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"I won't save the world. I just kill goblins."
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In a Standard Fantasy Setting world, a fifteen-year-old priestess, fresh out of the convent, is drafted by a party of rookie, Porcelain-ranked adventurers who've taken a mission to eradicate a nest of goblins, creatures with the size and strength of a small child. While dangerous in large numbers, they're nothing that a group of low-level adventurers can't handle... right?

Wrong.

Having not taken the most basic precautions (like buying healing potions and antidotes), the party is soon ambushed, with the goblins killing or raping them one by one, until only the priestess is left. Wounded and surrounded, the priestess faces certain doom... until a man in battle-scarred armor walks in, and proceeds to brutally slaughter the entire goblin nest, children included.

He is the Goblin Slayer, and he does not let anyone roll the dice.

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Goblin Slayer is a Japanese Dark Heroic Fantasy Light Novel series written by Kumo Kagyu and illustrated by Noboru Kannatsuki. Its story follows the Priestess and other adventurers as they accompany the Goblin Slayer on his life's mission to kill every last goblin he can find. As a (partial) Deconstruction of standard fantasy works, the series emphasizes the power of Boring, but Practical equipment and tactics, how Anyone Can Die if not careful, the dangers of epic heroes not bothering with "low level" quests, and just how warped a Dark and Troubled Past can make someone. In equal measure, it also emphasizes how True Companions can pull each other through the darkest of situations through teamwork, smarts, and plain old tenacity, fighting for what they believe in.

Heavily inspired by tabletop role-playing games, the whole story spawned from the author, Kumo Kagyu, asking himself "What would a fantasy world be like if it were home to an adventurer who only hunted goblins?" Then he went on to post an outline of the story on an image board, 2ch (Futaba), to gauge fan interest before it became an official work. Curiously enough, he posted the story with character images coming from Dragon Quest and other known series in Japan as placeholders for his characters in the original thread — Goblin Slayer in particular was portrayed by the Infernal Armor monster in the aforementioned famous series, of which the official Goblin Slayer design is very reminiscent of.

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Yen Press has licensed the Light Novels and Manga into English. The series consists of the following:

  • Light Novels:
    • Goblin Slayer: The main story of the series.
    • Goblin Slayer Side Story: Year One: A two-volume Prequel authored by Kento Eida that takes place five years before the main story begins when Goblin Slayer was still a rookie starting his crusade.
    • Goblin Slayer Side Story: Dai Katana: A prequel story that takes place ten years before the main story and focuses on the Sword Maiden's battle against the Demon Lord.

  • Manga:
    • Goblin Slayer: A direct adaptation of the main story illustrated by Kosuke Kurose.
    • Goblin Slayer: Brand New Day: With art done by Masahiro Ikeno, this is an adaptation of the light novel's fourth volume which expands on side-characters and their adventures throughout the Frontier. It concluded in May 2019 with ten chapters.
    • Goblin Slayer Side Story: Year One: An adaptation of Year One illustrated by Shingo Adachi.
    • Goblin Slayer Side Story: Daikatana of Singing Death: An adaptation of the Dai Katana story, it was initially illustrated by Takashi Minakuchi before its serialization was cancelled and restarted under Aoki Shogo.

  • Video Games:
    • Goblin Slayer: The Endless Revenge (2019): A first person RPG for mobile devices.

White Fox received the rights to adapt a 12-Episode Anime (later expanded with a Recap Episode before the final Story Arc) in October 2018, with Crunchyroll simulcasting and an English dub provided by Funimation. An Original Video Animation entitled Goblin Slayer: Goblin's Crown was released on February 1, 2020 in Japanese theaters, with a physical disc release on July 29, 2020, while Crunchyroll broadcasted it as a special digital event on July 28.

On January 31, 2021, a second season of the anime was announced to be in production at the GA Bunko online festival.

There have also been crossovers with Grand Summoners and Memoria Freese.

More recently, an Abridged version of the anime exists, created by Grimmjack of the Schmuck Squad.

Unrelated to Ninja Slayer, Ogre Slayer, Demon Slayer, Slayers, or the Doom Slayer.


Goblin Slayer does not let anyone, even tropers, roll the dice:

