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What if the Animorphs were adults? What if Tobias wasn't trapped in morph? What if Marco was the one split in half as a starfish? What if they were Avengers?

All Assorted Animorphs AUs, as its name suggests, is an anthology of short Animorphs Alternate Universe Fics by SoloMoon. Each installment was originally posted on their Tumblr blog.

The same author has also written a much-more in-depth AU, Eleutherophobia.

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Due to the nature of this fic, all spoilers for the Animorphs books will be unmarked.


This fanfic contains examples of:

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    Tropes # to M 
  • 10-Minute Retirement: In “What if Eva was never a Controller?”, Marco goes through with his plan to ‘retire’ from the Animorphs after the failed mission to call the Andalite homeworld, but after he confirms that his parents aren’t Controllers during a holiday and returns to learn that Jake spent three days as a Controller, he returns to the team.
  • Abled in the Adaptation: In "What if Elfangor and Loren raised Tobias?", Loren was never involved in the car accident that left her blind, scarred, and with retrograde amnesia.
  • Action Mom: Eva's feats include holding Naomi at gunpoint for arguing with hernote  and stunning Edriss-in-Marco with a Dracon beam.note  Loren also shoots and kills Visser Three in "What if Elfangor and Loren raised Tobias?", while Jean tries to prod gorilla-Marco with a fire poker in "What if they saved Jake's family?"
  • Actually, I Am Him: In "What if they saved Jake's family?", Tom asks Jake to take him to the leader of the Animorphs. Marco awkwardly points out that Jake is the leader.
  • Adaptation Explanation Extrication: In canon, Champ was Loren's service dog after she went blind. He's mentioned in "What if Elfangor and Loren raised Tobias?" even though this version of Loren never went blind, so she has him just... because.
  • Adaptation Relationship Overhaul:
    • In "What if Tobias wasn't stuck in morph?", Tobias barely knows Ax because he doesn't live in the woods with him.
    • Marco was never parentified in "What if Eva was never a controller?", so he's less independent and doesn't worry about his father as much.
    • In "What if Tobias was stuck as a human in #33?", Tobias breaks up with Rachel and falls in love with Marco instead.
    • In "What if Jake was stuck in morph?", Jake isn't as romantically involved with Cassie. On the flip side, Rachel and Tobias are much more intimate.
  • Adaptation Species Change: Ax is a werewolf in "What if they all went to Hogwarts?" and a human in "What if they were imprisoned?" and "What if they were pirates?" instead of an Andalite. All the aliens are humans in "What if they were in the Hunger Games?" and "What if they were in Emelan?" as well.
  • Adaptational Angst Downgrade:
    • Marco is far more optimistic in "What if Eva was never a controller?" because he never lost his mother at a young age. Once he reveals his secret to his parents, they offer emotional support to all the Animorphs.
    • The premise of "What if they saved Jake's family?" means that near the end of the war, Jake's parents aren't infested and Tom is freed, so Jake doesn't cross the Despair Event Horizon.
    • In "What if Elfangor and Loren raised Tobias?", all three of the Fangors are much happier. Elfangor was never forcibly taken away from the love of his life, Loren never became a blind amnesiac, and Tobias was raised by loving parents instead of an aunt and uncle who don't care about him.
  • Adaptational Angst Upgrade:
    • Peter is even more depressed over his wife's "death" in "What if Marco was Deaf?" than in canon. Instead of having a stable job, he lives on disability checks and barely takes care of himself.
    • In "What if Rachel's mom was a controller?", the Yeerk in Naomi can't even pretend to care about her daughters, meaning that Rachel had a Promotion to Parent as a tweenager. This causes Rachel to reveal her secret to her sisters early on, and as a result, Jordan feels frustrated about how messed-up her life is.
  • Adaptational Context Change:
    • Just like in The Capture, Jake says "Don't give up. Don't ever give up" to Tom in "What if they were caught during their first mission?". In the book, he said it anonymously over the phone as a gesture of kindness now that he understands how horrible being a host feels; in the fic, he's informing Tom to his face that there's a hope they'll both be saved from the Yeerks.
    • "What if Tom was infested by a Member of the Yeerk Peace Movement?" is about a Yeerk in Tom who overthrows Esplin, leads a rebel faction, and gets the morphing cube from Cassie. Unlike in canon, this Yeerk is Aftran, who's entirely on the Animorphs' side.
  • Adaptational Early Appearance: "What if James, not David, became the seventh Animorph?" introduces James during the events of book 20, while he first appeared in book 50 in canon.
  • Amnesiac Resonance: Ziggedzagged in "What if they were in Anastasia (1997)?". Rae can't perform Rachel's gymnastic skills because she's ten years out of practice, but she can instinctively respond in a way Rachel would with information Rachel would know, but Rae doesn't know the context for.
  • Agent Scully: In "What if they saved Jake's family?", after witnessing Jake and Marco turn into animals and threaten to kill Tom with a Ray Gun, Steve Berenson tries to explain away what he saw as a hallucination.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Unlike her husband, Jean is accepting of the fact that a telepathic silverback gorilla threatened to murder her son in "What if they saved Jake's family?", but she doesn't believe Marco when he casually reveals that his mother is still alive.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Rachel's charges for faking Jake's death in "What if Jake was stuck in morph?" are underage intoxication, reckless endangerment, and the utter loss of her mother’s good faith and trust.
  • Attending Your Own Funeral: Defied in "What if Jake was stuck in morph?" After Rachel fakes Jake's death, Marco asks him if he wants to go to his own funeral. Jake, Rachel, and Cassie simultaneously say "no".
  • Authority in Name Only: In “What if Ax joined the team in the first book?”, Ax is ‘officially’ promoted to Prince by Elfangor just before his death, but quickly realises that he doesn’t have the training or personality to be a proper leader. As a result, Jake becomes the leader as in canon, but Ax retains his title as ‘Prince Aximili’ and acts as the leader when talking with other Andalites until the war ends.
  • Badass Normal: In "What if Elfangor and Loren raised Tobias?", the Fangors may have no morphing ability, but they're proficient with guns.
  • Bad Liar: In "What if Tom's yeerk got the morphing cube from David first?", Controller-Tom heads towards the school's emergency exit after getting the cube, with the excuse that he has an English test. Jake points out that he's heading away from the English classrooms. Later, when Jake accidentally gives Tom the morphing power, he claims that he's an Andalite in morph, but "Tom" points out that you can only activate the Escafil device while in your Shapeshifter Default Form.
  • Bathos:
    • "What if they saved Jake's family?" starts with the life-or-death situation of the Animorphs needing to evacuate their families before the Yeerks can get to them... juxtaposed against the Berenson parents' utter disbelief.
    • In "What if all the yeerks suddenly died? (Part 2)", Cassie crying about Aftran is juxtaposed against Tom's utterly awkward attempts to be reassuring.
  • Big Brother Bully: Played for Laughs in "What if they all went to college together post-war?", where Jake, Rachel, and Ax discuss how it's the oldest sibling's job to troll the others. Rachel told her sisters that peeing in the pool would dye it green, Tom told Jake that Santa Claus never visited their house because Jake was on the naughty list, and Elfangor told Ax that all creatures with mouths cannibalised their parents.
