YMMV / Attack on Titan

This page is full of unmarked SPOILERS, being a long running story with a lot of mystery and conspiracy elements.

  • Abandon Shipping: Almost all fans of Levi/Mikasa immediately made for the lifeboats after Chapter 56 revealed his last name, indicating he may possibly be related to her. Officially confirmed that they are indeed related (although to what extent is unknown).
  • Accidental Innuendo:
    • Chapter 53 has everyone worrying about how Eren can't harden. They're referring to his Titan form's crystallization ability, yes, but it's not hard to misinterpret.
      • Even funnier when you remember that he needs to harden so he can "fill up the hole".
    • The fight scene from Episode 21 has some... suggestive shots that the fandom is making fun of.
    • Eren's Titan fight with Titan!Reiner offered some rather funny positions as well.
  • Acronym Confusion: Some fans only refer to the anime by its English name, as not to confuse it with video game company SNK. On Tumblr, a lot of fans use the "snk" tag for posts pertaining to the series. Tags are case-insensitive, by the way. In 2012 one could easily find posts about SNK games under the tag; as of 2013, the tag is overwhelmingly about Attack on Titan. This has made SNK fans very unhappy.
  • Angel/Devil Shipping: Ymir and Krista are as basic an example as they come. Scarily, they're actually one of the better-adjusted and more mutually-affectionate pairings in the show. One more than one level, too, as Krista is often referred to as a goddess and shown with angel wings/halo, and Ymir's nickname within the fandom being "Freckled Satan".
  • Angst Aversion: For all its popularity, some people are put off by the rather heavy use of Anyone Can Die, the many losses and pyrrhic victories the heroes go through and the overall grim tone of the series.
  • Anti-Climax Boss: Zeke sometimes gets accused of being one. Levi takes him down without too much difficulty during their one-on-one fight in the Return to Shiganshina Arc when several previous chapters had been spent building him up as "the most dangerous Titan" and had seen him single-handily annihilate over half of the Survey Corps.
  • Arc Fatigue: The "Krista Is Royalty" plot and following kidnapping of her and Eren. Which not only switches to a "Overthrow the corrupt government" plot and shoves the Titans into the far background, but keeps going for more than three volumes.
  • Ass Pull:
    • Some fans felt that the Coordinate and what it does was this, coming out of nowhere as an 11th Hour Superpower to save the day. Others disagree, and found it added a whole new layer to various events and mysteries throughout the series.
    • With almost no debate, there's been very little positive response to Eren's getting the hardening ability too. It doesn't help that the bottle literally falls into his lap with no buildup or foreshadowing, nor that he ingests it rather than injects it as is the way it's supposed to be handled, nor that he's mastered it within a few panels at the intro of a new chapter, the entire month of necessary work skipped. With the entire plot since Day One centering on fixing Wall Maria and returning to Shiganshina to get to Eren's basement, this inevitably felt a bit cheap.
    • Reiner staying alive after getting half of his head blown off in human form by transporting his consciousness into his body's nervous system. Many consider it a blatant case of New Powers as the Plot Demands. Others argue that his survival is consistent with what has been revealed about Titan Shifters and their abilities.
    • Chapters 81-83: The Thunder Spears were established by Hanji to be lethal to their user at midrange, which was why getting out of blast radius is critical. Later, when Bertholt deflects a Thunder Spear with steam, Mikasa’s injured by the shrapnel. But Chapter 82 has her blowing Reiner out of his Titan by sending a Thunder Spear straight down his throat… with her still in the Armored Titan’s mouth with it. She sits right in the middle of a Thunder Spear explosion, and yet in the panels after the Colossal Titan portion of the fight, she’s shown without a scratch. At least Reiner had a given explanation for his seeming immortality.
    • In general, fans have noted that this tends to happen with the heroes whenever the odds look overwhelmingly against them. The Coordinate and the Armor serum are big examples of this, but the biggest happens, again, in Chapter 82: Hanji has come back to save the day despite having been blasted to smithereens a few chapters ago by Bertholt, and Reiner has conveniently lost just enough memory so as not to be prepared for the Thunder Spears, A) even though he can see how they work as they just blew out his knee and jaw and he should know to cover his mouth and neck and B) after Bertholt specifically said he wouldn’t lose any memories. With that, Eren’s success against the Colossal, and Levi’s defeat of the Beast Titan, all three enemy shifters are down in the span of a single chapter.
  • Author's Saving Throw: With the plot line mentioned in Arc Fatigue above, how did the author set into place the beginning of resolution for the long-winded arc? By Erwin putting his faith in his fellow men correctly, as the nobles and the Military Police are exposed for their treachery against humanity and the people within the Wall Rose rebel near-wholeheartedly against the monarchy.
    • After the conclusion of Episode 37, an announcement was immediately made that Season 3 would be coming in 2018. This was almost certainly done in response to the enormous online backlash Studio WIT got for Season 2 being only 12 episodes long after a 4 year wait.
  • Awesome Music: Has its own page!
  • Base-Breaking Character: Gabi. On one hand, she may be an overambitious, unrepentant war criminal who's only popular for being adorable. On the other hand, she may be a child soldier fed delusions by fanatic parents forced into a life of war and oppression. Suffice to say, there is a variety of opinions on how sympathetic and interesting her character is.
  • Better on DVD:
    • One of the most recurrent complaints about the anime is its supposedly slow pacing. However, this complaint is way more common among those who watched the show in simulcast (and thus had to wait a whole week for each new episode) than among those who watched the whole thing in a few days.
    • The DVD & Blu-ray releases also clean up a lot of the Special Effects Failure and other poor animations that were present in the initial broadcast, particularly noticeable in episodes 10 - 13 (as the animation team was getting rushed and undermanned at this point in time). This comparison video for episode 13 shows the difference.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: The amazingly weird scene in the 2nd anime seasons OP, featuring the Beast Titan randomly running with a group of animals. Including a whale and a fucking T-Rex for some reason.
  • Breather Boss: One thing is certain: Rod Reiss's Titan definitely made itself insanely easy to remove as a problem. The Titan was so big, it moved too slowly to prevent the humans preparing. It ground away its face and body, meaning it couldn't resist when a cartload of bombs was stuffed into its mouth. And its insane body heat meant that they didn't even have to worry about lighting the damn thing and getting out of the way—it lit the explosives itself. It would be a Self-Disposing Villain, except that it's not a question of morality—Historia kills her father after his human body is exposed, and actually asks to be celebrated as the one to kill him even if it ends up not being the case.
  • Broken Base:
    • Dot Pixis' character stirred an outrage among the Korean fanbase, especially when Isayama admitted that he was based off of Akiyama Yoshifuru, a historical general of the Imperial Japanese Army. This resulted in a heated debate over the general's war record, and also led to Isayama receiving death threats on his blog, as well as an overall decline of interest in the series in Korea (i.e. the makers of this parody of the characters dancing to Shinhwa's "This Love" ended up refusing to post the final version after they finished it because they disagreed with Isayama glorifying Akiyama).
    • The Titan Shifters. Some people lost all respect and sympathy for Bertolt, Reiner, and Annie upon discovering what they were responsible for and willing to do. Still, they remain very popular characters in different areas of the fandom.
    • The 25th episode's differences from the corresponding manga chapters, including Eren entering a sort of Super Mode while fighting Annie, Armin being replaced with Mikasa in some scenes, changing how Annie was finally defeated and her crystallization scene, and the "Titans in the Wall" reveal being delayed until the episode's end (meaning none of the characters saw it, well at least until the second compilation movie came out). Some fans claim the show is ruined forever due to the changes in themes and character dynamics; some dislike the changes, but don't see them as a big deal, and some think the changes improve the plot.
