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Fanfic / Professor Arc

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"[Jaune] didn't know the first thing about teaching, Hell, he didn't even know the first thing about fighting! A shame then, that his forged documents painted the picture of an accomplished and skilled warrior. Now he's trapped teaching students his own age how to be hunters, when he doesn't even know himself!"
FanFiction.Net summary.

In this RWBY story by Coeur Al'Aran, Jaune has faked his way into Beacon, as per canon. However, his plan works a little too well, and instead of joining Beacon's student body, he ends up becoming a member of Beacon's teaching staff, resulting in a "Fawlty Towers" Plot that has Jaune struggling to keep his head above the water.

As pointed out below and despite the Crack Fic-sounding premise, two of the strong points of Professor Arc are how it manages to entertain on both ends of the Sliding Scale of Silliness vs. Seriousness while keeping everybody in-character and how all the craziness that ends up happening is internally consistent and serves to advance the plot.

Professor Arc comes with a number of humorous side stories complied under Staffroom Chronicles (some more canonical than others), a Christmas Episode named simply The Night before Christmas, and What Happens in Vacuo, Stays in Vacuo (a Shipping Fics featuring Jaune×Neo as chosen by an Audience Participation pool).

The story has also inspired a few pieces of Recursive Fanfiction such as Climbing Uphill (a Jaune×Blake fic) and an omake collection by Sithking Zero, The Fall of Professor Arc (a gift-fic describing a possible ending for the story) by College Fool, a lemon called Intensive Counseling by The Spookiest of Noodles and Professor Arc: Student of Vacuo by Katkiller-V an AU where Jaune's backstory in Vacuo was true.

Can be read here at FanFiction.Net.

The sequel to Professor Arc can be found here. Tropes for Professor Arc II can be found below.

Both stories are now complete.

Professor Arc contains examples of:

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  • 0% Approval Rating:
    • The Arc family receives this treatment from every single student at Beacon. They belittle the professor, who they see as nothing but a failure, whereas the entire school admires him. Naturally, people begin to avoid them like a disease.
    • Ironwood's decision to arrest Jaune. While he has a few reasons to believe Jaune is very suspicious and at least complicit with Cinder, there is very little hard evidence backing his claims, he's heavily hampered by the professor's status as being Loved by All, and Port even suspects Green-Eyed Monster is in play regarding Glynda.
  • Abhorrent Admirer: Played With. Jaune managed to convince Team RWBY that this is the case about Cinder Fall's very obvious (and very public) interest in him. This is in fact a lie he had to come up with on the spot to keep them from digging further after his knee-jerk reaction when asked about it tipped the girls off that something was wrong with the woman.
  • Accidental Marriage: Parodied. After a rather touching moment where Ruby pulled off a You Are Better Than You Think You Are on Jaune, he hugs her and thanks her for beating some sense into him. Ruby... well, let's just say she seems to take her romantic advice from Boa Hancock.
    Jaune: You shouldn't apologise. Not for being right.
    Ruby: [narrating] Right, right about what? She was feeling a little light-headed right now and wasn't quite able to function — she was being held against his chest, he was hugging her. Was this marriage?
  • Achievements in Ignorance: Jaune managed to greatly impress Cinder during their first official meeting with his complete nonchalance towards her and her implied threats, together with the fact that she just can't figure out his real intentions. This only happened because a) he was too inexperienced with shady deals (to say nothing about women) to pick out most of their conversation's subtext, b) his lack of Huntsman training prevented him from even noticing that Cinder was threatening to attack him in the first place and c) there is no way to figure out a plan that simply doesn't exist.
  • Adaptational Badass: Coeur points out that Jaune is stronger than his canon counterpart in the author's notes for chapter 14.
    Jaune in the real show managed to beat a single Ursa, although he would have died doing it if it weren't for Pyrrha. In this he fought five Ursa, and was doing perfectly fine until they hemmed him in. So yeah he is stronger here, trust me.
  • Adaptational Dumbass: Ozpin is hit by this, along with "adaptational laziness" and arguably "adaptational insanity". While the canon Ozpin certainly makes some questionable decisions, there is at least some logic behind them. In this story, Beacon is run by a man who is unable to handle basic paperwork, wastes millions on near-useless things like a golden lemur statue and appears more concerned about his coffee than about the fate of his school. Only Glynda's vigilance prevents Ozpin from destroying Beacon faster and more thoroughly than Cinder. Then again, some characters think he might be Obfuscating Stupidity, but it remains ambiguous how much, if any of his incompetence is actually fake.
    Jaune: [Narrating] Well if Ozpin knew and accepted [Blake] then it should be fine... he could trust Ozpin to be in contro-... Okay, he could trust Ozpin to be a responsib-... Well at least Ozpin knew, right!? That had to count for something!
  • Adaptational Intelligence: Compared to canon, in this fic Jaune approaches Beacon taking his goals much more seriously from the very beginning, having done a decent amount of homework about what to expect and gotten a much better idea of how to go about doing what he intends to do. He at least knows about Aura, which is more than his canon counterpart, who seemed to be literally starting from zero knowledge, not just for Huntsman stuff but even basic social interaction.
  • Adaptational Jerkass: General Ironwood is far more petty and obstinate than in canon. He has no sympathy for Yang after she is accused of attacking a downed opponent, and desires to arrest Jaune, even though he risked his life to stop Cinder.
    • Winter falls prey to this as well. Instead of the career military officer who was disinherited for defying her father, cares deeply for her sister and is loyal to Ironwood that she is in canon, here she's portrayed as a ruthless, vampy business woman who uses her military position to benefit the Schnee Dust Company. This also counts as a case of Characterization Marches On, as at the time the story was written there wasn't much known about her.
  • Adaptation Expansion: In canon, the note that Taiyang includes with Zwei mentions that he's going on a mission that we ultimately never hear anything about. This fic posits that the mission was a trip to a village called Misenwood to investigate a series of disappearances, and it throws Jaune, Qrow, Team RVNN, and Neo into the mix just for good measure.
  • Adaptation Origin Connection: Oobleck and Roman never had a scene together in canon. In this fic, the two were previously on the same Huntsman Team until the tragedy of Mt. Glenn caused the death of the other half of their team and became Roman's Start of Darkness.
  • A Dog Named "Dog": The fox-tailed Faunus nurse Tsune, short for "kitsune", the Japanese word for "fox".
  • Affectionate Gesture to the Head:
  • All Animals Are Dogs: Tsune the fox faunus has a habit of wagging her tail doggy-like when she's happy. Perhaps a hair more plausible as foxes and domesticated dogs are both members of the Canidae family, but tail wagging isn't quite associated with foxes.
  • Alternate Universe Fic: Jaune faking his way into Beacon at the start of the school year works a little too well, and instead of joining Beacon as a student, he ends up joining as a staff-member.
  • An Aesop: In chapter 23, after Jaune wonders why Ozpin plays chess a lot despite having not much practical value, Ozpin responds that he likes chess, then basically explains the entire fic.
    Ozpin: Come now Mr. Arc, if you keep reading between the lines, you'll miss what's written on the page!
  • Annoying Younger Sibling:
  • Anti-Hero: Jaune. He's unscrupulous enough to falsify credentials to get into a prestigious school, lie to his students and co-workers, and work with criminals. But despite his lies and manipulations, he still manages to do the right thing for them.
  • Arch-Enemy:
    • Cinder solidifies herself as this to Jaune with her cruel mind games to Beacon's students. After that, Jaune's attitude toward Cinder goes from "very afraid" to "take the bitch down."
    • From their interactions, it is clear that Winter and Glynda also don't care much for one another.
  • Armor-Piercing Question:
    • Played for Laughs. Nora of all people asked Team RWBY if having compulsory sessions with a counselor makes it look like all four of them are mentally unstable. Blake and Yang were reduced to Stunned Silence, Ruby tried to laugh it off (to no avail) and Weiss simply let her face fall into her hands.
    • After Jaune learns that Pyrrha is being asked to become the new Fall Maiden and rips into Glynda about it, Ozpin explains the exact situation to him (Amber is dying, someone is after her power, and Pyrrha is the best option they have) before asking Jaune what better alternative is there. Jaune is forced to admit that they were right in asking Pyrrha.
  • Asskicking Leads to Leadership: While Jaune doesn't claim to have any experience in teaching, or having finished the official huntsman training for that matter, his alleged badassery leads Ozpin to hire him as a teacher despite the lack of other qualifications.
  • Badass Creed: When Roman unlocks Jaune's aura, he does that in a way Pyrrha does in the show, but his chant is a little... different. And no less awesome (this is actually something of a staple of the Author, who changes the canon aura-unlocking speech to something that fits the person doing the unlocking).
    For it is in our infamy that we achieve immortality, through this we become a paragon of deceitful glory to rise above all others. Infinite in potential and unbound by laws, I release your soul, and by my shoulder, set thee free.
  • Badass Longcoat: Invoked by Jaune in order to appear older and build credibility at Beacon with the students.
  • Badass on Paper: Jaune manages to rack up quite a list of achievements during his time as Professor Arc. Doesn't quite change the fact that he did most of those things as a skinny teenager whose main tactic appears to be bluffing his way into and out of trouble.
  • Badass Teacher: Beacon's staff show what they are made off defending Beacon from Salem's invasion. Glynda stepping in to save Yang and Blake from Adam. Jaune himself grows into this role in the climax of the story, attacking Cinder to save Pyrrha and Velvet.
  • Bad "Bad Acting": To convince Jaune's family that he belongs at Beacon, several of his students either talk about his previous achievements (embellished of course) or put on a show to make him intervene (such as Cardin bullying Velvet). Jaune's mother wonders whether it's worse that she's expected to buy it or that Jaune actually does.
  • Barrier Maiden: Jaune is a rare male and emotional example. His popularity is so strong that Ironwood's arrest creates enough anger among the student body to attract Grimm. When he finally confesses to the Beacon staff, they agree to bury his secret, as the truth would create too much chaos.
  • Batman Gambit: Jaune tells Team RWBY to stay away from Cinder in a manner he knows full well will cause them to investigate her.
  • Becoming the Mask: Over the course of the fic, Jaune actually becomes more like the badass his records make him out to be due to training from Torchwick and Neo, plus becoming protective of his students. At multiple points, he has to actively remind himself that he's not as old as he's pretending to be. Come chapter 20, when Cinder starts trying to be a Cynicism Catalyst for the school and starts hurting his friends, the gloves come off.
    • Comes full circle in the Battle for Beacon where after his Heroic Sacrifice even the narration refers to him only as Professor Arc.
    Jaune: I'm not a real hunter... Maybe it's time I become one.
  • The Bet: Ozpin, Oobleck and Port have one going based on whom they think Jaune is going to end with. It's never explicitly stated, but it seems that Ozpin gambled that he'd go for a student close to his alleged age (i.e. sophomore or older, like Velvet or Coco), Oobleck guessed it will be someone younger whom he interacts the most with (like anyone from team RWBY), and Port put his money on Glynda. In the end, money goes to Port.
  • Berserk Button:
    • The students and staff of Beacon will raise hell to anyone who dares harm or hurt their Professor Arc. Blake barely held herself back from attacking Jaune's sisters for their cruel remarks about him, and from intervening in Jaune's fight with his father.
      • This becomes viciously exploited by Cinder and her crew. She has Jaune arrested by General Ironwood, which stirs up enough anger and distrust by the citizens of Vale toward Atlas that it attracts Grimm. Emerald uses her powers to have Pyrrha hallucinate Penny making damning remarks about Jaune during their fight in order to manipulate Pyrrha into destroying her.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: You have to really, really go out of your way to earn a place on Ruby's shitlist, but once you do, the girl can be as mean, sneaky, creative and unforgiving as her weapon.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Yang toward Ruby. She quietly mentions how she'll kill Jaune if he takes advantage of her. Yang declares Adam a dead man for trying to kill her sister.
  • Big Brother Mentor: Blake briefly considers this to be how she sees Jaune. Their similar mysterious backgrounds as well as the gap of age makes her feel identified with the professor and instinctively seeks his advice as a result. And though Blake has no romantic feelings for him, she does entertain the idea of Professor Arc becoming her real brother.
  • Big Damn Heroes: A lot of them occur over the course of The Battle of Beacon. First, Jaune crashes Ironwood's airship into the Grimm dragon and lands on the top of Beacon tower in order to save Pyrrha and Velvet from Cinder with the help of Roman and Neo while Glynda shows up just in time to save Yang and Blake from Adam. Then when the rest of Salem's associate's appear, we get three more in succession. Qrow and Jaune's father arrive to save Penny, Blake, Ruby and Yang from Hazel. Peter and Oobleck save team RVNN and Cardin from Tyrian. And Tsune comes to help Glynda against the combined force of Adam and Watts.
  • Big Damn Kiss: At the climax of the Battle of Beacon, Jaune gets one from Neo.
  • Big Brother Bully: A Gender Flipped, and partially age inverted in the cases of Lavender and Amber, version of this trope. Jaune's sisters are shown to be largely abusive to their only brother, willingly shaming him in front of his students in their first appearance. This is largely Playedfor Laughs, but their behavior made more than a few readers react with a Dude, Not Funny! at several points since it appears their insults likely contributed to their brother's self-esteem issues. Not helped by their mother, Juniper, Victim Blaming their treatment on Jaune for being a "wet noodle."
  • Big Good: Jaune eventually becomes the only thing standing between Cinder and the Fall of Beacon. While Ozpin is the real leader of the school, he will ultimately fail to save anyone, even himself. Meanwhile, the professor knew Cinder was up to no good from the start and has prepared his own plan to counter hers. Even Cinder herself sees how much of a threat the professor is.
  • Bishoujo Series: Lampshaded a couple of times. Jaune comments to himself that he's yet to meet a Huntress or Huntress-in-training who is not a looker.
    Jaune: [about his students] Truthfully he didn't know if he would be able to resist if any of these girls were actually interested in him. If his ambition was to become a hero, then getting a girlfriend was like a dream even beyond that. And these girls!? Was this an academy for hunters or super-models!?

    Jaune: [about Cinder] A definite fifty-six out of ten. What the hell was up with the women in this town!?

    Jaune: [about Tsune] He took the brief respite to have a proper look at her, in the way that he wouldn't out loud admit all men did. She wasn't stunning like Yang or Neo, but she was certainly comely and fetching in her own way. A relatively smooth face, though with a single beauty mark a little below and to the left of her lips.
    Idly he wondered if his standards were simply becoming higher — since most of the women at Beacon seemed to be super-model material.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The outcome Battle of Beacon has some highs, and quite a few lows.
    • Both Pyrrha and Penny manage to avoid their canon deaths, and Cinder was prevented from getting the Fall Maiden's Power. On the other hand, Beacon was still severely damaged, Ozpin is still dead, and Cinder survived to fight-albeit with horrific injuries and left with a crippling fear of Jaune.
    • Jaune was able to become a lauded hero, avoid arrest by Ironwood, and become promoted to Headmaster of Beacon. Unfortunately, Atlas (and Ironwood) still have it out for him, he is distrusted by the Vale Council who fear his popularity as a threat to their power, tensions between the two kingdoms remain, and he must negotiate and maneuver to get the funds to rebuild Beacon. On the other hand, he has the help of many dedicated staff and students-and the somewhat-reformed Torchwick.
    • Jaune finally confessed his lies to Beacon staff. His relationship with Glynda has been put on the rocks, but the rest of the staff have forgiven him, thinking he did more good than bad.
    • Weiss has been separated from her teammates, dragged back to Atlas by her father, and barred from being able to contact anyone at Vale by Ironwood. Thankfully, Penny can still provide her with companionship, and help her keep in touch with her friends.
  • Black-and-Gray Morality: The conflict between Jaune and Cinder. The latter is a power-hungry sociopath willing to murder and cause mayhem in order to get what she wants. The former has built his career on a pack of lies, and manipulate people and makes deals with criminals to maintain that pack of lies. But he genuinely does care for his students and colleagues, and maintains the job to protect them.
  • Blatant Lies: Velvet claims that by not befriending the rest of Team RVNN, she's sparing them the pain of losing her when she rejoins Team CFVY. Jaune is quick to call out her bullshit as not only is there no reason she couldn't be friends with both teams, but she was really just lashing out to make other people as miserable as she was.
  • Both Sides Have a Point: While Jaune's family was in the wrong for treating him like the hopeless loser he used to be, they had no idea he's become better because Jaune never informed them.
  • Bound and Gagged: In one of the Omakes, Jaune and Yang try their hardest to get Blake and Zwei to live together peacefully. They decide to use some methods from the Cat meets Dog book, which include petting them, getting them to smell each other and switching their bedding. They end up having to subject Blake to this trope, mostly to stop her from murdering them both over it.
  • Break the Haughty: Jaune foiling her plans and cutting out one of her eyes hits Cinder hard.
  • Bruiser with a Soft Center: Yang trying — and failing — to keep herself from squeeing like a schoolgirl right after she surprise-kissed Jaune and he patently didn't reject her besides some understandable astonishment. Her futile efforts to maintain aloofness made the moment so "Aww"-worthy that she might have managed to out-dork her sister.
  • Brutal Honesty: Ironically given that his career is built on lies, Jaune is quite capable of being stating painful truths to others. When Coco insists that Velvet is miserable on Team Raven, Jaune counters that Velvet's miserable because she insists on being miserable and doesn't fit in with her team because she goes out of her way to avoid socializing with them.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: In Jaune's opinion, other than Glynda, Beacon's whole faculty is this. With time, he has come to discover some of their Hidden Depths. The jury is still out with Ozpin though.
  • …But He Sounds Handsome: Qrow, using the alias Bran Ravenwen, takes the opportunity to brag about himself.
  • Butt-Monkey: Jaune thinks of himself as one and when he's with Neo or Roman it's hard to argue.
  • Canon Marches On: Several examples, some more significant than others.
    • During the initiation, Velvet is described as a Dust mage, implying that she primarily uses Dust instead of a weapon (which is supported when she uses fire Dust during the battle against the Nevermore). This gets quietly dropped when Volume 3 revealed her canon weapon and skillset.
    • The author introduced Winter shortly before her appearance in the main series. While he gets her demeanour and personality right, it makes no sense for Winter to be negotiating on behalf of the SDC, as she has been disinherited and her father views her as a traitor to the family. Her second appearance puts her in her proper occupation and the contradiction is simply ignored.
    • Similarly to the author's other stories, Professor Arc contradicts the canon in that none of Jaune's seven sisters is named Saphron, lives in Argus or has a wife and a child.
    • It's said that Ren and Nora met in an orphanage in a frontier town called Misenwood, which their team goes to with Jaune as their first student mission. Volume 4 would reveal that they met in a now-destroyed village called Kuroyuri, Nora was a street urchin, and Ren wasn't even an orphan at the time (though he was shortly thereafter). Because Professor Arc's events basically prevent that entire Volume and its reveals from happening, the contradiction with canon simply doesn't come up.
    • As Cinder plays the role of a teacher, Adam Taurus has to join Mercury, Emerald and Neo in disguising themselves as students. He masks his identity by wearing huge glasses. Volume 6 reveals that Adam has a brand covering his eye, something that would probably draw the characters' attention. The sequel has Adam with the brand on his face, and the author Hand Waved it by saying that Cinder had him use a lot of makeup.
    • After Jaune is arrested, Arthur Watts appears on television under his own name and undisguised appearance to help fan the flames of public distrust. This doesn't make sense with later revealed info that Watts is a known figure in Atlas who is presumed deceased, and doesn't reveal himself publicly to maintain that charade. He especially wouldn't reveal himself here because the subject is Ironwood, one of the men most likely to recognize him.
  • Cassandra Truth: To Jaune's horror, his web of lies collapses in the worst manner imaginable when it turns Ironwood has bought the lie so completely he cannot accept Jaune, who he sees as a consummate badass Casanova, confessed that he's a seventeen-year old with zero formal training who mostly bluffed his way into a dangerous criminal enterprise, Beacon itself, and the absolute trust of everyone he meets. Likewise, while Ironwood acknowledges Jaune's records are faked, he's very wrong about the intent behind them, leading the General to think Jaune's the mastermind behind Cinder. Roman has one hell of a laugh at this.
  • The Chessmaster: Cinder, as in canon, and what Jaune hopes to become in later chapters in order to match her.
