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Tropes A to G | Tropes H to M | Tropes N to S | Tropes T To Z

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  • Tactical Suicide Boss: Mr. Carpainter will continue to shoot lighting at you even after the Franklin badge deflects it back at him for massive damage.
  • Taking You with Me: One of the most potential headaches you'll encounter throughout the game are enemies that try to destroy your party with an unavoidable, last ditch suicide explosion.
    • The Territorial Oak is a nuisance to first-time players for being the first enemy in the game you encounter that always self-destructs upon death which will always leave you worse off after the battle or even give you an early game over. Their relatives (Hostile Elder Oaks) will make your venture through the Deep Darkness swamp even more unpleasant.
    • As if sunstroke and getting lost weren't bad enough, Smilin' Spheres in Dusty Dunes Desert will try to burn and kamikaze your whole party. Watch out for their relatives (Uncontrollable Spheres) in Lumine Hole and Magicant.
    • Atomic Power Robots (the Stonehenge base) and Nuclear Reactor Robots (Cave of the Past) can cause you a lot of grief in terms of recovery items and PP wasted on post-battle healing.
  • Tag Line: The Japanese tagline stated this was a game that adults, children, and "your sister" could enjoy. The American ads instead warned that the game stinks.
  • Tearful Smile: The famous credits theme, "Smiles and Tears", seeks to induce this on the player.
  • Telepathy: Paula uses this to contact Ness when she's being held prisoner by the Happy-Happy Cultists, and again to contact Jeff when she and Ness are trapped underneath Threed. Broadly, this is likely how Ness can "speak" to and understand animals.
  • Teleportation: A PSI power with two levels. It lets the player revisit towns they've already been to.
  • Temple of Doom: The Pyramid in Scaraba is full of hieroglyphs and mummies who, of course, are out for attack.
  • Terminator Twosome: Giygas apparently destroys the universe, forcing Buzz Buzz to go back in time to find someone who can stop him, and Starman Junior goes back in time to stop Buzz Buzz. Starman Junior fails although Buzz Buzz ends up dying anyway.
  • Theme Naming:
    • The towns are named by numbers (the main towns in Eagleland), for their climate (the main towns in Foggyland), or for musical references.
    • Also, in the Japanese version, the "Don't Care" preset names for the main characters were grouped by the following themes: The Beatles, Super Mario Bros., primates, the Japanese band SMAP, the character's signature head ornament, and dog commands, in addition the starting "Ness, Paula, Jeff, etc." Of course, those sets, like some other things, got Lost in Translation.
    • Parodied with Sanchez Brothers and their friend — Pincho, Pancho, and Tomás Jefferson.
    • Some fans have noticed the following in the town names: Onett + Twoson + Threed + Fourside Summers = Tenda Village. It probably wasn't intentional given that the Tenda were originally called "Gumi" in Japanese.
  • This Loser Is You: Porky and, to a lesser extent, Orange Kid.
  • Time Is Dangerous:
    • The Phase Distorter 3 destroys living things when it travels, requiring the party to have their minds uploaded into robotic bodies before they can use it.
    • It also turns out that the original Phase Distorter prototype wasn't exactly safe, either, as MOTHER 3 shows that Porky Minch was eventually given Age Without Youth from abusing it.
  • Time to Unlock More True Potential:
    • The massive powerup Ness gets at the end of Magicant.
    • Or the one Poo gets in the form of a 'Message that has stat gains written on it.'
  • Title Drop:
    "The war against Giygas is over."
  • Toilet Humor: While there's a bit in the game itself, with its talking piles of vomit and the ability to root through trash cans, the game's infamous American ad campaign made it seem like this was all there was to the game.
  • Token Good Teammate: Picky is the only member of the Minch family who isn't a self-important Jerkass.
  • Too Awesome to Use:
    • The Hand-Aid that you get from Paula's mother from the near start of the game. It is a single-use item that provides full status recovery; in an ironic twist, there are easily purchased items which have the exact same effect midway through the game, and superior items not long after that. However, the Hand-Aid is technically irreplaceable.
    • Bags of Dragonite cause the user to cast very powerful single-use attack, and unlike bottle rockets, anyone can use it. A total of six of them can be found, but many players may never use a single one.
