These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
Critical Research Failure: Three words. Say it with me now!: statute of limitations. It's used as a major plot point in several instances and always incorrectly. Even if you assume Like Reality Unless Noted, there's the fact that cases 1-4 and 1-5 drop the statute of limitations from 15 years to 2. And then change the rules of evidence. (Actually, don't think about it.) It's a pretty glaring error given that the statute of limitations is used to galvanise a character who is also an attorney and should know that it's not the statute that's the problem. The statute of limitations has no bearing on DL-6, as Yogi was put on trial and found not guilty by reason of temporary insanity. The case is not "unsolved," but an instance of "I don't believe the resolution," which is an entirely different problem. In order to establish that someone else killed Gregory Edgeworth, Yogi's conviction would have to be vacated and a new defendant put on trial. SL-9 repeats this error, speeds up the death penalty process, and shaves 13 years off the statute's clock, while most nations exempt murder from the statute of limitations. Overturning a conviction is a lengthy, painful, expensive, and incredibly difficult process — ask The Innocence Project — and, in the United States, innocence alone is not sufficient grounds for an appeal, meaning a confession from a newly-discovered guilty party won't save the wrongfully convicted. As a matter of law, it would be easier to get around the statute of limitations than the actual legal issue the game raises.
The issue with 1-5 was not in fact the statute of limitations, but rather the fact that the evidence was slated to be disposed of to make room. Why they would dispose of evidence for a case two years old if the statute of limitations is fifteen years is another question entirely.
Well, someone else WAS put on trial for the DL-6 Incident. Edgeworth, who had in the past 15 years convinced himself that he was the real killer of his own father. He was the defendant when the DL-6 was brought up again, not Yanni Yogi. Furthermore, the convicted in the SL-9 Incident was a serial killer. While he was only found guilty and charged for one crime, his death sentence was ushered on by the fact that he had murdered still others, and no doubt, his age. The actual murderer in the DL-6 case died less than 6 months after being convicted. The statute of limitations only mattered in the DL-6 Case. The SL-9 was different. Not only was the evidence far, far more decisive AND the accused had already confessed to being a serial killer, but there actually WAS an accused culprit. Not to mention the fact that the case WASN'T closing forever, the evidence was just being filed away elsewhere, which likely happened with the DL-6 Incident evidence, too. The statue of limitations didn't apply with the SL-9 Incident.
In a recent popularity poll, however, Miles ranked second-behind Apollo.
Don't forget Gumshoe, pal!
And Larry Butz. Seriously, with how his role is in the games its as if the developers practically knew he would be popular.
That, or they like hearing a collective moan from time to time.
EMA SKYE! Seriously, she could have easily been a Replacement Scrappy, but is instead one of the most loved characters of the series. Not only that, she replaced fan favourite Maya for a case and Gumshoe for an entire freakin' game, and was popular enough to be the original protagonist of what eventually became Investigations.
Maya: Why are you showing me your attorney's badge, Nick?
Pearl: So... that's a lawyer's Sacred Treasure?
Gumshoe: C'mon. You've flashed that badge at me so many times it doesn't work anymore.
Ema: Ahh! Well! I've never seen a real one before.
Phoenix: (You're the first person who's actually been interested in mine, believe me.)
Het Is Ew: Any time a female character gets involved with Phoenix or Edgeworth, prepare to see a crudstorm amongst Phoenix/Edgeworth shippers.
Hilarious in Hindsight: The whole idea of the Steel Samurai franchise, and how it's seen as weird that Maya (a teenager) and Edgeworth (a grown man with a respectful job) are huge fans of it, is scarily similar to how Bronies tend to behave in regards to their fandom and how the rest of the public views them.
Though considering that the Steel Samurai is a Tokusatsu action series, the closer real-life equivalents would be Super Sentai and Power Rangers, which also have a large adult fanbase despite being aimed at kids.
Throughout case 1-5, the detective working on the computer in the background of the police station can be overheard writing a rather awful mystery novel. One of his twists involves the use of a tape recorder, which he's particularly proud of because "no one would epxpect it in this day and age!" Eight years later, an audio tape was used with a straight face as a critical clue in case 5-3.
Ho Yay: Phoenix Wright and The Rival Miles Edgeworth certainly have some rather... intense... feelings about each other. On the flip side, there's Mia and Lana's "intellectual attraction" and the various weirdness surrounding Adrian Andrews and her co-dependency. The fourth game seems to toy with this more than most with Apollo and Klavier. For example, upon meeting Apollo, Klavier says, "I must say I'm used to being inspected by the ladies... But this is the first time I've felt this way with a man." Capcom is definitely aware of the implications, and love to be as vague about it as possible.