    open/close all folders 
    #-B 
  • 2D Visuals, 3D Effects: Several shots of the goblins, Goblin Slayer and Priestess's staff in the Anime.
  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: To be expected; Frontier Town has sewers that can house hog-sized giant rats and wagon-sized giant roaches. Water Town has a sewer that's a bonafide labyrinth that cuts into secret passageways and ancient crypts and houses a dragon-sized giant alligator, and the ruined city of volume 12 has giant slimes, giant spiders, and you can take boats down the water channels.
  • Achievements in Ignorance: One of the interlude chapters of the first volume tells the tale of how Chosen Heroine found a magic sword and killed one of the Twelve Generals of the Demon Lord while honestly believing that she was on a routine goblin-clearing job for rookie adventurers and that everything she encountered, fought, and did that day was normal for a Porcelain level quest.
  • Action Prologue: The Year One Light Novel opens with a prince and his army readying to fight against an army of undead advancing towards them.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: Both Heavy Swordsman and Spearman are amused when Goblin Slayer interrupts the Evil Wizard's monologue with a thrown sword to the chest. They also approve of his plan to off the chump when he brags he can't be killed by anyone who speaks: bind him and throw him off the top of the tower. Gravity, you see, doesn't have much to say.
  • Adam Smith Hates Your Guts:
    • Inverted. Instead of the heroes being on the receiving end of this treatment, it's the villagers. Scores of high-ranking adventurers often refuse to take up goblin-hunting quests largely because they are issued by villagers who just cannot fork over enough reward money to make it worth the risk, unlike, say, a wealthy merchant who will gladly pay a fortune simply to have an already-mostly-safe trading route cleared of a solitary group of bandits, often leaving such quests to be taken up by over-eager newbies who grossly underestimate the goblin threat, often at their own risk — or by Goblin Slayer, who has pretty much singlehandedly kept the goblins in check for years. But recently the number of goblin quests have sharply increased. Guild Girl, thinking about this, admits to herself just how grim things are getting, and that if things don't change, then the future looks pretty bleak.
    • It is also presented that the militias and armies are mostly focused on even more serious threats than goblins. A demon lord pops up every decade, you know, and goblins are the weakest kind of monster. This leaves it up to adventurers to deal with threats to the frontier villages. Because the economy of the world is still medieval, and villages and farmsteads mostly produce agricultural products, they just don't have the physical currency to hire capable adventurers to deal with goblins.
    • This does get played straight with the Fortress City in front of the Dungeon Of The Dead though; it was basically an oil-boom town of merchants, smiths, and innkeepers that served the sundry adventurers aiming to take on the hordes of the Demon Lord foor the seemingly infinite and respawning treasure that was inside the dungeon. Its frequently joked about how the prices are so inflated in the town, the cheapest thing around is an adventurer's life.
  • Adaptation Distillation:
    • The story of the all-female party that invaded a goblin-infested elven fort was cut short in the anime. While their corpses can still be found in the goblin nest that Goblin Slayer and Priestess eventually invaded, how they ended up there was not shown.
    • The farm battle had to condense Goblin Lord's backstory, possibly because it wouldn't be acceptable enough to air on television.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The Year One manga adaptation has officially gone past the two Year One light novels as of Chapter 44 and become its own story as of that point.
  • Adaptation Explanation Extrication:
    • Based on the manga and anime, you'd be forgiven for thinking all the goblins do is Rape, Pillage, and Burn villages and their inhabitants all the time as if they're an unstoppable force, while in the light novels it's clearer that this is an escalating process starting with petty theft and usually nipped in the bud. Though things are getting worse when the story begins because of events in the wider world.
    • Likewise it's clearer in the books that the story is usually set in the frontier regions, far from the more densely populated and developed areas, going some way to explain the wild and dangerous Adventure-Friendly World's continued existence.
    • It's also clearer in the books that veteran adventurers not only pass on goblin quests due to low pay but also because they are none too eager to face goblins again, as in their early days. They also look down on Goblin Slayer not so much for going "easy mode", but as a weirdo crazy enough to keep fighting goblins.
    • The anime had to skip the explanation for the Goblin Lord's fancy axe. It was a prize he took when he killed a barbarian and a hostage which was to illustrate Goblin Slayer's justification on why he only uses low quality weapons.
  • Adaptation-Induced Plot Hole:
    • The manga adds a bit where an adventurer is felled due to not wearing a helmet, leading to her whole party being wiped out, to contrast with Goblin Slayer shrugging off a similar blow due to his. The lesson is kind of weakened when everyone else doesn't wear head protection, though it's acknowledged that Helmets Are Hardly Heroic because as adventurers, they want to be recognized, and to some degree they depend on friendly spell-casters to buff their defense. The light novel just ascribes the total party kill to pure dumb luck (a bad dice roll, in other words) when they set off a trap/alarm (or rather failed to disarm it due to fatigue), and the anime skips over their deaths, showing only the aftermath.
    • The anime rearranges the order of events of the story so that the Water Town arc occurs before the Farm Siege arc, instead of the other way around as it originally was. Thus, a number of discrepancies crop up, such as:
      • As originally written, the Heroine defeated the Demon Lord before the other arc began, which was the reason why the evil cult was conducting human sacrifices in Water Town to try to resurrect him. While Sword Maiden speculates they were just looking for revenge against her for her role in the Demon Lord's defeat 10 years ago, that doesn't explain why the human sacrifices were happening. Downplayed as it's an evil cult doing evil things anyway.
      • Upon returning from Water Town, Goblin Slayer takes his armor in for repairs even though his armor didn't get damaged that much during the last fight at the Gate mirror. This is because originally, he was having his armor repaired due to being slammed against a pillar by the Ogre in the elven ruins.
      • Goblin Slayer is perfectly comfortable walking around in casual clothes back at the Guild hall, when earlier in Water Town he kept his helmet on when requesting repairs at the blacksmith there. In the original story,he was out of all his armor as it was all being repaired, including his helmet. The anime kept his helmet on earlier to avoid having to do an early reaction from Priestess at his face reveal.
      • In Episode 9, Priestess says she only has one spell left to use during the Gate mirror siege, even though in Episode 8 she only used one Protection spell against the Giant Eyeball and so she should still have another spell remaining. This is because the anime cut out a much longer battle sequence against the eyeball where Priestess attempted to use Protection deeper in the room but the eyeball used Dispel to undo it.
  • Adjective Animal Alehouse: The Adventurer's Guild got its start when a historic king made a formal office out of a tavern that was famous as a meeting place for adventurers; the Golden Knight Inn. Several volumes into the main story, it's revealed the descendants of the original innkeeper have actually begun to franchise.
  • Adventure-Friendly World: The Frontier is an untamed landscape extending far beyond governing influences and teeming with ancient ruins, artifacts, and monsters. Adventurers traversing it naturally flourish as there's seemingly no end to the quests coming into the Guild.
  • Adventure Guild: The central institute of the series. Originally adventurers would just congregate in taverns or the like and villagers would seek them out with a plea for aid. Eventually the royal government took over a number of these meeting places and partially converted them into formal offices wherein the commonfolk would report their monster woes to the receptionist behind the counter, who would draft a notice to post on the job-board, handle the monetary reward, and make records of the completed missions.
  • Anachronism Stew: The setting is broadly Middle Ages Europe, but New World crops such as corn are staple foods, and certain adventurers are toting outfits and flintlocks more at home in the 17th or 18th centuries.
  • An Aesop:
    • Some fans have pointed out the series really gave them a greater appreciation for people who do thankless and dangerous work in real life, like sewer workers, construction workers and plumbers.
    • The series emphasizes that rape victims can go on to be happy, well-adjusted people who actively participate in life.
  • Alien Geometries: The Dungeon of the Dead has 10 floors. Each floor is slightly spatially displaced from the one above starting with the third, and at the fifth they are fully in a warp-hole of magic.
  • Aliens Love Human Food: When Goblin Slayer has his first camping night with his newfound party, the group trade their respective races' native foods. Goblin Slayer offers cheese, and Lizard Priest absolutely loves it, calling it "nectar" and often asking for more in later episodes. He even swears to visit even more wrath upon the Goblins (whom he was already more than willing to hunt down) later on when Cow Girl's farm (which is also Goblin Slayer's home) is threatened by a huge Goblin raid and Goblin Slayer tells him that that's where he gets the cheese that he's been giving him.
  • Alien Sky: The night sky has two moons. One of them is green and, according to Goblin Slayer's sister, was where goblins came from. The other moon is pink.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: All over the place, and not necessarily just because Goblin Slayer himself is too obsessed with goblins to ever consider romantic relationships.
  • Amazing Technicolor Population: Dark Elves are stated to have deep blue skin that borders on black.
  • Analogy Backfire: When Goblin Slayer explains his place in the Cycle of Revenge as basically "Goblins kill humans and I hunt them. To them, I am the goblin." Guild Girl chews him out for inadvertently implying that she, as the one giving him missions, is some sort of God of Evil.
  • Anthropic Principle: The series is set in an Adventure-Friendly World (likened to a giant tabletop game the gods are playing) and mostly focuses on a seemingly limitless frontier dotted with ruins, farms, villages and towns far from the heart of the humans' kingdom, not to mention those of different races. There's no shortage of rookie adventurers mostly coming from those areas despite the high mortality rate of beginners' quests, which include slaying not only goblins but also giant rats and roaches. Goblins themselves cannot reproduce on their own but need to breed with other creatures, usually human captives, and thus must be also dependent on the population in those areas (who they typically raid instead of destroy utterly, unless directed by darker powers or particularly cunning and ambitious goblin leaders once their numbers are strong enough). But any logistical issues are handwaved by the vaguely defined amount of settlements out there (not even the characters know), particularly in the light novel, and since it's a giant game it needs new players and constant enemies to keep going.
  • Arc Villain: The series doesn't have an overarching singular Big Bad yet. Goblins as a whole are a constant threat and there is a Demon Lord, but goblins are just Mooks in the grand scheme of things, and the Demon Lord is treated more as a Greater-Scope Villain and Villain of Another Story. However, we are given at least one of these villains per arc/volume. Listing them off:
    • Volume 1:
    • Volume 2 (Water Town arc): The Water Town Goblin Champion
    • Volume 3 (Harvest Festival arc): Dark Elf
    • Volume 4 (Brand New Day): Evil Wizard
    • Volume 5 (Goblin's Crown arc): Goblin Paladin
    • Volume 6: Troll and Wizard Boy. Wizard Boy is not evil, more of a Sitcom Arch-Nemesis and The Bully to Priestess, with most of the story focused on the main characters dealing with him. The troll fills in the role as the villain that Goblin Slayer has to defeat.
    • Volume 7: A Goblin Shaman using a Mokele Mbembe as The Dragon.
    • Volume 8: Goblin Priest
    • Volume 9: Ice Witch
    • Year One:
      • Volume 1: Rock Eater
      • Volume 2 (manga-only): Warlock
      • Volume 3: Another Goblin Lord, chronologically the first one Goblin Slayer encounters, albeit one that just recently evolved to the status.
  • Armor Is Useless: Continuously averted. Armor proves indispensable over and over again.
    • In the fourth chapter of the manga, a female adventurer is knocked out and captured by goblins when she's struck in the head by a rock. Goblin Slayer later is also hit in the head with a rock, but his helmet protects him from the impact and he's hardly fazed at all.
    • Good armor is the only thing that saves Goblin Slayer's life when he goes against far bigger enemies who carry massive weapons and manage to get a good shot in during the first two volumes.
    • This trope is turned against Goblin Slayer in Chapter 14 of the manga when Goblin Slayer pins the goblin lord, only for him to turn out to be wearing a breastplate under his cloak — much to Goblin Slayer's consternation, as he was still injured from fighting Ogre and his best shot at winning was a Single-Stroke Battle.
    • It does get played straight in one nightmarish instance though, the goblin champion in Chapter 22 is able to bite through Priestess’ chainmail as easily as her flesh when he takes a chunk out of her shoulder. Averted as well, since it was the reason the bite wound wasn't deep enough to be fatal, even the Lizardman mentions after healing her that if the wound was any deeper he would have been unable to save her
    • The Greenhorn Warrior in the beginning does well against the goblins at first, but his lack of armor left him vulnerable to a retaliatory stab in the leg from a goblin he impaled on his sword. This serious injury makes him more careless, sealing his fate when his longsword gets caught on the ceiling and flies out of his hand.
  • Artifact of Doom: The Fantastic Nuke spell "Fusion Blast" allegedly draws the magic to trigger not from the caster or ambient mana, but an object called the Demon Core.
  • Artistic License – Biology:
    • One of the reasons why Goblin Slayer abandons and changes his weapons frequently is because apparently Goblin blood and fat dulls swords. This doesn't really happen in real life, but it justifies Goblin Slayer's ruthless pragmatism and emphasizes his willingness to respect his gear but not obsess over any piece of it for sentimental value, unlike adventurers who prize enchanted and special weapons and armor. (One scene shows High Elf Archer losing her grip on her blood-drenched dagger as she's stabbing goblins with it, and realizing that Goblin Slayer's method of grabbing new weapons off of fallen enemies has a very practical angle.) The goblins' supposedly extraterrestrial origin might also have something to do with it.
    • Canaries in reality do not actually panic at the smell of poison gas like GS says they do (like most birds, their sense of smell is incredibly weak). Rather, the reason they're used to detect poisonous gases is because they die from them much more rapidly than humans do, making it easier to know if an odorless gas is present.
  • Art-Style Dissonance: The art style in all versions is similar to that of shonen RPG series anime and manga, particularly the anime with its somewhat "cutified" faces, but the events depicted wouldn't be out of place in a seinen Dark Fantasy series like Berserk. This is kind of the point.
  • Author Filibuster: Chapter 5 of the 12th light novel volume, subtitled "Of What Problem There Could Possibly Be With A Male Human Fighter" is a vignette centered around Spearman, Heavy Warrior, and Goblin Slayer, all three some variation of a 'Male Human Fighter', going on a "boy's trip" adventure together, with the third-person omniscient narrator repeatedly stopping the story to expound about how the 'Male Human Fighter' is a Simple, yet Awesome protagonist archetype and bemoaning how modern fantasy readers and players tend to dismiss them as "boring".
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The rookie Warrior's sword was too long to use properly in the confines of a cave. It got caught on a wall as a result, leaving him open to a Zerg Rush. Goblin Slayer made the same mistake when he started out, but the rest of his gear ensured that it wouldn't be a fatal one in his case.
  • Baby Factory: How goblins, particularly high-level species like shamans and lords, tend to view the women that they capture, playthings used to create more goblins. A single captive can give birth to multiple goblins in just one week, and Goblin Slayer once mentioned that one woman is enough to create a new nest of goblins. Volume 3 explains that women kept alive by goblins for this purpose tend to last about 2 weeks if they are not saved. Although under the leadership of a more pragmatically intelligent being, like a Dark Elf, a captive can be kept alive a little longer. However, there are several cases, such as with the Female Party in Chapter 4, where goblins would forego keeping a captive alive to be a Breeding Slave and simply rape them as a form of torture as opposed to reproduction.
  • Beast Man: "Padfoot" is a catchall term for any and every Praying Race that has definable animal features, though there are unique names for each individual kind of animal mix, such as Harefolk or Lizardmen. At one point in volume 11, Priestess runs into a bonafide Rhino Man.
  • Beautiful Dreamer: While getting up after the Resurrection miracle, Goblin Slayer becomes conscious of a still-sleeping Priestess clinging to his side. He checks her shoulder to see that her bite wound has been completely healed, covers her body back up, then spends a minute contemplating her peacefully slumbering form and thinking about how to keep his companions safe on the next dive, until Sword Maiden comes in to talk.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished:
    • Viciously averted when a goblin champion attacks the Priestess and bites a massive chunk out of her shoulder and arm. She's quickly reduced to a bloody, snot-dribbling mess sobbing in agony, and it's only because of the Goblin Slayer's medical assistance that she doesn't die from shock and blood loss.
    • When it comes to women captured by goblins, it's Depending on the Artist and the adaptation. The light novel completely averts this by describing in brutal detail on how badly maimed these women have become. Although this varies in the manga adaptations. In some cases, the injuries are appropriately brutal, like with the Elf Scout in Chapter 6 and the human meat shields in Chapter 12. In other cases, the injuries are greatly downplayed compare to the light novel. For example, Noble Knight goes from being mutilated beyond recognition in the light novel, to looking like she is in an Angst Coma in the manga. In another example, Spearwoman goes from being covered in scrapes and having some of her scalp rip off in the light novel, to only having minor scratches and a fast healing cut on her head in the manga.
    • Surprisingly, given its Bloodier and Gorier setup, this is played straight for most of the captured women in the Year One manga. The three sisters in the first chapter have very few injuries on them while they were gang-raped by a horde of goblins. Possibly the most outstanding example was the woman Goblin Slayer saved on his very first mission as an adventurer in Chapter 4-6. The poor woman spent a week in the goblins' nest and it's heavily implied she gave birth to the goblin children that Goblin Slayer finds. Despite all this and being in an Angst Coma, she surprisingly doesn't have any blood, or even a scratch, on her.
  • Big Eater: Dwarf Shaman and Rhea Fighter in Volume 6, though the latter states that Rhea need to either eat 5 times a day or enough to stuff themselves at once.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: Somehow, a line from High Elf Archer about flooding goblin lairs becomes about waterboarding in the Crunchyroll subtitles for the anime. Worth noting for coming some time after the light novel and manga versions of the scene were already translated correctly.
  • The Blind Leading the Blind: In Volume 3, Female Knight asks Goblin Slayer — a man with No Social Skills who is more or less Oblivious to Love — for advice on how to romance her partner Heavy Warrior. Even Goblin Slayer realizes how silly it is for someone to ask him for relationship advice. Though the advice he gives her actually works.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: The manga version of Year One is far more gory than the actual series itself, with the opening chapter showing us blood spraying everywhere as goblins murder villagers, with the dismembered corpses presented fully to the reader afterwards.
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • Goblin Slayer's equipment looks pretty shabby and worn even compared to those of most rookies, but it gets the job done. His fellow Silver adventurers look down on him partly because his equipment isn't as fancy as theirs. The thing is, it doesn't need to, since he's only hunting goblins and it's also cheap and easily replaceable, though he prefers to get it repaired.
    • Goblin Slayer doesn't even clean his armor and weapons beyond wiping off any excess blood and viscera, since goblins have a very sharp sense of smell. They smell clean metal, they think warriors are coming; they smell blood and guts, they think business as usual, and that's where Goblin Slayer gets the jump on them.
    • An apprentice blacksmith asks his master why Goblin Slayer doesn't invest in enchanted weapons, and is told that such armaments would be overkill against the typical horde, and that the magical aura and flashy aftereffects of most enchantments would just give Goblin Slayer away to the goblins and utterly undermine his stealth-intensive tactics.
    • Another reason why Goblin Slayer uses average-quality gear is to avoid the goblins getting their hands on good gear in case they kill him. No one enjoys facing little buggers wearing high-quality gear looted from their last victim.
    • In Brand New Day, he indirectly advises Rookie Warrior about using clubs as a replacement weapon, reasoning that clubs are easy to use and do not have the risk of chipping, unlike swords. Rookie Warrior acknowledges when using a club in the sewers later that it's effective as a weapon, although not very flashy.
  • Break the Cutie: Plenty. Priestess and Fighter, the only survivors of their all-rookie party, suffer from this — the latter witnessed two of her companions die and got gang-raped by goblins, and is highly unlikely to return to the field again; the former, meanwhile, learned how cruel and dangerous adventuring is, and is still having flashbacks and nightmares even six months later. That's just the tip of the iceberg, mind you.
  • Breakable Weapons: Done to the point of exaggeration in Year One, where a rookie Goblin Slayer learns his sword is only good for five kills against goblins before it's damaged to the point of becoming increasingly less effective. So that particular adventure kept a kill count, and every sixth kill had his sword grow increasingly shorter. In real-life, a decent sword can handle far more abuse than that — part of the point of steel replacing iron and bronze was that it could take more abuse. Justified as Goblin Slayer deliberately uses poor quality weapons so that in the event of his death, the goblins won't have better equipment.
  • Breeding Slave: The fate of any fertile female captured alive by goblins is to be imprisoned in a pen and used to make more goblins.
  • Brick Joke: The first time Goblin Slayer demonstrates how he camouflages against the goblins' keen sense of smell (pressing cloth against goblin liver and giving it a squeeze, then slathering its juices all over the recipient), it absolutely disgusts Priestess. This makes a darkly comical return when High Elf Archer is introduced to the same, complete with Priestess sporting a Thousand-Yard Stare and telling her, "You get used to it."
  • Bring My Brown Pants:
    • In the first chapter, Priestess wets herself in fear after being cornered by goblins. In the second chapter, Goblin Slayer points out that because of this, the goblins will notice her coming with their keen sense of smell, and has her mask the smell with the goblins' own blood and guts.
    • Happens again during the fight in the catacombs against the goblin champion.
  • Busman's Vocabulary: The world is set within a Cosmic D&D Game, but the characters don't know that and RPG Mechanics 'Verse is not in effect for them, so the semi-frequent mentions of hit points, levels, and alignments are stated to just be adventurer jargon for their abstract traits.
  • Bystander Syndrome:
    • Part of the issue pertaining goblin raids is that most veterans outside of Goblin Slayer's circle have no interest in what basically amounts to pest control. Most goblins are easy enough to kill that younger adventurers can do so, and the higher-ranked adventures need greater rewards to compensate for their gear and hazard pay. (Veterans also know damn well how terrifying goblin swarms can get.) The problem is just how many of the damn things are out there, and adventurers can only take so many quests, making goblin-slaying a low priority. All these factors contribute to making goblin nests into ticking time bombs that would someday overrun hapless villages.
    • In Vol. 2, the perspective shifts to the King of the Capital as he delegates his orders. One of the messages he receives is from Sword Maiden requesting assistance for a goblin infestation under Water Town. His response? Express annoyance that this isn't the first time she sent him one, that he can't send out soldiers to every monster problem in the country, that there are bigger issues such as the ongoing war with the Demon Lord, and that, as a former Gold-ranked adventurer, Sword Maiden should be able to handle it herself. Which is also downright insensitive on his part, knowing Sword Maiden was captured and traumatized by goblins in the past.
    • Everyone in the dining hall of the Golden Mirage just sits around uncomfortably as a gang of lizardmen bully a newbie swordman and steal his weapon. After one of the out-of-towner rogues roughs up the lizardmen back, they turn back to their tables and actively pretend the interruption never happened.

