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Fanfic / One step backwards and Three forwards

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Tikki: May you get exactly what you wish for.
Plagg: And may you choke on it.

Hawkmoth won. With the help of a stolen Miraculous, and two heroes convinced to betray their friends for the supposed 'greater good', he stole the Ladybug Earrings and Black Cat Ring, using them to make his Wish. In his moment of triumph, he rewarded those who aided him by granting them the chance to Wish as well, creating a new reality together.

Cradled in her partner's arms, Marinette can only lament her failures, wishing that things could have been better. That she could have been the Ladybug that the world — and her partner — deserved. Then all was consumed by white, and the world was remade according to the villains' greatest desires.

But one should always be careful about making wishes, especially when they're being granted by a pair of vengeful, spite-fueled kwami.

One step backwards and Three forwards is a Miraculous Ladybug fanfic by CryingOriole that explores a world reshaped by the selfish desires of Hawkmoth and those who aided him, along with how their triumph ultimately leads to their downfall. For karma is coming for the lot of them, and while Ladybug and Chat Noir might have fallen, this new reality offers them a second chance to set things right. Even if it's not as Ladybug... or as Adrien Agreste.

This fanfic contains examples of:

  • Accomplice by Inaction: Felix holds his past self responsible for Hawkmoth's victory, feeling that his past passivity and decision not to warn Ladybug about a crucial discovery he'd made helped ensure the villains' success.
  • Adaptational Superpower Change:
    • Combined with Discard and Draw in the case of Chat Noir; their Miraculous works differently after Felix regains it, replacing the destructive power of Cataclysm with the misfortune-manipulating Catastrophe.
    • Along similar lines, after the events of Date-astrophe, Marinette's connection to the Rat Miraculous shifts from Multitude to dramatically multiplying her physical strength... at considerable risk to herself.
  • Age Lift: Felix is several years older than he was as Adrien.
  • All for Nothing: During the Dear [You] arc, all of dead!Lila's efforts to contact and warn Adrien about what's happening are negated by the fact that he already knows far more than she realizes.
  • Alternate Universe Reed Richards Is Awesome: Dame Papillion regularly uses her powers to assist various hospital workers so that they can help more people, including being able to mend wounds magically through various methods.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: Marinette has a Love Epiphany about her partner as the world teeters on the verge of being rewritten, and apologizes for letting her crush on Adrien blind her to what she could have had with Chat... while unable to see the detransformed Chat clearly enough to realize the two of them are one and the same. Whatever Adrien says in response goes unheard as the light engulfs them both.
  • Armor-Piercing Response:
    • When Nino, Alya and Lila are grilling him about Chat Noir, trying to figure out how he could destroy the Fox Miraculous, Wayzz hits them with two in rapid succession:
      Wayzz: Chat Noir does not have any ability here that he did not already have there.
      Nino: So why now? Why is he using it now?!
      Wayzz: Hmm, why would someone use means they normally wouldn't? What changed in his situation, I wonder... [pauses to let Nino and Alya react guiltily to that] Though, I wouldn't worry about that first.
      Nino: What is it?
      Wayzz: [beaming] Why, the question of how he knew your identities, of course!
  • The Bad Guy Wins: The central premise of the story: Gabriel and Lila both win, as Hawkmoth gets to make his Wish and Lila not only triumphs over Ladybug, but successfully corrupted Alya and Nino.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Especially when the beings granting the wish have every reason to hate you. Each of the antagonist's Wishes were twisted by Tikki and Plagg to various ends:
    • I wish to go back in time to undo my mistake: Gabriel, like all of the other Wish-makers, has Ripple-Proof Memory, meaning he's aware of deviations like the deaths of Emilie's sister and nephew. This knowledge also works against him as the heroes' plans unfold, especially due to the details he's not privy to, such as who Ladybug was.
    • I wish for Emilie to be saved and for Adrien to be happy: Nathalie's Wish led to both being effectively brainwashed into contentment despite any misgivings they might have.
