially for a member of OZ.
- Heel-Face Revolving Door: Throughout the series Zechs, Treize, and the Gundam pilots can't seem to decide if they're supposed to be allies or enemies.
- Hero with Bad Publicity: Once the Gundam pilots return to space, they've found that OZ has made peace with the colonies and turned them against them.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Heero attempts one in episode 10 when OZ threatens to shoot down the largely peaceful space colonies. Dr. J then intervenes, calls Lady Une out on her bluff, tells him that he was fighting them on his own, and wouldn't hand over the gundam to them. Cue Heero blowing up his gundam to follow Dr. J's orders. Even Zechs and Treize were appalled by what Une threatened to do.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: Depending on the viewer's POV, the closest is Trowa and Quatre, and maybe even Zechs and Treize. Enough to provide legitimate fodder for the fans.
- Maybe Zechs and Treize? Treize sounds like he is coming out in episode eighteen "come back to me Zechs."
- Further supported by the fact that the manga hints that a young Zechs went to live with Treize's family after the fall of Sanc. So they've probably been living together since they were young teenagers, at least.
- Due to the normally socially implacable Heero, his surprisingly close friendship with Duo was all the stranger.
- Quatre and Heero understand each other and get along surprisingly well in the second half of the series for such little interaction in the first.
- Hidden Depths: When Treize isn't waxing poetical about the state of warfare, he's actually a very competent Mobile Suit designer, having designed Tallgeese II, Tallgeese III, Epyon and the Serpents.
- Hitman with a Heart: Heero, so much. According to Episode Zero, he takes it after his father, Odin Lowe.
- Hollywood Heart Attack: Played With. In episode 10, Quatre clutches his chest and doubles over in apparent pain when Heero tries to sacrifice himself to destroy Wing Gundam. It turns out to be psychosomatic; Trowa is able to snap him out of it.
Quatre: The pain… my body… my heart
- Honor Before Reason: Wufei had a perfectly good opportunity to kill Treize with his Gundam, but chose to accept a challenge to a sword duel instead. Treize wins the duel and had a perfectly good opportunity to capture or kill a Gundam pilot and take his ultra-advanced suit, but chose to let him leave. Wufei then could've gotten back in his Gundam and blown away Treize where he stood, but chose to simply leave.
- To be fair, both men have a strong sense of honor. Treize let him go because Wufei accepted his sword duel challenge, and then lost fair and square, when he could have easily smashed Treize's cabin just moments earlier. In Wufei's case, he likely wouldn't be able to live with himself had he of killed Treize in such a cowardly way after having been beaten in a fair fight, further evidenced by his Heroic BSOD in episode 12.
- Played almost stupidly with Zech's personality. He won't defeat an opponent if it isn't a fair fight. This translates to, he can disarm them in mid-combat, then spare them because he was no longer armed with a weapon. His need to be honorable certainly seems to cloud any sense of priority, as he will give his rival a Gundam, just so they can have a fair duel, while in the middle of a war.
- Human Popsicle: In Frozen Teardrop, we learn that Doctor J designed a cryogenic stasis pod, which has the side effect of damaging the subject's memory. Heero and Relena were both frozen, hence the title.
- Icon of Rebellion: The Gundams become a symbol of colonial resistance. White Fang tries to convince Duo to join, but he tells them to Leave Me Alone; they're much more successful with Zechs.
- If You Can Read This: In one early episode, the computer screens with Heero's medical data show text from the readme file for Photoshop's TWAIN plugin.
- I Know You Are In There Somewhere Fight: First, Trowa towards the maddened Quatre under the effect of the ZERO System. Works only partially, as Quatre blows his suit up yet does snap back to sanity. Later, Quatre is the one who tries pulling Trowa out of his own ZERO System-induced craziness; he fully succeeds, keeping Trowa from blowing up a whole colony.
- I'll Kill You!: see Ineffectual Death Threats
- Image Song: Pretty much the entire primary cast of the show (with the notable exception of Noin) gets at least one.
- What's even more notable is that Noin is voiced by Chisa Yokoyama who has sang quite a lot of image songs for various characters she has played.
- Implausible Fencing Powers: Treize, Heero, Dorothy, and Quatre demonstrate this.
- Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Most Egregious in a scene where a squad of Leos have two Gundams surrounded, while being a fairly short distance away. They all open fire at once...and completely fail to hit anything. The two pilots even have a short exchange of dialogue while their enemies fire enthusiastically in a circle around their feet.
- Improbable Age:
- The Gundam Pilots are all 15. Some of them were doing this kind of thing even earlier than that. Possibly even more improbable is that Zechs, Lucrezia, and Une are only 19 and Treize is 24, despite them all acting and looking like they're in their late 20s to early 30s.
- Frozen Teardrop acknowledges the very young age of most of the characters, and attempts an explanation: since medical technology had increased the human lifespan, the world's leaders had no reason to give any authority to their children, and indeed fought and "oppressed" that generation so they could keep their power. By the time they were ready to retire, their grandchildren were just starting to come of age, and the 2nd generation was too stagnant and unused to wielding power that they thought it would be better to hand power to the bright young minds of the 3rd generation.
- Ineffectual Death Threats: Heero is pretty much the patron saint of this trope; if he threatens someone with death, you can bet top dollar he won't go through with it.
