Fridge: Black Butler

Fridge Brilliance
  • The fact that no one knows Sebastian's sexual orientation, and that there is both evidence for and against virtually any orientation one can think of, has a very simple explanation. He's a demon. He has no gender or need for physical reproduction, and thus it wouldn't make sense for him to be sexually attracted to anyone, really.
  • Elizabeth's mother Frances knows that Ciel will protect Elizabeth at all costs, but she also relizes that Ciel is not all that skilled in combat. Why was she so sure of her daughter's survival? Because her daughter is just as skilled in swordsmanship as the rest of her family and thereby is perfectly capable of handling herself.
    • Also, the fact that Lizzie hid her Lady of War side due to fearing he'd see her as "uncute" or "brash" ? Makes more sense when you recall this is Victorian Britain, thus a female who didn't behave like a Proper Lady would be more often than not ostracized by others, if not thrown into an asylum. While it's unlikely that the Middlefords would let her be locked away, she would still be looked down something fierce by others.
  • Why does Claude Faustus wear glasses? Because he has "four eyes." Most spiders have four eyes.
  • Ciel and Lizzie have always been perfect foils to each other, both before and after the reveal that Lizzie is an excellent swordswoman since her introduction shows how utterly spoiled and childish she was despite being a year older than Ciel because she is a normal noble child while he is more reserved and mature as a result of his past trauma and his new responsibilities as a noble. Bonus points since while acting much younger than she is made Lizzie an little more than an annoying child to Ciel and the audience out of universe, Ciel is seen the same way by some of the people he works with in universe because he keeps acting much older than he really is. After the reveal she is the gifted swordswoman driven by love to act as something she isn't for the sake of her future with Ciel, while he is a young chessmaster driven by hate to try and avenge his family while giving up his future in the process.
  • At the end of the murder mystery arc, Wordsmith learned the truth about Sebastian because Ciel likes his mystery novels, and because writers often are inspired to write more if they have a strange/intense/mysterious/life-changing experience. During the arc, at one point he thinks about how Ciel reminds him of his teacher (Arthur Conan Doyle based Sherlock Holmes's deductive skills after the skills of the man who taught him to be a doctor). Jeremy /Sebastian also makes deductions and observations in a way very similar to how Sherlock Holmes did in the original novels. Also, he uses an outstanding disguise: Sherlock Holmes was a master of disguise. So the Sherlock Holmes expy-arc made Sherlock Holmes into an expy of Ciel and Sebastian.
    • Speaking of that same arc, while most readers probably guessed that Jeremy was Sebastian in disguise, the fact that Sebastian is still alive receives some excellent foreshadowing when Ciel is shouting at his body. That "stop playing around and get off the floor" speech is the same one he gave waaay back when Sebastian was shot while rescuing him from the mafia (and given how many bullet holes were in him, a poker through the chest is nothing by comparison).
  • Again during the murder mystery arc, Phelps seems to recognize Lau, and even looks afraid of him. Phelps works in international trading, as does Lau. Once we learn that Ciel planned out each murder from the start, it becomes more likely that Ciel had Phelps killed because Lau wanted him out of the way. Although Snake's involvement surprised everyone, one has to remember that Sebastian went to Phelps' room for no apparent reason, and then it seems like Ciel's "explanation" of Phelps being killed accidentally via an attempt on Ciel's life makes one wonder if Sebastian had gone to that room to kill Phelps, and pleasantly found the job already done.
    • Sebastian did not go into Phelp's room for no apparent reason - he entered because he heard the slithering of a snake, so he went to look, simply ignoring Phelps on the floor.
    • Earl Grey got to help with Ciel's mission, but the only death he's directly involved in is Siemens, so everybody else who died wasn't on the Queen's hit-list.
  • In the circus arc, Bard uses a brand-new gun, fresh from the factories. When it jams, he mentions that he'll have to tell Ciel "not to ship this one out just yet." Remember how Woodley turned out to be a weapons dealer? Considering how big Funtom company is, it suddenly seems very likely that Ciel uses some of his company as a front for a weapons-manufacturing business, and that Woodley is one of the middle-men he frequently does business with. Remember, when Ciel explained why Woodley deserved to be arrested, he said it was because he used his power in the underworld to kill off an honest competitor. He didn't have a problem with the actual weapons dealing.
