is a little different than than usual; rather than full episodes of the show, episodes of the series are three-to-five-minute shorts
It's well-known in the fan community for its extreme characterization, resulting in
. There are also swimming puns and lampshades abound and the show's popularity is now growing beyond the fan-base.
- A Date with Rosie Palms: Gou and Makoto have admitted to seeing quite a few "trophies" when they get lonely.
Gou: (after seeing shirtless Haru) I'm sinning tonight!
- All Gays Love Theater: Referenced in the Discriminate and Switch joke below.
- A Wild Rapper Appears: Utilized in the cover of "Splash Free!", inserting a rap by Nagisa in between two verses filled with Gratuitous Japanese.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Miho looks like a nice and harmless literature teacher, when in fact she's a full blown thug.
- Black Dude Dies First: Played with in the Halloween special, between Nagisa and Makoto
Nagisa: Let's wrap up, I don't like being alone up here.
Makoto: Why? Because if this was a horror movie you'd die first.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall:
Nagisa: I may have blown the good ones in the early episodes, yeah.
- Brick Joke: A scene which was cut from episode 11 contains the punchline to the Demon!Haru Running Gag from episode 10.
: He [Rei] can do everything but
swim. Like the opposite of Haru
Haru: The sunken depths of the screeching horde-
Makoto: Cut it out! He's had enough!
Rei: I KNEW YOU PEOPLE KNEW HE COULD DO THAT!
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Haru.
- Camp Gay: Played for Laughs in one instance where Rin in shown to be running, saying "You can't catch me gay thoughts!" and his thoughts reply in a camp voice "Yes we caaaaan!"
- Censored for Comedy: The worst of the curse words are all censored. Each character is censored by an accompanying aquatic animal noise, and every character's is different. Nagisa, for instance, always has his swearing covered by a seal's bark.
- Character Exaggeration: Makoto has been made from a Lovable Coward to full-blown wimp and Haru's Ambiguous Disorder is played up to Rain Man levels. Rin is also much more of a jerk.
- All the boys go from "Ambiguously Gay" to "So Gay That They Might As Well Have Billboards Advertising Their Gayness" and G/Kou goes from having a small thing for muscles to being an extremely horny fangirl.
- Makoto, Nagisa and Nitori's respective interests in Haru, Rei and Rin are also exaggerated from "possible crush" to "obsession".
- Characterisation Marches On: Haru doesn't start talking to his other selves until a few episodes into the series. Before then, in one of the early bonus videos, he's freaked out when he hears a creepy voice in his otherwise quiet head.
- Crazy Jealous Guy: Makoto, whenever Gou seems to be expressing attraction towards Haru:
Gou: He's so hot but so crazy! That makes him even more hot!
Makoto: Back off! I've already called dibs like 5 years ago!
- Cross Over: An ever-so brief one with Dangan Ronpa Abridged Thing. Nagisa apparently went to Hope's Peak at some point and killed every student in the building for scholarship money.
- Cutaway Gag: The Dangan Ronpa Abridged Thing Cross Over in episode 11 rather plays out like one; Nagisa off-handedly mentions how he "enrolled at a different school" and then it cuts away to him talking to Monokuma.
- Department of Redundancy Department:
Rei: I would like to join your team. To swim. On the team.
- Depraved Homosexual: Nagisa, obviously Played for Laughs. An escaped convict for whom violence seems to be the answer for everything. He's also not the least bit subtle with his attraction towards Rei.
- Discriminate and Switch: Between Nagisa and Makoto during episode 5:
...And I'm not allowed to watch Glee.
My dad says it might turn me into something bad.
Nagisa: Something bad?
Makoto: A musical theater major.
Nagisa: Oh. Right.
- Distracted by the Sexy: Gou, regularly.
- Nagisa, whenever Rei is around.
- Makoto is distracted by Haru's sexy when he emerges from the bath in episode 2, leading to the inevitable Freudian Slip.
Makoto: ...We're gonna be date- late!
