Laxus, though how much of a Face he was to start with is debatable.
The entire reason Oración Seis seeks Nirvana is the ability to cause these at will in whoever they want.
Gray in the anime exclusive arc, though he's more of a Fake Defector. It turns out that Natsu forgot a promise to the villager that was sealed by Daphne and he kind of wanted him to destroy Daphne's artificial dragon.
Fanservice: Oh dear sweet Lord, where do we start?! It might as well be a requirement to be sexy in order to get into Fairy Tail! The anime even has a unique sound effect just for the fanservice moments. (Wow!) And it gets plenty of use.
Every female character provides some. Seriously, it must be a requirement to join Fairy Tail, or any wizard guild for that matter.
Not to forget, whenever the opportunity arises, the feet of the female cast are shown to the audience Examples 1, with Erza and Lucy being the greatest offenders.
Then there's the "Welcome to Fairy Hills!" special chapter. It IS fanservice in forty pages with a little plot in between, though it has plenty of Character Development for the female members we don't usually get to see.
Curiously, this is exactly the special chapter they chose to make an OVA. Also, as unbelievable as it sounds, it seems that they chose to add even more Fanservice, notably for the female crowd.
The Tenrou Island Arc starts with Lucy in the bath, then Cana in the bath, then with everyone going on a ship under the hot sun so they're sweaty and in tropical wear, and Lucy and Cana spend their battles in only a bikini!
Absolutely the only reason why Gray forgets every part of his waiter's outfit except the bow tie.
Chapter 355 gives us yet another Hot Springs Episode, with plenty of fanservice from Gray, Natsu, Wendy, Lucy, and especially Erza.
Beautifully lampshaded when Natsu and Gray barely react to the situation, saying that they've seen the girls naked so many times that the novelty has worn off.
Several of the OVA episodes are dedicated to bringing the Fanservice to life with lovingly detailed animation. Some even throw in massive amounts of Ship Tease to go with it. Due to these episodes, nearly every member of Fairy Tail gets a moment onscreen in a swimsuit or outright naked.
Chapter 365 might count, as it's filled to the brim with Ezra in the nude throughout, as she's being tortured by Kyouka.
Fanservice with a Smile: Team Natsu briefly work in a cafe at one point. Lucy and Erza have ridiculously sexy outfits, and Gray forgets his uniform save the bow tie.
Whether chapter 365 is this or thinly disguised fan-service is a point of debate in the fandom.
A Father to His Men: Master Makarov is very much this. Phantom Lord kidnapping and hurting three of his "children" was what finally drove him to defy the law against guild fights and teach those belligerent jerks a lessonthey never forgot. Gajeel has had roughly ONE MOMENT of Oh Crap. This is a guy who taunts Natsu for fun. What makes him brown his trousers? Angry Makarov. What was he doing? Inviting Gajeel to join Fairy Tail.
Gajeel: "But I hurt your guild members." Makarov: "AND THAT IS UNFORGIVABLE." Gajeel:(Oh Crap face) Makarov: "But so is abandoning a young man surrendering himself to darkness."
Feed It with Fire: Dragon Slayers can regain energy by eating their given element (though not any that they create). Some, such as Gajeel the Iron Dragon Slayer and Wendy the Sky Dragon Slayer, are more fortunate than, say, Laxus (lightning) and Cobra (poison). Though Cobra was smart enough to keep a poisonous snake so that he wouldn't have to rely on luck to refuel.
There's a long string of filler between the Fighting Festival and Edolas arcs. Some are one-and-done episodes like Episodes 9 and 19 mentioned above, but one noteworthy filler here is the first multi-filler material seen in the anime; the 4-part Daphne arc in which Natsu gets forced into a mechanical dragon.
Fairy Tail finally delves into seasonal filler shortly after the 7 year timeskip with the Key of the Starry Sky arc thanks to almost being subject to Overtook the Manga.
Final Boss Preview: Done very often. Zero's first act is to beat the shit out of Natsu. Laxus did the same thing, although he was only stunned. Reitei Lyon's first appearance has him using Gray as a soccer ball. Hades' first fight is curb stomping Makarov. Subverted with Phantom Lord when Jose turns out to be an illusion, and Makarov is taken out by Aria's sneak attack.
Finger Gun: Hades does this after he shrugs off Team Natsu's combined efforts. Naturally, he kicks the crap out of everyone with it.
