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Character subpage for the main protagonist of Code Geass, Lelouch, given his own page due to the sheer number of tropes.


Lelouch Lamperouge / Lelouch vi Britannia / Zero / Julius Kingsley / 99th Emperor of Britannia / L.L.

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/code_geass_lelouch_07.jpg
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Voiced by: Jun Fukuyama as an adult and Sayaka Ohara as a child (Japanese), Johnny Yong Bosch as an adult and Michelle Ruff as a child (English)

"I am Zero! The man who destroys worlds — and the man who creates them!"

"[...] Then answer this! Are you just going to sit back and wait for someone else to defeat Britannia? Who?! You think if you wait long enough, some day the right chance will finally come? Don't be naive! If we don't stand up and do it ourselves, that some day will never come!"

The central character of Code Geass, Lelouch Lamperouge is a Magnificent Chessmaster who was given the power of a Magical Eye called a Geass that allows him to compel anyone to obey him to do anything he demands — although It Only Works Once on any given person. Few even of his closest friends know that he is actually a fallen prince of the Britannian Empire. He plans to rebel against his estranged father, the Social Darwinist Emperor Charles zi Britannia, who, he thinks, was unforgivably apathetic about his mother's death — and may even have had a hand in it. Worse, Lelouch was sent to Japan with his crippled sister as bargaining chips, only for said nation to be invaded with them still there. Lelouch demands vengeance, and he'll settle for nothing less than the complete destruction of the Britannian royal line.

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Well, not the entire Britannian royal line: Lelouch wants to protect his paralyzed and blind little sister Nunnally — and not just to protect her, but to make a better world for her. He'll do just about anything to accomplish his goals, and he doesn't mind if he has to be labeled "evil" in the process. Especially if he gets to make being evil look damn good as he announces his new anti-Britannian movement.

As the series evolves, Lelouch finds a worthy opponent, his buddy Suzaku Kururugi, who eventually becomes the biggest obstacle to his plans.

He also finds an unexpected ally, a beautiful and Mysterious Waif who usually goes by the "name" C.C. She isn't what she seems to be. But then, neither is Lelouch.

See also his self-demonstrating page.


