Franchise: Digimon

Base entry for the Digimon Series Franchise, a Bandai franchise centred on bond creature mons from cyberspace spread across numerous alternate continuities in multiple media including seven anime series, four manga, and countless video games. All of it originated from the Digimon virtual pet, conceived as the Spear Counterpart of Tamagotchi in an effort to broaden the latter's appeal to boys.

The franchise's first adaptation was a one-shot manga called C'mon Digimon, released in 1997 shortly before the original virtual pet and centered around the competitive nature of the devices. The first appearance of the Digital World, goggles and numerous other mechanics prevalent in the franchise came a year later in Digimon V-Tamer 01, a serial manga which continued well into 2002. Around the same time it received its first game called Digital Monster Ver. S: Digimon Tamers, a scaled-up version of the virtual pets for the Sega Saturn.

In 1998, Toei Animation under the direction of the famed Mamoru Hosoda, created a story board for an anime short entitled Digimon Adventure, based on the franchise (going so far as to appropriate Taichi from V-Tamer). This storyboard ended up being well liked by the producers so much so that they decided that it should be made into a television series.

And so in 1999, Toei Animation was given the task of adapting the rapidly-growing franchise into an anime series. It could have just been yet another cheap and quickly-forgotten toy anime adaptation in a sea of hundreds of the things, and that could have been the end of it... and yet, it wasn't. The result was Digimon Adventure named after the story film which inspired its creation, and despite being a relatively low-budget production, it was lucky enough to have an excellent writing team and to feature a cast of thoroughly fleshed-out and dynamic characters. The premise was that seven children were Trapped in Another World — in this case, Cyberspace — where each met and was partnered with a Digimon. As in the virtual pets, each Digimon would grow stronger and gain the ability to evolve (the American dub used "Digivolve") into stronger forms, as their human partners learned important lessons about themselves and dealt with the serious consequences of ignoring those lessons.

Following it was a sequel: Digimon Adventure 02 Time Skipped forward three years, where the original children had grown up and become entrenched in the demands of life, and so the torch was passed to the two youngest children from Adventure – along with three new children and their partner Digimon – dealing with the rise of a new threat in the Digital World, this time human.

From then onwards, the anime series were set in Alternate Continuities, later established by a series of games to be loosely connected as a multiverse; these games demonstrate this with a Canon Immigrant Ryo Akiyama, who originated in the Adventure universe and came to live in the Tamers universe.

Digimon Tamers was much darker, deconstructive and psychological in tone than before, comparable to Serial Experiments Lain (they share a head writer) or Neon Genesis Evangelion. The setting is very meta: the Digimon card game, video games, and anime are just those in the Tamers universe, until strange turns of events lead to Digimon actively coming into the human world. It's the first show not to give particular prominence to the Digital World (only coming into it in the last half of the series), with its focus firmly on the human drama in the real world interspersing with the consequences of having Digimon around.

Digimon Frontier abandoned the concept of humans partnering with Digimon, and had them able to turn into Digimon. Otherwise, it seems to be a throwback to Adventure: a bunch of kids lost in another dimension and they can't get home until they save it, and happily, they manage to sort out their various problems along the way.

Following Frontier, the anime experienced a Sequel Gap of three years, but the franchise's merchandise kept up alone with several waves of virtual pets (and, oddly enough, an entirely new English card gamenote ) released during this time, introducing plenty of new Digimon. There was also a CGI Made-for-TV Movie, Digimon X-Evolution, in 2005, which remains the only major Digimon production to feature no human characters whatsoever and to focus exclusively on the Digimon.

Digimon Savers came out in 2006, targeted toward the people that had watched Digimon as kids and the basic set-up seems to be a throwback to Tamers; in tone it's somewhat darker and extremely Hot-Blooded. The dub was named Digimon Data Squad. Running around the same time was another manga, Digimon Next, which employed similar mechanics, the same Digivices and the same partner Digimon, but was more like any of the predecessors of Savers in theme and presentation.

Digimon Xros Wars (pronounced ''Cross Wars'') premiered July 2010 on TV Asahi. It harkens back to the the animation style of Adventure and generally contains quite a few throwbacks to it, though its basic set-up is significantly different. A trio of humans lead their Digimon armies in a great war against The Empire with the intention of reunifying the shattered Digital World. Running alongside it was a manga adaptation, also named Digimon Xros Wars, which experiences several unique changes and deviations from the plot of the anime. It is the longest of all Digimon seasons with three arcs, with the latter two arcs noted by their different subtitles: Digimon Xros Wars The Evil Death Generals And The Seven Kingdoms and finally Digimon Xros Wars: The Young Hunters Leaping Through Time, which many fans consider its own season.

From China, there are (much compressed) manhua adaptations of the first four anime, as well as the unique Digimon D-Cyber, and in America, Dark Horse Comics did an adaptation of the first few episodes of Digimon Adventure.

Following the original virtual pet, a massive variety of video games crossing numerous genres have been released for the PlayStation, PlayStation 2, WonderSwan, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS and Playstation Portable. The games starring Canon Immigrant Ryo Akiyama, being WonderSwan games, were never released in the west. The games include the Digimon World series, consisting of Digimon World, Digimon World 2 and Digimon World 3 for the PlayStation, Digimon World DS and Digimon World Dawn/Dusk for the Nintendo DS, Digimon World Data Squad for the PlayStation 2, and Digimon World Re:Digitize and the RPG retelling of Digimon Adventure for the Playstation Portable (Japan Only).

In Fall 2012, Saban Brands (successor to Saban Entertainment, the original American distributor of the Digimon dub) has reacquired the English rights to the franchise. This reacquisition led to the dub of Digimon Xros Wars, now titled Digimon Fusion, which began airing in September 2013.

After that, very little was known about the future of the anime-series. Until August 2014, with the announcement of a new Digimon Anime named Digimon Adventure Tri, set three years after 02 centering Taichi and his high-school life. If you like, you can go to this website, skip the trailer and click on the eggs. If nade-nade enough, they will hatch and more info will be released.

The official website can be visited here. Saban also has set up the following official Digimon social media accounts: Website/Twitter account, Facebook account, Instagram account, and YouTube account. The Nicktoons runs of Digimon Adventure and Digimon Adventure 02 have also been promoted alongside the airing of Digimon Fusion.

Also, it's best not to compare it to Pokémon. You will regret it for the rest of your life.note 

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    Works in the Digimon franchise 



Handheld video games

Console/PC video games

Other Official Media
  • Multiple Digimon trading card games

These series provides examples of:

  • The Ace: Ryo Akiyama
  • Adults Are Useless
    • Leave the saving-two-worlds to the kids. For the most part, all their parents did was sit at home waiting for them to come back (when they even knew the kids were gone). Sometimes, they even tried to stop the kids from doing their Chosen Child duties, leading to the kids' occasionally having to lie and go behind their backs. A few adults — like Matt and T.K.'s dad, Sora's mom, etc. — did help out but in minor ways.
      • Completely justified since the parents know nothing about the Digimon or the Digital World nor can they even enter the Digital World. They could do nothing but hope for the best while their kids go off fighting monsters.
    • Mostly averted in Digimon Tamers. Not only did Yamaki and the Wild Bunch know more about Digimon than the Tamers did, but they were actively involved in the Tamers' challenges, from traveling to and from the Digital World to leading the fight against the D-Reaper. In fact, it was a modified version of Yamaki's Juggernaut program, installed in Terriermon, that ultimately defeated the D-Reaper.
    • Also mostly averted in Digimon Savers. Captain Sampson, while staying in the commanding officer position a lot, bails the heroes out three times. That old man who gave Marcus his Digivice, helps out at times and gives him sage advice? That would be Commander Yushima, who bails the heroes out twice, and gives assistance during some fights later on. Marcus's open-minded mother, Sarah, gives refuge to the heroes after they become fugitives from the Confidentiality Ministry thanks to Kurata. Keenan's parents help the heroes get to the Digital World to chase after Kurata. And, finally, there's Marcus's father Spencer, who is one of the most badass characters in the series, only rivaled by his own son. And his partner BanchoLeomon, whom allows Spencer to share his body.
    • One of the leads, Yoshi, is technically an adult at 18 years of age.
  • Alien Invasion: More ambitious villains have attempted an invasion of the Real World.
  • All Myths Are True: The franchise's very big pool of monsters takes here and there, from the Classical Gods, to Judeo-Christian angelology, to the Four Great River Dragons, to even the Akashic Records.
  • All There in the Manual: A significant portion of the mythology of the series must be pieced together from the anime, video games, and manga.
  • Alphabetical Theme Naming: With the exception of Masaru/Marcus, all the main Chosen Children's names have begun with "ta" (た) or "da" (だ, derived from "ta"): Taichi, Daisuke, Takato, Takuya, Taiki, and Tagiru. Masaru gets included if you say all the names begin with a syllable ending in "a." Daisuke's dub name Davis doesn't fit the theme because it would be transliterated into katakana as DEIBISU. Of course, Davis also had to compete with T.K., or Takeru.