  • Maurice Cole is a literal Green-Eyed Monster.
  • Lizzie having enough strenght to break Ciel's ring has sense. She has been trained in swordmanship since she was a child so she must have strong arms an hands.
  • Mix of Fridge Brilliance and Fridge Horror, but Derrick biting Greenhill is really meaningful. Considering that Greenhill was who delivered the killer blow, that the bite was in Greenhill's good arm and that Derrick was one of the most perfect bizarre dolls, is very possible that he was fully aware of what he was doing.
  • Many of the first-stringers from Noah's Ark Circus have some sort of disability or deformity, but we're never told what Peter and Wendy have. But looking back on the flashbacks, we can see that they're about the same size as they are in present (compared to everyone else, who have all clearly grown). Peter also has a surprisingly mature voice for someone of his stature. This makes it seem very likely that they have some sort of growth disorder. This also explains where they might have gotten their names: from the story of Peter Pan, the boy who never grew up.

Fridge Horror
  • Fridge Horror: Sebastian's weapon of choice for killing lots and lots of people? The silverware. What does Ciel and his guests eat off of? That same silverware.
    • I'd presume Sebastian cleans it after killing people with it.
      • It's still creepy!
  • Black Butler has plenty of Fridge Horror, considering the whole series is devoted to tortured little boys summoning demons for revenge.
    • The most notable happens in the second season, considering Alois' whole life is a bit of Fridge Horror. After his little brother and entire village are killed, this already slightly off boy (who laughed cheerfully as he robbed the dead) begins living as a true city street rat. Knowing how things like that work out, and especially after seeing his reactions to things later on, it's quite obvious that this young boy solicited himself for food or shelter before he even hit a double digit age.
      • Think about this: Jim is only around 11 when he goes to Earl Trancy's manor. There, he living with a bunch of boys in the same condition, being bathed and treated like cattle, all while being a sex slave to an old man. At the age of 11. It's quite obvious even then he is not a virgin, as he dolls up and puts on a beautiful red robe, seducing the old man expertly until the guy's kissing his feet. He even becomes the favorite boy, taking place for the man's son who vanished as a baby - the real Alois Trancy - which allows him to take the name Alois after Claude kills the Earl.
    • It's also quite likely that Arnold Trancy knew of his brother's "hobby", and said nothing of it, whether he himself has the same interests. After all, Arnold seems to be pretty sure that Alois isn't the real Alois, and not just because he's a greedy bastard. Maybe he'd be able to somehow prove this, if only he didn't have to hide that his brother was a pedophile with a harem of young boys in the basement before his death...
    • Alois is often seen abusing poor Hannah the maid during the series. This becomes a little more of a Fridge Tear Jerker (depending on how sappy you are) when you realize that the whole time this abuse is happening, Luka - Alois/Jim's beloved little brother - is living inside Hannah as a soul. Hannah says that Luka is "sleeping", but there can still be questioning on how aware Luka is of what's happening.
    • Finny's vague past as a whole. Scientific experimentation back then was horrible enough on animals. Now imagine it being done to a cute, innocent child. And if anyone's familiar with some of the newer SyFy movies with the same theme of experimentation, there are other terrible tests involved...
    • In episode 8, after Claude so cruelly kills Alois and leaves his body in the woods, a rather tattered and beaten Hannah - whom we just learned is a demon - emerges from the woods, and lays over Alois' body. She calls him her master affectionately, and puts her lips to his eyes, and glowing occurs. At first, many fans believed her to be apologizing to him or mourning, bringing him back to life, or turning him into a demon. Not so. She ate his eye, and kept it in her throat until episode 11. She uses it to scare the hell out of Ciel, allowing Alois' soul to take over. And then, it replaces the eye that Alois gouged out of her. Lovely.
    • Speaking of eyes, we realize one reason the contract mark might be on Ciel's eye during the manga's circus arc. Right before Ciel summons Sebastian for the first time while in the cult, a member stabs him in the eye. You have to look close to realize that's what he stabbed, but, indeed it is. Perhaps putting the mark there also regenerates the missing part, as well as provides for better tracking?
      • In the manga, Sebastian says that "the more visible of a place the contract sign is, the more powerful the contract is". Hence he picked a very visible part (next to your skin, what is more visible than your eyes?) to signify the contract and making it strong.