Also, some of the concept art for Investigations, especially the one of Edgeworth and Gumshoe sharing an umbrella.
Not to mention Gumshoe's constant fawning over Edgeworth and his complete refusal to hear anything bad said about him. Hell, Phoenix's immediate thought upon seeing how tall Edgeworth's (who's afraid of heights) bookshelves are is that Gumshoe hangs around his office to get them down for him.
Edgeworth and Shi-Long Lang on Investigations. The later have a penchant on calling Edgeworth a pretty boy and getting on his personal space since the beginning, not to mention the banter between the two have certain... tension.
Well, there is this◊ pic as well. Some fans have joked that it would have been more blatant in a good way if Maya wasn't in that picture. (But of course whether if Maya's presence make the pic even better or worse is of course up to you.)
Well the name series was to be "Phoenix Wright", Ace Attorney was the subtitle of the first game, when the English localizers came to known that not all games were centered on Phoenix (Apollo Justice and later, Miles Edgeworth), they promoted the "Ace Attorney" subtitle to tittle since the second game.
Iron Woobie: Pretty much all of the sidekicks in their own way, most notably Maya. All chirpy and active, but each of them lose their parents at a young age, and have to deal with various other amounts of angst.
In an interesting case, the main male characters(namely Phoenix, Edgeworth, Godot/Diego) in general tend to be in "this" fandom. The Boys Love fandom instead go for Apollo, Klavier and Kristoph.
Magnificent Bastard: Manfred von Karma and Damon Gant in the first game, Matt Engarde in the second game, Luke Atmey in the third, Kristoph Gavin in the fourth and Quercus Alba in Investigations. Notice how most of them are the big bads of their games? Averted, however, with the Big Bad of the third game, Dahlia Hawthorne, whose plans never went right, and resulted in a great deal of unintended collateral damage.
Winston Payne's feminine-sounding Objection is a sign that a smug and likely faulty retort is coming your way that the Judge will agree with.
Franziska's whip, whenever it's hitting the player character.
Mike Meekins' megaphone feedback. WEEEEEEEEEN!
The explosion that comes with your Life Meter going down.
Fuirio Tigere's roar, every time hes annoyed he growls angrily, loudly, and crackly.
Most Wonderful Sound: Inverted when you present the correct evidence in a cross-examination, which is signaled by the background music stopping.
One-Scene Wonder: Ema Skye's appearance in AAI was hyped up quite a bit in promotional materials, and there are rumors that the game was originally planned to star her as the player character. In the end, we get about five minutes of actual dialogue from her in a brief and somewhat tacked-on cameo that was more or less just there to establish an investigation technique that never appeared again. She does have a larger role in the sequel, however.
Porting Disaster: The original Ace Attorney trilogy was initially ported over to the iOS with many gamebreaking bugs. Character animations were slower and missing several frames, music would not loop properly, Pearl's theme was missing and the second and third games used the lower quality GBA soundtrack. Finally, Emma Skye's tutorial in the first game was completely ommitted. A HD remake released some years later fixed most of these issues.
Then, when iOS 7 came out, it broke the HD version to the point that the app simply would not launch, and it took Capcom nearly two months to fix the problem.
Zinc Lablanc. Possibly the single most unlikeable character in the entire series.
Tear Jerker: From Case 2 of the manga after the killer is revealed, he explains that he was motivated by revenge and asks the victim's daughter if she felt the same way. Her response, "Does that mean I get to kill you now? I hated him for what he did, but I still loved him because he was my daddy. Revenge... doesn't make anyone feel better."
Many consider Moe's cross-examination to be a real pain in the ass, since one wrong press will get you penalized, and culminates with his last testimony, in which any pressing will cause you to instantly lose. At least the Judge gives you some warning. The Turnabout Big Top case as a whole, in which the cross-examination with Moe occurs, is generally the least liked case in the entire series, due to having no connection to the main storyline and being chock full of annoying, unlikable characters and Guide Dang It puzzles.
Luke Atmey's final testimony is 11 statements long, with nothing in the Court Record proving a contradiction, and pressing any statement but the right one will instantly net you a game over.
Several cases are built upon expensive medical bills. In countries where healthcare is free at the point of service this seems very strange.
In one case Shi-Long mentions that guns are 'very hard to obtain in this country' and uses this as evidence to accuse a policeman. In the localization the game is set in Los Angeles, where this is very untrue.
And then of course, there's the entire court system which is a satirization of the Japanese court system which itself looks alien and unjust to Americans familiar with the adversarial system and with the deeply enshrined principle of "innocent until proven guilty."