- Maybe justified... if you really intended to kill someone, why would you warn them?
- This is pretty much the reason no one really believes it's going to happen in Frozen Teardrop, despite him saying it again.
- If anything, Heero's death threats seem to be either a warning for people to stay the hell away from him (Relena in episode 1) or an attempt to convince himself that killing people he's come to care about (see: Relena, Duo, Quatre) is the only option; the fact that it always fails shows that he's got a heart.
- Invisible Backup Band: Trowa's and Quatre's duet ("Hearth throbbing Melody") from "The Victoria Nightmare."
- They're so awesome at their respective instruments that Quatre's violin keeps playing after he stops, and Trowa's flute starts playing long before he does.
- I Owe You My Life: Quatre openly says that if not for Trowa, he'd be either dead or nuts. Ho Yay ahoy, some say.
- Ironic Echo: In the first episode, after Relena gives Heero an invitation to her birthday party, he tears it and threatens to kill her. In the final episode, Heero (disguised as a mechanic) leaves Relena a birthday card, and she tears it, telling him, "Next time, hand it to me in person!"
- It Runs in the Family: Noin describes both Relena and Zechs as "reckless" and "very difficult to control".
- It's Raining Mobile Suits A recurring sequence features numerous drops ships opening and a ton of mobile suits emerging.
- Kill Me Now or Forever Stay Your Hand: After killing the Alliance peacemakers, Heero goes around to their families, apologizing and offering them the opportunity to kill him in Revenge. Sylvia Noventa calls him a coward for this...
- Forgiveness: ...But her grandmother (Field Marshall Noventa's widow) forgives him, writing a letter that says (paraphrased): "You shouldn't beat yourself up for your mistake; it's unfortunate but that sort of thing happens in war. My husband died trying to create a world where young people like you could live in peace, so please try to make his dream a reality."
- The Kingdom: The Sanc Kingdom
- Knife-Throwing Act: Being part of a circus as his cover, Trowa performs in this act as the target.
- La Résistance: White Fang, the Treize Faction, and the Gundam pilots themselves, as well as the Gundam scientists.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: Trowa Barton
- Last Name Basis: Noin, Une, and Dermail.
- Leave No Survivors: Alex and Mueller's mentality.
- Leave The Two Love Birds Alone: Something to this effect happens towards the finale of the series. Heero goes to rescue Relena from the Libra and Duo wonders if he'll be alright on his own. Cue Quatre telling him he'd just "be in the way" while smiling in a way that suggests a Shipper on Deck.
- Leitmotif: Each of the Gundam Pilots has one, but Heero and Relena are special cases as the core elements of their songs ("The Wings of a Boy Who Killed Adolescence" and "As Relena Peacecraft" respectively) appear in a few others ("Heero's Time of Decision" and "The Pain That Should Be Thrown Away Long Ago" for him, "Soft Hair, Clear Eyes" and "To Beauty, To Elegance, And To Noble-Mindedness" for her}.
- Let's You and Him Fight: Infighting among the Gundam pilots is frequent.
- Lighter and Softer: Compared to other Gundam shows, with fewer major deaths and horrific disasters and war crimes in this one, complete with a happy ending.
- Light Is Not Good: The angelic, brightly-coloured Wing Zero, a terrifying engine of destruction that is responsible for some of the worst massacres in the series, and has a nasty habit of mind-raping its pilots.
- On the other hand, then, the demonic-coloured Deathscythe series is Dark Is Not Evil, being piloted by one of the series's nicer and more idealistic pilots.
- Lightning Bruiser: All five Gundams. They are fast and resistant to most beam weapons.
- Lonely Rich Kid: Relena, so much.
- Lost in Translation: The infamous "No machinegun for him!"; more egregious but lesser known is "Prince of the Stars".
- The English dub show is actually riddled with all sorts of weird translation mistakes and lines that just don't seem to make sense the way they're said. And in a plot this complicated... God help you if you want to understand it through the first viewing.
- The 'machinegun' line is actually more a case of Small Reference Pools. 'Machineguns' is, in military terms, giving a warning shot. Zechs was ordering NOT to give Heero a warning shot and to shoot him down immediately, since he knew of the incoming Operation Meteor. Naturally, anyone that doesn't know that slang would be confused by this. In addition to that, the "Prince of the Stars" line is a reference to Zechs and Relena's Episode Zero chapter, so that's more a case of All There in the Manual than Lost in Translation.
- It's still Lost in Translation: "Prince of the Stars" is the Japanese title for The Little Prince, which actually is an apt comparison since from Relena's perspective, Heero is a boy from space who rode a "shooting star" (his Gundam) to come to Earth. "Prince of the Stars" just makes her sound kind of ditzy.
- In some newer versions, the "Prince of the Stars" has been changed to "Is he a 'Little Prince'?" which clears at least that particular issue up.
- Luke, I Am Your Father: Odin Lowe is Heero's biological father. Sadly, it seems Heero was never made aware of this.
- Macross Missile Massacre: Heavyarms. Not used quite as extensively compared to its More Dakka functionality, but it's definitely there when
someeverything needs to get blown up right away.
