Western Animation: Wolverine and the X-Men

Wolverine and the X-Men is an Animated Adaptation of the X-Men franchise. It premiered in America in 2009 and everywhere else in the world in 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" storyline and "Genosha as Mutant Refuge" concept 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/bad 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 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".
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: In the comics Iceman has brown hair, but in this series he has blonde hair - and almost looks like he could be Angel's younger brother.
  • Adaptational Heroism:
    • Nitro releases giant explosions of energy whenever he's stressed, or just when enough energy is stored up. Like Plasmus above, he submits to confinement so he doesn't harm others, and is used by the villains as a blunt instrument against his will. In the comics, he's a killer for hire, and caused both the death of the Kree Captain Marvel and the Stamford Incident that killed about 700-ish people. (Interestingly, there was a one-shot child character in Uncanny X-Men who was like the animated Nitro but more adorable.)
    • Emma Frost is portrayed in a more sympathetic light, completely turning her into a straight hero rather than a byronic one. That said, this version of Frost also has Adaptational Villainy, as she's The Mole and still the White Queen of the Inner Circle (and even kicks off the events of the series as it's revealed she's the one who attacked Jean and Professor Xavier, which in turn ended up destroying the mansion—albeit with the intention of taking out the Phoenix before she could be a threat).
  • Adaptational Villainy: For some odd reason, this is FULL of this (possibly some of these characters would have returned as heroes had the second season been made):
    • Domino is a member of the X-Force and X-Men in the comics, but is depicted as a terrorist and member of the Brotherhood of Mutants in the show, basically becoming Mystique in all but name and powers as Mystique herself is The Dragon to Magneto.
    • Multiple Man is a member of Mr. Sinister's Marauders, despite being a main character in X-Factor since the 90's.
    • Likewise, the Stepford Cuckoos are shown as villainous members of the Hellfire Club, despite being students at the Xavier Institute in the comics.
    • Psylocke assists the Brotherhood in one episode, but she's shown to be a reluctant recruit who only helps out the group because she owes Quicksilver a favor.
    • Blink was associated with Generation X and was a member of the New Mutants. Her better-known alternate version rose from Age of Apocalypse mainstay to leader and main hero of the Exiles. In the show, she's a member of Magneto's Acolytes.
    • Mercury, another member of the Acolytes, was a member of the New X-Men in the comics.
    • In the comics, Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver abandoned Magneto very quickly and joined The Avengers. In the show, Quicksilver is still a member of the Brotherhood, while Scarlet Witch is loyal to her dad. It isn't until the finale that she finally realizes what a monster Magneto is and turns against him.
    • Mags himself: in the comics, he's a Well-Intentioned Extremist or an Anti-Hero depending on the decade. He was last wa-ha-ha evil in The Seventies, and the last time he was an enemy was done in such an Out-of-Character Moment that it was Retconned into being someone else immediately, making a 1993 storyline the last time we saw him as anything but his normal portrayal (half the team wants to trust him, the other half says "yeah, but you don't know how bad he was when he was bad," and his Wild Card moments don't make anybody any more comfortable.) and it's not like nobody provoked him then. WATXM Magneto appears to be similar to comic Magneto at first but at heart is as monstrous as it gets, more like his sixties/Morrison/Ultimate incarnations.
    • Emma Frost. Like Mags, she used to be one hell of a foe (even being Big Bad of New Mutants for a time) but comic fans know that that was a long time ago, at least in the main Marvel Universe. In this one she's The Mole and still the White Queen of the Hellfire Club. However, in the finale she sacrifices her life to contain the Phoenix.
    • The Phoenix. This is far from the first adaptation to do so, but it's worth mentioning that in the comics, Jean as Phoenix was good but Anti-Hero-ish, had to resist darker impulses but stayed in control (she was actually Phoenix for quite some time), and even saved the universe. It took the Hellfire Club's interference to cause her to become Dark Phoenix. This version uses The Theme Park Version where the Phoenix is a 100% Bad Thing. Of course, the Hellfire Club was trying to control the Phoenix in this version, but it wasn't quite the same as Jason Wyngarde and Emma Frost putting her under More Than Mind Control and pretty much breaking down her self-control bit by bit until we get a monster.
  • Advertised Extra: Angel for one. He appears in only a handful of episodes, but is prominently featured in the opening sequence's cast shot.