      • If this is so, and also applies to the anime, by the end of Black Butler II Ciel Phantomhive has 'died' around three times.
  • In season 1, episode 17, when Angela kidnaps Ciel, she uses a cinematic record as a weapon. Grell takes her scissors and proceeds to destroy said cinematic record. Somewhere in the world, someone is suddenly dying or becoming crazy and nobody knows why.
  • In episode 12 of Black Butler II, Sebastian is to be Ciel's butler forever. If eternal servitude wasn't enough, think about this: Sebastian will be starving the whole time. A demon cannot consume another demon's soul, and Sebastian is unable to make a contract with another mortal due to being eternally bound to Ciel. The only way he will be able to eat again is by breaking the demons' aesthetic, unless that code is magically binding, in which case, Sebastian is royally screwed.
    • In both the manga and the anime, though, it's mentioned that demons can consume the souls of those to whom they are not contracted. Contracted souls are just, well, tastier. So Sebastian could eat other souls if he was in danger of starvation.
  • In chapter 71, Ciel is completely calm when apprehending Maurice Cole, even after the other goons rush in and grab him. It's not until when Maurice rips apart Ciel's shirt with scissors that he freaks out and begs for them to stop. Some flashbacks Ciel had during the Ship Arc reveal that before being sacrificed, Ciel had his shirt ripped apart with a knife, cut the same way Maurice tore the shirt. Quite possibly, the bullies reminded him of the sacrifice. So basically a petty bully at a boarding school managed to trigger another student's PTSD.
  • What exactly did Ciel do to “open up a spot” at Weston? Considering that he later considers having Clayton killed just so he can take his place as Lawrence’s fag, who is to say that he didn’t have the father of one of the students assassinated just to get into the school?
  • So we know that during the Muder Mystery Arc Snake attempted to kill Ciel. But he did so when all he knew was that his circus friends disappeared shortly after Ciel and Sebastian also did. While his suspicions were correct, Snake had no confirmation and no evidence, only a few hints, that Ciel was responsible. Yes, there's enough evidence for Snake to suspect Ciel and Sebastain are guilty. Yet he is so completely convinced that he's guessed correctly, Snake basically elected himself to be judge, jury and executioner for someone he barely knew, based on very little evidence. Oh, and when you think about it, Snake sent the vipers after Ciel, a thirteen year old, instead of Sebastian, a full grown adult, when both had appeared and disappeared under the same mysterious circumstances. Most people would guess that Sebastian was the mastermind and Ciel his accomplice, or at best his apprentice, but not Snake. Perhaps Yana Toboso wanted Snake to be Functional Genre Savvy, but when you think about the context he comes across as Ax-Crazy and self-righteous instead.
  • There's too many to list, so let's start with reading or re-reading a scene in Black Butler that has Sebastian in it. He's doing something, giving Ciel advice... and then you realize the implications of whatever Sebastian said/did. There are COUNTLESS instances where Sebastian misleads Ciel, lies through omission, manipulates him, and just fucks with his head. However these moments are always so subtle the reader doesn't notice until they look over it again in depth, or until after learning a new piece of information that changes the meaning behind something seemingly innocent.
    • Going on with the idea of Sebastian fucking with Ciel's head, there is the fact that Ciel has been having nightmares of his torture every night ever since he escaped. The Book of Murder side story implies that Sebastian can possibly enter/manipulate a person's dreams at anytime, so who's to say that Sebastian hasn't been forcing Ciel to relive that horrific month every night? If so, is it because he wants to keep the wounds fresh so Ciel would stick to his revenge, is he simply "spicing up" Ciel's soul some more, or is he doing it For the Evulz?
  • In Weston College Arc one of Derrick's victims is scolded by Redmond and Derrick because he left the school without permission and brought alcohol into the school. Why would he break the rules when the leader of his bullies was the prefect's boytoy, thus drawing his attention? Two options: he was going to use the whiskey to drowns his sorrows or Derrick forced him to buy it. Since Derrick used the bottle later for bribing Agares the latter is possible.
