Wolverine and the X-Men is the newest Animated Adaptation of the X-Men franchise, premiering in America sometime in 2009 and everywhere else in the world mid-2008.The show begins with the destruction of the Xavier Institute, and Professor Xavier and Jean Grey missing, apparently dead. A distraught Cyclops disbands the team, and everyone heads in their own directions. After a run-in with some token anti-mutant villains, Wolverine decides the X-Men must be reassembled, and begins locating the missing members.As the title may have told you, this show heavily focuses on Wolverine, even becoming the leader of the X-Men. That said, there were more than enough A Day in the Limelight episodes to prevent things from being too repetitive, and the show explores the "Days Of Future Past" and "Genosha as Mutant Refuge" concepts in more depth than any other adaptation. Forge and Emma Frost are made part of the main cast for the first time.Despite early reports of plans for Season 2, it was canceled after just one season, joining The Spectacular Spider-Man, which was canceled not too long before.While the show itself proved to be too good to last, its legacy did live on in a very unusual way. Two years after the series' cancellation, Marvel launched a new comic series of the same name, which again focused on Wolverine re-building the school and reluctantly assuming the leadership role of to a group of X-men (albeit under different circumstances). While some character have been know to make the jump from from an adaptation to its source material before, this is one of the few time a source material has come to mirror the premise of its adaptation. Sometimes, you just can't keep a good (or bad) idea down.
In addition to all the usual X-Men related tropes, this show contains examples of:
Abandoned Warehouse: In the second episode, Avalanche levels an entire street of what the news conveniently announces as "empty warehouses".
Advertised Extra: Angel for one. He appears in only a handful of episodes, but is prominently featured in the opening sequence's cast shot.
Bad Future: Xavier is stuck in a future run by Sentinels. At the end of the first season, though, the X-Men manage to change history and prevent the Sentinel uprising. Unfortunately, this merely creates a completely different Bad Future ruled by evil Social Darwinist Apocalypse. It really sucks to be Charles Xavier.
Batman Gambit: Gambit's plan to steal Magneto's helmet was to admit that he was sent there to steal Magneto's helmet so he could walk around freely thus he could have an easier time stealing Magneto's helmet. Turns out the helmet was just misdirection so that he could cripple their infastructure with a few well-placed explosives.
Beta Couple: Possibly Kitty Pryde and Bobby Drake (Iceman).
There was also Nightcrawler and Scarlet Witch
Big Bad: Master Mold in the Bad Future. There are a couple of contenders for the main timeline, but it probably comes down to either Magneto or the Inner Circle. For the aborted next season, it would appear to be Apocalypse.
Book Ends: The show had a three-part premier called "Hindsight" and a three-part finale called "Foresight".
Brainwashed and Crazy: Mojo does this to Wolverine in an episode. Also Archangel. Although it's not made clear if this is entirely the case at first certainly by the end of the series he seems to be a mindless puppet of Sinister's.
Brother-Sister Incest: Wolverine's former girlfriend Mariko Yashida was forced by her father to marry the Silver Samurai. In the comics Mariko and Silver Samurai are half-siblings, having the same father.
Calling the Old Man Out: Warren Worthington III is not pleased that his father bankrolls the anti-mutant movement, and isn't afraid to say it his face. Scarlet Witch and Polaris give Magneto the same treatment after he crosses the Moral Event Horizon in the finale.
Warren Worthington II is a combination of Cameron Hodge (Corrupt Corporate Executive who funds several anti-Mutnat programs and has Angel's wings amputated) and the movie version of Warren Worthington II (also funds Anti-Mutant program, such as a "cure" for mutants' believes what he did saw best for his son, though in reality, was only serving himself; and realizes the error of his way, though in this case, too late to really do anything.)
Continuity Snarl: According to Word Of God, the Wolverine short of Hulk VS takes place in the same universe as this show. That said, there are some things that in Hulk VS Wolverine that contradict WatXM like Wolverine remembering Weapon X and their members and meeting them again in the short when he has no idea who they are when he meets up with Sabretooth after years in the series. Also, Bruce Banner has no idea who Wolverine is in WatXM, despite Wolverine being the reason for his two main Hulk-outs in the short and Wolvie first meeting Bruce Banner while he was Banner.
Warren Worthington II (Warren Worthington III AKA Angel's father) finances senator Kelly's anti-mutant campaign platform, and provides the MRD's R&D and hardware as well; needless to say, his son disagrees vocally. Unfortunately, by the time he realizes he's being a gigantic dick, it's too little too late, both to stop the anti-mutant movement from becoming a viable political and paramilitary force on its own and to save his son from becoming Mister Sinister's brainwashed minion, leaving him with nothing but now cold and empty financial and material comforts and a mountain of regrets. Karma's a bitch sometimes.
