Achilles in His Tent: The standard plot happens a little differently to demure Mercury, who starts as the only Sailor Senshi without offensive abilities, and is too nice to storm off. Instead, she's offered a chance to study abroad and further her goals of becoming a doctor, which will remove her from the Sailor Senshi. She's about to take it, but changed her mind at the last moment and returns in time to get her mid-season power upgrade (which finally makes her more action-geared) and rescue the rest of the team from a monster only weak to ice, and she returns to the fold.
Adaptation Expansion: Being pretty much four times as long as the manga, the anime has plenty of time to detail the characters outside of the main ones (supporting cast and villains) more.
At the end of the first act of the manga, Innocent Bystander Naru is insistent that morning that she and her mother were attacked by "robbers" the previous night, who were stopped by Sailor Moon, (she has mercifully forgotten they were a shapeshifting monster). In first episode of The Nineties anime, rather than operating under a Weirdness Censor, Naru believes the full incident was All Just a Dream, which raises questions as to whether she remembers that the "dream" monster told her that her mother was locked in the basement.
In the Sailor Moon S season, the then-currently condescending Outer Senshi have an oddly polite conversation with Tuxedo Mask (despite him being one of the weakest senshi) and refer to him respectfully as Endymion, despite no other indications that they know much about the existing cast (barring Pluto). This was lifted almost directly from the manga, where the Outer Senshi are implied to already know who most of the senshi are/were but are avoiding working with them out of a sense of duty and penance rather than dislike and skepticism.
The anime never explains how Mamoru is able to keep Chibi-Usa alive at the end of Sailor Moon S when her heart crystal is stolen. This is a plot point that is lifted directly from the manga, but by this point the story had already established that he has the power to pass on energy to another person and even heal wounds several times. The anime never establishes him as possessing such a power, but it acts as though he's been able to do this all along.
The anime directly adapts one of the manga's "Exam Battle" short stories, "Ami's First Love", (about Ami getting a love letter from a secret admirer and freaking out so much she breaks out in hives) as a short film to open the SuperS movie, without accounting for multiple continuity differences. The title itself either ignores or retcons Ami's first in-series relationship with Canon Foreigner Urawa Ryo, and Ami develops an allergy to love letters that contradicts that romance plotline, where she was mature about love letters and relationships. She's also given an attack she's previously used only in the manga. As the movies themselves are usually regarded as non-canon due to various continuity issues, this short is treated in a similar manner, but its use of source material makes such errors far more noticeable.
In the Sailor StarS season, many characters remark that Chibi Chibi looks exactly like Usagi. Not just like her little sister, more like her daughter. Well, in the manga, this did make sense as Chibi Chibi is actually Sailor Cosmos, which may be a future form of Sailor Moon herself, and thus the possibility of being the same person. In the anime, however, her origin is completely independent of Sailor Moon entirely and it's never explained why they look the same.
The following Sailor Guardians do not exist in The Nineties anime at all: Sailor Ceres, Sailor Pallas, Sailor Juno, Sailor Vesta, and Sailor Cosmos, albeit the first four still appear as characters, but never become Sailor Senshi.
Several villains from the Manga's Shadow Galactica are also nonexistent in Sailor StarS.
Adorably Precocious Child: Perle in the SuperS movie and Helios in the Super S season, though both are probably quite a bit older.
Agony Beam: Various baddies have them, a notable use (though without an actual beam) is during R when Rubeus increases his ship's artificial gravity to 10 and more G's to torture Sailor Moon. She stands up.
Alas, Poor Villain: Several of the villains had sympathetic deaths, though this was entirely confined to the anime as villains in the manga were rarely sympathetic and died quickly. While Nephrite in the anime largely falls into Redemption Equals Death, Zoisite goes out in his lover's arms happy that he died "pretty" and Kunzite later laments upon his death that he'll join Zoisite. In the next arc, Esmeraude dies crying out for Demand. Skip ahead to Sailor Stars, and each of the Sailor Animamates has some kind of sorrowful passing - rammed home harder when the viewer learns in the climax of the arc that none of them were acting out of their own free will. However, it could also be assumed that they survived at the end of the series after all when everyone else Galaxia killed revives.
Alternate Continuity: The anime bares only a passing resemblance to the manga, which progresses as the series moves on. While most of the manga's cast appears, they frequently have completely different motivations, personalities, and backstories. This leads to each plot arc playing out completely differently in the anime compared to the manga, only occasionally sharing a story beat or two. This was by design, as the anime and manga were intended to be in production simultaneously and thus the writers only had access to story boards and concept art of the manga during series production.
Amusing Injuries: In episode 104, Usagi's feet fall asleep during a tea ceremony and Chibi-usa punches her in the foot to deliberately trigger Seiza Squirm. One word: ouch.
Anatomy Of The Soul: Each season had at least one new item. The Death Busters transform the "pure hearts" of humans into crystals in the anime, in the manga human hosts are used to hold Daimons. In the anime, the Dark Moon Circus first try to search the "dream mirrors" of humans for Pegasus, then later try to search for one with a golden mirror. In Sailor Stars, Shadow Galactica rip the star seeds out of people as they search for special star seeds, and then turn their victims into phages.
Annoying Laugh: Esmeraude. The first time she laughs in front of the Sailor Soldiers they cover their ears in pain.
Armor-Piercing Slap: Usagi slaps Mamoru for forgetting her birthday in episode 101. As it turns out, Usagi never actually told Mamoru when her birthday was, nor does she know when his birthday is. She immediately runs to apologize when she realizes it was her fault for overreacting.
Artifact of Doom: Anything possessed by one of Nephrite's monsters. Symptoms of exposure to the possessed item include supernatural talent, Jerkass behavior, and eventually, loss of energy.
Artistic License - Astronomy: Episode (177) has a "comet" which is supposedly only going to be visible for a few minutes since it's moving by so fast. Meteors move that fast; comets do not.
Ascended Extra: In the manga, the roles of most villains were extremely small and they were often killed off without much ado. In the anime, their roles and characters were greatly expanded. The Sailor Starlights were also given a similar treatment, becoming a major focus of the final arc.
Attack Its Weak Point: The monster Iguara in episode 5 has a huge white blinking spot at the base of its tail that is its only vulnerability.
Back for the Finale: Sailor Saturn was mostly absent for most of Stars after the Neherina Arc, but in episodes leading to the finale, she makes an unexpected appearance in saving the Sailor Senshi from Galaxia's attack.
