Western Animation / Trollhunters

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For the glory of Merlin, Daylight is Theirs to command!

Trollhunters is an American computer-animated television series created for Netflix by Guillermo del Toro, produced by DreamWorks Animation and Cha Cha Cha Films. The first two episodes of the series premiered on October 8, 2016, at the New York Comic Con. It was released worldwide on Netflix on December 23, 2016.

In a world that is seemingly mundane and normal, there exists something deeper beneath the surface, and in some respects, even right beneath our very noses...

Arcadia is a peaceful Californian city, where the day to day life is what most would expect it to be: work for the adults, school for the kids, and all of the trappings thereof. James "Jim" Lake Jr. is a 15 year-old young man who lives his days as such, looking out for his hardworking doctor of a mom, and his best friend/neighbor who lives across the street, Tobias "Toby/Tobes" Domzalski. High school life is the most exciting thing he's ever known, and its daily affairs and his pining for one Claire Nuñez aside, he not-so-secretly yearns for more. More to life, more adventure, more excitement. Just something more.

Little does he know that he's about to get that wish granted and then some, when he and his friend take a short cut to school and unknowingly happen upon the remains of a petrified and shattered Troll by a quarry bridge. Drawn to a peculiar amulet by a mysterious voice, young Jim takes his first step into obtaining that "something more" that he seeks, as well as the first step to saving the fate of two worlds from utter darkness, destruction, and devastation...

Along with the announcement of the second season, an entire trilogy of shows dubbed Tales of Arcadia was announced, with Trollhunters to be followed up with 3 Below and Wizards. Dark Horse Comics released a Graphic Novel spinoff set within the series titled Trollhunters: The Secret History of Trollkind.

Despite the timing, it has nothing to do with the 2016 DreamWorks film Trolls.

Tropes in this series include:

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  • Action-Hogging Opening: It shows Jim and the rest of the team rushing into action, against an inexplicably kaiju-sized Bular in Part 1 and a giant-sized Gunmar in Part 2.
  • Adapted Out: Jim's father, distant due to his brother Jack having been taken by Trolls as a kid, was around in the book but is a Disappeared Dad in the show for entirely unrelated reasons, presumably removing Uncle Jack from the show as well.
  • Adult Fear: Ever since Jim's Trollhunting activities began, he has shown many changes that concern his mother, including, but not limited to: lying about his whereabouts and activities, coming home late at night, breaking into a museum, arguing with and talking back to her, etc. All too real fears, fantastical explanations aside.
    • During his Trollhunter career, Kanjigar had to distance himself from his son, Draal, to protect him. And then Draal loses an arm while trying to help Jim in episode 13.
  • Affectionate Nickname:
    • Strickler likes to call Jim "Young Atlas," referring to his need to "carry the weight of the world on [his] shoulders."
    • Toby's nana calls her grandson Toby Pie, which Claire later shortens to TP.
  • Alien Lunch: Inverted. While Trolls are capable of eating human food (even liking Toby’s tacos when they try them), it is clear that they much prefer either live meat or glass, plastics and metals. It is implied that troll taste-buds are incompatible to human cuisine when Blinky falls in love with human food after he becomes human and confirmed when his usually delicious steaks become far less appetizing to Jim than the silverware and cooking appliances after he turns into a troll.
  • All Trolls Are Different: The Trolls in the series are the most common breed of magical creature present in the series. They come in various shapes and sizes throughout the series, commonly seen for their underbite, excessive body-hair, horns and large noses. Should they touch sun-light, their bodies turn to stone (with a few exceptions like the half-breed Changelings, and the flying Stalkling).
  • Almost Kiss: Jim and Claire almost kiss numerous times, but they always get interrupted, be it by threatening trolls like Fake-King Blungo or Claire realizing why Angor took her bag when he attacked them.
  • Amazon Brigade: Apart from their king, the Wumpa Tribe are all female.
  • Ambiguously Trained: Barbara Lake knows Krav Maga, an aggression-based martial art that is commonly practiced by military personnel. Since the only visual instance of her ex-husband - James Lake Sr. - is a photograph of him in an army-green mess dress tuxedo with medals pinned to it, it is likely that she served some form of military service just like he did, or at least worked as a military M.D. at one point in her life.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Draal loses his right arm removing the Amulet from the Killahead Bridge, turning it to stone. He later replaces it with a mechanical prosthetic.
  • Ancient Artifact: Many can be found within the Troll world.
    • Only the Chosen May Wield the Amulet of Daylight (alternatively known as the Amulet of Merlin). Those who are chosen are granted the title of "Trollhunter", and are thus trained into the role of Troll-kind's protector. It magically conjures a suit of armor and a sword made of pure daylight. Should one add magic gems to it, it allows a variety of new weapons and abilities to be used by the wielder, including boomerang daggers, a shield and so on.
    • The Soothscryer is a magical statue that judges a Trollhunter's true spirit. Said Trollhunter must place their hand in its mouth. Those who are worthy get their hand back. It also acts as a conduit to the Void where fallen Trollhunters dwell.
    • The Grit-Shaka is a magical Gumm-Gumm totem that can make the wearer fearless at the cost of their common sense.
    • The Inferna Copula is a ring that houses Angor Rot's soul. Should another wear the ring, Angor's will is forced under the control of the one who wields it.
    • The Skathe-Hrün is a powerful staff wielded by Angor Rot (now in the hands of Claire) and is able to conjure portals out of darkness.
    • Gunmar's sword, the Decimaar Blade, can enslave the wills of others, compelling them to follow Gunmar's orders and even speak and see through their bodies.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: Angor Rot's golems can only be defeated by destroying the doll encased in their bodies. Otherwise, they heal all other damage.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Toby contains a gravity altering curse in a war hammer hoping to make it his weapon of choice, but in battle, he tends to have more than a few problems properly using a weapon that will randomly become so light it will float away with him or so heavy he can't move it.
  • Bad to the Last Drop: In "A Night Patroll", Blinky tries and fails to brew Jim coffee, having to used an old sock as a filter.
  • Bait-and-Switch Boss: The Fake-King Blungo shows up, sticks around just long enough to shake Toby for a bit, before quickly and unceremoniously getting petrified by Angor Rot's poisoned dagger. He takes over as the main threat for the remainder of the episode.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: While there are various trolls that wear clothes and do in fact have "gronknuks" (Rule #3 being to hit them for a tactical advantage), some trolls like the Wumpa Tribe, AAARRRGGHH!!! and his entire breed of trolls go without clothes, with no primary sexual characteristics visible.
  • Bastard Understudy: Steve fits this description during the first half of Season One under the literal definition of the term.
  • Beast and Beauty: As is becoming customary with Guillermo del Toro, Strickler (who does admittedly spend most of his time in his human disguise) falls deeply in love with Barbara Lake.
  • Beneath the Earth: As stone-based beings, the world of the Trolls exist in vast caverns beneath the Earth.
  • Bioluminescence Is Cool: Certain Trolls possess this ability, though it's unclear if it's really biological or just some kind of tattoo.
  • Bifurcated Weapon: An upgrade to the Amulet gives Jim a pair of daggers that can be combined into a Battle Boomerang.
