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Full Metal Alchemist: Tropes A to F
aka: Tropes A-F

Tropes for the Fullmetal Alchemist manga and Brotherhood

Entries A-F

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    A 
  • Abhorrent Admirer: Barry the Chopper, to Riza.
  • The Abridged Series: FMABridged, which can be found here.
    • There's also the currently inactive FMA the Abridged made by FullmetalForce, which can be found here
  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: Wrath's swords, shown to slice through a tank, bullets, artillery shells, and glass bottles. Also Lust's absurdly sharp nails, which have given her the nickname The Ultimate Spear among her peers. Barry's giant meat cleaver can be considered, too.
  • Absurdly Sharp Claws: Lust's nails.
  • Acceptable Breaks from Reality: Everyone can draw perfect circles for transmutation. It should be impossible, but who cares?
  • Accidental Pervert: In a chapter in the manga and the corresponding episode in Brotherhood, Winry walks into her room without noticing Edward already in there and starts undressing. By the time she realizes she's not alone, she's already uncovered some underboobs. She almost goes ballistic on him (and everyone else who comes in hearing her scream).
  • Achilles' Heel:
    • Alphonse's blood seal.
    • For Roy, being a fire alchemist, it's water, but only because it disables his spark glove. Since Roy's actual alchemy deals in flammable gases (like hydrogen), if you do drench him, you'd better pray he doesn't have a backup flame source, 'cause you just gave him a WHOLE lotta fuel for his alchemy.
  • Action Girl: Hawkeye, Olivier, Lan Fan, May Chang.
  • Action Mom: Izumi.
  • Actually Four Mooks: The Slicer Brothers.
  • Actually That's My Assistant: Al is not the Fullmetal Alchemist, despite what people may think upon meeting him and Ed.
  • Adaptation Personality Change: While being a Sink-or-Swim Mentor in both the manga and Brotherhood anime, Izumi never provides any help for Ed and Al's introductory Training from Hell in the anime. In the manga, she sends an unnamed character to scare but ultimately watch out for the two.
  • Affably Evil: Quite a few villains, but Greed, Kimblee and Wrath are probably the best examples.
  • A God Am I: One of the main themes of the story, not to mention Father's plan.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Hohenheim invokes this on Father in the Brotherhood adaptation, standing solemnly at the site of the battle and reflecting on how Father always used to talk about how he just wanted to be free from his flask.
    • Occurs frequently in the series: Gluttony dies while being eaten alive by Pride and crying out for help from the sibling he loved most; Envy is Driven to Suicide after the humans he always despised took pity on him and successfully guessed his envy over the connections humans are able to form; and Pride dies (kinda) while realizing the father he devoted his life to, never truly cared about him.
  • Alchemy Is Magic: Although it's presented as a science, alchemy in this series is very much fantastical.
  • All Deaths Final: Verified by Edward going off an offhand remark Hohenheim makes. Bringing back the dead via alchemy isn't just taboo, it's completely and utterly impossible, and any attempt to do so will result in a completely unrelated soul in a completely unrelated body. Things that Truth takes don't qualify as "dead", however, which is how Ed can successfully get Alphonse's body back at the end.
  • Alliterative Name: Edward Elric and Alex Armstrong.
  • All There in the Manual: The omake comics have revealed a few things, such as how flame alchemy really works—by changing oxygen concentration in the air so the spark from the finger-snap explodes exactly where and as big as needed. Of course, the technique's Mundane Utility is also revealed—making women swoon due to oxygen poisoning so Mustang can catch them and easily woo them.
  • Alternate Character Reading:
    • The reading "Homunculus" (ホムンクルス) has been written as both "artificial human" (人造人間) and "the little one in the flask" (フラスコの中の小人). Fun fact: BOTH ARE TRUE.
    • The "Milos" in The Movie's title is written as "hill of grief" (嘆きの丘).
    • Kimblee's State Alchemist title has caused translation problems, given that the word guren means "crimson", but the kanji its spelled with (紅蓮) means "red lotus".
      • This is accurate within the Japanese language as well, guren meaning both "crimson" and "red lotus" simultaneously.
      • He's alternately called the "Crimson Lotus Alchemist" by some translations and sources for that exact reason. Not to mention that since crimson refers to a darker red, it doesn't change the meaning at all.
  • Altum Videtur: A few examples on the soundtrack: "Lapis Philosophorum" ("philosophers' stone"), "Ante Meridiem" ("before noon"/A.M.), "Philosophorum Omega" ("philosophers' omega").
  • Amnesiac Dissonance: After being killed, Greed is recreated and while he has the same personality, he's loyal to Father and more malicious. After unknowingly killing one of his former followers, his memories return, he freaks out and then turns face.
  • Anachronism Stew: The series is set in the early 20th century... with mechanical prosthetics that are far more advanced than anything we have now. They don't seem to have advanced nearly as much in terms of technology in other areas, depending on whether you want Amestris to be pre-first-world-war or pre-second-world-war Germany. Of course, everything more advanced in this world is only due to Alchemy, and there appears to be an even gap between technological progress and magical progress.
    • Also, not severely glaring or anything but given the distinctly European setting, it's slightly unusual that there are characters named "Izumi", "Yoki", "Hakuro", and "Hayate". Considering the country was formed by annexing several surrounding countries, it's possible the more foreign-sounding names came from them, but it's never properly explained.
    • Finally, for some inexplicable reason, tanks are decades more advanced then their actual real-world counterparts during the supposed time period if going by the pre-first-world-war view, possessing traits (i.e, medium models possessing turrets) seen in models that would only be churned out later in the 30s. Not that it helps them against Wrath's blades.
    • Also again, some of the fashions are decidedly un -early-20th-century-esque, such as hoodies on various passers-by and Winry's extremely short skirts.
  • Ancient Conspiracy: Oh so much. Turns out that even the very creation of Amestris and modern alchemy were all part of Father's 450-year plan.
  • And I Must Scream: The fate of the human souls used to make the Philosopher's Stone. Using the Stone up and consuming the energy of individual souls is very heavily implied throughout to be Mercy Kill.
    • Also the final fate of the dwarf in the flask after The Truth gives him his own special brand of punishment: despair for the conceited.
  • Animals Hate Him: Once Father starts carrying out his Evil Plan, dogs in Amestris start barking like crazy. Hohenheim is also a target of this.
  • Animated Armor: Al, of course. Barry The Chopper and the Slicer Brothers from the Fifth Laboratory also count.
  • Animation Bump:
    • The scene of people fighting after Father Cornello is defrauded in Liore and its subsequent use as Stock Footage is animated at a notably higher frame rate than other scenes.
    • Practically any action sequence similarly has a higher frame rate and budget - especially when Wrath is involved.
  • Anime Chinese Girl: May
  • Anthropomorphic Personification: The homunculi each personify one of the Seven Deadly Sins. It's eventually revealed that Father created them by giving them a portion of his personality, and that they are named after the "sin" they are created from.
    • It's curious to note that whilst Envy (in the end), Pride, Sloth, Wrath, Gluttony and Greed (especially Greed) all show their namesake sin in their personality, Lust never really shows any Lust...
      • Gluttony shows just as much, if not more, signs of his namesake sin than Greed. His catchphrase is even "Can I eat him/her/it now?" Lust might not be as blatant as some of the other sins, but there is a reason why she is one of the hottest characters.
      • Lust does show her sin, but it's not the type of lust most people think of: it's bloodlust.
      • None of them show the said sin quite so much in the manga or Brotherhood, rather they are a target of Father's misunderstanding. He hungers for knowledge, so Gluttony is a gate of truth, Lust has her appearance because that's what Father believes to be a target to human lust, Pride is the son because a son is a father's pride and joy, etc. Though Greed and Gluttony show their qualities, they show enough traits of victims. Others, Lust and Sloth most notably, minimally show the sin.
      • Another possible explanation being that while Lust herself is not lustful, she is a target of other people's lust. Notably, Jean Havoc.
  • Anti-Hero: Scar. Later, the Second Greed.
  • Anti-Villain:
    • Isaac McDougal, The Freezing Alchemist in the first episode of Brotherhood, is an unhinged Shellshocked Senior who kills multiple soldiers. He's motivated by disgust over the genocide in Ishval. Anyone who's read the manga can easily see where he's coming from. He also appears to have figured out why Amestris invaded Ishval in the first place and pleads with Ed that the Amestrian government is planning something dangerous that should be stopped.
    • Greed, who has headed in the direction of Anti-Hero as well, doubling as a Lovable Traitor and Noble Demon. He's going to treat his henchmen well because, after all, when word gets out that he's good to them more people will want to work for him.
    • Scar, to the people who don't see him as an Anti-Hero.
  • Anyone Can Die: At some points, it was like a lottery.
    • Actually subverted, since most of the good guys make it alive to the series finale. However, injuries are portrayed rather realistically here like when Havoc got paralyzed.
  • Apocalypse Wow: Chapter 104. Father eats the souls of everyone in the country, turns into a giant, and then eats Truth.
    • And then it all comes crashing down when it turns out that Hohenheim had prepared his own transmutation circle, using the moon's shadow, to restore the souls of the people of Amestris. It's not enough to thwart Father completely, but it's enough to prevent his apotheosis.
  • Archnemesis Dad: Played with thematically — the Big Bad is called 'Father' (and looks exactly like Ed's father), Ed has a very prickly relationship with his actual father, and the first villain in the story is Father Cornello, plus Greed ends up on the side of the humans against Father, who is essentially his father.
  • Arms And Armor Theme Naming: All the military characters are named after actual planes, tanks, weapons, and other technology from World War I onward.
  • Art Evolution: Ed in the very first chapter looks rougher than he did in, say, chapter 104, though this is at least in part due to him getting older.
