, Rumiko Takahashi
's long-running martial arts/comedy manga and anime series, has a lot of Urban Fantasy
aspects and a generally light-hearted atmosphere. It tells the story of Ranma Saotome, a teenage martial arts prodigy, who returns from a training journey with his father Genma to find himself engaged to marry Akane Tendo, another teenage martial artist prodigy and the daughter of Genma's best friend.
Ranma has a bigger problem to deal with than an arranged marriage, though: during that aformentioned training journey, both he and his father accidentally fell into cursed pools of water at a magical training ground in China called Jusenkyo. Genma and Ranma bear
as a result: whenever someone splashes either Saotome with cold water, they transform (Genma into a giant panda, Ranma into a busty girl); a splash of hot water will restore them to their normal selves. Further complications arise in the form of other engagements arranged by Ranma's amoral father, boys pursuing the girls so engaged, and various other persons wanting to either kill or marry Ranma (in either — or both! — of his forms). Several of these folks also bear Jusenkyo shapeshifting curses. Almost all
of these people have the same kind of world-class martial arts training as Ranma, which results in considerable property damage whenever a fight breaks out. Hilarity Ensues
This series brought the "harem
" trope to its ridiculous extreme; there's a reason that the Love Dodecahedron
trope exists, and this series is
that reason. The core cast numbered more than a dozen persons caught up in a complex web of love, hate, duty, honor, and rivalry — and Takahashi played all of it for laughs. More characters joined the madness every year, which eventually gave Ranma
one of the largest ensemble casts in all of anime and manga. The manga ran in Shounen Sunday
from 1987 to 1996, which were later published as thirty-eight tankoban
volumes (which ended up condensed into thirty-six volumes for the American release).Ranma's
TV series adaptation lasted seven seasons; it also spawned eleven OVAs
, one theatrical short (released as the twelfth OVA outside Japan), and two motion pictures. Production ended when Kitty Studios folded in 1996. A belated thirteenth OVA was released in 2008 (along with special episodes of InuYasha
and Urusei Yatsura
) as part of the Rumic World
art exhibition that commemorated the 50th anniversary of Takahashi's publisher, Shogakukan.
While fans and critics alike consider the anime a "classic", it suffers from several problems. It rapidly overtook the manga
and was canceled before it could complete the full storyline, ending three years before the manga itself concluded
. The dearth of new material caused the show to become somewhat repetitious
as the production team resorted to cookie-cutter filler
episodes that had no relation to the manga's plot. (Of the final season's twenty-five episodes, only ten had storylines based on the manga). This reflected a change in the manga itself, which had also abandoned an overarching plot in favor of smaller arcs and episodic comedy. The artistic quality of the show began to suffer noticeably early in its run — there is a visible decline in quality of animation, music, and writing starting in the second season — but around the fourth or fifth season, this tendency had begun to reverse itself to the point where the final seasons showed considerable improvement in the animation department. (The OVAs
and movies had far better animation than the TV series, natch.)
Even with these problems, the Ranma ½
anime became a popular show in its day — even in North America. Ranma
became one of the first major crossover hits that helped usher in the explosion of anime importation in the early-to-mid-1990s, and was the very
first anime TV series to ever be released in English with a straight uncut dub. Many fans think of the dub by Viz Video
and Ocean Studios
as one of the first decent efforts in the history of English anime adaptation. Viz did its best to minimize the usual culprits of cultural translation, Bowdlerization, and localization — which contrasts heavily with the show's near-contemporary Sailor Moon
(Viz released Ranma
directly to video rather, whereas Sailor Moon
arrived via television syndication, though Ranma
also aired for a short time in some markets). It was even briefly optioned for a live action Hollywood film in the late 1990s, although nothing ever came of it. Ranma
had the fortunate luck to arrive in the the English language market at about the same time that the World Wide Web emerged into public life, which led to the show acquiring one of the first major online fan communities, the Fan Fiction
Mailing List, or FFML, which primarily centered around Ranma
despite the generic name, and the first known online scanlation effort, the RanmaScan project.
Despite its age, Ranma ½
still has a remarkably large and vigorous North American fan community — and it's still responsible for a significant fraction of the anime fanfiction
on the web, including a wide variety of crossovers
. Ranma ½
is probably one of the most crossed-over series on the Internet — on fanfiction.net alone, it has over 1,100 listed crossovers and hundreds (if not thousands) listed elsewhere. (That doesn't count un
listed crossovers, either there or elsewhere.) To put that into perspective: while Naruto
has around eight times the number of crossovers listed, Naruto
also has over twenty-four times
as many stories listed as Ranma
does total. One sub-type of Ranma
crossovers — the Fuku Fic
— became common enough that it has its own trope entry. The series' length and fanbase has predictably resulted in copious amounts of Fanon
; it also inspired the comic series Ninja High School
, among many other creations.
On the 9th of December 2011, a two-hour live-action TV movie version aired on the Japanese network NTV. Based on an original story by Yoshihiro Izumi, it starred Kenta Kaku and Natsuna Watanabe as male and female Ranma, respectively, and Yui Aragaki as Akane, along with an impressive supporting cast
. The official NTV site for this live-action special is here
Ranma ½ provides examples of the following tropes:
open/close all folders
- Abduction Is Love:
- Aborted Arc (manga only): Ranma's attempts to conceal his curse are quietly dropped in the middle of the "Full-body Cat's Tongue" arc and the story goes from no one at school knowing about his curse to everyone (except the Kunos, of course) knowing about it with hardly a comment from anybody, initiating the manga's shift from a Romantic Comedy to a status quo is darn near god Situation Comedy.
- The Abridged Series: Ranma Abridged - a streamlined "shorts" based series, and...
- Ranmabridged, a series that more closely follows the original.
- Absurd Phobia: Ranma's fear of cats is usually Played for Laughs, until he goes into his Cat-Fu mode.
- Absurdly Sharp Blade: Kuno. With a wooden sword, no less. Konatsu, Ryoga, and even Kodachi, are still more extreme. The former uses a sword made of paper, and the two others regular pieces of cloth.
- An intentionally absurd justification is made for Kuno's wooden sword by showing that he's so fast with it that when he swings, it can smash rocks with the air pressure alone.
- Lampshaded in the Martial arts rhythmic gymnastic competition when Kodachi attacks with a steel bar: "she uses that rope like it's a steel bar...oh wait it is a steel bar"
- Abusive Parents: Staggeringly none of the parental figures in either the manga or the anime are ever considered abusive within the setting despite their actions. The sole exceptions are: Genma, whom the Tendos call out for Jusenkyo and the Cat-Fist, and is called a monster by his best friend for knocking his own wife unconscious to preserve his and Ranma's secret; and Principal Kuno, who everyone calls out for being a lousy parent who tortured and eventually abandoned his children for his personal amusement whenever the issue of his parenthood comes up.
- In the case of Nodoka, she allowed Genma to take Ranma away for training on the basis that he would turn their son into "a man among men," a statement too vague and subjective to truly be a valid measure of character, and even let him sign a seppuku oath to that end — which was the only reason she let him take Ranma away in the first place. Her absolute devotion to this duty, both before and after finding out about the curse, constantly keeps Ranma on edge (especially since she was willing to go through with it once) and would be considered an even greater sort of emotional abuse even if Ranma himself weren't desperately willing to make her proud of him (and his manliness.) This dynamic is typically Played for Laughs, with no one batting an eye at it in-story, until the Values Dissonance sets in for the audience.
- Accidental Engagement: Ranma and Shampoo; Kodachi's behavior is similar.
- Adaptation Dye-Job: Girl-Ranma, from black in the manga (and varicolored in random non-canon illustrations) to cherry-red in the anime. Likewise Shampoo, from black to lavender/purple. Often overlooked is Akane, who also had black hair in the manga but started getting illustrated consistently with brown hair in late Takahashi illustrations (around the same time Ranma's red hair leaked back into Takahashi's style) but was portrayed with midnight-blue in the anime.
- Adaptational Heroism:
- Shampoo. Her manga self is violent and treacherous and it's difficult to imagine why Shampoo could be taken seriously as a possible "fiancee". The anime, however, made Shampoo's character significantly nicer and gave her a lot more Pet the Dog moments.
- Kodachi Kuno actually gets Pet the Dog moments in the anime (including an entire episode that showed her willingly bequeathing her fortune to Ranma so the Anything-Goes school can have a dojo), compared to the manga's depiction of her as a one-dimensional loon that would fit right in at Arkham Asylum.
- Adaptational Villainy: Unfortunately, the reverse arguably happened to Akane, who is often perceived as being more of a jerk in the anime than in the manga. Then again, others profess the opinion that while Akane is more frequently short-tempered/physically violent, she's actually a lot less of a Jerk Ass because some of her more extreme acts of Comedic Sociopathy from the manga (like implying she believes Ranma is a potential rapist) are cut.
- Adaptation Expansion: The 13th OVA episode - which was done years after the originals as part of Shonen Sunday's 50th anniversary - added more content than was in the original manga story it was based on. Most likely done to allow more of the old cast to play part as a service to the fans who hadn't seen them in years.
- Affably Evil or Faux Affably Evil: Nabiki, Pantyhose Taro, Pink, Shampoo.
- All Amazons Want Hercules: Shampoo towards Ranma.
- All-Cheering All the Time: Mariko, though we only ever see her when she's actively being a Combat Cheerleader so she might not talk that way in civvies. Then again, this is Ranma ½.
- And Call Him Charlotte: Azusa Shiratori.
- Anguished Declaration of Love: There exists Played for Laughs and at least one Played for Drama versions.
- Anachronism Stew: Nabiki often carries an abacus (played for laughs), even though this is seemingly modern day Japan (well modern being set in the same decade as the show was produced), and hand-held calculators should have been readily available.
- They were and are, but abaci were still in common use at the time.
- Animation Bump: The OVAs to the show, especially the most recent, which beats out even the movies for slick animation.
- Episode 34 has noticeably better animation than the rest of the second season. Rather suspicious, given that it's called "Assault on the Girls' Locker Room"...
- Anime Theme Song
- Angst Nuke: The Shi-Shi Hokodan.
- Anti-Hero: Soun, Konatsu, and if you feel charitable Kuno, are Classical Anti-Hero; Ryoga and Akane are somewhat Knight In Sour Armour; Kumon Ryu is either a Pragmatic Hero or an Unscrupulous Hero. Ranma and Hinako are both heroic with flaws, but both have a mostly positive mindset, so they do not fit.
- Armor-Piercing Slap: Akane is capable of landing a slap to the cheek on anyone, regardless of how badly they may outclass her in terms of fighting skills. The catch is that they must first insult her fighting skills or general appearance. This effect is such an important part of her character that it was used in both the manga and the series to break her out of an amnesiac effect.
- Arranged Marriage: The driving force of the series. Three times in the original manga (the Tendo promise, Ukyo, and Picolet Chardin,) plus an extra two time in the anime, once to serve as the justification for a Villain of the Week's Martial Arts and Crafts challenge and the second time as a gag at the end of the episode.
- Art Major Biology: Akane somehow survives all of the water in her body being instantly evaporated by the Kinjakan. Of course, like almost everything else in the series, A Magical Device Did It.
- Basically, the series consists of 36 volumes of Magic Curses that cause your body to transform into different creature in a split second, broken bones that heal in a week, Megaton Punches with Invulnerable Knuckles, Charles Atlas Superpowers, 300/100-year old, two-foot-tall old people (one of which was sealed in a cave with no food or water for ten years,) Ki Attacks, de-aging mushrooms, a woman who ages by Life Energy Absorption gaining and losing mass without explanation, not to mention the giant wildlife and sentient plants, food items that can either give you Super Strength (and whiskers) or cause your hair to grow in feet-per-second, people and animals being frozen in gigantic blocks of ice, and people breaking the laws of physics and biology with Supernatural Martial Arts on a daily basis.