  • Big Bad: Gunmar drives the plot, with both the Janus Order and Bular taking orders from him and working to free him and aid him in different seasons.
    • Big Bad Ensemble: For the majority of season 3, it's Gunmar, Angor Rot, Ursurna and Morgana.
  • Big Brother Bully: Dictatious' interrogation methods on Blinky come across as this.
  • The Big Damn Kiss:
    • After much buildup and several interrupted attempts, Jim and Claire finally share one in Homecoming, backed by a beautiful sunrise and swelling music. This naturally leads to a Relationship Upgrade.
    • There’s one between Toby and Darci in “Arcadia’s Most Wanted” after he receives a Medal of Honor for helping catch thieves.
  • Big Good: Merlin, who crafted the Amulet of Daylight and who can still act to provide guidance to young Trollhunters.
  • Birthday Hater: While Jim will be polite and accept his birthday celebration, his father left the family on Jim's fifth birthday, creating a bias against them.
  • Bittersweet Ending:
    • In the season one finale — Trollmarket is saved, Angor Rot is killed, and Strickler has become an ally. However, AAARRRGGHH!!! was killed protecting Toby and Jim decides to go into the Darklands alone to find Enrique, fearing the loss of another friend.
    • In the season two finale — AAARRRGGHH!!! has been resurrected, Enrique has been returned to his family, Blinky has become the new leader of the Trolls, most of the Trolls from Trollmarket are saved from becoming mindless slaves to Gunmar, and the Trollhunters have found new allies in Steve and Eli as well as Nomura and Strickler returning to offer their aid. However, Vendal is dead. Gunmar is back with an army, consisting of brainwashed Trolls like Draal; Morgante has seemingly returned with the intent of resurrecting Angor Rot. And even worse? Claire is bound to Morgante.
    • In the series finale, Gunmar and his army have been killed after centuries of causing conflict and Morgana has been banished to the Shadow Realm, the supposedly only means of entering and leaving it (the Skathe-Hrün) destroyed. While the existence of trolls has been revealed to the humans of Arcadia, Janet’s reaction to the good trolls implies that the future regarding this will be bright, or at least not ending in disaster. With that said, Jim is still trapped in his troll-form with no hope of turning back, forcing him to abandon his human life - including his mother and his best friend - to go with Merlin and the rest of the trolls to set up a new Trollmarket in New Jersey now that the old Heartstone has been destroyed. He is unable to remove his armor and will have to fight for the rest of his life until he inevitably falls in battle. Strickler and Nomura now have no hope of regaining their human lives since their familiars are now out of the Darklands, many of said familiars left with no families to return to since many of them have been there for literal centuries. On a more positive note, Claire goes with Jim and the trolls on their journey to New Jersey in addition to both telling Toby that they'll see him again and AAARRRGGHH!! staying in Arcadia to keep Toby company.
  • Black Comedy: The show uses a lot of this.
    • The Trolls eat cats, and are rather unapologetic about the fact that some of them may be pets.
    • When Blinky is explaining Jim's duties as a Troll Hunter, he often brings up the possibility of dying, in pretty big detail.
    • The first appearance of the goblins has their leader getting squashed by a truck. His body is shown like cartoon roadkill (flat, with arms and legs sticking out and a tire mark across the center)
    • In the middle of "Blinky's Day Out", after Claire "rescues" NotEnrique from Jim's fridge and the gang leaves his home, she looks around to make sure no one's looking before chucking her, at the moment, human-looking, "brother" like a sack of potatoes into the grass. It makes perfect sense in context for why she would do this to the hard-headed Changeling masquerading as her baby brother and it is a pretty funny moment, but still.
  • Blessed with Suck: Having been chosen by the Amulet, Jim is forced to be the Trolls' champion at everything (even at the most menial of tasks), especially since dark forces of every shape and size want the Amulet for themselves. Being the first human Trollhunter doesn't exactly warrant much confidence in the people he is sworn to protect either. Even worse, he just can't get rid of it, since the Amulet refuses to be thrown away until he is dead (unless it is stolen, in which case he has to get it back the old fashioned way).
  • Blinded by the Light: Blinky manages to permanently blind Dictatious using his flare.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Surprisingly dark for a kids show, and for that matter, ridiculously violent. Quite a host of characters are Killed Off for Real and not in the most family friendly ways. However, for every character Taken for Granite, Eaten Off-Screen, Impaled, and made victim of the Antemonstrum, not a drop of human blood is spilled the entire series.
    • Subverted with Goblins, which end up nothing but green blood stains when killed.
  • Blue Is Heroic: Jim, as a civilian and as the newest Trollhunter wears blue, and the Amulet he bears is blue. Averted with school bully Steve, who wears a blue polo. Also averted with the Changeling Mr. Strickler, who wears a blue turtleneck
  • Braces of Orthodontic Overkill: After injuring himself trying to help capture Otto (just barely being a few hours after being free of his braces), Toby is forced to wear braces even worse than before. It later becomes a plot point when they start picking up radio signals, giving them a clue in locating the Janus Order.
  • Break His Heart to Save Him: As a Trollhunter, Kanjigar was deliberately distant with his son Draal as a means to keep him safe. Kanjigar is quick to berate Jim for instead keeping people close to him and putting them in danger, particularly his son Draal, who lost his arm protecting Jim.
    • Over the course of the second half of the first Season, Kanjigar warms to the idea of a Trollhunter having companions to enough of a degree where he apologizes to Draal for pushing him away in the Season finale.
  • Broken Pedestal: Safe to say, seeing that his brother Dictatious was not only still alive, but a Gumm-Gumm within Gunmar's confidence, does not do much for Blinky's admiration of him.
  • The Bully: Steve Palchuk. Pretty much his entire role is to be an amusingly hammy yet insecure thorn in our heroes' sides during their time at school.
  • Bully and Wimp Pairing: Steve and Eli end up becoming sorta friends after Steve realizes that Eli was right and that there really are monsters in Arcadia.
  • The Bus Came Back: It turns out that after Nomura was sucked through Killahead Bridge, Gunmar took out his frustrations in losing both Bular and the chance to escape on her, having locked her in a cell next to Jim's.
  • By the Lights of Their Eyes: Blinky is first introduced with his six eyes lighting up in the pitch black of Jim's basement.
  • By the Power of Grayskull!: The incantation needed to activate the Amulet's power. Occasionally, though not often, shortened or omitted altogether.
    —For the glory of Merlin, Daylight is mine to command!
    • The Season One finale has the Amulet, after being fitted with all of the Triumbric Stones, give Jim a new, more malicious sounding version, to go along with new, darker armor.
    —For the doom of Gunmar, Eclipse is mine to command!
  • Call a Human a "Meatbag": Trolls have a tendency to refer to humans as "fleshbags".
  • Came Back Wrong: After his resurrection, Aaarrrgghh!!! briefly goes into a blind fury before coming to his senses.
  • Catch a Falling Star: When Jim electrocutes the Stalkling, trying to carry him away, they both begin falling and Aaarrrgghh is able to make it just in time to save him from hitting the rock-hard pavement by catching him in his arms.
