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Fridge Brilliance


  • In the second anime series, the Egyptian God Cards are so powerful, it takes another card of similar strength (most likely another Egyptian God) or a strategy capable of exploiting their weaknesses to overcome them. By GX, Jaden with his Season 2 deck was able to defeat Ra, the most powerful of the Egyptian Gods. By 5D's, Zushin the Sleeping Giant, a being claimed to be on par with the Egyptian Gods, is also an extremely common card (albeit one that has a ridiculously hard summon requirement). It may seem weird the strongest cards in Duel Monsters are quickly losing relevance to the game, but it makes sense. After knowing the dangers of the Egyptian Gods, Pegasus and possibly Kaiba would naturally encourage the selling of progressively stronger cards in the game so other Duelists can defend themselves just in case another super-card is used to hurt them.
    • This becomes Lampshaded in the Gaiden Manga Yu-Gi-Oh!R Where the Wicked God cards, were deliberately created as a countermeasure against the Egyptian Gods albeit with specific effects for each ones effects tailored to counteract each individual gods effects.
  • You'll get a lot of this, about the series' concepts in general, if you do a little bit of study on ancient Egypt. For example, the ancient Egyptian concept of duality; that nothing can exist without its equal but opposite double.
    • Also makes sense for the finale- naturally the only way for the Pharaoh to defeat Bakura and the creature of darkness he summoned was for him and Yugi to work together to summon Horakty, a deity of light.
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    • Adding to that, once Zorc was destroyed, The Pharaoh had to pass on because his opposite (Bakura) was no longer around.
  • The Allies of Justice seem to exclusively target LIGHT monsters and facedown monsters. This becomes logical when you realize that, in-universe, they battle the Worms, which are (mostly) LIGHT Flip Effect monsters.
  • There is a Yu-Gi-Oh! card called Fire Kraken, which is a paradoxically fire-elemental squid/octopus thing. It's a pun on "firecracker."
  • The Meklords are meant to just dominate Synchros; taking them and using them themselves. Unlike in the anime, there is nothing stopping players from using Synchros after Xyzs are released. The Meklords are meant to discourage Synchros in favor of Xyzs, which came out about a month after the Meklords were released.
  • If it seems odd that dueling using cards to solve disputes is commonplace, consider the reasons dueling using swords or pistols was once considered acceptable - it avoided others getting involved in the dispute and the argument turning into a bloodbath. The first duel between Yuma and Anna in Zexal can be considered an example. While Kotori called it ridiculous, it at least convinced her to put down the real weapon she was using to wreck the city.
  • When the second season of Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's introduced the Infinity monsters, their use struck me as being a continuation of the Assimilation Plot of Darkness in Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, especially when the cards' users keep referring to Synchro monsters as "unneeded things". Odder still, one way of defeating these monsters proposed to the show's protagonist Yusei by one of his opponents is to use another Synchro, specifically one that uses two Synchro monsters to summon. At first, I didn't know what the writers were planning on doing with this, but upon reflection, I think he's figured it out: during GX, the writers pulled out a lot of Take That! Deconstruction episodes of certain parts of the anime and/or the game - the duel with Dimitri being a jab against cookie-cutter elitists, the Society of Light being a reversal of Defeat Means Friendship, and the second part of season 3 and all of season 4's treatment of Judai being a look into the real consequences of playing a children's card game for the fate of the world. Obviously, this was yet another in a long line of Take Thats - specifically, a breakdown of the backlash over whether or not the Synchros constitute Game-Breaker material.—SynjoDeonecros
    • And consider the mastermind behind the Infinity monsters, who reveals that Ener-D and Synchro monsters caused the end of the world when humanity's evolution got too fast. It's a commentary on how the game has evolved so far from its roots and some say it has become Ruined Forever with all the new gimmicks and cards.
    • Given the fact that new Synchros are being released in new sets (and the Meklords are not popular at all among players) it's clear that the game designers have seriously rethought this strategy.
  • Sure, Duel Monsters' primary demographic in-universe has always been males, but there never seemed to be any societal taboo against females playing the game, so I've always wondered where the 5D's taboo against girls in Riding Duels came from. I happened to be brushing my teeth when I suddenly thought, "I sure hope it's not due to the same superstition that once caused men to be apprehensive of women riding astride a horse." ~ Lale
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  • You know how most of 4Kids's edits are scorned by the Yu-Gi-Oh! fandom? Well, one impressed me. At the end of the Orichalcos arc, 4Kids makes Yami's eyes green, since Viewers Are Morons and can't tell that he's starting to succumb to the Orichalcos. Like most of their blatant edits, I found it stupid. However, I heard the color of the eyes as being described as 'Orichalcos green' in a summary of the episode. Well, guess what? Who else was tainted by the Orichalcos and his eye changed color? Dartz. One of his eyes is blue, the other is 'Orichalcos green.'
  • Looking back, I realize that some of the edits that 4Kids made were not that bad. Namely, having characters not die, just going into a comalike state, makes a lot more sense then them dying and coming back to life. Sure, when the character never comes back it is pointless, but most of the time it is good.
  • Also looking back, many edits made by 4Kids were necessary to avoid an MA rating. One obvious example was the 5Ds episode where Bommer was "recruited" to the dark Signers. a scene where a black man was hanged would not be acceptable for Adult Swim, let alone Saturday mornings.
