[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/image_363.jpeg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:Let's Duel!]]

->''"I made a wish on that puzzle... for friends I could count on... friends who could count on me! No matter what!"''

''IT'S TIME TO D-D-D-D--D-D-D-D-D-D-'''DESCRIBE!'''''

There were actually two ''Franchise/YuGiOh'' anime series. [[Anime/YuGiOhFirstAnimeSeries The first anime]], which loosely adapts the first seven volumes of the [[Manga/YuGiOh manga]], made by Creator/ToeiAnimation, and this one, ''Yu-Gi-Oh: Duel Monsters'', which was produced by NAS, animated by Creator/StudioGallop, and is generally adapted from volume 8 onwards.

This adaptation is given the subtitle "Duel Monsters" to demonstrate the elevated prominence of the card game compared with the manga and first series anime, though the manga was also given the subtitle of "Duelist" in the English localization. It was sponsored by Creator/{{Konami}} as a successful attempt to remain dominant of the license to the card game, after it stripped it away from [[Creator/BandaiNamcoEntertainment Bandai]], which failed to retain the license of capitalizing on the manga's card game with Toei's movie and anime.

There are a huge number of video games based on the anime and manga. It also spawned a movie called ''Anime/YuGiOhTheMoviePyramidOfLight''. This version of Yugi and his alter ego return in ''Anime/YuGiOhBondsBeyondTime'' that [[BatFamilyCrossover teams him up with Jaden and Yusei.]] ''Anime/YuGiOhTheDarkSideOfDimensions'' was written to take place six months after the manga continuity in the Japanese version, but takes place a year after the anime in the dub, and is the first ''Yu-Gi-Oh!'' anime adaptation with direct involvement from Kazuki Takahashi.

This show in particular is also responsible for the creation of ''TheAbridgedSeries'' genre of internet videos, with ''WebVideo/YuGiOhTheAbridgedSeries''.

The dub is [[http://www.hulu.com/yu-gi-oh available on]] {{Creator/Hulu}}, [[http://www.yugioh.com/episodes the official Yu-Gi-Oh website]], and is now starting [[http://www.netflix.com/WiMovie/70177034?trkid=13462100 to appear on]] Creator/{{Netflix}}.

----
!!"It's time to trope!"

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:#D]]
* TenMinuteRetirement: In the wake of his defeat to Kaiba towards the end of the Duelist Kingdom arc, Yugi suffers a HeroicBSOD and vows never to duel again, saying he is afraid of the way Dark Yugi was prepared to win the duel even if [[PyrrhicVictory Kaiba was killed as a result]]. He snaps out of it by the end of the following episode, though the dub has him take longer to recover, only snapping out of it during the duel with Mai.
* AbandonedWarehouse: Bandit Keith duels Yugi in an abandoned warehouse that has its own Duel Monsters arena.
* AbortedArc: Beginning in Season 2 of the anime, the stone tablet that continues to be a plot point for the rest of the series shows Kaiba and Yugi dueling in ancient Egypt. Ishizu shows Kaiba a vision of the battle. Later, in Season 3 another vision of this battle is shown, but it's completely different from the vision showed before. The battle is seen first-hand in Season 5, and is rather underplayed given the amount of foreshadowing and importance given to it before. Furthermore, though they differ greatly, both visions show Kaiba is quite clearly the Pharaoh's enemy, but in Season 5 he's mostly loyal and the only reason the battle occurs is because he gets possessed. This is attributed to Kazuki Takahashi never getting to flesh out the story with Seto and Kisara the way he wanted. Seto rebelling against the Pharaoh on his own was intended to be a larger plot point that didn't end up happening, so he ended up brainwashed. It can be excused by the fact that [[spoiler:the season 5 arc ended up being an RPG]] and the betrayal did occur in the real past.
* AbsurdlyHighStakesGame: Shadow Games plus Duel Monsters means the world is frequently at stake. Also, the Doma arc has the characters losing their soul if they lose while the Seal of Orichalcos is in play, meaning the loser is left with an empty shell of a body.
* AbusiveParents: Gozaburo Kaiba, and Marik and Ishizu's father. [[spoiler:Aknadin]] also becomes this once [[spoiler:Zorc's corruption sets in]].
* AccentAdaptation: In the 4Kids dub, Jonouchi was given a Brooklyn accent to represent his plain speech patterns in the original. Ryou Bakura was given a British accent to reflect his politeness.
* ActingUnnatural: Since Honda and Anzu are stowaways on the ship to Duelist Kingdom, and Jonouchi isn't really supposed to be there either, Honda advises everyone to "act casual" going past the guards... and then marches past looking ridiculously uncomfortable and suspicious.
* AdaptationAmalgamation: Many of the video games take elements from the manga and the anime and blend them together, ranging from eye and hair colors to characters and plot points.
* AdaptationDyeJob: The Blue-Eyes White Dragon is more blue than white, and the Dark Magician went from having red and black armor, green skin, and blond hair to purple armor, fair skin, and purple hair.
* AdaptationExpansion:
** The Big 5. In the manga they are just faceless goons in the shadows who cooperate with Pegasus, but in the anime each is given a name and a clear personality, primarily during the Virtual World arc.
** Pandora/Arkana's lover is expanded on; in the manga she was never named and was a secondary reason for him joining Marik (the first was grief over the death of his mother). In the anime she's given the name Cadeline/Catherine, and his reason for joining Marik revolves around trying to win her back.
** The Dungeon Dice Monsters arc was turned into ''three'' unrelated stories, though not adding to the original depiction in any meaningful way. In the manga, a big chunk of Otogi's/Duke's motivation came from his dad (the actual BigBad of the arc) being an old rival of Yugi's grandpa, which Rebecca took over in the anime. Meanwhile, the whole "Yugi almost dies in a fire" plotline that concluded the arc got shoved into the Yugi vs. Marik/Bandit Keith duel that kicked off the anime version of Battle City. And last, but not least, the anime did its own version of DDM, which featured a completely different take on Ryuji, the only parts that remotely resemble each other being some parts of his DDM battle with Dark Yugi (which, in the manga, was a battle with the normal Yugi). His dad also did not appear in the anime.
** Serenity's character is slightly expanded, as she gets to duel in the Virtual World using a female monster-deck. Her adoration of Jonouchi/Joey and friendship with Mai is given more focus as a result.
** Bakura's Battle City duel with "Ghost" Kotsuzuka/Bonz, which lasts ''one page'' in the manga, is given its own episode in the anime.
** The Memory World arc expanded Seto and Kisara's role, having them meet as children in backstory. Kisara was also made more assertive, Bakura and Mahad's duel was elaborated on, and Anzu/Tea and Honda/Tristan were able to contribute to the final battle.
* AdaptationExplanationExtrication:
** Dark Yugi stops giving his Penalty Games after Duelist Kingdom for no explanation in the anime. In the manga he stops doing this when Pegasus says the items have an evil intelligence, as he does ''not'' want to be evil, whereas in the anime he plays a Shadow Game with Shadi right after defeating Pegasus.
** The Black Clown's clown theme and Ryuji's partial clown make-up makes more sense in the manga, as his father was cursed to have a clown face.
** Grandpa getting severely injured through a card game for no rational explanation. In the manga, he gets the "Experience of Death" penalty game after losing to Kaiba. In the anime, that never happens, and he is injured because of the incredibly realistic holograms, even though he is okay with them later on.
** The anime never explains ''why'' Dark Bakura is after Mokuba in Duelist Kingdom (it's for the key to Kaiba Corporation's safe, which Mokuba had). The dub actually makes a little more sense, with him being after Mokuba's soulless body instead.
** Pegasus somehow finds out about Kaiba's defeat at the hands of Yugi during the first episode, in which the only witnesses to the duel are Jonouchi and Mokuba. It makes more sense in the manga, where there is an entire audience of Kaiba fanboys overlooking its equivalent to the first episode match during the Death-T arc.
** A minor one from the first episode. In the manga, Kaiba tries to recreate a penalty game Yugi previously subjected him to by making holograms act as if they're attacking Yugi's grandpa following their duel, causing the old man to have a cardiac episode. In the anime the first encounter with Kaiba never happened and he doesn't subsequently doesn't try to deal his own penalty games, but Yugi's grandpa is still found on the ground in need of hospitalization following his duel. No new explanation for why is given.
* AdaptationInducedPlothole:
** The Millennium Items were given powers in Duelist Kingdom that defy the rule of playing games to punish people, such as the Ring being able to summon monsters into reality and the Eye trapping Mokuba's soul without the need for a game. Not only does it make what Pegasus, Yugi, or any Millennium Item wielders do seem pointless if they could bypass it easily, but from Battle City onward, the Items work the way they do in the manga, which is contradictory to how they work in Duelist Kingdom.
** Jonouchi discovering Mai's perfume trick makes less sense in the anime. In the manga, they were sitting relatively close to each other, so it would make sense for Jonouchi to pick up on the scents. In the anime, there's quite a distance between them, not to mention that they're outside, so it should be impossible for Jonouchi to smell the perfume.
** In the manga, Kaiba's dueling rings were exclusive to himself and his company, and Pegasus was only able to produce the smaller Battle Boxes, creating a need for him to want Kaiba's technology to make a lifelike, real-size copy of his wife. In the anime, Pegasus's dueling rings were nearly identical to Kaiba's, making one wonder why he needed Kaiba's technology if he already had an equivalent. The dub fixes this by having him need both the technology and the Millennium Items to bring his wife back to life, which he could only get through beating Yugi and acquiring [=KaibaCorp=].
** In the manga Dark Yugi used MindRape on anybody who cheated or appeared to screw with his friends, which continued in the manga until the end of Duelist Kingdom where he decided to stop, as Pegasus warned him that ''every'' Millennium Item was influenced by evil. In the anime, he used a Mind Crush penalty that stopped being used with no explanation.
* AdaptationPersonalityChange: Ryuji goes from a serious, somewhat sympathetic character in the manga to a jerkish villain in the anime before mellowing out. He eventually becomes stuck in a comedic love triangle, competing with Honda for Serenity's affections.
* AdaptationalAngstUpgrade: In the manga, Yugi's grandpa's soul wasn't really kidnapped by Pegasus; his soul was instead sealed inside a video tape, and Yugi could talk with him through a camcorder whenever he liked. The anime makes it a straight case of YourSoulIsMine, and anime Yugi is appropriately angstier about the whole affair. Yugi's guilt and fear over almost killing Kaiba is also played up more, especially in the dub where it continues into his duel with Mai.
* AdaptationalWimp: Jonouchi in the anime. In the original manga, when Bandit Keith steals his entry card during the Duelist Kingdom arc, Jonouchi beats him up, claiming that while Keith may be good at card games, he's the best at fighting. In the anime, Keith just catches his punches and blows him off. Jonouchi also had more anime-exclusive losses, usually to a main villain that Yugi or Kaiba had to beat.
* AerithAndBob: [=4Kids=] gave new names to only ''some'' of the characters, resulting in completely typical sounding names like Joey for Jonouchi, Tristan for Honda, and Duke for Otogi appearing alongside characters like Yugi, Seto, Mokuba, and Bakura.
* AloofBigBrother: Seto Kaiba to his brother Mokuba. He loves him, but is seldom any more emotional with him than he is normally.
* AlternativeForeignThemeSong: As with all the anime that 4Kids dubs, the English opening is different from the Japanese opening. You can listen to it [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WHUcHw7j2Mc here]].
* AmuletOfConcentratedAwesome: Yugi's Millennium Puzzle, given that it has the soul of a 3000-year-old Pharaoh in it (5000 in the dub) and tends to be generally badass when it takes over Yugi's body. Most of the Millennium Items in general fit this trope.
* AncientEgypt: A large chunk of the characters and [[MacGuffin artifacts]] come from this time period. It is also the backdrop of the final Shadow Game.
* AngelFaceDemonFace: The differences between Yugi, Bakura, and Marik's normal appearances and when their [[SuperpoweredEvilSide Dark]] sides take over. [[SubvertedTrope Though,]] Dark Yugi [[AntiHero isn't]] the most demonic per se, and normal Marik [[BigBad isn't the most angelic]].
* AnimationBump: As a general rule of thumb, the more important episodes are animated with an art style which is superior to that seen during other episodes. The opening/closing sequences are also animated using a cleaner animation style.
* AnimeHair: Yugi is a particularly egregious example. All the supporting characters except for Tea/Anzu tend to be trying to outdo each other in outlandish hairstyles, as well.
* ArcWords: "Something that you can see, but something that can't be seen" gets repeated quite a lot, at least early on. Originally it referred to the Millenium Puzzle, but it's used to refer to many different things by altering the way the line is interpreted.
* ArtifactOfDoom: Millennium Items tend to give their owners awesome PsychicPowers of some sort. However, more often than not, they will also harbor or lead to the development of their owners' {{Superpowered Evil Side}}s, or at least contribute to their [[FaceHeelTurn Face-Heel Turning]].
* ArtifactTitle: "Yu-Gi-Oh" means "Game King." The anime rarely featured other games besides Duel Monsters, and non-DM games generally had Duel Monsters inserted anyway.
