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When Izuku was five, he met Riley... nothing has been the same since.

Coyote is a My Hero Academia For Want of a Nail fanfic written by Ralph Hayes, Jr. that shows Izuku's life if he had a friend in childhood rather than having his canon Friendless Background.


Coyote provides examples of:

  • Absurd Phobia: Riley being Afraid of Blood to the point that it can make him subconsciously nerf his Quirk is (dramatically) treated as this by the rest of the class, at least at first, because they all accept that some degree of bloody injury (received or applied) is an unavoidable fact of being a hero and that this is something that may end up very badly for Riley. As a result, Izuku asks them all for help to try to wean it out of Riley and he makes it very clear to Bakugo that if he wants to demean Riley, this will definitely not be tolerated.
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  • Accusation Fic: Midoriya goes through Aizawa's Quirk Assessment Test as he does in canon. As per canon, Aizawa threatens to expel the student who gets last in the test. Once the test is done, he reveals it was a trick to bring out their best potential since they did not want to be expelled. However (unlike in canon), all the students decide to drop out because they do not trust Aizawa with their futures. The Original Character also knees Aizawa in the crotch and faces no repercussions for assaulting his teacher. All of the UA teachers then call out Aizawa and list why his methods are immoral, wrong, and do more damage than good and Aizawa is suspended from teaching until further notice.
  • Adaptational Badass: Thanks to Riley's prompting, Izuku is more combat ready and has actual martial training before he obtains a Quirk. It's mentioned that he's actually fought off bullies more than once.
    • Toshinori mentions briefly that by the time of the Quirk Assessment Test, Izuku can actually use 5% of One For All, which he couldn't do in canon. The only reason he kept breaking his arms in Aizawa's test and the Entrance Exam were because he was backed into a corner.
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    • During the first Class 1-AB joint class, most everyone gets tips on how to use their Quirks more efficiently.
      • Aoyama gets a surgery that allows him to use his "Navel Laser" without hurting himself - which allows him to fly, Iron Man-style.
      • Ashido begins to carry alkalis, both to neutralize the acid she secretes or to make explosives.
      • Asui begins to collect her toxins for long range application.
      • Uraraka gets a device that nullifies her nausea from using her powers on herself and a set of CO2 jets that she can use to propel herself and to extinguish fires.
      • Kaminari now uses an ion gun to fire his electricity and armor that helps him insulate himself.
      • Koda gets a raccoon and a crow that can help him when he needs them.
      • Hagakure gets an invisible suit with pockets, both eliminating her main handicap - having to go Invisible Streaker style - and allowing her to carry tools on herself.
      • Sato equips himself with energy drinks that allow him to use his strength for longer with less problems.
      • Momo equips herself with a Heads-Up Display that allows her to bring up anything she needs without having to consult the book. Izuku later helps her realize she can learn what an object is made of by using her powers backwards.
      • Mineta figures out how to launch his sticky balls at high enough velocity to make the ceiling shake.
      • Kaibara takes several rotary tools and a bo staff, making him a whole lot more powerful.
      • Jirou gets extra speakers on her jacket.
      • Ojiro now wears a suit that allows him to camouflage himself.
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    • In Chapter 10, as part of a class assignment, Izuku, Riley and Mineta upgrade Midnight's outfit, making it much more protective plus improving her efficiency as a hero while still looking quite attractive.
  • Adaptational Intelligence: While Izuku's Quirk analysis is a well known trait, here the second he sees new Quirks he will instantly start going over every trait and use it could possibly have. And we do mean every.
  • Adaptational Modesty: At Izuku's suggestion, Momo changes her uniform to cover herself under flaps held together with Velcro. This way, not only does she have cover for the cold, it also leaves the enemy wondering where she keeps the items she creates.
    • When the students find out that anything that is covered by Hagakure from both sides becomes invisible, Mina suggests asking Support to use Hagakure's hair as the basis for making her a suit.
  • Adaptational Personality Change: Izuku is more cheerful and outgoing than canon thanks to Riley's influence, even having a sense of humor that leads him to go along with the latter's jokes. He still maintains his other personality traits though.
  • Adaptational Jerkass:
    • Bakugo is hardly a saint in canon, but his cruelty toward others is played up in this fic. Canon Bakugo would most likely never have even considered using Riley's fear of hurting others against him.
    • Izuku also qualifies. A specific example would be his fight with Hitoshi Shinso, where he offers No Sympathy towards the latter's situation in regards to his Quirk and how people have treated him over the years because of it as well as call him out for being "wrong" for being upset with said situation. He also takes the time to dismiss a few of his own classmates' Quirks as unimpressive.
  • Adaptational Villainy: While canon Aizawa is presented as a Stern Teacher and a Pragmatic Hero, here his methods are reframed as cruel and a massive risk to both his students and the hero community in the long term. He expels students on whims rather than for any justified reason, refuses to admit that he's fallible and doesn't care that several students in the class he expelled a few years back were Driven to Suicide. He's raked over the coals and suspended without pay — all but outright fired — for his callous attitude.