Berserk Button: It was established in the 13th episode that anyone who makes sexist remarks within earshot of a Sailor Senshi is in for a world of hurt, as Jadeite learned the hard way when the then-Power Trio of the Sailor Senshi used Plane Fu on him for that offense.
Big Budget Beef-Up: The animation quality takes a noticeable jump about midway through R and again for S onwards.
Big "NO!": Usagi during the climax of the final season after Mercury, Mars, Venus, and Jupiter throw themselves in front of Sailor Moon and the Starlights to protect them from Sailor Galaxia's attack. The attack removes their Star Seeds causing them to fade into orbs of light before vanishing altogether. She says it rather weakly at first then lets out a chilling scream of it. Turns into a Skyward Scream after she starts yelling.
Another Big "NO!" comes from Usagi after the Disney Deaths of Sailors Uranus and Neptune at the start of episode 111 in the S season.
Naru lets out a few of them after Nephrite dies.
The Blank: The makeup-themed Monster of the Week from episode 61 (Usagi-Mamoru breakup episode) accidentally erased her own face. She was trying to draw it back with eyebrow pencil when Sailor Moon zapped her.
Blatant Lies: The Bragging Theme Tune written exclusively for the English dub states that she never runs from a fight. Most of the fights in the early seasons start with her legging it to have a little cry.
Book Ends: From the beginning of Episode 1 and the end of Episode 200, respectively.
Usagi (ep. 1): "I'm Tsukino Usagi, 14 years old. I'm in the eighth grade. I'm just a little clumsy and a bit of a crybaby. That's about it."
Usagi (ep. 200): "I'm Tsukino Usagi, 16 years old, in the first year of high school. I'm a bit rash and a crybaby, but I'm actually an agent of love and justice...pretty Sailor Soldier, Sailor Moon!"
Bragging Theme Tune: The English dub has a different theme song that easily falls into this category of theme tunes.
The second German dubbed theme, "Kampfe Sailor Moon", talks about how invincible and powerful the Sailor Soldiers are.
Breaking the Fourth Wall: The final episode of R (89) had the Senshi looking forward to their third season and arguing over who should be the new main character by showing their best scenes from the previous two series (as well as dismissing each other's claims by showing each other's worst scenes). At one point, they even wonder if the viewers are getting bored by their chatter (!)
The Memorial specials included on the home video releases are basically the main characters commenting on how the season played out.
Brother Chuck: Season one had a fairly large supporting cast, including Usagi's parents and little brother, Rei's grandpa and his assistant Yūichirō, and various folks from their school. Almost all of them had vanished completely by season three, though a couple made a token appearance or two in later seasons (usually as monster attack victims), and the writers were nice enough to pair off Usagi's main two school chums before they vanished. Only Yūichirō stayed on because of his status as Rei's "love interest" (its...complicated).
In the episode where Molly gets her energy sucked by Neflyte, the Sailor Says segment says that Molly was being true to her heart when she told Neflyte how she felt about him and treats this as a good thing and an important lesson...even though it put her in a coma. Naturally Sailor Moon Abridged has fun with this.
SMA Serena: When Molly told Neflyte what she felt, she was being true to her self! See what that got her? Stupid bitch should've kept her mouth shut.
Another episode in the same arc scolded "Laurie" the animator for cheating, because she used the pencil enchanted by Neflyte to work. That's right - the villain possessed her and compelled her to use an item until he could steal her soul, and the show instead scolded her for her ethics.
The first season finale's Sailor Says had Serena tell the viewer never to give up, no matter how bad things seem, using herself as an example. Except Serena burst into tears and tried to give up every time another Sailor "was captured by the Negaverse".
Brother-Sister Incest: Al and En in the second season have hints of this because they were created from the same being, a la Adam and Eve; surprisingly, this wasn't removed from the English dub.
Busman's Holiday: Episodes 20 and 69, which feature the girls going on vacation and confronting, respectively, ghosts and dinosaurs. In both episodes, however, their powers are nearly useless - the ghost problem is actually resolved without them and in the dinosaur episode, their combined power is nothing against the forces of nature which they derive their powers from.
Camp: If there is one indicator, then it's the Super Sentai-like fights seen in every episode. This trope is also obvious in the first season, and even more obvious in the DiC dub.
Clip Show: Episode 89, which played out clips from the first two series, and also teased the third, with voiceovers from the main characters.
Clark Kenting: To ridiculous degrees. Even the villains get in on this action.
Minako is the one who manages to pull the intention of this off most successfully, though. Even though she was flanderized to an enormous degree, that only happens in her civilian form. As Sailor Venus, she's always a badass.
At least it appears to be flanderization. But when one looks at the Codename Sailor V Manga, it's very apparently her canon characterization.
Combination Attack: The SNES RPG game has this but arguably it also happens in the anime too such as Mars firing a fireball with Jupiter casting lightning around it as one such example.
Mars gets a turn with everyone, and that's just in the first season. The most effective combinations, it would seem, are Fire Soul and either Moon Tiara Action or Crescent Beam.
Continuity Nod: In the first season we find out that Minako lived in London for a while. A few seasons later she's shown as the one most fluent in English.
Season 4 finale provides one on epic scale. Nehellenia gloats that the Golden Crystal that could defeat her was powerless because humans stopped having good dreams... Cue all of that season's Victims Of The Week, targeted specifically because each of them had a good dream, recharging it.
Contrived Coincidence: While it's likely intentional that all of the Sailor Senshi were conveniently reborn in the same city in the same time period, it gets downright bizarre when every single mystical talisman or soul gem the bad guys need to acquire is there too.
Notably, in the manga, the villains targets are almost always the Senshi themselves or something directly related to them, subverting this trope.
Crash into Hello: Subverted in one episode where Rei goes Wrong Genre Savvy and tries to deliberately engineer this to meet Mamoru. She ends up falling flat on her face and he steps on her head.
It still works.
Cryptid Episode: They find a sea monster while on vacation. It doesn't have any connection to the magic of the show.
Demonic Invaders: The English dub tried to slam the Dark Kingdom, the Makaiju aliens, and the Black Moon Clan all into the same villainous organization, calling them the "Negaverse." What the Negaverse is never actually gets explained in the show itself, though it would appear to be an alternate dimension full of evil creatures invading Earth. This practice stopped when the dubbing switched from DiC to Cloverway.
