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YMMV: Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
  • Anticlimax Boss: Dai Gurren rams into Cytomander's Shuzack and sends him crashing into his own battleship, incinerating him in the colossal explosion. In the movie, he can't even get an attack off before Simon mulches him with a Giga Drill Break. It just goes to show how low he really is- he's not even good enough to be killed ceremoniously.
  • Base Breaker:
    • Although many view Rossiu as The Scrappy, he has a sizable contingent of fangirls that still love him.
    • The Anti-Spiral is one, albeit it's not so much half the fanbase hates it while the other half likes it. The matter is more if its actions can be excused as a Well-Intentioned Extremist, or if it has crossed the line.
  • Best Known for the Fanservice: Yoko Littner.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment:
  • Bizarro Episode: Even the most devoted spiral warriors in the fandom seem to agree that episode four is just plain bad.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: The entire soundtrack
  • Ear Worm:
    • The title theme.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Attenborough Cortitch is surprisingly popular. After all, he didn't get the nickname Beam Spam McMuppet for nothing.
  • Epileptic Trees: One popular theory is that the world of Gurren Lagann is what happened to Earth after the end of Neon Genesis Evangelion. Considering it's revealed that the Angels generate their power from helical DNA, and humanity itself is the 18th Angel, this is getting dangerously close to being canon.
  • Esoteric Happy Ending: While the ending claims Spiral Nemesis has been averted, there really isn't much concrete evidence to support this. In fact, one could argue that Spiral Nemesis is in fact accelerating, as the Distant Finale shows that civilization is just as dependent on Spiral Energy as ever, if not more so.
  • Evil Is Cool: Lordgenome, the tall, muscular Evil Overlord who pilots a pitch-black Gunmen, and isn't afraid to fight Lagann with his bare hands.
  • Evil Is Sexy:
    • Adiane and Cytomander, two of the four Beastmen generals.
    • Anti-Spiral Nia, the dark side version of Simon's Love Interest.
  • Fan Boy/Fan Hater: If you'd like some examples of the former, go check out the Awesome Moments page for this show. And the latter? Check out it's discussion page.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Viral/Adiane seems to be popular.
  • Foe Yay: Viral is supposedly portrayed as this with Kamina. In fact in a scene out of the Viral's Sweet Dream drama CD, every time he thinks of his wife, she turns out to be Kamina in a dress.
  • Fountain of Memes: Kamina. WHO THE HELL DO YOU THINK HE IS?!
    • If you don't think Kamina is a Fountain of Memes, just believe in the me that believes the memes.
  • Freud Was Right: All those 'drills' 'penetrating' things, the shape of the good guys' airship, as well as the only female Gunmen having a fanged talking crotch.
  • Genius Bonus: The Four Generals' names are based on the names of the four bases in DNA. Thymilph: thymine; Adiane: adenine; Guame: guanine; Cytomander: cytosine. Especially good when you remember that A and T are complementary base pairs.
    • So... what does that mean for Guame and Cytomander, then...? Sensitive Guy and Manly Man much?
    • Which is fitting, considering they were created by LordGenome.
    • Maybe not so much a Genius Bonus as a Literary Scholar Bonus, but the other parts of their names count too. In a lot of older poetic works, and presumably also in Western esoteric traditions, the spirits corresponding to the four classical alchemical elements are gnomes (Earth), sylphs (Air), undines (Water) and salamanders (Fire). Guame = guanine + gnome, Thymilph = thymine + sylph, Adiane = adenine + undine, Cytomander = cytosine + salamander. (Air and Fire have clearly been swapped here, though.)
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Many of the off-hand comments to the effect that Kamina is gonna get himself killed in the early episodes. Viral's warning "your bravado will get you killed" and Kamina's own "I'd be dead if it wasn't for your level head" to Simon in episode three come across as Foreshadowing once you get to episode eight.
    • In Episode Seven, Rossiu warns everyone that "Good intentions can sometimes tempt good people into traveling down the wrong path." Post-Time skip, he's doing exactly what he was warning against. He even mentions the effect it had on his village, which is what Simon compared it to when he found out.
    • The finale of Lagann-Hen and TV series becomes this when you remember in episode 4, Kamina said that more than 16 combinations sound "Stupid", when in the movie that's almost exactly what Simon and the Dai-Gurren do near the end of the battle, to turn into a giant energy Kamina. Of course, the reason why Kamina said it was stupid was that more faces doesn't make you powerful, it's the bond between the spirits combining that gives you power. Take a look at Team Dai-Gurren's close friendship.
      • Hilarious in Hindsight: Volfogg is played by the same voice actor as Kamina. Volfogg essentially does that in GaoGaiGar in the final episode.. So Kamina's a hypocrite?
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Kamina City actually does exist! Also, as the page neatly tells us, Kamina means "rascal" in the Hindi-Urdu language.
    • The Hindi-Urdu word is pronounced as "Kuh-MEE-nah", which is noticeably different from how Kamina's name is pronounced in Japanese.
  • Ho Yay: Real men fire each other up, unite, and make comments about each other's drills..
    Kamina: (To Viral) You best remember this, fuzzball! Combining is all about one man's fighting spirit slamming into another!!!