    • I wish to become a great reporter who can find great stories easily!: Alya was granted a supernatural sense for detecting interesting stories; this has also made her a trouble magnet attracting unwanted attention and consequences. In addition, she's compelled to investigate, increasingly forcing her to confront Awful Truths that she'd much rather ignore.
    • I wish that Alya and I can be together forever: Nino wanted a better relationship with Alya; instead, his Wish was twisted so that the two constantly stumble into each other's paths.
    • I wish to become a rich and famous celebrity! I wish to be the center of Adrien's universe, and I wish for Ladybug to suffer: As Lila gradually learns, infamy counts as being famous. Her Wish also helped split the original Adrien into two, with Felix retaining his memories of being Chat Noir. Because she specified that Ladybug should suffer, the Ladybug Miraculous has been cursed with bad luck, with Emilie suffering the brunt of it as its current holder.
    • In a non-Wish related example, Adrien longed for his father's attention and approval. The fact that he gains it as Felix Agreste, while watching him continue to neglect Adrien and treat his other self as nothing more than a way to keep Lila in line is deeply unsettling for him.
  • Berserk Button: Nooroo is agape when he realises that Hawkmoth stole Tikki from a baker.
    Nooroo looked at her and felt a chill run up his spine. That idiotic man had taken Tikki from an all-you-can-eat macaron and cookies buffet.
    They won't even find the corpse when she's done with him.
  • Big Damn Heroes: After most of Miss Bustier's class is taken hostage by some criminals that Alya managed to anger with her investigations, the new Butterfly heroine of Dame Papillion makes her debut by empowering Sabrina to become Peacemaker.
  • Broken Smile: Marinette develops one during Date-astrophe, when Black Cat interrupts and takes her hostage.
  • Brutal Honesty: Felix is prone to this when not simply snarking, particularly when it comes to the Rossi situation.
  • Cassandra Truth:
    • Lila's mother rejects her claims that somebody broke into and trashed her room, sarcastically noting that they somehow managed to do so without leaving any trace of their presence.
    • Nino correctly guesses that Marinette has been growing testy with Alya because of her blatantly interfering with her first date with Felix. Alya blows him off since she can't accept the notion that she's done anything wrong.
  • Crying Wolf: Alya runs headlong into this; by the time she has actual legit information to share with others, she's burned all her bridges and the goodwill of her former allies. It certainly doesn't help that the Awful Truth she's got to share sounds like she's just making further excuses for herself.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Date-astrophe gives us Akuma!Multimouse versus Black Cat.
  • Damaged Soul: Variation; Alya theorizes that any of the former Miraculous wielders who didn't make a Wish have had some of their worst traits amplified in their new reality.
  • Decomposite Character: Combined with Literal Split Personality. Thanks to a clash between Wishes, Adrien Agreste is split into Adrien and Felix Agreste, with the latter becoming his older brother and retaining his memories of the original world/being Chat Noir.
  • Didn't See That Coming:
    • Felix never imagined that his Control Freak father would actually approve of his defiance, or praise anything that he did. He grew far too used to being neglected before; having Gabriel's attention complicates matters.
    • Marinette's POV in "Date-astrophe" emphasizes that, despite their efforts to prepare for various contingencies and complications, she didn't anticipate that her anger upon seeing Gabriel as Black Cat would cause the butterfly she brought along to transform her into an akuma.
    • On the flip side of that, Gabriel, Lila, Alya and Nino never imagined that Marinette might have the Rat Miraculous — something they learn right as she's being akumatized.
    • Alya's caught completely flat-footed by a criminal attempting to hire her.
    • In the "Dear [You]" arc, the dead Lila does their best to find a loophole in the fabric of reality itself in order to warn Adrien about what's going on. But they never even considered the possibility that Adrien wasn't some clueless victim of circumstance, but another player in the larger game using Obfuscating Stupidity to pursue his own ends.
  • Didn't Think This Through:
    • Despite Plagg and Tikki practically spelling out their intentions to be Jackass Genies, neither Hawkmoth or any of his supporters thought twice about making Wishes.
    • Lila convinces Alya and Nino that they should attempt to lure Ladybug out with a 'discreet' post made by Volpina. She doesn't realize until it's far too late that getting the attention of the former heroine whom she personally screwed over is probably a really bad idea.