    There was some mumbling of agreement to that, with hints of resentment. It was starting to seem to the students like Aizawa's teaching method consisted of finding any hint of good cheer or self-confidence in his students and squashing it as ruthlessly as possible. They'd only had him for two lessons now and already they were getting sick of him.
  • Adaptation Relationship Overhaul: While Midoriya and Bakugo's canon relationship is complicated, to say the least, it's much simpler here. Since Midoriya has a friend in Coyote, he doesn't seem to care for Bakugo at all, referring to him by his last name rather than an Affectionate Nickname.
  • Afraid Of His Own Strength: Part of the reason why Riley subconsciously nerfs himself when he thinks that he's made someone bleed is because, even before his Quirk manifested, his canine mutations meant that he had to be very careful not to accidentally hurt other kids. It's noted that this kind of mindset is not an unusual issue among new Heroes, and might actually be much more common than what's reported, because so many people have access to abilities that could be potentially lethal.
  • All Men Are Perverts: Riley certainly does enjoy the view that more fanservice-inclined costumes offer.
    • Midnight is the target of all guys' looks when it's time for her class.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: Izuku still has to cope with this from his classmates due to being Quirkless. Even his friendship with Riley doesn't offer much of a reprieve as the rest of the class consider him a burden on the latter.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Nedzu lays into Aizawa for ruining the lives of the students he expelled, having high standards for students so that he won't have to work hard to teach them, subjecting his class to "logical ruses"... and having a poor personal appearance and sleeping in class. Admittedly, that is highly unprofessional behavior for a teacher, but still mild compared to the rest of his actions.
  • Artistic License – Education: Aizawa's special dispensation to expel students under his own authority from Canon is highlighted further here, in a "I don't know what the hell I (the Principal) was thinking when I allowed it" fashion.
  • Awesome by Analysis: The reason Riley has the versatility he does with his Quirk is Izuku's analyzing skills being used to discover every possible aspect of the Quirk.
    • Chapter 4 is all of Class 1-A and 1-B applying this to each other.
    • In Chapter 9, at the USJ attack, Izuku identifies the League of Villains' most dangerous members (The Noumu, Kurogiri and Tomura), and comes with quick, effective methods to temporarily incapacitate them.
  • Batman Gambit: Making Izuku protect an egg isn't just to help him learn to control his strength, it's also so he'll be forced to defend it against Bakugo and learn to stand up to the bully.
  • Berserk Button: Riley's is Izuku being insulted, threatened, or hurt. That happens and you find yourself eye to eye with someone who can use Toon Physics in real life. Izuku proves to have the same one when, after explaining Riley's blood phobia, he gets in Bakugo's face while the latter is mocking Riley, nearly strangles him with a One For All-enhanced grip, and tells him in no uncertain terms that he's going to do a hell of a lot worse if Bakugo ever tries to exploit this to insult or hurt Riley in any way.
  • Beware the Nice Ones:
    • When the principal yells that Aizawa had no right to decide which of his students could make it as heroes, everyone's shocked to see such a display from a cheerful person like him.
    • Bakugo finally finds himself saying one insult too many when he demeans Riley because he has an aversion to causing bloody injuries on his opponents (as in, he gets a Heroic BSoD that lasts days and his powers perform badly on the meanwhile if he does) and Izuku gives him a One For All-enhanced Neck Lift and warns him, while strangling him, that if he ever tries to exploit this against Riley in any way, shape or form, he is going to suffer big time for it. Bakugo, who normally acts like he would rather die than bend the knee to anybody, gurgles out an agreement before All Might orders Izuku to let go.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: Riley's powers, appearance, and personality are from something out of Warner Brothers, but he's smart, creative, and very capable of screwing over those who would hurt his friends.
    • During the Entrance Exam, Izuku passed the same way as in canon. Riley decided to hijack the Zero pointer and ride it around while singing the Super Mario Brothers-theme over the loudspeakers.
    • Izuku and Riley together decided to make dossiers on their teachers to prevent both of them from getting screwed over by the many, many bad ones they've had, which proves to ultimately be Aizawa's downfall.
  • Big Brother Instinct: They're the same age but Riley otherwise plays this straight. Riley is very protective of Izuku and, as the more extroverted of the duo, he's a lot more outspoken about it. It helps that the two see themselves as brothers.
  • Blood Brothers: Riley does a ceremony for this on Izuku's birthday as a reassurance that nothing is going to sever their friendship.
  • Brick Joke: During one of the early chapters, Izuku and Riley discuss how Midnight's hero suit could use upgrades, mentioning its lack of actual armor and the possibility of her using sprays to fire her sleep mist further and more accurately. Come Chapter 10, the two of them, along with Mineta, design a new costume for Midnight as part of an assignment, featuring both elements.
  • Cel Shading: Riley's oobleck is described as having a cel shaded look to it, with Riley in full-hero gear making it look like his entire body has the same look.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: Riley; it's clear he enjoys all the fan servicey costumes that various female heroes wear but it's also clear he has a great deal of respect for his female classmates.
    • Izuku, to a lesser degree. He certainly respects his female classmates, and he also really notices the "interesting" things Ochako's Happy Dance does to her spandexed form - and the curves of both her and Tooru when they hug him.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: When Izuku first meets Riley the latter shows off a fire extinguisher that he has on hand because he's worried over the city buildings being made of paper and a volcano igniting them. He loses this as he grows.