- Don't Explain the Joke: When Nagisa refers to Makoto and Haru as "Sherlock" and "Wetson" respectively.
Haru: I get it- "Wetson". I like water. Wet. Haha.
- Duck Season, Rabbit Season: Like in the original series, but lampshaded.
Nagisa: Ha, your ass just got Looney Tuned!
- Dude, Not Funny!: In-Universe. Nagisa complains about Makoto's 'Be Yourself' advice by making a jab at Makoto's lack of luck with Haru. Makoto replies by asking about Nagisa's mother's drinking problem.
Nagisa: Below the belt, Makoto.
- Eating the Eye Candy: Gou when she sees Haru taking off his shirt.
G/Kou: (getting out a camera phone) I HAVE TO TUMBLR THIS!
- Establishing Character Moment:
Nagisa: What up, sluts? Guess who just got out of prison?!
Haruka (thinking): I always thought swimming was kinda like doing somebody.
- Evil Sounds Deep: Nagisa and Rin have much deeper voices, although neither are, per se, evil. Miho's voice also gets a bit deeper when she drops the "nice teacher" act and snaps at Makoto and Nagisa for not working on the pool to distract the other teachers from her "extracurricular chemistry project."
- Satan Haru. Nobody seems to take this into account but Rei.
- Even the Subtitler Is Stumped: "Translator's Note: I have no idea what this says."
- Everyone Can Seeit: Makoto's one-sided interest in Haru is treated as this by everyone except Haru himself, naturally.
- Everyone Is Gay: With Gou as the obvious exception, pretty much all of the main characters are depicted as gay. Given the source material, though...
- Fell Off the Back of a Truck: Nagisa has a TiVo from Easter Dave, and said they were found 'abandoned on the side of the road'.
- Five Second Foreshadowing: "Man, wouldn't it be crazy if we ran into Rin? Oh look, there he is."
- Foe Yay Shipping: Directly referenced and stated when Gou ships two swimmers, and comments on how they supposedly hate each other, but also enjoy one another.
- Fratbro: How Seijuurou is characterised.
- Freudian Slip: "Let me help you out of that swimsuit- POOL!"
- And later on, during the race between Haru and Rin:
Makoto: Come on Haru, you can do me! IT! It. You can do it.
Nagisa: I heard that one.
Makoto: Shut up! You're high as balls!
Nagisa: Heh, yeah, I am!
- Makoto makes so many of these that he might just be the Tobias of 50% Off.
Makoto: I'd do anything to you, Haru- for you!
- Gayngster: Nagisa, who is both involved in gangs and has a certain fascination for Rei.
- Half-Human Hybrid: If Haru is to be believed, Rin is a bipedal shark-person.
- Heh Heh, You Said X:
Nagisa: Alright, time to learn the titty stroke.
Nagisa: Heheh, still funny.
- He Who Must Not Be Seen: "Easter Dave" is one, and has been referenced by both Miho and Nagisa, and seems to be some sort of gangster they both work with.
- Hilariously Abusive Childhood: Makoto, apparently. What we've seen of his father so far corroborates this.
Makoto: I learned to swim the old-fashioned way: when I was five, my dad took me out to a lake and tossed me right in the water! Making it to shore was easy! Making it out of the gunny sack was hard, though.
- In Universe Nickname: Nagisa loves giving Rin shark-related nicknames, like "Jaws" and "Deep Blue Sea". He's not unjustified.
- It's later lampshaded when Nagisa greets him by calling him "Jaws 3D."
Rin: Nagisa, I feel like you're running out of solid shark references to call me.
- Lame Comeback:
: Hey, Haru. You still hang out with these losers? (laughs)
I guess you'll never learn.
Haru: You still hang out in...abandoned...buildings? ...Got 'im.
Haru: What, do you still...walk around with your...legs? ...Good one, Haru. Thanks, Haru.
: What, do you still...wear a...hat? ...Fuck!
- Laughably Evil: Thugisa. Breaking and entering has never been as hilarious.