  • Chaos While They're Not Looking: In the episode "Recipe for Disaster", Jim and Strickler act cordial and enjoy their dinner. When Barbara leaves the room to tend to her apple pie, they both try to kill each other for the Amulet of Daylight. Jim conjures his armor, Strickler returns to his true form (for the first time in the series) and throws his knives, but when Barbara returns, they are both out of "combat mode" and are sitting at the dinner table. The second time she walks in Jim's got Strickler in a kind of headlock, so they pretend that they're looking for Strickler's contact lens.
  • The Chosen One: Jim Lake is the newest Trollhunter - the chosen protector of the Troll world via the Amulet of Merlin - as well as the very first human to become the Trollhunter.
  • The Chosen Wannabe: After Draal finds out that Jim took the mantle of trollhunter instead of him, he does everything in his power to humiliate Jim. When Jim grows a pair and challenges him for a rematch, due to troll-kind's Honor Before Reason culture, Draal uses this as an excuse to kill Jim in hopes of taking the amulet himself. It is not until Jim spares his life that he realizes Jim was the honorable one and decides to help him instead.
  • Cliffhanger: In the end of Season One, Aaarrrgghh was turned to stone and Jim adds the Eye of Gunmar to his gemstone collection. This conjures a black and dark gold armor with red highlights (as opposed to his much brighter looking usual black and silver armor with blue highlights) that he wears as he ventures into the Darklands, alone.
    "For the doom of Gunmar, Eclipse is mine to command!"
    The incantation that appears on the Amulet after possessing the Birth Stone, the Killing Stone and the Eye of Gunmar.
  • Clingy MacGuffin: The Amulet of Merlin is difficult to separate from the Trollhunter, and if the Trollhunter tries to discard it, it will simply teleport back to them. When it is stolen from Jim, he can still will it to escape from its captors and fly back to him when he needs it most, even from across town.
  • City of Adventure: Arcadia is shaping up to be one as it is revealed it doesn't just host an underground city of Trolls, but also aliens and wizards, too.
  • Combat Pragmatist: The three rules of the Trollhunter are all about this:
    • Rule #1: "Always be afraid."
      • Reason: Because fear heightens your awareness while arrogance gets you killed.
    • Rule #2: "Always finish the fight."
      • Reason: By killing your foe they can't seek revenge or cause further damage.
    • Rule #3: "Always kick them in the gronk-nuks." (basically troll-speak for genitals).
      • Reason: Reason should be obvious.
  • Companion Cube: Gnome Chompsky's "girlfriend" is an action figure that "lives" with him in Nana's dollhouse.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: Angor Rot's Golems. The first time one appears is the time Jim has the most trouble defeating it. The second time, the team is beset by three, each is defeated easier than the first. Finally, Angor Rot makes literally dozens to attack Trollmarket and many are felled with single strikes. Subverted, however, as each time the number of golems increases Jim has more and more allies with him (Claire, Blinkey, and Toby the second time and all of Trollmarket during the third) and Jim clearly becomes more and more capable of defeating them the more he learns about how to defeat them, such as the presence of their weak spot.
  • Convection Schmonvection: Gatto's digestive system contains magma, but as long as Blinky and Tobias don't fall into the magma, they're fine.
  • Cool Helmet: By the start of Season two, a Collapsible Helmet, complete with a visor, appears over Jim's head whenever an attack to his head is made. It also grants him immunity to the mind-controlling effects of Gunmar's sword.
  • Creepy Good: When Claire realizes that the statues in the Hero's Forge are essentially past Trollhunters' corpses, she states that it's the most heroic thing she has ever seen.
  • Crystal Landscape: Because Trolls live underground, the various caverns are filled with vast mountains of crystals, many of which are magical in nature.
  • Cutting the Knot: In KanjigAAARRRGGHH!!!, since there is no gyre-station to where the Killahead Bridge is kept, Kanjigar forces the gyre through the roof of the tunnel right where the bridge was.
  • Dangerous 16th Birthday: In "Bittersweet Sixteen", Jim is attacked by a Stalkling immune to sunlight, gets struck by lightning and almost dies by falling from the sky.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Aaarrrgghh!!! was once a Gumm-Gumm before defecting. He became The Atoner to make up for his past.
  • Daywalking Vampire: Some trolls, like Stalklings and changelings, can withstand sunlight. One past Trollhunter had a gem that made him this when it was inserted into the Amulet.
  • Dead Guy on Display: Reverence. In the Hero's Forge, the corpses of past Trollhunters, having turned to stone in death, are reassembled and placed on pedestals.
  • Deadly Training Area: The Hero's Forge.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: After Jim defeats Draal in combat but refuses to kill him, Draal becomes disgraced and unable to show his face in Trollmarket (up until the second half of the season). He decides to live with Jim as his bodyguard instead, and the two form a friendship.
  • Degraded Boss: Angor Rot's Golems, the first to appear are monsters of the week, for the end of the season they are treated as regular Mooks.
  • Delayed Reaction: This little bit…
    Jim: [Chompsky hands Jim a rock to throw.] Oh, thank you. Chompsky!
  • Deus ex Machina: Merlin creates the cradlestone; a crystal that allows Gnome Chompsky and NotEnrique to rescue the dozens, if not hundreds, of babies still left in the Darklands. No word on what they are going to do with them now, though.
  • Disappeared Dad: A different case from most, as 1) Jim's dad being gone has nothing to do with the plot, it just gets mentioned a few times, 2) They know exactly why he left (to run off with a girlfriend), and 3) Jim has long since gotten over his dad's disappearance, at least for the most part. He does at one point pretend to actively care as a way to keep his double life a secret from his mom.
  • Doppelgänger: Changelings are able to take the form of their familiar (humans they kidnap and hold captive) as a means of espionage.
  • The Dreaded: Most Gumm-Gumms.
    • Gunmar the Black emerged from a corrupted Heartstone and terrorized so much of the world that it took whole armies to do barely any damage and an exceptionally strong Trollhunter to banish him. Even the other Trollhunters in the void believe him to be unkillable.
    • Changelings are so feared and hated that word of them escaping to Trollmarket would have led to mass panic.
    • Bular is infamous for being Gunmar's son, and is considered a threat to all of Troll-kind.
    • Angor Rot was so powerful that it took all of Trollmarket to face him and his magic. Plus, he built a reputation for killing seasoned Trollhunters.
  • Dub Name Change: In some versions, Claire is called Clara. Enrique's name is often changed to its regional equivalent, such as Erik in German and Henrik in Swedish.
  • Education Mama: Claire's parents might be this, though the only indicator is their suggesting that she drop out of the school play after getting a "B" on a class assignment.
  • Egg Sitting: In "Just Add Water", our heroes have to parent sacks of flour for school.
  • Eldritch Location:
    • The Darklands is an alternate dimension where Gunmar and his Gumm-Gumm army were imprisoned. The world is devoid of a sun and plant life, with many monsters lurking. Gravity operates differently too, people walking along bridges with no regard of up or down.
    • The Deep is a cavern within Trollmarket where criminals who commit the worst of crimes are banished to. Nobody is sure what lurks within, but no troll has ever returned from it. When Jim is banished there, he was faced with a vicious troll-version of himself wearing the Eclipse Armor until he manages to defeat it.
