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Jaune wanted nothing more than to become a hero – and in a way he got his wish. One man's criminal is another's hero and the faunus of Remnant need a champion. Who better to take the mantle of leader of the White Fang? Not a faunus? Not a terrorist? No aura, training or leadership skills to speak of? Minor details. All hail supreme leader Jaune Arc. Long live the resistance!

A Rabbit Among Wolves is an RWBY Alternate Universe Fic written by Coeur Al'Aran. Jaune Arc somehow accidentally kills Adam Taurus, and that means he's the new leader of the White Fang's branch in this area. No matter how desperately he wishes he wasn't. Currently ongoing.

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     A-D 
  • Accidental Murder: This is what kickstarts the story. Jaune accidentally slits Adam's throat when the latter takes him hostage during a robbery.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: Sienna is more amused than angered by the rumor that she and Jaune are lovers.
  • Adaptational Badass: An odd example, but it still stands. In canon, Sun is only able to use his semblance when he's standing completely still and focusing, which leaves him vulnerable to attacks if he doesn't snap out of it soon enough. Here, during the Vytal Fashion Show, he's not only able to use his semblance while he's moving, but he creates upwards of thirty clones at once, a far cry from the four we've seen him make in canon.
  • Adaptational Early Appearance: Thanks to Adam's demise, Ilia travels to Vale to act as a liaison between Jaune and Sienna Khan, thereby showing up three volumes early.
  • Adaptational Jerkass: Blake's negative qualities are heavily turned up. For most of the story, she does little more than bash Jaune and break the rules to go after the White Fang. She eventually gets over it, owns up to her Secretly Selfish reasons for hating him, and chooses to be fairer.
  • Adaptational Sexuality: The Albain brothers are implied to be gay, as shown by their obvious attraction to Jaune.
  • Added Alliterative Appeal: Jaune, playing up his role as eccentric fashion designer V.V.V.V, talks using words starting in V. Coco joins in as well, using C, and Trifa used T once when she got annoyed at Jaune's continuing to talk in this fashion.
  • Affably Evil:
    • When not engaging in violence, many of the White Fang's soldiers are quite amicable towards each other. It's hard not to fall into this when Adam is a standard.
    • Sienna Khan can also be polite to those who are respectful in return, provided they also get results too.
    • Most characters who interact with Jaune believe he is invoking this, thinking that he a power-hungry fiend underneath his kind demeanor. Coco and Ruby have to be reminded that Jaune, no matter how nice he acts, he is still a criminal they shouldn't associate with.
    • Junior is a criminal boss, but he does not use his organization to exploit Faunus, nor does he give out information that would endanger innocent civilians. Jaune is willing to work with him to track down Cinder and her criminal gang. He's also polite enough to offer his guests drinks.
  • The Aggressive Drug Dealer: Jaune and his crew encounter a particularly horrific version: a corrupt brothel traps people in prostitution by getting them hooked on drugs, and forces them into sexual slavery in order to get another fix.
  • All for Nothing: As Jaune's success grows and people become more receptive to the White Fang, both Sienna and Blake express uncertainty about their previous actions in the radicalized version of the group, asking themselves what exactly they accomplished for the cause of faunus by making themselves into feared criminals. Both soberly come to the answer of "nothing", meanwhile Jaune has come around and in the space of a couple months, not only healed much of the damage they caused but done more to relieve the plight of faunus than anyone has in years. For Sienna the realization is bittersweet, but Blake pushes back against Jaune's popularity in large part because she doesn't want to believe that she and Adam made the wrong choices when there was a better way.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: After Velvet accidentally publicly announces that Coco kissed Jaune and everyone begins to wonder why, one of the students who responds calls this out as the reason. In reality, it's inverted. Coco only kissed Jaune to see if he was actually a violent human-hating terrorist. She was only attracted by Jaune's genuine acts of heroism.
  • All Part of the Show: During the Vytal Fashion Show, Blake angrily tries to end her catwalk as soon as possible. Weiss, Yang, and Ruby are sent to intercept her, creating a display resembling a cannon blast featuring all 4 members of Team RWBY. The audience interprets this to be a staged performance.
  • All Women Are Lustful: Ilia can barely hide her affection for Blake. She isn't shy about admitting (in her head) that she finds Trifa and Sienna attractive. Even Jaune straight-up tells her that she needs to get laid.
  • Aloof Ally:
    • While Lisa doesn't believe Jaune can make a difference, she is moved enough by his sincerity that she sends him information about organizations that have oppressed Faunus. Once the resulting raid does make a difference, Lisa finds her passion for investigative journalism reignited, and drops the "Aloof" aspect entirely by aligning herself with Jaune.
    • The ghost of Adam would rather not help Jaune since the blond-haired boy did kill him, but seeing Jaune actually make progress, he gradually becomes more helpful in his role.
  • Already the Case: Rosemary and Thyme try to convince the model they mutilated that blowing the whistle on them will end her modeling career. She makes it clear her career is already over because of the holes in her ears and this way she can at least get revenge.
  • Alternate Universe Fic: What if Jaune accidentally killed Adam at the start of the series?
  • Ambiguously Bi:
    • Sun isn't remotely bothered when a crossdressing Jaune reveals himself to be a guy, and continues calling him pretty.
    • Jaune himself blushes a bit when Sun winks at him and continues to coo over him.
    • Coco discusses the possibility with her team regarding herself, noting that she primarily likes women but Jaune doesn't entirely turn her away.
    • Ozpin, having had multiple reincarnations, has been inside people who aren't just straight, much to Qrow's astonishment.
  • An Aesop:
    • Mistreating and dehumanizing people over race is wrong, as is standing by and letting it happen.
    • If you want things to change, you have to get up off your butt and try to make them better.
    • Indiscriminate violence in the face of oppression is also bad.
  • And There Was Much Rejoicing: Downplayed in regards to Adam's death. His underlings are glad that their Bad Boss is gone, Ilia is glad that there is one less rival for Blake's affection, Sienna is glad a potential contender for the High Leader title is out of the picture and the majority of Remnant is simply glad that a dangerous terrorist is dead. Still, it's mentioned that there are White Fang members who mourned Adam and Blake takes the news pretty hard; in fact, part of the reason why she reacts so poorly is because she doesn't understand why she's the only person that seems to care.
  • Armor-Piercing Question:
    • Played for Laughs. Jaune accidentally asks one of Trifa when she mentions she can shoot webbing from her hands, asking why that is since spiders don't shoot webbing out of their legs. The next day he spots Trifa staring at her hands in horror and confusion while muttering about it.
    • On a more serious level, Jaune asks Ilia how Adam's methods will bring about equality. Ilia can't really provide a solid answer.
    Jaune: If step one is revolt, step two is spread terror, and step four is profit, then what is step three?
    • Vale's Police Chief denounces Jaune as a vigilante who should let the courts do their work. When Lisa asks how the courts and police allowed corrupt people into their ranks, the police officer's response is to turn red.
    • After Jaune's speech at the Vytal Festival, Yang tries to brush off her team's concerns that they're not doing enough to help the Faunus because they've already done several things to help, including in the mining camp and the fashion show. Ruby counters by asking a question that Yang noticeably doesn't answer, and the conversation takes an incredibly somber tone afterwards:
      Ruby: Are we doing that because we want to help, though? Or because Ozpin made us?
  • Armor-Piercing Response: After the Fang discovers Swan being mutilated by Rosemary and Thyme, Jaune asks the security official to go along with their plan. The man asks if he'll get to live if he goes through with it, prompting this response:
    Jaune: You'll live either way. We're not here to harm you and there's a Huntress right there. Whether you'll be able to live with yourself, though? Well, that's up to you.
  • Ascended Extra:
    • The White Fang grunts aren't given much characterization in canon beyond being fodder. The faceless goons are given identities and full characterizations here.
    • Lisa Lavender goes from being a minor character to a recurring character.
    • Sienna Kahn becomes a recurring character, serving as Jaune's boss.
  • Ascended Fanboy: Coco Adel is overjoyed to get the chance to debut as a fashion designer in her favorite fashion show, the Annual Vytal Fashion Show, using Team RWBY as her models, after they learn that the White Fang have infiltrated it.
  • Assassination Attempt: Emerald and Mercury both attempt to assassinate Jaune at the Beacon dance, but both fail; Emerald attempts to poison him with a poison that only works on Faunus, while Mercury attempts to stab him in the back before a series of accidents lead to him dancing with Penny instead.
  • Asshole Victim: Adam was a vicious terrorist. Sienna Kahn and Cinder Fall, his ostensible allies in terrorism, are more concerned about the consequences of Jaune's apparent usurpation of power than they are upset by his death. Only Blake feels some semblance of loss, considering the tumultuous relationship they had.
  • At Least I Admit It: While the White Fang are very nervous about recruitment potentially bringing in undercover police, Sun outright confirms that he's there to spy on them when he's asked. A combination of desperation and his honesty means that he's recruited by the end of the conversation.
  • Attempted Rape: Trifa saves Jaune from being raped by Elizabeth Tanner.
  • Avenging the Villain: Blake is determined to bring Jaune down, partially because she believes him and his White Fang to be a threat, but largely because she resents him for killing Adam.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The massive battle robot Jaune receives from Sienna can't actually be piloted as no one there knows how and using it would only give away his location, meaning that it has become the most expensive "paperweight" ever made.
  • Ax-Crazy: Adam had the unfortunate habit of executing captives, including outright beheading people.
  • Badass Boast: After Jaune's successful escape from Ironwood's arrest attempt, Ironwood issues a public statement to Jaune himself.
    This is my message to you, Jaune Arc, for I know you are listening. You may believe you struck a blow against me today, but you have done nothing more than delay the inevitable. Tonight, you faced twenty of our Knight Units. I have twenty thousand more. Tonight, you escaped under the watch of five Bullheads. I have brought five hundred with me. Tonight, you rest easy, but know that Atlas will stop at nothing to bring your crimes to light and bring you to justice. Your days are numbered. Spend them well.
  • Badass Creed: As normal for Coeur Al'Aran, Jaune's Aura is unlocked by someone new with a unique creed. This time, it's Adam Taurus' ghost.
    For it is through sacrifice that we reclaim what is ours. Through darkness, we seek a path to a brighter future. Betrayed by society and left to die, I release your soul, and by your side, walk with thee.
  • Badass on Paper: People start fearing Jaune upon hearing that he murdered a dangerous terrorist in a single stab.
  • Bad Boss: Adam was not empathetic to his minions, to the point that "Adam" is a term his grunts use when expecting punishment (usually of the lethal kind).
  • Bad Liar: Lisa Lavender, after waking up in the lair of the White Fang she slandered, desperately and pathetically pretends to be a twin named "Laura". Everyone sees right through it. Justifed, in that she had to come up with it on the spot and is panicking in a life-threatening situation.
  • Bait-and-Switch: While under the influence of his Semblance, Ironwood reveals to Ozpin that he has repurposed his solders' break periods so they can be more productive. From the way he talks, it sounds like the soldiers simply don't get breaks anymore, but then his scroll beeps, at which point Ironwood shouts "NAP TIME" and all of the soldiers present curl up and fall asleep almost immediately.
  • Batman Gambit: At the Vytal Fashion Show, Coco tells Ruby to make her turn go as fast as possible: just get to the end of the catwalk, stay there for a second, and come right back. Ruby takes this literally and uses her semblance to get there and back, which intrigues the audience, sets a precedent for when the rest of Team RWBY does similar stunts, and accomplishes exactly what Coco wanted.
  • Beach Episode: Jaune uses the promise of a future mission possibly taking place on a beach alongside Blake, complete with a jet ski race and a Wet T-Shirt Contest, to convince Adam to help him deal with Cinder.
  • Becoming the Mask: Team RWBY does so well during the Vytal Fashion Show that they win the competition, with Ruby and Weiss even being offered part-time job offers as models afterwards from other shows.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Jaune jokes that if Ilia wasn't a lesbian, he'd have accused her of having this with Sun. After Sun "joins" the White Fang, he and Ilia spend most of their time taking verbal pot-shots at each other.
  • Benevolent Boss: Jaune becomes this to his branch of the White Fang, being far more lenient and tolerant with his subordinates than Adam ever was.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Cinder Fall, the selfish egomaniac she is, goes into cup-shattering fury when Jaune puts her on hold.
    • Qrow barely holds himself back from attacking a police officer for uttering a racist slur.
    • Bane cannot stand the Schnee family. When he sees Weiss at the docks, he goes on a rampage with his chainsaw that destroys dust containers and forces Team RWBY to go on the defensive lest their weapons blow the place sky high. Though it is eventually revealed he has a pretty good reason to hate them.
    • Sun may be a goofball, but he isn't too fond of racism and abuse of power. He was pissed over what Tanner did to Faunus.
    • Coco herself is not too fond of faunus abuse, and goes apeshit when she sees a faunus model being injured by her supervisors, though she manages to restrain herself from actually hurting them due to her training.
  • Better the Devil You Know:
    • Adam Taurus may have been a murderous psychopath, but that trait made it easy to predict what Vale's White Fang branch would do under his command. Jaune's ascension to Adam's old position resets the board and leaves all other factions waiting to see what he will do. Sun joins the White Fang specifically because he wants to figure out the mystery behind the terrorist group's turn to altruism.
    • As a counterpoint, Coco argues this reason to justify keeping Jaune around; Jaune's White Fang cell becomes known for their peaceful methods, so removing him would likely result in a more dangerous replacement.
  • Beware the Nice Ones:
    • Sun is a lovable guy, and he is willing to give Jaune a chance by joining Vale's White Fang. Nonetheless, he makes it clear to Jaune he'll bring him down if he abuses his power. And when he learns about the abuse Faunus models suffer at the hand of modeling agency, Rosemary and Thyme, he responds with rage and threatens to burn the place down.