  • A meta example: A few weeks before the English dub premiered, this troper received a short video tape in the mail. Said videotape was basically Pegasus giving a preview of the series. The marketing strategy was actually pretty good. This troper knew that the series was going to air on Kids' WB!, but wasn't all that interested in it until she received the video. It only occurred to me recently that receiving a mysterious tape in the mail was exactly how Pegasus first made contact with Yugi, kicking off the whole plot. Say what you want about 4Kids, but that was actually pretty clever.
  • Here's some Fridge Brilliance from me after watching an Abridged Series rap off between Yugi/Atem and Jaden. At the end of it, Yusei runs over Jaden and when he starts complaining about the pain, Atem says, "Suck it up, you Mary Sue." This coming from the guy whose only legitimate loss was at the end of the show against his own reincarnation. Anyway, I thought about it for awhile and noticed some parallels between Yugi and/or Atem and Jaden. Both are reincarnations of royalty (Yugi), have a friend who became a Duel Monster to protect them (Atem) and have a dark side that was Ax-Crazy when first released (Yugi). However, as pointed out above that the GX season has a lot of deconstructions in it, Jaden's friend turned bodyguard Duel Monster harmed one of his friends out of jealousy and his dark side slaughtered hundreds of people to finish a card that almost cost Jaden his friends.
    • So similarities yet one was a deconstruction? I'm not sure what you're trying to say.
  • Yugi's trump card Dark Magician has 2500 ATK 2100 DEF. Jaden's, Neos, has 2500 ATK DEF 2000. Yusei's, Stardust Dragon, has 2500 ATK 2000 DEF. Kaiba's trump card, Blue Eyes White Dragon, has 3000 ATK 2500 DEF, and Jacks, Red Dragon Archfiend, has 3000 ATK 2500 DEF.
  • The 3 main characters all have a name that starts with YU, if Jaden's is spelled as the Japanese tend to with surname first.
    • All four now, including Yuuma.
      • All FIVE, thanks to ARC-V's Yuya
      • Now SIX with the introduction of Yusaku.
  • Many Egyptian deities are part human, part animal, with the convention being animal heads and human bodies. With that in mind, take another look at Kaibaman's design.
  • So far, the DS World championship have had annual releases from 2007-2011. however, as of 5th of august, there's been no news of a 2012 game. then, it hit me: they're saving it for next year, to include all the 2012 cards
  • Why does the card Ragnarok require two Spellcasters to activate? Because in Norse mythology, Loki, a magic user, was the one to cause Ragnarok!
  • Part of the reason for the name of "Xyz" monsters is that the game mechanics for them involve stacking multiple cards on top of one another, thus adding a Z axis to the existing X and Y axes of the playing field.
    • It may also be a reference to the previously-existing fusion monster, "XYZ Dragon Cannon", which depicted its component monsters (you guessed it) stacked on top of one another.
  • i just realized why no one seems to know the effects of their opponent's monsters until they're used. the owner of the card doesn't have to go out of their way to explain it until they use it (and there are too many to memorize everything ) and since everyone started useing duel disks checking the effects of your opponent's face up cards requires walking across the room every time you want to check something so no one bothers. which means that if someone was willing to interupt the duel every 10 seconds to check their opponent's card effects they would have a massive advantage (until everyone stopped dueling them because that would be really annoying.)
    • By extension, this also explains people not reacting to special, one-of-a-kind cards. We, the audience, know that Stardust Dragon has magical properties stemming from being a piece of an ancient god, but his opponents, unless they know as well, just assume it's a rare synchro monster they've never seen before. As long as the duel disk accepts it's a legitimate card, they just roll with it. (same with the Zexal weapons; as far as the audience to the WDC finals knew, they were just a lucky topdeck, and not literally made on the spot).
  • From the Card Game, why is the leader of Shaddolls, a bunch of monsters created with the shadows of other monsters LIGHT? Because shadows require light to be cast and grow the closer they are to the light source. Nephilim's light is what allows Shadolls to exist!
  • Seto loves his Blue-Eyes White Dragons. Makes sense he'd have blue eyes and a draconic-looking white coat.
  • The new Field Spell rules, which allow both players to control a Field Spell card at a time rather than only one, have a basis in the original anime- specifically, it makes it closer to the Duelist Kingdom field rules, where multiple types of field could be on the board at once. But instead of applying the field's effects per card zone, it just applies both field effects across the whole field (because, as Konami became well aware, rules that result in the positioning of monsters mattering don't work very well since most people don't actually keep track of that).
  • The legacy support from the Arc-V era. Kaiba's decks, Blue-Eyes and ABC, were top tier; Kaiba would use just the most powerful monsters. Yugi's multiple decks, Dark Magician, Magnet Warriors, Black Luster/Gaia/Kuriboh, and Buster Blader, use a variety of strategies with some synergy; Yugi never stuck to one strategy. Joey's deck, Red-Eyes, was rather disappointing; Joey was always the underdog.
  • Many of the later Cyber Dragon cards have Gratuitous German in their card names (e.g. Zwei, Drei, Nächster, and so on). Their user in the anime, Ryo Marufuji, was nicknamed "Kaiser". Now, which country was ruled by a Kaiser again?


  • Yugi's favorite card is Dark Magician, a powerful wizard that uses dark magic and relies on support cards. Yugi/Yami has access to shadow powers such as Penalty Game and Mind Crush, and relies on the support of his friends to make it through the impossible. Kaiba's favorite card is Blue Eyes White Dragon, a creature with raw destructive power. Kaiba cares being the best above all else, and wishes absolute victory over others. Joey's favorite cards are Flame Swordsman, a fire-based warrior, and Red Eyes Black Dragon, a weaker version of Blue Eyes stated to have hidden potential (in the Toei movie), both of which are fairly mediocre monsters. Joey may not be as skilled or powerful as Yugi or Kaiba, but has outstanding courage and determination to do something, and uses cards that help weaker monsters overcome naturally stronger ones. A neat way to prove that a card can judge a person's character.
