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Black Butler - Tropes S to T

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    Tropes S 
  • Sarcastic Devotee: Sebastian.
  • Sanity Slippage: Hinted to be the case with Ciel in the manga. His Roaring Rampage of Revenge hasn't been kind—losing his aunt, witnessing countless gruesome sights and, of course, that whole business with the Noah's Ark Circus.
    • This process is also "spicing" Ciel's soul for Sebastian in anticipation of their contract's completion...
  • Scary Shiny Glasses: , of all people, pulls this one off in the newest OVA.
    • Bluer gets these a couple of times in the manga, most notably when he makes an astounding bowl against Greenhill in the cricket match, and later when he and the other prefects confess to murdering Derrick Arden to protect the integrity of their school when they discovered that he was bulling other students and using their talents to make himself appear perfect—and the vice principal was not only aware, but allowing it.
  • Scary Stitches: A crudely-made doll of Sebastian with obvious stitching appears in the series.
  • Scenery Censor: In chapter 186,when Ran Mao destroys the secret underground faculty completely naked, the artist makes sure to cover up her private parts with various objects.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Ciel is the queen's watchdog, basically allowing him to kill almost anyone.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Supernatural Powers!: Sebastian is a demon, and will kill anyone Ciel tells him to, or anyone who tries to hurt either of them, in most cases. Justified, because he's a demon.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Beautiful!: How Cole justifies being a cheating manipulative jerk. Turns out he's as good with makeup as he is at manipulating his classmates.
  • "Scooby-Doo" Hoax: Siegliende's whole life. There are no werewolves in the forest, no werewolf curse and no "ultimate magic formula". There are however soldiers in werewolf costumes, effects of the poisonous gas use and the formula for making a biological weapon. Every one of the village residents (even Wolfram) is a soldier, taking part in a top-secret military project which is led by Siegliende's mother. Basically everything Siegliende has been taught is a part of the project, named "Green witch project".
  • Security Blanket: There is a specific pillow that Ciel cannot sleep without. Subverted, as it is later revealed to just be for Sebastian to hide the blood on his chest.
  • Serial Killer: Grell and Madame Red.
  • Serious Business: Curry-cooking contests. School cricket tournaments.
  • Servile Snarker: Sebastian.
  • Satellite Love Interest: Elizabeth. Subverted in chapter 57, where it's shown that it's because Ciel exists that Elizabeth suppressed her personality into a cookie-cutter Damsel in Distress.
  • She's Got Legs: Ranmao, highlighted by the fact the she dresses exclusively in VERY short Qipaos.
  • Shinigami: Interestingly, most are of the Psychopomp variety, but evil ones kill for pleasure. There's even a Celestial Bureaucracy of them.
  • Shout-Out: Episode 7 has a few nods to the Sherlock Holmes novel The Hound of the Baskervilles.
    • Book of the Atlantic has the Karnstein Hospital, named for the Lady Karnstien from "Dracula's Guest" by Bram Stoker.
    • Father Jeremy Rathbone who shows up in Chapter 45. Shares the first name of Jeremy Brett, who played the detective in the Granada TV series (as well being an almost dead—no pun intended—ringer for said actor), and the surname of Basil Rathbone, another Holmes actor from the 1940s. And then he proceeds to pull the deduction technique on Arthur, who mentions the father resembling Professor Bell, whom the real Sir Arthur based Holmes off of.
    • Phelps's killer in Chapter 47 is a reference to another Sherlock Holmes story, The Speckled Band.
    • In the manga, Sebastian sends a secret note via snowy owl.
    • According to one of the early manga chapters, apparently the pets in Hell are Xenomorphs.
    • Grelle Sutcliffe seems to be named after another English serial killer, the Yorkshire Ripper.
    • Sebastian's line to Claude as he's hanging on to the trap door in Cielois's maze "We meet again, Claude" is the polite, as one would expect of a butler, form of "We meet again, Cloud" uttered by Sephiroth in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children. Even better as Claude and Cloud share a VA. Square-Enix self-shout.
    • The dress that Ciel uses at the opening image of chapter 8 is exactly the same that Katrina uses in the last scenes of Sleepy Hollow (1999).
    • Chapter 52 has Dr. Stoker, his subject Maggy whose body was covered in stitches, and after being knifed by Sebastian she bends into a backwards crabwalk. The whole thing takes place on a big ship from the White Star Line.
    • The anime has the famous painting The Isle of the Dead, by Arnold Böcklin.
    • The story after the totally-not-Titanic arc takes place in an exclusive academy that has four houses with a color/animal/personality theme: Red Fox/highborn; Sapphire Owl/academic; Purple Wolf/artistic; Green Lion/athletic.
    • The curry competition in episode 15 of the anime begins with the Emcee shouting "Allez cuisine!"
    • When Siegliende Sullivan moves to London in Chapter 107, Ciel orders Sebastian to "Turn that artless urchin into a lady!" Later, Sebastians serves them Higgins' Darjeeling.
  • Shown Their Work: There are a lot of accurate references to areas in London as well as references to things like Fortnum and Mason.
  • Showy Invincible Hero: For a certain definition of "hero" but Sebastien is totally this early on. Nothing and no one can really stand against him. Even the series one Big Bad is completely obliterated in seconds by him. Most of the fun is seeing him dispatch the villains in amazing fashion. This changes when Claude shows up and he has an equal opponent to deal with.
  • Sidekick Ex Machina: Both Sebastian and Grell. Also, Ran Mao, although in the manga we have yet to see Grell do anything plot-related apart from killing two minor characters.