  • Enemy Without: After Jim is plunged into the Deep in Season 2 Episode 12, he faces a dark doppelgänger of himself with Hellish Pupils, fangs, dark grey skin, and the black-and-red Eclipse Armor and Sword of Eclipse. What this entity is and how Jim beats it are unknown, as at the beginning of Season 2 Episode 13 he's shown scaling out of the Deep.
  • Equipment Upgrade: By the beginning of Season 2, Blinky took the time to alter Toby's hammer, making it collapsable and more portable.
  • Establishing Character Moment:
    • Jim's first appearance shows the busy Morning Routine of a homemaker. Waking up at 6, he dashes around the house cleaning stains, changing light bulbs, expertly cooking breakfast and caring for his mother, packing lunches... and ends up being Late for School.
    • In his first official appearance, Gunmar executes one of his own troops by using his magic sword to force him to commit suicide via falling into the abyss. Why? Because Jim momentarily slipped out of his restraints.
  • Everyone Can See It: Blinky and Toby at least can tell that there's something going on between Jim and Claire. In fact, one of the first things in the show is Mr. Strickler encouraging Jim to speak with Claire instead of just fawning over her from a distance. Later, Blinky confirms - after listening to gossip in the school library - that the entire school knows and they all think Jim is wussing out by not asking her to the dance.
  • Evil All Along: Turns out Blinky's brother Dictatious was not as dead as his brother Blinky thought. He was simply Gunmar's willing servant trapped in the Darklands.
  • Evil Mentor: Downplayed. Strickler stands in as Jim’s trainer while Blinky is kept busy, trying to encourage him to fight more like a changeling.
  • Evolving Credits: The season 2 opening replaces Bular with Gunmar.
  • Expecting Someone Taller: Merlin's reaction when meeting Jim for the first time.
    Merlin: I expected much taller, and older. How old are you? Ten?
  • Extreme Omnivore: Trolls in general tend to have peculiar eating habits; while some, especially Changelings like Strickler, seem fine eating ordinary human food, others will casually chow on grilled maggots, VHS tapes, empty soda cans, and cat litter.
  • Eye Am Watching You: Jim does this to Strickler in "Roaming Fees May Apply", and Strickler responds with a nasty glare.
  • Facepalm: Toby’s reaction to Jim making a spectacle of himself under the influence of the Grit-Shaka.
    Jim: (over the school PA system) Hey everybody, Jimmy Lake here! Just a quick reminder for everybody to keep it crispy! Also, I've taught myself bass guitar in the band room. This one goes out to my Juliet. ♪ When our lips meet, fireworks...
    Toby: [sighs and facepalms]
  • Fearless Fool: The Grit-Shaka effectively turns Jim into this, as he acts without regard to any consequences and even ends up challenging Bular alone.
  • Feminine Women Can Cook: Of the counterpoint variety. Jim's mom is a career oriented doctor, and is an absolutely dreadful cook.
  • Fighting Your Friend:
    • In hopes of breaking Jim's will, Gunmar has him fight Nomura to the death. Seeing no other options for either of them, Nomura goes along with it.
    • Later, he possesses Draal and forces Jim to fight him as well.
  • Filk Song: "By Deya's Grace" and "Trollhunter's Serenade" by Jayhan
  • First-Episode Spoiler: Mr. Strickler, the seemingly nice and attentive history teacher, is revealed to be working with the Gumm-Gumms.
  • First Kiss: It is not until "Homecoming," after escaping the Darklands and 31 episodes in, that Jim and Claire kiss for the first time.
  • Flat-Earth Atheist: Despite all evidence to the contrary, Usurna does not believe Morgana exists, let alone that she is sending Dictatious visions. Granted she was right about the second thing, but still.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • When Jim makes his first appearance in episode 1, he is seen sleeping with a Vespa magazine on his face, showing he has an interest in them. In "Bittersweet Sixteen", he is finally able to own one thanks to Blinky finding all of the required parts.
    • During the fight between Nomura and Draal in "Win, Lose, or Draal", she manages to cut him on his right arm. Draal would lose this arm trying to stop Gunmar from coming through.
    • In "Hero With a Thousand Faces", Jim has to subdue his own aggressive clone. Before disappearing into the amulet, the clone warns Jim that someday soon he will find himself unable to balance both worlds and be forced to choose. This dilemma becomes vital in the final season, as Jim is transformed into a half-troll and must abandon his life as a human.
  • Fountain of Youth: Whatever the goblins are feeding the babies in the Darkland nursery, it has been keeping them in their infantile state for years.
  • Freudian Excuse: During the Touch-A-Truck-athon, Steve gives Jim one in an attempt to lower his guard. It works, and though Steve taunts Jim over "falling" for it, the show actually paints everything he said to be pretty accurate.
  • Gadget Watches: The Amulet of Merlin used by the Trollhunters resembles a pocket watch, with the various clockwork dials in it turning when the Amulet is activated.
  • Gaining the Will to Kill: Part of Jim's early development is him learning how to kill, after openly defying the Trollhunter's second rule ("Always finish the fight.") by refusing to kill his first two opponents.
  • Genius Loci: Gatto is a Mountain-size Troll akin to a living volcano, his stomach acting as the vault to vast, magical treasures like the Birth Stone.
  • Good Weapon, Evil Weapon:
  • Gorgeous Gorgon: Jim's transformation into a troll-human hybrid leaves him looking quite handsome, although he has some trouble adjusting to the change.
    Jim: I'm hideous!
    Claire: You're really not.
  • Greater-Scope Villain:
    • Gunmar the Black. The big bad Troll King of the Gumm-Gumms and master to nearly every Big Bad in the series. He takes over as the Big Bad in Season 2.
    • Argante/Morgana, an eldritch witch of some kind, is, potentially, another. Other than a somewhat random appearance at the beginning of an episode that explain Angor Rot's past, not much about her is known. And yet, her sinister presence wafts throughout the first Season's second half through Angor Rot, a presence that has long-standing implications. In the second season the reveal that she has been manipulating the Janus order, and has taken control of Claire strongly increases her chances of fulfilling this role.
    • The Order of Janus/Janus Order, an umbrella Order for all Changelings and their affairs, could also qualify as a third — though they are subservient to Gumanr.
  • Groin Attack: Rule Number 3 NEVER fails, as no Troll seems to have the foresight to guard their loins.
  • Hard Light: The armor and sword conjured by the Amulet are made of condensed daylight, making them especially effective against Trolls.
  • Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: For some reason, Jim's Trollhunter armor lacks a helmet. This is particularly jarring as all his predecessors are depicted with helmets. Averted when a helmet appears to protect him from potential head injuries in season two.
  • Heroic R.R.O.D.: Overuse of her staff physically and emotionally exhausts Claire, she and NotEnrique almost drowning trying to get all of the pieces of the bridge. When Claire uses the staff to teleport the refuge trolls out of the conquered Trollmarket, the dark magic within corrupts her visibly, and gives her nightmares about becoming a servant to Argante.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Aaarrrgghh protecting Toby from Angor Rot's Creeper Sun knife, getting turned into stone in the process. This comes off as even more of gut-puncher, because Aaarrrgghh was already suffering from an ever growing wound made by a nick from said knife earlier. His days were already numbered, but everyone, cast and audience alike, assumed that there'd be more time for him, only for that bit of "security" to get yanked away. This sacrifice is also the catalyst that convinces Jim to head to the Darklands alone.