  • Big Damn Heroes: In "What if they were caught during their first mission?", Cassie disappears after she becomes Aftran's host. A few months of planning later, they return to the Yeerk Pool with Ax to rescue the other Animorphs. Then Visser Three bursts in with his lieutenant, Visser Twenty-Three in Marco's body... only for Marco to shoot the former's head off and reveal that he's been Yeerk-free for a week.
  • Big Damn Reunion: In "What if they had a chance to do it all over again?", as soon as Tobias and Rachel see each other, they start kissing. Later, Jake hugs Tom as soon as he gets home. Both Rachel and Tom have been dead for five years from the time-travellers' perspectives.
  • Bittersweet Ending:
    • By the end of "What if the Auximorphs joined the team right away?", most of the Animorphs are dead, but James has made sure to honour their memories.
    • The author describes "What if they saved Jake's family?" as taking place in "a softer world". Jake and his allies' leaders sacrifice themselves, but Tom is saved, and Jake never went off the deep end enough to send the Auxiliaries on a suicide mission and flush 17,000 Yeerks into space.
  • Blind People Wear Sunglasses: At the end of "What if Tobias wasn't stuck in morph?", one of the reasons Tobias realises that Loren is blind is because she's wearing sunglasses in a dark alley in the evening.
  • Bluff the Impostor:
    • In "What if Elfangor and Loren raised Tobias?", the Animorphs suspect that Tobias' parents are Controllers (they're not). Marco tries to get them to slip up by asking them about instant maple and ginger oatmeal and what they do in their spare time.
    • In "What if Tom was infested by a member of the Yeerk Peace Movement?", it's mentioned that Marco spends over an hour asking Tom and Aftran questions in an attempt to prove that Tom has gone voluntary and teamed up with a Yeerk pretending to be Aftran as part of a plan to kill the Animorphs (he hasn't).
  • Body Surf: In "What if Tom's yeerk got the morphing cube from David first?", the Yeerk presses Tom's ear against Jake's so he can get into the latter's brain and learn all the Animorphs' secrets.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: In "What if Tom's yeerk got the morphing cube from David first?", Jake blows his cover when he accidentally gives Tom the morphing power. Instead of exposing the Animorphs then and there, the Yeerk tells his posse to take the morphing cube to Visser Three while he deals with Jake. This gives the Animorphs enough time to get the morphing cube back.
  • Brought Down to Badass: Elfangor may have given up his morphing ability and tail-blade in "What if Elfangor and Loren raised Tobias?", but he's more than willing to point a gun at someone he thinks is a threat to his son.
  • Brought Down to Normal:
    • At the end of "What if Jake was stuck in morph?", Jake nothlits himself as a human again.
    • Tobias offers his morphing ability as a sacrifice to resurrect Rachel in "What if Tobias brought Rachel back after the final battle?"... by literally carving apart all of his morphs.
  • Bungled Suicide: Tobias tries to break his neck by falling off a bike in "What if Tobias was stuck as a human in #33?", but breaks his wrist instead.
  • Bystander Syndrome: In "What if Tom's yeerk got the morphing cube from David first?", the teachers watch apathetically as "Tom" beats up David, and the students pay no more attention than a glance to them. The author said in the comments that it was inspired by the live-action TV show, where a lot of drama went down in the school's corridors, but even non-Controllers turned a blind eye.
  • By the Hair: Controller Tom grabs Jake by the hair during their fight in "What if Tom's yeerk got the morphing cube from David first?".
  • Call a Human a "Meatbag": At the start of "What if Tom was infested by a member of the Yeerk Peace Movement?", Tom is described as "a piece of meat" to emphasise the dehumanizing way Yeerks treat involuntary hosts.
  • Calling Out for Not Calling: In "What if the series was set in modern times?", Jake's parents are concerned that he frequently goes for hours at a time without responding to his phone.
  • The Calls Are Coming from Inside the House: Discussed in "What if they were caught during their first mission?", where Temrash 114 compares his discovery that Jake was one of the kids who got the morphing power at the construction site to this story.
  • Carnivore Confusion: Discussed in "What if they were in Brooklyn Nine-Nine?". After Tobias swallows a chicken wing whole, Boyle wonders if it counts as cannibalism. Cassie points out that humans are more closely related to pigs than hawks are to chickens.
  • Cassandra Truth:
    • In "What if all the yeerks suddenly died?", the Animorphs and ex-hosts alike are unwilling to tell the public exactly what happened at first because they think no-one would believe them.
    • In "What if Elfangor and Loren raised Tobias?", the Fangor parents didn't tell their son that they met in space because they couldn't prove it and knew it sounded unbelievable.
  • Chain of Corrections: In "What if all the yeerks suddenly died? (Part 2)", Tom has a hard time explaining all of the aliens to his mom because she keeps confusing Andalite morphing with Yeerk control.
  • Comically Missing the Point: In "What if the series was set in modern times?", Ax uses the #notsonicetennant hashtag on pictures of food.
  • Damsel out of Distress: "What if Tom and Melissa escaped together?" diverges from canon when Tom is able to half-morph to escape from his cage in the Yeerk Pool, and takes Melissa on the run with him.
  • A Date with Rosie Palms: Implied in "What if Tobias was stuck as a human in #33?". Tobias discovers "experiences" under his bed covers when he's alone at night that birds are missing out on.
  • Death by Adaptation: Many chapters kill off Alloran and/or Visser Three (usually together) and/or Eva and/or several non-Rachel Animorphs. Marco also kills Erek, in revenge for draining the Pool Ship's weapons, at the end of "What if James, not David, became the seventh Animorph?", and Mertil and Gafinilan die at the start of "What if Elfangor and Loren raised Tobias?".
  • Death Faked for You:
    • In "What if Jake was stuck in morph?", Rachel fakes Jake's death by pretending that they were both drunk-joyriding, crashed into the ocean, and his body drifted out to sea. In reality, she stole Cassie's dad's truck and drove it off a cliff, morphed into a dolphin before it hit the water, then Tobias gave her some of his uncle's alcohol to make her look drunk.
    • In "What if Tom's yeerk got the morphing cube from David first?", Rachel and Tobias burn the Berensons' house down, and the Chee project holograms of their corpses, so they can escape to the Hork-Bajir valley.
    • In "What if Rachel's mom was a controller?", the Chee help Rachel fake her and her family's deaths so they can go into hiding and starve the Yeerk out of Naomi.
  • Decoy Leader:
    • Ax is essentially this in “What if Ax joined the team in the first book?”; Elfangor appointed him a Prince before his death, but Ax quickly realises that he doesn’t make a good leader and defers to Jake’s authority. He only acts as a Prince when talking with other Andalites, and even then he arranges to consult with Jake before making any final decisions, until the war ends and Ax can officially introduce Jake as the team’s true Prince.
    • In "What if they lived in the Civil Rights Era?", after Jake is killed, everyone pretends that Tobias was the Animorphs' leader all along because the others are either disabled, minorities, female, or multiple of the above.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: The Rachel in "What if they were all from different AUs á la Into the Spider-Verse?" seems unfazed that her version of the US enslaves blind people and sees her Jewish ancestry as a flaw.