  • Chess Motifs: Besides the canon usage of "Queen" and "Pawns" to refer to Salem and her cabal, this is actually deconstructed. Ozpin and Jaune play a few games of chess in his office, and while Jaune expects some sort of lesson about strategy, Ozpin reveals that he actually hates when people think of chess as an analogy for warfare. He states that multiple chess strategies revolve around sacrificing weaker pieces for the sake of an advantageous position, which real leaders should never want to do, and that the turn-based system of chess does not translate to warfare in any capacity whatsoever - plus, you're expecting your opponent to respond to your strategy using a set amount of pieces, which is not how real leaders operate.
  • Chick Magnet: Taiyang Xiao-Long, Yang and Ruby's father, according to what the latter remembers from her uncle's drunken complains about "the unfairness of life and blond bastards that wouldn't share." Qrow also seems to think that the charm runs in the blood and warned a younger Ruby to be careful of not accidentally seducing her entire future team.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Jaune. Pyrrha describes him as "liking to fix things".
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Ruby and Yang, after Cinder plants Jaune a wet one in front of the entire school. The former begins a prank campaign against Cinder. Glynda is also one. She hates how 'close' Jaune and Cinder seem and is very irritated when Jaune starts receiving marriage requests.
  • Clueless Chick-Magnet: Jaune has unwittingly ensnared the affections of Glynda, Ruby, and Yang, and also piqued the (romantic? homicidal?) attention of women like Winter and Cinder. If you squint, there is also Neo, but she may just love to troll him and beat him to an inch of his life. Ultimately Subverted with a vengeance in chapter 27 when Jaune admits to himself the tragedy that his friends don't want him at all, but Professor Arc. Although Glynda, after The Reveal, has admitted to still being interested.
  • Combat Pragmatist: By virtue of necessity, Jaune learns to fight as dirty as possible: low blows, attacking an unprepared opponent, using others weapons, etc. In the sequel, Jaune thinks to himself that Neo didn't teach him how to fight fair, but how to survive at all costs.
  • The Comically Serious: Winter Schnee in everything she does, even if that thing is getting gossip on the guy she may, sorta, perhaps have an interest in by making a deal with her sister for it in exchange of some intel the latter requested. And by "gossip", we mean she wanted Weiss to fill in a questionnaire with 40 or so questions about him ranging form his favorites foods, him hometown, his parents' names, his height, weight and blood pressure, to whether he has an existing criminal record and the number of women he's been with sexually within the last five years. It turns a lot less funny when it turns out Winter never was interested in any form in Jaune, she wanted the info for Ironwood, and it winds up being critical in Jaune's arrest.
  • Complexity Addiction: Cinder Fall, a woman who spends all her time scheming, assumes that Jaune has his own brilliant plan to serve his own ends, and in vain tries to figure it out. Not that he's simply at some kid blundering and bluffing his way out of trouble. Jaune more or less goes along with this, because he knows what would happen if Cinder saw him as not worth her time.
  • Consummate Liar: Out of all the characters, only Roman wasn't deceived by Jaune at one point or another. Granted, it's not all thanks to Jaune's skill at deceit, but rather his willingness to let people believe their own theories about him.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Of all things, deconstructed. The fact that Ruby successfully or unsuccessfully interfered in Cinder's plans three separate times is genuinely a coincidence - she stumbled on Roman's heist, was looking for Blake at the docks, and just happened to see Cinder enter the CCT - but, In-Universe, the fact that it happens so many times means that Cinder can't accept that it's a coincidence. The idea that's easier to believe is that Jaune is selling them out, using Ruby as his weapon.
    Emerald: Once is a chance, twice is a coincidence...
    Mercury: Third time is a pattern.
  • Conveniently Unverifiable Cover Story:
    • The transcripts that cause Jaune so much trouble claim that he trained at the Vacuo Academy for Gifted Youths, a school that was destroyed by the Grimm three years prior, along with its student records.
    • Ironwood tries to claim this about Jaune and Cinder claiming to be at the dance during an incident, but Jaune points out that not only was he ordered to be there by Ozpin, but there are dozens of witnesses and he had caused a very public incident when he and Glynda danced together.
  • Cool Teacher: Jaune to his students, as he doesn't get too worked up over the rules, unlike Goodwitch.
  • Covert Pervert: Yang managed to convince Jaune that there is a huge pervert beneath Weiss' proper behavior, who is also supposedly an avid collector of smut and sex toys. After meeting Winter, Jaune guessed that this must be Weiss' coping mechanism given her strict upbringing.
  • "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot: Lampshaded by Jaune himself. He can easily foil Cinder's plans and stop much of the horrible events of canon from happening. All he has to do is to reveal her. Problem is, doing that will get him in the hot seat too, and unfortunately, he's still selfish enough to want to to stay a teacher. Tragically, by the time he has enough and tries to sell her out, Ironwood actually refuses to believe him, leading directly to the Battle of Beacon.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: Adam Taurus. All it took was some gossip from Cinder about the hours Blake spends in Professor Arc's office to convince him of hunting down the professor if it ever comes to that.
  • Critical Hesitation Blunder: Jaune might have been able to escape after Neo warned him to run, but he lost too much time talking to and comforting a scared Pyrrha, allowing Ironwood and Winter to catch up and arrest him.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Neo, disguised as Jaune, deals out a brutal one to Winter in front of functionally all of Beacon Academy.
    • During the Battle of Beacon, many of the students join in the defense of their school. Unfortunately, they end being completely outmatched by the older and more experienced criminals and extremists, especially when Salem's forces join the attack. Ruby herself gets put out of commission early on by Adam's attack. It only the timely intervention by their more experienced teachers and older soldiers that saves them from certain death.
  • Cute and Psycho: As playful as she is, Neo sometimes takes the time to remind Jaune (and readers) that she's a Blood Knight who kills people with a smile on her face. Best shown when she forces the coroner in Misenwood to kill himself while sadistically laughing.
  • Cynicism Catalyst: Professor Fall is one while teaching at Beacon, in an attempt to sow mistrust among the students from different academies. Roman's descent into villainy was because of the death of his comrades during a rescue gone wrong.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Subverted and Invoked. Jaune doesn't have one, coming from a loving if very quirky family, but his cover is that of a former student of from a distinguished academy that fell years ago to a Grimm attack and leaving very few survivors. The ruse's purpose is to explain away the absence of people whom Beacon might have tried to contact for references and avoid getting asked any details of what it appears to be an obviously traumatic experience.
  • Dating Service Disaster: Invoked. Little Ruby added Cinder Fall's profile to the "Beacon Dating Platform", with the special mention to the latter's alleged predilection for younger men who are aggressive and forward with their intentions.
  • Death Glare: Ruby can smile even when she's angry. Her eyes don't.
  • Determinator: During the end stretch of the battle of Beacon, an injured and exhausted Jaune uses whatever remains of his aura and sheer balls-to-the-wall willpower to walk through the massive firestorm Cinder is unleashing upon the area, just so he can get close enough to swing Crocea Mors at her face. He succeeds.
  • Deconstructed Trope: This happens repeatedly for laughs in the Chapter 56 omake. Professor Port's attempt to use the Air Vent Escape doesn't work because air vents aren't meant for full-grown men, let alone one as big as him. Karate chops to back of the neck aren't a one-hit KO. Dressing as the Enemy fails because he doesn't do a good impersonation of the other soldiers. Throwing the Distraction doesn't work if they see the distraction get thrown, not to mention they just call for back-up instead of wandering off to investigate. He only succeeds via a cardboard box used Metal Gear style as a Kansas City Shuffle rather than like in the games.
  • Did I Just Say That Out Loud?: Ruby quotes this trope word by word, after she accidentally voices out her intention to snatch Jaune from Yang.
  • Didn't Think This Through:
    • After something like twenty chapters looking for a way to get some alone time with her crush, Ruby got her chance and discovered that she had no idea what to do once she got to that point.
      • Earlier, she heard that Blake's punishment for the Docks incident was that she had to attend counseling with Jaune. Seeing an opportunity to get in with the good Professor, she demands detention too... and is stuck with Peter Port, who runs her ragged and is notably not the tall, handsome blonde she has a crush on. It turns out that her problem was just that she jumped into things without thinking, rather than the whole "Run away to Vale after my heritage is revealed," thing, and as such doesn't need therapy, she just needs punishment.
    • Near the end of the story, Jaune has a plan that involves ramming a ship into the Grimm Dragon, rescuing Pyrrha by jumping into the fight and then killing Cinder... somehow. He comes to realize that the last step could have used some extra-planning
    • Ironwood didn't realize that arresting an extremely popular teacher would cause a massive uproar and even those not actively lashing out would disapprove. It gets even worse when he tries to re-arrest Jaune after the attack on Beacon, since now the latter is a national hero and basically the entire country protests his attempts.
    • Ozpin (reluctantly) forces a Sadistic Choice upon a student and is then surprised when said student turns to Jaune, the universally loved counselor, rather than himself for guidance. Jaune even lampshades that Ozpin has told the students to come to him with any problems they have and that Pyrrha wouldn't go to the person who put them in the situation to begin with.
    • Team RWBY tries subtly communicating their plans to each other with silent glances so as not to tip off Professor Arc. Since he's standing right in front of them, he notices immediately and thinks to himself how cute it is that they think they're being subtle.
  • Discriminate and Switch: Weiss opposed Blake and Yang's alleged romantic relationship when it came to light, demanding them to keep their perversions away from her and specifically her bed, which irked Yang to no end. It turned out that Weiss never believed the rumors — she observed that Blake's not-porn books are predominantly aimed at a heterosexual audience and Yang tends to be a little too appreciative of boy bands and the new professor for any of them to be a lesbian — and instead was taking advantage of their situation to get back at Yang for all her "Weiss puns".
  • Distracted by the Sexy: A perhaps tamer example than most, but when Jaune hugged Ruby after she gave him a You Are Better Than You Think You Are speech, she couldn't help but notice little things about him like how broad he was in the shoulders or how she rather liked to have her arms linked around him. Then she had to put some serious effort to rein her thoughts in and keep herself from delving into more lewd territory.
    Jaune: Thank you for knocking some sense into me, Ruby. I guess you're the real counsellor here.
    Ruby: [thinking] Damn right… and Nurse Ruby was about to suggest a serious dose of- [realization hits] [aloud] Heh heh, no worries.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Jaune's and Neo's interactions (outside of his Training from Hell) often resemble a married couple. Jaune even lampshades it when he returns to his quarters after a night of drinking with the other teachers only to find Neo glaring at him like he missed their anniversary to go drinking with the guys.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Jaune confronts Neo over her attempt to murder Yang and threatens to cut his side of the deal if she ever does anything like that again. It works, and Neo is forced to obey Jaune for once.
  • Doomed Hometown: Exploited. Jaune's claimed alma mater, Vacuo Academy for Gifted Youths, was completely destroyed by the Grimm. Roman used this as the basis of Jaune's Conveniently Unverifiable Cover Story.
  • Dope Slap: Ozpin gives mental versions of these to Oscar when he thinks carnal thoughts about Team RBY.
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male:
    • Averted when Jaune explains his disgust for Cinder to Team RWBY as her being a sexual predator. The team are disturbed by this, and feel for Jaune's distress, and thus work to sabotage Cinder.
    • Played straight later on. Glynda's behaviour towards Jaune - namely yelling at him, slapping him unprovoked and blaming the incident of him is treated as a justifiable response to his accusations of playing with his student's life. Regardless of who is in the right, the situation would be pretty disturbing with the genders reversed.
  • Dramatic Irony: Half the humor is in the reader having the best idea of what's really going on while the characters make their own misconceptions.
    • Multiple characters (Jaune and Ruby in particular) wonder how things would've been if Jaune was a student, usually picturing him as incredibly popular and top of the class. Readers know he'd actually be the Butt-Monkey.
    • Jaune spends the entire story desperate to keep his web of lies intact, knowing that when it all comes undone everything he's built will break and he'll be left in disgrace. By the time he finally tries to confess in order to avert Cinder's attack, the lies have become so intricate and connected that no one believes him.
  • Dysfunctional Family: Downplayed with the Arc family. Jaune has a somewhat difficult relationship with his siblings and parents, but they still love him all the same. Their anger at Jaune's actions, their extremely vocal contempt for his reputation, and the drunken distress he had shown before their arrival, and forcing him into a duel to be allowed to stay, makes them out to be horribly cruel and controlling toward Blake and the rest of Jaune's students.
    E - M 
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: For the first part of the story, for lack of full canon information at the time, Neo's Semblance is interpreted as being teleportation. She yoinks Jaune from his quarters to a criminal hideout once, uses it to hop between roofs in Misenwood, and even gets past a reinforced door, feats which only make sense with actual teleportation. Around the time of Jaune's public spar with Winter, the story quietly drops that Semblance and gives her her canon one: hologram-like illusions that can be used as a disguise or to fake teleportation.
  • Easily Forgiven: After Jaune confesses to the Beacon staff, Peter and Bart forgive him (the latter after a few days), pointing out that despite his lies, he ultimately did more good than bad. Glynda downplays this. She angrily blows up at Jaune, and puts their relationship on hold, but she still cares for him.
  • Embarrassing Cover Up:
    • To keep Glynda from finding out that they broke into Professor Arc's room, Yang and Blake had to pretend to be lovers with a thing for exhibitionism. All because of Neo's underwear. This, amazingly enough, makes perfect sense in context.
    • Pressed for some excuse to justify getting caught following Jaune around, Mercury Black blurted out that he had a crush on him. This goes as well as you can expect.invoked
  • Entertainingly Wrong: Cinder thinks of Jaune as an unknown player who's faked his way into Beacon for his own ends. However, the only thing Jaune is hiding is that he genuinely wants to be a Huntsman.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: Not really the case, but Professor Arc is supposedly very popular with both guys and girls. Mercury uses this trope as an excuse for why he's following Jaune around.
  • Every Man Has His Price: Parodied. In order to stay away from Zwei, Blake tries to convince Jaune of letting her live with him, and boy does she know how to make it hard for him to refuse.
    Blake: I'll sleep on the couch. I'll cook and clean. I can do paperwork.
    Jaune: [internally] Stop… tempting… me…
  • Everyone Can See It: The only person who thinks that Ruby has been discreet about her crush on Professor Arc is the girl herself. Well, and the object of her affections.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Yang is a flirt, but she draws the line at outright stalking and harassing someone, and was disgusted when Jaune claimed that Cinder was doing that.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: One of the reasons Cinder keeps overestimating Jaune is that whenever he does something selfless, she misreads it as a part of some incredibly complex plan. She either doesn't understand how somebody could be a massive liar and a good-hearted person at the same time, or she doesn't understand selflessness at all.
  • Evil Counterpart: Cinder becomes this to Jaune. Both of them, through deception and cunning, manage to sneak their way into Beacon. While Jaune indulges in self-serving desires and shady tactics, he ultimately has noble and lofty aims. Cinder has self-servings goals, but ultimately not-noble aims. While Jaune, as a student counselor, helps his charges with their problems, Cinder plays mind games with them, toys with them for her own ends, even willing to kill them in her gambit to claim power.
  • Evil Former Friend: Roman was this for Oobleck.
  • Evil Teacher: Cinder ends up on Beacon's staff as a teacher.
  • Evil Mentor:
    • Zigzagged with Roman and Neo toward Jaune. The former is a mobster, and the latter enjoys giving Jaune a Training from Hell. However, they mostly are trying to help Jaune keep himself out of jail, as well as alive. As it turns out, Roman and Neo are trying to save Jaune from being killed by Cinder. Unfortunately, this means pushing him into joining Cinder's destruction of Beacon, but thankfully, Jaune was able to find a way to switch their loyalties to him.
    • Jaune deliberately invokes this when talking to Cinder. He plays into her pragmatism by saying that, among other reasons, forcing Team RWBY to attend mandatory counseling sessions with him would allow him to play this role to all of them, exploiting their emotional connection to him in order to perhaps persuade them to join him. Cinder ends up accepting this explanation without realizing that he's using it to cover up the fact that he's deliberately making moves against her.
  • Expecting Someone Taller:
    • Jaune expected Roman's boss to be some plump lady with a Nightmare Facem not... Cinder.
    • Scarlet tells Sun that with how much he was talking about Professor Arc, he expected Jaune to be about seven feet tall. They laugh it off, with Scarlet saying that he's almost glad because it makes him seem more human.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: Played for Laughs. Jaune wonders how an obvious sadist like Tsune could have possibly been hired by Beacon, saying someone should've done a proper background check, only to remember the lack of said check is why he got hired.
  • Explosive Overclocking: Penny pushes herself far past her normal limits during the Battle of Beacon with her sensors indicating that several of her systems are either wearing down or dangerously overheating.
  • Expressive Ears: Blake's would make her a poor poker player, completely unlike her deadpan. Used to hilarious effect one time when Jaune's Accidental Innuendo made it sound like he was coming on to her. While Blake knew he didn't mean it like that at all, she seemed to miss that her cat-like ears still "perked" at his words.
  • Eye Scream: Jaune slashes out one of Cinders eyes at the end of their fight at the Battle of Beacon.
  • Fake Ultimate Hero: Jaune isn't quite the badass his records make him out to be. However, he's trying his damndest to be so. The effort pays off.
  • Falling-in-Love Montage: Probably due to her lack of even secondhand experience with romantic relationships, Ruby's idea of romance is closer to this trope than the real thing. See Missing Steps Plan below.
  • False Flag Operation: When Jaune needs to talk to Roman while he's imprisoned on Ironwood's airship, he has Neo impersonate a White Fang officer and leads Winter on a wild goose chase through the airship. Jaune notes that they're expecting the White Fang to attack, which not only means that they won't question why the intruder's there but they'll be even more paranoid of a White Fang attack, which works in his favor.
  • Falsely Reformed Villain: Torchwick and Neo, as of the final chapter. They're both seen as heroes who were instrumental in stopping Cinder's plans and enjoy massive public support. Privately they're still the same old con artist and barely controlled sadist they always were, but at least they're being channeled to good ends now.
  • "Fawlty Towers" Plot: And how!
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Velvet and Team CRDL befriend each other after Velvet and Cardin save each other from a Grimm attack.
    • Velvet and Pyrrha don't truly bond (though not for lack of trying on Pyrrha's part) until the latter nearly dies during their first mission.
  • First Kiss: Coco Adel ended up taking Jaune's, together with warning him to not read too much into it.
    Jaune: [narrating] Holy shit, my first kiss… Taken by someone who didn't even like him… against his will no less… That was epic!
  • First Girl Wins: Not exactly a girl, but Glynda Goodwitch is the first female character appearing in the story and the first one to start an actual relationship with Jaune
  • Flock of Wolves: Parodied in an omake where Jaune comes clean to Beacon's staff, only to learn that Ozpin, Oobleck, and Port are also fakes. Glynda on the other hand, is real. Upon informing the others of this, Ozpin concludes she is also a fake— as in, she is a real teacher pretending to be a fake one pretending to be a real one. Being non-canon, it doesn't have to make sense.
  • For Want Of A Nail: Jaune's absence as a student has major repercussions on his friends and team but even as a professor he searches for alternatives that resemble the original results.
    • Ruby and Pyrrha, for instance, felt lonely and left out as they never became close friends with Jaune Arc, so Professor Arc offered the idea of both girls forming a friendship which solves their loneliness. As for their feelings toward the professor himself, these are entirely exchanged due to his different status. Pyrrha remains professional at first but eventually befriends him while Ruby develops a crush on him as soon as they meet.
    • Others are not so lucky. Sun doesn't become a Love Interest for Blake because Professor Arc's significant role during the fallout of the reveal of her former involvement with the White Fang incidentally kept Sun from ever making much of an impression on the girl.
    • Similarly, Neptune greatly disappointed Weiss after pretty much ditching her once he realized that Beacon's High-School Dance involved actual dancing. Without Jaune Arc there to convince him to simply come clean to her as of the real reason, Neptune never redeemed himself and Weiss decided that he wasn't worth her time.
    • Former Team JNPR had it the worst because without Jaune's leadership and his knack to give Pyrrha, Ren and Nora a sense of belonging, plus their new member's compete refusal to see them as teammates, the new "Team" RVNN can be called such in name only. Needless to say, Jaune the student counsellor is well aware of this and expects that their first official mission will help them to bond.
    • Perhaps most significantly, Jaune is able to uncover Emerald's hallucination abilities, and is able to save Penny from being destroyed by a brainwashed Pyrrha.
  • Freudian Slip:
    • Blake on occasion. Interestingly, it's implied that this is less about attraction and more about her growing trust in the guy.
      Blake: [narrating] After spending so long working under [Jaune]… with him — she meant with him.
    • It isn't like Blake doesn't provide more straightforward examples too. In her defense, Yang's usually at fault somehow.