- Made of Explodium: If any mobile suit takes any sort of damage (other than those piloted by protagonists and central villains) the suit will explode immediately.
- The Man Behind the Man: Duke Dermail to Treize. First played straight when it's revealed that Treize and Oz are serving the Romefeller Foundation. However, after Treize steps down it's inverted with Treize proving just how influential he was when the Oz soldiers still loyal to him break away from Romefeller resulting in Treize becoming Dragon-in-Chief when he returns to Romefeller.
- Market-Based Title: The original Japanese title is Shin Kidou Senki Gundam Wing, the first part translated as "New Mobile Report", "New Mobile History", or "New Mobile War Chronicle" in various sourcebooks. The decision to use "Mobile Suit" may have been to avoid the headache of all these conflicting translations, or to tie it closer with the older seriesnote
- Meaningful Name
- Relena and Miliardo "Peacecraft"
- Heero Yuy, who was named for the colonies' peaceful and charismatic leader.
- Duo Maxwell, named for the two biggest influences on his young life: Solo, the leader of his group of street urchins and his childhood best friend, and the Maxwell Church (and Father Maxwell), which was his home after the urchins were caught and put up for adoption.
- Meanwhile, in Frozen Teardrop, Duo names himself Father Maxwell while an "orphan" from Sister Hilde's orphanage who looks exactly like the original Duo, probably Duo's kid with Hilde is also named Duo Maxwell.
- Mecha-Mooks: Mobile Dolls
- Meganekko: Lady Une, in "glasses mode".
- Except that when she WEARS the glasses she's a cold hearted bitch. With them OFF shes got a sweeter and kinder attitude which is what comes with Meganekko.
- Micro Monarchy: While Sanc Kingdom is probably the size of Sweden, compared to the other states in the setting, which not only extend over the entire Earth but also into space, it's pretty tiny.
- Mid-Season Upgrade: Most notably Wing Gundam to Wing Zero, Deathscythe to Deathscythe Hell and Shenlong to Altron. Zechs eventually ends up with the Epyon but this was long after he no longer piloted the Talgeese.
- Well, before Epyon Zechs had been using the Wing Zero, while Heero had been using Epyon (gifted to him by Treize) after the Wing Gundam was disabled. Also, Heavyarms was upgraded with two heavy gatlings instead of one like the first model, and Sandrock was upgraded with longer and more powerful blades as well as space maneuverability, which was something the Sandrock lacked.
- Military Academy: The Lake Victoria Military Academy that Zechs and Noin went to and where Noin is an instructor when she's first introduced.
- Mind Rape: Happens to pretty much everyone who tries to use Wing Zero or Epyon due to how the system works. Some of them get over it, some of them don't.
- Mook Horror Show: The first solo outing of the Deathscythe Hell.
- Mook Mobile: The Leo suits, the basic mass-productions models that gets mowed down in droves.
- More Dakka: Heavyarms. And Trowa can't seem to leave a battle without emptying every single clip he has.
- Worth noting that the Heavyarms, and it's variants, don't fully achieve this, as its various Gatling Guns were actually Beam Galting Guns, therefore, not actually ballistics.
- Mugged for Disguise: Heero does it in episode 40.
- Multinational Team
- Heero Yuy: Japanese
- Duo Maxwell: American
- Trowa Barton: Unknown, even to himself. If we accept that Cathy is his birth sister, it's still vague because official sources have alternately labeled him or her Latino, Russian, or simply "European".
- Quatre Raberba Winner: Arabic of Berber descent..
- Chang Wufei: Chinese
- The Mutiny: Operation Daybreak. Also, the Treize Faction.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Several characters go through this, most famously Heero when he accidentally killed the main Alliance leadership as well as the ones clamoring the most for peace with the space colonies such as Marshall Noventa.
- Mythology Gag: Classic Gundam series get a few subtle nods, such as the Newtype "flash" sound being used a few times. Worth noting because in early drafts, Wu Fei was a Newtype. In episode 41, the blonde female cannon operator aboard Barge bears a resemblance to Sayla Mass.
- There's the date, April 7th. Within the series, this was when the original Heero Yuy was assassinated in AC 175, when Relena was born on AC 180, and on AC 195, when Operation Meteor was launched. In the real world, April 7th was when Gundam Wing was first broadcast on Japanese television in 1995, and when Mobile Suit Gundam was first broadcast on Japanese television in 1979.
- Named After Somebody Famous: Trowa is named after Tim Burton, whom director Masashi Ikeda is a big fan of.
- In-universe, Heero Yuy is named after the pacifist leader of the colonies. Out-of-universe, his name was designed to be evocative of Amuro Ray.
- The Nameless: "Trowa Barton" was seperated from his family as a baby and raised by a band of mercenaries, who never named him. He remains nameless his entire life until the eve of Operation Meteor, when he lifts the moniker of the man originally trained to pilot the Heavyarms Gundam. After Endless Waltz, considers himself nameless once more, until Duo and Quatre convince him to keep it.
- Nazi Nobleman: The Romefeller Foundation in general seems to be made up of them. And given their shadowy background, it wouldn't be surprising if they supported the Nazis themselves at one point.
- Necessary Drawback: The ZERO System gives pilots an unprecedented combat advantage by presenting them with the best possible course of action but can drive the pilot insane.