Laxus and Mystogan are both S-Class wizards that don't spend much time in the guild. Laxus is a flashy Jerk AssSocial Darwinist who thinks he's too good to hang around the weaklings in Fairy Tail, while Mystogan is a Shrouded in MythMaster of Illusion who is ashamed of where he comes from and wants to thwart his father's plan to turn this world's wizards into Lacrima. Laxus dresses in flashy clothing, such as a fur lined jacket and a royal purple shirt, while Mystogan wears baggy clothes in black and gray.
Another foil for Laxus is his grandfather, Makarov: A wise and humble old man with the power to flatten a city and who prefers not to fight except as a last resort. Makarov has a habit of downplaying how much of an effect his guidance has on his highly successful guild, and attributing it all to the members.
Natsu and Gray are an obvious example. They're quite similar in age and temperament, but use opposing types of magic, and Natsu is Hot-Blooded and impulsive while Gray is more thoughtful and methodical.
Erza and Lucy. They're both young, attractive, and want what's best for their friends, but Erza is a calm and collected S-Class wizard who fights with melee weaponry note Though sometimes she tends to take things way too seriously and Lucy is a summoner who's always freaking out over something. They even have opposite running gags; every time Lucy tries to use her sex appeal it fails but Erza always succeeds at seduction. Also Lucy had a privileged upbringing but Erza was Made a Slave when she was a young girl.
Erza and Mirajane: They're both the same age, a little off and were constantly bickering with each other and later they're both the relative Team Moms of the guild. Erza is the stern one while Mirajane is the bubbly one. They are also both The Face Of The Band in their own way; Mirajane as Fairy Tail's poster girl and Erza as one of their most active S-Class Wizards and thus a symbol of Fairy Tail's strength. They also have equally tragic pasts. Erza was Made a Slave when she was young, while Mira was ostracized from her home for her magic. Oh, and they're both majorbadasses, with their combat skills nearly matching each other's.
The biggest since the first chapter. The aura of Igneel is often shown in Natsu's battles. During the battle against Faust, we also see the aura of Metallicana and Grandeeney. Chapter 400 reveals that Igneel was in Natsu the whole time. This also explains why Natsu and Gajeel couldn't pass through Freed's magic in the Fighting Festival arc.
Gemi and Mini show up in a couple chapter covers long before they were ever introduced. Though since they just look like a couple of odd creatures (never too surprising in Mashima works), it's easy to just pass over them.
In Chapter 24, Mirajane mentions that there are only 5 mages (only S-Class members) allowed on the second floor. She only names 4. But since the master is the one doing the allowing, who is the 5th one? Well in chapter 25, we clearly see her on the second floor without trouble from anyone. She gives Laxus an angry face when he teases Fairy Tail that they'd all die. An angry face he claims "he hasn't seen in a long time".
In the last shot of the anime's second opening, Loke is seen standing behind Lucy and next to her Celestial Spirits... I wonder why?
Episode 4 ends with scenes not in the manga, including a battle with enemy wizards, one is a fortune teller who predicts that Gray "will have problems with water and women." Does that remind you of anyone?
Added scenes in Episode 26 hint toward Loke being a Celestial Spirit.
If you notice the cover for Chapter 197, Edolas Lisanna isn't part of the Edolas Fairy Tail guild waving goodbye. Why is that? She's actually Earthland Lisanna!
Remember how Gajeel wanted a cat before the beginning of the Edolas arc? Guess what he got at the end of the Edolas arc. In extension, the anniversary of Lisanna's "Death" Anniversary just happened to be arriving right before the Edolas arc. Guess who shows up while Mirajane and Elfman are visiting her grave at the end of the Edolas arc.
The anime adds in a scene where Gajeel's action figure has a place on it's stand for a small cat. The Natsu/Happy and Wendy/Carla figurines are sold in pairs, so they figure that Gajeel is eventually going to get a feline companion.
Natsu telling Zalty (Reitei Lyon's Dragon) that he smells like a woman. Zalty is actually Ultear in disguise.
Episode 117 is titled "Thunder Crashes," and there's a thunderstorm over Tenrou Island and astraphobia (fear of lightning) running rampant among the Fairy Tail mages present. When our heroes' battle with Master Hades takes a turn for the worst, and Hades is about to finish Natsu off with his Bullet Magic, Laxus makes a Big Damn Heroes moment, surprising both mages by jumping down in-between them, to the unpleasant shock of Hades and joyous relief of Team Natsu.