Demoted to Extra: Storm. Yes, Storm is shoved in the background to give Wolvie a bigger role. In fact, there's no real reason for her presence at all: she doesn't factor into any of the storylines, and the episode where she rejoins the team has nothing to do with the overall plot. It's possible that the writers only threw her in because viewers are used to seeing her.
Actually, she did help save them all from being killed by Nitro.
Derailing Love Interests: Happens to both Jean Grey and Emma Frost. Jean actually gets derailed right from the pilot when she's shown berating her boyfriend Cyclops for getting into a fight with Wolverine over her, which naturally casts her in a negative light. Jean is then MIA for most of the season while Emma Frost is around, trying to see if she can maybe get Cyclops on her side by being at least somewhat more sympathetic towards him (more so than most of the other X-Men anyway), only to get blown up for her trouble at the end of the series, leaving Jean to have Cyclops all to herself.
Jean Grey and Charles Xavier suffering from comas inflicted to them from a bomb in the pilot episode during the shows run kept major plots from being resolved far too quickly with their all-powerful telekinesis and telepathy respectfully .
Future!Polaris traveling with Bishop and Xavier's group of mutants would have reduced the Sentinels from major threats to cannon fodder due to her Magnetism powers, so she has to stay behind in the same episode she was introduced.
Double Standard: It's a crime for Cyclops to lose his temper and lash out at Wolverine for hitting on his longtime girlfriend Jean Grey, but it's okay for Jean to violently attack Emma Frost when Emma gets a little too friendly with Cyclops. (see Hypocrite below)
Empathy Doll Shot: A scene of two children running from Sentinels, and one dropping a teddy bear is in the opening theme.
Enemy Mine: Senator Kelly and Magneto had a deal in which the MRD would deport all their captives to Genosha. The deal ended when Magneto learned that Kelly was secretly keeping the most powerful mutants under lock and key.
Family Friendly Firearms: Some episodes used lasers, though in episode 18 the Brotherhood are attacked with firearms that resemble, and sound like, real life weaponry. The trope is immediately played straight again though, as Toad is caught in a net. However, when you think about it this makes more sense as the MRD's purpose is mainly to capture and not to kill. Despite this, Quicksilver is able to scavenge a handgun and use it to cause a Sentinel to fall down to its destruction.
Fastball Special: However, because Colossus has hardly appeared, some interesting variations (like Wolverine being thrown by the Blob or propelled by one of Cyclops' laser blasts) have occurred instead.
Gambit Pileup: Let's see: Kelly's working an angle, Magneto's working an angle against him, the Inner Circle is working the X-Men, Xavier's working the X-Men too, and then there are people like Sinister and Weapon X, who were planning for the season 2 that never happened.
Genghis Gambit: Magneto plans to have Genosha razed by Sentinels as a pretext to rally all of mutantkind to a war with humanity.
Hello, Nurse!: Emma Frost. Her introduction into the series has practically every male at the X-Mansion (aside from Wolverine and Beast) gawking over her.
Jean Grey and Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch aren't too shabby either.
Heck, in flashbacks Cyclops had a bit of a Hello Nurse reaction to Jean when they first met as teenagers.
Heel Face Turn: Semi-used. Mid-season, Rogue reveals that she only joined the Brotherhood in order to infiltrate them, because she learned some unpleasant things from Toad's mind. And while Emma may not have been working for the X-Men per-se, her goals were always good (stop the Phoenix). It's the Inner Circle who had a Face Heel Turn when they decided to use the Phoenix as a tool for their own power.
Heel Realization: Warren Worthington II has this epiphany right after he loses what he truly cared about most due to his own actions.
Heroic Sacrifice: Emma Frost. Had the second season happened, she would apparently have returned.
Honor Before Reason: When Cyclops attacks Wolverine for hitting on Jean Grey the clawed one refuses to fight back simply because he promised Jean he wouldn't (Granted, Wolverine brought this on himself since he hit on a woman who was already in a relationship). He also holds to promises he made to Mystique and Yuriko years earlier.
Hulk Speak: The Hulk in his guest appearance, naturally.
Hypocrite: Wolverine chews out Cyclops for running off by himself to hunt for the missing Jean Grey amongst the cronies of Sinister and then the bad man himself instead of working with the team, and then goes off and does the exact same thing in the next episode! This is repeatedly lampshaded, though, and Rogue straight up calls him out on it repeatedly.