- Ash Face: A frequent result of Happosai's fire bombs.
- Astonishingly Appropriate Appearance: Pick any of the visiting Martial Arts and Crafts people who come by.
- The French Cuisine arc in the manga had the governess dressed in 20th century French gown, with her hair tied up to resemble a roast chicken. The gambling king looks exactly like the King playing card, right down to the swirly beard and crown.
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: The Orochi, Pantyhose Taro's monster form, and Happosai, Soun and Genma's Battle Aura manifestations. Not to mention the Dojo Destroyer, in the manga.
- Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Hinako Ninomiya in child form.
- Attractive Bent-Gender: Ranma. All the guys at school cheer whenever Ranma suffers a Mode Lock as they seem to like ogling Ranma more than most of the real girls. Nyanniichuan victims in general seem to fall under this category, perhaps because it ups the embarrassment factor of the curse; see the Musk Dynasty, especially their prince, Herb.
- Ranma's popularity as an ogling target might stem less from the fact s/he is attractive (though it's undeniable that s/he is) and more from the facts that Ranma has a tendency to suffer Clothing Damage due to his opponents often wielding blades or bombs, doesn't wear bras (for obvious reasons) and, most importantly, lacks "feminine modesty" and so is far less likely to get pissy/violent at them then any of the normal girls.
- Author Tract: Almost completely bereft of them, as Takahashi is a very creative and diverse, almost purely entertainment-driven artist, but the self-stated ongoing message of her works is "be kind to others", and she has also stated that she "finds perfect characters boring," which fits with the goofy cast and overall tolerant tone.
- Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Ranma and Akane. There is one moment of this in the second movie between Shampoo and Mousse.
- Badass Family: The Saotomes, most obviously, with Ranma and Genma both being martial arts masters. Shampoo and Cologne, the latter being the former's great-grandmother also count. The Tendos could theoretically count, but only two of the four members are fighters, and rather weak ones compared to the other cast members (though not to anyone else).
- Badass Longcoat: Shinnosuke. A janitor's coat, yes, but Shinnosuke makes it very badass; Mousse (for all of three panels)... he's pretty much a subversion from then on; right clothes, right skill level, wrong antics.
- Bad Future: Parodied. In the manga, during the Pantyhose Taro arc, Ranma conceives of a plan that will surely get Happosai to change Taro's name (Happosai being the one who gave him his name and the only one who can): show him a future (actually a play)where, thanks to his name, "Demon Lord" Taro has an vicious addiction to pantyhose and has taken all of the pantyhose in the world for himself. Naturally, Happosai is devastated. But, when giving the chance to make things right in the past, Happposai opts to murder the child rather than, say, just change his name.
- Also parodied in the anime. Ranma, Genma, and Happosai use Happosai's time-traveling hand mirror to go ten years into the future, where Akane is married to Ryoga (with children), Genma and Happosai are very old and tired men who are virtually the children's playground, and Ranma is nowhere to be found. The time-travelers are not happy, especially Ranma, who then provides one of the page quotes. Made more interesting when the entire episode is revealed to be Ranma's dream.
- Barehanded Blade Block: Or, if their hands are full, barefooted blade block.
- The Barnum: Nabiki to an extreme degree.
- Bash Brothers: Mikado Sanzen'in and Azusa Shiratori, the Golden Pair of Martial Arts Ice Skating.
- Battle Aura: Pretty much every martial artist in the series. Happosai can actually shape his into a giant copy of himself, effectively becoming kaiju-sized. One episode of the anime has Happosai split into seven clones (long story) and all of them do this at once.
- In one arc, Happosai and Genma keep one-upping each other...until they both faint from exhaustion.
- Moreso in the anime, but Genma and Soun can both become kaiju-sized, although Genma is always in his Panda form when he does this, and Soun is always dressed as a samurai. This is regardless of whether or not Genma was human at the time... and Soun just seems to keep his armor, spear and bow in Hammer Space in case he needs to make a quick costume change.
- Battle Harem: Ranma's Unwanted Harem is full of Action Girls. Not surprising, since he lives in a world where everybody gets their own style of martial arts.
- Beach Episode
- Beam of Enlightenment
- Beautiful All Along: Inverted — Mousse is first introduced as what appears to be a stoic Bishōnen... and then he puts on those incredibly stupid-looking Nerd Glasses and proceeds to make an idiot of himself.
- Because You Were Nice to Me: Konatsu, raised by a psychologically abusive family, latches onto Ukyo because she treats him better than they did. Not by much, still better.
- This is the entire reason that Maomolin tries to "help" Ryoga win Akane's heart in the anime-only story "Ryoga's Proposal".
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: Ranma & Akane — the Trope Codifiers for anime.
- Best Her to Bed Her: Shampoo, and indeed, all of the Chinese Amazons.
- Big Bad: There isn't one, but Happosai, Pantyhose Taro, Ryu Kumon, Herb and Saffron have fit the role in long single storyarcs.
- Big Damn Heroes: Quite a few times, but the best was when Ranma (who had all his strength taken away) was about to get ambushed by four of his old foes... Defenseless and pinned against a tree, Ranma closes his eyes and waits for it... But nothing happens. Looking up, he sees Ryoga, who had stepped in the way and defeated all four of the foes.
- Big Eater:
- Ranma and Genma, the latter more than the former.
- The Chardin family, and later by Kurumi "Tendo" in the OAV.
- Nabiki Tendo has some traits of this, especially when she's being fed out of other peoples' wallets.
- Big Fancy House: The Tendo home, which contains separate bedrooms for all three of the daughters, Soun himself, and two guest bedrooms — one downstairs used by Happosai, and another upstairs which Genma and Ranma share. It also includes a full traditional Japanese bathing area, an equally traditional dining/living room, a modern kitchen with a big worktable in the center of the floor, a garden with large pond, and a dojo large enough to comfortably seat virtually every character ever seen on the show as of the series' first Christmas episode. The Kuno Estate is a massive place that almost resembles a medieval Japanese fortress — particularly in the anime, where it has a literal labyrinth of secret passages, dungeons, and deathtraps.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Nabiki. Oneshot character Satori the psychic kid even more so.
- Blessed with Suck: Most of the main characters with Jusenkyo curses, or other oddities, such as Ryoga's causality-bending complete lack of direction-sense. Ranma feels this way about his curse (though he does seem to get some enjoyment/use out of it), but it's fairly neutral in and of itself... compared to, say, turning into a defenseless little animal considered tasty-looking and edible by just about everyone, ala Ryoga Hibiki. Mostly, it's Blessed with Suck because of the Seppuku pledge his father and mother made, the fact he's physically weaker in that form, it results in various complications that wouldn't have happened if he didn't have it (first meeting with Akane, Shampoo trying to kill him, nightmares about having Tatewaki Kuno's children, etc.), and the fact it makes him the target of just about every pervert and degenerate to crawl out of the woodwork... including Dirty Old Man Happosai and his fiancée's unscrupulous and money-crazed elder sister.
- Blind Without 'Em: Mousse
- Blow You Away: Ranma's most frequent Finishing Move is the Hi Ryū Shoten Ha, which creates a tornado. He's also fond of modifying it on the spot to beat the more serious enemies.
- Blue with Shock
- Boobs of Steel: Played straight with Shampoo and Female-Ranma, who have generous busts and are highly skilled martial artists, as well as Miss Hinako who is one of the most powerful characters in the series since she drains power from her opponents.
- Atsuko Nakajima's OAV and movie character designs obviate the trope by making all of the girls extremely well-endowed, even the more modest ones.
- Book Dumb: Ranma Saotome. He's known for his success with on-the-fly solutions, though he's also capable of coming up with intricate plans, such as the one he used to get Happosai to change Pantyhose Taro's name. He's attentive and smart, to the point where he can reproduce a martial arts move after seeing it only once and then find its weak spot. Too bad he's kind of Book Dumb in certain areas.
Akane: Ranma, you do know what Romeo and Juliet are to each other, don't you?
Ranma: Father and daughter, right?
- Bowties Are Cool: Ranma's pastel orange shirt and little red bowtie combo.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Happens to Male Ranma when his female half is duplicated (though not split from him) and it seduces him in one anime episode.
- Brawler Lock: Ryouga does this with Girl Type Ranma in the last bit of the Golden Pair arc (in the anime at least)
- Break Up Make Up Scenario: sometimes played for laughs, others for drama.
- Brought Down to Normal: When Happosai used moxibustion to rob Ranma of his prodigious strength, to the point where a toddler could beat him up.
- Bully Hunter: Ranma does this occasionally, for example when she stopped Kodachi from beating up the Fūrinkan gymnastic team further or the time he stopped a group of masked kids that were bullying Gosunkugi.
- Butt Monkey: Most of the regular characters of the show at one point or another get beaten for comic relief, the males more regularly than the females. Most frequently Ranma, as he is the main protagonist.
- Call Back: To Akane and [male] Ranma's first encounter, twice: Shinnosuke running into Akane in the bath (confirming his identity to her) and Kiima posing as Akane walking in on Ranma in the exact same pose and angles as in the introductory chapter.
- Calling Your Attacks:
- Almost entirely spoofed in the manga: nearly every attack, no matter how minor or improvised, has some sort of name. The Saotome school even has a named 'attack' that consists of running away until you can think of something else. But it's also played straight, particularly with Ranma and Ryoga's most devastating attacks.
- There's also The Crouch of the Wild Tiger — a "maneuver" that has the martial artist dropping on all fours and begging for mercy from the "target".
- Even better is the Howl of the Demon Dog, where the user slides backwards and shouts that he doesn't care that he's been beaten. Ranma quickly renamed it the Whine of the Beaten Dog.
- Konatsu is the most extreme spoof of this. Almost everything he does, no matter how useless or unrelated to combat, is shouted out with a silly title, including coming up with multiple names for doing the same thing...
- There's also the Carp on the Cutting Board...preluding the Cradle of Death.
- Attack of a thousand clubs!!...it looks like she's using 10 or 20 clubs, because she IS using 10 or 20 clubs.
- Then there's both the Yamasenken and Umisenken, which have some seven attacks each, with Ranma and Ryu calling each attack when they're used.
- Canon Foreigner: Sasuke Sarugakure, the Kunos' Ninja servant, in the anime.
- Can't Catch Up: Akane and the Kuno siblings to Ranma.
- Can't You Read the Sign?: Has oodles of fun with this trope. Characters sit on water mains with signs that read, "Danger: Do not Sit", laugh in areas where signs read, "Do not laugh loudly in the garden", and run on fences that read "Danger: Unstable". Rumiko Takahashi has quite a bit of fun with this gag.
- Card-Carrying Villain: Happosai. He molests women, invades the privacy of women who are changing clothes or taking baths, steals underwear and food, racks up extortionate bills and sticks them on the Tendo dojo, bullies and beats and harasses his students... only for self-enjoyment. He is the only character who is actually proud of declaring that he will be "evil" until the day that he dies and that he never, ever, in his whole, rotten life has learnt something that served to help someone. Actually, thinking of making something good got his brain literally fried once.
- Even when he believes he's doing good, it's still used in his selfish pleasures down the road. Proof: as much as he says he taught the Happo Failure to Hinako when she was a kid so her health could improve (which it did, truth be told), in the end, he used it just so he could freely steal the nurses' panties as she drained their vital energies. And he pretended to be Santa Claus to protect two children's innocent dreams... all the while as he ate and drank at their expenses and used them to steal panties.