    Masaru is a twist on the theme, same as his series in general: the kanji for his name is the same as the 'dai' in 'Daisuke,' but it's pronounced differently depending on whether it stands by itself or is part of a compound word. Not to mention his surname is Daimon (Damon, in the dub).
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song: In the English version, an action-oriented rap song is used for the first three seasons, an epic chant for Digimon Frontier, and a rock song for Digimon Savers.
  • Amazing Technicolor Population: Individual members of any given species of Digimon may have upwards of three or four colors, by and large due to the principle of Color-Coded Multiplayer. There are, however, a number of Digimon with official re-colors that suggest something of a moral alignment (hint: if it's a black version of a normally brightly-colored Digimon, it's probably viral). The Digimon Almanac keeps a good record of these.
  • Anime Theme Song: Almost all of them are by Kouji Wada, while Ai Maeda was responsible for all the Ending Themes from Adventure through Frontier.
  • Another Dimension: "The Digital World" as described by the human kids.
  • Art Evolution: When C-mon was released its aesthetic was not much different than Pokémon's but soon the "official" Bandai designs were shown to be much more along the lines of a Gross Out Show or 90s "attitude". From there the whole thing has been sliding toward sleeker, shinier designs or generic cuteness though fanservice is also on the rise.
  • The Artifact: Level 5 being referred to as Perfect doesn't really make any sense ever since a 6th (and in some continuities 7) levels exist.
  • Artistic License – Biology: Handwaved, anything impossible that a Digimon (or the Digital World) does is explained away by saying "they're just data".
  • Ascended Meme: In Digimon Adventure, there's an Angewomon and LadyDevimon who get into a famous Designated Girl Fight that involves a lot of slapping. In years since, the two Digimon have been given special slapping attacks reserved for one another, "Holy Slap" and "Binta".
  • Awesome but Impractical
    • The whole Mega (Ultimate) level was this. In its debut in the Digimon pendulums, it required the Jogress of three separate Digimon, or a perfect care record in the case of some Vaccine attributes. Sometimes, the resulting Digimon may be weaker than the Digimon it used to be, such as when MetalGreymon Digivolves to Wargreymon. In the Adventure universe, Mega Digivolution was only possible through the intervention of the Digital Worlds' Digimon Soverigns or the malign influence of something like the Dark Network. In V-Tamer they make the Digimon World more unstable and vulnerable to attack.
    • In-Universe, to a certain extent. Megas go through so much energy that they functionally shorten their lifespan.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Wishing for a Digimon is nice, until it gets loose in your school. On several occasions, characters try to force a Digivolution, and it goes horribly right.
  • Beyond the Impossible: The Ultimate/Mega level was presented as this when it first debuted in Adventure, as at the time Perfect/Ultimate was considered fully-evolved. Matt calls it "changing the rules in the middle of the game"
  • Big Bad: Lord Demon for V-Tamer. Apocalymon for Adventure, 02 had Myotismon/Vamdemon return as the cause of everything that happened in 02. Frontier had Lucemon. Savers is an odd case — while Kurata dies long before the final episode, his destructive actions are causing the entire endgame mess; Yggdrasil is only acting. Xros Wars has Bagramon. The Wonderswan series had Milleniumon.
  • Big Good: In Adventure and Tamers continuities, ENIAC as the first computer, though it only directly appears in the Wonderswan series. And there is even a Bigger Good with the Atanasoff-Berry Computer.
  • Bishonen Line: Many prominent Digimon, both good and evil, are humanoid in their more powerful forms. Some go back and forth.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Nearly every series ends with the final Big Bad defeated and peace restored, but the Digimon having to return to the Digital World and leave their beloved partners behind. Digimon Adventure 02 is the only one with a completely happy ending. How much hope there is they'll meet them again varies from series to series.
  • Bizarrchitecture: An upside-down pyramid building. The Digital World in general has no need to conform to the laws of physics or logic.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: Digimon as a franchise tends to sample foreign words for its monsters' names. Which can cause problems when the franchise insists on translating these same words into Japanese kana and then into English text. You get official names like "Orgemon" for what should be "Ogremon".
  • Body Snatcher: The Royal Knights in the Pendulum X. They infect the digimon that can defeat them via their Master Tags, allowing them to become more powerful by possessing a succession of increasingly more powerful digimon.
  • Body Surf: How the Royal Knights increase their power.
  • Born-Again Immortality: With the exception of Tamers and Xros Wars, all Digimon have Type IV. When killed, they normally turn into digi-eggs and are reborn (though it varies as to if they remember their past life or not, even within the same season). Myotismon from Adventure had a different type in that his soul just kept coming back in a stronger body till it was destroyed. A plot point in Savers was that Kurata found a way to rob Digimon of this, making him able to kill them off for good. In Xros Wars, they remain dead unless someone resurrects them or they can maintain a form of memory.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Sometimes, in the dub, the Previously On or To Be Continued segments end with a character sharing his or her questions or concerns with the audience.
    Izzy: Most curious. With all this excitement, you'd think we were back in the DigiWorld.
    Kari: There's something even more powerful out there, and the only way we can defeat it is with The Golden Radiance. I wonder what (Wizardmon) means.
    Davis: Woah! Tension, huh? But, what if nobody can beat the Devas?
    Rika: These guys have no idea what they've gotten themselves into, but I bet you know!
  • Brought Down to Badass: Several of the Perfect level, then the highest evolution level, Digimon introduced in the obscure Digital Monster were retooled as Adults in subsequent materials. These include Ebidramon, Minotarumon and Mechanorimon. Of course, they're still plenty dangerous.
  • Brought Downto Normal: Syakomon, like the examples above, also originated in Version S and got this treatment. Unfortunately, since he was small and cute, not unlike an aquatic Mamemon, he was reassigned to the Child level.
  • By the Power of Grayskull!
  • Calling Your Attacks: A series staple. Tamers features the humans doing this as well as the Digimon with the Card Slash feature. Savers actually had to have the Bridge Bunnies call their partners' attacks, as they were mute. In the Japanese version, it's averted in all the movies except the Frontier one; no-one calls attacks at all in them. Xros Wars has the names of the called attacks shown in the bottom of the screen.
  • Canon Immigrant: Ryo Akiyama. He makes a few cameos in Our War Game and 02, and is a Sixth Ranger in Tamers, but he originated as the star of a series of WonderSwan games.
  • Can't Catch Up: Once a Season, the cast is divided into tiers this way. In the original version of Adventure, Tentomon has the presence of mind to lampshade this immediately.
  • Character Development: Par for the course with the protagonists.
  • Character Focus: Remarkably done with all main humans. Generally averted with the Digimon, who tend not to get a lot of focus aside from being the human characters' partners. Gatomon, BanchoLeomon, Ballistamon, Cutemon and Dorulumon are the only ones who seem to have a backstory to look into in the first place.
  • Chest Blaster
  • Combined Energy Attack
    • In Name Only; Wargreymon's "Terra Force" and Black Wargreymon's "Terra Destroyer". Word of God is that these attacks actually do have the energy of an entire planet, but they obviously don't require draining energy from any external sources.
    • Black Wargreymon was even able to spam his attack! There are draining moves in X-evolution but they still don't drain much.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: Played With; The anime (and movies) mostly averts, subverts and inverts the trope, especially when played for drama, while Xros Wars plays it straight.
  • Continuity Snarl: The earliest seasons of Digimon suffer from this, in particular because it seemed nobody stopped to compare notes. Digimon Adventure stands fine on its own, but Digimon Adventure 02 suffered from introducing plot elements that nearly all turned into plot holes, especially those involving the cast from the first adventure. Not helping things is the Digimon Wonderswan Series, the first three entries of which (and so, three different adventuresnote ) take place between Adventure and 02, and the fourth bridges continuity with Digimon Tamers. On top of that, at least two video games, Digimon Rumble Arena and Digimon Battle Spirit, have vague continuity with all three franchises.