Diet Episode: Usagi tries to go on a diet but fails in an early episode that involves the villains taking energy from girls who are obsessed with getting thin. Notably, this is not done for An Aesop in the Japanese script - it's mined for pure comedy at the need for women to stay skinny.
The Doll Episode: An early Series 1 episode featured Shingo's friend Mika, a doll maker, getting selected by Nephrite as his victim of the day and possessing her with a doll that later turned into a doll-themed Monster of the Week. Para Para also uses dolls for some of her schemes and attacks.
Do Not Adjust Your Set: Galaxia does this right before the final battle against her in Sailor Stars. This is fitting because her base is the Ginga TV station, which her minions claim they work for when they use their disguises.
Dropped a Bridge on Him: The anime isn't much better than the manga. Princess Kakyuu gets about 2 episodes worth of screen time before she gets killed. She gets better after the final battle due to Sailor Moon.
In Sailor Moon S, Mimete teleports herself into cyberspace, makes a big intro, and announces that being in the computer increases her power tenfold. Just as you're expecting an epic battle, Tellu walks in and pulls the plug, effectively 'deleting' Mimete.
The final three members of the Witches 5 all go out like this - Tellu gets killed fighting with her own plant the very next episode, Viluy gets essentially eaten alive by her own nano-machines in her ONLY episode, and Cyprine and Ptilol kill themselves in their only fight with the Senshi by being tricked into shooting each other. In comparison, Eudial and Mimete had several episode arcs to themselves before meeting their untimely deaths.
Dub Name Change: Just about all of them changed at least one of the characters names. Notably Hotaru was the only Sailor Senshi whose name did not change at all in the English dub (Though they pronounced her last name differently, the spelling remained the same.)
How did Kaorinite know that Uranus and Neptune were cousins?
Under brainwashing, Mamoru starts referring to himself by his 'original' name Endymion and no longer recognizes the former. This quirk is kept in the English dub...except that in THAT version, he has the same name in the present and the past and acts as if he doesn't recognize being called "Darien" despite going by "Prince Darien." The hilarious result of this plot hole led to this example being the original Trope Namer.
A ridiculous amount of plot inconsistencies spring up in the final episodes of the Dark Kingdom arc because of both the dropping of episode 42 and the final episodes heavy editing to obscure the fact the senshi are (temporarily) killed. They are:
An entire episode featuring Minako's backstory was dropped, during which the Senshi discovered the entrance to the Dark Kingdom. In the dub there's a throwaway comment that Central Control gave them the location (despite it being revealed a few episodes earlier that Central Control was actually Artemis).
Sailor Mercury's death featured her destroying the DD Girls' power source, stopping them from using their illusions. This scene isn't in the dub and the Doom and Gloom Girls inexplicably stop using the illusions that helped them take out Jupiter and Mercury.
Sailor Mars is the last to die, killing the final two DD Girls. However the dub changes all the deaths to the girls simply being held prisoner in the Negaverse. Mars being held prisoner makes no sense as she destroyed the DD Girls so there was no one to kidnap her.
Easily Forgiven: The anime tends to be much more sympathetic to villains if they've been obviously manipulated or repented (or re-written that way in the case of guys like Professor Tomoe). Nehellenia is probably the most glaring case - the viewer is supposed to find her worthy of forgiveness and healing because she claims to be lonely - but the entire reason she's lonely is because she murdered all of her subjects and swallowed their souls to stay eternally youthful.
Epileptic Flashing Lights: Though much tamer than most animes were prior to the infamous Electric Soldier Porygon incident, the show does still feature some flickering that might catch some off guard.
In Super S, Sailor Moon's main attack has some pretty animation to it, though it could still catch some who aren't ready for it.
That same attack, though, provides a rare instance of a pure red/white strobe effect as the monster-of-the-day is saying its dying speech. Depending on the angle and depth the camera is at during the death, the effect can be seen throughout most of the screen. It's the most intense of any of the scenes, and might be the only real edit that Viz does to the otherwise uncut subs that they are releasing on Hulu Plus, as the sequence is near Porygon level speed and brightness. The sequence seemed to be slowed down a fraction when it was dubbed. Trust us, Super S might've been the least friendly to photosensitive people from the MOTD death scenes alone.
In-Universe, when Ami is introduced, she complains that whenever she uses a disc that the disguised MOTD gives the students of her cram school class to study with, she gets headaches. The computer screen shows, when she uses it, a very feint blue flicker. The monster proceeds to shove Ami's face right into the screen during this sequence (for those worried about anyone actually getting a seizure from this scene, don't worry: it's not intense in any way). Ironically, this is also the scene in which Luna sees the Mercury symbol on Ami's head.
Everyone Is Gay / Everyone Is Bi: Usagi is at least bicurious, Rei and Minako both have hints dropped regarding an interest in women, Mako crushes hard on Haruka, Haruka and Michiru are lesbians, the villain of the Sailor Moon R movie is essentially Mamoru's ex-boyfriend... pretty much the entire core cast is at least a little queer.
Everything's Better with Spinning: The Title character beyond a doubt. Almost all of her transformations and attacks feature at least one spin. Also Jupiter Oak Evolution and Mercury's Shine Aqua Illusion. The monster pair that showed up in the episode with the animation studio would even chant "Spin and spin and spin!" when they attacked the Senshi.
Evil Plan: Galaxia awakening Nehellenia to ensure that Sailor Saturn appeared again.
Evolving Credits: The first two series switch to a different opening partway through to reflect new plot developments and changes in cast. The other series just make slight modifications to the existing openings (SuperS and Stars have two variations each, while S has three). This YouTube Channel has all of the openings from the first four series.
Evolving Music: The first four series all use "Moonlight Densetsu" ("Moonlight Legend") as the opening theme, but Classic and R use a version by DALI, while S and SuperS use a cover by Moon Lips. Stars used a different song entirely, "Sailor Star Song".
Fate Worse than Death/And I Must Scream: Jadeite from the first season - after getting run over by a plane, he's trapped in "eternal sleep" inside a giant crystal. Mimette from the third season is technically alive inside the computer system, but with no way of ever getting out.
Festival Episode: An episode of R takes place during the academy's culture festival.
Another one in the S season, Chibi-Moon's debut episode.