    C-D 
  • Call-Forward: Chapter 51 of the Side Story: Year One manga has Goblin Slayer contemplate the idea of attacking Capital Inspector during a Rank Up exam, only for his mental image to end with him expecting to be completely crushed by her while she sports a smile, bringing to mind a "future event" in the main manga, where Rhea Scout had a similar Imagine Spot about attacking Guild Girl during a Rank Up exam before visualizing Goblin Slayer crushing him for trying.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Every spellcasting character seems to have to do this in order to use magic. In fact, they actually have to give a full description of what their spell does, not merely say the spell title.
  • Canary in a Coal Mine: In the Water Town arc, the titular Goblin Slayer purchases a canary in preparation for Deadly Gas that the goblins may use, which turns out to be the case.
  • Casting Gag:
  • Cast of Expies: As shown by the shout-out page, more than half of the notable cast in this story is a heavy reference to at least one character in another story. Part of this comes from how the author used the actual characters as placeholders in the original web novel, and when it became officially serialized as a light novel, the author simply made minor alterations that skirt around copyright laws while still keeping the characters practically the same.
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: As rampant as in any other action-fantasy, from Dwarf Shaman and High Elf Archer trading racial barbs even as they fight back a horde of goblins that had almost raped the latter, to Heavy Warrior, Spearman, and Goblin Slayer making fun of how easy Evil Wizard was killed even as his Resurrective Immortality activated right in front of them.
  • Chainmail Bikini:
    • This kind of armor does exist, in a setting where not wearing enough armor could be fatal. Justified, as those armors are not for battle but rather to... erm, appeal to guys. The only woman that wears this into battle is Amazon, and that is only because she has the fighting prowess to make up for her lack of protection.
    • Priestess owns a set of ceremonial vestments in this style for certain ritual dances, which she wears only for ritual dances, and leaves them in the closet where they belong when it isn't a festival day where she's expected to perform one. She does fight in them once, but that was because the battle came to her on a night when she was already wearing them and didn't have time to change into something more practical.
  • Chekhov's Gun: In Daikatana, the "Dark Zone" in the first floor of the Dungeon of the Dead, that kills anyone that enters it, is the entrance of the elevator hub leading to the second half of the labyrinth and the location where the resident Hero Killer was stashing the bodies.
  • Chekhov's Volcano: There is one in Daikatana, though in lieu of erupting, it houses a lightly sleeping dragon.
  • City of Adventure: The Fortress Town built around the Dungeon of the Dead has a completely Dungeon-Based Economy, has to put up with murderous, demonically-possessed rogue adventurers, and is widely considered a dangerous labyrinth in and of itself by a few people.
  • Civil War: It's mentioned that the Princess of the Desert Kingdom escaped imprisonment by the usuping Prime Minister and is fighting to take her throne back in volume 12.
  • Clap Your Hands If You Believe: It is hinted a few times in the series that clerics are only able to cast miracles so long as they maintain perfect confidence that their patron god can and will lend them their power in their moment of crisis. Daikatana further suggests that the recipients of healing spells also require some degree of faith in order for them to work in most cases, at least for the weaker ones.
  • Clothing Damage: The first thing a goblin does to a captive woman is tear off all of her clothes. Rape and torture come once the victim is naked.
  • Color Motif: Each of the characters have dominant colors associated with the professions / background / story significance...
    • Goblin Slayer’s helmet plume, Cow Girl’s Hair, and the moon paired against the green moon, the dwarf’s eyes / predominant color, color armor of high ranking adventurers are all red.
    • The goblins, their supposed moon of origin, the elf / ranger, and the lizard shaman are green (note: in-universe, the dwarves and elves are described as historical adversaries / opposites).
    • Paladins, priests, and other non-shamanic spiritual characters are blue
    • Guild staff tend to favor gold and brown.
  • Conditioned to Accept Horror:
    • A minor version played for Black Comedy: after High Elf Archer kills a couple of goblin guards, Goblin Slayer does his usual thing (stabs them a few times to make sure they're really dead, smears their blood on his armor). He then offers the blood to the rest of the party, saying they should do the same. The Elf is horrified at this, but the Priestess, with Empty Eyes and a Broken Smile, says to her "You just get used to it."
    • The entire questing system appears to be setup like this. It's no mystery what happens if a team gets wiped out, but there’s no cavalry interested in rescuing them either.
  • Crapsaccharine World:
    • Sure, things are pretty great if you happen to be a high-level adventurer, but if you're a regular villager or a beginner adventurer, it's a whole different story. Villagers are constantly preyed upon by low-level monsters like goblins (who at best steal supplies, at worst women, at the very worst come down to rampage). Most veteran adventurers don't bother dealing with them due to the low pay and high risk, often leaving such jobs into the hands of overeager greenhorns who more often than not bite off more than they can chew. According to Guild Girl, a rookie party's chance of success against a goblin nest is somewhere between 33%-50% (that is, at worst two out of three rookie parties won't come back from goblin hunts on average), and she has seen so many amateur adventurers never returning, as well as skyrocketing goblin hunt requests, she admits that unless something is done about the situation, the world could be kept in a Medieval Stasis forever.
    • In Chapter 1 of the Brand New Day manga, the Rookie Duo finds the corpse of an adventurer that died while hunting giant rats, which is stated to be the easiest mission, even beneath goblin slaying, an adventurer can get in this world. Goes to show that people still brutally die on a mission that is the equivalent of a Video Game Tutorial level. In fairness, the light novel goes into detail about how the dead girl they found had no martial equipment at all, wearing only a peasant dress and wielding only a small knife, leading them to believe she was an impoverished villager throwing herself into adventuring as a final recourse over begging or prostitution, but the fact there are people that desperate in this world and they are allowed to just throw their lives away like that shows a very deep level of crap-sackness.
    • Heavy Warrior muses that lack of preparation is the main thing doing rookies in, as the mindful ones will usually pull through none the worse for wear, but not all are as sensible, and plain bad luck still can't be discounted as things can go south even for veterans, leading to a ruthless learning curve (though he and a few other veterans do what they can, taking some rookies under their wing). Priestess' first party demonstrates this problem clearly as why everything fell apart was ultimately because the party didn't adequately prepare for entering a goblin nest.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: In this setting, so much of an adventurer's success relies on experience that it can be easy to fall into this trap.
    • The Elf and Priestess are both experts in their respective fields of archery and magic, but their lack of melee weapons and skills can be a problem when the group is at risk of getting overrun by a goblin hoard.
    • Goblin Slayer is the best at hunting goblins. He knows how to fight them, how to track them, and all of their tricks. When fighting any other kind of monster, he is much less effective.
    • Dark Elf used a spell called “Arrow Deflection” which blocks any and all arrows fired at him. It totally fails to stop Goblin Slayer’s new throwing knife because it’s a type of dagger.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death:
    • The rookie party (sans Priestess) each suffer a horrible death and/or worse thanks to the goblins:
      • Warrior leaves himself open to a Zerg Rush of goblins who tear him limb from limb (it didn't help that his sword is too long to swing efficiently inside a cave).
      • Fighter is beaten down by a hobgoblin, stripped, and gang-raped. She's rescued eventually, but it's implied she'll never fully recover from the mental trauma.
      • Wizard is stabbed in the gut with a poisoned dagger. Though Priestess manages to close the wound with a minor healing spell, it does nothing to cure the poison already inside her body, causing her to deteriorate further. Worse, shortly before dying, she's having a goblin force himself upon her. When Goblin Slayer reaches her, she asks him to Mercy Kill her. He does.
    • The all-female Steel-ranked party in Chapter 4 doesn't fare much better.
      • The Rhea Archer is stripped, tied to a tree, and shot to death with her own bow for target practice.
      • The Elf Mage is burnt alive at the stake.
      • The Monk has her comrade's entrails stuffed in her mouth after trying to bite off her own tongue.
      • Their leader is gang-raped to death by the goblins.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • While there's a fair amount of Curb-Stomp Cushion in effect during Chapter 1, the rookie party of adventurers manage to take out about half a dozen to a dozen goblins in total. Sadly, there were a lot more than that in the nest (22 more, Goblin Slayer counted), including a hobgoblin and a goblin mage.
    • Individually or in very small numbers, typical goblins are weak and mere villagers can drive them off. Unfortunately this leads to the misconception among these villagers that goblins are always weak, and the hapless rookie swordsman in the beginning was one such boy who got such notions, only to be slaughtered by a nest of them on their home turf. The more experienced adventurers have no such illusions.
    • Two goblins against Goblin Slayer, an adventurer who achieved Silver Rank through slaughtering countless goblins? It's less a fight and more a brutal execution.
    • Goblin Slayer himself gets demolished by an Ogre because he is experienced in fighting goblins, but one side minimally needs to send an army to defeat Ogres. He is forced to use a magic scroll he has been saving, just so the party can survive the encounter.
    • An army of a hundred goblins encounters the Adventurer's Guild over Cow Girl's farm. Only three adventurers were lost while every single goblin was slaughtered.
  • Cursed Item: There are some, though thankfully they're even more rare than helpfully enchanted equipment.
  • Damsel in Distress: The series has no shortage of this due to the goblins' reproductive needs. However, the experience is treated as much more traumatizing than most examples, and unfortunately not every damsel is saved.
  • Darkest Hour:
    • In the Water Town arc when the party encounter a Goblin Champion. Goblin Slayer is out of commission after a single, devastating hit from the Goblin Champion, High Elf Archer being swarmed by Goblins with Dwarf Shaman desperately trying to reach her, Lizard Priest holding his own but is slowly being overwhelmed by the numerous Goblins, and the Priestess being in the grasp of the Goblin Champion who have also taken a bite out of her shoulder and is being overwhelmed by both fear and pain. All seems lost ... Until a red, blazing eye flares back up.
    • When Goblin Slayer finds lots of tracks near Cow Girl's farm, he tells her to run. She refuses, because she doesn't want to lose everything again, including him. However, he doesn't think he could fight off over a hundred goblins out in the open, particularly if they're led by a Goblin Lord. He is then forced to ask for help to defend the farm, though at first the Adventurers are reluctant to do so. Fortunately for him, once his request is reworded as a quest with a reward, backed up by the Guild adding their own incentive, then he gets quite a few people to help him protect the farm.
  • Dark Fantasy: The comic has aspects of Low Fantasy since it's a personal tale about a Black Knight engaged in his one-man crusade to rid the world of an entire race devoid of any sympathetic characteristics, but when you observe the bigger picture, the bleaker it gets. Goblins are merely one of the weakest pests next to the bigger threats in this setting, and our protagonist suffers Crippling Overspecialization when dealing with anything that isn't goblins. Adventuring parties have a bad track record at surviving, the villagers are just plain cattle to monsters and the setting's top deities (who seem to be warring Dungeon Masters) are Jerkass Gods at best.
  • Darkness Equals Death: The Dark Zone of the Dungeon of the Dead, a large section of the top floor with zero light, conceals both the entrance to the lower half of the labyrinth and the site of an extensive adventurer serial killing campaign.
  • Deadly Dust Storm: In volume 11, the party almost get caught in a simoon sandstorm while crossing the desert.
  • Deadly Gas: In their second explorations of Water Town's sewers, Goblin Slayer and his group are trapped in a room that the goblins fill with poison gas. Goblin Slayer's preparation in buying a canary to detect poison gas and equipment to help survive the trap saves them.
  • Death by Despair: "Resurrection" can only revive from the brink of death those adventurers with a strong will to live, and apparently there's quite a number of attempted heals that failed due to the adventurer becoming too scared to go on or even not valuing their survival to begin with.
  • Decon-Recon Switch: The series starts as a Deconstruction of the Heroic Fantasy Role-Playing Game 'Verse as a Crapsaccharine World where clueless, headstrong glory-seeking young adventurers come to die. Goblin Slayer is then introduced as a Grimdark Low Fantasy lead, an almost inhuman lone wolf in his stoic, single-minded dedication to goblin slaying. But the world still runs on standard RPG mechanics and conventions to contrast with Goblin Slayer refusing to play "by the rules". And then Goblin Slayer acquires a party who he goes on quests with, and slowly becomes (or is more widely recognized as) a more typical hero, slowly regaining his humanity in the process. So yes, medieval adventuring would be a grim, dirty, and ugly affair. Yes, an actual medieval fantasy world would be a sad world of endless horror; but all this pain and darkness makes love, friendship, honor and hope all the more precious, and they are ideals most certainly still worth fighting for.
  • Dinosaurs Are Dragons: The "Nagas" that Lizard Priest worships are stated to be his ancestors wiped out in a global freeze millions of years ago, have names like Brontosaurus and Velociraptor when he calls on them for spells, and he agrees when others identify his goal to become one of their number as a wish to become a dragon (or naga, in the light novel), though that might just be him not being familiar with human terminology. In Volume 6 the goblin army menacing the elves' forest have managed to capture and train a hydra/lesser dragon, whose physical appearance is that of a purple-scaled sauropod with blazing eyes.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Hoo boy, where to begin? The rookie party in Chapter 1 ignores the advice of the Guild Girl to leave the goblin slaying to another adventurer, ropes in the Priestess who has literally just registered and therefore has no experience whatsoever onto their quest, refuses to consider making any emergency preparations such as buying healing potions or antidotes, and outright admits they have no real plan besides "run in and kill all the goblins." What Could Possibly Go Wrong? doesn't even begin to describe it.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?:
    • A villainous example. A party of steel ranked adventurers (While not epic level, they're still very experienced, well equipped, and work together well as a unit, and would normally be considered well above the degree of skill needed to take on a goblin nest) take on a group of goblins hiding out in an old elven fortress. The goblins wipe out the entire party with relatively few losses, due to their skill with traps, and the fact that they had a sniper with a sling to pick off the helmet-less warrior of the party.
    • Likewise, Goblin Slayer versus Ogre, one of the generals of the Demon Lord. After getting badly injured, Goblin Slayer uses a simple portal scroll to one-shot the Ogre. How? He had the other end of the portal connected to the bottom of the ocean, turning the scroll into a high pressure water cutter.
  • Dire Beast: Exist in the setting, ranging from moderately bigger to outright colossal in scale.
  • Discard and Draw: In the second chapter, Goblin Slayer abandons his short sword after it becomes caked with blood and fat and uses the goblins' own weapons against them. He openly states that you should just take the enemy's weapon when dealing with goblins because this happens so often.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Apparently the Elves have a law that breaking a branch of one of their trees is grounds for getting an arm chopped off. High Elf Archer insists its an old rule no longer taken seriously, though the debate over formally erasing it has gone on longer than she kept track.
  • Divine Conflict: The current state of the world is due in large part to a conflict between the gods, and the monsters (including goblins) are born either as an unintentional consequence, or as a means of depriving the gods on one side or the other of worshipers.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: In the Anime, when Goblin Slayer is about to cover High Elf Archer in goblin blood to cover her scent, the part where he is slowly creeping on her from behind as she is freaking out make it look like something more sinister is about to happen.
  • A Dog Named "Dog": Priestess briefly fantasizes Goblin Slayer tending to a canary he bought. She imagines he would be content with just naming it "Canary". It's somewhat unclear as to whether or not this is a carryover of the story's naming scheme, or merely a terrible naming sense on Goblin Slayer's (or Priestess') part.
  • Dream Team: In a sense. An elf, a dwarf and a lizardman join the story proper at Chapter 5. They are actually top adventurers of their respective races and they recruit Goblin Slayer, the one who is most experienced and competent at hunting goblins as their human representative to take down a goblin-infested fortress. And then the Priestess tags along to Goblin Slayer.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?:
    • Goblin Slayer is looked down upon by other adventurers as a weirdo who solely focuses on killing goblins, regardless of all the good his deeds have done. Fortunately, Goblin Slayer doesn't really care what others think of him.
    • Ironically, the more experienced adventurers are on the receiving end of this from the Guild staff. While most adventurers have little to no respect for Goblin Slayer, the clerks at the Guild, who see so many low-level adventurers go out and never come back, and have to deal with the fact that goblin-related requests far exceed the number of experienced adventurers willing to take them, have nothing but the utmost respect for Goblin Slayer. Meanwhile, it is heavily implied that the clerks actually hold many of the silver-ranked adventurers, who think themselves "above" such work and are Only in It for the Money, in nothing short of absolute contempt.
    • And the commonfolk on the frontier love Goblin Slayer because he's doing something about it.
  • Dungeon-Based Economy: Fortress City in Daikatana has one, but it explicitly only functions because the Dungeon of the Dead actively materializes coins for monsters killed, a unique feature of it. When the Demon Lord is beaten, the enchantment stops and the city is completely abandoned.