  • Sissy Villain: Viscount Aleister Chamber of Druitt.
    • Charles Grey and Alois may also qualify.
  • Slasher Smile: Grell.
  • Slouch of Villainy: Ciel. He slouches when he's about to do something particularly nasty, and unless he is standing up, almost gives orders to Sebastian exclusively in this pose. Also, he does it in almost all the official art (note the image at the top of the page).
  • Sociopathic Hero: Sebastian, being a demon, shows no mercy towards his master's enemies.
  • Soul Eating:
    • The terms of Ciel's Faustian Bargain with Sebastian is that once Ciel has achieved his life's goals Sebastian gets to eat his soul. In the meantime he acts as his utterly loyal butler.
    • In season two of the anime Alois' brother Luca made a contract with a demon to kill all the villagers who mistreated them and his soul was eaten leaving an empty shell of a body. Alois eventually learns that it was Hannah who ate him and makes a contract with her so they can be together again. After she collects the two of them are heard talking inside her.
  • Spell My Name with an S: Grell(e) Sutcliff(e).
    • Ran-Mao or Lan Mao.
    • Maylene, May-Rin, Mey-Rin, Mei-Rin, Mei-Lin, Mei-Ling...
    • Meena or Mina. The English manga release from Yen Press chose the latter while Funimation's anime release chose the former spelling.
    • Bardroy, Baldroy.
    • Middleford vs Midford. The English release from Yen Press chose for latter, but the former was the first to be widely accepted, so there's been some confusion.
    • Angelina and Rachel's shared maiden surname: Dalles vs Durless.
  • Straight Man and Wise Guy: Ciel and Sebastian.
  • Super-Deformed: The first ending has the characters portrayed in this style.
  • Super Strength: Finnian has Super Strength as a side-effect of going through human experiments.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: Since the Phantomhive Five are mostly still students, they can't keep performing for long before some of them have to return to their studies.
    • During the Green Witch arc, an early type of Tank is introduced as a top-secret military weapon of high value because it's (literally) 30-80 years ahead of it's time. In fact, it's so incredibly advanced it's never been deployed in real combat. As a result, the German military has no clue how to effectively use the weapon in combat, and the operators use terrible tactics that are rarely if ever used in real life.

    Tropes T 
  • Talking Is a Free Action: Averted/somewhat parodied in Chapter 33 of the manga, although it's Played for Drama. When Dagger and Beast run into the lobby of the Phantomhive Manor, Bardroy is blocking their way on the stairs, addressing them both casually...then, right in the middle of the intimidating speech, Dagger throws a few knives at his head, which Bard blocks with a pair of frying pans, quickly taking offense to Dagger interrupting him.
    Bard: H-hey! That's dangerous, I was in the middle of talking!
  • Tall, Dark, and Handsome: Our favorite butler from Hell, Sebastian, fits the bill perfectly.
  • Tall, Dark, and Snarky: Sebastian again. While he is indeed very competent, he can't resist pointing this out to others or making smart remarks about their shortcomings.
  • Teen Genius: Ciel. Though his character falls more under the Child Prodigy trope, he's 13 for most of the series, so he's technically a teen.
    • The Blue Cult arc shows that he's very skilled in the field of business, as he battles an enemy whose scheme revolves around the success of a specific music hall by opening a music hall of his own and using shrewd business tactics to steal a significant number of customers from the target. Bonus because Ciel hadn't actually had any experience in the entertainment industry beforenote , but he applies his prior knowledge of advertising and Sebastian's knowledge of manipulation to make it a success anyways.
  • Ten Little Murder Victims: The premise of the Murder Mystery arc.
  • There Are Two Kinds of People in the World: Ciel emphasizes this to Joker in chapter 32.
  • The Thing That Goes "Doink": This Japanese mainstay is an item in the Phantomhive garden, despite its being in Victorian England.
  • Those Two Guys: Soma and Agni.
  • ¡Three Amigos!: Finnian, Baldroy, and Mey-Rin.
  • Tin-Can Telephone: Replace the cans with paintings at one end and dozens of gramophone horns on the other.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Elizabeth, you don't follow a stranger who doesn't even act as if he was human, you don't go on a boat in a middle of a storm just to find a deer, you don't follow your fiancé just to make him eat a cake when he's with a gun and tells you to go back because it's dangerous.
    • This is subverted as of Chapter 57, though, where it's shown that she's perfectly capable of handling herself, more so than Ciel, and may have been following to keep an eye on him. Plus, those first two examples were solely in the anime.
  • Took a Level in Badass: In the anime's second season, thanks to Alois's wish that neither Claude nor Sebastian would be able to eat Ciel's soul, Ciel is now a demon—red eyes, black fingernails, and all—with an even more powerful demon (Sebastian) as his servant.
    • Elizabeth during the Campania arc.
  • Too Kinky to Torture: Sebastian (in episode 20), Grell, and the Undertaker.
  • Trauma Conga Line: Ciel may count as Type B, though we are first introduced to him as an already cynical, messed up kid, rather than having him slowly developing into a villain.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: Ciel.
    • Alois as well. For the whole first episode, he goes from acting completely innocent to downright crazy within a few seconds, and switches back and forth between the two personas. Not to mention, he acts as if he is trying to seduce any male character within five feet of him. Which is, sadly, Truth in Television. Many childhood sexual abuse victims end up acting like this because their trauma never allowed them to develop healthy ways of interacting with adults.
  • True Companions: Ciel's house staff trio.
    • The Circus crew.
    • The four prefects are revealed to be this, to the point of covering up multiple murders for each other.