    • The statement by the author that he has reconsidered what seemed to be a darker ending for the story due to the fanbase growing in size after the anime aired has been plenty controversial.
    • Inevitably, the English Dub of the anime.
      • The pronunciation of names in the English dub. The ADR director decided to pronounce them to their accurate German pronunciations, which caused some confusion and heat among the fanbase. Notable examples are Connie Springer (pronounced "Shpringah" in the dub) and Bertholt Hoover (pronounced "Hoobah"). Some prefer the dub pronunciations and enjoy their accuracy, others think they sound silly and prefer to pronounce them in a more traditionally American way.
      • The Rogue Titan's roars in the dub. Some think the switch to a high pitched raptor-like sound ruined the badassery of them, while others think it made him sound more demonic and overall scarier. Here is a comparison between the two.
    • The release of a third OVA centering around one of the 104th cadets' training days that turns into a rescue mission for Krista has also received some mixed reactions. People either enjoy it for seeing the characters back on screen with more comedy and badass sequences, while others found it to be Padding and a waste of an OVA that could have been spent on more canon material.
    • The decision to give the Titan serum to Armin. Forums and image boards were livid about it, citing that giving Armin a Heroic Sacrifice and a touching sendoff that nicely wraps up his character arc, only for it to be rescinded by reviving him as a Titan Shifter, only emphasizes the Plot Armor that envelops the main trio, and in general because they would have preferred Erwin took the flesh instead. Others point out that Erwin's sacrifices would have all been for naught as well, and he was built up to die during the Colossal Titan takedown anyway.
    • For anime-only fans season 2 as a whole, which adapted the Clash of the Titans arc, seems to have divided people. One part of the fandom hates the fact that, after waiting four years, the much shorter second season answered almost no questions and in fact only piled on about 50 more and that there wasn't enough substance to the plot. The other half of the fandom though loved the season for being more character driven and focused, giving characters such as Reiner, Ymir and Krista some much needed screen time, and developing the cast into a more well rounded ensemble. A third group agrees with the problems raised by the first but admit that they can accept it since the fandom will only have to wait another year for season 3 to be released and to get some answers.
  • Cargo Ship: Levi x Cleaning is a popular ship, and can get fairly insane, as evidenced here.
  • Complete Monster: Sergeant Major Gross of the Kingdom of Marley military forces is introduced in a flashback when he catches young Eldians Grisha and Fay Yeager trying to see the airships at a field. Ordering Grisha savagely beaten, Gross leaves to take the eight-year-old Fay home, but instead feeds her to his dogs while she's alive and makes his own sons watch. Years later, Gross is in charge of turning the Eldians into mindless, man-eating Titans while releasing one man to be chased and ultimately devoured by his former comrades. Mocking Grisha himself for being Eldian, Gross states his reason for his actions is his desire to exterminate all Eldians and his belief that such cruelty is simply "fun". He then proceeds to turn the last of Grisha's comrades into a small Titan just for the fun of seeing Grisha and the Titan fight before Grisha is devoured.
  • Counterpart Comparison:
  • Crack Pairing:
    • Erwin x Bertolt is becoming a popular crack-ship (partly due to the Sesame Street name overlap), often with a dash of Dom/Sub for flavor.
    • Also Rogue Titan x Female Titan, for obvious reasons.
    • Reiner x Galliard, with tons of Foe Yay.
  • Crazy Awesome: Eren came across as this when he first appeared in his Titan form brutally killing enemy Titans with a single Megaton Punch, particularly when he punched a Titan so hard in the head that it flew straight off and crashed into a building on the other side of town.. The anime's last two episodes had two other scenes where he reaches this status including forcing his Titan transformation in a fit of rage despite suffering mortal wounds and later trying to eat the Female Titan.
  • Crossover Ship:
  • Crosses the Line Twice: Zackly torturing a captured noble. This wouldn't normally be funny, but the fact that the guy appears to be held in some kind of BDSM setup with a funnel up his ass can be funny to some.
  • Cry for the Devil: After certain revelations, quite a bit of time is devoted to showing Annie and later, Reiner and Bertolt in a sympathetic light. This makes it a bit of Fridge Brilliance, as all three are accurate reflections of real world Child Soldiers that commit atrocities. Annie's flashbacks to her childhood, as well as Reiner and Bertolt spiraling towards the Despair Event Horizon show that they are, as Word of God describes Annie, ordinary kids forced to do terrible things.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: To a degree. Not so much in the early parts, where it's mostly the story of a group of rookies trying to survive in a very deadly environment, but later manga chapters where the heroes begin going up against a government conspiracy and the author starts pushing the Grey and Black Morality angle quite a bit, may cause this, particularly with the part about the protagonistic side engaging in Cold-Blooded Torture.
    • Seems to have changed somewhat, if not kind of greatly in chapter 73 and around that time. The heroes are so close to finally retaking Wall Maria after dethroning the fake king and replacing him with Krista Lenz, who is the real princess and is named Historia Reiss. Annie is still captured, the Survey Corps have gotten access to new technology that the royals had hidden, and everyone except Sasha got to eat some meat for once. If you check the poll on this page (spoilers for chapter 73) then it shows that fans on the wiki seem to be very optimistic. A majority vote goes to the hope that Bertolt and Reiner will not recapture Eren. In fact, at the time of typing this there are eighty votes for that choice, which is more than all the other options combined!
  • Death of the Author: Despite Isayama correcting on an official guidebook mistakenly stating Eren to have feelings for Annie, many Eren/Annie fans still choose to believe he unknowingly developed a crush on her during their training sessions (usually pointing to his panic at learning who she is as well as Mikasa actually questioning his feelings for Annie in canon), but that he got over it after learning who she was and/or after her long absence. They will also point to Isayama naturally correcting on such an out-of-place statement as romance has little to no focus in the series, least of all to Eren.
  • Die for Our Ship: Parodied with the Jean/Mikasa ship in reference to Jean's status as the fandom Butt-Monkey.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: This is inseparable from Ron the Death Eater in this case. Initially, after the Shifter Trio were revealed as being the villains they are, Reiner and Bertholt were initially given much more lenient treatment than Annie due to lacking her sadistic moments and brutality, and as a result of their general friendliness and Reiner's insanity it was common to paint them as worthy of a redemption arc. Later on, Annie happened upon Reiner restraining Marco after realizing He Knows Too Much, and called him a piece of shit while Reiner frantically yelled for her to take his maneuver gear to prove her loyalty and get rid of a liability. After this, Reiner became the most consistently loathed member of the trio with Annie becoming the one the fandom considered the most sympathetic and worthy of redemption. This kind of ignores how Annie didn't tell Reiner to let Marco go or cut his throat or just knock him out, she told him to make Bertholt do it, and also ignores how she did in fact take the gear, as well as how the act broke Reiner as much as or more than Annie. The fandom still being very attached to Marco even long after his death likely has a lot to do with it as well. Nowadays Reiner has become the most sympathetic member of the Titan Trio due to being the main protagonist during the Marley Arc and revelations about how awful his life has been since day one.
  • Ear Worm: Seid ihr das Essen? Nein, wir sind der Jäger! Don't even try to lie. This song is as catchy as all hell for a theme sung in both Japanese and German.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Levi. Voted overwhelmingly as the most popular character in an official poll, with nearly twice as many votes as the main character Eren who was runner-up. Levi's unexpectedly huge fanbase has led to him getting his own spinoff manga with him as the main character. However, he eventually became a Base-Breaking Character.