  • Artificial Human: The Homunculi.
  • Artificial Limbs: Ed, of course. Also Paninya (and roughly half the residents of Rush Valley), Buccaneer, Bald, Den (a dog), and later, Lan Fan.
  • Ascended Meme:
    • Fans started using the number 503 to represent the Ed/Winry pairing, based on a brand of jeans of the same number produced by a company called Edwin. In a later chapter of the manga, the creator gives a nod to this, as Ed is shown to be staying in hotel room 503 (though this is more of a Shout-Out).
    • From the manga, people started calling the second Greed "Greeling" to tell him apart from the original Greed in conversation, and because the human used to create him was called Ling. When Ed meets him again, he decides he's going to call him this.
  • Assimilation Backfire:
    • After Pride absorbs Kimblee, he is finally defeated by Ed Elric due to Kimblee weakening him from the inside.
    • The first time Hohenheim and Father meet has Father trying to take Hohenheim's Philosopher's Stone. The souls in his stone, however, try to destroy Father from the inside out after being absorbed.
    • Towards the end of Brotherhood, the Big Bad Father absorbs his Anti-Hero homunculus Greed, and his Ultimate Shield power with it. Having been previously defeated by Edward Elric, who figured out his extreme defensive abilities are merely carbon-based, Greed decides to turn his powers the other direction and turn Father's body into pathetic frail graphite, allowing the heroes to K.O. Father for good.
  • Assimilation Plot: What the higher-ups at Central take Father's scheme to be.
  • The Atoner: Dr. Marcoh, Mustang, Hawkeye... in fact, many of the characters who were part of the Ishval war and regret what happened. Also Ed and Al, after their attempt of the taboo. And Scar. Redemption is a major theme of the story.
  • Author Appeal:
    • Hiromu Arakawa thinks men should be muscular and big, and women should be bosomy and curvy. That probably won't surprise anyone. The Armstrong siblings (with the exception of those two sisters who look like Alex) exemplify this principle. Specifically, in one of the omake in volume 12, she writes, "Men should be buffed and women should be vavoom!" This is apparently because of her rural Hokkaido upbringing.
    • Even Edward isn't immune; despite his height problems, the guy's massively ripped, though not quite the level of Armstrong. But still enough to make him smoking.
  • Author Avatar: Hiromu Arakawa draws herself as a talking bipedal cow in omake strips. She also has a cameo appearance in this form in the original anime series.
    • In the Broken Angel and Curse of the Crimson Elixir games, the cow is a rare but powerful alchemic item. She runs around and bops enemies with an oversized pen.
  • Ax-Crazy: Barry the Chopper, though he prefers meat cleavers. Envy gets like this whenever he loses restraint. Then, of course, there's the psychopath Solf J. Kimblee.
    • And in chapter 95 (episode 54 of Brotherhood), Mustang was going BOOM-crazy against Envy. He calmed down, though.
  • Awesome McCoolname: Almost everyone, save maybe Yoki and Denny Brosh.

    B 
  • Babies Ever After: Shown in the final picture montage of Chapter 108. Even applies to Black Hayate.
  • Back for the Finale: Maria Ross.
  • Back from the Dead: Repeatedly defied. It's made very clear that resurrecting a person is impossible—even physically reconstructing a body won't work without the appropriate soul.
    • Except one major case, where Hohenheim manages to do this to the entirety of Amestris by out-gambitting Father's countrywide transmutation circle.
  • Badass: Ed, Al, Scar, Roy, Riza, Greed, Izumi, Sig, Olivier, Wrath, Hughes, Ling, Lan Fan, Fu, Lust, Armstrong... Chapter 96 confirms that the Curtis couple are one the most badass couples of all. King Bradley, also, may seriously be the epitome of Badass.
    • Bradley gets a special mention. It took ninety-nine chapters for someone to wound him. In chapter 97 he effortlessly destroys a freaking tank while armed with only a sword and a single grenade. And he's over 60.
    • Hohenheim is confirmed to be so in chapter 105 where it's revealed he managed to outgambit Father. This makes him a Cloudcuckoolander Badass.
    • Kimblee is badass enough that even after being absorbed by Pride and turned into energy, he manages to maintain his individuality and cause a problem for Pride at just the right moment for Ed to defeat him.
    • Back-to-Back Badasses: Roy and Riza in episode 57 of the anime.
    • Badass Adorable:
      • May Chang. Long range alkahestry is awesome!
      • See also her miniature dwarf panda, Xiaomei. She mimics May's kung fu moves rather well, and she can swallow your fist whole in the blink of a second.
      • As below, Catherine Armstrong. Sweet, quiet, demure, and throws pianos.
    • Badass Army: Briggs army.
    • Badass Boast: Right at the beginning.
      Cornello: This time I will have to send you to God myself!
      Ed: Nope. God hates us. Even if we go, He'll just send us back!
    • Badass Bookworm: The whole concept of being an Alchemist.
    • Badass Crew: The gang Greed and Edward form later in the series. So badass in fact, that they're quite capable of taking on an empowered Pride.
    • Badass Family:
      • Ed and his brother and his father are all talented alchemists.
      • The homunculi and Father are related to them by blood so one can say that all of Hohenheim's family is Badass.
      • The Armstrong family is also comprised entirely of badasses. Alexander Louis Armstrong is positively ripped, and can even hold his own against Sloth for a good while. Olivier Mira Armstrong is a no-nonsense general who shows no sympathy for physical or emotional weakness in others, and will straight-up murder your ass if you threaten her underlings. And little innocent Catherine can lift a piano with ''one hand''.
    • Badass Grandpa:
      • Fu.
      • Bradley definitely fits this too, even if he’s not an actual grandfather.
    • Badass in a Nice Suit: Mustang tends to clean up nicely in a snazzy period suit when not in uniform, but the prize goes to Kimblee, easily being the symbolic Man in White in manga and anime with his pristine all-white suit, Badass Longcoat, Fedora of Asskicking and pink Scarf of Asskicking.
    • Badass Mustache:
      • Alex Louis Armstrong.
      • Fuhrer Bradley.
      • Buccaneer has a badass fu-manchu.
      • Basque Grand.
    • Badass Normal: Hughes, Olivier, Riza, Havoc, Fu, Ling before he becomes possessed by Greed. Also, Lan Fan used to be one, but now she has an automail arm so she can't really count as "normal" anymore.
      • If warrior monks count as normal, then Scar used to be one before he was given his Red Right Hand.
      • Sig Curtis.
      • BUCCANEER. Cut down not once but twice by Wrath/Bradley, he lands the first hit on Wrath in the whole series by taking the sword that he was impaled with and using Fuu's almost-corpse as cover to stab Wrath in the stomach.
    • Badass Pacifist: Winry, the Rockbells, and Scarbro.
    • Underestimating Badassery: Try Tim Marcoh. Don't believe it? Just ask Envy.
    • World of Badass: Somewhere around the housewife and the little girl punching people's faces in it becomes apparent that any random person may have ass-kicking potential.
  • Bad Bad Acting: Envy chastises Zampano for his bad acting when being Dr. Marcoh's group asks where Zampano found an Ishvalan boy (Envy in disguise), but Zampano turns out to be convincingly stringing Envy all along into their trap.
  • Bad-Guy Bar: The Devils' Nest
  • Bare Your Midriff: Envy when in usual androgynous form. Winry's work clothes.
  • Batman Gambit: Doctor Marcoh's plan to lure Envy into a trap hinged on the latter being SO sadistic that it would most certainly come to Marcoh personally.
  • Battle Couple:
    • Izumi and Sig Curtis.
    • Roy Mustang and Riza Hawkeye have the "battle" part down, at least. The "couple" bit is in the works.
      • It's now been outright confirmed by Word of God in the third art book.
    • Ling fights alongside Lan Fan with spectacular results, but similar to the aforementioned Roy and Riza, the "couple" part is complicated.
  • Beam-O-War: Happens in The Sacred Star of Milos between the Crichton siblings.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension:
    • Ed and Winry.
    • Averted with Roy and Riza, who are nearly always respectful, professional and conscientious towards one another, with the occasional very small, very subtle nod to their past.
  • Berserk Button: Has it's own page.
  • Berserker Tears: Hawkeye combines this with a Roaring Rampage of Revenge when Lust says she killed Mustang.
  • Beta Couple: Roy/Riza, sort of. They’re thick as thieves and don’t have any problem speaking their mind to each other (in contrast to Ed and Winry), though their relationship is not confirmed to be romantic in nature until after the series’ end.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: After Shou Tucker transmutes his dog and daughter into a talking chimera, Ed beats the ever-living crap out of him and Al has to stop his brother from killing him with his bare hands. Tucker takes this chance to gloat about having to dirty your hands to get things done. Al doesn't take to this very lightly. Considering his status as a Gentle Giant Genius Bruiser Badass Bookworm, this isn't exactly the smart thing to do.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: after being the resident Butt Monkey for countless episodes, Yoki finally manages to do something important: ramming Pride with a car, saving Al, Marcoh and Heinkel in the process.
  • Beyond the Impossible:
    • Subverted. You cannot beat Equivalent Exchange, no matter what you do. Not that will stop Ed and Al from Walking the Earth to do research into finding a new law at the end of the series, of course.
    • Played straight with Kimblee near the end. maintaining his consciousness after assimilation by Pride, and then holding him back from fleeing his body. The former alone is stated to be impossible and demonstrated as such by Father.
  • Bicep-Polishing Gesture: Armstrong, constantly. Sig Curtis joins in occasionally.
  • Big Bad: Father. Which is ironic, considering his name...
  • Big Bad Ensemble: The Sacred Star of Milos has Atlas and Herschel.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Multiple times, especially in later chapters. Hohenheim even lampshades it.