* ArtisticLicenseHistory: Beyond the parts that [[SadlyMythtaken never would have been accurate to begin with]], other AnachronismStew mistakes crop up, such as people using what seem to be steel or iron swords during what should have been the ''Bronze'' Age. Doubly the case for the dubbed version, which changes "3000" to "5000": Five thousand years ago--3000 BCE--would have been ''before the pyramids were built,'' and horses weren't introduced to Egypt until around 1700-1550 BCE.
* ArtShift: Once DARK Yugi defeats Kaiba and performs a mind crush on him, his face becomes less angular and his eyes gain pupils.
* AscendedExtra: The Big 5, Gozaburo Kaiba, Johnny Step, and Professor Hopkins were all minor characters in the manga but were given expanded roles in the anime.
* AscendedMeme: The nicodouga phenomena relating to the "Enemy Controller" scenes from the Virtual Arc is referenced in a minigame on the Duel Terminal arcade game.
* AssholeVictim: Bandit Keith, Marik's father, and [[spoiler:Haga in the "Waking the Dragons" arc]] among others.
* AstonishinglyAppropriateAppearance: A few of the minor characters.
** Insector Haga, whose bowl-cut hair is described as looking like a blue beetle, and his glasses have a beetle motif to them. He uses an insect-themed deck.
** The pale and sickly-looking Bonz uses an all-zombie deck.
* AttemptedRape: In a flashback, Anzu is lured into a gym hall where a creepy gym teacher with a camera was waiting to blackmail her for going to work at Burger World against school rules. Yugi arrives on time and Dark Yugi emerges to play a "draw the stronger Duel Monster" Shadow Game and gives the pervert a "Mind Crush" Penalty Game. In the dub, the camera and shots of Anzu's thighs were edited out, and she's assaulted by a mugger instead.
* AwesomeButImpractical:
** Pretty much every character's deck only works because of TheMagicPokerEquation and the fact that the writers can let them get whatever cards they need.
* AVillainNamedZrg: Zorc Necrophades.
* AxCrazy: Dark Marik and Dark Bakura (the latter is more WickedCultured in the dub, but still has shades of this). Even our hero Dark Yugi can become AxCrazy [[RoaringRampageOfRevenge if you push the right buttons.]]
* BadassAdorable: Yugi, mostly because the anime puts more emphasis on his youthful looks, compared to Atem.
* BadassNormal:
** Yugi -- the normal one, not the Pharaoh one -- manages to take out all three God Cards in one turn against Atem.
** Jonouchi, as well, who's the most normal of the main duelists.
* BaitAndSwitchCredits: The final opening for the Millennium World arc is more faithful to the manga than the anime, lacking the diadhanks that the priests had in the anime but didn't have in the manga.
* BeamOfEnlightenment: Any time one of the characters has a sudden revelation. Mostly when Dark Yugi figures out how to beat his opponents. It happens when Yugi collapses during his second duel with Pegasus. Yugi's friends can sense it, despite his isolation in the Shadow Game.
* BeastInTheMaze: The three-part duel with the Paradox Brothers is all about this.
* BeautyBrainsAndBrawn: Shizuka, Anzu, and Mai.
* BeautyEqualsGoodness:
** The heroes' ace monsters are [[BadassAdorable drop]] [[MsFanservice dead]] [[HeroicBuild gorgeous]], even the Blue-Eyes White Dragon looks noble and majestic. Meanwhile, the villains use monsters that wouldn't look out of place in horror movies.
** Bakura and Marik are both good-looking, but when their {{Superpowered Evil Side}}s take over, they look significantly rougher and are prone to making terrifying faces.
* BerserkButton: If you don't want to see a very angry Kaiba, don't tell him Yugi lost a duel. Or try to take over his company. Or [[PapaWolf attempt to kidnap/harm his brother Mokuba.]]
* BetweenMyLegs: This shot is how Rebecca is introduced in her first appearance.
* BewareTheNiceOnes:
** Ryo Bakura is a very sweet, shy, quiet, polite guy with a SuperpoweredEvilSide that he's only vaguely aware exists.
** Yugi, later on in the series, shows that he has the ability to kick ass even ''without'' his Other Personality, at times.
* BigBad: Pegasus, The Big Five, Noah and Gozaburo Kaiba, Marik and Dark Marik, Dartz, Zigfried von Schroeder, and Zorc/Dark Bakura. Subject to the SortingAlgorithmOfEvil.
* BigDamnHeroes: Seems to happen a lot. Notable because oftentimes the mere presence of the friends of whoever is dueling gives them the strength to win, or at least continue playing into the next episode.
* BigShutUp: Pegasus tells Dark Bakura to shut up after the latter reads his past like an open book through Duel Monster cards used as Tarot cards.
* BilingualBonus:
** Played straight with the Egyptian text. Atem's name is written as "Atemu" and the carvings on Odion's face and Marik's back are genuine hieroglyphs. The author [[ShownTheirWork knew what he was doing]].
** Subverted with the Enochian text on the Orichalcos cards, which is a random jumble of nonsense. However, the card title spells "Orichalcon" and the rim of the seal spells "Oreichalcos" twice.
* {{Bishonen}}: Marik Ishtar, Ryo Bakura, and Ryuji Otogi. The latter two even have their own in-universe fan clubs.
* BitchInSheepsClothing:
** The spirit of the Millennium Ring. He uses the innocent Bakura as his "sheep's clothing". One can almost never be sure who is in control, as one second Bakura is smiling innocently, and the next second when the others have turned their backs the spirit smirks.
** Marik. When he personally meets up with Yugi's friends for the first time, he pretends to have just found Bakura injured. He actually does this to gain their trust. He introduces himself to them as "Namu", acting as a humble beginner who is participating in the Battle City Tournament. Right afterwards Marik's minions attack and Anzu and Jonouchi get kidnapped, then brainwashed. He keeps up the innocent act later, too, claiming to having gotten into the finals only because of dumb luck, even as Jonouchi grows suspicious of him.
* BlackBox: The IC chips inside the cards are described as this in the Pyramid of Light novelization.
* BlackCloak: Marik Ishtar and the other Rare Hunters are garbed like this when they are first introduced.
* BlackMagicianGirl: TropeNamer due to the "Dark Magician Girl" card, which is actually named "Black Magician Girl" in the original anime.
* BlindIdiotTranslation: The card known in Japanese as "Shisha Sosei", literally "Raise Dead", is called "Reborn the Monster" early in the English dub. It's later changed to "Monster Reborn", which makes more sense.
* BlondeBrunetteRedhead: Mai is a blond, Anzu is a brunette and Shizuka is a redhead.
* BodySurf: Marik causes much grief to the protagonists by doing this during the Battle City arc.
* {{Bookends}}: Yugi's winning card in the last duel of the series is Golden Sarcophagus; it's [[LampshadeHanging pointed out]] that the card looks just like the box the Millennium Puzzle was in, [[spoiler:and that the box that brought Yugi and the pharaoh together would be the very thing to bring them apart.]]
* {{Bowdlerise}}:
** Of the manga. Skipping approximately the first seven volumes of Dark Yugi challenging bullies/criminals to Shadow Games and inflicting Penalty Games, disregarding Kaiba's death-themed amusement park, and changing Dark Yugi's Penalty Games into Mind Crushes, among other things. Duelist Kingdom, Dungeon Dice Monsters, and Millennium World get most of this treatment, whereas Battle City gets less of it.
** The English dubbed anime is this to the above, notably in Battle City. Marik's Rare Hunters can't invoke shadow games since they don't have millennium items and instead set up elaborate death traps. The English dub had most of them be Shadow Games anyway thanks to Marik's magic.
* BreakoutCharacter: The Dark Magician Girl, being the MsFanservice of the franchise, is far more popular than any other duel monster from the original series save for the iconic Blue-Eyes and Dark Magician. She's even playable in some of the video games.
* BreatherEpisode:
** A breather arc, actually. The relatively laid back KC Grand Prix story fits right in between the much more intense Doma and Millennium World storylines.
** The anime version of the Dungeon Dice Monsters story serves as this as well.
* BrokenBird: Mai Valentine/Kujaku, whose past has made her an aloof, untrusting loner.
* BrokenBridge: The only thing that keeps Marik from interfering in the events of Noah's arc is... a locked door. Although, he does manage to blow up Noah's control system.
* BroodingBoyGentleGirl: Priest Seto and Kisara in Ancient Egypt, Dark Yugi and Anzu in the main timeline.
* ButNowIMustGo: [[spoiler:Atem]] has to pass on to the afterlife after he saves the world from the Shadow Games once and for all.
* CallingYourAttacks: "BLACK MAGICIAN, '''BLACK MAGIC!'''" "COUNTERATTACK! BLUE-EYES WHITE DRAGON '''BURST STREAM OF DESTRUCTION!'''" and so on ad infinitum. Several of these attacks even have their own cards, which require their monster to be out. Mainly used for important monsters early on, with smaller ones just getting descriptions of what's happening.
* CalvinBall: Duel Monsters is closer to this in Duelist Kingdom, since the manga storylines and the related cards were closer to an RPG at the time, leading to Normal monsters having effects, being able to destroy your own spell cards, and field power bonuses affecting both sides.
* CCGImportanceDissonance: Countless examples, the most famous of which are the Dark Magician, Blue-Eyes White Dragon and Red-Eyes Black Dragon. Later releases have done more to keep them viable, but they're still fairly specialized decks.
* ChainedByFashion:
** Exodia has chains on his wrists and ankles.
** Yugi later uses a chain necklace for his Millennium Puzzle.
* CharacterCheck: In the Doma arc, Dark Yugi regresses to a more vengeful persona without Yugi around, much like the earlier manga, and tortures Haga in a fit of rage until Anzu convinces him to stop.
* CharlesAtlasSuperpower: Kaiba can throw cards at someone with such force that it hurts like they're shuriken, Jonouchi can break down a wall, etc. Each of them have almost no visible muscle.
* ChastityCouple: Mai and Jounouchi. Also Yugi and Anzu, though the latter has a crush on the former's [[SuperpoweredEvilSide superpowered evil side]].
* ChekhovsGun: In the Duelist Kingdom arc, Jonouchi is seen trading for Sword and Shield, which he later uses against Ghost/Bonz to pull off a win. He gets Kunai With Chain and Salamandra in the same trade, which he uses to defeat two troublesome monsters in the team duel with the Paradox Brothers, as well as Baby Dragon, which combined with the Time Wizard given to him by Yugi ends up finishing off Mai in his first duel with her.
** Kuriboh makes a blink-and-you'll-miss-it appearance in episode 5 to diffuse one of Haga's traps, before Yugi brings it back in episode 24 to hold off Kaiba's Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon.
** Another, ultra-delayed Chekhov's Gun comes from the first title sequence, where Yugi's shadow splits in two, representing his two sides. 220 episodes later, this happens when Yugi and Dark Yugi face each other in the ceremonial battle.
** If the camera ever pays particular attention to the cards that players put in the graveyard when they have to discard cards for some reason, it's likely that at least one of those will have an effect that works in the graveyard, or that the player will otherwise get to use that card later on.
* CherryTapping:
** Yugi manages to stall off Kaiba's Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon with Kuriboh, one of the weakest monsters in the game.
* CircleOfFriendship: One is drawn on the main characters' hands in the first episode, and the symbol comes back into play several times later.
* ClipShow: Episode 74, "The Rescue," is almost entirely a clip show of everything up to that point. Episode 144, "Looking Back and Moving Ahead", is another one.
* CockFight: Honda and Otogi, over Shizuka.
* CollectibleCardGame: Duel Monsters, which the entire series is centered around.
* ConspicuousConsumption: Siegfried has a fancy castle, an army of maids, private jets, and swimming pools filled with fresh milk... to hide the fact that his life of luxury is in jeopardy since [=SchroederCorp=] is going broke.
* CookingDuel: Figuratively speaking. The series often stakes the lives of its characters, or even the fate of the world, on a game of Duel Monsters.
* CoolBigSis: Mai plays this role to both Anzu and (especially) Shizuka.
* CosmicChessGame: Season 5 has a Cosmic ''Role-Playing Game'' between Dark Yugi and Dark Bakura.
* TheCorruption: Multiple instances with various characters. Some of the Millennium Items have an element of evil in them. The entire Doma arc works on this, with the Orichalcos stones being the catalyst.
* TheCracker: In an early episode, Seto Kaiba goes through a Batman-esque security system to reach a sentient computer, which he uses to hack into Pegasus's computer system to [[MundaneUtility mess with a duel]].
* CrazyConsumption: Dark Bakura and his steak. Censored in the dub.
* CurbStompBattle: Several examples throughout the series, mostly involving a character getting extremely lucky early-game draws, thus being able to wipe out their opponent very quickly, or their opponent being hilariously inept.
** Also, the first Dark Yugi/Kaiba VS Rare Hunters battle. Kaiba summons Lord of Dragons and special-summons all three Blue Eyes and a spare dragon in just the first move. He summons Obelisk on Round Two, sacrifices his other remaining monsters to activate Obelisk's TotalPartyKill special ability to defeat both opposing players.