  • Dirty Business: Alya and Nino regard their decision to help Hawkmoth this way, telling themselves it was necessary to put an end to his terrorizing Paris. Later, Alya applies this same reasoning to working with criminals, convinced that helping them bring down the superheroes is the only way to stop Ladybug.
  • Downer Beginning: Opens with the last moments of the original timeline, as Cobra cheerfully gives the Earrings and Ring to Hawkmoth while Adrien does his best to comfort the fallen and concussed Marinette.
  • Dramatic Irony:
    • As their reality teeters on the verge of being rewritten, Marinette laments to Chat Noir how her hopeless crush on Adrien distracted her from everything her partner had to offer. Adrien is Chat Noir, and detransformed, but her injuries have left her with blurring vision so that she can't see that for herself.
    • Alya theorizes that the reality shift is negatively impacting other former wielders, gradually bringing out the worst parts of their personalities. This is coming from somebody who has fallen so far under Lila's Toxic Friend Influence that she betrayed Ladybug; if anyone has changed for the worse, it's her and Nino.
    • Alya also worries that Marinette might be jealous of Lila's relationship with Adrien, despite her already being in a relationship with Felix... who is actually the original Adrien's mind and memories incarnated into a different form.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Chloé. Justified in that she does so in order to protect herself and her passengers from the criminals trying to kill them.
  • The Empath: Unintentionally weaponized by Honeybee; her augmented senses make her more honest and sensitive to the reactions of others. This inspires protectiveness in others, including Chloé.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones:
    • When he saw that his son was Chat Noir, Hawkmoth immediately recalled the Traitor Trio, insisting that it wasn't necessary to do anything more to him; he'd already been taken out of the fight.
    • Zig-Zagged; Gabriel is clearly nettled when Felix accuses him of effectively pimping out Adrien by letting Lila do whatever she pleases with him. That doesn't spur him to stop, however, and he generally neglects Adrien in favor of Felix.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Nino may be the most permissive of the Traitor Trio, going along with their plans while trying to keep the peace, but he still speaks out when they start scheming to use Marinette as bait.
  • Evil Is Petty: Lila just can't resist taking an effort to discretely get Ladybug's attention and twisting it to try and smear Felix.
  • Exact Words:
    • Used by Tikki and Plagg to enable their Jackass Genie revenge, exploiting the way the villains worded their Wishes to twist them to their own ends.
    • Wayzz takes advantage of this to dance around Nino, Alya and Lila's attempt to grill him for information as best he can.
    • When Emilie asks how Tikki was able to sneak razor blades into Gabriel's morning coffee, she replies "Happily, with great ease and the power of love and justice."
  • Expressive Accessory: Honeybee has a giant ribbon whose ends stick up like antennae off the ends of her hair bun, which twitch and react in response to her emotions.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Luka is described as being utterly unafraid during his implied Last Stand and his gleeful mocking of Alya not only utterly unnerves her, but also Lila when she learns about it and continues to do so long after his death. The contrast serves all the more to highlight that the Traitor Trio are self-serving, deluded Dirty Cowards compared to the other heroes.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Rena Rouge and Carapace betrayed the heroes in the final battle. Marinette was unaware of this until Nooroo revealed that they were among those who made Wishes.
  • Fatal Flaw:
    • Gabriel and Lila both struggle with Arrogance, overestimating their skills and the strength of their hand, assuming they're holding all the cards necessary to maintain their victory.
    • Alya's biggest issue is Denial. For all that she seeks out stories as a reporter, she balks at painful truths, dancing around the notion that her own actions have had severe consequences.
    • Nino's main problem is Passivity. Despite his discomfort with some of Alya and Lila's schemes, he still goes along with them, not wanting to rock the boat too much or risk drawing their wrath onto himself.
  • Getting Smilies Painted on Your Soul: Emilie and Adrien are both victims of this, as an unintentional side-effect of Nathalie's Wish.