  • At first it seems stupid that the Egyptian god cards have the "Egyptian" bit added whenever they are mentioned, but then I rewatched the first VR arc. anyhow, everything that the protagonists encountered in that arc had been either an inanimate object. Anyway, the final encounter at the end of that arc is a monster resembling the most common representation of Tiamat, ( a Babylonian deity) this monster also appears in the Defictionalized card game. With that knowledge, one would know that there are cards based on deities from other religions in duel monsters. Hence why everyone specifies that the god cards they own are in fact Egyptian.
    • They later go with this; all of the spirit monsters are based off of the deities of the Shinto religion (Japanese God Cards), and later, there are the Aesir, based off of Odin, Loki, & Thor (Norse God Cards)
  • While we're on the topic of Yu-Gi-Oh!, the original season has the interesting duel where Yugi has to beat Pegasus, the guy who made the game, is equipped with a personalized Game-Breaker deck and and a mind-reading eye. But there's a Fan Fic out there that raises an interesting point, and a comparison to the Real Life game: just because Pegasus made the game, it doesn't mean he's the best at it. Yugi has a combination of strategy, good cards and mystical backup, and Kaiba obsesses over getting the tactical advantage, but Pegasus is an artist, not a duelist, and all his unfair advantages only make the playing field level against them.
    • Not really. It wouldn't be that hard to come up with a truly unbeatable card by any stretch of the imagination. Start with a monster you can special summon at any time, and you can easily search for. Give it blanket immunity to spells, traps and effects, have it gain double all power your opponents monsters gain, and a 4000 base attack, and a special effect to reverse and overturn special winning conditions.
      • We're talking about Pegasus here, as in Duelist Kingdom villain Pegasus. The rules for the game already made little sense and Toon World was pretty much broken during that arc. Even with Toon World, Pegasus was probably taking artistic license if most of the cards had Egyptian counterparts, which brings up some Fridge Brilliance for this troper. It's not that Pegasus would've been hard pressed to come up with an unstoppable card, but it's he never truly made the game and he was a little off his rocker.
      • Also it's one thing to know what your opponent is about to do. It's another thing to have the right cards in your hand to do anything about it.
      • Unless, of course, you're Bandit Keith.
  • Something that's always bugged I was how much of a Plot Tumor the game of Duel Monsters had become; it started as a normal (if popular) card game disguising an Artifact of Doom, to a game that you can actually go to a specialized school to learn how to play, to something so all-encompassing, everything from street games to the police are all based around it. No explanation for this increase of importance, and as was said above, the longer it goes on, the more ridiculous it becomes. It didn't make sense...until I started looking at the mystical aspects of the game, and realized that it grew alongside the game's importance - starting out as an obscure Sealed Evil in a Can, then to a hidden Alternate Universe that only certain people can see and interact with, then to whole public cults and psychic powers devoted to the game. Clearly, there's a connection, and with Yu-Gi-Oh!: Bonds Beyond Time revealing that Duel Monsters caused The End of the World as We Know It in the future, the implication is equally clear: the mystical aspects of the game are taking over, and as a result, is corrupting the world to make it more inhabitable for the Eldritch Abominations that lie just beyond the ink and paper... - SynjoDeonecros
    • Well, there IS a bit of an explanation as to why the game grew in importance. The richest man in the world grew up playing it. What did you expect?
    • Also, holograms. When you have Clash of the Titans playing out in stadiums worldwide, other pastimes seem to pale in comparison, wouldn't you think?
  • While watching the Virtual World arc of Yu-Gi-Oh, there was one glaring question that came to mind about half-way through. When Noa forces the main cast (of sorts) off the airship, he says 'only the duelists', despite the fact that of the group, one doesn't duel professionally (Anzu) while the others (Honda, Otogi, Mokuba, and Shizuka) don't duel at all. At first, I thought this was just a plot hole that existed solely to get those characters into the arc itself... But then I realized, after counting the number of people who went into the Virtual World, that it was the exact number of competitors in the final half of the Battle City Tournament... Eight people. But since Malik and Ishizu never left the airship, while Bakura, Mai, and Rishid were otherwise fairly incapacitated, there was no way of knowing that the first eight to come off the ship weren't duelists, until it was too late; Noa was going based on the appearance of things. - Usagi Squared
  • This is a minor one really, and it might be obvious to a lot of people, but still... was always a bit weirded out by the names they picked for Anzu, Jonouchi and Honda, especially since their surnames sounded kind of plain. Then I twigged: Gardner, Taylor and Wheeler are all names that are derived from occupations. Theme Naming, much?
  • I will admit I don't watch Yu-Gi-Oh beyond the abridged series, but something occurred to me the other day: Who the heck makes Yu-Gi-Oh cards in-universe? Whoever they are, they are clearly insane. After all, these cards are so reality warping that some cards have very limited copies in existence. When Weevil throws Yugi's cards over the side, if this were a normal card game, wouldn't Yugi just order another set off the internet?
    • Remember that card rarities in the show's world are hugely different - there's only 3 Blue-Eyes in the whole world, for one. Even if you could order Exodia online, it'd be one of those "super rare first edition 100 dollars minimum" type sets. Also it's 1996 in-show.
    • Pegasus.