The last page for Chapter 234, a seemingly out of place page with a boy, who resembles an older Romeo, staring at the sea; he appears again in Sirius Island arc's ending marking the beginning of a 7 year Time Skip, the year is X791, this date could be seen in the boy's next appearance on the newspaper next to him.
During the Tower of Heaven arc, when we learn about Erza's backstory, you see the Oración Seis members, who were slaves.
The cover photo of Chapter 325 had Yukino with angel wings, fueling speculation that her sister Sorano, is Angel from Oración Seis. Chapter 365 had Jellal refer to Angel by her first name: Sorano.
There's some sort of relationship between Gray and Silver
Forgotten Fallen Friend: Subverted. Though Simon and Ur both seem to quickly vanish from memory after their arcs, Simon comes up whenever Jellal plays a key role in an arc, and Ur's fate ends up playing a role in resolving Ultear's story roughly 200 chapters after she was last mentioned.
For the Evulz: Edolas!Erza admits that she hunts people down solely because she likes causing pain.
Fourth Wall Mail Slot: At the end of each volume there's a Q&A corner that Lucy and Mirajane take part of with occasional visits from other characters.
Groin Attack: Lucy goes all out with this one, combining it with Trying to Catch Me Fighting Dirty. She convinces Jose that yes, she is in fact going to use a bucket as a toilet if he's not going to let her use a washroom. Then she winds up and kicks him in the balls from behind in an attempt to escape.
Guns vs. Swords: Erza and Bisca use the same kind of magic and the latter admires the former.
Heel Face Return: When Natsu and his friends return from a mission, they suddenly discover that Gajeel has joined their guild. They are not amused.
Heel-Face Turn: Kageyama, Lyon and most of his underlings, Juvia, Shou, Simon, Wally and Millianna, Gajeel, Fried, Laxus, a Nirvana-influenced Hoteye, Jellal, Merudy, Ultear, and the Celestial Spirits Gemini, Caelum, and Capricorn (though the last was possessed by Zoldeo). In short, Fairy Tail loves this trope.
Then came Chapter 281, it shows that Sabertooth isn't so good after all.
Heroic BSOD: Gildarts does this to Natsu (the local Determinator and Idiot Hero) in the S-Class Trial arc by putting the fear in him. That's right, what dozens of obscenely powerful villains, near-death experiences, and assorted demons could not do in 200+ chapters, he did it in the span of five panels and he did this simply by getting serious. That how badass Gildarts is. It should be pointed that this is a more benign example than usual, for he does it to help Natsu grow as a wizard.
Heroic Fantasy: Fairy Tail as a manga is inspired by European tales of old from various cultures, but is set mostly in a town in the middle of a world fabricated completely by the mangaka where magic is commonplace, and there are parallel universes. Time is measured in centuries that haven't reached 4 digits yet, and yet 20th Century inventions exist, and everyone wears some degree of classical costumes and modern designer clothes for some reason! Swords and sorcery are present in many forms.
Heroic Sacrifice: Ur and Simon. Erza, Juvia, and Lyon all try at some point, but ended up surviving.
Heroic Second Wind: How Natsu wins virtually every battle with an arc villain. He'll get kicked around a bit, either make a speech about who he's fighting for or obtain a magic power up, then defeat his opponent easily. This is subverted in the fight with Hades, where even the second wind isn't enough and it takes his whole team attacking while the Exceed destroy Hades' special power source to stop him.
Inverted in the Tournament Arc. Gajeel and Natsu spend a chapter creaming Sting and Rogue without even breaking out any noteworthy magic. The two then force themselves to stand back up, Sting declares that he has to win for Lector's sake, and both of them invoke Dragon Force.
High Heel-Face Turn: Performed mid-battle by Juvia while a member of Phantom Lord. She is one of only two characters who changed guilds at the end of the Phantom Lord arc, the other being Gajeel.
High School AU: The entire premise of the second OVA. All the characters retain their basic personality traits, but they manifest in different ways. (e.g. Natsu has Tabasco sauce and hot rocks instead of fire magic, Gray eats snow cones and has his stripping fetish, Lucy uses her cell phone to call in favors from friends). The plot for the second half is essentially a truncated Phantom Lord retelling.