* TheDarkSide: Many characters in Yu-Gi-Oh! fall into some Dark Side's trap, usually by trying to use an ArtifactOfDoom. Dark Yugi is not immune to this effect.
* DarkerAndEdgier:
** In the manga, Yugi's grandpa wasn't really ''kidnapped'' by Pegasus; his soul was instead sealed inside a video tape, and Yugi could talk with him through a camcorder whenever he liked. The anime makes it a straight case of YourSoulIsMine, and anime!Yugi is appropriately angstier about the whole affair.
** While the manga makes it clear that receiving the Millennium Eye was ''[[EyeScream not]]'' pleasant for Pegasus, the actual insertion was done off-panel. The anime, on the other hand, lets the audience see every second of Shadi painfully jamming it in the poor guy's eye socket.
* DeadManWriting: Subverted with Pegasus in the Doma filler saga. [[spoiler: He isn't dead, merely comatose due to his soul being removed]].
* DeadpanSnarker:
** Later in the 4Kids dub, Bakura is quite good at this.
** Kaiba is another.
--->'''Gozaburo:''' I treated you better than my own son!\\
'''Seto:''' Thanks for nothing.
** And again:
--->'''Seto:''' Anyone who's late to my tournament will automatically be disqualified. Mokuba, make sure Wheeler's late.
** From the Waking The Dragons arc:
-->'''Kaiba:''' So you have a dweeb army. Am I supposed to be scared to attack?\\
'''Dartz:''' Well, only if destroying an innocent soul concerns you.\\
'''Kaiba:''' Nah. As the president of a major corporation, I have to do that every day.
* DeathByChildbirth: Marik's mother dies giving birth to him.
* DebtDetester: Kaiba claims that Anzu helping Mokuba escape from the Rare Hunters is the only reason he's helping Yugi find his friends. Then he uses it as his reason for saving Anzu's life. Considering all the times he makes a point of explaining how he's only "helping" the gang out of selfish reasons, it's pretty clear that it's a shield for his HiddenHeartOfGold.
* DefeatMeansFriendship: Otogi in the ''Dungeon Dice Monsters'' arc. To an extent, Mokuba Kaiba and Marik Ishtar later on.
* DefrostingIceQueen:
** Mai Kujaku/Valentine for the first few arcs, and then heads back to Arctic levels during most of Season 4 due to her FaceHeelTurn.
** Kaiba is a male example, at least in the Japanese version. He becomes more amiable and less openly insulting towards the others over time.
* DemotedToExtra:
** Ryou Bakura in the second anime. In the manga, he appears with the main group most of the time after his initial appearance and has tons of screentime, whereas in the anime he usually only appears whenever it involves Dark Bakura or if it's Dark Bakura ''pretending'' to be the real Bakura. This is so bad that on the official Yu-Gi-Oh website, Ryou Bakura does not have a character profile but Dark Bakura does. The same goes for the official Japanese websites.
** Bobasa as well, as his major role in the Millennium World arc from the manga was instead given to Shadi whereas he is mainly reduced to comic relief for the few episodes he appears in, until his final appearance where he takes Yugi and the others to the Pharaoh's temple. [[spoiler:In fact, in the manga, Bobasa ''is'' an alternate identity of Shadi/Hasan.]]
* DependingOnTheArtist: The first two seasons of the anime follow Kazuki Takahashi's manga style pretty well, but the various animators start to show their specific styles around the end of the Battle City finals and into [[OvertookTheManga non-manga material]]. This causes discrepancies between the proportions of the characters, IE the ever-changing size of Yugi's hair.
* DeterminedExpression: A staple of Kaiba, to the point where many a fanfic has waxed eloquent over his "icy death glare". Dark Yugi usually prefers speech-making, but has been known to utilize this effectively as well. Jonouchi doesn't do this as frequently as Kaiba, but when he does, a crowning moment of awesome ''will'' ensue.
* DetonationMoon: Yugi has Giant Soldier of Stone destroy his own Full Moon card. It recedes the ocean from the field, beaching Kajiki's monsters. Years later it would be ascended into [[http://yugioh.wikia.com/wiki/Attack_the_Moon! its own card.]]
* DeusExMachina: Whenever one of the heroes is in a hopeless situation, the solution is often them drawing a card we've never seen or heard of (and in many case never will again) that provides the perfect solution.
* DeusExitMachina: The three Egyptian God cards, which Yugi worked hard to acquire in Seasons 2 and 3, are stolen in the very first episode of Season 4 by the local QuirkyMinibossSquad and are drained of their power. Yugi manages to regain them in time for the final battle, but up until then only one God is used.
* DidDoTheResearch: Though occasionally the exact details are fuddled, the mythological concepts explored throughout the franchise show that someone obviously did their homework.
* DoNotAdjustYourSet: Kaiba appears on every TV screen in the city to announce the Battle City Tournament.
* DoubleStandardAbuseFemaleOnMale: The cheerleaders' interactions with Jonouchi, where they repeatedly pummel and demean him, are played as comic relief.
* DubInducedPlotHole:
** A creeping one happens as far back as Episode 2. Jonouchi is motivated to play Duel Monsters to win an upcoming district tournament when he sees the prize is 3,000,000 yen, so he trains under Solomon/Grandpa to get better. After that scene it flashes forward an estimated few days to weeks where he ends up losing in the quarter-finals. In the dub all mention of his entrance in the District Tournament disappears. This ends up causing a bit of confusion when Season 3 rolls around and [[spoiler:he ends up comatose after his duel with Marik, where during his time in the coma he relives his memories from the tournament showing how he lost in the quarter-finals to show how much stronger he's become since then, and fighting subconsciously to fulfill his promise and face Yugi again]]. In the dub [[spoiler:he's just straight-up dreaming and is told this by Yugi in the dream, turning it into an EpiphanicPrison of sorts as he fights his way out of the Shadow Realm.]]
** It's a plot point in season 5 that the Pharaoh has to remember his name, Atem. However the dub of season 2 has several characters (primarily Ishizu and Marik) referring to the Pharaoh's spirit as "King Yami" as if that were his real name. This plot hole is just quietly ignored by the time season 3 comes around, with no one referring to him as "Yami" anymore.
** The English dub actually fixed some plot holes from the original anime.
*** In the original (including the manga), Yugi says that duelists were only allowed to have exactly 40 cards on hand, but Yugi lost 3 Exodia cards and gave Time Wizard to Jonouchi, meaning that his deck had only 36 cards. This line is absent from the English dub.
*** In the original version, Jonouchi tells the Rare Hunter that "only Yugi has Exodia", despite the fact that Yugi lost the Exodia cards in Duelist Kingdom. In the dub, Jonouchi just says that Exodia is very rare.
*** In the English dub, a moan is added when Pegasus's body is carried off with Croquet explaining he'd taken ill, and unlike the manga he's alive for seasons 4 and 5.
* DubNameChange: The dub was done by Creator/FourKidsEntertainment, after all. Jonouchi becomes "Joey," Anzu becomes "Tea," Honda becomes "Tristan," Shizuka becomes "Serenity," Mai's last name changes from Kujaku to Valentine, Dinosaur Ryuzaki becomes "Rex Raptor," etc. Some card names were also changed, for example, Black Magician being renamed to Dark Magician (and the same for the card's female counterpart, Black Magician Girl to Dark Magician Girl) and its corresponding attack card, Black Magic, being renamed to Dark Magic Attack.
* DudeNotFunny: [[invoked]]
** Anzu replies with this when Jonouchi jokingly suggests that Kaiba died after his soul was stolen by Pegasus at the end of the Duelist Kingdom arc.
** After everyone gets off of Alcatraz Island, Kaiba tells everyone that he knew the blimp's engines weren't working. All the while, he was ''smirking'' when he said that, meaning he thought that it was funny. Jonouchi, reasonably, gets mad at him for almost letting them die.
* DudeWheresMyRespect:
** Jonouchi says this almost word-for-word upon hearing that Kaiba refused to invite him into the Battle City tournament even though he was the runner-up in Duelist Kingdom.
** {{Lampshade|Hanging}}d in Duel Academy's school pledge.
* DuelsDecideEverything: Apparently, even before Dark Yugi Duel Monsters games decided a few inane things, but post-Season 2 pretty much every Duel could be a Shadow Game or a Dangerous Bet.
* DysfunctionJunction: Several characters experienced a tragic and/or depressing past, especially the villains.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:EM]]
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness:
** Duelist Kingdom uses completely different rules than later arcs, playing more like an RPG than a trading card game. Examples include Yugi being able to beach Kajiki's sea creatures, being able to target separate ''parts'' of monsters, attacks being able to miss, etc. In-universe, this is justified by Pegasus mentioning that the tournament will use different, special rules, than the typical game. Later seasons bring the rules in closer with the real-life card game.
** Speaking of Duelist Kingdom, the dub version of it is this when compared to future seasons. While most other seasons go out of their way to [[NeverSayDie censor deaths and death-related subjects]], all deaths, implied deaths, and attempted murders are ''retained'' in the dub's first season. The Shadow Realm is used as an explanation for the dark field of Shadow Games, as well as a general punishment implied to be ''worse'' than death. Kaiba also believes in and plans for Pegasus's use of magic, while in later seasons he's skeptical of it.
** Early on some cards are called different names, such as Monster Reborn being "Reborn the Monster" and Harpie Lady being "Harpie's Lady."
** Even the cards are this. In this series the cards are mostly inclined towards the horror genre, religion and mythology, especially but not restricted to Ancient Egypt. Later series have more of a "futuristic and dragons theme" with occasional gruesome cards.
* EasilyForgiven: Any villain who undergoes a HeelFaceTurn is almost immediately forgiven by Yugi and his friends, though Jonouchi takes the longest to come around.
* EnvironmentalSymbolism: Whenever Shadi [[JourneyToTheCenterOfTheMind goes into someone's Soul Room]] with his Millennium Key, the environment reflects their personality and mental state.
* EvilSoundsDeep:
** Played straight with Yugi/Dark Yugi and Marik/Dark Marik. Both played straight and subverted by Bakura/Dark Bakura in Japanese. Dark Bakura does have a deeper voice than Bakura, but both have a [[LarynxDissonance high-pitched squeaky effeminate voice]]. Played straight in the dub.
** Also used with Marik when his SuperpoweredEvilSide isn't in control. When he's pretending to be a protagonist, and after his HeelFaceTurn, his voice is higher and softer.
** Also inverted with Noah; when he's a villain, his voice is high-pitched and bratty, but when he makes his HeelFaceTurn, it gets lower and more mature.
* EvilVersusEvil: The duel between Dark Marik and Dark Bakura is a very clear this, with neither party holding good intentions.
* ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin: A lot of the cards, like "Red-Eyes Black Dragon," "Man-Eating Treasure Chest," and "Dark Magician," just to name a few.
** Ladies and gentlemen, feast your eyes upon the [[http://yugioh.wikia.com/wiki/Giant_Turtle_Who_Feeds_on_Flames Giant Turtle Who Feeds On Flames]]!
* {{Expy}}: At one point, Yugi and Anzu go up against a guy named Johnny Steps at a ''VideoGame/DanceDanceRevolution'' clone. Doubly hilarious seeing as DDR is also put out by Konami.
* ExtraEyes: Pegasus' Thousand-Eyes Restrict somehow has, as the name implies, one-thousand eyes covering its body.
* FaceFramedInShadow: Every major villain has this going on for them, especially friends who have been made BrainwashedAndCrazy.
** Also used to somewhat hide Dark Yugi's identity, first in Season 0 when Anzu wonders who saved her and again in Season 2 for Kaiba during Ishizu's Millennium Necklace visions. The shadow even follows him as he stands up.
* FadeAroundTheEyes: Marik does this at the end of his first in-person appearance, as he sends out the Rare Hunters. When he does, he glares at the screen as it fades to black around his PurpleEyes.
* {{Fiction 500}}: Seto Kaiba is the president of a multi-billion-dollar gaming company, which he [[TheCoup took]] from his stepfather [[ChildProdigy while still a kid]].
* FillerArc: Virtual World, DOMA, and Kaibacorp Grand Prix.
** Kaiba hilariously lampshades this directly after the Virtual World Arc, directly after they've all narrowly escaped with their lives.
--> Kaiba: Alright, that little detour was a complete waste of my time and effort. So let's move on and pretend that nonsense never happened. It's time for us to continue the Battle City Finals! Set us back on course, to Kaiba Corp Island.
* FillerVillain: Noah and Gozaburo Kaiba in season 3, Dartz in season 4, and Zigfried von Schroeder in season 5, respectively.
* FinalExamBoss: Yugi invokes this during his Duelist Kingdom match against Joey. It's his way of ensuring that the eventual victor will have the best possible preparation before facing Pegasus.
* FirstEpisodeSpoiler: Added in to the dub, the second episode has Pegasus revealing to Yugi that Duel Monsters is based on magical duels performed in Ancient Egypt; an important fact to be sure, but in the original version it wasn't revealed until the next arc entirely.
* {{Flanderization}}:
** Kaiba's rude tendencies in the dub. Compare:
--->'''dub!Kaiba:''' Mokuba, make sure Wheeler is late.\\
'''Japanese!Kaiba:''' Mokuba, please show them around.
