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Ainz Ooal Gown and the Guardians of Nazarick note 

"World conquest, huh? That certainly is an interesting thought."
— Ainz Ooal Gown

Overlord is a Japanese web novel written by Kugane Maruyama. It has been adapted into a light novel published by Enterbrain and illustrated by So-bin, a monthly manga by Miyama Fugin, and a Summer 2015 anime series produced by Madhouse. A second season aired starting January 2018 and a third in July 2018.

Its story begins on the last day of a once popular virtual reality Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game called YGGDRASIL. One of the game's dedicated guildmasters, a salaryman known as "Momonga", decides to remain logged in until the servers are shut down. However, instead of being logged out at the scheduled time, Momonga finds himself stuck in the body of his in-game avatar, a skeletal lich who serves as the Evil Overlord of a tomb of monsters. Before long, the Non-Player Characters begin coming to life and exhibiting personalities of their own as well, and Momonga's entire guild is seemingly transported to a new world.

Having no parents, friends, or other connections in the old world, Momonga decides to take the name of his guild, "Ainz Ooal Gown", and make this new reality his home. Even if that means taking it over.

The TV airing of the anime was accompanied by a series of comedic web shorts. Titled Ple-Ple-Pleiades~!, these focused on Momonga's interactions with Nazarick's Quirky Miniboss Squad, the Pleiades Combat Maids, who, barring Narberal Gamma, were never given ample focus in-series. Each web short focused on a particular Pleiades, and detailed their race and personalities.

Both the original light novel and the manga adaptation has been licensed by Yen Press.

Not to be confused with the video game series Overlord or the film of the same name.


Overlord contains examples of:

  • 100% Adoration Rating: Momonga's NPC allies practically worship him... largely because they were initially programmed to be loyal, but they genuinely see him as a great leader, and don't just praise him because they're forced to. He finds their faith challenging to live up to.
  • Above the Influence: Played with in the anime. On the one hand (literally) among Momonga's first "experiments", he gropes Albedo's chest (after requesting and getting her permission, and she greatly enjoyed it). On the other hand, when she excitedly asked him to take her virginity, he turned her down as there were more pressing matters to contend with at the moment. Ultimately subverted in the light novel because although he is still attracted to both Shalltear and Albedo, often times very strongly, he actually can't have sex with them due to lacking the proper equipment thanks to his skeletal body. This secretly frustrates him to no end, despite how he appears in public, especially around Albedo and/or Shalltear.
  • Absurdly Sharp Blade:
    • Several of the "heroic" weapons in Ainz's arsenal work like this. He can slice ogres in half vertically or horizontally with one strike like a hot knife through butter.
    • He also has a spell called "Reality Slash" which creates a Sword Beam sharp enough to cut through the fabric of reality itself. Touch Me is said to have used an even stronger version of this attack called "World Break".
    • A special mention goes to Gazef's sword, one of the treasures of the kingdom, the sword "Razor Edge". It is already a fabled weapon in-universe, being able to cut through steel like it was paper, but what makes it really special is the fact that, while it is just a low-level enchanted item by YGGDRASIL standards, it is the only native weapon that Ainz confirmed could actually hurt or even kill him!
  • Action Girl: Quite a few badass females have appeared in the series, such as Albedo, Shalltear, Aura, the Pleiades, and especially Blue Rose, an adventurer group full of only women and one of the few Adamantite ranked adventurers in the Kingdom.
  • A-Cup Angst: Shalltear has small breasts, so she stuffs her bra. It's one of the many things that makes her so opposed to Albedo, who has quite large breasts.
  • Adaptation Distillation: Many fans were disappointed (and some downright pissed) that Mad House decided to cut out a lot of scenes in the light novel to rush the first season of the anime to finish up to the third volume.
    • For example, the amount of detail regarding Brain's fight with Shalltear was removed and turned Brain from a hardened warrior that was slowly broken from facing off against Shalltear's overwhelming strength into an arrogant fool that ran away like a baby after meeting someone who was stronger than he expected. Not to mention Shalltear's true form which was illustrated much better than what the anime attempted to do with it.
