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Hayate The Combat Butler: Tropes E to I
  • Ear Worm - Zettai nante shinji nai! Fukanou nante nai! Mirai wa hiraku te no naka ni aru!
  • Eating the Eye Candy - Despite being a Chaste Hero, Hayate pulls this on Hinagiku. After his gaze lingers too long she chastises him for it, but she definitely enjoys the feeling.
  • Elevator Going Down - the story makes fun of this one. Hayate and Maria (she in a Paper-Thin Disguise) get into an elevator, while they do have Unresolved Sexual Tension, Hayate's thoughts of whether he should confront her about having seen through the disguise are running through his head instead. Then the elevator gets stuck, and he knocks her to the floor accidentally while she's trying to fix it, just as Hinagiku (who he's about to rush headlong into UST with) gets the elevator working again in time to see.
    • Hayate then makes a joke about this very fact. Which no one finds amusing in the least.
  • Enigmatic Minion - Aika seems to be one while following after Athena.
  • Epiphany Therapy - Averted with Hinagiku. Able to withstand heights when she has a strong reason to after Hayate takes her out onto the balcony of the student council office and shows her the cityscape.
    • Less detailed, but still implied is her fear of anyone she admits to loving disappearing also seems to be with her.
    • Implied with both of these is that if Hayate were to vanish from her life, they would return stronger than ever and are nowhere near cured yet.
  • Erotic Eating - Nishizawa's consumption of a coated strawberry is gag-censored for being too suggestive.
  • Establishing Character Moment - Hata is actually very good about using his character introduction scenes to get across useful information about a what kind of person that character is, such as...
    • Hayate was first introduced riding superhumanly fast on a bicycle to deliver a manuscript for his job...then hit a rock and crashed horribly, surprisingly the guys watching when he got up and was barely scratched.
    • Nagi was shown as having left a Christmas party because she doesn't like those kinds of social events and was clearly lacking some worldly common sense as she didn't bring a coat and couldn't work the vending machine. Also you can probably count her almost getting kidnapped three times in one night (even if one was Hayate's horribly inept plan) as a good indication of what to expect.
    • Maria was introduced looking for Nagi and showing kindness to Hayate after she helped him up from the ground (after running him over with her bicycle first naturally).
    • Hinagiku was first encountered in a tree she was having some trouble getting down from, and showed that she had climbed the tree to help a baby bird even though she had a fear of heights. She showed her kind side when she invited Hayate up to the student council room and her athleticism when she fought Yukiji. Perhaps most importantly was when she gave Hayate a few words of wisdom as it would become a staple of their dynamic in the future.
    • Even Those Three Girls in the student council trio made certain to get across that they were not exactly trustworthy or to be taken seriously during their introduction.
  • Even Evil Has Standards - After picking up Hayate once he's kicked out of the mansion, the Very nice people comment that they can't believe such terrible parents exist, and wonder what the world is coming to. Not that they aren't willing to buy his organs, but they make it clear that it's Nothing Personal and they're just as disgusted as Hayate is.
  • Even the Girls Want Her - Hinagiku. She is not very happy about this. Even Nishizawa in the manga comments that she can't help but be a little turned on. It is also later hinted in the manga that Miki has a crush on Hinagiku.
    • Not just hinted at, it's rather plain, it's just that Miki has more respect that Hinagiku doesn't return the affection the same way. Doesn't stop her from a Skinship Grope though.
    • Much later, it's implied that Hinagiku crushed on Athena when they met for the first time. Their encounter is more than a bit reminiscent of other yuri-styled meetings...
    • Her reaction to the video of Luca's concert (and the interuption reaction) also hint at this effect.
  • Even the Guys Want Him - Hayate. He is also not very happy about this.
  • Everyone Can See It - Hinagiku is clueless as to how everyone around her can see her crush. But then, this is a series where pretty much the entire cast is suffering from an Oblivious to Love epidemic.
    • Hayate's crush on Hinagiku is even worse for being clear to everyone. He even tries to tell others that she couldn't possibly like him. There's also the incident in the elevator in the student council clock tower where Hayate completely failed to hide it from a barely disguised Maria.
    • Miki, Maria, Nishizawa and possibly even Athena, make it clear that they know about Hayate and Hinagiku's mutual crush. Even Nagi seems to know about it and has expressed both suspicion and jealousy at various points in the manga.
      • Oddly enough, she let Hinagiku go on a dinner date with Hayate to show his appreciation for all her help in Greece but refuses when Ayumu tries to do the same. Most likely, she guessed that nothing would happen. She was waaaayy off.
  • Everyone Is Related - In the most convoluted of ways.
  • Evil Laugh - When Ruri asks the resident Otaku (Nagi, Chiharu and Kayura) what manga should she read first. They start to chuckle sinsterly.
  • Evil Mentor - Nagi's grandfather Mikado. Hardens Hayate's resolve by telling him that to only do things due to debt means he's worthless. Gives him an ominous pendant that's probably cursed, but "will give him the will to do anything if he goes (and survives) where it leads."
    • And the hint that he's been messing with Hayate since the beginning...
  • Evolving Credits - Starting with episode 40, many new scenes were added to the OP, including Himegami/"Princess God", who is revealed to be Hayate's last silhouetted opponent.
