YMMV / Fairy Tail

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    A 
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Zeref. Was he once a Jerkass before something changed him into the meek person he is today? Does he have a Super-Powered Evil Side that forced him to do it or did The Black Dragon, Acnologia, make him do these things while Zeref was powerless to resist?
      • Or is he a mentally-disturbed sociopathic human-weapon whose vast powers have forced a disconnect with his conscience such that he has to forcefully remind himself that a human life has value or he can wipe out half a continent absent-mindedly without the "human life" Power Limiter?
      • Or, in light of Chapter 436, is it the opposite; was his threat to wipe out all of humanity genuine, or is he actually forcing himself to think that way, as a last-ditch effort to keep his powers under control, in the hopes that his brother, Natsu, kills him?
      • A variation on this: is he actually trying to incite enough aggression and rage against himself that someone will finally kill him - he's hoping that Natsu will. After 400 years it's probably likely that he's at his limit mentally and so has decided to force a resolution of some kind - a final battle to end things: either someone will finally kill him off, or he'll wipe out all humans and can go insane in peace. Either way he wins (in a way).
      • Or, is it the ultimate expression of Rage Against the Heavens? To elaborate, his Curse is of divine origin, given to him by a Jerkass God as a rather cruel way of trying to teach him the value of life and the natural order of life and death. This Curse has made him suffer so much that it's no wonder why he turned out the way he did. When all efforts to break the curse appear to have failed and it pushes him past the Despair Event Horizon when it seemingly kills Mavis and his first and probably only chance at genuine happiness along with her, what better way to get revenge against the God of Life and Death by using the very Curse that Ankhseram gave him to destroy everything he represents if not created?
      • The reveal of his potential plan opens another case of this. Will resetting everything destroy the present timeline or will the timeline remain untouched just with Zeref and Acnologia gone? Does Zeref even know? Is it possible that he has been so broken by Ankhseram's curse that he is willing to do something which result he has no clue of if it would end his suffering? Would it reset everything so that the misery he suffered and caused would never happen, leading to a happy ending for all as he claims? One can even ask if Zeref is even telling the truth and in fact has something else in mind.
    • Is Natsu really the Idiot Hero who only fights, eats, sleeps, and annoys his guildmates, or is he a Stepford Smiler with abandonment issues who only willingly shows glee or burning rage? The scene in chapter 338 where he arrives at the banquet after having stolen the King's crown was very over-the-top, even for Natsu, and he had experienced a great deal of trauma during the Eclipse arc.
    • Brandish. Bunny-Ears Lawyer with a Sweet Tooth and a penchant for treating her subordinates like slaves, as well as openly complaining to her superiors about doing her job because her sheer power and worth to The Empire allows her to get away with it, or Broken Bird who felt the need to become so powerful out of a misguided desire for revenge for her deceased mother, or victim of child abuse at the hands of Aquarius who made her act like a dog, call her "master," and apparently beat her as well?
    • The Alvarez Empire as a whole. A utopian, prosperous nation ruled by a benevolent (at least, domestically) monarch where non-mages and mages live together in peace not terribly different from Ishgal and Fiore in particular, or a brutal, militaristic, classic example of The Empire whose citizens are blind to the suffering Alvarez causes to the nations it attacks because of their own nationalistic pride? The fact that Alvarez makes no distinction between light and dark magic and is ruled by Zeref, a man universally feared in Ishgal but beloved by Alvarez' citizens, also makes for some In-Universe Values Dissonance, something a lot of fans would have liked to have seen explored.
  • Anticlimax Boss: Several examples, partly due to the series' fast pacing.
    • Raven Tail, whose team during the Grand Magic Games was allegedly meant to counter Fairy Tail, only for each member to get one-shot by Laxus after trying to gang up on him.
    • Erza's two major fights in the Grand Magic Games finale. Kagura, once pissed off, easily destroys every armor Erza throws at her, with her sword still sheathed. When she finally unsheathes it... Ezra casually blocks it, then puts Kagura on her ass in a few seconds. Minerva, who'd barely been injured while Erza was coated with her own blood and had a shattered foot, is suddenly defeated by an armor never seen before that makes Erza essentially invincible.
    • Sting already looked pretty bad losing with Rogue two-against-one to Natsu, when they were in Dragon Force and he wasn't. Pressured by Minerva to win the Grand Magic Games finale for Lector's safe return, he decides to wait for Fairy Tail to finish off the rest of the competition so he can fight them all at once... whereupon he decides that such a victory would be dishonorable and simply surrenders.
    • War God Ikusatsunagi, summoned by Avatar's leader Arlock, ends up doing little more than swinging its sword once before Natsu destroys it.
    • Zeref, after all the buildup suggesting that the heroes would need extraordinary circumstances to defeat him, and Natsu losing Igneel's magic power and his Dragon and Demon Seeds, ultimately succumbs to Natsu's base form after an underwhelming fight in which he failed to properly utilize any of his devastating powers, even after he'd been further strengthened by Fairy Heart.
    • Acnologia spends much of the final fight laughing off the Dragon Slayers' attacks and giving them a one-sided beatdown. When they decide to give all their power to Natsu to finish him off, Acnologia looks set to keep going, but the actions of everyone on the outside manage to leave him completely immobilized and unable to dodge or even absorb Natsu's final strike, finishing him in one blow.
  • Anvilicious: The series is infamous for laying the "friendship wins the day" moral rather thick. While The Power of Friendship is common amongst shonen, Fairy Tail in particular earns scorn for frequently preaching its importance and rarely teaching anything else, even if it's more or less explicitly shown to be a magical power to make it justified in the setting.
  • Arc Fatigue:
    • The rescue portion of the Grand Magic Games arc to get Lucy out of the castle gets criticized for this. Hardly anyone took the Executioners as a serious threat for Natsu and company, and was described as nothing but stalling to make sure that the rescue continued alongside the final event of the Magic Games.
    • The Key to the Starry Skies arc in the anime actually got this in reverse, with the first half up to the appearance of the new Oracion Seis being incredibly mundane, running around bringing together pieces of the Infinity Clock... i.e. the clock which was supposed to bring about chaos if its pieces were brought together, and fighting with Legion who were all fairly low-level one-trick-pony wizards who should have been easily beaten by our heroes after the insanely powerful rivals of the previous Tenrou Island arc. It just rolled on and on, painstakingly slowly and things only picked up when the actual main plot came into play with Oracion Seis in the second half, and got increasingly interesting from there, although not enough to save the arc all in all. Unfortunately the appearance of Oracion Seis highlighted how ridiculous and nonsensical the previous fifteen or so episodes had been and made everyone's power levels and fighting ability look insanely inconsistent. Except Mirajane. Who has a form that can easily beat Satan Soul... which is both terrifying and awesome.
    • The Eclipse Celestial Spirit arc has gotten quite a bit of flak from those who couldn't care less about the oddly designed and paced fights. It doesn't help that the fandom had gone through a great deal of impatience to see it done with, to get to the canon arcs that come after, which deal with the heavily-hyped Tartaros Dark Guild. The studio's insistence on dragging the filler out even longer by animating almost every single omake chapter made in the last year, only intensified this reaction, until finally the Tartaros Arc began airing in April, 2015.
    • The Tartaros arc got some of this. Not the arc as a whole, mind you; it is regarded as one of the best in the series despite some setbacks. However, within the arc were two aspects that many felt dragged on for too long: The first is the countdown of Face. We start with it seemingly getting destroyed about 10 chapters after it emerges, only to reveal 3000 more and initiate another countdown that actually reaches 0, then we go back 20 minutes before this and have several chapters ultimately leading to the same chapter ending as when it went off just to keep the cliffhanger... and it's destroyed by the Dragon Slayers' long-lost parents just as it goes off. The second is the way the chapters juggled through several concurrent fights, often without significant progression in all but one that the chapter would end on.
    • The Alvarez Empire arc. While it started off promising, with a feeling of impending doom that terrified even the main characters, a series of Curb Stomp Battles that set the Spriggan Twelve up as a threat unlike anything Fairy Tail has ever faced before (and themselves being interesting and sympathetic characters, being the most popular villains in the series since Grimoire Heart), and a truly heartbreaking reveal of the backstory between Zeref and Mavis pushing some fans into full-blown Rooting for the Empire mode, the fights themselves in the latter part of the arc have been met with calls of being poorly handled (see Ass Pull below), not the least of which has been the heavily criticized overdose of the Not Quite Dead trope. The arc went on for over 100 chapters and even the fact that this was the final arc didn't stop people from voicing their complaints. Many were eager just to move on to the inevitable final battle with Zeref and Acnologia.
  • Archive Panic: Manga: 545 chapters. Anime: 277 episodes, before hiatus. Though there are plans to continue.
  • Ass Pull: Mashima has never been one for planning ahead plot-wise. The Ass Pulls in the series tend to revolve around never-seen-before magic developments (most of which are never foreshadowed, or if they are it's in such a vague way it might as well not be) which occur without warning in battles or are demonstrated by different magic users. Most are supported (read: handwaved) by a vague and nonspecific magic system that even in-universe is full of unknowns and is a subject of intense study (with subtle overtones of knowing too much leads to madness or These Are Things Man Was Not Meant to Know).
    • Natsu has been known to turn around battles in his favor through some form of Ass Pull - generally the Indy Ploy kind of Ass Pull where the character makes shit up on the spot. They are usually built up during the battle as Natsu struggles and fails with an obstacle before finally figuring out how to overcome it in an Ass Pull manner (routinely doing things that the other characters say are supposed to be impossible or extremely dangerous but often have no technical reason why they shouldn't work in the setting context).
      • During the Tower of Heaven arc during the fight with Jellal, in a desperate attempt to restore energy Natsu ate Etherion which is a combination of a number of different types of elemental magic, despite Dragon Slayers supposedly only being able to regain energy from eating one element – fire in Natsu’s case. This Ass Pull is only backed-up by a brief mention of Natsu attempting previously to eat Laxus’s lightning, which made him very sick. Both Erza and Jellal go so far as to call him an suicidal idiot for doing so. Although Natsu succeeds in eating and using Etherion, he does end up sick for a few days afterwards as a consequence.
      • In order to defeat Zancrow, Natsu uses up all of his immediate reserve of dragon-fire flames and magic, making himself an empty vessel, which then allows him to eat god-fire flames without them conflicting with his own. YMMV on whether this is an entirely new Ass Pull or building on the original eating Etherion Ass Pull. Even Makarov is completely stunned that it somehow works, and yells at Natsu for trying something so reckless – making this an in-universe example at the very least. This evolution of Natsu’s ability to eat different flames and elements then culminates in the fight with Hades where Natsu takes in Laxus’s lightning.
    • The X-Balls, which provided a way for the Fairy Tail gang to regain their magic in Edolas. There's no hint for how or why Mystogan (who gave them the X-Balls) would have them aside from him also being from Edolas and knowing how magic there works, but then that stretches belief.
    • The Second Origin, a.k.a. a conveniently easy way for Team Natsu to quickly power up in the span of one chapter, but bear in mind that this comes after an unexpected trolling from Mashima's writing by suddenly wiping out the 3 months of training Team Natsu would have had due to time in the Celestial Spirit World apparently being a lot slower than the real world; the one day they spent in the Celestial Spirit World partying ended up being 3 months in real time.
    • Erza's magic style lends itself to this trope rather easily. Due to using weapons and armor stored in Hammer Space for every situation she can think of, she's constantly pulling out new ones to suit her situation, some of which are never before seen. A particularly infamous example was the Nakagami armor, which was described as essentially making Erza invincible and allowed her to easily defeat Minerva despite the latter being far less injured. The title of this Chapter 321 review sums up fan reaction nicely.
    • In her fight with Azuma the "souls" of Erza’s friends pushed her forward to pull off an OHKO sword swing against an enemy that she had damaged and worn down but wasn't close to finishing off.
    • Erza's second fight with Kyouka, after Kyouka enters her One-Winged Angel form. Erza hit Kyouka's Berserk Button (telling her that she'll never get to meet Zeref), after which Kyouka started absolutely mopping the floor with Erza, culminating in Kyouka utilizing her Sensation Curse to rob Erza of her five senses. Erza somehow manages to pull through a win despite having none of her senses. This one is so much of an Ass Pull that even the characters are forced to admit that Erza won... because she's Erza, logic be damned.
    • Mira's fight with Seilah is full of inconsistencies but the most glaring Ass Pulls are: Seilah pelting Mirajane with books is somehow powerful enough to beat up Satan Soul; Elfman beating Seilah in one punch despite the fact that Elfman's strongest form is considerably weaker than Satan Soul, which was overwhelmed by Seilah's unrestricted form (also Elfman suddenly appearing like that means he must have been nearby anyway, so Mira's takeover of Seilah's ability was fairly pointless).
    • Jiemma's out-of-nowhere reappearance during the Tartaros arc is seen as this as the only reason for his sudden return was to get Sting and Rogue away from the final battle to allow for just Natsu and Gray to battle Mard Geer. It really doesn't help that he was killed off in the very next chapter.
    • Mard Geer's defeat involved two in quick succession. The first was Gray suddenly revealing the ability to demonize himself to cancel out the effect of Memento Mori. The chapter makes little attempt to explain what he just did. Then Natsu spontaneously enters Dragon Force (something that can't be done without consuming a strong source of magic unless the user is a Third Generation Dragon Slayer, and Natsu is a First Generation Dragon Slayer), which doesn't defeat Mard Geer, but distracts him enough for Gray to deliver a finishing blow. This may have involved Igneel leaving his body, but it's not explained either. The first one turns into a plot point, however, as Gray's demonization continues beyond this arc, which results in him joining a dark guild, presumably to find a way to stop it. The second ends up receiving a Continuity Nod, as Wendy is revealed over the Time Skip to have eventually figured out how to activate Dragon Force at will after she gained access to it for the first time during the battle with Tartaros; apparently, it can be done with sufficient training after its first unlocked, and Natsu simply never bothered to try and his usage there was merely instinctive.
    • The red lightning that Laxus obtains to defeat Wahl, who had been firmly established to No-Sell any lightning attack. It comes out of nowhere (at most, a flashback implies that it has something to do with Yuri), with no real explanation on how it works. At most, people have suggested from the name "Mercury Fulminate" that Laxus created the actual explosive compound, but the end of the chapter still attributes his victory to "lightning that surpasses lightning".
    • In Chapter 464, Natsu being able to use Igneel's power is explicitly stated to be something he can only do once, and he was saving it for Zeref for that reason. It served as a major plot point ever since it was revealed to be a Power Tattoo under his bandages he'd been wearing since the beginning of the Time Skip, even being emotional, due to being a one-time use of his father's full power being used against his brother. Cue fifteen chapters later and he uses it again against Jacob Lessio.
    • Many fans were glad to see a member of Fairy Tail, at long last - actually die in the series - when Gajeel was pulled to the Underworld by Bradman. But once Irene casts her Universe One spell, somehow Gajeel is transferred back to the world of the living. Gajeel had already been dragged to the underworld and the portal had closed, so there shouldn't have been any way for Irene's magic, having only affected Fiore, to save Gajeel in this way.
      • This gets even worse once Irene dies and Universe One is dispelled, and somehow Gajeel is not sent back to the Underworld as he should have.
    • In chapter 517, Wendy turns out to have survived Irene's Grand Theft Me by copying the same Enchantment magic Irene used on her. Even if it was established that Wendy and Irene use the same type of Enchantment magic and Wendy could conceivably copy it, the idea of Wendy successfully coping a body stealing spell she's never seen before, as it's being used on her, and casting it back in a fast enough time to body swap instead of having her mind destroyed is a little too convenient to call clever writing.
    • August's defeat. His fight with Gildarts and Cana is incredibly one-sided for the most part. Even after they figure out how his magic works and land a solid blow on him, the fight is still clearly in August's favor, as Gildarts' attack appears to have barely hurt him, and the artificial arm required to get past August's Power Nullifier broke in the process. Then, out of nowhere, August decides that the best course of action is to destroy both himself and Fairy Tail in one massive suicide attack, despite the fact that he's in far better shape than his opponents. Upon seeing Mavis, he decides to limit his suicide attack to himself after realizing that he can't bring himself to hurt his mother, leading to the purported strongest mage in Alvarez dying a contrived, anticlimactic death.
    • Everything about Anna Heartfilia's role in the present counts as this. Neither Zeref nor Aquarius, who'd both been part of the plan to send the Dragon Slayers 400 years forward, had ever once insinuated that Anna had come through as well during their independent accounts of the plan. Initially introduced as the person who simply opened the Eclipse Gate to enact the plan, we are later told that she was the Dragon Slayers' teacher, retconning the previous statement that Igneel taught Natsu language and culture, which was backed up by Zeref's account on how he met Igneel. Anna's presence leaves a Plot Hole regarding how the Heartfilia lineage continued, as she never once mentioned siblings or offspring. She has flimsy reasons for never contacting the Dragon Slayers or Zeref, and gave little information about where she'd been while apparently knowing that her descendant Layla died and made no effort to comfort Lucy at the time. Her main role was to introduce the Ravines of Time, a tiny void floating out in the middle of nowhere, for the sake of nearly subjecting Acnologia to an anticlimactic defeat without him ever encountering the Dragon Slayers as was originally intended.
    • Meredy providing Fairy Tail with the combined magic power of all the mages across the continent to reinforce the Fairy Sphere that they're using to trap Acnologia. She had not been seen for the past 60 chapters, and their surprised reactions to her sudden appearance indicates that they hadn't been in contact with her, so she really shouldn't have known that Fairy Sphere was planned for use, much less that they would need extra magic power.
  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • Despite a few rough patches, the Tartaros arc shaped up to be this. To elaborate:
      • Natsu gets instantly frozen by Silver mid-sentence, not even getting a fight with him, and takes a smaller role for a few chapters (after pretty much solo-ing Jackal, being the only person to realize that Crawford is a traitor, and storming into Tartaros HQ on his own) to let other characters have the focus. For the rest of the arc, Natsu ends up needing more teamwork and strategy for his victories.
      • Lucy and Wendy get A Day in the Limelight, both involving a badass fight where they win against a much stronger opponent, completely on their own.
      • Gray receives some Character Development, and a much needed Next Tier Power-Up unique only to him, after people started to view Gray as a Flat Character ever since the Time Skip occurred.
      • Laxus not being as active due to a Game-Breaking Injury, which gives more screen time to the others and helped stopped him from coming across as overpowered.
      • Gajeel getting his Day In The Lime Light after remaining mostly Out of Focus compared to his fellow Dragon Slayers.
      • The arc ends with another Time Skip, this time a proper one allowing the protagonists to get stronger through proper training and age up, generally regarded as much better than the one Fairy Sphere forced by keeping the protagonists frozen in time for seven years, before easily overtaking other guilds with a debatable Ass Pull in Second Origin or a mere three months of training.