  • Cloudcuckoolander's Minder: While Riley isn't necessarily unintelligible, Izuku has known him long enough to anticipate patterns in his antics and helps properly gauge people when Riley is up to something.
  • Combat Pragmatist: After successfully distracting Shigaraki long enough for backup to arrive and Iida to leave undetected, Riley immediately went for Shigaraki first, recognizing him as the leader of what are essentially low-level thugs with nothing but numbers on their side. When Riley realizes that his oobleck is immune to Shigaraki's quirk, the first thing he does is cuff his hands in oobleck mittens, making him functionally quirkless until he escapes.
  • The Cuckoolander Was Right: While people might write off Riley's limited attention span and Class Clown behavior as him being stupid or insane, he is actually a lot smarter than people give him credit for. He will often State the Simple Solution when a situation grows out of control, manipulate people who antagonize him in a manner where they don't realize they have been played until it is too late and when working together with Izuku, they will usually find ways of outsmarting "obstacles" (physical or societal threats to them like bullies and obstructive authority figures) and make the most out of what seems like a minimal situation.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The League of Villains vs the Hero and Support Courses' students AND their teachers. The villains stand no chance, with most of them requiring medical attention afterwards, and, while Tomura and Kurogiri manage to escape, it's not until after Riley (whose's suit is immune to his Touch of Death) easily beats and humiliates Shigaraki.
  • Curse Cut Short: This exchange between Midnight and Ectoplasm in the meeting about how to deal with Aizawa.
    Midnight: Honestly, Aizawa, expelling them on the first day? We’re going to have educational reviewers climbing up our...
    Ectoplasm: (clears throat noisily) I think the phrase ‘we’ve got a mess on our hands’ covers it.
  • Cycle of Revenge: Ryu Inui credits this as being the dynamic that has existed between Izuku, Riley and Bakugo since they were children (as well as the source of Izuku's Berserk Button) not unlike a prolonged Three Stooges routine.
    Ryo Inui: Bakugo would bully or harass Izuku, Riley would retaliate with one of his stunts or pranks, Bakugo would attack Riley, Izuku would leap to his defense—
    Nedzu: And round and round we go...
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?:
    • Riley manages to beat Bakugou and his gang in a fight the first time they meet because he brought along a fire extinguisher.
    • Following Midoriya's plan, Mineta incapacitates The Noumu by shooting his hair balls at the Artificial Human's eyes, not just blinding him, but also getting his hands stuck to his face when he tries to remove the balls. This effectively takes the League of Villains' secret weapon out of the whole battle.
  • Dumbass Has a Point: Minanote  makes the very astute observation that the easiest way to get Hagakure a working suit is to make it out of something that shares her invisibility field since, as she has the invisible girl demonstrate to the class, anything covered by something that has said field turns invisible as well. This leads to Support making Hagakure a suit from her hair.
  • Egg Sitting: Ryu Inui gives Izuku an egg full of blue glycerin that he has to carry around everywhere. If he can go three days without breaking it, he passes. This is intended not only as a way for him to better control his Super Strength, but it will better motivate him to defend himself, as Bakugo would do everything he could to break it just to spite him.
  • Epic Fail:
    • While Bakugo broke Izuku's second egg, the first one broke because Izuku tripped going out the door (on the doorjam, specifically) almost immediately after getting it.
    • While the League of Villain's attempts to invade the USJ was originally a botched job in canon, here is is way worse. Not only where there more heroes and hero-students there, but with the improvements in quirk analysis, costume modifications, the entire Support-Course student-body armed with experimental support-gear coming in from the back and Coyote's masterful distraction, Izuku and Mineta were able to incapacitate both Nomou and Kurogiri before they knew what hit them and the League was decimated almost immediately. Even Aizawa calls it a "Curb-Stomp Battle".
      Vlad King: They'd obviously been expecting to deal with a couple of teachers and about twenty student heroes[.] They obviously weren't prepared to be dealing with FORTY heroes-in-training, sixty support students armed to the teeth with experimental support gear, and four pro heroes. They basically... well...
      Power Loader: I believe the technical term is "freaked".
      Vlad King: Erm, well, yes. Most of them seem to be two-bit riff-raff, just basic street thugs who got roped into this "brilliant diabolical plan," and found themselves in over their head. By the time All Might and the rest of the staff arrived, it was all over but the shouting.
  • Eureka Moment: Izuku and Riley frequently prompt these in the people around them, with notable examples including Izuku and the rest of the class helping Mineta figure out how to fire off his sticky-balls and Izuku causing Momo to realize that she can use her Quirk backward to figure out what things are made of and then make them from there.
  • Evil Smells Bad: With his canine physiology, Riley has a strong sense of smell. When he gets close enough to smell Shigaraki, he smelled "rotten. Decayed. Soaked in hate and cruelty." This was one of the things that clued him in as the League's leader.