- This is justified by implying that the system doesn't only present the best course of action, it lists out all possible approaches and outcomes and points out the most efficient/effective one. Given that the human mind is only equipped to consciously process one major train of thought at a time, the sheer volume of data being forced into the pilot's brain by ZERO is what makes the user's psyche snap like a dry twig.
- Also because it focuses on battle data, which is why you have to push all non-essential thoughts out of your head. When Zechs lost focus and thought about Peacemillion, he saw himself blow it up. The same thing happened to Duo when he thought about the colony where Hilde was. Nice tear jerker, but it was all a dream, thankfully. Pheww!
- Never Found the Body: Zechs Merquise was presumed to be dead at the final episode, but he returns in the OAV, Endless Waltz.
- The novelization ends by remarking on the status of the seven Gundams, mentioning that Epyon is at the bottom of the ocean and nods to the idea that Zechs escaped.
- Never Say "Die": In the Toonami edit, "The God of Death" is called "The Great Destroyer", and references to "death", "kill", etc. are removed and replaced with "destroy" (Only in the afternoon run; the midnight showing was aired unedited for content.)
- Nice Job Breaking It, Heero: Heero unwittingly killed a bunch of pacifist Earth Sphere leaders, allowing OZ to execute their Evil Plan and seize control of the world.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Once the bad guys take over the planet, they install Relena as their figurehead queen, for the good PR. This backfires, as they didn't expect her to be quite so savvy or charismatic, so that lots of powerful people actually listen to her.
- Nightmare Fuel: Used in-universe when Heero and Duo jump out of the hospital window, and Heero (at first) aims head-downwards, intending to commit suicide.
Duo: Hey, are you crazy?! Hurry up and open your parachute! ...damn, I'm gonna have nightmares over this one!
- N.G.O. Superpower:
- The Romefeller Foundation, a secret league of aristocrats who funded the Alliance and plotted to take over the world. They had enough clout to form The Specials, an elite Mobile Suit corps that served as the front for OZ.
- The Barton Foundation, which had ambitions to take over the world, and the resources to attempt to do it twice.
- No Hugging, No Kissing: Aside from Blind Target, where Heero (possibly) kisses Relena, relationships in Gundam Wing are noticeably asexual. Even Zechs and Noin, who are an official couple, demonstrate little, if any, physical affection for each other.
- Nuclear Weapons Taboo: If the
ICBM's missiles at New Edwards were to go off, the blast radius is speculated to be in the dozens of kilometers. That would take a looooooot of conventional missiles...
- In one sub, it's said to be 200 to 300 kilometers wide (and they're simply called "large missiles")
- The Universe Bible, released as part of the Sunrise Art Book Series, clearly labels the missiles as ICBMs
- Officer and a Gentleman: Treize and Zechs.
- Official Couple: Zechs and Noin.
- Oh, Crap: More generally, throughout the series various characters (major, minor and nameless) have this reaction when they see that they're fighting a Gundam. Panicked shouts of "IT'S A GUNDAM!" abound.
- The Ojou: Relena, Sylvia Noventa.
- One-Man Army: The Gundam pilots in general. As demonstrated by several instances (including one in which Heero and Quatre took out an entire carrier battlegroup with just a transport plane and a pair of sub-machine-guns), the Humongous Mecha are entirely optional.
- One Steve Limit: Averted. In one episode Dorothy delivers a little speech comparing Heero Yuy the colonial leader to Heero Yuy the Gundam Pilot, to try and rile him up and make him reveal his identity. After she's done, he responds "I don't know what you're talking about. There must be at least two guys here named Heero Yuy besides me." This actually makes sense, seeing as how important and popular the original Heero Yuy was.
- The name "Catherine" pops up in several different forms throughout the series and its spin-offs: Cathy Bloom (Trowa's "sister"), Katrina Peacecraft (Relena's birth mother), Katherine/Quatrina Winner (Quatre's mother), and in Frozen Teardrop Kathy Po (Sally's daughter) and Katrina Oud Winner (Quatre's younger sister, named for their mother).
- Overranked Soldier: Zechs and Une; Ranks? Lieutenant Colonel. Ages? 19. Treize; Rank? Colonel. Age? 24.
- This may have to do with nepotism, since Treize is a member of a Romefeller family, and he in turn favored Zechs and Une.
- Peek-a-Bangs: Trowa, and to a lesser extent, Noin and to an even lesser extent Hilde.
- Perfect Pacifist People: One sidestory has a subversion with the so-called Perfect Peace People. Despite all their constant rhetoric about how pacifist they are they are little more than terroists who brainwash people and use violence to enforce their peace.
- Phrase Catcher: "IT'S A GUNDAM!" is very, very frequently said (even for a Gundam series), to the point of it becoming a drinking game.
- Pimped-Out Dress: Relena, when made queen.
- Prequel: The Episode Zero manga, which was written by the anime's head writer. Because of this, it is more or less canonical.
- Considering Episode Zero was meant to be animated as episodes 27 and 28 of the anime (but was cut out due to behind-schedule production and replaced with 2 Recap Episodes), it is canon.
- Whether it's canon is debatable, mostly due to the head writer admitting in interviews that he "quit" (in Japan, this could mean was fired) around the time those episodes were made. He also wrote the new illustrated novel Frozen Teardrops, which contradicts some elements of Episode Zero itself.