  • Exact Words: In chapter 331 Isumi refuses to believe that Wataru's been in love with her for so long and that he was finally going to confess. She makes a bet with Nagi and Sakuya that he wasn't going to say "I love you" to her. She claims victory when he says "I loved you" instead.
  • Expressive Hair: Athena of all people has this.
  • Failure Knight - Much of Hayate's determination stems from having failed Athena.
  • Fake Cross Over - Nabeshin, Author Avatar of Shinichi Watanabe, made an appearance.
  • False Start: Played with in episode 3 of season 3. After Hayate's date with Hinagiku, she happily asks him why he was so nice to her that day. He tells her some of her friends said she seemed to be holding in pent up anger, and asked him to help relieve some of it. When she hears this, she loses her elatedness and starts to walk away. However, he grabs her hand and tells her that he really had fun with her today, and says he can only ask her this question. Hina is excitedly and nervously waiting for the question, but it turns out that instead of a Love Confession, he was simply asking her if he could borrow some money for the train, as he spent all of his money at the theme park. She gets upset, and says something to him, but a passing train drowns her out. When he asks her to repeat it, she says he'll have to work some magic on her again to do so.
  • Fangirl - Ayumu in regard to Hayate. Hell, one of her Image Songs is entitled Kimi Fan (Your Fan).
  • Fanservice - Delivered straight and subverted on various occasions, and almost always lampshaded. See the main entry, or Panty Shot or Accidental Pervert.
    • The spin-off 4-Koma Colorful Hayate no Gotoku has pictures of various female characters in their underwear in the margins.
  • Fantasy Kitchen Sink - Let's see...super-human butlers, Robots, Talking Animals, Time Travel, Miko, Vampire Miko, ghosts, demons, demonic snakes, aliens, and whatever the heck Athena is.
  • Feuding Families - The Tennos and Sanzenin families are said to have this kind of dynamic, implied to be a rivalry of fortunes.
  • Flaw Exploitation - In the Golden Week arc, Gilbert Kent, Sakuya's illegitimate brother, tries to use this and fails, picking Hinagiku (at least, she sees it as a flaw) as Hayate's partner for a beach volleyball match. He thinks that she's the weakest of the girls. Hayate wins against an army of volleyball robots, presumably without even touching the ball.
    • Hayate himself also does this to Hinagiku during the Marathon Race earlier in the manga. He sent Nagi on ahead to finish the race while he kept Hina luring her out onto a rope bridge where her fear of heights effectively rooted her to the spot. This led to Hinagiku switching from "Hayate-kun" to the more distant and formal "Ayasaki-kun", a change which lasted until the end of her Birthday Arc (a period dubbed "the ice age" on the forums due to her giving him the cold shoulder for six months to a year real time).
  • Filler: While it's hard to have filler in manga, issue 387 deserves special mention. It basically interrupts the ongoing plot to start a new thread about Saki worrying about Wataru and bugging Hayate about it...and then weaves them together such that none of them go anywhere. It also gets lampshaded mercilessly, starting with the title This is the kind of manga you are reading.
  • Finishing Move - All first-class butlers have at least one!
    • Played up a bit more in the anime, but in the manga it has only really been seen twice. The first time was when Kaede Nonohara was fighting Hayate in the Kendo Club and used his rather insane "Safety Shot: Grand Explosion, Immolating Dark Murder" which a huge dragon-shaped burst of fire. Hayate uses one once as well called Hayate no Gotoku which basically gives him a burst of Super Speed which let him basically jump through a giant robot as well as generate enough energy to completely blow up the church they were under (but it was incomplete so he wound up breaking every bone in his body). Himuro Seaki is implied to have one that he didn't get to use and Hayate and Nagi are certain that Maria has one too.
      • Notably, Hayate had a small recurring arc to develop his Finishing Move. Part of this included finding a book left by Himegami in the Sanzen'in library entirely about creating various ultimate attacks. Nagi took interest in a move designed to win the heart of the one you love, it turned out to be basically stripping naked and using sex appeal. Sadly, Hayate never got to read it as Nagi asked him why he wanted to learn one in the first place. He replied that it was for Hinagiku's sake. Nagi burned the book immediately.
  • Firing One-Handed - Hayate pulls this off early in the series when he shows up to rescue Nagi from an enormous robot with a wrapped bundle on his back. He reveals this to be an HK-MG 3, which is normally a turret-mounted machine gun and simply tears through the robot's armor. Hayate is also apparently strong enough to easily wield it with one hand. Mysteriously, he also claims to have already been very familiar with the weapon somehow and seemed to have access to it before/without Sanzen'in resources.
  • First Name Basis - Nishizawa's insistence on this cemented her friendship with Hinagiku. "Didn't I tell you to call me Ayumu?" "And with that, I was completely defeated."
    • Hinagiku herself insists on first name basis with most people; there's already a "Katsura" on campus that she'd rather not get confused with.
    • Hinagiku switches away from First Name Basis with Hayate after he exploits her fear of heights to make her lose a race. She doesn't let up until the end of her birthday Story Arc.