    • While Jim was hellbent on taking Nomura with him out of the Darklands, Nomura offers herself to hold off the Gumm-Gumms for them while they escaped. They were later able to pick her up on the gyre and escape, voiding the "sacrifice" part in the process.
    • In "The Oath", not long after returning to normal, Draal confronts Angor Rot and sacrifices himself by being turned into stone via Angor's sword.
  • High-School Dance: The Spring Fling, complete with awkward attempts to get dates. Ends up being subverted, as Jim and Claire decide to skip the dance.
  • Home-Early Surprise: This happens a couple times, but most notably when Jim's mother says she probably has to take a weekend shift at the hospital, so Jim, Draal, and Strickler booby-trap the house in preparation to bring the fight with Angor Rot there. However, the shift becomes unnecessary so she comes back without warning, and Hilarity Ensues as she almost gets hit by an axe, sprays Draal with mace and knocks him unconscious under a bookcase, and chugs an entire pitcher of water before finally learning Jim's secret.
  • Humanity Ensues: Blinky experiences this temporarily.
  • Humanoid Abomination: Argante. Also known as "Lady Pale, Baba Yaga and Eldritch Queen". A mysterious, female eldritch entity on an island in the Black Sea who bestows great magical power onto Angor Rot, but only after imprisoning his soul in the Inferna Copula and declaring that he shall bring death to "Merlin's Champions" (Trollhunters). Her true identity is Morgana from Arthurian mythology.
  • Hunter of His Own Kind: Not Jim of course, but his predecessors most definitely.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Due to all the past Trollhunters being Trolls, though Blinky clarifies that they would only hunt evil Trolls while protecting the good.

    I-Q 
  • I Can't Dance: After being called a wuss for not asking Claire to the school dance in “The Crushed King”, Jim protests that he can’t dance. Blinky convinces him to get on the floor anyway.
    Blinky: In six hundred years I have seen many human dances, and I’ve noticed one thing has always remained consistent.
    Jim: Yeah?
    Blinky: It’s the females of your species that dance. Males merely move and sway.
  • Improvised Golems: One made by dirt and grass, couple of broken glass ones. and a army of crystal shards for the finale.
  • Improvised Lockpick: Gnome Chompsky is used to unlock Claire and Toby's cell in "Homecoming."
  • Indulgent Fantasy Segue: In "Airheads", Jim is taking part in the Spring Fling Touch-A-Truck-athon, where he has to keep his hand on a truck. During the contest, Mr. Strickler wanders by and mocks Jim about losing the Killing Stone to Angor Rot and how he is more or less dating his mother. As Strickler laughs, Jim takes his hand off of the car and punches Strickler in the face, knocking him out in front of everyone, with cued gasps of shock and also amusement abound. It then cuts back to the contest, with the punch (and the subsequent reactions) having been a thought in Jim's head.
  • Instant Armor:
    • The Amulet of Merlin allows the Trollhunter to summon armor made of solid, silvery, metallic daylight - complete with the Sword of Daylight - onto their bodies instantaneously.
    • At the end of Season 1, Jim installs the Triumbric Stones in order to turn the Amulet of Merlin into the Amulet of Eclipse, manifesting the black-and-red Eclipse Armor and Sword of Eclipse.
  • Invasion of the Baby Snatchers: Changelings were once Trolls who were stolen at a very young age by the Gumm-Gumms and experimented on, turning them into "impure" species of Trolls that can walk in daylight and disguise themselves as humans. They would then kidnap humans (especially babies) and keep them as "familiars" in the Darklands, using their appearance to blend in with the human world.
  • It Only Works Once: The Kairosect is an artifact that allows its user to step outside of time, and while it actually only works three times, Blinky wastes the first two uses demonstrating it.
  • I Will Find You: Once she realizes her brother has been kidnapped, Claire is determined to rescue him no matter the cost.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: Averted in "Grand Theft Otto." With everyone tied to chairs, Otto playing classical music on a record player and a table with tools on it, Toby thought he was planning on torturing them. Instead, Otto uses a wrench to undo Toby's headgear so they won't be able to listen in on them.
  • Killed Offscreen: Season 2 Episode 13 reveals that this was the fate of the Janus Order members, as when Jim and the others return they find the place in ruins and littered with changeling bones.
  • Large and in Charge: Bular towers over all of his subordinates.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: The promotional image above spoils that the Staff of Shadows Angor Rot wields eventually ends up in Claire's hands, as well as the fact that Toby will eventually acquire a war hammer.
  • Legacy Character: For as long as can be known, since the times of Merlin himself, there has always been a Trollhunter.
  • Leitmotif: Edvard Grieg's In the Hall of the Mountain King for Ms. Nomura. Her first battle with Jim has the original orchestral score playing, and she whistles the tune whenever she stalks him as a scare tactic.
  • Lethal Chef: In contrast to her son's expert cooking abilities, Barbara is a terrible cook.
  • Lethal Lava Land: Gatto's Keep.
  • Licking the Blade: Angor Rot does this at one point.
  • Lighter and Softer: When compared to the Long List of Missing Kids on Milk Cartons, Body Horror and impoverish slums in the underworld present in the novel, the animated series is an Action-Adventure Sugar Bowl by comparison. For visual examples, compare the character design to that seen in the illustrations in the book.
  • Light Is Good: The Amulet conjures armor and a sword made of pure daylight.
    For the glory of Merlin, Daylight is mine to command!
  • Limited Wardrobe: The characters only change out of their signature outfits for plot reasons, such as gym class or a school play. Lampshaded in one episode:
    Toby: Jim! Is this what you're wearing?
    Jim: I wear this every day, Tobes. What else would I be wearing?
  • Literal Metaphor: Claire reads the letter Jim leaves her when he thought he was going to die from his battle with Draal and thinks that the "monsters" and "world-ending" he mentions were all just elaborate metaphors. He goes along with it not to sound crazy. She eventually realizes that he meant it literally.
  • Logo Joke: The Amulet of Merlin opens into the crescent moon, Jim steps out of the crescent where the fishing boy would go and holds his sword high.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Played for Laughs when the gang meets Merlin.
    Jim: How'd you know we were gonna come looking for you? I mean your staff?
    Merlin: Because, Jim, I am your father.
    (Everyone gasps)
    Merlin: Kidding.
  • Magitek: The Amulet of Merlin gives this impression, as it is definitely magical but bears a striking resemblance to a pocket watch, complete with moving parts.
  • The Magnificent: Every past Trollhunter bears an epithet based on their biggest feat or characteristic, such as Deya the Deliverer, Kanjigar the Courageous and Maddrux the Many. Gunmar is known as Gunmar the Black.
  • The Main Characters Do Everything: The Trollhunter’s job is to “heed the call”, which apparently means that it is Jim’s job to do everything troll society demands of him, including taking care of one troll’s gnome infestation. Blinky justifies the troll’s request by suggesting that it would make a good first lesson for Jim.
