Tropes common to IC Japan
- Actor-Shared Background: The character of Chairman Kaga is quite different from the actor Takeshi Kaga, but both were born in Kanazawa.
- Edited for Syndication: There was a lot cut from the final episode to get it to fit sixty minutes and the loads of commercials Food Network aired. Namely, a procession of all the challengers, a speech of thanks from Sakai, a farewell speech from Chen on behalf of all the Iron Chefs, Kaga bidding his Iron Chefs to now 'sleep' as their podiums are lowered, a farewell speech from Kaga, him biting one last yellow bell pepper as the camera zooms out on the challengers holding bell peppers, led by Hattori, Kandagawa, and Shu Tomitoku, one of the earliest challengers, and an epilogue by Kaga that hinted at the Millennium Cup's existence (though that last cut is understandable, as Food Network never dubbed it).
- Milestone Celebration: The 2000th Dish Battle. Two teams of Iron Chefs compete in a French vs Chinese battle.
- Missing Episode: Due to a combination of Food Network not licensing all the episodes and no official DVD or archive of the episodes, many episodes are considered missing, including, tragically enough, a few of the specials. There is a website dedicated to finding as many of the missing episodes as possible from old VCR recordings, but per the Keep Circulating the Tapes rules, it can't be linked.
- No Export for You: Most Nakamura-era and Ishinabe-era battles.
- Retroactive Recognition: For a lot of non-Japanese—and even Japanese!—viewers of reruns and the like, the appearance as judges of then-Lower House Member Yukio Hatoyama and his wife in 1998's Shanghai Cabbage battle can be quite surprising, as Hatoyama ended up Prime Minister for a short but highly consequential time in 2009-10.
Tropes common to IC (Western)
- Bad Export for You: The UK version used a confusing 4 vs 1 two-round format.
- Someone described it as 'MasterChef with the Iron Chef label slapped on'.
- Development Hell: Season 13 of Iron Chef America has been stuck in "will they or won't they" for two years.
- With a retool, it finally began airing in Fall 2017 as Iron Chef Showdown.
- Promoted Fanboy: Michael Symon is clearly a big fan of his fellow Iron Chefs. On both ICA and Cook Like An Iron Chef he makes regular references to their habits and styles (e.g. he mentions Morimoto every time he's chopping up a lot of ingredients).
Tropes common to all versions
- Fan Nickname: Bimbo du Jour (for the younger female guests), The East German Judge (Hosoki or Kishi - whoever's in the fourth seat that day and Jeffery Steingarten in that role in ICA)
- Chairman Mark is also one, as ICA generally refers to him as just the Chairman, and the fanbase needs a way to differentiate between the two Chairmen.
- A bit of an in-universe example, but some of the Iron Chefs have monikers of their own: Sakai is known as "Fish Sakai" or the "Delacroix of French cuisine", Kobe's the "Prince of Pasta", and Chen is the "Szechuan Sage".
- Keep Circulating the Tapes: Sadly, due to length/licensing issues, Iron Chef will likely never make it to DVD, leaving people to keep their old recorded tapes or search the net.
- Peculiarly enough, ditto for Iron Chef America: only the Battle of the Masters is out on DVD.
- Averted in Australia: You Can Buy DVD's of the Dubbed Japanese version from SBS.
- The Pete Best: Iron Chef Ishinabe.
- And for American audiences, Nakamura.
- In ICA, Wolfgang Puck.
- Real Life Writes the Plot:
- The reason the boycott subplot was written in 'Battle Piglet' was because Kaga (the actor) was also in a stage production at the time, and there was a scheduling conflict with taping of the battle and one rehearsal that could not be resolved.
- And, of course, Michiba's hospitalization.
- In ICA, Chairman Mark was missing from several episodes in the most recent season, only showing up in pre-taped video to announce the theme ingredient. In each of the episodes they gave a different excuse. In reality, the actor playing him was on Dancing with the Stars at the time.