      Jaune: Well, if you're sure?
      Blake: I'm not. [Beat] I mean I am — I am totally sure you don't need to rub your cream into me... I mean my leg- my injury.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: It really says something about how much the Beacon staff all despise Cinder Fall that they outright encourage their students to prank them whenever possible. Even Glynda gets in on it multiple times.
  • Friends with Benefits:
    • To explain Neo's presence in his room, Jaune had to go along with Yang and Blake's misconception that the two of them were this. Given Neo's apparent age and Jaune pretending to be twenty, this didn't paint him in the best light.
    • By the grace of the One Dialogue, Two Conversations trope, Ironwood thinks Jaune is being causal with Penny. To make matters worse, the gynoid's enthusiasm with her first "boyfriend" (that's it, a friend who is a boy) doesn't sit well with the General. At all. Jaune's horrible wording when they actually meet cements their mutual hatred: Ironwood for being suspicious of Jaune, and Jaune for being afraid of what he might do to him, unbeknownst to him because of a massive misunderstanding.
  • Get Out!: Weiss to Winter when the latter praises her for furnishing her with some of the evidence Ironwood used to arrest Jaune.
  • "Get Out of Jail Free" Card: Roman and Neo manage to avoid pretty much any punishment for their crimes, other than being confined to Beacon for the time being. The reason for that is the part they played in Cinder's defeat, which they make sound much more heroic than it actually was.
  • Gilded Cage: Beacon to Roman Torchwick, who at the end of the Battle of Beacon finds himself lauded for heroism and with a big chunk of Vale pushing to have all previous charges thrown out. However, with the government still at his heels, he remains at the school, taking the position of Treasurer.
  • Girl on Girl Is Hot: Jaune certainly thinks so, especially after hearing the rumors of Blake and Yang being an item.
    Jaune: [narrating] He didn't need to hear about his student's sex life. He wanted to. Oh Gods, how he wanted to… but it was the last thing he needed. That way lay madness, temptation and sexual frustration.
  • A Glass in the Hand:
    • Qrow's reaction when he found out that both Yang and Ruby are interested in the same guy.
    • Also Ironwood's reaction when he finds out Penny says the same... not that he knows that she actually isn't.
  • Godzilla Threshold: Jaune promises himself that if his conflict with Cinder ever reaches a certain point, he will come clean with the truth, regardless of the consequences to himself. He decides to go through with it in Chapter 54... but he's arrested regardless, and his confession is entirely disbelieved.
  • Gone Horribly Right: The plot gets started when Jaune's fake transcripts painted such a perfect illusion of competence over himself that Ozpin considered him overqualified to attend Beacon as a student and instead he offered a place in a faculty as an assistant teacher. Most of Jaune's problems and the story's comedy come from his efforts to Maintain the Lie and keep himself out of jail and in one piece.
    • It goes even further than that once Jaune gets arrested and interrogated by Ironwood. He tries to be honest, but his previous deceptions were so good that the general is unwilling to accept the truth - that the entire staff of Beacon was manipulated by a seventeen-year old boy with no combat or criminal experience prior.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: Ruby as in the series, with one notable exception during what can be described as hug-induced glee.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Port believes this, in regards to Glynda, influenced Ironwood's decision to arrest Jaune. At the very least, the General staunchly refuses to acknowledge the sheer amount of loyalty Jaune is able to inspire in so many.
  • Guile Hero: Jaune, moreso than in canon, as having to keep up the masquerade of a qualified Huntsman means that he has to get better at deceiving people. Time will tell as to whether or not he'll graduate to become a full-on Chessmaster.
  • HA HA HA—No: For a moment team RWBY dared to hope their Cool Teacher would let them get away with fighting a Mini-Mecha on a major road filled with traffic with just a telling off. Jaune disabused such a notion with this trope.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Jaune has unintentionally been prompting one for Neo and Torchwick over the course of the story, with his displays of genuine concern for their well being contrasting starkly to Cinder's blatant mistrust and threats. They do turn in the end, at least publicly, but mostly because Jaune forced them into a situation where it was the only way for them to protect themselves. Not that they don't genuinely like and care for Jaune.
  • The Heart: The story posits that Jaune was this for his team in canon. Here, his absence as a student turned the relatively successful Team JNPR into the very dysfunctional Team RVNN. Between Pyrrha's reluctance to take the spotlight, Ren's soft-spoken personality and Nora's... Nora-ness, the team lacks someone who can simultaneously lead and motivate them into a cohesive unit. This is compounded by the fact the their fourth member, Velvet Scarlatina, absolutely refuses to see them as her teammates in favor of her former team, CFVY.
  • Hero Antagonist: Ironwood becomes one to Jaune towards the end of the tournament arc. Needless to say, this plays right into Cinder's hands.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Many are pulled during the Battle for Beacon, but Jaune's is outright heartrending. When Cinder realizes she has lost she goes ballistic and sets the roof that Jaune, Torchwick and Neo are fighting her on fire. Jaune tricks Neo and Torchwick into abandoning the fight then walks through a literal firestorm, slowly and painfully dying the entire way, to make sure Cinder doesn't make it out.
  • Heroic Resolve: Jaune shows his during the Battle for Beacon.
  • Hot Teacher: Jaune and Glynda. Later on, Cinder joins in.
  • Humiliation Conga: Oh boy, poor, poor Cinder gets put through the wringer, worse than in canon. Thanks to Jaune's intervention, she is stopped from killing Pyrrha and claiming her power, who has managed to convince two of her subordinates to switch sides. Beacon and later Atlas forces manage to repel her invasion and beat back the Grimm. Jaune is not only able to stand up to Cinder, but tear her eye out, maiming her badly enough to send her running. When we see her, she is left with a paralyzing fear of Jaune.
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: What Ozpin lost in IQ points, Glynda seems to have gotten in return. Most side stories and omake imply she's the only reason Beacon is still standing, let alone as good as it is. It's taken even further when Jaune becomes headmaster.
  • Hypocrite: Nicolas Arc. During a fight with his son he refuses to surrender, despite that A) He is laying on the floor with a sword held to his throat and B) He gave a speech about the importance of accepting defeat less than a minute ago. Jaune promptly calls him out on this.
  • Hypocritical Humor:
    • Yang doesn't let people say the "s-word" (sex) around Ruby to protect her innocence, yet she still describes a fairly explicit scenario in front of her whole team involving Blake, Jaune and Jaune's tongue. She doesn't appear to see the contradiction.
    • After Initiation, Glynda warns Ozpin that naming Team RWBY after its leader may cause her ego to swell to dangerous levels, but Ozpin then reminds her that she had just come up with Team CRDL (Cardinal), causing her to retract her statement.
    • In one Omake, Ozpin reveals to Jaune that the special brew of coffee the teachers enjoy is actually being made by using Amber as a part of a coffee machine. Jaune expresses his disgust at doing something like that... and then asks for another cup.
  • I Hate Past Me: Jaune gradually develops contempt for his pre-Beacon self, namely how shallow his desire to be a hero was after learning about the personal struggles of actual Huntsmen and Huntresses.
  • I'm Going to Hell for This: Jaune, especially when imparting words of wisdom to others as the experienced and accomplished Huntsman he's not.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Mercury tries to kill Weiss by stabbing her with her own sword during the attack on Beacon, only for Weiss to wind up summoning her ice knight which impales him first with a much larger blade.
  • Innocently Insensitive:
    • Jaune suggests Weiss might have been this when she tried to partner with Pyrrha, citing that the other girl was also famous and likely Lonely at the Top as well and wanted to befriend someone unlikely to care about such things.
    • Jaune's family learn about his fraudulent career only after he's gotten a handle on his situation, and show up in a ham-fisted attempt to force him to quit and return home against his will. They're unaware that he's trying to deal with a criminal conspiracy from the inside, and that he's managed to do some good for several students through his actions, treating him like the "failure" he used to be. Their attempts to handle the situation winds up making things worse for Jaune, and give the students a bad impression of them and Jaune's home life.
    • Winter combines this trope with Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: She warmly praises Weiss for helping her arrest Jaune with the information provided in the questionnaire. Winter is caught off guard when Weiss, who has come to greatly admire and respect Jaune, angrily tells her to GTFO.
  • Insane Troll Logic: Jaune's sister Coral makes Jaune to apologize to his family after he justifiably gets angry at them for publicly shaming him upon arriving at Beacon. They are subsequently ostracized by everyone at the Academy for their actions, but his sisters somehow wraps the idea around to be Jaune's fault despite his students reactions being natural to hearing a close friend being smeared by his own family, fraud or not.
  • Insistent Terminology: Roman is very insistent on the difference between trusting someone and trusting in them, declaring that Jaune can trust him but not trust in him. The former means being able to predict what someone will do; the latter means trusting them with your secrets and knowing they won't betray you.
  • Instant Fan Club: Jaune's popularity in Beacon inspired the creation of the Professor Arc Fan Club, or PAFC for short. According to the non-canonical Omakes, they're pretty much a bunch of crazy cultists and panty thieves.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Jaune with the rest of Beacon's staff.
  • Interplay of Sex and Violence: Apparently very common at Beacon. All of the top comments on a video of Neo, disguised as Jaune, fighting Winter involve either commenting on the obvious sexual tension or wanting to experience it for themselves.
  • It Makes Sense in Context: By the wholesale. Most of the stuff that happens in this story would make little to absolutely no sense in canon, yet the way how each event builds logically upon its predecessors keeps things from threatening the Willing Suspension of Disbelief while also avoiding OOCness. To name a few, we have: Jaune getting hired by Ozpin, Glynda having something of a crush on the new professor, Neo practically moving in with the guy, he and Roman working together and watching each other's backs, Cinder believing that Jaune could be a Magnificent Bastard with an agenda parallel to hers, Ironwood thinking that he and Penny are Friends with Benefits, Jaune becoming Blake's and later on Team RWBY's therapist, the tabloids speculating about his possible engagement to Winter Schnee and Mercury Black publicly confessing his (nonexistent) crush on the professor and getting rejected on the spot.
  • I Want Grandkids: According to one of the omakes, this and Consummate Liar sums up Jaune's mother. She is ecstatic to hear about how popular he is. In the fic, proper, not so much, to the point that her reaction to learning that Jaune and Glynda had sex is I Need a Freaking Drink. She does show this in the proper story at the end when multiple parties vie for Jaune's attention, declaring grandbabies forever, so the problem was most likely the age gap between Jaune and Glynda.
  • I Will Wait for You: Played with and invoked by Glynda [[spoiler:in the aftermath of the Vol 3 Arc. After The Reveal about Jaune's origins she hints that she wants to resume their relationship, but asks that he be patient while she gets over her hangups about their age difference. Jaune is more than happy to wait for the chance, especially since he's not going anywhere.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Jaune's family do treat him in a vituperative manner, but they are correct that he's doing something that could get him in serious trouble. Jaune, even though he wants to keep the charade going, doesn't really object to what he's saying. He admits to Yang, who was annoyed with the way his sisters were treating him, that he was as weedy as he described. Though YMMV is in effect for readers as to how much this excuses their behavior and Jaune being conditioned to accept their abuse for most of his life.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
    • When they arrive at Beacon, the Arc family members say things that range from dismissive to outright insulting and condescending toward Jaune-something which does not endear them at all to Beacon's students. It is implied that they have played a role in Jaune's self-esteem issues. However, they are alarmed over the amount of trouble he could be in due to his deceptions, they do bite their tongues (mostly) when they first arrive at Beacon, and (reluctantly) agree to let Jaune be his own man when he proves himself in combat against his father. They also refuse to sell out his secrets, even while they are interrogated by Atlas, and one of his sisters even attacks a reporter for trying to buy secrets about Jaune from her.
    • Cardin and Team CRDL grow into this after Velvet saves Cardin from a Grimm, despite their mistreatment of her. They become tremendously loyal toward Jaune, becoming very incensed by the Arc family's crude remarks about him, they almost attack Atlas students after Ironwood arrests him, and also are among the few who defend Yang after she was unfairly accused of attacking a downed opponent, and are all too willing to attack Atlesian soldiers to defend Jaune from arrest.
  • Karma Houdini: Jaune might be an example, depending on the perspective taken. In terms of overall story, he fits right in; He cons his way into a job, makes alliances with some of the Remnant's worst criminals criminals and manipulates his students and colleagues only to end up getting rewarded with fame and power as the headmaster of Beacon. On the other hand, his more noble actions as well as the sheer amount of misery he goes through ought to make a reader feel sympathetic towards him, rather than wanting him to get punished. And despite being rewarded with the job of Headmaster, he is saddled with the enormous task of rebuilding Beacon, and his relationship with Glynda, after he comes clean to her, is more or less on hold.
  • Klatchian Coffee: The "special brew" the teachers, save Glynda, are so partial to. It basically sends you to nirvana while you drink it and you feel like a million bucks when you're finished. On the other hand, there is the "Emergency Meeting Coffee" for when you need to be alert rather than happy. It's so concentrated that it has the consistency of gelatin and needs to be eaten with a spoon.
  • The Knights Who Say "Squee!": Every member of PAFC qualifies, as they are a bunch of badass monster hunters fawning over someone who they consider to be even more of a badass. Staffroom Chronicles heavily implies that team RWBY are all members of the club.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Jaune thinks this is the reason why Blake ended up as Yang's partner.
    Jaune: [narrating] You poor girl… what did you do to deserve this? Oh right, she was a terrorist who caused vast amounts of property damage and routinely dragged her team into danger. Sometimes it was easy to forget that, considering how sane she was in comparison to everyone else he dealt with.
  • Loveable Rogue: Jaune is this at heart. He's a liar, rather self-serving, and two of his closest friends are a unrepentant sociopath and a crime lord, but ultimately he tries to do as much good with his position as he can.
  • Loved by All: Jaune is quickly accepted at Beacon, and is highly regarded by many faculty, staff and students. When he's arrested by Ironwood, it doesn't take long for the cries for Atlesian blood to start howling... exactly what Cinder wants.
  • Loves My Alter Ego: Jaune believes that everything people like about him is a result of his act as Professor Arc. Knowing his canon self, it's hard to disagree. The one exception to this is Neo.
  • Mad Doctor: Jaune is convinced that the fox Faunus Tsune, Beacon's resident doctor and aura specialist, is one with a thing with causing him more pain than strictly necessary to test the limits of his unusually large aura pool. To his dismay, he's the only one who seems to notice.
    Jaune: W-why is that needle so big!?
    Tsune: Hmm? Well, have you ever tried giving an injection to someone with aura? You can't exactly turn it off and mundane needles just snap under the pressure. We're forced to be a little more... heavy duty.
    Jaune: Can't we go without the booster!?
    Tsune: Now, now Jaune… calm down. This won't hurt much.
    Jaune: There's no way in hell that won't hurt!
    Tsune: Jaune! Do I look like a woman who takes pleasure in causing pain to my patients? I, who have dedicated my life to the art of healing?
    Jaune: Your tail is wagging...
    Tsune: [grins] Ignore it.
    • Later it's shown that Glynda does know but believes denial is the best option.
  • Made Out to Be a Jerkass: Some time after Jaune has successfully established himself as Professor Arc and gained considerable positive reputation among his students and peers at Beacon, his family shows up, expecting to find the awkward bumbler he was at the beginning and making no bones about how they believe he has absolutely no business at Beacon. This has the unfortunate effect of making them look like they do not respect him or the positive impact he's had on everyone around him, and their attempts to explain only make things worse.
  • Magnetic Hero: Deconstructed with Jaune. He believes the respect and admiration he gets comes not from his actions, but his undeserved reputation.
  • Massive Numbered Siblings: Jaune and his seven sisters. Yang thinks either his mother has some serious constitution or his father a serious death wish.
  • Mating Dance: Played With and Discussed in chapter 27. While Jaune and Glynda didn't stray from PG-territory (they were chaperones at a High-School Dance, after all), their dancing carried enough subtext to be wielded as a blunt weapon and left everybody present making themselves the obvious question. The guy himself put it the best:
    Jaune: [narrating] Their hands didn't meet this time. Rather, hers came up to his face, settling behind his neck as his did the same to her, fingers brushing against her nape — feeling her soft hair against the back of his hand. There was a hush as they danced like that, as though either might pull the other in for a passionate kiss at any moment. This was the story Hazel had talked about, he realised. Because when two people truly danced, it was more than just a dance — it held that dangerous edge, that said it could descend into something more primal at any moment.
  • May–December Romance: Glynda seems to be very self-conscious of the difference in age between her and Jaune, though he has no idea of her feelings.
  • Missing Steps Plan: Ruby's approach to her getting Jaune to fall in love with her.
    Ruby: [narrating] The dream was simple. She would find a way to spend time with Jaune alone, something-something, then they would fall madly in love and have a big family [...] What the something-something involved she had no idea, since in most romances she'd seen on TV (and those rare occasions where Yang forced her to sit through those awful romance movies), people just sort of… well, they just sort of fell in love. They never seemed to cover how to make someone fall for you, since they always started with the guy and girl madly in love.
  • Mistaken for Badass: Invoked. Jaune goes to great lengths to appear as badass as his fake transcripts says he is. That the world gives him the opportunity and excuses to look the part helps.
  • Mistaken for Gay:
    • Mercury Black, after "confessing" to Jaune in order to maintain his cover. Unfortunately for him, he's seen by six other girls, thus cementing his "sexuality."
    • After Jaune asked Weiss to dig up some information pertaining the guy from the above example, she started to think the professor bats for the other team too. Weiss also strongly suggested that Jaune shouldn't let Yang learn about his interest in him, lest the passionate girl react badly.
  • Mood Whiplash: The narrative goes from Jaune philosophically pondering a teacher's role in helping their students fly to cursing Blake because she accidentally stuck him with her bill at a cafe.
  • Moral Event Horizon: In-Universe, Jaune was already fearful of Cinder for her willingness to blow his cover. But her willingness to drive Beacon's students into despair is what pushes him to take her down.
  • Motive Rant: Marcus the mortician engages in one near the end of the Misenwood arc.
  • Mundanger: The disappearances in Misenwood are thought to be caused by Grimm, but are in fact the work of a Serial Killer.
  • Must Have Caffeine: Justified due to the special "Teacher's Coffee" being unbearably amazing. Let's just say that Glynda is something of a pariah among Beacon faculty because she prefers tea over coffee. Upgraded to Cargo Ship for Jaune, Ozpin and Oobleck in the omakes.
     N - Z 
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Entirely by lying and accidents, Jaune manages to give Cinder the impression that he's a dangerous player in his own right, who knows the rough extent of her goals and is thus a potential threat to her. In the end, this causes Cinder to take more extreme actions when executing her plan, compared to canon where she was fully incognito and felt untouchable. As a counter to Jaune's presence and influence, she calls Salem's other three main servants to help her in the Battle of Beacon, much earlier than they appeared in canon and at the worst possible time.
  • No-Damage Run: A non-videogame example. In combat class, Glynda made assistant teacher Arc spar with Cardin Winchester with the intention of taking the bully down a peg or two. Given Jaune's nonexistent offensive capabilities, he didn't have any other choice than dodging Cardin's attacks as his life depended on it (mainly because it was very much the case). Thanks to Neo's Training from Hell, Jaune managed to avoid everything Cardin threw at him, tiring the student out and then he just tripped him and forced him to yield before any of their Auras took any damage at all. Everybody present thought Jaune planned the whole thing down to teach Cardin some humility, point out his shortcomings (namely subpar speed and stamina and his inability to change tactics on the fly) and warn the whole class against becoming complacent with any aspect of their training lest they allow an enemy to identify and ruthlessly exploit any weakness their teammates can't cover for.
  • No Doubt the Years Have Changed Me: Despite only being at Beacon for a few months this is the case with Jaune. When his family shows up to try and take him home they're struck speechless when instead of insecure, little Jaune they instead find Professor Arc.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • The story of how Ren got the pink strand in his hair. According to Nora, it involved a lot of Grimm and exploding chicken dinners.
    • Apparently, Taiyang once drank from Qrow's hip flask without asking, and by the time the incident was resolved Signal was closed for repairs for a week and the teachers never looked at Ruby and Yang the same way again.
    • Mercury mentions that he once had to infiltrate a traveling circus for a mission - and that no one is allowed to ever talk about it again.
  • Not Helping Your Case: Ironwood's decrees regarding Jaune's arrest only make him look more unreasonable rather than justifying his actions. That he tries to re-arrest Jaune after the attack on Beacon makes him appear Honor Before Reason at best and Lawful Stupid at worst.
