In her battle during the Tower of Heaven arc, Erza has to fight Ikaruga using a katana. The woman destroys every one of her armors, and all her weapons except two. At the end, Erza wins using that pair of weapons. Which weapons did she use? You guessed it!
Ikaruga, as well as Totomaru and Yomazu, are villainous examples.
Keep the Reward: Occurs twice with technicalities being cited as justification.
Kill Sat: Despite how bizarre that seems in a magical setting.
Kissing Discretion Shot: After three whole pages of their lips getting closer, Jellal and Erza are silhouetted as the view zooms out, making it impossible to tell if they really do get their kiss or if they're still just very close before Jellal decides he actually shouldn't.
Kung-Fu Wizard: A large number of wizards, Natsu and Gajeel in particular.
This one is interesting, because the Vanish Brothers specifically mention in the early chapters that the main weakness of wizards is their body, a natural aversion of this trope. However, literally every noteworthy wizard we've seen has been quite capable in the physical department.
To be fair though, Natsu, Gajeel, Erza and a few others are arguably more fighter than they are wizard. Just fill in "chi" with "magic". Possibly because the smart ones realize this and train their bodies as well as their magic. The wizards who live to see 40 are the ones who can dodge a sword.
In the Oración Seis arc, Jellal receives amnesia and has no idea who or where he is, what's going on, and who he's interacting with, but he can remember where Nirvana is and how to use his magic, which he remembers he needs to use to destroy Nirvana because it's too dangerous. It's made even funnier by him saying Erza's name then saying "That's the only word I can remember" before pleading to be told who he and "that person" are.
Happy seems to have a case of this. Carla as well, but to a slightly lesser extent. Except that they really don't. Carla interpreted it as this, but she was really seeing the future without realizing it.
Mentioning that Jellal and Siegrain are the same person is like mentioning that Darth Vader is Luke's father. Honestly, after Siegrain's first on-page meeting with Erza in the manga, where he displayed the ability to project astral illusions of himself to hold conversations with people, it should have been fairly obvious that Siegrain was Jellal's astral projection.
Several villains pull a Heel-Face Turn in this series, with some (Juvia, Gajeel, and Pantherlily) joining Fairy Tail and others (Lyon, Jellal, Ultear, and Merudy) join/form other guilds.
Limited Wardrobe: While some of the main girls (especially Erza) sport a variety of outfits, the majority of the supporting characters just have one standard set of clothing that they're always seen in.
It gets lampshaded by Lucy early on. Later, after meeting two other dragon slayers, Natsu is revolted to find out they killed the dragons who raised them.
During the Grand Magic Games arc, we find out that some dragons wanted to rule over humans and use them as a food source - dragons who were sympathetic towards humans taught them Dragon Slayer magic to defend themselves.
Long Bus Trip: Erza's friends from the Tower of Heaven and Mystogan.
Millianna comes back though.
Loud of War: Natsu uses this to his advantage against Cobra, who has incredibly powerful hearing that lets him read minds, somehow. He tricks him with the phrasing of the attack beforehand as a wide range roar, which would normally mean a gigantic fireball. Nope, it's actually an extremely loud, actual dragon's roar.
It wasn't a trick (though Natsu later insists it was); Natsu simply screamed out of frustration that none of his strategies were working, so furiously that the scream manifested as a dragon's roar that could be heard by everyone in the area. For Cobra, who was right in front of Natsu and having such sensitive ears, the sound was so painful that his attack on Natsu is interrupted and he plummets to the ground covering his ears.
Make Me Wanna Shout: How Natsu defeats Cobra. After "not thinking" to confuse Cobra goes south when Cobra starts fighting back with poison, Natsu turns Cobra's sensitive hearing into his weakness, by performing a Dragon's Roar, stunning Cobra deaf. In fact the roar is so loud it could be heard for miles away, making Lucy think it's made by an Eldritch Abomination or something. And considering Happy could barely stand it with just normal hearing, the effect is absolutely devastating on Cobra's ultra sensitive hearing.
The Man Behind the Man: Zeref, who is doing the manipulating to bring himself back to life (although he seems to not technically be dead). Ultear also plays this role both for Lyon and Jellal. Although in reality that was Ultear pretending to be Zeref. Zeref himself doesn't seem to be aware of any of this stuff happening. Also,Ultear's actions are actually based on Hades' commands.
Man, I Feel Like a Woman : In the omake where everyone practices transforming Natsu turns into Lucy. He immediately begins to marvel at how soft her breasts feel while Lucy tries to cover them with his vest, and can be seen continuing to grope them in the background for the rest of the story.