    E-G 
  • Elevator Failure: Ancient ruins having elevators that are so old they drop if anyone enters them are apparently common enough for some adventurers to assume they are an actual type of trap.
  • Establishing Series Moment: The first entry establishes very clearly that this series is not pulling its punches when the party of adventurers reaches the goblin cave. In the span of a few minutes, Wizard gets fatally wounded with a poisoned knife stab to the stomach, a warrior gets ripped to pieces by a horde, and a female fighter is gang-raped by goblins.
  • Elves vs. Dwarves: An elf, a dwarf and a lizardman join the story proper in Chapter 5 of the manga. True enough, the elf and dwarf always bicker afterward.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": The narration, the characters, and even the monsters only ever refer to each other by title or occupation. A minor lampshade is hung on this during Year One when Arcmage introduces herself to Cowgirl, saying it hard to sum up a person in a single word. Although there are hints that indicate that people HAVE real names.
  • Evil Is One Big, Happy Family: Best showcased in Volume 9, where a new Ogre shows up, who is recruited by the Evil Sect to kill Goblin Slayer to avenge the death of Dark Elf in Volume 3 as well as his brother from Volume 1, while also being tasked with backing up Ice Witch and her Yetis, who before that exposition had not been hinted to be connected to either the former two parties, while waiting for him to show. If not every monster and villain directly serves the Demon Lord or Chaos Gods, then the ones that don't are operating on at most One Degree of Separation, and even if some villains express suspicion of their lackey's loyalty, open conflict between evil factions has yet to be seen.
  • Exact Words:
    • In Volume 4, Goblin Slayer goes on an adventure up a tower against a wizard who declares "I cannot be killed by those who have words!" and Goblin Slayer's response was not only that the wizard could die, but gravity does not have words, and the party has a collective laugh as they defenestrated the wizard ("Gravity had no words, yet it dragged him down, and soon he had met the same fate as the earlier adventurers").
    • The Guild pulls this with the farm raid. “We’re offering ONE gold coin for every goblin slain.” While this is great for people killing normal goblins, the goblin champions and the lord also only have a one gold coin bounty on their heads as well. This is comparably much lower than their regular bounties.
    • The spell Protection From Arrows is not Protection From All Projectiles, as one caster learns the hard way.
  • Excited Show Title!: The English byline on the Japanese version of the title adds an exclamation point. Judging by the tone of the story, it's more evoking the classic "horror surprise" title (It Came from The Deep!) than positive excitement.
  • Eye of Newt: Several arcane spells, mainly those that conjure minions, and the unique magic of Shamans that calls forth elemental spirits to bolster its effects, require the caster to offer physical components to work.
  • Failed a Spot Check: The rookie adventurers completely miss a side tunnel as they're exploring the caves which allows goblins to flank and ambush them. In fairness to them, this is because the goblins have put up totems to distract any potential intruders from those tunnels.
  • Fan Disservice:
    • There are a lot of cute and attractive women who end up naked... because they are either broken rape victims or corpses stripped of both their clothes and their dignity.
    • Then there's the Rock Eater incident in the Gaiden manga. Something grabs the female elven party member, drags her up into the darkness, and then a Panty Shot is seen — before revealing a giant man-eating worm that ate most of her face in mere seconds. Even worse, the only reason anyone thought to look up in the first place is because the gore of her gnawed head dripped down onto the party.
  • Fanservice: There are also a lot of women who wear revealing fantasy outfits in general, like the Sorceress; Chapter 3 opens with several pages dedicated to the Cowgirl waking up, and incidentally she Sleeps in the Nude we get some lingering shots of her Toplessness from the Back showing a lot of Sideboob.
  • Fanservice with a Smile: The inn that the Golden Party set as their base is almost entirely staffed by good-looking female Little Bit Beastly wait-staff. The first night they stay there, said staff change into Stripperific waitress-themed costumes and lingerie to cater to an impromptu festival celebrating a new dungeon floor being breached.
  • Fantastic Rank System: The Adventurer's Guild has ten ranks.note  Porcelain to Steel are the rookies, and after that they're veterans. Silver class are the highest level of adventurer that take to the regular field, Gold is for heroes who deal with national emergencies, and Platinum is restricted to a handful of heroes so strong that their names are etched in legend.
  • Fantastic Racism:
    • Very little on display, it's mostly just a Discussed Trope, namely in Volume 8; High Elf Archer and Dwarf Shaman make fun of the idea of any human ruler getting away with the infamous "ear tax" cliche, and the "Gillmen" of the prologue complain at length about the land-dwellers' numerous nicknames for them and claim to prefer to be referred to as "Homo Piscine".
    • The subject comes up again in volume 12 as a much more serious problem; the villain of the Shadowrunner-centric plotline is a guardswoman in Water Town that murdered her half-elven bastard half-sister that turned to prostitution after being kicked out of the house by their nobleman father. The shame of the latter's existence (not to mention her attempts to blackmail her human family using threats to go public with her life-story) outraged the former so much that she joined an underground movement that seeks to drive all demihumans out of all human cities and territories.
  • Fantasy Gun Control: Averted Trope; dwarves have incorporated cannons into their armies, black powder is relatively well-known, and certain highly-connected adventurers can get their hands on flintlocks. True wide-spread adoption is lagging though, as bullets can be countered too easily by Deflect Missile to justify the expense.
  • A Fate Worse Than Death: Instead of being killed like Warrior and Wizard, Fighter is captured and gang-raped by the goblins along with the rest of the captured village girls. She's rescued later by Goblin Slayer and Priestess, but the damage has already been done.
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: Being a fantasy story expect plenty of this. Some example include:
    • The Silver-Ranked Trio: Lizard Priest, Dwarf Shaman, and High Elf Archer, respectively.
    • Heavy Warrior, Spearman, and Goblin Slayer,respectively, during their team-up in Volume 4.
    • The Trainee Team: Half-Elf Warrior, Druid Girl, and Scout Boy.
    • The Ragged Party: Axe Warrior and Middle-Aged Monk share the position of fighter, Half-Elf Wizard is the mage, and Rhea Scout is the thief.
    • The Female Party: Noble Knight is the fighter, Elf Wizard and Human Monk share the position of mage, and Rhea Ranger is the thief.
  • Flying Seafood Special: Giant manta rays live in the desert and can glide high and far through the air.
  • Food Porn: A simple one when the party camped before raiding a goblin nest. Showing off their racial cuisines, the Lizard Priest shared meat from 'a swamp creature', the Dwarf Shaman shared his Fire Wine, the Elf Archer shared her elven rations not unlike Lembas, and Goblin Slayer shared his cheese, which the Lizard Shaman really take a liking to.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • When the rookie party's leader speaks about the mission in question, he mentions that the goblins stole a village's food supplies that were intended for the winter. Then, they stole all of the village's livestock. And then, they abducted several women. To any reader who plays Dungeons & Dragons, this will set off warning bells, as goblins in just about any fantasy setting will only get this greedy and aggressive if there's a very large number of them, on top of having a powerful leader to direct them.
    • Anime-only example: Inside the cave, Warrior tries to show off his skills to Priestess by swinging his sword, but it eventually hits a rock and causes him to stumble. This accident happens again when he fights the goblins, which results in his death.
    • Likewise, while the party is exploring the goblin nest, they come across some sort of a totem, and then, a while afterwards, they encounter a second one. They're used to distract adventurers from other cave openings that the goblins use to slip behind intruders.
    • The leader of the party in Chapter 1 mentions that just by clearing one or two goblin nests, a party that is porcelain ranked can be bumped up to the next level. The reason for this is because clearing out goblin nests is ridiculously dangerous, and tends to kill the overwhelming majority of rookie parties that attempt it. If a party is porcelain ranked, but capable of clearing goblin nests, they are most definitely punching above their weight class — it would be like a flyweight KO-ing Mike Tyson.
    • A bard earns his living performing on the street for audiences who stop to hear his entire song. The one we see/hear is about Goblin Slayer, and depicts him as a Folk Hero who rescues the princess from the goblins, but refuses to marry her afterward because he has to continue on his goblin-killing quests. Later, Goblin Slayer does indeed complete Sword Maiden's quest to clear the goblins from beneath Water Town, but when she propositions him, he rejects her advances and leaves, promising only to come back if the goblins return in order to kill them for her, whether for real or if only in her dreams.
    • While the Steel-ranked adventure party in Chapter 17 is awaiting an interview for a promotion, Guild Girl is explaining to Goblin Slayer that it's not enough to be strong to be promoted, you need to be trustworthy, and for example those who abuse women or start fights all the time may spend their entire career as a mere Porcelain. Cue the Rhea scout, whose first thought upon seeing Guild Girl is "She looks so pretty and innocent... I'd love to spank her until she cries!", who gets caught stealing treasure from his own party, immediately tries to start a fight, and gets demoted to Porcelain.
  • Founder of the Kingdom: The Harefolk Village of Volume 9 was built with the help of a human missionary of the Supreme God. The inhabitants still maintain a shrine of the monk, worship his god, and safeguard his blessed silver arrow, which may explain why the normally hands-off Supreme God was willing to so directly command one of his clerics to save them from a vampire.
  • Framing the Guilty Party: The Shadowrunners' storyline in volume 12 starts with them being hired by a gang to assassinate a half-elf prostitute that had been stealing drugs from them. When they arrive at her apartment she had already been stabbed in her bed mere minutes prior by her human half-sister out of a grudge for trying to blackmail their father. Said half-sister is a member of the city guard and covers her tracks by doubling back behind the tardy assassins and calling for back-up when they reach the apartment as though the attempted murderers were the successful murderers and she was tailing them the whole time.
  • Gender Is No Object: Women fighting is accepted enough that they are even allowed to be mundane soldiers and guards.
  • Genre Blind: It's apparently a common occurrence for newbie adventurers to accept jobs clearing out goblin nests, thinking it will be easy due to the low pay, only to be slaughtered because of being ill-prepared. This is because almost every newly-approved adventurer thinks of themselves as being the next True Hero when at best they will become a well-known sword-for-hire who hasn't died yet.
  • Genuine Human Hide: A human-leather bound Spell Book is found in a Giant Eye's horde by Spearman, Heavy Warrior, and Goblin Slayer. The former jokes about gifting it to Witch to see if she can find any useful non-evil spells in it.
  • Global Currency: Played With; Female Mage recognizes that the denomination of the coins they find in the treasure chests of the Dungeon of the Dead is extremely old and completely foreign, but the merchants in the Fortress City still readily take it as legal tender. Hey, precious metal is precious metal.
  • Godzilla Threshold:
    • When it becomes clear that no one in the party can cause it substantial injury, Goblin Slayer is forced to use his weaponized Gate scroll against Ogre to survive the battle even as he insists that it is somehow a less fearsome opponent than goblins. He initially planned on using it at some point to flood an entire nest of goblins, but having to use it instead on a single opponent means that he has no other options.
    • When he discovers a goblin army marching in the open aimed straight at Cow Girl’s farm, Goblin Slayer feels so out of his depth that he begs the entire rest of the Guild to help him fight them off.
    • In Volume 8, the King sends no less than five Gold-ranked adventurers into the Labyrinth of the End to secure and extract Goblin Slayer’s party and his abducted sister.
  • Gondor Calls for Aid: When Goblin Slayer first asks for help in defeating a potentially large horde of goblins he believes will attack Cow Girl's farm, nobody really wants to help since goblin slaying is seen as low ranking work. However, once Spear Man rephrases Goblin Slayer's request as a quest, and the latter offers everything he has as a reward, more people start to sign up. When Guild Girl then says the Guild is offering one gold coin for every goblin they kill, then practically everyone in the Guild Hall signs up. While some simply joined in for the coin, some others join him as thanks for his work, such as Heavy Warrior whose village was saved because Goblin Slayer went and killed them all.
  • Great Offscreen War:
    • Once a decade or so a new Demon Lord will arise, amassing armies of evil creatures to take over the civilized world. The nations of elves, dwarves, humans, rheas (halflings,) and other friendly creatures like lizardmen are forced to work together against this threat. However, the main story focuses on the frontier, where such titanic clashes between nations and factions are distant news at best. But it's implied that the rising amounts of goblin activity is the Demon Lord's doing, and the leaders are too preoccupied with the Demon Lord to do anything more concrete against the goblins other than send adventurers to handle them.
    • A pair of smaller-scale conflicts flare up simultaneously in volume 12; a lich rampages through the land with a zombie army to amass enough death to fuel a ritual, and a Civil War in the Desert Kingdom has knock-on effects on the eastern front of said battle with the army of the dead.
  • Go Out with a Smile: The wizard gives one to the Goblin Slayer as she dies. She was thankful for the mercy kill.
  • Gorn: Neither monsters nor adventurers die pleasantly, and every quest Goblin Slayer takes becomes a gory, blood-soaked affair. No exceptions.

