Manga / Trigun

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"I've never seen anyone kick so much ass in my entire life."

On the desert world of Gunsmoke, two young women — the tall, ditzy Milly Thompson and the tiny, short-tempered Meryl Stryfe — hunt for wandering outlaw and absolute pacifist "Vash the Stampede". Meryl and Milly work for an insurance company that Vash is bankrupting with the property damage credited to his name, all of it collateral from the ridiculous fights he tends to get into, which have resulted in his nickname of "The Humanoid Typhoon". Why all the fights? Vash has a bounty of $$60,000,000,000, dead or alive. Every Bounty Hunter on the planet wants his head (rest of him optional) in their hands so they can collect the money; Meryl and Milly just want to stop Vash from wrecking the cities into which he wanders.

Wacky hijinks ensue for a few episodes, then the mood darkens. Lots of people die, in many cases slowly and horribly. Survivors discover new things about themselves. Personal growth takes place. There are hints of romance. Then the mood gets darker still. For the eggheads out there, the series even has a fair amount of analysis of certain aspects of Christian theology, as viewed from a Japanese perspective, that examines the contrast between pacifist ideals and the moral obligation to protect the innocent… even if it means taking a life.

In 2010, Yasuhiro Nightow started a modest series of new works for the Trigun universe in anticipation of the movie Trigun: Badlands Rumble. First it was a two-chapter story, going by the same name as the movie, drawn by Nightow himself to serve as a preview for the movie. The second was a One-Shot, Trigun: Rising, it is a short tale about Rai-Dei the Blade, one of the original Gung-Ho Guns, drawn by Yuusuke Takeyama. The third, and final, was another One-Shot, entitled Trigun: The Lost Plant, a story set 6 years after the original manga ending; it was drawn by Boichi and later published as an extra for the 12th Volume of his own series, Sun-Ken Rock. A compilation manga titled Trigun: Multiple Bullets, featuring a number of short stories (including the previously mentioned three), was released in 2011.

There was a game announced for the Playstation 2 in 2002 called Trigun: The Planet Gunsmoke, which was being developed by Red Entertainment and published by Sega. After over a decade of no news about the game, it is presumed to have been cancelled, although some people think that it was rehashed into Gungrave.

An exceptionally thorough and entertaining analysis of the first fourteen episodes of the anime can be found here. The English dub was one of the flagship shows of [adult swim] (along with Cowboy Bebop) and helped to set the mood that the sub-channel was simply for mature audiences and not necessarily "adult" audiences.

The show, formerly licensed in the US by Pioneer/Geneon and now licensed by Funimation, is on YouTube, Hulu, and Netflix.

The 60-Billion Double-Dollar Tropes:

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     Tropes A-F 

  • The Ace: Vash just barely avoids fitting this trope thanks to the fact that he's actually a completely traumatized individual with a borderline Split Personality and to the ideological ramifications of his "no killing" policy. (What if he had killed Monev before he went on a rampage? What if he had killed Knives after his Start of Darkness?)
  • Action Girl: Dominique the Cyclops, but the same can be said for Meryl and Milly. Honestly, pretty much every prominent girl in this series except Jessica counts.
  • A Day in the Limelight: In anime Episode 14 (chapters 10-12 of the manga), the action centers around Meryl and Milly – lampshaded by Vash once he realizes how little screentime he got.
    • Several chapters in Maximum experiment with different points of view, including those of villains and side characters.
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Vash in an attempt to save Lina. He's also not too proud to strip naked and bark like a dog.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: The manga really goes to great lengths if not to humanize the villains, then to make the readers understand their motivations and grief.
  • An Aesop:
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: Trigun The Lost Plant introduces Verona Tsubasa, a woman following Vash around on search for the titular lost plant. The setting is placed six years later the original manga ending, Verona is the real focus of the story, Vash is just kind of there, and no other characters make a return, in fact, they are not even mentioned.
  • Aerith and Bob: The whole world is a mess of Midvalleys and Brads. With names like Vash the Stampede, Legato Bluesummers, and Millions Knives, names like Meryl Strife and Milly Thompson don't exactly seem to fit. And Nicholas D. Wolfwood manages to straddle the line with a perfectly normal Awesome McCoolname. At least, until you find out what "D" is short for - Dokonokuminomonjawaresumakinishiteshizumetarokakora. note 
  • After the End: Just living on Gunsmoke in the first place. The fact that they wound up there after an attempt to escape a ruined Earth went wrong. And then in the manga Armageddon-via-Knives kinda comes and goes and the story carries on.
  • A God Am I: Knives's megalomaniac tendencies and belief that he is a kind of noble crusader or even a kind of Jesus figure. Then it gets worse.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: The anime has Meryl's growing love for Vash, but both versions can have this with Rem.
  • Almost Lethal Weapons: Vash does everything he can to never take a life. Oddly enough, when there are casualties, it's either because the Monster of the Week stepped in, or the townspeople were hurting each other just to catch the guy.
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name: Knives is an Aryan on steroids who rants about being a "superior breed". Legato has his own particular brand of Nietzschean philosophy: genocides involving high technologies.
  • And the Adventure Continues: Manga ending falls somewhere between here and Here We Go Again. Since the Knives situation has been resolved, Vash is free to enjoy his wandering life more, but the gag of Meryl and Milly becoming TV reporters hired to chase him around is kinda out there, and worse than insurance by a long way.
  • Animation Bump: For Badlands Rumble.
    • Also, the final episode of the TV series has some beautiful animation.
    • The Full Episode Flashback, "Rem Saverem", looks noticeably better than the episodes surrounding it.
  • Anti-Hero: Wolfwood, and later Livio.
  • Apocalypse How: Vash prevents a Class X-4 in The Lost Plant.
  • The Ark: The ships that brought people to the planet in the first place.
  • Armor-Piercing Slap: Vash gets one in episode 19.
  • Art Evolution: Nightow's style changed over the dozen years he drew Trigun. It started out along the lines of "Damn this art is weird, I like the anime better", to "Damn this is detailed." His panel layouts also get much more dynamic. And of course the costumes get even more out there.
  • Are We There Yet?: At the beginning of Episode 15, Vash asks this because he's forced to literally carry the Insurance Girls to the next town.
  • Asshole Victim: Steve in Episode 17 (the flashback). Pretty much any random townspeople who harass Vash only to fall victim to a Bigger Bad later.
  • The Atoner: The series has several.
    • Vash is atoning for destroying July City, then later for the Fifth Moon Incident, and then later still (in the anime) for killing Legato, plus all the people he's failed to save over his long life.
    • Wolfwood, meanwhile, is atoning for becoming a mercenary.
    • Livio steps into Wolfwood's shoes after killing him, which is one of many things he sets out to atone for.
    • Manga only: Rem became the primary caretaker for Vash and Knives because she wanted to atone for failing to save Tessla from the SEEDS scientists' constant invasive experiments (which soon killed the poor girl).
  • Author Appeal: All the elaborate cowboy-like outfits and uniforms with all sorts of useless straps and buttons, huge collars, etc. Also present in Nightow's other work, Gungrave. See for yourself. Also, guns.
  • Awesome Mc Coolname:
    • Brilliant Dynamites Neon.
    • Nicholas D. Wolfwood.
    • Hell, most of the cast could qualify. It'd probably be easier to list characters with ordinary, unassuming names.
  • Ax-Crazy: When Knife Nut just isn't enough.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Vash and Wolfwood.
  • Badass Adorable:
    • Young Knives. Vash occasionally even grown. The girls periodically.
    • It's hard to take Legato seriously when every time we see him, he's eating. Hotdogs, cakes, ice cream...
  • Badass Longcoat:
    • Vash's coat is basically an elaborate red duster, which was inspired by the dusters worn by gunslingers in Westerns. Vash has probably one of the most extreme examples of this trope. In the show's opening and at other times, Vash's coat is shown billowing in the wind looking considerably longer than usual. But then, the Rule of Cool applies here, I guess.note 
    • Legato's coat counts as well, thanks to the rack of spikes on one shoulder and the human skull on the other.
  • Badass Transplant: Anime Only - Legato's Mind Manipulation ability is because he has Vash's arm grafted onto him. In the manga, he just sorta has psychic powers because psychic powers.
  • Bar Brawl: In Badlands Rumble, this scene is a Crowning Moment of Funny. People start fighting and are about to start firing their guns...only to realize that Vash has taken out all the bullets from their guns.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: The female plants lack nipples in the original manga, more or less. Explanation 
  • Bash Brothers: Vash and Wolfwood would actually be the Bashu Brothers. Includes a good spoonful of Back-to-Back Badasses.
  • Beard of Sorrow: In the anime, Vash grows one after he Heroic B.S.O.D.'s after the incident with Legato during which time Meryl and Milly are taking care of him.
  • Berserk Button: Many characters have at least one.
    • Knives snaps even harder than usual if Vash contradicts him.
    • Murdering innocents is a good way to get Vash to lose it. So is insulting Rem.
    • Knives getting hurt is one for Legato.
  • Berserker Tears: Vash, several times. Particularly in the anime, such as when he snaps and almost kills Monev the Gale after Monev slaughters several hundred people, or near the end when Legato forces Vash to shoot him, leading to a Heroic B.S.O.D..
  • Beware the Superman:
    • What everyone tends to think of first when they start to understand just how special Vash is.
    • Wolfwood even has a disturbing yet awesome moment in Maximum where they're hanging out and brooding together, and he seriously considers shooting Vash (by this time firmly established as his best friend) in the back right then and there, just to get at least one of the twins out of the way. He doesn't, but Vash gives him a sad, knowing look later and Wolfwood sort of smirks and thinks, 'who am I kidding? He knew exactly what I was thinking, and he would have survived.'