Fighting Down Memory Lane: In Sailor Moon R, Wiseman and Sailor Moon call on Chibi-Usa's memories during her corruption and redemption.
Fighting Fingerprint: In episode 100, Sailor Venus battles the Monster of the Week in a one-on-one game of volleyball — the ball is an energy sphere protecting the Pure Heart Crystal extracted from the monster's victim. In the climax of the fight, Venus makes a diving save that the half-conscious victim recognizes as the exact move that Venus performed earlier in her civilian identity.
Filler: Probably the biggest complaint of the anime is the copious filler used to pad out the plot points.
SuperS is the biggest offender and can even be considered a filler season as the number of episodes dedicated to the plot or characterization of the main characters falls under single digits.
The Makaiju arc in Sailor Moon R is most noticeable for being a completely original concept created for the unexpectedly popular show getting renewed, but needing the original manga get further ahead in order to adapt more material. Notably, the baddies are a pair instead of a team, are not connected the the show's original mythos, they lack a unique Plot Macguffin-mission like most enemies, and are they are eventually (and perhaps even initially) outclassed by the senshi who get strong attacks which never come up again.
The Nehelenia arc. Still canon, but strange in resolving the fourth season's plot threads (Chibi-Usa's departure, the return of the Outers and the show's darker style) but appearing in the fifth season, whose official arc it has nothing to do with.
This one is do to the fact that Super S was cancelled in Japan before the Nehelenia arc officially finished. Stars started off by picking up where Super S had left off and quickly rushed to a conclusion to wrap up that arc.
From Dress to Dressing: When taking a rest whilst fleeing from Zoisite in a park, Naru patches up Nephrite's arm with a strip of cloth she rips from her pajamas. After Nephrite's death she keeps the cloth which was all that was left when he faded away. Eventually she gives it to Umino to show she's moved on, and is now interested in Umino.
Fusion Dance: Queen Beryl and the Negaforce/Queen Metallia do this for the final battle.
Genre Savvy: Poor Naru gets attacked so many times, by season two she's actually wary when she gets invited to an audition. And rightfully so, because she got attacked AGAIN. The very first episode of R even had the cats wondering why she was always a victim.
Depending on why the scenes of Amara and Michelle as a couple were left in in the dub (that is, on purpose versus out of laziness), they might count, and the two might only have been called "cousins" in order to appease Media Watchdogs. More details on the Headscratchers page.
While the English dub was heavily censored, whoever was in charge of making the "Sailor Says" segments must have had a sense of humor about it because they frequently included scenes that had been cut out of the episode for content.
An episode in Sailor Moon R featured a gust of wind blowing Berthier's skirt up over her head, making a Panty Shot. Whoever censored this out for the dub left a few of the incriminating frames in anyway, which were spotted by viewers who taped the episode and paused quickly enough.
The senshi get taken out one by one in the second last episode of the Dark Kingdom arc, leaving Sailor Moon alone to take on Beryl. It doesn't last thanks to a Reset Button, but you know the ante's been upped at that point.
The Hedge of Thorns: Usagi had to go through one of these during Queen Nehellenia's arc in Sailor Stars in order to reach the evil queen's castle.
Hide Your Lesbians: Haruka and Michiru in many international dubs. For one example, the English dub converted them to cousins, Amara and Michelle. For another, the French dub had Haruka (now "Frederique") merely disguising herself as a man in her civilian identity while Michiru (now Mylène) was helping by pretending to be "his" girlfriend. This one actually went as far as casting a male actor to voice Frederique in her civilian identity.
The Sailor Starlights in the Italian dub are a cross between this trope and She's a Man in Japan. To get around the fact that they're women who physically turn into men in their civilian I Ds (thus technically making them all lesbians), the Italian dub simply declares the male forms two separate groups of people and the transformations are merely the boys summoning their identical twin sisters.
Hoist by His Own Petard: A number of villains do themselves in this way. Most notable would be Mimete (killed by a machine built by Eudial, whom she had killed), Tellu (killed by her own plant), Viluy (killed by her own nanites), and Cyprine/Ptilol (killed by shooting each other) of the Witches 5.
While technically it was Sailor Mars that altered the course of the planes that ran over Jadeite (though that didn't kill him), it was his own magic that caused them to start moving on their own. She simply made HIM the new target.
Hope Spot: The last three episodes are practically made of this trope. To wit: Usagi's dream/hallucination that everything is okay, Uranus and Neptune revealing that they didn't actually turn their coats, the Starlights' last stand, Usagi attempting to purify Galaxia, the Starlights' second last stand, Usagi transforming into Princess Serenity, ChibiChibi's awakening as the Light of Hope, the Light of Hope's transformation into the Sword of Sealing... Galaxia proceeds to relentlessly stomp on each one.
I Can't Do This by Myself: During the second episode of the Makaiju arc, Usagi is the only member of her team that had her memories restored and thus the only member of the Sailor Senshi with the ability to fight. Memories of watching her friends die one by one to fight for her leads her to try and fight the Cardian that episode entirely alone - even at the cost of possibly never having her friends back again. Luna ultimately disobeys her wishes when she sees Sailor Moon clearly outmatched by the Cardian and returns the rest of the team's memories so they can help her.
Idiosyncratic Wipes: The DiC-produced episodes added CGI scene wipes. Cloverway used these too, but only on the versions shown on TV.
Ignored Enemy: In one episode of Sailor Stars most of the main cast ends up at Usagi's (small) house and so does the Monster of the Week. When Sailor Star Maker attempts to attack him the other Senshi grab her to stop the attack from ruining the house, the other two Starlights try to pull them away, and an argument results. Said Monster of the Week is forgotten and even attempts to get Star Fighter's attention, getting punched for his trouble.
The debut episode for Sailor Mars includes a heroic example. When Usagi finds out that the disappearing buses had been hijacked by Dark Kingdom agents, she boards one...dressed as a flight attendant. She still attempts to use it to claim authority anyway, though it's clearly played for laughs.
Jadeite deploys police officers to attack the Senshi at the airport in his final episode. The girls are initially afraid to hurt them until Sailor Mercury discovers they're actually clay replicas of humans.
In a Single Bound: Tuxedo Mask is fond of this. From time to time, even the main characters will do this as well, making you wonder why they worry about things like motorcycles.
Ironic Echo: After Nephrite is fatally wounded protecting Naru in episode 24, Zoisite tells him he should be happy to die with the one he loved. Fast-forward to episode 35 and Zoisite is dying with the one he loved, Kunzite.