    H-L 
  • Half-Human Hybrid: There’s a decent number of adventurers running around with mixed human and elf parentage. In volume 11, Priestess listens to a ballad in the Desert Kingdom about a group of adventurers slaying a black dragon, and one of them was a bard or hexblade with demon blood in her veins.
  • Hellgate: Daikatana makes the claim that a properly opened Hellmouth is necessary for higher level demons to fully/corporally manifest in the material world, though natural rifts between dimensions and crude outpourings of fiendish magic will serve to allow specters with most of their power to slip through in a pinch.
  • Helmets Are Hardly Heroic:
    • Subverted for the protagonist. Goblin Slayer wears his 24/7. He does take it off at one point when his party insisted on seeing his face.
    • An adventurer in Chapter 4 learns the hard way, not having one can be the kiss of death if the goblins have a sling or a bow and a clear shot at your head.
    • Blacksmith in Year One notes a reason why adventurers often don't wear helmets is so people recognize their faces, and recognizes the danger of not wearing headgear.
  • Heroic Fantasy: Goblin Slayer himself may described as a dark or low fantasy character in a high fantasy world, with the day-to-day activities of the adventurers falling under heroic fantasy, based on quests they take up involving dungeon crawls, slaying monsters and other evil creatures and with their feats based on martial prowess. In contrast, Goblin Slayer mainly relies on his wits first during his exploits, avoiding head-on combat as much as possible and "cheating" by using the environment and his arsenal.
  • Hero of Another Story: Played with, interestingly. The first light novel contains an interlude detailing an after-battle report made by a female rookie adventurer. Said adventurer had slain hordes of goblins by her lonesome, entered ancient ruins, pulled a sword out of a pedestal, and defeated one of the 16 Demon Generals with it... all in her very first quest. No more than a chapter later, narration reveals she goes on to defeat the Demon Lord and becomes the 16th Platinum-ranked adventurer in history. It's practically stated that she's the Legendary Hero of Goblin Slayer's universe, following a much, much more typical fantasy RPG story, and yet it's treated as little more than an aside. If anything, it only solidifies Goblin Slayer's status as a Small Steps Hero and The Unchosen One.
  • Hey, You!: Precisely none of the characters besides Goblin Slayer himself actually use the narrative titles to identify themselves or each other. They either call each other out directly, talk distantly about "that boy/girl", or the nonhumans will go by Race-Name Basis. The most egregious example of this is in Volume 2 when Goblin Slayer talks to Priestess about his childhood and only refers to Cow Girl as she or her (italics his).
  • Hidden Elf Village: Beyond the Elvish kingdom spread out within an impenetrable rainforest, there's also the Harefolk Village in Volume 9, though that was not deliberately hidden, the inhabitants just got cut off from the lowlands for a few decades when the climate became much snowier.
  • High Fantasy: On a wider level, the world operates with the trappings of this genre with multiple good races fighting evil races led by a Demon Lord.
  • Highly Visible Ninja: Later volumes have veteran scout-types such as Spy and High Elf Archer routinely make fun of amateur rogues and thieves who dress in all-black or other stereotypical and cliché ways. An assassin who looks like an assassin is not long for the business after all.
  • Hobbits: Given that the setting is a Japanese-standard D&D/generic RPG world, it of course has a halfling race with Serial Numbers Filed Off; here they are apparently named "Rheas" and are frequently stereotyped as rogue-types and thieves. One particular specimen is a Grimdark Captain Ersatz of Bilbo Baggins, replete with being known as "Burglar" and having a magic ring that makes him invisible. He is the one who nurses the child Goblin Slayer back to health and subjects him to Training from Hell for five years, and he wears the skin of a goblin's face as a mask.
  • Homage:
    • Chapter 3 of the manga has a panel that seems to imitate the famous intense shading and rendering of Berserk. Goblin Slayer, who is depicted in it, even sports a corruption of his normal helmet that draws comparison to the wolfish helm of Guts' Berserker Armor.
    • Vol. 2 has Goblin Slayer experience a Flashback that pays tribute to a certain game of riddles in The Hobbit. In the past, he undergoes a harsh training session where he is forced to answer riddles as fast as possible while his rhea teacher harasses him with snowballs laden with pebbles, taunts, and falling icicles. The rhea refers to himself as "Burglar", and has a spell that turns him invisible. As if to remove all pretenses, the last question Burglar asks Goblin Slayer is to guess the contents of his pocket.
    • In the fifth Light Novel volume, there’s an inside extra illustration with Goblin Slayer drawn with chibi proportions, making the exact same pose as the Infernal Armor monster from Dragon Quest, referencing the original Futaba thread that spawned the series, in which Kagyu used placeholder images for his ideas, Goblin Slayer was portrayed by an Infernal Armor image.
  • Home Field Advantage: A large number of goblins would be challenging enough for a newbie party even if they weren't fighting them in their own lair complete with secret passages that make it easy for goblins to ambush intruders.
  • Human Shield: As it turns out, goblins can and will use this tactics. With the women they captured as the shields.
  • Humiliation Conga: The Ogre ended up with one. After proving to be an incredibly dangerous foe capable of taking on the entire party single-handedly, Goblin Slayer cleaved him in two with an improvised water jet cutter. He was outraged that Goblin Slayer would reserve that kind of power just to massacre goblins, basically equating him to mere goblins. In his final moments, he could only scream and curse Goblin Slayer for considering him beneath notice, as the latter stabbed him repeatedly with a simple sword to finish him off.
  • The Joys of Torturing Mooks: Non-video game example. While Goblin Slayer prefers to kill his prey with quick and effective methods, the story can get creative in the many ways goblins can be maimed, beaten, burned, choked, shot, stabbed, etc.
  • Kill the Lights: The Dungeon of the Dead has some enchantment that makes it impossible to see more than a couple feet around in it, and turns the walls black with faint white "wire-frame" outlines.
  • Knighting: The granting of noble titles and lands for valor is done so often that many peasants actually can realistically aspire to be uplifted with enough service and feats as an adventurer or even in the military.
  • Language of Magic: Arcane magic is cast by speaking this, and an inventive wizard can create their own spells by playing around with the individual words they know. This language also has a written script that is inherently magically charged and confounds the eyes and mind of anyone not a trained arcanist that tries to read it.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Deconstructed. Rushing into your enemy's lair without any planning and preparations will end very badly for you, in short order.
  • Lighter and Softer: Well, as light as a piece featuring goblin brutality and rape can be.
    • After the introductory arc, the story remains focused on Goblin Slayer's unhinged vendetta against goblins and their horrors, Gorn included, but also shines a hopeful light on his developing relationship with his True Companions, starting with Priestess.
    • Vol. 3 is very easygoing and almost cozy in comparison to the other two volumes, the subject being the Harvest Festival taking place in town. It carries more focus on Goblin Slayer's interactions with other characters outside of a combat situation, and even the antagonist only introduces himself proper near the end and is less challenging to defeat than previous bosses.
  • Limited-Use Magical Device: In Daikatana, its revealed that staves and other such items can be loaded with spells to fire off in place of using up a caster's own energy.
  • Liquid Assets: It’s explained in roundabout terms, but the Dungeon of the Dead operates under a curse that causes monsters and adventurers to absorb the life force and strength of the opponents they kill within it, handily explaining how the adventurers feel immediate and substantial increase in strength and skill with each dungeon dive despite not having an RPG Mechanics 'Verse, and why the Demon Lord goes out of his way to mentor rookies before activating a curse and killing them.
  • Lost Technology: After the death or ascension of all planeswalker-capable wizards at the end of the Age of Magic, the teachings of their strongest category of spells was wiped out with them. Only three of the highest-tier spells are still known in the present, and even they are mostly experienced through ancient magic items and scrolls imbued with their effects, as their casting is largely beyond the power of modern wizards; Fusion Blast, Star of Muala, and Gate.
  • Lovecraft Lite: Incomprehensible horrors from beyond the stars can crash down on earth and seek to consume it at any time. They can be taken down as easily as any other big ugly demon or monster once they touch down.
  • Low Fantasy: The setting veers into this slightly; magic is in scarce supply and requires intense strategizing to make full use of, non-human races mostly stay in their own lands, even the very weakest of evil creatures can be fool's errands to fight against and are grotesquely barbaric, and the protagonist is a psychologically-broken Hunter of Monsters launching a one-man campaign of monster-genocide. As one example; the "Resurrection" miracle can't actually bring people back from the dead.