--->'''dub!Kaiba:''' Wait and see, you geeks haven't seen the last of me. ''[paraphrased]''\\
'''Japanese!Kaiba:''' One day, I will invite you [to Kaiba Land].
** Similarly, his AgentScully tendencies are more over-emphasized in the dub.
* FreudianExcuse:
** The whole reason [[spoiler:Thief King Bakura]] tried to take over the world in the first place is because he saw [[spoiler:the Kul Elna massacre]] first-hand and was its only survivor, thus making a deal with [[spoiler:Zorc]] for power.
** Also Seto Kaiba, given his orphaned childhood and [[AbusiveParents history with Gozaburo]].
** Marik's SuperpoweredEvilSide developed as a result of his unwilling upbringing as a tomb keeper with some help from the [[ArtifactOfDoom Millennium Rod]], which involved isolation, abuse, and an excruciatingly painful initiation ritual.
* FreudianTrio: The Doma arc, with Yugi/Dark Yugi as TheKirk, his friend Jounouchi as TheMcCoy, and the aloof on-and-off opponent Kaiba as TheSpock.
* FriendlessBackground: Yugi had one of these before finishing the puzzle.
* FriendshipMoment: Given the [[ThePowerOfFriendship main theme]] [[TrueCompanions of the series]], there's bound to be plenty of this.
** A really touching one in particular is between Yugi and Dark Yugi. After Yugi is discharged from the hospital after his duel with Bandit Keith, he becomes uncharacteristically quiet and gloomy. Even though he knows something is troubling him, Dark Yugi decides to patiently wait for Yugi to voice his concerns, and only then he realizes that Yugi has been afraid of losing him after his duel with Keith, which made him realize that Dark Yugi might have to leave someday. So, Dark Yugi, knowing full well that he would have to leave his side in the future, tells him that despite what he ''had'' to do, he ''wanted'' to be with him forever. And Yugi, despite realizing that Dark Yugi would really have to leave, replies that he also wished for them to be together, and that even if the Pharaoh didn't get his memory back, he and Yugi would make new memories together.
* FrothyMugsOfWater:
** In the dub, Pegasus is clearly drinking wine, but he refers to it as grape juice or fruit punch. Given Pegasus's [[ManChild character]], though, this holds up better than most.
** Averted in TheMovie, wherein Pegasus wakes up from what he thinks is an AcidRefluxNightmare and says "No more white wine spritzers before bed", and the next day, is drinking a ''red'' wine spritzer. This actually isn't ''too'' out of character for him, either.
* FunSize: Yugi Muto is a shorter version of Dark Yugi with fewer blond streaks in his hair.
* GeoEffects: Field Power Bonus. Emphasized very much earlier in the card game, but dies out to only Field Spell Cards by the Duelist Kingdom finals.
* GenkiGirl: Mana, whose introduction consists of her jumping out of a vase to glomp the pharaoh.
* GetAHoldOfYourselfMan: Dark Yugi gets one of these from Jonouchi in the form of a punch to the face.
* GirlsLoveStuffedAnimals: Rebecca has a teddy bear that she regularly speaks to in her first appearance. By the time she reappears in the Doma arc, however, she's ditched the [[TastesLikeDiabetes "cutesy little girl"]] angle, and Teddy is nowhere to be seen.
* GoldfishPoopGang: Haga and Ryuzaki (aka Weevil and Rex) get reduced to this in the last few arcs, acting like they're glued at the hip and have nothing better to do than hang around Yugi's neighborhood all day. In the manga, they didn't even live in the ''same region of the country''.
* GottaCatchEmAll: Averted. Even though the show is largely about a collectible card game, the ''collection'' aspect is rarely seen, with most characters pulling new cards out of nowhere during duels rather than explicitly obtaining them through booster packs or trades, though Battle City has them winning cards in ante duels.
** Played straight on the part of the evil version of Bakura, who wants to collect all the Millennium Items so he can rule the world and obtain the power of darkness.
* GracefulLoser: Pegasus, who after being thoroughly trounced by Dark Yugi, fulfills his promise by releasing the souls trapped in cards and stops causing problems for the protagonists.
** Averted with Kaiba though.
* GradeSchoolCEO: Seto Kaiba won Kaiba Corp from his step-dad when he was a teenager, and turned it from a weapons-manufacturer to a gaming company.
* GratuitousEnglish:
** Pegasus in the Japanese anime.
--->'''Pegasus:''' ''UNBELIEVABLE!'' This is a NIGHTMARE! Bad dream!
** Most of the cards have names in GratuitousEnglish too. Red-Eyes Black Dragon and Blue-Eyes White Dragon are completely unchanged from the Japanese version.
** Also in the Japanese anime, terms like "duel(ist)," "player," "direct attack," "Duel Disk," "deck," "card," "Monster/Magic/Trap Card," "turn," "draw," and the different phases of the duel (i.e., Draw Phase, Standby Phase, Main Phase 1, Battle Phase, Main Phase 2 and End Phase) are said in English. "Reverse card, open!" is another commonly-heard English phrase in the Japanese anime.
** Rebecca also speaks a lot of English. Her very first line in the series is "Hello, my name is Rebecca." Both Pegasus and Rebecca are American, so it stands to reason that they would speak English. However, Bandit Keith, who is also American, rarely speaks English.
** The Egyptian God Cards have the names written on them in English in the Japanese version of the anime. The names written on them are completely different from what they're called in both Japanese and English - THE SUN OF GOD DRAGON (The Winged God Dragon of Ra), THE GOD OF OBELISK (Giant God Soldier of Obelisk) and SAINT DRAGON - THE GOD OF OSIRIS (Sky Dragon of Osiris).
** DORO! MONSTA CARDO!
* HackedByAPirate: Pegasus does this by showing his favorite cartoon rabbit character when he counter-hacks Kaiba trying to hack into his system.
* HackerCave: There is one owned by Seto Kaiba in episodes 9 and 10.
* HamToHamCombat: Although many duels feel this way, the Yugi vs. Kaiba ones are the greatest examples. At some points it feels like their voice actors are competing to see who can do the most over-the-top performance and still keep it in the final cut.
** The Dark Marik vs. Dark Bakura duel is a fabulous example of this, especially since most of their dialogue consists of them making very enthusiastic death threats to each other.
* HealthcareMotivation: The reason Jounouchi participates in the Duelist Kingdom tournament is to use the prize money to pay for his sister to have eye surgery.
* HeelFaceTurn: Pegasus, Marik, Noah, Dartz, Rafael, Valon, Alaister, and Zigfried all undergo this by the end of their respective arcs.
* HeroicWillpower: Jonouchi's main strength is this, as he displays in various ways in his confrontations with Marik.
* HeterosexualLifePartners: Yugi and Dark Yugi, Jonouchi and Honda.
** Yugi and Jonouchi are like this as well, with Yugi calling Jonouchi his best friend. It gets to the point that, [[spoiler:when Jonouchi is brainwashed and they're forced to duel]], Yugi does his best to help Jonouchi and, when Yugi thinks he's about to die, he tells Jonouchi that he loves him.
* HijackedByGanon: A Heroic example in the DOMA/Waking the Dragons arc. Throughout the arc, the three Legendary Dragons Timaeus, Critius and Hermos are built up as the only thing that can defeat the Great Leviathan and the Oricalchos. [[spoiler: However, when the Leviathan is revived, the three Dragons, even after being returned to their human forms, are [[CurbStompBattle easily defeated.]] Instead, it's the Egyptian Gods that destroy the Great Leviathan and the Pharaoh uses his own powers to seal the Oricalchos away for good.]]
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: During his duel with Pegasus at Duelist Kingdom, Kaiba tries to use the Crush Card (which makes it impossible for the one infected to play any Monsters with more than 1500 Attack) to cripple Pegasus's deck. However, not only is Pegasus able to counter this move, he later uses his Doppelganger card to copy the Crush Card and infect Kaiba's deck. Since all the Monsters in Kaiba's deck except Saggi the Dark Clown have more than 1500 Attack points, there is now no way he can win and he loses his soul to Pegasus's Millennium Eye.
* {{Homage}}: ''Duel Monsters'' was originally intended as an homage to ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering'', of which Takahashi is a fan.
* HostageForMcGuffin: Mokuba tends to be the usual victim so someone can get [=KaibaCorp=], though Yugi's friends have fallen into this as well.
* HotForTeacher: Subject to interpretation, but Mana in the anime is ''very'' devoted to Mahad. Her goal through season five is to become a better magician, both because it's his will for her and because she wants to be able to summon and see his spirit. "Prince can summon him from the tablet, right? Please! Bring me and Master together!" She talks or thinks about him in every scene, and her other goal is to always be with and protect him... which she succeeded in, if the existence of the Black Magician Girl in modern times is any indication. One must note that the subtext is only present in the Japanese version -- 4Kids rewrote her dialogue and character entirely until she and Mahad have nothing but a classroom relationship.
* HotBlooded:
** Jounouchi is easily riled up and is the loudest character in the bunch.
** Bakura, especially as Thief King Bakura in season five. He makes the most arrogant pronoun ever (Ore-sama) sound good in constant use. It's lampshaded in the Japanese anime, wherein during a duel between Dark Bakura and Dark Marik, Bakura shouts "Ore-sama no turn!" and Marik replies "You're no ore-sama."
* HybridOverkillAvoidance: Usually averted, but played straight in the first tournament when Yugi fuses his Mammoth Graveyard to Kaiba's Blue Eyes Ultimate Dragon to slowly weaken it.
* IdiotBall: In the first duel between Jonouchi and Kaiba, Jonouchi's entire strategy is "summon monster to attack," ignoring field power bonuses and outright stronger monsters. Justified in that he is unfamiliar with the Duel Disk technology and doesn't know how to set monsters in defense mode.
** From the Waking The Dragons arc, Dark Yugi playing the Seal of Orichalcos that Raphael gave him in order to avoid losing the duel. There was literally nothing at stake until he played that card, since the "loser loses their soul" condition only applies ''after'' the Seal has been played.
* IfIHadANickel: This line from the dub of season 4.
-->'''Seto:''' If I had a dime for every time you said the word "destiny," [[DeadpanSnarker I'd be even richer]].
* IHaveYourWife: Used by various villains throughout the series. The target is usually Mokuba, who is kidnapped a grand total of 7 times, compared to 3 times in the manga.
* IJustWantToHaveFriends: When Yugi first completes the puzzle, he makes a wish on it to have some true friends.
* IKnowYoureInThereSomewhereFight: Yugi has one of these with Jounouchi when Marik takes control of him. Jounouchi has one with Mai in Season 4, the latter [[spoiler:having to lose his soul just to snap Mai back to normal.]]
* InTheEndYouAreOnYourOwn: Seto Kaiba believes in this. He doesn't have any friends, and he doesn't even ''want'' any. He thinks depending on no one but yourself is for the strong. From the looks of it, though, it's the "monsters" of [[UnstoppableRage Wrath]] and [[GreenEyedMonster Envy]] talking.
* InadequateInheritor: In the Virtual World arc, Gozaburo says he considers Seto this.
* IndyEscape: {{Subverted|Tropes}} during Duelist Kingdom. The boulder in question was just a balloon with a speaker in it.
* IneffectualLoner: Seto Kaiba. As far as he's concerned, the only option is victory. And the only allies... are enemies.
* InformedAbility:
** The Kaiba brothers. For all of their supposed awesome skill at playing their favorite games, they tend to fall for very simple ruses. Mokuba and Yugi's Capsule Monsters match is an especially blatant example.
** There's a reason why we never see Yugi and Seto play chess. King of games or not, you can't use the "heart of the chess piece(?)" to win a game. And there are no power-ups (other than promoting pawns, which isn't too hard to see coming) or convenient special abilities.
** Ryuzaki and Haga were in a tournament championship facing each other right before the Duelist Kingdom arc. Yet, from then on out they never pose much of a threat to, well, pretty much anyone, effectively becoming {{Those Two|Guys}} {{Butt Monkey}}s who sure don't look like champions of any level of tournament.
*** Ryuzaki is an unfortunate case. Of all the duels he loses in the canon arcs, almost all of them are against opponents who are willing to cheat or against Jonouchi (who wins by dumb luck). Admittedly, we don't see anything to suggest that Haga cheated in their first duel, but considering that it is Haga who throws Yugi's cards into the ocean it wouldn't be too surprising. (He also doesn't cheat against Yugi in the original Japanese version; the reason he knows about the new rules ahead of time is because Pegasus told him about them as a prize for winning the Regional Championship.)
*** The same could be said of Haga really. Other than that, Haga went up against Yugi/Dark Yugi twice and did very well both times. Certainly Haga cheats but he's still shown to have great skill. The cheating only seems to serve as a supplement to his own abilities, or because he [[ForTheLulz enjoys it]]. Other than [[BornLucky Jonouchi]], Haga's only ever lost to [[SuperWeight exceedingly great duelists]]. The main reason he becomes a joke character is because he's a SmugSnake who CantCatchUp as far as powerful cards go.