- Sunrise's policy is usually to consider non-animated instalments of a series non-canonical, which is especially fortunate considering Frozen Teardrop's American reception.
- Psychic Powers: Quatre has latent Newtype abilities. In the original concept for Wing, Wufei also had the Newtype ability to sense evil-doers. Depending on how similar the Zero system is to Gundam F91's Bio-computers (which improve anybody's combat performance but function best when used by a Newtype), Heero and Zechs may very well have some Newtype ability.
- Purple Prose: Treize speaks and thinks in this.
- Rapunzel Hair: Dorothy and Duo's reaches below their calves (Duo's is less obvious because he keeps it braided); Relena and Zechs' reaches the small of their backs.
- Real Men Wear Pink: Who'd think that the waifish guy in a pink shirt would be the more dangerous one? And hey, the Big Bad likes to take rose-scented bubble baths, as well as listening to opera music.
- Real Women Never Wear Dresses: Inverted in-universe. Dorothy is shocked at then news of Treize being killed but doesn't cry to which Trowa says to her, "That's sad. A woman who can't cry."
- Reassignment Backfire: Duke Dermail has Relena made Chief Representative of the Romefeller Foundation, in order to justify Romefeller's invasion of the Sanc Kingdom and hoping to use her as a symbolic puppet to consolidate Romefeller's power. However, Relena proves herself extremely influential and manages to steal most of Dermail's supporters, leaving him powerless.
- Rebellious Princess: Relena, who after being made Queen of the World refuses to just play along with Romefeller and, when checkmated, chooses to leave things to the more experienced Treize rather than bowing to them.
- Recap Episode: Two of them; Ep27, "The Locus of Victory and Defeat", is told from Relena and Heero's perspective, and Ep28, "Passing Destinies", is told from Treize and Lady Une's perspective.
- Retcon: According to Word of God, the fancy Hajime Katoki-designed Gundams from Endless Waltz aren't further Mid Season Upgrades but rather the exact same machines as Kunio Okawara's Mid Season Upgrades from the show. This has been emphasized by shifting their names from "Custom" (primarily used for models and toys) to "EW Version" or just "EW" (and occasionally "Ver. Ka", a common modifier for model kits based on Katoki's various redesigns, though in Wing context "Ver. Ka" is more typically used to refer to Katoki's redesigns of the original pre-upgrade versions of the Gundams).
- Glory of Losers makes this a little clearer, retelling the TV series' plot but using the Endless Waltz-styled Gundams throughout. Later on they brought back Okawara's Wing Zero, renamed Proto-Zero and designated the prototype for Katoki's angel-winged version.
- Originally the EW redesigns were problematic in that they removed several iconic weapons and key features (such as the Zero's wings described above), which made it hard to simply replace the originals with the new Katoki desgins (as per Word of God) without creating plotholes. Bandai and Sunrise rectified this by having Katoki redesign ALL of the suits from Wing for Glory of Losers to include all the features that were left off of the OVA versions and release them as Master Grade model kits (for instance, the new Heavyarms includes a flip-out knife on the right arm; a weapon that was left off the OVA design but played a critical role in several battles in the show.) The current EW lineup is now functionally the same as the one from the show, the suits are just more elegant and detailed and look a lot nicer.
- Retro Universe: The After Colony timeline is also known for its strange Anachronism Stew as mentioned above. Elements of both The Fifties and The Nineties mix with space colonies and mobile suits. While Trieze and the Romefeller Foundation seem straight out of World War I.
- Rich Bitch: Dorothy. She even has her own gold limousine, her own space shuttle, and a transport truck in Endless Waltz.
- Right Hand Versus Left Hand: Operation Meteor would have gone a lot smoother if the scientists had had the Gundams coordinate from the beginning.
- Renegade Splinter Faction: Inverted - Once the the Treize Faction splits from OZ, the Romafeller Foundation becomes increasingly villainous.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge - Quatre starts to go on one with Wing Zero after his father and sister are killed, taking his anger out on everything in outer space.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: Relena and Milliardo Peacecraft /Zechs Marquise
- Rule of Symbolism: The entire show is full of meanings and symbolisms related to The Wizard of Oz. Compare Heero's slight Character Development to the Tin Man searching for a heart. Relena's search for working pacifism to Scarecrow's search for a Brain. All the Gundam Pilot's confusion on what they're fighting for and side switching to Dorothy trying to find her way back home (and possibly to the Lion's desire for courage). Also, The ZERO System is comparable to OZ in the sense it gives the pilot the knowledge they have what it takes to win, as OZ gives knowledge to Scarecrow, Tin Man, and the Lion they already have what they seeked. The list can go on.
- Say My Name: Relena's famous or infamous, depending on your POV, "HEEERRROOOO!" cry, which is done three times throughout the series (four in the dubbed version). Heero would also say Relena's name very often.
- The series tends to emphasize their connection with a non-comical variation of the Sneeze Cut, often showing one say the other's name before cutting to the other looking up and reacting as if they just heard something.
- Shoulder Cannon: Heavyarms has missile launchers on its shoulders. The manga adaptation gives it honest-to-goodness shoulder cannons.