  • Adaptation Expansion: In an unusual way, as the original web novel focused more on the Guardians of the Great Tomb of Nazarick, while the light novel focuses more on Momonga.
  • Aerith and Bob: Nazarick's inhabitants have mostly Japanese or English names, while the new world's inhabitants are mostly made up or English words (Climb, Succulent, Brain...), especially among the nobility (such as King Ranpossa, Princess Renner or Prince Zanac). It comes as a surprise when a Philip shows up in volume 10.
  • A Lesson Learned Too Well: Demiurge hears Ainz' musing on conquering the world and takes it as a direct order to get the guardians to help him do so.
  • All There in the Manual: Most of the floor guardians and Pleiades, Momonga himself, and some other NPCs have character-sheet style information pages detailing Karma level (unsurprisingly negative for most), some more prominent class/racial levels taken, and other gameplay-mechanic information.
  • Altum Videtur: In episode 11 of the first season, the treasury holds a door with a password written in latin that needs to be translated the text reads "ascendit a terra in coelum, iterumque descendit in terram et recipit via superiorum et inferiorum"note  which is from the Emerald Tablet of Hermes.
  • Always a Bigger Fish: All the members of Momonga's guild, including the Guardians, are leaps and bounds more powerful than even the strongest of the New World's enemies. If any of them ever decide to fight seriously, their opponents might as well already be dead.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: Most undead are primarily driven by an instinctive hatred for all life, even the ones who have free will. Evileye, Yuri Alpha and Ainz are the only exceptions so far, though Ainz is just a different flavor of evil, but he explains to the natives that the undead under his command don't attack and eat the living, at his command.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Inverted. Ainz (who is practically like a father to all of Nazarick) is utterly embarrassed about his creation Pandora's Actor who acts like a drama queen and over exaggerates every possible movement. It was hard for readers to understand Ainz's embarrassment in the light novels but once the anime debuted him, everyone finally understood how he felt.
    Ainz: Wow... He's so lame!
  • Anachronic Order: The light novel starts with Ainz (identity yet unknown to the reader) rescuing two Carne village girls, cuts back to Momonga and the last few seconds of Yggdrassil, back to the attack on the village that leads to Ainz' rescue, then to Momonga's realizing he's in the new world...
  • The Archmage: Several characters can claim this mantle, not surprising since it is based off D&D.
    • Fluder Paradyne is quite likely the greatest arcane spellcaster in the New World, having achieved 6th tier magic. Usually 4th Tier magic is enough to qualify you as a master mage among the humans which is as high as most of his apprentices get.
    • Tabula Smaragdina and Ulbert Alain Odle both fulfill the "magical artillery" aspect of their class with excellent burst damage.
    • Ainz himself is inferior to his guildmates in sheer damage but has a huge variety of spells instead. Normally each spell casting class can learn up to 300 spells. Ainz knows 718 spells.
  • Aren't You Going to Ravish Me?: Albedo is downright eager for Momonga to take her virginity.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: The nobles in the Kingdom, particular those of the Noble Faction, are generally composed of greedy short-sighted nobles with no real regard for anyone but themselves. That said, the only named noble who gets mentioned more than once in the story, Raeven (leader of the Royal Faction), is a good man trying his best to keep the Noble Faction and the Royal Faction from causing too many problems for the Kingdom. He, ironically, is seen as one of the worst examples of this in-universe since he keeps the peace by constantly going back and forth between the two factions.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: Lizardmen tribes tend to choose their leaders based on martial and magical prowess. Ainz's conscription of the Lizardmen is made much easier because of this part of their culture: his incredible feats of magical might impress them so much that they willingly bow down to him and worship him as a god. Made more impressive since the lizardmen didn't originally worship deities.