Just Eat Gilligan: The Dark Kingdom's plans to gather energy don't require constantly attacking the one city on earth that has a team of super heroes defending it. They could have easily succeeded at their mission by just picking anywhere else on Earth and going after them. (The Dark Kingdom explicitly had operations all over the northern hemisphere in the manga, which is fair enough, but in some respects that's even more confusing—why is the guy in charge of North America or the Middle East wasting time getting killed in Tokyo?) Similarly, Al and En should have packed up and moved if they just needed to snack on living creatures to survive - the Sailor Senshi are only in one place and didn't have the ability to teleport after them (yet).
Karmic Death: The fate of most of the villains who don't do a Heel-Face Turn. When you look at it, aside from final antagonists (Queen Beryl, Queen Metaria, Wiseman, and Pharaoh 90), the only major villains to be directly killed by a Sailor Senshi are Kunzite (and even he in a Hoist by His Own Petard scenario), Esmeraude (who'd turned into a dragon), and Germatoid. The other major villains to die are killed by other villains.
Kids Are Cruel: Occasionally when it involves Ami and Makoto. Particularly when the other students make fun of the former for being studious and the latter for having a bad reputation as a fighter and getting kicked out of school for it.
Killed Mid-Sentence: Wiseman. Interestingly enough he isn't cut off until the Dark Crystal is destroyed, while he seems to be destroyed before, which hints at his "true form" being the shadowy spirit witnessed during the battle residing inside the Dark Crystal.
Lampshade Hanging: While it's true that the series contained many ridiculous elements, it never shied away from self-parody. Examples include episode 104, which pokes fun at Chibi-Moon's theatrics, and episode 184, where the senshi are forced to fight in the Tsukinos' kitchen and Sailor Moon keeps knocking things over with her wings. Sailor Iron Mouse also repeatedly points out how boring it is to listen to the same speech over and over again. In another episode (at least in the dub!) Sailor Moon asks "Is it just me or are these bad guys getting goofier?"
Best of all, Fish Eye once stopped a battle to ask if Sailor Moon and Chibi-Moon were embarrassed with constantly jumping and kicking in such short skirts.
The very first episode of Sailor Moon R, when Luna and Artemis stumble on Naru being attacked by Vampile? "Her again?!"
Left Hanging: A number of countries never finished dubbing the show, creating this effect at the stopping point.
DiC did this twice in their stewardship of the license. The first happened when they stopped dubbing at the 65 episode syndication limit, which cut off the storyline just as Rini learned the Scouts true identities and right before the end of the Rubeus arc. After Irwin Toys successful Sailor Moon toy sales in Canada, they fronted the money to dub the rest of Sailor Moon R which added 17 more episodes....which only ran in Canada on YTV. It would be another year that these aired in the rest of North America, when Toonami picked up the show's airings and ran them as "lost episodes." Due to the show's success, Cloverway dubbed S and SuperS specifically for Toonami, leaving a short gap between R and S. However, after the end of SuperS, Toei pulled the show's license worldwide, which cut the show off after SuperS and thus left the hanging Nehellenia plot thread from SuperS unresolved.
Leitmotif: Most the cast has some piece of unique music, all of which are listed on the page corresponding to the trope. Most notably, Sailor Moon had a unique piece of music for every transformation and attack, the most out of any individual character.
Memetic Hand Gesture: The winking-with-a-V Sign one, along with her thumb-index finger-pinky gesture that has been come to be known as the "tsukini kawatte oshiokyio" pose.
Minion with an F in Evil: Poor Doorknobder. Despite her fearsome appearance, all she was really good for was locking things up. Other than that, she was a coward with little to no combat skill.
And Sailor Moon did not even seem to be aiming for her with her finishing move. She was aiming for Eudial, but Eudial reflected it away and it hit Doorknobder and destroyed her.
Togetoge too. As she pointed out, she never even got a chance to do anything before Sailor Moon destroyed her, with CereCere trying to force her target's dream mirror down her throat. Sailor Moon seemed to be aiming for CereCere (or both) in this scene as well.
Monogender Monsters: The vast majority are female or non-human in the first four seasons. Fan theories ranged from originally being a shoutout to Cutey Honey or an avoidance of wanting to show male monsters attacking girls. This is strangely averted to some extent in the fifth season, possibly because certain star seeds can technically be carried by either sex.
Played with a few times. Quirky Miniboss Squad Members Jun Jun (a tomboy) and Fisheye (an effeminate gay man) use male monsters.
Monster of the Aesop: Some really, really bizarre youma came about depending on the episode's theme, including such things as an elephant vacuum cleaner, "Cinderella", race cars, and even a syringe... Though the most bizarre example would have to be the Stars season's Sailor Guts, a football player transformed into a beefy, pink-skinned guy in a sailor suit about three sizes too small for him. Who throws giant, caustic globs of sweat as his attack. Ew.
Of special mention is Professor Tomoe, who engineered his Aesop-monsters on purpose after a while.
Monster of the Week: Roughly three-quarters of the episodes feature one. Most of the episodes that didn't were plot episodes.
Never Found the Body: Pluto's death in the anime at the end of Sailor Moon S. She appears to die in a helicopter explosion after breaking a taboo and stopping time to save her comrades. She is absent for the rest of the finale as the apparent price of using this power. However, she is hinted to be alive at the end of S and makes a full return at the end of Sailor Stars, though why she survived is not explained in the anime.
Never Say "Die": The English dub is pretty inconsistent on this. The deaths of the heroes at the end of the first series is presented as them being "captured by the Negaverse". Yes, even Darien, who got stabbed again (the dub only kind of cut this) and is said to be "resting." However, it did not dance around Neflyte's rather brutal on-screen death (clearly showing him impaled and bleeding out), and it clearly showed both Zoycite and Malachite outright dying on camera. Beryl is explicitly stated to only be banished ("blasted back to the Negaverse")...though the dub is later very inconsistent about whether she died (Alan and Ann claim Beryl sent them, but Artemis later claims Beryl was "completely destroyed", still playing into this trope.) Tuxedo Mask's first death is censored slightly for gore, but it's still clear that he died of impalement in Sailor Moon's arms (likely because by the end of the episode, it's obvious he's alive again.) Also, all the people who died in the Black Moon's attack on Crystal Tokyo are said to be placed under a "sleeping spell" in the dub. However, all of the members of the Black Moon Clan that do die on camera are still allowed to be shown dying.