  • Big Eater: Ling Yao and possibly Lan Fan. However, Gluttony tops them.
    • By her own admission, Olivier may be one. When Mustang offered to take her to dinner, she replied "Please. I'd eat you out of house and home."
  • Big Friendly Dog: Winry's dog Den and Nina Tucker's dog Alexander. Black Hayate is a Little Friendly Dog.
  • Big Good: Hohenheim.
  • Big Guy, Little Guy: Al and Ed. Translation from a 2006 interview: The reason Al is in a huge suit of armor is to make him a large-sized character, contrasting to the short-sized main protagonist.
  • Big "NO!":
    • Greed, after killing Bido and getting his memories back.
    • Major Armstrong gets a few during his fight with Olivier in episode 45 of Brotherhood. They only add to the humor of the scene.
    • Ed in chapter 107, when Al sacrifices his soul in exchange for Ed's right arm.
  • Big Screwed-Up Family:
  • Bishie Sparkle: The entire Armstrong family.
  • Bishōnen:
    • Parodied when May Chang imagines what the Elrics must look like.
    • Roy Mustang plays it pretty damn straight.
    • Major Armstrong, as far as Hiromu Arakawa is concerned. She loves muscled men like him.
  • Bishonen Line: Father crosses this with a vengeance. He goes from bearded old man to vaguely humanoid blob of shadows to giant black version of one of the cyclops soldiers to teenage Hohenheim. Or as he's identified in-story, the one who looks like Fullmetal without the automail.
  • Blade Below the Shoulder: Ed can transmute his automail arm into one, and Lan Fan's automail also includes one; Lust's Ultimate Lance is a variation, and similarly, Greed sometimes does this with his arm, using the razor-sharp claws he has in his Ultimate Shield form.
  • The Blank: The Truth/The World/God (what Ed meets behind The Doors) is pretty literally a blank. Except that creepy Gluttony-esque grin, and occasionally some stolen limbs. If you look closely, you realize that it takes on the shape (outline) of whoever it's talking to. This is spelled out when it finally confronts Father's original form.
  • Blatant Lies: Olivier does it hilariously in chapter 67, while speaking one-on-one with Raven.
  • Blessed with Suck:
    • Sure, she's easily one of the most powerful alchemists ever, but in gaining the ability to transmute without a circle, and by extension kick the bad guy's ass with alchemy in a heartbeat, Izumi lost some internal organs and the ability to have children.
    • In a way, even though it is portrayed as mostly a helpful and necessary power, Alchemy in the long term is shown to be very detrimental to both those who practice it and those who don't, as Alchemy is ultimately the main source of strife within the series. Alchemists by definition are blessed with suck.
      • May Chang reveals that this is only true in Amestris where the philosopher's stone Father made is blocking the natural energy of the earth. Otherwise it would be powered by the natural energy released from things like volcanoes and earthquakes. This is why Father was able to stop Ed and Al from using alchemy while Scar and May Chang can still use their alkahestry.
    • Being a State Alchemist is a pretty sweet deal... if you don't mind being a slave in all but name to a corrupt, ridiculously trigger-happy military dictatorship, and being viewed as a freak, sellout or worse by citizens.
  • Bloody Horror:
    • Scar is a Serial Killer bent on revenge against alchemists. He can tear apart the alchemical makeup of his victims with an alchemic circle tattoo on his arm, often leaving bloody mess in his wake. The only real reason for him to kill the alchemists in such a bloody way, instead of disintegrating them completely, and leaving no evidence behind is the fear factor.
    • It's pretty common place whenever Fuhrer Bradley fights for him to Paint the Town Red, as well. People are clearly terrified of him when he does.
    • Ed and Al's teacher Izumi coughing up blood is played for fear for her condition. It turns out the reason is because she's missing some of her organs after an attempted human transmutation.
  • Blood Knight:
  • Bloody Murder: Isaac McDougal transmutes blood from his wounds into spears.
  • Board to Death: An event during the Ishval war described in flashback by both Barry the Chopper and Dr. Marcoh. A group of members working for the Army were involved in the operation to make a miniature philosopher's stone for combat use. When they went to the meeting to set this plan into operation, they provided the ingredients for the stone. Dr. Marcoh was the one who carried this out.
  • Bodyguard Crush: Pretty much outright stated with Lan Fan and Ling. Strongly hinted at with Roy and Riza.
  • Body Double: Father and Hohenheim. Quite literally.
  • Body Horror:
    • Virtually any biological alchemy has at least a bit of it, as well as the effects of the "rebounds".
    • Envy takes the prize. Envy's ultimate form consists primarily of masses upon masses of human bodies otherwise compressed within itself, which explains its ludicrous density and weight. Envy's remarkably sloppy with them, too. If it bites down on its "tongue" a little too quickly, pieces will go flying off.
    • Chimerae. They aren't born, they're made.
    • The horde of zombies splitting off from Father's body.
    • Father, with Greed's arm stuck mid-way in his face. And even then he takes on the heroes, while Greed just tries to stay out of the way.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Barry is the dark side of this in the manga, along with Ax-Crazy and a dose of Heroic Comedic Sociopath.
  • Book Ends:
    • A straighter version would be the beginning and ending narration of the first anime. The series begins with two lines of narration about how nothing can be learned or gained without pain and sacrifice. The series ends with the same lines, plus two more lines accentuating that you can overcome that pain and gain back even more than what you originally lost.
      • Even straighter is the first and last pages of the manga. They are practically the same, and it is implied that they take place at train stations. There's only two key differences: In the first, we see Ed and Al arriving; in the last, we see Ed leaving. Also, we get to see how much Ed has progressed (both physically and mentally) from the beginning to the end of the series, with bonus points for having sense both in-story and in a meta kind of way.
    • Father's punishment by Truth mirrors the first time Ed opened the Gate. Truth even uses the same words that it said to Edward.
    • And all of the above aren't really surprising once you know that the author planned out the story's ending before she even got to the beginning.
    • When Ed and Al fight Scar for the first time, Al's armor and Ed's arm are broken. The same thing happens in their final fight against Father.
      • They end up in a similar situation as well: Al is unable to move and is screaming to his brother, who is helpless.
      • Bonus points for having this show how much Ed's developed. The first time, he gave up in an attempt to save his brother's life. The second time he just keeps kicking.
  • Brains and Brawn: Subverted with Ed and Al. Superficially they appear to embody this trope, but as it turns out, Ed is a Badass Bookworm and Al is a Genius Bruiser.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: "WHO DID YOU CALL A SUPER MINI SHRIMP YOU'D NEED A MICROSCOPE TO SEE!??!!?!?"
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick:
    "More like a joke than gossip... Scar feeding cats, undying humans, King Bradley is a homunculus..."
    • Watch closely, in both the manga and the anime, the episodes during and possibly just before The Devil's Nest. If you read the sign outside (and also the board on the wall inside) you will see a list of meats available:
      Chicken
      Beef
      Pork
      Mammoth
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Throughout the manga, there are extra comics about the characters reactions and hopes about a popularity poll. This includes discussions about how much 'screen time' they've had in recent chapters and at one point Scar using alchemy to blow up the author when he reads that he has tied with her way low on the poll.
    • And the side story where Ed and Mustang have a fight.
      Hughes: We don't have many pages left, so let's get it going!
  • Break the Cutie:
    • The Elric brothers most prominently, with Winry trailing not far behind.
    • Riza's in there somewhere too, if you take the time to think about her Back Story.
    • Rose hopes and prays that Father Cornello could bring her boyfriend back, and the Elric brothers prove her wrong. Good thing it happens that soon and not later...
  • Break Them by Talking:
  • Breathless Non Sequitur: While Winry is working on Ed's arm, she asks herself why she had to fall for such an idiot.
    Ed: What?
    Winry: Nothing.
  • Brought Down to Normal:
    • Ed is stripped of all of his alchemical abilities in exchange for retrieving Alphonse from Truth.
    • Ling. Excluding that Greed is now gone for good, no one minds.
    • Pride counts as well, having been reduced to the form of a powerless toddler after his "container" was destroyed. His memories were presumably erased in the process and Mrs. Bradley is now raising him as a human child. It's unclear if the power loss is permanent, though. An omake, however, jokes that he both retains his memories and his powers, but seems to have had a change of heart.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Maes Hughes is either this and/or Obfuscating Stupidity.
  • The Bus Came Back: In this case as an ice cream truck. Full of weapons.
  • Butt Monkey: Yoki. Every scene after his intro is comic abuse. Well, almost every scene.

    C 
  • Call Back: In the final chapter, Ed and Al tell their reasons for searching for another rule to replace Equivalent Exchange and going wandering again, and there's only two. To repay all their friends' kindness, and because neither of them ever forgot about how not being able to save Nina felt.
    • Something of a minor one, but in Episode 33 Scar stabs Kimblee in the stomach with a pole. Kimblee gives an inspiring rant about how being close to death is exhilarating for killers. Less than a dozen episodes later, Kimblee blows up the building he and Ed are fighting, and Ed winds up getting stabbed in the same place with a girder. He uses his soul as a philosophers' stone to heal it, saying that if he's going to show mercy he'd better get used to paying the price.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Ed to Hohenheim.
  • Came Back Strong: Ed and Al both nearly die when they try to resurrect their mother. They barely survive and gain the ability to use alchemy without circles, and Al also is literally made of iron though that does have its own drawbacks.
  • Came Back Wrong: The Elrics' mother, Trisha, and any other attempts at bringing the dead back to life. Until it turns out it wasn't actually her/them.
  • The Cameo:
    • Dante from the first anime appears as an elderly woman in Episode 58 of Brotherhood.