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  • 0% Approval Rating: Invoked Trope. He makes himself so hated as Emperor that when the Zero Requiem happens, everyone will unite behind his killer and focus on doing things in the exact opposite way Lelouch did simply because they hate him that much.
  • 10-Minute Retirement: After learning about Nunnally's plan to restore the Special Administrative Zone of Japan in Turn 7, then again after her supposed death in episode 19 of R2.
  • Ace Custom: Has three over the course of the series:
    • His first is actually a subversion: it is a Burai, the same type Knightmare Frame used by the rank-and-file pilots of the Black Knights, with an extra head ornament.
    • Later, he hijacks the Gawain, an experimental Knightmare Frame outfitted with its own Float System, making it the first KF capable of flight; personal Hadron Cannons that have a short and wide range at first, but are perfected with Rakshata's help; and the "Druid System", originally meant for studying the ruins on Shikine Island, which can be used to predict enemy troop movement.
    • In R2, he gets his own personal Knightmare Frame, the Shinkiro. Using a non-standard control system that plays to his strengths as a tactician, the Shinkiro has a Chest Blaster that can fire over a wide range and a Beehive Barrier that requires manual input via a keyboard interface that allows it pinpoint protection over any part of its body.
  • Achilles in His Tent: During most of Turn 19. Schneizel uses it to maximum effect.
  • Adorkable: Despite being The Strategist and The Social Expert, Lelouch tends to flounder in social situations (to the point Shirley asking him out on a date confused him). He also can be weirdly dramatic about the strangest things. This is more evident in early R1 and R2 where Ashford gets more attention (see the Cat Hunt in R1.06 and the chase scene in R2.05 or pretty much all of "Cupid Day") and in extras such as the Picture Dramas and Audio Dramas. It gets more attention in Lighter and Softer Alternate Universe spin-offs like Private Tutor which shows off his more awkward side more often.
  • Adult Fear: The idea of his sister Nunnally being in danger or having no one to take care of her if he is in danger of death (especially in episode 1 when he faces a Britannian squad) is enough to make him freak out.
  • Affably Evil: Gives off this, as he is remarkably polite, when he isn't killing or manipulating his enemies.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Shirley calls him "Lulu".
  • Agent Peacock: He's often seen comforting his little sister and sometimes hanging out with the girls at school. In addition, he cooks, and, when in Secret Identity mode, is absolutely fabulous.
  • Alliterative Name: If he's using his assumed surname.
  • Aloof Big Brother: During the final arc. As part of his Zero Requiem, he has to act like he doesn't care for Nunnally.
  • Alternate Universe Reed Richards Is Awesome: At least in terms of his less-than-stellar piloting skill in the anime. In Super Robot Wars Z2. 2 he can become an impressive Game-Breaker thanks to his very effective Shinkirou and Ace Bonus, and at one point in-story (depending on your acquisition of 'Zero Points') apparently fights Heero Yui in the Wing Gundam Zero to a draw.
  • Always Save the Girl: Backfires when he tries this.
  • Ambiguously Bi: He has a lot of female Love Interest options (C.C., Kallen, Shirley, Kaguya) but his dynamic with Suzaku follows a similar arc to a (tragic) love story.
  • Amnesiac Dissonance: First as Julius Kingsley, and later as an amnesiac and childish Soulless Shell in Re;surrection.
  • Amnesiac Hero: For the first forty minutes of Re;surrection, Lelouch's soul is not present due to a flaw in C.C.'s resurrection attempt.
  • Antagonist in Mourning: He was quite devastated when he was forced to kill his half-sister Euphemia, whom he was quite close to in childhood. He was crying when he shot her (in the manga, at least) and afterwards.
  • Anti-Hero: Ultimately on the side of good, but commits many evil actions for the sake of it, and comes very close to becoming an outright villain.
  • The Anti-Nihilist: Yes, Lelouch is in a Crapsack World and acknowledges it, along with the fact he's going to have to do horrible things to reach his goals. That said, he genuinely still believes in a better world, as well as that people do want a happy, peaceful tomorrow. That's in part why he gambles on his Zero Requiem; he stacks the deck in his favour as best he can and then trusts that humanity will, after having a person to hate and being given a symbol of a better world to rally behind, work towards that better tomorrow. He's right too! ...at least until Re;surrection.
  • At Least I Admit It: The primary difference between himself and Suzaku. They're both hypocrites and Well Intentioned Extremists, but Lelouch acknowledges his own hypocrisy and never once tries to justify it, whereas Suzaku is in the exact opposite and refuses to own up to anything he does. Lelouch even lampshades it at one point, telling Suzaku point-blank that he doesn't have time to debate which of them is a bigger hypocrite.
  • The Atoner: In the Grand Finale, the Zero Requiem is revealed to be an elaborate public performance intended to personally atone for his own sins by making the world hate him in death, even though his chosen method, leading circumstances, and consequences accounted for, with no real exploration of alternatives that would be just as if not better for atonement, make it likely he has another hidden motive at that point.
  • Attention Whore: According to C.C., everything he does is really out of a need to be the center of attention. It's also why his Geass took the form it did.
  • Attractive Bent-Gender: The Picture Dramas and games are surely very fond of having him go around in drag. Stupid Sexy Luluko!
  • Awesome Moment of Crowning: "ALL HAIL LELOUCH, 99th EMPEROR OF BRITANNIA!!"
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: He is the only one smart enough to use Shinkiro's full combat potential.
  • Badass Boast: Several. See the quote above, next to the picture. The one below doubles as both an example of this and a despair speech.
    Lelouch: My name is Lelouch vi Brittania, eldest son of Empress Marianne, the prince who was abandoned by his empire. If anyone wishes to stop me, let them try! If there is anyone who can go beyond my despair...
  • Badass Bookworm: Before you say ''huh?'', remember in the second episode where Viletta threatened him by blowing the walls around him? He. Didn't. Even. Flinch. 2:50
  • Badass Bureaucrat: Aside from being a Manipulative Bastard, he proves to be a competent martial organizer.
  • Badass Cape: Wears a magnificent black one as Zero.
  • Bad Liar: He might be a Consummate Liar, but when put on the spot he is incredibly awkward. He even has a few obvious tells that people who know him can easily see through. Unfortunately, most of the time circumstances mean no one calls him out on his terrible lies...or if they do it's not in the circumstances where it can be pursued.
  • Back from the Dead: After being Killed Off for Real at the end of R2, C.C. brought him back to life in Re;surrection... except she accidentally ruined his soul in the process. He gets better later though.
  • Batman Gambit: He loves exploiting character faults of enemies or "standard procedures" of organizations to win battles. He's also the victim of them occasionally, as opponents will occasionally exploit his own Complexity Addiction or love of his friends and family to manipulate him.
  • Battle of Wits: Par for the course.
  • Becoming the Mask: Several times, on several different levels.
    • He starts off using the Black Knights and his Zero identity just to destroy Britannia and build a better future for his sister. Ultimately ends up genuinely caring for their goals and works towards Japan's freedom.
    • Starts off only treating Rolo as his little brother for the sake of him being a useful ally but his reaction during his Heroic Sacrifice and then how he buries Rolo and leaves the pendant locket for him heavily implied it did in fact become genuine.
  • The Beautiful Elite
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: His Geass. And his plans in general.
  • Best Served Cold: One of his motivations behind his mission is to deliver vengeance to his father for his abandonment and what he represents as a Darwinist.
  • Berserk Button: Has a few;
    • Hurting or threatening Nunnally is the most prominent and major one.
    • Racism or any kind of injustice tends to rile him up, though it's not as big as the next one.
    • Hurting or being rude to Suzaku for his heritage. A stand out example is when, thanks to Mao revealing Suzaku killed his father and is a Death Seeker breaking Suzaku not only does Lelouch condemn him to a Fate Worse than Death, he actually physically tries to punch him. Lelouch of all people actually tries to hit someone, something he never does before or after, just cause Mao hurt Suzaku.
  • Beyond the Impossible: His dad said it was impossible to Geass the world's equivalent to God, and when you think how Geass is referred to as 'the power of the king' it makes sense. Lelouch thought otherwise.
  • Big Bad: As Emperor Lelouch, to the world. It turns out to all be an act though.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: Is one of the main villains in Akito The Exiled as the brainwashed Julius Kingsley, sharing the spotlight with Shaing. Unfortunately, the Geass Charles placed on him started glitching out and he suffers a mental breakdown, which Shaing wastes no time in taking advantage of and promptly captures both him and Suzaku as hostages.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: As Julius Kingsley in Akito the Exiled. When he's first introduced, he gets all the hype one would expect a brainwashed Lelouch to get and seems to be just as dangerous (later taking total control of Euro-Britannia's leadership with minimum effort). However, once the Emperor's Geass wears off, he's reduced to a pathetic, rambling wreck and everything falls apart for him. To sum it up: his entire Ark Fleet plan fails, he ultimately does little more than cause some brief chaos, and he ends up spending the rest of the OVA in a prison cell with Suzaku after Shaing (the OVA's true Big Bad) usurps him.
  • Big Brother Instinct: He deeply loves Nunnally and protecting her is his reason for living.
  • Big Good: As "Zero" he is seen as the charismatic leader and inspiring savior of the Japanese people. He has gruesome tactics but he remains opposite the oppressive emperor from Britannia.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: Where the whole mess starts.
  • Bishōnen: He's noted to be very attractive by various people.
  • Blank Face of Shame: Lelouch is shown with his bangs obscuring his eyes at the funeral for his friend Shirley's father - because he's responsible for Mr. Fenette's death, however unintentionally.
  • Blatant Lies: Considering the route he was going down, could you blame him for lying to everyone he ever knew?
  • Blessed with Suck: It also goes with Cursed with Awesome. On the other hand, it's almost a guarantee that the best possible outcome for him would be to become an immortal, as Nightmare of Nunnally demonstrated, and C.C had showed us all to well how horrible that unlife could become.
  • Born Unlucky: The bad luck is a little latent, but when it kicks in at around age 8, does it ever...
  • Brains Evil, Brawn Good: Played with in that though he acts like a stereotypical villain, he is a Well-Intentioned Extremist Byronic Hero, whereas Suzaku is a Charles Atlas Superpower Anti-Villain working for the Big Bad.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Twice. The first personality Charles imprinted him with was that of Julius Kingsley, a royal military tactician. In this case, he really WAS bloody crazy and evil (but severely psychologically unstable). The second personality was that of a more complacent, "boring" everyday Lelouch Lamperouge to be used as bait to catch C.C. Both imprints ultimately failed.
  • Break Her Heart to Save Her: Lelouch does this to Kallen and Nunnally during the final arc. And since they figure out the truth later on, they don't even end up hating him for it.
    • The Compilation Movies imply he also did this to the Black Knights so Schneizel wouldn't harm them, even if they don't buy his claims as easily as in the series.
  • Break the Cutie: In his backstory; Lelouch used to be a Cheerful Child until his mother's assassination kicked off a chain of horrible events.
  • Break the Haughty: Having had such success dealing with Clovis's army, Lelouch thinks that he will be able to defeat Cornelia's army with the same level of ease. He quickly learns that there is a large difference between the two leaders as Cornelia is an actual tactician with war experience and would have died (or been brought back as Prince Lelouch into Britannia) if not for C.C.'s intervention. It serves as his first total defeat and teaches him to be less cocky about his enemies.
    • The aftermath of Narita does the same but in a different way forcing him to truly come to terms with the fact actual people will be hurt and killed by his actions. Though he moves forward anyways, it's with the knowledge that he truly will be hurting people on his way to creating a "gentle world".
    • The final moment of this comes as the SAZ Massacre kicks off. Before that he saw Zero as the "savior" of Japan and ultimately the world. After the horrifying SAZ Massacre that came because of his choices and carelessness, he ditches that angle entirely, working instead as an inspirational and even diplomatic leader come R2.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: His school persona. Of course, he's anything but lazy.