    • Yugi couldn't order a new set, mainly because the cards Haga threw overboard were the five Exodia cards. There's a bit of the background mythos involved here, since in universe, not only is the Exodia set unique, the only reason Grandpa managed to complete it is because Exodia was originally his astral projection in a past life. There's no way you can get something like that on eBay.
      • ...Even though Malik/Marik's goons explicitly stated (and showed) they they had THREE sets of Exodia in at least one of their decks, and Gozaburo later on had a set in his deck (albeit virtual, though he would have had the resources to get real ones.) There's no reason why Yugi couldn't simply get his three missing cards again.
      • Remember that the Ghouls were specifically reputed to make counterfeit cards near identical to the originals. Those multiple copies? Fake cards made using the same machines that I2 uses in-universe.
      • Not to mention that in GX Yubel somehow acquired a set of Exodia, along with support cards. Amon later shows up with an Exodia deck (including another Exodia-based monster, Exodius), which he acquired either from Yubel and/or by finding Exodia in the Duel Monsters spirit world.
      • Also, it would seem odd that if they were the only 5 Exodia cards in existence, Pegasus wouldn't have a new set produced once he knew the old ones were permanently gone.
  • In the manga Akhenaden called himself Zork, the other soul sealed inside the Millennium Puzzle, the one who made a deal with the powers of darkness(he gave no name to them) and a god which indicates that the spirit in the Millennium Ring isn't the Thief King but Akhenaden himself possessing it as an insult to the person who's family he destroyed years ago. The possession of Bakura(the Thief King's reincarnation) is a further attempt to torment the Thief King. Also consider that Akhenaden created the Millennium Items which might explain exactly when he made a deal with the darkness in the real past rather than the past of the World of Memory(it was when he got the Millennium Eye).
  • Word of God states that the Millennium Eye's spirit influenced Pegasus to create Duel Monsters. Consider the fact that in the manga Akhenaden's Spirit outright calls himself Zork. It's obvious that like with the Millennium Ring(once used by the Thief King who once sought revenge against Akhenaden and would thus be tied to him) he sealed a piece of his soul into the Millennium Eye becoming its spirit.
  • In the movie, Pegasus insisting on using the old fashioned dueling arena instead of the duel disks makes a lot of sense when you remember that the reason Kaiba invented them in the first place was to use against him; it would likely have soured his opinion of them.
  • In the manga, Yami gives Kaiba one of the least harsh Penalty Games in the manga after Kaiba nearly got Yugi and all his friends killed through Death-T. Makes sense as part of the reason Death-T even existed was to get revenge on Yami for the harsher first Penalty Game.
  • Why does Blue-Eyes White Dragon, who is supposed to be as strong as the Egyptian gods, have only 3000 atk, much weaker than Obelisk? Remember, Pegasus made the card basing on ancient texts. Who made the ancient text about Blue-Eyes? Priest Seto. Due to his respect to the Pharaoh Atem, who made a heroic sacrifice to save the world, Seto made a description considering Blue-Eyes (his power) as weaker than three gods (Pharaoh's power). That brings another fridge brilliance: Pegasus estimated the number of all cards' atk and def points according to the ancient text,but those texts are just opinions of who wrote them. So, the card's values are actually opinions (ancient writer's) plus opinions (Pegasus's). That explains the power difference between the card game's monsters and Pharaoh's memory arc monsters.
    • Taken a step further, this neatly explains the existence of the Blue Eyes Shining Dragon, which Pegasus claims to be 'as powerful as the God cards': Some time after creating the first Blue Eyes cards, Pegasus discovered new evidence that the original White Dragon's power had been greatly downplayed compared to the Gods, and thus Pegasus created the Blue Eyes Shining Dragon as a way of representing the possible 'True' power of the Blue Eyes White Dragon.
  • The manga has a bit of a Reread Bonus going on. In the final arc, it is established that everything that has happened so far is the result of the Ancient Egyptians sealing the ka of criminals into stone slabs, turning them into monsters. Well, since this is part of the cosmology of the series, this means that the darkness in human hearts is still turning into monsters, even in the present day. This explains a lot of previously unexplained things in the series, such as Kaiba's behavior in Death-T (and why the Mind Crush was able to cure his Ax Craziness), the very existence of Dark Marik, and even the over-the-top behavior of some of the Bullies of the Week from the very beginning of the series. note  All this time, the darkness in their hearts has been turning their ka into monsters.
  • During Duelist Kingdom each opponent with decks with 1 or more Dark cards gave off impressive strategies that failed due to overspecializing in a specific way. If Yugi had fought someone who combined the strategies of every deck with a Dark card in Duelist Kingdom (Black Skull Dragon, Dark Sage, Castle of Dark Illusions, Reaper of the Cards, Call of the Haunted, Labyrinth Wall/Wall Shadow combo and Crush Card/Sagi the Dark Clown combo) he would lose badly!
    • That was the reason he had so much trouble against Kaiba during their second duel. Not only was Kaiba not screwing around, but he knew that his strategies were supplements of one another, not something he should rely on. CCV was used to cripple Yugi's offensive capabilities, and Kaiba already had the means to power through his defenses. It was only due to creativity and the Heart of the Cards that he managed to turn things around, and even then he had to surrender so as not to kill Kaiba by accident.
  • Before Duelist Kingdom, Yugi gave Joey his Time Wizard card. Why did Yugi have Time Wizard in the first place? So he could upgrade his Dark Magician into Dark Sage.