  • Fantastic Racism: Izuku and Riley have to deal with this from their peers and teachers at school, the former due to being Quirkless and the latter for being a foreigner who also happens to have a physical mutation that makes him look like an animal. It gets so bad that authority figures go out of their way to make their lives harder, giving both a general distrust of authority figures and the experience to deal with them as accordingly.
  • Fight Clubbing: Ryu Inui has Riley signed up for one as the most controlled (and legal) environment to help with Riley's fear of drawing blood.
  • Fix Fic: On top of being an Accusation Fic for certain characters and moments, Riley's presence has also led to improvements in the performance and behaviors of certain characters, such as a chapter dedicated to Izuku's skills in quirk-analysis being used to upgrade the performance of his classmate's quirks and designing more practical hero costumes for them.
  • Flaw Exploitation: Knowing about Riley's fear of harming people, Izuku has Yaoyorozu conjure a blood-pill for her to put in her mouth, making it look like Riley drew blood so that he would nerf himself and secure their victory in the Heroes vs. Villains Exercise, partly to force Riley to actually deal with the issue.
  • For Want of a Nail: Iida and Kendo become the Class Representatives in the voting.
  • Gesundheit: Riley says this in response to Izuku saying "Itadakimasu!" ("Let's eat!") during lunchtime.
  • Groin Attack: Coyote knees Aizawa in the crotch while announcing that he's leaving the school in protest over Aizawa's Quirk Apprehension Test.
  • Hard Truth Aesop: Systematic racism and ableism exist. Such a system cannot change overnight and it can't be ignored, so get clever, find every loophole you can, cherish whatever friendships you have and make the best of that bad situation.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: At the Sports Festival's first event, the General Studies Class' students band together against the 1-AB ones. The Hero students realize this, and (except for Bakugou and Todoroki) compete as a team themselves, completing the race and not allowing any of the other classes' students to make it to the next event.
  • Hypocrite:
    • Riley resents that he and Izuku were discriminated for being a foreigner and Quirkless respectively, and yet Riley has no problem throwing out ableist slurs.
    • Mineta is told to tone down his pervertedness because he might reflect badly on all of Class 1-AB and yet Riley is allowed to act like a mentally unhinged person in the front of the press to chase them off, even though it could very well reflect poorly on the entirety of U.A.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Aizawa claims that his expelling students who don't meet his standards are meant to weed out those who don't have what it takes. No one else at the meeting agrees, though.
  • Imagination-Based Superpower: Riley's Quirk lets him create amorphic matter that he can shape however he wants, which he calls "oobleck". He can control its physical state (make it solid, liquid, gas, or intangible), adjust its temperature (though it only goes so far), and even imitate physical properties of what it turns into (harness, conductivity, etc.). He can even animate his constructs, creating moving structures. However, Oobleck cannot copy chemical properties (wood won't burn, acid can't corrode, food has no flavor, etc.)
    • Oobleck's lack of chemical properties is actually exploited by Riley, who notes things made with it are fire-proof, acid-proof, shock-proof, etc. His hero suit is made of it precisely because of those properties. It is also revealed to be the one thing Shigaraki's Decay Quirk can't disintegrate.
  • Informed Attribute: It's stated that Riley loves making other people laugh more than anything. While he does spend some time doing that, he spends just as much time, if not more, belittling, humiliating, and talking down others for various offenses (some of which are minor enough that they don't warrant Riley's actions).
  • I Owe You My Life: Uraraka joins the class walkout not because of forewarning about Aizawa's methods but because Izuku saved her life during the entrance exam and she can't in good conscience stay if U.A. is willing to treat him so badly.
  • Laugh Themselves Sick: The usual reaction when Riley is up to his antics.
  • Logical Weakness: Shigaraki's Make Them Rot Quirk doesn't work on Oobleck because it doesn't have chemical properties, so it can't decay.
  • Loon with a Heart of Gold: Riley is far less prone to following into the same prejudices as most other people, having been Izuku's only friend long before he gets "One For All" and frequently targets bullies and obstructing adults (or "obstacles" as he calls them) for his pranks. It probably has something to do with general prejudice people have towards gaijin and people with quirk mutations, giving Riley the sobering perspective that people like Bakugo would not have. On top of that, Riley is utterly dedicated to making other people happy and if he ever causes someone harm, especially an innocent, his powers go on the fritz.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: One of the reasons Riley is such an effective distraction during the USJ attack is that his Oobleck suit makes him Nigh-Invulnerable, so he can engage on reckless behavior that would be fatal for anyone else.
  • Luminescent Blush: Izuku goes tomato red when Ochako shows off her superhero suit and then hugs him. And again when Hagakure hugs him as well.
  • Magical Native American: Riley's father is a Native American, cultivating a stereotypical image to throw off his business clients' expectations, and Riley himself resembles an anthropomorphic coyote. He and Izuku participate in a blood brother ritual (with Riley dressed in Native American attire). His Quirk lets him create indestructible weapons and armor. His father's quirk, Smoke Signals, allows him to create smoke and use it to form elaborated images.
  • Mama Bear:
    • Riley's mom isn't happy that he seems to be in trouble over the fight Bakugo tried to start to say the least and is furious that the school was willing to sweep Bakugo bullying a child for being Quirkless under the rug because of Bakugo's powerful abilities.
