Once upon a time, there was a man calledThe Roman Empire. He ruled over all the Mediterranean. Then he died, leaving his grandson Italy in his place. Despite the riches and talents he inherited, Italy was weak, and was a target for all his neighbors.Cut to World War One. Germany waits at the Italian front, ready to face the heir to the mighty Roman Empire...He finds Italy hiding in a tomato crate. Poor Italy is scared and has no idea what the hell is going on, so Germany takes him under his wing, where he remains until World War II. At the same time, the "Allied Forces" are getting ready to counter attack... if they can reach an agreement, that is.A popular Japanese series by Hidekaz Himaruya that is an allegorical tale of the history of the world, especially during World War II, with anthropomorphizations of different countries and the various stereotypes associated with them. Axis Powers Hetalia is at once educational, irreverently silly, occasionally touching, and quite probably very offensive to certain people. Surprisingly, it gets many of the more subtle and less well known relationships between European countries rather well represented, which you usually wouldn't expect of foreign writers.Starting off as a webcomic, Hetalia garnered a strong fan following, and was eventually published in print form. A series of drama CDs were made later; an anime adaptation has been released, but broadcast on television was canceled in favor of alternate means. The word Hetalia is a portmanteau of hetare and Italia (Italy), which means hopeless Italy, as Germany soon discovers. Hopeless in a cute way. You know, with the Axis powers, it's not bad to be bad at being bad.Five volumes have been printed in Japan, the most recent in July of 2012, and a sixth will come out in October 2013. The manga adaptation was originally licensed by Tokyopop and two volumes were released, but they went bankrupt before the third volume could be published. Right Stuf is now selling volume three and reprints of the first two volumes, and are apparently working to acquire volumes four and five as well. In the meantime, the original webcomic can be read here, with scanlations located here.note Following a Cease and Desist notice from Gentosha, the published manga volume material is no longer available, although scans from Comic Birz and Himaruya's blogs are unaffected.More recently, it has appeared in serialized form in Comic Birz starting in November 2011. The first several "episodes" revisited the first parts of the original webcomic, more specifically the World War II arc, although later issues have featured entirely new material.An anime adaptation by Studio DEEN began airing in January of 2009, and currently has completed four seasons, along with several additional "special episodes", with the third and fourth seasons under the title Hetalia World Series. A fifth season, titled Hetalia the Beautiful World, began airing on January 25, 2013. A movie, Paint It, White, has been released in Japan and became available in North America in November 2011. Both the series and the movie have been licensed by Funimation. The extra episodes included on the Japanese fan discs are included on the fourth season DVDs, but are not available online. Because of this, any casual fan watching streamed episodes online might get confused when they see the episode in season four where teenage Prussia sees Hungary's breasts and is reminded that she is female, as the episode where he discovered her gender was one of the extra episodes for the third season.Most of the series can be viewed at Funimation's website.note Although you need to have an account on their site and be in the US or Canada as they are region blocked. The subbed and dubbed episodes of the first two seasons are available for free, as are the subbed episodes of the third and fourth seasons. The dubbed episodes of World Series, the movie, and commentary are available to people who have a paid subscription. Hulu also has both subtitled and dubbed versions of the Axis Powers, as does Funimation's YouTube Channel. Likewise, a sub of World Series is also officially available on YouTube and Hulu. Subbed episodes of The Beautiful World can be viewed on Funimation's website as they become available. The show is TV-MA, so an account on either is required.Please note that the dub takes a great number of liberties with the script.Now has its own Fan Works, Alternative Character Interpretation, Memetic Mutation, Hetalia Bloodbath 2010, Hetaween 2011, Hetalia Bloodbath 2011, Ship Tease, Ho Yay, Ron The Death Eater, Ships That Pass In The Night, Ship To Ship Combat, andDie For Our Ship, pages. It also has its own page on TV Tropes' Fetish Fuel wiki.Compare Scandinavia and the World, another webcomic that was inspired when a Danish artist felt that the Scandinavian nations didn't match up with the stereotypes that she was familiar with, Afganisu-Tan, a short lived webcomic centered around a humanized version of Afghanistan, and Planetary Moe, which has been described as "Hetalia but with astronomical bodies instead of countries." Also compare Mobile Fighter G Gundam, which foreshadows the theme of National Stereotypes to the point that it's sometimes seen as a spiritual predecessor.By the way, there are two Italies (Veneziano and Romano), but assume we mean Veneziano (North Italy). Similarly, "Korea" refers to South Korea, as in the original comics he is called by the Japanese name for South Korea (Kankoku) and the North (Chousen) is never shown.
Axis Powers Hetalia contains examples of:
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Aborted Arc: The Hetalia Christmas Bloodbath of 2011, due to Himaruya's commitment to Gentosha Comics.
Accent Adaptation: Poland's Nagoya accent is translated as a Valley Girl accent in scanlations, while Sweden's Touhoku dialect is depicted as though he were mumbling. Interestingly, Spain's Kansai accent is not translated at all.
After getting mistaken for a little boy, Liechtenstein was shown fretting over the flatness of her chest.
During a meeting of the female nations, Taiwan gets self-conscious about her breasts in comparison to Ukraine, Hungary, and Monaco.
Actor Allusion: At the beginning of the "France teaching Italy about sexual intercourse" scene in the dub of World Series, Italy hums the first opening of Sgt. Frog.
Adaptation Distillation: The anime version of Hetalia, while having a number of differences from the source material, does try to stay close to the manga.
Adaptation Dye Job: Numerous characters, although it doesn't help that Himaruya isn't always consistent with his coloring to begin with.
Italy's hair is brown in the manga, but the anime gives him auburn hair that sometimes looks like a saturated red. His eyes also went from brown to gold.
Romano's eyes are usually hazel in manga, but they're gold like his brother's in the anime. He's also slightly more tanned than his brother◊, but they have the same skin tone in the anime.
America's hair is more of a dirty blond in the anime.
Canada's hair is also a dirty blond in the anime, whereas in the manga he is shown with yellow-orange hair. His eyes also went from purple to blue, possibly to make him look more like America.
England's hair went from an ash blond shade to saturated yellow.
France's dark blond hair was changed to the same yellow as England's.
Sweden's hair was colored light brown in the first season, although later seasons have corrected this and changed his hair back to its original blond. His eyes also changed from a greenish hue to blue.
Finland's eyes are purple in the manga, but were changed to brown in the anime.
Latvia and Estonia's hair both got darker hues in the anime, and their eye colors changed as well. Latvia has purple eyes and Estonia's are a blue-green in the manga, whereas the anime gave them both blue eyes.
Lithuania's eyes went from green to blue.
Belarus has dirty blond hair in the anime instead of the platinum blond hair she had in the manga.
China's black hair was changed to ash brown in the anime.
Korea also has black hair, but the unused anime design showed him with chestnut brown hair.
Germania's eyes changed from sea green to blue.
Spain, Egypt and Seychelles all have tanned skin in the manga, and Greece and Turkey have more olive complexions. In the anime, they all have the same skin color as the other characters.
Note that the above examples all refer to the first four seasons. Season five corrected these changes.
Adorkable: Many characters. Italy, America, and Canada in particular.
Affectionate Parody: Of history and different countries in general, treating them with a well-meaning and almost endearing degree of respect.
Air Guitar: Prussia does a variation of this with a broom in "Go Forth! Newspaper Club! (part two)"
Airplane Arms: Sealand seems to be fond of running around his country like this.
Alien Abduction: Appears to happen on a global scale in the end of "Paint it White", where the invading Pict SEEM to have billions of converted humans enter their mothership and then fly back home to their home planet. It's not stated that these Pict are the converted humans, and the Princess claims she'd return everything to normal as it was. It hasn't stopped some from interpreting it as a dark ending, however, or thinking that the princess lied. If that were the case, only Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and Iceland are left.