    • Colossus was featured in some early promotional material - he even got an action figure! - but was Put on a Bus in the pilot, never to be seen again.
  • After the End: the Bad Future Xavier is stuck in and the rest of the X-men are trying to prevent the Sentinel takeover from happening.
  • Air-Vent Passageway: Averted and even lampshaded in Thieves Gambit, when Logan and Remy are sneaking into Bolivar Trask's warehouse.
    Wolverine: What now? Airducts?
    Gambit: Only in the world of cinema. In real life, they never hold.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: Anti-Mutant hysteria, obviously; it's X-Men.
  • An Ice Person: Bobby Drake/Iceman.
  • Anti-Hero: In this adaptation Cyclops is more anti-heroic than Wolverine...
  • Anti-Magical Faction: The Mutant Response Division (MRD) is this.
  • Badass: Wolverine, again.
  • Badass Longcoat: Cyclops and Gambit.
  • Badass Pacifist: Beast always offers his foes a chance to surrender.
  • 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.
  • Beast and Beauty: Kurt (Nightcrawler) and Wanda (Scarlet Witch).
  • Beta Couple: Possibly Kitty Pryde and Bobby Drake (Iceman).
    • There was also Nightcrawler and Scarlet Witch
  • Big Bad: Mastermold is the Big Bad of the Bad Future Xavier is stuck in, while Magneto and Senator Robert Kelly largely take the role among several long-term villains Though the Inner Circle also has a pretty good claim on driving a lot of the plot. The Sequel Hook set up Apocalypse as the Big Bad for an aborted second season, although Sinister basically served as Dragon-in-Chief in this respect for the show.
  • 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.
  • Break the Cutie: Polaris, who saw her father, all her friends, her home, and her father's very dream wiped out in a sea of fire, and the last thing she saw was when her dad gave her his helmet and cape and dropped her down a shaft to shelter before the flames incinerated him.
  • Broken Aesop: The series showcased Cyclops grieving over the disappearance of his Designated Love Interest Jean Grey (who was actually introduced giving him a hard time about sucker-punching Wolverine in a fit of jealousy and then blows a kiss to his rival) and being annoyed at Professor Xavier demoting him while promoting Wolverine to leader. The series seemed to initially pitch the idea that Cyclops had to learn to let go of his resentments and move on with his life, including but no limited to hooking up with his then comic current girlfriend Emma Frost. 26 episodes later... he ended up back together with Jean anyway after waiting for the odds to change in his favor. Great moral for the kids - don't learn to move on from the loss of your loved ones, just sit around being depressed in the hopes that they'll eventually come back to you.
    • Not only that, but if someone you know, someone who is kind of a friend or perhaps even practically family, is clearly suffering severe emotional trauma it's perfectly okay to ignore them and abandon them to their turmoil because they're inconveniencing you.
  • 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.
  • Butt Monkey: Poor Forge. He even gets whiter as the series goes on...
  • 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 to his face. Scarlet Witch and Polaris give Magneto the same treatment after he crosses the Moral Event Horizon in the finale.
  • Canon Foreigner: The Mutant Response Division (MRD) didn't exist in the comics before this show. They later became a case of Canon Immigrant from 2010 onwards, although their role hasn't been that huge.
  • Chew Toy: Forge, who has to constantly see his things broken, gets treated with no respect, and is generally shoved around by life.
  • Co-Dragons:
    • Colonel Moss and Warren Worthington II to Senator Robert Kelly are this.
    • Scarlet Witch, Polaris and Quicksilver to Magneto.
  • Comic Book Fantasy Casting:
  • The Complainer Is Always Wrong: Because Logan is a perfectly level-headed leader that makes infallible decisions and always wins his fights and never puts the team at unacceptable risk, the dissenting troubled anti-hero Cyclops must always be wrong.
    • Comes up again in the following episode where Cyclops doubts Rogue's sincerity in coming to warn the X-Men of the Brotherhood's antics.
  • Composite Character:
    • Arclight has the gender of the Age of Apocalypse character and hence is a male, but the powers of the classic Arclight and sports a Spear Counterpart's version of her costume.
    • Toad is basically the X-Men: Evolution version with the Ultimate look.
    • Warren Worthington II is a combination of Cameron Hodge (Corrupt Corporate Executive who funds several anti-Mutant 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 and believes what he did was best for his son, though in reality, was only serving himself; and realizes the error of his way, though in this case, it's too late to really do anything.)