  • Broken Bird: Prior to getting his Geass, he is bored, pessimistic and feels trapped after everything that has happened in his backstory, which has left him wanting to change the world, something for which he has had to bide his time; something which Stage 0.97 makes very clear. His tendency to return to a broken state whenever things get particularly bad proves he's still this underneath all his bravado and it's heavily implied this plus his final Trauma Conga Line results in the Zero Requiem plan.
  • Brought Down to Badass: In Episode 20 of R2, Lelouch has lost his manpower, support, and the trust of the Black Knights; all he has left is his Geass power and his personal Knightmare frame, the Shinkirō. He uses both to maximum effect when he finally decides to take down his father, Geass'ing an entire military base and using the Shinkirō's inventory of explosives to trap his father and himself inside of the Sword of Akasha.
  • But Now I Must Go: At the end of "Nightmare of Nunnally", he says goodbye to his friends and loved ones before leaving to become a Demon King. A similar thing happens at the end of Re;surrection, but for the same reason C.C. had.
  • Byronic Hero: Attractive, charismatic, single-minded, sophisticated, introspective, melancholy, idealistic, ruthless in the pursuit of his cause, driven to rebellion, tragically flawed, arrogant, ambitious... His life and character traits practically read like a textbook case.
  • Call-Back: Lelouch's first Geass command at the start of the first season, R2, and Re;surrection is to brainwash the attackers into committing suicide:
    Lelouch: Lelouch vi Britannia commands you, now all of you... die!
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Aside from his desire to make Nunnally's dream of a kind world come true, Lelouch's main reason for basically starting a world war was to do this to the Emperor. (Let it never be said that he does anything by half-measures.) Near the end of the series, he finally does it.
  • Came Back Wrong: When he came Back from the Dead in Re;surrection, he's suffering from amnesia, had glass-like eyes, and acts like a combination of a zombie and a Manchild. Averted later after getting his soul back.
  • Camp: Initially only as Zero but Emperor Lelouch gets quite campy.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Lelouch has a habit of dodging questions even when he'd be better off answering them.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Lelouch invokes this during his reign as Emperor deliberately playing the part of a power-hungry despot to his former friends, family and the world at large as part of the Zero Requiem.
  • Cartwright Curse: Lelouch loses two of his love interests across both seasons, Euphemia whom Lelouch is forced to kill in R1.23 and Shirley who dies at the hands of Rolo in R2.13.
  • Catch-Phrase: "All tasks at hand have been cleared."
    • "Lelouch vi Britannia commands you..."
    • Most of his other catchphrases are Arc Words. "I am Zero!", "I will destroy the world and create it anew", "The only ones who should kill are those prepared to be killed", and a few more.
  • Celibate Hero: If only out of necessity thanks to his chosen profession.
  • Character Development: Lelouch becomes more and more extreme - and in some ways, heroic - as the series progresses. He also becomes more openly emotional and less stoic.
  • Character Tic: The flourishing gesture he uses to draw attention to his eye before invoking the Geass. Justified in that his Geass relies on eye contact to work.
  • Char Clone: In fact, if you take this perspective, Code Geass literally becomes Mobile Suit Gundam with the perspectives skewed, instead of following Amuro (Suzaku), you're following Char. In fact, in one of the scenarios in Super Robot Wars Z2: Saisei-Hen, has fellow Anti-Villain Char Clones Milliardo Peacecraft and Mr. Bushido team up with him.
  • The Chessmaster: Literally and figuratively. Although as a literal chess master, it's more of an Informed Ability, as no one in-universe really seems to know how the game works.
  • Chess Motifs: He's the king on the chess board; his Zero costume even resembles one. Although his physical combat skills are less than impressive, he's the one who commands the whole board. He's always on the battlefield with his troops, because, as he puts it, if the king won't lead, his subjects won't follow. Mind you, that doesn't usually work in actual chess, and certainly not as Lelouch applies it, but it is just a metaphor. And then, there's the Zero's Requiem, in which he played the role of the White King, dressed in white and gold clothes instead of his usual black and purple ones, which also doubled as his funeral garb, with Zero as the Black King, who put the White King in checkmate.
  • Chick Magnet: C.C., Kallen, Shirley, Euphemia (he says she was the first girl he ever loved as well), Milly, Kaguya and 120-something unnamed girls from the school. He is extremely intelligent, polite, nice, good-looking and extremely rich so it's not just his dad's genes (The Emperor has 108 wives).
  • Childhood Friends: With Suzaku.
  • Clark Kenting: ...Sort of. Lelouch does wear a mask that conceals his whole head and does tricks with voice recording to throw people off the trail. But the fact that his sister Nunnally—who is blind and therefore relies primarily on hearing—never recognizes him as Zero is a bit much. Or any of the other people who are close to him. This can be partially explained, however, by assuming that he was speaking Japanese as Zero and English as Lelouch. Your voice tends to change when you speak different languages, which is why Japanese tends to come out breathier than English. This, coupled with the fact that there's a high chance that the Britannians don't know any Japanese, might explain why no one recognized it. They still didn't explain Nunnally and Suzaku's cases though.
    • Except Euphemia, who quickly becomes suspicious, and by the next time they meet, is absolutely certain of the fact. Ironically, this is probably because she has no idea what he's supposed to sound or look like.
    • Made worse by the fact that he is supposedly in hiding from pretty much all of Britannia, even before he becomes Zero, and yet he uses his real name from when he was a prince. Though, Lelouch could, however, simply be a common name in the CG Universe, the same way royals' names tend to become common names over time in our universe, and given there are hundreds of princes and princesses, the odds of any one individual being able to pick up on it are rather small.
    • It's likely, considering he talks to people like Cornelia and Schneizel as Zero so the speaking Japanese thing doesn't work, that this comes across as a flimsy disguise because the audience needs to know it's Lelouch as Zero. Also, as the trope page points out in the real life section, just adjusting body language and speech patterns (Lelouch is shown in the original Japanese dub to have a more arrogant, formal speech pattern and deeper voice as Zero/Lelouch vi Britannia compared to Lelouch Lamperouge) can be enough to conceal your identity. Euphie likely figured out it was Lelouch due to his minor slip that hinted to him knowing her and him acting like a prince as Zero.
  • Clasp Your Hands If You Deceive: As a common trait of the quintessential Magnificent Bastard, Lelouch is fond of doing this.
  • The Complainer Is Always Wrong: Feels the Britannian government is rotten to the core and must be dismantled. Too bad for him, two of the most important people in his life don't agree.
  • Complete Immortality: Subverted in Re;surrection. While C.C. is able to resurrect Lelouch (albeit half-dead and doll-like at first), the Code below his neck is flawed. On flip side, this entirely new concept of an "incomplete Code" also allows Lelouch to bypass the rules which were earlier established in the franchise and thus allows him to use his Geass while having this "incomplete Code" at the same time.
  • Conspicuously Public Assassination: It's a Call-Back to when he rescued Suzaku in season 1 episode 4.
  • Consummate Liar: Very convincing at telling lies although Suzaku doesn't buy some towards the end of R2. How it all began, however, was simply heartbreaking.
    • On the other hand, what he normally lies about tends toward being either blatantly obvious or completely illogical - like Zero being a hero to the Japanese... yet built from the ground up with western aesthetics, or telling people that want to kill him that he's been manipulating and controlling them, when they're aiming guns at him.
  • Control Freak: Played with. It's not as obvious as other examples in fiction, but Lelouch definitely prefers to have control over situations and his complex plans often rely on him being in control of the situation. This likely is a product of his rather traumatic childhood; see also Neat Freak below.
  • Cool Mask: As Zero. Overlaps with Cool Helmet.
  • Cosmic Plaything: Regardless of his karma meter, he just can't catch a break. The only plan that went off without a hitch or a Butterfly of Doom chain of cause-and-effect is the plan where he makes everyone hate him, then dies.
  • Create Your Own Villain: Did this with Nina when the latter lost it after Euphie's death. And in a sense happened to him after the Black Knights turned on him and with no apparent recourse or resolve left, he decided to go all out with his Geass, eventually becoming the Demon Emperor.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Not as blatant about it like Euphie but Lelouch tends to jump in to help others at risk; this is how he first ended up getting his Geass (going over to the crashed van when no one else would to see if they were alright and if he could help) and at the start of R2 the brainwashed Lelouch steps up to help a random Eleven servant girl (actually Kallen in disguise but he doesn't recognize her thanks to said brainwashing) just because he can't stand by while that happens.
  • Crucified Hero Shot: He dies at the bottom of a trail of his blood leading from the middle of the Britannian flag, the resulting visage being reminiscent of the Christian cross.
  • Cursed with Awesome: It's also Blessed with Suck. On one hand, aside from some Diabolus ex Machina, his Geass has virtually no drawbacks, and he can get around the ones that do. Except for one: It Only Works Once, and he even finds a small way to get around that once Jeremiah gets his Geass Canceler.
  • Cynicism Catalyst: The assassination of his mother drove Lelouch's personality in a darker direction and he vowed to make the world a decent place for his sister to live in. This gets going full force when he gains his Geass at the beginning of the story.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Mother killed. Little sister injured and traumatized. Father abandoned him and little sister. While he and Nunnally befriended Suzaku as children, the young exiled prince had to witness more horrors from his former home to the point he made an oath to destroy all Britannians. No wonder Lelouch grew to hate Britannia.
  • Dark Messiah: To the core.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: While he can be very ruthless and morally flexible...he isn't exactly evil in the truest sense
  • Deadpan Snarker: Has a dry, witty sense of humor.
  • Death Glare: He can look really, really nasty when he wants to.
  • Death Seeker: Becomes this following both Nunnally's apparent death and the Black Knights' betrayal.
  • Death Wail: He does this after Shirley dies.
  • Decapitated Army: The reaction to his death. It causes his entire army (giant robots, tanks, and armed soldiers) to collapse and run away from an angry mob. Makes sense actually, since he has 0% Approval Rating and the only members of his army who aren't brainwashed to be his slave is in on the plan.
  • Deceased Fall-Guy Gambit: The power of Absolute Command makes this easy for a Chess Master like Lelouch.
  • Declaration of Protection: Goes to varying extremities to protect his loved ones, be they his little sister Nunnally, his friend Shirley, who incidentally had an unrequited crush on him, and his bodyguard Kallen, who also had a crush on him. Then there's Rolo, whom Lelouch used this to manipulate.
  • Deconstructed Character Archetype: Serves as one for the shady Chessmaster typical among his genre. Lelouch is capable of being devious and manipulative, but the show take the time to delve into his Dark and Troubled Past, offering explanations as to why he behaves the way he does. Furthermore it humanizes him by highlighting the more sympathetic aspects of his life like his passion for freedom and equality as well as his genuine love for his sister and friends. All in all, it emphasizes how someone this destructive justifies their actions by exploring what they stand to lose if they don't act and the original source that shaped them into who they are.
    • On top of that, the show also deconstructs the nature of the Chessmaster's carefully constructed plans and how fragile they really are. Lelouch weaves scheme after scheme in his war against Britannia. Regardless of how brilliant they may seem at first glance, they always generate far-reaching repercussions that come back to bite him hard. It exemplifies how even the best laid plans are vulnerable to forces outside of their control and can have consequences that their architect could never have foreseen.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Subverted. After Lelouch finally beats Schneizel in the second-to-last episode, he uses a Geass to force Schneizel to serve him. Or, more precisely, to serve Zero — a distinction soon to become important. Played straight when he first met Suzaku, though.
  • Defector from Decadence: His response to Charles' cold indifference to Marianne's murder and Nunnally's crippling and declaration that the Britannia is defined by the strong ruling over the weak. He gets sent to Japan along with Nunnally for his troubles. The takeover of Japan by Britannia is what drives him to revenge.
    • It's not just the takeover, it's the takeover while he and his sister are there as political hostages when Britannia attacks does Lelouch lose it because of the obvious betrayal. Ironically Lelouch's and Nunnally's presumed death is why several of his siblings of relevance hate Japan because they think it was Japan's fault. Moral Myopia, anyone?
