1990s animated series based on the popular X-Men
An ambitious attempt to adapt the most famous comic storylines. One of the most popular series on Fox
's Saturday morning lineup, and remembered fondly despite its limited animation quality and a few less-than stellar story arcs.The main characters were:
- Jubilation Lee/Jubilee, the teenage Na´ve Newcomer who, at the beginning of the series, has just discovered she's a pyrotechnic-throwing mutant.
- Ororo Munroe/Storm, weather-controlling African native.
- Rogue, Southern belle whose touch drains life, memory and powers, and who begins the series after having absorbed Ms. Marvel's Flying Brick abilities (but also gaining her vengeful consciousness trapped inside her own psyche) in addition to her own.
- Remy LeBeau/Gambit, smooth-talking, card-playing Cajun thief with the ability to charge up objects and make them explode.
- Dr. Hank McCoy/Beast, blue, furry Genius Bruiser whose feet can stick to walls and ceilings.
- Scott Summers/Cyclops, the stolid, straight-faced field leader who shoots
lasers force beams out of his eyes.
- Jean Grey, telepathic, telekinetic, and Cyclops's love interest.
- Logan/Wolverine, Anti-Hero Jerk with a Heart of Gold Bad Ass (as badass as one can be in yellow spandex, anyway) with claws, a metal skeleton, and a Healing Factor. Enough Popularity Power to have more spotlight episodes (including solos) than the others combined.
- Morph, jovial, shapeshifter who was was killed in the first episode saving Wolverine from an ambush. However, due to the unexpected popularity of the character, he was brought back.
- Professor Charles Xavier/Professor X, the team's mentor and Team Dad, who uses a wheelchair and possesses extremely powerful psychic abilities which he uses with great restraint.
Together, they fought evil mutants, giant robots
, government conspiracies
, cosmic forces
, and occasionally each other
, while protecting those who hated and feared them. It is being recapped episode-by-episode by Chris Sims (with occasional jumps to seasonally appropriate episodes) on Comicsalliance here
Another animated series based on the X-Men comic, X-Men: Evolution
, was made in the early '00s, followed by Wolverine and the X-Men
in the late '00s. In 2015, this universe will be revisited under the title "X-Men '92" as part of the Secret Wars (2015)
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- Aborted Arc: In "Beyond Good and Evil, Part 2," it is clearly stated that Magneto is only aiding Apocalypse to have his "beloved wife" resurrected. This was not referred to again and a far different motivation was stated in Part 4.
- Above Good and Evil: Apocalypse delivers this line in the beginning of the four-parter "Beyond Good and Evil". Before pulling this moral relativism card however, he did have the gall to call Cable an "evil mutant" for trying to stop his genocidal war by attacking the source of his immortality.
Apocalypse: Evil? I am not malevolent, I simply am!
- And later on in the same arc -
Apocalypse: Spare me your petty judgements. They sprain from a brain too meager to comprehend my reality.
- Action-Hogging Opening: Especially in the Japanese opening titles, which feature Magneto summoning the Brood, which are an alien species that have nothing to do with him.
- Adaptation-Induced Plot Hole / Series Continuity Error:
- When Warren Worthington (Archangel) is introduced, he has no connection to Xavier or the X-Men. In "Cold Comfort", a flashback reveals the first 5 X-Men and one of them has big angelic wings on his shoulders.
- Cable's appearance in the first season suggests he's been in the present day for quite some time but there's no attempt to reconcile it with his later appearances where he's clearly a man from the future who dives into the present only to Set Right What Once Went Wrong. This may be the result of the series's writers being unaware of Marvel's plans for him. The first season aired 1992-1993, whereas Cable's origin wasn't confirmed in the comics until December 1993. Thus, the series writers likely adjusted to avoid any serious contradictions with the source material. Also of note, whereas there is no attempt to reconcile the two seasons' Cable appearances, the first season is not ignored. Rogue explicitly recalls her first encounter with Cable when the two battle in "Time Fugitives, Part 2." Being a time traveling commando however it can be explained away that his first appearance was him tracking down Apocalypse, who was central to that storyline.
- "Enter Magneto" was clearly the first time the X-Men encountered or had even heard of Magneto. A flashback in "Cold Comfort" shows the original five X-Men had fought him at least once.
- Wolverine fights robot duplicates of antagonists he hasn't even met yet: The Shi'ar Imperial Guard (Gladiator, Flashfire, and Earthquake), in the Season 2 episode "Mojovision". He would later encounter the real-deal (who are much tougher) in Season 3.
- Jean replies to Cyclops when he insists that she couldn't be the assassin who betrays the X-Men, saying that it very well could be her, alluding to her "[bad] moments" and asking if he's forgotten. It isn't elaborated on further, but it's implied it relates to the "The Dark Phoenix Saga", which would only come midway through Season 3.
- Adaptation Name Change: When Wolverine revealed that Graydon Creed was Sabretooth's son in "Beauty and the Beast", the latter is identified as "Graydon Creed, Sr." instead of "Victor Creed".
- Adaptational Attractiveness: The Shadow King's human body. In comics he's fat and bald. In the series he's a handsome Egyptian with a Badass Beard. The animators based his character design on a later host body of the Shadow King entity, Jacob Reisz, rather than Amahl Farouk, the body he was in when he was introduced in the comics (though perhaps not his original form).
- Adaptational Heroism:
- Magneto. Mags has always been a complex character, doing acts others consider villainy or heroism as needed to protect mutants, so the sight of him helping the X-Men and meaning it is not too surprising in any continuity. However, when he's bad, look out. His list of villainous exploits is impressive, and everyone's leery of him even when he's been playing nice for a while because they know that "what must be done to protect mutants" being helping old ladies cross the street now doesn't mean it won't be "showdown that could well start World War III" someday. In this series, he's only properly villainous in his introductory two-parter, and every appearance after that has him alongside the X-Men against common foes. However, when the show came out, comic Mags had been 95% reformed for about a decade or so.
- Cable's son Tyler. In the comics he was an Antagonistic Offspring and eventually became a supervillain going so far as trying to follow in Apocalypse's steps. Here Tyler is a straight-up hero and he and Cable are very close. Probably Justified via Stryfe, whose actions caused their relationship to go sour in the original comics, being Adapted Out.
- Adapted Out:
- Raksor the Skrull and his Kree counterpart are absent from the Dark Phoenix Saga. Raksor is replaced by the imperial guardsman Hobgoblin (as both were technically Chameleon Boy stand-ins), but nobody covers the part of the Kree observer.
- Mores significantly, Kitty Pryde. In episodes that were adaptations of stories she appeared in, her role was usually given to Jubilee.
- A Day in the Limelight: Every character gets some time for the viewers to learn about their backstory. (Although some more than others)
- Adult Fear: When Corsair recalls the fateful day that he spent what he thought would be this last moments trying to save his children's life by tying them up into a single parachute, he and his wife witness the parachute catch fire, and feared the worst for them. Although he, by a twist of fate survived and escaped D'Ken star cruiser, it's for this reason that he saw no reason to return to Earth ever again, believing he had lost his family, and that there was nothing there to return to.
- Alien Invasion: The Phalanx
- All In The Manual: There was a reason Cyclops and Havok's powers had no effect on each other when they fought in "Cold Comfort". They are brothers, but unlike the comics, they never find out they're related.
- All of the Other Reindeer: Anti-mutant hysteria, though it grows less prominent after Senator Robert Kelly's life is saved by the X-Men, just before he's elected president. It's still pretty bad, though.
- Almighty Janitor: A literal example in the "Above Good and Evil" four-parter, when Bishop is accompanied by a total nut, who reveals he takes care of the Axis of Time, to Bishop's incredulity. When everyone leaves and time is restored, he transform into his true form: Immortus.
- Alternate Time Line: Almost anything involving Bishop or Cable.