- In the series proper, the Tragos has them, and the Leo has an optional set of beam cannons.
- Shout-Out: A rather surprising one, at that; according to Word of God, Zechs' mask is modeled on the one from Phantom of the Paradise.
- Gundanium's official designation is Gundarium Theta, making it a distant relative of the Luna Titanium used to build the original Gundam. Much like the original Gundam, Wing's Gundams seem all but indestructible when up against normal heavy artillery or blunt force. However, unlike the original, Gundanium seems to have a degree of resistance to heavier artillery and beam weaponry as well.
- And let's not forget that one of the Gundam scientists is name Doctor J.
- Shout-Out Theme Naming: There are several references to The Wizard of Oz: Dorothy Catalonia and her gold-plated vehicles, the organization OZ (whose emblem is a lion), the Specials' emblem looking like the Tin Woodsman's head in profile, and, in episode 34, the OZ commander's callsign is "Scarecrow 5".
- In episode 38, the screen pan to the caged animals in the circus: a lion, a tiger and a bear. (Oh my!)
- Secret Keeper: At the beginning of the series, only Treize, Noin, and Otto knew Zechs's Secret Identity.
- Ship Sinking: Frozen Teardrop appears to sink the Wu Fei/Sally ship with the introduction of Sally's daughter Kathy Po, and a 'Father Maxwell, who will run and hide but never tell a lie' with his son, Duo.
- It's confirmed as of Chapter 7 that Duo and Hilde married (but got divorced because she thought he was irresponsible). It's unclear whether Duo Jr. is their biological son or not due to Duo/Father Maxwell being an Unreliable Narrator.
- Not to mention, since Heero and Relena spent the last 30 years on ice, the odds are extremely slim that they'll get with anybody except each other.
- Sinister Scythe: The Gundam Deathscythe (and Deathscythe Hell)'s beam scythe.
- Sixth Ranger: Noin teams up with the Gundams at the end of the series but Milliardo is more of a legitimate sixth ranger for being the sixth to pilot a Gundam, his rivalry with Heero and his support in Endless Waltz.
- Sliding Scale of Robot Intelligence: The pilotless mobile dolls fall somewhere at the brick level, a problem when they're all armed to the teeth. Heero easily tricks a group into attacking their own batallion, including suits parked in the hanger, and then into just firing at anyone in a spacesuit. Somewhat averted with their successors, the Virgo IIs, whose AI software was constantly developed, especially with the adoption of the ZERO System into the Mobile Doll program. This proved to be very challenging for even the Gundam pilots.
- Smug Snake: Duke Dermail, Dekim Barton, Quinze, Tsubarov.
- Soundtrack Dissonance: The show's second opening theme, "Rhythm Emotion", is played at the end of episode 36, after Relena surrendered to Romefeller and during Heero's ZERO System-induced rampage aboard Epyon, and in episode 41, when the Gundam Team and White Fang launched an assault on Barge, ending with Zechs singlehandedly destroying the space station with Epyon.
- To be fair, if you don't know what the lyrics mean, it can actually get you kinda pumped up - it IS J-Pop, after all.
- Space Is an Ocean: Averted completely, the Earth Alliance and Oz does not attack using warships but rather relying on mobile suits deployed from asteroid bases and space stations and from carriers which carries limited araments.
- Sparkling Stream of Tears: As demonstrated by Trowa, Quatre, Relena, and Catherine (especially in the aptly-titled episode "Catherine's Tears"), and in episode 48 by Dorothy and Wufei.
- Speeches and Monologues: Every time you turn around in this series, somebody's making a speech. A few examples...
- Character Filibuster: Heero's seemingly endless monologue which is finally interrupted by an impatient teacher.
- Rousing Speech: Treize and Zechs take turns giving a "rally the troops" speech before the final battle.
- Famous Last Words: Treize, after Wufei does terminal damage to the Tallgeese II.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Heero/Hiiro Yuy/Yui, Relena/Ririna/Lilina Darlian/Dorian/Dorlian/Derlian (the latter which appears in the Operation 4 soundtrack), Wufei/Wu Fei, Zechs Merquise/Marquise/Marquis, Milliardo/Milliard/Milliald, Lady Une/An/Ann/Anne, Hilde/Hirde, Tubarov/Tuberov/Tsubarov, and Quinze/Quines/Kanz/Kans.
- Sociopathic Soldier: Several on all sides. At beginning of the series before their Character Development, the Gundam pilots are misanthropic loners that can kill people without a second thought (Quatre seems to be the only one that regrets having to kill people), while in episode 12 Wufei and Major Sally take on a trio of Alliance soldiers that started trashing a restaurant because the shopkeeper dared to ask them to pay for the food they ate. They then try and justify it by saying that they protect the country, so what right does the shopkeeper have? Their commander isn't any better, deposing the country's original, peace-advocating leader and eventually conspiring to hand the country over to OZ.
- Spin-Offspring: Frozen Teardrop, with (so far) Duo Maxwell (Jr), Kathy Po, and Katrina Oud Winner, alongside their parents/siblings and the original cast. (Considering the Uterine Replicator deal within the colonies and how all of Quatre's sisters are test-tube babies, Cathy being Quatre's sister is not as unreasonable as it seems at first.)