    • Ozpin is a normally genial man, but he brings the hammer down hard on Team RWBY after their attempt to arrest Jaune causes a PR nightmare for Beacon.
  • Beware the Quiet Ones: After fending off accusations of flirting with Jaune during the Vytal Fashion Show from both Team RWBY and Glynda Goodwitch, Coco folds like wet paper when she's confronted by the typically meek, but currently irate Velvet, who drags her off.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: The White Fang wannabes act like tough shit, but are revealed to be pathetic posers who Sun dispatches quite easily.
  • Big Good: This trope is Played With regarding Sienna. She is Jaune's boss and the one who is advising him on how to be a proper leader of the Fang. However, Jaune has little interest in following her, due to her being a Faunus supremacist who believes in violence.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Elizabeth Tanner, the woman in charge of an SDC Lumber Yard Jaune infiltrates presents herself as reasonable, even explaining away the rather unfair working conditions at the Yard as a Necessary Evil. Then she tries to force herself on Jaune.
  • Black-and-White Morality: Ruby's belief in this worldview causes her some trouble at wrapping her head around the public relations elements present in the story. To her frustration, she finds some of her fellow students have some admiration for Jaune, in spite of him being a criminal. Blake takes this to a more ridiculous extreme, despising Jaune for having killed Adam in spite of the number of good things he's done since then.
  • Blatant Lies: Coco immediately recognizes Sun Wukong at the fashion show despite his attempts to convince her that he's really "Solar Flare".
  • Blessed with Suck: Ironwood really doesn't like his semblance, since part of what it does when active is remove his common sense, resulting in stuff like arresting Sun based on his abs, and giving his soldiers extremely detailed and strict timetables, down to mandating exactly how long each bathroom break they get is and how long they must wash their hands. Also, forcing them to use their breaks for naptime.
  • Blood Knight: Yuma loves the chance to indulge in violence.
  • Bond One-Liner: After beating Neo by shutting her in a dumpster, Jaune tells his troops that he "took out the trash".
  • Both Sides Have a Point: The debate between Ironwood and Ozpin in Chapter 27 gives both a chance to validate their approach to fighting the White Fang. On Ironwood's side, he is correct in that Jaune is the leader of a terrorist cell and must be arrested as such, good intentions be damned. On Ozpin's side, however, he is also correct in that Ironwood's actions could be perceived as an act of war by the citizens of Vale, especially since he intends to incarcerate one of the most popular reformists in the country.
  • Broken Aesop: In-Universe, Ironwood tries to give Jaune a "violence solves nothing" lecture only for Jaune to throw back how he tried to use violence to apprehend him. Ironwood insists he was trying to uphold the law to capture a terrorist.
  • Broken Pedestal: Ciel, ever the proud Atlesian, is a bit disillusioned to learn that the majority of the spectators at the Faunus bloodsports are from her own kingdom.
  • Bruiser with a Soft Center: Bane is exaggerated version of this trope. He is a seven feet tall and built like a tank, yet is also an excellent cook and a florist, and often behaves like a fussy mother. Even Jaune's maybe hallucination of Adam admits that disliking Bane is like kicking a small animal.
  • Butt-Monkey: Perry. There is a running gag of him getting punched by the group's females and his generally not given much respect.
  • Bystander Syndrome:
    • Adam, in a vision, discusses this with Jaune in regards to the Fantastic Racism against Faunus. He admits that not all humans are actually outright racist — the problem is that they fail to stop the ones who are, mainly because they don't fully understand just how bad the faunus' plight really is.
    • This comes full circle when Jaune gives a speech at the Vytal Festival, wherein he calls the audience out for taking comfort in the fact that they're not actively racist instead of bothering to stop the ones who are. It leads to more people being willing to publicly call out the racists that they see, meaning that Jaune's words have begun to inspire people much like Adam inspired him.
      Jaune: You may not be a part of the problem, but you're not a part of the solution either, and you let the problem persist as long as it doesn't affect you. You're bystanders! That's all you are! Apathetic bystanders.
  • Casanova Wannabe: Jaune. When pretending to be Trifa's husband during their infiltration of an SDC labor camp, Jaune uses the word "milady". His followers are less than impressed.
  • Casual Kink: Ilia recalls fantasizing about a possible encounter involving herself, Blake, and her whip in a non-combat manner.
  • Cerebus Retcon:
    • Bane's size is the result of twisted experiments done on him while he worked for SDC
    • Blake admits her irrational hatred of Jaune is because she's trying to cover up her own shame for not reforming the White Fang.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: While the story starts lighthearted, the fic gets darker and darker as Jaune sees more and more of the abuses Faunus face. After he gets arrested, the story becomes a straight up drama, with Jaune enduring vicious abuse at the hands of the legal system.
  • The Chains of Commanding: Jaune hates being in charge of the White Fang branch because any mishaps his group could get into would inevitably be blamed on him. When Sienna hints at the idea of Jaune one day taking over the Fang, he hysterically protests against this idea, much to Sienna's confusion.
  • Character Development:
    • Jaune starts out just wanting to clear his own name, but he becomes increasingly devoted to the cause of faunus at the injustices of Remnant are laid bare to him. He's also growing increasingly cynical and angry with society itself.
    • After seeing Jaune's lighter methods work in the sphere of public opinion, Sienna agrees to soften her approach, and is willing to tolerate Jaune working with humans. However, she still remains bigoted against humanity and believes her violent acts are justified.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The mecha Jaune receives from Sienna and the Albain Brothers comes in handy when Jaune needs it to stop Cinder's attack on Beacon.
  • Closet Key: This trope is inverted with Coco and Ilia. Both of them are head and shoulders into girls. And yet they find themselves oddly attracted to Jaune and Sun respectively. In the former's case, it is because he's an intelligent and resourceful guy. In the latter's case, she finds his abs to be that awesome.
  • Comedic Underwear Exposure: Jaune accidentally pantses Neo by clinging to her belt while the two are dangling from a fire escape; he turns out to be heavier than her trousers can take.
  • Confronting Your Imposter: Jaune and Ilia run into a street gang claiming to be White Fang. As one might expect, they aren't the slightest bit fooled — though as they can't mention being the real White Fang in front of Sun, it's very convenient that the gang's facade is flawed in just about every other way as well.
  • Confusion Fu:
    • Jaune's strategy when going up against Ironwood's Atlesian Knights is to cause so much chaos that Ironwood can no longer tell anything about what's going on. Ironwood even notes that such a strategy doesn't make it clear if he's dealing with a genius or an idiot.
    • Similarly, his strategy against Neopolitan is to simply do everything that they wouldn't expect, including throwing bags of snacks to cover her with the remains, taking the elevator to attempt to escape, and shoving a microwave on her head.
  • Continuity Nod: Jaune's confusion when Yuma mentions General Lagune matches the confusion he felt in canon when asked who he was in history class.
  • Convection Schmonvection: When thinking of directly confronting Cinder, Jaune notes that even though he could technically stop her direct blasts, he would be defenseless against the leftover heat and exposed anywhere other than his shield.
  • Convicted by Public Opinion: Inverted; Jaune's plan during his trial is to play a genius PR game, with his witnesses consisting entirely of people whose lives he saved. It provides nothing to his legal defense (since none of their testimony refutes his crimes, most of it gets stricken from the record), but it paints the entire system as corrupt and uncaring compared to Jaune actually saving their lives through his methods.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Jaune's first target is a corrupt clothing factory whose employees are forced to work under sweatshop conditions.
  • Courtroom Antics: During Jaune's trial, people interrupt the lawyers, ignore the judges' requests, go on fiery rants, and Jaune represents himself as an attorney. The results are played realistically and lead to a lot of testimony being stricken and people being escorted out, but it's exactly what Jaune wants to begin with - since he can't fight the charges, he instead makes the trial a PR spectacle.
  • Curbstomp Battle:
    • Sun and Ilia dispatch a whole gang of White Fang poseurs quite easily.
    • The criminals who Cinder "recruited" are beaten quite easily by Beacon's students.
    • Cinder herself doesn't fare much better against her opponents, even after finishing off the Fall Maiden. It'd be a bit more even if she wasn't trying to kill Jaune in particular instead of focusing on the actual threats, those being Ozpin, Glynda, the Ace-Ops, and finally the assembled students of Beacon and White Fang (plus mech). She absorbs a ton of punishment before going down, but doesn't do any real damage back.
  • The Cynic: Ilia and the other White Fang members have given up on peaceful protest, seeing as it had little tangible influence on the Kingdoms. They become more open to Jaune's methods when they start to yield results.
  • Dating Catwoman: Coco flirts with Jaune at the fashion show. In an inversion of this trope, Coco the "good guy" is the seducer while Jaune, the "criminal" is the straight-laced partner.
  • Declaration of Protection: Sienna makes is painfully clear that she will not let anyone, including Blake, harm Jaune.
    Sienna Kahn:(to Yang):"Let me make one thing clear. Just as you will kill me to protect your teammate, so too will I kill Blake if she attempts to harm Jaune Arc. He is important to the White Fang, and to me, and I won't see our brightest star falter because a certain someone couldn't keep her paranoia in check."
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: While Sienna doesn't hate Jaune at first, she starts out thinking he could be another usurper. But once his genuine kindness become apparent, she starts warming to him and his methods.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: Jaune puts Cinder on hold when she calls, not knowing who she is.
  • Did Not Think This Through:
    • Sienna gave Jaune a Paladin mech without considering that no one on his team knows how to pilot the thing, making it completely worthless.
    • The Subtle Spice designers disfigure a model by putting holes in her ears in an attempt to emulate Ivory Tooth's designs. The result is not only bloody and looks horrible, but the model, Swan, decides to go out with the White Fang to show off what they did to her. When one designer tries to say that it will be the end of her career for legal reasons, Swan points out her ears are ruined and her career is over anyway, but at least this way she can get revenge and take them with her.
    • At the arms deal, Cinder gets confused when the White Fang show up because she told Neo to tell her if someone else arrived. She then realizes the issue of putting the mute girl on alarm duty and scolds herself for her carelessness.
  • Didn't See That Coming: Mercury, Emerald, and Cinder's plans to assassinate Jaune at the Beacon dance are actually pretty good, but fall apart because of factors they couldn't possibly foresee.
    • Emerald tries giving Jaune a poison that works on faunus, which fails for the obvious reason.
    • Mercury tries stabbing Jaune and Sienna during their dance, but their dance moves cause him to overshoot and crash into Penny, who decides he wants to dance with her and won't take "no" for an answer.
    • Emerald later decide that her illusion Semblance would be perfect for tricking a third party into doing her job by making them think they've seen Jaune pull out a weapon. Unfortunately for her, she coincidentally chooses to try this on Blake and Ironwood, who were already being watched due to a history of biased behavior against Jaune, and they're stopped before they can get anywhere.
    • Cinder decides to dress up as a White Fang member while infiltrating the CCT tower, hoping someone will catch her in the act and discredit Jaune. However, with Jaune hogging the attention at the dance, no one bothers to even go to the CCT, except for a distracted janitor.
  • Dirty Coward:
    • Abigail the prosecutor tries to blame one of Jaune's witnesses for his own confinement at an SDC camp, but the moment that the judge allows the witness to say anything other than yes or no, she tries to end the questioning immediately.
    • As soon as the chaos at Amity starts, the Council leaders immediately flee to Vale rather than try and take control of the situation.
  • Dirty Old Woman: Elizabeth Tanner, the owner of the SDC Lumber Yard Jaune infiltrates. Absolutely NOT Played for Laughs.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Fittingly enough for someone trying to make the whole story about her, Cinder isn't the final challenge. She instigates a low point in the plot, implements her plan to attack Beacon, and even finishes off the Fall Maiden — but in the end, she's beaten with little to show for it, and the author confirms there's still an arc left to go. Cinder was ultimately nothing more than an obnoxious distraction from the real issues the fic is about.
  • Disguised in Drag:
    • Having become a wanted fugitive, Ilia dresses Jaune to look like a female cat faunus so he can go out into the open. That his disguise is a dead ringer for Blake is a not-so-subtle indication of Ilia's lingering feelings for her.
    • Later, Ilia disguises Jaune again with what would've been Blake's season 5 outfit, but with a brown wig instead of a black wig. The disguise actually manages to fool Sun.
  • Disproportionate Retribution:
    • Subtle Spices Fashion, a fashion and modeling agency is known to force unfair contracts and poor working conditions on desperate Faunus who want to get into the modelling. The reason? Because the company's founders lost to a Faunus model on a catwalk once.
    • This becomes Played for Drama when Jaune gets arrested. The amount of abuse and punishment he is subjected too by Vale's authorities is indicative of how corrupt and self-serving they are.
  • A Dog Named "Dog": The deer Faunus is named "Deery". Yuma takes notice.
    Yuma: Believe me, it's her real name. Though what parent could hate their kid enough to call them Deery, I've no ide-ow! (Deery swats him.)
  • Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male: Averted. Tanner trying to force herself sexually on Jaune is portrayed as utterly vile In-Universe, and Jaune is so traumatized he ends up in tears. The fact that she had done this multiple times prompts Jaune to order a hit on the camp, and Coco to send Team RWBY to arrest the camp administrators for letting it go on. Reportedly, this trope was originally meant to be Played Straight, but as soon as the author actually started writing the scene he realized how gross it was and chose to reverse it.
  • Do Wrong, Right:
    • Ilia and Sun not only call the White Fang wannabes out for not only being fake White Fang, but for their numerous tactical mistakes, like publicly announcing themselves in public, and their desperate attempts at appearing edgy.
    • Mercury becomes increasingly impatient with Cinder's petty cruelty, noting that just slitting Jaune's throat instead of tormenting him and leaving him in an "inescapable" deathtrap would have been a much more practical option.