  • BFG: This series is known for this.
    • The Cross Punishers and Angel Arms are the cream of the crop.
    • Or at least they would be, until anime-only baddie Caine the Longshot's hundred foot long sniper rifle is taken into consideration.
    • Loose Ruth, a bounty hunter in the first episode: has a gun that takes the cake for sheer impracticality: a two-barreled lever-action rifle, each barrel having its own long magazine. Every time he works the lever, the entire barrel/magazine assembly rotates 180 degrees like a spinning propeller.
    • Don't forget the huge starship gun Chronica tries to blast Knives with.
    • And Gasback's sweet machine gun arm.
    • Vash is often described as "carrying a big gun": a long-barreled, top-break revolver. Knives carries a blued steel duplicate of in the anime.
    • Both of Vash's left-arm guns. The first fires single shots that can take out attacking robots and punch through a bulletproof face shield, and the second is a machine gun that can cut through solid steel floors and throw Vash clear across a room with its recoil.
    • Milly carries a non-lethal Gatling-type gun that fires giant X-shaped slugs approximately 4' from one end to the other, and can hit with enough impact to topple an armored car. She can easily hide it under her coat and has no trouble lifting it with one hand.
    • Monev the Gale has a minigun attached to each wrist, powered by pressurized gas canisters on his back. When these fail to bring Vash down, he puts together an even bigger one to shoot up the bank where Vash is hiding.
  • Big Bad: Legato.
  • Bigger Bad: Knives (to whom Legato is The Dragon).
  • Big "NO!": Vash screams a lot whenever rendered impotent in a life-or-death situation. Also weeps. Man has no dignity to speak of.
  • Bishōnen: Can be used to describe Legato and Wolfwood, but probably not the first word you think of. Vash too, but he loses bishie points when he has long hair and beard and even more when drawn by Boichi.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Manga only; it barely avoids being a Downer Ending.
    • To clarify, Vash puts an end to Knives's plans once and for all without killing him and the world is safe. But Wolfwood is dead, the planet is still plagued by outlaws and bounty hunters, Vash is still a wanted man, and the story ends with him running off into the desert. What makes it really sweet is that Vash is actually happy about things going back to the way they were and laughs joyfully as he's being chased by Meryl and Milly, who have been hired as news reporters to follow and interview him, and pretty much the whole world. We even get a few panels of all the friends he's made smiling when they see him on television. Before all that, Knives ultimately pulls a Heel–Face Turn, and entrusts two humans, a father and son, with Vash's life before dying in their backyard and becoming a tree. From an alternative standpoint, Vash's happy ending is that the world is safe from the threat of his brother Knives and the Gung-Ho Guns, and he gets to continue having wacky Space Western adventures. It's arguably very upbeat.
    • But then there's the fact that Vash's hair has turned almost completely black, which means he's used up most of his life and it's unknown how long he has left to live...
    • Vash is still alive and his hair is still pitch-black in the one-shot sequel manga, Trigun: The Last Plant, which takes place six years after Trigun Maximum.
  • Bizarre Sexual Dimorphism: The Plants appear to be this in the anime. However, very late in the manga this is turned on its head when Domina and Chronica turn up from Earth… although a flashback earlier showed documentation on Tessla, a female independent Plant just like Vash & Knives, who died from being subjected to too many experiments.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Played with. Since Vash aims for non-fatal shots, none of the damage he causes is really bloody. However, the manga strongly averts this and even goes to the extreme at times, and Legato in the anime does what he can to avert this. Though, on that note of the anime, the blood is usually Tomato juice or wine. …Usually.
  • Boarding Party: A motorcycle-to-desert-tanker version is pulled off by the Bad Lad Gang in episode 7.
  • Boomerang Bigot: Done seriously with Legato. He was at least born human (prior to getting a ton of modifications), but is an Omnicidal Maniac who wants to kill all humans and anxiously awaits the day when his own boss will kill him. He could very well have been modded in childhood by the people he hated so much at the place where they were keeping him. At any rate they paid him more careful attention than your average boy whore, worked out he was planning to kill them all, and the simplest explanation for how they were able to use the method they did for killing him is that they developed the cancellation technology from the coin-box, and were using it. Given Legato couldn't stop his death-by-rape but after the building got sliced up a bit could brain-hack Knives enough to stay alive.
  • Body Horror: Vash's body is interesting. Involves a generous helping of Transformation Trauma. After he finally starts to learn how to use this (traumatically), the first time his Angel Arm instinctively puts up some "feathers" to catch a bullet he gets stoned by the locals. And Meryl "I Wouldn't Run Away" Stryfe breaks down screaming and hiding from him because that first time traumatized her, too.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Averted with Vash, who regularly reloads due to his six bullet limit. Wolfwood on the other hand...
  • Bounty Hunter: Thousands of these are after Vash.
  • Break the Cutie:
    • Legato, regarding Vash: "I will make sure he suffers eternal torment."
    • Also Knives and Vash in the manga backstory. Poor, sweet little Knives.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: In "Little Arcadia", Vash breaks the fourth wall and says, "Hey, is that all the time I get?" It is also fairly obvious that he does it again a couple times in the series.
  • Bring My Red Jacket: Arguably the reason for the color of Vash's trademark coat.
    • In the anime at least, Vash inner-monologues about Rem and her love of red flowers while the camera pans over his coat.
  • But Now I Must Go: Vash, the initial premise being informed by just the type of Western that codified the trope.
  • Bullying a Dragon:
    • Vash, in the manga after he reflexively puts up an Angel wing feather to stop a bullet. The townspeople begin stoning him, which - since Vash is also The Fettered - makes the situation especially difficult for him, so he resorts to being a Stepford Smiler to deal with it. Happens also in anime Episode 25, when the townsfolk in the town he's recovering in find out who he is and proceed to keelhaul him.
    • A strong interpretation of Legato's manga-only backstory is that the inhibitor device from the finale was invented as part of a research project that invented him. Which would mean the people responsible for the collar and the rape and all that he was plotting to kill gave him People Puppets powers and then treated him like that. Ultimately Knives killed them before Legato could, but they were pretty much Too Dumb to Live.
  • Cain and Abel: Vash and Knives.
  • Captain Obvious: Vash to Knives at least once in the manga. Vash tells him that his true fight should be with himself, meaning his priority should be learning to control his destructive urges. Knives misunderstands this and answers "Yes, the pain I feel is horrible. Thanks for enlightening me to the situation."
  • Carnival of Killers: The Gung-ho Guns.
  • Cast from Lifespan: Vash's Angel-arm is ridiculously powerful, but every shot costs him life energy and shortens his lifespan.
    • Later on in the manga we learn Knives's Angel-scythe is the same way.
  • Cast Full of Pretty Boys: In the manga, at least – the only seriously recurring women are Meryl and Milly (who are absent for at least half the story and fairly useless most of the time). Also Elendira and Zazie 2.0 if you count them as female. The anime balances things out more by having Meryl as a viewpoint character for part or all of several episodes, along with single-story girls like Marianne and Jessica. All the actually significant characters are still male though.
  • Catchphrase: "Love and peace~!"
  • Cattle Punk: A prime example, although Nightow chose to make his setting so desert there is no space for any actual herdbeasts. They aren't actually compulsory despite the name.
  • Cat Smile:
    • Milly, especially when she's drunk.
    • Vash during the first episode of the anime.
  • Central Theme: Basically, the question of whether Actual Pacifism can triumph in a harsh, dog-eat-dog world, and how to break a Cycle of Revenge.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: Happened in both versions, for slightly different reasons.
    • The manga at least had "moved from shonen magazine to seinen magazine partway through" to blame for Nightow holding back and then cutting loose.
    • The anime front-loaded the series with lighthearted filler before unleashing the plot shortly before the halfway point.
    • Everything went to hell when Legato showed up. That's when the plot kicked off in both the manga and anime.
  • Character Exaggeration: In the manga, Vash was only a skirt-chaser in the pilot chapter and very early in the series proper; while he might do just about anything to be silly, he wouldn't harass ladies for kicks. In the anime, Vash becomes a Casanova Wannabe.
  • Charge-into-Combat Cut: Happens at least twice in the anime.
    • The opening sequence of the first episode. After an armed gang demolishes a bar that Vash was drinking in, he slowly stands up after finishing his drink, adjusts his glasses and points his gun at the gang… and cut to a completely different bar where we are introduced to the Insurance Girls. A flashback later in the episode reveals that Vash had forgotten to load his gun and had to run for cover.
    • Episode 18 (TriMax Ch.1) has Wolfwood and Vash approach a disused building filled with dozens of heavily-armed bandits, pull out their guns and… cut to Lina giving Vash a haircut. This time we don't get to see what happened, just the aftermath (the building was literally cracked in half)
  • Chaste Hero: Vash. Although given what he is, is it even possible for him to be otherwise?
    • In the manga, Wolfwood is a chaste anti-hero. Definitely NOT the case in the anime (the "chaste" part).
  • The Chessmaster: Knives. In the manga, he steps up his game after the Last Run disaster revealed to him that he's actually mortal and can't just play around forever.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Vash can't help aiding those in great need, especially the downtrodden.
    • Later on, particularly in the anime, Wolfwood gets pulled into it as well, much to his chagrin.
  • Church Militant: Nicholas in general. Chapel the Evergreen in the anime. Nicholas, Chapel, and Livio as part of the Eye of Michael in the Manga.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Anime only. Wolfwood's Cross Punisher after Vash takes it. It saves his life in his fight with Knives.
  • Clip Show: The majority of anime Episode 13 showcases some of Vash's silliest (and most awesome) moments, up to the fight with the Nebraskas and Monev.