  • Not So Above It All: Glynda has too much personal dignity to indulge in something as prosaic as pranking someone. Professor Cinder Fall is an exception because Glynda really doesn't like the woman.
  • Not So Stoic: Going on the above, there are moments when Goodwitch's professional mask comes apart. From her barely restrained feelings for Professor Arc, to her rather obvious enjoyment of Winter having her head smashed in by Jaune-as-Neo.
  • Oblivious Guilt Slinging: Jaune isn't very graceful in accepting praise and compliments, or sympathy for his backstory. Everyone just assumes he doesn't think he deserves it. The reality is that he knows he doesn't deserve it, and any satisfaction he gets from praise is blunted by guilt about his being a fraud.
  • Oblivious to Love: Jaune. Part of it is intentionally denying many people's affections due to being a teacher (i.e. Yang). The majority of it is plain stupidity on his part (i.e. Ruby).
  • Oh, Crap!: The evening before Initiation, Weiss insults "Tall, blonde and scraggly" and glares at him for wasting her time. Then Yang greets Jaune with a "Heya Professor", causing Weiss to realize she just insulted a teacher.
  • One Dialogue, Two Conversations: Due to Penny referring to Jaune as her "boyfriend", his first conversation with Ironwood is a massive misunderstanding. From Jaune's point of view, he's talking about the couple hours he helped Ruby and Penny look for Blake. From Ironwood's, Jaune shamelessly admits to having a one night stand with her.
  • The One Guy: Without Jaune as a student, Ren ends up being the only boy in the circle consisting of RWBY and RVNN. Jaune expresses some sympathy, knowing exactly what it's like to feel outnumbered in an environment dominated by X-chromosomes.
  • Only Sane Man: Roman is pretty much the only person in the entire cast who doesn't either believe or become part of any of Jaune's lies throughout the story, largely because he orchestrated the lie that started it all and then stood as far away from the fallout as he could.
  • Only Sane Woman: Glynda is this to the Beacon staff, as the only teacher who wouldn't fit into a mental asylum. She considers Jaune to share this role with her, but considering what she doesn't know about him, she is probably wrong in this regard.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business:
    • Recounting the Mountain Glenn incident is so traumatic for Oobleck, that he can't even pour his coffee.
    • Happens with Qrow, though only his nieces realise this. After the mission in Misenwood, he offers Jaune a drink from his flask. Ruby notes that this is something he simply doesn't do, not even with Taiyang, due to being very protective of his alcohol. Afterwards, Jaune and Qrow become regular drinking buddies.
    • Neo seems to be not just mute, but really adverse to verbal communication, never bothering to write anything other than emoji. When she sends Jaune a message saying "RUN!", the recipient does exactly that without any thought.
    • Blake becomes visibly enraged by the heartless remarks Jaune's sisters make about him, enough that Yang points out she is subtly showing her claws.
    • During Pyrrha's fight with Penny, Emerald's illusions make her visibly enraged. Her friends quickly pick up on how aggressive she's becoming, and thanks to Jaune's warnings, realized she is being brainwashed.
  • Papa Wolf:
    • Taiyang. His advice to his youngest about what she was supposed to do around boys involves bisecting them. To her credit, Ruby did think it was a "little murder-y" at the time.
    • Ironwood towards Penny, especially after Jaune unwittingly convinced him he liked it causal with the apparently smitten Robot Girl. Yes, that kind of casual.
    • Qrow keeps regular contact with his nieces via Scroll. That's how he learned that Yang met an older man who was particularly fun to tease due to his apparent (but not total) immunity to her charms and that, for her part, Ruby totally doesn't have a Precocious Crush on the newest addition to Beacon's faculty. Any of them good reasons for their uncle to dislike a guy, but given that both girls fancy the one and only Professor Jaune Arc, well... let's say Qrow is really looking forward to drop by and meet him.
    • Interestingly, Jaune himself is also an example. Among the things that made him decide that enough was enough and take arms against Cinder regardless the potential cost to himself was when she dragged Beacon's students, his students, into her plans.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Adam Taurus manages to successfully infiltrate Beacon just by wearing thick glasses and a beanie to cover his horns.
  • Pet the Dog: While Neo is normally content to torment Jaune, when she finds Jaune quivering over his fear of being exposed by his family, she dons her "Noah Arc" disguise, and brings Blake to sort him out.
  • Plague of Good Fortune: Fate has apparently decided to grant Jaune with just enough luck to save himself from one dangerous and/or problematic situation by the skin of his teeth and land him squarely in the way of an even more dangerous and/or problematic one. It started with his attempt to attend Beacon getting him hired as a teacher and snowballed all the way to put him on Cinder's radar, having to throw his lot together with Roman and Neo to keep themselves alive from the latter, earning him Ironwood's distrust, the admiration of many of his students and Qrow looking forward to have words with him given the evident interest of both Ruby and Yang in the guy.
  • Post-Kiss Catatonia:
    • Pulled off thrice on Jaune so far by different women. First, Coco Adel kissed him to thank him for saving Velvet's life, but she all but stated it was because she didn't want to be indebted to him — it also doubles as his First Kiss. Second, Cinder Fall went for a very public Big Damn Kiss, but it only elicited a huge Oh, Crap! out of him due to the decidedly non-romantic implications involved. For the hat trick, Yang surprise-kissed him as her way to prove him that she has decided to pursue him romantically, and for real, unlike her previous playful teasing.
    • More like Post-Hug Catatonia, but Ruby's thought process became hilariously broken after Jaune embraced her in chapter 24.
      Ruby's brain: Ruby Rose is not available, please leave a message after the squeal. Eeeeeee—
  • Power is Sexy:
    • Cinder attempts to seduce Jaune because she sees him as a man of great power and potential.
    • Jaune's fame, celebrity, and position of power as Beacon's new headmaster lead him to get marriage proposals-much to Glynda's chagrin.
  • Pragmatic Villainy:
    • Jaune plays the part in front of Cinder. When asked why he stepped in to protect Team RWBY after they messed with their common ally one too many times and finally got into serious trouble for it, Jaune explained that getting them expelled would have left them completely free to chase Roman down — perhaps even more doggedly than before if they decided to blame him for losing their place at Beacon. Jaune also mentioned using the mandatory counselling sessions to keep close tabs on the girls while holding the threat of expulsion over their heads as leverage, hinting to Cinder he was planning on going full Evil Mentor on them if necessary.
    • Another example was Torchwick and the White Fang's Dust robberies. They regularly made sure not to cause any excessive harm to the employees or damage to the shops they robbed so that the owners could get insurance to buy more Dust to stay in business so that they could rob them again.
  • Precision F-Strike: Jaune, who very rarely swears out loud, unleashes a series of these on Roman when he keeps refusing to turn against Cinder.
  • Precocious Crush: Fifteen-year-old Ruby develops one on Jaune, who pretends to be twenty. Everyone Can See It, though she denies having one.
  • Ramming Always Works: In an amazing display of Combat Pragmatism and Indy Ploy, Jaune takes out the Grimm Dragon from the Battle of Beacon by hijacking Ironwood's Cool Airship (with the help of Cinder's virus, no less) and letting its sheer mass, momentum and combined firepower unleashed at point blank deal with the nigh-unkillable creature.
  • Red Herring: The Mayor of Misenwood is inordinately abrasive from the moment Team RVVN and Jaune arrive and later seems to set the entire town upon them, easily painting him as the villain. In reality, he's overly stressed out and actually tried to stop the town from forming a lynch mob (though that's because he thought the five were murderers) and the real enemy is Markus the friendly mortician.
  • Relationship-Salvaging Disaster: The events in Misenwood ultimately convince Velvet to give her new partner and Team RVNN an honest chance and goes a long way to ending the grudge between Team CFVY and Jaune.
  • Rescue Romance: Cardin and Velvet, of all people, pull a mutual one during the Forever Fall Forest incident, with Velvet protecting Cardin but injuring herself in the process, then Cardin carrying her to safety. They start dating shortly thereafter. Absolutely no one saw that one coming.
  • Rhetorical Question Blunder: At one point, Roman asks if Jaune knows what his problem is, clearly intending to answer his own question. Jaune replies, "Blackmail, criminal contacts, and bad luck" which Roman awkwardly agrees with.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons:
    • After the Misenwood mission, Qrow assumes Jaune is shell-shocked by the killer's death, thinking he'd never seen someone commit suicide before. While Jaune is disturbed by the man's death, it's more because of how brutally Neo murdered him.
    • As Cinder begins overestimating Jaune's abilities, she comes to believe that he and Roman are working together to thwart her, explaining why the fight at the docks went down the way it did. She's partially correct - Jaune is currently trying to thwart her by recruiting Roman - but she's wrong on the rest: Roman is still fighting his attempts at recruitment, Jaune didn't even know Cinder was connected to the docks heist, and Roman beating him up and escaping was payback for interfering with the heist in the first place.
  • Sadistic Choice: Subverted. At one point Velvet has to decide between chasing down a mass murderer, or risking him getting away in favour of resuscitating an unconscious Pyrrha. For her, it is really a no-brainer.
  • Saving Christmas: The "The Night Before Christmas" story.
  • The Scottish Trope: Apparently, Professor Peach is terrifying enough that even Glynda Goodwitch, something of an In-Universe Memetic Badass among the Beacon Staff, is reluctant to speak the name.
    Jaune: So are you going to tell me who Peach is?
    Glynda: *nervously* We do not speak that name. To have already said it once... but we are far enough away from Beacon. ...There is no professor by that name.
    Jaune: But you just sai-
    Glynda: There is no professor by that name.
  • Secret-Keeper: Roman and Neo are the only two people in the main cast who know Jaune's whole story, and help him keep the con going. The Arc family is also convinced into secrecy after they find out what he's been doing. At the end of the story, Jaune reveals his secret to the rest of Beacon's staff but no one else (though he tries to tell Ironwood and just isn't believed).
  • Serial Escalation: Jaune just wanted to be let into Beacon as a student. Unfortunately, his credentials were good enough for Ozpin to instead hire him as a teacher, and he puts on a facade so good, the faculty warms up to him and puts him in a trusted position as Student Counsellor. This works so well he winds up irreversibly tangled in Cinder's plan, and by sheer luck and chutzpah he performs so well during that, he's set up as Beacon's youngest headmaster.
  • Sexy Secretary: Jaune lampshades this trope when he realizes that this trope is sorta what he got out his deal with Blake to forgo the mandatory counselling he's supposed to give her to keep her from getting expelled and facing criminal charges for her actions at the docks in exchange of her help at handling his paperwork during their alleged rehabilitation sessions, like grading tests and such.
    Jaune: At the very least, he had his own sexy assistant now. That had to count for something, right?
  • Shipper on Deck: Ozpin, Port and to a lesser extent Oobleck about Jaune and the respective object of their bet. Surprisingly Weiss also ships the new professor with someone, her sister Winter.
  • Shout-Out: Jaune's experience when he first drinks Beacon's special coffee is similar to the Perfect Coffee strip from Girl Genius.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: During their duel Nicholas taunts Jaune about his silly desires to become a hero. Jaune angrily bellows that he doesn't care about fame.
    Jaune: "I don't want to be a hero. I don't care about reputation. I don't care about what people think of me, I don't care about being a hero. The reason I'm doing this is to protect the people I care about; my students, my colleagues-everyone at Beacon. There is no other reason!"
  • Shown Their Work: After Ozpin and Jaune's crushing chess games, Ozpin describes the real-world chess strategies that he used in their games, and the way they're described in-game matches their real-life counterparts.
  • Sign of the Apocalypse: Yang proposed an actually fitting name for a plan. The rest of her team is bewildered.
    Weiss: [narrating] [She] supposed that could work. It was just pun enough that it clearly came from Yang, but for once it wasn't actually a bad one. Was Yang dying? Was this the harbinger of the end-times?
  • Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!: Jaune's father, Nicolas, is firmly of that opinion, at least when it comes to hunters and their heroics. He will save people whenever possible and abandon them when he deems the risk too great. Anything less is a show of stupidity in his book.
    Defiance in the face of defeat is a trait valued by movie directors and pampered civilians who will never see combat. If you wish to survive in this harsh world, then you need to be able to accept defeat. Those that don't are hailed as heroes - but all you'll gain is a name written on a memorial somewhere. The people soon forget their heroes.
  • Simple Solution Won't Work: When the rumors of Jaune Arc's very alleged prowess as a Hunter reach Salem, she decides that she's okay with putting her plans on pause for a few decades and wait for Jaune to grow old and die. This plan is perfectly okay for her, who is immortal, but all of her followers lack the same advantage and thus they decide they need to do something about Jaune ASAP.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man:
    • Glynda falls for Jaune and his genuine kindness and courtesy.
    • Yang, despite being The Tease, develops a serious interest in Jaune, but Jaune dreads she is more attracted to his image then him personally.
  • The Social Expert: Coco Adel, who, once she abandons her animosity toward Jaune, provides him invaluable tips during his date with Glynda.
  • So Proud of You: After Jaune's arrest, Roman gives him a talk that carries this vibe, even if he ultimately doesn't quite say the words. He admits that Jaune lasted under Cinder's employ for much longer than he originally expected, and equates the experience to getting to raise a child without dealing with a baby.
  • Spared By Adaptation: Thanks to Jaune's actions Penny, Pyrrha and Roman survive the events of Battle of Beacon.
  • Spit Take: This is how Jaune's mother reacts, when she is told her son has been dating Glynda Goodwitch while in Beacon.
  • Spotting the Thread: When confronted about, among other things, trying to cover up another death, the Mayor of Misenwood asks why would he have his men carry a body through the entire village to the mortician then demand said mortician not tell anyone.
  • Stealth Pun: There's a really subtle one in chapter 29 when Bran promises that he and Tai will "make a man out of" Ren. It's only once you remember that Ren is based on Hua Mulan that the Stealth Shout-Out makes sense.
  • Sure, Let's Go with That: A huge part of the fic. People give each other easy excuses to explain their behavior. The liars go with it. Hilarity Ensues.
    • Given his success rate with this trope, Jaune has arguably become a master at letting people deceive themselves. Now if he could someday manage to convince them of things that won't come back to bite him in the arse later on, that would be great. We're not complaining though.
    • Jaune tends to get hit by this trope too, albeit not as frequently as he inflicts it on others. Notably, when Weiss complained about "insane sisters and their demands", Jaune incorrectly assumed it was Yang who pressed her to ask him all kind of personal questions. Noticing that "Yang" and "mischief" are pretty much synonyms in Jaune's mind, Weiss saw no harm in rolling with it and pinning that one on her.
    • Ironwood comes to the conclusion that Ozpin hired Jaune specifically as a trump card against Salem. Ozpin's reaction is an insincere, "Yeah... sure."
    • When Jaune confronts Cinder during the battle of Beacon, she comes to believe that he had everything planned out, to happen as it did from her framing him so he could get close to Torchwick to turn him, to him being placed on Ironwood's ship so he could deactivate the Atlas robots, all to make her commit and draw her out. Jaune's response: "Sure, why not".
    • Torchwick actually realizes this is practically Jaune's motto and specifically tells Jaune it won't cut it with him. Later when Jaune uses it on Ironwood successfully Roman actually sniggers in the background.
  • Sustained Misunderstanding:
    • Due to a minor incident early on, Yang convinces Jaune that Weiss reads erotica novels. This belief spreads throughout the story since Blake never comes clean that the novel in question was hers.
    • In Misenwood, Qrow doesn't want to give his real name out and refers to himself as "Bran Ravenwen". Even though everyone else figures out his true identity once they talk to Ruby and Yang about him, Jaune takes a long time to learn his real name or relation to them because nobody ever bothers to tell him.
  • Taught by Experience: Jaune's combat training amounts to getting his ass kicked constantly by Neo until he figures out how to dodge her attacks, along with a fight against Roman to learn a few dirty tricks (which are of course demonstrated on him).
  • Teacher/Student Romance: Defied by Jaune in order to maintain his cover, much to his chagrin, as there are quite a few cute girls at Beacon. However, the beginnings of this are seen in his relationship with Glynda, despite technically being equals, with her mentoring him on how to become a better teacher.
  • That Came Out Wrong:
    • Jaune unknowingly unleashes a hurricane of these to Blake during one of their therapy sessions, who valiantly struggles to keep her mind out of the gutter. By the end she's left a groaning, blushing mess.
    Jaune: [about ointment] It'll hurt at first, but then it will start feeling really good — though you might feel a little sore afterwards.
    Blake: [mortified whine]
    • In a case of Poor Communication Kills, he also does the same to Ironwood regarding his completely platonic relationship with Penny. He never realises the double-meaning behind his words. This culminates in Ironwood giving off vibes of wanting to throw him in a dungeon, and Jaune fearing and hating him.
    • Ren when asked to bunk in a different room than Nora, Pyrrha and Velvet during their team's first mission:
    Ren: But I've been sleeping with my team for months.
    Nora: [snickers]
    Ren: I mean sleeping in the same room as my team!
  • The Bore: Beacon's very own Grimm Studies teacher, Peter Port.
  • The Tease:
    • Yang towards Jaune, especially after he didn't betrayed any interest in her. Actually, he did take notice of her but he was much more afraid of blowing his cover. For her part, Yang took his nonchalance as a challenge.
    • Neo towards Jaune as well. Besides ruthlessly beating him in fights, she seems to take her greatest pleasure in sexually frustrating him. Sometimes both at the same time, such as launching herself at him in a spar so her crotch impacts his face then putting her sword to his neck.
  • There Are No Therapists: A Defied Trope. For years Ozpin has been looking for someone for the position of Student Counsellor. A most difficult task given that such a person not only needs to be able to advice Huntsmen- and Huntresses-in-training within the context of their unique career, but also be someone they can look up to for guidance while remaining approachable and nonjudgmental enough for them to actually trust him or her with their problems without fear of losing face in front of a superior — as Mildly Military as it may be, Beacon is a combat school after all. In the end, the Headmaster got tired of waiting and nominated Jaune for the job.
  • Think Unsexy Thoughts: Invoked by name with mixed success.
    Jaune: [thinking] Think unsexy thoughts, think unsexy thoughts. Miss Goo- No I said unsexy!
  • Throwing the Distraction: When Cinder's found out, she throws Jaune into Ironwood's clutches to escape.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: All of Team CRDL, especially Cardin, go from bullies and racists to the biggest supporters of Faunuses in Beacon after Velvet saves Cardin's life from an Ursa. In the sequel, he has practically evolved into a Nice Guy.
  • Trademark Favorite Food:
    • Neo and her ice cream. Also an Exploited Trope once Jaune figured out that the best way to pacify her is to stockpile the stuff.
    • Coffee for most of Beacon's staff due to the special blend.
  • Training from Hell: Roman asked Neo to train Jaune because his death or exposure as a fraud would be very detrimental for the two of them. Neo gleefully obliged and while the training didn't make Jaune any stronger, he became very adept at surviving.
  • Troll:
    • Neo towards Jaune. It backfired on her once when she sat on Jaune's lap, playing along with the farce that they were in a relationship in front of Blake and Yang. Her intention was to make awkward and inexperienced little Jaune feel uncomfortable. Problem? He may be awkward and inexperienced with women, but Neo discovered that Jaune doesn't really qualify as "little".
    • Emerald derived more than a little of amusement from Mercury's Embarrassing Cover Up.
  • Understatement: While they prepare for hosting the tournament, Port ask Jaune whether or not he can lie. Jaune's answer? He might have told a few lies in his time.
  • Underestimating Badassery:
    • When faced with Jaune and Neo in Misenwood, the killer can only hold one of them at gunpoint due to how they positioned themselves. When he takes aim at Jaune, the latter is surprised that he genuinely thinks he's more dangerous than Neo.
    • When Nicolas Arc agrees to fight Jaune in order to get him to leave Beacon, he expects little resistance, not realising how much his son has changed over the few last months. This trope ends up being Double Subverted - while Jaune manages to put up a fairly good fight, he is still not strong enough to best his father. The real mistake on Nicolas' part was assuming that Jaune would not figure out a way to cheat. After all, what is the chance that Remnant's most successful conman will end up deceiving you?
  • Undying Loyalty:
    • Jaune builds a lot of this from his students and the Beacon staff. Team RVNN and CRDL even put themselves between Jaune and Atlas soldiers when Ironwood orders Jaune to be arrested.
    • Almost all of Beacon's students are willing to add an extra year to their training to help rebuild Beacon.