  • Dramatic Drop: Jaune drops his takeout when he sees an unconscious Lisa Lavender in his lair.
  • Dramatic Irony:
    • Blake is the one convinced the White Fang (under Jaune at least) is pure evil and has to be stopped while Weiss is the one arguing that they're doing good and clearly aren't total monsters, a reversal of their disagreement from Volume 1 in canon.
    • Sienna scornfully rejects any attempt to work with humans. She is oblivious to the fact that Jaune, her newest minion, is a human, and that he is working with the very human Lisa Lavender.
    • Sun warns an incognito Jaune and Ilia about the White Fang and how they're a bunch of loons, completely ignorant to the fact that the two are White Fang recruiters.
    • Coco's overall plan regarding the Fang is to put Jaune into a spot where all he can do is force the rest of the White Fang to follow his nonviolent example, not outright destroying them but forcing them to change. She remains completely unaware that Jaune is trying to do the exact same thing.
    • When Ironwood arrests Sun, Ozpin argues on the student's behalf by pointing out that they have absolutely no evidence that would hold up in the court of public opinion. While we're still inclined to side with Ozpin anyway because of how obsessed Ironwood is with the case, we also know that Ironwood is actually completely correct.
    • When Team RWBY talks with Jaune at the Vytal Festival, Ruby asks if he won his fight against Neopolitan, to which he says that he did and he had the fight handled from start to finish. He's technically telling the truth, but only technically; the only reason he had the fight so well in hand was because his plans were so unorthodox and flat out stupid that Neo couldn't keep up, not because of combat skill.
    • At the Beacon Dance, Emerald and Mercury discuss what kind of Faunus Jaune must be; at Mercury's suggestion, they eventually decide he's a honey badger Faunus. Unlike the other examples of this debate throughout the story, what makes this one so ironic is that his logic is actually solid (Emerald's supposed poison isn't affecting him like it should be, and honey badgers are incredibly resistant to toxins and poisons).
    • Ruby wails at Jaune that he has no idea how it feels to be thrown into the role of a revolutionary, which she was never meant to be. He does understand - far, far more than she can imagine.
  • Dramatic Unmask: Jaune does this when the corrupt fashion managers from Subtle Spice try and use the law to keep him from exposing them for their mistreatment of a faunus model.
  • Dramedy: The story pinballs between drama and humor multiple times a chapter. Overall, it's too funny to count as a drama, with storylines including Jaune publicly crossdressing with Blake's clothes, the White Fang constantly making Jaune a Badass on Paper, and Adam being a lovesick horndog who still has unresolved issues with Blake. However, it's also too serious to count as a Black Comedy, with topics like racism, physical and sexual abuse, and the legalized borderline-slave labor present all being given the seriousness they deserve.
  • The Dreaded: Jaune's (accidental) murder of Adam makes him a feared figure throughout Vale. Civilians who encounter him and his crew go into various shades of terror.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Perry drives like a maniac whether he's running from cops in hot pursuit or driving offroad through dense forest.
  • Dumbass No More: Well, more "naïve" than "dumbass", but Jaune loses a lot of his disbelief in prejudice after being assaulted by a manager.

     E-K 

  • Ear Ache: During the Vytal Fashion Show, after being outshone by the White Fang's effort, the founders of Subtle Spice try to replicate their success with faunus models by driving nails through a donkey Faunus model's long ears and weaving a golden chain through the holes left behind. The model is left bleeding and crying, and Coco is enraged when she stumbles upon them.
  • Enemy Mine:
    • During the Vytal Fashion Show, the White Fang and Coco Adel work together to help Swan, a mutilated faunus model, and take down Subtle Spices, her employers who force faunus models into unfair contracts and mutilated her for the show.
    • When the corrupt Vale Council imprisons Jaune, the Vale crime networks all agree to cooperate to seek his release and destabilizing the Council, since the chaos of their flailing and the riots they're inciting are terrible for business, and could even result in the cancellation of the Vytal Festival and a tremendous loss of revenue; additionally, the White Fang only targets the absolute worst groups, giving others the chance to move in, so they get rid of competition even they loathe and profit in the bargain. Sienna doesn't like it, but Junior points out Jaune is a potent stabilizing influence in Vale - which is exactly what the crime lords really want.
  • Enlightened Self-Interest:
    • After undeservedly gaining a reputation of a brutal murderer, Jaune proceeds to reform the White Fang, give charity to the poor, and attack Vale's corrupt institutions. Jaune has no genuine desire to do any of these things at first, but wants to improve his reputation.
    • Realizing that Jaune is crafting a benevolent image for himself, Ozpin responds with his own PR campaign to help discredit the White Fang and enhance Beacon's reputation. Ruby notes with some frustration that Vale's attempts to help the faunus isn't being done out of altruism, but to discredit Jaune himself.
    • Eventually, Jacques Schnee decides to support Ruby's campaign for the Vale Council; while he's mostly doing it with the eventual hope of lining his own pockets, Weiss points out that it's a lot of support for Ruby's anti-corruption platform.
  • Enraged by Idiocy: Mercury is really annoyed with Cinder for not killing Jaune when they had him just to prolong his misery. It is part of the reason he turns on Cinder.
  • Entertainingly Wrong:
    • After discovering Jaune's transcripts were forged, Ozpin concludes Jaune was planning to infiltrate Beacon on behalf of the White Fang.
    • Mercury concludes Jaune is a honey badger faunus because of his reputation for surviving terrible situations and he was unaffected by a poison guaranteed to kill faunus.
  • Epic Fail:
    • Team RWBY's attempt to foil the Dust robbery at the docks quickly go pear shaped. Blake's asking why the White Fang are working with a human gets her Mistaken for Racist, leading to a long argument that allows Torchwick to escape with the Dust. Then Bane goes into an Unstoppable Rage at the sight of Weiss which leads to a long fight that results in the docks getting wrecked. End result is Torchwick getting away with the dust, a large amount of property damage, and a PR nightmare for Beacon with Team RWBY looking incompetent and Ozpin as their enabler.
    Ozpin: I shall spare you the comments below but rest assured that people are currently fighting about whether you are racist, violent, or merely incompetent. You may pick which you like the sound of more.
    • Ironwood's attempt to arrest Jaune and his allies goes wrong in every possible way, with Jaune making a completely clean getaway and the Atlas forces ultimately accomplishing nothing. To make matters worse, when the soldiers go in for the final arrest, Ironwood begins a live stream to broadcast his victory, only for the whole world to see Jaune's successful escape.
  • Escalating War: The Vytal Fashion show becomes one between Jaune and Coco. After the White Fang's "models" aren't received well during the first half, Jaune gets the idea to use their Faunus traits to enhance the outfits (such as having Ilia change color and Yuma fly in from the ceiling). In response, Coco has Team RWBY utilize their semblances, such as having Weiss walk on air and Ruby make a dynamic entrance with her speed. It quickly becomes a battle of who can pull out more of the stops, topped off when Sun uses his semblance to create an entire marching band for the Fang's grand finale.
  • "Eureka!" Moment: During the fashion show, the White Fang's poor performance makes Ilia mad enough to turn red, literally. Jaune realizes that this can be their hook: embracing their faunus traits instead of hiding them. Coco has one immediately afterwards when she utilizes Ruby's nervousness to encourage her and the rest of her team to use their semblances on the catwalk.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • There are White Fang sects that Adam opposed: one of them attacked innocent school children.
    • Junior is a criminal and an information broker, but he reveals to Jaune that when given an offer for all the information he had on him, he deliberately left Jaune's family out of it, not wanting to pointlessly endanger his sisters and mother.
    • Roman is a shameless criminal and proud of it, but several of the operations Jaune takes down make him sick and he commends Jaune for closing them down, including the blood sport and sex slave rings. He also mentions that he despises dog fighting in particular; his first heist was against a dog fighting ring and he led the police there himself. Additionally, as per usual for Coeur Al'Aran, he reveals to Jaune that he's firmly against Cinder's plan and genuinely loves Vale Warts and All, and he hates the fact that he's too weak to stop her from throwing it into chaos. So much so, he covertly sneaks Jaune a knife to help him escape.
  • Even the Guys Want Him:
    • Sun is weirdly attracted to Jaune dressed up as a girl.
    • The Albain brothers also end up attracted to Jaune, with one of their congratulatory letters quickly becoming love letters, complete with saucy pictures of themselves.
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • Sienna and her followers are extremists, but they weren't fond of Adam's wretched attitude.
    • Lisa Lavender has become mostly aloof to scandal and oppression, but she is pissed when she learns the SDC camp was run by a sexual predator.
    • Coco is a lover of fashion and is driven to win a major fashion show but she draws the line at injuring someone just to win. She even works with Jaune and the Fang to ensure the ones who hurt Swan receive punishment for their crimes.
    • The security official at the fashion show is horrified when he sees Swan's mutilated ears and actually works with the White Fang to punish the people responsible.
    • Ironwood may be overtly harsh with punishing the White Fang, but he himself doesn't like the oppression of Faunus or the oppressive labor laws: he strongly believes that change should come about through lawful means. He's also disgusted with Vale Council's self-serving power plays, and despite his hatred for Jaune, he still does everything he can to save his life when he’s shot.
    • Weiss has a good reason to dislike the White Fang, but she isn't distrustful toward those who have done her no wrong. She's not afraid to praise Jaune for his efforts, and when Weiss becomes one of Jaune's bodyguards, she has a cordial, albeit touchy, relationship with him.
    • As far as Ozpin is concerned, Huntsmen are for hunting Grimm and nothing else. Despite multiple attempts from the Council, he emphatically denies them Huntsman assistance against the brewing civil uprising against them.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good:
    • Though not exactly evil, Ilia and her fellow White Fang members see Jaune's genuinely pleasant nature and charity as a form of manipulation. Even the "heroic" characters end up seeing him as a PR mastermind. Considering he (technically) killed and usurped Adam, it is hard to blame them for being nervous.
    • Mercury thinks Jaune is a wimp for not using more violent methods to promote change.
  • Eviler Than Thou: Cinder puts a criminal gang in its place by burning a few of its members alive.
  • Evil Is Petty:
    • The Council, enraged at Jaune for shaking their status quo, have him sent to a maximum-security prison even though he was sentenced to lower security just to screw him over one more time for making them look bad.
    • Neo takes sadistic joy in tormenting Jaune while he's captured with the news reports of the chaos his disappearance has caused, including making him watch a report where his mother grieved his loss two separate times.
    • Cinder is so furious at Jaune for refusing her, she's happy to kill Sienna as well just to spite him.
  • Evil Power Vacuum: While Jaune is not evil, his presence is a stabilizing element to the criminal underworld. The various gangs are all willing to work together to free him as his loss would cause them massive losses as the general chaos and rioting from his capture ruins the local economy.
  • Exact Words: When Jacques Schnee releases a statement condemning the acts of Elizabeth Tanner, he specifically writes that his daughter Weiss was "leading the charge", making her out to be team leader instead of Ruby. Coco points out that this kind of PR is exactly what Team RWBY needs to learn about.
  • Exotic Equipment: As Jaune's faunus type is unknown to the public (because he isn't one), people speculate on what it is. Much of it falls into this category - one rando guesses he has a cloaca, while Ilia thinks he has a dog penis. This is actually justified speculation, as the man with the cloaca theory points out that having a "shameful" animal feature would be a major reason for Jaune to hide it.
  • Expecting Someone Taller: When Sienna finally meets Jaune over a scroll call, Sienna tells him she "expected someone taller, wider, and with more presence" like Adam.
  • False Confession: Downplayed somewhat, as Jaune is the leader of the White Fang in Vale. However, once he is imprisoned by the government they try to convince him to take a plea deal and renounce his companions to save himself, and thus delegitimize the Fang's recent actions and popularity. To do so, they lie about what's been happening in his absence (telling him that the White Fang have started acting violently and are actively promoting riots, when in reality it's been the opposite), keeping him alone in a blank, windowless room, purposely keeping the room cold and providing no way of retaining his own body heat, and causing loud noises when he begins to fall asleep. Just in case all that doesn't work, they've also left a few otherwise innocuous items that he could use to kill himself, and have a security camera observing him so that should he do so they can 'prove' that they didn't do anything to him. This is a combination of sensory deprivation and white torture, and Jaune only retains his identity and sanity with Adam's help.
  • False Flag Operation: Cinder decides to kill Jaune and frame either Beacon or Atlas for it, believing it would allow her to manipulate the White Fang back to violence, and toward serving her. For a long time, she isn't able to accomplish anything of the sort. But after Jaune is convicted by Vale, she ambushes his prison transport and defaces it with White Fang iconography while taking him captive. Her intent is that the city will blame the Fang for violently breaking their leader out of custody, and the Fang, knowing they did nothing wrong, will in turn blame the city for the false flag, inflaming tensions even more.
  • False Rape Accusation: The Attempted Rape by corrupt foreman Elizabeth Tanner? She uses the threat of one such malicious accusation as a way to apply coercion.
  • Fan Disservice: In one chapter, Jaune is propositioned by the SDC manager, who even gives him a massage. But since the manager is a withered old lady, and the woman is forcing him under the threat of dismissal to have sex, Jaune is more traumatized than aroused by the whole experience.
  • Fantastic Racism:
    • Considering this is a story about the White Fang, Faunus discrimination is front and center. Jaune experiences it firsthand when disguised as Blake, being barred from a restaurant for having cat ears.
    • Many of the White Fang in return are not fond of humans, and are less than thrilled with the idea of Jaune trying to help them. Sienna herself holds a severe grudge against humanity, which terrifies Jaune to no end, since he doubts she would go easy on him if she discovered he was human.