  • Cosmic Horror Story: The whole damned franchise constitutes one. Each anime and manga feature their own elements of the Genre.
    • 02: The less said of the Dark Ocean, the better. The ending is either pure Narm or Vamdemon conquering everything.
    • Tamers: D-Reaper. Just, D-Reaper.
    • Frontier: The only season to feature an End Of The World scenario, in that Lucemon destroys the entire planet.
    • Savers: An interdimensional collision is the impending threat, which Yggdrasil considers hardly a loss.
    • Next: The Digital World's God Emperor (Yggdrasil) dies, the entire universe gets destroyed and remade by NEO.
      • Couple all the above with the facts that (A) we have such Mons as Megidramon, Millenniummon, Chaosmon, Dagomon, and others lurking in the background, and (B), the SGDL are relegated to individual Big Bad status because they are in all likelihood far too powerful together to oppose, and we get a product that would make Lovecraft proud.
  • Cosmic Keystone: The Human Worlds are this to the Digital Worlds.
  • Critical Failure: WarGreymon's Dramon Killers can cause this. They're especially effective against draconic digimon. WarGreymon himself is a "dragon man" however, and is constantly at risk of serious, self inflicted injury as a result.
  • Curbstomp Battle: Normally, the first appearance of the new Big Bad or enemy of a higher level than the characters presently have is accompanied by one of these. Likewise, the first fight of most of the characters new digivolutions are this as well.
  • Cute Monster Girl: Sometimes played straight, sometimes averted, with both "sexy" and "monstrous" female Digimon.
  • Cyberspace: The Digital World.
  • Darker and Edgier: Digimon Tamers most definitely, and Digimon Savers.
    • The franchise as a whole when compared to other Mons series such as Pokémon. Of course, it can't even compare to Shin Megami Tensei, but that's a different matter altogether.
  • Cypher Language: The franchise uses one called DigiCode (lit. DigiLetters), which is not to be confused with the scanned code in Frontier that was renamed in the dub as "Fractal Code". The cypher has symbols that correspond to both types of Japanese kana and Roman letters, and you can find them on individual Digimon designs, Digimon merchandise, and within the anime as Freeze Frame Bonuses.
  • Deadly Upgrade: Dark Evolution. It's rationalized as a perfectly legitimate potential evolution variation under natural circumstances, but in Digimon partnered to humans, it's an aberration caused by very negative emotions on the human's part.
  • Dimension Lord: Both good and evil examples.
  • Dinosaurs Are Dragons: Agumon and Guilmon.
  • Disk One Final Boss: In nearly every season. A good rule of thumb is never assume the first Big Bad is the final one.
    • Subverted in Xros Wars, where Bagramon is still considered the final threat. Bagramon is actually a rather impressive triple subversion. He remains the main villain until close to the end of the series, and as he's fighting the heroes he suddenly gets backstabbed by his brother-slash-Dragon DarkKnightmon who forces a Xros between the two. Next episode, Bagramon reveals he saw it coming a mile away and kills his brother in a Battle in the Center of the Mind, taking back control and continuing on as the Big Bad til the end.
  • Dub Text: The dub tends to change characters names and ages to make them easier for kids to remember and advance most of them into puberty in an attempt to make them less impressionable.
  • Dying as Yourself
  • Ear Wings: Patamon, Terriermon, Lopmon, and Culumon.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Some Digimon qualify as this, like Apocalymon, Millenniummon, and especially UltimateKhaosmon.
  • Emotion Eater: All of the Digimon outside of the videogames feed on human emotion as the canon explanation to where a Digimon gets power from its human. This is inherent to all of the anime and most of the manga, but made most explicit in Digimon Savers. In a bit of a subversion, the humans whose emotions are eaten typically aren't harmed by this process alone (though Digimon will often kidnap or exploit humans for their feelings) — but Digimon can be poisoned if they get fed an emotion that doesn't agree with their nature (hence: Dark Evolution).
  • The End: Keeping the pattern of title cards at the end of episodes, Xros Wars ended with a card that said "owari" (おわり).
  • Enemy Scan
  • Evolutionary Levels: A big thing in the franchise; although with the six levels being threated as stages of growth it's probably closer to Metamorphosis Monster. Usually also doubles as Power Levels though there are some misleading cases where a Digimon is stronger or weaker than its evolution level would suggest. Notably, Xros Wars mostly abandoned the system.
  • Expository Theme Tune
    • "Change into digital champions to save the Digital World..."
    • Applies to the English dub of the first three seasons only — and Tamers changed that line to "Change into digital champions to save and defend the world", because they didn't actually go to the Digital World until late in the season. Frontier, Data Squad and Fusion have completely new theme tunes.
  • Expy
    • The leaders of every incarnation's team resemble each other in appearance, and most of them have similar typical shonen hero personalities. And just about all of them have a Digimon partner who has fire elemental attacks (Agumon, Flamedramon, Guilmon, Agnimon, etc.) Takato is an exception, being much more subdued and quite a bit more introspective.
    • Guilmon is a quite obvious expy of Agumon. Both are fire-breathing dinosaurs which become larger versions of themselves, said larger version becomes a cyborg, and finally a more humanoid warrior version. Justified in that Takato designed Guilmon himself and was a fan of whatever Digimon series existed in their universe, which presumably also featured an Agumon as the leader's partner — his thought process in designing Guilmon was literally "Agumon, but better".
    • Meanwhile, Shoutmon has a combination of various main Digimon design, while having his own personality of a hot-headed character normally found on human leads.
    • Veedramon was an expy of the original adaptation's Greymon before, their current appearance became standard. Veemon is one of Veedramon.
    • Yamaki, Riley and Ms. Asaji from Tamers are nearly flawless copies of adult T.K., Yolei and Kari from Adventure 02's Distant Finale, down to the latter two having the same voice actors in the US dub. This has inspired more than a few fan theories.
  • Fantasy Pantheon: Given the Fantasy Kitchen Sink, this crops up here and there. Mostly this trope gets play in the interactions between major groups of nigh mythic Digimon.
    • Council of Angels: Seraphimon, Cherubimon, and Ophanimon guard over God's Law, Wisdom, and Love, respectively, and each is said to manifest a trait of Lucemon; together they form the Three Great Angels.
    • The Four Gods: The Four Holy Beasts, or Digimon Sovereigns, each of whom guards a quadrant of the Digital World. They consist of Qinglongmon/Azulongmon the Azure Dragon (East), Zhuqiaomon the Vermillion Phoenix (South), Xuanwumon/Ebonwumon the Black Turtle (North), and Baihumon the White Tiger (West). Azulongmon appears in Adventure 02, while the others are only referred to as the Harmonious Ones; all four star in Tamers. According to the Metaplot, they serve a fifth Sovereign, Huanglongmon/Fanglongmon the Yellow Dragon (Center), who was sealed beneath the earth while warring with Lucemon.note 
      • Eastern Zodiac: The Sovereigns are in turn served by a group of twelve Digimon called the Devas. When they first premiere in Tamers, they are driven partially to wreak vengeance on humans (fitting, since Yamaki has been going around and destroying them) and kidnap Calumon. The Metaplot again serves to give them a little more context by sub-dividing them into groups of three, one per each sovereign, and organized according to the elemental arrangement described on the actual trope page. Xuanwumon is served by Vikaralamon, Vajramon, and Kumbhiramon (Pig, Ox, and Rat); Baihumon is served by Caturamon, Sinduramon, and Makuramon (Dog, Rooster, and Monkey); Zhuqiaomon is served by Pajramon, Sandiramon, and Indaramon (Sheep, Snake, and Horse); and Quinglongmon is served by Andiramon, Mihiramon, and Majiramon (Rabbit, Tiger, and Dragon). Each Deva is said to exhibit a singular primary trait (which may or may not hint at the personality of their master).