England apparently has an unrequited crush on America.
The Belarus/Russia/Lithuania love triangle. Belarus likes Russia, Russia likes Lithuania, Lithuania likes Belarus, and it all goes downhill from there.
Korea's affection towards China (and, to a lesser extent, Japan) is not requited.
Prussia seems to have a crush on his childhood frenemy Hungary, and his blog entries seem to indicate that he likes Italy as well.
Poland and Lithuania are a bit more debatable. At one point Lithuania says that he hates Poland. The later replies that "it doesn't, like, change the fact that I like you." Mind you, Poland's words could also be translated as "I love you."
All There in the Manual: Several characters appear in sketches in the author's blog long before their introduction in any strip. The blog regularly features a Q&A section that gives some insight and little tips about the nations themselves.
Alternate Universe: In the 2010 Christmas Bloodbath, it's revealed that there is one where the Nations are cat people, don't wear any clothing, and there are 123 Frances. There is also the Hetalia Academy universe, and the Nyotalia (gender reversed) universe.
Alternate Universe Fic: These tend to show up frequently. Since there are multiple versions of each character in canon (mochi versions, cat versions, gender-reversed versions, the 2p or "another coloring" versions, the Hetalia Academy AU) there is plenty of opportunity for this to happen. Alternate History stories tend to show up on a regular basis, as do fics where the characters are normal people.
America Saves the Day: Frequently invoked (and even the page image) as America constantly tries to fill the role of hero while snubbing the other Allies to cannon fodder.
Amicable Exes: Despite being divorced, Austria and Hungary are still on good terms, and are shown spending holidays together and exchanging gifts.
Amusing Alien: America's little buddy Tony, provided you find his habitual cursing and severe hatred of the English amusing.
Amusing Injuries: England has had both a missile and a falling star stuck in his head, France has been smacked with Hungary's frying pan on more than one occasion and was shot in the head once by Switzerland, America broke his foot after slipping on a banana peel, several others.
Anachronic Order: The story may deal with history, but the events aren't shown in historical order.
April Fools' Plot: The various live events that have occurred on April Fool's Day, one even being made into an anime episode.
Arbitrary Skepticism: The characters have seen (and interacted with) aliens, have counterparts in an Alternate Universe that are naked cat people, and Estonia has mochi versions of them as pets, yet no one seems to believe England or Norway in regards to them being able to see fairies and other magical creatures.
Artifact Title: The Axis Powers have had the spotlight stolen from them. The third and fourth seasons of the anime even goes under the title of World Series and season five is called The Beautiful World.
Somewhat defied in anime promotions which still tend to show the Axis and Allied Powers (aka the World 8), although many of the other characters had gotten prominence as well.
One of the most egregious examples of this trope, and the most controversial, is the pronouncement in the manga's great depression strip that one of the reasons for the struggles of the Axis powers was the lack of colonies. Anyone who has read anything of the war in the Pacific knows that this was very much not the case for Japan. Koreans in particular were not amused.
Germany and Italy also had colonies, just not as many as the other European nations. The Hetalia Academy game corrects this; the other African nations find it hilarious that Ethiopia is Italy's colony. The above strip is also made confusing by the fact that Himaruya had initially planned to include Libya and Ethiopia in the webcomic. Like many of his plans though, they have yet to come to fruition.
There's an episode where Russia is talking about the Soviet Union and its fall. We see him standing with the Baltic nations, Belarus, Ukraine, and several shadowy figures meant to represent the other Soviet nations. One by one, they fade away as they leave the USSR. The anime showed Lithuania disappearing last, when in reality, Lithuania was the first to declare their independence.
In the dub, Sealand declares that his Prince made it a law that he has to be called "Super Larry". Sealand's Prince is actually named Roy.
Also in the dub, when the European nations are freaking out about the year 1000 and Judgement Day, France claims one of the reasons he's sure to go to Hell is because of the guillotine. The guillotine would not be invented until the end of the 18th century.
The series shows France and England trying to make an alliance with Poland just prior to WWII, only to have Poland not take them seriously. In reality, Poland was serious about the alliance.
Austria and Hungary's relationship has been shown as being consistently friendly over the years when it's really been more Tsundere, although there are hints of this in the strips.
Art Shift: Almost all of the characters go chibi at one point. Also, France has a tendency to shift into a 1970s Shoujo art style when distraught.
Ascended Extra: This is arguably how the Allies and the more prominent Nations like Poland, Lithuania and the Frying Pangle (Austria, Hungary, Prussia) started off in the first place. This is also closely tied to Ensemble Dark Horse.
And given that world history is the source material, this goes right down to really minor characters like Monaco and Hong Kong.
Sadly averted with the "vital regions" meme in the dub.
The Bad Friends Trio (France, Prussia, and Spain). They appeared together in the strip about the War of Austrian Succession, and fans leaped on the idea of them being friends and hanging out together, despite no evidence to support this. Himaruya has since drawn the three of them together on occasion, the cover◊ of the Arte Stella Piccalo art book features them, and they now have an image song together.
The Axis discusses ninja at one point and Japan points out that their famed throwing stars are this. Instead, he suggests that for the same purpose sharpened chopsticks would work better. Germany is a bit disappointed.
During WWII Italy finally gets ahold of a decent, functioning tank (which, being Italy, is an accomplishment)... that smokes up the inside everytime it fired, so tank crews left the top open during battle. Truth in Television, actually.
Between England and America, lampshaded by France a couple of times. In one of the Drama CDs he refers to their fight as a "lovers' quarrel," and in the dub he comments, "When you two are done releasing sexual tension, we have got a meeting we need to finish!"
England and France at times too. The Paint It, White dub took this and ran with it.
Narrator (about Britain):... France is a long time acquaintance he's often found bickering with for bickering's sake. However, in their heart of hearts they love each other (Beat) Sexually.
Subverted with Latvia. He offers Sealand the benefit of his experience but when he remembers his history he's the one who needs a shoulder to cry on. Luckily, Sealand has confidence to spare.
France is a bad influence, verging on Trickster Mentor, to the Italies, mostly Veneziano, since Romano often screams and/or runs away every time he sees France.
As with the above trope, Switzerland and his little sister Liechtenstein.
Despite the fan tendency to make England America's 'mom' or 'dad', he explicitly adopts America as his little brother and America explicitly says "I'm not your little brother anymore!" when he severs their connection.
China, who basically raised all of his younger siblings as their older brother, even if he's rarely treated as such by anyone other than Korea.
In a way, Austria is also like this for Holy Roman Empire and Chibi Italy. He's just much more reserved about it. He also is sort of like this for Germany in the Valentine's strip. Though given his behavior, he might be something of an Aloof Big Brother as well.
Fairly common if a character has just finished a particularly intense battle.
After trying to establish order during a meeting of the German states, Holy Rome ended up coughing up blood as all the fighting among the states was causing his health to suffer.
England apparently coughs blood when anyone mentions July 4th
Boisterous Bruiser: Rome is tall, muscular, loud, jovial, and always up for some fun or a good fight. At one point Germania even asks him if he can talk about anything other than fighting, sex, or booze. With the exception of seafood, apparently that's all he's interested in. America, Prussia, Cuba, Denmark, Turkey, and possibly Australia show signs of this as well.
One story also showed Italy becoming distraught over the idea that Germany might not like him after Romano made a comment when they were getting ready for bed. As with the above example, Romano was naked (or at least shirtless), but was shown with a tank top in the anime. Italy threw on an unbuttoned shirt before running out of the house to go see Germany, but was otherwise nude. As with Romano, it was edited to show him wearing a tank top and shorts in the anime. The anime also left out the second half of the story, where Italy arrived at Germany's house and proceeded to ask if Germany liked him while the other was naked and taking a shower.