  • Despair Event Horizon: Goes over the edge following Nunnally's apparent death and the Black Knights' betrayal, leading him to plan on isolating himself inside the Sword of Akasha with Charles, and later, the Zero Requiem. See also: Death Seeker.
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: Subverted. His boredom mainly has to do with his initial inability to fulfill his wish to go against Britannia, and being unable to exert his real intellect.
    • Played straight when he's brainwashed to be just the ordinary "Lelouch Lamperouge" at the start of R2. Lacking his original ambitions, Lelouch still desires something more than what he's got in the present, something that leads him to do some reckless things in pursuit of it.
  • Determinator: He's is willing to anything to ensure a better world for Nunnally.
  • Deus Angst Machina: It only gets worse during the final 9 episodes of the series.
  • Devoted to You: Shirley and Kallen just can't stop loving him, no matter how painful it is. This eventually gets Shirley killed and Kallen's willingness to die for him is the reason why Lelouch was adamant in excluding her from the Zero Requiem. Also, Rolo is blindly devoted to him and will do anything for him, even die.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: Sometimes, you'd be forgiven for thinking Lelouch's main opponent was called Murphy.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: As Julius Kingsley in the Akito the Exiled OVA. His Ark Fleet plan takes up most of the conflict and he later seizes total control of Euro-Britannia's political and military leadership. Despite all that, he ends up getting taken down halfway through the series and becomes inconsequential to the story once Shaing pulls an Eviler Than Thou on him.
  • Did Not Get the Girl: The amount of Ship Sinking in R2 was epic.
  • Didn't See That Coming: Despite all his elaborate planning even, courtesy of the afore-mentioned Diabolus ex Machina.
    • Episode 22 of the first season in particular is the poster child for this trope.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Lelouch's uses Geass on God itself to stop Ragnarok and kill his parents. In all fairness, however, he asked politely and didn't even include the second part, so it's more like Did You Just Ask Cthulhu For A Favor?
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: He died in Nunnally's.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Sort of. To avenge the death of his mother, he wishes to bring about the destruction of the entire Britannian royal line — with the notable exceptions of his beloved sister Nunnally, Euphemia, and himself. However, he has plenty of legitimate gripes against the Empire which do not involve those two things, mainly the Social Darwinism that drives the country to conquer the entire world and oppress everyone who isn't Britannian, and the aforementioned members of the royal family are the only ones known to oppose said policies.
    • It makes even more sense if you consider the events of the first episode. Lelouch unwittingly falls into a rebel plot to steal what appears to be poison gas, but is in fact a captive of the Brittanian Empire. Initially, he's doing everything he can to extricate himself from the plot, and finally manages to find a window of opportunity when Suzaku recognizes him. However, Suzaku's Commanding Officer is ruthless to the point of being Stupid Evil, and he attempts to murder his own soldier for daring to trust the hapless Lelouch. On top of that, Prince Clovis has decided to initiate a Kill 'em All purge in order to cover up the truth the rebels were about to uncover. While Lelouch is trying to escape with girl that the rebels were carrying, the very same Stupid Evil general corners him, kills the girl (though not really), and is moments away from murdering Lelouch when she gives him his Geass ability. Anybody would lose their patience with the Brittanian empire after going through all that shit.
  • Don't Tell Mama: He tries to keep his sister ignorant of his alter ego.
  • Doom Magnet: The amount of bad things that happen to him and those around him is insane.
  • Drama Bomb: His life is full of them.
  • Due to the Dead: Buries Rolo with his own hands after his Heroic Sacrifice, even marking his grave with the pendant he gave him while believing him to be truly his brother (and thus was originally meant for Nunnally). Despite Lelouch having declared he hated him before, this scene showing he took the time to bury Rolo respectfully proves he grew to genuinely care for him.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Oh yes. In one picture drama he was made to look prettier than the girls simply by putting on a wig and an Elegant Gothic Lolita dress.
  • El Cid Ploy: As part of Zero Requiem.
  • The Emperor: The 99th Emperor of Britannia, to be precise.
  • Establishing Character Moment:
    • After ordering a group of soldiers to kill themselves, Lelouch looks shocked and disturbed for a few seconds, before breaking into a smile.
    • Another, often overlooked takes place moments earlier. The soldiers are seconds away from killing him, and he pretty much knows that he's about to die... and his final thoughts are of Nunnally. Then C.C. gives him Geass.
    • Before either of this, there is the A Minor Kidroduction moment in the prologue, revealing that he wants to destroy Britannia, followed by the introduction of him in the present where he confidently comes into a chess match where he's at a disadvantage, remaining calm and snarky despite how the Jerkass noble is acting, before ruthlessly crushing him in the chess match. After that, he proves to be apathetic to the surroundings around him, bemoaning in his Internal Monologue his lack of power to make a difference.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: Happens twice, and with him getting sold out to the two baddest of the Big Bads in the show (obviously barring V. V. who gets offed in R2 14)). I do not envy this man.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Though the bad part is debatable. Flipped around in R2 episode 21: not only does he come to hate her within one episode, after Marianne shows him her true colors, he also erased her from existence along with Charles.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Despite not mentioning it, he seems to regret the deaths of innocents and Lelouch is an angel compared to the Britannian rulers.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: Of course Milly, Shirley, Kallen and Kaguya are head-over-heels in love with him. (As well as 108 other girls. And C.C. Possibly.) But there's also Rolo and Suzaku's complex dynamic with him.
  • Evil Costume Switch: When he became Emperor and likely invoked as well considering the Zero Requiem.
  • The Evil Genius: As Emperor Lelouch.
  • Evil Gloating: Lelouch is fond of this. It's very lucky that all of his Geass victims are polite enough to listen to his monologues before he orders them to commit suicide, or whatever else they would really rather not ever do.
    • After C.C. fixes his erased memories at the start of R2, she asks him about this. He dismisses her criticism with no attempt to justify himself at all. Presumably it's just not in his nature to turn down an opportunity to be dramatic.
  • Evil Laugh: Frequently, as Zero. Borders on self-parody. One of his defeat quotes when piloting the Sword of Damocles consists of this.
  • Evil Overlord: Setting himself up as one is a requisite for his Zero Requiem Zero-Approval Gambit.
  • Expy: Lelouch has been considered at least a partial Expy of any number of fictional and even historical figures, especially the Byronic heroes of V for Vendetta and The Count of Monte Cristo.
    • He is very similar to Reinhard von Lohengramm from Legend of Galactic Heroes, even down to the sister part.
    • Wears black all the time, lies to the people he loves and is obsessed with avenging a dead parent. Is that you, Hamlet?
  • Eyepatch of Power: Wears a ridiculously gaudy and ostentatious eyepatch as Julius Kingsley, to hide his permanently-active Geass.
  • Face Palm: Lelouch has one when he realizes that to keep Shirley from knowing about the secret underground base when she came to the library, his maid Sayoko, who was disguising as him at the time, kissed her. Also when she set him up on 108 dates.
  • "Facing the Bullets" One-Liner: When faced with a firing squad made up of his own men, he takes off his mask, laughs in their faces and tells them they are all fools who he was using like pawns. Subverted a second later when its revealed that he's only doing this to trick Kallen into leaving his side, rather then staying to die with him.
  • Fake Memories: Suffers from this on two occasions, as the Emperor's Geass allows him to imprint false memories and personalities.
  • Fallen Hero: In some parts of the second season, he is reasonably well meaning for a while, but ultimately the results of his old sins catch up with him in a seriously disproportionate way and he falls back to his more tragically flawed ways.
  • Fallen Princess: A Gender Flip of the usual trope; he was once a prince of Britannia but after his mother's assassination and his stint as hostage in Japan, he's no longer such and lives an ordinary life until Geass and becoming Zero.
  • Fatal Attractor: Very bad things tend to happen to those he loves.
  • Fix Fic: In Super Robot Wars Z2. 2, if you follow the IF path, you are given the chance to avert the betrayal. The result: Kallen knocks some sense into him when he feels despondent and suicidal over Nunnally's apparent fate, he comes clean and apologizes to the Black Knights and they accept and remain loyal, Rolo lives because he doesn't need to sacrifice himself, Schneizel's plan fails, and thus, the Zero Requiem is completely averted. And for nice bonus points, Euphie and Shirley (the former a case of Never Found the Body) are alive at the end as well!
  • Foil: Lelouch has many throughout the series.
    • His best friend Suzaku is perhaps the most obvious. They both start out rather idealistic despite their tragic backgrounds, although Suzaku is undeniably more naive. After Euphemia's death their idealism is shattered, with Lelouch growing both more ruthless and more desperate, and Suzaku's naïveté replaced by a cold hatred of Lelouch that leads to him ignoring the risk to Nunnally's life to subdue Lelouch and take him to the Emperor, and hold him down while Charles wipes his mind and replaces it with false memories in a scene uncomfortably reminiscent of a rape. However, despite their teetering mental instability neither of them loses their desire to make the world a better place and atone for the horrible things they've done with Zero Requiem.
    • His sister Euphemia shares his desire for a more peaceful world and she develops an independent streak to help make that happen. In the end she even manages to win Lelouch over, but sadly any hope of this happening is lost when Lelouch makes a bad joke which geasses Euphemia into trying to commit genocide on the Japanese. Lelouch is forced to kill her publicly during her spree, which drives him further into madness. Perhaps the most telling foil between them is their deaths. They are both the targets of a Conspicuously Public Assassination which sees them brutally murdered in front of a crowd. They die in the arms of a loved one (Euphemia in Suzaku's and Lelouch in Nunnally's) while the world cheers their killer: Zero.
    • His father, Emperor Charles zi Britannia. First off, they both have geasses which involve controlling people's minds. Second, they are both commanding figures with charisma and ruthlessness, with a single overarching goal behind all of their ploys and schemes. Third, they plan to destroy the world and remake it in their own image, Charles with the Ragnarok Connection and Lelouch with Zero Requiem. Charles fails. Lelouch doesn't. Ironically both serve as the arch enemy to the respective main characters (Charles to Lelouch and Lelouch to Suzaku) for the deaths of Marianne and Euphemia.
    • Mao and Lelouch have a few similarities, the most prominent being their relationships with C.C. Mao, like Lelouch, was granted his geass by C.C., although Lelouch was a jaded 17-year-old while Mao was an innocent 6-year-old, and their inability to control their geass proceeded to cause them great tragedy and despair, Lelouch with such events as Euphemia's death and Mao with the insanity brought on from reading the minds of everyone around him. They both share a special connection to C.C., in part because she is immune to their geasses, which means they are safe around her. However, Mao became completely driven to madness from his geass and overreliant on C.C., which led to his terrifying obsession with her and hatred and jealousy towards Lelouch, while Lelouch develops an intimate bond with her and and fully intends on fulfilling his contract to answer her single wish, so long as it doesn't threaten his overall goal.
  • Forgot the Call: R2 begins with Lelouch in this position due to Laser-Guided Amnesia erasing Zero, Nunnally, and his royal heritage. By the end of the first episode He's Back.
  • Friendless Background: While Lelouch is shown to be very popular at school he doesn’t seem to have many real close intimate relationships with many people. Instead being the big man on campus. CC and Suzaku seem to be the few people he is comfortable trusting and being close enough to be both his accomplices and confidants.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Went from a simple Britannian schoolboy into a masked revolutionary and symbol of justice for the Japanese people. After that, he's the Emperor of Britannia. And then after that, he's Emperor of the whole globe.
  • Freudian Excuse: A lot of his issues can be traced to his mother's death, that confrontation with his father when he was child, and the subsequent exile and time spent in Japan as a hostage (and not a warmly received one either - he and his crippled sister were placed in a shed) which was topped off by the war.