    B 
  • Badass Decay:
    • Minerva is usually accused to have suffered from this by the time of her reintroduction during the Sun Village arc. What started off as a fun, despicable, Jerkass Anti-Hero during the Grand Magic Games arc, has resorted to joining a Dark Guild for, among other things, the purpose of getting revenge on Erza for humiliating her during their tournament duel. The humiliation was bad enough, but by joining a Dark Guild with vague motivations at best, it ended up destroying what previously made her an interesting character. In addition, Chapter 388 possibly made this worse. Fans (for the most part) seem fine with Minerva's past, but think that her character wasn't explored enough to make her sudden change from revenge obsessed to self-loathing for being weak enough to fall to darkness convincing. As a result fans seem to think the character lost everything that made her a interesting as a character to begin with.
    • Name almost any character from a Dark Guild and you'll have people making this claim about them due to never living up to the badass hype Mashima develops for them at the start of their story arcs.
  • Base-Breaking Character: Now with its own dedicated page.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: The scene with Mio and Arius in the final chapter. They appear to be reincarnations of Zeref and Mavis, somehow being the same age as the latter pair who had only died a year ago. The concept of reincarnation flies in the face of Ankhseram's policy on death. The other characters look confused, but end up taking it in stride without actually stopping to question it.
  • Bile Fascination: Some fans felt this during the final part of the Alvarez Empire Arc. Within the span of a very small amount of chapters, there had been a great use of Ass Pull, Deus ex Machina and Plot Armor that was grating on the readers, much more than in any other arc, to the point where even the most hardcore fans found it hard to defend. Some fans clearly stopped caring simply because it has become pretty obvious that no matter how much stronger their enemies were The Good Guys Always Win, and subsequently followed the manga just to see how much lower it could go, with the expectations for the inevitable confrontation with Zeref and Acnologia severely lowered.
  • Bizarro Episode: Fillers in the anime tends to be this when they're not stories from the manga. And sometimes when they are based off bonus stories from the manga.
  • Broken Base:
    • The fanservice. One of the most prominent aspects of the series is the multitude of curvaceous ladies who, when not already wearing skimpy outfits, suffer no shortage of Clothing Damage. Some readers enjoy the fanservice, and defend the female characters for remaining a significant and competent fighting force compared to many other battle shounen while also being sexy. Others feel that it can be too distracting, especially as it gets ramped up as the story progresses. Some of the most polarizing events include the Hot Springs Episode in Chapter 355 (which Mashima himself later acknowledged in a tweet to have gone a bit too far, and expected this trope to take hold), Erza's torture during the Tartaros arc (nudity is not uncommon for torture victims, but critics argue that that the sequence was more titillating than horrifying) and the Stone Age omake (even many ardent supporters of Natsu x Lucy felt that Natsu's actions toward Lucy were comparable to sexual assault).
    • The pacing of the series is noticeably faster than many of its contemporaries, with most fights ending in 2-3 chapters. Some appreciate that most arcs don't overstay their welcome, while others feel that the fights often feel anticlimactic as a result. This becomes especially apparent with the final battles with Zeref and Acnologia, as some people feel how they went fit the themes of the series and some people bash them by saying they feel far too rushed and make the Big Bads look like weaklings.
    • The series openly pushes its romantic pairings much more than many other similar shounen. Shippers appreciate Mashima's willingness to embrace pairings instead of beating around the bush. However, some feel that Mashima is instead forcing ships down the readers' throats, such as abusing Accidental Pervert moments for all they're worth. Further controversy lies in how the relationships have developed, with characters like Levy, post-Time Skip Jellal, and especially Juvia often being criticized for having their characterization revolve too much around their pairing. The final chapter occurring only a year after the Alvarez arc, with virtually none of the ships ever becoming official, either fits with the friendship narrative or is just a massive disappointment.
    • Was the anime better with Satelight or Studio Bridge? The former is praised for brighter colors and more consistent art quality, while the latter is praised for more closely resembling the manga.
    • Who's the better major villain: Zeref or Acnologia? Supporters of the latter mock Zeref for whining too much and his questionable relationship with a physically 13-year-old girl (which has been outright confirmed to have been sexual in the past), and believe that Acnologia works just fine as an unrelenting force of destruction with no sappy sob story attached. Supporters of the former praise Zeref's detailed backstory and sympathetic motivations and condemn Acnologia for having a very shallow backstory only briefly mentioned during the finale, which was almost unanimously agreed to not only make Acnologia a massive hypocrite and less interesting, but was so disjointed and illogical that it was seen as making Acnologia practically incoherent.
    • The ending. Hiro Mashima's almost gleeful refusal to pair up anybody and deliberate attempt to troll the fans, his retaliation toward fans making too much FT couple fan art and taking the piss out of depicting anybody together himself, or a stylistic way of telling us this was really Lucy's story from her viewpoint, not ours? Either way, it left a huge dent in the fanbase, considering how Rave Master, his previous work, ended with the main love interests Happily Married and with a son.

    C 
  • Captain Obvious Reveal:
    • The minute Yukino said she had an older sister who was kidnapped by Zeref cultists, it didn't take long for fans to put two and two together and reach the conclusion that Yukino's sister, Sorano, was none other than Angel from Oración Seis. They have very similar physical appearances, they're both Celestial Spirit Mages, and they even dress in a similar way to one another. This was finally confirmed in Chapter 365.
    • Another odd example is Silver from Tartarus. The moment of his introduction, he was revealed to have ice powers, and is established to have a "connection" to Gray. Everyone was convinced that the man was his father, and sure enough, by Chapter 390, that was confirmed to be true. However... what DID surprise a larger portion of the fanbase was that Silver is in-fact dead, and is actually the demon, Deliora, having manifested itself in Silver's corpse to survive. There were some people that guessed this as well due to being a member of a guild that's comprised of nothing but demons, but it's a tiny fraction compared to how people saw the original reveal coming, but then, Silver is hit with a another reveal that basically brings it back to the first reveal due to the Deliora reveal turning out to be a lie, though he's actually the reanimated corpse of his dad. Ya... it's complicated.
    • E.N.D. stands for Etherious Natsu Dragneel. Some may feel that it's pretty obvious considering how much the Tartaros arc foreshadowed it, and it was hinted at as far back as the Tenrou Island arc. Although many will agree that figuring out what the E stood for to describe E.N.D. was probably the hardest part to figure out.note 
    • Zero: When Mavis reveals that her magic powers involve illusions, pretty much everyone immediately assumes that her best friend Zera is another one of her illusions. This was confirmed in chapter 11, when Yuriy admits that neither he nor his companions can see or hear Zera. Granted, Zera's illusion works differently from Mavis' other illusions, and only works so long as Mavis doesn't realize that she's an illusion.
    • Irene Belserion of the Spriggan 12 being Erza's mother. They look so similar to one another that it would of been a much bigger plot-twist if it turned out that they were completely unrelated.
    • The frozen mountain in the Sun Village. It looks suspiciously like a giant flame. It's not until the second half of the arc when they finally realize how obvious it looks, and only then do they learn learn that it's the Eternal Flame from Flare. Although, WHO the Eternal Flame actually is, was much more surprising.
    • Hardly anyone was surprised that Gray's trump card against Zeref turned out to be his Iced Shell spell. Even fewer were surprised that he was not allowed to go through with it.
  • Cargo Ship: Max x Broom. And Mashima himself seems to enjoy joking about it in manga, since most of Max's panels in the Tartarus arc has him holding said broom.
  • Cliché Storm: For better or worse, the series tends to follow a lot of shonen manga cliches, such as heavy use of The Power of Friendship and most major characters having Plot Armor. Whether this makes the series a fun and light-hearted adventure or dull and predictable depends on the reader.
  • Complete Monster:
    • Phantom Lord Arc: Master Jose Porla has a bad case of envy towards Fairy Tail for its sudden rise in power and wealth due to Lucy—which neither she nor the guild had intention of using. Thus drove him to use Gajeel to destroy the guild hall. Makarov, Fairy Tail's master, wasn't prepared to retaliate, until Jose later hung up Team Shadow Gear as an example after having them viciously beaten. This earns Makarov's wrath, and when the two encounter each other, Jose being an illusion, he shows no ill will and says some small talk to further enrage his rival, enough for his minion to drain him of all his magical power temporarily. He then proceeds toward the next stage of his plan—kidnapping Lucy and using her ransom to siphon away the Heartfilia family fortune, rather than returning her as her father had hoped. After Lucy angers him when he kidnaps her, Jose's first step is to have his guild robot destroy a town, and then he proceeds to defeat and torture Erza. He also attempts to use his magic cannon to annihilate Fairy Tail and their guild hall. This is all because Makarov said, while drunk at an annual guild meeting, that his guild was better.
    • Tartaros Arc: Jackal, one of Zeref's "Etherious" demons and a member of Tartaros's Nine Demon Gates, is a psychopath who gleefully assassinated the Magic Council in front of Doranbalt. He then goes on to force not one, but two sadistic choices on a former Magic Council member and Lucy, forcing them to choose between their own life and their granddaughter's life, and the life of the Magic Councilor and a pregnant woman respectively, and says that his only real motivation for doing so is that he see humans as playthings. He then later kills one of his own guildmates right in front of Lucy for the crime of annoying him. Out of all of the Etherious, he could very well be the one most deserving of being called a demon.
    • Acnologia, the Black Dragon of the Apocalypse, was once a hero who protected humans from dragons. Succumbing to bloodlust and a love of combat and destruction, Acnologia embraced his transformation into a black dragon, massacring the entire dragon race, even his own allies. Becoming a terrifying scourge on the world, Acnologia annihilates innocents for fun, stopped only from conquering the world by his own boredom. Upon his second appearance in the story, Acnologia brutally kills his old enemy, the Fire Dragon King Igneel in front of the latter's adopted son. When he decides to take center stage in Alvarez's invasion of Fiore, Acnologia targets the other Dragon Slayers to wipe them out and reveals his intention to simply annihilate everything that lives, while keeping the only immortal wizards as playthings to torture forever.
  • Counterpart Comparison:
    • Mard Geer's physical appearance, his status as a demon, his loathing of humans, and certain aspects of his personality have drawn several comparisons to Naraku. The anime even gives him the same Japanese voice actor Toshiyuki Morikawa.
    • Kyôka's appearance and outfit have been noted to resemble that of Frieza.
      • He's also quite the Agent Peacock, whose goal is to resurrect his master. Said master is a much more powerful demon. The former is later turned into an object, before being killed shortly after. Ghirahim anyone?
      • And also that of Femto from Berserk, the Demon form of Griffith.
      • She also is pretty similar to Silence/Sirene from Devilman, and Lan Asuka from Devilman Lady, especialy Asuka in her Child of God form. Even Kyoka's and Asuka's personalities, are a bit similar. And in her second outfit, she also resembles Ultima, in her Final Fantasy Tactics incarnation.
    • Once his true identity is revealed and his motives, Silver may remind some of Itachi Uchiha from Naruto. Mysterious family member who is a Death Seeker and wants to die by said family member's hands and were Good All Along, but are a Well-Intentioned Extremist.
    • An Ax-Crazy Mad Bomber with blonde hair obscuring one eye who blows himself up when he's losing? Deidara or Jackal?
    • Tempester's second body bears some resemblance to Xehanort from Kingdom Hearts.
    • Torafuzar's shark like design and his normal outfit get him compared to Arlong, another fish creature.
    • As a walking skeleton covered with a robe that sees humans as insects Keyes has drawn comparisons to Barragan. He even dies like Barragan via having his powers turned against him and being killed from the inside.
    • Gajeel has gained a few striking similarities to Vegeta due to both fighters being former villains who outright hate an Idiot Hero, constantly attempt to build up their strength in order to one up other opponents, love to fight, and act as a Sociopathic Hero who have troubles with the more ethical heroes. This is only furthered by their interests in a blue haired, smart girl.
    • Hades has garnered a few similarities to Count Dooku due to their shared backstories as a Fallen Hero who became disillusioned with what they fought for and turned evil to combat the former groups that looked up to them.
    • Gildarts has drawn many a comparison to Shanks of One Piece fame: red hair, thin goatee, one of the strongest characters in the series, substitute father figure to the main character.
    • Gildarts has also gotten comparisons to Jiraiya for much the same reasons, being one of the strongest characters in the setting, a pervert who collects gravure mags and flirts with young ladies (though unlike Jiraiya, clearly has better luck with women.) He's also something of a father figure to The Hero.
    • Natsu and Gray Fight is similar to Naruto's fight with Sasuke, even both shouting their names
    • Makarov is quite similar to Naruto's Hiruzen Sarutobi. Both are the third and longest serving leaders of the heroes (returning to office after their successors' short reigns end), as well as Cool Old Guy figures who treat their subordinates like family, but have strained relations with their sons and grandsons, the latter of whom want to step out of their grandfathers' shadows. Both characters ultimately die after a Heroic Sacrifice for the guild (though Makarov's death doesn't stick).
  • Crack Pairing: The Ship Tease for Freed/Mirajane and Evergreen/Elfman has caused some fans to want to round it out by pairing Bickslow with Lisanna. While Evergreen and Elfman have a great deal of Belligerent Sexual Tension and the ending of Freed and Mirajane's fight has some Ship Tease, Lisanna and Bickslow hardly ever interact, save for fighting Rustyrose and keeping an eye on Raven Tail during Laxus's fight with "Alexei".
  • Crazy Awesome: Quite a few characters:
    • Fukuro is a cross between an owl and a man, sees himself as a superhero, has Mega Manning powers and, most of all, uses two missiles as a jetpack.
    • Also Gajeel, here's a short list of problems and his solutions:
      • Want to be accepted by friends? Hijack the stage and sing a song of friendship in a silly Nice Hat.
      • Encountered one of the most badass furries ever? Tell him you are going to make him your cat.
      • A freaking Humongous Mecha? Eat the damn thing!
    • Natsu as well:
      • Faced with a Anti-Magic Sphere of Power? Use your magic outside to propel yourself and punch the guy in face.
      • How to stop a powerful moon beam from entering a pyramid? Break the pillars on one side and tilt it.
      • Dealing with an enemy who can read your mind? STOP THINKING.
      • In a bonus chapter, Natsu uproots an entire tree of flowers and promptly sends it to Lucy because she wanted to see it.
      • Before finding out the guy shared a backstory and friendship with Igneel, he intended to EAT Atlas Flame, a humongous fire dragon, and use that power up to kick Future!Rogue's ass. From what it looked like, one could believe his plan would have worked.
    • Finding that touching Jackal causes an explosion on his body? He eats the EXPLOSION. Or more accurately fire from it, minimizing the damage.
  • Critical Dissonance: The anime and manga of Fairy Tail have both won numerous awards from reviewers and critics in Europe since 2009 - even ranking within the top 10 most popular manga series in Japan from 2010 to 2011 and 2012 onto 2013. Upon ending the manga in 2017, Mashima even won the Harvey Award in New York. In stark contrast, among fans online, Fairy Tail is generally considered as one of the most hated series around and a primary source of Snark Bait.note 
  • Cry for the Devil: Zeref. Where to even begin? He Used to Be a Sweet Kid who just wanted his baby brother back, while constantly being chided by his teachers for what they perceived as blasphemy. When he didn't take a hint and got a little too close to figuring out how to resurrect the dead, he ended up being cursed by a Jerkass God and killed everyone around him, leading to his guilt complex. He spends the next few centuries creating demons in a desperate bid to kill himself because of the sheer amount of pain he's feeling and causing the rest of the world, culminating in his magnum opus, E.N.D., a.k.a. his dead little brother Natsu. A while later, he meets Mavis, the first and only person to ever show him genuine kindness, causing him to teach her magic that inadvertently makes her immortal. He eventually falls in love with her, and just when it looks like he's got a chance at Eternal Love and a tiny glimmer of hope at being happy, his curse kills her body causing her to be placed in suspended animation. Now, his only hope at ending his suffering is to die, and it has to be E.N.D. (a.k.a. Natsu, the same brother he dedicated his entire childhood to resurrecting) to be the one to do it. Nobody - nobody - can go through all of that without losing it afterward. He was already in Ensemble Darkhorse territory, but after The Reveal of his and Mavis' backstory, some sections of the fandom are in full-blown Rooting for the Empire mode, and now believe that Acnologia and Ankhseram are the real villains.