  • Clothes Make the Superman: Livio is only half competent without his beautiful hat and cape. Also, Vash's coat is bullet-proof and contains airco and bullets.
  • Cold Sniper: Some of the Gung-Ho Guns, but Caine the Longshot in the anime is the absolute embodiment of the trope. He has no lines, a huge sniper rifle, and straight-up suicides when Vash defeats him.
  • Compensating for Something:
    • In manga Volume 7, Knives attempts to... fuse with Vash and let him survive as part of Knives when he accepts that his brother is never going to come around. Only, as Legato has already noticed, Vash has more raw power at his disposal, and almost overwhelms him. Knives does not like this. He then fuses with every other plant on the planet and becomes the controlling consciousness of a vast collective entity that sprawls across the sky with a thousand wings.
    • And in the anime, Father Nebraska likely has a case of this, due to the size of his "son" and the length of the barrel on the gun he pulls after his son falls to Vash.
  • Confessional: Wolfwood even sells confessions shaped like head-sized churches.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: With gunfighters in place of ninjas.
  • Contemplate Our Navels: Knives. Legato. Livio to a large extent. Most of the Gung-Ho Guns. Vash mostly escapes this trend through frantic goofball action, though he has understandable moments of this too.
  • Cool Bike: Wolfwood's Angelina II.
  • Cool Shades: Vash, Wolfwood, and Knives in a few manga artworks.
    • Yasuhiro Nightow is fond of giving his gunslingers glasses, especially in his designs for Gungrave characters (Brandon Heat, Bear Walken, Blood War).
  • Cool Starship: The Arks, mostly.
  • Couldn't Find a Lighter: At a shooting competition (anime Ep.10), one contestant can be seen lighting his cigar with a submachine gun. Wolfwood shooting the gun out of the guy's hands and then shooting the cigar to re-light it is one of the funnier gags in the episode.
  • Counting Bullets: Vash does this in Episode 5 (Chapter 1) when he subdues the bounty hunters.
  • Covered with Scars: Vash, as the girls (and readers/viewers) discover when they walk in on him after a shower. note 
  • Crapsack World: Gunsmoke is explicitly this, and several characters comment on it. The world is full of gunslingers; shootouts and property damage seem to be the norm; the planet itself is a desert and the competition for scarce natural resources is definitely bringing out the worst in people; the fear of the Humanoid Typhoon hangs over every town; Death is never far away… and then there's genocidal maniacs like Knives and Legato lurking in the background.
    • The irony of this is that the Project SEEDS crew considered Earth to be one, which is a big reason why they left. Gunsmoke was meant to be terraformed, but Knives slaughtered almost all of the project's leaders.
  • Creepy Cool Crosses:
    • Wolfwood. His main weapon looks like a giant cross with a gun handle in its middle. The elongated bottom spoke conceals a machine gun, the top spoke above it holds a rocket launcher, and the two side spokes slide outwards to reveal racks for about a dozen pistols. The anime also has Chapel the Evergreen of the Gung-Ho Guns, who also carries a giant cross, though his separates into two heavy machine guns.
      Man: "Whoa, this is HEAVY!"
      Wolfwood: "That's because it's full of mercy."
    • Manga Chapel has his own cross-Punisher. Livio has two. Razlo the Tri-P OF DEATH has three, just for shits and giggles.
    • Also, manga chapter 16, the recently defeated Monev the Gale is crucified on a giant unexplained cross of unclear material composition.
    • Given Wolfwood's cross is the weapon given to him in his role as a member of the Eye of Michael, crosses are basically a villain calling card in the manga.
  • Cross-Popping Veins: Meryl gets these a couple of times early on – when she learns a town's mayor called in the Nebraska Family to take out Vash, and then again when she encounters Vash on the sand-steamer (she didn't have enough money for a ticket and had to get a job in the galley to keep following him).
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Vash is the definitive example. He seems like a simple gangly fellow with a penchant for donuts and beer… until you piss him off. There's a very good reason why he has a $$60 billion bounty… although the majority of damages attributed to him are actually the fault of all the people chasing him, and the very worst atrocities (Lost July, Fifth Moon) were completely out of his control.
  • Crucified Hero Shot: Wolfwood and Vash.
  • Cultural Cross-Reference: So many, it'll be faster to check the Shout-Out section.
  • Cute Monster Girl: (Arguably) Zazie the Beast's girl terminal in the manga.
  • Darker and Edgier: Again, once Legato shows up, everything goes to hell. To highlight it, we go from a rather cheery manga about a gunslinger wanted by the world, to having a cobbler's head in a paper bag.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Just about every major character except Milly. This includes the majority of the Gung-ho Guns.
  • Deadly Dodging: One of Vash's preferred tactics - near the start of Badlands Rumble, he pulls this off using smoked meat as a shield.
  • Desert Punk: The series' aesthetic is this combined with a classic Western.
  • Despair Event Horizon:
    • As it is set in a Crapsack World heavy on Rule of Drama and one of its major questions is whether idealism has any real meaning, so many characters, all the time. Especially in backstories, but the 'eternal suffering to Vash the Stampede' gives us a couple heroic ones in the main timeline. Meryl and Milly are actually notable for never falling to this point in either version (in fact, the odds of things not going completely to shit increase significantly in their presence; too bad the guys never notice).
    • Especially notable is the one Vash and Knives had when they were a year old. Their reactions were actually relatively similar, but because Vash didn't pass out from the starvation, he was able to work things through and come to terms with it; while Knives, who went into an angst-coma, pretended to have forgotten and then… killed everyone. At least he felt kinda bad about how many plants were included in 'everyone' later.
  • Despair Gambit: Knives's main plan with regard to Vash. In the anime, this ultimately pushes him into a Heroic B.S.O.D..
  • Destructive Saviour: Vash is called the "Humanoid Typhoon" for a reason, and while he doesn't like people's homes being wrecked, the only Collateral Damage that's really important to him is human life. He's willing to die for you, but not for your car. The dark side of this, as it were, comes up in the anime: apparently his wish to not kill anyone affected the Angel Arm enough when Knives set it off in July that he managed to wreck an entire city without directly killing anybody… but he left behind a city full of refugees in the middle of a desert…
  • Determined Expression: Vash looks like this whenever he drops his façade of idiocy and decides to get serious. Only to be expected from a man whose byword is determination.
    • Wolfwood has this look the majority of the time. So does Meryl sometimes.
  • Deus Exit Machina: In the chapters where Meryl and Milly are protecting the oasis owned by the old couple, Vash is almost entirely absent. The plot instead focuses on giving us a better idea of who the insurance girls are. Vash even lampshades it at one point when he pops out to make a single assist.
  • Devil in Plain Sight: Legato out to lunch in a bar or having a sandwich on a village plaza. In the manga, Knives is seen hanging around in bars within flashbacks.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: The Gung-Ho-Guns try to pull this off.
  • "Die Hard" on an X: The anime episode "B.D.N". The corresponding manga chapter is even called "Die Hards".
  • Died Standing Up: In the anime Wolfwood dies kneeling before an alter.
  • Dirty Cop: You could say the town Marshal in ''Badlands Rumble' except that he's with Gasback for a while now.
  • The Disease That Shall Not Be Named: Amelia's mother in The Movie.
  • The Ditz:
  • Does Not Like Men: Amelia in the Badlands Rumble movie, to the point of actually developing hives when touched by "idiot men". Also Meryl, at least at first.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    • Legato mind controls a kid to eat a hot dog, before holding her head to crush it, except this was apparently an illusion. Yeah. See the scene here and judge for yourself.
    • Knives is swimming in this, especially when interacting with his siblings, who provoke genuine-but-psychotic emotional reactions from him. And the forced absorptions that are too rapey for words, especially the attempt on Vash. And when Vash first catches up to him after the Fifth Moon Incident, he's asleep after multiple fusions, with enough pieces of his sisters lying around not yet fully dissolved into his body that it looks distinctly like the aftermath of an incestuous orgy...
    • Also, his Full Frontal Attack on Vash in the manga looks very much like a rape scene, complete with helpless crying and an involuntary erection (which can happen to men who are raped anally).
  • Dramatic Wind: Occasionally when Vash steps up.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Early in the anime, Vash goes to a town and comes across a famous gunsmith who had become nothing more than an alcoholic. He had lost all desire to make/fix guns after his wife and daughter were shot during a bank robbery… by a gun that he had made, due to their town having no sheriff. By the end of the episode, everyone in town bands together again to drive out the bandit gang, and the gunsmith has decided to stop drinking.
  • Dub-Induced Plot Hole:
    • In the English dub of Episode 5, Vash makes Monica back off by saying "Until I find that man you're after, I have to keep moving!" While this line is technically correct if you look at it in light of the entire series, it makes no sense in its immediate context, considering he really is the bountyhead they're after. The original line, "Until I see him again…", drives the point home much better.
    • In the Spanish dub, Vash rejects Rai-Dei's challenge on the saying he cannot read, which contradicts all the other instances in which he is shown reading (in the original scene, he states he cannot read kanji, which was how the text of the message was written). Of course, Vash being Vash, the moment could have been explained as one of his jokes.
  • The Dying Walk: In the anime, Wolfwood is mortally wounded and after delivering a friendly last piece of advice to Vash, walks away, finds his way to the local church, pours his heart out, and then dies.
  • Dysfunction Junction: Oh boy...
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Both versions, particularly the manga.
  • Enfant Terrible: Young Knives.
    • Zazie in the anime.
  • Environmental Symbolism: It was once stated that everyone in a town had become as emotionally dried up as the environment.