  • Unishment:
    • After Team RWBY's fight with the stolen Atlesian Knight prototype, Ruby was punished to attend mandatory counselling (Ruby-speech for "alone time with her crush") twice a week. Blake hanged a lampshade and pointed out that Ruby's face looked like someone just told her that her birthday and Christmas had come early this year.
    • Ruby actually tried to get herself "punished" in this exact manner before that, right after the incident at the docks at the end of Volume 1 in canon. Ozpin saw her intentions coming a mile away and instead assigned Ruby to assist Glynda as her punishment.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: An odd case. Jaune being a Butt-Monkey accounts for much of the comedy of the fic. On one hand, he has moral standards, is genuinely trying to help everyone, and has a good heart. On the other hand, all of his problems are very much well-deserved because they all came from him lying. He could easily destroy Cinder's plans just by revealing her, but that would mean revealing himself.
  • Unwanted Gift Plot: Due to a rumor started when Jaune caught Yang and Blake going through his underwear drawer, Winter believes Weiss is a huge fan of erotica and pull some strings to get her a copy of her little sister's "favorite" series long before it's officially released. While she hates the present, she does use it as extortion against Blake for the rest of the story, threatening to not let her read it whenever Blake gets on her nerves.
  • Villain Has a Point: The reason why Arthur Watts is so successful in dividing Vale when Jaune is arrested is because everything he says is factually correct: Beacon would be a high value target for criminals, Jaune's first instinct would be to ingratiate himself to his students, and whether or not Jaune is innocent of his crimes, Atlas comes out looking worse for it, either because they arrested an innocent man or because he was able to hide in plain sight for so long. Just to rub it in, he goes out of his way several times to remind the viewers that the allegations have not been proven yet, so he comes off as a neutral party.
  • Villainous Breakdown: In the finale, Cinder goes through various degrees of anger and fear, mostly directed towards Jaune. She ends up screaming his name repeatedly in futile rage, after having her plans ruined and her eye cut off. Memories of this failure and Jaune in particular keep haunting her even long after the battle.
  • Villainous Rescue: Roman goes out of his way to save Jaune from Cinder during the Battle of Beacon. Combines with Unwanted Rescue because Roman does so by framing Jaune as an accomplice, citing that Jaune will hate him for it but at least he'll be alive.
  • Voice with an Internet Connection: Coco serves as this to Jaune during his date with Glynda, seeing as how hopeless the guy is when it comes to romance.
  • Warrior Therapist: Jaune's role as a student counselor. However, he's not infallible in the role, as seen with his inability to solve the divide between Team RVNN.
  • We Can Rule Together: Cinder consistently tries to get Jaune fully on her side through seduction and promises of power. At one point he notes that he would have accepted her offers, had she made them a few months ealier. As it stands, Jaune is too concerned for Beacon to let Cinder complete her plan, let alone join her. Naturally, Cinder contributes his refusal to some greater ambition.
  • Weirdness Magnet: Jaune. To the point where, when asked, Glynda couldn't think of a single day where something insane hasn't happened since he arrived at Beacon. He even calls himself Jaune "hated by fate" Arc. On the other hand, he asked for it.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Ironwood genuinely believes himself to be acting in Vale's best interest by arresting Jaune, but by refusing to present any of his alleged evidence of the accused's crimes nor allowing anyone to contact the accused, he paints himself as a Knight Templar at best and a Jerkass acting out of petty jealousy at worst.
  • Wham Episode: Chapters 53 and 54 serve as this collectively. After dozens of chapters Jaune finally makes his loyalty clear, ruining any chances of continued cooperation with Cinder. He then gets arrested for treason by Ironwood and is placed in a situation where he can do nothing to stop Cinder's plan from coming to fruition.
  • Wham Line:
    • Early in the story, Jaune wonders how can he activate his aura. He decides to ask the same person who helped him with the transcripts.
    "What was his name again... Roman?"
    • Through most of the story Roman Torchwick remains entirely consistent with his canon version - a criminal whose only real motivation is staying alive in the face of Cinder's schemes. He is an ally to the protagonist, but is otherwise no more sympathetic than in the original show. And then he delivers this line:
    I expect you to live. Unlike half my team, when they decided to be heroes.
  • What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: Nicholas Arc's Semblance is being able to sense when it will rain. The man has zero issue with this, partly due to his disdain for other Hunters' overreliance on their Semblances.
    Nicholas: It's not useless. It lets me know when it's a bad idea to hang the washing out and when I should warn your mother to wrap up warm. I can't think of anything I'd rather have more. It also stops me getting overconfident.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Jaune chides himself all the time for all the morally ambiguous things he has to do to keep everything from falling apart, especially once his Snowball Lie grows so big that the fallout of getting discovered would affect not just himself but a lot of good people.
    • Jaune gives one to Glynda over asking Pyrrha to become the new Fall Maiden, demanding why she's so willing to sacrifice one of her students. Glynda gives him a slap and tearfully demands if he truly believes she cares so little about her students that she'd choose to do so if it wasn't the best possible option they have.
    • After Jaune finally comes clean about everything, Oobleck gives him one offscreen for using a national tragedy (destruction of the Vacuo Academy for Gifted Youths) as the basis of his Conveniently Unverifiable Cover Story.
  • Why Won't You Die?: Cinder quotes this trope word by word in her final confrontation with Jaune. Professor even agrees that he should had died already at that point, due to all the things he's been through. He pushes on though.
  • Worf Had the Flu: Jaune being beaten by Torchwick at the docks is something that was anticipated by Ruby and raises no eyebrows when it happens, because she assumes he was injured by tanking a huge Dust explosion to protect her and this trope was in effect. Of course, the Dust explosion didn't help him, but in reality it wouldn't have mattered because this Worf is a fraud who would get his ass kicked even without the Flu.
  • Worthy Opponent: Cinder considers Jaune to be the most challenging opponent she has ever faced due to his (faked) criminal brilliance. She still remains fairly smug though, until he ends up foiling her plan and leaving her injured and traumatised, after which the smugness gets replaced by paralising fear.
  • Would Hurt a Child: During his Motive Rant to Velvet, Marcus casually admits having used a child in one of his experiments, hoping that the young age would help with "adapting the animal parts". It didn't.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: Thanks to Jaune's warnings, Velvet is able to break Emerald's hold on Pyrrha, saving Penny from destruction. Unfortunately, Emerald switches her focus to a nearby Atlas soldier, brainwashing him into attacking Pyrrha on live TV. While Pyrrha doesn't die, the attack manages to expose Penny as an android, the apparent (to everyone else) recklessness of Atlas' forces creates the anger that Cinder exploits.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: Just when Yang finally gets the chance to set the record straight about her alleged romantic relationship with Blake, the latter unexpectedly plays along with the rumors to discourage Sun.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are:
    • Ruby managed to reassure Jaune that, while he can't magically solve every problem he comes across completely, his efforts do make things better — he just can't see it because he focuses too much on what he failed to accomplish and never stopping to think that the people he tries to help would be worse off now without his intervention.
    • Blake does it as well when Jaune is mid-Heroic BSoD after his mother has discovered where he teaches and is coming to take him home.

Professor Arc II: Headmaster Arc contains examples of:

  • Accent Slip-Up: Lisa Lavender speaks in a rough country accent when off camera.
  • invokedAccidental Innuendo: Upon reuniting with Weiss, Ruby tackles her and responds to Weiss's criticisms by asking Weiss to insult her more.
  • Accidental Misnaming: A variation. Jinn tries to play herself off as a shark Faunus while her nature prevents her from telling lies. The guard instead marks her down as an eel Faunus.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: After having some time to calm down, this is Ozpin's reaction to Jaune's Batman Gambit to bluff Salem with fake Relics (a box of cigarettes and a wrapped broom for choice and creation respectively) and making everyone else believe he had the actual Relics as well. He's the only member of Beacon's staff to harbor no ill will, and even states he can hold this over Salem's head for millenia.
    Ozpin: Salem has been bested - tricked even - and sent scurrying away with her tail between her legs. What's more victory was won with only a box of cigarettes and a broom. If she captures me a thousand years from now and puts me through the worst torture, I'll think back on this moment and ride it out. I'm never going to let her forget it.
  • Adaptational Intelligence: Fria in canon was a mostly senile woman. This version of Fria is far more aware of her surroundings-at least enough to snark at Cinder.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Hazel Rainart, by virtue of Outdated by Canon. Professor Arc II: Headmaster Arc was wrapping up right as Volume 8 of RWBY was being released, which provided additional information on Hazel's background and motivations, information that made Hazel's motive much more logically consistent.note  Without this context, Coeur was left with only the apparent Insane Troll Logic of Hazel blaming Ozpin for his sister's death to the Grimm instead of Salem, the queen of the Grimm, and thus leans into a portrayal of Hazel as a irrational man obsessed with revenge to the point of being willing to doom the entire world by summoning the Gods himself, even though he knows that Gretchen wouldn't want him to do that.
  • Adaptational Wimp: Salem is interpreted in this fic as not knowing much about how to fight, being physically fragile besides her immortality, and not really being immediately threatening without her Grimm legions. Later, Volume 8 shows Salem in combat for the first time, and establishes that she doesn't know much about how to fight, that she is physically fragile besides her immortality... and that she is extremely threatening without her Grimm legions.
  • Adopt the Dog: After Jaune and Glynda break up, Neo gives him a bowl of ice cream and doesn't mess with him while he grieves.
  • Agony of the Feet: Both Ruby and Blake drop the rubble they're carrying while discussing plans to see Weiss again. Both of their loads land right on Yang's feet.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Adam is this for Blake, as she laments how mad he became.
  • All Men Are Perverts: After Jaune instates the new student counselor, twenty different male students suddenly need counseling. Jinn being a sexy blue all-but-naked lady may have something to do with that, though she does wear clothes for her sessions.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents:
    • Ruby and Yang are terrified of heading back to Patch with Blake and Team CRDL in tow for fear of Taiyang acting like this.
    • An omake suggests that Blake has even more to fear from her mother Kali in regards to this. The main story proves this to be true when Kali visits Beacon: some of her antics include cuddling her daughter in public, complaining she's not eating enough, and encouraging Blake to "go the harem route".
    • When Jaune brings this up in chapter 57, Ghira admits its invoked as a form of punishment for running off with the White Fang and making no contact at all with them in 5 years.
  • Amicable Exes: How the relationship between Jaune and Glynda ends. After Jaune's deception and the subsequent lack of trust between the two presents itself, they slowly fall out of love, not helped by both sides being unwilling to talk about their relationship. Nevertheless, they remain close friends and in fact, become more at ease around one another after breaking up.
  • And Then What?: Jaune asks this to Salem to get her to stop. Specifically that if she successfully killed all humans and Faunus on Remnant, there would be nothing left to do and she'll eventually Go Mad from the Isolation.
    • Salem also points this out to Hazel, that even if he killed Oscar, Ozpin will just reincarnate into someone else. If he killed the next one, Ozpin will just reincarnate again and again ad nauseam.
  • Appliance Defenestration:
    • Jaune throws a chair through a window in a fit of rage over hearing Ozpin's plans.
    • Winter does the same with her office phone after a series of calls from Jaune.
  • Armor-Piercing Response:
    • When Blake starts ranting about how unfair it is that Roman is being Easily Forgiven at Beacon, the latter promptly reminds her that Beacon gave her a second chance after learning of her own criminal past.
    • After dealing with Kali, Blake starts to complain about how embarrassing she is, only to stop dead in her tracks when Ruby mentions how she wishes Summer was still around to embarrass her.
    • When Salem claims she'll just kill all people in the world so Ozpin can't reincarnate, Jaune points out that if she were the only living person in the world, its likely Ozpin will just eventually possess her.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Jaune is stuck with the horrible task of rebuilding Beacon, avoiding arrest by Ironwood, and Cinder coming back for revenge. All pressing issues, but what makes him shed a tear is that he has no access to Beacon's coffee (which is currently under a trade embargo).
  • Artifact Title: In-Universe: despite Weiss being taken to Atlas by her father and no indication of when she'll return, Ruby, Blake, and Yang refuse to be referred to as anything other than Team RWBY.
  • Ascended Extra: Jinn gets to do more than just answer questions. She joins Beacon as a student counselor, taking on Jaune's former position.
  • Asshole Victim: One so vile that even his own family barely mourns him. Jacques Schnee was a heartless businessman who would cross any moral line for the sake of profit. After his death at Adam's hands, his wife Willow shows no sorrow, and acknowledges he may as well have had a death wish considering how many enemies he made.
  • Ass Shove: The chapter 2 omake (which the main story hints might be canon) has Penny smuggle goods to Weiss via this method. It's not as gross as most examples because Penny is a robot with a special compartment built in that area that can keep objects safe and clean, but then Winter steps into the room as Weiss is reaching into Penny's skirt...
  • Awesome, but Impractical: After Pyrrha gains the full power of the Fall Maiden, she can only use it as a single massive attack she can barely aim.
  • Awful Truth: How Jinn views her powers. She knows literally everything (besides the future) and laments that it's hard to be romantically interested in someone when you know everything from who they've had sex with to how many bacteria are currently living in their body.
  • Baby Of The Bunch: When Oscar is assigned to Team RWBY, he's treated as this, being the youngest on the team. This is a source of immense irritation to the millennia-old Ozpin for whom Oscar is his latest host. Ruby is particularly overbearing, which Ozpin deduces is likely due to her being the previous Baby Of The Bunch and being thrilled at the chance to be the big sister figure for a change.
  • Bad to the Last Drop: Ruby's attempt to make coffee for Jaune creates a truly awful cup due to her having no idea what she's doing. Even Jaune's request of "Cream and two sugars" confuses her.
  • Bait-and-Switch Comment:
    • While chewing out Team RWBY for adding themselves to the guest list for Jacques Schnee's party, Glynda reveals her real problem was that they added Roman to the list as well.
    • When Jaune calls Blake a criminal, she retorts that she left White Fang and atoned for her actions. Jaune remarks that she went through his mail and falsified official documents, which is a crime in and of itself.
    • When Winter arrives in Beacon, Jaune mentions his surprise that "daddy-dearest" let her come.
    Winter: I do not answer to Jacques Schnee.
    Jaune: I meant Ironwood. ... Did I get it wrong? My apologies. I forgot Ironwood is just the one you wish you could call "Daddy".
    • Glynda scolds Jaune for picking a fight with Winter... because it's unbecoming to pick fights with those weaker than you.
  • Batman Gambit:
    • Blake gets the remaining members of Team RWBY on the guest list for Jacques Schnee's charity dinner by slipping an acceptance letter to said dinner's invitation into Jaune's paperwork at the end of the day, knowing he'd be too tired to actually read it before signing.
    • During their battle, Jaune knows that his opponent would expect him to attack at their exposed back so he instead charges from their front. It works, and he catches Cinder off-guard for a second.
    • In order to get Raven's cooperation, Ironwood offers an extremely high payment and accepts her first counter offer, knowing she'd go higher but also knowing that if she'd demanded ten times as much, he'd have little choice but to pay it.
  • Battle Butler: Klein is both a butler and a bodyguard, easily disabling the White Fang terrorist who took him hostage while conversing with Ruby and Weiss without missing a beat.
  • Bavarian Fire Drill: Ozpin explains the benefits of this trope to Oscar while escaping from Leonardo. In context, it's incredibly exaggerated, since the escape in question involved crashing through a classroom roof at terminal velocity, asking the present teacher if he can use the bathroom, and taking Sun with him on the basis that he needs directions.
    Ozpin: I told you. Adopt a calm face, speak clearly and act as though everything is normal. You would be surprised how many people it works on.
    Oscar: No one in there just thought that was normal! NO ONE!
  • Bestiality Is Depraved: One of Ozpin's theories as to the origin of Faunus heavily implies this. After he came back to life, they were just there, and a lot of people didn't seem to want to explain how it happened.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: After Oscar confesses that he wants to be just like Jaune, Jaune offers Oscar the same training. Oscar eagerly accepts, spending the rest of the night "training" under Neo. The next day he can barely move and screams whenever he sees the color pink.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: Carrier Nevermore are designed to be smaller and more intelligent than the regular variety to serve as spies. Said intelligence gives them the capacity to feel emotions such as pleasure and enjoyment, so the carrier Nevermore Neo took as a pet is quickly becoming loyal to her as she's the only one to ever show it affection.
  • Bedmate Reveal: In an omake for chapter 25, Oscar climbs into bed after training with Neo, only to wake up Weiss who's currently in said bed. He didn't get the memo about Weiss's return to Team RWBY, and he'd been using her old bed while filling in for her.
  • Being Evil Sucks: Ilia comes to regret being part of the White Fang under Adam, as she's seen them devolve from well-intentioned extremists to murderous terrorists.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Taiyang and Raven's dynamic taken to the extreme, to the horror of everyone forced to watch.
  • Benevolent Genie: Jinn does her best to aid Jaune's faction even after her questions have been used up, such as hinting at Cinder's weakness and acting as a distraction. It doesn't break her rules because she knows that Salem seeks humanity's destruction; as a being created to aid humanity, any act against Salem's minions would fulfill that requirement.
  • Better than Sex: Oscar's first taste of the "teacher's coffee" has him wondering if he just lost his virginity; Ozpin assures him it's something far greater than sex.
  • Better the Devil You Know: This is ultimately why Fria chooses to give Cinder the Winter Maiden powers. On the one hand, Cinder is a megalomaniacal sociopath who is only out for herself. On the other, this makes her incredibly predictable and, unlike Winter and Penny, she isn't going to needlessly sacrifice herself out of loyalty to one person or entity, ensuring that the powers won't go missing.
  • Betty and Veronica: Jaune has two major love interests: Glynda as the responsible Betty, and Neo as the edgy Veronica. He discusses this with Oscar.
  • Beware the Nice Ones:
  • Big Damn Heroes: Twice in the siege on Atlas.
    • First, Menagerie arrives and takes out the Grimm horde that swam around the coast to attack from the sea.
    • Second, Raven takes down the last horde of Grimm when Cinder's too busy and Pyrrha's too exhausted.
  • Bigger Is Better in Bed: According to Kali, Ghira is what Jaune calls ridiciously large, which is part of why Kali's "very happily married".
  • Blatant Lies: Jaune tells Glynda's combat class that she decided to have them help with clearing rubble both as good exercise and to teach them that there's more to Huntsman life than fighting. Said students immediately clue in that it's because Glynda and Roman are in the infirmary after getting into a fight and clearing rubble is just a way to save some lien.
  • Blessed with Suck: Jinn laments knowing everything when Ruby brings her to the infirmary after she knocks herself out, and Jinn knows full well both what Tsune plans to do to her and how aroused the woman is at the thought of it. A later chapter notes she can't share any information someone doesn't have without using one of that era's questions, not even ones like "Where's the bathroom?" or "How are you today?"
  • Bond One-Liner: After successfully removing Cinder's Maiden powers, Jaune delivers a single line to her.
    Jaune: Knight takes Queen. Checkmate.
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • Jaune scraps Ozpin's scheme of collecting the Relics in favor of just letting them stay hidden, and converting Beacon into a fortress to defend against Salem. In chapter 19, he successfully convinces Ozpin to go along with it, citing that without Cinder, Salem will need to spend at least a few years obtaining another competent female minion to make into a Maiden and open the vaults. In the meantime, Ozpin can train up his new body.
    • During the siege on Atlas, Raven is hired for her powerful Semblance to both evacuate civilians and bring in reinforcements. It's noted that because Atlas was able to safely evacuate, they could retreat in stages whenever they faced getting overwhelmed on top of using their full arsenal without having to worry about civilian casualties.
  • Borrowed Catchphrase: When Cinder again gloats about Jaune's supposed brilliance, Jinn has this most appropriate response.
    Jinn: Sure, why not?
  • Both Sides Have a Point:
    • Sienna feels that for the White Fang to truly succeed, they need a combination of Ghira's and Adam's tactics: using enough force to show they are a genuine threat then negotiating with the kingdoms as equals.
    • After his meeting with Raven, Qrow tells Jaune that while Raven messed up in running away from everything, the rest of Team STRQ messed up in never listening to her concerns.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Averted. Even though Atlas has several days to shell the approaching Grimm horde, it's noted they only have enough ammunition to kill between half and two thirds of it with one of their top generals noting they'll run out of ammo before the horde arrives.
  • Brought Down to Normal: In chapter 19 Cinder's Maiden powers are fully transferred into Pyrrha.
  • Broad Strokes: Some details in the first story that were later contradicted by canon (Winter being disinherited rather than the SDC heir, Adam having a huge facial scar that makes his Clark Kenting impossible, etc.) apply to this one.