    • Seven Deadly Sins: The Seven Great Demon Lords, in possible answer to the Three Great Angels, all come with their own crest resembling their identifying sin and names likely taken from the Ars Goetia; Lilithmon - Lust, Beelzebumon - Gluttony, Leviamon - Envy, Demon - Wrath, Barbamon - Avarice, Belphemon - Sloth, Lucemon - Pride (fittingly, he leads the group). Each member has appeared individually here and there throughout Digimon canon, though the Metaplot links them and tells of stronger digimon that they're connected to. There exist at least two Super Demon Lords, the first being Lucemon Satan Mode and the second being Ogudomon, whose appearance derives from the First Beast of Revelation and is named for the Ogdoad, who may or may not be their leader as Huanglongmon was to the Sovereigns (i.e. Huanglongmon and Ogudomon are both summoned in the card game by fusing any two members of their "subordinate" groups).
    • World Tree: The very host computer of the Digital World is called Yggdrasil. A good rule of thumb is that if the Yggdrasil is present, it will be an antagonistic force, though whether malevolent or not is up for grabs. In a nod to Norse Mythology, Yggdrasil in the Digimon Chronicle seeks to create three servers named for the Norns that tended its namesake.
    • Knights of the Round Table: The Royal Knights are a selection of thirteen Digimon that belong to an order founded by Imperialdramon Paladin Mode. While this order was founded for ostensibly benevolent reasons, it was quickly subordinated to Yggdrasil, who uses them for purposes of network security. Most of them have a bad case of My Master, Right or Wrong, unfortunately, though at least two of them, Dukemon and Alphamon are unambiguously heroic. Imperialdramon PM is not an actual member of the order; ostensibly they hold to his ideals.
    • Four Dragon Kings: The Four Great Dragons, based in the mythos of the dragon spirits of the four seas that surrounded China. This group consists of Quinglongmon (yes, doing double-duty and the most deified of the four) for the East Sea, Megidramon for the North Sea, Goddramon for the West Sea, and Holydramon for the South Sea. This group was one of the oldest and first to be codified in the Metaplot, but has gotten the absolute least mileage out of any of them.
    • The Dark Masters technically fit here but only Digimon Adventure material. Four villainous Digimon (Apocalymon's "children") that were powerful enough to defeat and seal away the Sovereigns. As a quick trip to the Headscratchers section for Adventure relates, given their basis in the Virus-type Megas from the virtual pets, some speculate that Pukumon should have been part of the group rather than MetalSeadramon, though the latter was chosen as a superior alternative, since a Weapons Platform Sea Serpent is more visually impressive than a thuggish blowfish. (To do him credit, Pukumon got a part in one of the Digimon Adventure 02 CD Dramas).
    • The Warrior Ten are a collection of Digimon who were able to defeat and seal Lucemon in the backstory to Digimon Frontier. They ended up dividing their powers into "Human" and "Beast" spirits and scattered them throughout the world. Five of the Human Spirits were given their own lives by Cherubimon Vice, while the others fell to human hosts. (The spirits with the humans seem to have their own "lives" as well, and it may be the case that the ones Cherubimon drew out were corrupted to his will).
    • Twelve Olympians: Another not-fully-released group, the "Olympus Twelve" group of Digimon consists of a selection of powerful Digimon based in, well, you probably already got it. These Digimon have yet to act as a centralized organization, though individuals may crop up here and there.
    • God: A being which the Angel Digimon serve, noted to be an immeasurably powerful being of ultimate goodness and infinite love. Apparently created the Digital World and its laws. There is also a number of Fallen Angel Digimon having "rebelled" against God. May be a human, may be Homeostasis - the weird light that possessed Kari in Adventure, and named in the Xros Wars manga.
      • A note on Homeostasis: Homeostasis is actually the replacement server for Yggdrasil, who went bad.
    • In addition, there are also two other figures that have the title "God of the Digital World"; Huanglongmon and Yggdrasil. However, this refers to their roles as rulers, and not the same being that the Angel Digimon serve.
    • Shakamon is an interesting case. Supposedly the "closest" to Yggdrasil, Shakamon (based on the Buddha) is responsible for the Eastern Digital World's protection... and its ordeals, both of which are because of its love for the Digimon. It is said to be meaningless to fight Shakamon, who will subvert and disperse any "evil" intent.
  • Gag Dub: Similar to how Samurai Pizza Cats was dubbed, but the dub generally avoided this during the especially serious moments.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Although Tamers is by far the most infamous for it, really, all three of the early seasons managed a lot of this, doubly so for their time. Terrifying imagery on Character Development on Heroic BSOD, all with no Reset Button... in a lot of ways, it's astounding the shows were even aired at all.
  • Giant Spider: Dokugumon (with six legs and classified as an insect) and Arukenimon (semi humanoid).
  • Godzilla Threshold: Alphamon of the Royal Knights is a living example of this, since the only times he can exist are when the Digital World is facing a massive crisis.
  • Goggles Do Nothing: Aside from Marcus, every team's leader wears a pair on their head. Only Takato makes frequent use of them. In Digimon Xros Wars, it is somehow seen as a symbol of the leader, as when Taiki is unable to lead, Zenjirou temporarily puts it on. Daisuke/Davis does at one point say "Maybe I should put on my goggles!" He doesn't.
  • Gratuitous English: Almost all attacks are in English.
  • Grossout Show: While this was heavily downplayed even by the time the first anime rolled around it seems the original virtual pets were going for this aesthetic, similar to American cartoons of the period, especially ones that were meant as counterparts of "girly" things (cf. Garbage Pail Kids). There's mons based on feces; rotting corpses kept alive by cybernetics; a psychotic rat made out of brain matter; Horny Devils, ect. The humanoids were invariably twisted, sinewy mutants and even the more conventionally "cute" digimon had a much more toothy, bestial, even sinister look than their later counterparts. Sadly, as the virtual pet fad ended the Digimon franchise was forced to survive by making the jump to anime and video games. It was decided the best way to compete with the Mons in these media would be to ape their aesthetic. Hence we have cuter, less sinister "Child" digimon; sleeker, more Bad Ass-looking higher level ones whose animalistic traits are more Furry Fandom than Kaiju and shinier cyborg and robot-types who are less painful-looking, haphazard agglomerations of flesh and metal Tetsuo The Ironman and more like miniature Gundams (more on the digital, less on the monsters). C'est la vie...
  • Heart Drive: The Master Tag to the Royal Knights. You can acquire these in the Pendulum X V-Pets by defeating their corresponding Royal Knights. If you give it your digimon Congratulations! You just gave Yggdrasil a more powerful Royal Knight to hunt down illegal digimon with.
  • Heel-Face Turn: This is traditional for every season and is expected in the sixth. The Heel Face Turner may also become Sixth Ranger if human. Usually involves More Than Mind Control.
    • Adventure: Gatomon/Tailmon, Wizardmon/Wizarmon, Orgemon
    • Adventure 02: Ken
    • Tamers: Rika, Impmon
    • Frontier: Kouichi
    • Savers: Keenan, Craniummon
    • Xros Wars: Baalmon (revived as Beelzebumon), Grademon, Nene, Kiriha, Yuu
  • Hotter and Sexier: Digimon cards released after Digimon Savers and Digimon Xros Wars have put the female Digimon in more of a suggestive spotlight than before. And it's not just limited to Digimon who are purposely sexy, such as Ladydevimon, Lilithmon and Bastemon; one card features Angewomon in a "defeated" pose with some of her "clothes" ripped and torn.
    • This is all justified because the franchise in Jintrix undergoes artist change, and some numbers of Digimon were drawn by a hentai artist famous for its Digimon doujin, Mercy Rabbit.
  • Humans Are Special: Somehow, maybe because their networks created or expedited the Digital World, humans have a huge influence over the Digimon from evolutions to raising eggs. It seems that Humans Do It Better then most Digimon can do it on their own.
  • Hypnotic Eyes: Gatomon's Cat's Eye Hypnotism move gives her these.
  • Iconic Item:
    • Each season has their respective Digivices, differing from season to season. As the anime series went on, the capabilities of Digivices also expanded.
    • Goggles. They're so iconic, most people associate these with the show, and the The Other Wiki mentions it in their "Goggles" article. In-universe, it is the mark of The Leader among the various Digidestined/Tamers. Only one season broke with the tradition, but subsequent seasons brought the goggles back.
  • Idiot Hero: Several, the goggleheads in particular.
  • Image Song: And how.
    • Zero Two in particular takes it Up to Eleven: all the DigiDestined from both Adventure and Zero Two get an Image Song, as do their Digimon partners. Additionally, each DigiDestined/Digimon pair also gets a song shared by both of them, bringing the total to 36 separate songs.