- Alternative Foreign Theme Song: The Japanese dub of X-Men not only has a different theme song, it completely reanimates the opening! It also uses a new ending.
- American Accents: Surprisingly well-done—Xavier is completely believable for Westchester County, Gambit is stereotypical but very consistent, and (not actually American, of course) Magneto has just the right touch of Central European on top of a cultured American accent. Rogue's southern accent isn't really one at all, though.
- And I Must Scream: The episodes "The Phalanx Covenant" and "Love In Vain" are good examples.
- Animation Bump: The openings by OLM Incorporated and AKOM are better looking than the rest of the show, which was done largely by the latter studio.
- Artistic License ľ Geography: "Days of Future Past" has Gambit travel to Washington, D.C., but the monitor shows this as being located in the state of Washington.
- Ascended Extra: Cameron Hodge starts out as some as aide to some guy calling himself "The Leader", who governed Genosha in the episode "Slave Island". He apparently survived the climax of that episode and became the chief antagonist of the two-parter, "The Phalanx Covenant".
- Ascended Fanboy: In "Old Soldiers," Logan objects to his general giving him backup...until he discovers that he'll get to work with Captain America. Logan's thoughts sound as close to squee as he can go without completely breaking character.
- Nathaniel Essex provides a darker example, as he was an admirer of Charles Darwin's work on natural selection, and immediately concluded not only that Darwin's theories apply to humans as well, but the next evolutionary stage for mankind was fast approaching. Darwin downplayed the validity of Essex's own theories, but Essex became obsessed to the point of becoming an Evilutionary Biologist, and became the supervillain Mister Sinister.
- As Long as There Is Evil: Discussed when Beast ponders whether or not Apocalypse, as a personification of evil, can truly be destroyed or if a new evil will simply take Apocalypse's place. Cable replies that he doesn't care. It seems that Apocalypse is killed when his Lazarus Chamber is destroyed in Ancient Egypt and he gets willed out of existence by the collective power of the psychics within the Axis of Time, but he was just banished to the Astral Plane, a featureless dimension. When Fabian Cortez tries to revive him, Beast expresses disbelief at his survival, but Cortez confirms that Apocalypse's essence can never truly be destroyed.
- As Long as There Is One Man: This trope kicks off the four-parter "Beyond Good And Evil", when Apocalypse defeats Cable in the year 3999, and steals his time-travelling device. As Apocalypse is about to rid himself of his mortal enemy, Cable cries that more like him will continue opposing him, and "the world can't stomach his evil forever". Apocalypse scoffs at his outburst, considering himself to be above his moral sensibilities...but then briefly muses on the prospect of having to face guys like Cable, as he had previously done many times in his extremely long lifetime to be a Fate Worse Than Death. After refusing to accept this to be true, a time-travelling mishap brings him to the "Axis of Time", and he attempts to remake the universe in his own image. Interestingly, it turns out that Apocalypse himself is also indestructible as an avatar of evil — he can only be sealed away temporarily.
- Audience Surrogate: Jubilee is meant to serve this function, assuming one identifies with her.
- Ax-Crazy: Wolverine, to the point of being a Sociopathic Hero at times.
- This is played straight with Sabretooth.
- Apocalypse as well. Even Rogue was taken aback to how nuts he is. This extended to his henchmen, particularly Death (Angel/Warren Worthington) as well. Rogue had to absorb the Ax Craziness to get him to stop.
- Graydon Creed.
- Back for the Finale: Morph appears in the final episode "Graduation Day," reuniting with all his previous X-Men allies to say good-bye to Professor X.
- Back from the Dead: Jean Grey, of course, as they adapted her plot arcs directly from the comics. Morph came back in Season 2 though he had been intended to stay dead.
- Badass Boast: Every sentence Apocalypse utters is this. Here.
- Badass Bookworm: Beast.
- Badass Longcoat: Gambit.
- Badbutt: Wolverine, (although his popularity hardly suffered for it) Cable and Apocalypse.
- Bad Future: Anything involving Bishop or Cable. Specifically, season one directly invokes Days of Future Past (in the two parter with the same name, whilst arguably the entire season arc is preventing that future), season two has Cable's involvement with an equivalent of the Legacy Virus storyline, and season four opens with the reveal of yet another Bad Future, this one based on open human/mutant war.
- Bad Powers, Good People: Rogue's actual mutant power is to involuntarily take energy from other people through her touch, though she is a kind person despite the influence of people like Mystique in her past.
- Bald of Awesome: Professor X.
- Battle in the Center of the Mind: A rather common plot device, the most notable being Professor Xavier battling the Shadow King and Rogue dealing with the transplanted personality of Miss Marvel.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: After dispatching the entire team with ease, Dark Phoenix focuses on Xavier and purposefully invokes this.
"You once told Jean Grey that the greatest joy a teacher had is to be surpassed by his own pupil. Enjoy!"
- Beard of Sorrow: Magneto at one point grows one. And it is glorious.
- Beast Man:
- Beast subverts this in as much as his beastly aspects are purely physical.
- The only-slightly-less-obvious Wolverine and Sabretooth.
- Beneath the Earth: the Morlocks
- Beware the Nice Ones: Beast. You really get to know why he has that codename when a gang of anti-mutant thugs kidnap his girlfriend. And seriously, do not piss off Jean Grey when she's cooking.
- Big Bad: Apocalypse in a more series-wide capacity, since Magneto's Heel-Face Revolving Door was played up. Mister Sinister clearly holds this status in Season 2, though.
- Big "NO!": Wolverine and some of the Big Bad villains do this
- Bittersweet Ending: "Graduation Day".
- The last episode of the "Phoenix Force Saga" four-parter: "Child of Light". It ends with Jean adopting her role as Phoenix and Guardian of the M'Kraan Crystal, saving the galaxy from D'Ken, but leaving the X-Men to make sure it's never misused again, by plunging it into the core of the Sun. Nobody even knew if Jean would come back.
- The second part of "Storm Front": The X-Men find out that the planet of seemingly noble ruler Arkon, oppresses and enslaves the people from its neighboring planet. This particularly upsets Storm, who herself had been enslaved before, but had fallen in love with Arkon, so after she liberates the enslaved people, she leaves for Earth with the team, yet we can clearly see she is heartbroken over everything that happened.
- Bloodless Carnage: Averted in the first season finale where the Sentinels attack Magneto. When the X-Men find him under machinery later, he's a bloodied mess and clearly on the edge of death.
- Body Horror: In "Savage Land, Savage Heart, Part 1," Karl Lykos explains that Sauron is the result of Mister Sinister experimenting on him.
- Bouquet Toss: When Scott and Jean get married, Beast catches it.
- Bowdlerization: To avoid mentioning the Holocaust in a kids' show, Magneto's backstory is changed slightly. In this version, he's a refugee from a war in some generic unnamed Eastern European country.
- And the villainous Hellfire Club became the "Circle Club" (though oddly their suggestive costumes weren't changed very much).
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Morph after he was brought back to life by Mister Sinister to manipulate the X-Men, and Jean Grey being manipulated by Mastermind to join the Hellfire Club...although being possessed by the Phoenix also helped.
- Especially when the previously emotionless cosmic being becomes addicted to human emotions.
- Break the Haughty: Wolverine, during the "Proteus" arc.
- Breather Episode: "Mojovision," which comes in after the emotionally heavy "Beauty & the Beast" and right before the "Reunion" two-part season finale.
- British Accents: Mr. Sinister (who was born in England) and Brainchild speak with faint traces of one. However, British-born Psylocke does not.
- The Scottish accents were painfully bad (including Moira MacTaggert's), which is particularly unfortunate since several episodes purport to take place in Scotland.
- Pyro speaks with a sterotypical (and poor) Cockney accent, slang and all. All the weirder, since the Pyro is canonically Australian.