  • In chapter 97 of the Green Witch Arc, the Green Witch realizes her whole life is a lie. The magic she created is actually a poisonous gas that kills any living thing when they come into contact with it. The ceremonies she did to protect her people from the werewolves? Not even needed; the werewolves are just men in elaborate costumes.
    • Also, her knowledge about sex and going as far as to think all men were lustful (hence trying to gain Ciel and Sebastian's trust via threesome proposition/thinking it appropriate to ask Sebastian for "DNA"). Her life has been carefully controlled for years so she had to of read those "books" with the knowledge and consent of the people in charge. Why would they want her knowing about that? And the reason for binding her feet? They did it for avoid her escaping if she discovered the truth.
  • Speaking of living a lie, did all of the women in the village know about the poisonous gas being developed? How much of the whole thing were the women really privy to?
    • Yep, everybody knew about the gas. The whole village was "invented" as a part of a military project continuing the work of Sieglinde's father on the use of mustard gas and it's purpose was simply to keep Sieglinde away from anything that would "impair her genius" and hinder the discovery of the deadly gas. And who was the mastermind behind this project? The old grandma who turns out to be Sieglinde's mother!
  • The live action movie provided some heavy things but nothing more fridge horror-y than this: In the beginning, we're introduced to a boy named Kiyoharu Genpo and since trailers spoil, we're aware that Kiyoharu is actually a girl named Shiori whose parents were murdered in front of her when she was seven and she was kidnapped and tortured until she sold her soul to a demon named Sebastian and came back with him as a boy named Kiyoharu six months later. Ten years later, she's inherited the Genpo estate and Funtom Corporation...huh. Later on, her family history is shared and it's shown that a man named Ernest, Earl of Phantomhive moved to Japan allegedly due to being the Queen's Watchdog and spy and brought his company and wealth with him but he changed his last name to Genpo. So now it shows that Shiori is related to Ciel Phantomhive and Elizabeth. But then it's also shared in the climax that the Genpo/Phantomhive family has always had a curse where the Head would always serve the Queen as her Watchdog and somehow, they'd sell their soul to a demon...as far as the manga's shared, Ciel was the first to do that, which implies he started the curse. Even more so the fact that the first demon was Sebastian and Sebastian is now Shiori's butler, which implies that Sebastian has been the demon that was summoned every time the head of the family wanted to sell their soul... I'm guessing Ciel's soul was just that tasty?
    • An possible explanation to this could be that Ciel simply never obtained his revenge during his life, most likely due to being murdered by possibly the same organization that killed his family and tortured him. It could explain why Sebastian told Shiori that there would be "complications" in the event that she is murdered and that he wanted her soul to be "darker than black" before he eats it. He's been waiting for too long, and he now wants an award that would put Ciel's soul to shame. Though, how come this has now lasted for four generations (implying that Ernest and Shiori's father had the same fate) now is still very questionable.
  • The reveal of the shinigamis being humans who were Driven to Suicide. The implications are horrorific:
    • Sasha is barely a teenager so he had reasons to kill himself before even reach adulthood.
    • Ronald is carefree and easygoing. Whatever drove him to suicide must have been horrible.
    • More Fridge Tear Jerker than Fridge Horror, but Grell is a trans woman in the XIX century. In the Shinigami's OVA she wore her hair very short and acted a lot manlier than now. She probably spent her life pressured to be something she wasn't until it was too much.
    • Then, there is just the punishment itself. The main point of becoming shinigami was to expose those who committed suicide to death on a daily basis until they are forgiven. Not only does this make them see the loss of life and all of the opportunities lost with it (opportunities that they deprived themselves from), but they are also not allowed to intervene and prevent a dated death that does not have any "remarks" on its records no matter the consequences. Although this is really not a problem for much of the shinigami (notably Grell and Sascha), it could still be quite horrible for others.
    • This troper, at least, is completely terrified by what this implies for Will. Since he's the most stoic of the Shinigami we've seen so far, what would have been able to push him so far over the edge? Or maybe his stoicness is a trait he adopted to deal with having to be a Shinigami. Plus, his diligence suddenly becomes tragic when you realize he probably just wants to be 'forgiven' as quickly as he can so he can just be dead...
    • This also brings to mind the exam that shingami must pass; going from the revelation, failing the exam might ultimately result in the person being thrown into Hell.


Alternative Title(s):

Kuroshitsuji