- Monster Clown: Nagisa brought a Juggalo friend to Makoto's fifteenth birthday. He apparently set the pinata on fire.
- Never Learned to Read: All but one of the Harus in Haru's brain. And then one of the Harus had to go and shoot him.
- Nice Guy: Makoto, to the point of being the only nice guy if you don't count Seijuurou or Nitori, who are both pretty considerate too. But Makoto takes the cake.
Seijuurou: Brobrowing him.
Makoto: You got it, buddy!
- Not Even Bothering with an Excuse: Rin to Nagisa in episode 10.
Rin: I've got to go... not talk to you any more.
- Noodle Incident: There are a LOT of these involving Nagisa. He's apparently drowned a guy, burned down the old Iwatobi swim club, been in (and broke out of) prison, got Gou sent to prison, and has connections with someone called "Easter Dave".
- Add Mako's "I regain consciousness, there's cops everywhere, Nagisa's covered with blood, got an ice-pick..." story to this.
Makoto: It was kind of a weird Tuesday.
- The first few scenes of this.
- Gou apparently can't go back to sewing club on account of the fact that she threatened some of the members with sewing needles.
- Miho also seems to be getting a few of these, with the "chemistry project" mentioned in episode 5 and something involving killing a man interfering with her profits. She also seems to know who "Easter Dave" is.
- Haru has a problem with dolphins, because one once stole his penis.
- Nagisa's birthday party exemplifies this trope. He, Rei and Haru all go to an Iggy Azalea show. A matter of hours later, they're driving a possibly-dead Momotaro to the hospital, while Nagisa trying to call Makoto to tell him to burn everything inside a certain desk drawer in his house.
Makoto: He never invites me to his birthday parties.
- Oblivious to Love: Haruka seems to have no idea that Makoto has feelings for him, no matter how incredibly obvious Makoto gets. Though of course, Haruka is oblivious to pretty much everything not relating to water in this series.
- Offing the Offspring: Played for Laughs. Apparently, Makoto's father tried to drown him as a child.
Makoto: Don't worry about it, Rei. This is easy. I learned to swim the old-fashioned way. When I was five, my dad took me out to a lake and tossed me right in the water. Making it to shore was easy! Making it out of the gunny sack was hard though...
- Only Sane Man: Rei, for a given definition of "sane".
- Gou plays with this trope. She's very much the Team Mom towards the guys in the Iwatobi Swim Club and is intelligent enough to pick up on some of their secrets (such as Haru being unable to read), but boasts habits such as breaking into men's locker rooms or rooting through random people's garbage.
- Planet of Hats: The entire Samezuka swim team is apparently emotionally unstable and joined to swim their problems away, if the member at the front desk is to be believed.
- Raging Stiffie: To Nagisa's embarrassment, Makoto gets one after fantasizing about the guys trying on tight swimsuits.
- Running Gag: Plenty.
- People, usually Makoto, wondering what Haru is thinking about, followed by an Answer Cut.
- Nagisa giving Rin shark-related nicknames.
- Makoto making Freudian slips.
- Scary Black Man: Nagisa has the personality and speech patterns of one.
- Sequence Breaking: Back when Nagisa attended another school, he decided to skip the "Mutual Killing" bit and just murder everyone in the room to get his scholarship.
Nagisa: Can't prove nuthin' if they all dead.
- Shipper on Deck: Gou is one, and has one moment in Episode 6 where she ships people together who just happen to be next to one another.
- Shout-Out: At least one to Dwarf Fortress in Episode 8.
- Also in Episode 8 Haru activates Protocol Blackbird 3-3-5. Given Sparky's affinity for Super Sentai shows and the way it is said, 3-3-5 may be a reference to Denji Sentai Megaranger.
- One of the bonus videos has Gou/Kou complaining about it sucks that she's not allowed back in the sewing club because she has to work on her social links.
- In Bonus 8, an Answer Cut shows Haru thinking about traversing the Temple Run.