- Broken Aesop: One episode has Wolverine exploiting the bigotry of a bunch of anti-mutant radicals by revealing their leader to be the son of Sabretooth, a mutant, causing his men to turn against him. The X-Men, after all, are trying to bring about peace and understanding humans and mutants, and Wolverine was just fueling the fire.
- Many of the older storylines involving Nightcrawler made it anviliciously clear that Fantastic Racism is bad, that we shouldn't judge people by their external appearance, and that having horns and a tail doesn't necessarily make you the Antichrist. Enter Chuck Austen, and it turns out Nightcrawler really was half-demon all along.
- The Brute: Sabertooth. Particularly in Beyond Good and Evil.
- Butterfly of Doom
- Calling the Old Man Out:
- Wolverine to Professor X when Sabretooth was in their infirmary and Magneto was attacking. "How come we gotta trash your old enemy, but we gotta go easy on mine?"
- Professor X realized Wolverine was right, realizing that not ALL mutants want peaceful co-existence.
- Cyclops and Corsair, in a truly gut-wrenching scene.
- Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch to Magneto.
- Xavier gets this from Iceman during his guest appearance.
- The Caligula: Its very strongly hinted that D'Ken is or was one. He, on a whim abducted a human couple (which we later find out were Cyclops' parents: Chistopher and Katherine Summers) inadvertently saving them from a plane explosion because he wanted to keep them as "live specimen". He later had Katherine killed in front of Christopher, who would escape from him and become Corsair. Lilandra often wastes no opportunity to call him a "madman", implying his rule wasn't very pleasant.
- Calling Your Attacks: Storm, every time she uses her powers, presumably to explain exactly what she's doing to the audience. Lampshaded humorously during the Spider-Man: The Animated Series crossover. May have to do with the fact Storm is a Large Overdramatic Ham.
- The Cameo: One of the things the series is remembered for. Various Avengers, Doctor Strange, War Machine, Spider-Man (well, his hand and shadow at least), The Punisher, Black Panther, and Deadpool are just some of the characters to pop up throughout the series. Numerous mutants from the comics also made these. Additionally, characters with speaking roles in even one episode will tend to reappear in cameos in others.
- Hell, in the last season finale starring Apocalypse, a Guardian shows up as one of the psychics.
- Eagle-eyed observers can spot the Age of Apocalypse versions of Sabertooth and Wildchild in the Bad Future from season four.
- Canon Immigrant: Morph is an unusual example, as the character who eventually became Morph was originally a reformed villain called the Changeling, who died in a Heroic Sacrifice back in the days of the original X-Men team.
- Canon Foreigner:
- Storm's godson Mj'nari the Fragile Speedster from the episode "Whatever It Takes".
- Subverted. In the "Captive Hearts" episode; though one of the morlocks Tar Baby exists in comics, he has a completely different look in the cartoon. Compare his Comic version to his Cartoon version◊.
- Cassandra Truth:
- When Professor X, having previously expressed concerns about his sanity, tries to tell the X-Men that an alien woman popped out of nowhere in front of him and was immediately abducted, the response is not what he'd hoped...
- When Wolverine is told that Alpha Flight abducted him in hopes of figuring out how to replicate the Weapon X project that only he survived, he spits back that they should already know he lived through the bonding process because of his Healing Factor. The Colonel smugly declares they're going to "probe" him anyway, just to make sure.
- Catch Phrase: Beast overdoes his "Fascinating" and "Oh dear". Also:
"The name's Gambit, remember it!"
Wolverine: "I go where I wanna go!"
"I am Storm, Mistress of the Elements!"
- Chained to a Railway; Played straight in an episode (Need episode name) where Jubilee is tied to some to subway tracks.
- Chain Link Fence: The opening includes a shot of Jubilee, being chased by an Angry Mob, running into a chain-link fence.
- The Chessmaster: Mr. Sinister; Apocalypse.
- Chivalrous Pervert: Gambit.
- Christmas Episode: An INFAMOUS one.
- Claustrophobia: Storm
- Coming-of-Age Story: Technically this applies to everyone, but Jubilee especially.
- Composite Character:
- Professor Oyama is an amalgamation of the Professor of Weapon X and Lord Dark Wind, the father of Lady Deathstrike.
- Lady Deathstrike herself has elements of Mariko Yashida, as in this incarnation, prior to becoming Deathstrike, she was Wolverine's lover.
- The Phalanx are a combination of comics Phalanx and the Technarchy, and act like the Borg.
- Contrived Coincidence:
- The Juggernaut gets thrown into the ocean, and just walks it off. Where does he emerge? New York, where the X-Men are based.
- In "The Phalanx Covenant", Beast and Warlock go to meet Forge and Quicksilver at a diner, but get attacked by the Phalanx. Fortunately, Mr. Sinister, who had previously been attacked by the Phalanx and tried to warn the X-Men about them, just happened to be at the same diner in disguise.
- Cool Big Sis: Storm, Rogue, and Jean to Jubilee.
- Cool Little Sis: Shard to Bishop.
- Cool Old Guy: Professor X.
- Crossover: With Spider-Man: The Animated Series, which ran alongside X-Men. It was pretty much inevitable. In fact before his series was developed a cameo of Spider-Man can be seen in one episode saving some civilians of New York from a tidal wave (he wasn't fully shown save for an arm but it was still pretty clear who he was). The series' voice cast were even flown to LA from Canada to record their lines for the crossover.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: X-Men vs. The Shi'ar Imperial Guards. The X-Men were getting creamed...badly. Until the Dark Phoenix shows up.
- Cyborg: Cable, Forge, Apocalypse.
- Dark-Skinned Blond: Shard.
- Dark-Skinned Redhead: Wolfsbane.
- Darker and Edgier: Compared to every other Marvel animated series (since the 1960's 'cartoons'), or rather every action animation till the time, the pilot episode itself gives you a hint that this is very unlike your average Saturday morning action animation. The Marvel equivalent of Batman: The Animated Series—admittedly toned down (largely due to censorship) in comparison, but still a lot harder than, say, Super Friends, or the original animated GI Joe and Transformers.
- Dating Catwoman: Longshot and Spiral.
- Dead Person Impersonation: Dr. Adler was already killed before the episode "the Cure", when Mystique was impersonating as him.
- Deadpan Snarker: Wolverine; Gambit; Cyclops; Bishop; Rogue, even Storm and Jean.
- Deconstructed Trope: In the episode where the Juggernaut's powers are transferred to someone else, said someone else gets Juggy's Super Strength. Which promptly ruins his life by turning him into an unintentionally-destructive human demolition crew.
- Demoted to Extra: Every character in the series had this happen to them. With the obvious exception... Two notable X-Men, Colossus and Nightcrawler, were regulated to cameos and guest appearances. This was thanks to them having been a part of Excalibur in the comics at the time, as well as Marvel's desire to focus on the more current 90's members of the team. Poor Kitty Pryde didn't appear at all.
- Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: Mystique apparently does this throughout the series. She never really has any major schemes, and initially served Apocalypse; and the only plot she came up with involved getting her adopted daughter back when Mister Sinister informed her Professor X is out of the way. She even outright tells Rogue that she serves Apocalypse because he gives her purpose, like the X-Men does to Rogue. When he's gone, she's manipulated into a trap by Graydon Creed to eliminate his mutant family, and she's painfully describes her pitiful life to Nightcrawler.
- Determinator: Most of the characters shared this trait.
- Deus Exit Machina:
- This happens to Professor X in season 2, as the X-Men had to deal with challenges that were originally resolved by him. A good thing that Jean's a telepath herself (if not as skilled).
- Rogue had to be written out of the first episode of the Phoenix Saga, with Xavier saying she's on a mission. This may sound random until you realize that due to her Mega Manning and Flying Brick powers (which let her survive the vacuum of space and reentry into the atmosphere), she could have done everything Jean did without a single hitch. In fact, when Rogue gets back and learns what happened, she blames herself for not being there to do this. In the comics, she hadn't been created as a character yet.