  • Brutal Honesty:
    • Jinn knows everything about anyone who comes to her for counseling, resulting in most being too off-put to return for a second visit.
    • When trying to tactfully explain why Adam might be willing to attack the Schnee Manor, Blake is interrupted by Sienna who says Adam would do it because he's "an edgy twat".
  • Bullying a Dragon: Ozpin shows what happens when you try to capture/intimidate a person who has centuries of experience and Resurrective Immortality. He not only verbably runs circles around everyone who "ambushed" him, he outright escapes without breaking a sweat then instigates what amounts to a rebellion with just a few sentences. To say Salem's people never really had a chance is putting it mildly.
  • Call-Back: In chapter 9, Winter finds Penny reading some of the smut Winter bought for Weiss in the previous story.
  • Cannot Tell a Lie: Jinn is incapable of lying.
  • Can't Kill You, Still Need You: After Cinder knocks herself unconscious, Jaune decides against killing her, citing both that she has information they can use and they don't know where her Fall Maiden powers would go.
  • Cassandra Truth: Cinder refuses to believe Watts when he points out that Jaune isn't nearly as much of a genius or tactical mastermind as she thinks he is.
  • The Chains of Commanding: The strain of being headmaster is so hard on Jaune, he hopes to find Oscar in the hopes he can get Ozpin to take back the job. Jaune explains his reasoning to Glynda: he is afraid of screwing up his job at Beacon, fearing that his luck could run out, and that a student might not come back.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Jaune's very first official role was as Beacon's counselor. His ability to counsel (or rather to bullshit like he knows how to counsel) is what finally ends the war with Salem.
  • Coincidental Dodge: Qrow accidentally dodges an attack by Cinder because he dropped his Scroll and bent down to pick it up. He dodges the next several attacks by tripping over Leonardo and tumbling down the stairs.
  • Complete Immortality: Ozpin speaks at length about how being decreed immortal by the god of light made Salem truely unkillable with no loophole possible to stop it.
  • Complexity Addiction: Much like Cinder, Winter and Ironwood obsess over Jaune's cunning schemes. Winter steals a smut book she gave Cinder and reads it extensively to find the "hidden message" Jaune snuck in there because neither she nor Ironwood believe that he honestly has no idea why she's acting differently or that he wants nothing to do with her.
  • invokedConfirmation Bias: Because Winter thinks Jaune slipped Cinder a hidden message into the smut book she was lent, Winter manages to "decode" a message telling Cinder to help Jaune take control of Atlas.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment:
    • As punishment for adding themselves to Jacques Schnee's guest list, Jaune gives Team RWBY detention with Glynda so they can learn proper etiquette (which she plans to do by launching the cutlery at them as she explains their use) and makes Blake act as Roman's chaperone while being responsible for his misdeeds as punishment for coming up with the plan. Being stuck with Blake is also Roman's punishment for siccing Neo on Jaune.
    • For messing around with Pyrrha's Maiden powers unsupervised, Jaune suggests Tsune give all of teams RVNN and RWBY full medical checkups.
    • Since Ozpin refuses to take on his old headmaster position in any capability, Jaune enrolls him as a student, specifically as the new fourth member of Team RWBY.
    • After being captured, Cinder is allowed to watch television in their cell but the only show that plays is My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic and they can't turn it off. They also see being forced to eat with a spork as cruelty beyond even Salem.
    • After Beacon manages to prevent Atlas from falling to the Grimm, Kali embarrasses Blake by going along with the rumors that she's pregnant with Jaune's baby. Ghira reveals that they both know the rumor isn't true, but this is Blake's punishment for not calling for five years.
  • Cool, but Inefficient: Both Sienna and Ilia fight with whips, which Jaune lampshades as horribly impractical for allies, enemies, and the user due to how widely they have to be swung to deal any damage and that only the tips can cause significant damage.
  • The Coup: Just like canon, Adam and other extremist White Fang members attempt to kill Sienna and take over the Fang. While Jaune and the others do manage to save Sienna, it's not before Adam and the others can make a statement claiming that she had been Killed Off for Real by Beacon to try and galvinize the rest of the Fang.
  • Crazy Enough to Work: Jaune manages to get the drop on Cinder by attacking from the one direction no one would be stupid enough to attack from: the front.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Before team RWBY departs for the Grimmlands with Cinder, Jaune entrusts a bag to Blake and says she should use it when the time is right. Once Cinder obtains the Relic of Destruction, she immediately makes to kill the students and desert now that she has its power, only for Blake to respond by giving Cinder a letter from Jaune, in which he predicted her intentions perfectly like he always does, which shocks her enough to spare RWBY and keep cooperating. Blake later takes care to burn the rest of the bag's contents, a ridiculous number of similar letters describing any possible intentions Jaune could come up with for Cinder, of which Blake only showed the one that turned out correct.
  • Cuddle Bug:
    • Kali doesn't go a single scene without hugging someone.
    • Ruby relentlessly cuddles anyone who shares her bed.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • Yang versus Raven is completely one sided in the latter's favor. Yang tries to attack Raven and Cinder, to keep them from reaching the Jinn of knowledge. Both of them being both maidens and adult Huntresses, it ends as well you'd expect for Yang, who is still in training. The only reason Yang survives is because Raven spared her, as she was secretly sabotaging Cinder all along.
    • Team RWBY and Oscar fight an Oobelisk outside Vale. Besides all the Grimm being small and weak, the Oobelisk's golem form is made from a tree rather than stone, so rather than a Mighty Glacier, it's weak and fragile while still being slow enough for Yang to walk out of range of it's attacks. During the fight, Yang admits that she feels like a bully.
    • Hazel tears a swath through Beacon, bowling over the students and faculty trying to stop him before stomping most of the strongest heroes and Tyrian all at the same time. Ordinarily his physical might wouldn't be enough, but the Crown of Choice shows him the future consquences of any of his choices, letting him always make the perfect tactical decisions to win.
  • Cut a Slice, Take the Rest: After Cinder claims credit for capturing top White Fang officers in Atlas, Ironwood pours himself a glass of brandy then chugs the bottle.
  • Cut Himself Shaving: Played for Laughs in the chapter 27 omake. After a confrontation with Summer, Raven wakes up three days later in the infirmary and assumes she tripped and hit her head. Qrow laughingly claims she "hit her head" on the wall, bed, window, out the door, all down the hallway, and finally down a staircase.
  • Cuteness Proximity: Neo decides to keep a tiny Nevermore as a pet to Jaune's chagrin.
  • Damned by Faint Praise: During the after party after Blake lied about being in a relationship with Jaune, Ghira admits he'd prefer Jaune over Adam. Jaune claims its not much to be considered preferable to a mass murdering psychopath.
  • Dangerous Device Disposal Debacle: Lampshaded when Jaune mentions that the Aura transfer machine was destroyed by Cinder. Glynda replies that all she did was shoot out one of the glass panels, which can be easily replaced.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • When Blake tries to pretend she has Super-Senses by saying she can hear a Bullhead coming, Cardin snarks that they've been able to see it for the last five minutes.
    • When Qrow asks if Ozpin's still feeling bitter towards Cinder, Ozpin remarks that yes, he just might feel slightly bitter towards the woman who murdered him.
    • Ozpin tries to excuse his loss against Cinder, citing that she was likely training since she was five. Ironwood snarks that clearly her fifteen years of training far outmatched Ozpin's fifteen hundred years of training.
  • Death by Adaptation: It is revealed that Mercury and Emerald were killed during the Battle of Beacon.
  • Did I Just Say That Out Loud?: While talking with Whitley, Yang remarks that his entire family is "Rubysexual", mortifying herself, Ruby, and Whitley.
  • Did You Just Scam Cthulhu?: Jaune forces Salem to retreat by bluffing her that he brought the other three Relics to her location, which would summon the Gods if brought too close to the Relic of Destruction she holds.
  • Didn't Think This Through:
    • Pyrrha tries to blow off some steam in a six on one match against teams RWBY and RVNN using her Maiden powers, despite not being fully trained. The resultant hurricane knocks everyone around quite a bit and lands them in the infirmary.
    • Vernal tries to keep Yang and Blake from reaching Raven and Cinder but her constant dodging gives Yang a chance to simply run right past her while Blake fights her.
    • Cinder is tasked with using the Relic of Knowledge to find the other Relics but is offered any remaining questions as a prize. When she uses the first question for her own goal, Yang uses up the last question before Cinder can ask about the Relics.
    • Narrowly averted during the rescue mission at the Schnee Mansion. One of the White Fang members suggests they could all gang up on Ruby, who retorts by asking if they really think it's a good idea to follow a sniper down a narrow tunnel.
  • Disappointed in You:
    • When Jaune learns Team RWBY added themselves to the guest list for Jacques Schnee's party, he tells them that not only is he disappointed that they'd do such a thing, but he's even more disappointed that he's honestly not surprised they would do so.
    • Sienna weaponizes this while interrogating Ilia by having Blake give her a What the Hell, Hero? speech about how disappointed Blake is with Ilia.
  • Disappointed by the Motive: Everyone, including Salem herself, find Hazel's reason for joining Salem disappointing due to the sheer Insane Troll Logic of wanting to kill Ozpin for his sister getting killed by Grimm, by joining forces with the creator and ruler of the Grimm.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Oscar is almost constantly distracted by the female members of Teams RWBY and RVNN.
  • Do Wrong, Right: A rare Played for Drama example. Jaune gets chewed out by Glynda over his deception of Salem. Not for doing it, but for not telling her about it. It becomes one more sign that their relationship has utterly flatlined.
  • Dramatic Irony: In-universe, the omniscient Jinn cracks up a bit at Cinder's pontification over Jaune's supposed genius.
  • The Dreaded: Jaune has become this for anyone who opposes him. Best exemplified by Vernal, who flees the moment she sees Professor Arc arrive into battle.
  • Dump Them All: Ultimately, Jaune resolves the issue of his Unwanted Harem by not resolving it. Over a decade later, Yang, Ruby, Neo, and Cinder are all still pursuing him with various degrees of aggression, and much of his time is spent dodging or ignoring their attention.
  • Emotion Suppression: Salem has no one in her castle to talk to or to relate to, her minions have no personal connection to her beyond just being minions. So when Jaune offers to play the therapy card on her it works wonders, and she spends several hours just talking to him about her past, glad to finally have someone, anyone she can hold a good conversation with. This leads to another realistic moment for Jaune who deduces that, the countless years of solitude have left her depressed as hell, as opposed to Ozpin, whom as least had a change to live several lifetimes with other people, and as such had happy memories to call upon when the times got tough.
  • invokedEnforced Method Acting: Jaune doesn't tell anyone but Neo and Roman his plan to drive off Salem because he needs Ozpin's utter terror at said plan to be genuine or Salem won't buy it.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: Team RWBY's reason for being terrified over the role in the mission to retrieve the Relic of Destruction from Salem's castle. Not the risk of dying, but the high stakes over what would happen if they fail scares them.
  • Epic Fail: In an omake, the remaining faculty loses control of Beacon entirely within fifteen minutes of Jaune and Glynda leaving for Atlas.
  • Epiphany Therapy: Averted. Oscar and Jaune act as each other's counselors, opening up about their respective issues. They don't actually solve their problems, but are glad to have someone they can vent to.
  • Even the Girls Want Her: Due to a rumor that Blake is dating Roman, Yang has had several girls asking if she's single now.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Despite Ironwood's grudge against Jaune, he won't interfere with Beacon's reconstruction, out of respect for Ozpin.
    • Sienna confesses that the White Fang has to demonize their enemies, such as Winter and Jaune, because few are comfortable trying to kill a "good and normal person who just happens to disagree with them politically", but plenty are willing to take up arms against monstrous villains.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Inverted. Watts springs Cinder from Beacon's cell by setting off all the emergency alarms, counting on the faculty to prioritize the safety of the students over one prisoner.
  • Evil-Detecting Dog: Zwei, in the presence of Raven.
    • "Evil" is a strong word for Oz, but Zwei can somehow tell the difference between Ozpin (who he doesn't like) and Oscar (who he does).
  • Evil Mentor: What Cinder believes Jaune serves as for Blake due to her unofficial role as his secretary. Exploited by Jaune to ensure Cinder will cooperate during the mission to retrieve the Relic of Destruction by using Blake as his proxy
  • Exact Words:
    • With Roman in charge of Beacon's finances, he quickly finds a way to hire the students out as mercenaries and gives them a larger cut of the money if they get a higher grade. When Jaune calls it stealing, he responds that it's not stealing, it's merely "incentivizing academic excellence".
    • Cinder asks the Jinn of Knowledge what Jaune's master plan is for her and, by extension, Salem. Said plans are "To have Neo stab Cinder in the throat" and "To come up with a plan to deal with Salem".
    • When Jaune taunts Cinder over her failure and imprisonment, Ozpin suggests Jaune let someone unbiased talk to her instead then starts taunting Cinder himself. After Glynda calls him on it, Ozpin cites that he never said he was unbiased.
    • Winter's eventual plan to allow Weiss to visit Beacon is to convince Ironwood it'd be better diplomatically if she brought a team of students along during her visit and not mentinoning that Weiss would be one of them.
    • While trying to find an older Huntsman to escort Team RWBY, Roman tells Jaune he has an idea: Letting Neo escort them. When told it's a terrible idea, Roman retorts that he said he had "an idea" not that he had a good idea.
    • Part of Jaune's propaganda campaign against the White Fang is to bring up the rising Grimm numbers, leaving out that it's caused by the Oobelisks, and instead letting people think it's because of the various Huntsmen who died in the attack on Beacon.
    • While being interrogated, Jinn answers all questions with "I can't answer that" or "I won't be answering you any time this century" because she literally can't answer any more questions for the next hundred years.
  • Exactly What I Meant to Say: Upon learning Team RWBY also added Roman to the lists of guests for Jacques Schnee's charity dinner, Glynda recommends execution as punishment.
    Jaune: You mean expulsion.
    Glynda: No. No, I do not.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: Salem invokes this when she asks Cinder what happens when someone who has never known affection or acknowledgement suddenly receives an abundance of both. Cinder responds that they become loyal to whoever showed them affection and that it's how she keeps Emerald in line, then realizes that Neo's pet Nevermore is now loyal to Jaune and Neo.
  • Failed Attempt at Drama: Vernal's bold (and false) declaration that she's the Spring Maiden is wasted on Yang who's too pissed to care about anything but beating her mother.
  • Fate Worse than Death: The prospect of this is what makes Salem finally start to pull back from her goal to wipe out humanity. Ozma reincarnates in the body of a person. Salem is a person. As potential hosts for Ozma die, there will come a point where Salem is the best or only candidate to receive him. She will have to deal with her most hated enemy living in her head, and the only escape will be once her own mind is subsumed into the Ozma identity like so many others. Her new plan is to keep a zoo of humans alive to host Ozma, which is almost as bad, but baby steps.
  • First Period Panic: Salem regals Jaune of Cinder's first period, in which she screamed in panic while believing she was dying. Watts apparently didn't help the issue by confirming that she'd be dying soon, leading to her crying in her bed.
  • Five-Finger Discount: Neo steals a birdcage then uses her Semblance to make the shop owner think she both paid and flashed him.
  • Flanderization:
    • Blake's obsession with the White Fang, Yang's romantic obsession with Jaune, and Cinder's belief in Jaune's supposed power go into overdrive.
  • Fluffy Tamer: Neo takes a carrier Nevermore (a smaller, more intelligent variety of Nevermore) as a pet.
  • Foe Romance Subtext: At one point, Salem tells Cinder that if she keeps talking up Jaune's cunning, she's going to start assuming the other woman has "ulterior motives" regarding him.
  • Freak Out: Qrow has a bonafide panic attack when he's led to believe that he's standing in a room with three of the Relics - and Salem is on her way to Vale with the fourth.
  • Friend-or-Idol Decision: Winter finds herself stuck between helping Weiss or obeying General Ironwood's orders.
  • Friendly Enemy: Discussed. When Winter asks Weiss if she hates her for keeping her from her team, Weiss replies that while she is mad at Winter, and will try and defy her, she still accepts Winter as a sister.
  • Freudian Excuse: Several of Raven's actions and traits which rubbed people the wrong way are described as Qrow to be the result of being raised in a Bandit Clan which gave her a very different worldview from most people which results in her commiting at times callous acts because she sees them as perfectly normal from said worldview.
  • The Gadfly: In an omake where the two are placed on a team with Ozpin and Sienna, Jinn trolls Cinder whenever the latter tries to figure out Jaune's master plan. Every time Cinder comes up with what she believes to be a foolproof plan, Jinn suggests Jaune might be expecting it.
  • Gambit Roulette: Cinder's estimations of Jaune's plotting quickly reaches the point where she not only believes that her own plot to kill Ozpin was part of his own plan, but that the White Fang murdering Jacques Schnee was part of Jaune's plan to marry the widowed Willow Schnee.
  • General Failure: Downplayed with Salem during the Siege of Vale. She admits that warfare, direct combat, and strategy aren't her forte having left it to Ozma in their original life, and thus recruits minions who are to cover for it. Fortunately for Vale, by the time she decides to engage in open warfare her minions are down to a religious fanatic of questionable sanity and a man with grief management issues. While both are competent one on one combatants, neither has a knack for strategy, leaving her with no ideas better than tying to Zerg Rush the city's well defended walls.
  • "Get Out of Jail Free" Card: Roman claims that Nora has a "Get Out of Bullshit Free" card for smuggling him cigars.
  • Gilligan Cut: When Kali makes him lay his head in her lap, Jaune insists he's not going to sleep in her lap no matter what she does. The very next scene has Oscar and Blake walking in on Jaune sleeping in Kali's lap.
  • Go Mad from the Isolation: Well, not mad, but the Jinn has gotten tired of being hidden for years, and begs Jaune to help her leave.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Played for Laughs in an omake. Jinn reminds Blake that her "running away" problem has always improved things for herself and others, which leads to Blake running away from every confrontation, including conversations and detentions.
  • Good Is Not Soft: Jaune and Glynda really bring the hammer down hard on Team RWBY for putting themselves on the guest list to Jacques' charity dinner.
  • Head-Tiltingly Kinky: In an omake, Neo thanks Jaune for letting her keep a tiny Nevermore by having sex with him. Salem, who's watching through the Nevermore's eyes, tilts her head, as does Cinder when she walks in.
  • Heads I Win, Tails You Lose: Sienna summarizes attacking Beacon as either the White Fang loses and alienates everyone or they win and they alienate everyone on top of endangering every faunus living in Vale.
  • Healing Factor: Discussed. Ozpin states Salem heals faster than normal, to the point her wounds visibly closed in front of him the one time he cut her. He is also certain she could reattach a lost limb, but he is certain she couldn't outright regrow new body parts if she was torn apart. Several plans are then based on seperating her body parts across the world.
  • Heel Realization: Sienna realizes that at some point, the White Fang went from well intentioned extremists to a group of bloodthirsty psychopaths eager to wage war on humanity.
  • Heroic RRoD: Ozpin can fight in Oscar's body well enough to defeat Tyrian, but doing so breaks several of Oscar's bones, tears his muscles, and dislocates at least a few joints.
  • How Do I Shot Web?: According to Qrow, he and Raven needed a lot of practice to get used to their bird forms, struggling to even walk at first, let alone fly.
  • Humiliation Conga: Cinder. Her attempt to ask the Jinn questions is foiled by Yang when the blonde steals the last one from her. Her battle with Jaune ends with her banging her head on the ceiling. She is drained of her Maiden powers, imprisoned, no longer welcomed by Salem, and as a final kick in the teeth, is forced to watch a little girl's show in her cell.
  • Hypocrite:
    • Ironwood tells Winter that her father is extremely stubborn and always believes he knows best while in the same conversation refusing to acknowledge Weiss could still be loyal to Jaune and resent Ironwood and Winter for using her against the man.
    • Cinder mentally criticizes Watts' arrogance, all while declaring that only she could possibly match Jaune's "brilliance".
  • Hypocrite Has a Point: Ozpin might have pushed his work onto others as Jaune is trying to do to him, but Ozpin not only was the headmaster of Beacon for 145 years in total, but has been doing paperwork for roughly 600 years and has earned his current break from it.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Ozpin tells Jaune to stop taunting Cinder, then promptly starts taunting her himself.
  • I Am the Noun: Ozpin invokes this on Jaune's behalf, citing that for the sake of appearances, as headmaster, Jaune is Beacon.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: Oscar is a downplayed example. When he was just a farm kid, he never really wanted more out of life than what he had. But after having Ozpin in his head, he felt like The Chosen One, but being at Beacon makes him feel Overshadowed by Awesome since everyone is far superior to him in every way.