  • Flanderization - Played for laughs with Klaus in the anime. In the manga, Hayate’s femininity became increasingly emphasized after the author discovered cross-dressing him was hilarious. Then there’s Miki, whose crush on Hinagiku went beyond mere subtext about the time of the Athens arc. Maria’s Cute and Psycho tendencies could count as well.
  • Forgotten Birthday - Ayumu's birthday arc is several chapters of this. She wants to get her friends (but mostly Hayate) to wish her a happy birthday but feels it's too cheap to just come out and say it's her birthday. Naturally, this series being what it is, this leads to an epic battle between her and Hayate of her trying to trap him into asking her about her birthday and him dodging tricky questions...all with Miki and Risa commenting on their tactics from outside. Obviously Hayate has long since memorized everyone's birthdays and they're trying to keep her surprise party a secret.
    • Wataru later experiences the other side of this when he realizes that he forgot Saki's birthday was a couple days ago. Sakuya and Hayate show up to help him remember exactly why that day is marked on the calendar, though Hayate inadvertently makes Wataru feel worse since he made Saki cupcakes. Wataru tries to subtly make it up to her but Saki instantly remarks that he finally figured it out, but it all works out in the end.
  • Foregone Conclusion: The author has gave us some hints that the latest anime and movie are both canon. From this we can already see the result of bet between Nagi and Luca. In chapter 400, Nagi points out directly that since the anime aired everyone already knows she's going to win, since Hayate wasn't married to Ruka in the flash-forward.
  • Foreshadowing - Look at the background. Almost 200 chapters later...
    • Also, there was a blink and you'll miss it line during the Golden Week arc, with Chiharu lamenting that she was the only one who didn't get to go abroad for vacation. The narrator says that despite that, she'll end up going on a trip in a few months time. Considering her new connections with the Sanzen'in household, Luca, and Athena/Alice, it'll probably be something interesting.
    • There's also the bit about Hayate's entry exams for the Hakuo academy - he got through because the chairman vouched for him to pass. And we later learned just who that person was.
    • Chapter 404 provides the most concrete and definitive example yet in the series. During a conversation with Ruka, Hayate says that he doesn't plan to be Nagi's butler forever and will quit the day that his debt is paid off and Nagi can live on her own. And as he says this the panel shows the wind blowing a calender resulting in a close up of the date December 24th, confirming a popular fan-theory for when the series would end.
  • Four Is Death - Hayate seems drawn to getting 4th place in the character popularity polls. It's almost as eerie and Isumi (1st poll) and Sakuya (3rd poll) getting 666 votes.
    • Ch.444: Look! Look! The Chapter Number is Incredibly Unlucky!
  • Friend or Idol Decision - Does Hayate give up the pendant and have a chance to finally reunite with his first love Athena, even though this causes Nagi to forfeit her large fortune which she likely can't live without, or does he protect it for several days, keeping the fortune safe but causing the spirit possessing Athena fuse with her, causing her to lose her memories, meaning she would never remember him? In the end Nagi, who knows only that losing the pendant means losing her fortune, realises that having to protect the pendant is causing Hayate distress, and so she makes the decision for him and destroys the pendant.
  • Funny Animal/Intellectual Animal - Tama; at least when there's nobody around but Hayate, who knows he'd only have to deal with Not-So-Imaginary Friend if he tried to tell anyone else about it.
    • Actually, it's only Nagi and Maria he cares about. He's just fine with talking while Wataru's around as well.
    • It also seems like Isumi knows about his ability to speak. In fact, in one chapter it is heavily implied that she was the one who gave him the ability to do so in the first place.
  • Furo Scene - Several over the course of the series but Chapter 304 sees Hayate and Maria going to a sentou/public bath when the boiler is broken as Nagi, Chiharu, Hinagiku, and Athena/"Alice" are feeling a bit uncomfortable with the whole bathing with strangers idea. Features a bit of Maria fanservice and more Hayate fanservice than it should, especially with Kotetsu popping up unexpectedly, with Hayate oddly covering his chest while he drowns the idiot, and even a little Ship Tease as Maria shows her tsun side at the end (and even says "tsun" in a huff for some reason).
    • Another moment is way back when Hinagiku invited Hayate over to warm up after finding him out in the snow. Hayate appears to be quite flustered at bathing at her place and has what might really be the closest he comes to a "dirty" thought in the whole series. Hint: it's about Hinagiku.
  • Gag Dub - The Animax English dub is very faithful to the original dialogue, but once you add in accents, pop cultural references and some wacky lines, it’s even more funnier.
  • Gag Series - The first season.
    • The second season, on the other hand, is a more character focused romantic comedy with occasional drama rather than a surreal dadaist slapstick comedy.
      • Not to mention, it does follow the manga a bit more faithfully as well.
  • The Generic Guy - Ayumu. One episode of the anime involves Nagi trying to be as normal as her (and failing).
  • Genius Ditz - Fumi. She's a student at Hakuou Academy for a reason.
  • Genre Savvy - Played straight in that the characters know they're in a Shounen Action/Romance. Subverted, as the conclusions they draw based on that are typically wrong.
    • Given how Ayumu continually grasps hold of her possible tropes and forces them to work, she may be playing this one completely straight.