  • The Imp: PicoDevimon in Adventure; Impmon, of course, in Tamers.
  • In the End, You Are on Your Own: In Adventure and Frontier, to the point where in Frontier there was pretty much no-one else left alive in the Digital World. Averted in 02, Tamers, and Savers — in those cases they had the extensive support of all the world's Chosen, Yamaki and the Wild Bunch, and the Royal Knights respectively. In Xros Wars the main kids never get help outside, but they do have armies of Digimon to use.
  • Inconsistent Dub: As of Data Squad and Fusion, the English dubs tend to flip-flop back and forth between using a Digimon's original Japanese name and a previously-established dub name. For instance, the Frontier dub had Crusadermon, where Data Squad had another of the same kind named LoadKnightmon. One episode of Fusion even used both names for some snow-monsters (Yukidaramon and Frigimon) in a single episode.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Tactimon's could supposedly cause much destruction, if he ever unsheathed it. In fact, even while sheathed it needs an additional seal on it. Next Zambamon practically calls the trope by name.
  • Kibbles And Bits: WarGreymon and MetalGarurumon were the first digimon to be modeled after their toys instead of vice versa. This lead to creative use of kibble, such as Agumon's head and claws becoming the Brave Shield and Dramon Killers or Gabumon's feet, horn and tail becoming his shoulder mounted missile launchers, tail and wings respectively. However, this caused them to fit in poorly with their other forms due to clashing themes.
  • Killer Rabbit: Many Digimon are cute but deadly.
  • King of Beasts: Leomon. His signature move is actually called "Fist Of the Beast King"
  • The Lancer: There's one in every team, who generally doesn't get along with the leader and they normally have blond hair (the exceptions are Henry and Koji, both have blue hair.
    • Henry and Takato genuinely get along, the lancer is Rika.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Look at any merchandising (besides the initial posters and DVD covers) for Adventure, Adventure 02, Frontier, or Savers, and you'll very prominently see Hikari, Ken, Kouichi, and Ikuto happily smiling with everyone else on the covers.
  • Lighter and Softer: The character designs for the digimon themselves have been cleaned up considerably in more recent incarnations. While earlier designs featured a lot of details such as chipped nails and teeth, scarred flesh, tarnished metal, bulging veins, tattered wings and general asymmetry, newer designs tend to eschew those details and place more emphasis on roundness and polished surfaces. There a notable difference between the original Agumon and his savers incarnation or the original MetalGreymon and RizeGreymon.
  • Living Doll Collector: Piedmon.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: The first episode of the first season throws 22 characters at you. Fourteen are constantly seen throughout the series. All show up again at least once. It doesn't help that they get a new name each time they digivolve. Taking the franchise as a whole, there are over one thousand Digimon species.
  • Loser Archetype: Numemon, in the greater Digimon canon, exist because some poor schlub of a Digimon botched his evolution. A Champion that's weaker than basically every kind of Rookie, they literally failed to become anything better. You can usually find them sliming around, serving some local virus-type, or throwing poop at the people they don't like.
  • Loyal Phlebotinum
  • Lull Destruction: The dub usually inserts new dialogue to make the show more understandable for kids or to insert an added joke.
  • Magikarp Power: Numemon and his breathern have one, and ONLY one use: evolving into Monzaemon in the original virtual pets. That is to say, unless you find throwing poop useful...
    • Also Patamon, who's a Ridiculously Cute Critter even by Rookie level standards but evolves into Angemon, one of the strongest Champions.
      • Also inverted. The most famous example is Metal Greymon, who has tremendous power for a Perfect level. Evolving to WarGreymon causes him to lose power rating and have a shorter lifespan compared to other Ultimate levels. Since similar digimon, such as Aero V-Dramon and Cyberdramon, also shared this pattern, V-Pet fans took to calling it the MetalGreymon Meltdown
  • Make a Wish
  • Martial Arts Do Not Work That Way: The entire franchise consistently averts it, which is surprising considering that this is intended for kids and has plenty of fighting, even between humans.
  • Meaningful Name: Matt and TK from Adventures may have their Japanese Names based on Yamato-Takeru, a legendary prince who fought many battles in his fathers name. Matt fought mostly to protect TK. Also, Yamato-Takeru turned into a great white bird at his death. Angemon, anyone?
  • Mechanical Monster: A good 185 or so of them comprise the Metal Empire "family". Specific Digimon species of this nature are usually classed as "Cyborg" or "Machine" type Digimon.
  • Merchandise-Driven: Digimon is first and formost a toy franchise, so much so that having good toy sales can save your season from being canned even if it has low ratings.
  • Mind Screwdriver: Hey, remember that mysterious being of light that possessed Kari in Digimon Adventure and never brought up again? Well, the Xros Wars manga finally gives us an explanation — it was Homeostasis, a being whose job is to protect the Digital World. Replacing Yggdrasill after it went nuts, Homeostasis is much more calm and protective.
  • Motor Mouth: What happens when you have thirty seconds to explain what happened in thirty minutes, although this counts as Dub Text.
  • Multiversal Conqueror: Several of the villians, who have set their sights on conquering both worlds.
  • Must Make Amends
    • Ken Ichijoji, in Digimon Adventure 02, after discovering that the Digital world is not just an artificial construct in which he can play out his anger and issues concerning his brother's death. This method essentially turns him from the Big Bad to The Woobie.
    • In one of the Digimon movies, the little American boy had one of his Digimon go rogue; he had been chasing it all over the US in an attempt to fix it. Even after the other kids show up, he is initially insistent that because it is his Digimon, he needs to make it right, himself.
    • Beelzemon, good Lord, Beelzemon. See the trope page for details.
  • Mythology Gag: Nanimon and Wizarmon family aren't digital world origin, they're stated as travelers from another dimension. The fact is, both are referencing to another Bandai's Digital Pet material before Digimon boom, Oyajicchi and Magical Witches.
  • My Master, Right or Wrong: Usually played straight, as with Gabumon, Wormmon, Renamon, Duskmon, Gaomon, and most of Kiriha's army (in fact, everyone but Dracomon, who just stays inside of Kiriha's Xros Loader and pleads for him to stop, and Deckerdramon, who actually turns on him and attempts to remind him of the 'strong love' he once felt). Heel-Face Turn may include a subversion of this. Once Gatomon realizes that her place is with Kari, all of her dialogue with Myotismon amounts to "screw you." Though she was also helped by Myotismon being a sadistic monster.
  • Nineties Anti-Hero: Many Digimon sport this look. Huge muscles with visible veins, scars, stitches, tattoos, Too Many Belts, spikes, cybernetic body parts and oversized weapons are very common, especially amongst Digimon of early generations. They were created in The Nineties, after all.
  • No Body Left Behind: Digimon normally disappear into data upon death, though depending on which canon is in question, they might also leave a Digi-egg behind.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Far too many times to list politely, here's a list.
  • No Sell: Often happens when the heroes face an incredibly powerful enemy; Their attacks tend to have no effect, until one of them digivolves to teh same level as the baddy.
  • Nonindicative Name
    • Why are the ones that look like bees called Flymon?
    • Then there's DinoBeemon, JewelBeemon, HoneyBeemon, FlyBeemon, CannonBeemon, and FanBeemon, which are, in order, A bug/dragon mishmash, a humanoid insect knight, a bee-fairy, a humanoid dragonfly, a Dendrobium Orchis, and finally something something more or less resembling a bee.
  • Not Quite Dead: While used less often than reincarnation as the series went on, seeing one burst into data isn't always a sure sign that they are deleted, sometimes they reform back together. We're shown the point of view of someone in this state at least once.
  • Notzilla: The Tyrannomon is supposed to be a parody/homage to Godzilla.
  • Nuclear Weapons Taboo
  • Numbered Sequel: With some modification: Digimon Adventure, Digimon Adventure 02, and Digimon Adventure Tri.
  • Oh, Crap
    • Myotismon has this reaction when he sees Kari get her hands on her Digivice. The original version uses the "oh, no!" variant of this trope.
    • Takato and Henry have one when they spot a Deva hanging out with Henry's sister.