    G-L 
  • The Gadfly: Teases Kallen during season 1 as part of his identity towards her at Ashford, so she won't suspect he is Zero.
  • Gaining the Will to Kill: Lelouch throws up after his first murder (granted, he brought it upon himself by shooting a guy—his half-brother, no less—in the face at close range) but It Gets Easier for him.
  • Gambit Roulette: A couple of his plans; this is especially apparent in his battle against Mao in Episodes 15 and 16 of R1, which really show how cunning the guy is.
  • The Gambling Addict: Before becoming Zero, he was infamous for his intense gambling addiction, often skipping classes and running off to casinos. Slightly averted in that it was his own way to cope with "going through the motions of living." It's also used to showcase his willingness to take risks on a long shot for spectacular payoffs, a trait which certainly manifests itself throughout the rest of the series. After becoming Zero, he used his known gambling tendencies for a short while as a cover for his Black Knights operations. Suzaku firmly suspected that Mao was a criminal that Lelouch pilfered in a game. He never learned who Mao really was, though.
  • Geek Physique: It's a Running Gag that Lelouch is utter crap at anything physical. To the point Milly in a fancy dress can outrun him. Though in one case it counted as a Chekhov's Gag in a dark manner; when he accidentally Geassed Euphemia into killing the Japanese, he had no means of catching up to her to stop her.
  • General Ripper: An aversion. While he will engage in ruthless tactics and use his subordinates as pawns, he does have his standards, typically goes to extremes out of necessity rather than obsession, and will enter the battlefield along with his troops.
  • Generation Xerox: Not only having inherited the Manipulative Bastard gene from Chuck, his life story is playing out much like his father's, with the characters around him playing out similar roles to Chuck's earlier years.
    • If we take the levels that they are both willing to go to in achieving their ultimate goal, then Lelouch's bloodthirstiness in achieving Zero Requiem is not too different from Charles' Ragnarok plan.
    • His incredible acting abilities turn out to come from his mother Marianne considering her true nature that was revealed at the end and in extra materials. In that regard, his manipulative ability to gain the loyalty and adoration of various people also comes from her.
  • Genghis Gambit: Part of his Thanatos Gambit, Zero Requiem.
  • Good Eyes, Evil Eyes: His eyes are ambiguous, as they are fairly large throughout (in stark contrast to another anime Magnificent Bastard he's often compared to).
  • Good Is Not Nice: Lelouch is more than willing to Shoot the Dog to make ends meet, and whether he was even "good" in the first place is debatable. That, and the fact that he's more than a bit of a stuck-up, arrogant ass. But in the end, Lelouch's actions created a better world.
  • Go Out with a Smile: Subverted. He smiles while impaled on a sword and warning Suzaku about his Fate Worse than Death, but when he actually dies there's no expression on his face at all.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Used when Lelouch kills his half-brother Clovis and whenever he employs his Geass to order mass suicides.
  • Graceful Loser: Mostly averted; he just can't accept defeat and will do everything in his power to avoid it - and for the most part, he does. Eventually played straight when finally confronted by the now-treacherous Black Knights at gunpoint; he taunts them and accepts what comes for him. But then Rolo rescues him, and the rest is history.
  • Grew a Spine: Somewhat. He's always on the battlefield, but he tended to hang back, give orders and work behind the scenes, largely because he's a terrible fighter but a great tactician. As time goes on, he's seen on the frontlines more and more often, and he even flies head-on into the path of a nuclear bomb.
  • Guile Hero: He prefers to play politics to sideline his opponents most of the time. For instance, at one point after losing his most important fighter and being attacked by the two most powerful armies in that universe - the Chinese and the Brittanian - he manages to manipulate the Eunuch Generals into announcing their evil plans to their entire country, inciting riots and getting them to lose their Brittanian support. This plan went very smoothly because he managed to steal it from a third bad guy without that third opponent ever telling anyone about it, who had no choice but to support Lelouch after this fight. Using politics he managed to sideline one bad empire, destroy the second one and get the support of the third one.
  • Guilt Complex: It's partly what leads to such actions as the Zero Requiem.
  • Hairstyle Inertia: His hair is in the same style as it was in his youth.
  • Heartbroken Badass: After his mother, Euphemia, Shirley and Rolo's deaths. Then, there's Nunnally's supposed death, after which he lost his cool in 3 seconds flat.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Many of Lelouch's love interests have been red-heads. There's Shirley, who has pursued Lelouch throughout the entirety of the show, Euphemia, and Kallen. Euphemia is one of two members of the Britannian royal family that Lelouch doesn't want dead - the other being his sister Nunnally - and when Lelouch was forced to shoot her, he admitted that Euphemia was his "first love". While Lelouch has acknowledged Shirley's feelings and reciprocates, he is unable to respond to them properly due to the It's Not You, It's My Enemies he has going on at the moment. Kallen's feelings for him are clear, but he pushes her away to keep her from getting caught up in all the shit that happens to the people he loves.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: He turns himself into the most hated person in the world so that Britannians and Japanese will no longer hate each other when he dies.
  • Heroic BSoD: He has a long list of these. Among others, discovering Suzaku was piloting the Lancelot, when he finds out he Geass'd Euphemia on accident and the resulting consequences, when he's unable to save Nunally early in R2 and she becomes the Viceroy of Japan which leads to him becoming so depressed that he nearly tries to inject Refrain almost forcing himself on Kallen and finally when Nunally is seemingly caught in the FLEIJA and the Black Knights turn on Lelouch on account of Schneizel, causing him to finally hit the Despair Event Horizon.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Fights the good fight, even if via some questionable methods, and has to put up with bad Britannia press for it. Lelouch's plan for a better world, in the end, involves receiving bad publicity as part of an elaborate Genghis Gambit.
  • Hidden Depths: Well, in-universe anyway, since only a few people know he's actually an exiled Prince of Britannia, or that he's Zero, etc.
    • Or that he's not evil.
  • High Collar of Doom: Zero, which would be an early sign this isn't going to be a sinless hero, if Lelouch hadn't already made that perfectly clear.
  • Honor Before Reason: Though Suzaku is helpful to Lelouch on some occasions, Lelouch should have listened to Diethard's suggestion to assassinate Suzaku...
  • House Husband: Has all the trappings of it, being a good cook, can sew, and can definitely keep house, in part thanks to having spent the last eight years caring for his Ill Girl sister. This contrasts him with C.C. who is a complete slob who eats pizza every day.
  • How Do I Shot Web?: When he first gains his Geass power, he automatically understands the basics, namely that it allows him to give commands that cannot be refused. However, he discovers the hard way that his power has limitations, like requiring direct eye contact, and only working once on a particular person. After the first time this causes a problem for him, he uses a logical and scientific method to test his powers and determine obscure details like maximum range and duration of effect. However, he also finds out the hard way when his Geass become permanently active. Which sucks.
  • How the Mighty Have Fallen: As Julius Kingsley in the Akito the Exiled OVA. He goes from being a charismatic terrorist leader and Magnificent Bastard Anti-Hero to a brainwashed Big Bad Wannabe who spends most of his appearances either pathetically begging for water or going through some form of psychological trauma (from Emperor Charles' Geass wearing off to Suzaku choking him). By the time Lelouch got his memories back at the start R2, he quickly recalled the humiliation he got from Charles and Suzaku back then and intends to make them pay for it.
  • Hypocrisy Nod: Lelouch openly tells Suzaku he that doesn't have time to debate who's the bigger hypocrite of the two.
  • I Cannot Self-Terminate: He asks Suzaku to kill him to conclude the "Zero Requiem", dying in Nunnally's arms, but justified in that just killing himself wouldn't have helped anyone.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Lelouch whilst squaring off with his father. Followed up by "Everybody lies to survive! No one is blameless!"
  • Idiot Ball: Has a tendency to grab it when a loved one - particularly Nunnally - is in danger. Considering his history and past trauma, it's hard to blame him for slipping when his emotional wounds are cut open again.
  • I Have the High Ground: In the first season Title Sequence. Actually, he likes the high ground a lot.
  • I Let Gwen Stacy Die: Shirley's death marks the beginning of the end of Lelouch's sanity, and is one of the leading causes of the events of the rest of the series, including Zero Requiem.
  • Impossibly Cool Clothes: As a civilian, and also as Zero. Zero's helmet-mask is particularly cool and equally impossible.
  • Improbable Age: How many seventeen-year-old paramilitary masterminds do you know? While Code Geass has many examples of this trope, Lelouch is among its most extreme.
  • Incest Subtext: Toward Euphemia (of whom he says, "You may have been the first girl I ever loved"), and even more toward Nunnally (his "reason for living"). His love for them is not sexual but it certainly seems a tad romantic.
  • Indifferent Beauty: Lelouch's views on his looks range from ignoring it (he's got more important things to do) to cursing it as way too many girls chase after him thanks to Milly's antics. Or when Sayoko gets him 108 dates.
  • Inspector Javert: He is shockingly ruthless and violent during his manhunt for V.V. His reasons were entirely justified, though - V.V. was responsible for his fair share of crime.
    Lelouch: I won't let them to violate the sanctity of life!
  • In-Series Nickname: Shirley nicknamed him "Lulu".
  • Intelligence Equals Isolation: No, really. Lelouch seems to be very popular at school because of his good lucks and relatively easygoing nature, and is also admired by basically every Black Knight for a time but he doesn't really appear to be close to anyone save for a handful, and even then, most of that handful betrays him by the end of the show. Justified, however, because he's undercover all the time, what with his two secret identities.
  • In the Blood: Lelouch has shown himself to be very prone to manipulating people (and letting them die) in order to get what he wants. Just like the old man he despises so much and the mother he used to love and idealize. The major difference is that Lelouch is is aware of the nature of his acts and his self-destructiveness.
  • In Touch with His Feminine Side: Justified in that he had had to take care of Nunnally by himself since he was 10. That said, he's implied to enjoy cooking and other housework.
  • It Gets Easier: Lelouch got physically ill from thinking about killing his brother Clovis. As his hands get dirtier, it gets easier for him to kill more people.
    • However, Lelouch showed no issues with killing faceless mooks. And in a subversion, he suffers a major breakdown when he kills Euphemia, and then proceeds to never kill another sibling, regardless of how deserving they may be. It seems he doesn't want to do it.
  • It Only Works Once: His Geass can only give a specific person one command and they will be immune to it unless someone with a geass canceller removes the original command.
  • It's All About Me: Played with - while he certainly is arrogant, he puts the priorities of others ahead of his, and he's deeply protective of the ones he loves (especially Nunnally). Do remember, though, that he basically started a new World War for his sister's sake rather than a more noble reason like liberating the Japanese. He abandoned the Black Knights during the final battle of their rebellion in R1 to make sure his sister was okay, causing them to lose. And when he finds out that she's Japan's new Viceroy, Lelouch pretty much calls it quits on leading the Black Knights. He does snap out of it, though.
  • It's All My Fault: Develops this attitude as time goes by, and to this effect, gives Suzaku this as a Sarcastic Confession concerning Euphemia, Shirley and other things. This confession is recorded, and presented to the Black Knights in order to get them to betray him.
  • It's Not You, It's My Enemies: Works with Kallen, but fails with Shirley.
  • It's Personal: Personally vows to get Revenge on Suzaku (for selling him out) and Charles (for Geassing him twice) for the humiliation he experienced during the events of Akito the Exiled.
    • It becomes even more so with Suzaku for a while in the second half of R2 when Lelouch thought the latter sold him out again. In Suzaku's defense though, he had been followed by Schnizel's forces the whole time, but Lelouch is having none of it later when they met again in the Tokyo Settlement.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: His actions in the series are driven by his desire to create a better world for his little sister. Later in the series he pushes Kallen away because he expects his route to end in death.
  • I Was Just Joking: Lelouch's denial of C.C.'s antics when Nunnally asks if C.C. is Lelouch's girlfriend.
    • Also when Lelouch is cooking in episode 3 of R2
      Rivalz: He's even got a housekeeping book.
      Lelouch: How do you know!?
      Rivalz: Crap, you really do?
  • Jeanne d'Archétype: Rare Male Example in Zero. Lelouch as Zero is The Strategist and a symbol of the rebellion and resistance against Britannia in Japan and eventually the whole world. He even acknowledges the fact Zero is a "symbol" himself. Like the actual Joan, he's not much of a fighter - at least until he gets his Ace Custom that lets him fight using his own personal strengths - and requires others to fight for him but makes up for it by going directly into battle himself and making it very clear he's willing to take risks the same as his soldiers. This aspect of Zero is taken advantage of when he pulls off the Zero Requiem; which also involves a dark twist on the martyrdom as Lelouch sacrifices himself as a "demon" so the world will seek peace and unite together.
  • Jerkass Façade: Lelouch puts on a facade of being a rather shallow jerk who would rather do nothing in the face of trouble. As that is basically the opposite of Zero, the dramatic revolutionary, it helps Lelouch avoid suspicion. It works so well that Kallen, a rather clever woman, is taken entirely off guard that Zero, the man she idolized, and Lelouch, the man she came to despise, are the same person. It also backfires as she abandons him at the worst possible moment from the shock of the revelation.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Lelouch is absolutely ruthless in his tactics and more than willing to become a monster if the situation calls for it. Make no mistake, he has more love for his fellow man than almost anyone else. No matter how often the world tries to make him forget that part.
  • Jumped at the Call: His declaration of the Order of the Black Knights.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: He takes a flying leap off it in episode fourteen of R2.
  • Kansas City Shuffle: Against Rolo. By convincing him that he only cares about his own life above all else he convinces Rolo that he can be used to draw out C.C. His true goal was convincing Rolo to join his side.
  • Keeping the Enemy Close: Does this to Villetta and Rolo, both of whom were sent to watch over him following the Black Rebellion, via blackmail and promise of a future, respectively. (He intends to dispose of the latter for trying to replace Nunnally; after Shirley is murdered by Rolo, he attempts to pull it off for real as payback.) To say keeping these two close to him blew up in his face would be an understatement. To elaborate, Villetta betrayed his identity as Lelouch vi Britannia to Ohgi and he actually grew to care for Rolo.
  • Kick the Dog: He orders the slaughter of anyone connected with the Geass as part of a Roaring Rampage of Revenge for his close friend Shirley's murder. Since a Geass user killed her, his anger is somewhat justified, but taking it out on civilians and children is the point where it crosses into this or the other trope.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: It's obviously played as Lelouch heading down the slippery slope, it's just that his victims weren't exactly very nice people, given what they are responsible for. Even the test subjects, who could be considered victims, are able to and feel no compunctions, nor hesitation, about forcing some of their attackers to kill each other.
  • The Kingslayer: Lelouch killed his father, Emperor Charles, by geassing "god" to erase the Emperor from existence.
  • The Kirk: To C.C.'s Spock and Kallen's McCoy.
  • Knight Templar Big Brother: He may as well be the posterboy. He only, you know, started a war for his little sister. A World War. Against the greatest superpower on the planet. By himself.
    • To elaborate, someone among the Britannian royal court was responsible for the death of his mother and the crippling and blinding of his sister. Rather than attempt to discover who exactly it was, Lelouch decides to declare war on Britannia itself and kill off the rest of his family, bar one or two of his other siblings, in order to be thorough.
      • Though, at that point, finding out who killed his mother is a secondary concern. He only started wanting revenge after they threw an army at the place he was living. Considering how many of his siblings are responsible for a few thousand counts - at a minimum - of "collateral damage", plenty of which he's seen first-hand, becoming a Knight Templar is just a side benefit.
  • Knight of Cerebus: After Shirley's death, Lelouch's actions take the show in a far, far darker direction with shocking speed. He outright massacres the Geass Order; the body count included unarmed scientists, researchers, and children (though to be fair, it's implied none of those three groups were saints; after all, the children had Geass powers and were using them with no mercy.)
  • Kubrick Stare: Is fond of doing this when things are going well.
  • La Résistance: Initally irked by it, he soon decides he might as well lead it, as long as he gets a chance to avenge his mother and defeat Britannia.
    • Of course, what he's irked by is incompetence and ineffectiveness. And with Lelouch in charge, they're substantially less so.
  • Large Ham: Fabulously so, mostly in his Zero persona. C.C. naturally lampshades him using opportunities to be one on occasion.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Arguable. See Designated Monkey entry.
  • Laughing Mad: Lelouch does this as well at the end of episode 17 in the first season after he learns that Suzaku, his best friend, is also the pilot of the frame that has been ruining all his plans and is therefore his enemy.
    • In a rather iconic scene from Episode 23 in the first season, he does this as Toyko collapses in on itself.
  • The Leader: Type one and four of The Black Knights. They're drawn to his large personality and bold vision and the fact that he can match wits with Cornelia.
  • Let No Crisis Go to Waste: When he takes advantage of the Euphinator incident. Not that he's happy about it, it just would be worse for him to not make something good out of it.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: Oh yeah.
  • Like an Old Married Couple: With C.C., on occasion.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: Is this to Rolo, which once he realizes he quickly exploits to force a Heel–Face Turn on Rolo.
  • Living a Double Life: Twice.
  • Living with the Villain: Lelouch and Suzaku attend the same school, and for a while, neither of them realizes that the other is their regular opponent. Inverted in R2, where both of them know who the other really is, but have to pretend to have no idea.
  • Long Pants: The pants and boots of his Zero costume are completely seamless.
  • Loophole Abuse: Twice. First, in Turn 8 of R2, when given an order of exile from Japan as Zero, he averts a crisis by having the rest of the Black Knights, along with 1 million other Japanese natives, dress up as Zero, and joining him in the exile, and freeing them to take their fight against Britannia to the world stage. Towards the end, he stops the immortal and Geass-immune Charles from activating Ragnarok by Geassing the collective unconsciousness into carrying out its own wish to continue existence, which it carries out by obliterating both Charles and Marianne.
  • Love Makes You Crazy: Though more of a case of love makes you forget how to be a good Chess Master. While Lelouch is an excellent strategist he's only able to be at his absolute best when he acts like a jerk and is coldly calculating. Thus when Lelouch's resolve fails and he betrays his ideals and abandons the Black Knights, he does it (twice) because his sister Nunnally is held hostage.
  • Lured into a Trap: He and Kallen are lured into a warehouse by the Black Knights, who intend on executing the former.