    • During the Greece Arc the girls seemed to have all gained new levels in Genre Savvy as all of them refer to "Hayate's misunderstandings that he's so good at making" and take this into consideration before jumping to conclusions.
      • Hinagiku, at least, gets to keep her levels afterward when she only briefly gets upset with Hayate for him being crossdressed and getting hugged by Ruka before simply concluding that he's gotten into another predicament with a girl and offering to help him with it (she comes through of course).
      • Hinagiku also has started to extend this ability to the rest of what Hayate says to her, by picking up a bit of his thoughts from his casual compliments while learning not to take things at face value when he sticks his foot in his mouth yet again. They've been shown to have gotten quite a bit closer since she picked this up.
  • Genre Shift - The End of The World arc in the manga. Beware! Hayate's origins of power are revealed! When he was a child, he became a butler and boyfriend to the young Athena who lived in a castle at the end of the world. She gave him power and strength, but he unwittingly betrayed her trust when he gave the ring that represented their relationship to his parents, and they hawked it. Athena kicked him out, though she now lives in Athens.
    • And now the story has shifted back. Although given Chapter 289, maybe not as much as we thought...
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar - Izumi is hungry. Just look at Hayate's face there.
  • Getting Hot in Here - Done fairly late in the manga with Maria and Hayate yielding mindblowingly large Ship Tease results.
  • Ghost Lights - The Ghost Priest has these.
  • Girlish Pigtails - Nagi.
  • Girls Love Stuffed Animals - Izumi has lots of stuffed animals kept around her room. Though it's not put in a prominent position, the stuffed animal that Hayate saved from Lucky ten years ago is still kept around in its ragged condition. It's hinted that this is what reminds her about her childhood promise.
    • Though not shown to be anywhere near Izumi's collection, Chiharu had a collection of stuffed animals then her house burned down. Many survived though.
  • Girl on Girl Is Hot - Just look at Hayate's reaction.
    • Hayate and Luca, while the former is crossdressed looks to be an example of playing with this trope
  • Giver of Lame Names - Oddly enough, the resident Student Council President Hinagiku Katsura. Despite being amazing at almost everything, if she names anything it will be immediately called out by whoever is present. They aren't weird or long, just incredibly simplistic. Best seen when she first meets Hayate and tells him that she had named the baby sparrow they saved pretty much literally 'brown bird'. Even Hayate is exasperated, which is funny when you consider that his naming sense is literally just as bad...both named Athena "A-tan", notably a character longer than her actual name.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom - Done by Hayate after being hit by a car. Also used as a Shout-Out to Death Note.
    • Hayate also uses this when he's deadly serious and about to completely destroy someone in the manga, always accompanied by having his upper face covered in shadow and a look that usually makes his enemies go Oh Crap.
  • Good Angel, Bad Angel - Inverted; Hayate's shoulder angel advises Hayate to turn to kidnapping to repay a debt, freaking out his shoulder devil in the process.
    • Chapter 389 gives us little angel and devil versions Hinagiku who pop up while she's sick. The angel thinks she should just go to bed to get better quickly, while the devil thinks she should get Hayate (who's taking care of her) to spoil her a bit. Hina reaches for a cup and covers the devil!Hina and rolls over in her futon...then calls to Hayate and asks for a peeled apple cut like rabbits. Then asks him to feed her. Her angel, who was proud of her for a second, argues with her. Hina says that she is going to sleep, after Hayate spoils her for a bit.
  • Gretzky Has the Ball - The so-called Beach Volleyball game against Gilbert in the Greece Arc. Hayate says that he doesn't know how to play, to which Nagi replies that it's fine since the author has no idea either. While he gets Hinagiku for a partner due to Gilbert's very poor attempt at being Genre Savvy, Gilbert's partner turns out to be a giant volleyball robot. When Hinagiku one-shots it, he tries to call foul as she's breaking the rules by not wearing a swimsuit (which Miki wholeheartedly supported on the pretense of shaming the sport). When she revealed that she had a swimsuit on underneath already - and thus didn't have to forfeit to go change...or something - Gilbert broke out an army of giant volleyball robots. After they all got wasted effortlessly, team Hayate-Hinagiku chalked it up as their win.
  • Groin Attack - In Sakuya's first appearance, she grabs Hayate by his feet and rapidly stomps into his groin in a manner not unlike operating a jackhammer... needless to say the audience was crying with laughter. Or just plain crying.
  • The Grovel - Several times in Hayate the Combat Butler, Hayate thinks he has done something to make Hinagiku angry with him and he invokes this trope in an attempt to smooth things over. This usually suprises her, both because he hasn't done anything of the sort and she would have forgiven him instantly anyway.
    • Taken even further when he actually begins to grovel for something that actually does anger her, along with the fact that he'd even tried to hide it, but then she makes a statement that confuses him, and then helps him correct the mistake.
  • Guide Dang It - Actively referred to when it turns out the only way to activate the "Ultimate Butler Armor" is for someone who has lost the powers of a Butler to regain them.
  • Ham-to-Ham Combat: Various characters do this with regularity throughout the anime.
  • Hands Play In Theater - During Hayate and Hinagiku's date to the movies. Both were finally relieved to be in the theater after the extremely bizarre turn of events of the way there and their hands accidentally touched on the arm-rest. It is at this precise moment when the two finally realize they are on a date (even the narration lampshades it right after).