  • Mr. Fanservice: A few characters fit this trope, but Wolfwood is practically the archetype. Too bad his only mate is an inflatable doll, as the gag covers suggest. In the anime, Wolfwood hooked up with Milly right before he died.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Neon sticks to what he says and really likes it when someone "sparkles" brightly. He outright refuses to kill Vash despite pretty much winning a duel they had. He even helps stop the massacre he started because he agreed to do whatever Vash said if Vash won their duel.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: Legato could make it happen. Then again, he seems to have a crush on Knives.
  • Everyone Is Armed: Hint — the planet is named "Gunsmoke".
  • Evil Counterpart:
    • Knives to Vash, but Livio to Wolfwood might be a case if you believe Wolfwood can have an "evil counterpart".
    • For one rather confusing fight, there was Midvalley in his white suit and Wolfwood in his black, both kind of ambivalent but fighting like hell, with the whole 'wolf fangs' theme going. Manga only.
  • Evil Gloating: The very minute Vash is trapped, assume this from the villain that's trapped him.
  • Evil Virtues: Several of the bad guys, but Legato is especially noteworthy in that he is in many respects a genuinely brave, loyal, self-sacrificing man… who just so happens to be completely devoted to a genocidal maniac who wants to destroy humanity!
  • Evolving Credits: Each episode's opening (except for episode 2) shows a couple of scenes from that episode. Starting in episode 18, the wanted poster also changes to one warning people that Vash is coming.
  • Exactly What I Aimed At: Vash never hits a fatal spot, instead opting to hit areas like the shoulders and legs. Lampshaded in a fight in the manga: Vash is seen practicing his aim on a target board shaped like a person, but it seems he's unable to actually hit the vital spots. The villain of the chapter assumes that, because of this, he must be wounded. Turns out he was not only aiming for the non-vital spots, but he was actually able to hit those spots precisely multiple times in a row.
  • Explosive Overclocking: Wolfwood after taking two vials of serum. He regenerates almost instantly from almost any wound, but burns out his life and dies shortly afterwards.
  • Expy:
    • Knives has been accused of being a Vegeta Expy.
    • Monev the Gale is very intentionally a Venom expy.
  • Eye Scream: In the manga, when Vash snaps at Monev, he shoves his gun in Monev's right eye socket so hard the guy's eye apparently ruptures. Also, Zazie's flies crawl in and out of his eyes. Midvalley's horn playing also seems to make eyes bleed/explode, and he even (temporarily) blinds Wolfwood.
  • The Faceless: Knives during most of the first Trigun manga and almost all the anime. Even when he does show up at the end of the first manga, much of his face is hidden by a mass of improbable curly hair — presumably because Nightow still wanted to conceal his resemblance to Vash.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Many characters, out of sheer desperation, will suddenly pull a gun on the guy they were once chatting with just for the $$60 billion bounty.
  • Fan Disservice:
    • Everything about Legato. Especially in the manga. *shiver*
    • Arguably, Vash, given that under that jacket he's covered head-to-toe in scars and is missing an arm.
    • Knives' Full-Frontal Assault.
  • Fanservice: Lots of eye candy if you love big muscles. Or long legs. Or glowering.
  • Fantastic Measurement System: Distances are measured in "iles" and "yarz", although it's never made clear whether those are actually miles and yards with letters removed and different spellings, or something different.note  Money is called "double dollars" ($$).
  • Fearful Symmetry:
    • Evil Counterpart Vash and Knives in the anime. Very strange and gratuitous because it's extremely unlikely Knives would have the same gunfighting training and practise as Vash, having just left Sealed Evil in a Can state and being secluded from the real world.
    • Averted in the manga: Vash wins by a split second… Then gets Impaled with Extreme Prejudice.
  • The Fettered: Vash. Source of his philosophical dispute with Wolfwood. Arguably the same with Knives; Knives is just much further on the other end of the scale.
  • Fill It with Flowers: Being a desert planet, the setting touches on this a lot, but especially in the episode "Little Arcadia".
    • Rem explicitly wanted to see this happen.
  • Freakiness Shame: Averted. Knives has people around him who think his freakiness is pretty damn awesome, but so does he. Meanwhile, Vash could do with someone thinking his wings are beautiful, but no one can actually bring themselves to say it; his wings freak them out way too much. In fairness, they are pretty terrifying wings. (Manga) Meryl is so badly traumatized by the situation in which she first sees them that she burrows into Milly's arms and screams the next time he reflexively puts up a feather to catch a bullet. 'Colorless Emotions' is a depressing chapter all round.
  • Freudian Excuse: Most of the villains and even some of the 'good guys'.
  • Friend or Foe: The main conflict with Wolfwood in the manga.
  • Friend to All Children:
    • Vash. Playing with children is one of his many activities whenever he stays in one place more than a few hours, and if he stays more than a few days the local kids will all consider him their personal minion.
    • Wolfwood doesn't play with them quite so much, but they're an even bigger part of his world.
  • From Bad to Worse: Frequently. Also, the apocalypse kinda comes and goes during the manga. Story proceeds.
  • Full-Frontal Assault: Knives, in manga Chapter 20 (the last of the original series).

     Tropes G-P 
  • Gallows Humour: The humour tied to Legato and Knives's insanity and to Vash goofing around in the most desperate circumstances gets particularly disturbing — so much that Nightow edited out some of the "offending" passages of the last three or four volumes, presumably under fandom pressure.
  • Gecko Ending: The anime has this… sort of. It's an odd example, as Nightow was directly involved in the planning and many events play out as a dry-run of key thematic points the manga would get to years later.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Vash in "Diablo", the story where things get Darker and Edgier, as a sign of his Unstoppable Rage. In hindsight, also an early indication of how damn freaky his body is.
  • Good Costume Switch: Livio.
  • A Glass of Chianti: Knives in the anime.
  • The Gloves Come Off: Happens to Vash when he's forced to kill Legato in order to save Milly and Meryl. Unusually for the trope, the act itself is rather understated.
  • Gonk:
    • The vast majority of antagonist characters are this, if they're not Mr. Fanservice.
    • Also a lot of the background characters.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: Knives, Used to Be a Sweet Kid. Vash too, briefly.
  • Good Feels Good:
    • Vash, obviously.
    • The series also underlines that, even though it may seem so, evil does NOT feel good – Legato is suicidal, Knives seems to be quickly going insane (even by his standards), Villainous Breakdowns abound, Wolfwood is terribly conflicted over his questionable actions, etc.
  • Good Thing You Can Heal: Wolfwood, Livio (in the manga), and Knives. Vash has the power but refuses.
  • Gratuitous English: Gunsmoke is an explicitly English-speaking world, so this abounds. Unfortunately, Nightow's English skills are less than perfect (and the anime had Engrish abound).
    • The second episode shows us a flier for a "BODYGARD" who is a "CREAT SHOOTER LIKE VASH THE STANPEAT".
    • There's also a sign that says "COFFE & RESTLANT!!" in Episode 5.
    • When Vash uses the computer in Episode 26, it says "Searth Target, All People Relate to Lem Sayblam".
    • In the manga, there's one instance where there's a container of salt labeled "solt".
    • The Quickdraw application in the eponymous episode is pretty legible, though. Maybe Wolfwood is just a better-than-average speller?
    • The whiskey labels are very faithful reproductions of actual brands… except for "Dim Deam", though that may be an intentional Brand X-ing of Jim Beam.
    • And of course, "LOVE AND PEASU!"
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language:
    • Vash occasionally utters a few words in French, crying for his "maman" and greeting his food with "Bonjour! Je t'aime!". The first time, he then questions why the hell he's speaking French.note 
      • "Danke, danke!"
    • In the anime, Rai-Dei presents him with a formal Japanese challenge… whereupon Vash says he can't understand a word of it.note 
  • Groin Attack: Episode 19 had Meryl delivering a swift groin kick to a random Mook who got close to her after hearing something about a typhoon (which was possibly a reference to Vash).
  • Gun Fu: Vash vs. Knives in the anime and Wolfwood vs. Midvalley in the manga seem lifted directly from a John Woo flick.
  • Gut Punch: Legato's introduction. Everything's fine and dandy, then Legato fakes snapping the neck of a child, threatens to Vash that he will slaughter the entire town he's in, and leaves laughing.
  • The Gunslinger: Vash most notably. But several characters could qualify.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Vash's gold hair matches his heart. Oh-so-averted with Knives.
  • Handy Feet: A kidnapped and hand tied Meryl frees herself by firing Milly's stungun with her feet.
  • The Heartless: The manga heavily implies that Knives and to a lesser extent Legato function symbolically as this.
  • Heel–Face Turn: After the death of Wolfwood, Livio joins the heroes.
  • Here We Go Again: The manga ends with everyone once again chasing after Vash. And he couldn't be happier.
  • Heroes Gone Fishing: Often involves donuts and/or noodles.
  • Heroic B.S.O.D.: Once or twice with Vash in the anime. Repeatedly in the manga, and not just with him.
  • Hidden Eyes: The manga contains quite a few variations on this, including Scary Shiny Glasses. The latter is standard in the anime when Vash finally gets serious.
  • Hit Me, Dammit!: In the last volume, right before he can be killed, Vash hesitates, Legato starts to piss off and demands Vash to kill him otherwise Livio will be killed by Elendira. Livio survives.
  • Hive Mind: Apparently kinda-sorta the case with the bulb plants, even before Knives starts subsuming them into himself. In the manga also to some degree the case of the sand worms, whose psychic network extends over most of the planet's native life and learns how to invest itself in a human vessel, giving Knives the Gung-Ho Gun 'Zazie the Beast'. They have some kind of alliance with him against the human invaders, although this is never properly explored.
  • Hope Spot: In episode 21 of the anime, Vash looks like he's about to revive a wounded plant and save Sky City… when Hoppered regains consciousness and destroys the plant with a suicidal Last Breath Bullet.