  • Fascist, but Inefficient: Adam's brutal and violent methods may have made the White Fang feared, but they weren't attracting recruits nor funding. The Vale branch of the White Fang is reduced to living in a sewer by the time Jaune finds them. By contrast, Sienna Kahn's use of the "carrot and stick" has given her a reasonable following in Menagerie, and Jaune's velvet glove approach wins his branch more supporters.
  • Fashion Designer: Jaune's guise for infiltrating the Vytal Fashion Show. Achieved with the help of Lisa and the White Fang recruits looking up latest trends on the internet.
  • Fashion Show: The Annual Vytal Fashion Show. The White Fang infiltrate when they learn that one of the modeling agencies involved is coercing faunus models into unfair contracts.
  • Fatal Flaw:
    • The White Fang's extremism and own dislike of humanity blinds them to the fact that their actions only alienate not only humans, but many moderate faunus and give other humans an excuse to persecute them.
    • Adam's belligerent and violent nature make him hated not just by humans and the law, but by his own minions and Sienna. When Jaune kills him, almost nobody is sad to see him go, especially when Jaune's polite and humble nature make him more liked by Adam's former minions and Sienna.
    • Cinder is a diabolical villain, but her Pride screws her over. She could easily just kill Jaune and frame the council for it, but she feels the need to needlessly prolong his suffering out of spite for disobeying her. This gives him the opening he needs to escape.
  • Female Gaze: During the Vytal Fashion Show, Ilia recognizes Coco by her leather pants, and only her leather pants.
  • The Fighting Narcissist: Sun is a fairly benign version of this trope (unless you're a threat to public safety), loving to show off his amazing abs.
  • Flanderization: Ilia's love for Blake becomes a full-blown obsession, up to and including having a full set of Blake's clothes laying around for no discernible reason.
  • Foil: Adam and Sienna are this. While Sienna believes violence is the only way to achieve equality, Adam and his followers just want a race war.
  • A Fool for a Client: Downplayed; Jaune decides to represent himself in his trial, not because he thinks he can do a better job but because he can't fight the charges in the first place and if he's in charge of his defense, he gets to call his own witnesses. He actually does a decent job as well, even landing a successful objection.
  • Formerly Fit: After getting arrested based on his abs, Sun puts on some weight to avoid it happening again in the future.
  • For Want of a Nail: The fact that Blake doesn't recognize Sun Wukong at the fashion show even though Coco does implies that something happened to prevent the two from meeting, presumably Ruby accidentally exposing Blake as a Faunus earlier than in canon.
  • Friendly Enemy:
    • Coco declares herself this to Jaune. While she sees him as a criminal, and won't hesitate to bring him down if he threatens Beacon, she has no personal enmity toward Jaune, and even respects the work he does for the White Fang. She even dances with him, offers him some PR advice, and gives him a friendly kiss for good measure. She even works with Jaune to bring down Rosemary and Thyme, albeit while ensuring they don't go too far.
    Coco: I'm of the opinion that opponents don't have to be enemies.
    • At the Vytal Fesitval, Jaune develops a similarly cordial relationship with Ozpin, Ruby, and Weiss, of all people. Subverted with Blake, who still has it in for him, and Yang who...is too busy restraining Blake to really interact with Jaune.
    • Surprisingly, Sienna and the Belladonas are still on speaking terms, despite the latter disliking the direction taken by the White Fang. Sienna even gives Blake a letter from Kali when she arrives at Beacon.
    • Roman has little enmity toward Jaune, only being against him because Cinder wants him too. While being held captive, Roman becomes the first person Jaune confesses to not being a Faunus. Roman even sneaks Jaune a knife so he can escape, and Jaune in turn orders his gang to treat Roman gently.
  • Friend to All Children: When Team RWBY visits a school for publicity, only Ruby enjoys interacting with the children. Justified considering she is the youngest of her peers, plus her enthusiasm matches their own.
  • Freudian Excuse: Perry once aspired to be a veterinarian, and applied to medical school for his chance. He was denied a scholarship (which he legitimately qualified for) just for being a Faunus. After his dreams were crushed, Perry found no other choice but to join the White Fang. The narration afterward notes that his situation is nothing new.
    Most anyone who joined the White Fang did so because something had affected them in the past. People called them insane Faunus – often using terms like rabid to drive home the `animal` angle – but the simple fact was a person wouldn't risk their life for no good reason. You needed something big enough to drive a person to action.
  • Full-Body Disguise: Jaune is given one from Ilia that turns him into the spitting image of Blake Belladonna, much to the consternation of all the other White Fang members. It's apparently so effective that Ruby can't tell the difference when she happens to run into him on the street.
  • Glory Hound: Ironwood's hunt for Jaune is as much about improving his own reputation as it is about law and order. He screws up a raid on the bloodsport ring because he wants Atlas, not the White Fang, to claim all the credit.
  • Godzilla Threshold: Jaune initially refuses to use the Paladin. Key word: initially. Cinder's attack on Beacon is a big enough threat that he breaks out the giant death robot to stop her.
  • Gone Horribly Right:
    • Jaune's plans to reform the White Fang largely because he just wants to prove to everyone he isn't a monster. But his plans end up working a little too well. His initial plan was to lay low and stick to good works, but everyone of his successes leads to Sienna giving him even more resources and responsbility. Eventually, he becomes an icon of the White Fang, which makes it impossible for him to leave without what he built collapsing in on itself.
    • The White Fang's plan to investigate a corrupt hospital is to have Sun fake symptoms and see what the doctors do in response. The worst they're expecting is a steep bill and for Sun to be a bit woozy from getting blood taken twice in one day (once for a baseline, the other at the hospital). They aren't expecting the place to be so crooked that they literally poison him to create real symptoms.
  • Good Cannot Comprehend Evil: Jaune initially struggles to accept the racism around him.
  • Good Is Not Dumb: Sun is a walking talking ball of sunshine as his name implies, but he's the leader of his team for a reason. When he sees that Jaune is genuinely interested in helping Faunus, he decides to join up with the White Fang to make sure Jaune doesn't step out of line. If anyone tries to do him in, he's fully prepared to sic Beacon's forces on them.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Coco is really, really abrasive, insensitive, and strict in turning Team RWBY into paragons.
  • Good Versus Good: The conflict between Jaune and Team RWBY. The former is a decent guy trying to get rid of an undeserved reputation and reform a terrorist organization. The latter are heroines trying to arrest (who they believe to be) a wanted murderer and terrorist and bring him to justice.
  • Go, Ye Heroes, Go and Die: Jaune gives an utterly uninspiring speech before the Vytal Fashion Show begins about how they were outclassed by the more experienced models and fashion designers, before saying that he has faith in them regardless. When Ilia asks him how, he returns the question back to her, saying that he is empowering her ability to choose for herself to ineffectually mask the fact that he has no idea.
  • Graying Morality:
    • Jaune begins the story with a rosy view of humanity, but finds himself distrusting authority and sympathizing with the White Fang as he bears witness to injustice. He's taken aback when he finds himself relating more and more to the terrorists he was raised to distrust, and increasingly more resentful of "normal" people.
    • When meeting Sienna Kahn herself at Beacon's dance, Yang finds herself unable to really disagree with her or her actions.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Blake's attitude toward Jaune is because he has succeeded where she failed, which makes her feel like she has wasted her life on the cause.
  • Groin Attack: Qrow gets a metal suitcase to the groin via Jaune's hands while trying to chase the White Fang in the first chapter.
  • Guilt by Association Gag: While some characters are wary of Jaune because he killed and usurped Adam Taurus, others insist he's a monster just because he's in the White Fang, and not because of anything he's done
  • Gut Punch: Jaune getting nearly molested by a sexually aggressive SDC manager is when the fic begins to dive deep into the serious abuses that others go through.
  • Hated by All: It is clear that Adam was only tolerated because of his incredible skill. Hardly anyone actually misses his murderous personality.
  • Heel Realization: Blake admits that she is envious of Jaune in part because his success has made her realize that she and Adam were the bad guys and didn't get results because they were bad people.
  • He Knows Too Much: Cinder decides to kill Jaune, since he could now expose her before the Vytal Festival begins.
  • Hero Antagonist: Qrow, Ozpin, and Team RWBY (especially Blake) are shaping up to be this for Jaune.
  • Heroes' Frontier Step: In-Universe, Jaune remains a public enemy until he brings down a corrupt garment factory. Him enduring sexual harassment from a corrupt SDC manager improves his reputation even more, and it is the moment he begins to take his job seriously.
  • Heroic BSoD: Jaune has several over the course of the story.
    • His first one is when Lisa, despite knowing Jaune isn't an evil maniac, still has to write a scathing article about him.
    • The second is when he is sexually assaulted by the SDC manager. When talking with Adam, he admits it isn't about being assualted, he feels bad for not noticing the oppression of others feel.
    • The third one is after his outburst at the Vytal Festival. He fears he not only screwed himself, but his own associates with his tirade.
  • Heroic Build: Sun, of course. He jokes In-Universe that his abs are strong enough to resist knife attacks, when in reality it is his aura. This comes back to bite him when Atlas arrests him after they tracked him down based on those abs.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity:
    • Jaune is branded as a brutal killer for his murder of Adam. Jaune's attempts at reforming the White Fang are mainly because he wants to prove to people that he isn't evil.
    • Ozpin is attempting to avert this with Team RWBY, pointing out that having them attack the Fang directly would look bad.
  • Hidden Depths: Sienna Khan turns out to be a fan of fishing, remarking that there's a special kind of freshness that comes from catching your own food.
  • Hide Your Otherness:
    • Blake, as in canon, used a ribbon to hide her cat ears, to little avail as Ruby accidentally outed her as a Faunus to their team, and Coco later points out that it was ineffective because of her known status as the daughter of the Chieftain of Menagerie.
    • Coco explains to Team RWBY that her partner Velvet used to hide her own rabbit ears under a beret during their first year at Beacon. Ruby notices that Coco wears a beret herself, and wonders if it's the same one.
    • Ilia, as in canon, can blend into a crowd because her Faunus traits are tough to discern.
    • Most Faunus fashion exist to downplay or hide their Faunus features. Which gives more meaning to the White Fang averting this trope during the Vytal Fashion Show by fully embracing their Faunus nature.
  • Hollywood Exorcism: Played for Laughs. After realizing that Adam is more than a hallucination, Jaune attempts to banish him to the afterlife by citing random religious verses and making cross signs. Adam is mildly annoyed.
  • Humans Are Flawed: Adam's ghost takes this view. While he doesn't believe all humans are bad, he sees most humans as lazy people who do little to help Faunus because they don't actually experience any oppression.
  • Humiliation Conga: To say that Neopolitan's attempt to kill Jaune goes bad is like saying that the Grimm are a minor threat to Remnant's population. Instead of what should be a short and brutal beatdown for him, she instead gets covered in food, beaned by a potted plant, has her head shoved in a microwave (with food still inside it), has her pants dropped to her ankles, and ultimately falls and gets locked inside of a dumpster.
  • Hysterical Woman: Lisa Lavender shrieks in terror when she finds herself surrounded by White Fang soldiers. Considering Adam's reputation for brutality, who could blame her.
  • I Control My Minions Through...:
    • Adam used fear and brutality to govern the White Fang. As a result, while they were loyal to him during his life, almost no one is upset when Jaune kills him.
    • Jaune initially uses fear that he'll also be violent to take control of the Fang, but he wins over his followers through respect, his successful reforms, and his genuinely genial personality.
  • I Owe You My Life: After escaping, Jaune makes it clear to the rest of the White Fang he owes Roman for releasing him, especially since he's just as trapped by Cinder, and asks them to let him go if any of them encounters him.
  • If I Do Not Return: When Sun reveals he intends to join the White Fang, Ilia instead recommends Adaming him since he's a Huntsman in training, but both he and Jaune reveal to her that his teammates know where he is and will storm the place if he doesn't call them in an hour.
  • If It's You, It's Okay: Coco is normally attracted to women, but finds herself infatuated with Jaune.
  • I Know Mortal Kombat: Jaune manages to outsmart Atlas' forces using his knowledge of an Atlas video game and video game mechanics, in particular the concept of input lag, much to the astonishment of his minions.
  • Immortality Bisexuality: Ozpin has been many people throughout his thousands of years of life, and not all of them happened to be straight men. He says the appreciation he's gained for the male form helped him pay enough attention to realize that the White Fang member with the amazing abs is the visiting student from Haven with the amazing abs.
  • Impractically Fancy Outfit: The outfits the White Fang, minus Deery, Perry, and Tukson, are forced to wear for the Vytal Fashion Show. Jaune feels ridiculous, calling the outfits out as bizarre and stripperiffic.
  • I'm Taking Her Home with Me!: Coco in regards to Ruby, who is taking her role as a PR Hero incredibly well, to the point of even calling her 'Rubaby', much to Yang's jealousy.
  • Inelegant Blubbering: Neo, of all people, when she gets back to Roman after a humiliating defeat at Jaune's hands that left her covered in garbage.
  • Inherent in the System: Lisa Lavender makes it clear to Jaune she would rather cover the real issues and NOT peddle in sensationalist lies. However, she is forced to work for a corporate media that doesn't want to threaten the bottom line of others, and her audience is a mostly uncaring public more interested in scandal than societal issues.
  • Inspector Javert:
    • Blake is desperate to hunt down and arrest Jaune to "avenge" Adam no matter what she has to do to find him. Meanwhile, no one else even really cares that Adam is dead at all, her friends are worried, her higher-ups are annoyed with her, and she continues to make the situation worse.
    • Ironwood sees Jaune as a dangerous wild card who needs to be arrested at all costs, simply because he is in the White Fang.
  • In Spite of a Nail: Unlike some of the author's other stories, Jaune's absence from the Beacon Initiation doesn't change Team RWBY's lineup.