  • Godzilla Threshold:
    • Lila directly calls Gabriel for help after realizing that if Alya's theory about the side-effects of the reality warping is right, then they'll be dealing with a Ladybug who has become The Unfettered.
    • The events of "Date-astrophe" force Emilie to use the Ladybug Miraculous.
    • In the aftermath of the Date-astrophe, Marinette is shocked to hear that Multimouse has been labeled a WMD, with the government specifically requesting that Morpho Bleu get permission from the Elysée and the U.N. before activating her as a Champion again.
  • Good Is Not Soft: The other kwami reveal that this is far from the first time that Tikki has turned vengeful. Her creativity when planning retribution has earned her a reputation for being The Dreaded among her peers.
  • Got Volunteered: When Nathalie goes off on vacation, Felix is forced to step into her role and take up all the duties that his father refuses to bother with himself.
  • Grew a Spine:
    • Felix is far more willing to stand up to his father than he ever was as Adrien, after seeing how poorly his attempts to placate and please him ultimately turned out in the original world.
    • One of the many aftershocks of the Date-astrophe is Nino and Adrien starting to stand up for themselves more, breaking up with their respective girlfriends.
  • Groin Attack: Chloé attempts to shoot a kidnapper in the crotch with their own gun. Despite being abducted alongside her, Kim can't help but shudder in sympathy.
  • Heroic RRoD: This is the downside of Marinette's akumatization as Multimouse — they become incredibly powerful, but said power threatens to rip their body apart from the inside. What's more, she loses the ability to use Multitude as her alignment with the Miraculous of Multiplication permanently shifts towards this mode.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
    • The Wishes were granted in ways to help ensure that Hawkmoth and those who aided him will be duly punished by their own ill-considered desires.
    • Alya's Wish to become an Intrepid Reporter forces her to deal with the downsides of being one — namely the amount of attention her activities draw from the criminals she's investigating. And unlike the previous world, she no longer has Ladybug around to protect her, and is the first to lose her Miraculous, stripping away that protection as well.
    • Lila's decision to 'subtly hint' to Adrien that she is secretly Dame Papillion bites her in the butt when Gabriel learns about the new, secretive superheroine and concludes that she stole the Butterfly from him.
    • Similarly, her attempt to smear Felix gets flipped around and spun to make it seem as though she was targeting Rose out of jealousy over her relationship with Juleka.
    • Gabriel's arrogant plan to lure the former heroes out of hiding by threatening to kill a hostage leads to him getting curb-stomped by his akumatized would-be victim and Chat Noir reclaiming the Ring.
  • I Hate Past Me:
    • Felix despises his former self. Thanks to the gift of hindsight, he holds himself responsible for every single mistake and misjudgement the original Adrien made, convinced that his decisions and inaction ultimately led to the villains' victory.
    • Eventually, Nino expresses a similar sentiment, growing disgusted with themselves and setting out to correct their mistakes.
  • I Reject Your Reality: Alya in a nutshell. She really doesn't want to admit any of her mistakes, or that she's in any way responsible for the problems she's dealing with now.
  • Internal Reveal:
    • Gabriel, Lila, Alya and Nino all learned that Adrien was Chat Noir when Cobra wrenched the Ring off his finger, and retained that knowledge in the new reality.
    • Marinette learns that Alya and Nino betrayed them, and shortly afterwards the real reason that Chat Noir called her with an unusual request a few days before the final battle.
    • Luka and Juleka are visiting Marinette along with Felix when their classmates are taken hostage, and thusly learn that they are Dame Papillion and Renard Blanc.
    • Gabriel learns about the existence of Dame Papillion after visiting the hospital and seeing another of her helpers in action.
    • "Date-astrophe" creates a cascading effect of these: the villains learn that Marinette has the Rat Miraculous and that she remembers the original world... at least while transformed. Meanwhile, Emilie learns about her husband's past crimes, and Luka learns of his past incarnation's gruesome end.
  • It's Personal: Felix deeply dislikes Lila, with every fiber of his being. Not just because of how she treated him as Adrien in the original world, but because he's also being forced to watch her drape herself all over his younger brother — a shadow of his former self — and because he's aware of how she murdered Luka in order to steal the Snake.