    • Mystique, who's a mix of Mystique as we know her, and Silver Fox, Wolverine's former love interest and fellow captive at Weapon X.
    • Marrow appears in the Bad Future, where she befriends Rover the Sentinel and takes on the role of Tom Skylark in the comic book Bad Future Here Comes Tomorrow, only without the Technopathy that explained how Tom had made friends with a Sentinel. Instead, she was given it by Polaris.
    • Master Mold is combined with Danger, the evil sentient A.I. from Joss Whedon's run. Because of this, Master Mold is depicted as a Gynoid.
    • Silver Samurai is merged with Noburu Hideki, Mariko's fiance from the original Frank Miller Wolverine mini-series. This causes a bit of Squick, since Silver Samurai is Mariko's BROTHER in the original comics.
  • The Computer Is Your Friend: Master Mold in the Bad Future.
  • 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.
    • The MRD gets mentioned in one of the first episodes of The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, and Wolverine himself appears in the second season, but the differences are far too great to link the two shows together meaningfully.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive:
    • Mojo, as usual, with his focus on kidnapping mutants to be victims/gladiators in his televised Blood Sports.
    • 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.
  • Curse Cut Short: Wolverine vs. The Hulk.
    Wolverine: Oh, you gotta be kidding me, Fury. Mystical curse my a- * violently grabbed by Hulk*
  • Cut Short: Since the show was cancelled before a second season could air, the show ends on a cliffhanger where the X-men must try and avert the Age of Apocalypse.
  • Dark Is Evil: The Shadow King, as might be expected from a guy called The Shadow King.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Nightcrawler, as always.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: When introduced, Emma acts pretty much like anyone familiar with the comics would expect. Compare that Emma with the one we see in the end. Hoo boy.
  • Demonic Possession: The Shadow King's schtick, due to being a disembodied psyche.
  • Demoted to Extra:
    • Happens to Storm, of all people. While a major character in the comics, one of the most recognizable members of the X-Men, and being in the main cast of nearly all the previous animated adaptations, here she's shoved into 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 story lines, 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.
    • To say nothing of Jean, who was reduced to nothing more than a plot device.
  • 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.(Though The Reveal of what happened in full cast her in a significantly more sympathetic one) 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.
  • Designated Love Interest: Jean Grey to Cyclops (for the few minutes that she actually appears).
  • Despair Event Horizon: Cyclops after losing Jean Grey.
  • The Determinator: Cyclops is a very disturbing and unheroic (if not outright unsympathetic) example with his obsession with trying to find Jean Grey.
  • Deus Exit Machina:
    • 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 respectively.
    • 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. Justified due to her being a total Broken Bird who is so mentally scarred she can't bring herself to actively fight Master Mold, and she's too powerful for the "Future X-men" to seriously consider dragging her along by force.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: Dust, namely she's the dirt.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Three noteworthy examples include a Papa Wolf mode Magneto throwing people in jail for simply kissing his youngest daughter Polaris,a jealous Cyclops violently blasting Wolverine for implying he wasn't good enough for Jean, and then Jean violently binding Emma to the wall with pipes for kissing Cyclops. Jean's reaction, is less disproportionate than the others, given she saw Emma kissing her boyfriend while he was out cold.
  • Distressed Dude: Cyclops seems cursed with this even in flashbacks.
  • Ditzy Genius. Forge is the tech-wizard who keeps the X-men's more advanced gear running, including the Blackbird and the Danger Room, but he's also a total ditz.
  • Downer Ending: Due to Executive Meddling.
  • Drama-Preserving Handicap: Happens to Storm in the episodes in which she takes part in battles. She appears, makes a major power play, and is knocked out almost immediately. The writers even acknowledged that she was too powerful to work into their universe properly.
  • 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.
    • The Brotherhood and the X-Men had this once, on Quicksilver's suggestion.
  • Face-Heel Turn: Rogue, after an apparent Reverse Mole. Though ultimately revealed to be a double-Reverse Mole. In the bad future, Marrow has this, for some time.
  • 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.
  • Fat Bastard: Mojo, as you'd expect, is a gigantic blob of pustulant yellow fat.