  • The shadow games that occurred in the early manga series always ended with Yugi's opponent doing something needlessly villainous to try and win, which would only work against them. It seemed farfetched at first that every guy Yugi dueled would be so inclined to cheat when they could easily win on fair terms, but then the Millennium World arc revealed that the Pharaoh's soul wasn't the only spirit inside the Millennium Puzzle. Zork Necrophades, the embodiment of cruelty and destruction was also sealed in the puzzle. Every shadow game has been a recreation of their original feud.
    • A theory on Zorc's motives: Basically, Zorc has been possessing Yugi's opponents, driving them to make dumb decisions so that the Pharaoh would get complacent in his gaming abilities and be outmatched by someone like Bakura.
    • Heck, Zorc's mere presence in the Millennium Puzzle serves to retroactively explain Yami Yugi's darker personality and why Yami eventually mellowed out; 3000/5000 years spent trapped inside an ancient artifact with no-one else but an entity of pure evil and his corruptive influence would undoubtedly make you go nuts no matter how good, righteous or brave you are. It takes Yami taking the risk of Kaiba falling to his death to win a card game while Yugi watches (thankfully being stopped short) and Pegasus telling him of the evil influences within the Millennium Items that he finally sheds himself of that evil presence. Even then, before Duelist Kingdom he was already beginning to mellow out, toning down his penalty games and notably using them less often, likely because he had Yugi's friends which helped him recover his humanity.
    • Yami always set his shadow games up as tests of character. Yami just kept handing his opponents the Villain Ball, using the power of the shadows to do so, and it worked. Every single time. While the shadows do have a mind of their own, the person initiating the game clearly has a lot of leeway. But it's obvious that only people who don't have power over the shadows themselves can't cheat in a shadow game, as Yami Bakura, Yami Marik, and Pegasus all manage to victimize people unfairly using the shadows. Every game Yami set up was fair to those who had no power over shadows. Only Shadi had similar scruples when doing shadow games, and it showed when he tested Yami. He was rather vindictive with his penalty games, and that probably was Zorcs influence, but no one can deny his victims didn't deserve it. That said, he screwed up big time when he finally penalty gamed someone who could actually retaliate afterwards (Seto Kaiba). He learned the hard way that sometimes people snap when under psychological torment, and when soeone with power snaps, it's NOT pretty. He had to win again and Mind Crush Kaiba to undo the damage he did before.
  • It makes sense that Yami underestimated Mai in their Duelist Kingdom duel. Besides his feeling under pressure from Pegasus, Mai used to be a cheater and Yami has a very strong dislike for liars and cheats.
  • Bakura using Dark Necrofear takes on a whole new significance once you know his backstory. It's a mother whose child turns into a monstrous, powerful possessing spirit (he even describes it as a "spirit of vengeance") when she's destroyed. Does This Remind You of Anything?
    • Heck, how he describes his Battle City Occult Deck has significant considering his backstory. "As more monsters go into the graveyard, my deck grows stronger!" The Kul Ena Massacre had killed everyone except Bakura, which resulted in him getting a monstrously powerful Ka which can in turn eat other Kas to become even MORE powerful! In short, he has grown monstrously strong from the deaths of others.
  • While Kaiba's complete denial of magic in the dub, is annoying, it actually makes sense. Kaiba is a Control Freak. Of course he's going to pretend that a powerful force he has absolutely no control over doesn't exist.
  • When Joey lost to Yami Marik in the semifinals, I always found it strange that Marik didn't banish Joey's mind to the Shadow Realm (in the dub). After all, Joey eventually recovered from his coma during the semifinals long enough to watch Yugi defeat Kaiba, and past history has made it extremely clear that nobody who gets sent to the Shadow Realm ever leaves (at least on their own). But then I noticed that Joey never actually lost that duel in terms of gameplay. The only reason Joey lost was because he passed out before he could destroy the rest of Marik's lifepoints with Gearfried, but if the duel hadn't been a Shadow Game he would have won (since Marik had no plan in case Joey survived Ra's attack). In other words, Marik didn't send Joey's mind to the Shadow Realm because he couldn't, as unlike his duel with Mai it wasn't his victory by right and therefore he didn't have legitimate power over Joey.
  • This is a very minor one compared to the other examples on this page, but in Chapter 22 of the manga, Hanasaki is showing the gang his American comic books. Anzu says she thought American comics were only about "macho bodybuilder guys", and Hanasaki takes offense. It took me twelve years to realize that that's probably the Japanese opinion of mainstream American superhero comics!
  • Dark Bakura is shown to have Goblin Zombie, which seems a bit out of place considering his deck is reliant on Fiends and Goblin Zombie is only effective in a Zombie deck. Remember though that the last duelist he beat was Ghost Kozuka, who specializes in Zombie cards. Goblin Zombie was obviously the ante card in that duel.
  • Why did Kaiba have Masked Beast Des Gardius during the preliminary match? He probably took it from Lumis as the ante card.
  • The Millennium Puzzle's soul-swapping power in the anime is used once and never again, leading many to wonder why—Yugi could have swapped Ryou and Bakura's souls right off. But when you think about the circumstances of the duel, it was the only time both Bakuras were in separate places and had physical containers. It was only used there because it was the only way it could work; if he'd tried to swap Ryou and Bakura's souls any other time, either the Ring would have prevented it with its soul-sticking power or Bakura/Ryou would have had nowhere to switch places.
  • In some of the video games you can have Shadow Games with evil duelists, where losing kills you. If you win, though, they run off scot-free. Since your opponent called the Shadow Game, losing wouldn't harm them, while winning caused you to take the penalty.