    • Priceless one when Kurata sees a very ticked off ShineGreymon Burst Mode heading right for him. Most of his faces after Burst Mode is reached qualify as well.
    • Subverted by Gravimon upon seeing Shoutmon X7. What does he do after seeing a huge, golden Digimon that so quite powerful that his army behind him got obliterated? He smiles evilly.
  • Once a Season: Try to find one season without a main character who is either overprotective of their sibling or has some sort of complex. Try it. Alternatively, try find a season in which a main character doesn't have an unexpected, traumatic past
    • Leomon dies. Even in the seasons he's not explicitly in, a character who dies shares his name in some evolution.
  • Our Angels Are Different: Here is a list, to simplify things.
    • Angemon. A Winged Humanoid with a face mask and six wings. Champion Level.
    • Angewomon. A Winged Humanoid, and Angemon's Distaff Counterpart with a face mask and eight wings. Ultimate Level.
    • MagnaAngemon (Holy Angemon in Japan), with enhanced armor, a sword and eight wings. Ultimate Level.
    • Seraphimon. An armored Winged Humanoid with ten wings. Mega Level. Classed as a Great Angel.
    • Magnadramon (Holydramon in Japan), a holy dragon Digimon with ten wings. Mega Level. Classed as one of the Four Great Dragons (based on the Dragon King of the South Sea in Chinese Mythology).
    • Cherubimon. A large, anthropomorphic rabbit with a jester's frill. When good, a noble and cheerful Sweet Dreams Fuel. When evil, a fearsome and malicious horror with a dash of Monster Clown. Mega Level, classed as a Great Angel.
    • Pid(do)mon ("Pid" as in Cu-Pid), a Palette Swap of Angemon with only two wings. Champion Level.
    • MarineAngemon: A Ridiculously Cute Critter in the form of a Sea Angel (as in, not technically an "Angel" angel, but still wields The Power of Love). Mega Level.
    • Gallantmon Crimson Mode. A Royal Knight with ten wings. Usually formed from a fusion between Gallantmon and another party. Mega Level.
    • Beelzemon Blast Mode. A leather-attired Winged Humanoid with an Arm Cannon four black wings. Mega Level. Is also one of the Seven Great Demon Lords, but is the least evil of the lot.
    • Ophanimon. A Winged Humanoid, and Seraphimon's Distaff Counterpart. A Magic Knight Red Mage. Has ten wings and wields a dual-end lance. Mega Level. Classed as a Great Angel.
    • Lucemon. A Winged Humanoid in the form of a young boy with various markings all over his body. Has twelve wings, which is all the more notable in that he is a Rookie level. Has two Mode Changes, Falldown Mode, and Satan Mode , though Satan Mode contains Lucemon Larva Mode in the orb it holds, which is called Gehenna. The three Great Angels are said to each be a manifestation of one of his aspects.
    • Darcmon, named for Jeanne d'Arc. A low-ranking angel that usually appears in the angelic vanguard, sometimes called the "Goddess of the Battlefield".
    • Guardi/SlashAngemon, an alternate evolution of MagnaAngemon with bladed armor and wings. Is equivalent to the "Power" choir of angels. Mega Level.
    • ClavisAngemon, an alternate evolution of MagnaAngemon with a more defensive bent in mind. Armed with a key sword and has stylized wings. Mega Level. Is equivalent to the "Virtue" choir of angel.
    • Dominimon, an alternate evolution of MagnaAngemon featured in Digimon V Tamer 01. Little distinguishes it beyond being MagnaAngemon turned Up to Eleven. Mega Level. Corresponds to the Dominion choir of angels.
    • Bagramon, a demonic inversion of Archangel Gabriel that rebelled against God for his injustice, and cast out as a result of his failed rebellion.
    • Shakkoumon. An angel made of steel, with one pair of wings. Ultimate Level.
    • Mastemon. An angel in high-tech armor with six pairs of detached wings. Wields the Yin-Yang Bomb, as a Jogress of Angewomon and LadyDevimon, and can travel through space and time. Mega Level.
  • The Paladin
    • The Royal Knights are ostensibly a collection of these, though most often come with a bad rash of My Master, Right or Wrong.
    • Dukemon and Alphamon are straight examples, along with Imperialdramon Paladin Mode (who was not an actual member, but rather the founder of the order).
  • Parents as People: Lots of examples of parents making a decision with the best intentions, but being horribly, horribly wrong — or even just reacting to something badly-yet-understandably-so.
  • Personal Space Invader: In the pilot film, the first Koromon that Kari and Tai meet wraps his ear... tentacle... things around their heads and kisses them repeatedly about twice each.
  • Planar Champion: The various Digidestined/Digimon Tamers.
  • Post-Cyberpunk: Digimon is an extreme example. Everyone, including the Hacker are good guys, they're trying to save society, and are trying to improve themselves.
  • Power Creep, Power Seep
    • Happenes to some of the digimon designed for the the earlier video game adaptations when the Ultimate(Mega) level was introduced with the Pendulum style v-pets. Notable examples of Power Creep include Saberleomon, Mugendramon (Machinedramon), and MetalEtemon who were all designed to be Perfects. On the seep side of things we have Ebidramon, Mechanorimon and Syakomon, former perfects who were bumped down to adult and child respectively. The Pendulum series did this a lot, with four of the five having examples of this. Happened again V-pets came out with Super Ultimate/Level Seven. Thankfully it was mostly ignored by the rest of the franchise that time.
    • Prevalent in the card games. Numerical values creeped higher and higher with every new expansion in the Hyper Colosseum game. By it's last expansion, Adult level digimon had surpassed the Ultimate levels in the first few sets.
    • Some non-standard Power Levels themselves are prone to this, namely Armors and Hybrids. (Digimon Xros Wars looks at your Power Levels and laughs). To take the armor example, a generally good rule of thumb is that the vast majority of armors have a mean power range between Champion and Ultimate, whereas the Golden Digi-Eggs (Miracles and Destiny) range from Ultimate to Mega. In the card game, however, Magnamon is treated roughly equivalent to a Champion due to the nature of the game mechanics (a specific type of evolution getting you a Mega-equivalent from a Rookie would certainly skew the game); in the games, he can generally be counted on to rumble with other Ultimates; and in his Royal Knights incarnation, he's on par with Mega.
  • Power Glows: Isn't it pretty?
  • Protagonist Power-Up Privileges: Almost every season the Hero and the Lancer will be the only ones to unlock the ability to digivolve to Mega — Tai and Matt, Daisuke and Ken, and Takuya and Koji. Averted in Tamers, where all three main heroes and Ryo can Bio-Merge to Mega, but Takato and Guilmon still get a Super Mode. The hero will also usually be the first one to have his partner digivolve to the next level of power.
  • Punch! Punch! Punch! Uh Oh...: PowerLevels + Constant battling = Troperiffic
  • Pure Is Not Good: Some Digimon (usually babies) are described as so pure as to lack any sense of morality. Like Puttimon, for example, the Baby form of Lucemon.
  • Purely Aesthetic Gender: Despite the fact that Digimon may look male (Piedmon) or female (Ladydevimon), because they are all made of data, they simply appear as they do. No Digimon actually has a "true" gender, this rule is kept in the card games and video games at least. The animated series apply it more as Digimon lack true sexual division, but may identify as a gender. Frontier seems to avert the trope entirely and Xros Wars averts it unmistakably.
  • Random Power Ranking: There's no real consistency between the various digimon properties when it comes to how strong any particular digimon species is. One day they may be considered the strongest digimon in existence, the next they may be used as cannon fodder for the new designs. Evolution levels also suffer from this. Several digimon may exist as two or more different levels simultaneously. For example, Whamon is an Adult on File Island, but a Perfect on Folder due to their increased strength and larger size. In theory this means any given digimon species may exist on all evolution levels simultaneously just by increasing or decreasing it's power or size. Curiously, Adventure Whamon(File Island) was drawn larger than V-Tamer Whamon(Folder).
  • Rank Inflation
    • Originally the evolution went through Baby I > Baby II > Child > Adult > Perfect Stages. The Ultimate stage was added later in the franchise with the introduction of the Pendulum V-Pets and Jogress evolution. V-Tamer added another level after that; the Super-Ultimate, but this hasn't really stuck.
    • Some translations (including English) refer to the levels as Baby > In-Training > Rookie > Champion > Ultimate > Mega; so when the sixth level was added it caused confusion as to what people meant when they said "Ultimate". (JP level 6 or US level 5?)
    • The above tends to be inverted quite often in the video games. It's pretty common for Ultimates and Super Ultimates to be merged with the Perfect level for the sake of better gameplay.