Jean Grey herself ultimately proves to be this towards Cyclops. She chastised the Hell out of him for losing his temper and zapping the crap out of Wolverine when Wolverine hit on her. So what does Jean do in the series finale when she sees Emma Frost kissing an unconscious Cyclops? She violently throws Emma up against a wall, binds her there with pipes, and is about to curbstomp her until Cyclops intervenes.
Xavier could also be considered this, at least in regards towards Cyclops. He pretty much ignored Cyclops's personal problems while always putting time aside for Wolverine.
In the Blood: Commented on by Gambit when he steals Magneto's helmet and break's Polaris's heart (well, kinda) by revealing he was leaving without her. This, understandably, pisses off Polaris and she uses her powers to take back Magneto's helmet and almost sinks Gambit's boat.
Gambit: Of course, she has her daddy's powers... and her sister's temper.
Kick the Dog: Selene revealing that Emma is the one who accidentally caused the explosion that broke up the team, and then stole Xavier's body so that she could plant it on Genosha and buy her way onto the team. All while Emma begs her not to say it. Plus, Selene is clearly enjoying it.
Laser-Guided Karma: In "Hindsight", a camper calls MRD about Wolverine, and then rats out on his neighbors just for showing kindness to him for saving their daughter. His RV ends up getting smashed by a MRD helicopter, thanks to Wolverine.
After giving Cyclops a hard time about losing his temper and sucker punching Wolverine for hitting on her, Jean Grey gets a taste of her own medicine in the finale when she sees an unconscious Cyclops get kissed by Emma Frost. Not that Jean takes her Laser Guided Karma lying down.
The Load: Cyclops of all people is portrayed as this, even in flashbacks to his earlier years.
Toad to the Brotherhood. He repeatedly gets captured and needing his teammates to break him out. They were actually going to let him rot in "Time Bomb" before he told them about Nitro.
Loads and Loads of Characters: The X-Men cast is large enough that some of them don't actually get anything to do. The series throws in villains and secondary characters so often that few of them get any buildup or development, even some characters that are important to the plot aren't introduced until the very last minute (such as the Inner Circle, who don't appear until the last three-parter), or appear to have monumental importance for a single episode before being relegated to extras (Tildie).
The Mole: Emma Frost. After accidentally causing the explosion at the Xavier Institute, she stole Xavier's body so that she could buy her way onto the team and eventually have another chance to find Jean. Or more precisely, the Phoenix. Though she did have good intentions...
Mood Motif: The music from the three movies is threaded throughout the show's theme music.
Most Common Superpower: When those costumes come complete with plunging necklines, makes no sense for most of the women to NOT be blessed up top.
A lot of background mutants are cult favourites such as Dazzler; Wolverine wearing his silly original costume in the flashback in Wolverine vs The Hulk.
The number of mutant cameos is frankly ridiculous(ly awesome). Seriously, there was a whole action sequence in one episode that was just dealing with Fever Pitch.
And when the Marauders Blockbuster and Vertigo are first seen, they're harassing the Morlock Berserker, in reference to their part in the infamous Morlock Massacre storyline.
Never Say "Die": Averted with a few uses of the word "kill", but most notably when in episode 17 when the theme is a duel to the death between Logan and the Silver Samurai. Other instances Kurt and Wanda run from a mind controlled Wolverine and when Logan and Beast try getting Bobby to rejoin. In episode 16 Polaris in the bad future explicitly refers to Magneto as dead, and we almost see the firewave rush over him and burn him to death. This trope can pretty much be considered averted.
Red Oni, Blue Oni: Unlike the other types of X-men series, Wolverine is the blue oni to Cyclop's red oni.
Reverse Mole: Played with. Initially, Rogue looks like this in Hindsight Part 2. She pretends to join the Brotherhood, but is working with the X-Men against them. But this is all a ploy. She's really working with the Brotherhood to use the X-Men to help push the anti-mutant agenda, thus justifying further anti-human activities by the Brotherhood and pushing along the path to war.
Later, in Battle Lines, Rogue reveals that all of that was part of her plan; she was on the X-Men's side all along. She read some disturbing things from Toad's mind, so she decided to hook up with them to keep an eye on them. She even tried to tell the X-Men about it once in a prior episode, but Logan wasn't there, which pissed her off enough to not bother.
Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory: Xavier seems to have it. Or does he? As a telepath in contact with people from the past he can read from their minds what he told them to avert, even when it no longer happened.