- Catch Phrase: Many, but most notably Kasumi: "Oh My", Akane: "Honestly" and "Ranma no baka!" (roughly "dummy", or "Ranma you jerk" in the dub; she even has a "Baka Song"), Ranma's catchword "kawaiikune" ("uncute"), Happosai: "What a haul!" and "Sweeto!", Shampoo: "Nihao, Airen!" and, to a lesser extent, "Aiyaaa!" and of course Ryoga's "Ranma, prepare to die!" He never follows through on it when he wins. Akane in particular typically uses both of her catchphrases at least Once an Episode.
- Cerebus Fandom: Despite being one of the "classic" comedy series, the fanbase is littered with angst and drama fics as all get out.
- Changing Clothes Is a Free Action: Often as part of a sight gag, such as Ranma getting into or out of a costume to fool Ryoga in the space of a single panel, or Nodoka (who is in a full dress kimono) seeing Ranma for the first time (but wearing girl's clothes,) hugging him, and suddenly standing in proper seppuku attire.
- Characterization Marches On: Rumiko Takahashi herself stated in an interview that she originally intended Ranma to be "a clean-cut, nice boy with frank disposition", but that he kept surprising her and "turned out to be an indecisive, stubborn, sly guy."
- The Tendos' characterisations are also more rounded in the first couple of books, with Kasumi dismissing younger men as boring, calling Genma out and being snarky, and Nabiki being a more normal high-schooler.
- Character Development: Ryoga, who first appears as an enemy and gradually evolves into a rival, a reliable ally, and possibly a friend. (Of all the characters who crash the abortive wedding, Ryoga is the only one who is not trying to deliberately spoil the event.)
- Akane, and to a lesser degree Mousse, also turn nicer as the story marches on.
- Chef of Iron: Ukyo, master of Martial Arts Okonomiyaki and wielder of giant spatulas. Cologne to a degree with ramen noodle attacks and teaching Shampoo Martial Arts Takeout Delivery.
- Chekhov's Gun: The horn whistle Shinnosuke gave Akane during their childhood is the only thing that can pacify the Orochi and send it back to sleep.
- The photo of Akane that Nabiki sells to Ryoga winds up playing a role in snapping Ranma out of his stupor after falling down Saffron's pit trap — and winds up alerting the Phoenix to Akane's existence and leading to her kidnapping.
- Cherry Blossoms
- Chick Magnet: Ranma attracts a good number of female characters in the series, even one-shot gag characters.
- Childhood Marriage Promise: Ukyo made a deal with Ranma while they were still kids who played together regularly that, in exchange for allowing Ranma to taste her family's secret okonomiyaki sauce recipe (which is Serious Business, even in the real world), Ranma would marry her if it tasted good.
- The exact words she used were "would take care of her forever", but the intent was obvious. Plus, it doesn't matter, as Ranma manages to wheedle out of that promise — though not out of the Arranged Marriage between him and her.
- Child Marriage Veto: Genma, and Mr. Tendo had arranged for Ranma and Akane to marry. The kids swear they won't because they hate each other, but most people who've seen the series swear it's more akin to Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome:
- After being a significant supporting character in the first couple volumes, Dr. Tofu is gradually demoted to a plot device, then starts to appear more and more infrequently until, just over a third of the way through the series, he completely disappears and is never mentioned again. The anime averts this, having him show up in filler episodes right up to the final season. Word of God says that Takahashi didn't like the character; when Cologne brought her knowledge and martial art prowess, Tofu got completely useless and was properly scrapped.
- Shampoo's father in the manga. He appears in volume 4 with two lines of dialogue, then he can be seen helping out at the Cat Café for a little while, but then he's just gone.
- Cinderella Circumstances: Read this manga if you want to see how things would be if Cinderella and her step-family were kunoichi and Cinderella reveals herself a man.
- Clingy Costume: Ranma gets stuck in a cursed swimsuit, which will drag 'her' into the depths of the sea unless she is honestly complimented by a particular man.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: Akane, Shampoo, Ukyo and Kodachi.
- Cloning Blues: The Haunted Mirror.
- Subverted in that arc is hilarious and all of the angst is played for laughs.
- Clothing Damage: Pretty much every time Ranma fights as a girl.
- Cobweb of Disuse: Happens within minutes to the Tendou household when they temporarily lose all their money due to shenanigans involving Nabiki.
- Combat Pragmatist: Ranma and Genma. They've turned cheating, cheap shots, and taunting into an art form. Fear the mighty Crouch of the Wild Tiger! Beg for your life!
- Combat Commentator: Happens occasionally, with the peanut gallery making quips to explain what may be missing in a single still panel shot. Of course, this happens to also give certain characters an unusual and inconsistent knowledge of the martial arts, even if it is accepted as fact that they have no interest in them. Such as Nabiki immediately commenting on the nature of Happosai's "Hermit Crab Fist" being him moving from bucket to bucket really fast. Also parodied later in the Ten-yen bet saga, where Akane and Ranma serve up some overdramatic commentary on the rather mundane happenings. One of the best examples of this trope might be the anime-exclusive episode dealing with Martial Arts Shogi, where Happosai and Nabiki (the former of which is just being a coward) take to the sidelines with Happosai explaining how Battle Shogi relates to the rules of the boardgame.
- Combat Parkour: Kodachi Kunō. Ranma Saotome uses this sort of fighting style in that he's prone to using a lot of flips, jumps, handstands, rolls and tumbles, all to either evade attack or beat on his opponent.
- Comedic Sociopathy: And how...
- Comedic Spanking:
- In the manga, when Female!Ranma disguises as Ryōga's (non-existent) little sister Yoiko, she once falls out of character and makes a rude comment to her "brother" before Akane. Ryōga doesn't approve of such language for a young lady, and thus give his "sister" a spanking. Note that Ryōga is super-strong, and as tough Ranma is, the ass-warming clearly hurts.
- In another chapter, Ranma and Ryōga are age-regressed due to magical mushrooms. Ranma, the older at the moment, pushes Ryōga, and gets a spanking from Akane.
- Comic-Book Time: The whole damn series. Ranma and Akane are forever 16, despite several Christmases passing and one episode even referencing the three-year anniversary of Ranma's arrival at the dojo.
- Congruent Memory: Kuno's watermelon sword training.
- Continuity Nod: Remember how Akane can't swim to save her life? Rumiko Takahashi did when she dropped her in a Jusenkyo spring.
- Cooking Duel: Practically every third episode, at least two involved actual cooking. See Martial Arts and Crafts for some examples.
- Cordon Bleugh Chef: Akane Tendo. For reasons that are probably understandable only by herself, the girl seems to consider any recipe as always being in need of improvement... and her choice of extra ingredients is always deleterious. In her first attempt at cooking that we see, she mixes up wine and vinegar when making curry — then "fixes" the mistake by adding sugar, mayonnaise, and wasabi. Unlike most examples of this trope, however, even she finds her concoctions to be thoroughly inedible, if she ever tastes them. Her main problem is that she never actually tastes the food before she serves it, occasionally being offended if the subject is even raised. Needless to say, nobody except Ryoga Hibiki is willing to even touch her food unless intimidated or guilted into doing so. Later in the manga she does make edible curry and tries it prior to serving it. In the anime she also learns to prepare tofu and boil water.
- Counter Attack: The Hiryū Shoten Ha; almost all the techniques in the Umi-Sen Ken style are specific counters to the Yama-Sen Ken.
- Covert Pervert: Akane and Ukyo have both had at least one of these moments each in the manga, as did virtually everyone else. It is a sex-farce comedy as much as it is a Martial Arts comedy, after all.
- Crazy Jealous Guy: Most of the male suitors.
- Crippling the Competition: Kodachi Kuno tries doing this to Ranma before their big match. However, Akane is thwarts each effort. Ryoga also tries to beat up Ranma before the match, but the fight lasts the entire night without a winner.
- Crosscast Role: The school play is the first time Akane is ever actually asked to play Juliet instead of Romeo.
- Crossdresser: Ukyo, Tsubasa, and Konatsu. Unfortunate applications of hot water tend to make male Ranma one of these, to the horror of innocent passerby (including his own mother).
- Cross-Popping Veins
- Curse: The keystone and main plot driver of the series.
- Cursed with Awesome: Ranma's Jusenkyo curse, according to some people, though he would not agree. The theory that Ranma is under some curse that makes him a Weirdness Magnet counts if you believe it — though in this case it would be an example of Ranma not minding the curse. Canonically, Pantyhose Taro and Rouge; both of them have Jusenkyo curses that cause them to transform into super powered, if bizarre, alternate forms. Pantyhose Taro becomes a kind of flying minotaur that later gains Combat Tentacles. Rouge sprouts four new arms and two more faces while gaining the ability to fly, hurl lightning bolts, and breath fire.
- Cute Little Fangs: Ryoga, primarily, though Rumiko Takahashi's art-style allowed virtually every member of the cast to acquire them during at least one rant through the course of the manga.
- A Day in the Limelight: Nabiki's "Ten Yen Bet" arc. It allows her to have her own set of wacky adventures, and "love interest," with Ranma and Akane as the background commentators. Her "New Fiancée" and "Destroyed Concert Ticket" stories also qualify.
- Deadly Dodging: Makes up a large component of Ranma's fighting style.
- Deadly Training Area: The valley of Jusenkyo has acquired this reputation.
- Deadpan Snarker: Nabiki of course, though most of the cast have their moments in occasion.
- Death by Cameo: The InuYasha cast appear as corpses in Ova 13.
- Death by Materialism: Nabiki fights a boy whose style of "martial arts" is based on sticking other people with the debts he incurs.
- Defence Mechanism Superpower: The Neko-Ken.
- Demon Head: Soun, whenever he needs to jolt Ranma into doing something that he wanted, usually involving swallowing his pride and being nice to Akane.
- Kasumi and Nabiki also pulled a Demon Head during the Chardin arc.
- Determinator: Just about every martial artist in the main cast has pulled this act off at least once.
- Deus Angst Machina: Ryoga Hibiki. This, Wangst, or neither?
- Different for Girls: Explicitly lampshaded.
- Dirty Old Man: Happosai.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Many characters have done this on whim, usually Played for Laughs. However, Shampoo, Happosai, Saffron, Nabiki, and Herb are easily the most extreme cases.
- The Ditz: Azusa, Hinako. To a lesser extent Rouge and Konatsu.
- Does Not Know His Own Strength: Ryoga, through and through. It's played up much more in the original manga, but in either version when his mind wanders, he tends to destroy everything he's touching. It's possible that Shampoo might also be an example of this... or simply that she gets a kick out of proving how strong she is by demolishing everything in her path.
- Does Not Like Shoes
- Ranma himself tends to go barefoot quite often. That "often" however turns to "almost always" when he turns into a girl. Hell, as a girl, s/he's introduced bare feet first.
- Kuno is also barefoot pretty much always.
- Sōun Tendō and Genma Saotome are constantly shoeless, which is fitting enough considering they are almost always dressed in martial arts uniforms. Of the two, only Sōun has the sense to wear geta when going out to the street. Early manga and anime at least showed Genma (in panda form) wiping his feet with a washcloth before coming into the house again
- Akane is barefoot whenever she's in her gi. Which is to say 90% of the time, whether she's training or skateboarding.
- Dogs Are Dumb: In the second animated movie, the dog-man Wonton is the absolute stupidest of the three Half Human Hybrids, though he is still a surprisingly capable fighter. Averted with the actual canine, Checkers, though, who is very intelligent and, in all honesty, probably smarter than Ryoga.
- Double Standard: According to Akane, it's okay for a girl to see a guy nude but not for a guy to see a girl nude.
- Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Where to begin...
- Do You Want to Haggle?: To get back at Ranma for accidentally destroying an expensive concert ticket, Nabiki dedicates an entire day to making him miserable. At the end of the chapter, Nabiki manipulates him into thinking she took off all her clothes. Her family happens to come home at the same time and they both know he'll get in trouble if they're caught in such a situation. After he urges her to put some clothes on, they start haggling over her price for getting dressed.
Nabiki: Fifty dollars.