- Split Personality: Lady Une, so much.
- State Sec: OZ zig-zags the trope. It starts off as a official elite force of the regular Alliance forces, but was really a covert military branch of the Romefeller Foundation. And once Romefeller takes over the world, OZ becomes the regular military.
- Start X to Stop X: Zechs' desire to cause such intense devastation to Earth that war loses all appeal.
- The Stoic: Heero and Trowa.
- Stolen Good, Returned Better: After OZ get their hands on some of the Gundams, they are rebuilt just in time for the heroes to take them back.
- Stupid Evil: Dekam's plan to drop MULTIPLE colonies on the Earth when one would wipe out most of it.
- Super Prototype: Wouldn't be Gundam without this, either!
- Wing Zero is a Super Prototype to Super Prototypes!
- Tallgeese was a super prototype, but with the one flaw (that it shares with Wing Zero) of being a little too super for pilots to handle.
- Super Robot: Has a certain amount of this mixed in. The Gundams tend to Curb Stomp everything else, and get treated with borderline religious reverence.
- Super Robot Wars: One of the go-to series; more often than not, Endless Waltz is used, to the growing frustration of the fans who'd like to see the TV series for the sake of variety, which was only used for F, F Final, 64, Shin, Alpha, and D and finally Z2 and is set to be a part of Super Robot Wars OE (Operation Extend)
- Another Century's Episode: The TV series plays a large role in the first game, while Endless Waltz gets the standard SRW treatment in the second, and the third goes a step further by cutting it back to only Heero and Wing Zero EW.
- Talking Is a Free Action: In the midst of intense duels and firefights, the pilots often wax philosophical on life, war, destiny, and the nature of mankind.
- Team Mom: Lucrezia Noin and Sally Po.
- Technicolor Eyes/You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Not a literal example, but the official biographies for the characters seem to list the paint colors used for the animation, resulting in oddly specific examples such as Heero's Prussian Blue eyes and Quatre's Platinum Gold hair.
- Tempting Fate: Yes, this shelter is secure. Nothing could possibly break in and stop Mariemaia. Oh, there's Heero with Wing Zero, sure, go ahead and fire and realize how helpless—BOOM!
- Theme Naming: Main characters are named after numbers, while most mass-produced Mobile Suits are named after Zodiac constellations. Not all names are direct; the Hover Tank Tragos (Greek for "goat") is a stand-in for Capricorn, while the Gundam Aesculapius/Asklepos from G-Unit represents the "13th constellation" Ophiuchus (Aesculapius is the man holding the serpent in the constellationnote ). The only constellation not represented in any of the original media is Sagittarius (which appears in Frozen Teardrop as a Land Battleship in the pre-Operation Meteor era).
- Well, naturally. OZ stands for Organization of the Zodiac.
- Numerical Theme Naming: For most of the cast. Heero gets the themeiest name of them all; Word of God from the character designer says it's based off of the words "hitotsu" (Japanese for "one" or "first"), "yuitsu" (Japanese for "alone" or "only"), and "hero", and was made to be evocative of the name "Amuro Ray".
- The theme naming even extends to the Spin-Off media: Odin Lowe from Episode Zero and Adin/Odin Barnett from G-Unit/Last Outpost both derive their names from the Russian word for "one", while the little-known mini-manga Tiel's Impulse stars Tiel Nombreux, whose surname is French for "numerous".
- Theme Tune Cameo: The show's first opening theme, "Just Communication", played at the ends of episodes 3 and 49, and the second opening theme, "Rhythm Emotion", played in episodes 36, 38, 39, and 41. In the cases of episodes 36 and 41, it's a case of Soundtrack Dissonance, and in episode 49, it's a Last Episode Theme Reprise.
- These Hands Have Killed: Zechs, while talking to a portrait of his father, gives this as the reason why he can't lead the Sanc Kingdom and why Relena should, saying "My hands. They are too stained with blood."
- Throwing Your Shield Always Works: Deathscythe's buster shield is specifically designed to be a weapon, mounting a beam blade and rocket thrusters that make it a flying drill. Wu Fei throws Shenlong and Altron's shields once or twice as well, aided by their discus (or perhaps Captain America)-like shape.
- Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Sandrock throws its shotels on a few occasions, to make up for its lack of ranged weapons. Quatre still does it when he gets a beam submachinegun with Sandrock's Mid-Season Upgrade.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: Noin and Hilde (Tomboys) with Relena and Dorothy (Girly Girls). While Lady Une is both with her two personalities.
- Too Dumb to Live: Minor OZ soldier Trant Clark. Once he has Heero captured what does he do with him? He forces Heero to test the ZERO System while in a functional Gundam. Admittedly he didn't know about the insanity-inducing side effects of the ZERO System but he was still relying on the presence of hostages to keep Heero under control even though those were the same hostages the Gundam pilots had been trying to kill just episodes earlier.
- Trailer: The Toonami promotion trailer was incredibly awesome. Well produced and voiced by Peter Cullen, it was so popular that Bandai used it for their own trailers.
- Never Trust a Trailer: Despite this, the trailer does exaggerate a bit, as the narrator states "...Mankind has reached the stars, but the galaxy is troubled." In the show, most of the action really takes place on Earth or the Earth-Moon system, and humanity haven't even left the solar system. That said, it's an acceptable exaggeration, enhancing the overall feel.