  • First Girl Wins: Thought that this would be the first Cyclops/Emma Frost coupling in animation? Ah-hah, no. Jean Grey turns out to be alive, and not only do she and Cyclops hook back up again, Emma Frost pulls a fatal Heroic Sacrifice to ensure it happens.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: Rover, a reprogrammed Sentinel. Although he's pretty nice to his True Companions, and Marrow especially becomes very attached to him.
  • 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.
  • Gender Flip:
    • Arclight was changed from a woman into a man for the show. According to the commentary for "eXcessive Force", this was done because the crew was uncomfortable with having Cyclops attacking a woman while looking for Mister Sinister.
    • This show's version of Master Mold is found to be female.
  • Genghis Gambit: Magneto plans to have Genosha razed by Sentinels as a pretext to rally all of mutantkind to a war with humanity.
  • Genius Bruiser: Beast, as usual.
  • Goth: Domino's fashion style. She rocks the look.
  • Gratuitous Japanese: Code of Conduct is jarringly full of it. Some of Silver Samurai's lines are particularly bad.
    Silver Samurai: *on the phone* Hora, get everyone into the warehouse. Hayaku now!
  • Harmless Freezing: Iceman encases people in ice a few times, but they never have lasting effects from it.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: One episode featured Nightcrawler teaching a groups of mutants with "useless" powers this.
  • 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.
  • Highschool Sweethearts: Cyclops and Jean Grey, albeit a twisted example.
  • 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.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: As much as normal humans like Senator Kelly claim to fear mutants, he and the MRD are the real oppressors and the ones causing more harm than the Mutant villains. It's Lampshaded when a non-mutant family is arrested and tortured by the MRD for harboring Wolverine even after he saved them; they tell them that that they're the ones people should watch out for, not the mutants. Furthermore, things like Project Wideawake are the equivalent of holocaust and genocide for Mutants.
  • 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 very next episode! This is repeatedly lampshaded, though, and Rogue straight up calls him out on it repeatedly.
    • Jean Grey herself ultimately averts this. Her reaction to Cyclops losing it and blasting Wolverine in the back is pretty understandable, especially considering it was over a taunt and her being his girlfriend, he ought to know Wolvie doesn't have a shot (of course, Jean herself has known Cyclops long enough to know he has some serious anger management issues and she should know better than to stay with him when said issues clearly bother her). It also helps that she didn't know about the taunt (so much for telepathy) and that he didn't know about Wolverine's promise not to fight back. As for her reaction to Emma... making out with her unconscious boyfriend was several steps up from "she deserves better". Even if it was an overreaction on Jean's part, most people would be pretty darn pissed at Emma in her position...
    • 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.
  • Instant Expert: Rogue, but just temporary.
  • In the Blood: Commented on by Gambit when he steals Magneto's helmet and breaks 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.
  • Intangible Man: Shadowcat's mutant ability is to phase through solid objects.
  • Jumped at the Call: Iceman and Shadowcat; literally, in Shadowcat's case.
  • Karma Houdini: Many examples, given how the show got cancelled.
    • The Brotherhood of Mutants ultimately gets away without any reprisals, although given how they were Magneto's shock troops they took a lot of crap before the show ended.
    • Weapon X ultimately fails to keep a hold of Maverick, but they and Sabretooth are free men by the end of it.
    • While the Stepford Cuckoos are probably in custody, the Inner Circle is still at large.
    • Probably the most annoying example is Sinister, given all the torment he puts Scott, Warren Worthington III and Jean Grey through. Owing to the show's cancellation, he gets to be Co-Dragons with Cyclops to Apocalypse in a new Bad Future and that's the last we see of him.
  • 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.
  • Killer Robot: The Sentinels, which are created to track down Mutants.
  • Knight Templar: Magneto. In order to let mutants roam free, he plans to have millions of mutants and humans alike killed.
    • Senator Robert Kelly is also this.
  • La Résistance: The future setting of the story involves Professor Xavier and some of the last surviving mutants as this against the Sentinels.
    • Technically, the present-day X-men as well, since Senator Kelly makes it clear that they're no different to the Brotherhood of Mutants or Magneto's forces when it comes to being outside the law.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: In "Hindsight (Part 1)", 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 in this series 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).
  • Love Redeems: Emma Frost falls for Cyclops hard; as mentioned elsewhere, standard rules apply.
  • Love Triangle: Wolverine/Jean Grey/Cyclops and Emma Frost/Cyclops/Jean Grey.
  • Loving a Shadow: This seems to be the entire basis of Cyclops's relationship with Jean Grey.