    • It ought be noted, it's Simon's Lagann that penetrates Kamina's Gurren...yes.
    • May also double as a sort of Shout-Out to the "Real men Ride each other" meme from Super Robot Wars.
  • HSQ: Very, very high. Don't bother to pick your jaw up off the floor. Each episode has a quotient at least a hundred times larger than the last.
  • I Am Not Shazam: You may see many references to "Lord Genome" which are technically incorrect. Officially, "Lord" and "Genome" are not his title and name, rather "Lordgenome": one word. is just his name. Thus it is pronounced as one word in both the Japanese and English versions. This hasn't stopped a few fans from hilariously back-mistranslating it as "Genome-sama".
  • Internet Backdraft: Is this really the greatest series ever made, or a typical Shōnen piece of crap? Don't forget to bring a helmet if you decide to ask. Preferably one with a drill.
  • It Was His Sled: Chronologically: Kamina dies. Also, there are things called "Anti-Spirals", and the final incarnation of Gurren Lagann is big enough to throw galaxies like shuriken. That second one is the most common, followed by the third. Even on this very wiki.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: You are not very likely to find a serious shipping war in the TTGL fandom simply because everyone (except maybe Leeron) is a LOATS. Yes, even Boota.
  • Memetic Badass:
    • Kamina, or rather his sunglasses. There's even an Emoticon for them! ◥▶◀◤
    • Simon. He invented teleportation specifically to punch someone in the face. Unfortunately, they got rid of the teleportation part in Lagann-hen and all we get is Kinon slapping Rossiu's face. Still awesome but not as awesome as the one from the TV series.
    • Lordgenome is pretty much this In-Universe. Everyone talks about how powerful and fearsome he is and shivers at a glare from him.
  • Memetic Loser: Simon. While early-series Simon is trying to find his footing and hence is not as Crazy Awesome as Kamina, late in the series he surpasses his "Aniki" in spades and Kamina himself acknowledges it (if posthumously). Alas, the meme guys didn't got the memo and Simon pretty much remains a useless whiny little bitch in their eyes, and if they do acknowledge his late-show achievements, they get rather schizophrenic about it: Simon's not one guy who outgrew his problems and faced his fears and became a Badass- it's more like there's two men called 'Simon', one who is a whiny little bitch and one who is pure high-octane GAR with no in-betweens.
  • Memetic Molester: Leeron is a more humorous example. The Anti-Spiral... isn't.
  • Memetic Mutation: Now with its own page.
  • Memetic Sex God: Yoko and Kamina are the pinnacles of womanly beauty and badass manliness. Yoko is virtually one in-universe, everyone has their eyes glaze over at the sight of her.
  • Misaimed Fandom: No, viewers, Kamina is not the protagonist. Simon is, and the show does not lose any of its awesomeness after Kamina diesnote  It's like people who prefer the first half of Romeo and Juliet to the second. Even if people realise this point, they will in all likelihood still think he's the coolest, manliest, strongest, and most badass character in the show, despite he himself admitting he's faking it.
    • Also to people who see the phrase "Believe in the me that believes in you!" as inspirational - even after episode 8, he tells Simon to believe in himself and not in the Kamina that believes in him.
  • Mondegreen/Spell My Attack Name With An S: The now-famous Finishing Move's name is Giga Drill ''Break'', not Giga Drill Breakernote 
  • Moral Event Horizon: The Anti-Spiral's totally-not-rape of Nia in The Movie.
    • And many other things that the Anti-Spiral does in the series. The only possible excuse is being both a Well-Intentioned Extremist and utterly insane.
  • Narm Charm:
    • From the dub, episode 11: "ROSSIU! Let's COMBINE!" The following Crowning Moment Of Awesome is made even better by Yuri Lowenthal's delivery and the new script, though, so it's all good.
    • How does Gurren Lagann make that "sproing" sound effect when it moves appear so awesome?
  • No Sympathy: After Kamina's death, everyone's morale has taken a toll, but none more so than Simon. However, most seem to be intent on putting a stiff upper-lip and trying to move on while doing somewhat half-assed attempts at helping him. Gets a bit worse throughout as after Lagann stops working, they kinda abandon him to his own devices. The only one shown to be consistently worried about him was Rossieu. While Nia was also worried, she also had genuine faith in Simon which was the main reason he broke through his funk (not that Rossieu didn't believe in Simon, he was openly concerned).
  • Older Than They Think:
    • With the way it's spoken about online you'd think that it invented mecha.
    • Spiral Energy at first seems like a concept original to this show, but in actuality it was originally a concept from Neon Genesis Evangelion. The "Classified Information" files in the game Neon Genesis Evangelion 2 (released in 2003) reveal that the Angels' S2 engines generate an inexhaustible form of energy from, you guessed it, helical energy derived from their DNA-like shape. Beyond even that, the concept of Spiral Energy as depicted in the Gurren Lagann is as old as the super-robot genre itself. The idea that the robot suddenly became stronger because the pilot/controller is all fired up is one of the defining tropes of the genre, after all. Gurren Lagann just gives it a name and a gauge rather than playing it off as just something that happens in these sorts of shows. Also, the plot about the heroes' reality-bending power dooming the universe with eventual overuse was almost directly lifted from a Getter Robo story: Spiral Energy is Getter Rays and the TTGL is the Getter Emperor.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Not that the minor characters from Team Gurren were Scrappies, see, it's just that no one really cared about them. But then episode 24 hits, where all of them go out in one heck of a blaze of glory. Manly Tears were shed.