    D 
  • Designated Love Interest: More than a few people think that Gray is this for Juvia. Gray has barely shown any indications of a serious romantic interest in her, at least at first. This isn't helped by Juvia's obsessive behavior.
  • Designated Villain:
    • The Magic Council are constantly portrayed in a negative light for trying to keep Fairy Tail in line, even though the guild repeatedly breaks the law with reckless abandon, from property damage to defending wanted criminals.
    • Kagura during the Grand Magic Games arc is portrayed as an antagonist for wanting revenge against her older brother's killer, Jellal. While Jellal did so under Ultear's control, Erza's protests appear largely based off of her feelings for Jellal, with no attempt to convey to Kagura that he wasn't in his right mind when it happened.
    • Scarmiglione, the winner of the X792 Grand Magic Games. We're supposed to think low of them because they held back in previous battles to make themselves look like underdogs. Sneaky, but nothing illegal. Then Natsu shows off his new power from the second Time Skip by defeating them all despite not actually being part of the competition, and gets off with a slap on the wrist for it.
  • Dork Age: For many, the Avatar arc is seen as this due to how pointless the arc came off as when it was all said and done. Other problems included the overexposure of Natsu, and wasted world-building potential.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Ultear, pre-Heel–Face Turn. Her known atrocities are slaughtering Merudy's village, brainwashing Jellal into continuing the Tower of Heaven after the slave revolt, leaving him a reviled criminal in the eyes of most characters, and assisting Lyon in trying to revive a demon who slaughtered several characters' families (he at least wanted to prove that he could kill it, she was planning on using it to wreak havoc). Her motivation, while admittedly sympathetic and working under the belief that all her crimes will be erased, is Poor Communication Kills by not revealing herself to Ur before deciding that Ur had forgotten about her. Even now that she's The Atoner, her only punishment was self-inflicted. Despite all this, her character has been received quite positively, especially in comparison to the guy whose crimes were forced by her.
  • Dueling Shows:
    • With One Piece, partly as a result of having similar art styles (for example, Gildarts looks quite similar to Shanks) and somewhat similar premises, with a cast of misfits going on adventures.
    • And briefly Slayers during its short-lived revival.

    E 
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Naturally, there's quite some. Notably:
    • Laxus and Gildarts seem quite popular among the western fandom.
    • Mirajane is quite popular for her bubbly personality and being on par with Erza as one of Fairy Tail's premier Action Girls. Many have pushed to see Mira in action more often.
    • Gajeel is this for many after his Heel–Face Turn to the point that you would hear of fan disappointment for not getting treated on the same level as his fellow Dragon Slayers, Natsu and Wendy; to the point that many are actually very forgiving of his Ass Pull moment against Rogue, because it's actual screen-time for Gajeel!
    • The Oracion Seis overall (sans Brain), likely due to the fact they were the first dark guild that posed an actual threat to the heroes as well as being evil but also tragic figures given their past as slaves. They were so popular that they not only got a second arc as the villains, but also became good guys with Jellal and Meredy.
    • Ultear. She was the first established villain that went beyond just a one-off Arc Villain, and the fact that people tend to forget about how much of an evil biatch she was before Gray knocked some sense into her just goes to show how engaging her character turned out to be overall. She also brought Fairy Tail a vast majority of reasonable fan-service before Mashima went overboard after the Time Skip.
    • They're joined by Azuma, the single most badass member of Grimoire Heart.
    • And let's not forget Mavis, the first Guild Master of Fairy Tail, who manages to be kind, cute, mysterious and hilarious at the same time, and badass enough to master and cast one of the most powerful protection spells in the Fairy Tail universe from beyond the grave, Fairy Sphere. On top of that she created and can probably cast Fairy Glitter and Fairy Law.
    • Rogue, pretty much the only member of Sabertooth who isn't a massive dick at the time of their introduction.note 
    • Silver, an Anti-Villain who's spawned a TON of Wild Mass Guessing, has an amusing personality, and a badass capable of instantly freezing the spirit of a dragon MADE OF FLAMES and later Natsu. Indeed, after The Reveal, his status only grew, despite the fact that not only was he Evil All Along, but Silver wasn't even his original name - it's Deliora. Many are calling it the single greatest plot twist in the last hundred or so chapters... at least before he decided to reveal that the plot-twist was all a lie.
    • Seilah has reached this point, too. She had quite a fair number of fans right out of the gate (mostly because Evil Is Sexy and her relationship with Kyouka was perhaps the most well done villainous romantic relationship yet), many fans refused to believe she could have possibly gone down because of one punch to the back of the head in one of the biggest Ass Pull victories in the entire arc. It reached the point where fans were lobbying Hiro Mashima over Twitter, demanding she come back... and she did, in perhaps the most badass way possible, giving her the send-off many fans believed she deserved and had been previously denied.
    • Brandish is easily the most liked of the Spriggan Twelve. An intriguing backstory connected to Lucy, as well as just being a fun character to watch, has many hoping that she will perform a Heel–Face Turn somewhere down the line.
    • August of the Spriggan Twelve has also gathered himself a sizable fanbase primarily for being portrayed as a Badass Grandpa who curb-stomps Jellal's guild all on his own. His "The Reason You Suck" Speech that followed which deconstructed Crime Sorcière's rigid belief that Dark Is Evil and Light Is Good with zero room for nuance definitely helped. There's also the fact that he is the only member of the Spriggan Twelve who, so far, hasn't suffered Badass Decay, making him one of the most dangerous antagonist in the series. The Reveal about his true identity in Chapter 526, served with an extra helping of Crowning Moment of Heartwarming and Tear Jerker, only intensified this, now tying him with if not surpassing Brandish as the most popular member of the Spriggan Twelve.
  • Epileptic Trees: The sheer number of times Makarov has been subjected to the Not Quite Dead trope has led some fans to wonder, completely seriously, if he is immortal like Mavis and Zeref. Even detractors admit that there really is no other logical explanation for it at this point, because the alternative is Plot Armor past the point of Willing Suspension of Disbelief.
    • Another one that has been developing has been the idea that Mashima was being forced to rush the series to its end by his editor or rushed it to just be done with it. Some fans cite the atrocious pacing of the finale arc after Irene cast universe one where many of the issues under Bile Fascination really began to occur.
  • Evil Is Cool: Most of the Arc Villains, with a few specific members of the arc's Quirky Mini Boss Squad standing out like Gajeel, Seilah, Kyouka. And for overarching villains there's of course Acnologia.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Erza Knightwalker, Daphne, Azuma, Rustyrose, Mard Geer, Zeref, Jackal, Seilah, Acnologia's human form, Cobra, Angel, Jellal, and Ultear until the latter four turned.
    • Many of the humanoid Eclipse Celestial Spirits are getting this reaction, too. Especially Ophiuchus.
    • Many of the Spriggan Twelve - specifically, Brandish, Dimaria, Invel, Neinhart, Irene, Larcade, and Ajeel - count, though the majority of them are examples of Anti-Villain at worst, due to My Country, Right or Wrong.

    F 
  • Fandom Rivalry:
    • Once the anime began airing, Fairy Tail has quickly garnered comparisons with One Piece, Naruto and Bleach. If you're a fan of Fairy Tail in particular, you could see it as a good thing that Fairy Tail is considered right up there with the Big 3.
  • Fanon:
    • Given that the S-Class Trial arc didn't have a true resolution, a lot of fans tend to believe that Cana Alberona won the test given that she was the only one that actually reached Mavis' grave.
    • A lot of people tend to believe that Erza's "fake-eye" played a part in the Kyouka fight to overcome the loss of her five senses. It's a perfectly valid excuse for what could otherwise be called an Ass Pull, and even though it wasn't explicitly stated (Happy's 'explanation' has even been likened to an In-Universe Shrug of God), fans truly believe it's the only logical explanation for how that fight went. However, a few panels where the artificial eye was exposed showed that it was darkened just like her real eye.
    • Erza's hakama outfit is often justified as turning her into a Glass Cannon by converting her magic from defense to attack. When we first see her use it against Ikaruga, the latter states that she senses no magic power from it like her armor, and Erza explicitly calls it "just fabric". However it was the sword Benizakura that she used against Azuma while wearing the outfit that maximized her attack power, but required her to not be wearing protective gear. Since then Ezra has used the hakama to different effects - both using it with specialised weapons and simply just funneling her magic power into the attack of two more ordinary katanas.
  • Fight Scene Failure: Some readers feel that many of the fights contain too much basic punching and kicking for bouts between mages, and even several displays of magic are simple, nondescript blasts. Natsu and Zeref's final battle is a good example; the latter is infamous for his "Instant Death" Radius and neglects to use it in favor of trading fists with his little brother, ultimately losing.
  • Foe Yay:
    • Azuma has some with Mirajane and Erza.
    • Minerva towards Erza, so freaking hard. It approaches Albert Wesker levels in Chapter 386.
    "Now, come and show me what you're made of, my beloved... ERRRZZZAAAAA!!!"
    "I won't forgive you any more. I don't love you any more!"
    • Erza and Kyouka have shades of this. Particularly the amount of time Kyouka wishes to..."torture" her.
    • DiMaria of the Spriggan Twelve runs on this trope. She really likes cutting off women's clothes with her sword, while admiring their bodies. Whether she really is a Psycho Lesbian or if it's a tactic to psyche them out is up to interpretation, though it's probably both.
  • Franchise Original Sin: While Fairy Tail has always been divisive, and a Snark Bait because of the friendship speeches, somewhat nonsensical victories (which sometimes got a pass because of Rule of Cool), and Fanservice, these elements were not as prominent early on, especially the latter. These examples were most of the time used for funny gags, but after the Timeskip, these elements got prominently turned Up to Eleven with tons of cleavage/butt shots, and moments where the characters were naked for no logical reason except for the fandom (which usually reacted negatively). In addition, the Asspulls became more and more exaggerated, causing the Willing Suspension of Disbelief of the fandom to be very low (Read the Ass Pull examples above. You'll notice that some of these could have gotten a free pass in a less divisive series).