  • Happily Adopted - Hinagiku Katsura loves her parents, even though they abandoned her and her sister over ten years ago, but also loves her adopted parents.
  • Hartman Hips - All the girls seem to have them.
  • Head Pet - Not in either the manga or the anime, but Shiranui shows up as Nagi's head pet on her figurine.
    • Shiranui has now become this in the more recent chapters of the manga as well
  • Hellish Pupils - Manga only, Hinagiku and Wataru. It might symbolize their aggressive personalities, as they're certainly not evil. Anime has the Superintendent and Wataru, and Hinagiku can summon it when she gets really annoyed.
  • Hello, Nurse! / Naughty Nurse Outfit - Maria put on glasses and a nurse outfit in Chapter 140 as a disguise at the suggestion of Nagi's bodyguards. It didn't conceal her identity in the slightest, but viewers certainly didn't mind.
  • Her Code Name Was Mary Sue - In Chapter 400, Nagi once again recalls her promise with the author and gets to show off her manga, now based on her real life experiences as per the advice she got a couple chapters back. Her character (the manly-looking 'Brittney' from previous versions) is apparently the only normal one surrounded by heavily flanderized versions of the other characters. Hayate is a nagging robot, Maria is a witch that repeats the same thing over and over, Chiharu insisted she wasn't an otaku and continues Nagi's odd belief that she's a Yaoi Fangirl, Ayumu was a hamster/squirrel, and Alice and Kayura were hanging around. By far the worst though was Hina's character, who was not only flat but had a literal hole through her chest (like a hollow) and gave vicious tsukkomis at the slightest provocation. Needless to say, Nagi was whacked over the head and forbidden from using this version.
  • Hero Stole My Bike: Hayate does this to Ruri's bike in episode 1 of season 3 to chase after thugs who kidnapped Nagi. In a subversion, when Ruri protests him borrowing the bike, Hayate simply grabs her, and takes her along for the ride.
  • Hikikomori - Nagi—this is not immediately obvious since she covers it up by being a cute girl and her being 'homebound' involves one of her enormous family estates, but Hayate almost immediately observes that she's not very socialized and has an unusual obsession with video games and manga, and makes a point to get her out of her house.
    • Not in the least helped by Maria's worry about letting them ride the subway....
    Maria: Well, what I mean is ... going on that unknown vehicle with just the children...
    Hayate: Several hundred thousand people get on that unknown vehicle every day in Shinjuku alone...
    • Izumi is accused by the others of her trio of this when she's absent from everything after the Mt. Tako class trip; she's just embarrassed about the maid outfit her father convinced her to wear as 'punishment' for not having her phone.
  • Heroes Want Redheads - Although he hasn't made his fondness for her known vocally, pink-haired Hinagiku Katsura clearly holds his interest.
    • Given the kinds of things he says to her without thinking, it's amazing that Hinagiku seems to be the only one who hasn't noticed that he certainly holds some kind of affection for her. While he mentions what he likes about her several times (at least once to her even), chapter 302 really takes the cake as he tries to convince her to stay at the apartment by 'expressing his love for her'. Yes, he actually said that out loud to her. Needless to say it was priceless and of course was messed up at the last second.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation – Hayate and Hinagiku. In Hayate’s case it is partly because he is a Failure Knight. Hinagiku doesn’t think of herself as feminine or pretty.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners - Hinagiku and Ayumu become this after becoming friends on Valentine's Day and helping each other out with romantic issues for some time, though they haven't really been seen together after the Greece Arc.
    • Nagi also seems to develop this kind of bond with Ayumu, initially being rivals but becoming like this during the Greece Arc as she was showing around Ayumu and the two seemed to have largely stopped being rivals by the time they returned to Japan.
    • For a while there was also Hinagiku and Athena of all people. They were the talk of the school and seen as an unstoppable duo, with the latter being a bit of a loner and Hinagiku being one of the only ones to get close to her. Time will tell if they will go back to this when Athena returns to Japan.
      • In a humorous twist, they almost are as Alice, who is an aged-down and de-powered Athena, is currently rooming with Hina for several months to get her powers back.
  • Hidden Eyes - It is mainly used in a way similar to Blue with Shock; showing that a character is speechless, exasperated, or otherwise befuddled. It happens many, many times. All characters do this, especially Hayate.
  • Hime Cut - Isumi has this as well as the very traditional home and upbringing, even being a miko with the associated spiritual powers.
    • Hinagiku as well, in the earlier chapters you can clearly see the 'line' used for her bangs. Due to the art style shifting, her bangs are a bit more uneven lately (often a bit longer on one side) but otherwise she fits this fine. She didn't really fit the archetype at first aside from a fairly high-class family but she has been growing into it quite well with her character development.
  • Hint Dropping - Used by several characters, usually directed at Hayate or Wataru with varying levels of success (usually ranging from 'not working' to 'the exact opposite of what they wanted' but every now and then it works out.