* InsaneTrollLogic: In the anime, Ryuji Otogi/Duke Devlin's evil plan is made up of some pretty epic idiocy. He plans to prove that Yugi must have cheated in his duel with Pegasus... by cheating in his duel with Yugi, by challenging him to a game of Otogi's own creation and refusing to explain the rules. Not just cheating, either, but cheating openly and bragging about it. Sure, if he wins he would still get half of what he wanted (forcing Yugi to give up dueling), but even then all he would manage to prove to the world is that ''he'' is a liar who can't win without cheating, not Yugi. If his plan works he would lose all credibility, and probably all of his customers and fans, too. Manga Ryuji averts this; not only was his plan more sensible, most of it wasn't even his plan, it was his (legitimately insane) father's.
* InstantAwesomeJustAddDragons: The most powerful cards in the game are dragons, and it was carried over to the sequels. The villain in the crossover movie with ''GX'' and ''5DS'' summons nothing but dragons, to show how superior they are to the audience. Even Kaiba (the most dragon-obsessed guy in the series) has some variety in his deck.
* InsultToRocks: "You know, I'm not quite sure what to call you. I was thinking about 'monster'... but I wouldn't want to insult the cards."
* IntergenerationalFriendship: Big time, between Yugi and [[ReallySevenHundredYearsOld the Pharaoh/Dark Yugi]].
* InvincibleIncompetent: Jonouchi perpetually comes from behind to win. Granted, everyone does this, but Jonouchi never seems to be picked as a favorite to win anything, despite several finals showings.
* InvincibleVillain: FillerVillain Dartz really pushes it. He's a 10 000 year old man who was around 5000 years before the Millennium Items were created, was King of Atlantis, has the Oricalchos, whose ability is "whatever the plot needs it to be", owns parts of every company on the planet, can spy on the entire cast with no problem, buys out [=KaibaCorp=] with ease, has one of his henchmen defeat previous BigBad Pegasus without a problem, brainwashes Mai into serving him, possesses a monster with infinite attack, and can take on the Pharoah ''and'' Kaiba at the same time. And to top it all off, he gets redeemed and is reunited with his family at the end, giving him everything he wanted in the first place. In addition to this, he never apologises, neither in the original nor the English dub, and is acknowledged by the others as being a 'good ruler after all'[[note]]He is possessed by the Orichalcos for most of the arc, so read into that how you will[[/note]].
* IronicEcho: In season one, Kaiba threatens that he'll fall from the castle's battlement if Yugi wins the duel, so Yugi forfeits in fear that Dark Yugi would finish Kaiba off. In season five, Yugi again faces the decision of defeating his opponent in a duel to kill him. In this case, the opponent is [[spoiler:Dark Yugi]]. Yugi hesitates on finishing the duel, but carries it out, as this time, the reason is [[spoiler:to send Dark Yugi to the afterlife]].
* IWillShowYouX: Honda and Otogi have an open crush on Jonouchi's sister Shizuka, which Jonouchi is [[BigBrotherInstinct none too pleased about]]. At one point in the English dub, Honda talks about how he's going to visit Serenity (read: hit on her) in the hospital, to which Jonouchi responds "''I'll'' send you to the hospital!"
* {{Jerkass}}:
** Kaiba is an IneffectualLoner with a lot of money and a superiority complex, fond of insutling whoeevr he comes across.
** Bandit Keith is a bigger one. He and his {{mooks}} trap Yugi and the gang in a cave, and he also steals Jounouchi's Glory of the King's Hand card while the latter is sleeping.
** Haga might just reign supreme in this category, possessing almost no sympathetic traits and having a noteworthy KickTheDog moment with almost each appearance he makes.
* JokerJury: In the dub version of the Virtual World arc, Johnson, whose Deckmaster and appearance is that of Judge Man, claims he is putting Jonouchi on trial for gambling. He then proceeds to make every trial joke imaginable.
* KarmaHoudini: Ushio, compared to the original manga. In the anime, nothing is really mentioned on what happened to him after the flashback to the scene where he beat Yugi and his friends up. The dub does add in a very quick line where school authorities expelled him, but the original version never says anything beyond that, implying he got off completely scot-free for what he did.
* KickTheDog: During a duel using the Orichalcos, Haga makes the mistake of claiming he has Yugi's soul in his hand, then tearing it in front of Dark Yugi (which was really a normal bug monster card, making it much worse as he was using it as a way to [[BreakTheCutie mess with the already broken duelist]]). This [[KickTheSonOfABitch does not]] [[NoHoldsBarredBeatDown end well]] [[MomentOfAwesome for Haga.]]
* KillAndReplace: While he started as a split personality, Dark Marik eventually ejects Marik out of his own body and takes it over, attempting to kill him in his final Shadow Game.
* KingOfGames: TropeNamer. This is the title Yami Yugi has for his mastery of gaming.
* KingOfThieves: Thief King Bakura's self-proclaimed "King of Thieves" title comes from the weight of what he steals, and because he seeks the Millennium Items.
* KnowWhenToFoldEm: Mai does this with Anzu at Duelist Kingdom, and later in the Duelist Kingdom finals when facing Yugi. Both times, she says she doesn't have a monster strong enough to take down what the opponent has on the field and surrenders.
* JapanesePronouns:
** The "hosts" (Yugi, Bakura, Marik) always refer to themselves with "boku" while the "spirits" (Dark Yugi, Dark Bakura and Dark Marik) exclusively use "ore". In Dark Bakura's case, he uses the very arrogant "ore-sama".
** The spirits/other selves all have exclusive ways to refer to their hosts. Dark Yugi calls Yugi "aibou" (partner), Dark Bakura calls Bakura "yadonushi" (landlord), and Dark Marik calls Marik "shujinkaku-sama" ("Mister Main Personality"). These pronouns also shows their relationships with the hosts: Yami is the only one who treats his host as his friend, while the other two only see their hosts as... well, hosts.
* LargeHam: Pegasus, in the original manga, anime, and dub versions.
** Dark Yugi, especially [[Creator/DanGreen in the dub.]]
* LethalJokeItem: Some cards are weak or nearly-useless on their own but devastating in the right circumstance.
** Baby Dragon is the earliest example. It starts with only 1200 ATK, easily destroyed, but with Time Wizard, it becomes Thousand Dragon, with 2400 ATK, stronger than most cards in the game at that point.
* LetsFightLikeGentlemen: Almost everyone settles disputes via Duel Monsters.
* LettingTheAirOutOfTheBand: Happens during Yugi's final duel with Marik. [[spoiler:He uses Obelisk's ability to destroy Ra. The triumphant music starts playing and it seems he won, only for the smoke to clear, revealing Ra to still be on the field]], at which point this trope plays out.
* LighterAndSofter: Compared to the manga.
** Within the anime, the KC Grand Prix, a [[BreatherEpisode breather arc]] with a campy villain whose crime is [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking not mind-rape, not soul-stealing, but hacking into Kaiba's computer system.]]
* LiteralSplitPersonality: Dark Marik started out as Marik's even worse side, but by the end of Battle City he gains a separate soul, kicking his other half out of the body. This comes back to bite him when Marik surrenders their final match, letting him vanish into the shadows while Marik remains unharmed.
* TheLoad: Mokuba is pretty much just around to provide moral support to Kaiba and/or Yugi. Shizuka, Otogi, Anzu, and Honda are lesser examples as they do get to duel now and then, but it's rare.
* LovelyAssistant: StageMagician Arkana was in love with his Lovely Assistant, Catherine, and they were engaged--before his disfiguring accident. Although Catherine still loved him, Arkana pushed her away. He later regretted his choice and fell in with Marik when Marik promised he could restore Catherine to Arkana.
* LoveMakesYouEvil: Pegasus' motive is to revive his dead lover Cecelia (wife in the dub).
* LukeIAmYourFather: Akhnadin reveals that he is Priest Seto's father to him in the Memory World arc.
* LullDestruction: Compare the Dub to the Japanese version. Some scenes have added dialogue, especially if in the original the characters are silent.
* MagicalEye: Pegasus' Millennium Eye, possessing the power to read minds and probably do other sinister things. According to WordOfGod, it also [[{{Brainwashed}} brainwashed]] Pegasus into creating Duel Monsters, making it a literal evil eye.
* TheMagicPokerEquation: Arguably Yu-Gi-Oh's central trope, as everyone, hero and villain alike, draws the exact cards they need to make a duel challenging but winnable.
** Episodes 41 and 42 show Yugi and Rebecca's duel, which apparently goes ''exactly'' like a duel their grandfathers played decades earlier, turn for turn, card for card.
** Lampshaded in ''Waking the Dragons'', along with PlotArmor, in the English dub by Ryuzaki, when he and Haga witness Yugi use the Eye of Timaeus with Dark Magician Girl. He mentions how Yugi and company tend to draw the cards they need at the right moment, but he and Haga don't.
* LuxuriousLiquor: Pegasus is occasionally seen sipping a glass of red wine while lounging around in his BigFancyHouse. Infamously {{Bowdlerized}} by the dub into [[FrothyMugsOfWater "fruit juice"]].
* MarkOfTheBeast:
** If a character has a glowing eye symbol on their forehead, has MindControlEyes, and talks in a [[VoiceOfTheLegion creepy superimposed voice]], it's most likely that Marik is [[BodySnatcher remotely possessing them]] using his [[ArtifactofDoom Millennium Rod]].
** If you find someone with a green circle on their forehead, they probably want your soul so they can feed it to their ancient beast.
* MeaningfulName: Happens for a couple of characters, particularly the (ancient) Egyptian ones:
** If Marik's name were [[SpellMyNameWithAnS transliterated]] differently when moving into the English dub, it would be the Arabic name [[http://www.behindthename.com/name/malik Malik]] (or "ملك" in Arabic), which is based on the words for "king" or "possessor" in the Arabic language. Incidentally, Marik [[BodySnatcher possesses]] several people and [[TakeOverTheWorld wants to be the pharaoh/king of Egypt/the world]] as a BigBad.
** Also Odion's name in the Japanese version is [[http://www.behindthename.com/name/rashid Rashid]] (or "راشد"), meaning "rightly guided" in Arabic. Odion/Rashid is Marik/Malik's older adopted brother and serves as one of his two [[MoralityPet Morality Pets]] in the series.
** Shadi's name is only a phoneme different from the ancient Egyptian word ''[[http://www.ancientegyptonline.co.uk/shabti.html shabti]]''. ''Shabti'' are figurines placed in tombs among funerary goods so they can be servants to the tomb's owner in the afterlife. Using representative figurines replaced killing [[PoweredByAForsakenChild actual]] [[HumanSacrifice servants]] for this sole purpose. Shadi guards the Millennium Items' original resting place and [[spoiler:[[DeadAllAlong turns out to be just a ghost]] since Dark Bakura killed him 5000 years ago when he was one of Atem's priests.]] And like Malik's and Rashid's names, the name "Shadi" is also [[http://www.behindthename.com/name/shadi-1 Arabic]] in origin, [[ShownTheirWork reflecting]] that all these characters come from modern Egypt where Arabic is the official language.
** There's also Ishizu, named after the ancient Egyptian goddess [[http://www.touregypt.net/magazine/mag08012001/magf5.htm Isis]]. Isis is the queen of [[ReligionIsMagic magic]], [[DueToTheDead dedicated wife]] to her murdered and undead husband Osiris, and honored for being a [[MamaBear good mother]] to her son [[{{Protectorate}} Horus]]. Ishizu is a MysteriousWaif of a character who can [[SpiderSense see the future]] using her [[AppliedPhlebotinum Millennium Necklace]]. One of her major goals is to stop her [[FaceHeelTurn Face-Heel Turned]] younger brother Marik from being [[BigBad villainous]]. She is also another one of Marik's [[MoralityPet Morality Pets]].
** "Yugi" means "game."
*** Yami means dark or shadow, which means that "Dark Yugi" means "Dark Game."
** Oh, also, the whole Yu Jou thing. Take the initial syllables of Yugi and Jounouchi's first names and you get the Japanese word for "friendship." (Which manifests itself in real life as the "Yu Jo Friendship" card.)
** And the fact that Seto Kaiba, the most dragon-obsessed guy in the cast's surname translates to "sea dragon." On a related note, the same guy's first name translates to "shallow man."
** There's an even weirder couple of meanings behind his name. "Seto" is basically the Japanese pronunciation of "Set." Combine this with Yugi's name ([[IncrediblyLamePun "Game", "Set", Match]]) for one meaning, but for the other, Set was the Egyptian desert god, a completely appropriate name for a [[spoiler:high-ranking ancient Egyptian priest]].
** Possibly unintentional, but the English surnames for Jonouchi, Anzu and Honda are all occupations: Wheeler, Gardner and Taylor.
** Dark Yugi's real name, [[spoiler:Atem]], is a variation on [[spoiler:Atum, as in Atum-Ra: the creator god, the god of the sun, the first king of the gods, the first pharaoh, etc. Oh, and Atum apparently had a Winged Dragon, too.]]
* MindControlEyes: People under Marik's control have their eyes drawn without pupils.
* MindScrew: The Memory World arc is a mild version. In ''general'', things make sense and you can follow what's going on, but some really bizarre stuff happens too. The anime-only content/changes doesn't really help things.