In the dub of the 2nd movie, "Hearts On Ice". Sailor Moon says "death" while confronting the Big Bad. Later on she plans to beat the Big Bad with the Silver Crystal, the power of which will invariably cause her death. Sailor Venus calls her out on this, and Uranus resolves to prevent it.
So basically, the loose rule seems to be - if you're evil, it's okay to show you dying, even if you were in the process of redeeming yourself. If you're a good guy, expect your death to get written out.
The Swedish dub averts this to the point of naming the second to last episode of the first season "Sailor Moon and Death".
Actually, the single letters were in place for a word pertaining to the theme of that season. Sailor Moon Romance (focus on romance between Usagi and Mamoru), Sailor Moon Super (for Super Sailor Moon's premier), Sailor Moon SuperS(as in "supers," or the plural form of "super" because the entire team ganied Super forms), and Sailor Stars was named for the introduction of the Sailor Starlights.
Off Model: The anime is widely known for it's use of several different animators with wildly varying levels of quality, which resulted in the show lacking any form of artistic coherence and spawning several obviously different animation styles that proved jarring. It was particularly noticeable because episodes often borrowed Stock Footage from other episodes, so an artist who was really off-model tended to stick out more when episodes mixed footage. There's even a reference sheet available of all the different artists. The most notably Off Model artist was Masahiro Ando◊, who was on the show from the start until halfway through Sailor StarS and notable for his tell-tale triangular eyes.
The final season/series, Sailor StarS was noticeably different. Everyone had fuller faces, the crescent on Sailor Moon's head became tall and thin (having been previously short and wide), and everyone had larger foreheads, which was noticeable in scenes where their symbols appeared on their heads before their tiaras faded away via magic to make room.
Justified in SuperS; Nehelenia would like nothing more than to go down there and slap the Senshi into oblivion all on her own. But she's trapped in the mirror dimension until the last few episodes of the season, so all she can do is deliver orders to her underlings on Earth.
Overtook the Manga: The Makaiju/Doom Tree arc is a product of this, mainly because they didn't expect either to go beyond a single series.
The Rainbow Crystal sub-arc from season 1 was also a case of this.
The Nehellenia villain arc extended into Sailor Stars to pad out the fact that the final storyline of the manga was far shorter than the ones preceding it.
Parent Service: Minako herself seems to be the biggest provider of Parent Service out of the Senshi. One episode has Rei's head floating up her skirt (while she calls her a pervert), and there's also another episode where Usagi calls all the Senshi and Minako is inexplicably wearing just a towel. One episode opened with a panning shot of her in the middle of changing her clothes.
Several of the villains Stripperific outfits...on the other hand, aside from the monsters, all of them were designed by a woman who was really just enamored of drawing women in sexy outfits. The monsters tended to get more and more extreme with each series, especially the Daimons who had to reveal a star on their bodies in order to collect Heart Crystals. A few of them were censored in the English dub due to stars in rather intimate locations.
On of the animators, Masahiro Ando, tended to be so enamored of blatant panty shots that you can usually spot at least one in each of the episodes he worked on. In particular, an infamous shot of Sailor Mars dropped an ofuda from above...with the camera essentially up her skirt. Most of these were cut from the English dub, but a few snuck through anyway.
Panty Shot Mostly averted, in that the characters wear leotards, but occasionally played straight, such as in episode 2.
Pinky Swear: Used a few times in the series by main characters and minor characters.
Poisonous Friend: Fiore in the Sailor Moon R movie...though in his defense, he's also being possessed by a psychotic plant.
Poor Communication Kills: Mamoru could have resolved the entire break-up arc without dumping Usagi simply by telling her the truth, thus not only not treating her like crap for no apparent reason, but also giving Usagi the ability to protect herself.
Pragmatic Adaptation: Happens with every adaptation, but sometimes forgotten if the resulting job was done sloppily.
Taken to great lengths in promotional material. Consider having to adapt and translate stuff from the later half of a series many hadn't officially seen yet, and making it mesh with earlier stuff already adapted a different way (certain names, certain premises). It's pretty telling that most of the merchandise for different adaptations tends to be less censored and changed compared to the more mainstream show.
Press-Ganged: In the first season, this is how Yumemi Yumeno finds her models for her paintings. She grabs Usagi and Mamoru (almost literally) and begs them to be her models.
Recursive Canon: Sailor Venus sometimes reads her own Sailor V comic. In fact it appears to be a favorite comic of Usagi and Rei as well.
Redemption Earns Life: Al and En, Professor Tomoe, Queen Nehellenia and Sailor Galaxia in the anime only. (The latter two only in Sailor Stars0.
Played with especially in Super S when HawksEye is killed by one of PallaPalla's henchmen, and TigersEye and FishEye sacrifice themselves to save Usagi. As a result, Pegasus brings all three back to life AND gives them dream mirrors; they then depart to dwell in the dream world of Elysian forever. Also, the Amazones Quartet do a Heel-Face Turn and survive.
Relationship Reset Button: The first season ends with everyone losing their memories of everything relating to the Moon Kingdom and their time as heroes and as friends, including Mamoru and Usagi forgetting their relationship with each other in both the present and the past (though they meet again in a Call Back to the first episode when Usagi hits him with a crumpled up test paper). In the second series, Usagi is the first person to get her memory back, but it's not until the second episode that the rest of the girls get theirs back - and it's not until the end of the Makaiju Arc that Mamoru gets his own back. The entire arc deals with Usagi's attempts to get him to remember her again.
Removing the Rival: in episode 192, Sailor Tin Nyanko ties up and gags Sailor Lead Crow backstage so that she can take her place as the judge at the idol competition Minako is entering.
Satellite Character: The anime downgrades Mamoru to this by the end of R. Storylines in the manga that had given him a more independent role were rewritten in the anime to feature characters the anime staff admitted they had an easier time writing for. Kunihiko Ikuhara later admitted he had trouble writing for him and even joked about trying to kill him off permanently, but Ikuhara also gave Mamoru a more independent role in the only movie he directed. He also tended to be more fascinated with lesbians and hence Mamoru fell way into the background when Haruka and Michiru were finally introduced. He never recovered if his next show is any indication.