    • Bakugo's mother gets this for Izuku rather than her son. She knows how much of a terror her son can be and gives an implicit warning to the school that they better stop turning a blind eye to how Bakugo is tormenting Izuku.
  • Mighty Whitey: Riley, an American, apparently has more knowledge of everything (from education systems to Quirks) than anyone else in Japan. Including characters who have been working in said fields for years, from his classmates who have had their Quirks nearly their whole lives, to teachers, to even Pro Heroes.
  • Misery Builds Character: The elementary school's principal justifies his laissez-faire attitude toward Bakugo bullying Izuku by saying that in Japan, students are expected to endure bullying. Riley's mom rubbishes this claim by pointing out how it just drives people into despair and even suicide.
  • The Nicknamer: Riley likes giving Embarrassing Nicknames to people he deems deserving of it, most often bullies. The one that has endured the longest would be Bakugo's nickname "Splodey Dope".
  • Noodle Incident: After Izuku and Mineta manage to incapacitate Noumu and Kurogiri, the rest of the USJ battle is skipped over to the aftermath, with Shigaraki and Kurogiri escaping. Aizawa described it as a Curb-Stomp Battle, and with the sheer diversity of injuries the beaten villains have sustained, it must have been simultaneously awesome and hilarious
    EMT: Lots of injuries—Nothing particularly serious, but a LOT of them.
    All Might: Ah, such as?
    EMT: Oh, the usual bruises, contusions, broken teeth, the kind you see after a brawl. The more unusual stuff? Electric burns, frost burns, explosion burns, acid burns, and just plain burns, hypothermia, epilation— er, that’s where all the hair is yanked off the body—
    Thirteen: How...?
    EMT: Between the gallons of glue, tape, and those purple sticky ball things we found all over, take your pick. Several have some really unpleasant fungal infections. One fellow had some nasty scratches all over like he’d tackled a rose bush, and another is gonna need to have a horn removed from an awkward location... We had to sedate several. Someone left them floating weightless up on the ceiling, and I don’t know WHAT the hell the "spooky white haired girl" or "the creepy bird kid" did to them, but they were in total hysterics by the time they got down... We had to dig up a couple who were half-buried in solid floor. Oh, and a few animal bites here and there, just to round things out. Oh, and you might tell the Support kids that the net guns, bola shooters, the like were okay but the tasers, stun rays, and sonic cannons might be considered excessive.
  • Not So Above It All: Nezu loves Riley's antics.
  • Oh, Crap!: Bakugou's reaction when he sees Izuku and Riley are in Class 1-A with him.
    • Ochako when she realizes she just gave carte blanche to Riley to disrupt class.
  • Pass the Popcorn: When Riley goes to deal with the press, Izuku's only counsel for his classmates is to stay back, enjoy the soda drinks he's giving them and wish for popcorn.
  • Politically Incorrect Hero: In the first chapter, Riley complains about how in Japan, surnames are used first and given names are used last.
    • He also uses an ableist slur to refer to the press when they cause panic for setting off the alarm signaling a perimeter breach.
    • He describes himself as a "living bundle of ADHD" where he deliberately acts crazy to scare off reports on UA grounds. In real life, ADHD is much more complex than simply hyperactive behavior and getting easily distracted.
    • When he decides to prank Kaminari and Mineta for trying to convince the girls in their class to dress up as cheerleaders, Riley instead convinces the male members of their class to dress up in drag as female cheerleaders and even perform a routine. From how the story describes it, they come across as caricatures of drag queens that are used to insult Transgender people and exhibit the negative stereotypes of gender-nonconforming people, a fact that is made explicit as the narration describes Riley's intent with this stunt was to "trigger every alternate lifestylist from Tokyo to Okinawa".
  • Poor Communication Kills: Eraserhead probably would have been more cautious dealing with Izuku and Riley if he had seen or been informed of the events of their entrance exams before the class had started.
  • Properly Paranoid: Izuku and Riley have been putting up with unhelpful, obstructive, and outright sabotaging teachers for years so they've gotten into the habit of making it so said teachers can't screw them over by taking precautions ahead of time. They even apply this to Aizawa on the off chance he isn't any better than their last ones.
  • Punny Name: Riley's full name is "Riley Coyote." His father named him after it, so it was definitely deliberate.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Izuku points out how impractical Midnight's outfit is, noting how high heels and tearaway cloth make for a horrible hero costume. He also notes that using air pumped nozzles would not only address the stated reason for why her costume is designed the way it is but would also improve her Quirk's efficiency.
      • Riley also chimes that continuing to use her current costume won't help her maintain her looks, which are a big part of her hero image.
    • Aizawa's handling of the Quirk assessment test runs into several realistic outcomes that he didn't encounter in canon:
      • Aizawa's threat to expel the worst-performing student ultimately leads to the entire class dropping out because none of them want to risk their futures on the whims of a petty Jerkass who kicked out an entire class for not meeting his standards, which they had been warned of ahead of time. They may be striving to be heroes but you are not going to entrust achieving your goal to someone who acts like that, especially after they prove a warning you received about them right.