  • How to Stop the Deus ex Machina: Vash is incredibly skilled with his weapons and probably capable of taking out every single baddie he ever faced, short of his own brother. What holds him back? Martial Pacifism. If he really unleashed himself, he'd hurt a lot of people, and he doesn't even want to hurt the bad guys. Unfortunately, attempting other options sometimes allows harm to come to innocent bystanders, although not as often as one would think. In fact, the impression is given that, before Knives sicced the Guns on him, he pulled off a miracle practically every time, if at great personal cost, so his world goes through a bit of a paradigm shift while the audience watches.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Being nearly two feet taller than Meryl, Vash really has to bow down when he wants to hug her. That or he hoists her up.
  • Human Popsicle: The entire original generation of humans on Gunsmoke. The "Old Men" in Sky City are still held in suspended animation for reasons unexplained.
  • Humans Are Bastards: The root of the problem.
  • I Have Many Names:
  • "I Know You Are in There Somewhere" Fight:
    • Vash does this pretty much every time he meets Knives in the manga.
      • From Knives's perspective, he must be the one doing it to Vash, which brings once again the question of whether the twins are by "nature" peace-loving or mindlessly violent.
    • Given their silent sisters appear to all be sweethearts, albeit easily influenced, Vash appears to have a leg up in this argument. Chronica, meanwhile, has a bit of a temper and apparently a rather military mindset, vaguely like a sane Knives, while Domina is sweet and spunky.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Descartes suffers this fate in the manga, courtesy of Grey the Nine-Lives. Also, Elendira and Vash in his final confrontation with Knives in the manga.
  • Implausible Fencing Powers: Rai-Dei the Blade can block bullets.
  • Important Haircut: The first haircuts that the young Vash and Knives receive in episode 17. Even more of an example of this trope than in most other anime, as it's a major defining character moment for both of them (and also serving to pinpoint the moment of Knives's Start of Darkness).
  • Impossibly Cool Clothes: Also note that in the Trigun verse, nothing is cooler than a coat with the bottom part torn apart by dozens and dozens of bullets. With Scary Shiny Glasses!
  • Improbable Aiming Skills:
    • A must for any Martial Pacifist operating as a gunslinger. Vash almost invariably hits what he aims at, no matter how absurd the shot, though a combination of rigorous training and superhuman potential count for a lot. On one occasion a terrible hangover made him reflexively hit all the targets in a quickdraw tournament he'd been forced into, when he'd meant to miss some.
    • In the same episode, he throws pebbles from the sidelines to knock bullets askew and make sure all wounds are nonfatal during other people's duels. And moves so fast no one notices. Kind of disappointing after that that he was never reduced to 'throwing stones' as a combat technique.
    • In another, he concusses an opponent by flinging the bullets out the back of his gun, and blocks the hammer of another guy's gun with the bubblegum he had been chewing, apparently at range.
    • On the other hand, on one occasion his response to an ambush netted one accidental potentially-fatal blow somewhere on the abdomen, so he interrupts his role as John McClane in a "Die Hard" on an X episode to staunch the enemy's bleeding in alarm, to the consternation of his young ally. So he's not infallible or anything.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Played straight with Midvalley, whose saxophone is actually pretty sinister in the manga. Also, the deadliness of Creepy Cool Crosses is directly proportional to their size.
  • In Love with Your Carnage: Legato is this way towards Knives. Especially in the manga.
  • Instant Dogend: Wolfwood's cigarettes. Actually, this series doesn't have a "normal" cigarette to be seen.
  • Instrument of Murder: Midvalley's saxophone.
  • Insult Backfire: "Knives, you're inhuman!" and "Knives, you calamity!" Also, go ahead and try to insult Legato, we'll wait for you.
  • It's Personal: Vash's conflict with Knives got personal about two seconds after it began.
    • His feud with Legato soon becomes this too, with Vash announcing loudly "From now on, I'm hunting YOU!"
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Nicholas D. Wolfwood. The manga never quite explains why his True Companions inflict it upon themselves to put up with him in the first place, knowing that he expresses his affection by distributing humiliating nicknames ("Tongari/Spikey", "big girl", "small girl", "crybaby Livio"), "playful" insults, and various blows. Plus, his manga version is particularly macho and even tries to protect Milly from Midvalley... by pretending he'll shoot her if she doesn't leave immediately, then punching her in the stomach to knock her out (he gets booed by onlookers). Borders on Values Dissonance when his mistreatment of Vash is played for fun. It's even a wonder Nightow still manages to make him such a likable and well-written character for all his Knight Templar and Jerkass traits.
    • From the anime: Dying Wolfwood goes for a cigarette and remembers a scene from Ep.11:
      Milly (flashback): "It's bad for the baby, dear!" (It Makes Sense in Context).
      Wolfwood (present): "I'm sorry, honey."
  • Kick Them While They Are Down: Vash, surprisingly, does this to Monev the Gale after shooting him in the face while in an Unstoppable Rage. Vash walks slowly up to Monev, lamenting over how many people have died and when Monev expresses his lack of caring, gets a boot to the face, showing us just how pissed off Vash is.
  • Kill All Humans: Knives and Legato.
  • Killed Off for Real: Wolfwood, if you didn't know that already.
  • Kirk Summation: one of Vash's Martial Pacifist techniques, consistent with his belief that any criminal can reform.
  • Klingon Promotion: How Wolfwood got into the Gung-Ho Guns in the manga back story. Shot his teacher, Chapel, in the back and used the contractual auto-replace feature to step in as the new Chapel.
  • Knight Templar Big Brother: Knives is a big brother complex gone horribly wrong. He's pretty much of a Yandere over Vash, with huge emphasis on the "Yan". Also, Knives basically decided he was the older twin (there's no proof he is or if Plants even work that way) and it's up for debate which of them is the more childish.
  • Large Ham: This is to be expected in a series that revolves around absurdly huge guns.
    • Several of the series villains, especially filler baddies in the anime, are hams.
      • This series seems, for the most part, to have an inverse relationship between how over-the-top a villain acts and how powerful they are. Monev and E.G. Mine, the weakest of the Gung-Ho Guns, are also the hammiest. Knives is usually very subdued, but can get like this if Vash sets him off.
    • Of the good(-ish) guys, Razlo and Wolfwood get pretty hammy.
      • Vash too, albeit in quite a different style. Kaite calls him on it during the sandsteamer ordeal.
  • Like Brother and Sister: Vash and Meryl are like this in the manga (less so in the anime), though there's still enough material for shippers to use.
  • Living Battery: All Plants are this.
  • Living Forever Is Awesome: Vash doesn't age and has a lot of angst, but he's also a goof who spends his time helping the people of Gunsmoke. He doesn't like outliving people and the alienating effect it has, but there are definitely a lot of things that bother him more, and on the whole it's an advantage.
  • Long List: Vash's long-winded introduction to Wolfwood:
    Vash: I am Valentinez Alkalinella Xifax Sicidabohertz Gumbigobilla Blue Stradivari Talentrent Pierre André Charton-Haymoss Ivanovicci Baldeus George Doitzel Kaiser. Don't hesitate to call.note 
  • Love Triangle:
    • One official. Sorta. Legato and Elendira both like Knives. He hates them both, of course. Very uncompromising racist.
    • Also there's Brad likes Jessica and Jessica likes Vash and Vash's opinion on the matter is, "Can't we just pretend you're still five like you were last time I saw you?"
  • The Magnificent: Most major characters have one of these. Whether the name was earned by exploits or assigned as part of Theme Naming by employers etc. seems to vary. At least one was inherited via Klingon Promotion.
    • Meryl and Milly shake up the trend by having nommes de guerre that come before their proper names and do not involve prepositions.note 
    • Vash the Stampede, the Humanoid Typhoon. Destroyer of July. God's Right Hand of Destruction.
    • ALL the Gun-ho Guns have these. Unclear whether this is Knives's taste or Legato's, considering the level of delegation and that neither of them has one.
      • Monev the Gale.
      • Nicholas the Punisher. (Not that one.)
      • Midvalley the Hornfreak.
      • Chapel the Evergreen has great rhythm but doesn't do the scary thing that well, either.
      • Livio the Double Fang and Razlo the Tri-Punisher of Death help make up the Eye of Michael's scary name quotient.
      • Elendria the Crimson Nail.
  • Manly Tears: Vash, Wolfwood; (manga only) Knives, Legato, Livio.
  • Maybe Ever After:
    • In the manga, after gradually becoming closer to each other and reuniting, Meryl eventually cries and hugs Vash before he goes off to battle Knives. He does something akin to blowing kisses by kissing his knuckles, prompting her to kiss hers and pressing theirs together. Later, after coming back to the ship and before going to finally finish Knives off once and for all, Vash uncharacteristically makes a promise he has never made before: a promise to come back to Meryl and asks her to please wait for him. After this, the relationship is completely left hanging as the Here We Go Again ending six months afterward comes in to play, and no further hints of a relationship are given.
    • In the anime, while things are more one-sided, Milly tells a crying Meryl to tell Vash about her feelings when he comes back from his confrontation with Knives. At the end of the anime, we see Meryl saying that Vash wouldn't keep a good woman like her waiting, and Vash does come back to Meryl and Milly at the very end, leaving us to guess what happens next for the two.
  • Mayfly-December Romance:
    • Anyone Vash could hypothetically hook up with would be about 150 years younger than him, and he'd still probably outlive them.note  A major factor in his status as Chaste Hero, since he's the emotional type.
    • Applies to Knives too, except he really doesn't care.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Rem's name is written in katakana, but if put into kanji it can be translated to English as "the world", depending on the context. Knives somehow acquired, as an adorable child, a name much more suited to his future as a homicidal maniac.