Similarly, a story that showed Spain shirtless when getting ready for bed was changed so that he was wearing a tank top.
In the webcomic, Chibitalia gives Holy Rome "her" panties as a parting gift. This was changed to a push broom in the anime.
Germany and Prussia wear Iron Cross necklaces in the original, but they were removed in the anime.
Germany's uniform was also changed from it's original green to a teal color, and his Iron Cross pin was removed. However, these changes have been corrected in season five.
The original webcomic showed the nations with their WWII-era flags. They were changed to their modern flags in the published volumes of the manga and the anime, probably to eliminate any controversy.
Many of the stories that had a more than usual amount of fanservice or sexual innuendo have not been animated, and none of the live events (which tend to feature a lot of Ship Tease, fanservice, and nudity) were animated in the first four seasons, although The Beautiful World has animated the 2011 April Fool's Event and did so faithfully to the original.
Also, many of the stories that were more serious in nature (such as one that showed Japan stabbing China in the back) have not been animated.
In the webcomic, China introduces his brother Japan to Tibet. The anime replaced Tibet with a talking panda. As with the changes made to the flags, this was probably meant to avoid controversy.
Boy In A Box: Germany first discovers Italy cowering in a tomato crate.
Brass Balls: During the 2010 Christmas Bloodbath, China utters this immortal line to Hong Kong:
"Choosing to go naked rather than wear a maid outfit? ....YOU'VE GOT BALLS-ARU!!"
Also tied closely with Ensemble Cast: While it originally started with the "World 8" (Italy, Germany, Japan, Russia, America, China, England, France) in World War II, due to its source material being world history the cast has expanded considerably to include a lot of other countries. Many of them have grown prominent in both canon and fandom that it's reached the point wherein (although the World 8 are still prominent in marketing) there's either no real main character anymore or that everyone's one. Much like world history, come to think of it.
Break the Cutie/Haughty: England in the Revolutionary War. Whether this counts or not, he has received an improbable amount of sympathy from the viewers thanks to this scene, and it is even why some fans started to like him.
Throughout the series, Chibitalia is always seen wearing a maid's outfit, despite being a boy. In episode 48, he gets a growth spurt and his voice suddenly changes, causing Austria to realize he's a male, and he goes out and buys men's clothing.
In the opening of the movie, Iceland wonders aloud how he can get more tourists to go to his place. At the end, during The Stinger, it turns out he got some of the aliens to stay (somehow) and was using them to attract tourists.
"Is this your girlfriend or boyfriend or gender neutral chibi thing?"
Call Back: In an episode in season one, America and England tell France that his brightly colored uniform is "too flashy." In season four, England sees France wearing a new, much more subdued uniform and starts teasing him. France explains that the old uniform was making him a target and comments that it was "too flashy."
Cast Full of Pretty Boys: While more female characters have been introduced as the series has progressed (with Hungary, Liechtenstein and arguably Belarus being the most major ones), they're still outnumbered by a large ratio. Averted in the gender-reversed Alternate Universe.
Cast Herd: Of course, people often group nations together in Real Life based on geography (the Baltics, the Nordics, etc.) or alliances during wars (the Axis, the Allies).
Caught with Your Pants Down: France had been reflecting on his military history and telling himself how strong he was, getting more agitated, and red and blue-striped in the face all the while. Then Germany bursts in with a gun drawn, looks horrified for a second then says, "I hate to disturb you when you're busy, but put your hands in the air."
Russia isn't as scary appearing, and his heart doesn't fall out of his chest at random times anymore.
Poland was a much more selfish character when he first appeared, especially towards Lithuania.
Belarus seems to have developed into something of a potty-mouth.
While Finland looks the same, Himaruya's notes indicated that he's tougher than he originally thought, and some of the illustrations of him with a sniper-rifle certainly give him a more Bad Ass aura.
More than one character has been shown to have Hidden Depths that weren't visible before.
A number of early strips and notes were deleted because of this; some of them point towards a different direction than what Himaruya eventually took for the characters, such as a strip of little America not being entirely sweet and innocent (i.e. he makes a mention of wanting to be rid of England in a very casual manner) and the notes on Spain having a "darker side" not shown to Romano (which is still popular in fanon, with a possible mention again in volume 5's notes and a lampshade-hanging done during Fool's Bath 2011).
Cheese Eating Surrender Monkeys: Something of a Zig-Zagging Trope. It was played straight a couple of times early on in the series, but has been averted later in the story line. The dub, however, uses this more frequently, and England even called France this in one episode.
When you get right down to it, almost all of the characters are to a degree. The most noticeable examples would be Finland, Poland, and North Italy.
England also has an extremely active imagination, in reference to the fact that the world's most famous fantasy authors are almost all English.
America definitely fits this as he loves dreaming up fantasy lands and heroes, and also is very ditzy and aloof to what most people have no promblem understanding, he also comes up with ridiculous outlandish ideas that are perfectly normal in his point of view.
Complaining About Rescues They Don't Like: England wasn't all that happy when America got him out of Italy. Of course, the fact that he was suspended by a rope from a flying plane probably had something to do with that.
Continuity Lockout: The opening section of the first volume of the published manga is full of references to characters and events that were meant as Shout Outs to fans of the webcomic. The first episode of the anime, with its fast pace, can make this even more baffling to new fans.
Cool Helmet: General Winter is always shown wearing one.
Cool Mask: Turkey is almost always wearing a mask.
Cool and Unusual Punishment: At the end of the 2007 April Fool's event, the other nations managed to catch France and were trying to decide how to punish him. It was suggested that they strip him or get him into a ridiculous outfit (which is what France had been doing to everyone else), until Italy pointed out that France would probably enjoy it. Sweden had the idea that they should force him to praise England, sing English songs, and eat England's cooking for an entire day. It didn't take long for France to break down and appologize.
Crazy Cultural Comparison: Usually between Japan and America, as the creator is able to draw on his own experiences from when he lived in New York City.
Creator Cameo: In the movie, Tony sends America a photo that they're hoping will help them defeat the invading aliens. One of the people in the photo looks suspiciously like Himaruya.
Creator Provincialism: Both averted and played straight: Japan is the Straight Man of the Axis, but he has his share of bizarre quirks too. It helps that Himaruya used to live in New York, giving him a good "outsiders view" of Japan and a better understanding of the stereotypes associated with it.
Credits Marching Sequence: The Axis and Allies are shown marching in place during the ending credits for the first two seasons.
During the American Revolution, America kept sending England's letters back unopened, so Canada attached a note that read "There is food inside." The last panel shows America trying to restrain himself from opening the package.
While bored during a meeting, Rome can be seen daydreaming about food and women.
The Pict in The Movie (and with a good reason). In an interesting twist, it's shown that although the Pict got so advanced and powerful because they were all alike, the diversity and differences between Earth's nations turn out to be much more than a match.
The Ditz: Italy, America, and Spain all qualify. When America comments that he was told to "read the atmosphere in the room" he claims he can't find a book with that name, and Italy says that they should go looking for a copy together.
It should be noted that according to Word Of God, America is capable of reading the atmosphere in the room, he simply chooses not to.
Divided We Fall: In Paint it, White the nations eventually realize that, like it or not, they're going to have to work together if they wan't to defeat the aliens.
Waiter!France was also very keen on letting the Pictonians know that he "never lets a guest leave unsatisfied". This line would have seemed a whole lot more innocent if France's voice didn't make it sound like he was trying to have phone sex 24/7.
Ditto to America's "Because I know how to give a good time!" Lampshaded in the out-takes "What am I, a hooker?"
After Italy convinces Japan and Germany to abandon their brutal diet and exercise routine, their apologies are, well...
Japan: Apologies. I wanted to get better too fast. Instead, I ended up becoming stubborn.