    G 
  • Genius Bonus: "Ankhseram" is actually a combination of two words. An Ankh is an ancient Egyptian symbol that, even today, represents life, or the creation of life. 'Seram' is the Malay/Indonesian word for 'horror.' It's the true name of Zeref's Death Magic, only it's not magic, but a Curse.
  • Growing the Beard:
    • There are several occurrences early on that could be established as when things decided to get serious for this series. It could be Galuna Island which moved away from Fairy Tail doing basic jobs for money. It could have been the Phantom Lord arc which was the first all-out war between guilds, or it may have been the Tower of Heaven arc which increased the size-and-scope of the series by now having the entire world at risk.
      • The Tower of Heaven arc also had a long-running storyline, massive emotional developments and very dark character arcs, characters dying and death being a real plausible threat, as well as a villain who completely out-classed the heroes.
    • The Tartarus arc, despite some rather controversial events, received much more positive reception than much of the content since the seven-year Time Skip, mainly for giving next tier power ups and Character Development to some of the more neglected FT members and addressing several of the series' mysteries.

    H 
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Very early in the series, Lucy brings up the Fridge Logic to Natsu about how Igneel, a dragon, would teach him magic that is designed specifically to kill such creatures. Fast forward to the Grand Magic Games, where they learn that this is what the dragons had in mind to teach humans to battle their more carnivorous brethren, which unfortunately backfired and caused the humans to turn it back it on the more humane dragons as well.
    • Cobra pissed off Natsu by insisting that dragons were extinct. Aside from the previously human Acnologia, they are.
    • Fairy Tail Zero shows us how Mavis and Zeref really first met. Mavis showed Zeref what was probably the first bit of genuine kindness he'd experienced in centuries, if not ever, prompting him to agree to teach Fairy Tail's future founders the magic necessary to defeat Blue Skull. Fast forward a century, and Zeref kills one of those members and then declares his intent to wipe out humanity to Mavis' face. No wonder it looked like her heart was breaking as she heard him go on his Humans Are Bastards tirade; she was watching someone she genuinely liked, felt sorry for, and tried to help finally snap before her very eyes.
      • Chapter 450 brings this Up to Eleven, and somehow manages to make even Harsher in Hindsight. Mavis died because of a Kiss of Death with Zeref. He then spent a long amount of time with her ghost on Tenroujima, unable to see her, hear her, or touch her, and doing little more than being able to feel her presence. All of that time, he spent stewing, wishing for death, before the ticking time bomb finally exploded in the aforementioned Humans Are Bastards scene. That must have absolutely broken her heart.
    • Also from Zero, every heartwarming interaction between Mavis and Precht instantly becomes this due to Precht taking a turn for the worse in the future.
    • The Eclipse Project, led by Princess Hisui, to use the Eclipse Gate to go back in time to kill Zeref before he became immortal. Chapter 436 showed us that Zeref never intentionally became immortal; it's actually a part of his curse, for angering Ankhseram by studying taboo magic. Yes, Zeref ended up doing some pretty horrible things and eventually did Take A Level In Jerkass, but at the time period in which Hisui wanted to kill him, Zeref was completely innocent, save from being a controversial figure at the Academy and a blasphemer. And the worst part is, he only became cursed because the guy just wanted his brother back. The plan was already considered extreme due it being a Butterfly of Doom scenario just waiting to happen, but if it had been allowed to succeed, Hisui would have murdered an innocent man in cold blood, and Natsu as we know him would have never existed.
    • The manga chapter where Igneel dies was published the same day his English actor Bob Magruder died.
    • Zoldeo's appearance as a Seven Kin of Purgatory, after we learn why he became evil, snapping when Layla was sick and dying by murdering Grammi, Brandish's mother. What ultimately happened, to have him turn him into that, is horrifying.
    • After what happened to his original English VA, Bickslow being excited to team up with Wendy in Episode 141, becomes this.
    • Shortly before he excommunicates Laxus from the guild, Makarov lectures his grandson on not understanding what Fairy Tail is all about- among other things, it's a family for those who don't have one. Eventually, you learn that Makarov lost both his parents- his mother died shortly after giving him as a result of Mavis' curse, and his father died when Makarov was no more than five years old.
    • In the Battle of Fairy Tail arc, Juvia destroys a lacrima, which results in her getting shocked with electricity and passing out, so that she and Cana will not have to fight. Almost 400 chapters later, in Chapter 499, she sacrifices herself again and nearly dies. It's also Heartwarming in Hindsight to a certain degree, since it shows that Juvia would rather die than hurt someone she cares about, not just Gray.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight: The unique "Number One!" handsign all the Fairy Tail members perform in the second episode? Turns out that Laxus came up with it as a little boy so he could send a message to his grandpa during his first Fantasia Parade.
    Makarov: You'll hold up your hand?
    Young!Laxus: It's a message! When you see me holding up my hand like this, it means even if I can't see you, I'm looking your way!
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: The 10th opening of the anime showing Zeref and Mavis side-by-side counts, as the manga hadn't even gotten to the point where it confirmed Zeref and Mavis has a deep connection at the time.
  • "Holy Shit!" Quotient:
    • The Tartarus arc. In spades. Fairy Tail getting its ass handed to it for quite a few fights, even when compared to previous arcs? Check. Darker and Edgier? Check. Awesome plot twists, including Luke, I Am Your Father? Very, very well overdue Next Tier Power-Up for characters who all desperately needed to Take a Level in Badass for the last several arcs? Check. Appearance by Zeref? Check. Appearance by Acnologia? Check. And finally, the long-awaited appearance of freaking Igneel, followed by the other Dragon Slayer's parents? Oh yeah, check. Growing the Beard indeed.
    • The now-infamous 'countdown' chapters in the Alvarez Arc, starting with Chapter 483. To explain, these chapters' titles all have numbers in the titles counting downward from seven, eventually reaching zero in 490. What happened in these chapters? Erza is revealed to have some kind of relative in the form of Spriggan 12 member Irene, Sabertooth and Blue Pegasus were paraded around like war trophies in a very gratuitous Crucified Hero Shot, a huge Gut Punch in the form of Gajeel's apparent death, Mest's much-reviled What the Hell, Hero? moment with Brandish and August, Mavis breaking out of the crystal, and Irene proving to be a Reality Warper who fought Acnologia on even grounds!
  • Hollywood Pudgy: Happy is strangely insistent to point out Lucy's weight. He even finds her heavier than Gajeel. There may two big reasons for that but still...
  • Ho Yay: We have a page for this now. It's surprisingly long and mostly about Lucy.
  • Hype Backlash:
    • Lisanna making a return after the Edolas arc, only to have nothing come out of it, has not sat well with a majority of the fans, and left people asking why she didn't just stay dead.
    • The Sabertooth Guild being hyped up as the biggest, badass, guild after the 7-year-timeskip, only to not live up to those high expectations, has made them an easy target to be made fun of by a plethora of people. The worst offender being Sting, who achieved Memetic Loser status.
    • Coming shortly after the well-received Tartaros arc, the Alvarez Empire arc had much hype, and a lot going for it at first with a massive army led by Zeref (Big Bad #1) heading out to battle it out against the Fairy Tail guild for the Final Battle along with the final confrontation with Acnologia (Big Bad #2) finally approaching. Unfortunately, as the Story Arc went along, more and more problems that people already had with the Fairy Tail series in general continued to pop up, and in some cases, were cranked Up to Eleven. As a result, this final Story Arc has turned many readers away, and has reached a point where they consider it to be the worst arc in the series.

    I 
  • Idiot Plot:
    • The first half of the Key of the Starry Skies filler arc can be considered this as the whole point of Natsu and company finding the clock pieces is so that the enemy can't find them to put together a Doomsday Device... which is exactly what the Fairy Tail guild ends up doing, and basically handed them the device on a silver platter.
    • Mavis holds the Idiot Ball big time in Episode 175. An odd example where it seems they did care enough to try justifying it, but did it so wrong and backwards it comes off as this. Natsu's ridiculous fight against Sting and Rogue, which many people already hated due to his blatant disregard for apparent strength and his easy curbstomping of a powerful enemy while the rest of the guild had hard times with their challenges, hits the breaking point when Sting and Rogue perform a Unison Raid against him. While Sting and Rogue (the former of whom had easily stomped both Natsu and Gajeel before they decided to get up) begin their Unison Raid, Mavis is going on about how their power is great, but you need more than power to win, and how "these bonds of friendship can't be broken by power alone". The problem with this is that Natsu is the target of her speech, representing friendship and bonds, and Sting and Rogue are the ones representing simple power. Sure, Natsu is primarily motivated by his bond with Lucy and is fighting to avenge her for her No-Holds-Barred Beatdown by Sabertooth, but not five minutes before he forced Gajeel on a cart ride out of the fight over a petty argument about Sting's clock positions to take on the Twin Dragons alone. Sting and Rogue on the other hand, are A) having inner monologues about promises they made to Lector and Frosch and B) doing a Unison Raid, which explicitly requires the users to be as close a pair as humanly possible for it to work. It's backwards.
    • Lucy. Despite being shown to competently use her magic and her spirits as well as having powerful magic with impressive magic reserves (being able to summon spirit after spirit over and over again is supposed to be significantly impressive for celestial wizards), Lucy continually uses her spirits in the stupidest and most banal ways possible whenever it is actually important. She has also been shown to be able to strategize and think smartly about magic battles, but she will routinely do things that border Too Dumb to Live in sheer stupidity. This is particularly annoying when we've seen many of her spirits being used in inventive and effective ways by wizards who were equal in power or less powerful than she later becomes - used in ways that she witnessed and should easily be able to replicate. A good example is in the Tartarus arc prologue in the first fight against Jackal: he's shown to be able to use his explosions to repel wind-powered attacks, so who does Lucy summon? Scorpio - to use his sandstorm attacks...
    • Chapter 529: Holy shit! Anna Heartfilia is alive and in the present!? And she has a plan to— Wait. She's been working on what all this time, and she's just telling Fairy Tail this now? She's been researching this for years, after or while Acnologia destroyed Tenroujima (leading almost everyone to believe four Dragon Slayers were dead), and wreaked havoc during the Tartaros Arc? She didn't even bother to tell anyone, least of all Zeref, her old partner and someone who considered her a genuine friend (and really could have used one these last few years while she was here)? Calling this a Deus ex Machina or an Ass Pull would be generous, and one really has to wonder how much of the last three arcs at least could have been avoided had Anna Heartfilia just sent a lacrima message.
      • However, Chapter 530 reveals this is a Subversion, as not only did Zeref know about said plan, it directly correlates to his own grand plan...which if Anna knew about, she would likely immediately abandon it.
  • Inferred Holocaust:
    • Chapter 490. Irene Belserion casts a cataclysmically powerful Terraforming spell called 'Universe One' on the entire country of Fiore, which resulted in the entire country being shrunk to one-twentieth its geographic size, and people in the country randomly teleported all over the place. Think about that for a minute. How many citizens of Fiore are now in the middle of the ocean? How many of their homes are now destroyed, underwater, underground, or in several locations at once? Even in the best case scenario and there weren't many casualties, shrinking the entire country will wreak havoc on the nation's ecology, meaning land for agriculture and natural resources will almost certainly no longer be able to support Fiore's population, leading to overpopulation and famine. With a single spell, Irene has quite possibly done more damage to Fiore than all previous dark guilds in the series could even dream of doing, causing a near-apocalyptic event... at least until the country returns to normal with Irene's suicide.
    • If Real Life history is anything to go by, what's left of the Alvarez Empire is gonna be in for one of these. Without a designated heir for Emperor Spriggan's throne, the best possible scenario will be one hell of a political shitstorm in the country, aggravated further by the cataclysmic number of casualties in the military in a failed campaign against Ishgal. Maybe there will be a consensus pick for a new monarch, or maybe democratic reform. But the worst case scenario? Civil war. The country is ripped apart from the inside by warring factions vying for the throne or for independence, and what's left of the Spriggan Twelve either can't keep order, or joins in, themselves. Either way, without outside help, the Empire is in for a major, country-changing crisis that could very well lead to its undoing, and its citizens will suffer for it. Thankfully, Lucy's narration reveals Ishgar did in fact send in outside help, so that at least was averted.
  • Internet Backdraft: Many cases which result in heated arguments amongst the fandom. The more obvious examples being:
    • Shipping wars; the most obvious case being Natsu/Lucy vs Natsu/Lissana
    • Anything Fairy Sphere related regarding Fairy Tail's peculiar 7-year Time Skip.
    • Any debate that constitutes what makes for an Ass Pull, or not, throughout the story.
    • Characters that Mashima is playing favorites for, or has completely wasted their potential.
    • Fan-service entering Fan Disservice territory post 7-year Time Skip.
    • Almost anything Grand Magic Games related after (and including) Natsu's duel against Sting and Rogue, which destroyed any credibility that the two Third-Year Dragon-Slayers may have had.
    • Future Rogue being wasted potential as the Arc Villain of the Dragon Festival.
    • Discussing and trying to make sense of Erza's fights past Azuma.
    • Debating as to whether or not Natsu became overpowered by the time of the second Time Skip.
    • The Status Quo Is God nature of the Fairy Tail guild staying relatively the same after every Story Arc. Particularly, the guild-master always reverting back to Makarov.
    • Chapter 488 set the internet ablaze with how controversial the moment with Mest was to the point that many have pretty much given up on the character completely due to how stupid his action was the moment it looked like August was coming around to negotiate with Fairy Tail.
    • The amount of times that Mashima has pulled the Not Quite Dead trope on the readers has not been well-received. The Albareth Empire Story Arc in particular has pulled this stunt up to four times.
    • Chapter 519 has Erza, with all but one limb broken, easily destroying the meteor dropping on her and, with her sword enchanted by Wendy, inflicting far more damage on Irene's dragon form than any of the actual Dragon Slayers ever accomplished. Then Irene, after spending several chapters displaying nothing but contempt toward her daughter Erza, suddenly commits suicide to spare her, which many saw as a copout to prevent Erza from suffering a proper loss now that she was finally running out of steam.
    • Chapter 536 has both major antagonists, Zeref and Acnologia, defeated back-to-back; the latter was defeated without even much of a fight by what amounts to a Deus ex Machina (and one that was heavily criticized for other reasons as well), and the former, after being empowered by Fairy Heart, got taken out by - wait for it - a Nakama Punch. To say that many found the climactic 'fights' of the series anticlimactic would be the understatement of the year. That is, until Acnologia broke back out of the Time Lapse, stronger than ever...
  • It's the Same, So It Sucks: The Status Quo Is God trope kicking in every time the Fairy Tail guild-master reverts back to Makarov gets this reaction from fans. In total, it's happened three times over the course of the series. It started off as a funny joke when it was done for Macao and Gildarts, but by the time it was done for Erza, the gimmick became overused. At this point, people felt that either Makarov overstayed his welcome, or would have preferred to finally see a significant change happen to the guild. This one has died down with Makarov finally sacrificing himself to bring down most of the remaining soldiers in Alvarez's army, though time will tell exactly what happens next.
  • It Was His Sled: Considering the length of the Fairy Tail series, there have been many revelations over the years that could be considered a given for newcomers.
    • Fairy Tail member, Loke, is Leo of the Celestial Spirits.
    • Gajeel and Juvia perform a Heel–Face Turn, and join Fairy Tail after the Phantom Lord arc.
    • Jellal lives passed the events of the Tower of Heaven arc.
    • Wendy and Carla join Fairy Tail after the Oracion Seis arc.
    • Pantherlily performs a Heel–Face Turn, and joins Fairy Tail after the Edolas arc.
    • Lisanna was never truly dead.
    • Zeref is alive, or having never been sealed (at least, not involuntarily). The fact that he's actually a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds instead of the Complete Monster history regards him as probably counts, too.
    • Laxus returns to the Fairy Tail guild post Tenrou Island. Doesn't help that the tenth opening outright spoiled his return.
    • A 7-year Time Skip occurs after Tenrou Island.