  • Real Place Background: A tradition for the franchise, and a defining aesthetic look. No matter how different the Digital World may be, the "Real World" will be extremely faithful to the actual place bar some artistic liberties. Notable examples range from Fuji TV's building in Digimon Adventure, the country of Japan in Digimon Tamers, the Shibuya district in Digimon Frontier, and the Odaiba Bay in both Digimon Savers and Digimon Xros Wars.
  • Recruit Teenagers with Attitude: A reoccurring theme in the series. Appropriately, Digimon's dub was produced by Saban - notable for the Power Rangers.
    • Although it's less "teenagers" so much as Children With Attitude.
  • Red Is Heroic
  • Reincarnation
    • All seasons except for Tamers have a village where previously killed Digimon are reborn. What would happen to a human who dies in the Digital World isn't certain.
    • And then they manage to turn it around and take it into terrifying territory at least once: We dunno what would happen if a human would die in the digital world, but we sure as hell know what happens to a digimon who dies in the real one — they remain a half-conscious, mostly-spectral wraith for the rest of time with no hope of rebirth. Poor, poor Wizardmon... On the other hand, none of the digimons killed in the real world, except Wizardmon and Myotismon return as ghosts.
    • Tamers' third act was more or less instigated by its aversion of this trope.
    • One of the things that makes Kurata in the fifth season so despicable is the use of weapons that make this impossible, effectively making any victim of his Gizmon Killed Off for Real.
    • Xros Wars plays this trope straight with Baalmon, who is reincarnated as Beelzebumon, as well as some others, but otherwise Digimon stay deadwithout the code crown.
  • Retcon: Overlapping with All There in the Manual: the CD dramas included little things like Mimi being present for 9/11, his brother Shuu being the person Jou was on the phone with in the Pilot Movie, and Miyako's "Yamato Nadeshiko Panic!" song, but it also completely threw out the second Digimon Tamers movie, by not having the Tamers reunite with their partners. Or did they? Later, perhaps? We don't know.) According to the drama CD, it seems they don't, or at least, not through the method hinted at by the end of the actual show.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Most Digimon in the early stages, though there are a few exceptions with later forms being adorable.
    • Kenta's little pink partner is MarineAngemon, a Mega level! And now Xros Wars has a Digimon actually named Cutemon.
  • Rock Monster: Various Digimon, like Gotsumon and Golemon.
  • Rousseau Was Right: Played straight in 02 (with Ken and Oikawa), Tamers (Yamaki), and Xros Wars (Yuu); averted in Adventure and Frontier (no human villains), and averted in Savers (DAMN YOU, AKIHIRO KURATA!!!).
  • Sacrificial Lion: If your name is Leomon or has "Leo" in it or you're related to Leomon, you're probably doomed.
  • Sapient Cetaceans: Dolphmon possesses advanced intelligence, but its form of thought is too complex for a normal person to understand.
  • Satanic Archetype:
    • The Devil's two popular personas of Satan and Lucifer are divided among two different digimon: Lucemon, who originally appears as a beautiful angel before gradually degrading into a dragon of the apocalypse, and Daemon, a demonic-looking digimon whose monstrous form is usually hidden in its cloak. Both are members of the Seven Great Demon Lords and Lucemon is the leader of the entire group.
    • Subverted with Beelzebumon. While he's an example by name and also one of Seven Great Demon Lords, he's the only such character with a moral compass. In most of his appearances, he's either a hero from the beginning or starts as a villain but eventually does a Heel-Face Turn. Xros Wars averts this trope completely and makes him a holy warrior.
    • Each Season has its Satan
      • Digimon Adventure has Devimon (basic classic devil) and Myotismon (The Beast).
      • Digimon Adventure 02 has Daemon, who is the official Satan of digimon, and MaloMyotismon (Belial).
      • Digimon Tamers has Beelzemon (Beelzebub) but he's not evil, but the D-reaper posesses many Satanic qualities (lies and manipulates, wants to end the world).
      • Digimon Frontier has Lucemon, who is Lucifer, Falldown mode (who is lucifer in the process of falling) and Satan Mode (The Dragon)
      • Digimon Savers has Belphemon, who is Belphegor.
      • Digimon Xros Wars has Lucemon and Beelzemon again, as well as Lilithmon, another demon lord.
  • Satellite Character: Partner Digimon tend to fall into this depending on the canon in question or how many other human characters there are around at the time; the partners in Adventure fell into it the most. Best averted in Xros Wars, where Digimon are most often treated as independent characters within each army. The few that remain are exaggerations.
  • Series Mascot: Fox Kids used closeups of principle characters to advertise their shows, so they chose Tai, Davis, and Takato to represent the franchise.
  • Shout-Out: Yes, Gennai does sound like Jedi. Yes, he does look like Obi-Wan. Yes, he looks like Ewan MacGregor in season 2. Yes, he is The Obi-Wan.
    • Digimon has lots of Paradise Lost shout outs. Deathmon is named after the demon Death, Lucemon and Barbamon has, respectively, an attack named Paradise Lost and Purgatory Lost. Beyond it, both Barbamon and Belial Vamdemon reference the city of Pandemonium in their attacks.
    • Decoding the DigiCode that appears on Oryxmon and Seraphimon will reveal direct quotes from The Castle of Cagliostro and Final Fantasy XII, respectively.
  • Sea Monster: A common antagonistic force, corrupted or not. For starters, Seadramon and Shellmon in Adventure. Doesn't help that sea monsters are the minority in the franchise, you will be hard-pressed finding one of the protagonists even using one.
  • Shown Their Work: Moved here.
  • Sixth Ranger: Like Heel-Face Turn, a tradition.
    • Adventure: Kari/Hikari
    • Adventure 02: Ken
    • Tamers: Anyone who's not Takato, Rika, or Henry; Ryo is the straightest example
    • Frontier: Kouichi
    • Savers: Keenan
    • Xros Wars: Kiriha and Nene
  • Sleep Mode Size: Partner digimon usually spend their off hours in Rookie level form.
    • Played straight with Demon Lord Belphemon, whose main form Rage Mode only shows up once every thousand years. For the rest of that time, he looks... well... take a look. Though Belphemon actually subverts it by still being pretty huge in this form.
  • Smash Cut: A common way to transition to digivolution in the heat of battle.
  • Solomon Divorce: Digimon Adventure, Zero Two, and Frontier all involve a divorce that split the kids. It would be a spoiler for us to talk about Frontier, though.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Evil: Gennai: "[villain name here] was not the true enemy!"
    • Invoked in the Digimon Adventure novelizations, where it turns out the villains are all actually part of the same organization.
  • Special Guest: Terry Bradshaw. Yes, the NFL's Terry Bradshaw. He used to host a Digithon (digimon marathon) on Fox Kids. Not only that, it was a Super Bowl themed marathon, in which Bradshaw would provide commentary in-between episodes.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Not necessarily a spelling issue, but there are inconsistencies even on this very wiki over whether to use the English dub names or the original Japanese names, mainly because there is quite a lot of Nostalgia Filter over growing up with the dub despite (or because of) the occasional Cut-and-Paste Translation. The Japanese version has recently amassed a fanbase, and both are widely accepted in their own right. It is generally optimal for fandom members to familiarize themselves with both sets of terms for minimum confusion. It doesn't help that some of the English names are plagued by Engrish; for instance "LoadKnightmon" (seen in Savers), whose correct name would be "LordKnightmon" or "RhodoKnightmon" (a pun on "rhodonite"). It also doesn't help that multiple names are used even in English, like when the dub of Frontier named this very same Digimon as "Crusadermon".
    • A lot of digimon (and their attacks) suffer from being written in mostly katakana, which leaves interpretation up in the air. Most of the time, a simple solution can be found, but in some cases, a foreign attack name will slip under the radar due to being obscurenote  or due to the aforementioned Nostalgia Filternote .
  • Starfish Aliens: The Digimon themselves. Sure, they tend to have mostly human behaviors, but they're pretty unusual: They're data-based (as opposed to matter), each subspecies have radically different and varying forms, and even each individual have different forms through their life! They also change said forms instantly, changing in shape and size in seconds (and without regard to biology). Even stranger is that Digimon seem to lack individual names. In fact, most Digimon of the same subspecies are almost indistinguishable from each other. The Digignomes and the D-Reaper also count.