      • Aizawa revealing that Izuku actually passed the test and claiming the expulsion threat was a ruse isn't seen as a sign of triumph like in canon. Riley is infuriated that Izuku was basically led into maiming himself for no reason by a teacher. The claim about the ruse also helps the class decide to leave because it served as validation for an earlier warning.
      • Aizawa's expelling an entire class from a few years ago and his threat that he can do so with the current one isn't seen as The Spartan Way like in canon. The rest of the faculty are incensed, noting that parents, alumni, sponsors, and even the Ministry of Education are going to tear strips out of the school for an entire class being expelled on the first day.
      • When Aizawa tries justifying his harshness towards Izuku by pointing out the boy's lack of control over his Quirk, All Might angrily fires back that Aizawa knew that Izuku lacked that kind of control and it's Aizawa's job to teach him how to gain it, not punish him for what he hasn't learned yet.
      • Nedzu notes that the entire class dropping out wasn't out of solidarity (except for Riley and Uraraka, who did it out of personal loyalty to Izuku) but because all of them were warned ahead of time how strict Aizawa could be and how likely he was to expel them if they didn't meet his criteria. There aren't going to be close bonds between a bunch of people who had only just met in the morning for the first time.
      • Izuku and Riley are incredibly cynical and mistrusting towards teachers because of how many have actively worked against them in reaching their goals, to the point they had to become Properly Paranoid in order to even make it to U.A. They're naturally suspicious and wary once they actually make it into the school and look into who their prospective teachers will be, discovering Aizawa may prove to be a problem. They were willing to give him the benefit of the doubt right up to the point where he legitimized their worries.
      • The results of Aizawa expelling an entire class are shown. Half of them went to seek schooling at other hero schools while badmouthing the school to the press over it. The other half either wound up not finishing their education and scraping by on minimum wage, dropping out completely and becoming villains, or committing suicide. Getting expelled from such a prestigious school is not just a matter of "you aren't cutting it here": either other rival schools will seek to get their hands on such talent or no other school will touch them because of who did the booting out. One commenter mentions that in a highly competitive society like Japan, being expelled from a school can lead someone to be Driven to Suicide.
      • It gets pointed out that Aizawa's teaching methods are very much Awesome, but Impractical, showing that while the students that do pass go on to become incredible heroes it's often at the cost of nearly twice as many being kicked out because they don't meet Aizawa's standards. Nedzu also raises the issue that part of why Aizawa is so lauded as a teacher is that he tends to get students that qualify as prodigies who he doesn't have to invest much effort in actually teaching while dismissing anyone of lesser talent.
      • It's pointed out that in addition to all the other flaws he has, he constantly sleeps in class and looks slovenly in the extreme.
    • When Momo talks about her Quirk to the class, Izuku points out that it can't work the way that she thinks it does, turning body fat into different forms and materials, because with the mass of the objects in the Apprehension test alone (at least 100 kilos), she'd have killed herself from losing all that body mass at once. Izuku instead proposes that the body fat is just metabolized as part of whatever process produces the materials from where they're actually coming from.
    • In a world where Everyone is a Super, Japanese culture has been forced to become at least somewhat more accepting of counseling than in our world instead of viewing it as "shameful" because a significant amount of Quirks can run amok under the influence of unstable emotions.
    • With how much people are conditioned from childhood in civilized countries against hurting each other, combined with the prevalence of potentially lethal superpowers, it's not uncommon, especially among new or upcoming Heroes, for people to mentally limit their abilities out of fear of hurting others like Riley does. His canine features also didn't help.
    • No matter how strong you are, going head-first against an enemy without having enough information or a plan means that, most of the time, you'll get badly battered even if you manage to win in the end.
    • In the USJ, Aizawa tries to stress just how dangerous quirks are and if they aren't careful they could kill (or at least gravely harm) themselves and others with them by accident. Ibara Shiozaki retorts that most of them have had their powers since they were toddlers and have learned how to live with them their entire lives, with the risk of accidental self-harm from their quirks being incredibly rare. Not only that, but statistically people are less grievously hurt by careless quirk usage than by everyday risks in one's own kitchen and that fear-mongering about their quirks will only psyche the students out at crucial moments.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    • Bakugo gives an especially cruel one to Izuku after the manifestation of Riley's quirk drives a wedge between them.
      Bakugo: Hey, Deku. Lose your girlfriend?
      Izuku: Shut up, Bakugo.
      Bakugo: Whoa, hit a nerve. Ah don’t feel so bad, Deku. Anyone could see this was coming. It was obvious he only hung out with you because you were the only loser as sad as he was.
      Izuku: Shut up, Bakugao.
      Bakugo: Ooh, getting some SPUNK are we? Better pull that back in, DEKU. You haven’t even got that dog-faced loser to have your back anymore. He’s no big deal to me— he got his Quirk, so what? But even he wasn’t going to let a useless Deku hanger-on drag him down. Face it, Midoriya, everything’s back to the way it was. He’s just another Extra that walked off-stage… and you’re a worthless DEKU, all alone. Later, loser.
    • Unfortunately for Bakugo, Riley hears of this and proceeds to give him a spectacular and hilarious one in the form of a song and dance number (set to the tune of "Gangnam Style") mocking his arrogance and cruelty, which leaves Izuku crying with mirth and helps to remove the wedge.