  • Man of Kryptonite:
    • The Trollhunter wields daylight as a weapon, making him or her this to most trolls.
    • The Eclipse sword and armor makes the wielder this to Gunmar.
  • The Mole: In Season Three, AAARRRGGHH!!! volunteers to pretend to be a Gumm-Gumm as a spy in trollmarket.
  • Monstrous Cannibalism:
    • Gatto, the leader of the Volcanic Trolls, frequently eats his minions "by accident" when they bring him food, and tries to eat the main party twice.
    • It's implied that Gunmar and the other Gumm-Gumms ate the Changelings of the Janus Organization after deciding they were no longer useful, since all that's left of them when Jim and co. return is bones.
  • Mistaken for Cheating: When Toby's headgear starts picking up radio signals and Claire leans in to check it out, she starts jamming to a rock song just in time for Darci to walk in and take things the wrong way.
    Darci: What? This is why you're too busy for me, Toby? Because you're getting busy with Claire's... ear?
  • Mugshot Montage: After being arrested at the end of "Waka Chaka", the following episode "Win, Lose or Draal" starts with Jim and Toby having their mugshots taken. Toby starts, finding the photographing segment amusing and does various posses for the camera. Even when it is Jim's turn, he takes the time to photobomb it before Barbara comes to pick them up.
  • Mystical Plague: Claire contracted a nasty cold - coughing, sneezing, nausea, Exhausted Eye Bags and all - from overuse of her staff from the Season Two finally. While it seems like she has gotten better by "So I'm Dating a Sorceress", only for her to be possessed by Morgana entirely.
  • Nebulous Evil Organisation: The Order of Janus/Janus Order.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: After Jim and Strickler manage to capture Angor Rot in the same magical net he trapped Jim in a previous episode, Barbara accidentally frees him after hitting him with a shovel, thinking that she was helping. She apologizes for this later on.
  • The Night That Never Ends: In Season Three, it is revealed that Gunmar's plan is to free Morgana, who would then create a permanent solar eclipse called "The Eternal Night", giving the gumm-gumms free reign over the surface world permanently.
  • No Man of Woman Born: Invoked in "A Night To Remember"…
    Angor: The weak human thinks she has the will to power the Skathe-Hrün… [a] staff of such power is not meant to be wielded by man!
    Claire: I am not a man!
  • No Time to Explain: Kanjigar's explanation for why he cannot simply tell Vendel the situation and save themselves a hurricane of trouble.
  • Noble Demon: Despite having no reason to do so, Otto actually does give the gang the recipe for the antidote, honoring the agreement.
  • Not Evil, Just Misunderstood: Nomura first heard Hall of the Mountain King when she was very young and found the story within the opera Peer Gynt inspirational, hence why she is always whistling it. She even takes to calling Jim "Little Gynt", after the main protagonist of that same opera.
    Nomura: I was just a young changeling when I first heard it… alone in your human world. But there, opening night, when the curtain rose and the orchestra swelled… Peer Gynt is a little boy who stumbles into a mountain of trolls. He faces a troll king, who tells him "To thyself be true… and who cares what the world thinks?"
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: In Season 2, Gunmar's purge of the Janus Order's Arcadia branch and Jim's escape from the Deep both happen offscreen.
  • One Size Fits All: The Trollhunter armor. The first time Jim summons it, it summons at the size it was for Kanjigar, but then quickly resizes to fit Jim better.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Both Blinky and Aaarrrgghh. The former's full name is Blinkous Galadrigal, and only Vendel ever calls him such, and the latter's is Aarghaumont, only referred to as such by the queen of Aaarrrgghh's species.
  • Our Gnomes Are Weirder: Gnomes are shown to have the traditional design (small physiology, white beard, red, pointy hat) but they are portrayed more as vermin. They do not speak English (outside the occasional muttered word that isn't interpreted as English by the cast) and possess all-spiked teeth that can eat through most matter like a shredder, and a sharp horn that their pointy caps conceal. They, however, do seem to possess some level of sentience, as primarily displayed by Gnome Chompsky.
  • Our Goblins Are Different: Goblins are herd-based, Gremlins-esque trouble makers from the Darklands. Should any of their kind die, even if the "culprit" didn't actually do it, the Goblins swarm them and issue payback on them "ten-fold." Luckily, they're dumb enough to blame the vehicle if one gets run over, and not the driver.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: With the glamour mask, Toby spends his nights posing as Jim while he is absent in the Darklands. He's super-clumsy, prone to nervous ranting and is a terrible cook, but Barbara buys it at least. He later tries doing this to retrieve Vendel's staff to trade with Otto, but his impression of Vendel is so awful he nearly blows his cover.
  • Parental Bonus: In one episode, Not Enrique comments that he's looking forward to a particular feeding. Given that he's posing as a baby, one can surmise why.
  • Parental Substitute: Blinky becomes one for Jim, most noticeable when he gets Jim what he always wanted for his birthday, specifically, a Vespa. Or at least, all the parts for one.
    Blinky: I thought perhaps one day, we could build it together.
    • And by the Season's second half, the two do just that.
    • Near the end of Season Three, Blinky tells Jim that he does indeed see him as a son, and a magnificent one at that.
  • Parents Know Their Children: Inverted when Blinky is first turned human and everyone seems to be leaning on him being a spy in Trollmarket, he does list things that should be enough evidence he's himself (information on Toby, Jim's dad, building the Vespa with Jim...), but Jim isn't convinced until Blinky starts lecturing him in a very parental way.
    Blinky: I do not appreciate your tone of voice, Master Jim. Is this the way you address an errant stranger in need? I expect more from you!
    Jim: ... Blinky?
  • Pet the Dog: As a favor, Nomura gives Jim cimmerian fruit, giving him an advantage against the Nyarlagroth.
  • The Poorly Chosen One: Unkar the Unfortunate, who was torn limb from limb on his first day as the Trollhunter.
  • Poorly Disguised Pilot: "In Good Hands" serves as this for 3 Below, the second installment of the Tales of Arcadia, which introduces the main characters Aja and Krel.
  • Portal Door: The Killahead Bridge.
  • Power Crystal: Trolls are able to harness the power found in magic crystals for a number of uses. The Trollhunters in particular are able to equip the gems into the Amulet and bestow unto themselves new weapons and abilities.
    Vendel: "You humans cut stones to unlock their beauty, but Trolls cut stones to unlock their power."
    • The Triumbric Stones are all crystals that originate from Gunmar in one form or another. When possessed by the Trollhunter, they give the wielder enough power to kill Gunmar himself.
      • The Birth Stone was a crystal that originated from the Heartstone that Gunmar was born from. Found in Gatto's Keep, the Birth Stone gives Jim a pair of daggers that can combine into a boomerang.
      • The Killstone was harvested from Gunmar's first kill, the Wumpa King, creating a shield for Jim.
      • The Eye of Gunmar was literally a stone harvested from Gunmar's right eye. Combined with the Birth Stone and Killing Stone, the Eye bestows Jim a black and gold armor with red highlights that could supposedly grant him the power to kill Gunmar. It is unknown what kind of power the Eye has on its own.
    • Jim was able to use a gem found within Angor Rot's right eye to counteract Angor's mark on him, allowing him to use the Sword of Daylight against him.