    • Izumi and Sig Curtis appear at the train station in episode nine of Brotherhood, which takes place several episodes before Ed and Al actually visit them.
  • Camp Gay: Garfiel.
  • Cannibalism Superpower: Pride devours Gluttony to replenish his own Philosopher's Stone and gains Gluttony's sense of smell and unending hunger.
  • Canon Foreigner: Isaac McDougall, the Freezing Alchemist, appears in the anime but not the manga.
  • Car Fu: Yoki gets a CMOA when he uses a car to ram Pride, saving several people in the process.
  • Casting Gag: Aaron Dismuke, who voiced Al in the 2003 anime returns as the voice of Young!Hohenheim.
  • Cast From Hitpoints: The Philosopher's Stone is a variation, allowing transmutations to be powered by nothing more than the human souls stored within. Ed later uses what he's learned to sap at his own lifespan to heal mortal wounds.
  • Casting a Shadow: Pride's ability.
  • Cast of Snowflakes: Arakawa is practically the manga queen of this trope.
  • Catchphrase: One that has been passed down the Armstrong line for generations.
    • It's not even exclusive to the Major. Olivier also uses it, after Sloth kills the officer she'd been keeping hostage:
      Olivier: Hmpf... I suppose I should be grateful to you, homunculus. You spared me from having to stain, with the blood of that coward, this cherished blade that has been passed down the Armstrong line for generations!
    • Also, whenever Ed is insulted (or when he thinks he is being insulted): Who are you calling a ___ smaller than a ___!
    • Izumi's "Just a housewife"-replies could count.
    • "Can I eat him?"
    • "What a bother..."
    • Al's "Nii-san!" (brother) could also qualify. Just count how many times he says it per episode.
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: Happens on occasion.
    • One especially entertaining example occurs between Ling and Greed, during the battle with Gluttony in the woods.
      Greed: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAA! Oh, man! You're really kicking ass! And where did you get that girl? You been hiding her all this time?
      Ling: Oh, you know me. I'm full of surprises. *slams Gluttony into the ground*
  • Cerebus Retcon: Ed's short stature gets used for comic characterisation for most of the manga. Then it turns out he hasn't grown since the disastrous ritual because Al's body on the other side of the Gate is drawing nourishment from his to survive.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: The show has a severe drop in lightheartedness about 1/4 in when Hughes is murdered, with jokes becoming even rarer leading up to the conclusion.
  • Chainsaw Good: Buccaneer, a captain in the Briggs brigade, has several different automail arms he goes through, one of which is the "Crocodile": basically a chainsaw with a serrated clamp over it.
  • Character Development: The Elric brothers mature a lot in the story. Ed even looks older and tougher as the story goes on. Winry, Scar, Hohenheim, Roy, Ling and a few others also get a lot of development.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: The animation in Brotherhood really helps drives these examples home.
    • In a series where the actual weapon-to-weapon, fist-to-fist fighting is done very realistically, there's Giolio Comanche the Silver Alchemist. Just before Scar gets his hands on him, he manages to do this weird, non-alchemic attack that lets him spin around like a top and defy gravity. He has full control over this move as shown when he hovers in place for several seconds.
    • All you have to do to give a rotting human body the ability to dodge hails of bullets is jam an animal mind into it. Barry the Chopper's body is the example here.
    • Armstrong is able to take hits from Sloth, a homunculus who is strong enough to lift tanks and can charge in straight lines faster than the eye can follow. In another instance, a human/bull hybrid scrapes him along a wall for twenty feet with enough force to crack stone, but only manages to give him a minor cut above his eye. There also seems to be no limit to the weight he can lift. It's worth noting that his whole family is like this to a greater or lesser extent which may make this an example of extremely good genetics. Puts a whole new spin on the whole "This method of ______ has been passed down the Armstrong line for generations!" thing...
    • Izumi Curtis singlehandedly picks up Sloth and throws him into the air, and it didn't look like any alchemy was used at all. Maybe she uses aikido, a martial art based on using the opponent's strength and movement against them, to grab Sloth and use his own momentum to flip him into the air. There was no lifting involved - she just isn't that strong, nor does she ''need'' to be.
  • Cheerful Child: Nina Tucker and Elicia Hughes.
  • Chekhov's Boomerang: Kimblee's Philosopher's Stone. He gets it during Ishval, uses it as a bribe for Edward to attack Briggs (he refuses), and loses it while fighting Ed. Heinkel picks it up after the fight and delivers it to Alphonse to help him fight Kimblee and Pride about 15 chapters and a few in-story months later. Toward the end of that fight, Al gives the Stone to Dr. Marcoh, who heals the wounded Heinkel, who proceeds to finish Kimblee. The three of them, and Yoki, escape to Central to join the main battle. It seems like a well done Chekhov's Gun, but the stone has one last use in the final chapter: being used as the toll to get Mustang's sight back and fix Havoc's legs.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • In Brotherhood, just after losing the 50 million Amestrian souls, Father launches an orb of energy that Hohenheim deflects into the roof. It's briefly shown shooting up past Wrath and Scar, opening another hole in the roof of the room they're fighting in. Later in their fight, Wrath is blinded by the reflection of the sun shining through that hole, giving Scar a chance to kill him and give the rest of the heroes the chance they needed to fight Father.
    • Remember when Hohenheim put some of his Philosopher's Stones in the earth? Well, they finally found their use.
    • Remember that lighter in episode 19? Neither did Lust.
    • In the final chapter, the goddamn gate of truth!
    • You name it, it's saved the day at least once. Ed picturing his soul as a Philosopher's Stone to heal his mortal wound in episode 41? Guess how he manages to take down Pride? Scar's brother's research on reconstruction? Guess how Scar takes down Wrath? Al's goddamn transmutation circle blood seal? Yeah, guess where that comes in handy…
  • Chekhov's Gunman: In Brotherhood, the events of chapter 3 are only given a very brief mention in episode 4.
    • In the manga: an unnamed alchemist with a gold tooth who was skilled at using Philosopher's Stones to heal, and was employed by Central to patch up Kimblee, appeared in one panel of a chapter,halfway through the story. Then he was found sitting right at the centre of the labyrinth at HQ, about to "get this show on the road" in chapter 98, roughly two real-life years later.
      • Said unnamed alchemist is also the one who oversaw the creation of King Bradley, and in fact was the very person injecting the Philosopher's Stone into the young man. This happened back in chapter 53.
    • Remember the candidates who didn't get a chance to be injected with the Philosopher's Stone in the effort to create Wrath? You didn't think they'd disappeared, did you?
    • In another of the final chapters Solf Kimblee is revealed to still be alive, and he manages to return and make an unexpected Heel-Face Turn of sorts and help Edward finally defeat Pride.
  • Chekhov's Skill:
    • Yoki, of all people, displays this. When on the run from Kimblee through an abandoned mine (chapter 70), his experience as the former head of a mining town (from chapter 3) allows him to read tunnel maps to allow his group to reach safety without getting horribly lost. In this manga, that's a LONG time for a callback.
    • Rabbit snare traps also are an example of this trope. Ed and Al develop the skill during their month-long isolation that starts their training with Izumi. Ed uses his damaged and detatched automail arm as bait to catch Lan Fan in a snare trap. This then inspires her to use her severed arm as a diversion against a pursuing Wrath.
    • Remember that one time in episode 41 where Ed gets stabbed with a girder? And everyone who watched the original series thought they were going to see a repeat of the final fight between Ed and Envy? And then, instead of dying, he used his soul as a Philosopher's Stone to heal himself? Guess how, during the final battle, he invades Pride's soul and tears him apart? Bet you didn't see THAT one coming!
  • Chekhov M.I.A.: Hohenheim.
  • Cheshire Cat Grin:
    • The Truth.
    • Greed, Envy, Gluttony, and Kimblee also fit this trope a lot of the time.
    • Pride. Multiple grins simultaneously, even.
    • Father also had this, back when he was a dwarf in a flask, pre-countrywide-transmutation on Xerxes.
  • Chess Motif: "My pawn, my knight, my rook, my bishop and my queen..." Mustang uses one of these terms as a codename/nickname for each of his five loyal subordinates, with himself as the king. Fuery is the pawn, Havoc is the knight, Breda is the rook, Falman is the bishop, and Riza is the queen. When Bradley breaks up the group, sending the men to distant outposts and making Riza his own assistant in order to hold her hostage for Mustang's good behavior, Mustang pulls the pieces out of the chess box slowly and laments their loss.
  • Chewing the Scenery: Everybody does it at least once.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Ed and Winry.
  • Child Soldiers: Ed became a "dog of the military" at age 12 and could be sent to the front any time. Later on, he's called out to "do his duty" by Kimblee. He doesn't take it well, partly because Kimblee's using Winry as a hostage to force his cooperation.
    • Al can count considering his young age, but he's only a fence example considering he isn't a part of it. Still he's usually dragged along with his brother on whatever adventures they're in, putting them in the same sort of dangers and having both of them experience the same traumas.
  • The Clan: Of the Xingese Royal Family, which apparently has 43 heirs, Ling and May included, who seem to all be willing to tear each other to shreds over who will inherit the empire.
  • Clark Kenting: Riza lets her hair down and wears glasses when she has to go incognito. It's surprisingly effective, actually. Except against Wrath's Ultimate Eye.
  • Clip Show: Episode 27 of ''Brotherhood' reuses clips from previous episodes, but it doesn't skimp on the new animation featuring Hohenheim.
  • Clothing Damage: Ed seems to project an aura that causes his shirts to dissolve. Armstrong, on the other hand, just goes bare-chested all the time because he's weird.
    • Or, he flexes his muscles and his clothes are RIPPED TO SHREDS and/or disintegrate. The same applies to Sig Curtis when the two of them meet, although Sig keeps his clothes on most of the time.