    • Sasha for her potato scene, her comical expressions, her obsession with food, her dialogue, and her bizarre fighting style. In fact, she's the fourth most popular character in Japan, trailing only the likes of Levi, Eren, and Mikasa.
    • Bertolt, especially on certain imagebords, where he's hailed as a moe Memetic Woobie due to his awkward facial expressions and his nervous sweating. Character Polls suggest that the revelation of his Secret Identity has only increased his popularity with fans. Naturally this left many anime-only fans understandably confused during their four year wait between seasons.
    • Rico's expanded role in the anime has earned her a fairly respectable number of fans, especially after she sliced a Titan's eye open.
    • Mina is surprisingly well-liked, despite being little more than a Red Shirt.
    • Hange has gotten a lot of popularity among western fans on the internet. The fact that they are an eccentric Mad Scientist with a love of Titans, that injected a lot of levity in a pretty grim series, definitely helped and the author's comments telling fans to interpret Hange's gender however they want only made them more popular (especially with LGBT fans). It's really not that surprising then that Hange ranked as the series 7th most popular character.
    • Eren's squadmate from Episode 5, Mylius Zeramusky is gaining quite the fanbase on tumblr as "Background-Chan" despite only having a few minutes of screentime.
    • Marlo and Hitch (and, though less remembered, Boris), Annie's squadmates in the Military Police Brigade, have a growing fanbase that refers to them as the "Unicops".
    • Levi's Special Ops Squad have all gained a lot of popularity and respect, particularly after they died.
    • Marco Bodt. Even though he's the series' first Sacrificial Lion at the end of the first major arc, as well as the least developed of the "important" 104th trainee squad, we still get plenty on his character, such as his Nice Guy tendencies and The Heart status as well as apparently being a natural-born leader.
    • Historia is very well-liked among the Japanese fandom, ranking as the 5th most popular character even back when she was still "Krista Lenz". Her popularity there has also probably been maintained due to her rise in prominence during the Uprising Arc. Zig-Zagged in the US though. She was initially well received but briefly became a bit more unpopular during Uprising before her later actions settled her back into decent popularity.
    • Annie is popular in both the US and Japan, and she ranked 6th on the popularity poll and even earned her own spinoff story like Levi. Her complicated personality, looks, deadly combat skills, and ability to turn into an even deadlier titan probably did it. This is all in spite of the fact that she has a relatively short arc in the story, being Put on a Bus about only 1/4 of the way through.
    • Pieck proved very popular with the fandom almost as soon as she appeared outside her Titan form. The fact that she seems to be the Warrior equivalent of Sasha, as well as being a bit of a troll, who nonetheless still manages to be one of the more cheerful members of the Warriors pretty much guaranteed her popularity.
    • Mike for being reliably badass while having several endearing personality quirks such as his superhuman sense of smell. Many readers were quite upset when he died and even more upset when the manga didn't even acknowledge his death for almost forty chapters.
  • Epileptic Trees:
    • Due to the mysterious nature of the Titans and the Titan Shifters there's no surprise that there are countless speculations.
    • The strange dreams Eren has at the very beginning of the story are also subject to this.
    • In the anime, the spy that kills Gunther before the Female Titan appears a second time looks strangely masculine for being Annie note . This has led to many fans speculating whether or not she was working alone that time, though it could simply be the animators deliberately giving the spy an ambiguous body shape so people wouldn't recognize her.
  • Evil Is Cool:
    • The Armored and Female Titan. For those into that kind of thing, the Female Titan might also fall into Evil Is Sexy.
    • Kenny Ackerman for his antipersonnel 3D maneuvering gear skills and overall Clint Eastwood-like appearance, though he's not entirely without some hammy qualities.
  • Fanfic Fuel:
    • Levi's past, prior to the release of A Choice With No Regrets.
    • The Titan Shifters' pasts and motivations.
    • The following scenarios if Annie, or later Reiner and Bertolt had succeeded in kidnapping Eren.
    • Bertolt sleeping in strange positions.
    • The events that led to Marco's death. That is until Chapter 77 came along...
  • Fandom Rivalry: With SNK, due to Acronym Confusion between it and this series' Japanese title. This has caused many headaches for fans of the former on social media and blogging sites that use searchable case-insensitive tags, as they now have to abandon the "snk" tag in favor of "shin nihon kikaku".
  • Fanon:
    • Annie and Mina are assumed to have been friends, since they were shown to have sat together for their meals and Annie is shown to be apologizing in horror to what appeared Mina's dead body after the Battle of Trost (in Annie's visual novel however, it's revealed that the body she apologizes to is someone else).
    • Bertolt is often portrayed as a bookworm in fanart, likely because he's introduced in the Training Flashbacks reading a book.
    • Many fans like to think that the harnesses for the 3D Maneuver Gear leave distinct, rope burn-like bruising on those who use it, as often displayed in fan art.
    • Heck, the WMG section has an entire list dedicated to the things we're pretty sure about but have yet to be given clear confirmation of.
    • Many fans assume Levi/Rivaille is of French descent due to the "Rivaille" spelling of his name; however, Word of God says that the "Rivaille" spelling is a translation error and the correct spelling is "Levi".
    • There is also a lot of speculation of Levi being Jewish due to his first name (although his namesake as revealed by Word of God was actually a fundamentalist Christian). His family name, Ackermann, could point into a Ashkenazi direction instead.
    • Since the introduction of Levi's former mentor Kenny Ackerman, there seems to be a popular belief going around that the two of them had a parent-child relationship once. This was later confirmed in the manga.
    • Fan artists seem to agree that Galliard is a Fiery Redhead, for lack of any official hair color.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple:
    • Try to browse any tag for the series without coming across dozens of Eren/Levi fanart or fanfiction, it's virtually impossible. This has led to a good deal of Hype Backlash over the pairing's popularity, for people who either find the idea of them to be nonsensical or down right Squick, given their age difference and the abusive overtones.
    • Erwin and Levi, which often results in Ship-to-Ship Combat with fans of the above pairing.
    • Reiner and Bertolt, which triggered much flailing when Reiner turned out to be a Shipper on Deck for Bertolt and Annie.
    • Connie and Sasha are rarely paired with anyone else.
    • Mikasa's two strongest ships are with Eren and Levi. However, after the reveal that Levi and Mikasa are related, many fans Abandon Ship Some of them support Eren and Mikasa after that.
    • Jean and Marco, mostly because of the amount of Ho Yay they get in the anime and the fact that the latter's death has led to a lot of angsty fan art.
    • Jean and Armin has become a pretty popular ship, likely due to both being the most grounded members of the cast.
    • Jean and Eren have a decently sized fanbase as well, for people who, jokingly or not, view their interactions as Belligerent Sexual Tension.
    • Despite Bertolt's more or less canon feelings for Annie, she's most popularily shipped with either Eren or Armin, though Bertolt's feelings aren't revealed until late into the series.
  • Foe Yay:
    • Eren and Annie may have some of this, something Mikasa even accuses him of when he hesitates to fight.
    • Mikasa herself also get this, with two major examples being Mikasa x Annie and Mikasa x Ymir.
  • Foe Yay Shipping: Any pairing involving Bertolt, Annie, or Reiner with the other characters.