  • Jackass Genie: The premise of the story- while the villains win and get to make wishes, said wishes are being granted by a pair of Kwamis who are aware they're being used for evil and are very much not happy about it, and as such interpret the wishes to screw over the villains as much as possible.
  • Knight of Cerebus: The entrance of G, aka Giulietti, into the story, signals how other factions are naturally taking more interest in what's unfolding in Paris. This also helps solidify Alya's fall from grace once she takes him up on his offer.
  • Large Ham: Claude, whose friend Gavroche serves as his Straight Man.
  • Locked Out of the Loop:
    • In the original universe, Adrien stumbled across Luka's body while patrolling. In order to keep Ladybug in the dark about his grisly discovery, he called her to request that she cast Miraculous Ladybug while avoiding saying exactly why.
    • Averted in Chapter 6; while Felix and Nooroo were considering whether or not to let Marinette know about how they were betrayed in the original world, the point becomes moot when she walks in.
    • Adrien is blissfully unaware of why Lila, Alya and Nino seem uncomfortable with his interest in superheroes, as unlike them, he has no memories of the original world or the fact that he was once Chat Noir.
    • At the end of the "Dear [You]" arc, it's revealed that last part was a lie; Adrien knew far more than any of his friends realized.
  • Loophole Abuse:
    • Plagg gleefully notes just how many loopholes that Gabriel and his supporters left in their Wishes while he and Tikki are figuring out the best ways to screw them over.
    • Though Marinette and Adrien didn't officially Wish on the combined Miraculi, Tikki and Plagg interpreted their regretful final thoughts as such, since both were wishing they had done things differently. This allows them to retain their memories of the original world and plan accordingly.
    • Though magically compelled to answer Nino's questions, Wayzz carefully phrases his responses to mislead and misdirect them to the best of his ability.
    • While using a Miraculous to terrorize or torment somebody is obviously an abuse of power, it doesn't count as such if the kwami themselves voluntarily decides to do said terrorizing. Tikki and Plagg take full advantage of this, and Trixx also exploits this to completely wreck Lila's room.
    • During the "Dear [You]" arc, the dead Lila invokes this by leaning against the fourth wall as hard as she can in order to warn Adrien about what's going on.
  • Mind Screwdriver: After the "Dear [You]" arc, the author answered questions about what the heck had just happened in the comments section for Chapter 27 (the last chapter of the arc).
  • Never My Fault:
    • Alya, Alya, Alya. Alya several times over:
      • Her theory about the reality shift causing Sanity Slippage in the other former Miraculous bearers stems in no small part from her reluctance to admit that the seemingly time-displaced Chat Noir has very valid reasons to be furious with her betrayal, or that Marinette's distance from her might be caused by more mundane means. (Namely, annoyance over how Alya keeps sticking her nose into her private business.)
      • During the "Date-astrophe", she brushes off Nino's rebuke, and pins all the blame for the chaos unfolding upon Chat Noir, clinging to the notion that he used Marinette as an Unwitting Pawn.
      • During the "Dear [You]" arc, she justifies all of her callousness by declaring that this world isn't real enough to matter.
    • Lila also makes a good showing of this with her Wounded Gazelle Gambits, always attempting to paint herself as the poor victim who never ever does anything to provoke such cruelty.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • One key factor in Hawkmoth's victory was Alya and Nino being swayed to his side by Lila, who convinced them that letting him make his Wish was the fastest way to put an end to his terrorizing Paris. Alya in particular heavily denies the extent to which she was at fault, even as her supernatural drive to investigate forces her towards the truth.
    • Felix also holds himself responsible for not alerting Ladybug to the fact that Luka had been murdered and the Snake Miraculous stolen. Had he done so, they might have been able to better prepare for dealing with the villains' schemes.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain:
    • Upon seeing who Chat Noir was, Hawkmoth immediately ordered Cobra and his other allies to fall back, declaring that he wasn't a threat anymore. This gave Adrien time to make his way to his fallen lady's side... and to make a Wish of his own as reality was being rewritten, which Plagg latched onto as a way to help save him from becoming Lila's personal thrall.