    M-R 
  • The Magic Goes Away: Downplayed Trope; Thousands of years before the present of the setting, shortly after the end of the Age of Gods, there was an "Age of Magic" during which there were dozens if not hundreds of wizards each with enough magic to be a Person of Mass Destruction. Their battles nearly destroyed the world before the whole lot of them either died off or managed to Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence, taking their knowledge with them and leaving the world without the secrets to harnessing the strongest spells, and most of the commonfolk with a passed-down fear and mistrust of arcane casters that persists into the present day.
  • Magical Incantation: Arcane magic requires the caster to recite a short string of words in the Language of Magic that broadly describe each spells intended attributes, divine miracles are activated by a codified prayer to a cleric’s god for a specific boon, and Shamans must sing a rhyme to entice elemental spirits to bolster the effect of their spells.
  • Magical Underpinnings of Reality: Most natural phenomena in the setting are assumed to be caused by the mercurial interplay of various nature sprites. Most of said assumptions are true, with the narration describing the way the spirits act, though others (like the invisible and uninteractable "gods of sunstroke") are mere folktale.
  • Magic Focus Object: Nearly all magic casters in this world need to use a channel for their magic, usually a staff but it can also be a piece of jewelry. Shamans and other Elemental Powers users go one step further in needing material components as a medium and magnet for the fairies and spirits they appeal to to strengthen their spells (e.g. A lump of clay for Gnomes to work their earth magic, any kind of liquid for Undines, etc.)
  • The Magnificent Seven Samurai: Briefly alluded to in the first light novel. When Goblin Slayer asks for help against the Goblin army that will be moving against the farm where he lives Spearman and Witch are the only ones from outside of his party to volunteer to help him. As Dwarf Shaman, High Elf Archer and Lizardman Priest come down to join them Witch murmurs, "So that makes six of us. Or will it be seven?". It's at this point Guild Girl takes things in a different direction by pulling strings and getting the rest of the Guild on board with defending the farm. After this, Goblin Slayer turns around to find that Priestess had been standing in his blind spot, staff in hand and ready to go, without saying a word. Witch's count had been correct and it indeed had been seven.
  • Medieval European Fantasy: The kingdom where the main characters live and work is broadly this, though as the series goes on it acquires more and more specifically German trappings (to wit; Guild Girl wears a Stahlhelm while inspecting a fallow dungeon, she and Cow Girl snack on mettbrötchen during a girls' day at the market in a manga volume-packaged vignette, and Gratuitous German words and terms occasionally crop up in later issues).
  • Medieval Stasis:
    • Invoked. According to the girl at the Guild counter, the goblins are the primary reason why all scientific and cultural progress has ground to a halt, and until something is done about them, the country won't be able to progress any further.
    • The society has managed to reach a level where they can produce gasoline, amongst other materials that might not be common for this era (Gasoline was invented in the late 19th century, well after the medieval period on Earth), but things like the automobile or locomotive cannot be invented or maintained in a society where monster attacks are so common that the infrastructure needed to support them cannot be built.
  • Men Are the Expendable Gender: Gruesomely averted. Though the Wizard and Fighter from the greenhorn party aren't immediately ripped to pieces like the Warrior is, it would have been preferable to what did happen, and the Goblin Slayer quickly puts the Wizard down. The all-female party that shows up a few chapters later fares no better. In this world, it's explicitly stated that the women adventurers who do get killed right away are the lucky ones.
  • Merchant City: Fortress City in Daikatana is effectively a goldrush town made of nothing but adventurers and their outfitters from across the known world, and even shady temporary vendors in the open-air bazaar are likely to be hawking a couple of actually legit enchanted weapons among their wares.
  • Mood Whiplash: A lot of scenes crosses among serious, violent and comedic theme right after another. Some chapters also drastically changes the mood like when a light-hearted chapter is just after a chapter filled with violence and rape.
  • Nameless Narrative: No one in this series has a known proper name. If someone is being referred to, it is usually by their occupation or class.
  • Never Smile at a Crocodile: In Episode 6, the main cast run from a giant one after it ate a group of goblins.
  • No Man Wants an Amazon: Female Knight complains that it’s hard for female adventurers to find love. While male adventurers typically end up married to girls they rescue; male civilians are intimidated by women who are so much stronger than them, so female adventurers are basically stuck with dating their colleagues, which usually ends up tearing the party apart.
  • No Name Given: Downplayed. Everyone does have names. Only we never hear them, only hearing their "titles," such as "Goblin Slayer", "Priestess," "Sword Maiden," and "Dark Elf." The gods do have names, such as Truth and Illusion as well as monsters. So far, the only person who's name is revealed is Starwind. Its also shown in the "Dungeon & Goblins" crossover campaign from "DanMachi: Memoria Freese", just as Priestess is about to give her name, the scene changes to Bell and Goblin Slayer.
  • Non-Indicative First Episode: The first episode sets up a typical Heroic Fantasy story, then proceeds to take it out back and shoot it, with the Decoy Protagonist adventuring party being ambushed by the goblin den they're trying to clear out and variously mauled, killed, and raped, not necessarily in that order; the Priestess is then rescued by the title character. The rest of the series, while taking its subject matter seriously, is not nearly as brutal, and showcases friendship and good teamwork as the keys to success, with the Goblin Slayer becoming a Defrosting Ice King able to care about more than just slaying goblins.
  • Not the Intended Use: As a series where Combat Pragmatists are the ones who survive, this is used quite a bit. Goblin Slayer himself says as much by noting "The imagination is a weapon. Those who fail to use it, die first."
    • Priestess knows Holy Light, a basic spell taught to all beginner Priests that shines a bright light, but doesn't deal any damage. Nonetheless, its utility for blinding goblins makes it quite useful.
    • Priestess eventually learns Barrier, which she uses two of to trap her target and crush them, rendering it a rather effective combat spell.
    • In Chapter 4, Goblin Slayer uses the Priestess' protection spell to prevent a bunch of goblins from escaping the massive fire that he started. The Priestess herself is disturbed by the tactic and lampshades this trope.
    • He also uses a Gate Scroll as a weapon, by making the location of the Gate the bottom of the ocean, effectively turning it into a very large water knife.
    • In Vol. 2, rather than escaping a goblin horde by using a newly-discovered teleportation mirror leading to goodness-knows-where, he has his team lift it up like an umbrella while he collapses the ceiling. The rubble is absorbed by the mirror and buries everything else, leaving them the only survivors.
    • The Breath spell is normally just used to allow people to breathe underwater. However, Goblin Slayer demonstrates that the spell accounts for all forms of water including snow and ice, which allows him to survive being buried by an avalanche. He also utilizes the Required Secondary Powers of the spell that protect the user from changes in temperature from water immersion to help his companions stay warm in a snowstorm.
    • Water Walk is a spell that allows people to walk on water. It also works on aquatic creatures such as sea serpents, and prevents them from going back under no matter how hard they try, which essentially beaches them even in the middle of a large body of water. This predictably turns an uphill fight against one such sea serpent into a pathetic Curbstomp Battle in the heroes' favor.
    • Purify is a cleansing spell that removes impurities from substances. Typical usage would be to disinfect or detoxify liquids, or remove poisonous gasses, but Priestess discovers that the definition and scope of the impurity can be pushed quite a bit to allow for more spectacular feats such as removing an entire river blockade of trash and rubble or turning blood into water. Using it this way on a living being would be a horrific sure-kill technique, which is why the Earth Mother forbids Priestess from doing so after stopping it merely at severely hurting the Goblin Shaman that fell victim to it. That being said, she has no objections when the blood is no longer part of a living creature, which makes this fact a useful tool against Blood Magic.
  • No Woman's Land: The setting is already a Crapsack World, but if you happen to be female, it is now infinitely much worse. This is a world where the lowest tier monsters will force a Fate Worse than Death to any woman they capture. If you are a male in this world, the monsters will likely kill you and then eat your remains. If you are a female, the monsters will likely keep you alive for days to be their "plaything", force you to give birth to more monsters (usually goblins), and then eat you.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Priestess begins to have a prolonged one as her party gets taken apart with almost surgical precision by what should be the weakest of monsters. And each of the poor party gets one as their various fates are about to befall them.
    • A very minor one occurs in the anime, but when Goblin Slayer says that a Goblin Lord is planning on raiding the farm, even Spearman tenses up for a bit.
  • One Twin Must Die: It's a persistent superstition throughout the human kingdom that twins are an ill omen and at least one of the pair must be immediately taken out of the household of their birth. Princess used to have a sister, and her big brother the King has never forgiven their father for getting rid of the other one.
  • Only in It for the Money:
    • Most adventurers, particularly the silver-ranked ones that aren't Goblin Slayer. To be fair, they do work hard to keep the people safe from monsters, but at the end of the day, what they do for a living is, in fact, killing monsters, and if the money offered isn't sufficient to meet their needs, they won't take the job. Since the jobs are contracts paid for by the client, if the client doesn't have enough to pay what the job is worth, then of course, the experienced adventurers will pass on it. Unfortunately, this means that goblin populations are skyrocketing, while the number of rookie adventuring parties steadily decreases.
    • Goblin Slayer, however, is himself an aversion of this. He is able to make enough to be able to make a comfortable living. Although he lives at the farm of a childhood friend, the money he gives her is sufficient to be able to stay at a high quality hotel. He can also outfit himself with all the gear he needs to do his job, primarily because he's working ten times harder than the average adventurer. However, he's not in it for the money; he's in it to kill as many goblins as he can.
    • When an elf, a dwarf, and a lizardman ask him to join them in their quest to stop a newly-freed demon king from destroying the world, he refuses, saying that ending the world will take a very long time; meanwhile, villages will burn and people will die if he's not here to kill the goblins doing the burning and killing. When they change their request and ask him to take care of an absolutely massive nest of goblins serving the demon king, he immediately accepts, not even mentioning a reward, saying that he'll accept whatever they can pay him.
  • Only Smart People May Pass: Dungeons that include traps or obstacles that require riddle or problem-solving to get past are common enough for Dwarf Shaman's assigned trial in the volume 13 practice dungeon to take the form of him posing as an enemy wizard challenging rookies with math and logic puzzles.
  • Out with a Bang: Played for Drama. Any women captured by goblins and aren't saved in time will likely die in this manner. The two most notable example thus far is Noble Knight who died from mutilation (exhaustion in the manga version) after being gang-raped non-stop by a horde of goblin for 3 days and 3 nights, and Goblin Slayer's sister, while her poor little brother was Forced to Watch.
  • Parental Abandonment: Priestess is an orphan. The Temple acts as a school of Priesthood and orphanage to orphans like her. Goblin Slayer and Cow Girl lost their respective family after goblins raided their village.
  • Pit Trap: The Dungeon of the Dead was full of them. Samurai Captain almost died to one.
  • Pokémon Speak: In the light novel translation at least, monsters who speak their own language instead of Common Tongue have their speech rendered as garbled strings of syllables of their species name.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation:
    • The manga is largely faithful to the original Light Novel. Rather than removing things, it merges scenes that were originally separate, saving time while keeping events roughly how they should be.
    • The anime is a hybrid adaptation of the light novel Volumes 1 and 2 and the manga, as it has some scenes that are LN exclusive and other scenes that are manga exclusive. It also mixes in some parts of LN Volume 4 (which also has a separate manga adaptation called Brand New Day) in Episode 5 for world-building and showcasing side characters while the main cast get a breather from their latest quests.
    • The anime also moves the Farm Battle arc which took place relatively early in the LN/manga to its final episodes, increasing the lead-up and climactic effect substantially. This includes the detail of Goblin Champions, as they are now introduced singly then reappear as a duo instead of the reverse.
  • Pre Existing Encounters: The Dungeon of the Dead always has a mob of monsters lurking in each of its side-rooms, and a set range of which monsters appear on which floors, meaning adventurers can anticipate, actively choose, and pre-plan their battles accordingly.
  • Protective Charm: Splashing a circle of holy water is a method of temporary reprieve in the Dungeon of the Dead.
  • Proud Warrior Race: The Lizardmen are known to be this, they are widely regarded as the civilized race most gifted at warfare and have a religion that demands they gain the approval of their ancestor spirits through battlefield feats.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: In volume 11, Goblin Slayer's party infiltrate the hostile Desert Kingdom to help investigate the operations of an Evil Chancellor and his insane commander. It is repeatedly reiterated that just because their current leaders are in league with Chaos doesn't mean all their people, or even the soldiers, are also demon-woreshippers. It's even made a point that the party avoids a lot of trouble thanks to the local guards being merely corrupt and not Card-Carrying Villain to a one. That does not excuse them going along with the plan to deliberately breed goblins, and the party doesn't hesitate to strike if it comes down to their lives or the lives of these infantrymen of a hostile power.
  • Quicksand Sucks: The desert in volume 11 has quicksand pits that can swallow a horse in moments.
  • Random Encounters: Wandering monsters in the corridors of the Dungeon of the Dead are particularly bad hazard, which are made all the more fraught to put up with because they don't spawn treasure chests on defeat.
  • Rape as Drama: If the first five minutes of Episode 1 is any indication, Goblins kidnapping and violating women is a very real, ever-present threat that looms over villagers and adventurers alike, and the creatures are not hesitant to commit sexual assault even in the heat of battle. Priestess so far is the only victim Goblin Slayer rescued in-story without suffering anything worse than impending molestation; most prisoners are considered fortunate to even be discovered alive, much less untouched. The ones who are assaulted before escape or rescue, such as Sword Maiden, suffer serious trauma.
  • Rat Stomp: Killing giant sewer rats is considered a perfect quest for rookie adventurers to go on. Most choose to go after goblins instead... and learn, usually too late, that the rats are the safer option.
  • Recap Episode:
    • "Episode 10.5" of the anime which aired before the final arc. The anime was originally slated for twelve episodes, so its announcement after the tenth aired came as a surprise.
    • Goblin's Crown does a variant, in which the first 25 minutes, a third, of the movie are dedicated to showing the most important scenes and fights from the entire first season.
  • Reconstruction: Of Always Chaotic Evil. Where in most works a race of purely evil beings are very shallow in their motivations, Goblin Slayer takes great pains communicating how intrinsically evil all goblins really are to the audience. Much like the Uruk-Hai of The Lord of the Rings, the Trope Codifier of this trope in most modern media, goblins are filled with hatred for everything around them- - the world, adventurers, and most of all, themselves. Goblins lead short and unfulfilling lives of misery and hate, with their only source of pleasure being the venting of these feelings by taking them out on anyone who gets in their way. Even still, goblins are as much a victim to the Cycle of Revenge that Goblin Slayer himself is, but both parties have committed acts too grave to ever stop until one or the other is completely eliminated. In a way, goblins are almost pitiable since they have experienced very little in the way of positive emotions throughout their short lives. Of course, their rampant invoking of Rape, Pillage, and Burn keeps them at being almost pitiable.
  • Red Baron:
    • "Goblin Slayer". When Priestess first hears it, she thinks of how under normal circumstances, hearing someone call themselves a Slayer of one of the weakest monsters would have been funny. After she just witnessed her party be gruesomely slaughtered and raped by goblins, a fate she just narrowly avoided thanks to Goblin Slayer, the name doesn't sound the least bit silly to her.
    • In Elvish he's nicknamed Orcbolg, which means the same thing, but sounds much more badass and based off a sword said to glow when near a goblin.
    • In the Dwarven tongue he's named "Beard Cutter". This name may be a reference to the "Slayer" part of his main nickname, as Dwarves regard their beards more important than their lives. A cutter of beards would be the same as an ender of lives to a Dwarf.
  • Redemption Quest: Played with in regards to Goblin Slayer and Priestess:
    • It is implied in his dourness and upbringing that Goblin Slayer isn't just angry at the past, but also blames himself for supposedly letting it happen in the first place. So, he devotes himself to the joyless and wearisome task of slaughtering goblins day after day, year after year, to prevent the repeat of yet another tragedy like his. If this pursuit comes at the expense of everything else life has to offer, then so be it.
    • A young girl like Priestess should have no reason to be following a genocidal Black Knight, forcing herself to confront monsters that would, in a best-case scenario, butcher her. But, because she recognizes Goblin Slayer's untapped value as a human being, she is determined to stand by his side and teach him to realize it too. Failing that, then at least alleviate his loneliness.
  • Religion Is Magic: Priests are granted the ability to perform “miracles” (basically spells) by their deities.
  • Respawning Enemies: The mobs and even loot of the Dungeon of the Dead come back in a few days with no indication of where the refreshed forces came from.
  • Returning to the Scene: The Shadowrunners in volume 12 are able to corner and confront the murderous guardswoman because they realize she has go back to the apartment because their arrival the first time interrupted her in the middle of stripping her bastard half-sister's room of all items containing their nobleman father's family crest.
  • Riddle Me This: Priestess challenges a demon to a riddle contest, and it accepts because such engagements are apparently Serious Business for the Four-Cornered World.
  • Rodents of Unusual Size: Sewer Rats get big in the setting and can be found in most cities. The only one that doesn't seem to have any are in the City of Water. And that's because there's a giant Sewer Gator eating them.
    • The Year One manga reveals that the Skaven exists in this world.
  • Role-Playing Game 'Verse: The story's setting is very much like standard fantasy RPG complete with adventurers, monsters, guilds, and quests. It is implied that the world is actually a tabletop RPG with the gods as the players who roll the dice.
  • RPG Mechanics 'Verse: Nope. No hitpoints, magic points, or anything like that. And trying to operate as if you did live in one can have fatal consequences.
  • R-Rated Opening:
    • More like X-rated, considering the later chapters are still nowhere remotely close to work-or-child-safe, but yes; the first chapter is a Whole Episode Flashback that goes into protracted detail on the systemic take-down of the hapless rookie party, with a lingering, graphic look at how Fighter got gang-raped by the goblins.
    • The Year One manga opened in a violent scene immediately, showing a man impaled through his mouth by a spear, three women stripped naked and raped, and all other nasty things happened when goblins attacked the young Goblin Slayer's village.