    M-R 
  • Magical Eye: The Geass. It allows him to give direct commands to anyone he makes eye contact with (which they must obey, even if the command is explicitly suicidal or goes against every moral fiber of their being), but It Only Works Once per person.
  • Manchurian Agent: Lelouch does this several times with the Geass. Once with Sayako, to make her play prerecorded messages over the phone. Again with Jeremiah Gottwald, so he will let Zero and his gaggle escape with Suzaku while destroying his career without realizing it. As well as to the Britannian special forces assigned to monitor him in case he regains his memories, which he does. Even Guilford gets this done to him, making him think Lelouch is Cornelia. Justified since it's Mind Control.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Not as bad as you might think, considering his Geass only works once per victim, but he still has his moments. The greatest example of this comes in the second season: Rolo, Lelouch's fake little brother, was actually a teenage assassin charged with the task of keeping an eye on Lelouch in case he regained his old memories. When Lelouch found out, he continued treating Rolo kindly and even orchestrated a situation where Lelouch could pretend to risk his life to save Rolo, winning his trust and bringing him over to his side. This in itself wouldn't be so bad given Rolo's orders to kill Lelouch, but Lelouch, for a while at least, planned on using Rolo until he got Nunnally back before disposing of him as payback for the scheme. After Lelouch's real sister was thought to be dead and Rolo had murdered one of Lelouch's friends, he snapped and admitted to Rolo that he was just using him, actually hated him, and had tried to kill him on several occasions. Nevertheless, without being asked or influenced by Lelouch's Geass, Rolo sacrificed himself to protect Lelouch.
  • Meaningful Name: Lelouch Lamperouge roughly translates to "suspicious red light". Specifically, the French term it derives from is 'le louche', literally "the suspicious one" - or, when taken with his surname, "the suspicious red lamp/light", as noted above (although technically, it should be "la lampe rouge louche", but we can let grammar slide here). What's even more interesting, though, is that the word "louche" derives from the Latin adjective "luscus", which means "one-eyed" - very fitting given how his Geass manifests itself (initially, anyway).
  • Memory Gambit: How Lelouch defeats Mao when he is planning to blow up Ashford Academy.
  • Mike Nelson, Destroyer of Worlds: Accidentally commands his beloved half-sister into ordering a massacre of the Japanese due to Power Incontinence.
  • Mind over Manners: Why he doesn't just Geass people into following all his orders.
  • Milking the Giant Cow: Takes this to memetic Fabulous levels.
  • Millionaire Playboy: Is perceived as this as part of his Rich Idiot with No Day Job persona.
  • A Million Is a Statistic: Played straight, subverted and averted with Lelouch.
  • Mission Control: Being a strategist, he often performs this role.
  • Mole in Charge: As Emperor Lelouch.
  • Mr. Fanservice: To a degree. He gets his shower and shirtless scenes.
  • My Death Is Just the Beginning: His "Zero's Requiem" plan at the end of season 2 was an extended scheme to make himself The Scapegoat of all Britannia's evils, while also covertly dismantling its corrupt elements, before having himself killed so Nunnally and her allies could rule the nation with a clean slate.
  • Multilayer Façade: It's sometimes easy to forget that he actually has two assumed identities: Zero the Rebel Leader, and Lelouch Lamperouge the Ordinary High-School Student.
  • My Country Tis of Thee That I Sting: He may be Britannian royalty, but has no love for the nation that discarded him and is occupying most of the planet.
  • My Hero Zero: Well, he is Zero.
  • My Sister Is Off-Limits!: Unless you're Suzaku don't even think about it.
  • Neat Freak: Extra materials show Lelouch is this, from getting annoyed at C.C. moving a chair a few inches off to being picky about his cooking (you have to measure things to exact decimal point!). This likely is rooted in the same issues that make him a Control Freak.
  • Necessarily Evil: Invoked during a discussion with Guilford.
    • His final plan, and the actions he takes to carry it out, is either this or Designated Evil.
  • Never Hurt an Innocent: Sort of, since he doesn't kill innocent civilians. However, they are still in danger of getting killed if they are accidentally caught in a crossfire.
  • Nice Hat: Nice enough to have its own fan club.
  • Noble Fugitive: To an extent. He's an exile from his homeland in Japan after having originally been sent there effectively as a political hostage who was then lost in the confusion of the following invasion.
  • Non-Action Guy: This trope is played with in sundry ways. Physically, Lelouch is at-best-mediocre compared to his comrades. Even Euphie can outrun him on foot. But he can more than hold his own on the battlefield, especially against mooks. For more details, see the trope example.
  • No Place for Me There: He dies to finish Zero Requiem and bring about world peace. Though it's more like he did it mostly as a Suicide by Cop, considering there were other ways to bring about peace as he noted.
    • This is also his reason for Walking the Earth with C.C. at the end of Re;surecction, as he told Nunnally that she has grown up and doesn't need him anymore.
  • Not Me This Time: Suzaku has mixed feelings for him by the time they met again in Re;surrection (even going so far as to punch him in the face) and would've beat him up to death again if it weren't for C.C.'s interference. Of course, Lelouch doesn't have any intention of making excuses this time, since C.C. admitted that her selfishness is to blame for his botched resurrection (and Lelouch didn't even ask for that after the Zero Requiem in the first place).
  • Nothing Can Stop Us Now!: Whenever he says, "All tasks at hand have been cleared," something's bound to go terribly wrong in a way that the poor guy couldn't have possibly expected. Borders on Cosmic Plaything at times.
  • Not What It Looks Like: Usually with Kallen. Usually witnessed by a fretful Shirley. Similarly — as Zero — with C.C., witnessed by a fretful Kallen.
  • Ominous Opera Cape: As Zero; it certainly adds a certain "flair" to his performances and does look cool.
  • Ordinary High-School Student: The preferred mask Lelouch wears when not wearing his preferred mask.
  • Out-Gambitted: Does this to enemies a few times and it happens to him too.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: As "Julius Kingsley", the only differences being his manner of dress, an eyepatch, and being a complete Jerkass on Britannia's side due to being Brainwashed and Crazy. Justified as officially Lelouch vi Britannia is dead and Zero not only wore a mask, but is officially dead as well so no one in-universe had any reason to suspect it. That said, Shaing grabs the Smart Ball by realizing Julius's tactics are nigh identical to the kind of crazy Zero pulled off.
  • Paranoia Gambit: One word: "Orange".
  • Parental Issues: While almost everyone on the show has these, his prove more lethal than most.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: See the main page quote.
  • Personality Powers: He is a charismatic demagogue and his Geass manifests as the power to control others.
  • Pinocchio Nose: Looks away when lying. One that Suzaku is quite familiar with, enough to know Lelouch is lying about Geassing Euphie on purpose.
  • The Plan: Lelouch REALLY gets around here and the Gambit Indexes. Just count all his Gambit-centric entries...
  • Platonic Life-Partners: With C.C. according to Word of God.
  • Powered Armor: In Nightmare of Nunnally, sort of (it's complicated). Zero can fight Knightmares hand to hand.
  • Power Incontinence: Hits him at exactly the worst possible second.
  • Pragmatic Hero: A master at this trope, more than happy to manipulate and act dishonorably in order to achieve his goals.
  • Prodigal Hero: An exiled Prince who comes back to destroy his Archnemesis Dad's empire.
  • Promotion to Parent: After their mother was murdered and their father abandoned them, Lelouch became Nunnally's primary caretaker.
  • Psychic-Assisted Suicide: Lelouch uses his Geass to do this at least four times. The first of which is at the end of the very first episode:
    Lelouch: ''Lelouch Vi Britannai commands you: Die!"
    Mook: Happily Your Highness! *shoots himself*
  • Psychotic Smirk: Borders on Slasher Smile sometimes, but whenever he's just wiped out an enemy force or thwarted one of their plans, Lelouch's typical alternating scowl/smug expression goes off into an awesomely evil smile. Often preceded or followed by an equally entertaining Evil Laugh.
  • Public Execution: A form of this trope. When Lelouch becomes Emperor, some of the remaining Knights of the Round come to assassinate him. When Suzaku goes to battle the Knights - and completely kicks their ass - Lelouch mentions that the battle is being broadcasted to the world. It was obviously meant as a showcase of Lelouch and Suzaku's power.
  • Purple Eyes: They become red when he uses his Geass.
  • Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: Lelouch is pretty enough to have a lot of girls leaping at the chance for a kiss and end up with 108 dates thanks to Sayoko.
  • Really Dead Montage: Received one of the longest death scenes in anime history at the end of season 2. It didn't stop elements of the fandom from claiming He's Just Hiding! despite Word of God repeatedly stating that he's truly dead in interviews (e.g. Animage 10 and 11, Continue Vol.42, etc), tweets by the director (translation), the official guide book, ..., and Lelouch is even listed among the dead in the Death List for R2. C.C. even explicitly says Lelouch is dead in the new epilogue (from 2009). (database with official statements) 10 years later, Sunrise themselves resurrected him for the sequel which was aptly named "Lelouch of the Resurrection".
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Aside from his "fabulous" wardrobe as 99th Emperor of Britannia, Lelouch is also apparently a pretty good cook. The latter is justified, since he had to learn housekeeping skills to care for Nunally, as well as having a self-reliance obsession after being discarded by his father, insisting on buying and cooking his own food, rather than accepting grudging hospitality. For similar reasons, he's noted to be good at sewing in extra materials.
  • Rebel Prince: Eleventh Prince of the Britannian Empire, who eventually becomes a terrorist / freedom fighter to destroy it and kill his Social Darwinist father.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: When he uses his Geass, glowing red bird patterns appear in his eyes. Otherwise he has Purple Eyes.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Evoked a few times, with a few different characters:
    • Mao (red) and Lelouch (blue)
    • Lelouch (red) and C.C. (blue)
    • Suzaku (red) and Lelouch (blue)
    • Lelouch (red) and Schneizel (blue)
  • Red Right Hand: His left eye, after his Geass power goes out of control while talking to Euphemia.
  • Rhetorical Request Blunder: Causes a Diabolus ex Machina at the end of season 1 trying to rhetorically illustrate the absolute power of his Geass orders to Euphemia by saying he could even force her to kill all Japanese people despite her own feelings on them, without realizing his Geass powers had become permanently active from overuse shortly before.
  • Rich Idiot with No Day Job: His non-Zero persona. Then again it was all a front because he was in hiding, and therefore did things that did not call attention to himself.
  • Royal Blood
  • Rule of Symbolism: Zero, as the Black King, is the opponent of Suzaku the White Knight, Schneizel the White King and Nunnally the White Queen with Kallen as the Black Queen and the Black Knight. During Zero Requiem, Lelouch officially hijacked Schneizel's place as the White King, who was finally killed at the hands of the Black King, Zero.