- Wolverine was thrown this trope during the season 2 finale and the beginning of the Dark Phoenix saga. His adamantium claws would've made breaking out all too easy. Hence why at the beginning of each fight, he is disposed of quite early (thrown off a waterfall in the one case, knocked 5 stories down into the sewers in the other) only to come back when the villains were about to dispose of the other X-Men
- Dirty Communists: The plot of one episode has a group of hard-line Communists revive Omega Red to use as a weapon to restore the former Soviet Union. It didn't go as planned...
- Disappeared Dad: Played straight with Cyclops until he meets Corsair and realizes that he is Cyclops' father.
- Disneyfication: The series' version of the Brood. While they cameoed in their regular forms in "Mojovision" and "Cold Comfort," "Love in Vain" depicted them as humanoid reptiles with mechanical tentacles. They weren't even called the Brood, instead referred to as "the Colony." Their victims are also transformed by spores instead of being impregnated with an egg.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: The Final Solution. The Friends of Humanity high command wear face concealing cloaks ala the Ku Klux Klan. Also, the Friends of Humanity members wear armbands with an eagle, in a shape vaguely reminiscent of the Iron Cross.
- Downer Ending: Near the end of "Weapon X, Lies, and Videotapes'', they learn that their memories were fabricated, with implications that some might be true. Wolverine pointed out that the fake cabin didn't have the carving of "Logan+Kayla" inside a heart on the door, Wolverine believes their love for each other was real. However, Kayla (now Silver Fox) said that even if that was true "that was another lifetime". The episode ends with a pan to a tree with the carving.
- In "Repo Man" Wolverine leaves Alpha Flight for the last time, warning them not to come after him, making the hopes of restoring the friendship between him and the group no closer than they first left: which is to say, very distant.
- Dragon Ascendant: After Mr. Sinister was defeated in the Savage Land, Sauron takes up the reins and quickly takes over the area.
- Dragon with an Agenda: Fabian Cortez to Magneto
- Friendly Enemy: Professor X and Magneto view each other as worthy rivals on an ideological level, having even been good friends pre-schism
- Hidden Depths:
- Gambit runs around like a carefree troublemaker who does nothing more than chase skirts and throw cards (charged or otherwise), but when he heard news about his family being in trouble and his fiancee Belladonna in the episode "X-Ternally Yours", his carefree demeanor changed, and he stayed serious throughout the entire episode, even its resolution, where he announced never to get involved with them again.
- Wolverine, of course regarding his Jerk with a Heart of Gold traits. Much of his cynicism comes from some rather bad episodes in his life, such as the Weapon X program, losing the women he loved, and even in the Christmas Episode, where it turned out that his refusal to help Leech was nothing to do with him being a Morlock, but several unsuccessful blood transfusions to patients, one of them being not much older than Leech.
- Cyclops comes off as an overly-serious, humorless character. But as Jean knows quite well, his passions run deeper than probably anyone else on team.
- Beast is an affable, jovial character who often has an intelligent and/or humorous quip about any situation, something not expected of his appearance. However, "Beauty and the Beast" revealed that he hides a lot of self-loathing about his mutation, after anti-mutant hysteria flared up when he tried a forge a relationship with a blind patient.
- Rogue comes off as a fun-loving, high-spirited, wise-cracking Southern Belle, with a bit of a temper, but generally all-around Nice Girl. However, deep down she feels a great deal of loneliness and self-pity due to her powers, and the frustration she can never touch the ones she loves, which almost led her to try and "cure" herself of her mutation.
- High Collar of Doom: Magus in the Fairy Tale episode.
- Hot-Blooded: Wolverine, Bishop, Cable, Sabretooth and Rogue.
- Cyclops also had his moments of this.
- Hot Witch: Appropriately, Wanda the Scarlet Witch.
- And Storm, who is called a Weather Witch.
- Human Aliens: the Shi'ar, with feathers for hair
- Hypnotize the Princess: Jean, by one of the Morlocks, but it didn't work so well.
- I Lied: In the four-partner "Beyond Good and Evil", Apocalypse gets in this habit.
- He tricks an evil former empress trying to take back the throne from her sister by promising to abduct said sister, but instead takes one of her sister's body guards for her psychic abilities.
Deathbird: You promised to destroy Lilandra!
Apocalypse: I LIED.
- Later in the same four-partner, after Apocalypse unveils the full omnicidal extent of his evil plan, he admits he was pulling Magneto's leg with empty promises to get him on his side temporarily.
Magneto: You spoke of creating an alternate future in which mutants would rule, as I have always dreamed!
Apocalypse: Then you were fool enough to believe me.
- I Owe You My Life: "Repo Man" plays it straight in the flashbacks, as Wolverine expresses genuine gratitude towards Heather and James/Vindicator - agreeing to work for their department out of appreciation. However, things obviously didn't work out and Wolverine no longer feels this way.
- If You Ever Do Anything to Hurt Her...: Wolverine tells Cyclops in the wedding reception: "If she's [Jean's] not happy, make sure I don't find out." before opening his claws to cut a slice of the wedding cake.
- I Just Want to Be Normal: All the X-Men have had this at some point or other. but the special mention goes to Rogue, who's the one it happens to most frequently. She started feeling like this in the early part of the series, considering taking the "mutant cure", but deciding against it in the end. However, the cure was a ruse to transform mutants into Apocalypse's Four Horsemen.
- A good runner-up is Beast. While generally very accepting of being a mutant, in "Beauty & the Beast," he openly laments that his powers keep him from having a normal life, associating with his family and from being with the woman he loves.
- As revealed in the Spider-Man: The Animated Series crossover, he tried to create a cure for mutation. But discard it after discovering that not only will it eradicate the mutant gene, but also the carrier.
- Of all the X-Men, Cyclops probably had the most sympathy for Rogue's plight during the "mutant cure" story arc, for good reason.
- "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Cyclops calls out to Jean after the Dark Phoenix takes control of her. Xavier does so later - requesting Jean's help during a psychic battle with the entity.
- In Their Own Image: Apocalypse steals Cable's time travel device in the far future and travels to a temporal center called the Axis of Time. He kidnaps psychics from all eras in history, and then uses their combined power to wipe out all reality so he can rebuild it to his choosing.
- I Surrender, Suckers: Cyclops, in the first episode ("Night of the Sentinels")
Sentinel: Surrender, mutant.
Cyclops: Of course. *puts hands up* Not! *takes off glasses and blasts the Sentinel*
- Immortality Inducer: The secret to Apocalypse's immortality is the Lazarus Chamber, an ancient device located inside his pyramidal headquarters in Cairo. It allows him to rejuvenate himself every hundred or so years and restore his power to his prime.
- Immortal Life Is Cheap: Proteus manages to rip Wolverine in half, then melt him into a puddle.
- Implacable Man: Juggernaut.
- Nimrod as well. The only way Bishop stopped him was by sending him back to his time.
- Impossibly Cool Clothes: Most of the cast pulls this to some extent.
- Intergenerational Friendship: The rest of the X-Men, especially Wolverine to Jubilee.
- Interspecies Romance: Corsair and his current girlfriend.
- Also Beast and his girlfriend Carly.
- And Longshot and Spiral.
- Professor X and Lilandra.
- Ironic Echo:
Rogue's dad: <to Rogue> You're not my daughter! Not anymore!
Rogue: <to Mystique> I ain't you daughter! Not anymore!
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Wolverine for Jean when she marries Cyclops.
- It's Not You, It's My Enemies: This is basically why Beast decides to stop seeing Carly at the end of "Beauty and the Beast", since the nature of his very active battle for mutant rights puts the the people he loves in danger.
- Jack the Ripper: Sinister created him.