    • Alya didn't bother learning Ladybug's Secret Identity when she took her Earrings, assuming that she wouldn't be a threat without the Miraculous. Lila is utterly furious when she finds out, regarding the former heroine as a potentially deadly loose end.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Felix's attempt to comfort Rose during a bout of insecurity at the gym is captured on film by Lila, who promptly posts it online trying to stir up drama.
  • No Guy Wants an Amazon: Rose frets about this after she starts working out, fretting that muscles aren't considered feminine. Having her own mother crudely 'remind' her that she's a girl didn't help.
  • Nothing Is the Same Anymore: The rewritten reality and the circumstances surrounding it dramatically alters the world as we know it.
    • Ladybug is gone; Emilie has the Earrings instead, while Gabriel has the Ring.
    • The Agrestes have two sons, Felix and Adrien. The former inherited Adrien's memories of the original world, while the latter kept his appearance and is blissfully ignorant.
    • After learning about how they betrayed her, Marinette no longer considers Alya and Nino to be her friends.
  • Odd Friendship: Juleka and Chloe;. Marinette has honestly no idea how that came about.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Alya's reaction when Chat Noir pays her a visit, letting her know that he's aware of how she betrayed him in the original world.
    • Played for Laughs when Adrien's admonishment to Felix that their mother won't let him stick cement shoes on her causes Lila to panic.
    • Lila freaks out even more when it really hits her that, if Alya's theory is true, then they're up against a vengeful Ladybug who is gradually undergoing Sanity Slippage... and she accidentally painted a massive target on her back with her recent attempt to get her attention.
  • Oh, Crap, There Are Fanfics of Us!: When Marinette enters her first year of high school, she finds out the hard way that there are doujinshi based off of the various superheroes, including ones shipping Honeybee with Dame Papillion. Chloé is revealed to also have a body pillow of Honeybee.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business:
    • Invoked by Alya as part of her theorizing about the reality shift having a negative impact on certain individuals.
    • Plagg himself notes that he's not usually the 'responsible' sort of kwami right before scolding Marinette for accidentally akumatizing herself while wearing the Rat.
    • Lila and Alya attempt to use this as leverage in the aftermath of the Date-astrophe, attempting to convince their classmates that Marinette and Adrien have been acting bizarrely.
  • Parental Favoritism: Gabriel prefers Felix over Adrien, focusing on the elder sibling as his heir apparent while largely ignoring Adrien.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Once it becomes clear that Adrien has some strange ideas about what constitutes romance, Lila attempts to imply Rose is responsible for his misconceptions, simpering that she has 'different views compared to others'. Juleka is not amused.
  • Poor Communication Kills:
    • One of the reasons Felix blames himself for how wrong things went in the original world is because Chat Noir discovered that Luka had been murdered. Had he shared that information with Ladybug rather than trying to shield her from that Awful Truth, they might have been better prepared to deal with Lila wielding the Snake Miraculous.
    • Averted with the gym incident. Felix immediately alerts Luka to the potential problem, and bluntly informs his father of the situation when called into his office to discuss the matter.
    • During the "Dear [You]" Arc, Alya's staunch insistence that none of the atrocities she's committed actually matter because the world isn't real does little to convince Nino that she's trustworthy.
    • The dead Lila also runs into this, thanks to Gabriel deciding not to inform them that Adrien is not the unwary innocent she believes him to be.
  • Princess Carry: Discussed; one of the main reasons Rose started working out is because she wants to be able to carry Juleka around in this fashion, despite her partner being taller.
  • Properly Paranoid: Marinette and Felix may not be able to plan for every contingency, but they darn sure try, and their efforts prove valuable. Particularly as the story transitions into Act 2 and the body count starts.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: Tikki and Plagg deliberately invokes this trope on both Hawk Moth and his willing minions by interpreting the wishes into the worst possible outcome imaginable by relying on Exact Words to ensure things go horribly right in the worst possible way. The duo even lampshade this just before granting the wishes:
    Tikki: May you get exactly what you wish for.
    Plagg: And may you choke on it.