  • Magic Pants: Episode 7, "Wolverine vs. The Hulk", has both Bruce Banner's magically expanding pants whenever he transforms from being the Hulk. Also featured in that episode were the S.H.I.E.L.D. operatives who were turned into wendigo beasts covered in fur mysteriously regaining their clothes when they are cured of their affliction.
  • Man Behind the Man: Apocalypse to Sinister, though if you're familiar with many other versions you probably guessed that.
  • Manipulative Bitch: Emma Frost, naturally. Jean Grey herself has a hint of this herself with the way she coaxed Cyclops via telepathy when they were teenagers.
  • Meanwhile, in the Future: Taken to a very, very, ridiculous degree. What happens in the past directly affects the future in real time. Even worse when you realize that the future affected the present that affects the future.
  • Mechanical Evolution: The future Sentinels begin copying the powers of captured mutants.
  • Mind-Control Eyes: Lampshaded. Scarlet Witch can't believe Nightcrawler is serious when he states that Wolverine is no longer under Mojo's control because of a change in his eyes.
  • 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.
  • Moral Event Horizon: An In-Universe example is seen when Magneto is revealed as having arranged for the Sentinels to be deployed against Genosha, planning on allowing them to slaughter thousands of Genoshan mutants before intervening, then taking control of them for use as a vanguard in a genocidal war on baseline humans. His own daughters, Lorna/Polaris and Wanda/Scarlet Witch disown and banish him from Genosha for his crimes, and the X-men certainly don't take it any better.
  • 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.
  • Ms Fan Service: Emma Frost, whose costume design has gone completely unchanged from one of her comic looks. And considering how she usually dresses... they sure were lucky for being able to do so.
    • Jean Grey also gets a little bit of this when she gets an off camera wardrobe upgrade from her regular attire to a spiffy red dress.
    • Mystique also fares well in this department.
  • Multistage Teleport: One episode has Nightcrawler visit Genosha, Magneto's island for mutants. At the end of the episode, Nightcrawler has to flee Genosha, but he has no transport, so he has to teleport back to the mainland across the sea, rapidly enough to avoid falling into the sea. He eventually ends up at Prof Xavier's Institute, exhausted.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: The one good thing to come out of "Guardian Angel" was Warren Sr. realizing how badly he screwed up and severing his ties with Kelly.
  • My Sister Is Off-Limits!: Wanda does this to Gambit when she finds out Polaris kissed him. She even throws him in prison.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • A lot of background mutants are cult favourites such as Dazzler.
      • 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.
    • Wolverine wearing his silly original costume in the flashback in Wolverine vs The Hulk.
    • Kavita Rao appears for one scene, watching over Tildie Smoans. In the comics, Kavita used her Mutant Cure to permanently depower Tildie when her powers went out of control.
    • Rover the Sentinel and his Pokémon Speak comes from the final arc of Grant Morrison's run, though with Tom Skylark replaced with Marrow.
  • 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.
  • Non-Action Guy: Forge. He spends more time working on the X-Men's tech than in field missions. He is even conspicuously absent when the Brotherhood attacks the mansion, only showing up after the fight (Which Shadowcat calls him out on).
  • No Name Given: For whatever reason, the show goes out of its way to never specify which city it is the X-Men live nearest, only dubbing it "the city". Since this is Marvel, it's almost certainly New York.
  • The Nose Knows: Wolverine's tracking mutant ability. The viewer even gets an inside perspective into it by seeing the imaginary scent track left by whoever Logan is trying to find.
  • Not as You Know Them: Not as prevalent as one would expect. Besides Cyclops and Wolverine's role swap, and Storm's Demoted to Extra, the rest of the cast is pretty much spot-on.
    • Depending on which media you were introduced to them. Rogue and Kitty seem to be movie versions, Emma is the comics version, Forge is no version we've ever seen, Polaris is a Daddy's Girl, etc.
    • Angel is apparently good friends with Wolverine in the series, whereas the comic book Angel couldn't stand Wolverine and once quit the team because of it.
  • Not Bad: Logan's old sensei after giving him a lesson to restore his samurai skills...
    Bah! He is terrible! A disgrace! But it no longer revolts me to observe him.
  • Not What It Looks Like: Between Iceman and Shadowcat as they both rolled into each others arms just as Angel walks on them.