- Jerkass Has a Point: Callisto, who previously kidnapped Cyclops and Jean during her time as Leader of the Morlocks to have the former as her consort, bitterly points out that Storm who took her position has not been much of a leader to the Morlocks since, and only came to their assistance when two of them were caught on the surface stealing supplies to help Leech, who became gravely ill. Storm seemed to agree, and after Leech recovered, she abdicated her position and returned it to Callisto.
- It's a Wonderful Plot: "One Man's Worth"
- Karma Houdini: Friends of Humanity organization, Army officials from episode "Hidden Agendas" and Apocalypse.
- Kneel Before Zod: Vertigo, twice, when using her powers on Wolverine in the two parter, Reunion:
Vertigo: "On your knees."
Vertigo: "Surrender to Vertigo."
- Large Ham: Close to everyone.
- Storm will MEET YOU AT THE MONORAIL!
her first '''any''' scene showing her powers.
- Also the Blob: "OH BOY! TUTTI FRUTTI!"
- Also, Bishop: "ASSASSINS!" * commercial break* "FOR THE FUTURE!!!"
- Wolverine's snarling delivery of even the silliest of lines.
- Any time Graydon Creed or Sabretooth have a Freak Out. Justified by Sabretooth being Graydons' dad.
- "I AM APOCALYPSE! LOOK UPON THE FUTURE...AND TREMBLE!"
- Cortez and Magneto in "Sanctuary" results in Ham-to-Ham Combat, and it is glorious: "DESTROY THE FLAT-SCAN HUMANS!"
- Magneto is excellent at being hammy. Watch "Sanctuary," parts 1 & 2, and "Graduation Day" for some prize bacon examples.
- THE NAME IS LADY DEATHSTRIKE! Yes Yuriko...we know who you are.
- Laser-Guided Karma: Graydon Creed, the leader of the anti-mutant "Friends of Humanity" organization, after failing to eliminate his mutant family, was abducted and flown by his own group to the home of Sabretooth, his father.
- Last Name Basis: Bishop, whose first name is Lucas.
- Left Hanging: The last season featured the return of Apocalypse, taking Cortez' body. Sadly, the series ended, and we're... well, Left Hanging.
- Legion of Doom: The "Beyond Good & Evil" four-parter has Apocalypse forming one with Magneto, Mystique, Sabertooth, Mister Sinister and the Nasty Boys, along with Deathbird, although she was quickly abandoned (as was Sabertooth). It quickly breaks apart when Apocalypse reveals his plan to destroy the multiverse, and Magneto and Mystique decide that it's not worth following him.
- Lens Flare: Used with blinding potential on Wolverine's claws just about any time he unsheathes them.
- Lethal Chef: Gambit.
- Lighter and Softer: Granted most of the time the show kept to a very dark tone, still many of the storylines adapted from the comics were subject to this. For example the in the comics, Proteus is shown to actually kill, and slowly destroy, his hosts; which is why he was locked up and is so dangerous (for added points, his parents' marriage was quite an unhappy one, and it's hinted he was a Child by Rape). In the show he merely possess them, leaving them with a serious headache; and the episode ends with a Hope Spot about him getting better. Similarly the Phalanx Saga ends with the infected being cured, whereas in the comics infection was a death sentence.
- Despite the countless times Wolverine slashes people, he never draws blood or kills anyone.
- Literal Genie: The Sentinels were programmed to "protect humans from mutants". However, because all humans have some level of genetic mutation, they interpreted it as "protect humans from themselves".
- Limited Wardrobe A lot of characters almost never change clothes, even when it makes no sense not to.
- Loads and Loads of Characters: Though not everyone in the comics at the time made an appearance, the producers did their level best.
- Look Ma, No Plane!: In one episode, Rogue once sat on the wing of a plane when she needed to think, and didn't notice the a passenger was freaking out. He even tries to tell the stewardess, but she just laughs.
- Luke, I Am Your Father:
- Cyclops finding out Corsair was his father.
- Rogue finding out Mystique had been her foster mother.
- Nightcrawler finding out that Mystique was his mother.
- Graydon Creed is a bit of a subversion as he knew Sabretooth was his father, but being the head of an anti-mutant organization, he was ashamed of it, to say the least. He goes through this for real when he learns that Mystique is his mother, however.
- Jean discovered that Cable was Cyclops' son, but did not told him. It is implied that Cable already knows.
- Nineties Anti-Hero: Cable, Bishop. Wolverine less so.
- No Endor Holocaust: The Dark Phoenix consumed a star to recharge. However, it was stated that the star system had no intelligent life around it—which was technically a good thing, given that it's a kid show. In the original story, the system was inhabited. Still, this didn't prevent the Shi'ar Empire from trying to destroy the Phoenix whatever the cost, and Jean was genuinely horrified by what the Phoenix drove her to do, since it was done largely on a whim and without concern for the lives that could have been lost.
- It wasn't stated. It was declared at least five times to make the point abundantly clear.
- No Indoor Voice: Apocalypse and Fabian Cortez.
- A few examples from various characters.
"STORM, MISTRESS OF THE ELEMENTS!!!"
"I SHALL MEET YOU AT THE MONORAIL!"
"I AM AS FAR BEYOND MUTANTS AS THEY ARE BEYOND YOU!"
- No Name Given: Rogue, since it hadn't yet been revealed in the comics. Also, Storm, who was only referred to as "Ororo" twice during the show's run.
- No One Gets Left Behind: Subverted in "Night of the Sentinels, Part 2," where Cyclops is forced to order a retreat—leaving Beast to be captured and Morph seemingly dead.
- Noble Demon: Magneto as always. Really evident in "Beyond Good and Evil," where he stands alongside far more evil villains.
- Noodle Incident: In "The Final Decision," Xavier reads Gambit's mind in order to learn about Henry Peter Gyrich and sees flashes of different events. Apparently, before joining the team, Gambit had a run-in with Ghost Rider.
- Not Quite Dead:
- Master Mold is an odd case of this, being a robot and everything.
- Magneto pulled this off in "Sanctuary: Part 2", after he was betrayed by Cortez, weakened and sent back to Earth to be killed by the heat from re-entry. However, due to the Earth's magnetic field he survived and initiated a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against Cortez.
- Also Morph.
- Not Quite Flight: Magneto and Jean Grey lift themselves using their magnetic and telekinetic powers respectively.
- Odd Friendship: Wolverine and Nightcrawler. Could also be said about Wolverine's close friendship with Morph.
- Off Model: This was frequent, and one episode it's particularly bad in is when Wolverine goes back to Japan.
- During the pilot episode(s) the height of the sentinels seems to vary a lot. Between 5 stories tall or twice the height of the average human.
- The final six episodes were animated by a different animation studio, causing noticeable differences in:
- Jubilee's eyes are changed from brown into blue.
- She also got a new hairstyle (a shoulder length bob with bangs instead of her usual crop). She never had said hairstyle in the comics. Presumably, it was changed to make it easier to draw, since they were now using a cheaper, lower quality, animation studio.
- Beast's appearance is far more human-like. His hands didn't even have claws.
- Oh, Crap: Beast's "Oh, dear" quote.
- A good example of this is when The Juggernaut comes barging in, trounces Wolverine, and the Gladiator arrives for Lilandra, No Sells a hit from Juggy then painfully grabs his arm and tosses into the horizon, the X-Men collectively soil their pants.
Jubilee: I thought no-one could do that to the Juggernaut!
Gambit: (glares at the descending Gladiator) Nobody from Earth.
- Omnicidal Maniac:
- Apocalypse is this mixed with A God Am I and crossed with a psycho survivalist. He wants to kill everyone he deems unfit and rule over whatever's left. As early as his first appearance in the show he announces his intent to destroy the world to Mystique. It's more evident in the "Beyond Good and Evil" four-parter, in which he plans to wipe out all of existence and start from scratch.