    S-X 
  • Sanity Slippage: This started when he accidentally Geassed Princess Euphemia into genocide and has to put her out of her misery, went From Bad to Worse when Shirley dies and crossed the Despair Event Horizon with Nunnally's apparent demise in the FLEIJA blast, the betrayal of the Black Knights, and Rolo's death. Eventually leads to him attempting to seal himself with his father inside the Sword of Akasha, his role as Emperor, and finally, committing the Zero Requiem.
  • Sarcastic Confession: Gave one to Suzaku, and Schneizel took great advantage of it.
  • Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: Lelouch with nearly any girl he can be paired with, due to his Squishy Wizard nature. Only Nunnally, C.C. not under amnesia, and maybe Sayoko don't fall under this.
  • The Scapegoat: Lelouch ends up one of these when the Black Knights betray him on account of several half-truths from Schneizel. He later runs with this and makes himself the scapegoat for everything wrong in the world for the Zero Requiem to work.
  • Self-Made Orphan: After finding out what both of his parents truly believed in. Yes, after spending 90% of the series trying to find out who killed his mother, he winds up doing it himself.
  • Scheherezade Gambit: Used effectively against Rolo which is part Kansas City Shuffle. Too bad, Lelouch actually grew to care about him in the end.
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: Heck, even he had a tendency to scream in a high-pitched voice.
  • Self-Sacrifice Scheme: Zero Requiem. See also Thanatos Gambit.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: When they first met during their childhood, Lelouch really was the sensitive one, while Suzaku was the ruffian. It was the subsequent occupation of Japan by Britannia that supposedly inverted things, with Lelouch becoming more vengeful and embittered, and Suzaku, who was responsible for killing Genbu but never being punished for it, becoming neurotic and attempting to be even more mild-mannered and chivalrous. Though of course, cracks in their respective facades would show throughout the series.
  • Sex for Solace: Subverted when a depressed Lelouch propositions Kallen with this and she slaps him instead.
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend: About C.C. when Nunnally mistakes her for his girlfriend.
  • Sheltered Aristocrat: A fallen one.
  • Shield Surf: During his duel with Guilford.
  • Shipper on Deck/Shipper with an Agenda: In R1 he wanted to hook up Suzaku/Nunnally, due to trusting Suzaku with Nunnally and hoping he will be able to protect her while Lelouch is off as Zero, not to mention on Nunnally's side he believed she would be able to give Death Seeker Suzaku a "reason to live". This fell apart when he found out Suzaku is the pilot to the Lancelot and he got together with Euphemia. However, at the very end of the series, Lelouch technically got what he wanted; as Zero, Suzaku is always with Nunnally to protect her and caring for Nunnally becomes a major part of his life, helping him stay alive.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: One of the reasons Lelouch started Zero Requiem was his loss of hope due to Nunnally's apparent demise. Nunnally turns up and declares herself his enemy when he's beyond the point of no return. D'oh!
  • Shrouded in Myth: People thought Zero was a woman, Prince Clovis or a prince of another country.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Twice. First, in season one, after Mao most unpleasantly discloses that Suzaku was responsible for the death of his father, Prime Minister Genbu Kururugi, in order to put an end to the war between Japan and Britannia and then precedes to berate Lelouch's thoroughly traumatized friend, Lelouch has clearly had enough, and commands him via Geass to never speak again. The second time is in R2, when confronted with Charles' and Marianne's Assimilation Plot with the Ragnarok Connection and the revelation that their abandonment of Lelouch and Nunnally in Japan was a Batman Gambit meant to protect them, Lelouch rebuts and banishes Charles along with Marianne to C's World with the assistance of the collective unconsciousness.
  • Silent Scapegoat: Zero Requiem.
  • Slave Mooks: Gets an entire army of them in the final arc.
  • Slouch of Villainy: He does these in the cockpit of whatever Knightmare he's riding in. Subverted in that he's not actually a villain.
  • Slowly Slipping Into Evil: Deliberately invoked as Emperor Lelouch.
  • The Smart Guy: While Code Geass has almost as many TV Geniuses as it has idiots, Lelouch still stands out as among the very smartest.
  • Smart People Play Chess: Lelouch is introduced by having him win an unwinnable chess game. He's the second smartest person in the entire world of the series.
  • The Social Expert: He's very good at manipulating people thanks to this.
  • So Proud of You: In the final, he says this to Nunnally while she's under his Geass, acknowledging how she has grown from the helpless Ill Girl she was in the beginning. He only doesn't say it to her face properly because he's currently playing the Evil Overlord for his Thanatos Gambit and can't break character.
  • Soulless Shell: C.C.'s botched resurrection of Lelouch at the start of Re;surrection resulted with him coming back as a half-dead Manchild who frequently freaks out at the slightest of things (including the juices coming out from the meat buns cooked by C.C.). After getting his soul back, this is no longer the case.
  • Spanner in the Works: Lelouch's affection for his friends has scuttled his plans almost as many times as Suzaku has. He also tends to be this incarnate to others plans particularly his parents' Assimilation Plot.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: In Suzaku of the Counterattack and Nightmare of Nunnally. At least avoiding whatever fate he has in the main series.
  • Squishy Wizard: In physical strength, speed, endurance, and coordination, he's not remotely in the league with Kallen, Cornelia, or most of his other allies and adversaries — much less Suzaku, whose Charles Atlas Superpower allows him to dodge machine-gun bullets. Even Euphie can outrun him on foot. He manages to power through when it counts, though.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: With just about every Love Interest he has. Euphemia in season 1 is less obvious considering she loves Suzaku way more, but there's clearly this dynamic with Shirley in season 2 ( dies in his arms), and then with Kallen (ends up on the opposite side from him).
  • Stop, or I Shoot Myself!: Does this in response to C. C. pointing her gun at him to prevent him from going anywhere.
  • The Strategist: Naturally.
  • Straw Hypocrite: He starts out using and manipulating the Japanese liberation cause as a cover for his own personal revenge. Only to later on embrace it for real.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Lelouch is a male version of his mother. Down to the skin complexion, hair color, eye color, and eye shape. This actually results in various siblings of his to immediately recognize him as Lelouch vi Britannia once they see his face.
  • Strong Girl, Smart Guy: Smart Guy to Kallen's Strong girl. Lelouch is physically underwhelming having poor physical strength, speed, endurance and coordination. He is unable to run very fast or for very long and is easily exhausted performing manual labor even taking remedial P.E. He instead focuses more on cerebral activities, spending most of his time in the Black Knights strategizing and directing with highly effective tactics. Kallen is a fierce resistance fighter on par with Knights of the Round and is the Ace of the Black Knights.
  • Student Council President: Well, Vice President.
  • Superheroes Wear Capes: As part of his hero identity.
  • Supreme Chef: He is one out of necessity of having had to take care of Nunnally for years...and because he's such a Neat Freak that only he is capable of measuring and handling every single ingredient in exactly the way he needs and wants.
  • Sure, Let's Go with That: The other Black Knights assume that C.C.'s his mistress, and he doesn't bother to correct them. It's easier than trying to explain who she really is.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: To his brother, Rolo, even after confessing his hate for him. The whole show could be seen as this for Lelouch himself.
  • Take a Third Option: Lelouch tends to do this. It's practically built into his strategies!
  • Taking the Bullet: He did this to save Rolo. It was his ploy to get Rolo to come over to his side, he even Geassed the shooter so that he would fire according to the plan.
  • Taking You with Me: Following the betrayal, he attempts to do this to his father by having them both sealed inside the Sword of Akasha.
  • Tall, Dark, and Handsome: He has raven hair, is tall, and a total Chick Magnet.
  • Tall, Dark, and Snarky: He also has a penchant for sarcasm.
  • The Tape Knew You Would Say That:
    • Three times! The first time is when he ordered Sayoko to play one on the phone to trick Kallen. The second time takes place during the incident with Mao and the last time is on the Damocles.
    • A pretty realistic version of this trope, actually; upon inspection, Lelouch's recorded tapes aren't perfect, as he interrupts his opponents a lot and sometimes will lapse into long monologues. Obviously, in real life, it would be near impossible to accurately predict what the other party is going to say. The tapes were always meant as distractions to buy him time, anyways.
  • Tempting Fate: Constantly. See also Nothing Can Stop Us Now!, above.
  • Thanatos Gambit: Dies for world peace.
  • Token Enemy Minority: He's Britannian, specifically of Royal Blood, and he leads The Black Knights that are trying to overthrow Britannia and liberate Japan. For most of the series, the only other Britannian member was Diethard.
  • Too Clever by Half: A brilliant strategist and turns out to be a gifted leader, but the higher he aims, the more he is prone to his goals going horribly wrong. By the end of the series, his paranoia and strategic cornering has led to the destruction of Tokyo, nearly killed his sister, and turned his army into the praetorian guard of a city-razing sociopath. Luckily, he realizes this trope and intentionally sabotages his ultimate victory to ensure that he doesn't screw things up after taking over the world.
  • Took a Level in Cynic: Everything that happened from the murder of his mother to the invasion of Japan when he was present there, all by the age of 10. Little wonder he became so bitter.
  • Tragic Hero: Depending on perspective, he can be this or Tragic Villain. Possibly both at the same time.
  • Trauma Conga Line: The writers of Code Geass R2 traumatize Lelouch every two episodes like clockwork from episode thirteen on — so much so that by his fourth trauma he could not even cry when he was told that he had just inadvertently gotten Nunnally killed.
  • Trigger Happy: Under enough stress, he's liable to go down some random alley and start geassing random thugs for the hell of it. It's truly a sight to behold.
  • Troubled, but Cute
  • Tsundere: Type A. He loves mocking his enemies and rivals, but is a big dere to the few he loves.
  • Übermensch:
  • The Un-Favourite: Along with Nunnally, apparently, as a side-effect of the rest of the court's disdain for their mother Marianne. This is subverted when we find about the truth in episode 21 of R2.
  • The Unfettered: Initially he did have a few fetters, but one by one they disapeared.
  • Urban Legend Love Life: Thanks to Sayoko setting up 108 dates with him, many of his classmates think he's a Millionaire Playboy. And before that the Black Knights ended up thinking C.C. is Zero's mistress.
  • Uriah Gambit: Tries to do this to Rolo in a battle against V.V. as payback for the murder of Shirley.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Yes, Lelouch used to be a very Cheerful Child who happily loved his family. Then shit happened. And happened again thanks to the war when he was just starting to, though still remaining more cynical, return to being sweet.
  • Utopia Justifies the Means: Lelouch is willing to go to almost any lengths to create a perfect world for Nunnally. By the end of R2, this includes brainwashing numerous people, slaughtering noncombatants, deception, betrayal, self-inflicted public demonization, and assisted suicide. Though one can blame this on the events of the betrayal that led him over the Despair Event Horizon.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Seems to evoke this.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Suffers from a massive mental episode halfway through Akito The Exiled due to a glitchy Geass command courtesy of the Emperor. He spends the rest of the OVA in a devastatingly dazed and confused stupor as a hostage.
  • Visionary Villain: Just wants to remake the world, that's all.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With C.C.
  • Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World: Part of his non-Zero persona.
  • Walking the Earth: At the end of Re;surrection, after the Zilkhstan terrorists are dealt with, Lelouch parts ways with Suzaku and Nunally before joining C.C. in travelling around the world in search of Geass fragments, even going so far as to rename himself "L.L." (which, according to the movie pamphlet written by Word of God, can be understood as Lelouch's way of a proposal to C.C., presumably by giving himself a name similar to hers).
  • Weak, but Skilled: What he lacks in physicality and strength he more than makes up for in charisma and utter verbal badassery. He is badass enough to become the autocrat of the entire world.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Towards the end of R2 he seems to be more Necessarily Evil. His plan is a consequence of his despair and isolation that resulted from Nunnally's apparent death and the betrayal of the Black Knights, making him a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds at worst.
  • We Would Have Told You, But...: He keeps nearly everyone else in the dark about the Zero Requiem.
  • Wham Line: Is pretty fond of giving these to other people in order to either emotionally manipulate them or force them to stand down. The most obvious example of this is in Episode 17.
    Lelouch: (to Suzaku) So you wouldn’t describe the peace we have now as worthless? If Japan had resisted to its very last breath seven years ago, what do you think would have happened? …The Chinese and the EU would’ve stepped in and split Japan in three; they’d be fighting even now. Our current “peace” is the result of Japan’s immediate and unconditional surrender.
    Suzaku: That’s right, and I’ve been fighting to preserve my father’s peace ever since it began.
    Lelouch: You’re wrong. Prime Minister Kururugi – elected by the people – didn’t choose surrender. That decision was selfishly made by his killer.
  • What Measure Is a Mook?: At first he doesn't care, but he for a time struggles after Narita in regards to the blood he spills on the way to destroying Britannia. He ultimately decides to do it anyways, but make all he does worth it.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Happens to him a few times — perhaps most ironically, by Mao. The most significant probably come from Nunnally, in the final arc.
  • When He Smiles: Usually smirking or giving an evil grin when not using the placid smile of his civilian identity, but when he lets out his genuine smile (usually around Nunnally but over time his interactions with C.C. draw it out of him) it's utterly adorable. Rolo in particular notes that smile is precious and rare, describing it as his "true smile" that Lelouch only shows to his most precious ones.
  • Wicked Cultured: Lelouch has good taste in suits, pretty well spoken and as if one couldn't tell by now, a master at playing chess.
  • Will Not Tell a Lie: To Nunnally at least. To the point where, in R2 Suzaku almost catches that his memories have returned by surprising him with a phone call from Nunnally, knowing he wouldn't pretend not to know her. The only reason it doesn't work is because Rolo uses his Geass to buy Lelouch enough time to tell Nunnally he loves her and he has to pretend he doesn't know her for a few seconds, which he then does.
    • He's forced to abandon this along with his last fetters during the later stages of the Zero Requiem.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: A more "good" type in the end. He enacts the Zero Requiem, a plan that ends up causing quite possibly more bloodshed than what he would have otherwise taken towards world peace, after Nunnally apparently dies and the Black Knights betray him, leading to him becoming a Death Seeker and abandoning any moral and ethical restraints he had before.
  • Would Hit a Girl: His most infamous example of this was shooting and killing Euphemia when she goes on a killing spree due to being controlled by the Geass.
  • Xanatos Gambit: This is the end result of an adjustment: a situation where Rolo is either killed or joins his side out of 'fraternal love'. The trope's page has the details. There is also his plan to have Zero "banished" from Area Eleven with one million people, or deal grievous harm to Britannia's PR .
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: He quickly adjusts to any situation to reflect the changing circumstances of plans. Other times he suffers from a BSOD when his luck runs out. Again.