    Inverted, in that from the point of view of the Digimon, humans are Starfish Aliens. When Sora explains that on Earth there are hundred of kids, Biyomon visualizes hundreds and hundred of Soras. Later, Patamon states how weird humans are to Digimon.
  • Stationary Wings: Applies to most winged Digimon.
  • Stock Footage: In addition to each partner Digimon's individual Transformation Sequence, virtually every major Digimon's attacks rely on stock footage.
  • Synchronization: Most apparent in Tamers, where the damage that Digimon take will occasionally visibly affect and push around the Digimon's partner.
  • Synchronous Episodes: Many.
  • Tactical Rock-Paper-Scissors: Concerning the Digimon attributes: Vaccine beats Virus, Virus beats Data and Data beats Vaccine.
    • There are also three "alternate" attributes: Free, Variable, and Unknown. Free and Variable exist independently of the original three-point system (read: they tie with everything). The Variable attribute is connected directly to Hybrid Digimon, while the Free Attribute appears to be connected to Armor Digimon. The Unknown Attribute (which dominates everything) has been connected to Apocalymon, The Diablomon line, Gizmon: XT, and Yggdrasil 7D6. There are a few heroic Unknown Attribute Digimon, too, however: Culumon and Shoutmon, for example.
    • There are also Digital Monsters who lack attributes. Mostly, they're Baby Digimon, but this also applies to the D-Reaper and its Agents, NEO, and Ultimate Chaosmon.
  • They Killed Kenny Again:
    • Leomon always dies, preferably by Heroic Sacrifice, and it's always played for tragedy. Digimon Frontier escapes this by having the heroes kill a Panja/IceLeomon instead, and Digimon Savers lulls the viewer into a false sense of security by killing a SaberLeomon about a quarter of the way in, only to throw BanchouLeomon onto the viewer later... The very first scene of X-Evolution is of Leomon dying!
    • Frontier has Kouichi, whose Digimon forms were lion-themed, and in Japan his Beast form's name was KaiserLeomon. Then again, he didn't quite die, either, although it seemed that way. Xros Wars' very first enemy of any significance is MadLeomon, and he gets killed off in episode 3. Subverted later on that he gets revived as Leomon.
    • Oh look, we have another humanoid lion named Apollomon! He has the noblest of intentions! His Jekyll & Hyde sickness pretty much confirms him being killed.
    • Funny enough, he did not die in 02, namely because nobody noticed him. Those with a sharp eye will notice that when many Digimon show up during the final battle with the Big Bad, a Leomon is amongst them. He has literally two seconds of screentime, but it is the one time he does not die.
    • Leo didn't die, but V Tamer 01 was never released internationally and predates the running gag anyway.
  • This Is a Drill: Digmon, Drimogemon, LoaderLiomon, Breakdramon, and Dorulumon all exhibit this trope.
  • Tiered by Name: Higher-level Digimon often have the names of their prior level with a prefix attacked, such as Greymon - MetalGreymon, or Garurumon to WereGarurumon. However, there is no universal rule, as there's Digimon who change their names entirely when gaining levels, such as Togemon - Lillymon - Rosemon. There are also a handful of prefixes given to lower-leveled Digimon indicating that they're a lesser version, like DemiDevimon or ChibiTortomon. And some prefixes are just used with different, equally ranked versions; such as Agumon and ToyAgumon, Greymon and GeoGreymon, MetalGreymon and RizeGreymon, and WarGreymon and ShineGreymon.
    • Digimon Xros Wars uses a different name system for its main Digimon, Shoutmon. Shoutmon can combine with his friends, and the result is called Shoutmon X[number] - As in, a four-mon combination is Shoutmon X4. By the end of the series, he goes up to Shoutmon X7.
  • Title Theme Tune: Used in the English version for the first three seasons. Though presumably due to legal wrangling, it hasn't been used since Tamers.
  • To Be Continued: Let's just go ahead and say that the dub abused this trope. Xros Wars, the Japanese version, abused it, too.
  • Transformation Sequence: And how.
    • Painful Transformation: At certain levels in both Tamers and Frontier.
    • Transformation Name Announcement
    • Stock Footage
    • Transformation Is a Free Action: Normally, but Infermon averts it to great effect in the first movie. This is actually quite interesting because we get to see what a Digimon looks like while it's transforming, "outside" of the sequence. We get an even better view in the Savers movie — When Agumon digivolves to ShineGreymon, it looks like a series of progressively bigger digieggs which eventually hatch to him.
  • Truth in Television: There is no such thing as joint parental custody in Japan. This adds subtext to the lives of several characters:
    • Takeru and Yamato probably spent more time apart than foreign audiences might think, which helps to explain Yamato's angst.
  • Universe Compendium: The Digimon Dictionary, that is, if you can read Japanese.
  • Universe Concordance: The Digimon Encyclopedia by Chris McFeely, which covered all of Adventures to Tamers, and part of Frontier. It was the main source of Digimon for fans before the advent of Wikia.
  • Voice of the Legion
  • War Elephants: Mammothmon are usually used in this fashion.
  • Weirdness Censor: The adults, besides a few of the Chosen Children's parents, seem to realize there are strange events going on during the Myotismon arch of Adventure 01 but ignore them until they are rounded up and kidnapped.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: A prevalent theme, especially when there are human villains involved
  • What the Hell, Dad?: Some parents have trouble adapting to the Digimon in their children's lives. Other parents are kind of asking for a punch in the face. Sometimes the kids will assume this when their parents are behaving properly.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: Several members of the main cast(s) seem remarkably mature or intelligent for their ages.
    • Kari especially, to the point that some accusations of Sue-hood have been thrown at her over the years.
    • Rika/Ruki seems to be this at first glance in Tamers. Naturally, this gets horrifically subverted.
    • Taiki too, who is quite a different goggle-head boy.
    • Willis, at least in the English dub of the movie, is incredibly tech-savvy.
  • World Gone Mad: The Digital World varies from series to series, but all agree that it is bizarre even under the most peaceful circumstances.
  • Xtreme Kool Letterz: The sixth season is called Xros Wars. Justified, in that this is taken from "Xaos", the greek spelling of Chaos. The "X" is pronounced like a "K" or "C" though pronouncing the western character "X" as "cross" seems to be becoming a bit of a trend in Japanese media. It is two lines "crossed" but then so is a 't'.
  • Your Size May Vary: A lot of larger digimon are prone to being inconsistently depicted across the various mediums. Especially partner digimon, who will often carry their partners on their head or shoulders; Imperialdramon Fighter Mode and SaintGalgomon are kings of this, being to other huge partner digimon as they are to their original humans.

See each series page for series-specific tropes.