* {{Mondegreen}}: No, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ErCUh8Z-uO4 the dub theme]] is not misspelling Yami as [[EarWorm Yamu]], it is actually ''Your Move''.
* MoralityPet: Mokuba Kaiba is one for his brother Seto. Odion and Ishizu Ishtar are the same for their master/brother Marik.
* MoreThanMindControl: Dartz in Season 4, who is only partially possessed by the Orichalcos god (hence just one green eye) while the rest of him has just been driven insane.
* MsFanservice: Mai Valentine and Dark Magician Girl, also Anzu on occasion.
* MulticoloredHair: Yugi has black and purple spiky hair with freestanding streaks of blond in it. His grandfather had the exact same hair when he was younger, and although it's now gray it retains the same shape.
* MundaneMadeAwesome: The whole premise of the show is to make card games into epic duels.
* MusicalPastiche: The track [[https://soundcloud.com/theshugotv/yu-gi-oh-bgm-the-priests "The Priests"]] in the Japanese OST is a pastiche of [[http://soundcloud.com/theshugotv/cyberteam-in-akihabara-bgm the transformation theme]] from ''Anime/CyberTeamInAkihabara'', it's not too surprising since both show's share the same composer, Shinkichi Mitsumune.
* MusicalSpoiler: As if the LikeYouWouldReallyDoIt nature of the scene is not enough, the lack of the "Life Points hitting 0" sound effect when [[spoiler: Dartz brings Dark Yugi's LP down to 0]] makes it very obvious that the duel is not over.
* MyLittlePanzer: Played with, as Duel Monsters is perfectly safe by itself. It's duelists like the Ghouls that add in their own, more dangerous, rules or invoke the dark magic of the Millennium Items that make it so [[DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment dangerous]].
* MythologyGag: Some anime-only arcs reference the manga obliquely.
** Episode 11 has a flashback to Joey's days on the streets. The gang members that attack him look like Hirutani's gang from the manga, and have similar styles of uniforms.
** Yugi getting upset when Earu the virtual fairy died is like when his virtual pet in the manga died.
** Yami Bakura's soul-eating Morphing Jar card is similar to Imori's soul-eating Dragon Jar.
** Noah's arc and character design are a reference to the manga's Death-T arc, as well as Toei's Yu-Gi-Oh anime.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:NR]]
* {{Necromantic}}: Pegasus got his StartOfDarkness after his beloved wife Cyndia/Cecilia passed away and he vowed to bring her back.
* NeverSayDie: In the English dub, at least, with the exception of the first season, which include:
** Episode 8 where Pegasus plots Kaiba's death and says for him to have an accident... which actually works as GettingCrapPastTheRadar, since that's what a CorruptCorporateExecutive (or a member of TheMafia) would do to a business rival. Kaiba tells Pegasus's men he'd rather die than be captured and promptly leaps to his supposed death, which is mentioned in the next episode where Yugi duels Kaiba's "corpse."
** Episode 13, when Honda (Tristan) is first sent to the Graveyard.
---> '''Honda:''' According to this tombstone, I'm ''dead!''
** Episode 15, where the Player Killer of Darkness attempts to "eliminate" Yugi by blasting a giant flamethrower at him.
** Episodes 17 and 18, which are all about a deck of dead zombie monsters.
** Episode 24, where Kaiba threatens suicide (though the dub changes it to be a threat of indirect suicide rather than direct).
** And Pegasus' entire motivation hinging on the fact that his wife had died.
** One of the rare non-Season 1 points where the dub didn't censor death was in the Season 2 duel between Yugi and brainwashed Jonouchi, in which it was retained that Marik intended on drowning the loser of the duel, and threatened to crush Anzu to death if anyone attempted to interfere.
* NewPowersAsThePlotDemands:
** Frequently, characters reveal to have cards in their decks that they never used before (and never will use again), but which help them win the current duel.
** The Winged God Dragon of Ra is especially guilty of this; it seems like every time [[BigBad Dark Marik]] plays it, Ra just happens to have a previously-unused power that just happens to [[NotSoFastBucko perfectly counter his opponent's new winning strategy]].
* NewRulesAsThePlotDemands:
** Duelist Kingdom is this writ large. Some make at least a bit of sense, like flying monsters having an advantage over land-based monsters, or machine monsters rusting due to a mist over the field. Others just plain have no basis in fact at all, most prominently the infamous Catapult Turtle move Yugi uses to defeat the Player Killer of Darkness. However, Duelist Kingdom is stated to use custom rules specific to the tournament.
** Once the rules were written and pinned down in Battle City, this turned into "New Cards As the Plot Demands," with duelists producing cards never before seen at just the right time. Many of these cards exist for RuleOfCool, as there are other pre-existing cards that do the same thing as the new card but don't fit the theme of the duelist's deck. Change of Heart for example has equivalents with Yugi and Kaiba in the forms of Brain Control and Enemy Controller. And lapses of the random new rules still occurred: Jinzo is supposedly immune to Time Wizard's effect due to being made of special metal, for example, and Flute of Summoning Dragon lets both players summon Dragons from their hand if they want.
** There's also a ton of cards that were created to allow the duelists to draw cards so the writers can keep their hands filled, such as Card of Last Will, Card of Demise, Nibelung's Ring, and ''especially'' Card of Sanctity. Kaiba's "Power Balance" in particular is ridiculously overpowered in this regard, requiring the opponent to discard half their hand and then allowing the user to draw the same number of cards discarded, with no drawbacks.
** With 2-on-1 and later 3-on-1 duels throughout the franchise, the rules are never ironclad, sometimes the lone player gets more turns, sometimes more Life Points, or no advantage at all. A few times it seems that the lone player chooses their advantage, which of course is ridiculous. This is particularly blatant in ''5Ds'' where in on 2-on-1 duel, the lone player began with 10 cards in his hand to cover the disadvantage, when his deck theme is based around destroying his own Trap cards to deal a First Turn Kill. No prizes for guessing what he tries to do, and would have succeeded at if not for the predictable debut of cards that negate effect damage.
* NietzscheWannabe:
** During the duel between Jonouchi and Yugi in the Duelist Kingdom finals, Pegasus's narration, at least in dub town, slips into this. To quote:
--->'''Pegasus:''' Oh, I know you'd like to think that your friendship would be enough to sustain you through any mishap or misfortune, but that's not the way the world works.\\\
'''Pegasus:''' ... when fate hits you with a cold slap of reality and shows you who's boss. Yes, the world has taught me that only the strong and the ruthless survive.
** Kaiba is seen ''reading'' Nietzsche in his first appearance. ([[http://www.yu-jyo.net/001/001.shtml In the Japanese, at least.]]) No better way to paint yourself a villain immediately, aye?
* NoKillLikeOverkill: Numerous times, characters will pointlessly weaken themselves in order to boost their monsters powers or completely clear the field before delivering a final blow so that not only do their opponent's life points drop to 0, but all their monsters are gone too - this being in situations where they could save themselves the trouble and just attack outright and win. A prime example is Atem's fight with Haga, after the latter pretended to destroy Yugi's soul just to [[ForTheEvulz get a rise out of the Pharaoh]]. Atem used a card that let his monster attack directly every time he drew a monster card, and proceeded to pound Haga again and again, long after his Life Points ran out. He would've kept going too, if [[WhatTheHellHero Anzu hadn't stopped him]]. Note that this is during a special duel where ''you actually feel the pain of attacks''.
* NonHumanUndead: In Duelist Kingdom, Yugi severely weakens Kaiba's Blue Eyes Ultimate Dragon by fusing his Mammoth Graveyard into it, which, because both are incompatible types, [[MergingMistake slowly weakens the resulting fusion and will cause its eventual death.]]
* NonPlayerCharacter: [=NPCs=] are seen in the Legendary Heroes arc and Virtual World arcs with varying importance. It gets deconstructed in the latter case, as Noah Kaiba was driven ''insane'' by the monotony of their repetitive lines.
* NotADate: Anzu goes on one of these with the Pharaoh in episode 53.
* NotDisabledInVR: In the Virtual World FillerArc, Seto Kaiba's adoptive father Gozaburo Kaiba originally had the virtual world created for his biological son Noah after Noah was hit by a car and left permanently disabled.
* NotJustATournament: Virtually ''every'' TournamentArc, to the point where it's commented in-story how refreshing it is to go to a tournament that's ''only'' a tournament (it still manages to get hijacked by a villain's scheme, but that wasn't in the host's plans).
* NotTooDeadToSaveTheDay: Yugi gets help from all his [[TakenForGranite petrified]] friends and Kaiba) in his head before playing his last turn in the duel against Noah.
* ObviousTrap: The point of Odion's deck is to focus on laying tons of trap cards and then wait for the opponent to spring them. Thing is, he makes the point to play almost no monsters thereby leaving him wide open to attack except for his traps, which you ''know'' will protect him, he's not stupid. Unless you pack an insane amount of spell/trap destruction or run an unorthodox deck theme, you're gonna have to attack him sooner or later, and when you do, he'll be ready to turn it back on you. Jonouchi found this out the hard way.
** Jonouchi and Mai later learn Marik also plays a lot of traps, which are even more brutal and painful than anything Odion used.
** Besides the specific duelists, quite often the characters know the opponent has a dangerous trap waiting, but they acknowledge if they want to win they either need to find a way around it, or trigger it and hope they can come back from whatever it does.
* OffscreenMomentOfAwesome:
** Yugi and Jonouchi duel immediately after Battle City, and it's implied Jonouchi won in both mediums, though the duel itself is skipped.
** After punching Dark Bakura out and throwing away the Ring, Honda carries the unconscious Mokuba and Bakura back to the dueling platform without getting caught by guards while going through a maze with looping flights of stairs and doors to nowhere that even had Dark Bakura confused.
** The [=4Kids=] dub gave Ryou Bakura one, given the properties of the Shadow Realm. [[http://thewittyphantom.tumblr.com/post/126291168108/shadow-realm-facts-according-to-pegasus-yami According to the lore]], the Shadow Realm has very little food, Duel Monsters can be mentally summoned while there, though doing so puts a strain on your mind, running out of energy while there will shred your soul to pieces, and being trapped there increases the power of Millennium Items. It's also implied the bearer of an Item can leech off your soul for extra power. Despite all those obstacles, Ryou made it out okay.
* OhCrap: Many dueling opponents on the receiving end of a spell, trap, or ability that they [[DidntSeeThatComing didn't see coming]] have this reaction.
* OddlyNamedSequel: ''Anime/YuGiOhGX''; ''Anime/YuGiOh5Ds''; ''Anime/YuGiOhZEXAL''[[note]]pronounced "Zeal" in the Japanese[[/note]], ''Anime/YuGiOhArcV''.
* TheOnlyOneAllowedToDefeatYou: To the point where Kaiba throws a hissy fit upon learning Yugi has 'allowed' someone else to defeat him in Season 4.
* OutrunTheFireball: At the end of the Virtual World arc, Kaiba presses a BigRedButton, sacrificing the greater part of his blimp to accomplish this.
* ParentalAbandonment: Mai lost her parents at a young age.
* PensieveFlashback: The Kaiba brothers experience these throughout the Virtual Nightmare arc.
* PhantomZone: The Millennium Items each can transport the area immediately surrounding the user (and anyone else in it) to the Shadow Realm, an AlternateDimension full of the {{Mons}} that the Duel Monsters cards are based off of, which can be summoned to fight each other. Alternatively, they can trap a person's mind in the Shadow Realm, leaving their body functioning normally (although from the fact that Jonouchi breaks out of it and "wakes up," this is implied to be an illusionary spell cast on the victim) or seal their soul into a SoulJar. (Dark Marik does the former, Pegasus does the latter.)
* PhantomZonePicture: Pegasus gives Seto and Mokuba Penalty Games, which involve their souls getting trapped into blank cards. In the anime, this also includes Yugi's grandfather.
* PinballScoring: Every card in the anime does base damage/bonuses/etc in increments of 100; the actual card game has a handful that have 50s.
** In the Duelist Kingdom season, there are a few duels where damage/bonuses are calculated by percentages of other stats, creating some odd prime numbers. From Battle City on, most all the numbers end in even 0s.
** Unless you're Marik, in which case you can have attack points that end in --99.
** A few monsters have ATK or DEF stats that aren't divisible by 50. Castle of Dark Illusions has 920 ATK and 1930 DEF, Reaper of the Cards has 1380 ATK and 1930 DEF, King of Yamimakai has 2000 ATK and 1530 DEF, and Seven-Armed Fiend has 666 ATK and 666 DEF (1000/1000 in the Dub). All but the last are the result of the anime fudging the numbers of the Player Killer of Darkness's monsters so that they have their field power bonus.
* PlotTumor: Originally, the manga was not about any specific game, much less a single card game. Here non-Duel Monsters games are few and far between. Given that its title is ''Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters'', it's no surprise.
* PoweredByAForsakenChild: Creating the Millennium Items required a sacrifice of 99 human lives.
* PowerLevels: Monster cards have them in the form of Attack (ATK) and Defense (DEF) points.