    J 
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Sting ever since Chapter 300 due to Jiemma possibly killing Lector and Minerva manipulating his feelings under the promise he will get him back if they win. The guy just wants his cat back.
    • Minerva herself when all her heartless attempts to prove herself strong are revealed to stem from her father's abuse.

    L 
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Given Fairy Tail's Loads and Loads of Characters, taking a single character, and pairing them off with someone from the list, is quite common amongst the fanbase.
  • Like You Would Really Do It:
    • What was that? You thought Arcadios was not of this world any more because he submerged, head-to-toe, into a POOL OF HOT LAVA? Don't worry. Turns out Lucy's silver key spirit, Horologium, was able to protect him!
    • The ending of Chapter 334. Nobody believed Mashima would actually randomly kill off Gray. Chapter 335 proved the fandom was right.
    • Chapter 362. Happy pulls a Pell-like Heroic Sacrifice by flying an exploding Jackal into the sky, and ends up with only an afro for his troubles.
    • Chapter 368 and 369. Did you honestly believe that Mashima would kill off Jellal to a guild that's been in lock-up?
    • Chapter 378. Wendy and Carla dying due to Face being destroyed? What, you think Hiro Mashima is the type to Kill the Cutie? Though Carla could have at least gotten an afro for her trouble.
    • A very rare villainous example, especially for a Shōnen series, comes in the Tartarus arc in the form of Mard Geer. While he does have his fans, the real reason few believed he was truly down and out when his curse was turned against him was because this would have not only meant he would never get a real fight against the protagonists (beyond that truly epic fight against the Celestial Spirit King), but it would have also meant that E.N.D. would never make his appearance, since his Book of Zeref would have been petrified as well. Never having that resolved, especially given E.N.D.'s apparent backstory with Igneel, would have been completely unacceptable to fans, and absolutely nobody thought Mashima was going to pull a What Happened to the Mouse? of that magnitude.
    • Zeref. The near-unanimous reaction from the fandom to Zeref's "death" in Chapter 464 was that there was no way Mashima would kill off the Big Bad before the rest of the Spriggan Twelve were revealed, before Natsu became aware of his true relation to Zeref, before Acnologia's appearance, or especially after right after revealing he has ties to Layla and another unknown character named 'Anna.' The fact that there was No Body Left Behind only further cemented this reaction. The very next chapter proved they were right.
    • Who actually thought Gajeel died after his fight with Bradman?
    • In the span of a couple pages for Chapter 493, Mashima gives us Mira being shot through the heart by August, only for it to be revealed that Brandish shrunk the injury without anyone noticing.
    • Chapter 499. For the fourth time in the same arc, another character, Juvia, seemingly died by means of Heroic Suicide. Few people believed it would stick and sure enough, she recovered thanks to Wendy's help..
    • Chapter 505. Some people were suggesting this about Makarov after he activated Fairy Law in a situation that resulted in him dying in return for disposing of many of the Mooks from Zeref's army. Given several other already mentioned characters who've survived life-threatening situations, it was only a matter of time before Mashima pulled the Not Quite Dead trope again...then Chapter 537 happened although in that case he really was dead, but then literally brought Back from the Dead.
    • Chapter 522. Considering the number of times Gray has threatened to use it before and been interrupted, the likelihood that he would actually get to use Iced Shell on Zeref was slim.
    • Chapter 536. In another villainous example, this chapter makes it seem as though both Zeref and Acnologia are defeated simultaneously. The main problem with this is that the chapter's title page states that there are still ten chapters left, and despite vowing to kill him, Natsu has yet to even interact with Acnologia, who was merely sealed away.

    M 
  • Magnificent Bastard: Future Rogue. The guy manipulated the entire Fiore Royal Family into using an Artifact of Doom powered by Zeref's magic and Celestial Spirit Magic by telling them it would save their country from a swarm of dragons coming to destroy them. In reality, using the Artifact of Doom was what caused the dragons to appear, and he promptly used a Compelling Voice spell to force the dragons into becoming his submission, as part of a ploy to kill Acnologia and take his place as the Dragon King. The dragons he summons proceed to curb-stomp the very mages whose magic is designed to kill them, while Future Rogue wipes the floor with Natsu. The only reason his plan didn't succeed was due to The Power of Friendship causing one of his dragons to rebel against him.
  • Memetic Badass:
  • Memetic Loser:
    • Simon given that he was one of the few characters of this series that legitimately got killed off, especially when it comes to those on the hero side. It really started picking up steam once Mashima began to overuse the Not Quite Dead trope.
    • Sting of Sabertooth is well-known for the amount of failure he accomplishes through the Grand Magic Games arc. From finishing last in chariot race, to losing to Natsu in a one-on-two fight where Natsu didn't even use 100% of his strength, to having his pet Exceed, Lector, taken away from him, and then, to top his losing streak off, he completely surrenders before even attempting to fight a single Fairy Tail member in the final match despite how badass he thought he became after learning the values of friendship. It's amazing the guy didn't fall apart afterwards. It only gets worse in the Tartarus arc, where he and Rogue fight Mard Geer, who has spent the entire fight Just Toying with Them and mocking them as the Puny Humans hes sees them as, all while No Selling every single thing they throw at him. Sting then demanded Marde fight them seriously. With his track record, Be Careful What You Wish For doesn't even begin to cover it.
  • Memetic Molester:
    • Flare comes across as a creepy Psycho Lesbian during her fight with Lucy. In fact, Lucy tends to fight a lot characters who give off rapist vibes.
    • Juvia due to her Stalker With a Crush attitude towards Gray.
    • Doranbolt, thanks to his stint with Wendy; particularly him standing behind her, with a creepy smile. Mashima clearly caught on, as when Erza is reverted into a child, she imagines Doranbolt taking interest in her just as Jellal dumps her.
    • Zeref gets this as well. According to at least one circle of fans, he's "done" everything. Some even go so far as to say he's the progenitor of all living things because of this, dubbing the phenomenon "The Big Bang Theory." This probably comes from the fact that he did create Kyôka amd Seilah, two demons that wear very little clothing, have Impossible Hourglass Figures, and are utterly devoted to him, and has at least three incredibly beautiful Body Guard Babes in the form of DiMaria, Irene, and Brandish, all of whom wear just as little clothing as the aforementioned demons.
    • Larcade inevitably became this due to being able to use magic that literally causes most of the cast to have an orgasm in the middle of a war.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "Nakama Punch" Explanation 
    • "Explosion Afros!" Explanation 
    • "Make a god-damn Hentai already!" Explanation  Explanation 2 
    • "But Simon died!" Explanation 
    • "It's because she's Erza." Explanation 
      • The above comes from "Because He's/She's/It's _____!" Explanation 
  • Mis-blamed: Jellal regarding a lot wrongdoings that have occurred throughout the manga. Fans tend to forget that not only was Jellal brainwashed, mindraped, and controlled by Ultear for the duration of all his evil deeds, but he spends six years hunting evil and still feels his life was worthless due to what he'd done, it's surprising that he hasn't gotten more of a break from the fans (although his Creator's Pet status via Mashima could be a very prominent reason). Surprisingly, Ultear has never gotten a Never Live It Down reputation, despite not only freely chosing to Mind Rape Jellal for years but torturing and massacring huge numbers of people (Ultear's very prominent Freudian Excuse is one reason why she gets so much compassion). There seems to have been an attempt to rid Jellal of his Never Live It Down reputation after Mavis herself said he isn't evil - and she puts the 'God' in Word of God - however with not a huge amount of success. Part of this might be because he killed the only character that dies in the series on-screen, Simon, and part might be because of the completely psychopathic Stalker With a Crush way he treated Erza in the Tower Of Heaven arc.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • The vicious, near lethal beat down that Minerva gave Lucy in Chapter 291.
    • Jiemma crosses it twice. The first is when he orders Yukino to strip in front of all of the Sabertooth members and erase her guild mark,and the second one, when he erases Lector for no reason other than he bore the Sabertooth mark on his body. Considering that the rest of the guild was shown smirking or smiling even during his previous antics, their expressions at this wanton cruelty might signal that Jiemma may have crossed the line even in the eyes of many of his subordinates.
    • Pretty much everything Minerva does is a candidate. The aforementioned beatdown of Lucy, blackmailing Sting with Lecter's well-being by promising to return Lecter only if Sabertooth wins, and more recently, taking Millianna as a hostage to provoke Erza and Kagura. It seems she is fond of escalating this to the point of audacity given she also stabs the latter In the Back while they were off guard for the point gain. The worst bit: Erza and Kagura were settling their differences and about to reconcile. Finally, she revealed that while Erza and Kagura were fighting, she tortured Millianna just For the Evulz, gloating about how pleasant her screams of pain were. It won't be long before Minerva finally pays for it. especially given that Erza is ungodly pissed and glaring daggers.
    • Future Rogue tops them all by trying to kill Lucy, killing Future Lucy in the process. This act instantly turns Natsu and company against him. He later tops himself when he reveals to Natsu that he killed Sting to absorb his powers.
    • Treasure hunter Hiroshi seems to have crossed it in Chapter 346, stating that a load of giants can die simply because they're not a valuable treasure.
    • Tartarus wasted absolutely no time in making a beeline straight for this. No less than three chapters into their arc, they mercilessly killed off possibly every single member of one of their vassal guilds except for Minerva, bombed the Magic Council's headquarters killing all but one of them, and then gassed an entire village/town and killed hundreds of innocent civilians and counting, and almost killed the Raijin Tribe in the process. Talk about Cerebus Syndrome!
    • Mard Geer ran head-first into the Moral Event Horizon, and kept on cruising afterward. The very next appearance after his debut, he tortured one of his subordinates and then callously sacrificed his own mooks just to make sure Fairy Tail fell victim to his trap with Alegria. Even Kyouka was horrified by this, and to put that into perspective, she did pretty much the same thing to Succubus Eye!
    • Speaking of the member who destroyed the Magic Council, he manages to cross it and then do even worse when he threatens to kill a retired Magic Council member's granddaughter just to prove a point. And then tries to force Lucy into a Sadistic Choice in either having the the Magic Council member or a pregnant woman be killed. Thankfully, Natsu stops him.
    • Arlock of Avatar crosses it the moment we finally get to see him in action. Operation Purification, a plan in which he was going to massacre a village full of innocent people to summon Zeref, was probably enough to qualify him for crossing this as it was, but oh no, that's not enough for this guy. Remember all of that debate from the fans about whether or not Avatar being fodder made them look weak, and the chapters fighting them a waste of time? Yeah, he wanted that to happen. He never had any intention of even his own followers surviving this, which he proves the moment he summons one of the Eighteen War Gods of the Yakuma, laughing like a maniac while it begins slaughtering his own men, while saying that sacrificing the true believers who worship Zeref will surely draw Zeref's attention and summon him to them. The sheer despair on Mary's face when she realizes Arlock is going to leave her to her fate speaks volumes. No wonder Zeref wants nothing to do with the people who worship him.
    • Ankhseram hasn't even been seen on-screen yet and the fandom already believes he's crossed this. Cursing Zeref because he just wanted to his little brother back from the dead was bad enough, considering his Start of Darkness was entirely Ankhseram's fault. But as if that wasn't already Moral Event Horizon material, he then cursed Mavis, and all she wanted to do was save her friends from a sort of Demonic Possession caused by the Tenrou Jade, which would have caused mass casualties if she hadn't decided the risks of using an incomplete Law were worth it. The former could maybe be justified, if you buy the excuse of an In Mysterious Ways sense of a deity's Blue and Orange Morality. The latter was just a straight-up dick move against a character who absolutely did not deserve it. And just to cement how much of a douche he is Zeref's curse kills Mavis despite her own curse because they fell in love with each other, just to drive him even further into despair. He'd seriously be in Complete Monster territory had he actually appeared on screen yet.
    • Mest Gryder ran headfirst into this in Chapter 488 in a rather shocking way. Brandish, who was undergoing a Heel Realization and was trying to talk August, whom she sees as a grandfather figure, down from attacking Fairy Tail by appealing to his better nature. Right when it looked like it was working, Mest implants fake memories in Brandish that makes her stab August, blowing up the negotiations and all but guaranteeing Brandish won't have a Heel–Face Turn. And the worst part? His little stunt didn't even work, all it did was piss August off and bring down hell upon his and Fairy Tail's heads. His Slasher Smile afterwards as Natsu called him out on it speaks volumes. And this coming from someone who belongs to a guild that takes every opportunity presented to it to preach The Power of Friendship.
    • Invel Yura crosses this when he uses his Ice Lock magic on both Grey and Juvia in order to force them to fight each other, fully expecting Grey to win and kill Juvia so that the "darkness" inside his heart can awaken and he can become a warrior who can defeat E.N.D.(i.e. Natsu, which means that if Invel's plan had succeeded, Gray would have killed two of his friends) This leads to Juvia's apparent death by Heroic Suicide, and Invel's manipulation leads Gray to want to kill Natsu.