Ranma: Too much! Twenty dollars!
Nabiki: Forty-five dollars.
Ranma: Robber! Thirty dollars!
Nabiki: Done! A pleasure doing business with you.
- Dramatic Wind
- Drives Like Crazy: The entire main cast (sans Nabiki and Kasumi) in episode 119. This is only slightly justified due to it being a race.
- Dysfunction Junction
- Easy Amnesia: Shinnosuke, guardian of the Forest of Ryugenzawa. There's a pressure point technique that can not only erase certain facts from the victim's memory, but also prevents the victim from re-learning the fact in the future.
- Eating the Eye Candy: There are several scenes from the point of view of Ranma's various would-be lovers showing just why they consider Ranma to look good. In Akane's case, the girl most likely to get this (she's the other half of the Official Couple, of course she gets this the most), this almost inevitably prompts Ranma to say something that points out why "Jerk with a Heart of Gold" still references Jerk Ass.
- Ecchi: Mostly of the comedic misunderstanding variety, but that doesn't discourage skin from showing in the slightest.
- Effortless Amazonian Lift: Played with. Ranma only allows Akane to carry him when in his female form, but not in the male one. He seems to think differently of himself according to gender perception.
- In another instance, female Ranma has to carry the much larger and much more powerful, but unconscious Prince Herb in her arms to save him from a collapsing mountain. In fact, Ranma (and Mousse and Ryoga) was splashed with cold water instants before for the sole reason of turning him female for this scene.
- '80s Hair: Due to the standard Rumiko Takahashi artstyle, almost everyone.
- The Electric Slide: Pick your poison; everyone does it as they're all martial artists of some form or another.
- Embarrassing First Name: Quite obviously, Pantyhose Taro. "Pantyhose Taro" is his full name, but he only wants to change the first half of it into something less embarrassing, such as "Awesome Taro."
- Enemy Mine
- Energy Absorption: English teacher Hinako Ninomiya.
- Expies (whether influenced by Ranma ½ characters, or the other way around):
- Ranma: Ranma himself seems based on Ryonnosuke from Urusei Yatsura, but then so does Ukyo.
- Akane: Most explicitly Makoto seems based on her in virtually every detail including "rage-power boost" special technique and skyward punch. To a much lesser degree Amane Kaunaq, a more mature version of herself, who is part-time model, part time policewoman, retains the same explosive temper, and has exactly the same relationship to Seryuu as she has to Kuno, but is considerably less prudish. Likely due to some of the creators having worked on the Ranma ½ anime.
- Genma: He seems based on Ryonnosuke's father of Urusei Yatsura.
- Kasumi: Belldandy of Ah! My Goddess ends up with a similar personality and the same voice actress in the anime. Tsunami of Tenchi Muyo! is also part of the same archetype and by creators who worked on the Ranma anime a few years previously.
- Soun: Amane's father, the overemotional, and overprotective, Mister Kaunaq also comes across as a very deliberate Shout-Out to Soun.
- Shampoo: Renka, the cat-like kung-fu Chinese takeout waitress (and wannabe love interest), from History's Strongest Disciple Kenichi definitely seems strongly based on the anime version of Shampoo.
- Kuno: Seiryu Tennan seems directly based on Kuno to an extreme degree. The name means "Azure Dragon" (instead of "blue thunder"), so there may be some allusion there as well. Kuno himself seems based on Mendou of Urusei Yatsura.
- Kodachi: Kodachi seems based on Ryoko, Mendou's sister of Urusei Yatsura, basically being a more flamboyant, and less manipulative, version of the same sadistic aristocratic personality.
- Ryoga: He shares various characteristics with Ryu Hoshi from Street Fighter, such as being constantly training stoic bandanna-wearing martial artists Walking the Earth with a backpack, while struggling between personal nobility and strong negative emotions, although Ryu is a considerably more mature version of the archetype, and their personalities are quite different in other ways. Sagara Sanosuke of Rurouni Kenshin is also quite similar in personality and lost Walking the Earth nature.
- Ukyo: Inuyasha's Sango seems directly based on Ukyo. The latter even shares her voice actress in the English dub. Lebreau of Final Fantasy XIII is another expy of Ukyo, including regular fight training with her cooking utensils. Ukyo herself seems more based on Ryonnosuke from Urusei Yatsura, but then so does Ranma.
- Mr. Fanservice: Two of the guys lose their clothing after a transformation; and Ranma's tends to get torn up during the same. Even Kuno and the reveal of the two Male-to-Female crossdressers.
- Even the Guys Want Him: During the Koi Rod arc Ranma (in both his male and female forms) falls in love with Ryoga, causing much rejoicing from the shippers.
- Everybody Was Kung-Fu Fighting: Anything-Goes insert-what-have-you-here.
- Everyone Calls Him Barkeep: The Dojo Destroyer, Principal Kuno, (Kuno Kocho in Japanese) whose given name was never revealed. The Jusenkyo Guide is only ever called "Mr. Guide" by the cast and "Father" by his daughter.
- Everything's Better With Pandas: Or so Genma would like you to believe. In the earlier arcs of the manga, he even had a tendency to appear out of nowhere and randomly save Ranma's from having people discover his curse. This is part of the Aborted Arc to keep Ranma's curse a secret.
- Messy Pig: If we're allowed to define "messy" as "complicated," Ryoga definitely qualifies.
- Evil Feels Good: Nabiki, Shampoo, Pink, to a lesser degree Happosai, as he is even more upbeat, but not quite as malevolent. A running theme of the show is that several of the most Jerkass-y characters tend to be extremely serene and happy about it, whereas people with a strong conscience tend to get depressed far more easily, much like the real world tends to work, rather than sticking to the corrupt story convention that pain equals evil and happiness equals goodness. It is most overtly displayed with Pink and Link, the former physically identical twin is a happy casual sadist, and the latter an altruist who gets victimized for her sister's misdeeds.
- Evil Old Folks: Happosai, possibly Cologne.
- Evil Twin: Kiima, after she used the Akaneniichuan., Pink.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Spring of Drowned Yeti holding an Eel and Crane while Riding an Ox.
- Extreme Doormat: Konatsu
- Extreme Omnivore: Kurumi in the OAVs can eat six-course meals prepared by Akane and ask for seconds. Ranma supposedly gained this ability from a "noodle of strength" (which would come in handy with Akane), but it was never mentioned again.
- Eye Catch: The first season had Ranma (girl type) juggling things, and Genma (panda type) eating things, but starting in the second season the eyecatches changed to chibi versions of Akane and Ranma, which would be used for the majority of the series. The first had Akane swatting at Ranma (boy type) with a broom but landing on P-chan, while the other had Akane practicing martial arts on a retreating Ranma (boy type), who backflipped into a tub of water, transforming into girl type Ranma.
- Face Fault
- Failure Is the Only Option: Ranma never escapes the curse (and the ways in which it comes crashing down sometimes meanders into Yank the Dog's Chain), and his Unwanted Harem never loses any members.
- Fanservice: And how. Ranma spends at least half the time female, and much of that time topless...
- And on the flipside, Ryoga and Mousse are often stark naked when they transform back into men.
- Fan Disservice: Genma is sometimes nude when he changes back from panda form... Fortunately, usually averted — he seems to have eventually mastered the art of magically appearing clothing. Plus some of his fans wouldn't object too much.
- Fat Bastard: Genma isn't exactly father material as he's incredibly selfish and willing to dump responsibilities on Ranma. Also the Dojo Destroyer.
- Father, I Don't Want To Fight: Ranma in the anime only episode Am I Pretty? Ranma's Declaration of Womanhood. after a bonk on the head. Akane uses Ranma's skull as the Reset Button at the episode's end though.
- Faux Paw: Ranma does this when his ailurophobia drives him into thinking he's a cat. Justified in that he's not actually supposed to be a cat or part-cat; he's just acting how he perceives a cat would.
- Feminine Women Can Cook: Kasumi's defining trait and a source of major angst for Akane; this is also Ukyo's primary advantage over Akane in the fiancée sweepstakes, and one she lampshades constantly. Shampoo as well.
- Femininity Failure: Generally the case with Akane.
- Festival Episode
- Fight Unscene: Played Straight more and more often over the course of the Anime.
- Filler: Both the manga and anime alike are full of minor stories designed to take up one episode or chapter and not really be of any importance. The anime gets more attention paid to its filler, however, because it created its own minor stories as well as adapting others from the original manga, making it appear far less connected to the manga, which consequently had fewer gaps between its story arcs.
- First Kiss: Ranma and Shampoo, much to Akane Tendo's ire.
- Flung Clothing: Kodachi, more than once, changing to her leotard.
- Fool's Map: One episode had Ranma and Ryoga trying to find some artifacts that would cure their Jusenkyo curses using a map that Cologne had deciphered for them. It leads them all around Nerima before ending up back at Cologne's ramen shop. Ranma naturally thinks this is in effect and attacks, but in the process uncovers the very thing he was looking for.
- Forged Message: In the anime episode "Genma Takes a Walk", one of the pushes to end the petty fight between his and Akane's fathers is Ranma having written a pair of insulting letters of challenge on behalf of both parties to each other, off-screen. Akane realizes this on-screen, while enraged fathers fall for it not without throwing in some remarks about opponent's bad handwriting etc.
- Forgot I Couldn't Swim: During the Phoenix Pill arc, Akane sees Ranma getting pounded to paste by Cologne in a duel at the beach (which has now moved to the ocean.) She valiantly dives headfirst into the ocean to assist her fiance... leaving Kasumi and Nabiki to wonder if she had ever learned to swim. And now Ranma has to rescue her too on top of everything else.
- Freaky Is Cool: "So, when is Ranma gonna turn back into a guy?" "Hey, fine by me if he stays a girl."
- Friendly Enemy: Ranma and Ryoga, after the first few stories. Much as Ryoga is fixated on beating Ranma (which becomes more simply being the Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy then revenge pretty quick), he is perfectly willing to help Ranma out, Ranma has no qualms about helping Ryoga, and the two are generally quick to make alliances of convenience. Of course, they're equally quick to fall out again, but what do you expect? Shampoo and Ukyo have some elements of this... in the manga, this usually results in one of their more villainous moments.
- Fruit of The Loon: The loon is Principal Kuno, the fruit is pineapples. Any questions?
- Furo Scene: Many, given the role hot water plays in the series.
- Gainaxing: And in the OAV, they have independent mobility.
- Gender Bender: Making Ranma both Ms. Fanservice and Mr. Fanservice at the same time.
- Gender Reveal: Hiroshi and Daisuke, at least in the manga. Their response to discovering that cute redheaded girl they've been crushing on is, in fact, their male best friend? "We don't care, she's still hot." Tsubasa also drops a Bridget on Ranma at the end of his introductory (and sole, in the manga) story, and Konatsu drops it on Ukyo at the end of his.
- Gender Vocabulary Slip: Ranma routinely uses the masculine pronoun of "ore" to refer to himself, even in his female form.
- Genre Shift: For the first few volumes the manga is a (comparatively) grounded romantic comedy series with arc-based plots and tangible Character Development. After a while it transforms into a manic, sitcom-esque gag-fest with an episodic monster/new character/new magical trinket of the week format and an unshakable status quo, punctuated by occasional longer arcs.
- Ghibli Hills: Anywhere in Japan that isn't Nerima tends to be presented as such. At least until Ranma and co have finished trashing it over a Martial Arts tiddlywinks challenge or some such.
- Ghostly Goals: The anime has a cute ghost girl named Kogane who wants somebody to find her lost tanuki doll. The manga has an ugly old ghost matron who places a death curse on Happosai that won't lift unless he swipes her old-fashioned bloomers.
- Girls with Moustaches: When Akane eats the super soba. It's full of male hormones, making facial hair growth a side effect. At least the whiskers drop off once the magic wears off.