* PowerMakesYourHairGrow: When Yugi, Bakura, and Marik become possessed by the spirits of the Millennium Items (or in Marik's case [[spoiler:his Superpowered Evil Side]]), their hair gets even more ridiculous than usual.
* ThePowerOfFriendship: This is the intended main theme for the series.
* PragmaticAdaptation:
** The Millennium World arc in the anime. Among the many alterations to the plot, the tabletop RPG was simplified, and Seto's battle with the Pharaoh took place just before Zorc awoke rather than after his defeat. In exchange, Kisara and Yugi's friends got more to do, and the consequences of Yugi's wish for friends was brought up as well.
** The ''Dungeon Dice Monsters'' arc is retooled from a plot-relevant arc regarding Yugi's development with no relation to Duel Monsters to an arc that has a big influence from the card game. The same also applies to Otogi. In the manga he is a troubled child who is purposely raised by his father to become a TykeBomb, having a HeelFaceTurn because he doesn't hate Yugi as much as his father. In the anime, he is a fanboy of Pegasus who challenges Yugi to a duel because he believes Yugi won by cheating. He changed his ways because he realized that he acted like a dick to Yugi and his friends.
** Shizuka's eyesight being restored happened off-panel and before Dungeon Dice Monsters in the manga. In the anime it happens during Battle City and is played for drama, as she struggles over the surgery and when to take the bandages off, wanting the first thing she sees to be Jonouchi dueling.
** Yugi and Jonouchi don't duel in Duelist Kingdom in the manga, with Jonouchi forfeiting to prevent Pegasus from seeing their strategies and Yugi giving him the money anyway. Since Pegasus can read minds anyway, it would be an anticlimax to have them not fight, as well as the fact that they never really duel against each other at all as Marik controlled Jonouchi in Battle City, a duel between them was added. The Dark Sage's appearance also justifies why Yugi originally had the Time Wizard in his deck.
* PrestigiousPlayerTitle: ''Duel Monsters'' players are called "Duelists".
* PrincessesRule: Princess Adina, ruler of Simlow, in Kaiba's virtual world.
* ProductPlacement: In one episode, Mai is seen drinking Pepsi. This reference was taken out in the dub due to copyright issues. Starbucks Coffee also appears as well, this was taken out also.
* PromotionToParent: Seto Kaiba looks after his little brother after their parents die.
* ProtagonistCenteredMorality: Antagonists who use manipulative mind-games are called dishonorable, ones who keep secrets are called liars, ones that go on the defensive are called cowards exposing their own weakness, and ones that use cheap tactics are called cheaters. Of course, when main characters do these things they're simply said to be using intelligent strategy.
** There ''have'' been a number of blatant cheaters in the show, however; Weevil Underwood throws Yugi's Exodia cards into the ocean on the way to Duelist Kingdom, and in Battle City pays a kid to slip an insect card into Joey's deck during a fake robbery. Mai in Duelist Kingdom uses perfume to know which card she's going to draw to psyche her opponent out, and Bandit Keith keeps cards in his wristbands that he switches so he always pulls the card he needs. Pegasus also cheats by using his Millennium Eye to read his opponents' minds.
* PsychicPowers: The Millennium Items give their owners a variety of psychic powers, depending on the item. Examples include [[MindRape mind raping]], locating and identifying other Millennium Item holders, [[{{Telepathy}} mind reading]], [[JourneyToTheCenterOfTheMind visiting someone's mental landscape]], [[SpiderSense seeing the future]], and [[BodySnatcher possessing other people]].
* PurpleIsTheNewBlack: The Shadow Realm is depicted with some swirls of midnight blue or black but mostly purple.
* PutOnABus:
** Bakura doesn't appear in any anime-original arc.
** Bandit Keith, after losing his duel with Yugi, is never mentioned in the story again.
* QuestForIdentity: The pharaoh is trying to find out who he is and regain his lost memories.
* RageQuit: Several times, low-ranking villains will screw the rules and attempt to get their job done directly. This has varying levels of success. This is especially fatal in a Shadow Game, which enforces the rules very strictly and very harshly.
* {{Railroading}}: This is the basic explanation for the series and why the main characters who are losing always seem to pull impossible card effects at just the perfect time.
* RapidFireTyping: Seto Kaiba often utilizes this whenever he's operating or hacking into a computer.
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech:
** Kaiba, most notably, to anyone unfortunate enough to lose to him. Jonouchi is victim to this more often than not.
** Anzu, of all people, turns out to be surprisingly good at these, although she doesn't give them often. She gives one to Kaiba at Duelist Kingdom, although it's more of a "the reason Yugi is better than you" speech. She also lets Johnny Steppes have it for running away when his duel with Dark Yugi gets too difficult.
** After Noah defeats Kaiba and turns him and Mokuba to stone, Yugi gives one to him before he combines his deck with Kaiba's and resumes the duel, but it's similar to the above and saying why Kaiba is better.
* RecognizableBySound: In the Virtual World arc, Noah plays Serenity's screams into the tunnel where the rest of the gang are. Jonouchi instantly recognizes it.
* RedemptionEqualsDeath: Sort of. [[spoiler:Noah Kaiba]] gains a body like he originally wanted, then puts himself back InsideAComputerSystem to save the others out of guilt. So, not dead but close to it.
* {{Reincarnation}}: [[spoiler: Seto with Set, Yugi's grandpa with Shimon, and Ishizu with Isis.]]
* RoadSignReversal: Marik {{Body Surf}}ing Bandit Keith has set up arrows to lure Yugi into a trap. Dark Bakura flips the arrows around so Yugi's friends can't follow.
* RousingSpeech: Kaiba gives Yugi his version of one in the Pharaoh's soul room towards the end of the Virtual World arc. It's probably one of the least encouraging rousing speeches ever, especially since his version of, "don't give up," is, "don't screw up or else," but it seemed to do the trick.
* RousseauWasRight: Numerous bad guys, including [[spoiler:Dartz and his biker henchmen, Marik Ishtar, Pegasus, etc.]], seem hopelessly callous and evil only to eventually prove to be good at heart, whether by exorcism of an evil side or simple persuasion, usually by Yugi or Pharaoh. Seto Kaiba is also routinely obnoxious and cold yet occasionally proves to have a compassionate side, which is usually related to his love for his little brother Mokuba.
* RuleOfSymbolism: The author intended to have the cards represent the character and personality of their users.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:SZ]]
* SaveSat: In the English dub, Kaiba sets the Industrial Illusions satellite to crash into their mainframe, bringing down their computer defenses and allowing him to access the data at Duelist Kingdom (in the Japanese version, he's just using the satellite to hack into the mainframe.)
* ScalesOfJustice: The Millennium Scale judges peoples souls.
* ScrewDestiny:
** It's revealed in the final arc that one of the Millennium Puzzle's abilities is to "alter fate", which in the context of the Duel Monsters card game allows him to change the card he's going to draw as long as he believes it will happen hard enough, rendering every past example of Yugi drawing the exact card he needed by "Believing in the heart of the cards" more than just good luck.
** Kaiba manages this rule in the [[TournamentArc Battle City Arc]]. ScrewDestiny, I have money!
*** He also changes the future itself by following his instincts and [[spoiler:sacrificing his ancient god card to summon a Blue Eyes White Dragon to attack and win his game against Ishizu, whereas her clairvoyance had predicted he would attack with the ancient god and fall victim to the clever damage feedback trap she had set up. He wins the game instead of losing as destiny had foretold.]]
*** It's actually not instinct. The Millennium Rod reaches out to him, recognizing his soul as its true master, and shows him what to do.
* ScrewTheRulesIHaveMoney: The GagDub is the TropeNamer.
** Occurs within the series itself. Kaiba does it, of course. Pegasus, however, even makes special cards that never go into circulation just so that it gives him an advantage.
* SealedEvilInASixPack:
** An in-universe fictional example is Exodia, a monster so powerful it takes multiple cards to contain him. The individual pieces are worthless, but a player who reassembles Exodia by getting all five parts in their hand at once wins immediately.
** The Pharaoh was trapped in the Millennium Pendant, which was then broken up into pieces. They were all kept in one place, but putting it back together was a complicated process (which is why it was then renamed the Millennium Puzzle).
* SelfMadeOrphan: Kaiba has a [[ParentalAbandonment long]] [[PromotionToParent history]] of [[OrphanageOfFear these]] [[AbusiveParents kind]] of [[SelfMadeOrphan tropes]]. Also Marik.
* SensitiveGuyAndManlyMan: [[ShrinkingViolet Yugi]] and [[TheStoic Dark Yugi]], respectively.
* SeriousBusiness: Duel Monsters, to the point that in the subbed Dungeon Dice Monsters arc half of the conflict is about fighting for duelists, seemingly ignoring every other game out there.
* SexyWhateverOutfit: The Dark Magician Girl wears a sexy RobeAndWizardHat.
* ShackleSeatTrap: In the pier duel Anzu is strapped to one of these as part of Marik's latest death trap.
* SharingABody: Dark Yugi and Yugi, and Dark Bakura and Ryo.
* ShapeshifterGuiltTrip: Dartz, by projecting the voices and faces of Yugi's soul-stolen friends onto his Mirror Knights, intimidates Yugi into not attacking.
* ShipTease: Rebecca kisses Yugi early on in Season 4. Cue LuminescentBlush (and he had an awkward expression on his face before she kissed him) and Anzu's jealous reaction.
* ShoutOut: Both the card game and anime series feature cards based on Konami's ''VideoGame/{{Gradius}}'' and ''VideoGame/MysticalNinja'' series, and even one that references ''Franchise/MetalGear''.
** First episode, take a look at the shelf that Yugi covers up just as he answers the phone call from Kaiba. Even ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWars'' can find its way into a show about a children's card game.
** ''Yu-Gi-Oh!'' references ''Manga/{{Dragonball}}'' on three occasions: the first chapter of the manga references ''Dragonball'' by name, when Yugi figures having the Millennium Puzzle grant his wish would be similar to collecting the Dragon Balls. Another instance is that a Dragon Ball poster can be seen in Yugi's room during the Battle City arc. Finally, during the KC Grand Championship, Haga and Ryuzaki's ambush of Fortune Salim and following masquerade a la TotemPoleTrench replicates a similar scene in ''Dragonball'', where Goten and Trunks use a similar tactic to get into a tournament.
** [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YS6wcAzXhlc Funny Bunny sure loves]] [[Franchise/CrashBandicoot spinning]].
** In a dub-induced case, Mai irritatingly states in "The Gauntlet Is Thrown" that her sleeping conditions on the ship were "Outrageous! Truly, ''truly'' outrageous!", in a bizarre nod to ''WesternAnimation/{{Jem}}''.
** In the dub for episode 95, a movie Marik sees on TV in the outside world has the line, "[[Film/PeeWeesBigAdventure Sorry Dottie, I'm a loner. A rebel.]]"
** In Jonouchi's duel with Siegfried he says, [[Series/PressYourLuck "C'mon, big bucks no Whammy's!"]]
** In Jonouchi's duel with Solomon/Grandpa: [[Series/FamilyFeud "Survey Says!"]].[[note]] This is also a BeamMeUpScotty, as the correct version is "Survey ''said''".[[/note]]
** In episode 213 Jonouchi references the '80s hit song "Walk Like an Egyptian."
* SocialServicesDoesNotExist: Story of the Kaiba brothers' life.
* SolomonDivorce: Jounouchi and Shizuka were separated when their parents got divorced.
* SortingAlgorithmOfEvil: Kaiba --> Pegasus --> Marik --> Dartz --> Zorc/Bakura. Noah and Zigfried are exceptions, as while formidable, Noah is nowhere close to Marik's level of danger, and Zigfried borders on HarmlessVillain (as he just wants to humiliate Kaiba at his own tournament).
* SoulJar: Millennium Ring, Millennium Puzzle, various gaming equipment. [[spoiler:Taken literally with Mai in season 2 when she loses to Marik and her mind gets put in an hourglass in the Shadow Realm.]]
* SparedByTheAdaptation: [[spoiler:Pegasus and Bandit Keith]] both died in the manga, but are made to survive in the anime, with [[spoiler: Pegasus]] gaining something of a recurring role.
* SpellMyNameWithAnS: Marik? Malik? In the Bunkoban series, it's spelled Maric.
** Also Cyndia, although some spell it as Cynthia or Cindia. Then there's her dub name, Cecelia Pegasus, which becomes Cecilia in subtitles, despite the fact that the proper dub name was shown in episode 40. It gets worse when people assume her original name is Cyndia Crawford, as she does not have a surname in the original.
** The Big Five consist of Ganzley/Gansley, Crump/Krump, Nezbitt/Nesbitt/Nesbit, Lecter/Lector/Leichter... and Johnson.
* SplitPersonality: Marik and Dark Marik.
* SplitPersonalityMakeover: How do you know who's in control? Well... just look at the page image.
** Sometimes averted with Bakura, who often seems to be controlled by the spirit even when he looks like his nice self, which the audience usually finds out mere seconds later. Lampshaded by a close-up focusing on the two front locks of hair moving into a more upright position when the spirit reveals himself to be in control before his duel with Yugi in the Battle City finals.