Also in the "Freaky Friday" Flip episode, where Happy, of all people does it in Erza's body. Erza is not amused, but can't exactly do anything about it while she's transformed into a small, blue feline.
An interesting twist. Erza tries to pull Natsu into one while apologizing, either forgetting or ignoring the fact that she's wearing steel armor. Complete with a sound effect and Natsu complaining about the pain. Erza has done this to Lucy and Gray at least once as well. When we learn more about Erza's past, one may figure this is a part of her psychological dependence on armor and her difficulty actually letting others get close. The gag hasn't repeated itself since, so presumably the issue is resolved. Give new meaning to the phraseBoobs of Steel.
Meaningless Villain Victory: When the crew goes off on an S-Ranked mission to save an island from a curse that turns them into demons, they find that there is a demon on the island that was sealed away in ice and the villains are trying to resurrect it. The villains manage it, only to find that it was already dead.
Mega Manning: This is the power of the assassin Fukuro, who eats his opponent whole and "digests" their powers. He swallowed Natsu and used his Dragon Slayer techniques, but Gray commented that they don't really compare to the real thing.
Mistaken Identity: Edolas arc is essentially about parallel worlds, so when some of Fairy Tail guild members came into Edolas they were frequently mistaken with their Edolas counterparts. Also, it was revealed that Jellal's amnesia isn't the reason he doesn't remember saving Wendy's life. He's never met her before; it was Mystogan who saved her.
One notable example is Chapter 249. Most of the chapter is a mix of Heartwarming and Funny moments as Fairy Tail celebrates its victory, and ends with Zeref telling the remnants of Grimoire Heart that he will destroy the world.
Also occurs during some of the more serious episodes as an unfortunate side effect of the cute little animation in the middle of the episodes: Happy acting cute while a jaunty tune plays in the background. Not so adorable when it's interrupting a big serious fight.
Moral Dissonance: Mavis giving information on other guild members to Team Fairy Tail in the middle of the final round of the tournament, which is cheating. Raven Tail was booted out of the Tournament for cheating. Fairy Tail is now chea- NO, they have been cheating since they ignored the guild members only rule and snuck Jellal into their team roster.
Not so much for the Mavis example, though. She did hold a strategy meeting with the team a few hours before the game to simulate the battle. As for the many simulations Mavis calculated, she could have implanted them into their minds.
The whole reason for Klodoa's (Brain's sentient staff) existence, apparently, to the point that he is killed after there's nothing left for him to explain about the Oración Seis.
Happy often serves as this. Despite being, you know, six.
Mr. Fanservice: Gray. How bad has he got it? His magic training left him with a deep-seated habit of stripping naked for no reason whatsoever, without even noticing. Racer calls him a "lady killer" out of nowhere, if only to reinforce this trope.
There's also the handsome and extremely morally ambiguous Jellal, who gets to wear skin-tight outfits that subsequently get shredded and need to be replaced with a dashing Badass Longcoat. Not to mention the mangaka just loves filling up panel after panel with closeups of him.
Erza can use her Requip magic to instantly change her outfit, in addition to summoning various magic armors, swords, spears, etc.
Also Natsu can use his abilities to cook food and dry clothes.
Lucy gets more Mundane Utility out of some of her spirits, such as haircuts from Cancer and clothes from Virgo, than she does combat. Plue seems to entirely exist for her to hold and cuddle.
Murderous Mannequin: During the Fighting Festival arc, Bickslow move his "babies" inside some mannequins. While they don't become "alive", they can still float around, move and shoot laser beams at Gray.
My Greatest Failure: Lisanna, Elfman and Mirajane's younger sister, almost died while trying to calm Elfman down when his Take Over magic went awry. While the exact details of the event are unknown, Elfman and Mirajane's lives were completely changed after the event.
My Kung-Fu Is Stronger Than Yours: Surprisingly averted for the most part. The main characters don't get significantly stronger throughout the series, with the exception of Lucy, who gets several new celestial spirits (one of whom, Loke, is probably stronger than any she started with). They continue to triumph anyway by virtue of being Determinators and through good ol' fashioned teamwork. That last one makes sense given the strong emphasis being True Companions in this series. Also, battles are usually determined not by strength but by strategy and luck.
It is played straight a few times. Mirajane's victory over Fried was mostly because she just had more power than he did. Elfman had to get a new Take Over to beat Sol. Natsu gets a temporary power-up from Jellal in order to defeat Zero.