- The Glasses Gotta Go: Inverted; Mousse looks like a handsome Bishonen... until his terrible eyesight forces him to put on a hideous set of Nerd Glasses.
- The Glomp:
- Ranma 1/2 is the Trope Namer: The first known appearance of the word "glomp" is a sound effect in the Viz media English translation of Ranma 1/2 Volume One, Part 12, published in 1993. The term was adopted wholesale by the highly prolific Ranma fanfic community and the rest is history.
- It's Shampoo's signature move towards Ranma, although Ryoga has also been glomped by Akane once (while she was brainwashed — by Shampoo, natch).
- Akane has also glomped Ranma once, when he returned to the Tendo home after his fight with Herb.
- Ryoga was also glomped by Male form Ranma during the Koi Rod arc (and the shippers rejoiced).
- During the Do-chan (Battlesuit of Armor) arc, Ranma glomped Akane the best he freaking could without fainting on the spot... They are a Takahashi Pairing after all.
- The most extreme glomping-series was the chapter wherein Shampoo used a magical "shiryaki mushroom spice" that gave anyone a hypnotic command to perform over and over. An awful amount of glomping was going on there. Ranma later used a suggestion incense to get Ryoga to hug anyone that said pig since Akari really liked pigs, with similar goofy results.
- Goldfish Scooping Game
- Gosh Hornet: Ranma's father tosses a beehive at his son as Training from Hell... with fairly mixed results.
- Grand Finale: For the manga. Abandoned arcs aside, it definitely deserves a mention for this trope for taking up two manga volumes.
- Grand Theft Me: The Vengeful Spirit Doll, Maomolin, the Oni...
- Hair Colors: Mostly a consequence of the animated adaptation, which gave the characters distinctive colors that remained fixed throughout the production. The first chapter of the manga was in color and portrayed Ranma with black hair in both forms. The fact the rest of the manga was in black and white, coupled with the greater availability of the anime, means that Girl-Ranma's hair is red in the public perception, to the extent that referring to her with black hair usually confuses most fans. Takahashi herself fueled this by publishing promotional pictures of "Ranma-chan" with various hair colors.
- Half-Human Hybrid: While not half-humans themselves, the people of the Musk Dynasty have inherited the blood of powerful animals and mythological creatures by throwing them in "The Spring of Drowned Girl" and mating with them. The Phoenix Kingdom, on the other hand, became Winged Humanoids through centuries of consuming Jusenkyo-cursed water (bird curses, natch) for pretty much every aspect of their lives (drinking, bathing, washing...) throughout generations.
- Hammerspace: Ranma 1/2 is the Trope Namer for this one too, though in this case the term originated in the FFML online fanfiction community. Used by nearly everyone in the cast in the name of comedy. Hammers are but a fraction of the items pulled out. Usually it's a shinai, bokken, spatula, chui, kettles, tables, miscellaneous so-called-weapons, heavy blunt objects in general, etc.
- Mad Love: The Kuno siblings are madly and unrequitedly in love with alternate halves of Ranma. Tatewaki is deluded from reality, and wants to court several disinterested women at once; whereas Kodachi is extremely flamboyant, psychotic, and tries to use paralysis potions in her aim to gain Ranma as an enamoured servant. Shampoo's personally stated motto centers around her willingness to kill any "obstacle" in her path if it is convenient. She is also a sadistic bully and manipulator, will gladly brainwash others if possible, and even force Ranma into loving her. Mousse, meanwhile, has been stalking the utterly disinterested (to the point of wanting him to die) and recurrently violent Shampoo since they were three, and is so fixated on her that his initial purpose in the series is basically defined as Murder the Hypotenuse. However, Mousse turns more conflicted, is far more loyal (as seen in the Herb arc), and usually less calculated than she is, and settles down to simply wanting Ranma to get married to Akane, to leave Shampoo for himself.
- Making a Splash: Cologne's Shark Fist and various other water-manipulation techniques. Also Ranma himself in the climax of the first movie.
- Making Use of the Twin: Elaina Wotten-Costain's season six substitution for her sister Angela Costain as the voice of Nabiki in the North American dub. Her performance was perfectly indistinguishable from her sister's — many fans didn't notice the actress had changed.
- Marriage Before Romance: The title character is betrothed to Akane while they are both teenagers, however subsequent romance is constantly derailed by, Akane's hatred of men, the frequent appearance of other fiancees as well as Ranma's curse that causes him to change into a woman whenever he is splashed with water.
- Martial Arts and Crafts: The Trope Codifier, if not Trope Maker. Some of them include:
- Martial Arts Rhythmic Gymnastics
- Martial Arts Pairs Figure Skating
- Martial Arts Takeout Food Delivery
- Martial Arts Tea Ceremony
- Martial Arts Cheerleading
- Martial Arts Calligraphy
- Martial Arts Shogi
- Martial Arts Dining
- Master-Apprentice Chain: Happosai > Genma & Soun > Ranma & Akane
- Master of Disguise: Tsubasa Kurenai, who is just as likely to crossdress as a pretty girl as be disguised as a very convincing tree. Kiima claims that her people have regularly used Jusenkyo to transform into humans other than Akane when they want to spy on or mingle with them.
- Master Poisoner: Kodachi Kuno
- Maybe Ever After: how the series ends.
- Mega Neko: The cat-ghost in S4 E18.
- Megaton Punch: Akane to Ranma, but most of the martial artists do this at one time or another.
- Notably used by Shinnosuke's supposedly infirm grandfather, who even screams, "Megaton Punch!" as he does it.
- Megumi Hayashibara: Girl-type Ranma, theme songs, member of DoCo supergroup.
- Mind-Control Device: Quite a few, which are usually used on (and even by) Ranma Saotome.
- Mind-Control Eyes: Happens to Ranma quite a bit and usually his male half.
- The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body: Animal-curse characters can fly or run on all fours instants after being cursed. Pantyhose Taro's octopus tentacles burdened him with octopus instincts. Rouge goes Ax-Crazy when transforming into Asura. Hinako acts childish as a young girl, but cold as woman. Ranma normally acts the same whatever his form but will react in a feminine manner whenever Rule of Funny requires it.
- Miniature Senior Citizens: Cologne; Happosai; Rakkyosai; Chingensai; Sentaro's grandmother; others.
- Misplaced Wildlife: Lampshaded and justified with the forest of Ryūgenzawa.
- Mistaken for Cheating: Multiple times, and almost always over-the-top.
- Mistaken for Gay: Ryoga, when he accidentally snags Ranma with the "Fishing Rod of Love" (he wanted to get Akane instead): Ranma gets genuinely infatuated with him, but it's Ryoga who gets the short end of the stick.
- Mix-and-Match Critters: Pantyhose Taro's monster form; he later augments it himself with extra body parts.
- Mode Lock: Depending on the mode, either the method of curing the curses or a reason to look for an antidote.
- Moment Killer: All the time to Ranma and Shampoo and to Ranma and Akane.
- Money Fetish: Nabiki Tendo, without a shadow of a doubt. There's almost literally nothing she won't do to make a few yen. Ukyo has a tiny bit of it as well.
- Mood Whiplash: The Ryu Kumon storyline. While still crammed with the usual Takahashi humor, his backstory is surprisingly somber (at least initially), and his relationship with Nodoka Saotome has layers upon layers of meaning.
- Morality Pet: Inverted. Being the pet, and his subsequent falling in love with Akane, is part of what sets Ryoga on the path to his eventual Heel-Face Turn.
- Of course he wasn't really bad in the first place.
- Morally Ambiguous Ducktorate: Mousse; he's an antagonist often enough to qualify.
- The Mourning After: Soun Tendo, never quite got over his wife's death, as painfully illustrated in the end of the manga Hinako arc.
- Mundane Made Awesome: Take Out Delivery Martial Arts, Fine Dining Martial Arts, Tea Ceremony Martial Arts, and so forth...
- Murder the Hypotenuse:
- Every crazed suitor in the entire series. Shampoo is willing to pull this on Akane and Ukyo if she thinks she can get away with it, as is Kodachi, while Mousse tries to dispatch Ranma in the same way. Its not clear whether early-series Ryoga would kill Ranma, but he definitely wants to severely beat him him/her. Earlier he was also throwing ki infused weapons/scarfs against Ranma that cuts through things a sword through Swiss cheeses.
- Ranma, under the Koi Rod of Love's spell, viciously attacks Akane, believing her to be the Hypotenuse.
- Mutilation Conga: Happens to every main male character at some point in the series.
- My Significance Sense Is Tingling: Several times; most notably Akane and Ranma sensing Ryoga being killed by Lime in the manga, but there are other examples.
- My Kung-Fu Is Stronger Than Yours: Obvious here.
- Neck Lift
- Nerd Glasses: Mousse
- Never Trust a Hair Tonic: Genma is quite embarrassed about his baldness and has tried all kinds of cures. There's the one that only works when he's angry, the one that comes from a one-of-a-kind dragon's whisker, and so forth.
- Never My Fault: Everyone.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
- Nightmare Face: Ranma's face during his Cat Fist that appears at 16:18 in episode 23. It just looks creepy.
- Ninja: Subversion: Sasuke. Played straight: Konatsu the Genius Kunoichi, who lives up to the "Genius" part but not so much the "kunoichi" part
- Noblewoman's Laugh: Kodachi Kuno, and it's really exaggerated, played up to the point of absurdity.
- This may have to do with the fact pretty much everything about Kodachi is absurd.
- Once done in an area where a sign read, "Please do not laugh loudly in the garden".
- Nobody Calls Me Chicken: Ranma, moreso in the anime than the manga.
- Non-Fatal Explosions: Happosai regularly throws around homemade gunpowder hand grenades. It's usually Ranma himself that gets left charred, smoking and pissed off, but otherwise unharmed. In one episode of the anime he also uses Abnormal Ammo, altering this move from the "Happo Daikarin" to the "Happo Daikabin", or "Happo Mold Burst". That's right, as in the nasty fuzzy stuff that grows on spoiled food.
- No Romantic Resolution: Takahashi spent so much time getting to the ending that she did not know how to make a serious resolution anymore.
- The Nose Bleed: Ryoga, mainly.
- No Sense of Direction: Ryoga is the king of this trope. Flanderized to high heaven in fanfiction, with him crossing continents, dimensions, and even fictional boundaries without noticing. (Although to be fair, the anime did show that at one point he had stumbled into Moscow while lost, albeit as a joke in and of itself, so the first isn't much of a flanderization.)
- No Social Skills: Being raised alone, constantly on the road, with martial arts as the most important goal, and by Genma no less, did a number on Ranma's people skills. While he has no problem socializing per se, and generally gets along just fine, he's extremely blunt, has all the tact of a chainsaw, and casually insults people who are standing right there (often, to their face.) This would normally make him a borderline Jerkass, but considering Genma —the only person Ranma had constant contact with for 16 years— acts the exact same way towards everyone, and treats Ranma even worse...
- Oblivious to Love: Akane seems perpetually ignorant of the fact Ryoga is head-over-heels for her.
- Also Ranma to Akane. He seems ignorant of her feelings for him and ends up hurting her because of it.
- Ocular Gushers
- Off Model: You can tell which Season 4, 5, and 6 episodes were outsourced to low-budget studios.
- Old Master: Cologne and Happosai, each of whom is 100+ years old (300+ years old in the anime) and can kick the asses of the rest of the cast combined.
- Old-Fashioned Rowboat Date: Ukyo and male!Ranma go on a date involving row boats. Ryoga and Akane are also on a date, and fighting ensues.