    • Ed's right sleeve is often the victim of conveniently placed attacks to dramatically remind the audience that yes, his arm is still metal and yes, it hasn't exploded again.
    • Ling right before his defense of the front gate in episode 58. Right sleeve partially ripped? Just rip off the rest and the other sleeve to boot.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Hohenheim is not like us; neither is his mirror image, foil, Pygmalion figure, metaphorical son and brother, caricature, and Shadow Archetype all in one, Father.
  • Code Name: Every state alchemist gets one. It's where the series gets its title — Fullmetal is Ed's code name.
  • Colonel Badass: Roy Mustang. So much so that when word gets out that he's coming to the front lines, his allies need brown pants.
  • Compliment Backfire: It's more like gentle teasing, but you'd think a suave guy like Mustang could pull it off...
    Roy: But wow, this place brings back memories, Lieutenant. It reminds me of your crying face. I'd like to see honest tears like that from you again someday.
    Riza: I thought you despised liquids. Since they make you useless.
    (Mustang sweatdrops).
  • Conspicuous CG:
    • Used liberally in a certain someone's (note ) true form.
    • The fan at the start of episode 21 is CGI-animated.
    • In episode 61, where all the souls are returned to their bodies.
  • Conspiracy Redemption: Ultimately becomes the story's premise less than halfway in.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • A long time after he died, the remains of Barry The Chopper are still there under research lab #3 when the coup d'etat and the attack on Father begin. Darius even fights with his trademark cleaver.
    • Similarly, the aftermath of Ed's fight with Cornello is still in Liore when the town is revisited late in the series.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Sloth, while digging a circle around the entire country, accidentally burrows into the lowest level of the Briggs fortress, right when Ed and Al have just arrived at Briggs and are being given a tour of its lowest level. Seriously, they've been there maybe five minutes before Sloth bursts right through a wall twenty feet in front of them.
  • Convenient Cranny: At one point Ed manages to survive being crushed by a rolling ball of death due to his small size allowing him to squeeze into the corner of the hallway he is walking down... Then he feels relieved about being the height he is before he starts complaining about himself accepting that fact.
  • Corner of Woe: Al visits it occasionally.
    • Also, Yoki.
  • Couldn't Find a Pen: Used as a gag in an omake.
  • Cranium Chase: Played with. While Al does lose his head every now and then, his soul is bound to the chestpiece of the armor. As a result, he can control his body and even see without his helmet.
  • Crazy Cat Boy: Al's a borderline male example (and a more extreme example in the omake strips), hoarding cats inside his armour.
  • Credits Running Sequence
  • Creepy Child: Pride, who is also an Enfant Terrible.
  • Crossdressing Voices: Played straight with Ed and Al in the Japanese version. Averted with Ed in the English version, but unlike the first anime, Al plays it straight in Brotherhood's dub.
  • Cross-Popping Veins: A lot. Ed sometimes seems to have them permanently.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass:
    • Hohenheim can be a Cloudcuckoolander at times, but he is very skilled at alchemy and strategizing.
    • Havoc plays Wise Guy to Mustang's Straight Man, but he turns out to be invaluable for Mustang's plans toward the end of the series.
    • Fuery in the warfront.
    • Ling usually is just tying to weasel a free meal out of anyone he can and generally making Ed look silly, but if you threaten Lan Fan or anyone else that he cares about, he can fight well enough to keep up with Wrath.
    • Sloth sort of qualifies. Although he is gigantic, imposing, and incredibly strong, you don't find out until almost the end that he is the FASTEST homunculus, and he normally moves slowly just because moving at lightning speed to beat the living crap out of people is "such a bother."
    • Hughes is totally in love with his family (and he's not shy about making sure you know that). He actually would've killed Lust AND Envy had they been normal people and not Homonculi because of his skill with push knives.
    • Armstrong is an overemotional goofball with a tendency to rip off his shirt, but when he puts on his game face, he can go toe to toe with SLOTH in a BOXING FIGHT.
  • Crucified Hero Shot:
    • Greed—censored in the English version of the manga and in Brotherhood.
    • And, in chapter 101, Roy gets this when Bradley pins both his hands to the ground. With two goddamn swords. Ow.
  • Cry Cute: Roy lampshades the trope, telling Riza he'd like to see her cry again, as she had such 'pure tears'.
    • This is kind of funny, considering she was pretty much a total wreck at the time.
  • Crystal Dragon Jesus: Father Cornello's cult has their clothing based off of Catholic priests, but with a Greek god and a secret army plan added.
  • Cultural Translation: Renkinjutsu became Alchemy, Rentanjutsu became Alkahestry (after a "universal solvent" sought by Western alchemists).
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • The first fight between Scar and the Elric Brothers is this. They eventually catch up with him, though.
    • Any battle Wrath takes part in is one of these, right up until he underestimated Fu and Buccaneer. It's all downhill for him from there.
    • The fight between Mustang and Envy in Chapter 94 is basically just 20 solid pages of this, with Envy getting set on fire, interspersed with brief intervals during which Envy tries to think up ways to not get set on fire. None of them work, and some of them lead to him getting shot.
    • The final beatdown of Father in 108. And there was much rejoicing.
  • Cursed with Awesome:
    • If Ed's arm wasn't mechanical, he'd have lost it several times over by now. Although you could argue that he wouldn't be in a position where he could lose his arm so much if he didn't have a mechanical one to begin with.
    • Brought up in one chapter. Two chimera wanted to use the Philosopher's Stone to make themselves human again, but after their cool powers help save their lives, they start to rethink their situation.
    • Subverted when Al gives up his chance to get his real body back because the armor would be better in a fight, which is about to go down.
      • Don't forget, Al's real body was quite emaciated from years of malnutrition and disuse. This is the main reason he sticks to the armored body, since his real body is barely strong enough to even stand (also, it doesn't help that he's naked and wouldn't have the time or means to get dressed).
    • Once Mustang was forced to perform human transmutation and pass through the gate, he loses his eyesight as the "toll". However, like the others, he can now transmute without a circle, which he notes is very, very handy for transmutations that don't involve his signature spark-gloves. The "curse" part gets subverted when Marcoh heals his eyes with a Philosopher's Stone.
  • Custom Uniform: Partially averted, since most people in the military seem to conform to their uniform, even the tippity-top brass, with the exception of Ed; Ed seems to be able to get away with a red cloak. The only means of identifying him as part of the military is his pocketwatch.
    • Then again, the same goes for Tucker and Kimblee (except in the flashbacks). Presumably the rules are a little more flexible for State Alchemists.
      • It seems more to do with combat status. Characters in the military wear the official uniform when involved in combat operations (or on or near the front lines in the Ishval flashbacks). Ed, Tucker and so on can get away with not wearing the official uniform because they're not involved in a combat situation. Sort of Fridge Brilliance when you remember what the main purpose of uniforms is. Kimblee is actually ex-military (considering he killed his commanding officers) so he's no longer really able to wear the uniform.
  • Cut the Fuse: Bradley stops Fuu's Taking You with Me attempt with bombs strapped to his stomach by doing this, in addition to slicing Fuu's stomach.
  • Cute Kitten: A Running Gag in the omakes.
  • Cuteness Proximity: Al loves small animals. Scar loves small animals.
  • Cycle of Revenge: Examined through Scar's character.

    D 
  • Daddy's Girl: Elysia Hughes
  • Damage-Sponge Boss: The Homonculi (except Wrath) as a whole are a non-videogame example of this, as they regenerate even fatal wounds from a deep (but finite) reserve of energy. Killing one through combat usually entails people spending one or more entire volume/episode killing it over and over with their best attacks until it sticks. Father turns out to be an even bigger one in the end, bringing in half the cast to whittle him down.
  • Dark Action Girl: Lust - she nearly oneshots Colonel Mustang's team, and if Roy didn't live, things would be bad.
  • Dark Is Evil: Most of the homunculi, being eerie pale skinned brunettes who dress in all black, but especially Father, Envy and Pride's horrifying true forms.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Greed post-Heel-Face Turn (and "Greeling"); all of the chimeras.
  • Dark-Skinned Blond: Most Ishvalans, it would seem.
  • Darker and Edgier/Bloodier and Gorier: Brotherhood is more violent than the first anime, and the Media Classifications reflect it; at least two episodes are rated TV-MA by [adult swim], and some of the DVD boxes are rated MA15+ in Australia. (The original anime was never rated higher than TV-14 in America and M in Australia.)
  • The Dead Have Names: Van Hohenheim has quite a list of them. They're all the souls trapped inside him, and over the centuries he's talked to all of them, convincing them to stand with him in his fight against Father.
  • (Near) Death Amnesia: Al is unable to remember what happened to him beyond the Gate until years later, after another traumatic incident makes him lose consciousness.
  • Death by Irony: Every Homunculus who has died has gone out in a manner thematically appropriate to the associated Deadly Sin:
    • Greed (original model) was boiled down for his most valuable part.
    • Lust was burned to death by a man well known as a serial dater..
      • There's another layer of irony here when you consider that Roy uses his "datebook" as code for his alchemy research. Lust's real sin is bloodlust, meaning she likes to make people suffer as much as possible, opting to let Roy bleed out while watching Havoc do the same rather than quickly dispatch them before going after Riza and Al. This proves to be her undoing, as she leaves Roy unsupervised long enough for him to cauterize his wound.
    • Gluttony was eaten.
    • Envy committed suicide out of sheer self-loathing after receiving pity from the humans he secretly envied.
    • Sloth was worn out by a long fight..
    • Wrath is subdued out of necessity rather than vengeance, then allowed to have an Obi-Wan Moment, all by people who could be justified in directing their own wrath at him, but choose not to.