  • Despair Event Horizon: This is implied to happen to Jake in "What if they were caught during their first mission?". Essak stops having trouble with his host after he kills and eats forty Leerans while in Lerdethak morph.
  • Dies Differently in Adaptation: All over the place.
    • In several chapters, Edriss 562 is killed with her host instead of on her own, and Tom and/or his second Yeerk are killed by someone other than Rachel.
    • It's strongly implied that Jara Hamee dies at the end of book one in "What if Tobias wasn't stuck in morph?" in the Yeerk Pool, instead of on the Pool Ship at the end of the war.
    • Just as many Animorphs survive the war in "What if the Auximorphs joined the team right away?", but the party dwindles over the course of years instead of the Auxiliaries all dying at once.
  • Disabled in the Adaptation: "What if Marco was Deaf?" is Exactly What It Says on the Tin. His dad is deaf, too, and it can't be healed by morphing because it's genetic.
  • Disabled Snarker: In "What if Marco was Deaf?", it's mentioned that Marco gives running sarcastic comments in sign language that only Jake can understand, at least until the others start learning ASL. Once he starts morphing, he never shuts up in thought-speech.
  • Dissonant Serenity: In "What if they saved Jake's family?", Tom is oddly cheerful while running for his life, either because he's glad he's not a Controller anymore, or because being a Controller for so long made him lose his marbles.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Tom kills his Yeerk at the spur-of-the-moment in both "What if they saved Jake's family?" and "What if Tom's yeerk got the morphing cube from David first?"
  • Do Not Adjust Your Set: "What if Tom was infested by a member of the Yeerk Peace Movement?" ends with the Animorphs sending a broadcast to every television in the world to reveal the existences of Yeerks and Andalites to the public, and asking for help against both of them.
  • Don't Call Me "Sir":
    • Defied in "What if the Auximorphs joined the team right away?". James is honoured that Ax respects him enough to call him Prince.
    • At the end of "What if they were caught during their first mission?", Jake asks Ax not to call him Prince. Just like in canon, Ax does so anyway.
  • Double Reverse Quadruple Agent: In "What if Tom was infested by a member of the Yeerk Peace Movement?", the Yeerk Peace Movement finds an opportunity to incriminate Vissers One and Three in front of the Council of Thirteen. In order to do so, Aftran has to pretend to be loyal to Visser One and the Empire as a whole at the same time while pretending to not care about any other species, while Tom sometimes has to pretend to be her.
  • Downer Beginning:
    • "What if they were captured on their first mission?" starts with the Animorphs being made into Controllers, powerless to stop their Yeerks doing all sorts of horrible things with their bodies, and Tobias lets himself be killed. Fortunately, things get better once Jake learns that help is on its way.
    • Tom is killed on the first mission to the Yeerk Pool in "What if Tom ended up leading the Animorphs?". The rest of the chapter is about Marco going off the deep end as a result.
  • Downer Ending:
    • In "What if they were college aged?", most of them never bother morphing, Ax drowns because there's no-one to rescue him, Jake, Marco, Cassie, and Rachel become Controllers, and Tobias is the last free human.
    • By the end of "What if they were all adults?", multiple cities have been destroyed, several Animorphs are already dead, and there are only a few hundred free humans left by the time the Andalites show up and blow up Earth.
  • Dramatic Gun Cock:
    • In "What if Elfangor and Loren raised Tobias?", Elfangor loads a gun and points it at Ax because he thinks he's put Tobias in harm's way.
    • In "What if they saved Jake's family?", Tom's Yeerk pulls a Dracon beam out of his pocket when Jake reveals that he knows about the Yeerks, but Marco (in gorilla morph) takes it off him and threatens to shoot Tom if his parents don't get in the car right now. Later, Eva points a gun at Naomi to force her to drink the oatmeal.
  • Dramatic Irony:
    • In "What if they were caught during their first mission?", Temrash 114 says that killing Marco's dad would cause less trouble with Visser One's host than making him a Controller. Marco hasn't met Visser One yet, so he doesn't know that she's using his mother as a host. Later, when the Controllers are tormenting Tobias, they kill a scarred blonde woman, who the readers would recognise as his long-lost mother Loren.
    • In "What if Marco was Deaf?", Tobias wonders if his father even had a brother... then Ax shows up. This scene is based on The Pretender, where Tobias learns he's Elfangor's son (and thus Ax's nephew).
    • A lot of the tension in "What if Elfangor and Loren raised Tobias?" comes from Tobias not wanting to tell his parents that he's fighting the Yeerks, unaware that they already know about them.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him:
    • In "What if all the yeerks suddenly died?", Estrid unleashes the quantum virus on the Yeerks, killing all on Earth, and the Andalite military does the same to every world known to have Yeerk presence.
    • In "What if Rachel's mom was a controller?", David is unexpectedly killed by Sara when he sneaks into Rachel's house to threaten her sisters.
  • Dwindling Party: The team in "What if the Auximorphs joined the team right away?" has about 30 members at first, but grows smaller over the course of the story. First Kelly kills Liam and they abandon ten others who can't survive outside of the hospital, then Cassie is killed after a reconnaissance mission at a Sharing meeting goes wrong, then Kelly nothlits herself into a new human identity so she doesn't die of cystic fibrosis and leaves, then Julio dies of his ailment, then Jake, Rachel, Ax, Tobias, and presumably a few others die on a suicide mission. Only five are left at the end: James, Marco, Colette, Timmy, and Elena.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending:
    • "What if Jake was stuck in morph?" is even harsher than canon at first — being a tiger means that Jake is too conspicuous to go on missions until he gets his morphing ability back, Rachel has to fake his death for him, and both of his parents become Controllers shortly after the events of #31. But then he meets fellow nothlit Arbron, who gives him the idea to give morphing technology to Yeerks so they can mode-lock themselves into any body they want without having to take over someone else's. As a result, the war ends with the Yeerk Empire being peacefully decimated, and several characters who died in canon are alive.
    • In "What if they were caught during their first mission?", the Animorphs are made Controllers shortly after they're found out. Tobias lets himself be killed, and Jake, Rachel, and Marco have to suffer for months, but they're ultimately able to escape and free many other hosts from the Yeerk Pool with the help of Cassie, some Andalites, and the Yeerk Peace Movement.
    • In "What if they were telepathic throughout the series?", when the other Animorphs realise that Jake sent Rachel on a suicide mission, they decide to send all of their emotions to her to give her strength. As a result, both firstborn Berensons survive and the Blade Ship doesn't escape.
  • The Elites Jump Ship: At one point during "What if there was a zombie apocalypse?", it's mentioned that wealthy elites are buying their way off world as fast as they can to escape the zombie plague.
  • #EngineeredHashtag: During The Proposal in "What if the series was set in modern times?", Marco comes up with the plan to film William Roger Tennant everywhere he goes, and upload his slip-ups to Twitter with the hashtag #notsonicetennant in hopes that they'll go viral. When the Animorphs finally cause a scandal, the trending hashtag is #tennantgate instead.