- The first bonus video features Nagisa singing a Bubba Sparxxx song. The same song later appears in episode 8.
- Lionel Richie's "Hello" plays briefly in episode 10.
- The fact that the kid who Nagisa drowned was named "Shinji" can't be a coincidence.
- Rei's voice and tendency to monologue were inspired by Patrick Bateman.
- One of Haru's emergency protocols involves polka renditions of Kesha songs.
- Gou apparently writes Supernatural Fan Fiction. Very kinky fan fiction.
- Single-Target Sexuality: Haru seems to only be attracted to bodies of water, a la Mako Tsunami.
: Oh, you like
that, don't you? You dirty *dolphin noise*
-ing ocean. Oh, you can't wait for me to get inside you, huh? Huh? Oh, you *dolphin noise*
-ing slut! You're so wet
- Sir Swears-a-Lot: Nagisa.
- Slash Fic: In episode 11 we learn Gou has written one about Supernatural. Makoto is later seen reading it and decides to "keep it for later".
- Something Else Also Rises: Haru's reaction to Makoto telling him that there is a pool in both his old swim club and Samezuka Academy, complete with slide-whistle sound effect.
- Makoto himself gets one in episode 11 when he starts thinking about all of the possibilities of seeing the others in new, tight swimsuits.
- Sound Effect Bleep: Primarily animal cries based on the team's Animal Motifs. Haru's are dolphin noises, Nagisa's are seals barks, and so on.
- Split Personality: Haruka. There are several "Haru(s)" inhabiting his psyche, each with their own unique personality and characterization. Apparently, only the main Haru can read. Unfortunately he gets shot and the others have to improvise.
- Stalker with a Crush: Nagisa, towards Rei, to the extent where he takes the time to memorize the route he takes to school so he can jog up to him and hit on him.
- And Nitori, towards Rin. He holds onto a towel, recently used by Rin, in order to make a "Rin-quilt" out of it.
- Straight Gay: Makoto, although he is bit of a wimp.
- And he does take ballroom dancing lessons.
- Stuff Blowing Up: In the 9th Bonus video.
- Talking to Themself: Haru.
- Tattooed Crook: Nagisa. He has several, including a massive back-tat (the details of which have yet to be revealed), a Bowie knife on his right bicep, the words "Swim Life" bordered by barbed wire wrapping around his left wrist, and the words "Thug Seme" written over his collarbones.
- Tempting Fate: Rin's introduction to Haru in episode 1 is made of this.
: I sure hope we become best friends! But I don't
hope we have a falling-out over a race, leading us to having a tense, emotion-heavy, dramatic
relationship later on!
Haru: Yeah, that'd be awful.
- That Came Out Wrong: "If he makes me late again, I'm going to give him such a tongue-lashing! There's got to be a better phrase for that..."
- Transparent Closet: Makoto, to the point that you wonder why he even tries to hide it.
- Unlucky Childhood Friend: Makoto, to Haru.
- Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Haru's demonic personality in episode 10. However, only Rei is concerned.
Makoto: Still doing that weird demon thing to him?
Demonic!Haru: (deadpan) Totally.
- The Voiceless: Rei, at least until episode 8.
- Waxing Lyrical: The beginning of Rin and Nitori's conversation in episode 9 has them saying the lyrics to "Hide and Seek" by Imogen Heap.
Rin: Blood and tears...
Nitori: They were here first.
Rin: Hmm, whatcha say?
Nitori: Oh, I only meant well.
- Wicked Cultured: Surprisingly enough, Nagisa turns out to be this. Apparently, he draws his inspiration for the swim-club posters he makes from Wassily Kandinsky, a famous Russian painter and theorist.
- Yandere: Nagisa's attraction to Rei borders on this, given that he drew a knife when Nitori took Rei into the dressing rooms.
- Yaoi Fangirl: Gou is definitely one. Her immediate reaction upon entering the Samezuka Academy swimming pool area during practice is to geek out and start shipping everyone in her head. She also writes  fanfictin in her spare time.