      • To drive the point home, one of these men is Scar, whose country and people were all but destroyed on Wrath's orders.
    • During the civil-war, an Ishvalen threatens that he will be struck down by the wrath of God, a threat he dismisses. Years later, his death is delivered by an Ishvalen that claims to be a messenger of God. Wrath himself acknowledges that his death may be some kind of divine justice or providence. In other words: Wrath is struck down by the wrath of God.
    • Pride was broken brutally, psychologically and physically, by some of the humans he so despised. While he doesn't die, his prideful personality vanishes and he is humbled by living as a human.
      • Pride's defeat came because he ditched his pride as a homunculus out of desperation when he tried take Ed's body after his own body started falling apart. This act caused the absorbed Kimblee to betray him, allowing Ed to defeat him.
    • Greed (second model) pulls a Taking You with Me on Father, and, while acknowledging that he hasn't gotten "everything in the world", is willing to sacrifice himself for his friends who have "given him enough", finally feeling content with what he has. Father then finishes off Greed, the Homunculus with the potentially most durable body, by biting him in half.
    • Father is destroyed from the inside by Greed after trying to re-power himself with his Stone, and then is taken out by Ed with a punch. He ends up at the Gate and encounters Truth, and then it sentences him to an And I Must Scream within the Gate from whence he came.
    • Furthermore, each Homunculus who was defeated by a human fell to a character who was associated with that specific sin. As mentioned above, Lust fell to serial dater Mustang; Sloth was killed by Alex Louis Armstrong, who had been frequently reprimanded by his sister (also present for this fight) for not committing fully to the war effort out of laziness; Wrath was defeated by Scar, whose anger is almost his primary character trait; Pride fell to Edward Elric, whose entire character arc surrounds the one time that he was proud enough to meddle with forces beyond his control.
  • Death by Origin Story: Trisha Elric, Mr. Hawkeye, the Rockbells, Scar's family, most Ishvalans, and all but one of the Xerxians.
  • Death Glare: The Fuhrer, Alex Armstrong, and Mustang.
  • Defeat Equals Explosion: When Ed punches Father through the chest, he explodes and releases all the souls he had absorbed.
  • Department of Redundancy Department:
    • The Führer (meaning "leader" in German) of Amestris, effectively the president and prime minister is named King Bradley. He was given this name after a massive government conspiracy chose him for the position.
    • The bank which Darius withdraws money from Ed's research funds in episode 44 is named "Banks Bank".
  • Despair Event Horizon:
    • When the Elric brothers lose their mother, making them orphans, and causing them to subsequently try to resurrect her. Most people who lose a loved one and attempt human transformation experience this.
    • Scar experiences this after Kimblee destroys his village, slaughtering everyone he knows. His brother sacrifices himself by grafting his right arm onto Scar's body, which freaks him the hell out when he later wakes up in a field hospital, causing him to go temporarily insane and murder the Rockbells. When he makes his way to a hill overlooking the ruins of his village, he drops to his knees and lets out a howl of incomprehensible pain.
  • Destructive Savior: Most alchemists are capable of being this, Edward being the poster child of this trope with Alex Armstrong following close behind, but they can just as easily repair the buildings and streets.
  • Detect Evil: All the Xingnese cast members can do this by sensing the earth's chi, negative chi included. It's used to track homunculi on several different occasions and how they noticed something was very off with Amestris.
  • Determinator: Edward to the extreme.
    • Eleven years old, bleeding out from where he used to have a leg, improvising a blood seal to save Al's soul and giving up his arm in the process. Yeah, Ed qualifies.
    • Also Izumi: even though she's lost some of her internal organs after failing to revive her child through human transmutation, she's still able to get up and kick serious ass through sheer bloody-minded toughness.
    • Lan Fan, who cuts off her own injured arm to throw an in-pursuit Bradley off her and Ling's trail, and later manages to recover and rehabilitate from the grueling automail surgery in 6 months, outdoing Ed's already miraculous one-year recovery.
      • It's actually even better than that. She wasn't totally recovered from her surgery. She still kept fighting. And WON.
    • Fuhrer President King Bradley is a peerless warrior who won't let any amount of opposition prevent him from advancing. In his final fight against Scar, even after Scar has alchemically torn off his arms at the elbows, as Bradley falls, he catches his falling sword in his teeth and slashes Scar one last time.
    • Hell, the author herself. When the deadline of when the anime would overtake the yet-unfinished manga was dangerously close (she was involved to make sure it would follow the manga's ending), she put in the effort to dish out several 100 page chapters in order to finish the manga in a short amount of time.
  • Devour the Dragon: Pride devours Gluttony to replenish his Philosopher Stone and gain Gluttony's ability to follow others by smell, though that may have been simply an added bonus.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Father eats the Truth.
    • And then Ed punches him in the face. Repeatedly. And it is AWESOME.
  • Diesel Punk
  • Disappeared Dad: Hohenheim
  • Disconnected By Death: Hughes.
  • Discontinuity Nod: A possible one in Chapter 108 against the ending of the first anime series, when Hawkeye wonders if Ed will sacrifice himself to get Al's body back.
    Hawkeye: You don't think Edward will sacrifice himself, do you...?
    Roy: No. He knows the fear and despair of being left alone... He wouldn't put Alphonse through that.
    • It may not be the case as Arakawa stated that she enjoyed the first anime's ending.
    • These are all over the place if you look. For example, the fact that Selim, Bradley's possible Morality Pet in the first anime turns out to be the one pulling BRADLEY'S strings. Or how the manga deliberately goes back to show that dead people can't be brought back to life.
  • Disney Death: Just about EVERYONE IN AMESTRIS (minus a few major characters) have their souls absorbed by Father during his ascension. Fortunately, they're just absorbed rather then killed outright, and Hohenheim (having seen this coming) managed to resurrect everyone with no ill effects beyond some mild trauma.
  • Distressed Dude: For a hypercompetent hero with scientific/magical powers and two artificial limbs, Ed sure gets helplessly pinned an awful lot.
  • The Dog Bites Back: (Almost) literally, as Kimblee gets his throat ripped out by one of the Chimeras who was previously forced to work for him (he's actually a lion, not a dog).
  • Doesn't Like Guns: Ed.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The author has commented that the whole Ishval situation was inspired by the plight of the Ainu people, which is unsurprising given that she's from Hokkaido.
    • Most Western fans have little to no clue of who the Ainu people are, or their relation to Ishvalans. Ironically, though, they notice a strong (but likely accidental) resemblance to the Islamic peoples of the Middle East (single god, desert-dwelling, very traditional yet advanced culture and a reverence for not messing with "God's creations"), and given that Amestris seems pretty well based on a certain European power and the time period of the show (self-proclaimed to be in the 19-teens), it's very easy to see why everyone west of the Ganges would come to that conclusion.
      • Not only Westerners. Interestingly enough, track #20 of the second Brotherhood OST, Land of Ishvala, has a decidedly Oriental/Arabic tone.
    • She has also said she gets ideas from befriending people in complicated personal situations, like disabled people, war refugees, and (wait for it) a former Yakuza. The similarity between Riza's concern for hiding her tattoo and the social stigma a bearer of Yakuza tattoos has to endure in Japan is actually made fun of in a yonkoma.
    • If you look at the gravestone of Maes Hughes, the date of his death is 1914. The situation of the country goes downhill from there really fast. Soon Amestris (or at least the part Ed and Al visit) seems to have collapsed into war. Sound like World War One to anyone else? ...And would that make Hughes Archduke Franz Ferdinand?
    • The adult protagonists are contrite war criminals fighting for a society that could judge them for their actions. Now, consider Japan's own recent history...
    • Glorious Mother Drachma?
    • The scene in The Sacred Star of Milos where Atlas tries to take Julia's blood has some very rape-y overtones.
  • The Dog Was the Mastermind: The Homunculus Pride is little Selim Bradley. In fairness, the biggest clue to his identity is his speech patterns in the original Japanese, which wouldn't get through to a non-Japanese reader. One translator did pick up on this and correctly predicted his identity.
  • Don't Look Back: Ed and Al burn down their house as a reminder to never turn back until they can get back to normal. Ed even keeps the date etched into his pocket watch.
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Envy's reaction to being pitied by humans is a total freakout. And killing himself (while he would have died shortly afterwards, anyway....
  • Double Entendre: The homunculus named Lust is also referred to as the Ultimate Lance. (She's a woman, but I mean come on!)
    • Come on?
    • Greed is quick to point it out in episode 14.
    • Also see Chapter 106, page 25. Poor Roy.
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Nobody sees a problem with Winry beating Ed with a wrench whenever he pisses her off.
  • Dramatic Irony: The very next scene after Hughes dies is a lighthearted scene with Ed, Al, and Winry, talking about what they're going to talk about the next time they meet him and his family. Cue Requiem of the Brigadier General and his Meaningful Funeral.
  • Dramatic Wind: What every opening and closing credit sequence is filmed in.
  • Dub-Induced Plot Hole: There's a small one in episode 44, when Bido recognizes Greed from his voice. In the original Japanese, both Greeds are voiced by Yuuichi Nakamura, but in the English dub they use two different voice actors who sound nothing like each other.note 
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: One can make a strong case about Envy, whose usual form looks perfectly female but for its obvious booblessness.
    • In a troubling scene, Envy does a Gracia impression to taunt Roy about how he killed Maes and, with xir usual body language... looks like a male transvestite.
    • Word of God stated that Envy's gender is ambiguous, even to Envy. Many fans take this to mean that Envy is genderless. May be a justification for the fetus-like look of Envy's abhorrent true true form.