    • In particular, this is Hinagiku's M.O. for her feelings towards Hayate and her efforts to both confess her feelings to him and do cute/romantic things on occasion. Best seen in the Greece Arc, during a dinner date with Hayate where she went over several subtle ways to open up a thread of conversaion that would set her up to confess her feelings, only for Hayate to say something completely different in response.
    • Chapter 340 also has Hinagiku find Hayate giving Chiharu a shoulder massage and decide that she would very much like one as well before the two months left that she's staying in the apartment are up. She spends most of the chapter trying to drop hints in an effort to get Hayate to ask her if she wants a massage as it is too embarassing to ask him herself. In the end, he actually gets the hint, but she can't bring herself to say it. Luckily for her, she gets a second chance when Hayate comes by as she's beating herself up over it and with a bit of courage takes him up on the offer this time.
  • Hoist By Their Own Petard: In episode 4 of season 4 during the opening skit, Sakuya has Isumi hold one end of a giant rubber band with her mouth. As she pulls back, she tells the latter not to let go as she backs up. However, Isumi does just that, and the tension from the rubber band backfires and hits poor Sakuya instead.
  • Honor Before Reason - Hayate's is this, what with his borderline suicidal devotion to Nagi and helping virtually every person. Plus, the fact he never called social services on his abusive-heartless-deadbeat-parents as a child speaks volumes about his kind character. He becomes less so later on in this series, however, once his true colors are revealed.
  • Hopeless Suitor - Toyed with between Hinagiku, Ayumu and Hayate. Hayate does notice Ayumu's affection for him (helped by the fact that she's the first of the unwanted harem to have confessed), even stating that they could have been dating if not for his Failure Knight complex, but realizing that Hinagiku is the one he's infatuated with, Nishizawa has taken to this trope herself, and is trying to get Hinagiku to admit her feelings to him, not helped by her and Hayate's mutual misunderstanding that the other couldn't possibly be interested in them.
    • It doesn't help at all that Hinagiku is trying to play matchmaker between Ayumu and Hayate because I Want My Beloved to Be Happy.
    • Not to mention that Hinagiku and Hayate both think the other is out of their league in addition to their other problems with romance, Hina even alluded to feeling this way briefly due to her inability to express her feelings properly to him.
    • In the beginning, the Nagi/Hayate/Maria relationship was a more traditional example, with Nagi being the hopeless suitor; Nagi had a crush on Hayate, who had a crush on Maria, who also had a crush on Hayate. This scenario became more complicated once Hayate started to amass an Unwanted Harem. Although Nagi is still a hopeless suitor it is less emphasized, with Ayumu 'taking her place' and Maria has sort of been replaced by Hinagiku, leading to the scenario above. Nagi and Maria haven't been completely excluded though, so it is now a Love Dodecahedron.
  • Hot Springs Episode - Sort of an Onsen Arc with their trip to the Shimoda Hot Springs, with quite a bit of fanservice, wackiness, and everything else you'd expect from this series. There's hot springs, ping pong, hot springs, UFO's, hot springs, and a touching scene about Nagi's mother followed by everyone having a nice picnic.
  • House Husband - One of Hinagiku's imagine spots in chapter 301 seems to depict Hayate like this as she's thinking about why it would be too embarrassing to move into the Violet Mansion where Hayate is. Not because the guy she's in love with will see her off-guard or anything logical like that. She's afraid their going to start playing Newly-Weds. Again. An interesting case as prior to this her fantasies had Hayate being quite masculine, much like most of Nagi's. While he's still sparkly and cool-looking and she's still girlier than usual it does seem to indicate that she likes Hayate's girly side despite her complaints.
  • How We Got Here: Can't Take My Eyes Off You! opens with Nagi in a car wreck in the Nevada desert. The next ten episodes show what lead to that point.
  • Humble Goal: Hayate's life goal is to have a small apartment with the necessary amenities and nobody chasing him.
  • Hypocritical Humor - A bit of an unintentional case but funny in retrospect; when Hayate first meets Hinagiku he is exasperated by her somewhat odd and simplistic sense of nicknaming (the baby sparrow in this case). Later we get to see the hypocritical part as it turns out Hayate's sense of nicknaming is just as bad, literally, as they both tried to name Athena "A-tan", notably odd as it is actually a character longer than her real name.
    • Hayate actually does this earlier in chapter 46 when he mentally chides Isumi on throwing a fight way too quickly (before her opponent even swung), which she learned from watching Hayate's horrible attempt to throw his "duel" with Wataru some time before.
    • In episode 21 of season 2, Nagi and Maria are watching a news report about an escaped anaconda whose owner smuggled it into the country. They talk about how careless that owner must be to have such a dangerous creature, all while petting Tama, Nagi's pet tiger. Hayate asks her about that.
  • Hyperspace Mallet - Sakuya stores her Paper Fan of Doom here. Hinagiku stores her sword here. Nagi stores various things here, commonly objects used by her tsuntsun side to punish people.
    • Nagi's even pulled out Graf Eisen in one episode to whack Hayate with after tripping right into a hug with Maria.
      • Sakuya is seen to be laughing loudly at this. Whether or not it's an Actor Allusion to the fact that Kana Ueda voiced Hayate Yagami remains to be seen.
    • Hayate himself has a Hyperspace Broom.