Home Field Advantage: Sirius Island, the holy land of the eponymous Guild where any mage with the Fairy Tail crest is given a large boost in magic power as long as they're on the island. Well, it WAS that way anyway...
The whole battle with Grimoire Heart is a sequence of these. Gajeel defeating the first arriving Grimoire Heart members, nearly killing himself in the process? These are only scouts, and the real enemy fighting force, the Seven Kin of Purgatory, are far more powerful. Makarov getting serious from the beginning and nearly destroying Grimoire Heart's airship? The airship is restored in seconds and guild master Hades steps up to curbstomp Makarov. Fairy Tail members on the island miraculously managing to defeat most of the Seven Kin? Hades' second-in-command, Bluenote, steps in and blows most of those still standing away with no effort. Cana managing to bring and use one of the 3 secret magics of Fairy Tail, Fairy Glitter, to bear against Bluenote? It doesn't work because he's just that much more powerful than her. Gildarts, Fried, and Bickslow returning to the island and seemingly overpowering Grimoire Heart members for a moment? Azuma seizes control of the island's magic so that instead of protecting Fairy Tail members from death, it instead drains their power. Natsu, with the combined power of his and Laxus' respective elements, proceeding to kick Hades' ass before finally knocking the guy out? Hades gets up without a scratch five minutes later and whips out his strongest magic.
The arc's ending gives us the ultimate Hope Spot: Hades defeated? Island back to normal and no one died? Cue giant black dragon which proceeds to No Sell all of Fairy Tail, right before appearing to blow up Sirius Island with everyone still on it. Ultimately a subversion thanks to a Deus ex Machina, but it wasn't revealed till seven years later in universe.
There is another one in Chapter 261 with Lucy, Erza, Wendy, Levy, and Juvia. Natsu, Gray, Jet, and Droy try to do some Outdoor Bath Peeping.
Yet another in Chapter 355, courtesy of Walrot Seeken, supplying Erza, Lucy, Wendy and Carla with the location of a secret spring. They don't notice Natsu, Gray and Happy until after they get in and talk about how it's probably not their thing. Then their host joins them too, and quickly turns it into a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming.
How the Mighty Have Fallen: Fairy Tail completely falls apart after the tragedy of Sirius Island and is now a nearly defunct guild that can't get any jobs. The few members who remain are haunted by the loss of their friends and are constantly harassed by the town's new dominant guild.
Because of this, the Grand Magic Games is presented as a way of winning back their previous spot at the best guild in Fiore. Which they do, but it's definitely far from easy.
Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Levy and Gajeel, as partners for the S-Class exam. Levy stands about five feet tall, and Gajeel is tall enough that he can — and does — use Levy's head as a convenient elbow rest.
Elfman, with everyone. Most of the women around him aren't actually tiny, it's just he's so stupidly huge. He's in the running for largest Fairy Tail member, even standing a good head taller than most of the guys.
Erza sometimes uses her power in this way. She loves being dressed for the occasion.
In Chapter 183, Natsu and Lucy find a machine that can change a person's clothing magically and surprise surprise, it's used for more Fanservice.
Hypocrite: Fairy Tail criticizing Raven Tail for cheating. While they're NOWHERE near as bad as they are, they haven't exactly been adhering to the rules very strictly either.
To be fair to Fairy Tail, the stated objective of Jellal posing as Mystogan during the Grand Magic Games is to investigate the strange magic Crime Sorcerie detected. The fact that he had to fight as a contestant was just gravy to him. Now Makarov's intentions on the other hand...
Natsu became one recently, and some fans were not pleased. If there is anything Fairy Tail hammers our head with is the whole concept of friendship, comrades, and teamwork, but it seems that Natsu always has to fight the stronger opponents and win all by himself. The point where Natsu became a hypocrite was when during the tag-team battle between him and Gajeel vs. Sting and Rogue. Natsu actually kicked Gajeel out of the fight just so he could win it by himself. Teamwork, comrades, friendship, all those concepts pretty much went out the window right there.
Miriana apparently hates people who dress up as cats since they're not "real" cats. And yet she's a human-cat hybrid (it's not explained why she's like this or if there's any explanation after all). Natsu appropriately calls her out on this.
Gray telling Natsu to put a shirt on or Lyon telling Gray to put a shirt on despite not wearing one.
Lyon: "Gray, do something about that stripping fetish." Gray: "I don't wanna hear that from you!"