  • Fountain of Memes: Levi has been made fun of by the entire fanbase, kinda going with his Ensemble Darkhorse status. See here for most of his parodies.
  • Friendly Fandoms:
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: One of the anime's omake makes a joke about Armin looking better in a bunnygirl suit than any of the girls. In a later manga chapter, Armin is captured while Disguised in Drag, and while tied up is molested by an old man who didn't know he was male.
  • Gateway Series: The anime seems to be the gateway anime of The New '10s for Western fans, thanks to its popularity on both Crunchyroll and the revived Toonami.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff:
    • A surprisingly large percentage of fanfic (somewhere between 30-40% on fanfiction.net at least) for the show is written in Spanish (to give you an idea, the show got a Blu-ray release in Spain just a few months after the show ended in Japan, with a pretty quality dub to boot) and Indonesian. In fact, according to a user on DeviantArt, SNK is so popular in Spain that they have their own SNK themed conventions!
    • Jean only ranks 9th on the official Japanese popularity polls. English viewers might be surprised at that, since he's easily one of the most popular characters in the West.
    • North Americans LOVE Attack on Titan, so much so that in early May it's going to be aired on the newly revived Toonami block on a good time slot!
    • Also, Attack on Titan is so popular in Latin America that, when Funimation licensed the second season for that region and Crunchyroll announced it, the anime went to the 'Popular Shows' section, along with Naruto Shippuuden, Dragon Ball Super and One Piece.
  • Growing the Beard: The Female Titan arc and the lead up to it, where focus diverts from the main trio and becomes more of an ensemble story is considered a vast improvement by some.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Everything good involving Reiner, Bertolt, and Annie once you find out that they're human Titans bent on wiping out humanity.
    • Every single Titan kill, now that we know that all Titans are humans trapped in Titan form. Particularly bad are the scenes where Levi not only effortlessly takes out Titans, but taunts them and plays around with them after injuring them before killing them. No wonder he looks so distraught at that reveal.
    • An arc featuring Grisha Yeager's past reveals that his first wife, Dina, was arrested and turned into a mindless Titan. Specifically, she became the Smiling Titan, who would go on to devour Grisha's second wife, Carla, and be killed by Carla's son with Grisha.
    • Early on during the "Uprising" arc, Levi's assessment that their situation is so bad that one day Titans would pop out of the ground or come raining down from the sky given everything that's been happening became far worse after it's shown that the Marley Military actually uses Titan airstrikes on enemy strongholds.
    • The 104th's promise to reunite when they are old, and have a drink together. Then we learn about the Curse of Ymir, which limits a Titan Shifter's lifespan to 13 years. Several of the people making that promise will never be able to grow old, because their powers will kill them in their 20s.
    • Jokes concerning Sasha's Big Eater antics become harsher with the revelation that her obsession with food is the result of her village starving when refugees wiped out their food source.
    • Levi's short stature, and obsession with cleanliness become this after his backstory is revealed. Raised in the Underground slums, he grew up in squalor and was discovered by Kenny nearly starved to death with his mother's rotting corpse nearby. His growth was stunted as a result of childhood malnutrition and the Vitamin D deficiency that plagues people living in the Underground.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • If you've watched Brave Little Tailor, it can be amusing to see how many similarities these two shows share.
    • Basically any variation of Jack and the Beanstalk turns hilarious after this series.
    • Also, the Keflings games.note 
    • There's also Shadow of the Colossus, a Japanese PS2 game where you travel on horseback through a massive wasteland, slaying giants by attacking their weak point.
    • A story about fighting giants after said monsters destroy a wall meant to protect humans from them, where the main character's last name is Jaeger? Sounds vaguely familiar.
    • The meme of Eren being scrawny and Levi and Mikasa being obscenely muscled because of Word of God confirming that they both weigh more than him. Come Chapter 53, we find out that Eren is actually very muscular, and just has a lean build that makes it easy to hide.
    • Reiner commenting on the Female Titan having a "nice ass", when he knows it's Annie.
    • Krista/Historia, the All-Loving Hero and Friend to All Living Things often had fans compare her to a fairytale princess. Come Chapter 55, and it turns out she is a princess.
    • Yu Shimamura, who voices Annie, also does the voice for the little excited boy Eren sees when the 57th expedition returns in Episode 22. This is somewhat really ironic when the reason they're all so broken down is thanks to the Female Titan, and then you have Annie's voice actress being the only cheerful one welcoming them back and admiring how brave they are.
    • The Ship Tease between Eren and Annie when both their Japanese seiyuus played subtle love interests in Guilty Crown, where Shimamura's character also happens to crystallize herself at one point in front of Yuuki Kaji's character.
    • Remember the "Titan-san is late for anime school!" meme from way back when? Now there is a Junior High School AU manga spinoff where humans and Titans go to the same school.
    • The teaser poster for the third installment of The Hobbit series looks strikingly similar to Attack on Titan's iconic title poster. Parodied here.
    • Since the series started up, just about everyone's been crossed over with the series, more notably Spider-Man, who's been doing the swinging around buildings thing for decades. Then, they decide to actually do a crossover involving the web-slinger.
    • Fans of Marco Bodt will often have seen the theory that he survived his death because he's a Titan Shifter, which is often laughed at and really only used for AU plots, since even Titan Shifters can't survive destruction of their head or neck. Chapter 75, however, shows us a Titan Shifter, Reiner, surviving what very much should've killed him with a new Shifter ability.
    • Early in the story, Sasha steals bread that Krista was coming with after her running punishment, since she was practically starving. When Krista reveals that the bread was meant for her and she also brought water, Sasha comically asks her if she's God. Fast forward to when Rod Reiss claims to Krista, now revealed to be named Historia, that she should inject herself with the titan transformation serum he has, because devouring Eren who's a Titan Shifter and becoming the new queen of the walls will, in his words, make her God.
    • The reveal that the Smiling Titan, the one that ate Eren's mother, was the Titan form of his father's first wife becomes funny in a Black Comedy sense if thought of as a case of The Missus and the Ex.
  • HSQ: Everywhere. The Drinking Game entry encourages taking a drink for every HSQ moment.
  • Ho Yay:
  • Hype Backlash:
    • This is starting to happen with the anime, with some watchers denouncing the show for its slow pacing (arguably an attempt at averting Overtook the Manga) and the direction it has taken. In general, they complain about the shounen tropes the show includes and claim they ruin it and its Darker and Edgier atmosphere, having expected something more unique.
    • This has also happened with the manga. Some readers feel disappointed with the direction the story has taken, along with some revelations the manga has provided.
    • Regardless of it being anime or manga, some people feel the series as a whole is way too overhyped, especially since fans praise it as the "best series ever!" or Darker and Edgier than it really is, and it's virtually impossible to find an anime fan who hasn't seen or heard of it.
    • The growing evidence of the author's controversial political views (elaborated below under Internet Backdraft) has also led to more and more readers turning against it.

  • Internet Backdraft:
  • Iron Woobie: Armin never had the ambitions of his comrades, or the physical prowess to really make it as a soldier. But his simple wish to one day see the ocean and remain at Eren's side has seen him endure trial after trial. With every opportunity to walk away, he's instead chosen to take the most difficult path and repeatedly sacrificed his safety, sanity, or morals to help others survive.
  • It's Popular, Now It Sucks:
  • It Was His Sled:
    • Eren can turn into a Titan, and doesn't actually die early on.