    Y-Z 
  • Yandere: Downplayed but Lelouch's reaction to people harming those he cares for (Suzaku's "death" for example) tends to lean towards the extreme. His utterly pissed off reaction to Mao breaking Suzaku is something to behold.
  • You Killed My Father: His hatred for the Britannian Empire comes from the fact they left his mother's murder go unpunished.
  • Young and in Charge: As Zero, he's actually one of the youngest members of the Black Knights with only Kaguya being younger. He's still definitely in charge. Crosses with A Child Shall Lead Them due to him being royalty particularly when he becomes Emperor.
  • You Wouldn't Shoot Me: Lelouch pulls this a few times. The first, when C. C. threatens to shoot him in episode 7 to prevent him from going off and putting himself in danger, which he counters by pointing a gun at himself. A few episodes later, a few the Black Knights threaten to shoot him after he strands them, along with himself, on top of Narita, prior to the incursion of Cornelia's forces, and he defies them to find anyone else cunning enough to lead them. Finally, Kallen, at the start of season 2, including walking up to her and pressing the gun to his chest before finally taking it away. At the same time, this is also a subversion of the trope on several levels. Kallen is his bodyguard and thus far from "helpless", and is confronting him to find out whether or not he used his Geass on her to make her love him. She's also killed many times before, and could easily kill Lelouch with or without the gun. Lelouch also doesn't intimidate her into giving him the gun; rather, he simply tells her the truth and asks whether or not she believes him.
  • Zero-Approval Gambit: Zero Requiem, literally.

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