Myth Arc: We have yet to go a full arc (with the exception of the minor Lucy-centric arcs) without a reference to either the Dragons or Zeref (Dragons: Beginning of the story, Phantom Lord, Tower of Heaven, Fighting Festival, Oración Seis, Edolas, S-Class; Zeref: Lullaby, Galuna Island, Tower of Heaven, Oración Seis, S-Class), and they've been hinted to intertwine (both seem to be coming to a head as of the Grand Magic Games arc). Whatever is up with Jellal turns into one of these as well.
My Friends... and Zoidberg: Happy gets this when people count the number of wizards on Natsu's team (he even does it to himself). Natsu seems to treat Lucy a little this way too.
How about E.N.D.? It's the most powerful demon from the Book of Zeref, and just so happens to Tartarus's Guild Master.
Narrator: Lucy becomes this from time to time, especially after every arc, as if she's writing the events of the story in a book, a diary, or a letter. Appropriate, as she's an aspiring novelist with a habit of writing letters to her deceased mother.
Never Found the Body: Acnologia destroys Sirius Island and all of the members of Fairy Tail on it with a single attack. No survivors are found, at least for the next seven years.
While fighting Erigor, Natsu is knocked off a bridge without Happy to save him, but manages to change the make-up of his fire to use it to as a sort of rope. He never uses or even mentions it again. In the anime, this is explained as him emulating a trick Macao showed him when he was a kid. Macao's bio states that he uses the same fire magic as Bora, the first villain, and the anime shows this, so it's not like there's no precedent for it.
Also, Lucy's forced dismissal of Celestial Spirits, "learned" when fighting Sherry. It's not completely forgotten later on and is used a few more times (mostly as a joke, but to good effect when fighting Angel), but it comes completely out of nowhere. At least that power is a logical step up from her previous powers.
Not-So-Small Role: Siegrain's first appears to be a minor character whose only role is to comment on the actual events of the story. Of course, he did look just likeSieg Hart so it wasn't too surprising when he turned out to be important.
Numerological Motif: There's one in the Nirvana arc that's so subtle it might not even be intentional. Oración Seis has six members. Sent to stop them are five wizards from Fairy Tail, four from Blue Pegasus, three from Lamia Scale, and two from Cait Shelter. After Oración Seis is defeated, one of them gets back up again and reveals his Super-Powered Evil Side, Zero.
Obliviously Evil: During the Tower of Heaven arc, Jellal seems to think he's doing the right thing in trying to revive Zeref. That he's torturing, enslaving, and even killing others (all of whom are his former friends) to do so is something he doesn't seem to notice.
Official Couple: Aquarius and Scorpio, Edolas!Alzack and Edolas!Bisca, and later their Earthland counterparts after the timeskip. Sherry and Ren also count after the Time Skip.
In the Edolas arc, Gajeel, despite being a Dragon Slayer, didn't show up with Natsu and Wendy in Edolas for some reason. Must be because he is waiting to pull a Big Damn Heroes moment, right? Right, and he pulls a really big one, probably turning the tide of the whole Edolas saga... and all of it happens off-screen. Fortunately, the anime pulled an Adaptation Expansion and included an entire sub-plot covering Gajeel's actions.
The other S-Class Trial fights.
Jellal's prison break. Considering all the parties involved, it was probably awesome.
Natsu has a couple of these moments in the S-Class Trial arc. The first is when he realizes that Gildarts is exponentially stronger than him and he is brought down to his knees by pure fear. It happens again when he realizes that he can't No Sell Zancrow's God Slayer flames. Worse yet: Zancrow can No Sellhim.
Then Zancrow gets this when Natsu figures out a way to No Sell the God Slayer flames and turns them against him.
Natsu's and Gajeel's reaction to Laxus revealing he's a Dragon Slayer.
In Chapter 240, Ultear is shocked when Gray freezes his own blood to counter her time magic. Gray gets his turn when Ultear resorts to Ice Make magic instead—magic that is exactly like Ur's.
Master Hades has a huge one when he realizes that the source of his magic, the "Devil's Heart", was destroyed.
When a pissed off Zeref appears in front of them in Chapter 250, Rustyrose and Kain Hikaru are so terrified they can't even move. Kain is even crying Tears of Fear.
Erza's first appearance gets a collective Oh Crap from everybody except Lucy and Mirajane.
The entire guild gets one when Acnologia shows up and starts wrecking Sirius Island. Makarov is the exception, and that's because he's fighting the damn thing.