Germany: It's my fault. I'm the one who started it. Please forgive me, it won't happen again.
Italy: How nice! We're all sorry. Can we move past this now?
Don't Try This at Home: In the first episode of season five, this warning appears on the screen when Japan explains to Germany that shuriken are actually quite ineffective, and that sharpened chopsticks would do more damage.
England was a doting older brother when he raised America (the revolution kinda did away with that), but not Canada (whom he occasionally mistakes for America), let alone Sealand.
The Roman Empire with Italy. "Aww, he's so kyooot~"
Double Entendre: In France's version of the first ending song, he says, "I love lilies and chanson." In Japanese, the word for lily is "yuri," which can also mean something else.
Dragged Into Drag: A variation of this happens in one of the Chibitalia stories. Hungary convinces Chibitalia to wear some of her old clothes to get a reaction from Holy Rome. Admittedly, Chibitalia always wore dresses, but Hungary was the only one in the household at the time who knew that he was really a boy.
Dying For Symbolism: The characters are the nations, so the death of a character is the fall of a nation (e.g. Rome). If the nation gets into dire straits (economic crisis, social strife etc.), the nation gets sick.
Edutainment Show: Admit it: Hetalia has taught you something. There's also a fair amount of fanwork that can be educational.
Egopolis: Inverted. Obviously, Veneziano/North Italy is named after Venice, a city in northern Italy, to distinguish him from his brother, Romano/South Italy, who's named after Rome, though it's actually in the centre. Romano's history usually covers roughly this area, but it probably settles who then has the middle.
Little England and France were very surprised when the world didn't end in the year 1000.
This was the premise of the movie.
In the 2010 Christmas event, it's eventually revealed that the reason the nations from the parallel universe were stripping everyone was because someone had a message written on their body, and if they didn't find it before midnight, their world would be destroyed.
In one episode, Italy is shown waking up in the morning with both eyes wide open accompanied by the text on the screen reading:
"I tried opening my eyes today!" -Italy
During the 2011 Christmas event, a fan wrote in requesting that Italy keep both of his eyes open for a couple of minutes. It wasn't long before the other characters got weirded out, and Germany covered Italy's eyes, claiming that they were "too limpid."
Eye Take: America walks in just as England is talking to and petting his nice spirits that come up to him (that America cannot see).
Played with in the case of Turkey. At first this trope was played straight; his eyes were always covered with a mask, if not his whole face. In the 2007 Christmas Event, a fan asked to see his face. While he did show up without his mask (much to France and Greece's shock), either his back was to the audience or his face was otherwise obscured by a word bubble or something else. In the very last panel of the scene, he finally turns and faces the audience.
Luxembourg got this treatment during his debut during the Hetaween 2011 Event. It looked like we finally would get to see his face in the 2011 Christmas Event, but it turned out to be just a weird dream that Belgium had.
England, naturally, especially since the series is based on stereotypes.
"In hell, the chefs are English..."
Some of Finland's food can be seen this way.
It has also been mentioned that Sweden's Surströmming (canned fermented Baltic herring) can be used as a deadly weapon. Although whether the food itself or his preparation of it is what renders it inedible is not clear.
Japan reacts this way to America's brightly colored food.
Foreshadowing: In Paint It, White, Italy is using a felt pen to draw faces on the pictures of the faceless Noppera during a meeting between the Axis and the Allies. At the end of the movie, this is how he stops the Noppera's invasion, as well as how he gets all of the other countries back to normal.
Fourth Wall Mail Slot: Characters occasionally answer fan mail, sometimes devoting entire miniseries to it, and during the live events the nations will read and respond to fan letters.
Freeze Frame Bonus: In the scene where Italy is reading his so-called war records (read: photos of himself with pretty girls) in front of Japan, there's a bookcase in the background. If you look closely, you can see an entire series on pasta (including "Wonderful Pasta" and "Excellent Pasta"), a book called "Mr. Hetare", and a title with a German flag on on the spine with the title "German Dais..." before getting cut off by the screen. Other titles are in Japanese. Looks like the the Axis boys keep a communal bookcase.
Volume Four shows Russia when he was small, explaining that although it's unthinkable now, he used to be bullied a lot during this period. The manga showed him being pushed around by Mongolia, Prussia, Denmark & Sweden, a wild hamster...
Volume 3 showed the first time Lithuania and Russia met ("The Tartar Yoke" in the manga), while the latter was under Mongolian rule. Later, Hungary sympathizes with Russia after hearing from Lithuania about him.
Gag Boobs: Ukraine, who complains about them causing her stiff shoulders and is constantly reattaching one of the buttons on her shirt. In the anime she even has a special sound effect for them that can be heard through doors.
Gag Dub: The English dub certainly qualifies. Some English voice actors have admitted that a significant chunk of their dialogue was ad-libbed. With this and the short length of the episodes, it has a very Abridged Series feel.
Gender Flip: The quasi-official◊ genderswitched versions of the countries (girl!England and boy!Hungary in particular) are pretty popular, especially on the Japanese side of fandom, along with fannish versions.
Gender Is No Object: As Hungary aptly demonstrates, being a woman in a world where many of the other characters are male doesn't make you any less of a badass and/or prominent figure.
Genius Loci: The Nations themselves, by their very nature, arguably count.
Genre Busting: The whole premise of the show itself is genre busting, being a show about personified nations living and acting out the lives based on the historical happenings and interactions of the countries they represent. For the most part it's a Comedy, it has its Historical Fiction values, and has plentiful Boys Lovesubtext to it. If that weren't enough, there is the occasional BLAM comics of it, has sort of a magical background to it (what with exactly HOW nations exist and all is still left a mystery) , and plenty of Fridge Horror once you get to really thinking about the series itself. From the world being invaded by alien blob-people and saved by permanent markers to Bloody Sunday to Germany confessing his love to Italy in the Valentine's Strip one can only be left guessing what might happen next in the series.
Genre Savvy: England took this to absolutely ridiculous levels in The Movie. After he and France are trapped in a corner, we get this gem of a moment:
England: "Don't worry. There's always a way to escape!"
*random rope falls from the ceiling for absolutely no plausible reason*
China meets a Hello Kitty rip-off named Shinatty-chan. "Shina" is a Japanese word for "Chinese" that is roughly comparable to the word "Negro" in the US; a formerly neutral word made charged by its derogatory use during the Second Sino-Japanese War.
There's a recurring joke about Prussia "invading" someone's "vital regions", and others either noting how inappropriate it sounds or making even more inappropriate comments. One of the funniest examples is when Prussia invaded the Silesia zone in Austria and then had Hungary threatening him with a spear and demanding to have "Austria's nether regions" back...
England refers to Germany as a "Kraut", a slur for Germans dating back to WWI, a few times.
There are definitely some fans that consider the series this.
Hairstyle Inertia: Almost all of the characters, despite them being centuries old and popular hairstyles having changed dramatically over the years.
Poked fun at in one story where England grew his hair out in an effort to be more stylish. However, after months of letting it grow, he discovered that it was a mess and asked France to style him for it. After rejecting the first two hairstyles France gave him, he fell asleep during the third try. France took the opportunity to cut England's hair back to its old style.
Averted with Liechtenstein, who used to have long hair, but later cut it so that she would look more like Switzerland.
Also averted with Hong Kong, who had long hair as a child, but ended up with short hair after he was under England's care.
Young Ukraine has been drawn with long hair that she braided and wrapped around her head, but has short hair as an adult.
Halloween Episode: There are several instances dealing with things like this, including America and Japan exchanging horror media, England trying to scare America on Halloween, and Germany panicking over the possibility of a ghost. See also Hetaween 2011.
Russia sometimes pulls his pipe out of nowhere.
During one of the Christmas events, France got a call from Italy on his cell phone, despite the fact that he was wearing cat ears, a tail, and nothing else.