  • Entertainingly Wrong:
    • In "What if all the yeerks suddenly died?", Eva kidnaps Marco because she thinks he's a Controller; the last time they saw each other, Marco was pretending to be a Controller to talk to Visser One.
    • In "What if Tom and Melissa escaped together?", the titular characters see the Pool Ship landing in front of the Washington Mall on the news and assume that the Yeerks won, when really they surrendered.
    • In "What if Elfangor and Loren raised Tobias?", the Animorphs begin to suspect that Tobias' parents are rebel Controllers after they shoot Visser Three in the head, using the fact that Loren's workplace is right next to the car wash with a Yeerk Pool entrance as a piece of "evidence". Of course, anyone who's read The Andalite Chronicles knows that they have experience fighting against Yeerks. Also, Elfangor immediately assumes that Ax is an Andalite war-prince who recruited children when he overhears him telling Tobias about the military academy, when he's really a young cadet (and Elfangor's own brother).
  • Exact Words: In "What if they saved Jake's family?", Jake and Marco promise that they won't kill Tom's Yeerk if he exits his host. The real Tom then crushes him in his fist.
    Jake: <We had a deal!>
    Tom: Deal was between you and him. Nobody asked me to promise anything.
  • The Exile: Ax, Alloran, Estrid, Gafinilan, and Mertil end up confined to Earth in "What if all the yeerks suddenly died?", because the quantum virus is in their system and the Andalite military can't risk a possible mutation that allows it to jump hosts, despite Estrid's insistence that it won't.
  • Family Eye Resemblance: In "What if Tom was infested by a member of the Yeerk Peace Movement?", Aftran doesn't recognize Tom as Jake's brother until she sees "the weary defiance in his eyes."
  • Fighting from the Inside: In "What if they were caught during their first mission?", after the original five Animorphs are made into Controllers, Cassie gains a reputation for being a rebellious host. She stops her Yeerk, Niss 240, from shooting a suspicious-looking bird and recruiting more potential hosts.
  • First Time Feeling: In "What if Marco was Deaf?", Marco hears for the first time when starts morphing. The first time he hears his mother's voice, it's on the Mother Ship while he's a gorilla — but it's Visser One talking through her.
  • Fish out of Temporal Water:
    • "What if Elfangor using the Time Matrix had unintended consequences?" is about a young Elfangor being transported to Earth a few years after the war is over.
    • In "What if they were Avengers?", Jake was in cryo stasis for decades like Captain America.
  • Fix Fic:
    • "What if they had a chance to do it all over again?" has all 6 Animorphs get the Peggy Sue treatment, using their experience from the war to prevent failures like David from happening and end the war much earlier.
    • "What if they saved Jake's family?" begins with the way Sol would've written the evacuations in #49: instead of each family going one at a time, the group splits up into pairs of Cassie and Tobias (who gently tell the former's parents), Rachel and Ax (who argue with the former's family), and Jake and Marco (who drag the former's family into the car by force using their battle morphs).
    • Many chapters spare the real Tom because he's one of Sol's favourite characters, and/or the Auxiliary Animorphs because she took issue with a bunch of disabled characters being killed off and then forgotten about.
  • Forced to Watch: In "What if they were caught during their first mission?", the Yeerks kill or harm several people close to Tobias in an attempt to threaten him to demorph. He doesn't.
  • For Want of a Nail: Several chapters radically diverge from canon due to one small change.
    • "What if they were caught during their first mission?" happens because Jake-as-Homer went slightly closer to the Sharing members' meeting on the beach. As a result, the Animorphs become the Yeerk Empire's most valuable hosts, but surprisingly the world isn't doomed.
    • "What if they saved Jake's family?" happens because Tobias points out that it won't take the Yeerks long to find a genetic match between Jake and Tom. Since Jake gets his family to the Hork-Bajir valley as soon as possible, he doesn't cross the Despair Event Horizon and Tom's second Yeerk dies before he can become a serious threat.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: In "What if David never betrayed them?", the Animorphs split up to do missions so that some of them can avoid David, especially Rachel and Tobias.
  • The Friends Who Never Hang: In "What if Jake was stuck in morph?", it's mentioned that Marco and Cassie don't spend much time with the team outside of missions until David forces them to become more cohesive.
  • From Zero to Hero: In "What if Tom was infested by a member of the Yeerk Peace Movement?", Tom started out as a lowly slave and Aftran started out as a lowly grunt, but together they're valuable allies to the Animorphs. Eventually, they become Visser One and decide to reform the empire from within.
  • Ghost Reunion Ending: "What if the Animorphs could use magic?" ends with Jake summoning the ghosts of Elfangor, Arbron, Ax, Tom, Rachel, and many others as he dies, who accompany him into the beyond.
  • Ghostly Death Reveal: Also at the end of "What if the Animorphs could use magic?", Jake is horrified to discover that his suicide mission to save Ax was for naught when he meets Ax's ghost.
  • Graceful Loser: In "What if Tom was infested by a member of the Yeerk Peace Movement?", Visser One calmly accepts arrest for her treachery when the Council of Thirteen arrive. Or she would have, if Rachel hadn't killed her.
  • Green Thumb: In "What if they were in Emelan?", Ax has the power to make plants grow rapidly, even if they've been reduced to planks of wood.
  • Gutted Like a Fish: In "What if Jake was stuck in morph?", tiger-Jake gives lion-David scratches that are deep enough to show part of his intestines.
  • Heel–Race Turn: Towards the end of "What if Tom was infested by a member of the Yeerk Peace Movement?", Tom and Aftran convince all the Yeerks on Earth to stop being enslavers after they're promoted to Visser One.
  • Heroic BSoD: In "What if the Auximorphs joined the team right away?", Jake quits the Animorphs for three months while he mourns Cassie's death.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • In "What if Tobias wasn't stuck in morph?", Jara Hamee is killed while creating the distraction that allows Tobias to escape from the Yeerk Pool.
    • "What if they saved Jake's family?" ends with Jake, Eva, Toby, Arbron, and General Sam Doubleday putting themselves in the Yeerks' line of fire as a distraction so that their allies can sneak onto the ships.
    • In “What if they had the chance to do it over again?”, Elfangor explicitly makes one even when the Animorphs ask him to come with them, arguing that Visser Three would be willing to destroy the entire continent if he thought Elfangor was still alive but if he knows that Elfangor is dead Visser Three would assume any remaining Andalites aren’t a serious threat, allowing the Animorphs to mount a more discreet campaign against the Yeerks.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: In "What if Tom's yeerk got the morphing cube from David first?", when Jake accidentally activates the morphing cube, Tom's Yeerk realises that Jake is one of the "Andalite bandits" and attempts to Body Surf into him. He didn't consider the possibility that the real Tom would pull him out of Jake's ear and throw him at the wall.
  • Honey Trap: "What if Jake seduced a sub-visser?" is about Jake asking out a high-ranking member of The Sharing on a date in order to learn about the Yeerks' plans.