The leader of Twilight Ogre guild has this reaction when faced with a pissed off Makarov, Erza, and Mirajane.
Surely in the Celestial Spirit World, one year is one day on earth! Wrong! One day in the Celestial Spirit World is three months on earth. Made all the more funnier by the fact that many readers were fooled on that one.
Omnicidal Maniac: Brain's other personality Zero doesn't care for scheming or plans. He's just a powerful nutcase that wants to destroy everything for the sheer hell of it.
Gray: "You asshole! You're going to attack a man who can't move?" Zero: "It matters little if he can move or otherwise. AS LONG AS HE HAS A PHYSICAL FORM, DESTROYING HIM IS WORTH ENJOYING!!!!!!"
One-Winged Angel: The whole point of "Take Over" magic performed on one's self. Erza's Purgatory Armor is implied to turn the user into a demon somewhat; but we never got to see what it truly does despite her doing the usual "None have lived" boast that comes with a One-Winged Angel.
Opposites Attract: As stated here, Gajeel and Levy are complete opposites of each other but they are the closest thing to being a couple among the main cast since Erza and Jellal's situation is complicated.
Jellal is quite happy to send out minions to attack the Tower of Heaven's intruders, rather than fight himself.
Laxus sits in Caldia Cathedral while everyone gets trapped in Fried's runes because no matter how much he hates Fairy Tail's reputation, he doesn't have the stomach to directly kill anyone.
Hades after defeating Makarov just sits in his ship and let's the Seven Kin of Purgatory take down Fairy Tail.
Orphanage of Love: While not the guild's primary purpose, Fairy Tail also shelters a lot of orphans. Among the current members who grew up as essentially wards of the guild are Natsu, Gray, Erza, Cana, and the three Strauss siblings.
Cana takes Wendy to visit one in an omake so she can interact with kids her own age.
Remember Lucy taking out that whole dark guild on her own? Or Vidaldus? Duke Everlue? No? Well, maybe if she took a few steps away from Natsu and Erza you would.
Also Sherry (who had a powerset custom tailored to beating Lucy's), Bickslow (who had already wiped out Gray) and Angel (one of the Oración Seis who had already outsmarted and defeated Ichiya, Jura, Natsu, and Hibiki, and like Sherry just happened to have the power to steal control of Lucy's spirits). For that matter, by this point in the story she apparently possesses over half of all the powerful Celestial Spirits in the world (ten of the twelve golden keys of the zodiac—which, she explains, are unique). A person with three such spirits qualified for the Oración Seis. Possibly her lack of recognition has something to do with the fact that she uses Summon Magic rather than beating things up directly, and because if she loses her keys she's mostly powerless.
Our Demons Are Different: The series has two kinds of demons. One is the Galuna Islanders, who have human size and shape, can sprout bat wings, and are a peaceful race overall. The other consists of demons from the Book of Zeref, who are generally massive, have unique and deadly magic, and are extremely hostile to humanity.
Papa Wolf: Gildarts, already one of the most powerful characters, is normally a rather nice guy. When Bluenote nearly kills Cana, however, he gets angry...
This is more of a subversion because up until that point in the arc Gildarts didn't know yet that Cana's his daughter.
It's later lampshaded in Chapter 275 when someone straight out of Jackie Chan's Drunken Master outdrinks Cana and takes her bikini top as a prize and some members point this out. If you thought Gildarts with the lack of knowledge that he's her father was scary when he saved Cana from Bluenote... there's no telling what he'd do to the poor bastard however strong he is by Erza's standards.
Paper-Thin Disguise: In the third OVA, Natsu, Gray, and Happy avert this by putting on really convincing disguises while Erza and Lucy play it straight.
Parental Abandonment: Nobody in Fairy Tail seems to have any (living and non-absent) parents except Lucy (at least, until the timeskip), but her dad is an ass. Somewhat justified by Makarov mentionning that one role of the Guild is to shelter orphans. At least the Fairy Tail members themselves (those two who have children/grandchildren) seem to be caring parents.
For Natsu, Parental Abandonment serves as a source of motivation whenever the subject of dragons is brought up: Gajeel and Wendy went through it, as well.
And Happy and Carla weren't so much abandoned by their parents as much as kidnapped from them so that those Exceed children could escape the prophesied collapse of their homeland.
There is Laxus, grandson of guild master Makarov and son of Raven Tail guild master Ivan, but they are not a happy family.
Macao is Romeo's dad, and their touching and close relationship is basically the entire reason they were introduced in the first place.
