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YMMV: Cowboy Bebop
  • Alternate Aesop Interpretation: Faye states that people can't trust each other and should take advantage of each other when possible
  • Complete Monster: Vicious. The reasonable response to your best friend seeing your girlfriend is not to sadistically force her to decide between her own death and having to kill her lover herself. Vicious has loyalty to nobody and thinks nothing of betraying former comrades to death or prison... he doesn't even register when men loyal to him give their lives as they're expendable to him. He also has no qualms about betraying anyone, whether he's usurping power from his leaders or cutting the throat of the foster father who saved his life.
  • Crazy Awesome:
    • Some of Spike's plans are pretty eccentric, and a few of them are suicidal.
    • Mad Pierrot is crazy and dangerous? Nah, he is dangerous because he is crazy!
      • Doohan the mechanic coming to save Spike in the Columbia Space Shuttle!? Hell, the very first shot of Doohan is him walking into frame apparently not caring that he's on fire.
      • You claim to talk about crazy awesomeness on this show and yet you forget to mention Ed!?
  • Creepy Awesome: Vincent Volaju in the movie.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: Many. The opening and closing themes (Tank! and The Real Folk Blues, respectively) are obvious candidates. Let's just point out that the soundtrack was written and composed by Yoko Freakin'-Anime-Music-Genius Kanno and leave it at that. One could think of this series as "Crowning Music of Awesome: The Anime."
  • Death of the Author: Watanabe encourages viewers to interpret whether Spike dies or not as they will, but seems to personally prefer the conclusion that he's just sleeping.
  • Die for Our Ship: Julia, according to Spike/Faye fans. Even though she, y'know, already dies.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Mad Pierrot. Spike and Ed are seen by some fans as the "face" of the show when talking to people new to the series.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Spike/Faye, at least some people think so. Their exchange (and her subsequent reaction) before he heads off to his final fight in the last episode just hammers it home.
  • Genius Bonus:
    • In The Movie when all the classic war planes are taking off one of the planes is piloted by the three old guys. As they're taking off one of them asks the others where they're going and gets the (incorrect) response that they're "going to sink the Bismarck". The plane they are flying in is the same model of plane that delivered the crippling torpedo shot to the Bismarck. In a further bonus the name of that model of plane is Swordfish.
    • All the written Chinese (no, it's not Japanese, despite the origin of the show) and other languages.
    • The chess game between Ed and the Chessmaster.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: While it's still respected in Japan, this series is one of the most beloved anime in Europe and (especially) America. This is partially because it uses so many American action-movie and Western tropes that at times it seems like it was made for a Western audience.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • The episode "Wild Horses" has an old old Space Shuttle being brought out for one last mission. The shuttle? Columbia. Cartoon Network actually pulled this one off the air for a while after the Columbia was destroyed during re-entry. Even worse, the episode mentions the shuttle's heat-resistant tiles being damaged, which is what caused the real Columbia to be destroyed.
    • Cartoon Network also pulled "Cowboy Funk" from it's first run in September 2001 for it's depiction of a pair of identical skyscrapers being destroyed by a terrorist.
      • As was "Waltz for Venus" for the opening scene of terrorists taking over a commercial airliner.
    • In "Jamming With Edward", Jet making fun of Faye's age provides some really depressing Foreshadowing.
    • The Movie didn't get an American release in theaters until two years later due to its terrorism theme and that the movie made its run in Japanese theaters just days before 9/11.
  • Hell Is That Noise: "Pierrot le Fou" has two. The first being the creepy cover of Pink Floyd's "On The Run" that plays during the scene where Tongpu is being experimented on, the second being Tongpu's deranged laughter.
  • Ho Yay:
    • Gren admits to Faye that "women aren't [his] style," and much of his interaction with Vicious could be read as jilted former lovers. At the very least, it's very much in Vicious' character to be aware of Gren's affections and manipulating him through them.
    • Ed rubbing her head against Faye's thigh in "Ganymede Elegy". Also, Faye's constant glancing at Julia in "The Real Folk Blues".
  • I Am Not Shazam: Tongpu, the Acrofatic Monster Clown, is often mistakenly called "Pierrot", after his alias "Mad Pierrot" and the episode's title "Pierrot le Fou", which literally means "Pierrot the Madman".
  • It Was His Sled: Those to whom the ending isn't spoiled are a rare breed.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Faye.
  • Magnificent Bastard: The Scorpion in the Shooting Star manga spinoff.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • SPIKE DIES.
    • DYKE SPIES
    • Related to the spoiler above and much more common nowadays: "Bang," or "You're gonna carry that weight."
    • Generally, within three posts of SPIKE DIES there will be a MAYBE
  • Memetic Sex God: Faye, Julia and Judy.
  • Narm Charm:
    • "Don't lose! Don't lose! Me, me, me!" (Oh, god...)
    • Tonpu's Villainous Breakdown should be silly and hard to take seriously, but still comes off as just as terrifying and creepy as anything else he does.
  • Nausea Fuel: In the third episode, Spike's response to Jet pointing out a "No Smoking" sign is to swallow his cigarette.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Mad Pierrot was a Villain Of The Week who only appeared in one episode, but being made of pure Nightmare Fuel made him one of the most memorable characters in the series.
    • Andy, a oneshot Small Name, Big Ego Rival Rich Idiot with No Day Job, is memorable for the exact opposite reason. His episode, "Cowboy Funk," is possibly one of the funniest in the series. He showed up just two episodes after Pierrot, funnily enough.
  • Seinfeld Is Unfunny: While this series is still among the pantheon of Anime Classics, some minor aspects are not perceived as innovative as they once were.
    • The Superlative Dubbing done by the producers of the English Language dub is something this series has been praised for. However given that the quality of dubbing in Anime has improved from the 2000s onward, though some people may disagree, this is a less than top selling point nowadays.
    • The Character of Spike Spiegel, while still one of the undisputedly popular characters of anime and possibly in all medium in general for his badassery and cool attitude, ends up coming across like a clone of many other countless other generic cool guys that are found in more recent works of fiction.
  • Signature Scene:
    • Julia getting shot, then falling to the ground in excruciating slow-mo is one of the most iconic moments in all of anime, not to mention a major Tear Jerker.
    • Spike's final moments on the stairs at the end of the series.
    • Spike's fall from the cathedral to the music of "Green Bird" during Ballad of Fallen Angels.
  • Superlative Dubbing: One of the most well-known examples. In fact, the series is very often used as THE example of what an English dub can/should be.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: This series is held in such a high regard that the simple announcement of a live action movie in the works has cries of this. Well, there's another reason, too...
  • The Woobie: Gren.

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