  • Hope Bringer: When Jake learns that there are up to three Andalites out there fighting against the Yeerks in "What if they were caught during their first mission?", it gives him the hope that the Yeerks aren't winning as clearly as the Vissers want everyone to think.
  • I Am Not Weasel: At the end of "What if Jake was stuck in morph?", Tom teases Jake about being a cat for three years, asking if he had mouse-shaped toys or coughed up any hairballs. Jake corrects him; he was a tiger, not a housecat.
  • Identity Amnesia: "What if they were in Anastasia (1997)?" is about a woman called Rae who lost her memories due to stress. It turns out that she's Rachel, since she subconsciously remembers things that no-one else should know.
  • I Die Free: While his Yeerk is out feeding and he's temporarily unsupervised in his cage in "What if they were caught during their first mission?", Tobias morphs into a red-tailed hawk and refuses to turn back no matter what the Yeerks threaten him with, until they finally shoot him and he dies free.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy:
    • In "What if they were in the Hunger Games?", Marco has genuine feelings for Rachel, but sticks to their showmance and lets Rachel be with Tobias in private.
    • In "What if they were in Anastasia (1997)?", Tobias encourages Rae to leave with Melissa instead of trying to reconnect with him.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Each chapter title begins with "What If?"
  • If I Wanted You Dead...: In "What if Elfangor and Loren raised Tobias?", the Animorphs aren't sure if they can trust Elfangor at first because he might be a Controller, until Ax points out that they'd already be screwed if the Yeerks had another Andalite mind who knows Earth far better than Alloran ever did.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: At the start of "What if Jake was stuck in morph?", Cassie stares down Jake and shouts at him to snap him out of his tiger instincts.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Invoked in “What if Jake was stuck in morph?”; with Jake permanently stuck as a tiger, he needs a great deal of sustenance, and Marco privately notes that he can recall a few cases where they’ve left dead Taxxon, Hork-Bajir or even humans behind after battles in the woods. When Jake is sick, he talks about how eating humans is disgusting because of the shampoo and other chemicals, but Marco and Tobias (who were taking him to Tobias’s house to rest) each agree that they will never bring that up later.
  • Impersonation Gambit: A couple of chapters involve characters pretending to be Controllers.
    • In "What if Tom's yeerk got the morphing cube from David first?", Tom pretends that he's still a Controller when Chapman spots him and Jake in the hallway. Then, Jake morphs Tom so he can ask the other two Controllers to give him the Escafil device. It works, even though Jake-as-Tom was oddly polite.
    • In "What if they were caught during their first mission?", Visser Three bursts into the Yeerk Pool with his lieutenant, Visser Twenty-Three in Marco's body, and tells him to kill the other Animorphs... but it turns out that Marco has been Yeerk-free for a week.
  • Implied Death Threat: In "What if they saved Jake's family?", Marco holds Tom at Dracon beam-point and says <there won’t even be enough of him left to bother putting in a casket> if the Berenson parents don't do as he says.
  • Imposter-Exposing Test: In "What if they saved Jake's family?", Eva makes the Berensons drink instant maple and ginger oatmeal when she encounters them on the way to the Hork-Bajir valley. If they can still form coherent sentences in an hour, they're not a Controller.
  • Innocent Bigot: Ax comes from a society where the disabled are ostracised, which appals the humans. In "What if Marco was Deaf?", they spend ages explaining what sign language is and that they don't want to isolate Marco. In "What if Ax joined the team in the first book?", he says that former-Andalite nothlits are excluded from society, which Jake compares to ghettos.
  • In Spite of a Nail:
    • It takes the Animorphs longer to figure out how to defeat Visser Three in "What if Eva was never a controller?" because they don't have an inside source on Yeerk politics, but most of the people who died in the last two books still die in this universe.
    • Elfangor stayed as a human in "What if Elfangor and Loren raised Tobias?", so Mertil and Gafinilan end up creating the Animorphs instead.
    • "What if Ax joined the team in the first book?" stays very close to the canon timeline after the events of the first book, with the only change being Ax is an Authority in Name Only when they have to deal with Andalites.
  • Interrupted Intimacy: Rachel accidentally walks in on Jake and Cassie having sex in "What if they all went to college together postwar?". Jake hides under the bedsheets, while Cassie morphs into a squirrel.
  • Interspecies Adoption: In "What if they were in Tortall?", Tobias is a human who was raised by Hork-Bajir.
  • I Will Only Slow You Down: After Tom discovers the Auxiliary Animorphs' secret in "What if the Auximorphs joined the team right away?", they're forced to leave behind all the team members who can't survive outside of the hospital.
  • Just Here for the Free Snacks: In "What if the Auximorphs joined the team right away?", Jake joins The Sharing because they visit the ward where the Auximorphs live once a week, but acts like he's only there for the free food and college application boost so they won't make him a full member.
  • "Just Joking" Justification: In "What if the series was set in modern times?", David claims that he doxxed the last girl who beat him in an online video game. Jake is outraged, so David says he wouldn't actually do that. Then he says he's okay with swatting, and Jake's reaction causes David to say that was a joke as well.
  • Kill the Host Body: Besides all the instances of this from canon...
    • Alloran is shot in the head in several chapters in order to kill Visser Three along with him.
    • In "What if Marco was the one split in half in #32?", Robot Marco kills Tom, Eva, and many other human-controllers as well as Alloran.
    • In "What if Tom was infested by a member of the Yeerk Peace Movement?", Rachel shoots Eva through the chest just before Visser One can tell everyone that the "Andalite bandits" are human
    • In "What if Eva was never a Controller?", Marco kills Allison Kim and Visser One together without hesitation.
  • Kind Restraints: Tom gets tied up in many chapters in order to get him to the Hork-Bajir valley without his Yeerk escaping with his body. Eva also ties Marco to a chair in "What if the yeerks all suddenly died?" (because she thinks he's a controller) and "What if they were all from different AUs á la Into the Spider-Verse?" (because he is a controller).
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: In "What if they were caught during their first mission?", Tobias tells Rachel that they'll "live and fight another day" while tied up and surrounded by people pointing guns at them. Then they're all made into controllers, and Tobias lets himself be killed.
  • Lack of Empathy: One of the Marco-halves in "What if Marco was the one split in half in #32?" is single-mindedly fixated on destroying the Yeerks, no matter the cost. By the end, he kills Eva, Alloran, and Tom just because he saw them as distractions.
  • Lighter and Softer:
    • Chapters such as "What if they all went to college together post-war?" and "What if Jake and Cassie got married?" are fluff that take place in a post-war world where everyone is inexplicably alive and well-adjusted.
    • Downplayed by "What if the Auximorphs joined the team right away?", "What if they saved Jake's family?", and "What if Jake was stuck in morph?". While all of these ficlets have plenty of death and violence, the Animorphs don't have to make as many difficult decisions towards the end, meaning that many characters are spared (including Tom and the 17,000 Yeerks on the Pool Ship in all three) and the survivors are left with fewer lingering regrets.
    • Also downplayed by "What if Eva was never a Controller?". Nobody is Spared by the Adaptation, but Marco's parents provide emotional support for all of the Animorphs.