    • Simon himself counts to some fans. He started out as essentially a whiny Shinji clone who was indirectly responsible for Kamina's death (despite showing more tact than his brother and openly said to be the reason of their success). However, after some well-played Character Development and an epic He's Back scene, he proved himself as a courageous and likable character. And then he gets really awesome after the timeskip...
    • Rossiu gets rescued after his attempted suicide. When Simon forgives him even after Rossiu sentenced him to death, the audience does too. The massive punch to the face didn't hurt either.
  • The Scrappy: Rossiu. He wasn't that bad before the Time Skip, but sentencing Simon to be executed because he needed a scapegoat has earned him quite a lot of hate from the fanbase.
  • So Cool It's Awesome: The entire series is about robots with drills punching other robots with drills in the most dramatic ways possible. There isn't a lot more to it, but it's certainly spectacular.
  • Spiritual Licensee: Especially in the second season, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann basically comes off as an adaptation of the later arcs of the Getter Robo saga, with Spiral Energy becoming an even more obvious parallel of Getter Rays and there even being a Getter Emperor equivalent.
  • Take That, Scrappy!: Rossiu DESERVED his punch to the face in Episode 23. Also counts as a Rescued from the Scrappy Heap moment, as his true colours are revealed in this scene.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: The remake of the "Simon the Digger" speech in the first movie isn't the same as the TV version, something that didn't go over well with certain parts of the fandom.
  • This Is Your Premise on Drugs: This is what you get when you inject your typical Super Robot anime with Powerthirst.
  • Too Cool to Live: Kamina and Kittan.
  • Unfortunate Implications: Possibly a subtle Take That to the idea of religion? In episode 23 when Rossiu speaks to his father before attempting suicide they are holding and speaking about the Scripture of their village that Rossiu's father, the head priest, spread among the villagers despite not knowing how to read. Seven years later even after Rossiu's learns to read he doesn't understand it either because it's "written incomprehensibly"note  and they discuss the idea that it was created as a practical joke eons ago. So it gives the idea that faith in a religion is not the way to go because religion is in the end downright ass pulled, misinterpreted by the masses, pretty much incomprehensible when attempting to understand it, and one big fat joke. But on the other hand...
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: The Super Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann certainly counts.
  • What an Idiot: Kamina has this a number times, such revealing himself to a Gunmen when Yoko is trying snipe or walking into a hotspring that obvious a trap. The Anti-Spiral makes it pretty clear its victory in the past didn't come from outthinking its enemies, considering it keeps wanting to push the protagonists over the Despair Event Horizon, and never seems to take it hint that doing that doesn't work and keeps giving them chances to become more powerful to the point where they can actually win.
  • What Could Have Been: When ADV was handling the dub, Brett Weaver (the voice of Nabeshin and Gai Daigoji) was set to play Kamina. Much disappointment was expressed when ADV's collapse meant this was no longer possible.
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: Like Inuyasha, this Japanese Saturday Morning Cartoon was marketed as a series for teens and young adults in the West due to Values Dissonance, having aired during the wee hours on SyFy.
  • What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?: The "My XXX Is The Best In The Universe" Parallel Works video. Whatever it is, it makes no sense at all. After all, it was drawn by Gekidan Inu Curry, the artists who drew the equally surreal witch barriers of Puella Magi Madoka Magica.
  • What The Hell, Costuming Department?: There are a few people who react this way after seeing Yoko's ridiculously Stripperific outfit (more so than usual, that is) from the final few episodes.
  • The Woobie: Poor Viral can't catch a break, even in his dreams. All the poor guy wants is a family, but being a Beastman he can never reproduce, and after Lordgenome makes him immortal he'll outlive any family he could possibly have.
    • And Nia gets it even WORSE.
    • Simon arguably gets it worst of all, what with losing his parents, his best friend who was also his surrogate brother and something of a father figure, and a good chunk of his friends from Team Gurren. Along with that, he was betrayed and then character assassinated by his close friend and Well-Intentioned Extremist Rossiu, who also had him condemned to death. And to top it all off, his lover, who rescued him from a deep depression after losing aforementioned surrogate brother, and for who he literally tore apart the universe trying to save, crumbles into dust moments after they're married. Someone give this kid a hug, dammit.
    • Yoko after both the men who loved her die.
    • Kamina, who devotes his life to getting to the surface so he can meet his father and finds his skeleton on his second night there. It gets even worse when you find out that his over-the-top personality is all a fake and he is as scared as the rest of the Brigade, if not more.
  • Woolseyism: In the Japanese version, Kamina's last words roughly translate to "Farewell, comrades." The dub sets it to "Later, buddy..." which is arguably more powerful and fits his character better.

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