  • After all the crazy, life-threatening stuff that everybody gets into in the anime-exclusive arcs it's not surprising Ryou Bakura stays out of them. His danger-avoiding instincts were good already, since he suggested Yugi not challenge Kaiba in Duelist Kingdom, that Tea and Tristan get Yugi or Joey's help in their nighttime adventure, and urged them to run from Pegasus's cultists before they were spotted.
  • While this troper has always thought that Dub!Marik Ishtar's goal of becoming the Pharaoh and taking over the world seemed ridiculous and over the top, in hindsight it does sort of make sense. At the beginning of season two, he believes that the Pharaoh is unworthy of the powers and title he has, and thinks that he would be much more worthy of those powers than Atem himself. Seeing as how, to him at least, the Pharaoh enslaved multiple generations of his family, forced them to live lives that were filled with despair and eventually drove them insane, and murdered his father just because he was a curious child, this assumption isn't entirely illogical. While defeating the Pharaoh and sending him to the Shadow Realm sounds better than outright killing him consider this; the Pharaoh is already dead and the Shadow Realm is more or less a slightly watered down version of hell that tortures you and drives you insane until you eventually fade away into nothing. It's more or less implied that because the Pharaoh is immortal, he would have spent all of eternity being tortured and surrounded in despair; he also would have never found out who he really was or been able to reunite with his loved ones. After suffering so much because of being a tomb keeper for the Pharaoh, it would only make sense that Marik would want him to suffer as he did in the past. Also (despite the fact that most of his suffering was largely self created) he's had a pretty craptacular life; it's fairly reasonable that he would resent the world and wouldn't have any qualms about taking over something that he considered horrible and unjust.
    • Marik wanting the Pharaoh's powers also makes sense giving what said powers are. Between adaptations and the original manga, the Pharaoh has been able to rearrange souls, resurrect the dead, drive people insane, see into people's souls, read minds; the list goes on and on. While at a basic level, having the Pharaoh's powers would mean the tomb keepers are free, he could use the the Pharaoh's powers on a much grander scale. What he really wants is to live a free life with his siblings; he could manipulate Ishizu and Odion's memory's so that they wouldn't remember their past or all the crimes he committed and they could all live a happy life together. He could also resurrect his father. (Despite the fact that the man was an abusive wack-job, and the fact that he hated him enough to degrade his own sanity, he obviously did love his father on some level, otherwise he wouldn't have cared that the guy was killed.) Or he could rearrange and alter the past so that his father wasn't abusive to him and his siblings and they could all be a normal family.
    • To be honest, Marik's dub motivations actually do make sense and aren't entirely stupid; if 4Kids! had given it more depth and handled it differently, the plot actually could have been quite good.
  • The first duel Yugi has in the second Anime is iconic for Yugi summoning Exodia while Dark Magician is unceremoniously destroyed without much thought, which seems weird since Dark Magician is shown to have a much bigger connection with Yugi and Yami Yugi later on. Then you realize that Yugi, at that point, wasn't playing with his own deck; he was playing with his Grandpa's deck. It would make sense why Exodia took center stage; Grandpa Muto's egyptian counterpart's spirit monster was Exodia not Dark Magician.
    • Further than this, the deck that Yugi took to Duellist Kingdom and onwards was primarily formed from the cards of his Grandfather's deck he was given in the first episode, but Yugi was already a duellist before that, so what cards did he have in his own deck? The childish cards and silent swordsman/magician we first see him use after he is separated from his alter ego and duelling for himself in the Shadow RPG.
  • Mai's attempt to summon Ra is an Idiot Ball on her part, but it's also important to remember that she was involved in a Shadow Game, which amplifies someone's true intentions. It's the same as how Yami Yugi would punish one-shot characters in the early chapters of the manga, when he bordered on Villain Protagonist. Even after seeing Ra strike down Jounouchi and Rishid, she still thought about how she would have her hands on a God Card once she beat him. She didn't even consider Marik an opponent to worry about, nor did she worry about any consequences of using a God Card. She was more worried about fighting Jounouchi and Yugi in the finals and acted as if she already won, the same way Yami Yugi focused more on Pegasus during his duel with Mai in Duelist Kingdom. The Shadow Game Marik started amplified Mai's greed and it made her want to get her hands on Ra before winning it through the ante rule.
    • Also remember the rule of that Shadow Game caused her to forget someone to the point she couldn't even see or hear them anymore if one of her monsters was destroyed. When she forgot Tea and Joey, that also made her forget some of the things she learned from them, and if you remember when she dueled Tea she had the tides turned on her by Tea pulling out De-Spell on her. By forgetting that, she didn't consider that the Winged Dragon of Ra may have an effect that could work against her and it was safer to keep the card on her so Marik couldn't use it unless he took it back himself.
    • Adding onto the second point, Jounouchi defeating her in Duelist Kingdom is what started her Character Development, and caused her to realize that friendship isn't a sign of weakness like she once thought. Because she forgot about him while dueling Marik, she reverted back to who she was before losing to him.
  • In his duel with Yugi, Rafael shows him how his Guardian cards are worn from how much he's used them. (As the abridged series eloquently points out,) why not sleeve them? Well, then the duel disk system probably wouldn't be able to read the cards.
  • Why Kaiba can use Egyptian Gods and not say, Isis ? Because he is the reincarnation of the Pharaoh who reigned after Atem and thus is one of the ruler of the Gods.
  • The Virtual World arc actually fixes an Adaptation-Induced Plot Hole, ie: Why did Pegasus want to take over Kaibacorp back in Duelist Kingdom when his company clearly already has comparable VR technology? The backstory introduced in the Vitural World arc, that the members of the Big Five all had serious grudges against Kaiba, raises the possibility that selling out the company to Pegasus was actually their idea, simply as a way to get back at Kaiba.