    N 
  • Narm:
    • Chapter 246: Hades' almost cartoony facial expressions as Natsu starts beating him up in Lighting-Flame Dragon Mode.
    • Chapter 358-362: People were finding it difficult to take Tartarus seriously when Tempester and Jackal got their asses kicked in direct combat and had to resort to underhanded methods.
    • Chapter 365: Kyouka's Cold-Blooded Torture of Erza failed to qualify as Nightmare Fuel for many because Mashima took too much liberty in showing off Erza's naked body, instead coming off as thinly veiled Fanservice. The borderline waterfalls of sweat didn't help matters. Chapter 368 was more effective by keeping more of Erza's body obscured and using Electric Torture much more visually painful than the small cuts from earlier that relied on Erza's currently maximized sense of pain to function as torture at all.
    • Chapter 389: Sting and Rogue attempting to appear threatening as they fight Marde Guille, given their lackluster performance at the Grand Magic Games and Marde Guille's minimal effort to fend them off.
    • Chapter 394: Juvia tearfully giving a speech about love? Heartwarming. Juvia blowing up Keith from inside? Moment of Awesome? Doing both at the same time? Narm.
    • Chapter 395: After having had a relatively tough time fighting Tempester and Torafusa, Gajeel and Natsu enter their Super Modes while the former two enter their One-Winged Angel modes. Of course, just as the fight looked like it was getting to the good part, not only did Gajeel and Natsu have the fight inexplicably do a total 180 and started kicking the two demons' asses (with Torafusa calling Gajeel and Natsu demons), but Natsu and Gajeel literally started fighting each other because of a sudden argument over who was stronger, making the fight seem much less serious than it was before as a result. And all of this while Juvia was potentially dying due to Anti-Magic Particle exposure.
    • Chapter 400: It is both awesome and hysterical that what Natsu was searching for was LITERALLY inside him all along.
    • Chapter 403: Erza punching Kyouka with her sense of pain cranked up to the max and declaring it "unworthy of the name pain" is undeniably awesome, and continuing to fight with all five senses gone would be equally awesome, if not for the sappy speech that didn't even try to be subtle about The Power of Friendship.
    • Chapter 404: Erza's sense-less beatdown on Kyouka doesn't even bother with an explanation, "because she's Erza".
    • Chapter 408: Demon!Jiemma's pointy hair and ears don't really fit with the rest of his extremely muscular body.
    • Chapter 409: Jiemma gets killed a single chapter after returning while going on and on about how strong he was. The incredibly corny friendship speeches from Sting and Rogue weren't helping.
    • Lisanna and Mirajane talking in serious, concerned voices about how Seilah is putting Mirajane on the defensive by ‘‘pelting her with books.’’ And not in a creative way either – just throwing a small number of books straight at her over and over again while Mirajane stands there motionless guarding. It’s funny both the first ‘’and second’’ time you watch it – worse with the anime because of the dramatic music in the background.
    • FACE in general becomes a lot less scary when characters are blurting out phrases such as "Stop the face" or "We come face to FACE"
    • Chapter 505: During the otherwise dramatic fight between Natsu and Gray, after one combatant says that no one will stop him, the other yells "I'm gonna stop you!! I'm gonna stop you from breathing!!"
    • Chapter 508: The reveal of Larcade's power, which was basically one massive excuse for Mashima to go all out on Fanservice during what's supposed to be a War Arc.
    • Chapter 531: Motion sickness, a Weaksauce Weakness among Dragon Slayers usually Played for Laughs, is seriously used to incapacitate Acnologia and becomes crucial to his defeat.
  • Never Live It Down:
    • While fans all around go crazy regarding the Gajeel/Levy shipping, many do not let it pass over their heads that Gajeel beat-the-living-crap out of Levy in their initial meeting; labeling Gajeel as a wife-beater. The Would Hit a Girl defense has been tried in that Gajeel beat up all three people fairly equally, but without much success. Chapter 485 seems to imply that Mashima has caught on to this criticism with the Gajeel/Levy shipping, and reveals that Gajeel considers it to be his greatest sin.
    • Doranbolt makes one extremely creepy face while he was partnered up with Wendy, and he ends up forever labelled as a child molester; no matter what he does to improve his image. Mashima even goes along with it in a later chapter to the point that he agreed with the fans that Doranbolt should be a paedophile.
    • Doesn't matter what Sting does from here on out. No one will ever forgive him for his complete failure to live up to the hype throughout the Grand Magic Games.
    • Erza's head-scratching victory over Kyouka despite her overwhelming disadvantage has led to many readers having low expectations for all her future fights. Happy's now-infamous explanation for it - "It's because she's Erza" - really didn't help, and has since become a punchline used to explain pretty much other other time Erza's fight earned criticism, both before and after.
    • Max is only ever remembered for the broom incident which has since become a Running Gag Cargo Ship.

    O 
  • One-Scene Wonder: Any of the Celestial Spirits, including the Spirit King, could be considered this in general as they can only appear when a Celestial mage summons them. However, the Silver Keys (outside of Plue) are extremely rare to see.

    P 
  • Pandering to the Base:
    • As described in Author's Saving Throw above, many situations in the Tartarus arc are considered this after the fans complained throughout the Grand Magic Games arc.
    • Seilah returning after the amount of backlash her fight with the Strauss siblings got.

    R 
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • Lisanna for those who were sick of her anime scenes taking up screen-time that she never originally had in the manga.
    • Jellal was a fairly controversial character pre-Time Skip, due to perceived overexposure (especially with a lookalike) and controversy over whether or not amnesia pardons his past actions. Post Time Skip, between his self-punishment over what turned out to be brainwashing and pretty much canonizing Jerza, he's now a fairly popular character.
    • While Sting good side was showing a few chapters prior, Chapter 300 might have had him join Rogue in being the only well-liked members of Sabertooth after blasting a hole through Jiemma after obliterating Lector for showing he had a guild mark. The fans were pleased to see Jiemma get it coming. Rogue and Yukino have been getting a lot of love, too, after the Grand Magic Games arc, especially following the Sabertooth side-story.
    • Also, Flare was a disliked member of the disliked Raven Tail guild...until said guild disbanded and she came to Lucy and the rest of Fairy Tail in an apologetic state. When her backstory and Freudian Excuse for her prior behavior came out, the hate for her pretty much vanished in-story and out of it.
    • Though she remains a Base-Breaking Character by and large, Minerva, of all people, has surprisingly ascended to this trope to a fair degree. Before she was one of the most reviled characters of the story, but after it was revealed she is the way she is due to her Abusive Dad (who, among other acts, beat her for crying and left her naked in a forest one night) and that she actually regrets what she had become, the fanbase eased up on her a little bit. Obviously she still has a lot of things to make up for, but as far as most readers are concerned, this is still tremendous progress in her development.
    • The expansion in the anime did this for the Wolf Knights, giving them Pet the Dog and Defeat Means Friendship moments with the guild, as well as making them a bit less Ax-Crazy.
  • Rooting for the Empire: While previous villains in the series have reached Ensemble Darkhorse status and while the victories of protagonists have been criticized ad nauseam due to their Ass Pull tendencies and tired old The Power of Friendship speeches, they've never before reached this point... until the Albareth Empire arc. The reason for this is because Zeref and Mavis' backstory proved to be so goddamned tragic that some fans actually want to see Albareth win, just so that Zeref and Mavis can be reunited and given the happy ending they believe they so desperately deserve.
    • There are other fans who believe Alvarez is entirely justified in wanting to acquire Fairy Heart. To elaborate, for at least the last four hundred years, everyone in universe, from light guilds to dark guilds, from Zeref to Igneel, from Lucy's ancestors to the Fiore Royal Family, can agree on one thing: Acnologia is a menace and needs to be put down. Igneel, the other dragons, Zeref, and Anna Heartfilia even conspired for centuries to do exactly this, but Igneel's plan failed when the Dragons' hands were forced in the Tartaros arc, both to hold off Acnologia and to destroy Face before it could erase all magic in Ishgal. With that plan no longer viable, the last, best hope to stop Acnologia seems to be Fairy Heart, and Zeref might just be the last being left on Earth Land who has a single prayer of fighting him on equal grounds. Despite this, Fairy Tail outright refuses to even consider using it, despite knowing that neither Zeref nor the Dragon Slayers don't stand a chance without it, and there's at least one Bad Future in which Acnologia has succeeded in taking over the world. True, Zeref threatened to destroy humanity, but even that must be taken with a grain of salt given the nature of his Curse, and if there is any hope of Zeref having a Heel–Face Turn, it's Mavis. While the story attempts to paint this as Fairy Tail just protecting their First Master and refusing to use Fairy Heart on principle despite the fact that Mavis is now alive and well, it comes across to fans sympathetic to Alvarez as selfish Protagonist-Centered Morality that could very well doom the entire planet, and that Alvarez are the adults in the room for seeing this.
    • Once Zeref revealed the truth about his plan, a Ret Gone by going back to the past and prevent himself of becoming immortal the Rooting for the Empire expanded. Let's just count how many tragedies occured, both directly and indirectly, because of Zeref that were the cause behind many Dark and Troubled Past (like Gray, Erza, Jellal, etc), the Start of Darkness of others (like the entirety of Oracion Seis and Hades) and the birth of evil organizations (like Tartaros and Avatar) and the creation of objects used for evil intents (like R-System and Eclipse) and we see that a world where Zeref died is clearly a better one. Some could actually say that Fairy Tail are being idiotic by fighting to maintain the Status Quo of the current world rather than considering that a world cleansed of Zeref and all the suffering he brought would be better for everyone. Though given the amount of consequences that altering four hundred years of history would cause (among other things, Mavis and the dragon slayers dying much earlier, dragons rampaging throughout the world, and a Temporal Paradox brought about by the fact that Zeref couldn't reset history if he didn't become immortal, create the Eclipse Gate, and make Mavis immortal), there's enough reasons for them to be stopped.

    S 
  • The Scrappy:
    • Samuel, from the Key of the Starry Sky filler arc, for a being an Insufferable Genius.
    • Sabertooth's Minvera is hated for a plethora of reasons. To start, there's her characterization in the Grand Magic Games arc where she goes out of her way to be a jerk several times; garnering the hate for being an extreme Jerkass towards other Fairy Tail characters that are loved by certain factions of the fanbase. After the Grand Magic Games however, the hate for her character develops into a much different reason by the time of her reintroduction in the Sun Village arc. To explain, she ends up joining a Dark Guild after Sabertooth lost the Games just for petty revenge against Erza without having to worry about the laws legal guilds follow. As noted above in Badass Decay, there was some fun in seeing how far she could jump through the Moral Event Horizon while still not technically being a villain, but now that she has become a straight-up villain (for a Dark Guild that hadn't even been worth mentioning beforehand, a far cry from the former strongest Guild where she was respected as their strongest Mage), her actions are no longer interesting. Many people felt that she was overstaying her welcome once Chapter 359 revealed that she had survived Kyouka's magic and had now become a demon and a member of Tartarus. And then, thanks to the Dark and Troubled Past reveal about her father, she began to be hated for being seen as one of the most inconsistently written characters ever seen in Shonen, because no one knew what to make of her character...
    • Future Rogue initially gained interest for killing Future Lucy and then easily defeating the main protagonist. However, his characterization proved largely lacking as his arc progressed, and the revelation that his Start of Darkness was the death of Frosch (who, as Natsu points out, his actions are endangering) earned him widespread scorn.
    • Aquarius is also disliked by a wide number of fans due to being a Jerkass to Lucy and always abandoning Lucy at the eleventh hour, such as in the above-mentioned chapter, despite Lucy being her former master's daughter, to whom she swore to protect Lucy. And then Chapter 384 was released...
    • The Hungry Wolf Knights (aka, Executioners). While fans will agree that their designs were interesting (especially since they were thought up some of said fans), their characterization is despised as they were responsible for the aforementioned Arc Fatigue, and their sadistic attitude towards killing makes it hard to see them as "just doing their job". Even in-series, they weren't taken as serious opponents and nobody cared when Future Rogue seemingly killed them (Though they did show up unscathed at the end of the arc).
    • Avatar for being taken out so hilariously quickly so as to be seen as a waste of time. The fact Mashima attempts to justify this in-universe later on by revealing that Arlock intentionally led the rest of Avatar to their deaths did not help with this perception.
    • Mest has JUMPED to this position after manipulating Brandish into attempting to kill August. He attempts to justify it, but the fact that he has a psychotic grin on his face totally defeats that. Plus, it just inspires August to fight them seriously.
    • Anna Heartfilia earned some curiosity given her connection to Zeref and the Dragon Slayers, but fell into this trope when she was revealed to have come to the present with them, giving flimsy excuses as to why she never contacted anyone for the past 15 years, and only served to introduce a plot device that would give Acnologia an anticlimactic end while denying readers the long-awaited showdown between him and the Dragon Slayers. Her plan doesn't even work, instead making Acnologia even more powerful, making her reintroduction in the story come off as pointless.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat: Was always a minor thing until Lisanna came back into the picture, giving the Natsu/Lisanna fans a fighting chance against the Natsu/Lucy shippers. Ron the Death Eater accusations against Lisanna began already, while Lucy is being bashed for "being in the way."
    • Loke/Lucy is typically still treated as a minor and easily-squashed contender though.
    • The aftermath of Fairy Tail Zero Chapter 7 ignited a bit of this, between the already well-established shippers for Mavis and Zeref (mentioned above in Shipping Goggles), and the much-newer shippers of Mavis and Zeira. The former had been around for over a year (before Mavis/Zeref became canon, mind you), but now that we've actually seen how the two met, they were galvanized all over again, just two months after some rather major Ship Tease between the latter. Others decided to Take a Third Option.
  • Shipping Goggles:
    • For a long time before it was officially made canon, the fandom shipped Zeref/Mavis simply because Zeref's first on-screen appearance was him hanging out on an island that was the location of Mavis' grave. Due to Zeref living for hundreds of years, a lot of fans assumed right away that he knew Mavis at some point in the past.
    • Chapter 508 sent the shippers in the fandom into a tailspin once Fridge Logic set in. The source of this was Larcade's magic; or rather, how it chooses its targets. You see, Larcade's magic only affects those who have "eaten the forbidden fruit" and have experienced a certain amount of "pleasure." Cue the fandom analyzing the victims of the magic. Some of them were expected, like Gildarts, Macao, and Bisca and Alzack. The fandom exploded once they saw it affected Rogue and Minerva, and Mavis and Zeref. The latter was later confirmed in Chapter 526.
  • Shocking Swerve:
    • Doranbolt was a Fairy Tail spy from the beginning. Not only does this come out of nowhere, it makes no sense. How could he be a spy for Fairy Tail if he erased his own memories? He wouldn't even know to report to Makarov. Doranbolt lampshades how weird and confusing it all is. Word of God admits that it was a plot point that had been considered a long time ago and was nearly scrapped, thus leading to the lack of foreshadowing.
    • The Alvarez Empire has no presence in the story up until the arc focused on it despite supposedly being a looming threat toward Ishgal throughout the series. Then we learn who its Emperor is: Zeref, who had been portrayed as The Aloner because of his curse killing all life around him as long as he values it. He claims that he's able to avoid killing his empire's citizens by not viewing them as people, yet he's able to maintain a good enough relationship with them that they still adore him, making his previous issues with killing those around him seem self-inflicted. Zeref's dynamic with his empire also comes off as inconsistent given his hostility toward all the previous antagonists who expressed loyalty or even worship toward him, even to a guild full of demons who are hard-wired to kill him as he wishes (which becomes even more bizarre when one member of his Praetorian Guard is revealed to be a demon with all the same abilities as the demon guild). It also calls into question what he was doing on Sirius Island when he has an empire to rule.
    • The only thing surprising about Irene's relation to Erza was how long the story delayed such an obvious reveal. Then we're told that she's the Queen of Dragons and the creator of Dragon Slayer Magic, despite there being nothing obvious about Irene beforehand having hinted at any relation to the Dragons. A particular issue is Acnologia, who displayed the ability to smell all the Dragon Slayers across the continent, yet had absolutely no interest in Irene until he was goaded into a fight. When brought up, Hiro claims that he always planned for Irene to create Dragon Slayer Magic, but hadn't decided on her relationship with Erza, and had to leave out any aspects of her backstory before then.
  • Snark Bait: While Fairy Tail is still a very popular series, it's this regarding The Power of Friendship and Fanservice, to the point that an excess of either in other manga often draws negative comparisons to Fairy Tail.
  • So Bad, It's Good: The reaction that some fans had on the infamous Chapter 519, where Erza, who has had every bone in her body except for her right arm completely broken, gained the strength to fly into space to slice a meteor into billions of pieces, and knocked her mother out of her Dragon form (albeit having Wendy's help with that). One has to see it to believe it.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped:
    • The end of the Tower of Heaven arc emphasizes that just because a Heroic Sacrifice saves your friends' lives doesn't mean that they're going to be happy to be alive at your expense.
    • Much of Natsu's fight with Gildarts in the S-Class Exam was a big anvil drop on his tendency to charge into a fight and beat up whoever the opponent is with no regard for their strength, never backing down. It puts in perspective both how necessary it is for Natsu to learn from fear and accept strategic retreats, and also just how far Natsu has to go in magic power. Considering that Gildarts had just come back from fighting the black dragon, it was probably foreshadowing an anvil that gets dropped at the end of the arc: that if Natsu couldn't beat Gildarts on his own, he has no chance against Acnologia.
  • Squick:
    • In the Galuna Island arc Sherry took control of Taurus and probably would have forced him to rape Lucy if Lucy hadn't learned how to force a Gate closure, unsummoning him. The anime has been extremely careful in sidestepping the incredible volume of rape subtext in the manga, extending that particular scene to have Taurus attempting to punch her repeatedly.
    • The leader of the Jiggle Butt Gang shoving his ass in Erza's face. Pass the Brain Bleach please.
    • The Jiggle Jugs Gang. Never has Gainaxing been so horrifying.
    • As if the Cold-Blooded Torture involving Erza in the Tartaros arc wasn't bad enough on its own, Kyouka had left a chained up, naked, sweaty Erza with, of all things, a tentacle monster. Thankfully, Kyouka told it not to touch her. Thank God, because that was the last thing the manga needed to insinuate after the controversial level of runaway fanservice.
      • She changes her mind and starts using the tentacle demon, but we fortunately don't get a Naughty Tentacles scene of the tentacles wrapping around Erza's naked body... because it merely grabs her arms and legs to start electrocuting her
    • Oddly enough, despite the couple being a fan favorite, Chapter 450 caused this reaction for the Zeref and Mavis pairing. Some people ended up getting turned off at the thought of what looked like Zeref kissing a little girl.
    • One thankfully anime-only filler scene has a Vulcan for some odd and unexplained reason falling in love with Lisanna. It quickly decides to marry her and have mutant children with her. Keep in mind that not only are Vulcans basically animals, she was only eleven years old at most at the time, and could literally fit into the palm of the Vulcan's hand. God, why.
  • Strawman Has a Point: In Chapter 228, Mest proposes evacuating everyone using his teleportation powers so the Council's forces can bombard the island. Natsu and the others from Fairy tail object, due to not liking or trusting the Council, not wanting to blow up the island with the first Master's grave, and wanting to take down Grimoire Heart themselves. They, however, don't consider that Mest's proposal makes a fair amount of sense considering the number of injured people still on the island.