  • Mama Bear: Eva demonstrates this in "What if they were all from different AUs á la Into the Spider-Verse?" when she forces Edriss to vacate the alternate Marco by making it clear that she'll have Edriss's human children killed if Edriss doesn't get out of her son's head.
  • Man Hug: Tom hugs Jake for ten minutes in "What if the Auximorphs joined the team right away?" after he's freed from his Yeerk.
  • Mercy Kill:
    • It's mentioned in "What if they saved Jake's family?" that it would be kinder to shoot the half-blind owl in Cassie's barn than leave it to starve.
    • Discussed at the end of "What if they rescued Alloran in #8?". Jake steps aside to ask Alloran a difficult question — strongly implied to be about killing Tom — and Alloran says he was grateful when his brother tried to kill him shortly after he became a Controller.
  • Modern A.U. Fic: "What if the series was set in modern times?" describes how events from each book would be different with 2010s pop culture references and technology.
  • The Mole: In "What if they were all from different AUs á la Into the Spider-Verse?", it turns out that Marco (who's from the Bad Future shown in The Familiar) is Edriss' host, and he tries to turn the others into Controllers, too. After the Animorphs capture him and force Edriss out, he decides to return to his reality and fake still being a Controller so that he can undermine the Empire.
  • Monster and the Maiden:
    • Downplayed in "What if Elfangor and Loren raised Tobias?". The Fangors are a pair of Badass Normals fighting against the Yeerks independently of the Animorphs. Loren was always human, but Elfangor Shapeshifter Mode Locked himself as one years ago.
    • Inverted in "What if Tom was infested by a member of the Yeerk Peace Movement?", where Tom (a teenage boy) and Aftran (a Yeerk who identifies as female) work together to help the Animorphs by overthrowing The Empire from within.
  • Mood Whiplash: "What if Marco was the one split in half in #32?" begins with Shallow Marco making fun of everything... and ends with Shallow Marco killing Robot Marco in retaliation for killing their mother.
  • Mook Depletion: Towards the end of "What if Jake was stuck in morph?", Arbron gives Jake the idea to allow Yeerks and Taxxons to become nothlits en masse so they can leave the war, freeing human and Hork-Bajir hosts in the process. The Yeerk forces on Earth dwindle so much that they struggle to recruit more human hosts, until it ends with a peaceful surrender and almost no casualties besides Visser Three.
  • Morality Chain Beyond the Grave: In "What if the Auximorphs joined the team right away?", "What would Cassie do?" becomes the team's motto after she's killed, and this ultimately leads Marco to decide against flushing 17,000 Yeerks into space.
  • Morality Chain: Certain one-shots, such as "What if David never betrayed them?" and "What if Tom ended up leading the Animorphs?", make it clear that the Animorphs as a whole are this to each other. In the former, David proves such a frustrating addition to the team that they eventually leave him to die; and in the latter, without Jake as a moderating influence, Marco ends up causing mass human casualties in the name of victory even when this leads to Tobias being killed in the crossfire of the final battle.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • While most chapters are based on the books, there are few references to the TV show. In "What if the series was set in modern times?", Marco ties Jake/Temrash to a chair during The Capture, instead of tying his hands behind his back like in the book. In "What if Tom's yeerk got the morphing cube from David first?", Jake morphs Tom in order to confuse some Controllers, just like in "Face Off". In "What if they were all from different AUs á la Into the Spider-Verse?", the alternate version of Tobias is from the TV show's universe. In "What if Rachel's mom was a controller?", one of Rachel's sisters takes a photo of Rachel and Tobias just to tease them like in "Underground".
    • There are also a few references to SoloMoon's Eleutherophobia series. "What if Jake seduced a sub-visser?" mentions a blonde cooking show host who's a controller; she matches the description of Vicky Austin, a minor Posthumous Character. In many chapters, Tom has Character Tics such as clenching his right hand, swearing a lot, and bouncing a basketball on sleepless nights. "What if they were caught during their first mission?" mentions a Yeerk named Nikto 770 who scans human media; in Eleutherophobia, she was one of Bonnie Park's Yeerks, who worked for a news station.
    • In "What if they were caught during their first mission?", Jake and Cassie are infested by Essak 1275 and Niss 240, who have similar names to their Yeerks from the Bad Future in The Familiar, while Tobias gets Odret 177 like in Back to Before.
    Tropes N to Z 
  • Named by the Adaptation:
    • "What if Elfangor and Loren raised Tobias?" gives Mr. Tidwell the first name Frank, Arbron the full name of Arbron-Fraomta-Semiag, and Jake the middle name Elijah.
    • James is given the surname "Connerton" in "What if the Auximorphs joined the team right away?"
    • Most of the Animorphs' background classmates are given surnames in "What if they were caught during their first mission?" and the "What if all the Yeerks suddenly died?" two-parter.
  • New Transfer Student: In "What if they all went to Hogwarts?", Tobias has just transferred from Ilvermorny, and the other Animorphs decide to welcome him into their group that investigates Imperious curse victims.
  • The Nicknamer: Deaf Marco has American Sign Language nicknames for the other Animorphs; Rachel is "Xena", Tobias is "bird" in the same position as "boy", Cassie is "crazy tree", Jake is "J" twice at an angle, and Ax is the sign for "axe". He also has nicknames for everyone in "What if they were imprisoned?" — he's Silverback, Rachel is Xena again, Tobias is Hawk, Jake is Big Jake, and the Warden (implied to be Visser One) is Mom.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: In “What if Jake was stuck in morph?”, most Yeerks only realise they have the option of becoming nothlits when Visser Three announces that any Yeerk caught doing so would be executed.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: In "What if Tom's yeerk got the morphing cube from David first?", Controller Tom punches David in the face hard enough to give him a broken nose, two black eyes, and a concussion.
  • Non-Heteronormative Society: Andalites are implied to be this; in "What if Tobias was stuck as a human in #33?", Ax doesn't understand why Tobias feels bad about being attracted to Marco.
  • Not Himself: Inverted in "What if they saved Jake's family?". Tom is upset that his parents don't understand why he's been acting strange since his Yeerk left him; they think Tom's true self is the changeling.
  • Nothing Is the Same Anymore: "What if Tom was infested by a member of the Yeerk Peace Movement?" flushes canon's status quo down the toilet when Tom and Aftran inadvertently get Vissers One and Three killed in rapid succession, causing them to be promoted to the new Visser One. The rest of the chapter is about them abolishing slavery, and the Animorphs are now working with the Yeerks.
  • Oh, Crap!: In "What if Tom's yeerk got the morphing cube from David first?", Jake accidentally gives Tom the morphing power while trying to get the Escafil device off him, and fears he's blown the Animorphs' cover. Fortunately, the real Tom saves him.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: To emphasise how much the structure of the Yeerk Empire has changed, "What if Tom was infested by a member of the Yeerk Peace Movement?" ends with Jake asking everyone to join The Sharing. It's even lampshaded by Marco, who says this is the insanest thing they've ever done.
  • Open Mouth, Insert Foot: In "What if Rachel's mom was a controller?", Rachel tells Tobias that she doesn't want to fight because some of them have families who depend on them, then regrets it when she sees the stricken look on his face.