    • Legato named himself. Presumably he meant something by it. It will forever be a mystery what. (Legato is a musical term meaning something like "played smoothly and connected"; the mystery lies in exactly why he felt it was appropriate, or if he just liked the sound of it).
    • The planet's names themselves. While it's generally referred to as "Gunsmoke" in promotional materials (never named in the anime), a name given in the manga is "No Man's Land". For a pure desert planet that's essentially the Wild West in Space, they fit.
  • Mexican Standoff: Happens a few times throughout the anime and manga, but by far the most over-the-top one occurs in Volume 5 of Maximum. Those involved include Wolfwood, Zazie, Hopperd, Legato, and Vash… sort of. Here's what happens — Wolfwood has guns trained on Legato and Zazie. Zazie has guns on Legato and Wolfwood. Hopperd is crippled and is trying to fire on Legato. Legato is holding back Hopperd with his powers while also trying to contain Vash. Vash's involvement is debatable, as he's simply losing control of his Angel powers and trying not to destroy everyone. The standoff is broken by (of all people) Meryl leaping up from beneath Vash and taking a shot at Legato. Guns go off all over the place, but the only one who dies is Hopperd.
  • Mistaken Identity:
    • A bit of a running gag early in the anime. Due to there being no proper pictures of Vash, just a vague description, people with a red coat, blond hair, and a big weapon become mistaken for Vash. It gets to the point that two bounty hunters mistake each other for Vash.
    • Averted in the manga, where there is explicitly a photo on his wanted poster.
  • The Mob Boss Is Scarier: A non crime case. In the anime, when Vash defeats Caine and offers him a chance to surrender, Caine promptly shoots himself rather than suffer Knives' wrath for failing. This also seems to be affecting Midvalley, who outright says that he has no choice but to kill or be killed in his fight with Vash.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Discussed in-universe by multiple characters.
    • Vash doesn't believe in it, claiming that no one is beyond redemption. He got this from Rem, who often talked about how anyone can reinvent themselves, because the future is open.
    • Wolfwood does believe in it, and thinks he crossed it long ago.
    • Legato discusses it in his typical manipulative nihilist way.
      "So many people have died. I've caused so much suffering. A being like myself shouldn't be allowed to live."
  • More Dakka: Another hallmark of this series.
    • Within the first three minutes of the first episode of the anime, an entire building is blown to pieces by Descartes and his mooks' gunfire. This sets the tone for the entire show.
    • Every member of the Eye Of Michael lives and breathes this.
    • So does Monev, although it doesn't end well for him.
    • In the first story after the Fifth Moon Incident, Vash and Wolfwood go to rescue Lina from some bandits who have holed up in a disused building. Literally hundreds of guns are trained on them. The bandit leader gives the order to fire and… cut to the building reduced to rubble and Lina safe.
  • Mordor: Pretty much everywhere! Except geo-plant areas.
  • The Movie: Got one a dozen years after the anime ended (three years after the manga ended).
  • Mook Horror Show:
    • Vash sometimes plays up the horror factor that his reputation gives him, since it gets him out of fights and he actually has a strict moral code against killing. He's done the sneak-around-and-pick-your-dudes-off thing and the Implacable Man advance-while-singing-a-terrifying-ditty-about-genocide thing.
    • A note: Singing in Ep.19/TriMax Vol.1 didn't work.
      • Further note: Kicking the RPG fired by a terrified mook into the ceiling after singing that did work.
    • Monev the Gale found out the hard way how scary a genuinely angry Vash can be when Monev gunned down a bunch of innocent civilians. He compared Vash's Glowing Eyes of Doom to the eyes of the devil himself. Note that he had never actually met his boss.
  • Mugged for Disguise: One of Leonof's puppets does this to poor Jessica in the anime, leaving her Bound and Gagged on the floor after stealing her clothes.
  • Murder, Inc.: The Eye of Michael. Bonus points for the Ancient Conspiracy undertones.
  • Must Make Amends: In the manga, Young Vash and Knives discover that before they were born, the SEEDS crew encountered another sentient plant like them, who they named Tessla… and the crew in their curiosity performed endless experiments on her, and the stress of it killed her. They also learned that their surrogate mother was one of the researchers. After learning the truth, Knives fell into a coma and Vash simply refused to eat. In an attempt to make him eat, Rem started to peel an apple… and Vash leapt for the knife in what was probably a suicide attempt, but ended up stabbing Rem in the side when she put up a struggle. At first he seemed relieved but quickly started panicking and put her to bed in a med-birth and patched her up.
  • My Death Is Just the Beginning: Legato uses his own death to psychologically torture Vash. It worked.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast:
    • Millions Knives.
    • Legato Bluesummers, on the other hand, just carries an air of faint menace.
    • Most of Vash's nicknames count: the Humanoid Typhoon, the Demon of July, the First Human Act of God, etc. etc.
  • Nemesis Weapon: As shown in a flashback in the anime, after wrecking a fleet of Colony Ships, Knives uses some of the ships' remains to make a pair of pistols which, if used by one of his race, can transform into weapons of mass destruction called "Angel Arms". He gives one of the guns to Vash, still thinking he can bring his good twin around. It becomes Vash's weapon of choice, with its twin only appearing in the finale.
  • Never Found the Body: After the Fifth Moon Incident, Wolfwood and Meryl separately use this as justification in their belief that Vash survived. They're right.
  • Nietzsche Wannabe: Several characters, but Legato practically defines the trope.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Nightow's official genre classification (see the caption to the page image). Also, some of the character designs. Rai-Dei is a Cowboy Samurai Assassin on Steampunk Rocket Skates! In space!
  • Nonchalant Dodge: Vash does this a lot.
  • No Romantic Resolution: In the anime, the relationship between Meryl and Vash is left hanging.
  • Not So Different: Knives and Legato both try to invoke this on Vash without much success… until Vash kills Legato; at that point, he (temporarily) feels he no longer has any right to face Knives.
    • In Badlands Rumble, Amelia has a minor Heroic B.S.O.D. when she realizes that her indifference to possibly shooting the plant while chasing revenge against Gasback meant that she was just like him.
  • Nun Too Holy: Wolfwood is the male version, obviously.
    Vash: What the hell kind of churchman are you, anyway?!
  • Oedipus Complex:
    • Both in the manga and in the anime, Nicholas D. Wolfwood has a bad complex towards his tyrannical mentor/father figure. No mothers need apply.
    • On the other hand, Vash had only a foster mother, and has been accused of spending way too much time thinking about her.
  • Off Model:
    • Early on in the manga, characters' faces often look… weird. Especially women.
    • The TV series is known for being all over the map in terms of its animation quality. Individual episodes can and often do jump between this and Animation Bump depending on the scene.
      • The worst-looking episode by far is Ep.16, "Fifth Moon". Unfortunately, that episode contains major plot development… and the all-important lead-up to the Incident is where the animation really takes a nosedive.
      • Episode 3 is a noticeable step down in quality from the first two.
      • Most of Ep.25 ("Live Through") looks fine, but there's one sequence near the halfway point that manages to have the laziest animation of the entire series.
  • Omake: The gag covers, and they're doozies. Also, the end-of-volume pages involving Super-Deformed Nightow prancing around in near-insanity.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Legato wants to witness and be part of The End of the World as We Know It because he feels his existence is meaningless. Actually creepier than Knives, who (at least in the manga) has actual motivations and intends to save his species… sort of. The world would be way scarier if Legato was the Big Bad instead of a young creep psychologically dependent on someone stronger than him.
  • Once an Episode: Appearances from Kuroneko-sama in the anime.
  • One-Winged Angel: Manga only, but it was pretty awesome.
  • Older Than They Look: Vash looks like that he's around 27, but he is actually over 100.
  • Only a Lighter: The third episode sees an outlaw boss Dual Wielding long-barrel revolvers that are actually matching cigarette lighters. This Harmless Villain with a Slasher Smile plots a bank heist posing as Vash.
  • Only Six Faces:
    • All the non-Gonk characters must have only four faces or something. This happens so much in Nightow's work that most Blood Blockade Battlefront characters look like Trigun expies. Vash's face must be the most overused one — Livio even looks like Vash/Knives with a fancy tattoo. Even Chronica sort of looks like them.
    • Anime Vash and Knives have moderately different coloring. Some of the manga scenes are almost incomprehensible at first or second look, especially if both of them are in it and there are a lot of sound effects. This looks intentional in the flashback to the twins as kids — wow, can't even tell which one said what, they're joined at the hip! — but problematic later.
  • Pacifism Backfire: A pretty hefty amount of In-Universe angst and (in and out-of-universe) arguing is how much personal sacrifice and Crazy Enough to Work plans Vash has to go through for his pacifist calling (which is noble, but definitely clashing with the Crapsack World, "anybody with a gun and a desperate need for money (which is everybody on the planet) is out to get Vash's bounty" setting), especially when the Gung-Ho Guns and Knives come calling and the fact Vash can't bring himself to even give them something slightly greater than flesh wounds allows them to throw their contempt for Vash's beliefs to his face via massive slaughters.
  • Pals with Jesus: Though Vash and (especially) Knives are often referred to as "HIM" by various characters in the manga.
    • In the anime, Meryl busts out a much less flattering "that guy" in reference to Vash.
  • Papa Wolf: Wolfwood, for any child he happens to encounter at all. Made his anime killing of Zazie all the more shocking (and even more of a gesture of attachment to Vash, but Vash wasn't really in a state to appreciate that).
  • Parental Abandonment: Most of the cast are either abandoned or orphaned; some even killed a father figure or mother figure as a result of abuse or insanity...
  • Pastel-Chalked Freeze Frame: Wolfwood in "Quick Draw" right after he turns around screaming with Guns Akimbo. It's the only one in the entire anime.