Michiru to Haruka. She never appears on her own, unlike Haruka, who tended to get character focus on her own with Michiru being her foil. Haruka's also the only one of the pair to have her backstory elaborated on, as the episode depicting their eventual teaming is told from her perspective. While Michiru has aspects of this in the manga, the entire Outer Senshi team tended to be depicted more as a group of people than individual characters.
Say My Name: Al screams out En's name rather chillingly (at least in the original Japanese version) when it appears En is dead.
Schrödinger's Cast: Many characters differ from manga to anime, but the ones in the Death Busters villain group are probably the most notable.
Also, several characters who were killed off like the mooks they were in the manga are instead redeemed in the anime. This made for a bit of a problem in the Stars anime when Hotaru was reintroduced to the plot - in the manga, Tomoe was dead and Hotaru had been adopted by the Haruka, Michiru, and Setsuna. In the anime, he was given a new lease on life and chance to raise her himself. This led to a very awkward scene where Setsuna simply comes and picks up Hotaru from her father and he's never shown in the series again.
Shout-Out: Amy's first dub actress sounds almost exactly like how Patty Duke played Cathy on The Patty Duke Show. The character also has a very similar personality.
The show's Super Sentai roots got a call out in an episode where an obvious Ranger parody, called "Redman" in the Japanese version, was putting on a show at a park and was accidentally turned into the monster of the day by Zoisite. The English dub was well aware of this, and while he was not given a name, the dubbing for the character was clearly intended to match the style of acting used by the American Power Rangers franchise.
Mercury's visor contains jokes about RoboCop in episodes 9 and 13. Someone working on the English dub apparently noticed them and even corrected the Engrish in the readouts without removing the references.
The appearance of Moonlight Knight has long baffled international viewers who wondered why Mamoru was dressing up like an Arabian knight for the Makaiju story arc. The character is actually a reference to the oldest tokusatsu hero in Japanese television, Moonlight Mask, who similarly dressed in a white costume with a turban, face covering, and adorned with a crescent moon brooch. It's also Toei doing a bit of a shout out to its roots, as they created the original Moonlight Mask theatrical films.
The first series of the show features numerous cameos of characters from Kingyo Chuihou (Goldfish Warning), which was worked on by the same staff the year before they worked on Sailor Moon — and, for bonus coincidence points, also had the original manga serialized in Nakayoshi. Listing them all would be overly lengthy for this space, but common examples include Usagi's alarm clock, Kingyo key chains and prints, and Wapiko herself showing up as an extra in many episodes. These cameos tapered off after the first series.
In episode 104, a handsome kid dances like Shin-chan in front of Chibi-Usa, Mr. Elephant included. Not surprisingly, the elephant joke got cut from most international dubs.
Shut Up, Hannibal!: After Nehellenia has tossed Chibi-Usa off the bit of the Dead Moon Circus floating up to the New Moon, she starts saying how Usagi's lost what she loves most, and has lost her happy future, and that maybe now she can understand how Nehellenia actually feels. What does Usagi do? She jumps off the the platform after Chibi-Usa, but not before telling Nehellenia she won't give up to her. (In the English dub, Serena says "I still pity you.")
Sick Episode: Let's just say that Nurse Venus' bedside manner leaves a lot to be desired, shall we?
Sixth Ranger: Initially, Venus though she's less distant than the usual examples. Then the Outers, later the Starlights.
Soft Glass: In the R movie, Usagi tackles Chibi-Usa out of the way of the flower youma, and both crash through the window of a diner. Neither sustain any injuries or clothing damage, but Usagi is knocked unconscious.
Solemn Ending Theme: The Japanese version of season 3 has one; the Cartoon Network replaced it with an instrumental version of the opening credit theme for its US airing.
The first season had several openings. The first opening clearly shows Sailors Mercury and Mars well before their official introductions. This opening was actually used until Sailor Jupiter joined, which at least helped hide Jupiter's identity...though her introductory episode spoiled it in the title. The second opening for the series debuted two episodes later, and clearly shows both Sailor Venus (not Sailor V) and Sailor Moon becoming Princess Serenity a full 7 and 8 episodes early (respectively).
The original English dub opening is even worse. Showing the identities of the entire team, Sailor Moon as the Princess, and the final battle in the opening that was used since day 1.
Although the English dub mentions to subvert this in the R dub since they continue to use the same opening for the first two seasons and the opening only takes scenes from the first season, it manages to not reveal season 2 plot points like Serena being Rini's mom "Neo-Queen Serenity" the R villains, etc.
Later seasons were generally better about this...but Sailor Moon R still included King Endymion as part of the opening well before even Chibi-Usa appeared (let alone the start of the Crystal Tokyo plotline). However, the ambiguous nature of the character in the opening doesn't give nearly as much away.
Sailor Moon S averted this cleanly and had three openings, which were all reworks of the original opening for the series that were simply updated as new characters joined and left the cast and new plot points were uncovered. Unfortunately, due to issues with Toei not giving them all of the openings, the original Pioneer/Geneon R1 DVD release had to use the third and final opening on every episode, thus spoiling every plot point right out the gate if you only watched the subbed DVD release.
The Italian openings routinely blew major plot points by using mainly footage from the show itself. The S opening in particular used every single grand revelation from the finale, including Hotaru becoming Mistress 9, Sailor Moon transforming into Super Sailor Moon for the final time, and Sailor Moon returning with baby Hotaru in her arms. Yea, Italian viewers didn't really get much in the way of mystery.
Spoiler Title: Many titles, including Episode 25 as named directly above. The various dubs sometimes downplayed or averted this where the original Japanese played it straight. For example, Episode 10, which introduced Sailor Mars, was called "Cursed Buses! Fire Senshi Mars Appears" in the original, but "An Uncharmed Life" in the English dub and "The Temple of Lovers" in both German and Dutch.
Probably the most blatant spoiler was Episode 45: "The Sailor Senshi Die! The Tragic Final Battle". The Swedish dub solved this by giving it the rather omnious title "Sailor Moon and Death".
It gets WEIRD to think about when one realizes it's the middle of SUMMER when the movie takes place— the villains' snow-based powers notwithstanding, and one has to wonder where the hell Mamoru managed to get the stuff from in the middle of summer break.
Taken for Granite: Jadeite's encased in crystal in the first season. A similar fate almost happens to Rei as well when she was bitten by a snake that promptly turned to stone afterwards, but it might have just been an illusion. Another monster encased women in wax, trapping Ami and Makoto.