- Omega Red.
- Graydon Creed and the Friends of Humanity in regards to mutants. Seriously, they make Joe McCarthy look like a choir boy. Just look at the quote above.
- On the Next: The episode preceding the Phoenix storyline ends with a shot of the earth from space; a wall of fire blazes up behind it, with a caption over the flames: "Coming soon: The Phoenix Saga".
- Only Friend: In the finale, Magneto remarks that Xavier is his only friend.
- Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Many of the voice actors are Canadian, and never is this more obvious than when Jubilee says "Sorry" like "Soh-ry" instead of "Saw-ry".
- Morph's voice actor does fine in the first few eps, and his season 2 return, but starts slipping badly when the character is brought back for a cameo in season 4.
- Papa Wolf: Wolverine to Jubilee
- Parental Abandonment: Unfortunately there are plenty of choices.
- Perma Stubble:
- Pink Means Feminine: Jean has some pink clothes, like a pink evening dress.
- The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: Magneto starts out with a couple of respectably villainous attacks on a military base and a factory, and he has a brief stab at assassinating Senator Kelly, but after that, virtually every time he showed up it was in an Enemy Mine situation of some sort. And he was supposed to be the villain of the show.
- Playing with Fire: Pyro and Sunfire.
- Plot Hole: When the episodes were originally aired, Jean Grey (then as Phoenix) apparently returned off-screen to kickstart the Dark Phoenix Saga... despite no episodes in between showcasing about her return. Later on in Season 5, three misplaced episodes were supposed to air during Season 3 (the Phoenix Saga season) showing Jean's return. With that said, no episode of her returning actually was produced.
- There was a flashback of her return, in the first episode of the "Dark Phoenix Saga" though.
- Politically Correct History: Averted in an episode when Storm travels to the past and she won't be served in a restaurant because she was holding hands with a white man. As someone who's used to being persecuted for being a mutant, she comments that just plain old-fashioned racism is "so pathetic it's almost quaint." Rather daring, for a Fox Kids cartoon.
- Power Glows: When Cable confronts Apocalypse in his Egyptian temple, Apocalypse glows with bolts of purple energy while he's really pissed off.
- Power Incontinence: Rogue is not only unable to control her ability-absorbing power, but is also frequently unable to control the powers she absorbs with it, though the latter could be due to being unfamiliar with the power.
- Power Loss Makes You Strong: Professor X showed himself to be even more Badass than Magneto when they both lost their powers (and Xavier's spine was also magically repaired, to be fair). Xavier did have the power to pull a spear and a boomerang from NOWHERE.
- Pragmatic Adaptation: There were at least two storylines in this series adapted from the comics that were still ongoing in the latter:
- Bishop travelling to the present from his timeline which he believes Gambit to be the traitor of the X-Men, and ultimately, the cause of his Bad Future in the cartoon turned out to be Mystique impersonating Gambit to frame him and the X-Men. In the comics, the traitor of the X-Men turned out to be, ironically Professor X himself, as Onslaught.
- The Legacy Virus storyline become "the mutant plague" in the cartoon, and was resolved by Wolverine infected with the plague, only for his accelerated healing abilities to create antibodies in his system, rendering him immune to the virus. Beast uses the antibodies in Wolverine to quickly synthesize a cure. Whereas in the comics, the storyline takes ten years to resolve, with several characters dying from the virus, only for Colossus to sacrifice himself to cure the Legacy Virus by injecting himself with Beast's formula.
- Interesting to note, that in the cartoon, Apocalypse masterminded both plots.
- Present Day
- Previously On: The words were so often repeated in the series due to it having so many multi-episode-spanning storylines (Twelve 2-part episodes, two 4-part episodes, and one 5-part episode, making for 37 out of the show's 78 episodes, a staggering 47% of the total run!), that even years later, many fans say they can merely just read the words "Previously, on X-Men..." and hear them spoken in Cyclops' voice.
- Psycho Ex-Girlfriend: Lady Deathstrike to Wolverine.
- Spiral to Longshot, in their second appearence.
- Psychopathic Manchild: This series's version of Kevin McTaggert aka Proteus, though with more Manchild and less Psychopath than usual (and much more sympathetic than his comic-book counterpart). Also a "Well Done, Son!" Guy. And it's heartbreaking.
- Puberty Superpower: The backstories of most of them, but Jubilee especially.
- Pulling Themselves Together: Sinister's body is almost totally indestructible, and when blown to pieces he begins to reform immediately. Jean scatters his components all around the globe, and it takes literal years for him to reform.
- Put on a Bus: After Morph's death is retconed, this happens to him a lot. First, you could kind of say this retroactively happened to him throughout season one. Then, after the reveal of his Not Quite Dead-nes and subsequent Roaring Rampage of Revenge he vanishes for most of season two, returning in the season finale. He's then promptly put on a bus to Muir Island until the final episode except...
- Quickly Demoted Woman: As the series began, the USA was featured as having a female President. She didn't have too much screen time or characterization before her term was over and Senator Robert E. Kelly took over as the new President. She completely left the series after that and we never learned what she did after no longer being the President.
- Really Gets Around: Mystique.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: In "Beyond Good and Evil, Part 2," Psylocke calls Angel out on being a self-hating mutant and wasting resources hunting "a creature that can never die."
- Rebellious Spirit:
- Wolverine, versus Cyclops.
- Iceman, in his episode "Cold Comfort".
- Jubliee has moments of this, as well, though certainly not as extreme as most of the above.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Played straight with Mr. Sinister.
- Also Master Mold and the Sentinels.
- Reluctant Mad Scientist: Heather Hudson provides a very sympathetic example as she's ordered by her superior in Department H to set a trap for Wolverine and lure him back to Canada so that he can rejoin Alpha Flight. As Wolverine would predictably refuse, she's tasked with probing him to discover how he survived the adamantium-bonding process in the Weapon X project, so that they'd create a new Weapon X. Heather only went along with it to make sure it's done humanely. In fact, when the probing doesn't reveal any answers, she's so horrified at her boss and husband's suggestion to have Logan vivisected that she quits working for Department H.
- Ret Gone: In the 2-part episode based on the "Legacy Virus" arc, while Cable was fighting Apocalypse in the further future, a tornado suddenly appears and started sucking Cable's mutant comrades. His Companion Cube tells him they're being erased from existence, due to their timeline changing, caused by Bishop's action trying to prevent his Bad Future.
- Revenge Before Reason: Lady Deathstrike sets a trap for Wolverine to open an alien (Shi'ar) spacecraft with his adamantium claws so that she and the Reavers can steal the treasures it was suspected to have. Daethstrike gets so obsessed with vengeance that she forgets about the plan and tries to kill Wolverine. It's only when the Reavers sternly remind her of the plan, that she relents, and instead swears to have Wolverine's skeleton as a trophy when all is said and done.
- Rival Turned Evil: Morph in season 2 until he gets better in the season finale.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: When Morph returns Brainwashed and Crazy in season 2, he tries and almost succeeds in killing most of his "former" friends in revenge for leaving him to die.
- Magneto after surviving Cortez's assassination attempt has this against Cortez, one that puts everyone on Asteroid M at risk, forcing them to evacuate.
- Running Gag: Wolverine doesn't like being teleported...or ducks.
- Rotating Arcs
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: Lilandra.
- D'ken as well. An emperor who goes with his ship across the cosmos, collecting specimens of alien species? Seriously, doesn't he have a fleet for such menial tasks?
- Royally Screwed Up: All the royal members of the Shi'ar Empire that were shown in the series seem to be insane and power-hungry, save for Lilandra.
- Sacrificial Lamb: Morph. He returns for the second season and has a final return in the series finale, as Xavier is dying.
- Sadistic Choice: "Graduation Day" provides a villain variant, as Magneto must either choose between leading his new mutant army to achieve his own dream or calling it off in order to save Xavier's life.