  • I Know You Know I Know: In an omake where Ozpin, Sienna, Jinn, and Cinder are placed on a team together, every time Cinder thinks she's come up with a foolproof plan against Jaune, Jinn suggests Jaune might expect her to do exactly that, driving Cinder to think up a new counter plan to counter his counter plan.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: After their failure at Haven, Hazel offers Tyrian a drink from Qrow's flask. Tyrian downs the whole thing.
    • After Cinder claims all the credit for capturing several White Fang operatives for Beacon, Ironwood pours himself a glass of brandy and chugs the rest of the bottle.
  • I Need to Go Iron My Dog: To get out of helping Roman and Oobleck, Nora claims her imaginary friend needs help. Roman goes along with it because she smuggled him some cigars the week prior.
  • I Shall Taunt You:
    • Ozpin resorts to this to put Cinder off guard so he can escape her ambush.
    • Jaune likewise spends a good deal of his fight against Cinder taunting them over their failures.
    • Jaune's "honor duel" against Adam consists of taunting him over a (fake) relationship with Blake then desperately trying to survive his enraged attacks.
  • I'll Take Two Beers Too: When meeting Qrow to ask about his meeting with Raven, Jaune orders three vodka mixers for the two of them and Neo, only for Qrow to tell him to order himself something too.
  • I'm a Man; I Can't Help It: A variation with Oscar who points out he can't help getting aroused and having sexy thoughts about Team RBY as he's fourteen.
  • Immune to Fate: Though the power of the Relics is absolute, there is one exception: the Brother Gods, and anything directly containing their divine power, are not beholden to the Relics they created. For example, Jinn is free to give out some information about the Brothers' outward actions, but can't spend a question to reveal knowledge about their thoughts and intentions because they are beyond even her power. The Relics themselves are thus not beholden to the powers of the others as well. Hazel wearing the Crown of Choice is able to curb-stomp most of the heroes at once using his prescience of their imminent moves, with even their attempted curve-balls already fated and predicted. But Jaune realizes the Crown's weakness: it cannot account for the other Relics in its predictions of fate. He resolves the battle by calling Cinder back from the Grimmlands, Relic of Destruction in tow, something that Hazel couldn't predict and has no defense against.
  • Implausible Deniability:
    • When Ironwood demands the return of the battleship Jaune crashed into Beacon, Glynda sends back a response saying, "Battleship? What battleship?", with Beacon already working on converting it into a part of the school.
    • In a following chapter, Yang and Ruby suggest the White Fang stole the ship by literally dragging it away.
  • Impossible Theft: Roman steals several items at Jacques Schnee's charity dinner despite Blake never taking her eyes off him by distracting her with one hand and stealing with the other without looking at what he's looting.
  • Improvised Weapon: Blake and Sienna "fight" each other using "Approved" and "Denied" stamps.
  • In Vino Veritas: Ozpin speaks much more freely while Oscar's body is flooded with painkillers in chapter 36.
  • Inertia Is a Cruel Mistress: During their battle, Cinder blasts Jaune below her with as much fire as she can conjure. Since she was already flying upwards, she's rocketed into the cave's ceiling and knocked unconscious.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Blake has a moment when complaining about how embarrassing her mother is to the rest of her team. While only Ruby speaks up about not having a mother, Weiss' is also absent due to being an alcoholic.
  • Insane Troll Logic: How everyone treats Raven's definition of 'strength', pointing out that for all her talk on the subject, both she and her tribe of trained bandits only attack villages full of untrained civilians and actively avoid any Grimm or well-organised groups, giving them an overwhelming advantage. Qrow mentions that whenever anyone brought this up to her, Raven would just spout a generic "the strong rule the weak" spiel and refuse to acknowledge the point.
  • Instant Expert: According to Ozpin, Cinder's instantaneous mastery of her Maiden powers goes past prodigious into "downright bullshit".
  • Instantly Proven Wrong:
    • Qrow explains to Team RBY that Haven isn't a nest of chaos like Beacon, only to enter the school to total chaos as all of the students try to keep Oscar away from Lionheart.
    • After Jaune provides clothing and toiletries, Ozpin ponders that he was wrong about the man seeking petty revenge on him for sticking him with the headmaster position. Then Yang pulls out the pajamas Jaune provided: a blue bunny onesie. Though it was accidental as said onesie used to be Jaune's and he doesn't see a problem with it.
  • Insult Backfire: On their way to the SDC gala, Blake seethes that she would never date Roman as they're pretending. Roman takes that as a compliment, considering that she used to date Adam Taurus.
  • It Was a Gift: Qrow's hip flask was a gift from Summer.
  • It's Personal with the Dragon: An inverted example. Cinder is fuming (literally) with anger over Jaune defeating and maiming her, to the point that she is willing to talk back to Salem when she feels her boss is denying her a chance for revenge. Contrast Salem who acknowledges Jaune as a threat but is willing to simply wait until he dies of natural causes.
  • I Want Grandkids: Jaune's mother revels in his having multiple suitors, implying her problem with Jaune and Goodwitch was the age gap between them.
  • Jerkass Gods: Ozpin ruminates on the cruelty of how the gods made him immortal. Each of his hosts is eventually consumed by his psyche, leaving behind only Ozma. Neither Oscar, the original Ozpin, or any of Ozma's other hosts did anything to deserve such a fate.
  • Jerkass Has a Point:
    • When Blake angrily complains about Torchwick being made a staff member and giving her detention, he throws back that she wasn't exactly an agent of the law and that he does have the right to give her detention as her teacher. Blake can barely muster a response.
    • Torchwick gets another moment at the SDC gala when he's talking about Weiss' song. Despite Blake's protest, he's correct that even though her song was the exact opposite of subtle, he can confidently say that no one in attendance will care about what she's saying because to do so would inconvenience them. He's proven right when the audience breaks out into polite applause to Weiss' captivity.
    • After listening to Winter's grievances of how her sister's upset with her and she can't give into Weiss's requests without going against General Ironwood, Qrow points out, rather callously, that Winter's apparent solution is to not even try to help Weiss. Even if there isn't a middle ground where Winter helps Weiss without disobeying Ironwood's orders, Weiss would be more amenable if she at least made an attempt.
    • Sienna's insistence that Blake is just as guilty of being a terrorist as herself and that both have innocent blood on their hands is accurate enough that Blake has no rebuttal.
  • Jerkass Realization: Blake has a moment when Ruby interrupts her complaints about her mother to remind Blake that neither Ruby nor Yang have a mother.
  • Jurisdiction Friction: Beacon's staff and the Mistral Police argue over who gets to arrest Lionheart and Cinder. They do compromise, with the former staying in Mistral, and the latter being shipped to Beacon.
  • Kansas City Shuffle:
    • When Team RWBY comes across a White Fang group just outside Vale, the terrorists are defeated easily and don't have enough equipment to meet Adam's goal of a decisive victory to rally behind. On the way back to Vale, Tyrian attacks Jaune, Neo and Sienna but the end of the chapter reveals that even that was just to draw even more attention away from Watts breaking Cinder out of prison.
    • Jaune's entire plot to deal with Salem's army marching on Vale. He sends out Pyrrha's team to retrieve something and asks a favor of Ironwood that sees Atlas lowered considerably for several days. When he brings the three Relics to Salem, willing to summon the Gods to spite her, the Relics of Choice and Creation are kept boxed up, causing Salem to wonder why he thinks she doesn't know what they are. Turns out that he sent Pyrrha's team to buy cigarettes and keep them in a wooden box and asked Ironwood to lower Atlas for a few days. The "Relics" are a broom and a box of cigarettes.
  • Karma Houdini:
    • Discussed regarding Salem. After Jaune first sits down with her and opens up the idea of getting her psychological help, Nicholas points out that they shouldn't necessarily be trying to help someone responsible for untold death and presently trying to cause more. Jaune concedes that it is a miscarriage of justice for her not to be punished for her crimes, but the simple fact is that she's immortal, and they can't punish her in a way that will actually solve the problem. If the only way they can end the threat is by treating the perpetrator better than they deserve, then it's just the prudent thing to do, even if it's unsatisfying.
    • In the end, Cinder has gone through a pretty decent amount of anguish, but otherwise comes out the other side of her evil actions in a damn good position. She's the Winter Maiden, ruler of her own small country, and fairly successful as a newcomer on the world stage. About the only thing she wants but doesn't get is Jaune in her bed.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: According to Sienna Khan, her "demands" for Beacon amount to "Please don't crush us" and "Please forgive us before Atlas nukes Menagerie".
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Jacques Schnee strong arms Atlas into providing half the funds for a new Dust refinery, but Ironwood mentions Atlas will simply create or modify some tax law to earn back all those funds and then some.
  • Lap Pillow: Kali rather insistently provides one for Jaune, citing how obviously overworked he is.
    • Later Neo tries to imitate Kali and is quite insistent Jaune lay his head in her lap.
  • Lesser of Two Evils: Inverted, where the greater evil is decided to be a better choice. Fria is forced to choose who to pass her Maiden powers on to. While Penny and Winter are genuinely heroic characters, they lack both the skill and the psychological independence to properly wield them, both being too overtly loyalty to a specific person/kingdom to be flexible. Cinder, while a self-centered sociopath, is one who has the experience needed to wield the powers, isn't blinded by loyalty to someone, and her selfishness makes her predictable.
  • Logical Weakness:
    • A Grimm that is smart enough to follow orders and avoid detection is also smart enough to change loyalties with proper motivation.
    • Since all of the questions for the current century are used up, Jinn can only tell people things they already know, even if only subconsciously. Furthermore, it has to be something everyone in hearing knows.
    • Whips rely heavily on momentum to deal damage, making them worthless in close quarters.
    • The Oobelisks' Grimm form is created from their surroundings. One near a cliff forms a body of stone and becomes a Mighty Glacier. But one lodged in a tree forms a body of wood and is so easy to defeat that Yang actually feels bad for it. Similarly, they can summon Grimm from the surrounding area but not create new Grimm. One that's just outside Vale can only summon small, weak Grimm due to the area being regularly cleansed of Grimm.
    • Some of the plans proposed to stop Salem are based on the fact that neither Ozpin nor Cinder have seen any evidence that she has above average strength, such as simply pinning her under a large enough mass or binding her in restraints and burying her underground.
  • Long-Lost Relative: Discussed in chapter 36 where Ozpin claims it wouldn't be completely impossible that Jaune, or some of the other characters are descended from some of his past lifes considering how many of them he's had.
    Ozpin: Those girls are young enough to be my great great...great-granddaughters! And there's a damn good chance they might just be that! I've no idea how far my family tree spreads at this point and I'm not about to dive into that mess of a gene pool to make it worse.
  • Long Speech Tea Time: What Peter Port's lectures usually incur. It's mentioned that recent Beacon graduates still fall asleep just at the sight of the man. Weaponized by Jaune in order to avoid explaining to the public how he diverted the Grimm horde approaching Vale without mentioning Salem or the Relics.
  • Loophole Abuse:
    • Jinn has to answer any three questions asked of her every century no matter who is asking. To keep Cinder from using the final wish, she loudly repeats the rules she's bound by even though Cinder already knows them. This lets Yang use up the final question before Cinder can.
    • Jinn can no longer answer any questions, so when she needs to inform Ghira about the Grimm army heading for Atlas, she barges into his room and turns on the news.
    • Discussed by Ozpin in regards to Salem. He points out how the twin gods were literally omnipotent gods. When the god of light decreed Salem immortal, she became completely impossible to kill in any form, with no loophole that can possibly surpass it. Even the relic of destruction cannot kill her with its godly power, because the god of light made Salem immortal and it really is as simple as that.
      • They do find one loophole. Salem is immortal and nothing can make her soul leave her body, but Ozpin knows from personal experience that she she bleeds if cut, and he doesn't believe that she could outright regrow a lost limb. All plans proposed towards taking her out are then based on the fact she is not invulnerable.
  • Love Redeems: Ozpin explains to Oscar that Cardin used to be horribly racists against faunus, claiming the boy's father "poisons those around him, including his son." When Oscar brings up that Cardin seems to hate racists, Ozpin remarks that "Love is an antidote to any poison... or sex is, anyway."
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Averted. When Jaune tries to block Cinder's fire, the part that hits his shield is stopped but the rest of it still hits him and sets Jaune on fire. Jaune even notes that the stories where the fire is deflected in every direction by a much smaller shield isn't how fire works.
  • Made of Iron: Ozpin can ignore numerous torn muscles and broken bones because the pain doesn't compare to the countless ways he's died over the millennia.
  • The Main Characters Do Everything: Yang lampshades that Team RWBY seems to be Jaune's go-to team when he needs something done.
  • Marry Them All: Kali suggests Blake marry her entire team and Jaune.
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!":
    • All of Atlas gets one when a massive Grimm horde starts heading their way.
    • The remaining White Fang have one when they realize Ghira knows they kidnapped Jinn and is launching an assult on their location.
  • Master of Delusion: Due to Cinder's narcissism and ego, she insists Jaune must be the greatest strategic mind in the world to have bested her. Eventually she goes so far as to think Jaune desires her and wants to rule the world with her at his side.
  • Mathematician's Answer: Jaune gives Ozpin a series of these when he asks what Team RVNN are doing outside of Beacon. Jaune is being as suspicious as possible in order to sell his later bluff to Salem - that he has the other three Relics - so that Ozpin will buy the act as part of his plan.
    Ozpin: Where is the Fall Maiden?
    Jaune: Pyrrha's on a mission with her team.
    Ozpin: What are they doing?
    Jaune: It's a mission.
    Ozpin: What is the nature of the mission.
    Jaune: Retrieval.
    Ozpin: Of…?
    Jaune: Things.
  • Meaningful Name: The various Huntsman academies: Shade, Haven, and Beacon were named to invoke feelings of safety and security. "We will provide you Shade from the Grimm, a Haven to keep you safe, and a Beacon to lead us to a brighter future." Even two centuries later, Ozpin is still irritated that Atlas Academy changed it's name from "Shelter".
  • Midfight Weapon Exchange: Jaune takes down Lionheart by briefly borrowing Neptune's weapon, a trident.
  • The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body: Unlike Qrow, Raven's avian instincts took a strong hold when she gained her powers, including attacking birds and guarding a birdbath with her sword while in human form.
  • A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Read: While not truly mind reading, people bringing up any given topic instantly fills Jinn's thoughts with all the information about said topic, such as seeing Jaune naked when Ruby muses he's "probably really handsome all over".
  • Mistaken for Badass: Cinder's estimations of Jaune quickly reach the point of treating him as The Omniscient.
  • The Mole: Somewhat implied with Raven. While she helps Cinder get to the Jinn of Knowledge, she doesn't do anything to seriously hurt Yang and gives her a subtle wink, implying she left Yang in the position to steal a question from the Jinn of Knowledge.
  • Moment Killer: Jaune and Glynda are just starting to makeout when Port bursts into the room, shouting that teams RVNN and RWBY landed themselves in the infirmary. To Port's credit, he immediately realizes what he did, and quips that he might have just landed himself in the doghouse.
  • Mrs. Robinson: Along with Glynda, Willow starts lusting after Jaune after being freed from her hostage situation.
  • Mundane Luxury: After being hired as the new student counselor, Jinn buys as many books, movies, and box sets as she can afford, having not had access to such things before.
  • Mundane Solution: Cinder askes the Jinn of Knowledge what Jaune's master plan was. Jinn replies it is just to have Neo slit her throat.
  • Mundane Utility:
    • Jaune ends up hiring the Jinn of Knowledge as Beacon's student counselor.
    • Ozpin intends to use one of Jinn's questions to learn the recipe of the perfect coffee.
  • My Eyes Are Up Here: While not noticeably bothered, Jinn still tells Oscar this when he stares at her legs too long.
  • My Kung-Fu Is Stronger Than Yours: How Taiyang convinces Raven, ie the Spring Maiden to fight for Vale in preparation for Salem's invasion. Deconstructed when it's revealed Taiyang was merely provoking Raven and that he is freaking out over how to beat her kill count when he's just an ordinary huntsmen.
  • Nap-Inducing Speak: Port Operating Precure for Beacon Students is to fall asleep. This is so ingrained that recently graduated huntsmen still fall asleep upon sight of him.
  • Necessarily Evil: The White Fang under Sienna viewed their actions this way, acknowledging that they'd go down in history as monsters but that they'd also disband once Faunus were truly equal.
  • Never My Fault: Ilia blames the attack on Beacon as the White Fang being used by human terrorists rather than admitting they willingly attacked a school.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: When trying to save (an illusionary) Yang from Cinder, Jaune ruins the ambush Neo had been planning.
  • No Escape but Down: When ambushed by Salem's forces, Ozpin escapes by jumping out a window.
  • No-Sell: Jinn has Nigh-Invulnerability and can Feel No Pain. Attempts to interrogate her, up to and including breaking a chair over her head and shooting her, aren't so much endured as they are ignored.
  • Nobody Touches the Hair: Russel breaks down crying after a Grimm attack ruins his mohawk.
  • Nominal Hero: Cinder and Raven help beat back Salem's invasion, but for their own self-serving reasons, and not out of any desire to save lives.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • In an omake, Zwei's bed is filled with flour and apparently it's not the first time it happened.
    • During a conversation with Jaune, Ozpin reveals that he once spent a life running the criminal underworld, as the "becoming a headmaster" thing had gotten old by then. He mentions that it was quite fun before switching the subject.
  • Not Hyperbole: Glynda declares Beacon needs all the help it can get with planning the midterms. When Willow offers to help, Glynda immediately hires her.
  • Not Me This Time: Inverted. When Ironwood blames Jaune for Blake and Oscar going out into Atlas and finding the White Fang, Jaune admits to himself that it's one of the few times where he really did plan for something to happen.
  • Not So Above It All:
    • Weiss is furious that she missed Velvet and Cardin becoming official. When she's finally back in Beacon, she insists Zwei sleep in her bed, having not seen him in months.
    • Upon being cornered by Cinder and asked where the Vault of Choice is located, Ozpin smugly replies "up your ass". When Hazel calls it out as childish, Ozpin remarks that he can be forgiven since he's trapped in the body of a child.
    • Jinn seems rather amused when telling Yang that Jaune does find her hot and indeed notices whenever she "struts her stuff". She later pleads with Jaune to take her out of the vault, as she's been trapped in there for centuries.
  • Not the Intended Use: Though we don't hear many details, Fria reveals that she has used the Winter Maiden powers during sex in the past.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Ozpin. Though he may act immature, shoving his paperwork off to others and putting his coffee in front of more important tasks, he's still older than literally everyone else on the planet, with the only potential exception being Salem. That she can see through the act and speak with Brutal Honesty is the reason he chose Glynda as his Deputy Headmistress.
  • Oh, Crap!: Ozpin as Oscar gets one when he finds himself surrounded by Salem's forces.
  • One Degree of Separation: Blake's favorite smut writer is Jaune's older sister.
  • Only Sane Man: Sienna seems to be the only one to realize that the White Fang simply can't survive if they continue to "make enemies of literally everyone". She also lampshades the idiocy of attacking Beacon since it not only has nothing to do with their conflict, but is a huntsman school that trains the people who protect everyone, human and faunus, from the Grimm.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business:
    • According to Qrow, he and Raven were raised not to turn to others with their problems so he, Taiyang, and Summer should have paid more attention when Raven raised her concerns about Ozpin.
    • Jaune has long coasted on his incredible reputation. Jaune telling Team RWBY he can't face Adam shocks them to their core.
    • Ozpin had always maintained a sense of being calm and collected, even if he seemed not right in the head at times, but when he hears about Jaune's plan to reunite all 4 Relics to stop Salem even at the cost of the Gods coming back, he completely loses his mind, panicking and begging Jaune not to do it, before striking him and yelling at him more after the plan proved successful. Jaune was counting on that playing out because if his reaction weren't genuine, Salem wouldn't buy his bluff.
  • Operation: Jealousy: Part of Jaune's plan to deal with Adam involves faking a relationship with Blake, to the extent of her pretending to be pregnant by him in hopes of Adam's rage blinding him.
  • Pædo Hunt: Invoked by Ozpin who pretends Leonardo Lionheart molested him so no one is willing to turn him over to the man.
  • Parting-Words Regret: Defied. When faced with the reality that her father might be killed, Blake takes the time to tell him how much he means to her and that she's sorry for joining the White Fang.