  • Internal Reformist:
    • Jaune tries to reform the White Fang from terrorism to more hands-on political activism. His reasons for doing so change as the story develops; at first Jaune only wants to clear his name and prove to the world that he's not a villain, but as he witnesses more of the racism that Faunus endure, he starts taking his leadership position more seriously.
    • Sun later joins the White Fang after being convinced of Jaune's sincerity, mostly to make sure that Jaune keeps his promises.
  • Internal Reveal:
    • During the Vytal Fashion Show, Jaune tells Coco about himself, his past and his former dream of becoming a huntsman, along with how he doesn't want to be a terrorist and hurt people, to possibly sway Beacon into not attacking him in the future. Coco states that she wants to believe him, but can't for now.
    • While he's held captive by Cinder's forces, Jaune winds up in a discussion with Roman and ends up telling him the whole story, farcical hijinks and all, from the circumstances that forced him into his current predicament to his human heritage. Roman just about dies laughing.
    • Chapter 63 centers on Jaune and Sienna giving an interview about the events of Cinder's now-routed attack on Beacon. The chapter ends with Jaune finally saying on-camera for the world what the readers have known from the start: that he's not a faunus.
  • Irony:
    • Blake is Mistaken for Racist against Faunus, despite being a Faunus herself and having worked for the Fang in the past.
    • Despite the White Fang's previous history with Schnee Dust, Weiss has a far more cordial relationship with Jaune than with Blake.
    • Jaune whines about how useless the mecha they got from the Albains Brothers was. Once the attack on Amity begins, Jaune finds the mecha to be quite useful.
  • It's All My Fault: Once the effects of his Semblance wear off, Ironwood takes full responsibility for the failed raid against the White Fang, even acknowledging that he should've been prepared for the possibility of shoddy coding from the Knights.
  • Jerkass Has a Point:
    • Adam's ghost makes a lot of good points during one of his conversations with Jaune, even if he is a bit of a dick about it. He points out (accurately) that Jaune has no real resolve to see the cause through to the end, simply working to prove he's not a threat and then let the flame of change he's created flicker out without him. He gives Jaune credit for what he has done, even admitting that he's better than Adam himself was in life, but says that regardless of the circumstances behind his new occupation it's now his duty to use his large amount of influence for the good of the Faunus. Additionally, during his brief time in Jaune's body, Jaune finds himself unable to disagree with anything he said or did even when he was a dick about it.
    • While Vale's government is only imprisoning and railroading Jaune for their own self-serving reasons, none of the charges are exactly fabricated. Jaune acknowledges he did commit crimes, albeit for the greater good, and he has no real defense against them.
  • Jerkass Realization:
    • Jaune's working with the White Fang is mostly out of self-interest at first, with only a cursory care for the plight felt by Faunus. Being nearly raped by an SDC manager changes it somewhat and gives him a deeper understanding of how bad they have it.
    • Ruby is far from a bad person, but Jaune's angry tirade forces her to consider that she's not been as heroic as she should be.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: Elizabeth Tanner, the SDC person, does trap her faunus employees in cycles of debt and forces them to do backbreaking labor. But outside of that, she does seem like a reasonable person. Then she tries to force herself on Jaune.
  • Joke and Receive: A racist police officer snarks that Jaune, after getting shot was probably taken to a vet, as a reference to Faunus being seen as "animals". This is exactly was happened, but for a completely different reason.
  • Just a Kid: The Council of Vale invokes this against Team RWBY, diminishing their genuine acts of heroism as childish behavior to weaken any threat to their authority. They go so far as to say that Jaune is manipulating them.
  • Kangaroo Court: Downplayed. The charges against Jaune are legitimate, but the system clearly has it in for him, subjecting him to grueling conditions in prison, lying to him and gaslighting him to get him to plead guilty, and not giving the corporate criminals he helped bust the same horrible treatment. Ultimately, the judges on the case are sympathetic to him and give him a lenient sentence, even if the Council overrides them.
  • Kick the Dog: The judges at Jaune's trial are willing to send him to a low security prison...but the Council override that decision out of pure spite.
  • Klingon Promotion: The story kicks off when Jaune accidentally kills Adam and the other White Fang members are so shocked they promote him to leader.
  • Knight of Cerebus:
    • Elizabeth Tanner. She seems a like stern but reasonable manager for the SDC. In private, she is a remorseless serial rapist who exploits prejudice to force herself on Faunus men. Her violation of Jaune exposes him to the depths of corruption and exploitation found in Remnant. While the story does lighten back up once she leaves the narrative, it begins to explore more serious abuses people go through and never quite returns to the same light-hearted place that it began.
    • Once the Vale city government shows up, almost all the comedy in the fic is sucked away. Their willingness to persecute and railroad Jaune and use Huntsman and Atlestian robots on peaceful protestors is a sobering depiction of a corrupt government wanting to protect its own power and privileges, even if it means violating the rights of someone who has sought to change society for the better.
  • Knight Templar: Ironwood. He's willing to go over Ozpin's head and violate airspace laws if it means bringing in Jaune.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: After expressing increasing frustration at Cinder's decisions, Mercury finally has enough when Jaune (controlled by Adam's spirit) reveals his survival by interrupting his and Emerald's ramsacking Beacon and putting them on the defensive along with some students. The moment it becomes clear to him that they're on the losing end, he surrenders, disarms himself, volunteers everything he knows about what Cinder is doing in the school, and promises to give testimony exonerating the White Fang for the false flag attack in exchange for a lighter sentence. Emerald is shocked at his betrayal, but he spells out that he never had any real loyalty to Cinder and just went along with her to stay alive.

     L-P 
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Rosemary and Thyme attempt to invoke legal loopholes to protect themselves from Swan, the model whom they've just tortured. Of course, they're arguing legality with Jaune, who has no legal qualms and instead sends Swan straight out onto the catwalk, showing off her mutilated ears for all to see. Ozpin later notes that while they may escape any legal action, no one wants anything to do with them professionally and their bankruptcy is a Foregone Conclusion. On the other hand, in the rare positive side of this trope, Swan herself is given a job by another fashion company as the chair of their new Faunus fashion department, meaning she still gets to work in the business even if she can't model anymore.
  • Lawful Stupid:
    • Ironwood isn't completely unreasonable, but he still directs a ton of firepower against Jaune, who hasn't committed a serious crime except murdering an asshole no one liked.
    • The Ace-Ops defy this, blatantly ignoring the Council's orders to arrest Jaune and his crew, who are trying to stop Cinder.
  • Leonine Contract: The contracts faunus models are forced to sign at modeling agency Rosemary and Thyme. They are forced to give up their image rights even after leaving the agency, and have non-competition clauses that effectively ban them from ever finding another modeling job in all 4 Kingdoms that last 10 years, ie the typical lifespan for a modeling career.
  • Like a Duck Takes to Water: Ruby quickly proves herself to be an excellent Propaganda Hero, because she is a naturally cheerful, optimistic, and self-sacrificing person. Her dorky, cute nature also means that children love her.
  • Lipstick Lesbian: Coco.
  • The Lopsided Arm of the Law: For once, this trope is actually justified and Played for Drama.
    • The amount of persecution, vilification, and hatred Jaune gets from the Vale and Atlas authorities just for being a White Fang member and for making both governments look bad is a sign of how racist and corrupt both societies are. When he gets arrested, the Vale authorities treat him terribly in prison, while treating the white-collar criminals he busted decently, because they see him as a threat to their power and image.
    • Ilia even talks about how even when the White Fang was a lawful organization, the Atlas authorities refused to protect the activists' civil rights from racist mobs but would arrest them when they dared to defend themselves against those same mobs. This was a factor in why Ilia and others turned to terrorism.
  • Lopsided Dichotomy: Coco points out that the way Jaune angles his left breast at everyone he talks to during the fashion show suggests he either has a laser-nipple Semblance or is wearing a hidden camera. Of course Jaune admits its the camera.
  • Machiavelli Was Wrong:
    • Adam's violent and hateful tactics debase the cause of faunus. Jaune's "freedom fighter" strategy, by contrast, earns him enormous support from both his minions and the public.
    • The oppressive behavior of the Vale City Council toward Jaune and his cause only enrage the public even more.
    • Cinder's brutal atrocities and abusive behavior disgust Roman so much that he sneaks Jaune the means to escape her trap and take her down, while Mercury, having no real loyalty to Cinder, turns on her once he realizes how outmatched he was at the Vytal Festival.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Jaune, a milquetoast Internal Reformist of the Vale White Fang, ends up in a public relationship with the very assertive and tough Sienna Kahn . Jaune internally lampshades this:
    Distantly, as he was dipped low, he realized he had become the woman in their little show, and that Sienna Khan probably made a more confident man than he did anyway.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Jaune's hallucinations of Adam. He's convinced it's just a product of his own guilty conscience over killing someone, but occasionally Adam hints at knowledge that Jaune shouldn't have, including Blake's identity. Then in chapter 6, he unlocks Jaune's Aura, proving that it really is the actual ghost of Adam and not any kind of hallucination.
  • Make an Example of Them:
  • Male Gaze: Jaune, Yuma, and Ilia stare a bit at Trifa's butt.
  • Malevolent Masked Man: Inverted. Coco notes how Jaune's best decision to appear non-threatening is that he doesn't wear the White Fang mask, so he comes across as a person rather than an aggressive criminal. Played straight by the rest of the White Fang, who's masks look like the Grim threatening to destroy humanity.
  • Manipulative Bastard: The Vale official who "guards" Jaune in his cell tries to get him to surrender to the authorities by feeding him lies about his team while cutting him off from any outside information.
  • Manipulative Editing: The video of RWBY's fight with the Fang is edited to make them look like the aggressors and incompetent thanks to letting Roman get away.
  • Mark of Shame: The SDC brand that Adam received pops up. Both Deery and Bane received them as part of their brutal treatment on a lumberyard.
  • Marshmallow Hell: One side-effect of having nine people crammed into a single elevator that normally fits three is that Jaune spends the ride up with his face mashed into Goodwitch's breasts.
  • Mistaken for Pedophile: When Roman introduces Neo as his partner, Ruby immediately gets mad and declares she'll arrest him for grooming. Roman denies this is the case as he meant she was his partner in crime, but Neo decides to roll with it to troll him.
  • Mistaken for Prostitute: When Cinder appears unannounced at his headquarters, Jaune, not knowing who she is, assumes she is a stripper.
  • Mistaken for Racist: Blake's confusion of the White Fang working with a human at the docks get her mistaken for a bigot. Ozpin and Goodwitch decide to send her to sensitivity lessons as a result.
  • Mistaken for Romance: After Jaune's popularity explodes from his speech at the Vytal Festival, rumors begin to spread that he and Sienna Khan are lovers to explain his sudden rise to power. Sienna finds it rather funny that they've been mistaken for lovers when they've only known each other for a month and haven't even been in the same room yet.
  • Moral Pragmatist: Mercury, once he sees he has no chance of winning, turns on Cinder and Emerald and confesses everything to get a reduced sentence.
  • Mrs. Robinson:
    • Elizabeth Tanner is a very negative example. She blackmails young Faunus men into having sex with her, on top of being a withered old lady. Her feeling up of Jaune is treated by everyone as Sick and Wrong.
    • Sienna Kahn is in her thirties and chooses to engage in a relationship with Jaune. Her putting the moves on Jaune is presented in a more positive light, since Sienna actually likes Jaune as a person and admires him as a brilliant strategist.
  • Mundane Utility
    • Qrow's ability to turn into a bird is a near-unique magical gift. Among other more dramatic uses, he sometimes turns into a bird before drinking so that his tiny bird body gets smashed on a fraction of the alcohol his human body would, saving a lot of booze money.
    • Everyone uses their semblances and Faunus features in unique and unexpected ways during the fashion show, but Sun takes the cake by creating an entire marching band out of his clones.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Minus the "my god", Ironwood namedrops the trope when he realizes that he activated his Semblance before his interview with Lisa. And that's before he learns that he arrested a student based entirely on his abs, implemented nap time for his soldiers, and pushed himself to the edge of sleep deprivation, "roughly in that order".
  • My God, You Are Serious!: Trifa initially laughs at Jaune's confession that he doesn't have his Aura unlocked. After Jaune gets shot, she realize he really doesn't.
  • My Master, Right or Wrong: Adam's minions are game to whatever strategy the leader of their faction engages in. Whether it is extreme violence (Adam) or humanitarianism (Jaune).
  • Mythology Gag: Jaune's mom gives him a Full-Name Ultimatum over a TV broadcast. Apparently, his middle name is Sylver.
  • Neutrality Backlash: Sienna warns Jaune if he doesn't take any direct action whatsoever against someone, he'll alienate the violent faction of the White Fang. His good PR won't matter if he doesn't use it in any meaningful way.
  • New Friend Envy: Ilia, Jaune's defacto second-in-command, gets jealous at the amount of trust that Sun gets from Jaune. They even get into an argument over who Jaune trusts more.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Team RWBY's interference in the dock heist backfires on them in every way. They ruin the White Fang's ambush, get into a petty argument with them that gives Roman Torchwick all the time in the world to steal the dust and escape scot free, the ensuing fight causes massive property damage that they wind up being blamed for, and they don't even manage to capture any of the White Fang members. Last but not least, Lisa Lavender uploads a video of the events online soon after, edited to remove any scenes that'd make the White Fang look bad. All of the above guarantees that Beacon will face a PR nightmare trying to explain why four of their students caused such a mess.
  • No Bisexuals: Averted. As Coco is explaining that Jaune doesn't turn her away, Velvet still calls her a lesbian in her confusion. Coco retorts that it's probably more like bisexual with a 99% lean towards women.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished:
    • Jaune, hoping to get the White Fang some good PR, decides to sell some of the stolen Dust and help the poor. The press accuses him of preying on the homeless.