I Am Spartacus: After seeing that the Earthland versions of Hughes, Sugarboy, and Coco have no idea what Lucy looks like, Michelle, Natsu, and the other guild members invoke this in order to let Lucy escape safely.
Immortality Inducer: During the Sirius Island arc, Hades' source of power and life is a device called Devil's Heart. The good guys have one too in the form of the Tenrou tree growing on their sacred island.
Team Natsu (Plus Wendy and even Carla and Lily) charging intoHades' ship while exhausted and with the knowledge that Hades defeated Makarov. They didn't even need to since Hades wasn't going anywhere and his objective (Zeref) was elsewhere. Grabbing Zeref (Gray even knew where he was) and leaving would have been infinitely more intelligent and was never even considered. This is more an example of Honor Before Reason. Perhaps Natsu wouldn't have considered running with Zeref under any circumstances, but he'd be the only one of that group. No, Grimoire Heart had kicked in their door, basically invaded their home and trying to kill them all off, on top of successfully destroying the island. It wasn't that they were unable to consider tactics, it was that they were pissed.
Idiot Hero: Natsu's actually a subversion. He's quite intelligent, he's just too impulsive to actually use his brain.
And that actually becomes a key element in his fight against Cobra of Oración Seis. "This can't be...! This guy...! He isn't thinking at all!" To be fair, that was in the heat of battle... and only when he realized he had to, as until and after that point he was continually trying to use clever strategies only to have them thwarted via mind reading.
Ignored Enemy: The anime occasionally Lampshades this by cutting to the opponent's nonplussed reaction while the main characters are ignoring them to argue amongst themselves.
I Let You Win: How Cana and Lucy were able to defeat Fried and Bickslow so quickly during the S-Class exam.
Also turns out to be used by Mest in the same event.
Edolas!Lucy does this as well to differentiate herself from Earthland!Lucy, though there's a minor subversion, in that she claims it isn't important because the people in Edolas are too focused on trying to survive instead of their appearance. It's still viewed as an Important Haircut by the others, though.
Edolas!Erza also pulls this stunt for the same reason as Edolas!Lucy. Erza knocking her out, stealing her clothes, and impersonating her probably helped in that decision.
Juvia sometimes gets this after misinterpreting one of Gray's comments as a come-on.
Natsu, Happy and Wendy each imagine what Edolas Erza would be like. They're all DEAD WRONG.
Imagine Spotting: Juvia's Imagine Spots are either visible or everyone just knows her too well. Carla being able to see them is probably due to her having mild psychic powers.
Incendiary Exponent: For Natsu a typical meal is usually something like a chicken leg, a plate of spaghetti, and a drink; only everything is on fire. Even the drink. With regards to the drink, maybe it's not so impossible if we consider one of those flaming cocktails◊.
Informed Ability: Erza says that Ichiya is a powerful wizard, but thus far he's been beaten up for comic relief, got taken out by a party of nameless thugs, and the only useful ability he shows are perfumes that can act as a painkiller and temporarily boost his strength, both of which have only been used once.
As if to underline this, his stats given for the Grand Magic Games are downright pathetic, leaving him outclassed not only by his own teammates, but by everyone else participating in the tournament.
Chapter 293 finally sheds light on the extent of his strength.
Intercontinuity Crossover: With Flunk Punk Rumble of all series (apparently because it's Mashima's favorite series, done by a former assistant). And apparently the author of that series's favorite author is Mashima, so that probably helped things along quite a bit. Most stunning of all is despite the WTF, it ain't half bad. The joint attraction of having both series' voices of reason in the same place being just one hilarious example.
Invisible Jerkass: In a filler episode. Lucy isn't the worst offender out there, but the first thing she does when she reaches Fairy Tail is get everyone to fight one another.note She does this after they made fun of her.
(while trying to find way through the labyrinth-like castle) Lucy: "It honestly wouldn't surprise me if there was an amusement park here as well." (cut to Gray, Natsu, Lucy looking stunned in front of an amusement park) Lucy: "What? There really is an amusement park!"
Is It Something You Eat?: Natsu's response when Lucy asks if he knows what joints are: What are those? They sound tasty.
It's All My Fault: Gray does this during the Galuna Island arc. As a child, he set out to defeat the demon Deliora, who had killed his parents. His mentor Ur saved him by sacrificing herself to seal Deliora away. He's lived with the guilt ever since.