    • This comes up again later after Ainz founds the Sorcerer Kingdom. Part of the territory ceded to Nazarick after the "Battle" of the Katze Plains includes the Great Forest of Tob and the Katze Plains. By the time of volume 12, Ainz has taken control of the demi-humans and beasts of the Great Forest of Tob by negotiating with the leaders of the various tribes to come under the rule of Nazarick (essentially Ainz saying "Join up or I'll annihilate your species to a man but if you bow to me I will guarantee your prosperity"). The Katze Plains was relatively easier as Ainz is a powerful undead Overlord and has many spells and magic which allow him to control all manner of undead from mindless zombies to intelligent undead (he apparently has the ghost ship that was haunting the plains and the spectral sailors aboard flying his banner while acting as border patrol).
  • Atrocious Alias:
    • As the light novel describes in affectionate detail, one of the most powerful players in YGGDRASIL, who founded Ainz Ooal Gown and brought together its first nine members, who even Momonga looked up to, named himself "Touch Me."
    • Ainz's original username "Momonga" as well, as it's the Japanese name of a type of particularly adorable species of flying dwarf squirrel.
  • Author On Board: The author seems to have a particular dislike for anything like genuine heroism, seeming to revel instead in brutal villains or at best antiheroes.
    • While Ainz may idolize Touch Me, the narrative implies that he was a pampered rich guy who could only get away with his lofty ideals because he was both wealthy and very lucky. He also tended to be pushy and controlling when it came to what he believed in, which alienated some people.
    • Remedios seems to be designed to tear down the Ideal Hero by setting up situations where her morals get in the way of actually getting anything done. Her basic stupidity is also shown as a massive liability when there aren't smarter people around to keep her in check.
    • While Ainz himself is something of a loser who skates by on luck, power and blindly fanatic underlings, his policies are generally supported by the narrative even when they're based on slavery, intimidation and conning the local kingdoms.
    • As the single unambiguous exception to this, Gazef Stronoff is entirely heroic, entirely capable within the limits of his abilities and an inspiration to others. Even Ainz respects him. That being said, he tended to be a supporting character and was killed off because of his unwavering beliefs, though the story does portray this having been the right thing to do, especially based on what he knew.
    • Climb is a subversion of the Chivalric Romance and Courtly Love. While Climb himself is a good and heroic character, his mistress decidedly is NOT. He basically serves a Yandere who is also The Quisling that also wants to chain him up like a dog until the end of his days.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: Jircniv figures out Fluder sold the Empire out to Nazarick because he didn't beg for the chance to study magic under him during their visit, an act so out of character it must have been negotiated earlier, before they even knew about Nazarick.
  • Ax-Crazy: It's probably easier to list which citizens of Nazarick weren't made this way: Sebas (who was created by the Token Good Teammate), Pestonya (who's something of a Team Mom) and Yuri (in charge of keeping the Pleiades from killing first and asking questions never), and Tsuare (who's a native of the New World).
  • Babies Make Everything Better: For Raeven of all people. This cynical, manipulative, backstabbing, cold-hearted bastard just melts when his son comes to see him, and it's what caused him to abandon all thoughts of taking the throne for himself. It's also what causes him to retire from politics completely after the massacre of the Katze plains.
  • Back from the Dead: Resurrecting a dead NPC like one of the Guardians is relatively simple though expensive. Resurrecting someone from the New World is a bit trickier but still doable with resurrection wands. However, it is not possible to bring someone back if they refuse to be revived.
  • Badass Adorable: The "Wise King of the Forest" is a giant hamster. Momonga is rather disappointed. Oddly enough, everyone else in the New world is deeply impressed by the King and see it as a wise and powerful beast. Momonga wonders if there's something wrong with his sense of aesthetics. Though the King is a weakling compared to the rest of the Great Tomb of Nazarick, his average "level" is around 30, making him stronger than most in the setting (although Ainz discovers tales of its prowess were likely vastly exaggerated by whatever adventurer first ran into it).
  • Bad Ass Crew:
    • You got the Great Tomb of Nazarick, Blue Rose, and the Black Scripture.
    • The first summoned goblin team's official art shows them this way.
  • Badass Family: The residents of Nazarick may be cruel and unmerciful monsters that won't hesitate to kill humans if ordered too, they're quite close to one another and act like one big happy family. Case in point, Ainz had to restrain the urge to kill Evileye right on the spot when he heard that she harmed Entoma, whom he cares for like his own daughter.