- Save the Villain: In one episode, Juggernaut starts an all-out attack on Xavier's mansion, but is stopped when somebody else steals his powers. Cain Marko then starts to die, requiring the X-Men to find the Ruby of Cyttorak to restore his power and save his life. They do, and Juggernaut repays them by stopping the attack and leaving.
Cyclops: We're going to save the Juggernaut's sorry life. And don't bother telling me you don't like it.
Wolverine: I don't like it.
- After first becoming trapped in the Savage Land, Xavier saves Magneto's life - much to the villain's astonishment.
Magneto: Your life would be infinitely easier if mine were to end, yet you saved me.
Xavier: I do not yearn for an easy life, Magneto - only a just one. I would take little satisfaction in your death.
- "Remember Mr. Creed, a mutant saved your life."
- Say My Name: "JEAN!" was the most frequent one.
- Scary Black Man: Bishop, in a departure from his tough but smart comics counterpart.
- Separate Scene Storytelling: "Jubilee's Fairytale Theater" does this with a story Jubilee tells to kids on a field trip.
- Serious Business: Never mess with Jean's cooking if you know what's good for you.
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Beast, of course.
- Set Right What Once Went Wrong: Subverted: Bishop preventing the dark, Sentinel-dominated future caused an even worse future down the line.
- Shapeshifter Guilt Trip:
- Morph, during a Story Arc where he was Brainwashed and Crazy, shapeshifts into Wolverine's most hated foes (including Sabretooth and Omega Red), trying to take advantage of Wolvie's fractured and tormented memories of said foes to drive him to insanity. Unfortunately for him, Wolvie's got plenty of experience with repressing those memories, and he only escapes by taking advantage of the one memory Wolvie can't repress: being forced to leave Morph to die after a semi-botched mission. There's also the the time when he shapeshifts into Jean, and calls him a freak compared to Scott, before laughing and running away.
- Similarly, Mystique shapeshifts into Ms. Marvel to dredge up a bad memory in Rogue of her past to try and guilt her into abandoning the X-Men and hook back up with her; the memory was of Mystique ordering Rogue to fully absorb Marvel's powers and personality, an action that caused Marvel to pop up on occasion as accusatory hallucinations. Rogue eventually had to ditch Mystique as a result, joining the X-Men and having Professor X block her mind of Marvel and the incident to keep the hallucinations at bay, but since he was at this time MIA and unable to keep the block in place, Mystique was trying to convince Rogue that she was the only one in the world who could help her with it.
Sabretooth: I'm through playing around!
- In the Dark Phoenix Saga, Wolverine scaring the hell out of a guard is straight from the comic, but the animated dialogue adds this:
- When confronted with Bishop's impending revelation from the future (Days of Future Past, part 1):
: Are any of you listening? Mr. Terminator
here claims that an assassination's gonna take place, that's gonna ruin the world...
- When the X-Men hijack the shuttle to get to Eagle One, pay attention to the symbol on the astronauts' uniforms and space suits.
- When Mojo arrives in their dimension, he has the X-Men battle a purple T-rex:
Spiral: A big purple lizard?
- Shout-Out to Shakespeare:
Beast: ... if you prick us, do we not bleed?
Judge: Don't tempt these people, Mr. McCoy.
- Shut Up, Hannibal!: This seems to be Mister Sinister's other Achilles' Heel, particularly with Cyclops.
- Sibling Yin-Yang: Professor X and Juggernaut.
- Significant Green-Eyed Redhead: Jean Grey (unless the art was off).
- Skunk Stripe: Rogue, naturally.
- Southern Belle: Rogue.
- Space Pirates: Corsair and the Starjammers.
- Split Personality: Morph, as a result of Sinister's Brainwashing.
- Spock Speak: Storm. Xavier. Colossus. Nightcrawler. Magneto. Sinister. In short, lots of people use this.
- Spotlight-Stealing Squad: While the first three seasons tried to focus on the characters fairly evenly, seasons 4 and 5 seemed to focus less and less on anyone who wasn't called Wolverine, except Rogue, Xavier and Beast. At the other end of the spectrum, Gambit appears in far fewer episodes in Seasons 4 and 5.
- Spot the Imposter: Subverted, because Morph was Genre Savvy about it.
- Starcrossed Lovers: Professor X and Lilandra provide a literal example.
- Start of Darkness: Season 5 flashes back to Victorian England for Mr. Sinister's origin story.
- Stock Audio Clip: This happens a lot, most notably Beast saying "Fascinating" and "Oh dear".
- Storybook Episode: "Jubilee's Fairytale Theater"
- Stranger in a Familiar Land: Gambit in "X-Ternally Yours." He left home years earlier to get away from the Thieves/Assassin feud, admitting he was young and afraid. When he returns older and more experienced, he recognizes the feud as more pointless than anything else, as well as sees no ties between himself and his family or old friends.
"I am not assassin or thief. I am an X-Man, and I'm never comin' back."
- Super Hero
- Super Not-Drowning Skills: The Juggernaut.
- Super Senses
- Superpowered Evil Side: Jean Grey becoming the Dark Phoenix.
- Karl Lykos becomes Sauron when he absorbs a mutant life-force.
- Superpower Lottery: Storm, mistress of the elements.
- Apocalypse is a better example. The guy has literally every physical superpower, uses telekinesis, and fire concussive energy attacks powerful enough to wipe out the X-Men in a single shot, and let's just say its a bad idea to try to scan his mind. Oh, and he can steal bodies in case the body he's in either dies or otherwise can't be used anymore.
- Magneto. You can do a lot with the power over magnetism. At his better showings, he gave Apocalypse a run for his money.
- Super Registration Act: Plot of the first season.
- Supreme Chef: Jean.
- And Gambit, as shown in the Christmas special.
- Take That: During an episode from a later season, a child is seen wearing a T-shirt that says "BS&P Rules". The Broadcasting Standards and Practices group had heavily censored this show, as well as Spider-Man.
- Team Mom: Jean Grey. A case could be said for Storm as well.
- Techno Wizard: Beast and Forge.
- 10-Minute Retirement: Cyclops in "No Mutant Is An Island".
- Tentacle Rope: Magneto's former savage land base that Mr. Sinister later takes over (it's unknown who added the tentacles, though it was probably Sinister).
- Terminator Twosome: A two-episode arc involved Bishop traveling from the Bad Future to the present day, attempting to prevent the outbreak of a mutant plague. His actions backfire, however, and result in the deaths of the X-Men and the complete extinction (rather than just decimation) of mutants, so Cable comes from an even further future to stop Bishop.
- That Man Is Dead: Several.
Dark Phoenix: The mortal known as Jean Grey no longer exists. There is only...PHOENIX!
Lady Deathstrike: Yuriko no longer exist. I am Lady Deathstrike!
Mr. Sinister Essex is no more. From this day forth you will address me as Mister Sinister!
- The End of the World as We Know It: A few times
- The Juggernaut: Juggernaut!
- The Tease: Rogue, despite (or perhaps expected of) her power/life-force absorbing ability.
- The Masochism Tango: Danced by Rogue and Gambit.
- The Virus: The Phalanx, the Brood
- The Worf Effect:
- There was a Worf chain reaction during the Phoenix saga. Wolverine gets curbstomped by the Juggernaut... who, minutes later, is used to show that even an "unstoppable" character is no match for Gladiator. Five minutes later, Gladiator got this by Phoenix in her fabulous entrance.
- They Called Me Mad!: In his Start of Darkness episode, Mr. Sinister's wild theories about human mutation cause him to be derided by his scientific peers. Then he starts ranting at all of them about how soon men will have the powers of gods, which couldn't have helped.
- Third Line, Some Waiting: The subplot in which Professor X and Magneto are trapped in the Savage Land throughout season 2.