- One-Hour Work Week: Soun Tendo's seat on the neighborhood council seems to give him an inordinate amount of free time (enough for a few training trips and playing Shogi all day with Genma), yet yields enough cash to pay the taxes and bills on his Big Fancy House and attached dojo, plus cost of Martial Artist induced repairs, support his daughters, and still fit in expensive family holidays to seaside inns or mountain villas. He does complain about the bills, but it's only been twice in the entire anime and manga that they've ever been a problem. Also, the Tendo Dojo doesn't appear to have any actual students.
- He does rent out the dojo for social gatherings, seen in one saga, and gets paid to take monster- or hoodlum-hunting missions though.
- One-Sided Arm-Wrestling: Ranma versus Akane, and Akane versus Ranma after she ate some magic noodles.
- One of the Boys: Ukyo gets this treatment a lot.
- One-Winged Angel: Subverted by Saffron's transformation, which only turns him into a more adult version of himself. Possibly played straight with Pantyhose Taro's Monster Form.
- The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: All of Ranma's recurring rivals to some extent, leading to plenty of Rivals Team Up situations.
- Oracular Urchin: Miyo, a classmate of Akane's who appears in an anime Filler episode.
- Orochi: A giant monster from Japanese mythology. Its Ranma incarnation is unique in that, rather than an eight-headed serpent, its eighth head is actually its body, with seven independent heads trailing behind it from their necks.
- Out-of-Context Eavesdropping: In the "Tunnel of Lost Love" OVA episode, Ryoga teams up with Ukyo in another attempt to split Ramna and Akane. The plan backfires due to Ryoga repeatedly defending Akane from the spirits inside. Which causes Ukyo to become upset with him and leads Akane to misinterpret it as jealousy. This sets up the scene where Ryoga apologizes and is dragged off by Ukyo so they can speak in private. Akane then tells Ranma her suspicions about Ukyo's feelings for Ryoga, prompting them to follow and eavesdrop, in time to overhear the following exchange:
Ryoga: (to Ukyo) "Please, I give you my word of honor!"
Ukyo: (petulantly) "How can I trust you?"
Ryoga: "We can start over, can't we? I'll never betray you again."
Ukyo: "If only I could believe you were telling the truth..."
*Ranma and Akane gasp in realization and sneak away*
Akane: "I knew it! Ranma they're... THOSE TWO ARE IN LOVE!!"
- Overshadowed by Awesome: In the beginning, Akane and the Kuno siblings were hot stuff, already capable of superhuman feats. Then Ranma Saotome rolled into town, and Akane became a definite second-stringer, due to being completely unable to touch Ranma unless he let her. Kuno and his sister were still a credible threat... but then Ryoga Hibiki arrived... and then Shampoo showed up... and soon the original "best martial artists in Nerima" were at the bottom of the totem pole.
- Overtook the Manga: this resulted in the anime needing a number of unique episodes, many created homebrew, a few actually extensions of manga Filler stories (such as the "Japanese Nanniichuan" story, which took up one or two chapters in the manga and three episodes in the anime).
- Pair the Spares: Played with and postulated, but not actually done.
- Panty Thief: Happosai
- Paper Fan of Doom
- Paper-Thin Disguise: All the time. Akane and Ranma seem to be the only ones able to see through it (poor, poor Ryoga...) although Soun has a moment during the Hinako home-visit arc.
- Parental Abandonment: Half-way done to Ranma by Genma, who takes him away from his mother before he can even walk. Genetically-induced in the case of Ryoga, whose parents' sense of direction is as bad as his; whenever he manages to get home, he finds out they've been absent for weeks.
- Which Ryoga himself lampshades in the manga when he gets a call from his father while he's at home and confirms that it's been a year since they've actually seen each other, and says so in a casual manner to illustrate he's completely used to it.
- Parody: The Mirror Copy arc is a huge parody of Kazuo Umezu's much more serious Scary Book 1: Reflections. It starts with narration speaking of a place called "the Mirror Mansion" for the enormous mirror governing the main hall —all of which is a word-for-word copy of the original story's Opening Narration. Even the interior decoration is almost the same (with the only difference that the original Mirror Mansion's mirror was placed on the main stairs' first landing, rather than the floor.) The original is also based on a young woman who was so enthralled with her own beauty, she'd spend countless hours before said mirror, until her reflection actually escaped, and its mischief across town made her life miserable.
- Pastel-Chalked Freeze Frame
- Pay Evil unto Evil: Only very occasionally as most of it's Kick the Son of a Bitch. Ranma himself tries to do this, usually directing his hate towards people who should be hated. But the keyword is tries.
- The Peeping Tom: Nodoka, Ranma's mother, has a definition of "manliness" that includes a man must be a peeping tom.
- Perfectly Arranged Marriage: Ranma & Akane.
- Person of Mass Destruction: Phoenix King Saffron; Dragon Prince Herb; Battle Aura Happosai; Asura Cursed Rouge; Ultimate Shishi Hokodan Ryoga.
- Photo Doodle Recognition: When Principal Kuno is introduced, he shows a large picture of his long-lost son who is shaved bald in the picture. Ranma promptly uses a paintbrush to paint hair on the head - confirming the son's identity as Tatewaki Kuno.
- Playboy Bunny: Several times.
- Playing Card Motifs: The "Gambling King", a poker aficionado who resembles a king from a deck of playing cards.
- Playing with Fire: Saffron, "a flamethrower without a safety valve".
- Please Kill Me If It Satisfies You: Type 2 with Ranma to Ryouga during the Koi-Rod arc.
- Poster-Gallery Bedroom: Tatewaki Kuno, with his giant posters of Akane and female Ranma, possibly to help him "meditate" and choose one of them. Kodachi follows his example with massive photos of male Ranma. Also, Mariko Konjo puts up a gigantic picture of Kuno in her bedroom, even kissing it goodnight, during her story arc.
- Power Copying: Ranma can learn new martial arts techniques simply by watching others train at them, or even by having the techniques used against him.
- Power Perversion Potential: And how!
- Powered Armor: Do-chan the sentient Battle Dogi and Gosunkugi's mail-order Power Suit.
- Power-Up Food: The legendary Super Strength Soba noodles confer herculean strength to whoever eats them. After Akane mistakenly ate Happosai's, she was able to lift, toss, juggle, and split in half multi-ton, two-stories-tall iron bells. Unfortunately, they had the side-effect of sprouting whiskers on her face until she took the antidote.
- Prayer Pose: Ranma assumes this pose during the koi rod of love storyline and occasionally at other times such as when he prays at his ancestors grave.
- Professional Gambler: The Gambling King, who is actually a terrible gambler. It just happens that Ranma is worse.
- Protagonist Title
- Punny Name: In the original Japanese the names of the Joketsuzoku characters were Bilingual Bonus Punny Names — Shanpū, Koron and Mūsu had Chinese-sounding names that coincidentally sounded like the English words for hygiene products; similarly, the Musk Dynasty warriors Haabu, Raimu, and Minto, whose Theme Naming revolves around food ("herb", "lime", and "mint".) The English and Spanish translations play the pun straight by spelling out the English words.
- Puppy-Dog Eyes
- Qipao: A standard part of Shampoo's wardrobe.
- Girl Ranma sometimes wears one on Side Story Bonus Art or if it's part of a plot which somehow involves a date.
- Quivering Eyes
- Radial Ass Kicking: Early on Akane had to do this to get to school.
- Rain Aura
- Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs: The Kachu Tenshin Amaguriken. It allows the trainee to pull this feat off. It was supposed to be training method use to increase the trainee's speed and precision. Ranma later transformed it into a NAMELESS technique against Ryoga.
- Rapid Hair Growth: The title character once accidentally drank a special rice porridge made from a one-of-a-kind dragon's whisker. The porridge made him grow continuously excessive amounts of hair unless his hair was tied up from the dragon's whisker or when he his gender was changed.
- Real Men Hate Sugar: Hardcore Martial-Artist Saotome Ranma is a subversion of this trope: he personally loves elaborate ice cream sundaes and parfaits but would not be caught dead saying so, much less going to restaurants and ordering them. Fortunately, he is able to turn into a cute girl. This allows him to openly and gleefully order chocolate sundaes with a cherry on top in public; heck he even uses the cuteness of his appearance to scam free ice cream cones off the young and impressionable clerks!
- Real Men Wear Pink: Ranma Saotome is skilled enough at cooking that his mother is impressed, at least passably skilled at sewing, good at tea ceremony and gymnastics, and seems to take pride in his ability to wind guys up by acting cute when in girl form.
- This is more of a result of him spending most of his life on the road. He and his father had to know how to cook and sew just to get along. The teasing is just a variation of what Genma does. Instead of outright lying and stealing, he just manipulates people.
- In a nearly literal interpretation of the trope, Ranma can make a pastel orange shirt and little red bowtie look kinda badass.
- Red String of Fate: a literal one of these shows up in the anime, whereupon Shampoo promptly tries to use it on Ranma
- Removing the Rival: Ranma's female half ties up and gags Akane at one point in order to steal her role in their school's production of Romeo and Juliet.
- The Rival: Ryoga, primarily, but truckloads of guest-rivals filled out an awful lot of story arcs. Ukyo and Shampoo have this relationship in the anime.
- Although Ranma said that he/she considered Ryoga his/her only true rival in that battle mark story, in the databook Happosai is Ranma's "archenemy".
- Road Sign Reversal: Ranma and Genma travel back in time, switching the arrows pointing to Jusenkyo so their past selves will go the wrong way. Happosai sabotages the attempt by reversing them again. It wouldn't have worked anyway, because the whole thing takes place inside Ranma's dream.
- Roofless Renovation
- Running Gag:
- Shampoo will always, without fail, hit or run over someone with her bicycle when she appears.
- In the manga there are periodically signs in the foreground or background that read something to the effect of, "Please do not [do whatever the character in the panel is doing]", usually with bizarre specificity.
- Whenever someone has an exaggerated monologue on an awkward situation, he/she has a high chance of using a microphone to declare it.
- Ryu and Ken: Ranma is Ken to Ryoga's Ryu.
- Sacred First Kiss
- Say My Name: "Ranmaaaaaaaaaaaa!"
- Satire The manga cheerfully plays straight, deconstructs and skewers a lot Japanese character archetypes.
- Scary Flashlight Face: During a Hot Springs Episode Nabiki did this as she told a ghost story to Ranma and her sisters.
- The Scottish Trope: Happosai, in Fanon, though Soun and Genma have made jokes referring to similar superstitions.
- Screw Yourself: The manga features a plotline where Ranma runs into magical female doppleganger who, upon discovering that Ranma is actually male, latches onto him like only a crazy Yandere could. In the end, she hooks up with a magical male Ranma doppleganger, and they become Sickeningly Sweethearts.
- Not to mention his female side Happosai once separates from his body. She appears to be quite adamant about getting back together with Ranma. Although, surprisingly, she doesn't try anything naughty once she has him under her spell.
- Selective Obliviousness: Just about everyone in the series at some point. Most notably: Kuno's apparent refusal to understand either that Ranma and "the pigtailed girl" are one and the same, or that neither "the pigtailed girl" nor Akane Tendo are at all attracted to him, seems to be one part this, one part massive ego; Also, Akane Tendo either remains unaware of Ryoga's attraction to her, no matter how obvious it turns, or immediately forgets it. She also tends to believe the worst of Ranma even when he doesn't deserve it, or in other cases, want to believe the best of characters when they don't deserve it, such as Nabiki, Shampoo, or in Ranma's case the battle-dougi story.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Soun and Genma, and to a lesser extent Ryoga & Ranma.
- Ranma filling the "Manly Man" half being of course rather ironic.
- Second Love: Akane ending up falling in love with Ranma after getting over her first love, Dr. Tofū.
- Seppuku: Genma promised Ranma's mother that he and Ranma would commit seppuku if he didn't raise Ranma to be "a man among men".
- Shapeshifter Swansong: Copycat Ken's breakdown resembles this (anime only).