  • Power Glows: The Trollhunter's armor and Sword of Daylight, as well as the Amulet of Daylight, glow and shimmer with an ethereal blue aura. When all of the Triumbric Stones are added to the Amulet, it glows an ominous dark red aura instead, before a new incantation dons Jim with a dark gold and black version of his normal armor, complete with red highlights. His new sword also emanates that same eerie blood-red color.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: While she does not like Dictatious, Usurna finds it more practical if they work together, saving him from Gunmar's wrath when he loses his temper.
  • Prisoner Exchange: The change of the creeper's sun antidote for Vendel's staff plays out like this.
  • Protective Charm: In "A Night Patroll", Blinky placed protective charms on Clair's mother's campaign signs, making it so that Gumm-Gumm troll are forced off of the property to help the gang limit their movement only to reveal that a possessed Claire has been stealing them and hiding them under her bed.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: By the end of "Escape From The Darklands", Jim kept his promise and returned Enrique, but he is still trapped in the Darklands and has been captured by the Gumm-Gumms.

    R-Z 
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Jim's armor provides phenomenal protection, but it also hinders his agility and tends to weigh him down when he's trying to flee from very fast and dangerous threats.
    • Because of his Trollhunter duties, Jim's school and personal life begin to suffer. By "In Good Hands" he's under serious threat of having to repeat the year.
  • Real Men Cook: Since his mother, a doctor, has to work long hours at random, Jim is considered the homemaker. Because of this, he has cultivated and possesses marvelous cooking skills, effortlessly making meals for himself, his mother and Toby. He was even able to survive his first fight with Bular using his skills with a chef's knife.
  • Repeated Cue, Tardy Response: When Jim faces Gatto in "It's About Time" and gives him a riddle, the rest of the team are supposed to burst into the scene on his cue. They of course miss it the first time, and Jim's one-liner doesn't come off nearly as cool as planned.
    Jim: What do you call cheese that isn't yours?
    Gatto: Hmm, what do you call cheese that isn't yours... I've got it! Nacho cheese!
    Jim: And it's nacho day either! Now!
    [Utter silence]
    Jim: (sigh) I said... NOW!
  • Riddle Me This: When the heroes first meet Gatto, he presents them with a riddle and promises to let them into his keep if they solve it. He doesn't keep his word.

  • Ruleof Three:
  • Running Gag:
    • One involving a red troll that's always eavesdropping on other people's conversations. When asked to leave, he always shrugs his shoulders and replies, "Whatever."
    • Toby's phone being dropped, lost and smashed in various ways. By the end of Part Three, he's on his sixth phone.
    • Rule Number Three being mentioned, shouted, and carried out. Toby even uses "Rule Number Three'ing" as a verb. It's basically instinct to Jim and him at this point.
    • The phrase "keeping it crispy" and things being described as crispy. It started off as a Forced Meme by Jim and became a beloved in-joke with the characters as well as the fandom.
  • Saying Too Much: Blinky accidentally revealed the whereabouts of the bridge through select words, Dictatious smart enough to piece together that it is in a forest through context clues.
  • School Play: Jim and Claire play Romeo and Juliet respectively (with Steve Palchuk as Jim's understudy/replacement) in Arcadia Oaks High School's rendition of Romeo and Juliet. Said play is an undercurrent subplot of Season One's first half, and part of the resolution of that half's plot threads sees the completion of the play.
  • Science Cannot Comprehend Phlebotinum: In "A Night Patroll", despite her obvious illness, Barbara cannot seem to find a cause to Claire's magic-induced cold, chocking it up to stress from high school.
  • Sculpted Physique: Trolls make rock scraping sounds when they move, and their skin is as tough as stone. Despite this, they do seem to have internal organs and the like.
  • Sequel Hook / And the Adventure Continues: Given that the series is the first installment of the Tales of Arcadia series. Jim, Claire, Blinky, Nomura and the rest of the trolls go with Merlin on their journey to New Jersey, where they will set up a new Trollmarket there, now that the Heartstone has been destroyed, which likely sets up the third installment Wizards as 3 Below will be science-fiction focused with Aja and Krel as the main protagonists.
  • Shout-Out: In The Exorcism of Claire Nuñez, after finding out that Claire is possessed by Morgana, Jim calls Strickler for help. When he arrives at Claire's house, it's the dead of night with light from Claire's room illuminating the street in a scene reminiscent of The Exorcist.
  • Show Within a Show: Gun Robot. The title character's catchphrase "I am Gun Robot" is the ringtone on Jim's cellphone.
  • Snowball Lie: In order to not be replaced by Scaarbach as Gunmar's right hand, he fakes being a Blind Seer, claiming to be receiving visions from Morgana. Gunmar eventually grows tired of Dictatious's "visions", finding them rather unhelpful when he actually needs guidance, before being outed as a fraud and nearly killed if AAARRRGGHH!!! did not come in to save him.
  • The Soulless: When Angor Rot asks Argante for power in exchange for a piece of his flesh, Argante turns the piece of flesh into the Inferna Copula, which is then used to house Angor's soul. For centuries, the ring acts as a leash, with whoever wearing it being able to control him. Jim Lake manages to retrieve the cursed ring and after trying to steal the Killing Stone, a fight ensues that ends with Angor accidentally destroying the ring and his soul along with it.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: More on the idealistic end.
  • Spiritual Successor: To Transformers Prime.
    • The general setting for the human world is the same, the small, isolated bergs of Arcadia and Jasper, Nevada. The typical day to day plot will often revolve around Jim's exploits at high school while trying to keep his second life under wraps.
    • As far as characters, Jim fits the role of Jack, the chosen savior of another race of beings (Autobots/Trolls). Toby is Miko, the reckless and often show-offish best friend, and while Claire doesn't translate to any particular character, she does still resemble Miko in appearance. Barbara is basically June Darby to a tee (a nurse who is kept unaware of the goings on with the trolls), though her initial romance is with an enemy as opposed to the Autobots' other human ally. Blinky serves as a Ratchet-esque figure, while Aaarrrgghh is Bulkhead, and Draal could be seen as Arcee, The Lancer who has the most angst about the death of Kanjigar/Cliffjumper, who died in the pilot after only a brief appearance (and both were voiced by a celebrity actor who was replaced during the rest of the series). Strickler serves as Megatron, who has a personal enmity with The Hero but later has second thoughts, while Gunmar serves as the Greater-Scope Villain whose return is dreaded by heroes and villains alike.
    • Though the plot is very different, and Prime focused on the Autobot-Decepticon war with gradually less attention paid to the human world, so far, some arcs of Trollhunters line up with the elder series. A bridge portal is a key location in the finale of a major arc, Jim is asked to take on the burden of leadership when normally a human wouldn't do so, and the heroes are also trying to prevent the return of a Greater-Scope Villain (Unicron/Gunmar) on the wayside.
  • Spiteful Spit: A particularly gross example, as Jim takes advantage of a time stop effect to spit in Strickler's mouth when he's at the dentist.
  • Spoiler Opening: The opening spoils the fact that Jim's love interest Claire is going to join the team, despite the fact that she spends the first half of the first season clueless about Jim and Toby's adventures.