  • Bad Boss:
    • Averted with Momonga, who goes out of his way to reinforce he's not one, which earns him tremendous fawning from his followers.
    • Most denizens of Nazarick however are not above fatally punishing their own minions. Demiurge and Shalltear are notorious for being vicious if a lieutenant fails at an easy task, while Albedo is quite vocal about issuing severe punishment for the smallest slights against Momonga or Nazarick as a whole.
  • Battle Butler: Sebas Tian fills this role as leader to the Ninja Maid Pleiades.
  • Beauty Is Bad: The Pleiades and Albedo, at the very least, are considered so beautiful that they can't be human. They make some people very uncomfortable even as much as people desire them.
  • Be Careful What You Say: As a godlike figure who's every word is considered unbreakable law by his followers, Momonga realizes this a bit too late before discovering the ramifications of several offhand comments he makes within earshot of the Floor Guardians.
  • Becoming the Mask: This slowly but surely happens to Momonga. At first he was mostly concerned with just figuring out how the world he found himself in works, but after it's revealed there are powers that can threaten the denizens of Nazarick he steps up his game considerably. He quickly becomes an extremely dangerous No-Nonsense Nemesis prone to Pragmatic Villainy. He's arguably a deconstruction of standard fantasy villains.
  • Beleaguered Boss: Much of the drama/humor in the series comes from Ainz being a (relatively) good person, but all but 3 of his underlings are unapologetically evil and he's incapable of understanding that they simply can't relate to humans at all, other than as pawns to be sacrificed or obstacles to be removed. Compounding the problem is that he still thinks as though he was a powerless salaryman while the Guardians can't be persuaded that he isn't the godlike and omniscient evil lich he roleplayed as, and he feels guilty about changing the behavior of characters created by his former guildmates.
    • At the start of the series, Ainz makes an offhand comment about taking over the world, which the Guardians take as a direct order and start acting on. When he finally finds out what they've been up to (in season 3), he decides to make the best of it and eventually creates a kingdom where people of all races can live in peace and tolerance.
    • Ainz assigns Lupusregina to keep watch over Carne village. She doesn't bother to report things like giant monsters leading armies near the village, because who cares if a bunch of humans (including, unbeknownst to her, those Ainz had plans for) get wiped out? Ainz has to make it clear she is to defend the important people in the village for her to do so (and even then she'd gladly watch them die screaming, something the village goblins are quick to pick up on).
    • Ainz' every attempt at being a Benevolent Boss (paying the underlings, giving them days off...) ends in failure because they consider it an honor if not a religious duty to serve him. He ends up having to install a rotation for the maids because otherwise they all try to attend to him every single day.
    • Yuri the head maid brings Solution before Ainz for stealing something from Ainz. After Yuri takes it on herself to try and beat Solution to death, twice, Ainz finally gets Yuri to understand he just wants Solution to explain herself (Solution was jealous of an ordinary slime being used to scrub Ainz' skeleton clean and hid the slime because she wanted that job herself). Both leave alive, astounded at Ainz' boundless forgiveness and benevolence.
  • Benevolent Boss: One of the reasons the people of Nazarick are so loyal to Momonga: While they treat him like a god he never takes advantage of it (even when they want him to), from their point of view is both very kind and viciously protective of them. Unfortunately, most of his human-inspired acts of benevolence like salaries or vacations don't work because they believe themselves unworthy of such things.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Aura Bella Fiora is the dominant sibling of the dark elf twins, but Mare Bello Fiore has a significantly higher stat total (120 points more). Mare lacks the aggressive streak that Aura has, but when push comes to shove, is deadlier in one-on-one combat.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing:
    • Princess Renner isn't nearly as nice as she pretends to be particularly since she's willing to ally herself with Nazarick.