In the 2011 Halloween event, Ukraine pulled a toy horse for Poland to ride from thin air.
Hangover Sensitivity: After getting trashed one night, England shows up to an Allied Forces meeting the next day with his jacket over his head, swearing that he's never going to drink again.
Happy Dance: Russia does this after defeating Poland and Lithuania.
Haunted Castle: One was turned into a hotel, in a strip where the resident evil spirit tries and fails to scare Japan, England, and America.
Hidden Depths: Most of the characters show shades of this at some point. France, for example, often comes across as nothing more than a shallow pervert. This comic hints that he may want to settle down, leading to some fans speculating that being essentially immortal means that he has to watch anyone he falls in love with grow old and die, so he sticks to short flings and one-night stands because it's emotionally easier to deal with.
Homoerotic Dream: Iceland once had a dream where he was flying through the air with Turkey while the latter was only wearing boxer shorts, his mask, and a Santa hat. His reaction when he woke up:
"Am I completely mental to be dreaming dreams like this?"
Hot Blooded: Prussia and Cuba. Many other characters show signs of this at times.
Humiliation Conga: America, when he has to apologise for the Great Depression here, at the end of "Lithuania's Immigration" (leading to a Yank the Dog's Chain). Actually, the treatment he gets differs from country to country depending on how badly they crashed. It ranges from 'America it seems is too inexperienced in these things' (Japan -3), to 'Your Ass is mine!' (France, -30). And Russia takes the cake by being typically tactless (+ 65).
Hypocritical Humor: England and France both consider themselves gentlemen, but they are often shown otherwise, with foul language and loose ways respectively. At one point, England looks down on America for being childish, saying that a gentleman doesn't waste time on what a little brat does. America then insults England's cooking, which leads England to call him a *censored* ...
Italy's voice actor, Daisuke Namikawa, sings the ending themes, and the main eight characters' voice actors have their own respective albums.
Prussia, Poland, Lithuania, Austria, Chibitalia, and Holy Rome also have their own versions of "Marukaite Chikyuu."
Hungary, Prussia, Greece, Turkey, Spain, and Chibi Romano, all have versions of the second ending theme, Belgium and Netherlands have a duo.
Taiwan, Hong Kong, Romano, Spain, Prussia, Canada, and Rome also have character songs. Rome and Chibitalia have a duo, the Baltics and the Bad Friends Trio both have group songs.
I Have Boobs, You Must Obey!: When a young Russia asked his big sister Ukraine for advice on getting people to do what he says, she told him to "Just bring out the milk-makers!"
Imagine Spot: Japan gets an... interesting one featuring his preconcieved notions of Switzerland. There is dancing.
Immortal Immaturity: Almost all the characters, but China stands out as a 4,000 year old Hello Kitty Shinatty-Chan lover. Inverted for England, who's grown out of his 'wild youth' (read: piracy on the high seas), which only survives as his foul mouth and his quick temper, and Sweden who grew out of his viking phase a while ago.
Important Haircut: Liechtenstein cut her hair after Switzerland rescued her so that she would look more like him.
Incest Is Relative: Since it's unclear how nations are born and what their relationships really are, this could be seen as a case of Not Blood Siblings. Fans interpret pairings such as America/Canada, Russia/Belarus, and the rest in different ways, depending on their preferences.
Innocent Fanservice Boy: Italy frequently neglects to put on pants, much to Japan's embarrassment and Germany's irritation.
I Was Just Joking: When America tells England how great it feels to remember defeating him in the American Revolutionary War, England looks as if he's been genuinely hurt. America then says that that's a lie, which brings England back to his usual irritated Tsundere state.
Japanese Ranguage: Japan is the most prominent example of this in the English dub. Most of the other Asian nations also have accents, but less obvious with the R's.
Jaw Drop: Happens to Germany when he saw Prussia doing a Bollywood dance number with India during the 2011 Halloween event.
Cuba is big, gruff, and intimidating and definitely doesn't get along with America, but he's actually a nice guy. He likes chilling out with ice cream or cigars and is friends with Canada (even if he sometimes mistakes him for America).
Russia terrifies everyone, but loves his big sister and seems to genuinely want the best for his people.
America is obnoxiously blunt and full of himself, but when he first realizes how nervous Japan is about having contact with the outside world, he purposely makes his fake fortune-telling method give a good outcome to give Japan confidence.
England's a grouch who presumably wasn't much fun for any of his siblings or those stuck with him during his empire days, but he genuinely adored America and wanted to protect him.
Germany's a Drill Sergeant Nasty who's pretty tough on his allies...and will also run to their rescue should they ever need help, and who, despite his constant complaints, never abandons "useless" ally.
Jesus Taboo: Averted, he appears sometimes. At one point, he appears to Prussia (who was still the religious order of the Teutonic Knights at the time) who was remorseful about touching Hungary's breasts.
While they're older than most examples, Italy and Poland have a lot of these traits.
America and Korea aren't small or colorful, but they also have shades of this trope.
Know-Nothing Know-It-All: Korea is usually saying he invented things, like education. Also, Poland used to treat Lithuania like his lackey and tried to make Liet live like him. Many of the nation-tans have a moment acting like this (They are all good at heart, though).
The Krampus: Hungary dresses up like this every Christmas to scare Italy. He still hasn't figured out that it's her.
Large Ham: America and Rome. Cuba acts this way at times too.
Lemony Narrator: In the dub, where she sometimes talks with a Valley Girl accent. The Narrator is very informational in the original.
Lethal Chef: England. No surprise. This trope is played with in the show and is a major plot point in the movie.
Let Him Choose: In the comic that introduces Colonial America, England and France decide to have America choose which of them he wants as his big-brother. America sees a dispirited England in a Corner of Woe and chooses him over France.
In the dub, the narrator speaks like this for an episode
Limited Wardrobe: The characters often have a certain iconic outfit that they wear most of the time, but there are also times when they wear other clothing, making this a Zig-Zagging Trope.
Little Green Men or The Grays: Tony is America's cute little alien friend (he crashed at Roswell in 1947), who can be seen most of the time at America's house. He has a foul mouth, speaks English/Japanese/Hetalia's universal language, watches America's movies, sometimes abducts people, and apparently hates the British.
Triang Relations type 2: Lithuania has a crush on Belarus, who completely abhors him. Russia's favorite subordinate is Lithuania, who is terrified of him. Belarus wants to marry Russia, who is terrified of her. It's very... twisted, indeed.
Type 3: Greece —> Japan <— Turkey. Complete with the two ends of the triangle arguing about which one of them Japan pays more attention to. Japan may prefer Greece over Turkey (fandom certainly thinks so, and you can'treallyblamethem), but he remains evasive of any questions about the matter.
Type 4: Austria and Hungary are an Official Couple, but it's hinted that Prussia has feelings for Hungary. That's likely the most canon take on their relations, but fandom enjoys playing with all possible combinations of the Frying Pangle, sometimes even making it a Type 7 or Type 8 in their works.
And then there's the America/England/France Love Triangle. While you'll definitely find it in Fanon, canon is quite subtle about it. One could argue that the reason for this is that England is a hugeTsundere, America gives mixed signals and France is, well, France.
Luminescent Blush: Most characters have this on constantly, especially in the earlier manga editions and seasons one through four of the anime.
Made of Steel: Sealand is literally this. When he punches out France #23 from the Alternate Universe, he states that he's able to do so because he's made of steel.
Magical Realism: Hints of it, especially regarding the nature of the characters and how they come to be. When a young soldier asked France about his true nature this is what he said:
France: "If it's hard to understand, imagine a ship! The government is the mast, citizens are the wind and they swim on the sea of time, or so it says. If the mast stands straight and good wind blows, the ship goes forward. Well, sometimes it gets stranded and that was it. Something like that maybe?"