    S-T 
  • Samus Is a Girl: Referenced when Goblin Slayer unmasks in front of the Guild, it’s revealed they’ve been holding a pool on what he looks like, with one adventurer convinced he was secretly a woman.
  • Sand Is Water: The desert of volume 11 has sand-dwelling magic sealife and boat-riding nomads. One of the locals in the capital city of the desert kingdom outright calls it "the sand sea."
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: "The Death", which was either the Demon Lord or the force permeating the dungeon he hid in, was one that got partially unsealed in Daikatana, with adventurer flocking to be the ones to defeat and reseal it.
  • Schizo Tech: As detailed above in Medieval Stasis, society has reached a point where modern materials like gasoline have been invented, but with little technological advancements to make full use out of them due to the threat of monsters.
    • In Vol. 2, there is a vendor that sells the newly-marketed ice cream out on the streets to children. Ice cream wouldn't have been made available to the public until the 17th century. Furthermore, while the freezer-pot method he mentions dates well back in history, his portable icebox full of ice cream certainly isn't, and neither is the waffle bowls he served them in (an invention as late as the 1900's). Much less the fact that it was made by Alchemy, according to the vendor.
    • The two big ancient dungeons the party must traverse in Volumes 7 and 8 contain modern elevators, complete with number pads.
    • The Rogue's Guild in general have trappings and weapons centuries closer to current than the rest of the setting, down to having billiard tables and carbonated water available in their speakeasies.
  • Schmuck Bait: In Year One Chapter 11, Goblin Slayer finishes his defenses on the perimeter of a village. On inspection of the fence he built, he kicks it apart, leaving a small opening. As the next chapter shows, he uses this opening to lure the invading goblins into a single entry point so he can kill them all.
  • Sea of Sand: The desert of volume 11 is relatively flat, the characters seeing well into the horizon without dunes.
  • Sequel Hook:
    • The post-credit scene of the final episode of Season 1 gives this message: "Goblin Slayer will return".
    • Additionally, in the final episode of Season 1, we are shown a scene of the Hero and her party traveling toward the main characters' home town to both attend the upcoming festival and to hunt down a member of the evil sect (Dark Elf). This is a pretty clear set up for the Volume 3 story-line/Harvest Festival arc considering they also already establish the existence of Rhea Scout.
    • Season 1 also hints at the possibility of Year One getting an adaptation with the scene described above alluding to a connection between Goblin Slayer and the Hero, and the inclusion of Newbie Swordman in the anime's version of the Raid on the Farm arc.
  • Serious Business:
    • Apparently Goblin Slayer taking off his helmet and revealing his face to the bar patrons is serious enough to cause an uproar.
    • As volume 12 lays out, contests of riddles are apparently sanctioned by the gods to be the highest possible level of formal combat among the intelligent races, to the point even Demons must stop attacking and engage if challenged.
  • Sewer Gator: There's one living down in the sewers of Water Town. It's the Familiar of the Sword Maiden.
  • Shoot the Mage First:
    • It's worth noting that both times we see goblins overwhelm an all-or-majority female adventuring party, they only keep the melee fighters as breeding stock. Magic-users are either executed immediately upon returning to the base, or poisoned and left for dead as soon as they get their hands on them.
    • When Goblin Slayer realizes the first nest we see him clean is lead by a Goblin Shaman, he has Priestess blind them all with Holy Light and takes out the Shaman at the first opportunity by throwing a Goblin spear at his chest before he can use his magic. He latter finishes him of after killing the rest of the Goblins, knowing he was playing dead.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog Story: Anytime a group of rookies decides to try to save a woman kidnapped by goblins only to be overwhelmed themselves. Doubly so if said party is all-or-majority female and then significantly adds to the captive count.
  • Show Within a Show: Guild Girl, High Elf Archer, Priestess, and Cow Girl all partake in a fantasy tabletop role-playing game that resulted in a Total Party Kill. The setting is established as a world where the gods play with mortal lives in exactly the same way.
  • Shrouded in Myth: Where goblins come from, surprisingly. One story (more of a cautionary tale) says that a goblin is born every time someone makes a mistake. The Lizard People believe goblins come from deep beneath the earth. Goblin Slayer says that they come from the world's green moon, and since that moon is barren of any other form of life, that emptiness is the source of the goblins' overwhelming greed and lust.
  • The Siege: Priestess, High Elf Archer, Female Knight, and Witch get involved in defending a border keep from an army of skeletons, zombies, wyverns, and at least one demon.
  • Sign Of The End Times: The activity of the Dungeon of the Dead, and slow-acting Zombie Apocalypse that accompanied it, are taken as evidence of Armageddon by the Praying Races while they are happening.
  • Simple, yet Awesome:
    • Many of Goblin Slayer's tactics count, as noted in the Combat Pragmatist entry, but in terms of sheer simplicity, his tactic of just throwing a smoke grenade into a goblin cave and picking out whoever comes out stand out the most.
    • In Volume 4, Goblin Slayer, Heavy Warrior, and Spearman are tasked to eliminate a dark wizard living in a tall tower. When the wizard set up traps and ambushes on every floor of the tower, the party simply climbs up the walls. Once he was defeated and revealed to be protected by a charm that wouldn't allow any living person to kill him, they simply throw him off the tower and let the gravity do the work.
  • Slave to PR: The Adventurer's Guild approves of promotions based as much or more on a given adventurer's reputation within their community as their actual skill in fighting monsters or completing quests. This grants some checks on misbehavior (adventurers who are known sex pests or who frequently pick fights with their fellows are stuck with low-paying scutwork until they clean up their act), but also fosters an environment that encourages Glory Seeker behavior over pragmatics, such as newbies picking armor primarily for style and showing off their faces for their clients.
  • Sliding Scale of Anthropomorphism: At least some races of beastfolk, known in-universe as "Padfoots", apparently run a spectrum on the amount of animal features they possess, which varies between individuals and tribes in a manner roughly analogous to ethnic features. The Waitress at the Guild's tavern in Volume 4 has only the ears and tail of a wolf and partly paw-like hands. Later that same volume, a flashback occurs that showcases a bar brawl High Elf Archer got into with a female padfoot soldier in Water Town who had a muzzle and full-body pelt.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: While this series makes no pretenses whatsoever at romanticizing the grim and ugly violence of what a fantasy adventure would really look like, it is surprisingly idealistic when it comes to the notion of love and friendship as forces of healing and redemption, as shown by the title-character's gradual recovery of his humanity with the help of his newfound friends.
  • Sneeze Cut:
    Witch: There's no denying that [the Goblin Slayer] helps to make the world a safer place, much more so than those of lesser skill who go after greater prey.
    Spearman: [sneezes]
  • Spell Book: Tomes possessing spell formulas and instructions are the means for arcane casters to expand their repertoire, though they are not used actively in battle.
  • Standard Fantasy Races: As the series takes place in a Standard Fantasy Setting, the races are pretty much what you'd expect there. The Human race is, of course, the "standard" race of the setting. The Dwarf race are characterized by their physical strength and resilience. The Elf race are characterized by their affinity for magic. The Lizardman race are the most exotic of all the races, a race of humanoid reptiles normally portrayed as enemy mooks in most versions of this setting. There are also the Rhea; a race of small, child-like humanoids, and the Padfoot; a race of partially animal humanoids. And of course, as the title suggests, the primary enemies are goblins, with an ogre, a troll, a dragon, a dark elf and several types of undead also appearing.
  • Stress Vomit:
    • When Priestess sees what's left of the rookie Warrior in Chapter 2, the gory sight proves to be the final straw of a particularly bad day and she throws up.
    • Chapter 13 of the manga has a young swordsman throw up upon seeing the crumpled, pulpy remains of an older adventurer who got spiked on the ground like a football by a Champion. For bonus irony, he's one of the rookies that tried to talk Priestess out of working with Goblin Slayer because of the disrepute of goblin-hunting.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Goblin Slayer is not adverse to using explosives, if the situation calls for it. Case in point: Filling the room housing a Beholder with flour to induce a dust explosion.
  • Superman Stays Out of Gotham: Experienced adventurers do not, as a general rule, accept goblin slaying assignments, primarily due to the low reward involved and high risk involved, as the reward is put up by the peasants being harassed by the goblins, who as a general rule are very poor. They'd much rather accept a job that involves, say, clearing out a group of bandits bothering a major trade route for the much fatter reward that a merchant would put up.
  • Supernatural Sensitivity: Any magic user can see the ambient magic energy of an enchanted item with a little concentration, though it takes dedicated study or a divine blessing to accurately identify said items.
  • Superstition Episode: Later light novels introduce the idea that dead pools are a major part of adventure culture. These are betting pools that try to predict when or how a given person will die, and those characters with a reputation for always losing when they gamble will bet against others surviving in the hope that their record of failure in guessing right will confound the cosmic dice of Fate and Chance into keeping the outcome of their outings positive.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: Has its own page.
  • Suspended Animation: Daikatana reveals a "Preservation" miracle that keeps dying people in a frozen state until their companions can mass together the money to buy a proper "Resurrection" miracle.
  • Sympathetic P.O.V.:
    • The Light Novel switches perspective, going from Priestess' view in one chapter, to Guild Girl's the next and so on. It even shows the perspective of an ogre, and even a Goblin Lord. Humorously enough, despite being the character the series is named after, the first volume doesn't show things from Goblin Slayer's perspective until the end.
    • One chapter in Brand New Day is told from an envious goblin's perspective until the point Goblin Slayer killed him. Technically subverted in that, despite being the perspective character, that chapter in no way makes the goblin himself sympathetic.
  • Tactical Withdrawal: In Year One, Newbie Swordsman joins up with a party in order to help them map out a tunnel when they run into a Warlock. Despite managing to cut off its arm, he takes the party and retreats as soon as they get the opening given that their casters had used up their spells and two of the melee fighters were injured. After all, their job was just to map the tunnel and they weren't going to press their luck when they barely survive one ambush.
  • Talking Is a Free Action:
    • Apparently all spells in this world require the caster to say a long chant in which they state what the spell is and what it does before it can actually take effect. Fortunately, no one ever seems to attack the caster while they are doing this, not even in the middle of an intense battle.
    • Subverted, though, when Goblin Slayer interrupts the Evil Wizard's monologue by throwing his sword at him, much to the onlookers' amusement.
  • Tele-Frag: Another common trap in the Dungeon of the Dead is a Gate spell that puts you inside of a wall.
  • Teleporters and Transporters: There are magic scrolls that allow its user to teleport. It's noted that these are typically used as a Escape Battle Technique, but Goblin Slayer gets creative with one such scroll linked to the bottom of the sea to used as an improvised water cutter. (his original intent was to use it to flood a goblin cave)
  • There Are No Therapists: Zigzagged. After the rookie Fighter and other girls are freed, they're put on a wagon to be taken to a temple to be cared for — sometimes for the rest of their lives. But survivors of goblin attacks like Goblin Slayer and Sword Maiden deal with their issues on their own as best they can.
  • Thin Dimensional Barrier: Later light-novels have characters refer to their planet as "the Four-Cornered World" but it's not until Volume 12 that anyone explains what that means; the "corners" are temporary nexus points where the material world and the realms of the gods are closest together. Certain extremely powerful mages can find these places and planeswalk through them to join the gods at their table. The "corners" change over time, and it is possible for one to artificially create one through mass Human Sacrifice and Terrain Sculpting.
  • Thirsty Desert: The Desert that Goblin Slayer’s party has to trek through in volume 11 is positively hellish; infested with roving bands of slavers and corrupt soldiers moonlighting as bandits, littered in large quicksand pits, and regularly throwing up giant sandstorms that desiccate and abrade people harshly enough to render them Reduced to Dust. Between all that and the growing goblin colony they were sent to put down, it's no wonder the driver of Noble Fencer's merchandise carriage broke down so completely and ran.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Guild Girl has a worried expression on her face when the rookie party leaves for their mission, much to the healer's confusion. It's only later that Priestess realizes that it was because she knew they were getting in over their heads.
  • This Looks Like a Job for Aquaman: No matter how badass and byronic you see Goblin Slayer as, he is treated like this in the mission in Chapter 5 of the manga. Problem 1: The goblins amassed in massive numbers near elven land, which needs to be suppressed by at least a small army. Problem 2: The elves can't move the army without making humans cautious. Solution: Send adventurers to suppress that nest instead. The human that has been chosen as representative is Goblin Slayer. Thing is, he just hunts goblins. Fortunately he is the best at this sort of thing.
  • Three-Point Landing: Subverted. Elven Ranger jumped from second story of Guild Hall but she is visibly pained afterward for short while. Of course many online readers at sites which provide "Tsukkomi" lampshade this by typing "Superhero Landing" on that page.
  • Too Awesome to Use: Gold-ranked adventurers live this trope; the instant an adventurer actually achieves this Rank, they are forced by the Guild and the government to bench themselves and take up posts as courtiers or officials, kept off the field until the King recognizes a monster threat as "nation threatening" and thus "warranting" a Gold-Rank response team. Technically speaking, more Gold adventurers have been introduced than any other rank, but only two have the freedom to actively pursue new quests: Sword Saint and Sage, on account of being Chosen Heroine’s partners.
  • Too Injured to Save: During the Greenhorn Team (Priestess's first party)'s raid of the goblin nest, Mage is stabbed with a poisoned dagger and Priestess is unable to heal her using magic. Goblin Slayer tells Priestess that the poison has already spread through Mage's body so much that the only way to save her is with a Mercy Kill, which he does at her request.
  • Total Party Kill: The group introduced in the first chapter were decimated due to overconfidence; another party that had more experience was annihilated by incredibly bad luck.
  • Trap Is the Only Option: Goblin Slayer, Spearman, and Heavy Warrior find a convenient boat waiting for them in the sewers of a ruined city-turned-dungeon. It's insultingly obvious either it or the path ahead is booby-trapped, but the only way to progress is to cross the waterways, so they pile in.
  • Treachery Cover Up: In Volume 8, it turns out that a small group of evil noblemen were the ones equipping the goblins squatting in the Labyrinth of the End to kidnap the Princess and revive the Demon Lord. When King finds and personally executes them, he decides to not make public their plans or how close they came to succeeding.
  • Two-Timer Date: Subverted, Goblin Slayer makes dates for the festival with both Cow Girl and Guild Girl, but he spends the morning with Cow Girl and the afternoon with Guild Girl, and makes them each aware of the other from the start. They both accept the situation without much jealousy.