Gildarts is Cana's father, but doesn't know it. To be fair she knows he's her father, and has known him for the past 12 years and never told him, so it's not really his fault.
Passing the Torch: Beautifully subverted in Chapter 259 after multiple chapters of set-up. Makarov chooses Gildarts as the fifth guild master of Fairy Tail, only to have Gildarts choose him as the sixth.
Perpetual Poverty: Despite taking on some very high-paying jobs, Lucy is always worried about whether she'll be able to afford the month's rent, because most of the reward money gets swallowed up by her teammates' destructive habits.
Playing with Fire: Natsu with his Dragon Slayer magic, as well as Totomaru (who can make fire with weird properties like freezing instead of burning and smelling bad), Bora, and off-screen (until the anime), Macao. Romeo, after the timeskip.
Power Creep, Power Seep: In the Crossover with Rave Master, Mashima was really smart about how to even the characters powers given they are all created by him. Those in touch with Rave will notice that Haru Glory seems to be about only one-third of the way through his original adventure, and the Fairy Tail cast seems to be early versions as well; it was the right thing to do since Haru Glory, Elie, Musica, and others at the end of their adventure could prove too much of a task to the then young Natsu, Gray, Lucy, and Erza who didn't have a Grand Finale to estabilish their maximum power level yet.
Power Crystal: The lacrima crystals, which are used to power almost every kind of magic item.
Somewhat played straight and subverted with Elfman. Him wishing to save Mirajane made him able to finally use his Full Body Take Over magic. Sadly, it wasn't enough to save Lisanna when he lost control. Except it turns out she's still alive.
And again in Chapter 230, when Merudy's sensation-sharing power backfires on her, as Juvia unintentionally uses it to talk her down, with a combination of a Cooldown Hug and Merudy feeling Juvia's feelings for Gray (and relating them to her own feelings for Ultear).
Power-Up Food: Dragon Slayers are powerful fighters on their own, but they gain a massive temporary boost when they eat something of their respective elements, some of which can be very common.
Powered by a Forsaken Child: The magic in the parallel world, Edolas, comes from absorbing people from the normal world, Earthland, and turning them into raw energy.
Powers via Possession: Jellal displays no magic abilities whatsoever until brainwashed, though retains said magic afterward.
Cana's Edolas counterpart lives and breathes with this trope.
Protagonist-Centered Morality: Plays a part in why villains are Easily Forgiven. Take Jellal for example. When he was a villain, the protagonists hated him, especially because what he did to Erza. However, when he shows up in a future arc and helps the main characters, he's eventually forgiven for his past actions entirely. They even protest and are angry at law enforcement when they show up to arrest Jellal at the end of the arc for his past crimes. It is very telling when the spoiler tags become fill in the blank.
To be entirely fair, however, all the main characters do have a strict Thou Shalt Not Kill policy, which they have never broken for anyone, and they're all strong believers in the concept of True Companions as well. There's also the fact that some villains (Brain/Zero, Faust and his court) who are notEasily Forgiven in the slightest. And with the example given, they were more afraid that Jellal wouldn't be treated fairly by the council, as it was stated that Jellal was Not Himself in his villain days.
Also, Jellal helped Natsu defeat Zero.
Protectorate: Never hurt someone from Fairy Tail guild. EVER. Or you're screwed.
Gajeel in the Phantom Lord arc. He drops "psycho" part after his comeback.
Also, the Trinity Raven assassins.
Zancrow of the Seven Kin of Purgatory.
Psychosomatic Superpower Outage: This happens to Mirajane and Elfman after the latter tries a Full Body Take Over, loses control of himself, and ends up killing their younger sister Lisanna. Though maybe not. They're both left unable to use Take Over, because trying to use it reminded them of the incident.
Punch! Punch! Punch! Uh Oh...: The entire fight against Hades is this. No matter how many times they use their strongest attacks and combos, no matter how much outside help or power ups they receive, and no matter how confident they are in their victory once he's on the ground and knocked senseless, he still keeps getting up without a single scratch. Things only turn in their favor once Happy and Carla destroy the machine that's been making him invincible. After that, Hades is pretty much screwed..
Natsu Dragneel, the Dragon Slayer. Justified since Natsu was reared by a dragon anyway, so his name probably would be along those lines.
Erza Scarlet, the girl with bright red hair. Erza didn't originally have a last name. Jellal picked Scarlet for her because he figured it would be easy to remember that her last name was her hair color.
Nichiya, the Edolas version of Ichiya (whose name means "One Night") means "Two Night."