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When Jaune's forged transcripts were rebuffed, his only option was to return home in disgrace or forge a new life in Vale. Opening a diner was an impetuous decision, being good at it a stroke of luck. Becoming the favourite haunt for students, teachers and criminals alike…? That was neither, but it sure did keep things interesting. Wasn't the civilian life supposed to be easier?

Service With a Smile is an RWBY Alternate Universe Fic written by Coeur Al'Aran. Currently ongoing.

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Tropes Are:

  • 100% Adoration Rating: Just about everyone likes Jaune's diner. Even Adam Taurus is alright with his establishment, albeit for different reasons than most.
  • Abusive Parents: Russel's father is a drunk who used to beat him until Cardin kicked his ass.
  • Accidental Truth: One of the tabloids writing about Pyrrha visiting Jaune's diner suggests she might have feelings for him. While written for sensationalism, they're also right.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy:
    • Adam Taurus. He is still a terrorist who believes in violence, but not the pure psychopath he was in canon, willing to reserve that violence to those who deserve it. He also admits the White Fang isn't for everyone and is genuinely happy for Faunus like Velvet who found a place they can be happy and treated as equals. One of the author's notes lampshades this, pointing out that this story was planned out before Adam went completely psycho in Volume 6.
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    • Most of the villains in general are far more affable than they are in canon. It helps that this story is from the point of view of a non-combatant coffee shop owner instead of the Huntsmen they normally oppose.
    • Canon Russel is a one-note thug. He is made a Consummate Professional and a skilled waiter with several of his old bosses willing to vouch for his character here.
  • Adorkable: Jaune, despite becoming moderately successful, still retains his old adorkable charm. This endears him to pretty much everyone, but especially underworld figures.
  • Affably Evil: Roman and other criminals of Vale are perfectly pleasant toward people they like, and very vicious toward people they don't. Cinder herself is downplayed example. While she is fond of Jaune, she isn't fond enough to not destroy Vale in her quest for power.
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  • Agony of the Feet: After an extremely busy day, Velvet bemoans having to wear heels.
  • Alternate Universe Fic: What if Jaune had been rejected from Beacon, and instead decided to open a coffee joint in Vale.
  • Anger Born of Worry: Everyone is upset at Jaune for fighting the Grimm rather than running to the shelter like he should have. While he did save the Higgins' by doing so, they're still angry, especially Miltia who thought she'd arrived in time to see him killed.
  • Armor-Piercing Response: Played for Laughs when Velvet complains about having to wear heels at work only for both Russel and Jaune to inform her there's no dress code and she can wear flats if she wants.
  • Ascended Extra:
    • The Malachite Sisters, who made only two appearances in canon, become recurring characters, as patrons of Jaune's diner.
    • Russel Thrush, in the source material, merely exists as one of Cardin's thugs. Here, he is a major character as one of Jaune's employees.
    • Like Russel, Velvet was mostly a background character in canon, but became a main character after getting hired by Jaune.
  • Ask a Stupid Question...: When Lisa Lavender arrives for a meeting with Roman, one of Junior's men asks if he should let her in. Junoir sarcastically responds, "No, leave her outside and waste both our times."
  • The Atoner: Junior initially hired the Malachite twins as an apology for what his father almost did to them.
  • Bad-Guy Bar: Jaune's diner quickly becomes exceedingly popular with the criminal underbelly, though a number of them have to come in after the place is officially closed.
  • Bad to the Last Drop: Atlesian Black is described by several as "the worst coffee ever" with Jaune outright refusing to stock it, citing that he wouldn't feed it to his worse enemy. Unsurprisingly, it's the only kind of coffee Cafe Prime sells.
  • Badass Creed: Just as in author's other stories, unlocking somebody's aura comes with an unique chant, this time from Cinder. Surprisingly, it doesn't sound evil, just more cynical and, well, hardcore than the one Pyrrha gives.
    It is in our darkest moments that we achieve strength. Through suffering, we gain the power to shape our own destiny. Infinite in potential and unbound by expectation, I release your soul, and by my hand, empower thee.
  • Bait-and-Switch: In the second chapter, one of Junior's men stalks into the cafe with an axe and slams his hand on the counter, seeming like he's there to collect protection money.
    Mook: You know what I'm here for.
    Jaune: Your four o'clock order right? Are those twins making you come out for them again?
    Mook: Every single day... It's bad enough they keep changing their order, but now the boss tried that latte thing you do and he's hooked. You have cup holders right?
  • Be Yourself: When Miltia tries to act more feminine to get Jaune's attention, Melanie points out that Jaune does like her for who she is, and she shouldn't try and change for him.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: Adam makes a point of ordering his men not to harm Jaune's diner or it's employees due to being one of the few places that neither discriminates against Faunus nor tolerates discrimination.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: A fair bit develops between Velvet and Russel over the course of their employment at Jaune's.
  • Benevolent Boss: Adam refuses to risk his men during the Breach, instead having the train piloted remotely to Vale. He also takes time to inspire them when needed.
  • Beware the Superman: In-Universe, many of Jaune's civilian customers start abandoning his shop once it becomes a hub for the Huntsmen and Huntresses, as they are wary about being near humans who can beat monsters to death. Torchwick points out that there is a social barrier between regular people and huntsmen, as the latter can cause injury without meaning too.
  • Big Bad Friend: While not a friend per-say, Cinder is something of a friendly associate of Jaune's and likes him enough to not only unlock his aura, but seems legitimately angry someone attacked him.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Miltia and Melanie save Jaune when he's attacked by Grimm during the Breach.
  • Blatant Lies: When Jaune catches Ruby sneaking around his apartment, her best excuse is to say she wanted another sleepover.
  • The Blind Leading the Blind: At one point, Jaune tries to get romantic advice from Ruby. When that fails, they try reading Blake's Porn Stash.
    • When Jaune has a date with Miltia, he tries to get advice from his friends but none of them besides maybe Yang and Coco have ever been on a date (and he doesn't want their advice for obvious reasons) so he's stuck.
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: Hanging from the various hooks and weapon racks in Jaune's cafe are guns, swords, and gun-swords.
  • Bring It: When Jaune becomes fully dedicated to fighting Cafe Prime, he delivers a cup of coffee to Alexander Sterling with the eviction notice Stirling sent him inside it.
  • Brutal Honesty:
    • When Ozpin first comes to the cafe, he minces no words about how Jaune simply was not cut out to be a Huntsman. His intentions are good (he wants to get it out of the way so Jaune won't have that failure hanging over his head), but Glynda still chastises him for causing a scene.
    • While discussing how Jaune is functionally Cinder's Only Friend, he comments she'll still kill him the moment she finds out he set Team RWBY on her, to which Roman agrees he'd be dead in an instant.
  • Bullying a Dragon: A pair of racist teenagers decide to assault Velvet while she's working at Jaune's cafe. Said cafe is considered the hangout of choice for huntsmen and huntresses looking for a good cup of coffee, all of whom are armed at all times. Luckily for said racists, they "only" get their asses kicked by Russel.
  • Call-Back: When Roman stops Mercury from pickpocketing Jaune, he warns the other criminal that Neo would be much less forgiving than him. A few chapters later, when Jaune is having trouble utilizing his Aura as Emerald instructs, Mercury tries to punch Jaune to make him use it instinctively. Neo tackles Mercury to the ground in a submission hold and threatens to gouge out his eyes with a spoon.
  • Captain Obvious: Team RWBY arrives at Jaune's one day to find the place completely trashed, the windows broken, and the till emptied.
    Blake: It looks like a robbery.
    Russel: Your powers of deduction are astounding. Someone should hire you as a detective.
    Blake: Sorry. That was pretty obvious.
  • Celebrity Is Overrated: Much like in canon, Pyrrha hates her fame, except in this story she doesn't have a partner that doesn't know who she is. When they start planning to help Jaune's diner, Pyrrha explains to her partner Russel that not only can she not curse, drink, or lose her temper without being in breach of contract with her sponsors (and risk being sued), one of her previous agents was accused of being a pedophile because she hugged him after a match.
  • Celibate Hero: Even after learning of Pyrrha's feelings for him, Jaune decides against pursuing a relationship, at least temporarily, due to his current problems. Most importantly, if he loses his fight with Café Prime, he'll have to leave Vale and break it off with anyone he's currently dating. Later averted when Miltia demands a date.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Pyrrha toward Jaune. She becomes frustrated when someone blocks her from speaking to Jaune.
  • Consummate Professional:
    • Russel rigidly follows the belief that when you go to work, you leave your problems and prejudice at the door. He admits to hating children, but as Jaune points out, Russel still smiles and tells them jokes when they come in.
    • Roman initially mistook Jaune treating him like any other customer as a sign of his professionalism but after a few visits realized the kid really had no idea he was a crime lord. Later Jaune is shown to have shades of this as while he's friends with Pyrrha, he does admit that if she causes trouble with his diner or his employees, he'll have to bar her from the establishment.
  • Convicted by Public Opinion: Team RWBY and the others who like Jaune's diner specifically try to do this to Café Prime. Since everyone likes Jaune's, learning who is responsible will stop them from trying to close his place down over and over again.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Averted with Alexander Sterling, a regional director of Café Prime, a major coffee retailer, and Jaune's rival. While he does engage in marketing schemes that are barely disguised price-fixing, and he is personally unpleasant and rude toward Jaune, he is operating within his rights as a competitor. Jaune himself tells off the Malachite Twins for wanting to treat a legal business like a rival gang to destroy. Played straight, as it's revealed that the hoods who wrecked Jaune's place and injured him were working on orders from Café Prime. Later when he starts receiving bad press due to buying Jaune's building and evicting him, Sterling tries to have Jaune evicted sooner than is legal, even if he has to make up a reason why..
  • Corrupt Politician: The council member who went against protocol to approve Café Prime's plans to buy three adjacent store fronts and turn them into a single coffeehouse and had roadwork started on the other end of the street two years early is Alexander Sterling's brother-in-law.
  • Cosplay Café: When Team RWBY help out at Jaune's for a day, all of them dress up in maid outfits. Later Jaune starts doing themed weekends where he and his employees dress up in certain costumes.
  • Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon: When Mercury tries to punch Jaune (in order to make him instinctively use his Aura), Neo puts him in a submission hold and threatens to gouge out his eyes with a spoon.
  • Damned by Faint Praise: Ruby thinks Weiss is doing this when she deems her order "acceptable" during Team RWBY's first visit to Jaune's.
  • Dark and Troubled Past:
    • Russel's father was an abusive drunk who only laid off him because Russel worked three part time jobs to support them. To cope, Russel turned to drugs. After Cardin saved him from his father, Russel quit doing drugs but kept working because now the money he earned would actually be his.
    • Cinder's village was wiped out when a team of huntsmen used said village as bait for a pack of Grimm they couldn't defeat.
    • Like the author's other works, Roman's team was killed in the Mountain Glen incident.
  • Dirty Coward: A team of huntsmen provoked a pack of Grimm they couldn't defeat. In order to escape, they used Cinder's village as bait.
  • Disproportionate Retribution:
    • A thug is paid to vandalize Jaune's shop by throwing a brick through his window. Said thug is kidnapped by Neo and Roman, tortured into telling who hired him, then beaten to death with the very brick he threw. Though the last part was entirely Neo; Roman meant to leave him alive.
    • King, Junior's father, almost had the Malachite twins beaten and/or killed for intruding on his territory, even though they were a couple of children who were minor criminals at best.
  • Does Not Know His Own Strength: Ironwood likes to pounds his robotic fist on tables for emphasis. It's only afterwards he realizes he just damaged a table at the diner he's drinking at.
  • Dramatic Irony: Jaune and Roman both talk about how troublesome "cats" are, having no idea that they're both talking about the trouble Blake has caused for them.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Yang counts Ren as part of the "sexy girls" group, something Nora agrees with and Ren doesn't bother to argue.
  • Enemy Mine:
    • The Malachite Sisters and the Huntresses of Beacon, despite their mutual animosity work together to help Jaune and his diner after the former is assaulted and robbed. Velvet even uses their term "Mutual enemies" to describe herself.
    • Junior is willing to put aside his enmity for Yang (who trashed his bar and beat up his men) after she reveals Cafe Prime successfully found a way to drive Jaune out of business.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Roman admits to himself that he spoils Neo too much but that he also enjoys having someone to spoil.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • Adam Taurus is adamant that some places should never be targeted, such as hospitals and schools. He places Beacon Academy (and all huntsman academies by extension) at the top of the list, noting that only the Grimm win by Beacon falling. In a later chapter, he remarks that the White Fang never target children, citing that they're terrorists, not monsters, and that Weiss is targeted because she attacked them first.
    • Mercury is disgusted by racists, viewing them as hypocrites who can fetishize women in bunny costumes all they want, yet still call a rabbit faunus (an actual "bunny girl") a dirty animal.
  • Everyone Can See It:
    • Everyone except Jaune is aware Pyrrha has feelings for him, though Ruby does admit that since Jaune never sees what Pyrrha is like around others, he can't really be faulted for not realizing.
    • Likewise, everyone except Velvet and Russel can see their Unresolved Sexual Tension, including Jaune.
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • Roman, despite being a criminal, looks down on street hoods, seeing them as immature and unprofessional. He has particular contempt for one of the thugs who attacked Jaune and ransacked his diner, due to being some rich kid who wasted his potential on a drug habit.
    • Junior is uncomfortable seeing Miltia in her underwear, citing that he's a man, her boss, and fifteen years her senior.
  • Everyone Is Armed:
    • Once Jaune's cafe starts catering almost exclusively to Huntsmen, Jaune invests in weapon racks for customers to hang their weapons on, with the most tame example being a pair with a knife and a pistol.
    • Lampshaded by the Malachite twins who consider a group of thugs with clubs and knives to be unarmed because "In Remnant, a knife didn't count unless it was also a heat seeking missile".
  • Evil Versus Oblivion: Junior and the Malachite twins decide to stop Cinder's plan-because their livelihoods depend on Vale not being overrun by Grimm.
  • Exact Words:
    • Roman tells Jaune that he and Neo are "in the removal business", causing Jaune to believe they're trash collectors or repo-men, not realizing their thieves.
    • When a couple of wannabe gangsters hit on the Malachite twins, Miltia responds to the one grabbing her ass that she can smell he's a virgin a mile off. But it's a shame to keep living as a virgin and offers to take care of that for him. Naturally, she intends to kill him for groping her.
  • Face of a Thug:
    • Russel looks like a delinquent but is a Consummate Professional whose former bosses all gave him glowing references for his work ethic and manners.
    • Marron, the baker Jaune buys his cakes from, is a bear of a man who looks like a hardened criminal but is a total sweetheart who sends Jaune a cake shaped like a bouquet of roses when he's injured and loves chatting about his daughters.
  • Fair Weather Friend: Russell is this toward Velvet. While he does get along well with Velvet at work, he is not willing to stick his neck out her when she is bullied for her Faunus heritage. He does begin to grow out of this.
  • Fangirl: Reese is one for both Jaune and Velvet, with the former having to stop her from harassing the latter.
  • A Father to His Men:
    • Junior apparently regularly gives advice, including relationship advice, to his underlings.
    • Adam himself is also very protective of his fellow Faunus.
  • From the Mouths of Babes: Ruby comments that Pyrrha is thirsty and when Weiss asks if she even knows what that means, Ruby says Pyrrha "wants Jaune to pin her against a wall and bang her." Ruby then tells a shocked Weiss that she's fifteen, not five; of course she knows about sex.
  • For Want of a Nail: Jaune's fake transcripts aren't accepted, triggering the entire plot. The canonical team lineups are shaken up as a result; Cardin, Ren, Sky, and Nora are on Team CRSN, while Pyrrha and Russel are on a team together.
  • Gilligan Cut: When interviewing Russel and Velvet, Jaune thinks to himself that he only needs a single helper and Russel is far more qualified so he has to do what's best for his business. The next scene has him telling Team RWBY that he hired both of them.
  • Giver of Lame Names: Roman feels this way after hearing Cinder named her white husky puppy "Snow", though he does admit it's not too bad when he realizes it's full name is Snow Fall.
  • Good Feels Good: After deciding not to tell Cinder that Ruby is aware of their plans, Mercury notes that, in a weird way, it feels good to know that someone is alive because of him.
  • Good-Guy Bar: Team RWBY spreads word of how good Jaune's cafe is, and it quickly becomes popular with Huntsmen and Huntresses.
  • Head-Tiltingly Kinky: When Militia pins Jaune down in the middle of the cafe both Yang and Blake are stunned, and Yang even compares it to a zombie movie.
  • He Cleans Up Nicely: Team RWBY notes that Russel looks and acts like a thug at Beacon, but he actually looks very respectable as one of Jaune's waters.
  • Hidden Depths:
    • Russel has the Face of a Thug, partially due to his mohawk but is an excellent waiter and all of his references gave him glowing reviews when Jaune called them. Jaune and Team RWBY all note that when in uniform, his looks make him look adorably wild rather than looking like a delinquent. Later chapters also show he's not racist against Faunus like Cardin but merely tolerates it due to their friendship.
    • When asked, Junior sits down and gives Miltia genuine and thoughtful dating advice, including how insure she doesn't make Jaune too uncomfortable.
    • Adam Taurus admits to Mercury he's quite fond of dogs and generally thinks both humans and faunus could learn a lot from them.
  • Hollywood Healing: Averted when Jaune's shoulder is dislocated. He wears a sling for almost a month and even afterwards still has a few weeks before it'd be fully healed. Played straight once Cinder unlocks his Aura to help him recover from a beating.
  • Honor Before Reason: When the Grimm start flooding into Vale, Jaune refuses to leave an elderly couple that can't walk quickly, even when they insist that Jaune leave them behind, much to Miltia's chagrin.
    Militia: "Of course you'd fucking risk your life to help someone else. You..You stupid fucking bastard."
  • Hypocritical Humor: Ironwood chastises Glynda for breaking the table they were sitting at when it was his blows that damaged it to the point she accidentally broke it.
  • I Have This Friend...: Jaune insists on using this line even when Ruby tells him she's heard it dozens of times before.
    • When Ruby goes to Oobleck, he refuses to believe she really is asking advice for a friend.
  • I Never: The Twins take Jaune to the club’s private room with Neo and Pyrrha in Chapter 24 for a few rounds of this. We learn in short order that he’s been caught masturbating, gone through public exposure, and never kissed a girl. Milita and Pyrrha happily correct that last one. A minute each. With tongue.
  • I Should Write a Book About This: Jaune's sister Coral has decided write a book about his work as a barista. When Jaune bluntly asks his father if it's smut, the older Arc's refusal to respond is telling.
  • Inelegant Blubbering: Pyrrha breaks down crying after hearing Jaune and Miltia are going on a date, with Coco thinking that no matter what some might claim, no one looks good when they're crying.
  • Instant Web Hit: Velvet taking down Sterling's bodyguard is filmed by Blake then uploaded to the internet. By the following day, the video has already gone viral.
  • Instantly Proven Wrong: When Glynda bemoans that Ozpin and Ironwood are discussing security for the Vytal Festival in a diner, where anyone can be listening in, Ozpin assures her that the White Fang isn't going to be at Jaune's of all places. A few tables over, Adam (the leader of the White Fang in Vale) rolls his eyes while sharing a table with Mercury (the minion of Cinder Fall, Big Bad of the first three seasons).
  • Intrepid Reporter: Lisa Lavender, who deals with criminals and breaks in to record rooms to get her stories.
  • Irony: The author's notes for chapter 9 lampshade the fact that an ordinary businessman is a bigger threat to Jaune personally than one of the most dangerous terrorists on Remnant.
  • "It" Is Dehumanizing: Cardin refers to Velvet as "something" and an "animal".
  • I've Come Too Far: When asked, Weiss explains that Café Prime has reached a point where they simply have to weather the bad press and drive Jaune's out of business. If they give up, they'll not only allow a competitor to succeed, but several of their investors will likely offer to fund Jaune's to turn it into a franchise, which will hurt Café Prime far more than some temporary bad publicity.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Cardin may be a racist but he also saved Russell's life from the latter's abusive father.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Both Russell and Velvet rather crudely call out Pyrrha on her belief that Jaune is her only real friend because "he can see past her fame" since he's completely ignorant of said fame.
  • Jerkass Realization: Ruby is ashamed when she accidentally calls out Mercury on having metal feet, horrified that she "called out a disabled person on being disabled". Mercury himself assures he doesn't mind.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch:
    • Roman, Junior, and Neo are a pack of vicious criminals, but few complain when they direct that viciousness toward the criminals who hurt Jaune.
    • Jacques Schnee is a bad parent and a heartless businessman. It is cool to see him use his legal resources against Café Prime, if only because they dared insult his name.
    • Cardin is a racist jerk, but it's very satisfying to hear that he beat Russel's very abusive father to within an inch of his life.
  • Klatchian Coffee: Oobleck's Drink Order is a triple espresso with less water than usual, which is strong enough Jaune feels sick just thinking about it.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: Jaune is ashamed that when four men broke into his cafe and beat and robbed him, all he could do was beg for them to stop. Upon hearing this, the Malachite twins explain that in his situation, all he could do was fight, give up, or do nothing. Alone, unarmed, and with no experience, he couldn't hope to fight against four armed men. Doing nothing, aka stoically taking the beating, would tell them they hadn't beaten him enough. The only viable option was to give up and let them know he was giving up.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Café Prime's shady business practices come back to haunt them when they're found complicit in damaging other businesses and helping a Council member falsify documents to deal with Jaune's.
  • The Last Straw: Played for Laughs. Glynda (rather lightly) smacks the table she, Ozpin, and Ironwood were sitting at. Because Ironwood had been repeatedly hitting it with his metal fist, the entire table collapses.
  • Late to the Realization: Jaune doesn't figure out Roman is a crime lord and Neo his underling until the former flat-out tells him.
  • Lawful Evil: Adam Taurus holds himself to the White Fang's rules, which is why he's genuinely desperate to bring Blake back into the fold as otherwise said rules will force him to kill her. While Adam doesn't want to harm Blake, he also believes he cannot and should not go against White Fang's rules simply because they inconvenience him.
  • Leeroy Jenkins:
    • Blake's standard response to even hearing about White Fang is to charge out to fight them, something Jaune lampshades.
    • Subverted when Team RWBY catches Cinder Fall at the CCT. Neptune suggests just charging in but Weiss points out that they have time and the rest of the team is coming so they should wait for back-up. Once the others arrive, Weiss goes for help while the others confront Cinder.
  • Like Parent, Like Spouse: Juniper is basically an older Miltia with her first line of the series being a shouted "What the fuck were you thinking?" to her son after he gets injured in the Breach.
  • Lonely at the Top: As per canon, Pyrrha's fame and skill have left her isolated from her peers who are intimidated by her, which has only gotten worse without Jaune alongside her at Beacon.
  • Magnetic Hero: Jaune's diner is popular among huntsmen, terrorists, and criminals alike. When even Cinder Fall has some fondness for you, you know you are this.
  • Married to the Job: Even after Jaune's hired help become competent enough to run the diner themselves, Jaune never takes a day off if the cafe is open. When he's forced to take time off, Jaune realizes he has no hobbies or even any idea what to do when he's not working.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: The milquetoast, passive Jaune gets hit on by the assertive, tough Militia Malachite.
  • invokedMoe: Velvet, which earns her a lot of fans online when videos of her talking to the press and taking down Sterling's bodyguard are uploaded. Russel lampshades that she just looks like she needs protecting, then has to look away, claiming "it's too powerful".
  • Meet the In-Laws: In chapter 46, Miltia meets Jaune's parents, though without the usual drama. Yang suggests Juniper likes Miltia but is going out of her way to get along with her for Jaune's sake.
  • Mistaken for Romance: Team RWBY mistake Mercury for Ruby's boyfriend after the two are seen having private conversations together.
  • Morality Pet: Roman Torchwick, despite being a self-serving criminal, has a genuine fondness and respect for Jaune.
  • Mugging the Monster:
    • An indirect example. The thugs who put Jaune in the hospital and trash his business inadvertently put themselves in the crosshairs of the hormonal Huntsmen and Huntresses in training, and the even less-morally restrained criminal underground, that love Jaune and/or his diner.
    • Another indirect example occurs when Alexander Sterling calls the ones smearing his business practice liars without first finding out who it is, thinking it's Jaune Arc. Instead it's Weiss Schnee and he's just directly insulted the Schnee family who own the largest Mega-Corp in Remnant.
    • Alexander Sterling tries to have his bodyguard remove Velvet when she refuses to let him see Jaune. Velvet easily places the larger man in a submission hold with the implied threat of breaking his shoulder if he resists.
  • Mundane Solution: How does Alexander Sterling try to drive out Jaune from business in Chapter 28? He buys the property for twice the amount and can evict him after four weeks notice. Even if he sets up somewhere else, they can do it until he's crushed by the relocation costs.
    • How do they Velvet, Russel, and Team RWBY try to fight back? Have the regulars let the information get out through rumors to damage public perception. No one likes it when a big business topples a smaller one, and Jaune's isn't large enough to be a threat so they'll likely just drop it to protect their brand.
  • Must Have Caffeine: This trait is why Jaune's cafe is under the protection of Junior, Roman Torchwick, and Cinder Fall, with Junior and his men ordering fifty coffees twice a day. His is the only coffeehouse in the city that isn't a mediocre franchise and his stock has enough quality and variety to make even coffee hater Ruby visit several times a week for a cup. Understandably, the need for caffeine shows through the most when Team RWBY has to wake up at 3am to help Jaune run his shop for a day.
    Weiss: Coffee.
    Jaune: What kind?
    Weiss: Coffee!
    • During the fall dance, Ozpin tries to make Jaune deliver an order to Beacon despite the Grimm infested forest between Vale and Beacon, telling him to soldier through. According to Ozpin himself, he is indeed addicted to coffee.
  • Must Make Amends: Cinder feels this way after Jaune is injured in the Breach, bringing him a bouquet of purple hyacinthsnote .
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Yang is horrified after she accidentally dislocates Jaune's shoulder while trying to "protect" him from the Malachite twins.
  • Neighborhood Friendly Gangsters: Junior and his crew are this to Jaune, willing to go to bat for him when a pack of violent criminals injure Jaune and trash his diner.
  • Nice to the Waiter:
    • Roman gives staggeringly large tips whenever he comes to Jaune's for a mocha.
    • When asking Jaune to stay open late so she can hold a meeting, Cinder offers a staggering 500 lien (roughly a quarter of Jaune's rent) and is prepared to offer 600 before Jaune tells her the first offer is plenty.
  • No Sympathy: Pyrrha laughs at Jaune's and Russel's sudden internet fame due to them standing up to Cafe Prime. Velvet she feels bad for.
  • Noodle Incident: Ozpin and Oobleck get into a "coffee off", which Ozpin loses.
  • Normal Fish in a Tiny Pond:
    • Huntsmen in training like Russel, Velvet, and even Pyrrha seem superhuman to civilians but veteran hunters would have no problem taking them down. Pyrrha herself notes that while she can take on an entire team in school, a veteran would easily bend her over their knee.
    • Alexander Sterling is a fairly important business man in Vale, especially in the coffee industry, but to someone like Jacques Schnee, he's no more important or influential than someone selling hotdogs out of a cart. This becomes a major problem for Stirling when he unwittingly insults the Schnee name.
    • The Crimson Devils are pretty dangerous to the average civilian. But they are about as threatening as toddlers to huntresses and hardcore criminals like the Malachite Twins.
    • Despite how strong Melanie and Miltia are, they weren't strong enough to enter Beacon. Miltia lampshades that despite their skill and experience, Yang, someone entering their first year at Beacon, was able to beat the hell out of both of them.
  • Not Afraid to Die: When the Grimm attack Vale, Mrs Higgens and her husband, an elderly couple that frequent Jaune's, refuse to flee for the shelters, citing that they'll never make it old as they are and they've lived good lives. Jaune, however, refuses to leave them behind.
  • Not Helping Your Case:
    • Pyrrha desperately wants to make friends who don't merely see her as "The Invincible Girl" but her competitiveness causes her to go all out every fight despite Glynda's advice to throw a match or two. Furthermore, even when her team tries to talk to her, she gives the shortest answers she can get away with and never actually engages with them. Pyrrha eventually admits that she naively wanted a partner who'd never heard of her and dismissed Russel as another rabid fan the moment he recognized her.
    • Sterling's response to being accused of shady business practices is to attempt to illegally shut down Jaune's cafe and generally trying to bully Jaune into silence. One particular example at Jaune's cafe gets recorded by Blake and uploaded to the internet.
  • Not Hyperbole: According to Ozpin, he doesn't just love coffee but is literally addicted to caffeine.
  • Not So Above It All:
    • Glynda usually plays The Straight Man out of all her colleagues, until Jaune gives the table a platter of mini-cakes he made, she's struck by how adorable they are, wanting to take them home and use them as decorations.
    • While at a pet store, Jaune catches Cinder Fall playing with a puppy. She later goes back and buys it.
  • Not What It Looks Like: Ruby accidentally spots Jaune making a deal with Roman Torchwick and someone Roman calls "boss". While Ruby is worried about Jaune being tangled up with criminals and possibly being one himself, Jaune just lets them use his cafe to discuss business and until recently had no idea they were criminals.
  • Oblivious to Love: Jaune, as usual. He fails to realize that both Pyrrha and Miltia have feelings for him. The former is excused when he points out that he couldn't know she acts differently around him since he never sees her anywhere but at his cafe. The latter makes out with him in front of his customers before yelling at him about what she has to do to make him realize she likes him.
  • Oh, Crap!: Alexander Sterling has a brief moment after realizing he accidentally insulted the SDC.
  • Older Than They Look: More than once, someone mistakes Neo for being barely a teenager when she's actually in her twenties, due to the fact she's not even five feet tall while wearing stilettos.
  • Only Friend: According to Roman, Jaune is the only one who gets to see Cinder Fall the person rather than Cinder Fall the sociopathic megalomaniac.
  • Only Sane Man: Inverted with Sterling. While everyone else working for Café Prime is fairly reasonable, Sterling has to be repeatedly stopped from making a bad situation worse for himself. For example, when Sterling shows up at Jaune's cafe with a lawyer and bodyguard demanding a meeting with Jaune, his lawyer accepts the request to make an appointment for the next day (Jaune was taking the day off due to lack of sleep) while Sterling starts shouting for Velvet to bring Jaune to him and for everyone in the cafe to leave immediately because he demands it be closed.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business:
    • Due to his adherence to being a Consummate Professional, it says just how much Pyrrha pisses off Russell when he slams his tray down on the counter and starts angrily muttering about her. Not only is Pyrrha his partner who refuses to actually try to connect with Russell no matter how much he tries, when he made an effort to treat her like any other customer, she asked for Jaune to serve her instead.
    • Weiss and Ruby observe the effect Pyrrha has on Jaune: the humble, withdrawn, and studious Invincible Girl is buying and showing off new clothes and cutting class all so she could spend time with him.
    • In Chapter 36, seeing Roman contrite is enough to make Jaune open up his diner long after closing to speak with the man, thinking he didn't even think such an expression was possible for the crime lord.
    • When recounting fighting in the tunnels to Mountain Glen and his teammates' deaths, Roman struggles to light his cigar and slips into a different accent.
  • Outside-Context Problem: Several characters lampshade how Café Prime is harder to deal with compared to other villains: it isn't a Grimm that can be killed, nor a supervillain or gang leader that can be beaten up, but a legitimate company that simply uses the law and its resources to its own gain in its war on Jaune's shop.
    Ozpin: So much evil, Glynda. How can one coffee chain contain so much evil?
  • Overcomplicated Menu Order: A number of Jaune's customers have particularly complicated (and at times contradictory) drink orders. Some, like Ozpin and Weiss, show that they have particular tastes about their coffees. For others, their order shows that they're idiots, such as an unnamed customer who wants soy because they don't drink milk but also wants cream, then claims they don't want sprinkles because they're on a diet even though they ordered caramel sauce and bought a slice of chocolate cake.
  • Pædo Hunt: Pyrrha once hugged her agent after a match and the media immediately assumed they were dating, despite her being underage. Even though his name was cleared, his life had been ruined to the point he quit to avoid future allegations.
  • Pass the Popcorn: Jaune's customers often stop to watch whatever drama is currently unfolding in his life, such as Miltia storming into the cafe before tackling Jaune, making out with him, and demanding a date.
  • Person as Verb: Team RWBY refers to pulling a Leeroy Jenkins as "pulling a Blake".
  • Pet the Dog:
    • Roman Torchwick steps in and prevents Mercury from pickpocketing Jaune due to Jaune making "the best coffee in Vale". Roman notes Mercury is lucky Neo wasn't there to see it as she's even fonder of Jaune than he is. After the meeting, Cinder takes a liking to the cafe as well and orders Mercury and Emerald not to cause any trouble for it.
    • After some thugs rob Jaune, trash his cafe, and beat him unconscious, his various criminal customers take action. Cinder unlocks his aura so he'll heal in a few days rather than more than a year. Roman puts out word that he's looking for Jaune's stolen weapon. Junior's men completely remake the place. And every last one of them wants payback for what was done to their favorite barista.
    • As the Vytal Festival approaches, Cinder suggests multiple times that Jaune hire a temp so he can take the time off and go visit his family, in an attempt to protect him from the coming slaughter.
    • Adam Taurus offers genuine advice to Mercury about his situation and confesses he'd never have gone after Blake if she hadn't attacked the White Fang first.
  • Paper Tiger: While dangerous to a small business like Jaune's, Sterling flounders whenever someone isn't intimidated by him. After Velvet puts his bodyguard in a submission hold when Sterling tried to have her removed, he tries to threaten Velvet with being arrested for assault if she doesn't sign an NDA regarding Cafe Prime closing down Jaune's. Sterling immediately loses his cool and starts shouting when Velvet and Russel openly dare him to call the police on them.
  • Plausible Deniability: While Jaune, Roman, Neo, and the Malachite twins all know damn well that Café Prime hired the thugs who attacked Jaune's cafe, they can't prove it in a way that'd actually hold up in court.
  • Pragmatic Villainy:
    • Zigzagged with Cinder. Cinder ultimately sees Jaune's diner as little more than a place to discuss business, and implies that she'll destroy it in her gambit for power. However, she still somewhat comforts Jaune personally after he attacked by a pack of thugs, and unlocks his aura. While the latter can be explained as wanting to help him keep his business open for her own gain, the former can be chalked up as genuine fondness.
    • A fence who specializes in antiques assures Roman that he's not secretly holding on to Jaune's sword, citing the fact that the twenty or thirty grand he'd make off it isn't worth crossing someone like Roman.
    • Junior makes a point of keeping murder among his fellow criminals and gangs as it the police don't really care about criminals killing criminals. As a result, he finds terrorists distasteful, as they're a problem for everyone and their actions are bad for business.
  • Punch-Clock Villain:
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Junior is a mafia boss and addicted to Jaune's lattes. Chapter 39 reveals that his Drink Order is an extra large extra marshmallow chocolate sprinkle cappuccino.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Yang accidentally dislocates Jaune's arm as she's only ever had Huntsman friends and forgot how fragile civilians were.
    • Despite being high level criminals and terrorists, Roman and Cinder are far less antagonistic to Jaune than the district manager for a competitor cafe chain. To them Jaune is simply a humble cafe owner and thus not a threat to their plans.
    • When Jaune finds his cafe being robbed, his attackers badly beat him with Jaune unable to get in a single blow in return. Despite his shame afterwards, Militia explains that he was alone, untrained, and unarmed against four armed attackers; the best he could hope for was to live through a beating. At worst, he'd have been killed.
    • The district manager of Café Prime comes to Jaune with a contract regarding the upcoming Vytal Festival but it's filled with legal terms Jaune has trouble understanding. Naturally he goes to Weiss, who's been acting as his business consultant, right? Nope; Jaune instead makes an appointment with a lawyer specializing in business law to go over the contract and make any necessary revisions.
    • Just because Jaune now has a very expensive lawyer representing him doesn't mean he's won against Café Prime. He still has to fight what is likely to be a long and drawn out legal battle against them, while avoiding any legal pitfalls they may throw his way.
    • Ruby's different attempts at hiding when Mercury comes into Jaune's apartment each fail. Hiding on a shelf in his linen closet causes the shelf to come off the wall since it's not meant to hold a teenager's weight. Then hiding under Jaune's blankets fails because she didn't take care to hide her massive cape properly.
    • After Jaune and Ruby learn Cinder, Emerald, and Mercury are criminals on a higher level than Junior or Roman, Jaune can't actually do anything about it. Ruby may be a Huntress in training with the support of everyone at Beacon, but Jaune's just a civilian who runs a diner.
    • In Cinder's backstory, her mother hid her in a cubby when the Grimm attacked their village. Since Grimm are drawn to negativity, they quickly found Cinder's hiding spot and started digging their way through.
    • Eventually, Café Prime decides to simply settle out of court, offering Jaune half a million lien and the firing of Sterling as reparation. While Jaune finds the whole thing anticlimatic, both his solicitor and Roman inform him it was almost guaranteed to happen.
    • When the Grimm attack Vale, Jaune is armed with Aura and Crocea Mors. He completely fails to kill the sole Grimm that stumbles across his diner and his fear and pain draw more Grimm to him.
    • After the Breach, all hospitals are overflowing with people injured in the attack and medical staff are dead on their feet trying to care for everyone.
    • Part of Pyrrha's success in tournaments came from her fans sending hate mail and threats to any possible competitors, which ruined their self-confidence and made them easier to defeat.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Velvet, of all people, gives Pyrrha such a rant, pointing out that much of her issues are self-imposed, as she keeps isolating herself and acting downright manipulative purely out of cowardice. However, it reads more like a Dare to Be Badass speech, as the intent is to make Pyrrha recognise how pointless this behaviour is and hopefully change it.
  • Rhetorical Question Blunder:
    • Ozpin jokes about hiring someone who's obviously Roman Torchwick to handle security for the Vytal Festival then asks Ironwood if he (Ozpin) looks like an idiot. Ironwood replies that out of respect for their friendship, he'll remain silent.
    • After accidentally (as well as "accidentally") stepping on Mercury's feet several times while dancing, Ruby asks if his feet are made of steel. Mercury grins and says yes before tapping one foot against the other to prove it.
  • Robbing the Mob Bank: A couple of teenagers take to harassing Jaune's temporary waitresses (Team RWBY). Unfortunately for them, Jaune's cafe biggest group of regulars work for the local mafia (ordering fifty coffees from him twice a day) and one of their enforcers "encourages" the boys to leave.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: A benevolent example. When Jaune's shop gets robbed, Weiss uses her connections to get his store repaired, equipment replaced, and insurance paid out on the double.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Pyrrha not wanting to deal with people who only care about her because of her fame and break free of her "Invincible Girl" image further reinforced the image and kept anyone from trying to get to know the real her. Jaune lampshades when he hears the story.
  • Serious Business: Played for Laughs but Coco is quite serious when she tells Pyrrha that if the latter takes her pizza with ham and pineapple, then they can't be friends.
  • Sexy Secretary: Deliberately averted by Jacques Schnee whose secretary is noted as fairly unattractive but exceptionally intimidating, which he enjoys because it makes people less likely to bother her and, by extension, him.
  • Sickeningly Sweethearts:
    • Jaune buys Miltia a massive bouquet of red and black roses because he saw them and they reminded him of her.
    • Apparently Adam and Blake used to be this. After Adam mentions an underling who was clearly infatuated with Blake, Mercury asks if he ever considered a threesome, only for Adam to confess he never did because he was "young, passionate, and in love", having only eyes for Blake.
  • Side Bet: There's a betting pool going about whether or not Russel and Velvet will hook up, with both Yang and Jaune participating in the pool.
  • Slave to PR: After Russel and Velvet accidentally start a PR campaign by giving away the scores of bouquets Jaune's customers have given him, Café Prime responds by paying for all the repairs to Jaune's diner in an effort to boost their own PR. Jaune states they won't move against him again because of the PR nightmare that was Sterling's crusade against him.
  • Slut-Shaming: One of Miltia's exes tries to get back at her by telling Jaune that she's had a lot of partners before. Jaune, whose sisters' relationships have given him perspective, doesn't care.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: The Crimson Devils certainly think they're hot shit, but they're low level thugs at best. Miltia and Melanie even laugh at their name, comparing it to something an edgy teenager would come up with while crying in his room. Worse (for them) is that they not only tried to pick up the Malachite Twins, Junior's top enforcers, like they were hookers, they robbed and beat Jaune, who has the protection of Junior, Roman Torchwick, and Cinder Fall.
  • The Sociopath: Cinder is actually a rather realistic take on this trope. She's focused, clinical, emotionally detached, and manipulative. Unlike most fictional sociopaths, however, she can form real emotional attachments to others, though those attachments are extremely flimsy.
  • So Proud of You: When he comes to visit, Nicholas Arc tells his son how proud he is of him for becoming a successful business owner despite no experience.
  • Spotting the Thread: Lisa Lavender, investigating the story of Café Prime vs Jaune's diner, finds that the same council member went against protocol to approve the former's plan to turn three store fronts into a single coffeehouse and had roadwork started on the opposite side of the street even though the construction work would take until well after the Vytal Festival finished and wasn't necessary for a couple more years.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Jaune manages to do this to experienced fighters like Glynda Goodwitch and Adam Taurus by accident. They quickly realize it's because Jaune, a regular civilian, isn't remotely a threat to them and thus doesn't set off their danger sense.
  • Stop Being Stereotypical: According to Adam, faunus don't share any traits with the animals they resemble. Bunny Faunus don't reproduce quickly, dog Faunus don't have strong noses, etc. It's mere coincidence that Blake embodies every cat stereotype, including hating dogs and loving fish.
    • Marron the baker chides bunny-girl Velvet for favouring carrot cake. for this reason.
  • Sucks at Dancing: Ruby is terrible at dancing, to the extent Yang knows she isn't a doppelganger because no one else can be that bad. Luckily, her dance partner is Mercury.
  • Summon Bigger Fish: In a bit of Batman Gambit, Weiss insults Café Prime's business practices after Alexander Sterling buys Jaune's building and serves him an eviction notice. When Sterling calls the one insulting his business a liar without finding out who it is first, the newspapers run the story of Cafe Prime insulting the SDC, causing Jacques Schnee to get involved, sending his personal solicitor to represent Jaune as a means to crush Cafe Prime for drawing his ire.
  • Tears of Remorse: Yang finds herself crying in the hospital after she accidentally injures Jaune.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Nora has trouble being teammates with Cardin due to his alpha-male personality and Fantastic Racism.
  • The Tease:
    • Ever since Jaune initially mistook her for Roman's daughter, Neo takes to flirting with him at every opportunity to make sure he doesn't forget she's older than he is, such as pushing her breasts against him or slapping him on the ass.
    • Melanie and Miltia love teasing Jaune due to how fun they find his reactions.
    • Mercury flirts with Velvet whenever he visits because he finds her reactions both hilarious and adorable.
  • Technician vs. Performer: The conflict between Café Prime and Jaune's boils down to accuracy vs passion. Café Prime is a massive coffeehouse chain with fifteen locations in Vale alone but they're heavily focused on "efficiency" which means their tables are suffocatingly close together, their customer service feels fake, and their coffee is cheap but acceptable and only comes in one variety. Jaune's is a mom and pop store owned by Jaune Arc which, while more expensive, has par excellence customer service with friendly staff, a wide variety of coffee considered the best in the city, and a friendly and inviting atmosphere. It also shows in how they try to compete with one another: Café Prime will offer free coffee or hire expensive celebrities to host shows at their locations while Jaune's will use costumes and decorations to make themed weekends like dressing up as pirates.
  • There Is Only One Bed:
    • When Jaune takes Blake in for a night, they face this problem right away. In an unusual outcome, Blake insists on taking the couch, probably not wanting to throw her host out of his own bed.
    • One of Pyrrha's fantasies involves herself, Jaune, Jaune's bed and this trope. Time will tell if she manages to invoke it.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • One of Junior's men accepted a bribe to not notice when some thugs broke into Jaune's cafe, despite knowing full well that not only is Jaune's under Junior's protection, but Junior and the Malachite twins love his coffee. Junior later mentions the man's body would probably wash ashore in a few days.
    • A group of wannabe gangsters try to pick up the Malachite Twins, thinking they're hookers. Both are amazed at how stupid they must be to not know of Junior's top enforcers, given he's one of two kingpins in the city.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Averted for Jaune, despite having his Aura unlocked. Since he's still just a barista, the only use he gets out of it is the enhanced healing, so he recovers from a beating in days rather than months.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: A downplayed example with Pyrrha, who takes Coco's advice to stop trying to be nice all the time and just be herself instead.
  • Traumatic Superpower Awakening: Invoked by Jaune who pretends his Aura was instinctively unlocked when he was attacked by a group of thugs, as awakening someone's Aura is illegal except under specific circumstances.
  • Tsundere: The Malachite Twins behave this way toward Jaune. They alternate between liking Jaune for his excellence service and food, teasing him with innuendos and treating him like an amusing pet, and seeing him as a somewhat silly friend. The lengths they go to help Jaune rebuild his business and his spirits, imply that they do see him as a friend, but even then, they still deny it. Even they struggle to comprehend their true attitudes toward Jaune.
    • Miltia is the straighter example of the two and is the one legitimately interested. She's far more Tsun then Dere though.
  • Verbal Backspace: When Junior asks, Roman assures him the thug who tried to vandalize Jaune's is still alive. Moments later, Neo exits the room they were keeping him in, covered in blood and smiling, causing Roman to retract his statement.
  • Villain Has a Point:
    • Before they start getting nasty, Weiss claims Café Prime and it's regional manager Alexander Sterling are technically right to try and force Jaune out of business as soon as possible, citing that it's easier to do so when he's just starting out rather than wait until he's a serious competitor. Weiss later changes her mind after Sterling crosses the line from Villainy-Free Villain to Corrupt Corporate Executive.
    • According to Adam, his problem with Blake wasn't that she left the White Fang, as several others have before. His problem is that rather than speak with him about her problems and arrange to leave, she abandoned him in the middle of an operation, leaving him to potentially be killed by SDC forces. Even then he didn't seek her out until Blake attacked the White Fang herself; regardless of his feelings for her, Adam can't allow his men to be captured or killed because of her.
  • Villain Respect: Adam Taurus comes to respect both Jaune and Velvet. Jaune, because he doesn't even consider discriminating against Faunus nor does he allow them to be discriminated against in his cafe. Velvet because she's managed to find the happiness and equality that the White Fang fight for.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Jaune's refusal to sell his cafe along with his friends' successful attempts to defame Café Prime see Sterling flying into a rage and shouting at pretty much everyone.
  • Villainous Friendship: Torchwick and Junior get along pretty well.
  • Villains Out Shopping: Except for Cinder, the villains who frequent Jaune's diner do so entirely because it's a good place to relax and enjoy a magnificent cup of coffee.
  • Villainy-Free Villain: The closest thing Jaune has to an enemy is Café Prime and it's district manager Alexander Sterling who are merely professional rivals. Subverted when it turns out Café Prime hired the goons who trashed Jaune's cafe and beat him.
  • Violently Protective Girlfriend: Militia makes it very clear that anyone who threatens Jaune will be lucky just to get their face stomped by her heels.
  • Vocal Minority: Adam explains that the fanatical nutjobs are a minority in the White Fang's leadership and it simply benefits the Kingdoms to act as though they're the rule rather than the exception.
  • We Can Rule Together: In chapter 34, Sterling comes to Jaune with an offer for a merger that will see Jaune made district manager of his own branch of Café Prime that focuses on quality and specialty drinks like his own cafe currently does.
  • Wisdom from the Gutter: When Mercury starts having second thoughts about Cinder's plans, it's Adam Taurus who gives him advice, not on what to do, but on how to decide what he should do.
  • You Didn't See That: Upon stumbling across Cinder playing with a puppy, Mercury quickly asserts he didn't see anything with Cinder insisting he didn't.
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