    • Annie, Reiner, and Bertolt being the Titan shifters hiding amongst humanity. Ymir as well to a lesser extent.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Reiner, Bertolt, Annie, and Ymir. There's no denying their crimes, but at the same time their portrayal as Tragic Villains fills a lot of fans with the desire to hug them.
    • Annie Leonhart's weeping when she fails to capture Eren, as well as her obvious affection for the very father that put her through Training from Hell and indoctrinated her with the belief that Humans Are the Real Monsters, firmly puts her in this territory, even though she gets the highest human kill count out of them all.
    • Reiner Braun is a genuinely caring guy, and was so crushed with guilt that the only way he could cope was to repress his real memories. His backstory adds even more to his Woobie factor: Indoctrinated from birth by his fanatical mother, he came to believe destroying the Walls would make him a hero....and allow him to reunite his mixed-race family. He was a weak, sensitive child that struggled through his training while clinging to dreams of heroism and making his father proud. Unlike the other Warriors, he was The Only Believer and clung to the propaganda even as his entire world started to fall apart. First, he learned his mother had been lying to him and his father wanted nothing to do with a "devil child" out to ruin his life. Then, Marcel confessed to having rigged the selection process in Reiner's favor, meaning all his hard work had still amounted to nothing. Finally, after Marcel's death protecting him, Reiner attacked the Walls.....and learned the propaganda he'd believed his entire life was also a lie. After 5 years of going insane from guilt, he was finally able to return home but only after Annie's capture and Bertolt's death. Unable to discuss the Paradis Operation with anyone, he's forced to constantly lie to his family and watch as they groom Gabi into following in his footsteps.
    • Bertolt Hoover admits that the only time he was happy was during the three years spent with the 104th, and recognizes that there's no way his friends will ever forgive him for what he's done. The fact that he's more frightened of failing his mission than being killed by the others has some scary implications about those he's working for.
    • Ymir is a huge Jerkass towards others, and confesses she only got close to Krista in order to use her as a bargaining chip to save her own skin. Even so, she ended up falling in love with Krista and is genuinely terrified of being killed should the people she stole her powers from catch her. The revelation of her Dark and Troubled Past just makes her a bigger woobie: Ymir was an Eldian orphan abandoned on the streets who was found by a couple of men who decided to use her as a figure head in their cult giving her the name of the long dead goddess Ymir Fritz. The men that adopted her never saw her as anything more then a tool to make money but she was happy being useful to somebody for the first time in her life so she played along in her role. Then one day Marley soldiers arrested her cult and the men who adopted her left her out to dry by claiming that she mislead them. Wanting to continue serving her role she stated that these statements were true and for her trouble Ymir was dragged around the streets, stoned by passer-by's, and then forcibly turned into a Titan for the next sixty years. It's really no surprise she is such a selfish person in the present.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships:
    • Eren has more popular ships than any other member of the cast, as is common for main characters. Among the more popular ones are Eren/Mikasa, Eren/Levi, Eren/Annie, and Eren/Armin.
    • Levi. We've got Levi/Eren, Levi/Hange, Levi/Erwin, Levi/Petra, Levi/Mikasa, Levi/Cleaning, etc.
    • Armin, not as much as the former two, but has a few, Armin/Eren, Armin/Jean, Armin/Mikasa, Armin/Marco, Armin/Annie, Armin/Sasha, and Armin/Erwin.
    • Hange also has a respectable amount; Levi/Hange, Hange/Erwin, Hange/Petra, Hange/Rico, Hange/Moblit, Hange/Mike, Hange/Titans, even Hange/Armin and Hange/Sasha in some parts.
    • Jean counts as well, Jean/Marco, Jean/Eren, Jean/Mikasa, Jean/Armin, Jean/Bertolt...
  • LGBT Fanbase: The series' numerous characters of ambiguous sexual orientation or gender have drawn a strong fanbase of not only gay fans, but also a strong trans following. Also, in a Biglobe poll of which characters gay manga readers wanted as their boyfriend, two characters from the series (Jean and Reiner) made the top 10.
  • Like You Would Really Do It: Quite a number of fans didn't buy Armin being killed off, noting that Levi still had the Titan Serum and he would obviously get it. And that's exactly what happened.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Erwin Smith, a handsome and brilliant commander willing to do whatever it takes for humanity to survive. When the series discusses He Who Fights Monsters, they are usually talking about Erwin. It helps that he's partially inspired by the original Magnificent Bastard, Erwin Rommel.
  • Memetic Badass:
    • For some reason involving symbolism and a lack of effort to take it seriously, the walnut from the second ending.
    • They didn't build the walls to protect mankind from the Titans. They built the walls to protect the Titans from Captain Levi.
  • Memetic Bystander:
    • Mylius Zeramuski, one of Eren's ill-fated teammates from episode 5. He's gained the nickname "Background-chan" for being used as a stock background character in the official parodies. It probably helps that he looks like an Expy of Yu Narukami.
    • There's also Nifa, nicknamed Legout for her resemblance to a Palette Swap Armin. (Actually based on an older joke.) She eventually becomes more than a bystander as a member of Hange's squad, prior to being killed off.
    • Commander Meowington, or that one cat that appeared in the background in one of the later episodes next to a pool of blood and didn't seem to care about the Titan attack.
    • Now we have this guy on the left from the Isle's Notebook OVA, who got a lot of attention because of his attractive design. Fans have named him "Nikolas Colton," they gave him an article on the wiki (which was later taken down), are planning a petition to make him an official character, and he's even getting fan art.
    • Parkour Baker, one of the Recon Corps members from Episode 24 who ambushes Annie, is seen for all of five seconds. That hasn't stopped him from gaining a pretty sizable following.
  • Memetic Loser:
    • Jean. In canon, his loser status consists of crushing on the oblivious Mikasa and generally being second best to Eren; over the series, he develops into a capable soldier and gains some humility. In fanon, his loserdom is shown through anything from being hopelessly in love with Eren to Mikasa outright hating him. Rule of Funny may be the culprit.
    • Reiner. In spite of being portrayed in-series as a dangerous opponent and well-respected for his talents, the fandom tends to remember his multiple losses and brushes with death more. Besides the fandom, even official parodies have gotten in on portraying him as unable to catch a break.
    • Despite being the main character of the series Eren himself falls under this category for various fans. Due to Eren constantly being kidnapped or incapacitated at least once per story arc many fans see him as a Failure Hero who needs his friends and Levi to constantly bail him out of trouble. And there are various memes out there dedicated to making fun of Eren by stating that, despite his intense desire to kill Titans, he can't seem to do so, even though he eventually does so when he turns into a Titan. This joke isn't just in fanon either as even various official parodies make a Running Gag about Eren's ineffectual desire to kill Titans. Much like the Reiner example above though it's possible that this is deliberate on the author's part.
  • Memetic Molester: Fanarts often depict Mikasa as a stalker or yandere for Eren. Some of her close ups from Episode 24 helped. In the superdeformed OVAs, it's basically an Ascended Meme.
  • Memetic Mutation: Now has its own page.
  • Memetic Psychopath: Eren's intense Titan hatred and murderous tendencies already as a child gets blown up in a lot of parodies, even some official ones. The usual scenario is that simply mentioning Titans is enough to hit his Berserk Button.
  • Mentor Ship: Eren and Annie (manga).
  • Misaimed Fandom:
    • Even without the Eren/Levi ship and those who romanticize it (though often in tandem), there exists an uncomfortably large portion of the fandom that thinks Eren still goes gushy-eyed and stammery over Captain Levi, usually with a dash of senpai/heichou to go along with it. This is flat-out wrong, as Eren has shown several times he is afraid of Levi and resents the intense beating he got all the way into the Reiss arc.