    • Samantha, an average doctor the White Fang talk to, decides to help them expose a corrupt hospital that's damaging their patients. This help comes in the extravagant form of doing two (2) blood tests on Sun, to figure out whether the hospital in question really did anything to him or not. Her reward is to be arrested by the Council for "supporting domestic terrorism".
    • This is Played for Drama: The reason why the Council is so harsh on Jaune is because they're mad at him for making them look bad.
  • Nominal Hero:
    • Jaune has little interest in the cause of the White Fang and the downtrodden. He only reforms the White Fang and supports charity work in the hopes that he can avoid prison for accidentally killing Adam. He admits to himself that if not for his situation, he probably would've ignored the plight of the poor like most people did.
    • Lisa eagerly joins Jaune's cause, mainly to advance her own career.
  • Non-Indicative Name: The donkey Faunus model is named Swan.
  • Noodle Incident: The incident where Jaune killed Adam in the first place. All we know is that Adam took him hostage in front of his minions and it ended when Jaune stabbed him on accident, but whatever happened in-between those two points is not clear (and if the author's comments are anything to go by, they won't ever be).
  • Not So Above It All:
    • Ozpin is a Consummate Professional, but even he isn't afraid to get in a few digs at someone else's expense:
      • Team RWBY's stunt at the docks manages to annoy him so much that he becomes willing to openly mock them if it gets his point across.
        "What was that, Miss Rose? I couldn't hear you over the sound of everyone in Vale asking me why four of my students burned down the docks and millions of lien in dust." He made a show of wriggling a finger in his ear. "What were you saying? Something helpful no doubt."
      • Ironwood activating his Semblance and arresting a student entirely based on his abs gives Ozpin all he needs for several minutes of straight mocking, with nothing held back - Ironwood's "nap time", Winter's exactly 200 second bathroom break and 30-second "hand washing mission", and above all the lack of evidence he had in arresting Sun all become fair game.
    • Even Adam, well known for spending most of his time either brooding in silence or pining over Blake, can't help but jump in when Ozpin insults Cinder, calling it a "burn".
  • "Not So Different" Remark: Subtly, Sienna gets Yang to admit that she would also resort to violence if someone she cared about was threatened.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Cinder and goons bumble around in their attempt to either force Jaune to work for them or kill him, but then show why they are agents of Salem.
    • Cinder burns several mob goons alive to coerce the other mobs to work for her.
    • Emerald manages to get Jaune nearly assassinated, leading to his arrest and sowing anger and distrust in Vale's population.
    • Finally, Cinder and her goons brutally execute the guards escorting Jaune to jail while disguised as White Fang, knowing it will stoke tensions between Vale and the White Fang.
  • No, You: At the Vytal Introduction Ceremony, Blake calling Jaune a terrorist gets immediately turned around when he points out that she was one too.
  • Once Done, Never Forgotten: The reason Ilia has a copy of Blake's outfit laying around, plus a black wig and fake cat ears, is from one time when a previous girlfriend suggested they try costumed roleplaying in the bedroom. Said girlfriend meant like a celebrity or something, not Ilia's actual crush who she'd rather be with instead, and dumped her for it. Everyone in the White Fang knows the story, and they keep bringing it up.
  • One Woman Army: Cinder alone proves to be more of a match to the entire White Fang, to the point where they decide to beat a hasty retreat.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: Jaune has sold himself as a milquetoast and moderate version of the White Fang. His unambiguously angry and vicious tirade at the Vytal Festival shocks everyone to say the least.
  • Open Heart Dentistry: Jaune gets treated by a veterinarian because he's a wanted man and can't go to a hospital. It's justified by the fact that the vet works in a poor neighborhood so he's used to treating animals with gunshot wounds like the one Jaune has.
  • Opportunistic Bastard: After Jaune gets shot, the Valean authorities take the opportunity to lock him up.
  • Our Nudity Is Different: Backstage during the Vytal Fashion Show, all the models, both male and female, walk around half-naked due to their profession giving them a reduced sense of modesty, much to Yuma and Ilia's shock, and the remaining White Fang's eventual acceptance.
  • Outside-Context Problem: Jaune is this for both the authorities and Cinder Fall. Jaune's less violent methods make him far more frustrating to deal with, and Cinder is annoyed by how she can't use him the way she could use Adam.
  • Papa Wolf: Jaune's father gets seriously pissed off at Vale's authorities for keeping him captive in a cell.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise:
    • Ozpin lampshades that Blake's idea of a disguise is to wear a bow over her ears but otherwise keep the same appearance and name as when she was a White Fang terrorist.
    • During the Vytal Fashion Show, Coco recognizes Sun as a transfer from Mistral due to the fact that he doesn't button his shirt up. Sun replies that he's 'Solar Flare,' to Coco's amusement.
  • The Paragon: Jaune manages to reform the Vale branch of the White Fang into more of a freedom fighting organization, and becomes beloved across Vale's faunus. However, while he is a genuinely decent guy, he has no real interest in the cause of Faunus: because he accidentally killed Adam Taurus, he was forced to join the Fang and reform them to prove to society he wasn't a monster. To his frustration, each success just leads him to be irrevocably tied to his movement, to the point where if he were to quit, the White Fang could slip back into its old violent ways.
  • Person as Verb: To "Adam" something seems to mean responding to any problem with murderous violence, especially beheading.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • Being Anti-Villain terrorists, Jaune's minions have no shortage of moments that show, despite them being criminals, they do want to better the lives of their fellow faunus.
      • Although he is awkward about it, Perry tries to reassure Jaune that being sexually assaulted wasn't his fault. Also, they were charging to save him from Tanner long before Jaune said his codeword.
      • The White Fang are genuinely horrified when a faunus model is mutilated, and Trifa helps calm the woman down and treats her wounds.
    • Offscreen, the other Faunus in the SDC camp warn Trifa that if Jaune cheats on her with Tanner, it is in no way willingly, meaning the other Faunus women have come to realize what happened in there and don't blame their husbands for it.
    • The spirit of Adam, oddly enough, assures Jaune that he was never a bad person, and commends him for acknowledging the injustice many faunus go through. He later gets his first genuine moment of kindness when he reads his terrible poetry while Jaune is in prison in order to prevent him from going mad from the isolation.
  • Phrase Catcher: Jaune's outfit for the Vytal Festival is constantly referred to as a cross between a musketeer and a failed superhero.
  • Plague of Good Fortune: Jaune's success causes him to gain more and more favor and gifts from Sienna Kahn and the Albain Brothers. This is what he doesn't want since it leads to them wanting him to do more than just simply perform good works as he originally intended.
  • Police Are Useless:
    • Played for Drama. Many faunus were driven to extremism because Atlas authorities did not protect their right to peaceful protest, nor allowed them to defend themselves from physical attack. Even Jaune has to acknowledge that what Atlas did was beyond shitty.
    • Vale's law enforcement proves to be utterly incapable of solving the same problems that Jaune's White Fang and Beacon's Huntresses have been. At best, they're hopelessly limited by red tape, and in other cases they're explicitly compromised by the criminal elements they're supposed to target. The government forcefully takes a lead out of Beacon's hands to investigate it themselves and get better PR, only to have the plans leak to the targets from somewhere along the chain of command. They then stonewall the authorities with legal threats, betting on the glacial pace of legal correspondence giving them all the time in the world to relocate their illegal activities before a single cop can set foot in the building. Before they can get away with it all, Team RWBY and the Fang take matters into their own hands.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Played for Laughs: when Cinder arrives to the arms deal, the Fang look to Jaune for guidance. When he makes a plan, he says "It's time to-", only to discover Neopolitan behind him and try to call for help. Unfortunately for him, his followers hear "It's time to help", so they go into the deal and leave him with Neo.
  • Positive Friend Influence: Gradually, Jaune's methods and influence gradually make the White Fang more personable and less violent. Even after he is unfairly arrested, Sienna and the others refuse to take the bait, knowing it would destroy his efforts more than him being arrested would.
  • Pragmatic Hero:
    • Coco is willing to work with Jaune and the White Fang if it means that both the Fang and Beacon come away from the fashion show with a win. Goodwitch and Blake aren't happy about the White Fang benefitting at all, but Ozpin accepts the compromise and commends Coco for her foresight. Her overall goal for stopping the Fang is to trap Jaune in a corner where he has to spread his nonviolence across the entire group - it wouldn't destroy the group, but it would change them away from the terrorists they currently are.
    • Ozpin is quickly revealed to be one as well when he invites Jaune to the Vytal Festival and promises him protection. As Jaune details to Team RWBY, he can feel safe inside Beacon Academy because he knows Ozpin isn't going to risk Beacon's reputation by going back on his word after promising him safety.
  • Pragmatic Villainy:
    • Several characters see Jaune's acts of charity and goodwill as being done in the name of personal advancement and power, and not out of any desire to help people.
    • Many White Fang extremists aren't thrilled about Jaune helping humans, but they are willing to go along with it if it gets them results. Sienna admits to Jaune she would rather him not help humans, but swallows it because it advances her cause.
    • Roman plays along with Team RWBY's arguments at the docks because he realizes that keeping them distracted will allow him to escape easier. It works perfectly.
    • Jacques Schnee condemns the horrid behavior of Elizabeth Tanner, but only to improve his own public standing. He also pressures Atlas to release Jaune, because he'd rather be dealing with a pacified White Fang under Jaune than a violent offshoot.
    • Sienna romancing Jaune is mainly a means to tie him permanently to the White Fang and his position as her loyal subordinate.
    • The Vale underworld allies with the White Fang against the Council - not because they support the Fang's agenda, but because the Fang is a known quantity they can work around compared to the civil unrest the Council is currently causing.
    • Mercury himself thinks Cinder prolonging Jaune's agony is stupid. Unlike Roman, this isn't for moral reasons: it is because simply killing him would be easier and more conducive to their master plan.
  • Propaganda Hero: Ozpin decides to make Team RWBY into this to combat the White Fang.
  • Properly Paranoid: The third and fourth attempts to assassinate Jaune at the dance fail because of this. Emerald makes Blake hallucinate Jaune pulling a gun to get her to attack him, but Weiss, expecting her to try something, restrains Blake before she can do anything. When Emerald tries the same thing with Ironwood, Goodwitch intervenes.
  • Punch-Clock Villain:
    • Much to Jaune's surprise, his minions behave like squabbling friends when not being terrorists.
    • Mercury, who doesn't have much genuine loyalty to Cinder. When Jaune (accidentally) insults Cinder, Mercury wordlessly congratulates Jaune. Once he realizes Cinder is beat, he immediately surrenders and aids the heroes in favor of a lighter sentence.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: The Council of Vale wins in their case against Jaune, and even gets him sent to a maximum security prison out of spite, but their reputation has been shattered beyond repair and they could lose the next election.
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     R-Z 
  • Rage-Breaking Point: Jaune's speech at the Vytal Festival is originally a rather vanilla one, simply talking about goals of equality, but when Jaune sees that people aren't even bothering to give him five minutes of their attention, instead choosing to blindly nod along or even look at their Scrolls, he scraps it and goes on an impassioned rant, accusing everyone present of suffering from Bystander Syndrome and patting themselves on the back for it. It goes viral by the end of the day.
  • Rape Portrayed as Redemption: Downplayed. Jaune was never a bad person, but very naïve about the discrimination of faunus. Being accosted by an SDC manager is what makes him acknowledge the injustice others suffer.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Jaune can tolerate the debt traps and drudgery on the SDC lumber yard. Being nearly raped by the manager-and finding out the manager had also forced herself on others is what prompts him to sic his crew on the lumber yard. Other characters are also horrified by this.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure:
    • The official during the Vytal Fashion Show first investigates Ivory Tooth's changing room when they are accused by Subtle Spices of kidnapping, but realizes something is wrong when he spots a bleeding faunus model. He refuses to disqualify them without hearing the whole story, is horrified when he learns what happened, and later helps the White Fang put on a final display, showcasing both the mutilated model and the branded Bane.
    • Sienna is surprisingly reasonable, given her position. After Jaune's success at the fashion show, Sienna tells him that while she is irate at his rather eccentric methods, she cannot deny his results, and congratulates him on what he has managed to accomplish. She also warns him that there are extremist factions that will attempt to bring him down to their level if he doesn't step up his plans and freely gives him advice on how to handle the situation when he asks for it. To Jaune's relief, she doesn't at all believe the tabloid that claimed she and Jaune are lovers, and was more amused than anything.
    • The judges at Jaune's trial don't overlook his unlawful behavior, but are nevertheless able to give him as lenient of a sentence as they can after being moved by all the good he did. They even wanted to move him to a nicer prison, but were overruled by Vale's government.
  • Recognition Failure: Coco calls the rest of Team RWBY idiots for not recognizing Blake's last name as the founders of the White Fang, after just saying there isn't a Faunus alive who doesn't know her.
  • Reformed, but Rejected: Jaune himself manages to do many unambigiously good things for both faunus and human. However Beacon and the other human authorities continue to treat him like a wanted terrorist, largely because he is still part of a terrorist organization and could potentially be putting on an act. Even Coco, his self-declared frenemy, chooses to take what he says with a grain of salt.
  • Refuge in Audacity:
    • The only reason why Jaune and Coco get away with the stunts that the Fang and Team RWBY pull in the fashion show is because no one has ever tried anything like it before and it's all so epic that no one wants to tell them to stop.
    • What is Ozpin's response when Jaune hijacks the Vytal welcoming ceremony? He calls his bluff and invites the known terrorist to the later introductory ceremony as his personal guest, promising him protection and a chance to speak his piece.
    • Jaune barely gets away with calling Cinder a stripper because it is so outrageous, she sees it as brilliant psychological warfare.