Supporting Leader: In the future it's Xavier, but in the present Magneto (oddly enough) cites Nightcrawler as one of these characters. One episode shows that he actually does have fantastic leadership skills and his time with the X-Men has made him well-respected in the mutant community.
Teleportation Sickness: In "Hunting Grounds", the Scarlet Witch when Nightcrawler teleports both of them repeatedly.
Too Dumb to Live; Oh sure Inner Circle go ahead and try to probe Phoniex's mind without Emma Frost, the one who know what she's doing. I'm sure nothing will go wrong.
Trojan Prisoner: Gambit is able to get onto Genosha by admitting that Senator Kelly sent him there to steal Magneto's helmet. Turns out he's actually there to cripple their infrastructure and leave them open to invasion.
Undying Loyalty: Toad stands by the Brotherhood, no matter what. Even during the aforementioned battle with the Sentinels, he stayed with them.
And of course, Cyclops with his seemingly indestructible determination to hold out hope for Jean Grey's eventual return.
The Un Favourite: Magneto makes it very clear which of his three children he has the least regard for. It's Quicksilver.
May or may not occur between Xavier and Cyclops (see below).
“Well Done Son” Guy: Despite his best efforts, Quicksilver can never get daddy to cut him any slack, or even recognize he might be useful at anything. To be fair though, he is a complete idiot.
Though he does manage to set up the X-Men in a clever fashion in the second episode of the three part Series pilot.
May or may not occur with Cyclops, who is cast aside by Xavier who proceeds to smother Wolverine with guidance and moral support.
Well-Intentioned Extremist: Despite what she had done, Emma was never evil at all, and she was far from what you could call a villain. Everything she had done was in order to save the world from the Phoenix Force. Too bad the rest of the Hellfire Club has other plans...
Senator Kelly and Magneto, on opposite sides of the mutant conflict and both convinced the other will be the one to start the war. Strangely enough, this does not stop them from working together on occasion albeit with the intention of stabbing the other in the back eventually.
What Does She See in Him??: Evoked (though never outrightly asked by any of the cast) with Jean Grey and Emma Frost in regards to Cyclops, due mostly to the fact that Cyclops is not portrayed with any admirable traits. Wolverine makes a joke about to Cyclops's face in their first encounter (and suffers for it not long after).
What Happened to the Mouse?: Colossus appeared in the first episode as a team member, but never returned after the rest of the team was reunited. He was supposed to in Season 2, however.
X-23. She had a voiceless cameo in 'Stolen Lives', body-guarding Professor Thorton as he made his escape, and four of her helped Wolverine in the future in the final episodes. Future Logan states that he found them in a Weapon X facility in stasis, but given that that future won't happen, four of her seems unlikely now. So, what happened to her?
What the Hell, Hero?: In the Hulk episode, both Wolverine and Banner call shenanigans on Nick Fury for unleashing Hulk into the area in the first place. For his part, Fury defies their What the Hell, Hero?, maintaining that SHIELD doesn't answer to them and if Fury decides to continue to use them both for his own ends, they won't get two words on the subject.
This is pretty much Jean's reaction to Cyclops zapping Wolverine after Wolverine hit on her without knowing she made the clawed one promise her he wouldn't fight Cyclops.
Jean has this reaction towards Cyclops again in the series finale when he tries to take on the Phoenix - though that time she was trying to save his life.
Pretty much everyone has this reaction towards Cyclops throughout the series, since people who lose their loved ones apparently don't deserve sympathy.
Juggernaut only makes two appearances in the series. In the first he was clobbered to demonstrate how powerful another character was. His second sequence is barely a cameo, where he escapes entirely off-screen. He doesn't even get to say a word. Commented upon in his first appearance when he gets launched halfway across a city and knocked out cold.
Kitty Pryde: Juggernaut? As in, "The Unstoppable Juggernaut?" What could do that to him? Cue giant monster. Kitty Pryde: Never mind.
Wolverine, despite having his name in the title, is not slacking on his indestructible punching bag duties. Against anyone with a name he either loses, stalemates, or gets a beatdown before winning. The hazards of having blades as your main offense when you aren't allowed to cut anyone.
The whole team suffers this in Code of Conduct when they all get kidnapped by ninjas to lure Wolverine into a trap against Silver Samurai. Yes, you read that right: the X-Men, who battle Magneto, Mr. Sinister, Sentinels and the occasional space alien among other threats, all got kidnapped by ordinary human ninjas. And Xavier wonders why the X-Men failed to save the world in the future...