  • DVD Bonus Content: Each one comes with a short series of animations adapted from the manga's bonus yonkoma. Four of the DVDs also come with adaptations of more dramatic short stories from the series.
  • Dying Curse: Lust gets a good one off at Roy. Envy's, meanwhile, probably sounded hollow even to himself considering the remainder of the scene.

    E 
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Father, Solf J. Kimblee, Hughes and Armstrong all pop up in the first episode of Brotherhood. Slave Hohenheim is in the first shot of the opening.
    • Note that that last one can very easily be mistaken for an older Ed with his arm intact. Family resemblance is a wonderful thing.
    • Izumi and Sig can be seen in the background fairly early in the manga.
      • In episode 9 of Brotherhood they walk across just behind Winry when she first arrives in Central.
    • Inverted hilariously for Yoki in Brotherhood; despite the writers knowing that he'll join Scar's team later on, Brotherhood chooses to skip the seemingly-filler episode in which the Elrics first defeat him. Instead he retells the entire thing in flashback when they meet later and is enraged to find that they neither remember nor care.
    • A variation occurs later on in the series: when we see the Briggs soldiers arriving in Central, a mysterious figure wearing sandals and with glowing red eyes can be seen at the back. This is later revealed to be Izumi Curtis.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: In chapter 3 of the manga, Yoki proclaims that Ed's pocketwatch is made of gold. The watch changes to silver by chapter 10, when Ed has it used as identification to give money to Sheska.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending
    • Ed gets his arm back and starts a family but goes through hell, and loses a few years off his life as well as his ability to do alchemy. Ling saves his clan and becomes emperor, but only after losing a bodyguard, having another maimed, and being temporarily turned into Greed. Mustang eventually gains the power to help the Ishvalans, but only after losing his sight and planning a near suicidal coup. And that's only three characters!
    • Hohenheim, May Chang, Winry, Scar, all four of Kimblee's chimeras, Riza, Yoki, Mrs. Bradley, Jean Havoc, Dr. Marcoh...honestly, every single good character who's still alive at the finale gets a happy ending that they earned through a ton of hell and Character Development.
  • Easily Forgiven: Averted quite nicely for the most part, especially with Scar, who is never actually forgiven for his actions at all. He is, however, given the chance to seek redemption at the end, but whether he achieved it or not is, as they say, another story.
  • Easter Egg: A character keeps popping in the manga and the anime by the name of Mobuo Mobuta.
  • Eating Shoes: Ed and Ling resort to doing this when they are trapped in Gluttony's stomach. Ling comments, "When I become the Emperor of Xing, I will have you recorded in the history books as 'the man who fed a shoe to the Emperor.'"
  • Eccentric Mentor: Hohenheim, maybe. Also Bradley acts very similar to this until the Greed arc, at which point he changes completely.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Lust and Izumi. There's a good reason in both cases: Lust is an artificial human and Izumi is deathly ill from losing some internal organs.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Father, perhaps most explicitly portrayed during the events of Chapter 104.
  • Elemental Baggage:
    • One of the few straight examples in the series, given Equivalent Exchange, but in the very first episode Isaac the Freezer uses some a series of seals to fill the entire city with a tidal wave of ice. Even though he's supposedly taking water from the river, there's a whole lot more ice than a comparatively small amount of water could produce.
    • Philosopher's stones (both real and fake) have this as an explicit ability.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: Father opens the gate and rips the souls of nearly every living thing on Amestris, with only a select few humans and homunculi remaining.
  • Empathy Doll Shot: In the Ishval backstory.
  • Empty Piles of Clothing: Happens to Al after the failed human transmutation.
  • Empty Shell: The 'spare' Fuhrer candidates revealed near the end. They were given first-class education, training, and care, but when one of them succeeded in becoming the president, the rest were discarded. The have a longing, empty look in their faces as if something died in them, and would not hesitate to die to protect their 'father'. On the other hand, they've spent their lives doing nothing but train and train in combat, and they are ''terrifyingly'' effective in combat.
  • Engineered Public Confession: Used to take down Cornello.
  • Episode Title Card
  • Equivalent Exchange: Trope Namer and the foundation of Alchemy.
  • Esoteric Motifs:
    • Ouroboros: All the homunculi have Ouroboros tattoos. We haven't seen where Pride's is, though.
    • Ed, Al and Izumi sport the Flamel.
    • The symbol for Amestris (as seen in its flag, other banners and military badges) is a white dragon, a figure often associated with Arthurian legend and some mythical tales in Asia. The dragon is also engraved in all State Alchemists' pocket watches, circumscribed by a hexagram, which is also a well-known religious symbol.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: One of Hohenheim's many souls, named Zuul, was mentioned to be a terrible criminal seemingly beyond rehibilitation, but agreed that Father needed to be destroyed for what he had done.
    • Many characters react with horror to Pride's cruelty and callousness toward his allies particularly when he ate Gluttony, even Kimblee. Even more surprising is when in chapter 106, Kimblee, previously devoured by Pride, rebels against him out of disgust at Pride's hypocrisy, and helps distract him long enough for Ed to destroy him
  • Everybody's Dead, Dave: When Father turns nearly everyone in Amestris into Philosopher's Stones.
  • Everyone Can See It: Arakawa loves this trope to death. See Shipper on Deck and Ship Tease entries below.
  • Everyone Knows Morse: When Pride and Alphonse are both trapped in a huge stone prison made by alchemy, Pride, helpless to escape, grabs a stick and starts banging on Alphonse's helmet. It isn't until it's too late that the heroes realize that he's been banging out the equivalent of a morse-code message, transmitted through the underground tunnels, telling Father their position.
  • Everything's Better with Princesses: Princess May Chang. Also, in the English translation of the manga, the Briggs Bears sometimes refer to General Armstrong as "the Princess."
  • Evil Counterpart: King Bradley serves as this to several characters, but Ling is the most obvious example. They are both figures with authoritative positions, but while Bradley sees the people of his nation as little more than cannon fodder, Ling strongly believes in the idea that people with power exist to serve those who don't. The parallels become even stronger when Ling becomes a human-based homunculus like Bradley, but unlike Bradley who lost his original soul (in addition to all the other souls in his Philosopher's stone rendering him unable to regenerate like other homunculi) in the process of becoming Wrath, Ling manages to assert and maintain his consciousness within Greed. It is also interesting to note that Bradley was the 12th candidate for Führer and Ling is the 12th crown prince of Xing.
    • Greed himself serves as a counterpart to Bradley, as he too values the existence of his underlings and as stated before becomes the only other human-based homunculus.
    • Scar is a counterpart to Bradley, being a devoutly religious ex-monk who was a victim in the civil war that atheistic Bradley led and, like Bradley, a warrior without a true name.
    • Even Roy has his parallels with Bradley due to his A Father to His Men nature and desire to become Fuhrer to better Amestris.
      • Another parallel is that Fuhrer Bradley's first name is King, and Mustang's first name, Roy, is an obsolete spelling of the French word for "king".
  • Evil-Detecting Dog:
    • Den growls at Hohenheim, although that is a subversion since he isn't evil. Possibly he senses that Hohenheim isn't altogether human.
    • Animals reacting badly on the Promised Day.
    • Black Hayate is given the honorary rank of Second Lieutenant because of his ability to detect the presence of Homunculi, and in fact attacks Gluttony to protect Riza. He's also shown alerting Riza to the presence of Barry the Chopper (only in Brotherhood).
  • Evil Twin: Hohenheim and Father play with this trope, though not quite literally.
    • Father also resembles Ed in some of the later chapters. He resembles him so much that the captain of the soldiers orders his men to shoot "the blonde guy who looks like Fullmetal (Edward) without his automail". Look here for an example (first panel on the right and third on the left).
    • Truth also seems to resemble whoever it is talking to, if you count it as evil.
  • Evil Costume Switch: After Ling becomes Greed, he drops his Xingese-styled clothes in favor of an all-black suit and a Badass Longcoat. Subverted in that it didn't stay as "Evil Costume Switch" for long.
  • Exact Eavesdropping: Invoked. Hohenheim would like to talk to Ed about his human transmutation attempt, but Ed hates him at that point. So he starts discussing it with Pinako, well aware that Ed will be listening in.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Subverted. Everybody assumes Al is the Fullmetal Alchemist because he's wearing a giant metal suit.
  • Exponential Plot Delay: Brotherhood starts off at a rapid pace, covering what appears to be weeks per episode during the beginning, while the last few episodes all take place during the same day. Justified in that most of the events near the beginning of the series were already covered in greater detail in the first anime.
  • Expressive Mask: Played with a bit. Al's face doesn't move, of course (outside of humorous moments), but things like rain, light and shadow are often used to give emotion to his face. Also, when drawn in "chibi" style, his face can be more flexible.
    • Same with Barry the Chopper.
  • Expy: Jean Havoc's characterization and design originates from an earlier Arakawa manga, Shanghai Youma Kikai, along with those of Lust.
    • Dorchet/Dolcetto/what have you is a human/dog hybrid, with a ring around his pupil, and he's loyal to his master to a fault. These traits come from the Military Dogs (sound familiar?) from Arakawa's first professional manga, Stray Dog.
    • Lan Fan's design is nearly identical to the main heroine of Raiden-18, yet another one/two-shot from Arakawa.
  • Extreme Omnivore: Gluttony.
  • Eyepatch of Power: King Bradley.
  • Eyes Always Shut: Falman, Dr. Marcoh, and Ling. Later, when Ling is possessed by Greed, it's more shown on how his eyes are open or closed as to who has control. A related convention is used with King Bradley: when his one eye shown is open, he's getting serious. When BOTH eyes are open, he's about to freakin' kill you.
  • Eye Scream: Mustang boils Envy's eyes multiple times.