  • There was one thing that didn't make sense to this Troper about Pegasus's deck. Namely, how it played first with Toons but when those were out of the picture, his star cards were actually Relinquished and Thousand Eyes Restrict. But then, thanks to some new support for Pegasus's monsters, it finally became clear how these two symbolize the creator of the card game! First off, Relinquished is a monster that steals the monsters of his opponents and uses them as a shield. This is how Pegasus tried to get his way, taking people's loved ones and using them as bait. It's name could also even be read as "unleashed", and he's responsible for "unleashing" the threat of Duel Monsters on the world by making the game as seen in later series! Next, we have Thousand Eyes Restrict. It's effect is the same as Relinquished, but with the bonus that no monsters can change their battle positions or attack. This is befitting to Pegasus's way of dueling, making it so his opponents can't fight back. And even better, what is another way to read "Thousand Eyes Restrict"? Millennium Eyes Restrict!
  • Why did Atem go after Summoned Skull in his duel with Yugi instead of Curse of Dragon? The impetus for this choice was likely the awareness that Yugi was using a lot of cards that either were not used in a while, or new to him. While minimizing chances of Yugi using a new card was a plus, the worry that Atem was likely worried about was Red-Eyes. With the power of friendship as it is, he was likely worried that Yugi would have borrowed Red-Eyes from Joey for this match, and with Polymerization that would bring out Black Skull Dragon. Such a beast could stop him even with Book of Secret Arts, and Atem did not want to risk such a move.
  • Yami Marik using Joyful Doom against Bakura seems really situational, but it's for a situation that could come back to haunt him had he not prepared for it, which he probably learned from his duel with Mai, the situation being the opponent trying to steal Ra from him and defeat him with it. While it didn't work when Mai tried it, it would've worked if Yugi or Kaiba had done the same thing due to their connections to the Millennium Items. Kaiba shows later on that he has Lullaby of Obedience, which he tried to use to steal Osiris/Slifer from Yugi. Also, due to the death-match Marik set up with Yugi and Jounouchi, Marik already knows Yugi has Exchange in his deck, meaning it is within the realm of possibility for the two of them to just use those cards to steal Ra from him and make it a Curb-Stomp Battle unless he has a countermeasure (Joyful Doom). It's also important to note that Yugi didn't know about Ra's other powers in advance, so for all he knew Ra was just a beatstick that depended on the power of the monsters sacrificed to summon it. Marik's duel with Jounouchi was the first time he saw God Phoenix, and he didn't see Marik duel Bakura, so he didn't see One Turn Kill until the middle of their duel. Marik also isn't as tech savvy as Kaiba due to his upbringing away from modern society, so he probably didn't think that Kaiba could use satellite technology to scan Ra and read the ancient text to learn its other powers, and thought Kaiba was just as in the dark about Ra's hidden powers as Yugi was.
  • During the KC Grand Prix arc, the characters may have been shocked to learn that Zigfried and Leon were siblings, but we, the audience, had a major hint from their decks. Zigfried uses a deck based on Norse and Germanic myth. Leon uses a deck based off of fairy tales, specifically European fairy tales such as those associated with the Brothers Grimm, who were German.
    • Additionally, fairy tales could be somewhat accurately described as smaller-scale mythology, or mythology as large-scale fairy tales, which essentially makes Zigfried's deck a "grown up" version of Leon's. The mythology also predates the popular versions of the fairy tales by a wide margin, which makes the source materials themselves older/younger in regards to each other, and in the hands of the appropriate duelists.
  • Contrary to popular belief, Weevil actually had two very good reasons for throwing the Exodia pieces away instead of using them himself in Duelist Kingdom. First, they may be powerful, but the steep requirement of needing all of them in your hand for Exodia's effect made them a poor fit for Weevil's deck, which lacked a draw engine that would be able to use them with any reliability. Second, having them on his person would only put him at greater risk of being disqualified or even arrested, since there would be conclusive proof that he stole them.
  • Why was Mai the first of Doma's members to pull a Heel–Face Turn? Unlike Raphael, Alister and Valon, her tragedy wasn't caused by Dartz and unlike Weevil and Rex she wasn't really angry at Yugi and Joey but manipulated into thinking that her problems were there fault. With these two factors, Dartz had a much harder time keeping her loyalty.

Fridge Horror

  • In the Millennium world arc of the manga, the Pharaoh disappears when he reaches the point where his memories stopped i.e. where he died the first time round. He has a few moments to pass the Puzzle and his last wishes for Egypt - peace and prosperity - on to Seto. However, he probably didn't have time to do that in the original timeline. Given the amount of open disdain Seto shows for the common people in the manga, what must his reign have been like? It would have been especially hard on the people with Egypt in near ruins as well, unless Seto wanted to honour his cousin by treating the people with more mercy.
  • Imagine if Pegasus actually did use the Egyptian God Cards during the Duelist Kingdom Arc instead of having them locked up. Nobody, not even Yugi, would be capable of beating him and stopping his plans, Solomon and Mokuba's souls will be trapped forever, and Pegasus will successfully throw the world into total chaos.
    • Slightly subverted. Shadi's explanations to the Egyptian God Cards creation (at least in the Dub) indicates that even with the protection of the Millennium Eye, Pegasus wasn't meant to control their power. It's even shown in his dream, where the Gods knew that their soil had been disturbed and wanted to punish the intruders, hence why they went fairly dormant when Pegasus completed the cards but returned them to Egypt. Also a case of brilliance, as the Gods themselves knew that the Pharaoh hadn't returned yet, either and were still awaiting the Pharaoh's awakening. This could possibly why Marik as able to acquire Slifer and Ra before the events of Battle City even; the Gods knew that Destiny was ready for them to awaken.