* StoryArc: Duelist Kingdom, Battle City, Noah's Virtual World, Battle City Finals, Doma, the Kaiba Corp Grand Prix, and Millennium World, with a MythArc spanning all of these arcs.
* StrongerWithAge: Some monsters, like Baby Dragon and Dark Magician, gain stronger forms when they age with Time Wizard's effect. Others, like the Harpie Ladies and Red-Eyes Black Dragon, become decrepit or even fossilized and are correspondingly weaker.
* StrawNihilist: Alister holds the view that weapons will not disappear and humans will not stop fighting. Thus, this world should be destroyed.
* SuddenSequelHeelSyndrome: Season 4 turns Mai Valentine into an angst-ridden member of a villainous biker gang. It turns out she was tricked into HeelFaceBrainwashing by Dartz, and her cameos in season 5 have her back to normal.
* SuggestiveCollision: Happens to [[JustFriends Jonouchi and Mai]] in the episode "Lights, Camera, Duel." Played with, though, in that Mai fell on top of him because he was catching her as she fell from a dangerous height--and instead of going for the pervert-slap, [[ShipTease Mai thanks him for saving her and calls him an "action hero."]]
* SunglassesAtNight: Bandit Keith wears his sunglasses even in a dark cave.
* SuperpoweredEvilSide: Various characters' Dark versions, including the early appearances of Dark Yugi, who was more like TheUnfettered.
* {{Synchronization}}: Between the duelists and their cards, to some extent. Showcased when Yugi's grandfather Sugoroku actually has a heart attack when he loses.
* TakeOverTheWorld: Both Marik and Dark Bakura want to do this by usurping the pharaoh position from Dark Yugi, mostly as {{revenge}} for [[ItsPersonal personal]] beefs they have with him.
** [[spoiler: This is further complicated by Zorc's entanglement with Bakura, as Zorc has no beef with Dark Yugi, but only uses Bakura's.]]
** Averted by both Marik/Dark Marik and [[spoiler:Zorc]] in the Japanese versions. Marik merely wants to torment the Pharaoh's spirit as part of revenge and Dark Marik wishes to torture and kill [[OmnicidalManiac every living thing on the planet]]. [[spoiler:Zorc is just an evil demon fueled by the rage of the people sacrificed to create him, making him want to destroy everything]]. Even Dark Bakura's motives are unclear and don't really seem to involve wanting to take over the world in the Japanese version.
* TakingTheBullet:
** Kisara [[spoiler:dies to save Seto.]]
** Earlier in the series, Dark Yugi saves Mai and Jonouchi from Marik's Winged God Dragon Of Ra by diving in front of a ''fireball'' and blocking it with his body until it dissipates. He promptly collapses.
* TheTapeKnewYouWouldSayThat: In episode two of the anime, where Pegasus contacts the protagonist. Granted, it's less so a tape and more of an enchanted two way face cam... [[BuffySpeak thing.]]
* TarotMotifs: Inevitable, considering the [[SeriousBusiness series-wide obsession]] with card games.
** Yugi and Atem are both the Magician. Especially notable, since the Black Magician is their signature card.
** Jonouchi is TheFool.
** Ishizu is the High Priestess.
** Anzu is the Empress.
** Kaiba is TheEmperor.
** Shadi is The Hermit.
** Malik is The Heirophant.
* TattooedCrook: BigBad Marik Ishtar has a large tattoo covering his back and he is the leader of his own criminal organization. [[InvertedTrope However]], it was his reception of the tattoo that originally caused him to turn evil, rather than him getting the tattoo after turning evil. The tattoo was carved into his back in the Japanese version, though its similar, and the dub changes it to a tattoo.
* ThemeDeck: The card game is the Trope Namer.
* ThereAreNoTherapists: Several characters would be better off with professional help, most notably the villains.
* ThirdEye: The card "Goddess with the Third Eye." Also, Millennium Item holders connected to ancient Egypt (i.e., the Pharaoh and Dark Marik) sometimes get a glowing eye symbol on their foreheads when using their item, as do people [[BodySurf possessed]] by Marik.
* TookALevelInBadass: Jounouchi. As late as the Duelist Kingdom arc, he spams monster after monster without any regard of strategy, because he relies too much on the idea of beating things to death even though the attack stat is too low. It becomes apparent in the second episode of the show that he lost to [[TheChick Tea/Anzu]], probably the least competitive player of all, because she knew a thing or two about magic and traps. It takes a lot of encouragement and guidance on the Pharaoh's part to help him, but by Battle City he grows into a very competent duelist and becomes a finalist, managing to go toe-to-toe against [[BigBad Marik]].
* TooManyMouths: Sky Dragon of Osiris has two.
* {{Toon}}: Pegasus's Toon Monsters.
* ToonTown: Pegasus's Toon World card.
* TournamentArc: Every arc except the Virtual World, Waking the Dragons, and Dawn of the Duel arcs.
* {{Tsundere}}: Mai and Jonouchi, most frequently toward each other as a form of ShipTease.
* TraintopBattle: Or blimp-top, in Battle City. Played straight in Season 4 when Dark Yugi duels Haga. In Season 5, there's a ferris wheel-top one.
* TraumaCongaLine: Happens several different times, to several different characters.
* TriangRelations: The DOMA arc gives us Jounochi and Valon for Mai, albeit not in a strict romantic sense: Both men view the other as an obstacle to Mai, but Valon seems to be in it for a relationship whereas Jounochi just wants her friendship, and for her to be free of her pain.
* TruthInTelevision: Pegasus's Toon cards are said by Yugi to be kept out of circulation for being too powerful, but Pegasus is the creator of the game so he kept them for himself. The Seal of Orichalcos, a GameBreaker if there ever was one, exists in real life and is limited to a few copies that were used by members of Upper Deck's R&D department in a special tournament until years later, when it got an official, nerfed release to the public.
* UngratefulBastard: Kaiba, after several rescues from Yugi and co. He does show some limited thanks for Yugi, and only Yugi, at times, such as freeing him from Pegasus and the Big Five.
* TheUnfettered: Dark Bakura, Dark Marik, Dartz, Gozaburo Kaiba, and to an extent Seto Kaiba
* UnstoppableRage: After Yugi's soul is taken by the Orichalchos, and Haga ''[[BullyingADragon taunts]]'' the now rather unstable Dark Yugi by tearing up a card in front of him after claiming it contains Yugi's soul, just "[[MoralEventHorizon as a joke]]", Dark Yugi defeats Haga using a card that grants extra attacks by drawing and discarding monsters, and then he continues bashing at him [[NoKillLikeOverkill long after]] Haga's life points have hit zero. He would've kept going too, if Anzu hadn't stopped him.
* UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans: Dartz's entire motivation. He will do absolutely ''anything'' to "cleanse" the world of its problems.
* VendorTrash: When the rules got more defined, a lot of the weaker cards didn't have DeusExMachina powers anymore and were pruned, though some of them got updated versions that are useful.
* ViewersAreGoldfish: Even if the card is used every single duel, its effect will be explained, especially the memetic Pot of Greed, which lets you draw two cards. This continued into ''Anime/YuGiOhGX'', right up until Pot of Greed got put on the real-life ban list [[RealLifeWritesThePlot and the anime suddenly stopped using it]].
* VitriolicBestBuds: Jonouchi and Honda.
* VirtueIsWeakness: This is the moral position of antagonists (Kaiba, Mai, Marik) in the series until Yugi or Jonouchi, the EmbodimentsOfVirtue, defeats them.
* VoiceOfTheLegion: Marik's servants gain a double-voice when he is [[BodySurf possessing them]], as does Yami Marik in the dub.
* WaterfallShower: The first season has this due to the fact that players are camping outdoors at night while they play the tournament.
* WeCanRuleTogether: Noah makes this offer to Yugi in the Japanese version of episode 118, after Yugi manages a formidable counterattack and after Noah turns some of Yugi's TrueCompnions to [[TakenForGranite stone]].
-->'''Noah:''' Seriously, though, that was ''splendid'', Yugi! You possess both the skill and judgement necessary to catch your enemies off-guard the second they lose focus. When you think about it, you and I have no reason to be enemies. If you swear your loyalty to me, I'll save all your friends from Hell this very instant!
* WarriorTherapist: Mai during her duel with Yugi in the Duelist Kingdom finals. She manages to talk Yugi out of his funk so that he can duel her with a clear and focused head. And it works! Definitely one of her most brilliant moments.
* WelcomeToCorneria: Both virtual realities suffer from this, despite how fleshed-out everything else in them is. {{Deconstructed|Trope}} in the latter, since Noah spent ''years'' trapped in his world and was driven mad by everyone saying the same lines.
* WhamLine: From episode 52:
--> '''Ishizu Ishtar''': And the young man who stands behind the pharaoh... Above his head is [[spoiler: the Blue Eyes White Dragon.]]
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: Gurimo from the first two episodes of the Waking the Dragons arc. Once he's finished being MrExposition, everybody forgets about him, including his cohorts, even when all of the souls are being restored. Only the battle is referenced briefly during Raphael's last fight, prior to his HeelFaceTurn.
** Also, the last time we saw Bonz and his friends, they were put into the Shadow Realm by Dark Bakura. Nobody ever rescues them, although they may have been freed upon Dark Bakura's own defeat at the hands of Dark Marik. They're dead in the original Japanese version.
* WhatTheHellHero: Rebecca does this to Dark Yugi when his reckless use of the Seal of Orichalchos results in Yugi losing his soul. Even Haga does this effectively, pointing out that although he might be an asshole, at least he didn't knowingly endanger his friend simply to win.
* WineIsClassy: In the original, there's a scene where Pegasus is drinking a glass of wine. For the dub, this got changed to [[FrothyMugsOfWater "the world's finest fruit juices"]].[[note]]Funny enough, this could still allude to it being wine. After all, wine is often made from fruit and would be considered the "world's greatest fruit juice" by some.[[/note]]
* WithFriendsLikeThese: Jonouchi is often the subject of mistreatment from Anzu and Honda, particularly in filler arcs. It reaches egregious levels in Dungeon Dice Monsters and the KC Grand Prix--though they support him just as often, particularly in the manga-adapted arcs and the Virtual World.
* WokFu: Yugi faces off against Vivian Wong inside a Chinese restaurant. His friends get distracted from their usual cheerleading routine by all the food.
* TheWorfBarrage: Kaiba's Crush Card. Number of times he tries to use it: Seven. Number of times it actually works: Three, and of those three times, Yugi found ways to work around it and lost for entirely unrelated reasons and Ishizu made its effect work to her advantage and turned it back on Kaiba. So, really, of the seven times he uses it the Crush Card only works the way he plans it to ''once''. Though, the one time he couldn't get it off normally, he was able to [[spoiler:combine it with the Fang of Critias]] and win that way.
* TheWorfEffect:
** The anime adds several duels not in the manga for Jonouchi, most of which he loses.
** Mai Valentine/Kujaku. Top-notch duelist who gets seeded off against the most dangerous opponents, eventually becoming {{deconstructed|Trope}} in Season 4. Despite being a very skilled duelist, she keeps going up against super-powerful opponents to show the viewers how hard it'll be for the other heroes to win. On top of [[TraumaCongaLine what Marik does to her]], she starts to have a breakdown over it (to the point of destroying a first-place trophy she just won), and Dartz is able to [[HeelFaceBrainwashing brainwash her over to the villains' side]] because of it.
* WorldOfHam: Especially when two [[HamToHamCombat hams duel against each other]]. The Kaiba/Dark Yugi matches go UpToEleven compared to others because of their rivalry.
* XanatosGambit:
** Used by Dark Marik during his duel with Dark Yugi. Marik manipulates the game so that when a player takes damage to their life points, normal Yugi and [[spoiler: normal Marik]] suffer the damage as well. If Dark Yugi loses the duel, then Yugi is consumed and Marik walks free. However, if Yugi wins then Dark Marik walks free anyway, seeing as [[spoiler: his good half]] is destroyed instead. It's subverted at the last minute.
** Used in the final duel between Yugi and [[spoiler:Atem]]. Yugi correctly predicts that his opponent has a Mirror Force trap, used to destroy any attacking monsters. He attacks anyway. Had he been wrong, his attack would have gone through anyway and destroyed [[spoiler:Atem's]] monsters. Had he been right (which he was), then Yugi had a plan in place to immediately counteract it.
* YouGottaHaveBlueHair: Some minor characters. Also, Yugi and Dark Yugi's hair has some purple in it.
* YouWouldMakeAGreatModel: Happens to Anzu/Tea, who is promised a chance to be a dancer like she's always wanted.
* ZenosRace: Inverted with the pharaoh's backstory, seeing as how more information is revealed from the early manga, to Duelist Kingdom, to Battle City, to the Millennium World.
* ZergRush: At one point, Yugi uses Monster Multiply, which causes Kuriboh to multiply each turn, in conjunction with Kuriboh's special ability that allows it to nullify the damage done by one enemy monster. Due to there being no limit on how many monsters can be summoned with one magic card in the anime's version of the game, this allows him to create a virtually impenetrable barrier of the little guys.
* ZettaiRyouiki: Rebecca Hawkins manages to pull off a grade-A in her initial appearance. Also, she's twelve years old.
[[/folder]]
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