    T 
  • Take That, Scrappy!:
  • They Copied It, So It Sucks: Anna Heartfilia's plan to defeat Acnologia towards the end of the Alvarez Empire arc, the fandom immediately noticed that her plan to defeat Acnologia (displacing him in time itself) was ripped straight out of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, only making the accusations of it being an Ass Pull even worse for having been lifted from another series. Word of God even confirmed that he's a big Skyrim fan.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Though to be fair, this depends on who you ask due to Fairy Tail's Loads and Loads of Characters. Realistically, you'll hear someone make this claim for almost any character that's not part of the core Fairy Tail team.
    • Lisanna however, is a prime offender of this trope, if you think that her new scenes in the anime and backstory with the core cast give her prime placement to be used more. Of course, there's always the opposition who think she's been in the spotlight long enough, that her fairly pointless-in-the-long-run extra scenes in the anime were already pushing things, and are really happy that she now has a prominent but supporting role that allows her to develop Natsu, Mira and Elfman's characters without pulling focus.
    • Mystogan is thought to be a major case of this. Him being the mysterious, elusive guild member, only showing up to get jobs or when the guild was in a crisis made him appealing. As well as the fact that be was a unique guild member, not needing some ancient magic, or being part of some powerful family to be considered powerful, and not needing a tragic back story to be heroic and selfless. Instead he turns out to be another Jellal and gets stuck in Edolas before we really even get to know him.
    • Hades also has a case. He was the first character in the series to beat Makarov through sheer power alone, had a deeper connection with Fairy Tail than any of the previous antagonists, held great charisma and an intriguing philosophical outlook on the Fairy Tail universe and magic, and overall possessed qualifications to be a central antagonist for the series. Instead, after he beats Makarov, he simply retreats back into his ship, lets his subordinates be beaten down one after another, then holds one final fight against the main characters. After that, he's killed by Zeref. Mashima seems to have a similar opinion, since he briefly reappears as a spirit in the Tartaros arc, is a supporting character in Fairy Tail Zero, and is revealed to have large connections to the plot in the Alvarez arc, specifically the creation of Lumen Histoire.
    • Crime Sorciere, a group of atoners who have set out to get rid of dark guilds and, ultimately, Zeref. Their vigilantism against dark guilds is entirely offscreen (the closest we get is giving Erza and Gray the job of infiltrating Avatar, something they themselves don't take part in), and they never even see Zeref during the final arc, despite Zeref himself expecting to confront Jellal.
    • Ivan, related to two major characters (Makarov and Laxus), just disappears after the Grand Magic Games. Especially odd given the redemption for Flare, who received sympathy even before the Sun Village arc even though her battle with Lucy involved some of the most amoral actions of any Raven Tail member. Even though Lumen Histoire, the information that he possessed that caused Makarov to be so worried about him, later becomes a plot point in the Tartaros arc and the entire cause for the Alvarez arc, Ivan is only mentioned in passing once during the latter.
    • Future Rogue is another major example as someone who started off as a fan-favorite moments after his introduction for his curb-stomping over Natsu, but as his appearances went on, many readers came to believe that the guy had hardly any motivation or goal for why he ended up the way he did. His last words, however, foreshadow that big events surrounding his present self are going to take place on the next future, so it's debatable.
    • The Celestial Spirits have always been side-lined characters to the point that the 2nd anime felt they were deserving to have a Filler Arc centered around them, but later chapters have been heading this direction even further due to Lucy's Next Tier Power-Up where she can now take on the form of the Spirits to fight the battles herself rather than act as a summoner for the Spirits. At this point, there's no reason for the actual Spirit personas to show up anymore.
    • God Serena. Hyped up as being the most powerful mage on Ishgar, his rank as number one of the Ten Wizard Saints left his fellow Gods of Ishgar and Levy referring to him with awe, and the revelation that he had defected to the Albareth Empire left readers dreading the implications of that. While he does get one fight scene where he trashed the other Gods plus Jura, we never see his other four elements of Dragon Slayer Magic (he has eight in total), and he's killed shortly after by Acnologia in one hit. While this is clearly meant to reinforce just how stupidly powerful Acnologia is, we're ultimately left with only a hint as to why God Serena defected, the ability only to speculate on his other powers (with only the hope of the anime shedding light on the subject), and absolutely no backstory on an otherwise interesting character before he was killed. And when he was brought back by Historia, there was a chance, only for him to be one-shotted by Gildarts.
    • Acnologia received considerable derision for this by the end. While he was initially quite popular and got readers interested in learning more about him, he ends up having very little of his backstory revealed. The audience only learns shortly before his defeat that he bears a grudge against Dragons for causing death and destruction, which doesn't exactly gel with Acnologia's current OmnicidalManiac tendencies. How Acnologia learned Dragon Slayer Magic (he is presumably a 1st Gen Dragon Slayer, meaning he would have been taught by one of the species that he hates so much), or what exactly he was doing for the few centuries between wiping out most of the Dragons and the present story, go unexplained. Mashima himself laments in a post-series interview that he should’ve developed him more.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • After a 7-year Time Skip, you'd think that the main cast would grow up, looking more mature and badass, and gaining an increase in power. Instead, we got the Fairy Sphere, a defense spell that stops time for everyone on the island by the first Fairy Tail master; meaning everyone looks and acts the same and no visible power-ups. The one minor change was the death of Lucy's father.
    • The Edolas arc. It starts off with interesting ideas, such as characters interacting with their polar opposites, background for the Exceeds, and even the introduction of magic-weapons as a possible Next Tier Power-Up for Team Natsu, but as the arc continued on, it failed to keep those new ideas going, and were pushed to the side in favor of becoming what was basically a giant excuse to put Mystogan on a bus. Not to mention, it was the arc that hyped up Lisanna's return only for her to basically remain in the background from then on.
    • The S-Class Exam trial plot was wasted in more ways than one. Despite the good premise, the execution had problems in places (e.g. Lucy and Cana's fight against Fried and Bickslow ended with their opponents letting them win; Lisanna and Juvia were beaten to a pulp mercilessly by Erza without even giving a good showing, albeit with Juvia being nowhere near her full potential; Loke and Gray's fight against Wendy and Mest was at least pathetic for a partially justified reason...). Another problem was the war with Grimoire Heart interrupting the S Class Exam, when the exam plot should have been finished first and then move on to Grimoire Heart happening upon everyone at Tenroujima after the fact (which would have gave more credence to everyone being so exhausted, rather than Erza and Mirajane being exhausted after one fight each that they both monstered).
    • The Raven Tail story-line as a whole. The guild was introduced as far back as the Fighting Festival arc, and was initially presented as a major antagonist being that it was led by Makarov's son, and seemed specifically made to counter Fairy Tail (right down to the name). In the end however, when it does finally get time in the sun, Raven Tail is only one of the participants in the Grand Magic Games where its team spends the whole arc simply bullying Fairy Tail members before at last getting trounced on by Laxus. And after that fallout, it was apparently disbanded.
    • During the Sun Village arc, Minerva mentally claims to have a counter to Erza's Nakagami Armor. What could possibly help her against such a powerful armor? Never mind, Minerva's good now.
    • Speaking of Minerva, she and her father both undergo demonization. Many were expecting new powers, or even an Etherious Form. Both are defeated in underwhelming battles without showing anything new.
    • During the Tartarus arc, the first Silver reveal that he was actually a walking corpse housing the demon, Deliora, and has come back to take revenge on Ul's disciples, is seen as a missed opportunity for those that liked the idea of Gray actually getting a chance to fight against his past trauma (despite previously facing his fears and backstory at Galuna Island), instead of what we got with the second reveal that occurred a few chapters later where it turns out that Silver was simply masquerading as Deliora; he's actually Gray's father re-animated and forced to exist in a state of living death by Tartarus' necromancer, Keith, and has become a type V Antihero and Death Seeker, becoming part of Tartarus while behind the scenes devoting himself to wiping out the demons and Tartarus in revenge for both himself, and his family - Gray and his wife - previously believing both to be dead.
    • Chapter 363 implied that other guilds would be coming to help Fairy Tail against Tartarus, potentially leading to an all-out war similar to the Dragon King Festival, except that this time, more than seven people would be able to do some damage. The only guild that ends up coming for assistance is Sabertooth (and even then, only the Twin Dragons). The arc ends up with only Fairy Tail fighting, and even then, only the Tenrou Group gets in on the action.
    • Ikusatsunagi in Chapter 433 & 434 would have been a great chance to make the God Slayers actually relevant as a setting element, especially Chelia/Sherria, who might actually have a reason to get involved and to have followed the group. Instead it ends up being a one-hit kill on Natsu's part. Then Chapter 476 released and something happened that either made them relevant or made them more insignificant.
    • While we're on the topic of the Avatar Arc, the revelation from Future Rogue that the one who killed Frosch in his timeline was none other than Gray. Indeed, Gray seemed to have had a Face–Heel Turn (even if he was actually The Mole for Erza), but at the end of the arc, when the two of them were face to face, Gray just spazzes out and hugs Frosch for being so cute. There is absolutely no explanation as to why the Bad Future was averted, or which event Set Right What Once Went Wrong, leaving fans wondering if Natsu showing up was all it took to avert the Bad Future, or if it was Gray needing to save Lucy's life, thus blowing his cover and the need to keep up appearances, with no real answers to satisfy how and why Frosch was saved... or if it merely delayed the inevitable. When asked about this plot point in the Fourth-Wall Mail Slot, Hiro more or less admits that he didn't think through how he was going to implement it and consequently dropped it.
    • Erza becoming the Seventh Master. She's one of the most powerful members of the guild this side of Gildarts, has obvious leadership skills, and commands the respect of the entire guild. She was more than qualified for the position, and pretty much the entire fandom was eager to see in which direction she would take the guild. She only oversees one mission, which, while successful, resulted in a Tactical Withdrawal. So what happens when Makarov comes back? Makarov becomes guild master again. FOR THE THIRD TIME. Status Quo Is God indeed.
    • Natsu and Gray's secret weapons during the Alvarez Arc. Natsu's was Igneel's magic power, which doesn't really amount to much more power than Natsu had already displayed in the first few chapters following the second Time Skip. Gray's was Iced Shell again, simply with the added effect of making him Ret Gone so nobody would remember his sacrifice. Not only was this a disappointment for those who expected something bigger, but it also displayed a huge case of Aesop Amnesia on Gray's part that Natsu himself brings up from Galuna Island.
    • The revelation that DiMaria is a Racial Remnant of the people of Mildian opens up a multitude of possibilities, especially considering the city is stated to have later worshiped Chronos, the God of Time, of whom DiMaria is basically a living vessel with her Take Over ability. Perceptive fans have noted that this is also the same city where Zeref attended school up until receiving his Curse. When did Mildian become the home of Chronos, after its populace used to worship Ankhseram? Was Mildian actually located within what is now the Albareth Empire? And if so, does Zeref have something to do with the conversion, and is it really just a coincidence that a descendant of Mildian now serves him? Does DiMaria know that she's now serving the same person who started Mildian down the path of destruction, or does she even care? All of these unanswered questions make it seem as if the Racial Remnant revelation was added on to DiMaria's backstory as an afterthought, which is a real shame, because not only could it tie into the backstory of the Albareth Empire as a whole, but also potentially Zeref's.
    • The Reveal that two of Irene Belserion's henchmen, Juliet Sun & Heine Lunasea, are fake personas that Irene brought to life as Living Weapons really brought to question if Erza was perhaps one as well given that there was an obvious connection being build up between Erza and Irene. Instead, Erza turns out to be her actual daughter, and by extension is the daughter of the former Dragon Queen, which for some is still a plot worth pursuing, but to others looks like it came completely out of nowhere (though more for the second point than the first, which would be a Captain Obvious Reveal).
    • Irene hijacking Wendy's body. While nobody actually expected it to stick, it presented the possibility of a real plot conflict; can Fairy Tail really bring themselves to fight one of their own, even if she's not herself? Could Irene have used Wendy's body to find a clue to reversing dragonification? Would Zeref have been able to use Wendy's Milky Way magic to speak with Igneel, or even Belserion to find an edge against Acnologia? We'll never know, because it was reversed one chapter later.
    • Natsu being an Etherious, more specifically Zeref's most powerful creation E.N.D., laid the foundation for several promising plotlines that ended anticlimactically. Gray's personal grudge against E.N.D. led to a fight with Natsu, but Erza's intervention prevented that from being resolved one way or the other. Natsu dying from the Demon Seed and Dragon Seed inside his body forces him to decide which he wants to be, but Natsu just deciding to be "human" destroys both seeds and wastes all the drama the plotline gave it.
    • The Reveal in Chapter 526 that August was actually the true child of Mavis and Zeref, and not Larcade, caught many people off-guard, and had the fanbase invested in the story wondering where this plot-line was headed. One chapter later, August decides to kill off Fairy Tail along with himself, but stops when he sees Mavis dying from the spell and instead sacrifices himself without killing anyone else to spare her. While providing an extremely emotional scene, many in the fanbase wish that this revelation could have provided more before that point.
  • Toy Ship: Romeo/Wendy is quite popular, considering they're both the same age as of the Time Skip.