    • Magic Truffles are the best PP recovery item in the game, and there are only six of them in the game. Five are found by hunting around Deep Darkness with a Piggy Nose - an annoying proposition given that standing in the water hurts you and slows you down, and very difficult to find them all without using a guide - and the sixth is gained through what may be the most obscure sidequest in the game, the Insignificant Item. They tend to get saved for the very final dungeon, if they get used at all.
    • Sometimes skipping the awesome part, a few items like the Pair of Dirty Socks or Monkey's Love, which have effects that are easily reproduced through other means, end up unused but kept even in a game with limited inventory, simply because they are unique. It doesn't hurt that you actually have to go through amusing dialogue or even hunt down an item to obtain them.
    • Finally, PSI Caramel and Cup of Lifenoodles have identical effects to Magic Tart and Horn of Life respectively, but neither can be purchased while the alternatives can. PSI Caramel can be rarely dropped from some enemies, but only ten Cups of Lifenoodles can be found in a playthrough. Particularly obsessive players may prefer to use the easily obtained items, but it's fairly unlikely that you'll even need that many field revives in a whole playthrough.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Exactly why does Buzz Buzz hover over to Lardna after Porky and Picky are sent to their room?
  • Total Party Kill: High-level PK Flash spells as well as "glorious light" enemy attacks have a chance of inflicting instant death upon anyone who is hit. Both of these attacks hit the entire opposing party, and they have a fixed percentage chance of an instant kill regardless of the levels or stats of the entities involved. Your entire party can be wiped out instantly if your luck is bad enough when fighting enemies that can use these attacks.
  • Tortured Monster: Giygas. "It hurts, Ness... ...I'm h...a...p...p...y... ...friends... ...It hurts, ...ithurts... Ness, Ness, Ness, Ness, Ness, Ness, Ness, Ness, Ness, Ness, Ness,Ness, Ness, Ness, Ness, Ness, Ness, Ness, Ness, Ness, Ness, Ness, Ness, Ness..... ...go... b... a... c...k... ...Ness... I feel... g... o... o... d... ...I'm so sad... .....Ness Ness! Ah, Grrr, Ohhh... Argh... Yaaagh!... It's not right... not right... not right..." It's even worse if you've played the game before this, because you'll understand why.
  • Trauma Inn: Averted; hotels restore HP and MP, but don't heal status effects — you have to go to a hospital for that.
  • Ultimate Evil: Throughout the whole game, you constantly hear about this great evil known as "Giygas" that is supposedly behind everything. However, this is a very rare case where the reveal is not only scary, but is actually far scarier than practically anyone could have anticipated!
  • Underground Monkey: Many later enemies are palette swaps of earlier ones, like the Manly Fish and the Manly Fish's Brother. Most notable with the Starmen.
  • Undisclosed Funds: Played straight in MOTHER 2, but not in EarthBound. During localization, for some reason a couple of vague references meaning roughly "a bajillion dollars" were changed to real numbers (Ness's family's debt to the Minch family is "a hundred thousand dollars or more" and the Diamond "could pay off a million dollar debt easily").
  • Unending End Card: Given how this game tells you to shut down the game console when you choose to save and quit rather than return to the title screen like most other games with that option, that makes it an indicator that this trope will come into play for when you reach the end. It does so on a black screen with "THE END...?"
  • Unobtanium: The Phase Converter runs on this — it's called Zexonyte and you get it backtracking to the meteorite.
  • Updated Re-release: This game and its predecessor have been compiled into a single cartridge and rereleased for the Game Boy Advance under the title MOTHER 1+2 (only in Japan, of course).
  • Useless Item: The Suporma is a parody of the concept, and the Bicycle is a more standard version, given that Ness has be unaccompanied in order to ride it (even having a Teddy Bear makes him incapable of riding).
  • Useless Useful Spell:
    • Subverted with Pray, which is pretty much pointless to have, since its effects are typically random and is more likely to put a dangerous ailment on the party rather than do anything to contribute to the fight. Then you get to the end...
    • Averted with the status effect inducing PSI. Most bosses in the game will be weak against at least one status effect that has at least a fifty percent chance of working on them, while also having a few that have a ten percent chance of working on them. The real problem is trying to figuring out which bosses are weak to what.
  • Warrior Prince: Poo, the crown prince of Dalaam.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss:
    • Frank Fly and his robot, Frankystein Mark II are the first real boss battle you have. They are not particularly difficult, but you do need to know what you are doing by that point.