  • Parent with New Paramour: "What if Peter and Naomi got married?" is about Marco's father and Rachel's mother getting together. They both complain about this to Jake, who thinks it's the funniest thing that's ever happened in his life.
  • Patchwork Fic: "What if they were all from different AUs á la Into the Spider-Verse?" has this happen In-Universe, with one Animorph from each continuity being transported to the "prime timeline". All except Tobias are from alternate universes seen in the books (#11note , #41note , Megamorphs #3note , Megamorphs #4note ). Tobias is from the live-action TV show.
  • Peggy Sue: "What if they had a chance to do it all over?" has all 6 Animorphs get sent back into their 13-year-old bodies right before Elfangor lands with their memories from the end of the war (Rachel only remembers up to her death, the others remember up until they meet the One, or in Cassie's case, when the others met the One). After they get over their intial shock, they go to meet Elfangor and get the morphing power, but still can't save himnote  They acquire as many morphs as they can, and immediately head off to rescue Ax, who's swimming towards them simultaneously. They start by going over everything they did and deciding if it worked or not. They fix a number of problems before they even start, most notably taking the blue box from David before he can figure out what it is.
  • Pragmatic Hero: The Animorphs decide to do everything as efficiently and quickly as possible in "What if they had a chance to do it all over?", which includes mugging David at gunpoint so they can get the morphing cube off him before he can become a problem, and killing 100,000 Yeerks with salt to force the Empire to surrender.
  • Promotion to Parent: In "What if Rachel's mom was a controller?", Naomi has been distant from her daughters since she was infested, and she was already divorced, so Rachel has to take care of her sisters single-handedly.
  • Psychic Powers: "What if they were telepathic throughout the series?" is about the Animorphs all being able to send anything from emotions to entire backstories through thought-speak like Elfangor in the first book.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: In "What if Tom ended up leading the Animorphs?", Tom dies early on, and this absence of a leader causes Marco to make a series of increasingly more brutal decisions. At the end, he saves Jake and wins the war... at the cost of thousands of other Yeerks and hosts, and humans are now forbidden from leaving Earth.
  • Raised by Wolves:
    • In "What if they played Dungeons and Dragons?", Ax plays a tiefling who was raised by cows. He explains as such:
    Ax: Wolves are beautiful animals, but they pale in comparison to cows. Among other things, wolves’ meat is not so succulent and does not pair nearly as well with french fries.
    • In "What if they were in Tortall?", Cassie was taken in by wolves after her family died.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    • During The Other in "What if the series was set in modern times?", when Ax says that Mertil is useless because he's a vecol, Marco retorts back that he has ADHD, but that doesn't make him useless.
    • In "What if they all went to college together postwar?", Rachel overhears a drunk guy saying it's people's own faults if they joined The Sharing and got infested, and gives him the verbal smackdown about how that doesn't give him the right to act superior.
  • Recycled Premise: "What if Tom was infested by a member of the Yeerk Peace Movement?" borrows its premise from another Animorphs fanfic called The Tocsin, but goes in a completely different direction. (For starters, the Yeerk is Aftran in the former, but an Original Character in the latter.)
  • Refuge in Audacity: In “What if they had the chance to do it over again?”, the conference of world leaders is called off because of damage to one of the outer buildings that is attributed to a bomb because nobody involved has seen the aftermath of a rhinoceros rampage.
  • Related Differently in the Adaptation: In "What if they were Avengers?", Jake takes the role of Captain America (a Fish out of Temporal Water), so he's Rachel's "fifth-cousin or great-uncle or whatnot" (as Marco puts it) rather than her cousin.
  • Reports of My Death Were Greatly Exaggerated:
    • In "What if Elfangor and Loren raised Tobias?", the official story is that Arbron, Elfangor, and Alloran all died on their mission to the Taxxon planet... even though every Andalite knows that Alloran was alive and unwell as Visser Three's host.
    • In "What if they saved Jake's family?", when Marco mentions his mom, Jean points out that she's been dead for five years. Marco then retorts that he's been "dead" for three months.
  • Role Swap AU: Several, including "What if Tom ended up leading the Animorphs?" (while Jake is a Controller), "What if Jake was stuck in morph?" (instead of Tobias), "What if Marco was the one split in half in #32?" (instead of Rachel), "What if James, not David, became the seventh Animorph?" (Exactly What It Says on the Tin), "What if Elfangor and Loren raised Tobias?" (in which Mertil and Gafinilan give the Animorphs their powers and then die instead of Elfangor), "What if Tobias and Rachel lived in NYC post-war?" (in which Jake killed Tom and then died instead of Rachel), and "What if Peter and Naomi got married?" (instead of Peter and Nora).
  • Rousing Speech: After they're declared the new Visser One in "What if Tom was infested by a member of the Yeerk Peace Movement?", Tom and Aftran deliver a speech about how the Yeerks don't have to be enslavers.
  • Sapient Eat Sapient: Played for Drama in "What if they were caught during their first mission?". Essak 1275 kills and eats over 40 Leerans while in lerdethak morph, and it's implied to cause his host, Jake, to cross the Despair Event Horizon.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: In "What if there was a zombie apocalypse?", Tobias suggests arming the populace by giving them the morphing power. The other Animorphs point out that they'd be breaking several species' laws... but they don't have any other options.
  • Secret-Keeper:
    • In "What if Rachel's mom was a controller?", after Rachel tells Jordan and Sara the truth about the Yeerk invasion, Jordan in particular often helps to cover for her with Naomi.
    • In "What if all the yeerks suddenly died? (Part 2)", Ax tells Estrid that he won't tell the humans of her and what she did, unless the quantum virus becomes a problem.
  • Sense Freak: In "What if Marco was Deaf?", Marco is amazed at how good the osprey's vision is.
  • Shapeshifter Mode Lock: Besides all the instances of this from canon...
    • Jake accidentally becomes stuck as a tiger in "What if Jake was stuck in morph?". He later gets his morphing ability back with the tiger as his base form from the Ellimist á la Tobias in The Change, then nothlits himself as a human at the end. Also, instead of turning David into a rat, Jake orders him to create a new human morph and stay in it for over two hours, then turn himself into the local youth shelter.
    • Kelly, whose cystic fibrosis can't be cured by morphing, nothlits herself into a new human identity in "What if the Auximorphs joined the team right away?".
    • "What if Tobias was stuck as a human in #33?" has it right there in the title.
    • Part of the premise of "What if Tobias and Rachel lived in NYC post-war?" is that Tobias nothlited himself as a human in adulthood.
  • She Is the King: "Prince" seems to be a gender-neutral title for Andalite warriors; Estrid and Cassie are called as such in "What if Elfangor using the Time Matrix had unintended consequences?" and "What if they were caught during their first mission?" respectively. Also, Rachel is a knight in "What if they were in Tortall?", and she's called "sir" rather than "dame".
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: In "What if Tobias and Rachel lived in NYC post-war?", Rachel and Tobias moved away from their hometown mainly because the war-anniversary celebrations were too much for them to handle.