  • Person of Mass Destruction:
    • Vash is classified as a Human Act of God for insurance purposes. For some reason this also causes the bounty to be taken off his head. Gunsmoke must have some weird tort law.
    • And Knives, of course. Shooter of satellites and spaceships. Bringer of the Apocalypse. Though he would probably object to being called a "person".
  • Pillow Pregnancy: In anime Ep.11, Milly tries to hide a slave-girl who is being chased by having her cling to her belly under her coat, then pretending she is pregnant and Wolfwood is the dad.
  • Plot-Based Voice Cancellation: When Rem makes her Heroic Sacrifice to save Vash, she yells something at him that is cut off by the blast doors closing. Vash still takes this "something" as gospel some twenty years later. note 
  • Power Gives You Wings: Creepy ones. And only the twins.
  • Price On Their Head: Vash has $$60,000,000,000 on his head for the destruction of a city. Up until the Bernadelli Insurance Corporation declares him a "human act of God".
  • Professional Killer: The Eye of Michael are a ring of the planet's scariest assassins with a front as a respectable church.
  • Promoted to Love Interest: Meryl and Vash are Like Brother and Sister in the original manga. In the anime, by contrast, there's a distinct romantic subtext (at least from Meryl's end). A concise example of the difference is in the scene where Meryl and Milly see Vash shirtless and he says the sight of him would make girls run away – in the anime, she blushes and grows flustered, insisting that women (read: she) wouldn't run; in the manga, she basically rolls her eyes and continues with the matter at hand.
  • Psycho for Hire:
    • Legato and the Gung-Ho Guns.
    • There are also the Eye of Michael, who have slots in the Guns as an organization instead of individuals. Of course, even they as high-end assassins are less than qualified as simple professionals, since there was a plant-worshipping cult involved in their evolution as an organization.
  • Psycho Supporter: Legato, especially in the manga.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Legato, Knives and Wolfwood, occasionally. Lazlo, ALL. THE. TIME!!

     Tropes Q-Z 
  • Rape as Backstory: Legato in the manga.
  • Rated M for Manly: Moreso in the hands of Boichi.
  • Razor Wings: One of Knives' powers is part of his body turning into feathers which are monomolecular blades.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Interestingly, some other characters are Younger Than They Look in the manga.
  • Reality Ensues: Vash rushes to treat one of the Bad Lads after he shoots him. Even if the shot was non-lethal and missed his organs, he's still in danger of bleeding out.
    • Meryl's Awesome, but Impractical fighting style has her continuously drawing and discarding derringer pistols every two shots. After one shootout she's seen walking around picking them all back up.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Knives, Legato, and (manga) Wolfwood to Vash. Vash to Knives in the manga.
  • Reckless Pacifist: Vash. He'll save everyone's lives if at all possible (and sometimes even if it's not), but don't expect there to not be massive collateral damage as a result.
  • Recurring Extra: Kuroneko-sama
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Vash is the blue to Wolfwood's red. Legato is the blue to Vash's red.
    • Vash vs. Knives is more complex, as Knives is the more cerebral of the two but also the more impulsive and violent.
    • Meryl and Milly play both roles depending on the situation. Meryl is (usually) more hotheaded but less impulsive, yet Milly often has to talk her down.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Nicholas D. Wolfwood.
    • Redemption Equals Life: With Livio instead, who goes on and lives as a drifter, and probably helping orphans like his old comrade.
  • The Reveal: Vash is an Artificial Human! Knives is his Evil Twin! The Gung-ho Guns' coins are meant to activate a device that de-powers Legato!
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Vilified: When La Résistance is made out of trauma-fueled genocidal psychos and a massively oppressed species.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Deconstructed. Just because you refuse to kill doesn't mean that others will choose to follow your highly idealistic philosophy. Indeed, following this philosophy will not only cost you dearly, but make you less effective at actually stopping suffering and misery than being willing to kill does, because some people are so irredeemably evil that the only way they will stop causing misery is when they are DEAD.
  • Revolvers Are Just Better: Most characters actually use machine guns or semiautomatics. Vash, however, uses an ancient custom six-shooter as his primary weapon… and is able to beat nearly everyone with it.
  • Rule of Cool: As you can probably guess from every other trope on this page, the series runs on this.
    • Deep Space Planet Future Western Gun Action!! Also see Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot.
    • In the third episode of the anime, Vash somehow manages to deflect machine-gun fire using only a garbage-can lid. Which he'd previously been wearing as a hat.
  • Rule of Funny: Right now, someone is talking to his donut. In Gratuitous French.
  • Schizo Tech: Justified by the After the End setting. Most tech used by ordinary people is early-1900's at best – there's electric lights, automobiles, and trains but not planes – however, there are examples here and there of the more advanced "Lost Technology" known to the original generation who survived the Great Fall (though the ability to create that stuff died when Knives slaughtered the Project SEEDS crew). Then of course there are the Plants, which are even more advanced than that, and are the literal lifeblood of the human race; almost everything people need to survive comes from them.
    • The economic system of Gunsmoke is also pretty schizo. The Plants seem to be, with rare exceptions, municipally owned, but everything else is libertarian in the extreme. This can be explained by this world running on Western movie tropes rather than anything logical for the situation. Fan Wank - 
  • Sdrawkcab Name:
    • Monev the Gale's name backwards is Venom, a Shout-Out along with his costume to the Marvel character.
    • And an odd musical example, as the outro to commercial and intro from commercial are mirrored versions of the same guitar riff.
  • Shirtless Scene: Vash; occasionally Livio, Wolfwood and nekkid!Knives.
  • Shout-Out: Several.
    • The sandworms, among others, are an obvious allusion to Dune.
    • The name "Wolfwood" (Urufuudo) is an allusion to a Japanese band called "The Ulfuls" (Urufuuruzu) and the character in question is designed after their singer.
    • Many to American popular culture. Includes such gems as "double dollars", country-style music, and countless loans from western movies and American comics, noticeable both in plot elements and graphic references.
    • Often in chapter titles, such as the one to Quentin Tarantino in the chapter "Reservoir Dogs."
    • Tessla probably alludes to a certain Serbian-American inventor and engineer, himself a glorious Steampunk hero (click if you dare).
    • The Gun Fu battles may be shoutouts to John Woo.
    • Monev's name. See above.
    • Vash seems to be riding a wheeled Vanship during the trailer for Badlands Rumble.
    • Blink-and-you'll-miss-it one in the very last episode. The photo shown for the man related to Rem that Vash was tracking down in July is a still of single-episode character Shiro Tokita from Neon Genesis Evangelion, right down to his outfit in said shot.
    • An internal shout-out to the mangaka appears in Badlands Rumble when Vash uses a pole bearing several street signs to deflect bullets - one sign is for "Nightow Street".
    • One crowd shot in Badlands Rumble features what appears to be a gonk droid, or at least someone cosplaying as one.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Vash to Knives in the manga, several times but especially when he confronts him at the end of Trigun Maximum. A fan translation had him say "You're a wimp with a bulldozer" while the official translation rang, "You, by your own efforts, have become a mindless bulldier who chases weaklings."
  • Shut Up, Kirk!: Knives to Vash in the manga, multiple times, with some "The Reason You Suck" Speech thrown into the mix.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: The entire point of Vash vs. Knives. They are twins who are exact opposites in worldview.
  • Single-Biome Planet: Although, with the twin-suns, is it any surprise it's a desert world?
  • Slap Yourself Awake: In a variant, Vash concentrates on the pain from his previously injured finger to counteract a villain who uses hypnosis to paralyze people.
  • Slasher Smile:
    • Knives; Legato; manga Wolfwood; Livio; Lazlo; Elendira.
    • Little Vash between when he tries to kill himself and when he decides to save Rem.
  • Sleeper Starship: Project SEEDS consisted of millions of humans on ice in thousands of ships, while a small awake crew looked for a planet to settle. Most of them were killed when Knives crashed the fleet into Gunsmoke.
  • Slouch of Villainy: Manga Knives, generally with a hand over his eyes of forehead to show he's Full of Upset.
  • Smoking Barrel Blowout: Wolfwood likes to do this. Vash does it occasionally too.
  • Space Western: And the soundtrack reflects this extremely well.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": The anime and manga were translated years apart by completely different teams. It's honestly surprising there aren't more discrepancies, and the ones that do exist mostly come down to how to transliterate kana.
    • The most notable & controversial one crops up in the manga: Razlo (official) vs Lazlo (fan-scans).
    • Count Revenant/Lebnant Vasquez/Buskus
    • Tessla (official manga) vs. Tesla (fan-scans).
    • Kaite (anime subs) vs. Kite (English dub & manga) vs. Kaito (what the kana says)
    • Milly (anime) vs. Millie (manga). By that same token, Meryl Stryfe (anime) vs. Strife (manga).
    • Leonof (manga) vs. Leonoff vs. Leonov
    • Even Rem isn't immune. Her last name is "Saverem" in the anime but "Seibrem" in the manga. And the Spanish dub calls her "Lem" for some reason.
    • Some cities are ambiguous too: Ainpril/Einpril (kana) vs. Inepril (subs) vs. April (manga). The anime can't decide whether May City is called that or "Mei", as the spelling on the signs changes every other shot.
  • Staged Shooting: Twice. Once, Vash shoots two kids he was hired to kill with rubber bullets, then demands the contract rpice on thme, playing the part of "insane killer." The second time, Vash and Wolfwood shoot each other in a quickdraw contest, only to reveal to the crooked men running the contest that it was actually fake blood in empty booze bottles.
  • Steam Punk: Even though it takes place in the future.