  • Oblivious to Love: Nightcrawler seems to have no idea just how badly Scarlet Witch is into him. Similarly, Cyclops never seems to realize that Emma Frost is interested in him.
  • Oh Crap!: Nightcrawler's reaction to Mojo sending a brainwashed Wolverinie after him and Wanda. "Oh, dang."
  • Older Than They Look: At first it seems like Iceman is near the same age as Shadowcat (as he was in the movies and X-Men: Evolution), to the point that they may even be in a relationship, but a later episode shows that he's a founding X-Man, just like he is in the comics.
  • Overprotective Dad: Magneto, but only to Lorna.
  • Papa Wolf: Magneto does not take Senator Kelly's hiring of Gambit to attack Genosha lightly.
  • Parental Substitute: Rogue thinks of Logan as this. Or at least, as an absentee-version of it, since he keeps leaving for days or weeks at a time.
  • Pink Means Feminine: flashbacks show Jean Grey wearing a pink shirt (with blue and purple hair bands) as a teenager. Also Kitty is seen wearing pink at least once.
  • Pokémon Speak: Rover, a Sentinel that Polaris built out of scrap, only says the word "Destroy". Before being destroyed, he says to Marrow, "Run."
  • Powered By A Foresaken Child: One of Magneto's schemes involves having Mystique place some kind of power amplifying device on Tildie Smoans, making her powers go completely out of control. Fortunately, Rogue is able to find and break the device.
  • Power Strain Blackout: Christy faints after using her powers to save Wolverine and her father.
  • Punch Clock Villain: The MRD could be considered this, even though they aren't focused very much personally.
  • The Purge: During the first episode focusing on the Bad Future, Kamal mentions the Sentinels killed all the telepaths, save Charles.
  • Rebellious Princess: Polaris.
  • Reed Richards Is Useless: Zig-zagged. After leaving the X-Men, Storm goes off to Africa, using her mutant powers to transform vast swathes of the country into working farmland. And then the minute the Shadow King attacks she drops all this and goes back to the X-Men, to be of no more use whatsoever.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Poor Emma Frost...
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Unlike the other types of X-men series, Wolverine is the blue oni to Cyclops' red oni.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Marrow, who gets so distraught over Rover's destruction that she sells Professor Xavier out to Master Mold, completely forgetting that this will mean the total extinction of all mutantkind.
  • 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.
  • Robot Buddy: Rover, for Marrow.
  • Sacrificial Lamb: Jean Grey in the first episode. At least, that's what they wanted us to believe.
  • Say My Name: Cyclops: SINISTER!!!!!!!!
  • Second Love:
    • Emma Frost is set up to be this towards Cyclops but her death makes the development null - made even more null by the series being cancelled.
    • Mariko is Wolverine's second love, with Mystique being his first back when he worked for Weapon X.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: Prof X sends them messages from the Bad Future, in the hope they can stop it.
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend: Nightcrawler says this about the Scarlet Witch. She is visibly sad.
  • Ship Tease:
    • Angel and Storm. We only get to see it in one episode, though, thanks to the show's cancellation. And it's the episode where Angel is brainwashed and turned into Archangel, no less.
    • They also teased the hell out of Nightcrawler and Scarlet Witch. See She Is Not My Girlfriend.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Logan calls Hank Chewie in the first episode.
    • In the episode that focuses on Jean, there is a scene where Bobby Drake (Iceman) is clearly playing a Real Life Iron Man game. More specifically, the main console game based on the first film.
  • Spider Tank: The Sentinel Prowler.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Title: Wolverine and the X-Men. You might not notice the second part at first on some posters.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: For a show called "Wolverine and the X-Men" Nightcrawler gets way more focus than anyone else (other than Wolverine, of course).
  • Sunglasses at Night: Cyclops, as usual, to contain his otherwise-uncontrollable mutant powers.
  • 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.
  • The End... Or Is It?: Toward the end of the series, the X-Men attack the Sentinel warehouse, destroying numerous Sentinels and working with the Brotherhood to destroy Master Mold. At the very end of the episode, it's shown Master Mold downloaded itself into a damaged Sentinel.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: The way time changes in the future from the present.
  • Token Good Teammate: Domino, to the Brotherhood.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Nightcrawler is decidedly more badass than he appears in other adaptations.
  • Took a Level in Dumbass: Marrow, when she turns the Sentinels on Xavier and the rest of his team, because their orders sacrificed Rover, her pet, reprogrammed Sentinel.