    • Some of the supporters of Eren/Mikasa like to view their couple as Incest Yay Shipping because of their status of stepbrother and sister and what plot is sometimes played by them like Brother–Sister Incest in combination with Not Blood Siblings, even though their status of "brother and sister" is not only formal, but also rejected by Eren himself (and apparently by the author through him), who sees in Mikasa a friend and possibly Patient Childhood Love Interest, and not a sister or relative.
  • Moe:
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • The series begins with one, as Wall Maria is broken and 250,000 end up dying as a result. Subverted, as it turns out Reiner, Bertolt, and Annie are not only guilty about doing it, but deeply traumatized as a result of their crimes. Bertolt acknowledges that their crimes are too horrible to ever be forgiven, and that there's no way they can apologize or hope for redemption. It instead serves to further enforce the cruelty of the series, where children are the ones crossing the Horizon and only afterwards come to understand the consequences and learn to care.
    • The human traffickers from Mikasa's backstory started out by casually murdering a husband, with the intention of selling mother and daughter into sexual slavery. When the mother fights back, she's killed as well. The men lament that the 9-year old daughter won't be worth as much as her mother, due to her Mixed Ancestry. No one feels sorry when Eren and Mikasa kill them in self-defense.
    • The Beast Titan is pretty much a walking one, including having a ranking for Cruelty in the Official guidebook. It starts out by transforming the villagers of Ragako into a Titan horde, in order to "test" humanity and proceeds to commit acts of cruelty for no apparent reason other than because it can.
    • Darius Zackly is given a violent shove from Cool Old Guy to The Sociopath with the reveal of his utterly outlandish torture of the nobles he captured.
    • Reiner may have crossed it in chapter 77 with The Reveal that he forced a reluctant Annie to help him feed Marco to a Titan because Marco overheard him and Bertolt talking about their plans.
    • Gross, when it is revealed that he let Fay, Grisha's sister fed alive to dogs.
  • Most Wonderful Sound:
    • The sounds Levi makes when he's taking on the Female Titan. It's just so glorious to hear his battle cries as he manages to nearly defeat the Female Titan on his own, considering many have fallen against it. Including Levi's own comrades, so his grunts were also a Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
    • For that matter, there's also the bellowing roar of challenge/rage/announcing his presence that comes out whenever Eren shifts into his Titan form and/or does awesome things. His roars are described as humanity's anger, after all.
  • Music to Invade Poland To: Die Flügel der Freiheit fits the trope quite nicely, starting off like a German marching song.
  • Narm:
    • Several Titans boil down to giant wobbly nudists smiling like they're stoned out of their minds... until you see their Slasher Smile. What follows is a gruesome image of the human body getting torn to shreds by the teeth. By then, Narm fizzles out as it gives way to good-old Primal Fear. The horror sinks in that much deeper when you have your guard down. Like actual nightmares.
    • The Female Titan fighting Eren in town. Sure, it's a serious occasion, but when the wall cultists are in a church performing some kind of mass, and their "pastor" starts the ceremony with "only righteousness can keep the Titans away, let us pray" and everyone genuflects to do so, it's somewhat difficult to keep a straight face as a Titan crashes right into the middle of the congregation.
    • The first two episodes can come across as a very dark punchline to a joke. Eren's constantly yelling about how the Titans will come any day now. Cue the guards, his family, and almost everyone either not believing him or having the reasonable retort that even if there were Titans coming, it's not like there's anything they could do to stop it. And he continues like this until sure enough, the city gets destroyed and thousands are killed and eaten. The dead serious tone that hadn't been defused the whole time doesn't help the feeling of melodrama, even if the extreme reactions are understandable.
    • Sometimes when Eren in Titan form yells in the Japanese dub, it's hard not to let out a little giggle now and again.
    • There's the scene that spawned the "Titan-san is late for school" meme. Civilians are trying to evacuate, when suddenly a Titan appears and runs towards them. That would be suspenseful... If the Titan wasn't running in a hilariously awkward way. The poor schmuck getting kicked out can be the icing on the cake if you're into this kind of humor.
    • In Episode 24, the dramatic zoom in on Eren looking completely bonkers as he's about to transform is either awesome or hilarious.
    • Sometimes, the narm comes in the form of accidental black comedy, such as the example with Castle Utgard and that poor mook.
    • The Spanish dub gets hit by this due to Mikasa's name, since it sounds exactly the same as "my house" in Spanish, mi casa. They didn't give her a Dub Name Change, so every time someone says sentences like "Mikasa is awesome" or "Where is Mikasa?", it sounds unintentionally funny.
    • Isabel's death, though a major mix of Nightmare Fuel and Tearjerker, is also hard to take seriously. She literally falls onto the butt of a titan and then another one eats her. The image makes it look like a titan biting into another titan's butt and blood spraying from the wound.
    • Armin's voice in the English dub can get particularly narmy, especially when he screams. A notable instance is after Eren's supposed death. For some fans, however, this also crosses into Narm Charm.
    • The English Dub gets hit by this a lot since it changed the booming and deepened Titan howls, which border on Guttural Growler, into high-pitched screeches that sound very wobbly as if the one screaming had a lot of phlegm. Compare and contrast.
    • Some people feel this way about Mikasa's line towards Eren: "If I died, I wouldn't be able to remember you."
    • Some feel this way about Rod Reiss's Titan Form, which because of its design and method of travel, ends up looking like an enormous cooked turkey in still images like the manga.
    • An unfortunately unavoidable case is the mystery of the Female Titan's identity. The manga was able to cheat the heroes taking so long to notice her resemblance to Annie due to being in black and white, but getting to see her hair and eye color in the anime makes it far more obvious to the audience and makes the amount of work everyone needs to put into figuring it out a bit silly.
    • Kenny's stance in chapter 58. To explain, he bursts through doors Guns Akimbo, spouting what can only be described as hammy dialogue that wouldn't be out of place in vintage comic book while standing with his legs bent at 90 degree angles. Suffice to say, the whole thing just looks ridiculous, and practically became memetic on the spot.
    • In the last episodes, the plot so heavily abuses the creation of the drama around Petra's death as a gentle and kind Nice Girl, which is the only girl in the Levi team, that it becomes at first annoying, and then very narmy because of its obsession and artificiality.
    • In Episode 36, when Mikasa attempts to rescue Eren from Bertolt only to be thwarted by Reiner at the last second, her immediate response is to shoot a Death Glare at Bertolt through Reiner's fingers in frustration. The only problem is that the anime made her look completely unhinged to the point of absurdity. The manga version of the same scene was far more subdued.
  • Nausea Fuel: Admittedly one must have a strong stomach to even begin this series, but the image of Rod Reiss's Titan with a series of round holes in its head after being shot with cannon fire taps into a trypo-horrific disgust. Makes the skin crawl.
  • Never Live It Down:
    • Sasha and the potato incident, which is lampshaded in-universe by her and Jean in Chapter 51.
    • Eren losing a leg and getting eaten before managing a single Titan kill. Despite the fact that he gets better and goes on to kill plenty of Titans in his Titan form (he manages his first kill as a human at Castle Utgard), there's a cruel meme about his inability to kill Titans despite his supposed obsession with doing so going around.
    • The state of Marco's corpse after his death, which has lead to a myriad of "Half the Man He Used to Be" jokes and the like.
    • Levi chastising Eren for his crappy job cleaning up their headquarters. He's been seen as a Neat Freak ever since.