    U 
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic:
    • Future Rogue admits shortly before disappearing that Frosch's death turned him evil... which most people would say does not justify him killing his next closest friend to steal his powers, wanting to use a dragon army to fight Acnologia (not just to stop it, but for the self-centered goal of world domination in Acnologia's place), trying to have the dragons wipe out humanity for inadequately explained reasons in the meantime (which, as Natsu points out, is endangering the very Exceed whose death is supposed to drive him crazy), and trying to kill Lucy (while succeeding in killing the future version) because she had the potential to stop his selfish goals before they got off the ground.
    • Minerva is quickly absolved of her actions once she's given the Freudian Excuse of her father's abuse. For some, this excuse came out of nowhere (Minerva had never shown any signs of submission or fear for her father in the present story), and doesn't justify all her cruelty (which wasn't really part of Jiemma's demands for her to "be the strongest"). Others felt that this was too predictable given Jiemma's behavior and an anticlimactic end to the conflict between Minerva and Erza that had been dragged on for far too long.
    • Erza when she angsts about her torture at the end of the Tartarus arc. The issue is not the angst itself, but the timing; it would have been more acceptable during or right after the torture, but Erza failed to show any emotional or even physical impediment throughout the arc that is regarded by many to be one of her worst portrayals, coming fresh out of the torture cellar to initially overpower her torturer before fighting evenly without much apparent strain, then beating her rival from the Grand Magic Games in an anticlimactic fistfight that trivialized said rival's demonization, then finally trouncing the aforementioned torturer despite a horrible handicap in one of the series' most infamous Ass Pulls. The most positive view to take away from all this is "Erza is such a badass that torture is no big deal", which makes her sudden trauma right at the end of the arc feel forced in for the sake of Ship Tease by having Jellal comfort her.
    • Zeref's angst about his Power Incontinence killing anyone that he tries to bond with becomes this in light of The Reveal that he's the Emperor of Alvarez. He attempts to Hand Wave his curse not killing anyone by claiming that he views his subjects as pawns rather than people - but this doesn't mesh well together with the benevolent dynamic that we see between him and his subjects. This comes over especially egregious when compared to other Arc Villains like Brain or Arlock, who were much more overtly callous toward their subordinates. As a result, much of Zeref's previous issues come off as self-inflicted from someone who has plenty of subjects for company, and yet still Wangsts about not being accepted.note 
    • Acnologia's Freudian Excuse for wanting to kill all Dragons suffers from the same problems as Future Rogue's, not only failing to explain, but outright contradicting his goals. He views Dragons as Always Chaotic Evil because they cause death and destruction... yet he himself causes death and destruction For the Evulz, and has a condescending view of humanity despite still holding Dragons in contempt for bringing harm upon humanity.

    V 
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: It's not 100% apparent whether Midnight is a tomboyish woman or a somewhat feminine man. The only time anyone referred to him/her with pronouns they used female ones ('her', 'daughter', etc.) but that's obviously not complete proof... and in fact, eventually switched to using male pronouns. This is a translation confusion. Midnight refers to himself using a pronoun only used by men and boys, and the times that the translator has used him and daughter were actually gender-neutral phrases like person and father and child.

    W 
  • What an Idiot:
    • Crawford Seam, the former chairman of the Magic Council. He maybe could have been given a pass for turning out to be The Mole for Tartaros, a genocidal guild full of demons who believe humans are inherently inferior to them. Not so much for transferring the last living Key to Face from Jellal to himself, and then announcing he had done this to everyone in the room. Although, if you want to be honest, the reason why he felt that they wouldn't dare to kill him is because he's the one who can activate Face remotely. Something Kyouka later regretted. Of course, if he'd let that slip sooner, Kyouka wouldn't have killed him too soon.
    • Lamy of Tartarus outright stating their secret to immortality in front of Fairy Tail being that their laboratory tubes can just recreate and revive them. Even by Explaining Your Power to the Enemy standards, this was quite bad on her part. Made worse by the fact that Mira just goes ahead and destroys the Tartarus labs a few pages later. Lampshaded when Seilah exasperatedly says "Lamy-sama, there are some things that are better left unsaid."
    • Mest giving Brandish Fake Memories to make her kill August is not only morally repugnant, but also quite stupid, considering that he fails completely, and ends up sabotaging what seemed like it might be a way to get a diplomatic solution to the problem at hand.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Symbolic?: Jellal, especially in the Nirvana arc. Crucifix? Yep, his coffin's shaped like one. He gets revived from the "dead", and in addition uses Heavenly Body Magic.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Badass?: Being one of the main characters, Lucy often gets this for her personal fighting abilities not being that impressive compared to the rest of Team Natsu, and this is a common argument against her when pitting her against Erza for the better character.
    • Post-Tartarus arc, aside from being the one who ultimately defeated Jackal, saving the rest of Fairy Tail by summoning the Celestial Spirit King, and even gaining a desperately-needed Next Tier Power-Up, Lucy finally demonstrates the ability to fight all on her own with her Magical Girl-esque Star Dress power. You'd think this would alleviate these concerns, right? Wrong. Instead, the chief complaint about Lucy now revolves around the fact that Lucy has been repeatedly denied the chance to properly show off her new fighting prowess (except against Mary, but Avatar as a whole has its own host of issues that have been beaten to death above), mostly due to Natsu now being so absurdly powerful, to the point where fans have asked what was the point of Lucy gaining a Next Tier Power-Up was in the first place if she barely even gets to show us what she can do. One particular point that caused some annoyance with Lucy fans was when Natsu (who'd been unconscious for the last several chapters) shows up to help her fight Jacob.
    • Lisanna gets this, albeit to a lesser extent, since she's a secondary character. Surprisingly enough, it's less due to the fact that she's the weakest of the Strauss siblings and more due to people comparing her to Lucy and pointing out how poorly she stacks up in comparison.
  • The Woobie:
    • Lucy. Her father dies while she's at Tenrou Island, one of her friends is attacked on the way to the Grand Magic Games, her friends' daughter gets held hostage, is brutally beaten up not once but TWICE, gets arrested for a plan she just found out that she was a part of, and an asshole from the future tries to kill her for what turns out to be his own selfish gain, instead lethally injuring her future self so that the dies in the present Lucy's arms. In the Tartaros arc, she is hunted down by much of the Dark Guild after Mard Geer petrifies everyone else, ultimately forced to snap the key to Aquarius, her first Celestial Spirit, to summon the Celestial Spirit King.
    • Millianna has been getting this since she is having trouble keeping up with Kagura to be a worthwhile ally and being a victim of Minerva's sadism. Especially when the latter started clawing into her to pass the time.
    • Another contender is Rogue. Not only does he have to often witness and deal with the horrific nature of his guild master, but he was forced to Mercy Kill his dragon parent. To add more, something in the future causes him to turn evil (while killing Sting in the process), and the present version is horrified at the fact he will be the one to bring the hell that they are currently suffering through. To add more fuel to the fire, Ultear thought to kill the guy in order to save everyone else and even when she doesn't, the fact that he could still become his evil future self, really hits hard.. You just want to hug the guy.
    • Erza as well. She lost her parents to Zeref's disciples, and is caught, enslaved, and tortured while being forced to build The Tower of Heaven. Her attempt to set her Childhood Friend Jellal free fell through, and Jellal takes the fall for it. During the slave revolt, her grandfather figure Rob dies protecting her. She finally rescues Jellal, only to find that he'd lost his mind while being tortured. Jellal banished Erza from the Tower of Heaven, making sure she realized that she'd never be able to save the other children, and they were doomed to stay. 8 years later, Erza was kidnapped by these people, and was to be a sacrifice to Zeref. She fought her close childhood friend, Jellal, only to see Simon die protecting her from Jellal. She was nearly killed by the Etherion, which she offered herself to in order to destroy the Tower of Heaven. Fast-forward to the Oracion Seis arc, where Jellal had been turned good and was ready to live with Erza, Erza had to send Jellal to prison for all that he'd done, leaving her a sobbing wreck. She is frozen in time along with many Fairy Tail members during the Tenrou Island incident. Fast-forward to the Tartaros arc, she is kidnapped with Mirajane, and tortured by Kyouka, who used a magic to heighten Erza's sensitivity to pain, and is also threatened with the death of Mirajane.
    • Wendy loses her Dragon foster parent (and she's introduced as far more emotionally fragile than the other Dragon Slayers), then befriends Mystogan only for him to suddenly abandon her to a guild, which she learns years later was all just an illusion created by a ghost, having to watch everyone she'd been acquainted to suddenly fade from existence, and this was shortly after watching her supposed childhood child get arrested for either a life sentence or execution before he could regain his (nonexistent) memory of her. Shortly after joining Fairy Tail, it also disappears as it's sucked into an Anima, and she and Natsu are captured and painfully drained of their magic after being told that their long-time Exceed partners betrayed them. She gets frozen in time for seven years, and much later gets mauled by a demon who tries to eat Carla in front of her, nearly dies self-destructing Face, and finally reunited with her long-lost foster mother only for her to pass on presumably less than ten minutes later.
    • Gray beats them all in sheer amount. To start with his parents are killed by Deliora and he's taken in by Ur and raised alongside Lyon. Then he tries to beat Deliora and instead Ur performs a Heroic Sacrifice to stop Deliora, which results in Lyon hating him. Then he finds out years later Lyon wants to bring Deliora back and is forced to fight a guy who is essentially his brother. He ends up later confronting his technical sister who tries to kill him, gets stuck in magic stasis for seven years and gets mocked and for his performance in the Grand Magic Game's first day. Then he dies in the fight with the Dragons and is only saved by Ultear's Reset Button and goes on to fight a Demon who makes him freak out cause it reminds him of Deliora. THEN, in the Tartarus arc, he's told by Silver that Ur's sacrifice was in vain because Silver is Deliora possessing his dad's body and that Silver wants to kill everyone associated with Ur. The fact that this turns out to be a lie actually makes this worse; he's actually a Death Seeker zombie reanimated by yet another demon, and saving the magic world requires killing him along with the Necromancer controlling him. No wonder Gray is usually quite sullen. Makes you wonder what the hell else is next.
    • Silver turns out to be this, as well as being quite possibly the best case of Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds since Zeref himself. Why does he seem like Tartarus' Token Good Teammate? Why was he visiting that grave? How did he know who Natsu was? He's not a demon, but he's not technically human, either; he was actually a corpse reanimated by Keyes, and was the closest Keyes had ever come to being able to fully resurrect the dead exactly as they were before. Silver began trying to destroy Tartarus from the inside, until he saw the Grand Magic Games, and discovered that Gray was alive, causing a major Heroic B.S.O.D. in which Silver decided he had no right to try to seek revenge for someone who was not only alive, but was definitely on opposing sides. Silver then began working as a true member of the Nine Demon Gates, and admits that he helped kill former Council members, simply because he wanted Gray to put him out of his misery. The ending of his fight has him begging Gray to kill him, with him wanting to join his wife, Mika, in the afterlife. The guy's been through every bit as much as Gray, if not more.
    • If you separate out Jellal's status as Creator's Pet and try objectively to look at what he's suffered in his life, the list goes like this: starts out as a child in the "Tower Of Heaven", so as child slave labor, tries to free the people he loves and gets Mind Raped mercilessly as a result; is partially turned mad and continuously Mind Raped for years while he manipulates, tortures and enslaves the people he loves. Fast-forward to the Tower of Heaven arc, and he kills Simon mercilessly, tortures and tries to sacrifice the love of his life (all the while still being Mind Raped by Ultear by the way). Fast forward to the Nirvana arc and he wakes up as himself without his memories only to find out he enslaved, tortured and killed the people he loved (and this does haunt him and torture him psychologically for years once he gets his memories back), and at the end when he finally thinks he can live with Erza he is taken to prison. Fast-forward through the time-skip and he's spent six years trying to atone for his sins (having gone through the agony of regaining memories about him acting evil and being Mind Raped, which must have been great), finally find out Erza's alive and won't be with her because he doesn't want to hurt her and taint her with his problems and issues (by the way, actually hurting Erza by doing this, which adds to her Woobie status), and is still being hunted by the Magic Council. Fun. He may not qualify as a Woobie character-wise, but his past and all the psychological agony he's suffered certainly should get a mention at the very least. Oh, and making an ass out of himself in front of Erza in the Grand Magic Games in his match against Jura would have been fun too...although mostly that was just hilarious.
    • MAVIS. As if her Dark and Troubled Past wasn't bad enough, where she was treated like absolute dirt by the guild master of Red Lizard, she watched her only friend die, and then spent her entire childhood up until her early teens completely isolated with only what amounts to an Imaginary Friend for company. It isn't long before she meets Zeref, who taught her a spell that would later be used to save her friend's life, at great personal cost: losing the ability to age, which later turns out to be a symptom of Ankhseram's Curse, something she absolutely refuses to believe and results in her crying Tears of Fear. When she inevitably kills somebody because of this, she suffers a full-blown Despair Event Horizon, and runs off to live alone in the woods, every bit as much of a weeping, self-loathing, death-seeking emotional wreck as Zeref himself. When they two finally reunite, Zeref starts going into his own mental breakdown, and Mavis promises that they two of them can find a way to break the curse together. Zeref confesses his love for her, and kisses Mavis. And then she dies. A century later, the same man whom she came to love starts losing it all over again, becoming an Omnicidal Maniac while she can do nothing but helplessly watch. Of all characters to go through a Trauma Conga Line, she ranks among those who deserve it the least.
    • Yukino. She grew up with Abusive Parents, and while her Cool Big Sis stood up for her, she got kidnapped by Zeref cultists. She eventually made it into Saber Tooth, but was painfully aware that she was only a reserve member for the Grand Magic Games, which likely drove her to bet her life against Kagura. After losing and being spared, she's kicked out of the guild in the most humiliating manner possible, and the "Twin Dragons of Saber Tooth" manga implies that she was traumatized by the experience. She eventually does find her sister again, only to find out that Sorano(aka Angel) feels as though she's done too much evil to reunite with Yukino or consider herself her sister until she atones.
  • Woolseyism:
    • Just before his match in the Grand Magic Games, Jellal switches from using "ore" to the more formal "watashi" as he remembers that he's impersonating Mystogan and using the latter's manner of speech. In the official English localization of the manga, he says "I've got this" before correcting himself and saying "Leave this to me."
    • Juvia addresses Gray with the honorific "-sama," which in most cases is extremely formal and respectful, but Juvia uses it as a term of endearment for the guy she has an extreme crush on. Rather than translate it literally, the Funimation dub had her use various pet names for Gray (e.g. "My darling Gray" or "My prince").
  • Writer Cop Out:
    • Pretty much any time the Fairy Tail's guild-master reverts back to Makarov. Instead of Mashima sending the guild in a different direction with a new master at the head, things will always revert back to normal due to Makarov somehow ending up in the position once more.
    • The amount of times that Mashima has relied on the Not Quite Dead trope can also be seen as this since it's become quite obvious to a plethora of readers that the author doesn't have the balls to legitimately kill off a character permanently.

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