    • Among her comrades, Albedo tries to portray herself as a prim-and-proper woman who stays professional at all times, but she's actually a raging engine of emotion. The façade completely breaks down whenever Momonga is involved (emotionally and physically) or Nazarick is somehow insulted (imagined or not). Otherwise she's always seen smiling, acting kind, and maintaining a beautiful appearance. Her creator had a thing for gap moe, or women acting contrary to their real personalities (Albedo's sister is an insane Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl that is actually one of the nicest NP Cs in Nazarick if she is holding a doll).
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: A potential fail-safe plan Demiurge has for Momonga is getting Albedo or Shalltear to carry his child. If he abandons them or dies, the Great Tomb of Nazarick would then have an heir they could obey in his absence. However, Momonga being a full skeletal lich, should make that rather difficult to execute. They still think that there is a way to make this work. It is either this trope, some kind of magic, or ignorance.
  • Black Box: For the New World denizens, even the most insignificant magic items from the YGGDRASIL MMO are these, since the New World lacks the infrastructure and knowledge to replicate them. For the denizens of Nazarick, many features of the Great Tomb (for example, how the realistic world environment of the Sixth Floor is actually generated) falls into this category and is just attributed as impossible feats only the Supreme Beings could create.
  • Black Humor:
    • It's entirely possible to read the series as a comedy in which a bumbling moron accidentally takes over the world, slaughtering anyone in his path largely by accident.
    • The Pure Pure Pleiades episodes give us cute chibi meidos showing us what they really are: Man-eating monsters. But... they're tiny. And silly. And therefore funny even as they devour humans alive.
  • Blood Bath: Inverted Trope. Shalltear Bloodfallen normally appears as an Elegant Gothic Lolita, but when she bathes in blood, her glamour breaks and she turns into what can best be described as a humanoid lamprey abomination.
  • Bond One-Liner: Before Ainz's fight with Clementine, Clementine is disappointed that Ainz isn't going to fight her looking to avenge he Swords of Darkness. Ainz simply states that since he would have done the same thing if it were to benefit him, it would be hypocritical of him to seek revenge. After giving her a slow, excruciating, humiliating death, Ainz quips to Clementine's dead body that he is indeed very hypocritical.
  • Boxing Lessons for Superman:
    • Volume 4 and the first Audio Drama have Ainz trying to instill tactical thinking and teamwork respectively on the Guardians of Nazarick, as their only recently developed egos mean they rely largely on their overwhelming power to win battles.
    • Ainz himself is able to be a shockingly effective Evil Overlord by applying his mundane experiences as a Japanese Salaryman, Player Versus Player video gamer, and adventurer in a guild. He also regularly trains as a warrior class to increase his tactics and understanding of his passive abilities.
  • Breather Episode: The first episode of Season 3 of the anime essentially involves the Floor Guardians taking a day off, and the antics that ensue.
  • Brick Joke: In the third novel, while Lord Ainz is away, Albedo rolls around in his bed to try to imprint her scent on it; she also meets with other guardians while sitting in it. Demiurge finds this ridiculous partly because he doubts the undead Lord Ainz, who never sleeps, would even notice. In the fourth novel, Ainz does indeed lie down on it while alone, and wonders if rich people's beds just always smell like flowers.
  • Call a Smeerp a "Rabbit": The Wise King of the Forest is referred to by Momon as a Djungarian hamster, which is the real-life name of a species. But Djungarian hamsters certainly do not have long tails that are apparently as strong as steel, nor are that large overall.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Not only are spells cast with words spoken, but so are martial arts used by warriors such as Gazef.
  • Can't Have Sex, Ever: As a Lich, Momonga / Ainz not only lacks a libido, but also, well, the fleshy bits involved in having sex. Despite this, most of Nazarick still seems to want him to hook up with Shalltear or Albedo, however that would work.
    • There's the vague implication that because the denizens of Nazarick see him as an all-powerful Supreme Being, they just sort of expect Ainz to eventually magic up a solution for this particular problem. For Ainz's part, he's either dubious about this possibility at best or simply hasn't considered it.
  • Cast from Money: Most, if not all, of Nazarick's special abilities, like traps and monster summons works this way. Prior to volume 10, Ainz has striven solely to find ways to get more YGGDRASIL gold. In volume 10, he gets loftier goals.