    • The way Kenny stood in chapter 58 due to just how ridiculous it looked. Not to mention the hilariously over the top lines he shouted while doing so.
  • No Problem with Licensed Games: Wings of Freedom is considered to be pretty good (especially if you don't mind Koei games).
  • No Yay: Although we do not know how close Levi is to Mikasa (presumably he's her cousin or second cousin), many fans have given up even the slightest idea of ​​their mating as from Kissing Cousins. Ironically, some fans also take the idea of ​​Mikasa and Ehren, because they are foster brothers and sisters despite Eren's refusal to perceive her as a sister.
  • One-Scene Wonder: The Armored Titan on the Anime Season 1: It makes its appearance in the second Episode and it's never seen again outside of flashbacks until Season 2's Episode 6note .
  • One True Threesome: To be expected, thanks to multiple Power Trios.
    • Eren, Mikasa, and Armin are the most prominent.
    • Reiner, Bertolt, and Annie are sometimes paired this way, though Annie's opinion of the other two remains unaddressed in canon.
    • Erwin, Levi, and Hange are popular as well. Sometimes, it becomes a foursome with Mike included for good measure.
  • One True Pairing: Regardless of who is shipped among the Power Trios, Connie and Sasha are almost always paired with each other.
  • Paranoia Fuel:
    • Even during a century of peace, Titans would just wander around the Walls, sitting and waiting for an opportunity to get in. The majority of the human population just adopted the "out of sight, out of mind" mentality and just went on living, until that fateful day that humankind received a grim reminder that they lived in fear of the Titans. After the breach of Wall Maria, humanity has been living in constant fear that the remaining Walls will be breached again.
    • With the discovery of Eren being a Titan Shifter, how many more are living among normal people?
    • As of Chapter 51, there's a strong possibility that most Titans were once human beings. This means anyone is capable of turning into a Titan against their will, with no chance of ever turning back.
  • The Problem with Licensed Games: Humanity In Chains is considered to be a piece of crap.
  • Relationship Writing Fumble: Between Chapters 92-93 several readers (including this very wiki) assumed Gabi had a crush on Reiner, Chapter 94 revealed that they're cousins.
  • Replacement Scrappy:
  • Ron the Death Eater:
    • With regard to the Warrior Trio, it's impossible to not notice this in tandem with Draco in Leather Pants. Initially, when the crimes of all three came to light, Annie was usually hated far more than Reiner or Bertholt due to her horrific sadism on the field and the latter two's overall passivity, despite them having killed far more people than her. This was turned completely on its head though, with the coming of Chapter 77. Annie happened upon Reiner restraining Marco after realizing He Knows Too Much, and called him a piece of shit while Reiner frantically yelled for her to take his maneuver gear to prove her loyalty and get rid of a liability. After this, the overwhelmingly common reaction was vicious hope that Reiner and Bertholt would die while Annie was held a step above them both in morals and actions. Ignoring that Annie showed more concern for her comfort than Marco's life, this still reached Fan Dumb levels when accusations came up that Reiner's actions are what influenced her sadism, her most unforgivable trait in the field, or that Reiner and Bertholt had the audacity to make friends of the 104th and betray them while Annie at least kept her distance and they were somehow worse for that.
    • The Shiganshina trio gets this as well, mostly Eren, though Mikasa and Armin get their fair share as well. Some people outright hate Eren for being "cruel" when he flipped out at Reiner and Bertolt for being traitors, somehow forgetting they indirectly killed his mother and several of his comrades. Likewise, Armin got a lot of hate when he bluffed to Bert about Annie being tortured to make him lose his cool, seemingly ignoring that his parents and comrades died because of him. And while the Shifters might be Tragic Villains, they're still enemies of humanity and are responsible for the deaths of thousands of people.
    • Every major character can fall victim to this, due to the setting's Grey and Gray Morality and frequently shifting alliances pitting popular characters against each other. For instance, it's not uncommon to see fans accusing Erwin, Levi, or Ymir of having a total Lack of Empathy due to their occasionally ruthless pragmatism and willingness to do things such as lie or engage in Batman Gambits.
    • In a far less ambiguous (and usually more comedic) example, Eren's parents are sometimes considered to be abusive, despite being shown to have been overall decent and supportive individuals, not just to their son, but to Mikasa as well. Though with Carla it's highly unjustified, it's hard to argue now that we know what we due about Grisha and his horrible slaughter of children and forcing Eren to become a Titan Shifter and thus a target, for unknown reasons.
  • Rooting for the Empire: While most of the fandom doesn't necessarily want the antagonists to win as such an event would lead to the death of everyone inside the walls, many fans consider characters like Reiner, Bertolt and Annie to be more interesting and better written than the protagonists and get quite excited whenever they show up.
  • Saved by the Fans: Sasha Blouse was supposed to die in earlier chapters, but becoming an Ensemble Darkhorse spared her life.
  • Shipping Goggles: Reiner's relationship with Christa is a much different thing in fanon than it is in canon. This ship fits the "plausible, but nothing solid" side of the trope.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat: There's been some conflict between fans of Levi x Eren and Erwin x Levi, as well as Armin x Eren, Mikasa x Eren and Annie x Eren.
  • Signature Scene:
    • The Colossal Titan's head and hand creeping over Wall Maria.
    • Eren and Mikasa's mother being eaten alive.
    • The arrival of the Rogue Titan, smashing in another Titan's face and saving Mikasa in the process.
    • Related to the above, Eren still swearing to erase Titans from existence when within one's stomach, missing An Arm and a Leg and with Berserker Tears running down his face, followed by the Titan who ate him exploding and Titan!Eren emerging from its corpse.
    • The court scene with Levi kicking Eren in the face.
  • Special Effects Failure: This hilarious moment in episode 13 when a Titan foot stomping on the ground causes blue stones to appear instead of regular debris. This can be blamed on a Troubled Production consisting of a rushed schedule and a lack of animators.
  • Spiritual Adaptation:
  • Spoiled by the Format:
    • The back of the published manga can cause this in two different ways since it features the top 10 of the 104th trainee corps. If you've read the first volume or seen enough episodes, you can figure this out easily, and the fact that they're in order from 1-10 going left to right helps. On the back of volume two, Eren, the fifth from the left, is transparent, which one would assume is to show that he was killed in book 1; but if you look at the later books, he goes back to being solid white, which means that he gets better in book 2.
    • This happens again with the cover of Volume 14, which prominently shows that Erwin has lost his right arm.
    • The cover of Volume 22 completely spoils Eren, Mikasa, and Armin making it to the ocean.
  • Stoic Woobie: Levi's backstory turns him into one, revealing how his life has been a consistent parade of misery. Born the Son of a Whore living in the underground slums, he watched his mother die from disease and nearly starved to death before Kenny came to find him. The Serial Killer raised him to fight and kill, then eventually abandoned him in the slums to survive on his own. Since his recruitment into the military, Levi's existence has become slowly watching Every. Single. Person. he has ever cared about die. In spite of this constant loss, he's continued to fight for the Survey Corps. Mikasa seems to be on the same route of quietly suffering, having lost both her biological parents and adoptive parents within one year.