The Man Behind the Man: Arguably Austria to the Holy Roman Empire. Subverted in that he's not evil at all, even though his stuffiness seems to give the impression.
Masquerade/Extra Strength Masquerade: It's strongly hinted that not everyone knows of the Nations' existence or at least their true identities. This is even touched upon in a recent strip involving France and one of his soldiers.
Matryoshka Object: When helping deliver presents after Santa went missing, Japan put boxes nested inside larger boxes into his gifts.
Medium Awareness: England stares daggers (well, arrows) at Russia. Russia then grabs and eats them.
Meganekko: Several characters wear glasses, but Austria, Estonia, and Thailand in particular fit the trope.
Meido: As a young child living with Austria, Italy used to wear maid outfits. Especially in the Chibitalia chapter, which lampshades the trope when the Holy Roman Empire is seen with a portrait of Chibitalia and is asked if the model was a servant. This may be a historical in-joke, though. See Wholesome Crossdresser below.
Misplaced Retribution: Canada is frequently the target of this because he looks almost identical to his brother America, though the countries that are pissed at America wouldn't harm Canada if they knew the difference. That he's very soft spoken means he rarely is able to stop the abuse or convince the other countries (rightfully angry at America) from beating up on him.
Misplaced Sorrow: When England 'dies' in the hospital after an accident involving the panjandrum, America gets teary eyed and tells him he can't go because he owes him a 'crap-ton of money'.
Mistaken Identity: Poor Canada is frequently mistaken for America on the occasions that the other nations even notice him.
Sealand and Latvia. Sealand helps Latvia not be a twitching emotional wreck and Latvia keeps Sealand grounded to reality.
America and Japan. America can come across as obnoxious and pushy at times and Japan as dull to some. Put them together, however, and America becomes the cheerful, eager friend who gets Japan to open up to new things and Japan the calm, mature one who balances out America's boisterousness. Plus, in spite of the obvious Opposites Attract potential, many people prefer them as BFFs rather than lovers in the Western fandom.
Greece and Japan, whose relationship seems to be mainly based on them both being quiet Kindhearted Cat Lovers who soften or endear each other's negative traits and are unlikely to ever fight. You can make a drinking game out of the number of times they're described as "cute" or "moe" by fans, seriously. (Not that that's a bad thing, mind you.)
The comics about the American Revolution, Lithuania's sleepover at Poland's house and Bloody Sunday.
There are quite a few milder examples than the ones given above as well. Episode 50 of the anime(the one with the table-turning) contains one between America and Japan. When America asks Japan if there's anything bothering him, Japan proceeds to pour his heart out, sharing with America how excited yet apprehensive he is about learning Western culture. Then he concludes by asking if they (Japan and America) will be able to get along from then on. Ouch.
Mooning: When Italy calls France in the middle of the night because he's afraid that his friends will leave him, France sarcastically suggests that Italy show them his ass. The next night, Italy called back crying again, claiming it didn't work. France couldn't believe that he had taken the suggestion seriously.
Mortality Ensues: What apparently happens to the characters when their nation ceases to exist, but Shrug of God makes it difficult to be certain. In any case, they do eventually die, but it's unknown how long it takes.
My Country, Right or Wrong: Considering that all of the characters are personifications of their countries, this is very much in effect. Examples include WWII Germany, who expresses open disgust at some of the orders he's been given, but has to follow them anyway. Or Russia's growing anger at Stalin despite being more or less fine with communism. They aren't bound to a particular government, leader or ideology as they represent their people as a whole. Which includes their ideas/cultures/beliefs/what-have-you in general. Plus, autocratic governments can hardly be considered representative of their people in the same way as democratic ones, so it makes sense for their countries to hold different opinions to their rulers - and also to be unable to stop them. Dictators don't hold elections.
Mythology Gag: In the dub, Todd Haberkorn voices Britain when he's a kid instead of Scott Freeman — possibly a nod to the fact he was supposed to voice Britain before North Italy had to be recast.
National Stereotypes: The other other foundation the series was built on, although the characters themselves go beyond this. Said stereotypes are either subverted or expounded upon, revealing the basis and history behind them.
Nice Hat: The Holy Roman Empire. Turkey combines it with Mask Power. Prussia is sometimes seen wearing one too.
Nigh Invulnerability: The nations can be injured, although it takes a lot more to hurt one of them than a normal person and they heal very quickly, but they can't be killed as long as their country still exists.
Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant: Used in a Halloween strip as Japan tells America to use Russia as a receptionist in order to scare England. Otherwise, countries are often shown as being very scared of anyone who'd beaten them before or who has a reputation; hence why many freak out whenever they are asked to interact with Germany or Russia. Also, the Italies are afraid of England and Southern Italy appears to be terrified of France.
Liechtenstein is Switzerland's adoptive little sister.
England and America, along with the other nations who were part of the British Empire.
China with Japan, Korea, and Hong Kong.
Not So Imaginary Friend: Magical creatures exist, but most nations lost the ability to see them as they stopped believing in them. England and Norway are the only ones shown to still be able to see them, although everyone else thinks they're talking to thin air if they see them interacting with them.
An early story had Germany receive a panicky call from Italy, who kept yelling things like, "Germany, help!" "Big brother, stop! Ow ow ow! It won't come out!" After rushing over, he discovered that Italy and Romano have merely gotten their Idiot Hairs tangled together.
Japan was shown coming over to Germany's house one night to borrow something, only to hear him and Italy talking about liking each other and thinking, "I can't even begin to imagine what is going on in there." After hearing a loud crash, he rushes in to make sure that Germany and Italy are fine, only to see Italy (who is mostly naked) laying flat on his back with Germany (who is completely naked) face-down on top of him. It Makes Sense in Context.
During the 2011 Halloween event, Germany (dressed as a Roman soldier) asks Japan (dressed as a slave) if the Slave Collar and attached chain he is wearing is too heavy. Japan explains that it actually was quite light, and asked if Germany wanted to hold it. Taiwan happened to walk up to them right at that moment and wonder what was going on.
Now or Never Kiss: Sorta. In the Chibitalia strip, Holy Roman Empire kisses Chibitalia on the lips before leaving Austria's mansion, since they don't know if they'll ever see each other again.
Oblivious to Love: Italy is this to Germany in the Buon San Valentino comics. America might also be this to England.
Ocular Gushers: Italy did this when he first met Germany and was begging the latter to not hurt him.
Odd Friendship: Germany and Italy, Poland and Lithuania, America and Japan.
China: (showing his Emperor various animals) "This is supposed to be a camel."
Offscreen Teleportation: Seems to be how the nations get around. Lampshaded in the 2010 Christmas event when Cuba called Germany and told him to come over right away. Germany informed him that there was no way he could get a plane chartered in time, at which point Cuba expressed surprise that he couldn't just teleport.
Older Than They Look: Most of the characters don't look older than thirty. Could be a case of Really 700 Years Old depending on your interpretation of the nature of the series. It's worth noting though that apparently all countries start out as children and with time they grow into adults (see the Italy brothers, Japan and America), but they don't seem to age at the same rates. America grows up much faster than Italy did, and older characters like China often feel their age.
Old Shame: Himaruya has deleted some strips and illustrations for the series over the years, probably for Unfortunate Implications and mistakes that he later corrected.
Many aspects of Japan's personality are references to Japanese otaku culture. He's a fan of anime and manga and is into 2D.
France has been shown to be a manga fan. A sketch showed him and Japan shopping for manga together, during one of the live events Japan told him that if he didn't start behaving he wouldn't let him have any more manga, and he once imagined Germany as Light from Death Note. Justified Trope since France imports more manga than any other nation.
China is often seen with a panda cub, wears panda-print boxers, and even has a panda shaped birthmark.