  • The dub stating that Noah may be still alive doesn't make it better, it makes it worse. In the Japanese dub, Noah at least managed to die with a clear conscience and be reunited with his father (even if Gozaboro was such an ass). In the dub, however, Noah is still alive with all the horrible deeds he did within his consciousness, his family is either dead or abandoned him, and he'll remain an obscure figure because everyone thinks that Seto is the heir to Kaiba Corp., not Noah, which in turn means Noah lost the one home he truly wanted. Harsh.
  • Bakura is ridiculously underweight at 5'9" and 114 pounds. Since the evil spirit of the Ring treats his host with callous disregard at best and actively injures Bakura several times, not to mention Bakura has been shown eating lots of food yet never gaining weight, it's heavily implied that the spirit doesn't care to eat unless it's unavoidable.
  • Yami Marik slowly grows more haggard as his tenure goes on; veins bulge out of his face, his eyes grow extremely bloodshot, and his skin appears dirty and bruised. Just dark magic taking its toll, right? Possibly... or it's possible that Marik has been sustaining himself with magic, and not bothering to eat or sleep during all the period of the finals and the virtual world. No wonder he looks so wasted - his body is beginning to break down.
  • Despite being a pretty upbeat series, you can't help but get pretty nervous when you think about the mental health of many of the characters after much of the crap they are put through.
  • While Marik obviously has decided to stop being a criminal and live a normal life with his siblings,you have to wonder what happened to the rest of the rare hunters. They probably disbanded, but now consider the fact that this means that hundreds of criminals from from the world's worst underground gaming syndicate are essentially running freely amuck; based on the named thugs shown, the others are probably not all that nice or sane either.
    • Based on the false promises, manipulation, and mind control Marik used to recruit many of them, there is also a very real possibility that some of them could come after him and his family for revenge; the only thing keeping them loosely in check was his millennium rod's powers, which could either drive them crazy or give them their deepest desires, and he no longer has it. Although, based on the flashbacks, Ishizu and Odion are more than capable of defending themselves if necessary, and, based on how he was able to physically fight his dark side in Tea's body, Marik is no slouch either. The Ishtar siblings are more than capable of taking care of themselves, but the possibility of the rare hunters being at large is pretty creepy.
  • Dark Marik has always been famously known as a Sadist who can't be happier to torture his opponents. However, if we look closely, he doesn't have any personal grudge against most of the opponents. He doesn't hate Jonouchi, nor does he hate Mai or Dark Bakura, and not even Yami, whom he seems to see more as a Worthy Opponent. And yet, he still gave each of them the worst mental abuse you can ever think of, which just makes you cringe when you think about how he will torture someone he does hate...
    • And this is actually already answered in the scene where Dark Marik killed his father: if he does hate someone, he will even torture them physically. Marik didn't hate his father for the abuse, but Dark Marik does. So, in the manga, he brutally used the sharp end of the rod to peel off their father's skin... while he was still alive, and then downright stabbed him, which leads to one of the worst bloody mess this series ever had. It's also implied that he planned to torture Rishid physically before killing him as well. Man, at least the others only got mind-raped and did get better later...
  • The moment that Kaiba ripped Grandpa Muto's Blue Eyes in half. While it's shocking that Kaiba destroyed a rare card, it's worse once we learn that it's the embodiment of the soul of the woman he loved—Kaiba essentially just mutilated Kisara without a second thought. The undertones manage to get even worse than that when you remember Kaiba's motivations for the act: it's power play to ensure that BEWD is never fighting against him. If that doesn't scream controlling abusive relationship, I don't know what does.
    • Note that this happened AFTER Yami tortured him with the penalty game, rudely implying that he had no real power, when he was a self made man. While he was definitely a Corrupt Corporate Executive before, that event pushed him into full blown Chaotic Evil territory, where he firmly stayed until he was Mind Crushed.
  • Rebecca is never too far away from her grandfather, and unlike Yugi's grandfather who simply lives in the same house with Yugi's family, she seemingly lives in her grandfather's house/lab. What happened to her parents?
  • The heart of the cards is a huge part of the early part of at least the dub, implying that a duelist who's a good person can trust his deck to provide them the cards they need at the time they need them. However, the only time we ever see them shuffling, they shuffle in a specific pattern: Taking a small packet of cards out of the middle and dropping it back on the pile. This should sound familiar to any magicians in the audience, who know that exact procedure as the "Hindu Force" or the "Indian Dribble", a method of faking a shuffle while leaving a deck relatively undisturbed.
  • The monsters are *usually* mere holograms, but show more than enough clarity of what's happening around them to seem sentient. For example, Pandora/Arkana's Dark Magician acted genuinely horrified and scared of his user literally stripping his soul from him to use his Ectoplasmer magic card. While sacrificing monsters is a heavy part of the game, it doesn't seem so incredulous that people are genuinely attached to their cards, and don't want them to be destroyed.
    • Let's not forget the Shadow Game where Yami Bakura trapped the Pharaoh's friends in their favorite cards. Tristan and Joey are actually in the card Graveyard. Now, think about the actual monsters getting destroyed, and being sent there during a Shadow Game.
  • What happened to Noah's mother after his accident? She was shown grieving over him but is never seen or mentioned afterwards.

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