  • Strawman Has a Point: The nobles ordering the refugees from the fall of Zhiganshina into a hopeless expedition to reclaim Titan territory is meant to show their callousness and disregard for human life. However, the decision becomes quite a bit more justified when you realize that the city that took the refugees was flooded with them and just didn't have enough food to keep feeding them all. It's likely the doomed expedition actually saved the most number of lives possible. And while the heroes unilaterally consider the nobles and government monsters for sending so many people to die, no one ever brings up an alternate solution to the refugee problem that would have caused less loss of life (or, in fact, any other solutions at all). While Historia seizes the land of corrupt nobles and gives it to the people as farmland, it's unclear whether this solution would have addressed the immediate crisis had it been implemented sooner.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks:
    • The reaction some manga fans had to changes in the anime adaptation. In particular, the changes in Episodes 24 and 25 are a subject of much (sometimes heated) debate among the fans.
    • This is also people's reactions to how titans sound in the English dub, especially the Rogue Titan. Some people think that now he sounds less like rage incarnate and more like an autotuned T. Rex.
  • True Art Is Angsty: If the series's immense popularity is anything to go by.
  • Ugly Cute: A few Titans manage to fall under this, in particular the now memetic "Kawaii Titan".
  • Uncanny Valley:
    • The Titans in general. Even the ones who have all their skin attached and basically look like large humans... there's just something off about them.
    • Used to interesting effect with the Titan Shifters. Eren and Ymir are both feral in appearance, with features unusual for Titans that make them more traditional monsters and therefore less disturbing. The same goes for Reiner, whose appearance is almost mechanical in nature. This reflects their more heroic natures, with Eren and Ymir on the side of humanity while Reiner is Becoming the Mask. On the opposite end, Annie and Bertolt are essentially skinless humans, which makes them extremely disturbing to look at. This seems to match with their more hostile nature, as both are more devoted to their mission and perfectly fine slaughtering humans.
    • The Colossal Titan uses a variation: His body is extremely disproportional in the rare occasion in which we manage to see him in his completeness: his legs are so big and thick, his head is tiny and his arms similarly are slightly longer than those of a human and extremely thin. The whole design makes a lot of sense, really, as something that big could need bigger feet to support its own weight, as well as lighter arms to be able to move them with some speed. This could also be a nod towards Bertolt's extremely weak will, as he's the only Titan Shifter with a form that's genuinely deformed.
    • The Beast Titan's arms are way too long for its body, reaching down to just above the ankles. Not to mention its face is just human enough to come off as incredibly unnerving.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic:
    • Very, very much when the characters start talking about self-sacrifice and military casualties, even when the plot "punishes" the characters for such cynicism and the author illustrates the meaninglessness of human victims in the war. Armin and Erwin especially suffer because of this at the end of the first season, when they practically literally speak, that the soldier is an instrument and the commander must "give up his humanity" and "sacrifice something for the sake of the goal, clearly meaning by something the lives of subordinates and actually promoting "the end justifies the means" as the basic morality of the first season. And as if this were not enough, in the 25th episode Erwin clearly hints that he is also ready to sacrifice the civil, which becomes even more repulsive after the frames with the bloody little girl who is walking next to the corpses of her parents.
    • On the other hand, there is Floch from the Battle of Shinganshina arc. His role is to call out Eren and Mikasa's selfish decision to convince Levi to give the Titan serum to Armin instead of Erwin, which does provide more insight on the series' Gray and Grey Morality, but he comes off as more of an unlikable Straw Character due to his constant antagonism extending to the rest of the Survey Corps.
  • Values Dissonance:
    • Mikasa's devotion to Eren can come across as somewhat sexist to certain Western viewers, due to differing social values. While, to a Japanese audience, her devotion is a clear example of Pillars of Moral Character, to a Western audience her behavior can come across as making her a Satellite Love Interest. And considering their status as adoptive siblings, that can lead to a heavy dose of Squick for many viewers. It turns into a bit of Fridge Brilliance, due to Mikasa's Asian heritage in an otherwise Western-style culture. Eren himself is the one to scold her for putting him before everything else.
    • The theme of suicide attacks and self-sacrifice in general also becomes a victim of this. While Japanese culture is very positive about the willingness to sacrifice themselves for the sake of the goal or close people, many Western viewers perceived such ideas in the show as over-cynical or even hypocritical, as the main characters avoided the fate of being an "instrument" because of their greater importance to the army and plot.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: A frequent problem, because of the art style. Many characters have lean, athletic builds and several female characters have strong features that are more traditionally thought of as masculine. Without obvious clues such as long hair or names, some secondary or minor characters are easily mistaken as men. Primary examples include Hange (much to Isayama's amusement, but slightly clearer in the anime), Ymir prior to becoming a major character, and Nanaba... who confuses Japanese and foreign viewers alike.
    • The Smiling Titan looks very androgynous, as it has a slender body, large eyelashes, rosy cheeks, and a fairly feminine hairstyle. Still, like every Titan except the Female Titan (who is female), it's meant to resemble a male human.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: The anime is co-produced by Production I.G, so this is to be expected. Special mention goes to the highly-detailed backgrounds and drop-dead gorgeous maneuver gear scenes. Take a look.
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: It may be one of the most relentlessly serious, dark, violent, and horrifying shonen manga in recent memory, easily on par with some of the grimmer seinen out there. There's even a brief mention of kidnapping and the child sex trade in a flashback sequence, and Episode 23 briefly implies the existence of prostitutes in general. Of course, this may or may not make it a throwback to series like Fist of the North Star, which was classified Shounen back in the day, at least until the standards changed.
  • What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?: The OVA featuring all of Isayama's troll previews adapted into a half hour long plot. Complete insanity ensues.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Political?: Although traditionally this manga and especially adaptation is considered a strong antiwar work based on War Is Hell and the deconstruction of the idealized shonen tropes, some fans started looking for nationalist or militaristic messages in this work, after rumors of the author's right-wing views appeared on the Internet.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Badass?: Armin is sometimes a victim of this trope, being physically weak but absolutely brilliant. It extends even into the series marketing, with Levi frequently replacing him as the third member of the Power Trio.
  • Win Back the Crowd:
    • A meta example. Many people who weren't into anime (or had since grown out of it) have checked out the show thanks to its growing popularity, and it's caused the anime fandom as a whole to be back in the game on social media sites like Tumblr.
    • Complaints that the story moves too slowly seem to have been answered by everything after Chapter 50, with most of the proceeding chapters being a Wham Episode of sorts.
  • The Woobie:
    • Almost everybody qualifies. Eren, Mikasa, Armin, and Connie all suffer the Orphan's Ordeal and all the other soldiers either suffer a Cruel and Unusual Death, witness their comrades suffering it, or see the half eaten and/or vomited corpses of their friends. Krista seems to be the woobie champion thus far, having gone through an Orphan's Ordeal even while her parents and grandparents were alive, coupled with parental abuse from her estranged mom — and that all before her father's servants gave her mother a bad case of Slashed Throat — on his orders, while Krista watched. And her mother's last words were "I wish you were never born." And then there's the whole thing with Ymir, the closest person she had in her entire life, leaving her behind to escape with other Titan Shifters...
    • In a flashback arc we are introduced to Dina Yeager, Grisha Yeager's first wife, who was part of a La Résistance movement that was arrested when her and Grisha's son, Zeke, sold them out. Almost everyone arrested is sentenced to a Fate Worse Than Death of being turned into mindless Titans and set loose within the outermost walls. As her own sentence is being carried out, she swears that no matter what she becomes, she will find Grisha again. Then she transforms into the Smiling Titan, the Titan from the first chapter who ate Eren's mother, Grisha's second wife, and was eventually killed by Eren.

Alternative Title(s): Shingeki No Kyojin

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/AttackOnTitan