Hong Kong appears to love pandas as well.
Russia will dress up as a panda when he's stalking China.
An early episode showed China introducing Japan to a talking panda. note In the original webcomic, China introduced Japan to Tibet. This was changed in the anime, possibly to avoid controversy like what happened to Korea.
Panty Shot: We once got one of Hungary, courtesy of France.
Paper-Thin Disguise: Germany simply wore a suit and glasses while undercover in France, and England changed his clothes (and later his hairstyle) while trying to escape from Italy. When they were finally noticed, it was only because of how they were acting. Germany was mashing his potatoes rather than slicing them. England got caught the first time because of his unstylish clothes, the second time because he wasn't flirting with pretty women, and the third time for ordering British food at a restaurant.
Princely Young Man: Austria has an aristocratic personality, is in charge of the house, and is referred to as a "young master" by the others.
Privateer: There are a couple of strips which detail the story of England's privateers. Basically, England found a few pirates that were causing him trouble, and told them to "go beat up that Spain guy." They did, allowing England to get the upper hand over Spain. Whenever Spain complained to England, he would just apologize and say that the pirates were causing him trouble, too. That is, until Spain went over to England's house and saw him giving medals to the privateers. Whoops.
Proper Lady: Liechtenstein. She's humble, kind, quiet, deferring yet not completely submissive to her brother Switzerland, very mature for a young nation, and quite competent at housework.
Implied in the case of France. While the other nations don't seem interested in his advances, he's seems to be successful with normal people. He's mentioned having relationships in the past, was once shown taking two young women home with him after a party, and during the 2007 April Fool's event when one fan wrote in claiming she was pregnant with his child, he responded:
Roswell Incident: Though there were extra-terrestrials already in America by this time.
Rubbery World: In Paint it, White!, everything that the ray from the Picto Alien's spaceship touches turns into a white, wobbly thing reminiscent of rubber. As it passes over cities and countries the world starts to resemble this Rubbery World.
Korea insisting that everything comes from his country.
Poland's threat that he'll make Warsaw your capitol.
Russian Guy Suffers Most: Inverted and played staight. Bloody Sunday and failed White Sea canal strips cover his history of suffering. But most of the time he's a superpower that likes making others suffer.
Sailor Earth: People tend to design their own countries frequently.
Santa Claus: He made an appearance in the 2011 Christmas event.
Satellite Character: The Holy Roman Empire. Is he the boss? Does he just own the house? He doesn't interact much with the others. He's not Germany, by the way. Or is he? Hmmm...
Saving Christmas: Happened during one of the Christmas events. Finland needed help delivering presents (it isn't stated where Santa is) and called the other nations for help. America's solution was to order everything from Amazon.
When Greece offers to give Japan a private lesson in bed, the image switches to a map of east Asia while Japan screams.
Another time when Austria and Germany caught France spying on them, they tied him up and discovered that the photos he had been taking were all sexy shots of Austria. Cue Austria getting pissed off and the camera shifted away while we hear France screaming.
Separated by a Common Language: In one comic, England asks America for a rubber (eraser). After asking a confused England if he even has a partner, America gives him a condom.
Sequel Snark: The published manga volumes frequently end in "To be continued... maybe." The anime follows suit.
Sexy Discretion Shot: When Greece offers Japan a "private lesson" to help him improve his sex life, the scene switches to a "view" of East Asia with Japan's screams in the background (and China yelling back at him because he can't sleep). When we're back to Japan, he's naked (or at least shirtless) in bed next to a sleeping Greece and screaming his head off.
There was this one picture on the author's blog where Vietnam wore one, too.
Hungary was once shown in one as well.
Shipper on Deck: Japan may count. When Italy asks for advice on designing a war poster, he suggests Italy and Germany's names under an Umbrella of Togetherness. Austria also gives Germany advice during the Valentine's comics.
This isn't unusual in the live events, usually courtesy of France.
Season five has several, including Australia, Greece, Turkey, France, America, Spain...
Short Anime Movie: Hetalia: Paint It, White would be just under an hour long, about the length of two regular half-hour episodes, without the clips from the series thrown in. Given the source material, they didn't have a lot to work with, but wanted a feature-length film. The movie proved controversial in Japan and the Japanese DVD release removed the clip show parts, but the American release includes them.
Finland's last name is a reference to The Kalevala. Namely, to Väinämöinen, the main hero of the story.
Episode 3 of the World Series opens with Japan and Greece looking at the Spartan ruins, and Greece says: "This... is... where Sparta once stood."
On his blog, Himaruya once posted a drawing of Hungary holding her frying pan, with "Let's Frying Pan Love" written next to it.
In the dub of episode 13, after America walks in on England about to perform black magic, another participant asks England, "[[Theatre/Macbeth Where did you put the eye of newt?]]"
The Pokémon shoutout mentioned above. As an extra kick, America adds that "they caught em all!"
Italy sounds like Mario in the dub. In fact, his English dub voice actor explained in a commentary that at first he tried to play it straight with a realistic Italian accent...but when he heard the accent Chibitalia's voice actress was using, he decided to completely go for broke and use the most ridiculous Italian accent he could think of...which happened to be Mario!
In a similar situation, when asking what type of British accent the director wanted England to have Scott Freeman tried several, but the director liked best the voice which was a bad impression of Stewie Griffin.
Most of the live events during the holidays are this.
Shrug of God: About a lot of things ranging from how the nations are born, what exactly happens to the personifications where their nation no longer exists, to if/when certain nations will appear in the series.
Significant Birth Date: If a nation has some sort of national holiday or independence day, it will be their birthday. Examples being Italy's is March 17 (Italian reunification), America's is July 4 (Independence day), and France's is July 14 (Bastille day).
Silk Hiding Steel: Lithuania, from Europe but male, fits this trope very well too: he's sweet, hard-working, and shown to not only be excellent at cooking and house-cleaning (to the point where he actually works as America's housekeeper for some time) but also formidable in battle. However, he also happens to be the main Woobie of the cast, which tends to overshadow his other traits, especially considering that his deference, loyalty, and humility might actually be one of the causes of him tending to be pushed around by Poland, Russia, and Belarus.
The only surefire way to keep England out of your house is to invite France. America observes that after 900 years of war the only thing that keeps these two old timers going is antagonizing each other.
Greece and Turkey are also this too. In fact, the only time Greece loses his easygoing nature is when Turkey's around.
Cuba considers America his nemesis, too. Poor Canada...
Sealand and TRNC provide a bit of this in the first Drama CD.
In another strip, America has this while wielding a chainsaw along with Scary Shiny Glasses. Probably the only time America didn't look his normal self. Though it was only scary due to Canada's paranoia, as America was just normally using his chainsaw to cut wood.
During the 2011 Halloween even, Italy wore one as part of his costume. As the event went on, more and more countries were seen wearing costumes like Italy's. Rome was somehow getting them all to wear them because he wanted to make Italy's costume popular.
At the beginning of the 2011 Christmas event, Italy was shown sleeping with his head pillowed on Germany's lap.
Sliding Scale of Gender Inequality: The female Nations, while fewer than the male ones, clearly fall into Level 5. Hungary in particular is described as manlier than a good chunk of the cast while Belarus and Liechtenstein are not submissive pushovers.
Averted when Russia thinks he doesn't need a parachute when he sees snow on the ground from an aircraft, adding that no one knows snow like him. He ends up breaking all his bones (only one in the anime).
Status Quo Is God: Subverted. While characters' relationships with each other stay relatively stable (even when in reality many have changed over time), when they do change, it's made very clear. Examples include the American Revolution.
Stealth Pun: In volume four, the Newspaper Club are interviewing members of the various school clubs. We're then told that all three Baltic nations are members of the Chorale Club, and Estonia comments that even among them, his singing is considered revolutionary.