  • Passive-Aggressive Kombat: Unable to battle each other in public, Jaune, Winter, and Ironwood are reduced to taking quiet shots at each other.
  • Patriotic Fervor: Glynda claims part of Atlas' discrimination of the Faunus in-part due to this. The Kingdom grew proud from its many achievements such as technological advancement, so when they lost the Faunus war, it became a great blow to their pride.
  • Person as Verb:
    • Yang insists Team RWBY not "Nora"note  their way into getting into a charity dinner where Weiss will be attending.
    • "Pulling a Blake", is likewise used as shorthand for being completely reckless and jumping headlong into danger after her doing just that with the White Fang on numerous occasions.
  • Pet Monstrosity: Neo's pet Nevermore.
  • Poor Communication Kills: This played a part in the collapse of Team STRQ when Raven started to have doubts on Ozpin. When the others didn't give her concerns proper attention when she voiced them, a red flag on its own as Qrow explains since neither he or Raven were taught to talk about their problems, she felt it meant her opinions didn't matter and stopped bringing them up, which the others assumed to meant she was over them.
    • Qrow explains this is also part of why Taiyang and Raven split. Both of them had entirely different ideas of what a relationship would entail(Taiyang was a romanticist who wanted someone to settle down beside him, Raven wanted someone strong at her side to rule the tribe with), and assumed the other thought of it the same way since they thought their version was the most normal and obvious without explaining it properly.
  • Portal Cut: Raven proposes using her semblance to do this to Salem, thus cutting her in half and seperating the parts in different continents.
  • Power Perversion Potential:
    • Qrow used to use his bird form to spy on girls in the communal showers.
    • Fria gives Cinder many ideas for using Maiden powers to enhance her sex life.
  • Pragmatic Hero: Fria decides to make Cinder the next Winter Maiden even though she's a sociopathic megalomaniac because those very same traits make her predictable and relatively easy to control. Plus, Penny and Winter are both too loyal to Ironwood and Atlas to trust that they won't needlessly throw their lives away, while Cinder only looks out for herself and as such is more likely to keep the powers instead of sending them to a random woman.
  • Pragmatic Villainy:
    • Whitley agrees to help Weiss get and send letters to Beacon...if only so he can inherit Schnee Dust.
    • After she takes Oscar under her wing, Neo protects him because he's too entertaining to be allowed to die.
    • When asked by Fria what she'd do if she chose to give the Maiden power to Winter, Cinder says she'd simply leave and convince Jaune it was somehow part of her plan. Killing Fria would accomplish nothing and killing Winter would send the power to some unknown recipient. If she can't have the power, it'd be best to at least know who does.
  • Precision F-Strike: Upon finding a strange obelisk (actually a Grimm) desecrating Summer's grave, Ruby threatens to "Make someone pay, even if she has to swim to the Grimmlands and cut off their bitch-ass head herself".
  • Rage Breaking Point: After taking veiled shots at each other throughout the charity auction, Ironwood finally punches Jaune in the eye after he once again denies ownership of Ironwood's battleship.
  • Rapid-Fire "No!": Blake fires off several after learning Sienna's been employed as Jaune's assistant. She fires of some more after finding a letter saying her mother is arriving the next day.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Glynda gives a vicious one to Ruby, Yang, and Blake after she finds out they added themselves onto the guest list. Or, more specifically, that Blake added Roman to the guest list.
    Glynda: What were the three of you thinking!?
    Blake: We-
    Glynda: Do not answer that question, Miss Belladonna! It was rhetorical. There is no answer that does not involve the three of you being the most foolish, reckless and downright idiotic students I have ever had the misfortune to see stood before me. This represents the single most important event in Beacon's calendar to date. Every single one of your fellow students' continued lives here at Beacon depends upon us making a good impression and securing funding. You, Miss Belladonna, know this personally, having seen the black hole that is our current accounts [...] and yet despite the risks, despite how much we need this, the three of you thought to do this!? Irresponsible children! No, that gives you an excuse. Even children would not be so pathetic, so stupid, so incredibly selfish.
  • Recruiting the Criminal: Jaune hires a criminal again, this time to serve as his personal assistant, though only because it's the only option that will keep them alive and useful to his plan. The criminal? Sienna Khan.
  • Redemption Rejection: Driven by impulse, Jaune offers Adam a place in Beacon, along with the chance to help the faunus through peaceful methods. Adam refuses, saying it's about ten years too late for that and chooses to make his last moments count instead.
  • Refuge in Audacity: How does Beacon respond to Atlas' demands for the return of their battleship?
  • Revenge Before Reason: When it becomes clear that Salem has lost interest in continuing the fight against Beacon, Hazel decides to try and get all 4 Relics back together to summon the Gods to wipe out all life just to be able to put Ozma down for good.
  • Reverse Psychology: According to Roman, the best way to get Neo to do something is to tell her not to, though he mentions you can't do it too often or she'll catch on.
  • Rhetorical Question Blunder: When Qrow tells Winter that she should find a way around Ironwood's orders so she can help Weiss, Winter demands to know if he'd turn on Ozpin for the sake of his neices, to which Qrow says he'd do it in a heartbeat.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: The students of Beacon speculate on how Jaune managed to secretly fend off the Grimm horde approaching Vale that unbeknownst to them was led by Salem, with some rumours mentioning seduction. Little do the students know that Salem did offer Jaune the chance to rule as King alongside herself.
  • Running Gag:
    • Jaune and Glynda regularly bring up Blake as a problem student. Yang thinks of Blake's status as a law of nature. "Grass grew, birds sang, Blake got detention."
    • Blake's obsessesion with the White Fang as well. At one point Glynda threatens to file a restraining order against Blake on the White Fang's behalf.
  • Sadistic Choice: Jaune has been invited to a charity dinner with Jacques Schnee in Atlas. If he goes, he risks arrest by a very irate General Ironwood. If he doesn't, he loses a chance to earn much-needed funding for Beacon Academy.
  • Sanity Has Advantages:
    • Ozpin gets Tyrian to leave Jaune alone by exploiting the man's insane devotion to Salem, mentioning how overjoyed she'd be if Tyrian managed to bring her Ozpin as a prisoner.
    • Cinder's deteriorating sanity makes it easier for Jaune to control her by playing into the idea he's a peerless mastermind.
  • Sanity Slippage: By the time Watts breaks her out of Beacon, Cinder is convinced that literally everything is part of Jaune' plan to Take Over the World and starts ranting at the sky. In the next chapter, she kills Watts and waits to be recaptured, declaring that she's done playing Jaune's games.
  • Scheherezade Gambit: In a last ditch effort to convince Salem to not destroy humanity, Jaune invites her into Beacon and throws a party to convince her they're too interesting to kill. Among the "gifts" are books on every subject imaginable (from Oobleck), about 800 hours of movies and sitcoms (from Port), hard drugs (from Roman), and Taiyang, Qrow, and Clover having a strip show (from Coco).
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: While attempting a You Shall Not Pass!, Vernal sees Jaune coming and flees.
  • Sensei-chan: Ruby Rose is this in the Distant Finale, with her being so adored by her students that none want to do anything to upset her in any way. She had a student act out only once in her career, a girl who called her a terrible teacher and who quickly gave a grovelling apology when the collective Death Glare of the class made it clear that her immediate survival depended on her stopping Miss Rose from crying.
  • Sexy Secretary: Besides his unofficial one in Blake, Jaune gets an official secretary in Sienna.
  • Shameless Fanservice Girl: Jinn has no problem with people gawking at her, regardless of whether she's dressed or not.
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend: Cardin keeps this up despite everyone knowing he and Velvet are dating.
  • Shield Bash: Jaune breaks Cinder's nose with his shield because he didn't have time to grab his sword.
  • Shoot the Messenger: Subverted when a White Fang soldier tells Adam that Yuma and Trifa had been captured. The soldier fully expects his boss to lash out at him, only for Adam to thank the boy for bringing the news and send him off. After all, it costs him little to be polite to his minions.
  • Shout-Out: Chapter 58 gives one to The Beacon Civil War.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Hazel deflects Ironwood's statement that serving Salem contradicts Hazel's insistence that life "shouldn't be spent so easily", declaring that "his reasons are his own". Ironwood retorts that everyone's reasons are their own, but they're still accountable for their actions.
    • When requesting Raven's aid as an emergency getaway for team RWBY's mission to Salem's tower, Jaune quickly shoots down her attempts at refusing based on her one save policy for Yang.
    Raven: If Yang is so weak as to fail here-
    Jaune: Then Salem destroys all of Remnant. And last I checked, you were considered a part of that. Along with your tribe.
  • The Silent Bob: Neo. How well someone can understand her varies: Oscar can barely understand her charades while Jaune and Roman can understand them just fine. Kali can understand entire questions from just Neo's expression.
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: Glynda and Roman argue constantly and get into a physical fight at one point.
  • Slave to PR:
    • The White Fang does it's best to portray the attack on Beacon both as attacking a valid military target and as them being used by human terrorists, rather than admitting they attacked a school for children.
    • Ozpin notes that part of why he always drank coffee, even when facing down criminals and Grimm, was due to the image it projected that such dangerous threats are just another day at the office for him. Not only does it demoralize human enemies, it bolsters morale for allies to think he doesn't find such a threat any real danger.
  • Snark-to-Snark Combat: Jaune and Winter engage in this during their meetings.
  • So Proud of You: Played for laughs. Roman congratulates Jaune for riling up Ironwood enough to punch Jaune in the eye.
  • Spanner in the Works:
    • Neo interferes with Salem's attempts to spy on Pyrrha by taking her Nevermore as a pet.
    • Yang stops Cinder from finding where the other Relics are hidden by using up the Jinn of Knowledge's last question.
  • Spotting the Thread:
    • Weiss figured out that Ironwood and Winter were behind her imprisonment in Atlas because, as insane as he is, Jacques would've considered it a privilege to be returned to Atlas and wouldn't think to keep her guarded.
    • Ozpin knows Vernal isn't the Spring Maiden because otherwise she'd be helping Cinder obtain the Relic of Creation.
  • Stating the Simple Solution: Salem notes that she doesn't necessarily have to find a way to defeat Jaune; she could instead simply wait until he dies, however long it takes. That she cannot do this for Ozpin is what makes them sworn enemies.
  • Stealth Insult: To Whitley's admiration, Jaune insults both Ironwood and Winter three times each during his speech at the charity ball without being blatant about any of them and while ensuring that neither of them can respond.
  • Stepford Smiler: Ironwood and Jaune despise one another, but are forced to laugh with each other at Jacques' charity ball.
  • Stop Being Stereotypical: Kali calls out the irony that Blake joined the White Fang to prove Faunus aren't animals while embodying every cat stereotype there is.
  • Stupidest Thing I've Ever Heard: When Jaune hears Ozpin's plan to gather the Relics with Qrow and Team RWBY (basically the plot of the canon RWBY from Volume 5 onward), he declares it the worst idea he's ever heard.
    Jaune: And this is coming from someone who thought becoming a professor with zero qualifications and not even an unlocked Aura was a good idea!
  • Super-Senses: Averted with Faunus. Blake tries to act like she has superhuman hearing but Velvet already told Cardin their animal ears aren't any more sensitive than their human ones.
  • Sure, Let's Go with That: As in the previous story, Jaune finds the easiest way to deal with a lot of people, especially Cinder, is to simply allow them to come to their own conclusions and agree with them.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Kali claims she definitely doesn't harbor any ill will towards Sienna. After all, it's not like she took over the peaceful organization Kali and her husband founded, turned it into a terrorist group, drew her daughter into said terrorist group, and regularly risked said daughter's life on dangerous missions.
  • Take That!:
    • The omake of Chapter 33 has this towards Jaune's new hairstyle in Volume 7, declaring it 'Such horrific evilness only Salem could think of', with Ruby begging to have her eyes gouged out from looking at it.
    • The author's note and omake of Chapter 40 also have this to the upgrades Jaune has made to his weapon, pointing them out to be redundant and/or Awesome, but Impractical to justify why they aren't used in the fic. Especially the BFS upgrade from Volume 4, which just makes it slightly longer and more unwieldy while also sacrificing the shield, and having to sheathe his sword first to get it to transform would leave him open to attack with him keeping his lack of ranged options.
    • The author's notes of Chapter 86 has one in regards to the decision of giving the power to take away a person's free will and total mind control as the Semblance of minor antagonist Jax Asturias from RWBY: Before the Dawn, claiming such a Story-Breaker Power eclipses that of what is given to the Relics and would have fit the Relic of Choice FAR better than its canon abilities.
  • Taking the Bullet: Neo takes an attack from Tyrian's stinger meant for Jaune.
  • Taking You with Me:
    • Attempted by Ironwood against Hazel, activating the automatic defenses to fill the area with nerve gas.
    • When Salem marches on Vale with the Relic of Destruction in her hands, Jaune goes to meet her with the other three Relics on his person, threatening to bring all four together and resummon the Gods. Salem realizes that Jaune's decided if humanity is doomed anyway, he might as well make sure Salem and her Grimm are too. Subverted when it turns out Jaune was bluffing and two of the three "Relics" are a broom and cigarettes.
  • Tastes Like Purple: After pushing Oscar's body too far while fighting Tyrian, Ozpin comments that he's on so many painkillers he can smell colors and asks Oscar if he wants to take control so he'll know what purple tastes like.
  • Tautological Templar: Even after it's proven Jaune isn't some criminal mastermind working against Beacon and/or Vale, Winter knows Ironwood will refuse to admit he's wrong because "Atlas is never wrong".
  • Team Mom: Kali acts like everyone's mother, including Jaune.
  • Teacher/Student Romance: Played for Laughs. Ever since Blake had to act as Roman's chaperone, rumors have been flying both in Beacon and the newspapers that the two are dating.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork:
    • Glynda and Torchwick don't get along. The former can't stand the latter's smoking and amoral attitude, and the latter won't let her live down the fact that she slept with a minor (Jaune was still 17 during the events of the first story).
    • Ironwood eventually swallows his pride, and is willing to work with Jaune to stop the Grimm...but still reminds Jaune that he believes him to be a criminal who needs to be locked up.
  • That Came Out Wrong: Jinn makes several remarks that come across as flirtatious because she can't answer any questions unless everyone present knows the answer already, such as a Faunus asking if "the carpet matches the drapes" and Jinn replying he'd "have to find out" because she can't state one way or the other. Jinn laments that she can't even tell the man she's not interested because he doesn't know it.
  • There Is Only One Bed: When Weiss returns to Beacon, there's not enough beds to go around in Team RWBY's dorm so she ends up sharing with Ruby.
  • This Is Reality: Ozpin points out how Conservation of Ninjutsu doesn't work in reality and that as powerful as they are, Cinder, Hazel, and Tyrian are only three people and can't hope to take on hundreds of Haven's students.
  • This Means War!: Besides her silent scream of horror, this is how Neo reacts to Zwei blowing up her room (and more importantly, her ice cream).
  • Too Much Information: When the team notices Blake going on one of her White Fang tangents again, Yang promises to handcuff the two of them together so she can't run off to confront them yet again, only to hear the Velvet borrowed her fuzzy handcuffs. Yang gags and asks Nora to tell Velvet to burn them.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Jaune proves his skillset by taking down Lionheart, albeit with some help from Neptune and Neo's Nevermore.
  • Trauma Button: Played for Laughs but after a single "training session" with Neo, pink becomes one for Oscar. Besides screaming in horror when he sees Yang's nighty, Glynda using a pink hankerchief to start his spar with Cardin causes Oscar to dodge wildly before outright mauling the older boy, screaming the entire time.
  • Troll: Roman spends almost as much time needling Glynda as he does doing anything else.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: Oscar, really Ozpin, spends some time speaking of the horrible tortures he'd like to see inflicted upon Cinder, causing quite a bit of concern for Team RWBY who try to tell themselves it's because of the painkillers he's on.
  • Underestimating Badassery: Ironwood is quite irritated when Hazel suggests he needs "Professor Arc" to rescue him.
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee: Jaune tells no one but Roman and Neo that he brought fake relics to his stand-off with Salem, instead of the actual Relics everyone presumed he had, in order to sell to Salem Ozpin's genuine horror and desperation and convince her to back off. This would unwittingly serve as the final catalyst for Jaune and Glynda's break up, as she becomes upset at him for leaving her out.
  • Unstoppable Force Meets Immovable Object: The relics are immune to each others effects. For example, the relic of choice is infallible in any prediction it makes, but cannot make a prediction concerning another relic.
At the end of the story, Hazel uses the Relic of Choice to ensure he will accomplish his goals, and the object will warp reality to ensure its prediction of the future is true. He is stopped with the Relic of Destruction, which destroys things so utterly it includes Hazel's predicted future. As Ozpin explains, the Relic of Choice was still right when Hazel had a future to predict.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Jaune nips this in the bud by reminding Ozpin that Salem can't open any of the vaults to access the Relics so collecting the Relics would simply make it easier for her to steal them.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: According to Blake, Adam's problem had always been that he cared too much about the plight of other Faunus.
  • Verbal Backspace: Oscar states the exact reason why Glynda was upset, only to realize he shouldn't know (because Ozpin told him) and claim it's just his guess.
  • Villain Has a Point:
    • Ozpin agrees with Salem that Remnant is better off without the gods; he just wishes she didn't try to become one herself.
    • The White Fang only became violent due to the SDC siccing the Atlas military on them for holding a peaceful protest at the SDC.
  • Villain Respect: Salem deeply respects Jaune for (apparently) spearheading the defense of Beacon Academy from the Grimm invasion, to the point where she considers letting old age take him instead of confronting him directly. Considering that all of her direct subordinates (Cinder, Watts, Tyrian, and Hazel) were leading that assault and still failed, she has good reason to avoid any confrontation for the time being.
  • Wasteful Wishing: Deliberately invoked to waste the Jinn of Knowledge's last wish. Yang asks if Jaune thinks she's hot.
  • We ARE Struggling Together: Sienna has problems controlling the White Fang due to the number of short sighted fanatics in their ranks who believe they should engage in all out warfare with humanity.
  • We Can Rule Together: Salem makes this kind of offer to Jaune.,
  • We Win, Because You Didn't: When Adam takes Willow and Whitley Schnee hostage and demands a duel with Jaune, the latter notes that his goal isn't beating Adam in a fight, it's rescuing the hostages, so all he has to do is hold out until someone else can accomplish his goal then let Atlas Specialists handle Adam and the White Fang.
  • Wham Episode: Chapter 33. Tyrian manages to poison Neo.
  • What Does She See in Him?. Gender flipped variation. While fighting Adam, Jaune asks what could possibly make him so obsessed with Blake. She's good looking, but nothing special among Huntresses. Her personality isn't great either as she's flighty, paranoid, and obsessed with the White Fang, despite her claims of leaving the White Fang behind. Eventually Jaune declares that it has to be the sex as nothing else makes sense.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Blake gives Ilia one hell of a dressing down for working for Adam.
    • Yang gives Blake a (mild) chewing out for sitting around feeling sorry for herself when Weiss' father was just murdered by the White Fang and her mother and brother are being held hostage.
    • Glynda, Ozpin, and others are not amused at Jaune for putting his life and tricking them in order to scare Salem away.
  • Wimp Fight: The fight between Sienna and Ilia is described as the two flailing their whips randomly and claiming any incidental hits as intentional attacks. A couple chapters later, Sienna boasts that she taught Ilia how to fight.
  • Xtreme Kool Letterz: Yang suggests Team RWBY be renamed Team WRBOY aka "Team Warboyz".
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: When Jaune comes clean to Glynda about his fear of screwing up, Glynda reminds him of all the good he has done, despite the lies he told.
  • You Do NOT Want To Know: When Weiss briefly reunites with Ruby and Yang in Atlas, she mentions that Penny smuggled in one of Blake's letters to her; when they ask how, she responds with this trope. Judging by the chapter 2 omake, she did it via Ass Shove.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness:
    • Implied by Salem who suggests simply waiting until Jaune dies of old age. As most of her current minions are at least a decade his senior, doing so would mean they'd die before Salem acts again. This gets them to drop their Teeth-Clenched Teamwork and cooperate for once.
    • When asked, Sienna admits she'd happily throw Adam to the wolves due to all the bad press and powerful enemies he's earned the White Fang.
  • You Shall Not Pass!: When Raven and Cinder go for the Relic of Knowledge, Vernal stays behind to keep anyone from following.
  • Zerg Rush: A truly massive swarm of Grimm are sent to attack Atlas when Hazel fails to steal the Relic of Creation.