- Transforming Mecha: Wing and Wing Zero Gundams, Taurus and Pices mobile Suits. Don't forget Epyon, the red Gundam introduced halfway (or thereabouts) through the series, which has possibly one of the most pointless but cool-looking transformations in Gundam history.
- Epyon's transformation is dead identical to that of the Hambrabi from Zeta Gundam, possibly constituting a Shout-Out.
- Tsundere: Midii Une, of Episode Zero
- Übermensch: Treize
- Uncanny Family Resemblance: Relena is recognized at a dinner party by an old friend of her family's due to her resemblance to her biological mother, Katrina. We never see her mother, so we just have Weridge's word on this.
- Frozen Teardrop shows that as a teenager Katrina looked identical to her future daughter (and on top of that, so did her twin sister Sabrina); of course, this also fits with the novel's extensive use of Generation Xerox.
- Unexplained Recovery: Heero should be its poster child.
- Unwitting Pawn: The Gundam pilots are tricked by Treize into wiping out the Alliance's leadership just as they were about to disarm and open peace negotiations with the colonies, thus ruining any chance of peace and granting OZ control of the Earth Sphere.
- Upgrade vs. Prototype Fight: The Tallgeese is an in-universe Super Prototype from which all other Mobile Suit designs originated, but was deemed too dangerous for the pilot and became nothing more than a museum exhibit and collector's curiosity. When the Gundams start raising hell of all kinds, the bad guys decide to Break Out the Museum Piece. The Tallgeese proves itself quite capable on the battlefield repeatedly afterwards with a good pilot inside it.
- Uterine Replicator: For several generations, normal pregnancy was impossible for colony dwellers and this was the only means of reproduction. While this has been largely overcome by the time the series starts, some groups are still struggling. Quatre's entire family - including his twenty-nine older sisters - are laboratory born. His mother wanted to concieve a child normally, and paid with her life to deliver him.
- Villainous Breakdown: Tsubarov
- Visible Laser Beams: In Episode 8, the pilots break into a facility and are confronted by a dark bunker full of "explosives with infrared red sensors", which pretty much look like the classic red laser-lines booby traps. They are undeterred.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Relena and Dorothy, when Dorothy isn't Relena's Rival.
- War for Fun and Profit: The Romefeller Foundation (specifically, Duke Dermail and Colonel Tubarov).
- Warrior Therapist: NOBODY SHUTS THE HELL UP. A spoken version of Text Plosion which ties in to the Speeches and Monologues section up top.
- The War to End All Wars: What Treize and Zechs bring about. It works...for a year.
- Wave Motion Gun: The Buster Rifle, Barge's and Libra's beam cannons, Vayeate's beam cannon, and the Tallgesse III's mega cannon.
- We ARE Struggling Together: this happens a lot. The five Gundam pilots have various allies but don't necessarily network, and OZ and the Alliance look exactly the same for a while because they use the same mobile suits. Consequently there is a great deal of friendly hostility going on, though at least the good guys are generally able to talk things out.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Zechs and Treize later in the show, where they believe that humanity needs to witness one really horrible war in order to drive the desire to fight out of them. And it works. Also, Relena, for her extreme stance on Absolute Pacifism, to the point where she would rather surrender her kingdom and let it fall so that fighting can be avoided.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Quatre's sister Iria, who appears in one episode and ends it unconscious (or worse), but never reveals which. In the manga adaptation she dies, which just contributes all the more to Quatre's Freak Out. Frozen Teardrop finally answers the question by saying she's alive and helped raise little sister Katherine, who becomes Quatre's Expy in the plot.
- Whip It Good: The Epyon's and, in Endless Waltz, the Tallgeese III's heat rod.
- Who Would Be Stupid Enough: In episode 3, another example of Lost in Translation:
Bonaparte: What idiot would challenge this [base's] security?!
Zechs: Here come the idiots!
- Will Not Tell a Lie: Duo Maxwell. Or so he says.
- Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Wufei reveals that he doesn't like fighting women because he considers them weak. Also, Dorothy brings up this topic while fencing with Heero, but he quickly shows that he doesn't have such hang-ups.
- You Are Number Six: Nearly every character in the show is named after a number, though in various different languages.
- You Had Us Worried There: At the end of the last episode, we're not sure whether Heero made it, but then he comes in with his signature, "Mission Accomplished".
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: General Septum, who is used by OZ to blame the Colonies for the deaths of the alliance leadership, then thrown out of a plane by Lady Une. Then shot on the way down. In the head.
- You Killed My Father: Zechs kills the man responsible for attacking the Sanc Kingdom years earlier in episode 9. And privately talks alone with a painting of his father, saying his hands were too bloodied to lead their kingdom, and would have to pass that responsibility to his younger sister, Relena.
- You Know Too Much: Heero seemed ready to shoot Relena when she returned from the space colony and kept pressing to know him more, until she mentions Doctor J, which startles him. He later saves her from some falling debris when OZ shows up to try and kill her.
- Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters: In many ways this is the crux of the first half of the series. The Gundam pilots are fighting an oppressive regime, but are under orders to murder any witnesses.