    • Aizawa gets one from Nedzu regarding his terrible teaching methods.
      Aizawa: I did them a favor. If they couldn’t handle a little difficulty—
      Nedzu: Oh really? Let’s review what happened to the last group on whom you showered this particular benevolence. (puts down a folder and opens it up) Let’s start with the 20 students you expelled a couple of years back… Six of them applied for transfers to our competitors, graduated and went on to become Pro Heroes. Four of them overseas. They are all on record as disparaging U.A. to the press as having an undeserved reputation, by the way… Six of them were unable to complete their education and are now struggling as minimum wage workers. Four more of them dropped out completely and now have criminal records as Villains. And five of them committed suicide.
      Aizawa: I judged them as not having enough potential to be proper Heroes, and I stand by that decision--
      Nedzu: That was not your decision to make! They proved their potential when they passed the gauntlet of the admissions exam. Your job was to bring that potential out, to nurture it, to teach them how to use their Quirks and become Pro Heroes. Instead you decided to become an obstacle, a hindrance, a threat that the students had to somehow overcome just to secure their futures. On paper, you’re an excellent teacher. On paper, the students who graduate from your class are of the highest quality and go on to be great heroes. The reality, however, is anything but. You maintain your high evaluations by expelling countless promising young students, and keeping the remaining handful of gifted prodigies whom you barely have to exert yourself training, artificially puffing up your own accomplishments as a teacher. You’re constantly pulling your little ‘logical ruses’ on them, turning them untrusting and paranoid toward you and by extension toward the rest of staff. Your personal appearance is slovenly, your attitude is deplorable and you’re constantly sleeping in your own class! Your ‘eccentricities’ have been tolerated for far too long, and it has now been conclusively demonstrated that they harm this institution more than they help. You may be a fairly excellent Pro Hero, but you are a ruinously substandard teacher, and it has once again fallen to someone else to clean up the damage you have done. You may consider yourself on unpaid suspension until further notice.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Riley and Izuku respectively. Riley is manic, extroverted and full of snark, while Izuku is composed, introverted and down to Earth. Both are extraordinarily intelligent, but while Riley's intelligence is based around wit, opportunism and on-the-spot thinking, Izuku is much more methodical and analytical, capable of deconstructing a person's Quirk in a way that the Quirk user themselves did not understand. When it comes to Quirks, Riley's is an Imagination-Based Superpower that he learns to master through years of careful study with Izuku's help, while Izuku's power gives him Super Strength of unmatched thresholds of power, but lacks the experience to use it constructively. Lastly, Ryu Inui cites that both of their primary flaws are both contradictory and complimentary to one another; while Riley is willing to get his hands dirty and will mess with an opponent, if he gets too ruff and draws blood he'll nerf himself and pull all of his punches, while Izuku is unwilling to defend himself but will inflict his uncontrolled strength on a person if they intend ill-will on Riley.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Riley's main weapon is using his skills to bamboozle whoever is his victim. When the League attacks the students at USJ, he distracts the whole lot by appearing right in the middle of the group and starting to assign them an Embarrassing Nickname.
  • Required Secondary Powers: When Izuku wonders how Mineta keeps his sticky hairballs from getting stuck to the pillow when he sleeps, the short pervert explains that they don't become sticky until he removes them, and when it's brought up that they don't stick to him, either, he explains that he actually repels them slightly. Izuku's questioning leads him to discover that he can intensify this repulsive effect enough to shoot one of his balls straight up into the ceiling, over thirty feet up, with enough force to make the lights sway.
  • Rescue Romance: A Discussed Trope that Riley brings up when he meets Uraraka. He notes that Izuku saving her during the entrance exam pretty much guarantees he has a shot with her.
  • Second Place Is for Winners: The first Heroes vs Villains' battle pits a team of Weak, but Skilled Villains against relatively Unskilled, but Strong Heroes. While the heroes win, they all end badly battered while the villains are comparatively fine.
  • Shipper on Deck: Riley is enthusiastically supportive of Izuku and Uraraka as a couple. They're both rather embarrassed when he starts it up.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Neito Monoma, as usual of him, has nothing more to say to Class 1-A than smug denigration when the collected Class 1 meets for its first day (and Izuku and Riley are providing ideas to the other students in how to improve their Quirk use) and imperiously asks if there is something they can recommend him. The whole classroom yells back one word: "THERAPY!"
  • Skewed Priorities: Riley is initially very sad when he gets his Quirk, because despite "Ability to summon things from imagination," being amazing, he's upset that he doesn't have the power of "Summon infinite pie forever."
  • Spit Take: When the teachers watch Riley's video on why he left Aizawa's class, a few of them do this.
    • Uraraka ends up blowing her soda up her nose during Riley's antics to drive the press away.
  • Stating the Simple Solution: Mina solves Hagakure's problem with not being able to wear a costume or carry support items by having her demonstrate that as long as she's using something that's part of her body, the invisibility will cover anything, leading to Support making her a suit from her hair, which retains the invisibility and covering effects.