In episode 10 of the Beautiful World anime, there's a scene where Italy has his camera stolen by a pickpocket on the Galata Bridge (a famous bridge in Turkey). As Turkey himself takes off after the pickpocket, you can hear a sped up version of the Turkish March playing in the background.
Applies to the anime with "That F**king Island", as some fans refer to it. Basically involves the Axis being stuck on an island, ambushed by the Allies, and attacked with a wok by China until some diversion comes to break it up. The same exact animation and lines are recycled, save for a few minor differences. Some YouTube comments speculate that they were trying to make fun of Endless Eight.
Also egregiously used in the movie where entire episodes were thrown in.
Sweet Tooth: Turkey, Spain, and Belgium are all stated to be this.
Tactful Translation: Done at least once, when America comes to Japan to make friends with whales.
Japan: Go Away.
Translator: It's nice that you have such interesting pursuits, but please pursue them in your own residence.
Take a Third Option: What the creator did after the controversy surrounding Korea. The character still shows up in drawings and some of the webcomics, but he is not in the anime, the later volumes of the published manga, or on any official merchandise.
Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: After Leichtenstein cuts her hair, her big brother Switzerland gets her a hair ribbon so people won't mistake her for a boy.
Theme Tune Cameo: The first two endings have been sung by Italy in-universe (his voice changed in the middle of Maru Kaite Chikyuu, and in World Series 34 Germany tells him to stop humming Hatefutte Parade).
Triple Nipple: France may count as such ever since the strip "Let's Assist the French Economy!", wherein he claimed Italy's right nipple, which apparently represents Corsica. At the very least, Italy is down to one....
England is stated to be this in the author's notes. He can be quite snarky, especially◊ when◊ around◊ America◊. When he's in deredere mode, though, he sometimes shows such vulnerability that he qualifies as The Woobie.
Germany is also stated to be this by the creator, although It's hard to tell his exact type given his usually staid demeanour. He appears to be a Type A whose default mood is a grumpy, "take no guff" guy, but there are times when his softer side can come out, such as when he sees that the other nations survived the fall from the spaceship in the movie. And while he may be a Drill Sergeant Nasty to Italy most of the time, there are moments when you can tell that he really does care about him. To drive the point further, the Valentines strip had Germany pretty much in full-blown deredere mode the entire time.
Romano is a very strong example of a Type A, especially when he's around Spain.
America seems to be a odd variation of the Type A Tsundere himself. His tsuntsun side is represented less by mood swings and more by his penchant to step on people's toes with his rampant KY-ness, cheerful Love Freak mannerisms and occasional arrogance; he also shoots down England's advances and seems to have fun when he relentlessly teases the other nation-tan. However, he has shown genuine sadness and melancholy as he remembers their common past times (especially in "America Cleans Out The Storage"), as well as some degree of worry for the other's well-being, which can be seen as him being deredere.
It could be that he's a Type B (dere dere), since England is the only one he purposely annoys/teases.
Wy was one toward Sealand in Hetaween 2011, insisting that it was a "coincidence" that she is wearing the dress he told her to wear. Lampshaded by Seborga, who commented that she must have been influenced by England (mentioned above).
Molossia. He flips off Sealand, Seborga and Wy off when they ask him to be their new friend, but runs back to join them as soon as they leave. He also shows signs of being very self-conscious about letting his other side being seen.
Tsurime Eyes: Germany, Poland, Switzerland, Prussia, Netherlands, Sweden, Egypt, Germania, and Hesse.
Turtle Power: This comic illustrates an actual incident when a bunch of baby turtles wandered into a cafe in Italy.
Canada has always been overshadowed by America ever since they were little. As soon as England seemed to be paying more attention to Canada, America came along and took his attention back. Most of the other countries not only forget who he is (or mistake him for America) there are many times when they can't even see him.
Also played with in regards to Belarus. She treats the other Baltics so badly because she thinks she is Russia's Unfavorite because of them. Hell, she's even jealous of Ukraine...
Romano (South Italy) is this in some degree, especially during his "childhood" days when Spain was more fixated on Italy than him. He was seriously worried that he didn't have anything to offer, lacking his brother's domestic and artistic skills.
China ends most of his sentences with "aru", which is derived from a Japanese stereotype of Chinese people. When talking to England (for example in the Britannia Angel strip) "aru" sometimes changes to "ahen" which means "opium".
Sealand finishes most of his sentences with "desu yo," which is basically ending everything with an exclamation point.
Japan's voice in the first Drama CD is very soft. In later CDs and the anime, the same seiyuu switches to a much deeper tone, allegedly because fans complained that he'd sounded too similar to Italy.
In the first CDs, America has a sort of low tenor voice. Then in the anime and consecutive drama CDs his voice gets higher and higher (as well as more and more hyper), except for dramatic scenes where it drops back to its normal tone.
Canada's voice got less inaudible as the series went on.
Greece's voice in the anime became considerably slower from his episode with France to his episodes with Japan, presumably to emphasize his Heavy Sleeper nature better.
We Are Struggling Together: Pretty much goes for any group ever, as all the countries seem to hate at least something about every other one, and it's hard to find even a single pair that don't bicker at some point.
What Could Have Been: Many of the characters were originally quite different than how they were eventually portrayed.
Italy was initially intended to be a guy with perpetual bad luck and not as as much of a ditz and a crybaby as he ended up. His Idiot Hair was also added on at the last minute to make him look more interesting.
Germany was originally imagined to be much scarier, but he had become a more sympathetic character by the time Himaruya started the comic.
China was going to be middle-aged and have short hair and glasses.
America was supposed to have been more handsome and smarter. Himaruya has stated that the original version would not have worked out that well.
England was going to be an older man who constantly tried to look/act younger than he was. He originally had normal eyebrows as well.
France was also supposed to be middle-aged, had shorter hair, and wasn't as pretty. He actually appeared this way in the very first comics Himaruya drew.
Russia was originally going to be a crybaby whose personality changed completely when he got drunk.
Hungary was first envisioned as a cross-dressing male and Poland was going to be a girl. Himaruya swapped them.
Switzerland was imagined to be a girl similar to Heidi. Himaruya changed his mind after seeing a Swiss man going grocery shopping with a rifle strapped to his back.
Early sketches of Seychelles showed her with one normal eyebrow and one large eyebrow.
Early concept art of Korea had the character as a female.
In the 2011 Christmas event, one comic featured a discarded character design for Luxembourg.
In the dub, Todd Haberkorn was originally cast as Britain, but the role of Italy ended up having to be recast.
Apparently, the recasting of Italy ended up delaying the dub for a while because they couldn't decide between Todd Haberkorn and Vic Mignogna.
Wine Is Classy: France has had a few wine drinking scenes in the anime, and is often seen with a wine glass in the manga artwork.
Woobie Conqueror of Worlds: Russia, by insisting that "all will become one with Russia". This trope is also played straight with him during the Bloody Sunday strip, in which hesnaps and starts to mow down his own people on the grounds that "they're not really Russians if they don't love me".
The World Cup: The author grabbed the opportunity to draw some funny strips and cute chibis playing football. Fandom grabbed the opportunity to revel in the (perceived) UST.
Written-In Absence: In the Drama CD titled Prologue, America is assigning Power Ranger colors to the five main allies. He says China will be green, but he's not there because he's busy taking care of his panda. China did not have a voice actor until later.
Latvia shows signs of this as well, likely because of Russia.
Belarus: she is obsessed with her older brother, is often represented with a knife, and shares Russia's penchant to abuse people who show care for her - especially Lithuania... Heck, Belarus is soYanderiffic that Russia is scared of her!
Spain was supposed to be one according to Word Of God. It was alluded to in the 2011 April Fool's event, but otherwise hasn't come up.