  • Reality Warper: All of the Wishes made by Hawkmoth and his minions had this effect, reshaping the universe.
  • Recruiting the Criminal: Inverted when 'G' attempts to recruit Alya to work with him, reasoning that someone with her skills could help deal with Paris' nascent superhero situation.
  • Relationship Upgrade:
    • Marinette and Felix start dating in the new reality.
    • Rose and Juleka also count; the two of them are an Official Couple in the new reality as well.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    • Delivered to Lila by Nino of all people after she attempts to deflect from an argument by smearing Marinette again:
      Lila: "Could we Not. Talk. About Marinette?"
      Nino: "Yeah. The problem here is you."
      Lila: "What...?"
      Nino: "I said, 'Yeah, the problem is you'. Everything and everyone has to be all about you. No matter what we do, you always have a story to top it somehow. Mylene winning an acting contest? You got to meet an Oscar-winning actress! Kim featuring in a sports magazine because he placed well in the football nationals? Oh, you've been on the covers of so many fashion magazines! I could go on for hours, and that's not even counting in Marinette, what the hell is your problem with her?! You've been after her from the moment school started, and she's been nothing but kind to you!"
    • Luka cheerily calls Alya out on her hypocrisy while facing the very real possibility of dying at the hands of her goons, spelling out her real motivations — that beneath all her self-justifications, ultimately she's just running scared of Ladybug.
  • Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory: Those who had their Wishes granted by Tikki and Plagg retain their memories of the original world.
  • Sanity Slippage:
    • Alya theorizes that those who previously had Miraculi in the original timeline are susceptible to this, with their worst traits gradually being amplified.
    • Played Straight by Lila Rossi following the shock of Adrien breaking up with her, in a slow spiral that plays out over the following years.
  • Saying Too Much: Played for Laughs when Adrien, trying to stop Felix from punishing Lila for one of her misdeeds, blurts out that "Mother said no to putting her feet in cement and throwing her in the sea!"
  • Selective Obliviousness:
    • Wayzz notes that the Lady Wifi fiasco highlighted how Alya is willing to forget any details and ignore evidence that clash with whatever theories she's currently crafting.
    • Both Alya and Nino cling tightly to the notion that their actions served the greater good, creating a world without Hawkmoth (since the villain had already gotten what he wanted).
    • Alya also attempts to reestablish her former friendship with Marinette, falling back into the familiar dynamics. When forced to face that things have changed, she comes up with wild theories about the reality shift altering things without acknowledging the part she played in that.
  • Servile Snarker: While forced to serve those who have misused them, several of the kwami show signs of this. Particularly Tikki, who delivers many of her comments with Sugary Malice.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Skewed Priorities:
    • Marinette tearfully berates herself for this as she and Chat Noir wait for the end, lamenting how her crush on Adrien distracted her from her other responsibilities.
    • Felix feels much the same about his former self, frustrated by how much time he wasted punning around and flirting during fights. Even the discovery of Luka's body, as much as it shook him, failed to impress upon Adrien just how desperate the situation was becoming; he only truly recognized that when it was too late.
    • Played With during "Date-astrophe": being unaware of all the finer details, Adrien gushes in appreciation of the Curb-Stomp Battle he's witnessing, much to his companions' horror.
  • Slasher Smile: Tikki smiles at Plagg when they're preparing to (mis)grant the villains' wishes.
    It looked like the jagged edges of broken glass and the screams of the damned.
  • Springtime for Hitler: Felix is more than willing to test the limits of his father's patience, skirting along the line of flagrant disobedience while still keeping within the rules, and making his opinions on matters very clear. To his horror, consternation and dismay, Gabriel actually seems to approve of his willfulness, and acts prouder of him than he ever did of Adrien.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Played With; Nino's Wish was made with the intent of strengthening their relationship, but instead brings them together in other ways. Eventually, they break up, and Nino begins preparing for an inevitable confrontation with his ex.
  • Sugary Malice:
    • Tikki embodies this, making no secret of the fact that she despises Gabriel and will gleefully watch him suffer.
    • Marinette also displays this when dealing with Lila and her former friends.