    • When Tokoyami explains the great difficulty he has controlling Dark Shadow when there's no light, Kirishima yells out "just carry a flashlight!" He facepalms upon the obvious realization.
    • When the entire class is rushing to get their costumes for their first day of combat training, All Might failing to maintain order, Riley whips out a horn to quiet everyone down and points out that a few people handing everyone else's costumes to their respective owners makes a better solution.
    • When Momo complains that she doesn't know what the costume components Izuku hands her during their attempts to give Mineta a better costume are made of, Izuku asks her how she knows that she's succeeded with making items, prompting the realization that she can just use her Quirk backwards to figure out what things are made of.
  • Symbol Swearing: Mitsuki once says, "@%@! it, all this @%## nonsense".
  • That Came Out Wrong: Izuku tells Mineta to strip. Mineta freaks out until Izuku states he only meant his diaper-like armor and his gloves.
  • Think Unsexy Thoughts: Kaminari, when Riley is describing Midnight's new outfit.
  • Those Wily Coyotes: Riley embodies this to a tee, taking cues from the likes of the classic moralizing Coyote of Native American Mythology to the wacky cartoon antics of Wile E. Coyote. He's an anthropomorphic coyotenote  of Native American ancestry with a predilection for pranks, an analytical mind and an ethical drive in his desire to become a hero. Combined with a quirk that gives him the ability to make whatever he wants and the result is a Karmic Trickster with a habit of putting bullies and authority figures that think they know better in their place like (ironically) Bugs Bunny making fools out of Elmer Fudd and Yosemite Sam.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: Ashido and Mineta are named MVPs of their Heroes vs Villains exercise.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Riley loves pies, and will eat just about anything: fruits, vegetables, meats, or sweets, as long as it's served in a pie crust.
  • Underestimating Badassery: After seeing how Mineta's team did in the "Heroes vs. Villains" exercise, Riley and Izuku lampshade them doing this to Mineta.
  • Utility Belt: The 'Midoriya Layout', a complete kit of support gear that becomes part of the UA hero classes' outfits, including protective gear, medical supplies and communication devices, as well as weaponry adapted to each hero's abilities and quirks; much of this equipment is carried on an actual belt, and is designed to be compact and light so it's easy to carry and doesn't interfere with the hero's moves, plus economic enough so most of it can be acquired on normal sports shops, hardware stores, and Army-Navy surplus; later, the Support Class work on Izuku and Riley's basic design to make it much more resistant.
  • Victory by Endurance: The Heroes Team in the first "Heroes vs Villains" battle gets badly battered by the Villains' traps and long-ranged attacks, yet manage to win thanks to determination and raw power.
  • Weaponized Ball: When it comes to long-ranged attacks, Izuku specializes on throwable weapons; aside from conventional ones like boomerangs and kunai, his personal Midoriya Layout includes industrial ball bearings about the size of ping pong balls and lead-shot ‘hackey sacks.’ Thanks to his Super Strength and accuracy, the balls and sacks can impact with great force without causing permanent injuries.
  • We Need a Distraction: At the USJ, Riley manages to give Izuku enough time to come up with a plan by distracting the League of Villains.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • When All Might comes in and saves Izuku and Riley from the Sludge Villain with a Texas Smash, all Riley can do is point out how extraordinarily reckless it was, knowing the physics behind it and comparing it to firing an air-cannon right at them. All Might insists that he has more control over his strength than that and Izuku is too starstruck to care.
    • After the Sludge Villain is defeated (the second time), the various pro-heroes try chewing out Izuku and Riley for jumping into danger. Instead of sitting there and taking it, Riley chews them out right back that two untrained kids were able to make a difference while the trained professionals just sat there, twiddling their thumbs and waiting for somebody else to take care of the problem. When they try making excuses for how their quirks were unsuited for the task, Riley easily comes up with things they could have done that were obvious to him. Even better, the fact that Izuku was quirkless just makes his answer all the more ignorant.
      Kamui Woods: We're Pro Heroes, young man. We know better about what we do than you. We knew that we didn't have a Quirk suitable for dealing with that villain...
      Riley Coyote: A SUITABLE QUIRK? My bloodbrother had NO Quirk, and he STILL dropped Sludgeball on his butt! So I repeat for the peanut gallery, what was your excuse?
      Kamui Woods: Wood burns, kid.
      Riley Coyote: Wet wood doesn't. You have Backdraft right here. If you'd just had Backdraft take a second to douse you first, you could have reached in and grabbed the hostage before the Villain could stop you. Then the rest you could have taken the villain down easily. Or Backdraft could have just diluted him with a blast of water to the face. Which would have kept Kacchan from firing off any more explosions as well. Or Mount Lady coulda grabbed road salt from one of the stores and dumped it on him. Or— hell, half a dozen other ideas! Instead you were all— "Oh noes, my power isn't exactly perfect for slime monsters! What ever shall I doooo?"
    • Chapter three is basically a big one to Aizawa over... well, everything about his teaching style.
  • Wolf Man: In addition to the other examples from canon, Riley is a coyote person.
  • Your Little Dismissive Diminutive: Nedzu calls Aizawa out on the "little ‘logical ruses’" he pulls on his class.

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