Tap on the Head: If there are any innocent bystanders around during a monster attack before the Sailor Senshi have transformed, chances are they'll either be hit once by the monster and be knocked out, or they'll simply faint, allowing the girls to transform without worry.
Lampshaded once by Sailor Moon Abridged when one of the monster victims didn't immediately pass out from being hit by a monster, leading Sailor Mars to angrily scream at him to just stay unconscious already so she could transform.
Technicolor Death: In the third movie (the SuperS one), the main villain dies in this manner, where it shows her already blob-like face melting and swirling (she's merged with a "black hole" at this point so she looks like a glowing ball with a face on it) and then the whole thing explodes.
Theme Music Power-Up: Both the first and final seasons summon their respective theme songs for the climax of the story arcs.
Theme Naming: The Sailor Senshi's family names (except for Hotaru / Saturn) all reference their respective planets and/or powers: Usagi Tsukino (Moon), Ami Mizuno (Water), Rei Hino (Fire), Makoto Kino (Wood), Minako Aino (Love), Haruka Tenoh (Sky), Michiru Kaioh (Ocean), Setsuna Meioh (Darkness).
Theme Tune Cameo: "Moonlight Densetsu" showed up a lot in the original Japanese show. Several characters are shown singing it on their own. The locket that Princess Serenity and Prince Endymion share in the first series also plays an instrumental version of the song. The English dub uses the theme tune in instrumental in a few different places from the Japanese version, but also includes a few of the same cameos. It also has to cut a few of the spoken cameos since the English lyrics explicitly reference the plot of the show, while the Japanese lyrics simply talk about a miraculous romance.
Theme Tune Roll Call: The English dub, which blows the identities of the main cast from the first episode.
This Is a Drill: Black Lady (Chibi-Usa's superpowered evil form) wields an umbrella which she turns into an arm-mounted drill.
In Super S, PallaPalla's servant Garigari has a drill on her tail which she tries to use on Sailor Moon and Sailor Chibi Moon, prompting them to use the scream attack last witnessed in the first episode of the first season.
Totally Radical: A lot of the dub's lines. In DiC's it's often "Wicked!", "Major!" or "Boss", and Cloverway's was even worse with this. "The bomb" and "trippin'" were common.
Transformation Sequence: All the main cast. Tuxedo Mask once did a very impressive transformation while riding a motorcycle. He also got a "standard" sequence that was only shown twice in the anime.
Saturn is a slight subversion. She is never shown transforming on screen in any of the 200 anime episodes. The only sequence she has comes from a video game for Sega Saturn.
Translation Correction: The RoboCop joke in Sailor Mercury's visor had a misspelling of "innocent" and the wrong name (Mash_ instead of J. Smith); this was fixed in the North American dub.
Two-Timer Date: Minako in SuperS. Ironically, her boyfriends were really TigersEye and HawksEye competing over her dream mirror.
Unexplained Recovery: At the end of Sailor Moon S, Pluto appears to die as the price for stopping time to save her teammates. Though the viewer does have reason to believe that she survives by the end of the arc, this is left up in the air. However, in the SuperS movie, she appears alive and well as if nothing happened and nobody reacts to this. The movies are pretty much non-canon for a reason, but such an obvious gaff is still noticeable.
This happens again to a smaller extent as the anime technically never reveals what happened to her between her apparent death and her return to the regular cast in Sailor Stars, though in that season, people do at least react in shock that she survived.
Unusual Euphemism: In one episode, the Sailor Senshi are debating who should have the lead role in a play. In the Japanese version, Makoto says she should have it because she has the largest breasts. The dub changes to "the most talent," but did not alter any of the breast-related visuals, making it painfully obvious what she was really talking about. This lead to fans sometimes playfully referring to breasts as 'talent.'
Verbal Tic: Many monsters-of-the-week have a verbal tic based on their name. Especially played with in R, with most of the droids.
Victim of the Week: The Rainbow Crystal carriers. And Naru. Before the Rainbow Crystal carriers Nephrite would target a specific person for their energy in contrast to Jadeite's "As many people as possible" Why yes Naru was a victim.
In S, SuperS, and Sailor Stars, people are targeted almost every episode for their Heart Crystal, Dream Mirror, or Star Seed, respectively, some of which are characters we already know, and in all three cases include the Sailor Senshi. Mamoru, strangely enough, doesn't get this for the first time until FishEye targets him in Super S. When Galaxia targets him for his Star Seed in Sailor Stars, it proves fatal.
Naru gets this so hard, the fandom invented a phrase, specifically for her - youma bait.
Villain Song: Queen Beryl and Galaxia in the anime (the former was not sung by her voice actress but nevertheless is still Beryl's song). Virtually every villain that appears in the Seramyus has either a solo or at the very least a group song as well.
Weapon Stomp: In the Sailor Stars anime of Sailor Moon, Sailor Star Fighter falls holding the Sailor Star Yell while fighting Sailor Galaxia. When she attempts to raise it, Galaxia stomps on her hand, breaking the Sailor Star Yell with it.
What Beautiful Eyes: Prince Demand keeps making remarks about how beautiful Sailor Moon's eyes are.
Except for that one time she uses it against Tellu.
What Song Was This Again?: The Optimum dub features a "Moonlight Densetsu" cover with rewritten lyrics, called "(The One Named) Sailor Moon".
While the first two seasons completely replaced the BGM and thus had their own original insert songs, the third and fourth season used the Japanese music and thus insert songs would be covers of the Japanese original with rewritten lyrics. Ai No Senshi became "Tear our Hearts in Two" "Watashi-tatchi ni naritakute" becomes "Love is in our hearts" and Sailor Team no Theme becomes Let's Fight
The Worf Effect: Sailor Jupiter and Sailor Venus got this more than the others. They joined later on in the series (Mercury and Mars debuted within the first ten episodes) and were initially portrayed as more powerful with more offensive attacks. Then whenever they wanted to demonstrate how badass the villain was, Jupiter would be the first to be taken out (she is indeed the first to be killed in the season 1 finale). Venus was able to take out Zoicite and destroy Kunzite's forcefield in her debut episode singlehandedly. A mere two episodes later and she is suddenly no match for him.
Yaoi Guys: Zoicite and Kunzite in the Japanese anime.