  • Time Skip: A small one happens when Marinette spends a month drifting in and out of a coma after akumatizing herself, followed by a series of similar jumps forward covering various events, setting the stage for a proper one paired with a Wham Line at the end of 'Prelude to Catastrophe'.
  • Toxic Friend Influence: Lila serves as this for Alya and Nino, having brought them completely under her sway in the old world — enough to convince them to join her in helping Hawkmoth steal the Miraculous.
  • Tranquil Fury:
    • Plagg and Tikki fall into this when captured, buoyed by the knowledge that they'll be able to get their revenge upon their captors through their own words. Tikki effectively remains in this state in the new world.
    • Marinette goes into one upon hearing that the misleading photo of Felix comforting Rose was posted by somebody using the screen name 'Volpina'.
    • Played for Laughs when Felix and Marinette walk in on Claude exposing Adrien to a smutty Honeybee/Dame Papillion doujin. The exact details of his reaction beyond smiling go undescribed.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Adrien several times over. His father regards him as a useful catspaw to keep Lila in line, and everyone with awareness of the past world manipulates his ignorance to their own ends.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Though Alya clings to the illusion of her being close to Marinette, Mari has completely given up on both her and Nino.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist:
    • Lila convinced Alya and Nino to betray the other heroes by leading them to believe that things would be better if Hawkmoth got his way. After all, all the attacks would stop then, wouldn't they...?
    • Alya eventually takes this even further: convinced that Ladybug poses a threat to the whole world, she joins a criminal organization aiming to take down Dame Papillion and the rest of Paris' superheroes.
  • Wham Episode:
    • "Date-astrophe", which more than lives up to its name when Marinette's hatred of Gabriel causes her akumatization... while she's wearing the Rat Miraculous.
    • The "Dear [You]" flips everything on its ear with its various revelations, the biggest being that the original series' timeline was the result of another Wish altering the world from the one the Quantic Kids knew, and the current reality of the fic is effectively Tikki's personal revenge simulator.
  • Wham Line:
    • While getting Marinette up to speed on some of the recent drama she's missed, Max casually alludes to the fact that no superheroes existed before Dame Papillion, catching her completely off-guard.
    • "Prelude to Catastrophe" ends with one, kicking off Act 2 with a bang: Gabriel Agreste was found dead, crucified in his hospital room.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Nino's furious when he sees just how far Alya and Lila are willing to go — first their willingness to consider using Marinette as bait, then having Black Cat take her hostage and threaten to kill her if Chat Noir doesn't surrender.
    • "Date-astrophe" provides a prime opportunity for the Traitor Trio to get called out by the akumatized Multimouse, who particularly focuses on Alya.
    • A softer version comes in the aftermath, as Marinette gets scolded for not seeing how her plans could go off the rails by Plagg.
  • Winds of Destiny, Change!: Catastrophe works this way, allowing the user to manipulate and weaponize the misfortune of their target. They can use this power up to three times before having to worry about detransforming.
  • Would Hurt a Child: In case his actions in the original world weren't proof enough of that, Gabriel is perfectly fine with threatening Lila to keep her in line, taking teenagers as hostages, and responds to the akumatized Multimouse by immediately attempting to Cataclysm them.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: Felix and Marinette are doing their best to play this, tailoring their plans and readjusting them based upon how their adversaries react. Felix's position as the eldest Agreste son obviously helps with this, along with the kwamis' support, but complications can still arise that throw their plans into disarray.
  • Yandere:
    • Downplayed and Played for Laughs with Tikki, a non-romantic version who really, really, really wants to return to Marinette's side as soon as possible.
    • Felix deliberately invokes this with his portrayal of the vengeful Chat Noir, who displays a possessive love towards both Ladybug and Marinette.
    • Alya begins to fear that Marinette may have some tendencies towards this that have been amplified by reality being rewritten, due to her theory that other former wielders suffered some mental damage in the process.
  • You Never Asked: Chloe throws an already unsettled classroom into complete chaos when she points out that nobody has ever asked Adrien what he believes romantic love actually is, and he answers the question in a way they didn't expect.