- Third-Person Person: Gambit
- This Cannot Be!: From "Come the Apocalypse":
Apocalypse: No! My creatures cannot be defeated! *I* cannot be defeated!
Cyclops: [blasts Apocalypse] We beg to differ.
- Those Two Bad Guys: Pyro and Avalanche.
- Time Travel
- Timey-Wimey Ball: Bishop keeps his memories of the previous chain of events when he returns into the future. Later the two parter "One Man's Worth" has the death of Charles Xavier before he founded X-Men resulting into a war-torn present. Wolverine and Storm from this changed reality travel into the past to help to save him. After the successful mission accomplishment they return into the future (present time) and for some reason lose all their memories about the Xavier-less reality.
- Token Good Teammate: Heather Hudson, for Department H, initially. Even though she was the one who planned the trap for Wolverine to return to Canada and have Alpha Flight capture him, and was tasked with probing him, she was also the one that felt the most guilt about betraying Wolverine's trust, and stopped the project immediately when she felt it was getting out of hand and tended to Wolverine. She even quit her job when she was ordered to retrieve Wolverine's adamantium skeleton. Later subverted as it turned out the rest of Alpha Flight had no prior knowledge of this plan, and instead worked to free Wolverine when they realized what was going on.
- Took a Level in Badass: Morph apparently did while at Muir Island, if the difference in his performance in "Courage" vs "Night of the Sentinels" is any indication.
- Too Powerful to Live: Apocalypse. To the point he actually believes he's "...as far beyond mutants as they are beyond you [humans]!"
- Trapped in TV Land: Happens in 'Mojovision' episode.
- True Companions
- Tsundere: Rogue.
Rogue: (covers Gambit's lip with her hand and kisses it) I hate you!
Gambit: (shrugs his shoulders) I don' understand dis woman.
- Unresolved Sexual Tension: Toned down to Unresolved Romantic Tension, but it can be found in spades between Wolverine and Jean, as well as Gambit and Rogue.
- Unexplained Recovery: No matter how badly hurt someone is, even to the point of seeming to be totally destroyed, they will always return. Part of this is the limitations of a kid's show and part of it is just Status Quo Is God.
- Universal-Adaptor Cast: Jubilee's fairy tale.
- Unwilling Suspension: A few times, like when Jean was first captured by the Morlocks. Jean was able to free herself very quickly, though.
- Villain with Good Publicity: Purple Man.
- Villainous Breakdown: Graydon:
- Walk, Don't Swim: The Juggernaut, after Gladiator has sent him flying, crashes into the middle of the Ocean. He shrugs it off and just keeps walking. Helps he doesn't have to breathe.
- Walking the Earth: Wolverine, later in the series.
- Walking Wasteland: Mojo. Beast noted upon observing him on Earth that his very presence could make render the planet uninhabitable if he stays for long in their dimension.
- We Used to Be Friends: Sabretooth and Wolverine. Then things turned, very, very, sour.
- Welcome Episode
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Magneto.
- What Measure Is a Mook?: Discussed in "Beyond Good and Evil, Part 2," after Sabretooth (who was the villains' brute) is left behind to be captured by the X-Men:
Mystique: Too bad we lost Sabretooth.
Magneto: Sabretooth is an unthinking, unfeeling animal. Such refuse is easily expendable.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Storm's claustrophobia is a recurring problem throughout the series.
- Who Dares?: This is the mutant warlord Apocalypse response when his arch-enemy Cable infiltrates his pyramid temple in Cairo in 3999 AD.
challenge Apocalypse again? Blasphemer!
- Whole Episode Flashback:
- "Old Soldiers" was all about Wolverine thinking back to World War II, when he and Captain America tried to rescue an Allied scientist from the Nazis.
- "Descent." The episode is mainly set in Victorian England and deals with the origin of Mister Sinister. Said origin is seen via flashbacks, as an aged ancestor of Professor Xavier's explains to law enforcement the threat posed by Sinister and what he himself witnessed. Notably, at the very end, the episode jumps to the present-day and Xavier is seemingly reflecting on events viewers had just seen.
- The first part of "Time Fugitives" was Cable from the future watch the events that take place in present time from his Companion Cube to understand what is causing the time-shifts, and learning of Bishop's attempt to change history by allying himself with the X-Men again against a conspiracy to wipe out mutants.
- Who Wants to Live Forever?: The immortal villain Apocalypse realizes in "Beyond Good and Evil" that he has been trying to exterminate mutants and humans alike in the thousands of years he has lived and still hasn't won. He laments that he might be stuck for all eternity, and instead sets out to annihilate the multiverse to remake it in his own image.
- Wicked Cultured: Magneto
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity:
- Dark Phoenix.
- Apocalypse according to Professor Xavier, which means that unlike Magneto and the group behind the Sentinels, he cannot be reasoned with and has to be stopped at once by the X-Men before he will destroy the world.
- Wolverine Publicity: Applies to almost all the characters, who appear in every intro but spend a long time being Out of Focus during the fourth season, except for Wolverine, who appears in more episodes by far than any other character.
- Woman Scorned:
- Belladonna is seriously unhappy that Gambit left her.
- Storm in the end of "Storm Front".
- World of Ham: So many characters are hammy, especially Storm, Magneto, Wolverine as well as APOCALYPSE.
- Writers Cannot Do Math: In the episode "Beyond Good and Evil", Cable and his team infiltrate the evil immortal mutant Apocalypse's secret temple in Egypt. Cable notes that Apocalypse has spread death and destruction for over 5000 years. Then he notes that they found his lair after "500 centuries of research" (50,000 years).
- Yandere: See also the trope above.
- You Are What You Hate: Graydon Creed founded the anti-mutant Friends of Humanity, but is the son of two mutants. He had already known for some time that Sabretooth, which was why he founded the group in the first place. (He has a Villainous Breakdown, however, when his supporters find out.) He later learns that Mystique is his mother - making Nightcrawler his half-brother and Rogue his adopted sister.
- You Can't Fight Fate:
- A running gag in which Bishop time-travels to stop the one event that caused the dark future only to arrive back where he is, noting that "Nothing's changed. It's all just like I left it."
- Additionally so for Cable, who attempted to destroy Apocalypse by destroying his Lazarus Chamber in the past. This seems to work and Cable's future is supposedly changed, but a later episode shows Apocalypse being reborn.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Beast's blue-black hair, to go with the rest of his fur. In the episodes where they guest-star, Nightcrawler, Psylocke, and Polaris, respectively, have dark blue, purple, and green hair.
- You Killed My Father: This is the reason Lady Deathstrike wants Wolverine dead. Her father was Dr. Oyama, one of the scientists responsible for the Weapon X program. Wolverine is completely shocked when he finds out Oyama was her father and apparently had no idea they were related.
- You Shall Not Pass: In the first season finale, Wolverine and Gambit are infiltrating a Sentinel production facility. Wolverine smells some, and so he herds Gambit to relative safety´┐Żthen locks the door behind him and runs back to face them. Subverted in that Gambit blows the door open and comes to Logan's rescue. Near the end of the episode, Cyclops finds the two of them standing on a pile of destroyed Sentinels, Wolverine's shirt in tatters.
Wolverine: Next time I try ta save yer life, have sense enough ta let me do it.
- You Wouldn't Hit a Guy with Glasses?: Some toughs in a bar are getting belligerent with Cyclops. He tries to play it cool and says the line, but one of them says "So take 'em off!", grabs Cyke's shades, and things start to go downhill from there.
- You're Insane!:
- In "Courage," Master Mold intends to link himself to Xavier and use his telepathic powers to hunt down every mutant on the planet.
Xavier: You're mad, Master Mold.
Master Mold: A machine cannot be mad, Professor. That is a human failing.
- In "Come the Apocalypse", Rogue recalls Xavier's earlier words and calls Apocalypse insane.