      • Later chapters, as evidenced by Cinder's insistence on making Jaune's end painful rather than just slitting his throat and being done with it, indicate that he didn't get away with it at all. Cinder was just waiting for the right time to get revenge.
    • Since Jaune is notorious for not wearing a mask in public, he and his crew decide to sneak into Junior's nightclub by publicly wearing full White Fang attire. The partygoers and employees mistake them for being partygoers...until he removes his mask.
  • The Resenter: Blake admits to Yang that her enmity toward Jaune is because she's let down over the fact that none of her or Adam's efforts achieved anything of value, while Jaune achieved more than she ever could, and her resentment of Jaune is a mask that prevents her from having to come to terms with that.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Cinder hates Jaune so much for blowing her off and calling her a stripper that it seriously impacts her decision-making. She places him in a sadistic death trap for maximum anguish, which he then escapes from with some help, even though Mercury complains that it would be easier in every way to just kill him. Cinder then loses her final battle at Beacon in large part because she cares more about killing Jaune (who isn't a threat to her) than defending herself from Ozpin, Glynda and the Ace-Ops (who are).
  • Rhetorical Question Blunder: Cinder Fall furiously asks Jaune if her name sounds like a stripper. To her consternation, he and half the Fang answer in the affirmative.
  • Riddle for the Ages: How Jaune managed to kill Adam. The author states they will purposefully never reveal how a man with no Aura killed a terrorist. We know that Jaune stabbed him in the neck, and the chapter 1 author's note mentions that Adam didn't see Jaune as a true threat and let his guard down, but we never learn how Jaune overpowered Adam in the first place.
  • Right Behind Me: Ilia gushes about Jaune's potential sexual adventures with Sienna with Sienna standing right behind her, much to her embarrassment.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons:
    • A racist cop suggests the White Fang would got the a veterinarian for medical treatment because "they're animals". While they did got to a vet, it was because hospitals weren't an option and Perry works at a vet's office.
    • When Ilia learns that Jaune had originally planned to apply for Beacon as a Huntsman, she presumes that he was rejected because he was a faunus and joined the White Fang out of anger. He was rejected from Beacon, but that was due to being exposed as the new leader of the White Fang, which means he was subsequently rejected for being a faunus (terrorist) and (had no choice but to) joined the White Fang.
  • Rousing Speech: Subverted. Trifa and Ilia expect Jaune to give some thunderous speech to the White Fang recruits. Instead he ops for a simple slideshow, complete with silly pictures and stock photos, much to their consternation.
  • Rule-Abiding Rebel:
    • Jaune is technically the leader of a terrorist cell, but he mainly sticks to targeting government and corporate corruption rather than engaging in Adam's style of mindless violence. He even publically discloses his raids in order to prove to the public he isn't trying to be above the law.
    • Sun is a lax guy who appreciates Jaune's efforts, but he makes it clear he'll take Jaune down if he crosses a serious line.
  • Rule of Drama: The author's first chapter note makes it clear that he has no intention of ever trying to justify how Jaune manages to kill Adam in the first place, just that it happened and thus the story begins.
  • Rule of Three: Coco is accused of flirting with Jaune during the Vytal Fashion Show, first by Team RWBY, and then later by Glynda Goodwitch, whom she fends off. However, the third time, she folds like wet paper when she's confronted by an irate Velvet, who drags her off.
  • Running Gag: After Jaune points out that it's odd for Trifa's webs to come out of her hands when actual spiders have their silk glands in their rears, several people (primarily Yuma) refer to her as having spider anuses on her wrists.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!:
    • Barely defied. While Jaune wants to bend the law to help a Faunus doctor who was unfairly persecuted by the Council, Sienna talks him down by pointing out the Council would want him to lash out that way.
    • Played straight with the Ace-Ops, who not too subtly pretend to not receive the Council's orders to arrest the White Fang once they swoop in to help take down Cinder.
  • Secret Secret-Keeper: Ozpin reveals in chapter 33 that he was well aware of Sun's connection to the Fang ever since the fashion show, but was content to ignore it.
  • Secret Test of Character: Sun, applying to join the White Fang, tells Jaune and Ilia he intends to join the White Fang to spy on them, believing that if the organization is as good as it claims then there's no reason for them to be worried. Jaune ends up accepting him, at which point Sun reveals the test: he told his teammates where he was going, so if he doesn't call them in an hour their site will be raided by every law enforcement officer they can mobilize.
  • Seemingly Profound Fool: Jaune's greatest weapon isn't just his plans for reform, but his dorky, shy, and endearing behavior. It makes him far more popular with the public than Adam ever was. This leads other to suspect he is a PR mastermind who puts on a façade with the public.
  • Self-Deprecation: Lisa Lavender spends most of her time in the story bashing the modern journalism industry in a story written by a professional journalist.
  • Sensory Overload: Deliberately exploited against Ironwood's robots, which start to lag when trying to process a whole multi-story parking garage's worth of car alarms.
  • Sexual Extortion: Elizabeth Tanner tries to force herself onto Jaune, threatening to have him thrown out of the camp with Trifa covering the whole of their debt. This was a regular tactic of hers she's used before as Trifa learned from the others at the camp.
  • Shameless Fanservice Girl: Sienna is a downplayed and justified version of this trope. She wears a very revealing outfit when she lets Jaune take her to Beacon's dance, but this is due to the fact that Menagerie has a tropical climate, so people don't wear too much.
  • Sheep in Sheep's Clothing: Jaune's demeanor and altruistic behavior is seen In-Universe as a mask that hides an evil mastermind.
  • Shipping Torpedo: Velvet is deadset against Coco pursuing a relationship with Jaune, due to him being a wanted terrorist.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!: Lisa Lavender gives Jaune such a speech, gently telling him that his acts of charity aren't really going to change much.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man:
    • Once she meets Jaune face to face and dances with him, Coco finds herself attracted to Jaune's down-to-earth nature and hatred of injustice. The fact that he is technically a terrorist fills her with no small amount of frustration.
    • After dealing with so many bloodthirsty fanatics, Sienna also finds herself attracted to Jaune's down-to-earth nature, and decides to make the rumors about their affair a reality.
  • Skewed Priorities: After the events of the fashion show, Adam spends more time yelling at Jaune for not attempting to get Blake into her swimsuit than he does discussing the show.
  • Slave to PR: Discussed. Ozpin discusses in depth why a positive image is important for any organization to have. Even Roman Torchwick has to present himself as a Gentleman Thief to gain some favor from the public.
  • Sleazy Politician: The Council of Vale are often more annoyed at Jaune and his branch of the White Fang upstaging them and exposing their own weaknesses than with actually solving those weaknesses. Despite the White Fang doing good work, the Council pulls the plug on Beacon's cooperation with the White Fang out of sheer pride. They later drag a civilian doctor who helped the White Fang through the mud just so they can either silence White Fang sympathizers or bait Jaune into violence. When Jaune gets shot, Vale takes the opportunity to lock Jaune up, and pressures Beacon and Atlas to use their resources to crack down on the resulting protests.
    Blake: They'd rather the city die than admit they did something wrong.
  • Sliding Scale of Silliness vs. Seriousness: This fic lies firmly on the "silliness" end of the spectrum, especially when compared to Null, the author's other Clear My Name story. While the racism presented in this story is treated completely seriously and important topics like physical and sexual abuse are given the respect they deserve, this fic still deserves the "humor/parody" label it has on FanFiction.net through things like Jaune crossdressing.
  • The Social Expert: Coco is this and is put in charge of Team RWBY's PR training, pointing out how and what they can do to improve their image and organizing events to boost their public image.
  • Some of My Best Friends Are X: Ironwood and Yang both claim to support Faunus simply because they have one Faunus member on their respective teams.
  • Sour Outside, Sad Inside: As is usual for Blake, she is aggressive and uncompromising towards the White Fang, seeing them as the same kind of monsters they were becoming when she left. She behaves the same towards Jaune in particular, pointedly ignoring any evidence of the kind of man he is or how he's transforming the Fang, proclaiming it all to be a trick. After one too many incidents, she breaks down and confesses that she pushes back so hard against Jaune and the Fang being redeemable because of what that implies about the cause she gave her life to. Jaune's success is living proof that everything she and Adam sacrificed, and the damage they caused, were All for Nothing, and it would have been so easy to do what he's done if they were just better people. A part of her desperately wants it all to be a ruse so that her choices, both to become violent and later to desert, would be vindicated, but it's becoming increasingly clear to her that every decision she made for years only made things worse.
  • Spiritual Antithesis: To From Beyond (RWBY), another fanfic by the same author. In From Beyond, Jaune dies during Beacon's initiation when he hits the ground. He goes on to become a ghost that only Blake can perceive in any way. They become great friends as Jaune uses his few new abilities to help her however he can. Jaune, thanks to his newfound status as a ghost, has his personality greatly shift to a more carefree and perverted individual, unhindered by most earthly baggage. In this story, Jaune never even gets to Beacon, instead killing Adam and having the man haunt him. He is also a much more troubled person plagued by enormous pressure, and Blake, his Love Interest in From Beyond, hates him with a passion for killing Adam. In From Beyond, Jaune's cut off from interacting with the world due to his state, here he becomes a famous influential figure.
  • Spotting the Thread: The judge from Jaune's trial believes that the White Fang didn't break him out for one main reason - the Fang didn't know that he was being sent to a higher security prison after it was promised that he'd be sent to a lower-security prison, only the Council and the people in the transport did. If the Fang were the ones planning the ambush, they would've missed the transport because they would've been somewhere else entirely.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: A variety of people, himself included, describing Jaune's outfit for the Vytal Festival:
    Jaune: I'm going to look like a cross between a musketeer and a failed superhero.
    Ilia: [You look like] a cross between a musketeer and a failed superhero.
    Ironwood: You look like a cross between a musketeer and a failed superhero.
    Yang: Going for the musketeer look, or the failed superhero?
  • Stripperiffic: The outfits the White Fang males (Jaune, Bane, Sun, Yuma) wear for the Vytal Fashion Show, almost all lacking shirts and showing off their muscles. By contrast, Ilia's outfit only exposes her stomach, but she still feels pissed off.
  • Statuesque Stunner: Sienna Kahn, who is almost as tall as Jaune, is seen as a knockout by men (and Ilia)
  • Stunned Silence: The audience is stunned into silence during Ivory Studio's final display at the Vytal Fashion Show, 'The Price of Fashion', showcasing Subtle Spices' mutilated model and the heavily whipped and branded Bane.
  • Sure, Let's Go with That: Every time Jaune has an idea, the White Fang somehow manage to make it sound like a much smarter plan than it actually is. With no real option, he tends to just roll with it instead of clear it up.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Adam considered his minions (except Bane) to be pathetic fools. Jaune himself starts feeling the same way, although doesn't think of himself as much smarter.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • Ozpin makes it clear to Blake that he knew full well she's a Faunus and an ex-member of the White Fang, especially since she did absolutely nothing to cover her tracks except wear a bow over her ears. Plus, she used her real name to enroll. Coco also points out her disguise is pointless since most people would recognize her family name as most people already know her parents as the founders of the White Fang.
    • Cinder calls Jaune, hoping she can bully him like she did Adam, only for him to put her on hold. Cinder realizes that while she is quite intimidating in person, her silky words aren't going to work on someone who doesn't know who she is, since Cinder only had contact with Adam. This takes a comedic turn, when Cinder shows up unannounced in his hideout and Jaune assumes that Cinder was a stripper.
    • Sienna and the Albains gift Jaune's group with an Atlasian Paladin prototype. Real Game Changer right? Except none of them know how to pilot it, and it being a prototype means there was no instruction manual which means its sticking around the base as, in Jaune's words, 'the most expensive, illegal, and criminally hot paperweight.'
    • Ozpin points out they cannot attack the new White Fang directly because their focus on charity and improved public relations makes anyone who opposes them look villainous.
    • Being felt up and blackmailed into a sexual relationship is not a fun thing to experience, even if the victim is male and the predator is female. The experience is so painful and dehumanizing, Jaune is reduced to tears.
    • While in many stories an organization would be able to get along fine and continue by utilizing loopholes, Subtle Spice is noted to be soon defunct after Ivory Tooth exposed them. Lack of legal consequence will not stop them from losing business over scandal.
    • Coco develops a friendship of sorts with Jaune, flirting with Jaune and even working with him to bring down a corrupt modeling agency. But this leads to her getting a major chewing out by both her teammates and teachers for working with a known terrorist.
    • After Sun's arrest, Lisa tries to get together information to publish a story on it (that would naturally bend the truth to make Atlas look as bad as possible). Unfortunately for her, Jaune and Sun have to nix the plan because the story could have only come from Sun, and that means that Ironwood could trace it back to him immediately.
  • Sympathetic Inspector Antagonist:
    • Ozpin. He may be trying to arrest Jaune, but largely because he is unaware of Jaune's intentions and fears what he could as the new White Fang leader.
    • Coco herself becomes incredibly conflicted over Jaune. While her loyalty lies with Beacon and the law, she finds herself admiring him after seeing his genuine decency play out.
  • Sympathy for the Devil:
    • Despite everything that happened between them, Blake mourns Adam's death and resents Jaune for killing him.
    • "Devil" is a strong word, but when Weiss learns that Bane's enraged attack on her at the docks was essentially a giant panic attack, she begins to quietly and sadly wonder just what must have happened to him to traumatize him so badly.
  • Take That!: Blake and Ilia's "fight" at the docks can be seen as one to the infamously dialogue-filled fight scenes in Volume 5; the two of them stand across from each other arguing the entire time instead of actually trying to fight, though Jaune does note that there are some scuffle marks indicating they at least swung at each other. Even Jaune getting directly in-between them does nothing to stop the argument or reignite the fight.