    • Quicksilver; though much of it is Magneto's complaints, the whole near-disaster with Nitro, where he didn't stop to think that maybe bringing a mutant whose uncontrollable power is blowing up onto his dad's precious mutant haven isn't such a good idea. Especially when the best he can do to try and control said mutant's power is to have an inexperienced telepath — who even warns him she's never tried anything like this before — tinker with the mutant's brain. If the X-men hadn't intervened, Quicksilver would have been personally responsible for the deaths of half the mutants on the planet.
    • Cyclops, who is so caught up in his despair over Jean's disappearance that he does things like go off to pick a fight with Mr. Sinister, which even Wolverine proclaims is a bad idea. Arguments about characterization aside, it's not so hard to consider why Professor Xavier might have considered Cyclops to not be in any shape to lead the team.
  • Too Dumb to Live; Oh sure, Inner Circle, go ahead and try to probe Phoenix's mind without Emma Frost, the one who knows what she's doing. I'm sure nothing will go wrong.
    • Cyclops ain't much smarter either.
    • Marrow took the loss of Rover a little too hard - and did something stupid.
  • 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 also Quicksilver, to Magneto, even as Magneto outright tells him to his face that he considers Quicksilver a bungling incompetent and the Scarlet Witch and Polaris desert him in the series finale.
    • And of course, Cyclops with his seemingly indestructible determination to hold out hope for Jean Grey's eventual return.
  • Victorious Childhood Friend: Jean Grey may or may not count as this reclaiming Cyclops for herself at the end - though it may be more like Victorious Teenage Friend.
  • The Un Favourite: Magneto makes it very clear which of his three children he has the least regard for. It's Quicksilver.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Apocalypse, of all people, has a massive crowd cheering at the sight of him in the last scene of the series.
  • Violently Protective Girlfriend: Teen Jean Grey going toe to toe with Magneto to save teen Cyclops may count, but probably even more so as an adult when she violently throws Emma Frost up against a wall and binds her there with pipes for kissing an unconscious Cyclops. And in between that briefly going into Phoenix mode when Cyclops almost gets knifed by Ark-Angel.
  • "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.
  • 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. Later on, Gambit - we don't know what happened to him after Polaris sank the boat in which he was leaving Genosha.
    • 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 Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?:
    • Subverted in the episode where Nightcrawler saves a sinking ship with help from a bunch of mutants with marginal-seeming powers.
    • Played straight with Marrow, if unintentionally. Hurling bone blades is pretty useless when you're fighting Giant Robots and smaller robots with a Healing Factor. She cracks a Sentinel's chest-laser lens in one episode and... that's about it. Even the one time one of her blades comes in handy, knocking Polaris' helmet off, it's Domino who uses it for that purpose and not Marrow herself.
  • 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 objections, 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.
  • Wild Card: Gambit's not above renegotiating his contracts under fire. And then bailing out once he gets what he wanted.
  • Wolverine Publicity: The title and the posters show him prominently.
  • The Worf Effect:
    • 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 entire X-Men team gets kidnapped by ninjas just so Wolverine can rescue them. Our heroes, ladies and gentlemen...
  • Would Hurt a Child: Colonel Moss has no qualms doing this, whether or not the child is a mutant.
  • Yandere: Cyclops to Jean Grey full stop.
    • And Vica Versa, when Jean Grey saw Emma Frost kissing Cyclops, possibly not even seeing her actual kiss him but just seeing her near him from profile, she was pissed. (Serves her right for being fickle about him and Wolverine though).
    • Given the violent response, it's almost certain she did, and it's hardly just desserts.
    • Actually Jean does not fit the trope at all. While Cyclops fits the trope to a T (even before she disappeared he had some serious Stalker with a Crush tendencies going for him) Jean, based on what little we see of her, appears to be too sane and stable to be a Yandere, as evidenced by the fact that she's not as clingy or overly reliant on Cyclops as he is on her. Even her "violent" attack on Emma is not nearly as brutal or as vicious as Cyclops's attack on Wolverine; even in a moment of supposed anger Jean is still the more calm and controlled of the two. Even her voice when she threatens Emma lacks any real malice or emotion.
  • You're Insane!: Scott to Sinister in Shades of Grey.

Alternative Title(s):

Wolverine And The X-Men