  • Shipping Torpedo: In “What if they had the chance to do it over again?”, Marco stops his father dating his maths teacher by telling her that his father has various girlfriends already.
  • Something Only They Would Say: In "What if they were in Anastasia (1997)?", Rae gives three examples without meaning to. First, she reveals she left a note for Melissa at the end of their second mission, something Melissa never told to anyone. Second, she snidely asks if Marco could hit her with another truck to fix her amnesia. Finally, she corrects Jake about her morph allergy, which he still remembers as an alligator instead of a crocodile.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Many chapters end with Rachel and/or Tom and/or some/all of the Auxiliary Animorphs and/or the 17,000 Yeerks on the Pool Ship surviving the war. The premise of "What if Elfangor and Loren raised Tobias?" also allows Elfangor to survive past the first book.
  • Spotting the Thread: In "What if they were all from different AUs á la Into the Spider-Verse?", Jake and Cassie realise that Marco is a Controller because he calls Ax "Andalite" like an insult.
  • Super Window Jump: In "What if Tom's yeerk got the morphing cube from David first?", Rachel flies through the school's bathroom window in eagle morph in order to get outside and find Tobias.
  • Symbiotic Possession: Tom and Aftran in "What if Tom was infested by a member of the Yeerk Peace Movement?" take turns being in control.
  • Take Up My Sword: In "What if Elfangor and Loren raised Tobias?", Mertil and Gafinilan gave the Animorphs their powers. Before he died, Gafinilan passed on his title of war-prince to Jake.
  • Tangled Family Tree: Played for Laughs in "What if Peter and Naomi got married?". The premise already makes Marco related to two of the other Animorphs — he and Rachel are stepsiblings, which also makes him Jake's step-cousin — then at the end, Eva (Marco's biological mother) gets together with Loren (Tobias' mother, Ax's sister-in-law), which makes all the Animorphs technically related except Cassie.
  • Team Member in the Adaptation: Towards the end of "What if they saved Jake's family?", Tom and Jordan join the Animorphs, since the former's Yeerk died in this AU before the point at which he got away with the morphing cube.
  • Technical Pacifist: In the final battle of "What if they were telepathic throughout the series?", Rachel knocks many of the morph-controllers on the Blade Ship unconscious instead of killing them, including Tom. This results in the Blade Ship not getting away like in canon, and both of them surviving.
  • Tentacled Terror: In "What if they were caught on their first mission?", Rachel acquires an octopus-like alien with an exoskeleton and rows of sharp teeth, and uses it to wreak havoc on the Yeerk Pool.
  • Throwing Off the Disability: Deconstructed in "What if James, not David, became the seventh Animorph?". Morphing allows James to get his legs back, which makes him feel more frustrated that the world isn't adapted for wheelchair-users.
  • Together in Death: In "What if Elfangor and Loren raised Tobias?", Gafinilan is mortally wounded, and Mertil (who has no way to defend himself) chooses to die by his side.
  • Token Evil Teammate: In "What if they were all from different AUs á la Into the Spider-Verse?", it initially appears that the alternate Ax takes this role as the one most indifferent to humanity's fate so long as the Yeerks are stopped, but it turns out that Marco is a Controller, infested by none other than Edriss 562.
  • Torso with a View: In "What if Tom was infested by a member of the Yeerk Peace Movement?", Rachel shoots Visser One-in-Eva through the chest with a Dracon beam. Her target dies on the spot.
  • Translator Buddy: Jake interprets for Marco in "What if Marco was Deaf?" until the others learn sign language.
  • Transplanted Character Fic: There are instalments that place the Animorphs into the settings of Wicked, Harry Potter, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Holes, Ouran High School Host Club, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, The Hunger Games, and the works of Tamora Pierce.
  • Trauma-Induced Amnesia: In "What if they were in Anastasia (1997)", Rae is told by her doctors that she might have suffered some physical or mental trauma that caused her to lose her memory. It's much later that she learns it was narrowly surviving Rachel's canonical death.
  • Two-Act Structure: "What if Tom was infested by a member of the Yeerk Peace Movement?" starts off as a series of vignettes about Tom and Aftran helping the Animorphs. Halfway through, they find away to overthrow the vissers and get promoted to Visser One as a result, and the rest of the chapter is about their efforts to end the empire's slavery.
  • The Unmasking: Several instalments involve the Animorphs revealing their secret to their families far sooner than in canon. Rachel does this to her sisters in "What if Rachel's mom was a controller?", and Marco to his parents in "What if Eva was never a controller?".
  • The Unmasqued World: At the end of "What if they were caught during their first mission?", thousands of humans and Hork-Bajir escape the Yeerk Pool. That's too many for the Yeerks to cover up, so it's the beginning of the end of the stealth invasion, far sooner than in canon.
  • Voices Are Mental: Invoked by Aftran in "What if Tom was infested by a member of the Yeerk Peace Movement?", who agrees to speak in a higher pitch than Tom whenever she takes control of his body.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: In "What if they had a chance to do it all over?", the Animorphs realize that Yeerks really are just slugs, so they can be killed with salt. They dump a massive amount of salt into the Yeerk Pool, and kill over one hundred thousand Yeerks.
  • We Need a Distraction: "What if Tobias wasn't stuck in morph?" starts with a group of Hork-Bajir (including Jara Hamee) in the Yeerk Pool tipping their cage over, alerting the attention of the Controllers and giving Tobias time to escape before his time limit runs out.
  • We Used to Be Friends: In "What if they were in Anastasia (1997)", this is Melissa's opinion of Rachel. She's upset at losing her house to Marco and Tobias, and Chapman died shortly after he was kidnapped in the final books, which convinced Melissa that Rachel no longer cares for her.
  • Wig, Dress, Accent: When Jake gets his morphing ability back in "What if Jake was stuck in morph?", he turns up at Rachel's academic award ceremony in human form with dyed hair, a pair of sunglasses, and a scarf so his aunt and uncle don't recognize him, since Rachel faked his death.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: "What if Cassie and Marco got together?" takes place at a charity event where everyone has to crossdress. For Cassie, this means wearing her normal clothes, but Marco comes in a skirt with makeup.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: The best description for Rachel’s actions in “What if they had the chance to do it over again?”, as she stops Jeremy Jason McCole joining the Sharing by visiting him in a part-morphed grizzly state that Jeremy mistakes for a werewolf.
  • You Are in Command Now: In "What if Tom was infested by a member of the Yeerk Peace Movement?", Tom and Aftran's plan is to overthrow the Yeerk Empire from within by throwing dirt on Vissers One and Three. They expect to be rewarded for this... But they don't expect both Vissers to be killed, and Aftran to be promoted to the new Visser One.
  • Young and in Charge: Near the end of "What if Tom was infested by a member of the Yeerk Peace Movement?", Aftran shares the responsibility of leading the Yeerk army with Tom, who's only seventeen.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: "What if there was a zombie apocalypse?", naturally, features one of these breaking out in the US due to an alien pathogen. It soon spreads not just nationwide but across the planet, and ultimately the Animorphs are the only ones left alive, barely staying ahead infection with morphing but knowing they'll eventually succumb.

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