- Shapeshifting Seducer: Kiima transforming into Akane and then instigating naked cuddling with Ranma in the final storyline.
- Shatterpoint Tap: Ryoga Hibiki does this with his Bakusai Tenketsu technique. While going through the training for the technique both he and Ranma thought that it worked on everything, including human flesh, but it turned out to only work on rocks. However, surviving the Training from Hell required to learn the technique did have the benefit of rendering Ryoga Made of Iron.
- Shipper on Deck: Oh, where to start? While just about every member of the Love Dodecahedron ships their rivals at some point (in an attempt to Pair the Spares), Soun & Genma stand out by shipping Ranma and Akane in nearly every episode. Then again, they did engage the two of them in the first place. When Genma plans says that he's going to make Ryoga the heir to the Saotome school, both Genma and Soun ship Ryoga and Akane.
- Ship Tease: Takahashi has teased a wide variety of the ships found in the yard, even going so far as to tease a RivalShip (Ranma/Ryoga) during the Koi Rod of Love arc.
- Shouldn't We Be in School Right Now?: Despite being shown attending school and having a few scenes set in school, they don't seem to be doing that much academic work. Ryoga appears to have dropped out in Jr. High to follow Ranma. Shampoo and Mousse are implied to be around the crew's age yet have never been shown going to school.
- Shout-Out: Viz Video's VHS and DVD releases often referenced movie titles, songs, or other pop culture elements. Such as Big Trouble In Nekonron, China, Nihao, My Concubine, Like Water for Ranma, Akane and Her Sisters, An Akane to Remember, One Flew Over the Kuno's Nest, and Faster, Kasumi! Kill! Kill!. And those are just the movie and OAV releases —the TV series had gems such as "Dharma Chameleon" and "Smells Like Evil Spirit". Then it got even worse. The Japanese episode and movie titles within those releases had straight-up translations, though.
- The anime also has a number of Shout Outs to Urusei Yatsura; a couple of characters from the series can be spotted in blink-and-you'll-miss-it scenes — the two most notable are when Shampoo demonstrates Instant Nanniichuan, the dog turns into a replica of Ataru, and when Kuno does a flying dive onto a status of Cherry in the Wishing Sword episode, but they also show up in a couple of crowd-scenes. One anime filler episode has Kodachi show up in a scene that may be a reference to the first introduction of Ryoko Mendo. The anime's fourth opening reuses some animation from the first opening to the Urusei Yatsura anime.The below mentioned OVA also has Lum herself clearly show up as one of Ranma's many fawning concubines during Akane's first nightmare.
- A single episode OVA that was released as part of the It's a Rumic World celebration for the anniversary of Shonen Sunday had multiple shoutouts to InuYasha. In one of Akane's dreams, a painting on the paper wall is clearly Sesshomaru's dog form. In another scene, Akane dreams that she's in a losing battle and you can clearly see Kagome, Inu Yasha, Shippo and Miroku as her fallen comrades. Later in the same dream, we see Kodachi with facial markings similar to those seen on Sesshomaru, his mother and other full blooded dog demons.
- The manga has a blink-and-you'll-miss-it reference to Dokonjou Gaeru — a sickly little girl with a crush on Ranma, appearing in a single Valentine's Day filler chapter from the manga, calls her stuffed bunny "Pyonkichi."
- Shrine to the Fallen: A typical Buddhist shrine to the memory of Mrs. Tendo is occasionally shown.
- Sibling Team: The OAVs' Natsumi and Kurumi.
- Signature Move:
- Ranma's Hiryu Shoten Ha and Ryoga's Shi Shi Hokodan are definitely iconic enough. More subtlely in the first moves they undergo Training from Hell to obtain. While not nearly as visual as the above two techniques, they are representative of their different focuses in combat, Speed vs. Toughness.
- Ranma's Katchu Tenshin Amaguriken was a training excercise to make him MUCH faster (though he'll still call out the technique when he's just flat out trying to punch his enemies as fast as possible.
- Ryoga's Breaking Point technique allows him to shatter rocks with just a touch. Repeatedly being at the epicenter of an exploding boulder (As well as constantly getting smashed by boulders while training) has rendered Ryoga Made of Iron, even by the standards of the other fighters in the show.
- Sitting on the Roof
- Single-Minded Twins: the anime has Ling-Ling and Lung-Lung, the manga has Pink and Link.
- Slap-Slap-Kiss: Subverted — Ranma and Akane bicker constantly but never quite succeed at kissing, despite their obvious growing attraction to each other.
- It doesn't count when you use tape.
- Sleeves Are for Wimps: Many of Ranma's Chinese outfits, and also Pantyhose Taro and Ryū Kumon's entire look.
- Ranma readily wears heavy sleeved outfits when the weather is cold; he rolls them up often for fights (which happen often).
- Small Annoying Creature: Happosai.
- Smashing Watermelons: Used as part of one of the early storylines. Tatewaki Kuno also turns this into a inverted form of Training from Hell.
- Smoke Out
- Snot Bubble
- Soap Opera Disease: Happosai, in season 3. He gets better. Also Hinako Ninomiya had a case when she was a child (weak constitution, with an IV in her arm, which she can slip out of to go play with a random stranger). She gets better as well.
- Social Services Does Not Exist: How Genma could pull off the Cat-fist training and not get jailed for child abuse is a wonder to everyone, in the show and out.
- Spell My Name with an "S": "Tendō" vs. "Tendou" vs "Tendo". Repeat for any place, character, or special technique with an "oh" sound anywhere in their name. Fan Fic is split on the latter two, with both seeing a large amount of usage in stories.
- It doesn't help that the video games and certain official materials with romanized names take it one step further and use spelling such as "Kunoh."
- In a more specific example, the character officially romanized as "Rakkyosai" is often spelled "Lukkosai" due to early fan scripts and the character's own nickname, "Lucky." note
- Often also written as "Tendö" in Fan Fic by writers who do not know better, which is especially hard on the eyes for Fan Fic readers in countries which do use Umlaut characters, because there "ö" stands for a completely different sound than "oh".
- Names with y-based diphthongs get hit with it the worst, especially as they combine with the "oh" sounds above, with some segments of the fandom spelling items like "Jusenkyo" or "Moko Takabisha" as "Jyusenkyou" or "Mouko Takabishya."
- The Punny Names for the characters mentioned in that trope are also spelled in those approximations of Chinese in certain circles, whereas the majority (as well as official translations) go straight for the pun.
- Spider-Sense: Most of the martial artists have this.
- Spirited Competitor: Ranma
- Squeaky Eyes
- Stalker with a Crush: Both of the Kunos, and Mousse too.
- Tsubasa would also qualify.
- Ryoga almost escapes this status, as he does have a good relationship with Akane as friends. The fact that he happily sleeps in Akanes bed in his pig form on a semi-regular basis pushes things right back into creepy territory. (Although it has been shown that he genuinely perceives it as stoically acting as a bodyguard.)
- Standing in the Hall
- Status Quo Is God: No one ages, no one graduates, and Ranma and Akane's relationship develops at a positively glacial pace.
- Stealth Clothes
- Stewed Alive: Ryoga was captured by Genma and the tour guide while in pig form. For some reason, they decide the best way to cook him is to throw him into a pot of boiling water - while still alive. Fortunately for Ryoga, hot water turns him back into a human. "Oh, it is poor person! Now we cannot eat!" Cologne also once tries to cook Ryoga, with similar results.
- Stout Strength: Genma. He may be a fat, old, lazy part-time panda, but he's still able to go toe-to-toe with Ranma and often comes out on top. The Dojo Destroyer too, but that is more a case of an Informed Attribute (at least in the manga; the anime version is definitely portrayed as formidable).
- Straw Hypocrite: Many of the ones inflicted with the curse want to be rid of it yet have no problem with the advantages.
- Strip Poker: In order to defeat the infamous Gambling King, Ranma "trains" with Ukyô and Akane by playing Old Maid. By morning, he's down to his underwear and the girls own not only his clothes, but many, many IOUs for his services.
- Sudden School Uniform: Principal Kuno introducing a mandatory hairstyle (or trying to) in addition to the existing uniforms.
- Supernatural Martial Arts
- Super Speed: While none of the characters travel at 'standard super speed', Ranma is capable of punching dozens, or even hundreds of times at such speeds that not even those attacked noticed. At least until they realize that they can't be hurting that much from one punch.
- Even before taking the speed-training from Cologne, Ranma was able to punch over 500 times in 5 seconds while being spun around at super high speeds.
- When so inclined, the characters can actually run (or cycle, or row, or swim, or whatever) at greater-than-human speed, even if they don't quite hit the "run 100 miles in a second" pace typically associated with Super Speed.
- Surprise Jump: A running gag results in Ranma clinging to the ceiling if he is scared enough.
- Surrogate Soliloquy: Subverted — Akane talks to P-Chan, who's actually Ryoga. Ryoga, in turn, is often seen practicing his lines to Akane with an oddly-cute storefront doll shaped like an anthropomorphic frog in a sundress.
- Swarm of Rats: Unleashed against the kidnapped girls in Nihao My Concubine, followed by a tide of cats chasing them just after Ranma has gotten all smug about girls being scared of small furry animals.
- Tame His Anger: Both Ranma Saotome and Ryoga Hibiki do this. Their anger was towards each other. By the end of the series they're pretty much the best of friends.
- The Sweat Drop
- Sweetheart Sipping: Kuno and Girl-type Ranma (yeah, It's a Long Story). Also Girl-type Ranma and Harumaki (one part softheartedness to one part blackmail — the old lecher won't stop haunting her dreams unless she gives him a date). Come to think of it, doesn't it happen with Girl-type Ranma and Densuke too?
- Sweet Polly Oliver: Ukyo, for all of one episode.
- Sweet Tooth: Ranma takes advantage of his much-hated girl form at any opportunity to get ice cream in the anime.
- Talking with Signs: Genma-Panda
- Taste the Rainbow: A martial art for every interest.
- The Tease: Girl-Ranma, Nabiki and to a small extent Hinako.
- Thanks for the Mammary: And he just freezes in shock and dread, forgetting to let go!
- Theme Naming: Pretty much every regular that is part of a group or family: The Tendos, all Chinese characters, the Kunos, the Saotomes...
- Theme Tune Cameo: The studio would insert the first season's theme song for random music whenever they needed a generic song. The background music is used for Ling-ling & Lung-lung's hypnotic music tape, Yuka and Sayrui sing it karaoke style in one filler episode, and there's plenty of other times it shows up, sometimes as actual background music to what's happening on strings.
- The Thing That Goes Doink
- Those Two Guys: Hiroshi and Daisuke for Ranma and their Distaff Counterparts Yuka and Sayuri for Akane. These are filler characters in the anime. Lime and Mint and Koruma and Masara act like this towards their respective lords. In the anime, Nabiki gets two unnamed extras usually helping her run her gambling pools.
- Through His Stomach: Over and over again. It gets to the point that even Akane realizes Ranma is more like to succumb to temptation by Through His Stomach instead of Show Some Leg. A Running Gag is that Akane constantly tries to invoke this trope despite being a Lethal Chef.
- Thunder Equals Downpour / When It Rains, It Pours: Often an implausible plot point, or subtle gag/Hand Wave for why Ranma is female when he'd clearly rather not be.
- Thundering Herd: Used many times, most notably in the opening of the first movie.
- Time to Unlock More True Potential: Which then involves Training from Hell.
- Time Travel: The Nanban Mirror, only in the anime.
- Tomboy: Akane; Ukyo. Ironically, Wholesome Crossdresser Ukyo is actually less of a Tomboy than the dress-wearing Akane. Ranma is also this, when female and not pretending to be a girly girl (usually for the sake of a disguise).