    • If Frank didn't wake you up, Titanic Ant won't let the job go unfinished. Uses brutal physical attacks, drains your PP, and has flunkies to use Lifeup on him, in addition to having much more HP than anything you've fought until now. Defeating him virtually requires PSI Rockin, which in turn will probably require Ness to level up a bit. Unlike Frank, he's at the end of a somewhat dangerous dungeon, rather than having a save point close by. He also uses a pretty effective battle script; whereas most mooks up to this point have wasted a lot of turns, and Frankystein Mark II spent literally half its turns generating steam, Titanic Ant really doesn't play around.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Buzz Buzz is a competent PSI user, and he can shield everyone in the party completely during the first boss. However, physically being not a bee, he dies when he gets swatted by Porky's mother, Lardna Minch.
  • Webcomic of the Game: The Chosen Four.
  • Wham Shot: When you are about to engage Giygas to save the universe, you are interrupted by Porky, who had been missing after the events at Fourside. And then you realize he's been upgraded from being an annoying Non-Action Guy at most, to being the Heavily Armed Dragon of Giygas (if not outright being the Big Bad).
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • When you first take control of Jeff at the boarding school, opening all the presents a fellow student has recently wrapped will elicit a similar response.
    • If three Flying Men are killed in Magicant, the fourth one asks you not to treat them like trash before joining you. If you get the fourth one killed, the fifth Flying Man snaps at you and says "This isn't courage, it's desperation" before naming himself the last Flying Man and joining you. The tombstones also have more and more lazy descriptions on them, with the last one simply reading 'Tombstone'.
    "Here he rests. I didn't have time to have his name chiseled into the tombstone."
  • When All Else Fails, Go Right: A sign in the Dungeon Man points this trope out. In this case, there's an inn to the left just out of sight.
  • When Trees Attack: Exploding trees, as a matter of fact... They are one of the most difficult enemies to deal with in the game.
  • Where It All Began: In order to enter the Very Definitely Final Dungeon, you need to get a piece of the meteorite that started everything in Onett. Of course, it has been taken over by aliens at that point.
  • Widget Series: Man does this game hold this title. There is no other series quite like it.
  • Winged Soul Flies Off at Death: Dead party members follow you around translucent, legless and with a halo above their head.
  • Womb Level: The final dungeon of Giygas is like this. As some people actually like to think, it ''is'' inside a womb.
  • The Wonderland: Magicant is this.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: If you've played the first game, Giygas's lines come off very differently. This doesn't make him any less terrifying.
  • World of Chaos: Moonside and Magicant. Especially Moonside.
  • World of Weirdness: Where to begin?
  • Year X: The game takes place in 199X.
  • You ALL Look Familiar: A few NPC sprites, including one some gamers call "Mr. T". But overall, for a SNES game, is done uniquely and has a variety of different NPCs.
  • You Are Already Dead: Due to the scrolling health meter, it is possible to take lethal damage but still stay alive until the health meter has finished scrolling to zero. Therefore, it is possible to survive if you get off a heal or finish the battle quickly enough.
  • You Bastard!:
    • Mocked with the food stand in Happy Happy Village. 'Forget' to pay, and the salesman will hover over you and claim that you'll never know righteousness again.
    • The sign asking people not to trample the flowers — that can only be read when Ness is standing right in the flowerbed.
  • You Cannot Grasp the True Form: Trope Namer is Giygas's attacks, and Giygas itself probably qualifies as well. Mr. Saturn's speech is implied to be this, by virtue of the extremely weird font in which it's written.
  • Younger Than They Look: Frank Fly is said to be about 20 years old in some of the literature based off the games. (Frank pegs himself as being younger than the legal drinking age if you talk to him during the endgame.) Another example of the MOTHER art style muddying the age detail.
  • You Wake Up in a Room: After following a suspicious looking woman further into the hotel in Threed, your party gets knocked unconscious and is trapped in a tomb deep underground. The only possible way to get out is to telepathically call out to your next party member, Jeff, for him to help you out.
  • Zero-Effort Boss: The Starman Jr. uses nothing but PSI attacks, which don't work because you're partnered with Buzz Buzz and he keeps a PSI Shield up at all times. You actually can lose here, but it takes a lot of effort.
  • Zillion-Dollar Bill: You are at one point given ten thousand dollars in cash and later an extremely valuable diamond, both of which you must use shortly afterwards to get the Runaway Five out of a bum contract. You'd think they'd have learned their lesson the first time.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: Happens in the town of Threed. Sort of.


Example of: