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Fanfic / Think Before You Speak (MHA)

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Somebody hurt his little brother.

Something went wrong during their very first training exercise, and Tenya ended up in the hospital, seriously injured and knocked out cold. All those painkillers meant that Tenya couldn't tell him what happened, but that was okay. Aizawa provided all the information he needed.

Too bad Aizawa didn't tell him the truth. And too bad that he decided that the media should know just what he thought of the whole matter. Their parents always taught them the importance of watching what they said, but surely he couldn't be blamed for his Moment of Weakness, right?



Think Before You Speak is yet another My Hero Academia-inspired work by Barid (Finale), who also penned Build Yourself Up (Don't Let Them Break You Down), Crimson and Emerald and Failure to Explode. In this 'verse, Tenya gets caught in the crossfire of Katsuki's explosive murder attempt, and Tensei publicly blames Izuku for the incident... only to learn too late that he didn't have all the information, as consequences come crashing down on some very different targets than he and Aizawa anticipated.

Think Before You Speak also forms the crux of the Sticks and Stones 'verse, followed by Words May Hurt, a collection of various perspectives exploring the fallout.


This series contains examples of:

  • Accusation Fic:
    • invoked Downplayed. While the fic is primarily focused on Tensei's actions and their repercussions, Barid (Finale) makes clear through several comments that the series also draws from their issues and frustrations with the canonical versions of Aizawa and Bakugou. Namely how Horikoshi favors them, how much canon "glosses over" their behavior, and taking umbrage with certain Fanon ideas like "Dadzawa". This factors into how both face Adaptational Karma here.
    • Words May Hurt was originally meant to start with Aizawa's point of view but instead begins with Bakugou, with Aizawa getting his own time in the spotlight later, allowing for both to be called out more directly.
    • Barid (Finale) also makes clear that they are attempting to avoid presenting Aizawa as a Flat Character/Hate Sink, as he sincerely believes he's being 'logical' and is blind to his own biases.
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  • Adaptational Badass: In canon, Inko isn't shown to be much more than a good mother to Izuku; we don't even know whether she has a job. In this story, as in other works by Barid (Finale), she's revealed to be a senior partner in one of Japan's most powerful lawyer firms. As a result, both U.A. and Iidaten are shown to be very nervous about her holding them responsible for how her son was slandered.
  • Adaptational Context Change: Stain's reason for attacking Tensei here differs from canon. In canon, he attacked Tensei for trying to capture him but derided him as a "false hero" nonetheless, an Informed Attribute due to Tensei's only "crime" being the occasional advertisement, and otherwise being an amazing hero. Here, his reasoning is because of Tensei's conduct following Tenya's accident and attempts at ruining Midoriya's career before it began, causing him to switch targets from Native to Tensei.
  • Adaptational Jerkass: While hardly a saint in canon, Aizawa is more of a Stern Teacher with a sadistic edge, and is a better person than he initially presents himself as.note  In this story, he's perfectly okay with destroying Izuku's future with a gigantic lie for the grievous crimes of being less than perfect at handling his Quirk and not having the capacity of kicking the kid out himself.
  • Adaptational Karma: Unlike canon, Katsuki blatantly defying All Might's orders and using his gauntlets lands him in detention, as well as getting him barred from participating in the Sports Festival.
  • An Aesop: When children make mistakes, the primary responsibility is on adults to react appropriately, not on the children. While consequences for intentionally wrong actions are appropriate, the purpose of the response should primarily be to productively guide the children involved through the mistakes to help them learn and grow.
  • Armor-Piercing Question:
    • Downplayed during "Erased From the Story". When President Saito responds to Aizawa's rant about Midoriya by asking "Eraserhead, did you actually bother reading your students' files?", he immediately realizes that he's in trouble. He doesn't fully grasp just how much until after admitting that he doesn't do so right away.
    • Shortly after the above, when Aizawa continues to insist that Izuku's self-sacrificing nature makes him a poor fit for Heroics, Endeavor bluntly asks him if he really believes somebody like that wouldn't still try to help somebody else, even at the risk of getting hurt or killed, with or without proper training.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: The scandal has prompted the HPSC to dig deeper into U.A., investigating for a variety of reasons. They wish to learn more about Bakugou's behavior, to determine how much of a risk he remains and whether he'll repeat his offense. They want to determine why and how Aizawa became so biased after just a couple of days with his latest class, and how much those biases have impacted other students. And they also just like being able to shove their nose into U.A. and poke around, with the incident offering the perfect excuse.
  • Batman Gambit: Aizawa's plan to force Izuku out of UA in disgrace requires of Aizawa only one thing: a lie to Tensei about Izuku's involvement in Tenya's injuries. Aizawa predicted that an outraged Tensei would make his Malicious Slander public and do the dirty work of smearing Izuku for Aizawa, assuming that people would side with Tensei and UA would have to buckle under the pressure and force Izuku out. The gambit fails because, while Tensei behaves exactly as Aizawa predicted, the public and the rest of the Hero community do not. UA does buckle under public pressure, but the pressure came from outrage over Tensei's attempt to smear a child in the media and the involvement of the child's teacher in the Malicious Slander. As such, UA is put under investigation and forced to accept direct Hero Commission oversight, which promptly forces Aizawa out.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Katsuki thought that he'd prefer being left alone, especially if Izuku stopped tagging after him. After the incident, he finds out that it kinda sucks when you've got no choice in the matter.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Exploited by Aizawa to turn Tensei into his Unwitting Pawn.
  • Broken Pedestal: Tenya's Big Brother Worship is completely shattered when he learns just what Tensei did, as he's left terrified that he'll wind up being bullied and ostracized by his classmates. Just like back in middle school...
  • Convicted by Public Opinion: Aizawa wished to exploit this by turning public opinion against Midoriya. It didn't work out quite the way he intended.
  • "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot: In "Erased From the Story", President Saito suggests that all the drama could have been avoided if Aizawa had actually bothered to read his students' files, as this would have informed him that Izuku's Quirk had only recently come in. Notably, however, Aizawa asserts that this would not have affected his assessment.
  • Deadly Dodging: The crux of the Nail: Izuku avoids Katsuki's gauntlet-fueled explosion. Tenya doesn't.
  • Didn't Think This Through:
    • Tensei really didn't consider how bad it would look for him to go off to the media and name names, attempting to ruin the future of a kid who's only just started training to become a Pro Hero over one accident.
    • Aizawa feeds Tensei a deliberately skewed account of how his brother got injured, hoping to use his outrage to force Izuku out of U.A. He fails to consider that he went on record affirming the official, truthful version of events, providing written evidence that he knew what actually happened and eliminating any plausible deniability about being 'confused'.
    • Both also didn't consider the possibility of others stepping up to defend Midoriya against their accusations, much less that said defenses might come from major figures like All Might (who also witnessed the event and can easily reveal the truth) and Endeavor. And to top it all off, neither of them accounted for the fact that Midoriya's mother Inko is one of the senior partners at Tokyo's third largest heroic law firms, meaning she can easily sue the Iidaten Agency and U.A. for slandering her son.
      • Tensei's mother outright tells Tensei that having Endeavor of all people state he's in the wrong is damning since it can not only affect Tensei's career but Tenya's too by association, especially since, personality aside, Endeavor is still the Number 2 Hero.
      • Left unmentioned is the fact that All Might, the #1 hero and revered Symbol of Peace, had also condemned Ingenium for his actions and the impact that would have on them.
      • The HPSC President admits to Aizawa that she's confused about how he expected his plan to work. While Ingenium was popular and fairly well respected, that didn't render his word ironclad; anyone could recognize that he'd been emotionally compromised over his brother being hurt. She also notes that her Commission and/or U.A. itself would be issuing their own statements on the matter, and could easily reveal the truth.
  • Disappointed in You:
    • Tensei's mother makes very clear how disappointed she is by his misconduct, while Tenya is so upset and worried over the fallout that he can't even bring himself to look at his brother, much less tell him directly how he feels. Tensei thinks that his silence stings far worse, anyway.
    • Kirishima stops trying to reach out to Katsuki after the incident, giving him a disappointed look.
  • Disproportionate Retribution:
    • Since he couldn't just expel Izuku, Aizawa decided the best way to punish him for not having flawless control over his Quirk was to convince Tensei he was responsible for Tenya getting hurt and completely wreck his reputation before he even had a chance to really get started with his education at U.A.
    • In return for Izuku allegedly seriously injuring Tenya during their class' first training exercise, Tensei intentionally seeks to catch the media's attention so he can blast Izuku in the press. Prior to Tensei's actions, Izuku was a no-name high school student who hadn't even debuted in the sports festival, and Tensei was a fairly popular and admired Pro Hero. If not for the even-higher-profile adults in Izuku's life speaking up for him and making sure public attention is on the more sympathetic narrative they told, Tensei very likely could have ruined Izuku's life and career prospects. Many civilians and professionals alike are quick to point this out and express that Tensei's actions, even if performed in a Moment of Weakness after being given misinformation, were so completely excessive as to be disgraceful.
    • The final scene of Think Before You Speak heavily implies that Stain intends to kill Tensei for slandering an aspiring hero-in-training.
    • Bakugou views his month of detention and removal from this year's Sports Festival as this, since he doesn't see using lethal force against Izuku as wrong. The HPSC sees this as an inversion, and UA barely got them to agree to such a light punishment based on the fact that it was Bakugou's first offense.
  • Double Standard: Aizawa considers Midoriya to be completely incapable of addressing the issues holding him back, such as his poor control of his Quirk and self-sacrificing nature. At the same time, he defends Bakugou by proclaiming that he can improve and change his ways, despite how he's completely unapologetic about how his recklessness seriously injured another student. President Saito directly calls him out on this during "Erased From the Story".
  • Dramatic Irony: In "Implosion", the first installment of Words May Hurt, it's noted that the sole reason Katsuki isn't being outright expelled is due to this being his 'first strike'. This unintentionally reveals that Nedzu and U.A. are not only unaware of Katsuki's history at Aldera, but that he brazenly attacked Izuku during the Quirk Assessment Test as well.
  • Dramatically Missing the Point:
    • Katsuki doesn't understand why he's being punished for seriously injuring one of his classmates. Even after learning that his detention is going to consist of special classes focused on appropriate Quirk usage and regulations, he dismisses their value in comparison to the 'real' special lessons Izuku is getting.
    • Even after learning that Izuku only recently discovered his Quirk — something that he would have already known had he bothered reading the files provided for him — Aizawa continues defending his treatment of him.
  • Dynamic Entry: The League of Villains' attempt at this goes hilariously awry, as the scandal with Ingenium and Aizawa got 1-A's USJ trip canceled. The League ends up breaking into the empty facility, realizing there's no one there to attack, and awkwardly turning around and leaving again.
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • Chitose may be part of the Meta Liberation Army's Propaganda Machine, but she immediately picks up on the holes in Tensei's account, as well as how strange it is for him to be naming names when children are involved, let alone aspiring heroes in training.
    • Similarly, the Hero Commission proves to be equally unimpressed with the unprofessional conduct of the adults involved, rather than zeroing in completely on the students.
    • While this is pre-Character Development Endeavor, even he wouldn't condone Tensei's behavior nor the effects it would have on Midoriya, causing him to speak out in Midoriya's support when reporters question him thanks to his son being in the same class. He's also appalled to learn that Aizawa was favoring a student who got in entirely on Villain Points over a student who got in entirely on Rescue Points, as he considers the former to be infinitely more alarming.
    • Generally speaking, Aizawa's whole scheme blows up in his face because the public doesn't react the way he anticipated. Instead of turning en masse against Midoriya based on limited and faulty information, most are instead horrified and disgusted by Tensei's misconduct.
  • Exposition Cut: While Tensei apparently went on an extensive rant against Izuku during his interview, we only see the beginning, in which he frames one of Tenya's nameless classmates as careless and responsible for Tenya's injuries and details their family's ability to heal their engines. That he did eventually call out Izuku by name is obvious by the discussion between the reporters in the next scene and the inclusion of Izuku's name in the public statements and discussion that occur in response, but we don't actually read that part of Tensei's statement ourselves.
  • For Want of a Nail:
    • When Katsuki pulls the pin on his gauntlets and tries to blow up Izuku during the Heroes vs. Villains exercise, he ends up injuring Tenya instead.
    • Principal Nedzu made clear to Aizawa that he wouldn't be allowed to expel anyone from his current crop of students. This doesn't prevent Aizawa from making those threats; more insidiously, it leads him to try and kick Midoriya out through alternative means...
    • While the 'Engine Trouble' AU had Tensei's Malicious Slander succeed, here several high-profile figures immediately call him out on targeting a student, with public opinion swinging against him as a result.
    • Because of the whole uproar with a student trying to kill another student and another student getting injured as a result, the USJ trip is canceled, which results in the League of Villains arriving at an empty facility, which means no USJ incident.
    • Per Word of God, since the USJ never happened, Monoma doesn't have his grudge from canon against Class A. Instead he is rather sympathetic to the situation and finds Aizawa's actions rather uncomfortable.
  • Freudian Excuse Is No Excuse:
    • Discussed by Chitose and Rikiya; the latter points out that Tensei's judgment was clouded by concern over his younger brother's condition. However, Chitose counters that it's still a PR nightmare and that he brought it up while she was asking him about a completely unrelated topic.
    • Invoked by Stain. While he understands Tensei was lied to by Aizawa and that he was upset over his brother being hurt, it doesn't excuse his actions. His rant about Midoriya was conduct unbecoming of a Hero, and he should have readily been aware that Tenya being injured was an inevitability since he was in training to be a Hero, and that U.A. had the best medical Quirks capable of helping Tenya, meaning he had no reason to react as poorly as he did.
    • During the HPSC investigation into Aizawa's motives and actions towards Izuku, it's heavily implied Aizawa never worked through his trauma over the death of Oboro Shirakumo. Instead, it's implied he has chosen to push his trauma-motivated irrational standards onto his students, trying to avoid another "reckless" death at any cost, even if the student didn't do anything wrong and his actions damage their educations or careers. His choices regarding Izuku are just the most extreme example known. The HPSC makes very clear that this doesn't excuse his behavior towards his students and instead see this as a sign that he is totally unfit for his teaching position. Further, the duplicitous manner in which he acted in order to enforce his irrational standards means they don't find him trustworthy enough to be a hero, either.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
    • Tensei's thoughtless complaints to the media wind up having massive negative ramifications for his career, rather than ruining Izuku's prospects.
    • Applies even more acutely to Aizawa, who lied to Tensei about what happened in the first place as part of a plan to get Midoriya out of his hair. Instead, Aizawa is the one who winds up getting kicked out of 1-A and possibly out of the field of Heroics, as he's suspended from work pending an investigation and Midnight takes over as 1-A's homeroom teacher.
  • Hypocrite:
    • Chitose paints Tensei as one by citing how differently he treated a training accident that occurred during his first year at U.A.
    • Aizawa's primary justification for attempting to destroy Midoriya's reputation and future is because he doesn't have precise, perfect control over his Quirk. To do so, he turns a blind eye towards the fact that Bakugou intentionally lets his own Quirk run wild, not caring if anybody else gets hurt so long as he 'wins'.
  • In Spite of a Nail: Shigaraki still takes an interest in Katsuki; it simply happens much sooner, thanks to the training accident. (Once he actually, uh, finds out about it.)
  • Insane Troll Logic: Aizawa's excuses for his Malicious Slander Batman Gambit. He argues that Heroics doesn't need someone as self-sacrificing as Izuku. It's pointed out that being willing to put oneself at risk to save others is a valid and necessary aspect of Heroics as well as a major aspect of the UA entrance exam, while the student Aizawa favored demonstrates a pattern of violence and no instinct to help anyone. Aizawa argues Bakugou can change, but denies that Izuku can. When questioned why, he gives as evidence that Izuku hasn't even bothered to learn quirk control in the ten years he's had his strength, whereas every other student had better control. Upon learning how wrong that assumption is, he doubles down on insisting that Izuku isn't fit for UA because he'll need copious resources to learn quirk control... despite the fact that he's at a school designed, in part, for exactly that, and it's pointed out within the story that individuals not given a Heroics Education typically don't get the chance to learn much of quirk control, so Aizawa's argument is basically that Izuku should be deprived of proper training because he needs the training too much. After making this statement, Aizawa goes silent, refusing to back down or respond to any more questions.
  • Jerkass Has a Point:
    • The HSPC is deeply corrupt and controlling, and all too eager to exploit the situation in order to dig their hooks deeper into U.A. and start meddling more with the academy. However, it's also made clear that they're not wrong to question how the school has been running things, particularly in concerns to Aizawa's treatment of his students.
    • Chitose, a secret member of the MLA, criticizes Tensei for naming and blaming a teenager for his involvement in an accident at school, thrusting him into the public eye.
    • Endeavor similarly makes clear that he finds Tensei's conduct to have been incredibly unprofessional, and points out to Aizawa that ousting Izuku from U.A. isn't actually addressing his self-sacrifice issues.
  • Karma Houdini Warranty:
    • Katsuki was used to coasting through Aldera without receiving any punishment for his Barbaric Bullying and reckless usage of his Quirk. Then he ignored All Might's orders to stand down, seriously injured his partner in his first training exercise and gets slapped with detention and barred from entering the Sports Festival that year.
    • After getting to expel students on a whim for several years, Aizawa is informed that he won't be allowed to do so that year. He then completely voids his own warranty by attempting to work around the ruling, shredding his own reputation in the process.
    • Downplayed: the inquiry into Katsuki's behavior and his relationship with Izuku has landed Aldera Middle a starring role in the investigation. It's heavily implied things aren't going well for the school.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Aizawa receives this following his decision to lie about the circumstances of Tenya's injury and Tensei's decision to speak to the media. For instance, since Aizawa signed an incident report that contained a truthful account of what happened, then lied to Tensei with malicious intentions towards one of his own students, he's immediately suspended, with Midnight noting that he's likely to be fired from his teaching job. Both he and Tensei are put on probationary licenses as well.
  • Let No Crisis Go to Waste:
    • Aizawa twisted Tenya's injury into a bid to force Izuku out of his class by misblaming him.
    • The HSPC also takes advantage of the scandal to pry deeper into U.A., much to Nedzu's frustration.
  • Liar Revealed: Aizawa deliberately deceives and misleads Tensei, setting the plot into motion with his lies about how Tenya was hurt. By the time Tensei learns the truth, it's too late — both he and Aizawa have been exposed as liars, despite how Tensei wasn't aware that he was spreading Malicious Slander.
  • Loophole Abuse: Having been barred from simply booting Izuku out of his class himself, Aizawa attempted to circumvent Principal Nedzu's rule by destroying the kid's reputation so that there'd be public pressure to 'deal with' Midoriya.
  • Made Out to Be a Jerkass:
    • Part of Aizawa's plan was to paint Izuku as reckless, not caring about who might be hurt by his Quirk... even though that description would be better applied to Katsuki.
    • Downplayed to some extent with Tensei. Chitose suggests that his thoughtless ranting was an entirely targeted, deliberate attempt to destroy an innocent student's future. This is partially true; Tensei wasn't aware of Izuku's innocence, but still engaged in damning behavior.
  • Malicious Slander:
    • Aizawa flat-out lies to Tensei about what happened during the Heroes vs. Villains exercise, convincing him that Izuku was responsible for Tenya's injuries.
    • Chitose points out in her article that, even if Izuku had caused Tenya's injuries during training, Tensei's choice to frame what was likely an accident of inexperience into a personal and highly public attack on the character of a child was effectively this.
  • Martyr Without a Cause: Aizawa sees Izuku as such, and believes that it's best to get him out of Pro Heroics before he manages to get himself killed. Endeavor of all people gets one over Aizawa by essentially asking him if he really thinks it's going to be any better for Aizawa's current reputation to let the kid with a martyr complex go and die without training.
  • Mandatory Unretirement: Thanks to Tensei being put on probation, his father is forced to come back out of retirement and take over the Iidaten Agency, since none of his sidekicks are considered to be qualified for the job.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Aizawa. At the very least, he attempted to be one by lying to Tensei about what happened in order to turn the public against Izuku and drive him out of the Hero Course.
  • Misplaced Retribution:
    • Unintentional on Tensei's part, but he still blames Izuku for how Katsuki injured Tenya during their training exercise.
    • Tenya fears that this will happen to him; namely, that their classmates will assume he was responsible for Tensei being misinformed and punish him accordingly. Fortunately, Izuku makes it clear that not only did he know Tenya had nothing to do with it even before he learned it was Aizawa (since he knew Tenya was so hopped in painkillers there was no way he could have said anything coherent), he (along with Ochako) also promises to defend him from anyone accusing him. The rest of 1-A also state that they also believe in Tenya, much to his relief.
  • Moment of Weakness: Tensei knows how he's meant to handle the media; unfortunately, his frustration and sense of helplessness over what happened to his little brother clouds his judgment.
  • Never My Fault:
    • Downplayed with Tensei; while he recognizes that his actions weren't right, he still deflects from taking full responsibility by clinging to the notion that "everyone is allowed to have a moment of weakness" or to how Aizawa deceived him.
    • Bakugou is not only aghast at actually being punished, but attempts to defend himself by insisting "I only did that because it was Deku!"
    • Aizawa legitimately doesn't understand why nobody else sees that he was "doing the right thing" by trying to force Midoriya out of Heroics.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Thanks to Aizawa and Tensei's poor decisions, the HSPC has gained more leverage to start forcing their way into U.A.'s affairs. President Saito even thinks to herself that if not for their actions, she likely would have had to leave U.A. alone in order to ensure Bakugou's 'inevitable failure' was shackled firmly and completely to the school's neck.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Aizawa's plan to ruin Izuku's reputation in the field of Pro Heroics actually ends up ruining a lot of things for himself. However, it has the additional side effect of forcing more people in UA to recognize that Izuku's circumstances require more support than UA was initially set to give him. Bakugou offhandedly mentions that Izuku is now getting additional personalized lessons with All Might's old teacher, which implies Aizawa's actions have moved up the timeline of Izuku's lessons with Gran Torino, presumably altering the events of the Sports Festival and beyond.
  • Nominal Importance: From Tomura's POV, most of his followers in the League are referred to as 'NPCs', highlighting how little he thinks of them (along with paralleling Katsuki's own tendency to do the same with 'extras').
  • Not Helping Your Case: Katsuki's inability to fathom why he's being punished does him no favors. When he protests that he only used excessive force because it was Deku, Midnight just gives him a flat look.
    Midnight: I need you to really understand that's not a good or defensible argument.
  • Oblivious Mockery: When Aizawa complains that Izuku only got rescue points during the practical part of U.A.'s Entrance Exam, Endeavor remarks that it's hardly a bad thing for somebody to be so focused upon protecting others that they only accrue rescue points. He adds that it would be more concerning if a hypothetical applicant earned nothing but villain points... unaware that Bakugou did just that. President Saito immediately reveals that little detail while accusing Aizawa of blatantly favoring the latter, earning a shocked look from Endeavor.
  • Oh, Crap!: Aizawa has a Downplayed one when he recognizes that both the president of the Commission and Endeavor are getting personally involved in the investigation into his actions. Followed by a more serious one when Saito asks if he actually reads his student's files, and drops the bombshell of how Izuku's Quirk had only recently come in, causing him to realize he'd unintentionally trapped himself.
  • Opinion Myopia: In-Universe, this is the Fatal Flaw in Aizawa's Batman Gambit. He can't understand why the public don't demand Izuku's expulsion after Tensei blames Izuku for Tenya's injuries in the press. When his manipulations are revealed, he also can't understand why no one else sees his attempt to nationally ruin Izuku's reputation as a justified response to Izuku's poor quirk control and self-sacrificing behavior.
  • Plot Parallel: Aizawa, Tensei and Katsuki are all hamstrung by the same issue: all three incorrectly assume that others will see things precisely the same way they see them. Aizawa's whole plan hinged upon his presumption that others will agree that Midoriya wasn't cut out for the Hero life and follow along with his scheme; Tensei thinks he should be allowed a Moment of Weakness after what happened to his brother, regardless of what he did during it; Katsuki honestly thinks that his unrestrained assault was justified because he was targeting Deku. Sadly for all three, reality refuses to align with their specific perspective, leading to various consequences.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Played for Laughs regarding the would-be USJ attack; turns out Shigaraki doesn't follow the news enough to be aware of any of U.A.'s recent drama, and All For One doesn't even think about doing anything to ensure the League of Villains doesn't go through with their plans.
  • Pride Before a Fall:
    • As in canon, Katsuki gloated to Izuku about just how powerful his gauntlets were, then brushed off All Might's frantic orders to stand down, declaring that "He won't die if he dodges!" His blithe eagerness to use potentially lethal force during a training exercise gets him into serious trouble when another student is injured.
    • Aizawa arrogantly believes that he should get to decide whether or not Izuku is allowed to continue pursuing his dream of becoming a Pro Hero. Even being prevented from expelling him directly just spurs him to try and set the kid up for failure in a more insidious fashion... which completely self-destructs in his face, costing him his own career at U.A. and possibly even his career as a Pro Hero.
  • Psychological Projection:
    • Aizawa's plan effectively hinged upon his belief that everybody would share his sentiments about the situation, joining him in condemning Izuku as a reckless Martyr Without a Cause who couldn't be allowed to become a Pro Hero while Katsuki was still salvageable. He expected others would help Maintain the Lie rather than exposing it and condemning those who spread it.
    • The therapist President Saito brought with them heavily implies that Aizawa has been projecting his feelings regarding Oboro Shirakumo onto his students. In particular, Aizawa's judgemental and unforgiving nature regarding "recklessness" implies that on some level he blames Shirakumo for his own death and is projecting Shirakumo's fate onto "reckless" students.
  • Recursive Fanfiction: Inspired by Gentrychild's 'Engine Troubles' AU, a collection of headcanons and worldbuilding wherein Izuku gets blamed and blacklisted after Tenya is hurt during the Heroes vs. Villains exercise. In this 'verse, by contrast, Tensei's attempt to pin the blame on Izuku backfires.
  • Saying Too Much:
    • Not only does Tensei name names while erroneously blaming Izuku for his brother's injuries, he specifically describes him as 'a careless student with a Super Strength Quirk'. His complaints have the potential to put him on the radar not just of any unscrupulous reporters, but any villains who might be interested in an aspiring hero with less-than-perfect control over their powers.
    • Tensei also thoughtlessly reveals that members of his family can regenerate their engines, remarking that 'it hurts, but only takes a few days'. Again, not the kind of information one wants floating around.
    • Katsuki's insistence that he only went so far during the training exercise "because it was Deku" only confirms for everyone that he doesn't regret his actions and is at risk of doing worse in the future.
    • Aizawa bluntly tells President Saito that Midoriya clearly "didn't bother" learning how to control his Quirk, complaining about how he's had years to do so since they always come in by age four. This surprises Saito, as he just unintentionally revealed that he never bothered reading any of his students' files — had he done so, he would have known that Izuku is officially on record as having developed his Quirk on the day of the Entrance Exam.
  • Selective Obliviousness:
    • When Tensei's building up his anger towards Izuku just before the fateful interview, it's noted by the narration that Tensei intentionally ignores that the accident occurred on only the second day of school, that only legacy students have many legal opportunities for training their quirks prior to high school, that All Might shouldn’t have thrown the kids into an immediate combat class, and finally, that "Shouta’s mentioned before he doesn’t read student files so he gets to make his own opinions about student abilities and may be unaware of something in Midoriya’s background." Meaning that some part of Tensei is already aware that his assumptions about Izuku's background and character are largely unfounded, but he actively chooses to supress this awareness and frames him to the press as undisciplined and careless towards others' wellbeing anyways.
    • The narrative outright tells us that Aizawa is "very good at refusing to acknowledge things he doesn't want to," like that he's irrationally making decisions based on his first impressions of his students—assumptions themselves based on his own childhood trauma and general unwillingness to put much effort into his students' education, while the documentation intended to inform him of their circumstances goes unexamined.
  • Skewed Priorities: Thanks to Tensei admitting that the Iida family can regenerate their engines, he unintentionally gives the impression to some that he's more upset about how his little brother won't recover in time to participate in the Sports Festival.
  • Tempting Fate:
    • While reflecting upon recent events, Mitsuki recalls that when she and her husband were signing all the paperwork required for Katsuki's admission to the Hero Course, it included information about how punishments were handled. She'd dismissed it as unimportant at the time, assuming that her son would never do anything to actually warrant such measures. Mere days later, they're summoned to the principal's office to discuss how he'll be disciplined for seriously injuring another student, and silently notes that it was "really fucking dumb" to presume such a thing about her Hot-Blooded son with his Hair-Trigger Temper.
  • Title Drop: While lecturing him, Tensei's mother declares, "You need to think before you speak."
  • A Tragedy of Impulsiveness: Forms the crux of the plot. An awful lot of drama would've been avoided if Tensei hadn't vented his frustrations to the media...
  • The Unapologetic:
    • Aizawa has no compunctions about how he tried to ruin Izuku's career as a Pro Hero based on his own assumptions, and in fact insists that he's right even after everyone else tells him he's wrong.
    • Katsuki shows no remorse for how Tenya was caught in the crossfire, protesting his punishment and claiming it only happened because of Izuku's involvement. By which he means his presence.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Tensei unintentionally becomes Aizawa's mouthpiece as part of a scheme to turn public opinion against Izuku.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Tensei's mother rips into him for ignoring everything they taught him about dealing with the media and not waiting for Iidaten to make their own statement.
  • We All Live in America:
    • Bakugou is punished for his actions by being issued detention and being barred from that year's Sports Festival. Detention, however, does not exist in Japanese school systems, due to after-school activities and extracurriculars being highly valued and detention getting in the way of them, and the Sports Festival would be comparable to an extracurricular and in turn not be something a student can be denied entry in. As a result, Bakugou's punishment, while something understandable from a Western sentiment, is not possible in his home country of Japan.
    • Nedzu addresses this in Words May Hurt, explaining how the precise terms of his punishment are following a system that has been standardized by the World Hero Association. It's implied that the standards are so American due to the United States' significant influence in said association.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Suffice to say, Tensei is not happy with how Aizawa used him as a pawn and their friendship is in tatters due to how badly things turned out for Tensei as a direct result of Aizawa's manipulations.