  • I Can't Believe a Guy Like You Would Notice Me - Hayate and Hinagiku simultaneously with a side helping of Cannot Spit It Out.
    • Hayate continuously argues with others that Hinagiku can't possibly like him. Hinagiku doesn't believe he's interested in her traits.
    • Hayate tells others that Hinagiku is out of his league, though he gets extremely depressed if someone else tells him that. Hinagiku gets melancholic whenever she sees Hayate express interest in a trait she doesn't have, believing herself not to be his type despite Ayumu flat out saying she was earlier. This is compounded by the fact that they each hold the other in very high regard and anything one says about the other has a large impact, with both trying to stay in each others good graces.
  • I Have This Friend: Hinagiku talks to Maria about this in episode 15 and 16 of season 2 regarding her love life. While she is technically speaking about Ayumu, there's little doubt she's really referencing herself, hence this trope.
  • I Just Want to Be Special - Ayumu Nishizawa wanted to be this for a while, and actually accomplished it for a time, being the first girl to have actually confessed to Hayate. Then she learned the Aesop, and happily took a step back to play backup for the other characters.
  • I'm Taking Her Home with Me! - Isumi and Saki usually induce this kind of reaction from the fans.
  • I Think You Broke Him Used amusingly when Hayate doesn't want to change out of Ayumu's clothes, Nagi comments to herself that she may have broken him.
    • In actuality, he just doesn't want to reveal to Luca that he's actually a guy.
  • I Uh You Too - During the Golden Week vacations, Karou gets a chance to be alone with his crush, Yukiji, and tries to confess to her. He can't finish the statement, and so turns it into a question about her little sister's relationship status. It seems that Yukiji seems to understand what the statement was originally (and 'responds' later in the arc), but her immediate responce is to turn to her Hard-Drinking Party Girl ways and offer him a drink. She then (probably teasingly) asks him what he likes about Hinagiku (the little sister), as if he had just confessed affection for her instead.
  • Identical Stranger - It has been said that Hayate resembles Nagi's mother. It doesn't just end there though, for added Mind Screw look at her father.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming - The titles of the manga chapters can get a bit wordy at times.
  • Idiot Crows
  • The Idiot from Osaka - Sakuya Aizawa, who sees life as one big Boke and Tsukkomi Routine. This makes her both Genre Savvy and Wrong Genre Savvy, in that she knows she's in a gag anime, she's just got the gag style wrong.
  • Idiot Hair - Shion
  • Idiots Cannot Catch Colds - Seems to be used in Chapter 352 when all the girls living in the Violet Mansion catch colds while Hayate appears immune and tends to them. The next chapter has Hayate catching the same cold the day after, which was stated to be the "punchline" by Alice in 352 as Haukou final exams were that day. The end of the chapter even states that Hayate caught the cold because he was no longer an idiot from all the studying he'd been doing.
  • Idol Singer - Luca turns out to be one, and it seems like Nagi is very impressed with her (likening her to a Goddess probably also makes this another case of Les Yay).
    • As of recent, Hinagiku seems to be impressed by her to, but certainly not at the level Nagi is.
  • If It's You, It's Okay - Kotetsu towards Hayate. These guys towards Hayate (maybe). Possibly Miki towards Hayate as well. This is mostly because Hayate is a girly Stupid Sexy Flanders.
  • IKEA Weaponry - In the anime, the Sanzenins have an underground network of conveyor belts that can deliver Hayate an Arm Cannon in a kit from a phone booth anywhere.
  • Image Song - Advertised in the "Butler Network" segment with great enthusiasm.
  • Impossible Task - Since Mikado wants others to think that there's a possibility of gaining his inheritance from the rightful inheritor, he's set up several 'Impossible Tasks' for them. Several characters have tried.
    • The first, make Nagi cry and apologise Which Hayate has accomplished twice before it was revoked.
    • After that, it was to steal a Mineral MacGuffin her battle butler carried. Nagi herself destroyed the stone when it was revealed (to Hayate) that it was the connection a great spirit would be able to use to permanently inhabit his first love intrest. Now she's having to learn to live without the backing of the inheritance.
  • Incompatible Orientation – The two most obvious ones are Kotetsu and Hayate and Miki and Hinagiku. Miki knows this and is content with it, but Hayate has actually tried to kill Kotetsu.
    • Luca has impressed this, confessing to Hayate that if he were a guy, she'd have fallen for him. She thinks he's a girl because she's only met him while he was cross dressed, so she doesn't know that Hayate is actually a guy, and that she actually did confess to him because of it.
      • Even before the confession he didn't want to let her know he's actually a guy.
      • Both Miki and Ayumu have expressed romantic interest in Hinagiku as well, and decided to take a backseat to things, since Hinagiku is smitten with male Hayate. Ayumu has expressed interest in Hayate as well, allowing her to possibly supercede the limits of this trope without changing any orientations.
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness - Hayate may be a very capable fighter, but any moral issues at best push him into a bumbling mess of nerves. Annoyances don't even corrupt him.
  • Indentured Servitude: After the title character is abandoned by his parents to work off their massive debts, he is "hired" by Nagi, a rich heiress, to work it off.