  • Spot the Imposter: When Vendel walks in on Toby (disguised as him) the guards have a hard time telling which is which, accidentally giving the real Vendel a chance to escape.
  • Stages of Monster Grief: What Jim goes through upon being transformed into a Half-Human Hybrid. First he tries to have a normal dinner with his mom, denying the fact that he can no longer enjoy human food. Reality then dawns on him and he runs off in a fit of rage. In the end, Jim is comforted by his friends and comes to terms with his situation.
  • Sword Beam: The Sword of Daylight shoots out a beam of pure daylight after Jim stabs Bular through the chest, turning most of his body to stone in the process.
  • Synchronous Episodes: "The Creepslayerz" shows what Steve and Eli were doing during "Just Add Water".
  • Taken for Granite:
    • The dead flesh of Trolls becomes inert rock. Those aren't statues of Trollhunters past surrounding the Hero's Forge, those are their reassembled corpses.
    • Angor Rot wields a dagger laced with Creeper's Sun, a poison that can turn anything it cuts into inert stone, Troll or otherwise. According to Vendel, there is no cure.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: Notably averted. Jim's enemies know full well that he's weak before he transforms and make a point of trying to interrupt the amulet's incantation. He's had to learn how to speak the incantation as quickly as possible, and more than once he's taken a hit mid-transformation, sometimes even knocking him out of it.
  • Tattoo Sharpie: Goblins, who all look alike, identify their leader by being the first one to pick up the last leader's permanent marker and draw on a moustache. The only way for the goblins to get a new leader is for the old one to die. It happens a lot: goblins are not very bright.
  • Teacher/Parent Romance: Mr. Strickler – who is not only Jim's teacher, but also his enemy – ends up falling for Barbara Lake. Doubles, without her knowledge, as an Interspecies Romance.
  • The Show of the Books: Based off the book of the same name by Guillermo del Toro and Daniel Kraus.
  • ¡Three Amigos!: Jim, Toby and Claire.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: At least, when you can magically will your sword to teleport back to your hand, throwing your sword is a less risky move. Does this less often once he gets a weapon that is actually designed to be thrown.
  • Time-Freeze Trolling Spree: In the episode "It's About Time", Blinky uses the Kairosect a second time to demonstrate what he had just done by re-positioning everyone and everything in the room. Later in the episode, Jim manages to use the Kairosect's limited time frame to save Claire from an incoming truck, fix his Spanish test, get Blinky away from the human public and back to Trollmarket, take care of Bagdwella's gnome problem, steal the Inferno Copula from Strickler (as well as loogie in his open mouth during his dental appointment) and get the Killstone before escaping an enraged Angor Rot.
  • Time Skip: Season two is set two weeks after "Something Rotten This Way Comes".
  • Toilet Humor: Trollhunters indulges in this whenever doing so catches its fancy. NotEnrique is one source, and Gatto the volcanic mountain Troll is another.
  • Totally Radical: Let's be honest, this happens pretty much whenever a bunch of a middle-aged guys write dialogue for teenage characters.
    Spill it C-Bomb, before Mare and I go KA-BOOM!
  • Transformation Trinket: The Amulet of Merlin, which automatically adjusts the Trollhunter armor to fit the wearer.
  • Translator Microbes: Normally written in Troll-language, the incantation etched in the Amulet translates itself into English for Jim. Later on, the light emitted translates Troll-language into English and vice versa whenever Jim needs it.
  • True Companions: The titular Trollhunters (note the plural; it is not a mistake), including Jim, Toby, Claire and their Troll friends Blinky, Aaarrrgghh, and Draal. Much ado is made about the fact that Jim has a crew to back him up throughout his endeavors, particularly by the spirits of Trollhunters' past who exclaim that a Trollhunter must be alone, and either bemoan that Jim will get his friends killed or that they will get Jim killed. Hiccups and setbacks aside, Jim would have never made it anywhere without the support of his crew, and he knows this fully. In the climaxes of both halves of Season One, he makes specific mention to the antagonists that he and his friends are all Trollhunters, in the collective.
    • Tragically, the first season finale, particularly the trauma and losses suffered up to that point and during it, cause Jim to rethink his stance on "Trollhunters." At the end of the episode, he sneaks off and makes his way to the Darklands alone, preventing his friends from following him in the process, a stark contrast to the finale of the first half of that Season where he cites Toby as the source of his gaining that "more" to life that he was looking for. This change in mindset is punctuated with Jim's new Eclipse armor, a dark gold and black version of his Daylight armor with blood-red highlights in place of blue (and a new Sword of Eclipse to match).
  • The Unmasqued World: By the end of Part 3, with Arcadia having been the epicenter of Gunmar and Morgana's plans and the citzenry having stepped up to aid the Trollhunters, the general populace now knows of the trolls and seem to accept them; presumably this will figure more into 3Below when that show debuts.
  • Unsportsmanlike Gloating: Since winning the Spring Fling (which was two weeks ago), Steve has since been wearing his crown and tormenting people with the staff everywhere he goes.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Unlike most changelings, Otto is able to shapeshifter into anybody at will. He credits this as a perk being higher up in the Janus Order's hierarchy.
  • Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World: Jim has to fulfill his sacred duty as Trollhunter while trying not to destroy his grades or get beaten up by bullies. Neither is easy.
  • Weapon Twirling: Jim is fond of giving his sword a twirl before striking. He also does this with his kitchen knife whenever he's preparing to make food or stab Strickler. Claire also does it once.
  • Weakened by the Light: Trolls are a magical, stone-based species that originates from deep within the Earth. Because of this, should most Trolls touch sunlight, their bodies turn into inert stone.
  • We Were Rehearsing a Play: When Officer Scott catches sight of Dictatious in the Lake house, he gets knocked out by Nana and wakes up to find everyone "rehearsing" a scene and pretending the trolls are actors in costume.
  • "What Do They Fear?" Episode: In "Where Is My mind", Angor Rot unleashes a hord of Pixies on the school, which causes everyone to see their worst fear. At the end of the episode, Angor Rot himself gets a taste of that medicine.
  • Willing Channeler: Having died and been resurrected, Aaarrrgghh!!! can allow Kanjigar to possess his body for a limited time.
  • Working Through the Cold: In-spite of Jim's pleading, Claire refuses to take a day off - either from school or trollhunting - during her illness.
  • The Worsening Curse Mark: When Angor Rot captures Jim, he marks his face with a magical mark that appears on Angor's command. This gives Angor the power to take Jim's Sword of Daylight during battle, forcing Jim to use alternatives. He eventually overrides this by using a gemstone housed within Angor's disembodied right-eye.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Strickler does this to Jim during their training, making him vulnerable by appealing to his humanity.
  • Your Worst Nightmare: As shown in 'Where Is My Mind?', with the Pixies responsible making the ordeal akin to a Mushroom Samba.
  • You Will Know What to Do: What Kanjigar tells Claire, Toby and Blinky when presenting them with three vague tasks to help them rescue Jim from the Darklands.
    Kanjigar: Blinkous, take this flare crystal. Its blinding light will save your life.
    Blinky: My life? Can I get some specificity on that statement?

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