- Took a Level in Badass: It is never explained how Nodoka went from being hideously clumsy with a sword (such as accidentally flinging it at people while unsheathing it), which is very very bad for a kaishakunin, to handling it with skill perhaps equivalent to Tatewaki shortly before becoming a permanent member of the Tendo Dojo.
- In the OAVs, Akane specifically trained to take back the Tendo Dojo from Natsume and Kurumi.
- Inverted with Tatewake Kuno, who, upon his introduction, demonstrated enough martial prowess to slip through Ranma's guard and mark his neck and was portrayed as a possible serious rival, only to devolve into a gag character in subsequent appearances, and can only be seen as a badass again (or even as a threat at all) when facing regular humans or when augmented by hyper-specialized, albeit temporary, training.
- Tone Shift: As mentioned above, something of a reverse Cerebus Syndrome; the series starts out comedic, but restrained, and with some semblance of an ongoing plot; over time it gets progressively wackier and more episodic, until past a certain point it almost feels like a different series compared to the early story arcs.
- Tornado Move: Ranma's Hiryu Shoten Ha attack.
- Tough Love: Poor Ranma. As above, how Genma "trains" his son using the 'Cat-fist' method.
- Training from Hell: seems to be the only way any of the higher-grade special techniques can be learned. Also inverted in one storyline; training on Watermelon Island is Training from Hell... that's actually useless in battle. It's Training from Hell for the Smashing Watermelons game.
- Soun and Genma spent years with Happosai, supposedly training. Of course, the training is implied (they are strong martial artists, Overshadowed by Awesome not withstanding), we are only shown the hell.
- Transformation Ray: Usually related to mystical water:
- Jusenkyo. Drowning (non-fatally) in a spring or being splashed with water from it will curse you with transforming into whatever creature drowned there first. Powdered versions exist, but they're only good for one transformation. In addition, Prince Saffron needed pure water from Jusendo (the source of Jusenkyo) for his metamorphosis into the Phoenix King.
- Japanese Nannichuan. Created by a traveling monk, underneath what is now Fuurinkan High's women's locker room, to transform a pack of mischievous foxes into men. The men then turned out to be even worse than the foxes...
- Togenkyo. Anything that falls in the spring or is splashed with its water will be permanently transformed into a man.
- Trap Is the Only Option: In an early chapter/episode, Gosunkugi/Sasuke (manga and anime respectively) finds out about Ranma's phobia of cats and decides to lure him into a cat-filled room to terrify him. He does this by sending Ranma a letter telling him to show up at a particular location if he ever wants to see Akane again...while Akane's standing right next to Ranma and reading the letter too. He then does a hilariously poor impersonation of being the kidnapped Akane (once again, while Akane's right next to Ranma) when Ranma shows up at the designated location. Ranma still goes along with it because he just wants to know what the hell this weirdo is up to.
- Trash Talk: It's an integral part of Ranma's fighting style.
- Trickster Mentor: Happosai again. He really IS that annoying. Cologne also qualifies.
- Trying to Catch Me Fighting Dirty: Ranma; Genma; Kodachi
- Tsundere: Going by the definition Akane becomes a Type A later in the story, since in the beginning she had no interest in Ranma (to say the least). Although many fans still argue that she's a Type B. Kasumi even lampshades the situation in-universe by saying, "she's actually a very sweet girl, she's just a violent maniac".
- The fact that Akane) may very well be the Trope Codifier (despite only fitting it later on) probably has something to do with it. She, along with Lum, SayakaYumi, and Oscar de Jarjayes were such early examples that there was no defined term, let alone defined "types" in which to place her.
- Ranma also counts. He even breaks out the time honored "I'm not doing it because I like you" line.
- Tunnel King: Ryoga.
- Unfazed Everyman: Nabiki.
- The Unfair Sex
- Unholy Nuke: Ryoga's Shishi Hokodan, which is fueled by negative feelings and highly destructive.
- Universal-Adaptor Cast
- Unlucky Childhood Friend: Ukyo; Mousse; Shinnosuke.
- Unskilled, but Strong: Saffron
- The Unwanted Harem: The Trope Namer, both played straight and Deconstructed; Ranma's status as a Chick Magnet gives the Jerk with a Heart of Gold a fairly debilitating guilt trip. But though he's not enough of a cad to abuse the situation, it also soothes his manly Pride — badly battered by his Attractive Bent-Gender curse. And though all the girls involved adore him, they're also rather exasperated by his wishy-washy attitude. It should be no surprise that the end-of-series attempted marriage ended in a Blast Out.
- Somewhat subverted during the Reversal Jewel arc when Shampoo, under the jewel's effect, attempts to leave the harem, Ranma rather insistently runs after her to get it back, at first because of her abrupt change of temperament than due to his ego rather than true feelings. Lampshaded by Cologne when she notes that he got so used to Shampoo chasing him, he had to find out why she stopped.
- Taken Up to Eleven in Episode 4 of Season 2 where it's indicated (by way of Flash Back) there are at least two girls whose fathers Genma promised Ranma to long before he is even introduced to the rest of the cast. Ranma Lampshades this by asking 'How many more fiances do I have, anyway?' at the end of the episode.
- Let's not forget how Akane has something of one as well. Especially at the beginning of the series where every morning before school she has to fight her way past a bunch of guys who think that if they beat her then she has to go out with them.
- Valley Girl: Mariko, like totally. Subverted in that she appears to be the strongest young female fighter in the series. Or at least she's the only one who can actually claim to have defeated Ranma, if mostly, or entirely, through surprise —and in one hit, no less.
- Vanity Is Feminine: Ranma takes insults to his female form's attractiveness much harder than he does to his male counterpart.
- One specific installment had Ranma insult Akane on her looks, which naturally put her into a temper. Kasumi confronted him afterward and said he had to apologize, because even if she was tomboyish, "...she's still a girl."
- Walking the Earth: Ryoga, though rarely on purpose; Ryū Kumon, since he's looking for the counterpart technique to his own; Ranma and Genma prior to the manga.
- Warding Gestures
- Weak, but Skilled: Occasionally Ranma, relatively speaking.
- Specifically, characters such as Happosai, Saffron, the Orochi, Herb, Pantyhose Taro,Ryoga shishi houkoudan, and Ryu are explicitly displayed to have considerably greater raw offensive power than himself. Ranma tends to find some way to either win or obtain his objective by a combinations of strategy(All of them), cheap shots(Happosai,Herb), exploiting specific weak spots, luck(Saffron/Happosai/Herb), speed, and through judicious use of the Saotome Ultimate Technique (Run away and come up with a better plan). Ranma is usually untrained at whatever Martial Arts and Crafts of the week he is challenged at, but his genuine aptitude for anything Martial Arts usually lets him/her triumph.
- Weaksauce Weakness: Ranma's ailurophobia; Rouge's back pain due to having six arms; any Jusenkyo-cursed martial artist and water.
- Wealthy Yacht Owner: Kuno in the second movie. He kicks it off by inviting Akane and Ranma-chan on a voyage with him. T He rest of the cast promptly invite themselves along.
- Weirdness Censor: Both Tatewaki and Kodachi Kuno are oblivious to the fact that male and female Ranma are the same person... despite the fact that's he's transformed in front of them!
- Welcome Titles
- What Song Was This Again?: Viz Video's song subtitles, as well as dubbed versions of DoCo's OAV songs, were "translated" to fit the melody and the rough spirit of the original lyrics. Fans came to label these "Trishliterations" after Viz Media's Trish Ledoux.
- When She Smiles: Ranma's opinion of Akane.
- When the Clock Strikes Twelve: Used twice: first, during the Curse of the New Year's Bell arc, where the Mao Molin's curse would have turned Shampoo permanently into a cat unless kissed before the 108th toll of a bell. Then, when Akane was reduced to a dehydrated doll by the magic of the Kinjakan, Ranma had to bathe her in Jusenkyo water before her eyes closed completely, or else she would die.
- Where It All Began: The final arc of the manga revolves around returning to Jusenkyo to save it. The readers finally get to see Akane at Jusenkyo, and fall in a spring.
- Wholesome Crossdresser: Ukyo; Konatsu. In a filler, Tsubasa.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Ranma's fear of cats.
- Also somewhat invoked by Ranma in the anime; while falling into the pool he screams, "Why does it always have to be water?!"
- Wife Husbandry: Inverted in a flashback where Genma offers Ranma to this fate in exchange for some food. Husband husbandry anyone?
- Of course Genma, being Genma, Crosses the Line Twice and steals Ranma back then has the nerve to act righteous about it. Of course, we are talking about the man who treats 'the Line' like a jump rope.
- Willfully Weak: It is common for the characters to limit themselves be it to the rules of the particular style, not using every ability to their fullest extent, trying to not injure/kill their opponent, not caring enough to bother with it, etc. Special mention goes to Genma though since he came up with, and then chose not to use, the Umisen-ken and Yamasen-ken techniques, and almost never uses his battle-aura. Ryū Kumon supposedly promised to not use the "school of the violent thief" after his duel with Ranma, and Ranma himself never again used the counterpart school either, although in that case, beyond being a counter to Yamasen-ken, all that it really provides is extreme ninja stealth and master thievery.
- The Worf Effect: Done most often to Ranma himself, as most of the (anime) Villain of the Week characters wind up proving their cred by kicking Ranma's ass. Mousse and Ryoga get this treatment during the Herb arc, as both are effortless beat by Mint and Lime respectively to build hype on Herb... who proceeds to Worf the crap out of Ranma just to prove this is serious opponent.
- Ryoga also occasionally gets his ass kicked, but generally much less often then Ranma does and usually to help highlight that this is an unusually potent opponent.
- Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Mostly Fanon, though there is a degree of it in both Ranma and Ryoga's actions — though the former can work around the issue, obviously. Likewise, Ryoga has no problem hitting Ranma's girl side... unless a wig and glasses disguise is involved (though that's only while he's unaware of Ranma's real identity).
- Also averted early on by the Hentai Horde, who would hit Akane if they were good enough to lay a finger on her.
- Averted with Ranma himself as he showed no qualms about wanting to hit Cologne during her debut. There was also the fight with Kodachi where he himself was on the line (and she did hit Kodachi using P-chan as a weapon). In the anime, they actually could touch her on occasion, but either they used grabs (which she could break out of, due to being much stronger than them) or she blocked them with her bookbag. That was only in the first season, though, and no other Mooks would ever be able to touch her afterwards.
- Yandere: Most of the girls get accused of this by different fan groups.
- While under the influence of the Fishing Rod of Love, Ranma becomes a terrifying Yandere towards Ryoga. Hilarity Ensues. (Perhaps we should be glad Ranma is such an easy-going guy.)
- Kodachi and Shampoo are the only ones who have been flat out shown as very willing to kill anyone in the way, although Shampoo isn't crazy, but rather really really into expediency. (Even scarier)
- To point out how insane Ranma got, he deliberately triggered his curse for him and told Ryoga she'd gladly let him kill her if it would make him happy. Oh, and he also attacked Akane when the latter interrupted, which finally prompted Ryoga to step through his fears and doubt to defeat Ranma cleanly, for perhaps the only time in the manga. Notable because Ranma never got his win back from that.
- You ALL Share My Story: Ryoga very prominently; many others as well throughout the series.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Both Akane (black with blue highlights) and Shampoo (lavender/violet) in the anime. And as an Adaptation Dye-Job, female Ranma's bright red hair. note
- You Have Got to Be Kidding Me!: The phrase "Joudan ja nai wa yo!" literally means this, and Akane says this more times than one can count throughout the anime. Usually with maximum rage in her voice.
- You Know What You Did: Akane gets lured into this a lot.
- You No Take Candle: Shampoo and the Jusenkyo guide. While this is supposed to illustrate Chinese language in Japanese, the odd thing is they are the only Chinese people who speak like that; Cologne, Mousse, Pantyhose Taro etc. all speak properly.