  • Stop, or I Shoot Myself!: Wolfwood seems to do this, to provide a visual example on how someone's chosen action will lead to the death of hundreds. It is quickly revealed however, that he never intended to put himself in any danger, and was using an empty clip. However, there's a chilling scene in the manga, on the other hand, where to prove how serious he is, Wolfwood holds Vash's (loaded) gun to his own forehead while it's still in Vash's hand and demands, shoot. Saying if he could trigger a willingness to do what's necessary and keep moving in Vash, that would be completely worth his life.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: The reason why everyone runs Vash out of town.
  • Suspect Is Hatless: Everyone looking for Vash in the first episode of the anime is using a different description, which is technically accurate on at least two points (tall + wearing red) but is vague enough that it also matches one of the other parties looking for Vash.
  • Sufficiently Advanced Alien: Vash and Knives are technically not alien life-forms, but there are strong suggestions of this trope, especially in the anime since there are no "There Is Another" plants from Earth. And, let's face it, manga Vash and (even more) Knives are very god-like, which ties in with the religious subtext.
  • Super-Deformed: Happens sometimes in the more comedic moments of both anime and manga. It feels very out of place when it occurs.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: Livio/Lazlo. Vash might fit too.
  • Super Speed:
    • Vash shoots about six times faster than a human gunman, which is impossibly awesome. Also played with with Dominique the Cyclops. He makes gunpowder explode faster than normal. He breaks physics through physical contact! And we thought he didn't have the girly family superpowers.
    • Elendria rams nails through peoples bodies faster than the eye can see.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Livio, for Wolfwood.
  • Take a Third Option: Vash constantly adheres to this. That's the reason why Episode 24 of the anime is such a Wham Episode; there is no easy way out this time, so Vash must kill Legato and later have a mental breakdown over it.
  • Teach Him Anger:
    • Likely the intent of the Break the Cutie campaign that forms the backbone of the plot… well, the part that isn't just Knives's inner child throwing a tantrum about his brother not doing what he wants. Vash is already perfectly badass, with a sizable temper if pushed far enough, but as a Martial Pacifist and Friend to All Living Things he lacks the genocidal anger his twin brother wants to see.
    • Also one of the many contradictory goals of poor Wolfwood, especially in the manga. He is perfectly willing to die for the sake of convincing Vash to actually kill the bad guys (specifically Knives) and really solve problems, because he's pretty sure Vash would fill his chosen role of righteous executioner much better and longer than he can.
  • There Is Another: Manga only. Turns out there are other Independent Plants… and they come from Earth with a message of salvation. Unfortunately for them, Knives finds out first and intercepts it.
  • Those Two Guys: Those two girls, Meryl and Milly, fit the description to a large extent.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Vash believes in not killing, ever. The ramifications of this are explored as Vash is shown to have been torn to shreds under his jacket from numerous wounds he acquired while winning fights without hurting people.
    • He got the idea from Rem, who preached this as gospel.
  • Time Skip: After the Fifth Moon Incident (which also marked the point where the manga changed from Trigun [shonen] to Trigun Maximum [seinen]), two years pass before Wolfwood manages to track Vash down. The anime version, however, doesn't give a timespan; it's certainly shorter than in the manga, but still several months.
    • Six years pass between the end of the main series and Trigun: The Lost Plant.
  • Training from Hell: Vash; Wolfwood; Livio; Monev; Rai Dei hints at this too. Strangely enough, Knives's apparent lack of regular training doesn't reduce his deadliness and muscle mass, because being an Übermensch apparently gives you a near-unlimited supply of cool.
  • Transformation Trauma: Vash does not take his involuntary unleashing of his Angel-arm well.
    • Meryl happened to be right next to him one time it happened and was psychologically scarred by it. When, later on, Vash sprouts a feather to stop a bullet, she collapses to the ground screaming and backs away when Vash reaches out to her.
  • Trickster Archetype: Vash, in particular, is an incredibly impish, baffling, and tricky character.
  • True Companions: Vash, Meryl, Milly, and Wolfwood in the anime (they're not together for very long in the manga).
  • Try to Fit THAT on a Business Card!: The name that Vash gives to Wolfwood upon their first meeting in the anime. It's quoted elsewhere on this page.
    • Wolfwood's Word of God middle name is "Dokonokuminomonjawaresumakinishiteshizumetarokakora", which translates as a dig at his constant smoking.
  • The Ugly Guy's Hot Daughter: The only identified daughter of the Nebraska Family is an attractive teenage girl, while her dad is an ancient-looking ugly guy with three teeth and a giant derringer grafted onto his crotch… and her mom is basically an Opposite-Sex Clone of Gofsef, the deformed cybernetically-augmented giant, only without the cyber-mods.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: To appease a bunch of bandits whose leader was posing as him, Vash stripped naked and barked like a dog. Later Wolfwood called the towns people out for mocking him, reminding them of the fact that they wouldn’t be alive if it wasn’t for Vash.
    • In the anime, Brad calls out his fellow Ship-dwellers for getting mad at Vash for the Ship crashing when they did absolutely nothing to help him stop it from happening (Brad at least tried).
  • Unflinching Walk: Vash and Wolfwood in "Goodbye for Now".
  • The Unreveal: There are many things in this series that the reader/viewer simply never learns.
    • What exactly were Rem's final words to Vash? Added lines in the dubs aside, we'll never know.
    • Why and how do Autonomous Plants (Vash, Knives, Tessla, Chronica, etc.) exist? It's never explained. Indeed, their existence is a borderline Hand Wave. Anything goes…
  • Unstoppable Rage: Frequent. Vash's is the most impressive, Knives's the most destructive.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid:
    • Knives.
    • Also Wolfwood, Livio, and Legato, for a given value of 'sweet'; they were respectively already bitter, already carrying an Enemy Within, and already vengeance-driven at the earliest points in their lives we see them, but by comparison they come across as heart-twistingly innocent.
    • Vash, by contrast, has forcibly changed as little as possible over the years leaving him ridiculously childish at times. Of course, it's not all genuine.
  • Villain Episode:
    • The manga has a few chapters with Legato, Knives, Livio etc. as focal characters or even narrators.
    • Midvalley's narration of his fight with Wolfwood (during much of which Wolfwood is blind) does a lot to bring depth to his character.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Happens to quite a few villains, some of whom commit suicide or start W/Angsting if they fail.
  • Villains Out Shopping:
  • Weapon of Mass Destruction: This world has two… and they're sentient.
  • Weapon Tombstone: Vash uses Wolfwood's cross punisher as his gravestone. Considering its shape, it's very fitting.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Knives; Wolfwood to a certain extent. Wolfwood tends to be heavy on the Well Intentioned and lighter on the extreme, whereas Knives is the other way around.
  • Wham Episode: The anime has several of these, but the biggest one is probably Episode 12, "Diablo". Up to this point, the majority of the series was basically 'The Wacky Adventures of Vash & Friends'. This episode introduces Legato, and things only get darker from there.note 
    • Then there's Episode 24, where Vash kills Legato to save Meryl and Milly.
  • Wham Line: Accomplished in anime Episode 6, "Lost July", with a single word!
    Vash: (to Elizabeth) "What's going on? Am I being punished?"
    Elizabeth: "I want you dead."
    Vash: "Are you after that stupid reward?"
    Elizabeth: "No."
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: The SEEDS crew just didn't seem to have thought through the possible side effects of constant experimentation on a toddler, and poor Tessla died as a result.
  • What Measure Is a Mook?: Averted. Vash is at least as concerned with not killing mooks as not killing named characters — notable in the scene on the Sandsteamer when he misjudged a shot and starts bandaging a random bandit so he won't bleed out. Wolfwood in turn is slightly more willing to kill named characters on the whole, because mostly the named characters are the ones dangerous enough to be worth the trouble.
  • Whole Episode Flashback: Episode 17 of the anime, "Rem Saverem".
  • Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?: Aerith and Bob accounts for most of these, but… Rem, who names their foster-son Knives? Crazy ninjas, that's who! Pirates! Not pacifist astronauts conspiring to prevent the kid from being dissected by their coworkers! It's like you were asking for it. note 
  • Window Watcher: In an early episode, Vash has been hired to guard a young woman named Marianne. He hears the water running in her bathroom, and ties a rope around his waist so that he can lower himself from the roof to peek through the window. She wasn't there, though, and when Millie walks in a second later, he claims that he had been checking the roof for spooks.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Legato, Knives; possibly Livio.
  • Word Salad Title: Either justified or debatable for the manga's subtitle: Deep Space Planet Future Gun Action!!!
  • Writer on Board: Yasuhiro Nightow is a Catholic convert retaining some Buddhist influences by his own admission, and boy does it show.
  • X Days Since: In an interesting variation of this trope, the first chapter of the manga shows a sign in one city counting the number of murders and serious injuries that had occurred that day.
  • Yandere: Manga Wolfwood can be seen as Cute and Psycho — you start suspecting something's wrong, when he turns Grey the Ninelives into minced meat, with a Slasher Smile. Also, Knives might be a Yandere for Vash, because nothing is too creepy or dysfunctional for him. Depending on interpretation, Vash might also be Cute and Psycho.
  • Yellow Brick Road: Getting to Knives.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: Even bad guys express regret about this, along with nostalgia to more "innocent times".
    • Vash and Knives, since their home burned up in Gunsmoke's atmosphere (courtesy of Knives).
    • Also Wolfwood, as he finds out when he revisits the orphanage he grew up in.
    • Livio angsts about this.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Legato; some of the mutant characters.
  • Younger Than They Look: Vash and Knives in both versions of the flashback — they were a year old when the Fall happened.
    • Wolfwood in the manga. He's in his mid to late teens when introduced, and dies before he's twenty.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Manga/Trigun?from=Anime.Trigun