    • Chapter 104 presents us with Pride having his right eye removed...
    • The process of Bradley becoming a homunculus cause his eye to melt.

    F 
  • The Faceless: Near the middle of the film Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos, we get a glimpse of another Big Bad, using a White Mask of Doom.
  • Faceless Eye: In a chilling scene in chapter 104, once Father essentially ascends to godhood, the eye which is in the center of the Gate replaces the sun.
  • Face Stealer: Played straight in the film Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos, is revealed that Atlas did this to Julia's brother.
  • Fake Memories: Barry the Chopper suggests to Al that his memories aren't real, that Ed created him himself, and the human boy Al never existed. He's just screwing with him for giggles, but Al believes him until Ed and Winry set him straight.
  • Faking the Dead: Maria Ross
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: Solf J. Kimblee's, although slightly averted due to his soul being incorporated by Pride before actual death. In the Brotherhood anime, after having his throat ripped out by chimera Heinkel, Kimblee's dying gasps for breath is a horrifying mix of oxygen-deprivation and drowning in his own blood. The sound is disturbingly realistic in its portrayal by Kimblee's seiyuu Hiroyuki Yoshino.
  • Fan Disservice:
    • Al's severely malnourished real body from beyond the gate.
    • Perhaps part of the reason that Envy doesn't have quite the Evil Is Sexy vibe they have in the 2003 adaptation is because of how disturbing their gigantic "true form" is as well as how sad and pitiful their real "true form" is.
  • Fanservice:
    • Lust and Winry's skimpy outfits.
    • Ed, Ling and Armstrong's constant shirtlessness.
    • Several gratuitous bath/shower scenes, for Riza, Winry and Ed.
    • The opening to season five, in which a very clearly maturing Ed is asleep and looking downright beautiful, may also count.
    • Winry's underboobs shot probably counts for this.
    • Winry's bath scene as well. More than enough cleavage.
    • Roy's Shirtless Scene when he kills Lust. As if he needed any.
    • In the scene at the end of episode 46 of Brotherhood, we're treated to a good three to four seconds of observing Riza put on a holster and jacket. Except the view goes from just below her nose into some very impressive cleavage, considering that she's fully covered wearing what seems to be a fairly thick-fabric turtleneck (and there is still plenty of *ahem* movement on display).
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Xing is like China with a pinch of Japan. Amestris is early 20th century Europe, England and Germany in particular. Drachma's soldiers look like that of a Tsarist Russian Army while the Briggs troopers' attitude and their snow uniforms resemble that of the Red Army Siberian units during WW2. The ancient nation of Xerxes seems to be a cross of Greece and Persia. The Japanese-exclusive Mangaverse/Brotherhood games suggest that Aerugo is FMA's version of Italy.
    • Fun fact: Amestris was the wife of Xerxes, King of Persia.
  • Fantasy World Map: also becomes a plot point later.
  • Far East: Xing
  • Fatal Family Photo: Explicitly pointed out by Roy, who uses it to warn Hughes against talking about his girlfriend on the battlefield. However, a photo of Hughes' family actually plays a direct role in his death.
    • Also played with with Hohenheim, who gets shot repeatedly just after showing his family picture to a young mother but is near-invincible and technically immortal.
  • Fate Worse Than Death: The people of Xerxes who became disembodied, dehumanised souls making up Envy's true form.
    • Also, Father/Homunculus, in chapter 108. But then again, it wouldn't be a satisfying ending with anything less.
    • All the poor people that were turned into Philosopher's Stones.
  • A Father to His Men:
    • Roy Mustang is a prime example. For instance, when he and Havoc take on Lust, which results in her stabbing him in the side and Havoc through the spine, his first concern is for Havoc's life - at least, after he personally roasts Lust alive. He takes it personally when he learns that the wound from Lust's attack has rendered Havoc paralyzed from the waist down.
    • Olivier also counts, if not for the fact that the "Briggs Bears" can hold up on their own. But when they really need her assistance, Olivier can be a really terrifying Mama Bear To Her Men.
    • Ling qualifies, though he's royalty rather than military personnel. He's got a really protective streak when it comes to his bodyguards.
  • Fedora of Asskicking: Kimblee sports a very, very fine hat he does.
  • Femme Fatalons: Lust; her fingernails are an actual weapon.
  • Fighting from the Inside: Ling, once he's possessed by Greed.
    • You could also say this of Kimblee when he interferes with Pride's attempted takeover of Ed's body.
    • Greed himself pulls this on Father as he's being reabsorbed for good, using his carbonization ability to turn Father's body into charcoal.
  • Figure It Out Yourself: Izumi gives one month for Ed and Al to figure out the meaning of "All is One, One is All" before they begin their official training.
  • Finger Snap Lighter: Roy, of course.
  • First Episode Spoiler: Al is an empty suit of armor and Ed has two artificial limbs.
  • Five-Man Band: The members of Team Mustang.
  • Flanderization: Invoked by Roy and Olivier to subtly destroy evidence of communication.
  • Flashed Badge Hijack: In Chapter 45, Hawkeye confiscates a rich couple's car at gunpoint, under the authority of Central Military Command (much later in Chapter 82, Ed steals the same couple's car to make a getaway. The couple were first seen in Rush Valley)
  • Flat Earth Atheist: Ed is an outspoken atheist, even though he has met God in person.
    • He once went so far as to say that if he and Al ever went to see God that they would probably just be sent back. They did, and they were. Ed is also prone to using religious language like "God must really hate humans that commit taboo."
    • Although, no one besides Father (and maybe Hohenheim) seemed to think of The Truth as God until Father's plan to absorb Him was revealed.
    • To be more precise, Ed knows for a fact that God doesn't grant favors, which would make him a "dystheist." A person who hates the gods is also a "misotheist."
  • Foregone Conclusion: Some people see it as this, but no matter which version of FMA happens, it always ends up with Nina Tucker and her dog turned to a talking chimera before being killed off.
  • Foreshadowing: Absolutely everywhere. Especially prevalent in the first episode of Brotherhood.
    • A particularly emotional one is depicted in the second opening sequence of Brotherhood, when Mustang battles Lust. In the manga, Mustang brutalizes Lust by constantly scorching her with the aid of a transmutation circle carved on the back of his own freakin' hand, until he finally kills her off for real. These events take place in episode 19 of Brotherhood.
    • During the second opening of Brotherhood, Lin, Fu and Lan Fan are shown fighting Fuhrer Bradley aka Wrath; Fu is the only one of the three to score a hit on Bradley. Flash-forward towards the siege on Central. Whose Heroic Sacrifice is the first hit landed on Wrath, and ultimately allows Scar to finish him off? Old Man Fu's.
    • Alex Armstrong to Scar (whilst stripping, of course): "Destruction and creation are two sides of the same coin! You must destroy to create! That is the law of the universe! Non-alchemists may fail to see the inherent truth of that statement. But we understand, don't we, Scar?"
    • Maes Hughes to Colonel Mustang: "I don't envy you." Considering who ends up killing Maes and then impersonating him to Mustang…
    • An especially chilling example appears in Episode 9's Post Episode Trailer, featuring a 3-second shot of a certain phone booth...
    • During his fight with Lan Fan, Ed defeats her by leaving his automail arm as a decoy/booby trap. He explains that he got the idea from a common trick in hunting. Later on, Lan Fan eludes Wrath who's trying to kill her by chopping off her own (REAL!) arm as a decoy.
    • When callously rejecting the Ishvalan leader's offer to take his own life and spare those of his people, King Bradley is told by one of the leader's envoys that he shall suffer the hammer of God. Guess who kills him.
      • And he got killed after distracted by the peeking sun. Sun is the symbol of God in some civilizations, and also alchemy.
    • Mrs. Bradley calls Selim the pride of her life, although she doesn't know Selim is actually the homuculus Pride.
    • Roy's loss of sight when he's forced to open the Gate is foreshadowed in the fifth opening, when there's a shot of him with blank grey eyes spiraling down a tunnel.
    • When Greed is first being melted down for parts, he tells Father "don't blame me if I give you a stomach ache" In the final battle, the last blow against father is Greed attacking him from within after being forcibly absorbed.
    • Selim, when we first see him, says that when he grows up, he wants to do everything he can to help father. At the time, everyone thinks he's talking about Fuhrer King Bradley, but...
  • Forgiveness: One of the main anvils of the series. To be exact, the importance to at least endure the hatred, rather than let it festering and fueling Cycle of Revenge.
  • Forgotten Fallen Friend: Averted in Chapter 108, when Al reveals that he and Ed never forgot about their inability to save Nina, referring to an incident that occured 102 chapters ago and three years ago in-story. Major Tear Jerker when one of the chimeras asks his motivation for his journey of roaming the land seeking to right the wrongs done by alchemy. His simple reply is, "...There was a little girl that we weren't able to save."
  • Four Philosophy Ensemble: Roy as Cynic, Ed as Optimist, Riza as Realist, Al and Winry as Conflicted.
  • Four-Star Badass: Olivier, Bradley.
  • Freak Out: A massive one in Scar's backstory. He wakes up with his brother's arm and (understandably) completely loses it, killing Winry's parents in the process. The priest who was a wise, humanist and Martial Pacifist man becomes a serial killer driven by revenge.
  • From Bad to Worse: The Elric Brothers' backstory can easily be summed up this way. They start with their two parents. Then Papa leaves. Then Mommy gets ill. Then she dies, making them orphans. And it gets worse from there.
  • Functional Magic: Alchemy
  • Funny Background Event: When the forces of good prepare to attack Central Headquarters you can spot the presence of Izumi Curtis as a pair of scary red eyes in the background.
    Manga/Fullmetal AlchemistTropes G to P

alternative title(s): Tropes A-F
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