    U-Z 
  • Underestimating Badassery: A villainous example. The reason why Goblins have gotten away with a lot is because people continue to underestimate them. They have been shown to be very crafty monsters and Goblin Slayer has vowed to avoid this.
  • Underground City: The houses of the Harefolk Village are partially dug into the mountainside, and of course the dwarves and dark elves are noted to build elaborate metropolises in caverns deep within mountains or beneath the earth.
  • Urine Trouble: On Chapter 7 of the manga, one goblin rouses awake to pee (right next to other sleeping goblins in a horde). One cast of Stupor later, and the goblin passes out face-down into his own puddle.
  • Use Their Own Weapon Against Them: The eponymous hero goes through weapons quickly as he kills goblins because their bodily fluids degrade metals after prolonged contact, so he takes their blades most of the time.
  • Utility Magic: There exists a class of folk or hedge magician called Rainmaker or Wind Herder, whose limited spell capacity is, naturally, centered on Weather Manipulation to facilitate agriculture.
  • Vancian Magic: Spellcasters can only cast a certain number of spells a day. In fact, only the most magically-inclined Platinum-ranked adventurers are capable of casting well into the double-digits. For this reason, spellcasters are more valued for their variety and potency, and keep careful count of their usage lest they run out. A Sorceress lampshades this when she conjures a light for her pipe in front of Priestess, joking how it was "a silly waste of a word of power."
    • Frame of reference: The female Wizard of the doomed first party was considered a prodigy by her teachers at the Wizarding School for being able to cast 2-3 times a day while still a student. The Priestess, not called a prodigy but shown to be capable of feats of incredibly powerful magic under duress, can cast two and later three times a day. The Lizardman, a Silver-Rank who's a low-key Paladin and The Big Guy of his original party, can cast at least four times a day but his stronger spells have a material component. The Dwarf, another silver-rank and a fully dedicated holy magic user, can cast at least "four or five" times a day, and context implies he had used some charges beforehand, so we can safely bet he can cast 6 or 7 on a good day. Magic scrolls, which can store spells and let anyone cast them, are one-time-use, incredibly rare and valuable, laborious to make and potentially a Lost Technology in the present-day of the setting, and cost Goblin Slayer weeks if not months of waiting and the occasional favor to the Witch for each new one he acquires. In this universe, each and every single spell is made to count.
    • The series goes one step beyond most other copiers of Jack Vance's magic system by incorporating his techniques for spell creation; namely that the words of the Language of Magic can be mixed-and-matched to create wholly new spells, if with the added danger of lacking the stability of well-established incantations.
  • Visual Pun: The Rogue's Guild speakeasy in Frontier Town has a fishperson manning the counter from a trough. She's a mermaid and a barmaid both at once.
  • Wave-Motion Gun: An improvised one made from a Portal Scroll leading to the bottom of the sea, creating a water jet blast powerful enough to cleave an Ogre in one shot.
  • Weapon of X-Slaying: Swords and such can be enchanted to be extra effective against specific kinds of monsters, but only the one kind each, every other foe only being hurt as they normally would.
  • We Are as Mayflies: The Dwarf (a mature man whose hair has already gone grey, albeit how early Dwarves go grey is never specified) makes fun of the Elf for being a bored teenager out for adventure, but it turns out that she's "only" 2000 year old and he's just over 100. Then Lizard asks them to not bicker about their seniority in the company of those who don't measure their lives in centuries, meaning both humans — who don't live that long — and his own people, who are *much* older.
  • Well, This Is Not That Trope: Nonverbal example. After spending part of the opening chapter showcasing the rookie party in typical Dragon Quest Expy style, implying the title would be a humorous series about RPG Mechanics 'Verse adventurers spending their days in the early levels, the story (and the goblins) beat them over the head with extremely Dark Fantasy tropes to set the tone.
  • "Will Return" Caption: The first season ends with the words, "Goblin Slayer Will Return".
  • Wham Shot: The anime adaptation does this as a Cliffhanger at the end of Episode 10. Goblin Slayer checks on the edges of his home farm like he does regularly. But this time, he sees countless goblin footprints in the ground.
  • What Could Possibly Go Wrong?: When you're a rookie adventurer party fighting a horde of goblins in their nest with no supplies or plan? Anything, really.
  • Whole Plot Reference: The B-story of volume 11 is almost nothing but constant references and scene parallels to A New Hope.
  • Wild Wilderness: The story takes place predominantly in the Frontier, where the only pockets of human civilization residing within are rural villages and Adventure Towns. Unfortunately this places them both well outside their country's military and well within the proximity of monsters, meaning the Adventurer's Guilds alone are available to provide suitable protection and services.
  • World of Technicolor Hair: The setting has a decent fraction of characters sporting hair colors such as pink, purple, green, and blue.
  • Wretched Hive: Water Town is increasingly portrayed as this in later volumes; a sprawling, labyrinthine city with a growing, ever-desperate shantytown on the edge of its walls, an intensifying gang and drug-smuggling problem, the home base of the Shadowrunner Party, a corrupt city watch, and festering anti-demihuman sentiment among some citizens. The capital similarly has a huge problem with scheming noblemen allying with monsters and cults to the Chaos Gods operating semi-openly, all barely kept in check by the King going Vigilante Man in his old adventuring gear.
  • Writing Around Trademarks: At one point, Goblin Slayer's party runs into what is clearly a Beholder. When asked what it is, Lizard Priest calls it one of those monsters which you do not name. While that works in story in the sense that the monster is that unspeakable, but it also serves as a commentary on how persistent Wizards of the Coast is with making sure nobody can use the term "Beholder" but themselves.
  • Wrong Context Magic: In Volume 8, Goblin Slayer's party has to rescue the Princess of the realm from cultist goblins hiding out in the Labyrinth of Death. Said Labyrinth is explicitly stated to function on a completely different ruleset from the quasi-Dungeons & Dragons system of the outside world (most resembling Call of Cthulhu, what with the Sanity Meter mechanic everyone suddenly has to struggle with.)
  • Younger Than They Look: The age limit to becoming adventurers is fifteen-years-old. Some people can't wait and lie about their age to sign up with the Guild. Others rise up to the higher ranks in a relatively short amount of time due to talent, luck, and/or work ethic.
    • Goblin Slayer himself, a Silver rank adventurer and veteran of five years, is only twenty-years-old.
    • Female Knight, another Silver rank adventurer, might not have even grown out of her teens yet.
  • You All Meet in an Inn: The Adventurer's Guild was formed because of this trope. Adventurers between jobs tended to meet at a given bar to eat, drink, and swap stories between jobs, so people looking to hire adventurers would go there to offer work. And since employers were going to the bar to post job listings, more adventurers showed up to check them out, which meant more people listed their jobs there, and so on. Eventually the entire process got formalized.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: The "Death" released in Daikatana caused a number of plagues, including this one. The zombies produced were explicitly not "restless dead" and Turn Undead and sanctifying corpss had limited effectiveness.

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Infiltrating the Fortress

The party disguises themselves as followers of chaos and their captives in order to gain entry to a dwarven fortress occupied by goblins.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (7 votes)

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Main / DressingAsTheEnemy

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