  • Indirect Kiss - Chapter 150 shows Aika being all blushy and hesitant at taking a drink from a bottle Wataru just offered her — a bottle he just drank from. Naturally, oblivious Wataru does not understand why she'd be so fussy.
    • In Chapter 283, Hayate and Tama are covertly taking Tama to the new apartment and hiding out in Cafe Donguri (where he works). He assures Tama that nobody will be there since it's so late, so naturally Hinagiku immediately walks in. He covers by saying he was practicing making different kinds of coffee and makes some samples for her when she decides to hang around. While asking how they taste, Hinagiku forgets which one she had just sipped and Hayate casually takes a sip himself to identify it...and Hinagiku is the only one to realize that he indirectly kissed her. The next chapter has her slightly frustrated that Hayate didn't even notice this (to the surprise of absolutely nobody reading) and decides to "get back" at him by indirectly kissing him with some coffee he had sipped out of...but loses her nerve and can't go through with it.
    • Although it's not actually mentioned, Isumi gives Wataru one in Chapter 331 when she takes a whistle out of her mouth and tucks it into his. A sound effects bubble actually specifies that the whistle is "wet" from having been in Isumi's mouth.
  • Innocent Innuendo - In the White Day arc, Hayate runs into Hinagiku and ends up having to admit to her that he gave the cookies he was intending to give to Ayumu, to Maria instead. Her response: 'You'll repay me with your body'. After Hayate's stuttering, she reveals that she was just talking about introducing him to a cafe-shop owner where he could make more. Why she used that specific phrasing is still confusing though.
  • Instant Seiza - Hayate and Hinagiku after a very close Almost Kiss in the Greece Arc
  • Intentional Engrish for Funny: Used quite a bit during season 3 when the characters are in Las Vegas. While it's understandable, to a native English speaker, it sounds rather strange.
  • In the Name of the Moon
  • Invisible to Normals: Ghost Preist Father Radiostar; only the people who entered the Butler Training Facility can see him.
    • Sakuya wasn't ever in the training facility and can see him though.
    • By this point it seems that only Hayate, Isumi, and maybe Sakuya and Hinagiku can see him, though he did say that he would fade over time. Probably has something to do with the fact that he's even come out and said that he's haunting Hayate.
  • Iron Butt Monkey - Hayate
    • Yukiji to a lesser extent, she's certainly as Made of Iron as Hayate but most of her troubles are less physical and more financial..
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy - Athena is the chairman of Hayate's school who decided his grade could be raised a point to keep him enrolled. During their second confrontation, she is torn over getting the King's Stone because that might lead to Hayate being banished from Nagi's service. But then she could scoop him up...her mixed feelings combined with being a Reality Warper results in baaad mojo.
    • She again plays this role (even though there isn't a counterpart romance, yet) after she's been saved, hearing Hayate's words of admiration for Nagi.
    • Ironically, Hayate was mostly there to say those words of admiration because Hinagiku heard his earlier words of affection for Athena and encouraged him to pursue her, in spite of Hina's own feelings for him.
    • Hinagiku and Ayumu play with this one, trying to give Hayate to the other, at the same time.
    • Miki uses this, while she's not hiding her crush on Hinagiku at all, she's also one of the most active in pushing Hinagiku with Hayate.
  • I Was Just Passing Through - Isumi often gives this one out as an explanation for her sudden appearances.
    • Hinagiku tries this once or twice, with her sudden appearance in the Tiger's Den for Butlers being especially humorous as Hayate is very pleased to see her and wonders if she was worried and came to save him but is interrupted by Hinagiku leveling her new sword at him and using this trope almost word-for-word...apparently Hayate was too intimidated to notice the blush.
  • I Was Quite a Looker - Klaus was apparently a bishonen when he was younger as shown in a photo in chapter 270.
    • Hinagiku's sister was pretty cute (and sober) back in high school...
    • In chapter 374 Hayate finds pictures of younger Yukiji when he and Hinagiku are cleaning the night duty room. He thinks they are photoshopped. Hayate mentions to Hina that Yukiji was a really cute girl...just like Hina is now (cue blushing) only to then add that he feels disillusioned seeing how Yukiji is now.
    Hinagiku(very flustered): "My sister is an especially horrible example!! So do not throw away your dreams and feelings of cuteness regarding girls!!"
  • Japanese Honorifics – Hayate uses the -san title for everyone, in keeping with their high-class standing, except Nagi and Sakuya, who he calls 'Oujo-sama'. Nagi is his master, but there seems to be no forthcoming explanation for why Sakuya is included. He has also at least once called Nagi ‘Nagi-sama’.
    • Hayate seems to be rather fickle with Nishizawa though; sometimes he will use ‘Nishizawa-san’ or sometimes not use any honorific at all.
    • He also gave Athena the nickname 'A-tan' when they were children, and still calls her that.
      • Hinagiku once commented on this when he refers to Athena as this after he is "rejected" by her at the end of the Greece Arc and notes that it is odd given the circumstances. He then suggested that he could start calling her Hina-tan, to which she instantly gave a deadpan 'I absolutely refuse'.
    • There's also Isumi who uses Hayate-sama which at one point enabled Hayate to figure out Isumi's involvement and mission in a certain matter solely because only she ever calls him that.
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