  • Taking You with Me: When Rosemary and Thyme try to tell Swan that her career will be over if she exposes what they did to her, she counters that her career is over anyway thanks to the holes in her ears and at least this way she can take them down with her.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: Averted and even potentially deconstructed. When Team RWBY arrives at the docks, they begin bickering after Blake gets Mistaken for Racist. Roman takes full advantage of this distraction (and even joins in at one point) to have his men load the dust he's stealing into their bullheads, so by the time RWBY is done arguing, he's already long gone. When the incident gets videoed and published online, Team RWBY (and Ozpin by extension) look like they actually let Roman get away and it tanks their reputation.
  • Tap on the Head: Invoked but subverted; Ozpin considers doing this to Ironwood with his cane as the situation gets more and more out of control, but ultimately decides not to.
    Alas, he had diplomatic immunity and strong relations were not forged by the braining of one's allies.
  • The Tease: Sienna has no problem using her beauty to rile others up. When she hears Ilia making noise about her soft skin, Sienna shoves her breast against Ilia's head and rubs her bare arms against Ilia's cheeks while grabbing for Jaune's newspaper.
  • Technician Versus Performer: Adam is a brilliant tactician and fearsome warrior, but his lack of self-awareness, brutality, and psychotic vendetta against humanity makes him a terrible leader for the White Fang, even among those who agree with him like Sienna. Jaune is a teenaged kid with a complete lack of fighting ability, but a good understanding of public relations, and is able to win a good amount of popularity for his cause.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork:
    • Ilia and Sun don't get along. The former distrusts him for all but admitting to be spying on them, and both of them fight over who Jaune trusts more.
    • Sienna and Adam had a 'terrible working relationship. Her relationship with the Albain brothers is also pretty testy too, with her not trusting them. Sienna comes around to working with Jaune because his natural politeness is a breath of fresh air compared to Adam's temper and caprices.
    • Ozpin and Ironwood agree that they need to defend Remnant against Salem, but they get into fights over how to deal with the White Fang.
  • Tempting Fate: While Jaune is recording a corrupt CEO talking about his company's misdeeds, Yuma texts him. Just as Jaune's hoping that said CEO will ignore it as his imagination, Yuma sends four more texts in quick succession.
  • That Came Out Wrong: Roman referring to Neo as his partner when introducing her to Ruby results in him being Mistaken for Pedophile by Ruby, who accuses him of grooming her.
  • The One Thing I Don't Hate About You:
    • In a weirdly touching example, Adam explain while hates Jaune, he admires the fact that he's sticking up for Faunus and won't be a bystander to injustice even if he quits the White Fang.
    • Ironwood despises Jaune as a criminal, but does acknowledge him as a brilliant propagandist.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Adam helps Jaune with Cinder so that Blake can defeat Jaune to avenge him, rather than having Cinder killing Jaune before then.
  • They Look Just Like Everyone Else!: Discussed In-Universe. Coco, when trying to help Team RWBY rebuild their reputation, explains that Jaune's success with the public is partly because he doesn't wear a mask. His shy, dorky face makes him far more sympathetic and approachable with the public then if he wore the scary looking White Fang mask.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: After learning that Sun intends to ask Blake out eventually, Jaune quietly realizes that Adam's ghost is going to throw a fit about it later.
  • This Is Reality: While disrupting an arms deal, Jaune (who can't physically see it) asks if it's "kicking off" yet. Tukson rebukes him by pointing out that, contrary to how TV depicts it, arms deals tend to go well because the people who make things "kick off" get blacklisted from the underworld, so it's in everyone's best interests to play ball.
  • Tiger by the Tail: Despite Jaune's desire to leave the White Fang once he's proven his innocence, he, with Adam's prodding realizes that backing out could plunge the White Fang back into violence.
  • Token Evil Teammate: While not cruel, Yuma definitely has fewer qualms about getting his hands dirty than the others. And he has quite a nasty sense of humor to boot. Jaune frequently has to rein him in.
  • Token Good Teammate: Jaune, due to his non-criminal background, is this to his White Fang branch. Of his followers, Sun purposely joins the Fang to serve this role, with Jaune openly referring to him as the good one of his soldiers.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Jaune manages to genuinely come up with his own PR plan when he is arrested after the Vytal Festival. While he can't fight the charges on a legal footing, he can make it a PR spectacle for the ages, so he calls in victims of the people he took down as witnesses for his side. Again, it can't change the charges and most of the testimony gets stricken from the record, but the prosecution look like monsters to the people watching.
  • Took a Level in Cynic:
    • Lisa Lavender wanted to be a hard hitting investigative reporter who acted as a beacon of truth in the world. Then she wrote her first big story, one exposing a major corporation for exploiting their workers to the point of multiple ambulance calls weekly and firing someone for having a heart attack at work. Lisa's editor refused to publish it and fired her, with said corporation forcing her to sign several NDAs. Ever since, she just writes sensationalist pieces.
    • Jaune himself grows increasingly frustrated with society after seeing how much injustice goes on. It culminates in him giving a blistering speech at the Vytal Festival.
    • Ruby becomes increasingly disillusioned with the system of government and authority in Vale as she continues seeing Jaune make more progress than the police. It comes to a head when the police actively sabotage a raid and arrest Jaune after he gets shot, culminating in her genuinely running for mayor.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: The ghost of Adam starts out with severe contempt for Jaune, only helping out of his feeling of obligation to his old crew. But as Jaune not succeeds as a White Fang, but gains greater empathy for the suffering of the Faunus, Adam becomes much less hostile to Jaune-albeit while not being afraid to be harsh to him in order to get his point across.
  • Torpedo Tits: Coco jokingly accuses Jaune of either having a camera, or nipples lasers for a Semblance due to him angling his left breast at people to get footage.
  • Trash Landing: Caps off Neo's duel with Jaune - she tumbles from a collapsing fire escape into a dumpster. Then Jaune locks her in.
  • Trauma Button: As a result of his Dark and Troubled Past at the SDC's hand, seeing a member of the Schnee family is enough to drive Bane into an Unstoppable Rage. He admits that it wasn't Weiss' fault since she wasn't there, but he still can't help but get angry.
  • Troll: Yuma has shades of this. He slips a picture of Trifa in a bikini into Jaune's presentation.
  • Uncomfortable Elevator Moment: The elevator into Beacon's basement is built to fit maybe three people. Nine people in it at once - Jaune, Ozpin, Goodwitch, Qrow, and all five Ace-Ops - is a distinctly cramped experience for all involved, particularly when one of the Ace-Ops happens to be Elm.
  • Undercover as Lovers: Jaune and Trifa infiltrate an SDC Lumber Yard by pretending to be a married couple trying to find work.
  • Unsettling Gender Reveal: Defied. When Sun learns a disguised Jaune is male, he isn't bothered in the slightest, and keeps calling Jaune pretty.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Bane flies into a monstrous rage when he sees Weiss at the docks, immediately losing all sense of logic or reason and blindly attempting to kill her as fast as possible. At least that's what it appears to be on the surface; Bane reveals afterwards that he was having a panic attack and responding in the only way he could because of his trauma from the SDC camp.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Everything that Team RWBY does while trying to stop Roman at the docks does nothing but make the situation worse for everyone except Roman.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Simply by behaving like corrupt assholes, the Vale Council creates the tension that Cinder needs for her plan to go forward.
  • Villain Has a Point:
    • The ghost of Adam is totally unrepentant about his violent acts, but Jaune finds himself agreeing that most humans, even non-malicious ones, do ignore the abuse of Faunus. Jaune admits if not for his situation, he would've done the same.
    • Ilia reveals that when the White Fang tried peaceful protest, the Atlas authorities wouldn't protect them from violence from passersby, but would arrest the Faunus for retaliating. Jaune does not condone terrorism, but he comes to understand why they went down that road. Even Ozpin has the decency to feel bad when Jaune throws this at him.
    • Ruby may consider Jaune a criminal, but she can't bring herself to disagree with his furious condemnation of the general population's apathy.
    • When Yang gets to chat with Sienna Khan during the dance, Yang realizes she cannot argue with many of her points: namely, that Blake was technically a traitor to the White Fang, that the SDC is an incredibly corrupt and abusive institution toward Faunus, that Weiss may not be a part of the crimes but her connection gives faunus good reason to be wary of her, and how she, like the White Fang, is also quick to violence to protect the people she cares about.
  • Villain Takes an Interest: Sienna starts out only tepidly supportive of Jaune's more moderate ideas. But as Jaune's successes make him from a success to an icon, she becomes interested into making him her champion. The Albain brothers also start becoming interested in his success, providing him more resources and weapons.
  • Villainous Breakdown: After finding out that Jaune escaped her deathtrap, Cinder starts losing it rapidly.
  • Villainous Friendship: Many of the White Fang goons consider themselves to be a dysfunctional family.
  • Villainous Rescue: Roman, out of sheer disgust with Cinder's cruelty, gives Jaune the means to escape his confinement.
  • Villain with Good Publicity:
    • Invoked by Jaune. Realizing his murder of Adam and subsequent escape from the police makes him look bad, Jaune wants to reform the White Fang to prove to everyone he isn't evil. When it starts to take effect, Ozpin notes that directly opposing the local branch of the fang looks villainous.
    • Coco assesses Jaune in depth and declares that his best move was not wearing the mask, so he comes across as a sympathetic person rather than a faceless monster or force to be opposed like the previous fang.
    • It gets to a point where a magazine gossips about him and Sienna being rumors. Aside from being amused, Sienna points out how Jaune has given the Fang such a group reputation, they can be seen as a celebrities and not merely criminals.
  • Villainy-Free Villain: The Vale government are technically correct in wanting to arrest Jaune. But their willingness to torment him in prison and persecute his supporters demonstrates how they're only angry at Jaune for showing them up and making them look incompetent.
  • Wants a Prize for Basic Decency: Adam discusses this along with Bystander Syndrome above as a root for Faunus' bad lot. While most humans aren't racist, they don't do much to stop other humans who are, and think they do enough by simply not taking an active part in the discrimination. Mainly because they don't fully understand just how bad things really are.
  • Warrior Poet: Played for Laughs with Adam, who wrote really cheesy love poems about Blake. Listening to one of them from his hallucination of Adam makes Jaune wish for a quick death.
  • Weirdness Magnet: Yang lampshades how Ruby manages to accidentally run into both Roman Torchwick and Jaune Arc, Vale's two most wanted criminals, not arrest either of them, and still walk away unscathed.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Sienna Kahn's White Fang faction may be violent, but only because they see it as a means of achieving equality, and would disband if equality was achieved for faunus.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Chapter 13. Jaune is nearly raped by a demented SDC manager, which exposes him to the depravity of Faunus discrimination.
    • Chapter 40. An attempt to shut down an illegal Faunus prize fight ends horribly when Jaune is brutally stabbed by Neo-disguised-as-Sienna.
  • Wham Line: When the White Fang try to disrupt an arms deal, an explosion rocks the site; Sun confirms that it wasn't theirs and it didn't come from the dealers. Once the smoke finally clears, Ilia reveals who has decided to join the fray: "[Jaune's] stripper", which in this context means Cinder Fall.
  • What Did I Do Last Night?: Ironwood has no memory of anything he did on Mettle after he wakes up.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Coco gets chewed out for flirting with Jaune, who is still technically a terrorist.
  • What You Are in the Dark:
    • After being sexually assaulted by Elizabeth Tanner, Jaune gives the code for the White Fang to storm the camp and taking hostages. What he is unaware of (until Perry mentions it) is that the Fang didn't wait for the code word - they stormed the camp the second they realized Jaune was being assaulted.
    • Jaune invokes this after the Fang discovers Swan being mutilated by Rosemary and Thyme. Jaune asks the security official to go along with their plan. The man asks if he'll get to live if he goes through with it, prompting Jaune to explain that they'll let him live either way. His decision will only affect how the man views himself afterward.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Mercury sees how idiotic it is for Cinder to prolong Jaune's agony out of sheer spite when it would just be easier to kill him quickly.
  • Who Would Be Stupid Enough?:
    • After seeing the news report about Adam's death, Juniper Arc remarks about how she knows her son Jaune is smart enough to stay out of trouble. Cue her seeing his face on the screen and the police knocking on her door.
    • When Coco brings up how Jaune forgoing a mask is the smartest decision he's made since it lets people see him as a person, Yang brings up its also likely that he doesn't see a point as his face is already known though Coco says that's stupid.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Bane. He was virtually enslaved on an SDC lumber yard, branded, tortured, experimented on, and saw most of his family killed.
  • Worst Aid: Jaune's minions treat his gunshot wound by pulling the bullet out with tweezers. A veterinarian they take him to is not amused at their stupidity.
  • Worst News Judgment Ever: When the response to the White Fang terrorist faction under Jaune Arc doing charity work is a story about whether Jaune is a crossdresser, Lisa Lavender sends Jaune her original draft (which was about whether Jaune was a villain or a victim of circumstance) with a notice saying that her editor refused to publish it.
  • Worthy Opponent:
    • Coco sees Jaune as one, respecting his ability to turn public opinion about himself on his head.
    • Ozpin regards Jaune as this for hijacking the Vytal Festival and putting him in a position where he'll have to support Jaune's heroic endeavors.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: After liberating the SDC camp, Jaune and his crew return to their lair only to find an eager Cinder Fall waiting for them.
  • You Have Failed Me:
    • Adam was quite eager to dish out horrific punishments to his minions, to the point where they expect Jaune to be as cruel.
    • Jaune expects getting this treatment from Sienna if he fails to deliver.
  • You Kill It, You Bought It: Jaune accidentally killing Adam gets him put in charge of his White Fang cell.
  • You Need to Get Laid: Ilia, Ilia, Ilia. Every other conversation with her winds up touching on how desperately she needs a girlfriend (that is not Blake).

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