  • Chainmail Bikini: For being based on video games, the series does a very good job of averting the trope. Both Albedo and Shalltear, despite otherwise being quite fanservicey, wear very practical battle armors. Played straight by Clementine, but justified by the fact that she is Ax-Crazy, overconfident, and enjoys trolling her enemies (she doesn't even wear chainmail: the only protection she has are the adventurer's plates looted from her victims).
  • Cheap Gold Coins: YGGDRASIL featured real monetary transactions and gold coins (that often floated around defeated enemies) while the New World features a Gold–Silver–Copper Standard variation of economics.
  • The Chessmaster: While Momonga does have his moments, often if he doesn't know what he should say, he'll bluff his way through, causing the Guardians to misinterpret him as a supreme chessmaster.
  • Combat Sado Masochist: Vampires, especially powerful ones like Shalltear seem to live on this trope.
    • Clementine, as a human example.
  • Conspicuous CG:
    • The skeletal dragons in episode 9 are clearly this, still, they move and flow organically, and the battle is truly seamless.
    • Most other monsters are also this, like the skeleton horde or orcs/goblins, though it's much less noticeable usually. It makes sense though since this is an anime about a Video Game and giving enemies a "different" look makes it easier to distance from them emotionally and thus easier to kill them. Interestingly, the friendly goblins that guard Carne Village are an aversion of this trope, being drawn in the same style as other characters.
    • Momonga's "Staff of Ainz Ooal Gown" looks drawn and fits the scene really well, but when released it has a tendency to float and rotate perfectly in a way that's a dead giveaway to being CG, possibly intentionally so as to give it a magical air.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: While Shalltear was feeling guilty for having been mind controlled, Albedo suggested to Ains to give her a punishment to help her atone. Though he already decided to forgive her, Ains agreed, and would eventually use her as a chair for a while. Albedo was less than pleased, while Shalltear endured it with a little too much enthusiasm, and Ains was deeply uncomfortable throughout the ordeal.note 
  • Cool Mask: Momonga uses a mask to hide his skeletal face (along with gloves to conceal his bony fingers) when he realizes that his being a horrifying lich is not exactly convenient for making the humans trust him.
  • Crapsack World: The New World is not exactly pleasant to live in, for most of society. To wit, the sudden introduction of a nigh-invulnerable Lich Overlord, and his army composed mostly of nigh unstoppable, psychotic, genocidal followers who see people as insects, at best, is actually an improvement in most circumstances.
    • That's not to say that the world Satoru came from was any better. In 2138, Earth has become a polluted cesspool where going outside required near constant use of gasmasks, Mega Corps rule the world, class oppression is a thing to the point that people work themselves to death to send their children to elementary school as the mandatory education system was abolished and fresh meats and vegetables are considered a delicacy reserved for the elite.
  • Crazy-Prepared:
    • Ainz's battle with Shalltear was nothing but this. After arriving on the scene but before actually attacking, we watched him cast over two dozen spells to boost his abilities, protect himself, lay traps, etc., and there was plenty more he had done to prepare that was revealed as the battle raged on.
    • Albedo has also made clothing for the children she 'plans to have' with Momonga. For both genders, up to age five.
  • Cringe Comedy: Ainz is repeatedly put in situations where a normal person would welcome spontaneous combustion, thanks to his inability to show shame.
    • Pandora's Actor is an overacting doppelganger dressing like a Nazi and spouting German phrases... because that's what Ainz thought was cool during his chuunibyou phase. He is very much aware of the Old Shame.
    • Ainz' invasion of the Holy Kingdom amounts to his trying to shill his runic weapons, and is just awful to watch.
  • Crystal Dragon Jesus: Averted when one minor character introduces himself as a Buddhist from the South (which seems to be the new world's equivalent of Japan).
  • Cult:
    • How the denizens of Nazarick worship Momonga and the other Supreme Beings. A lot of the amusing mistakes Momonga makes is not recognizing this, and how he tries to operate Nazarick like a corporation instead.
    • After Neia is brought back to life by Ainz, she unknowingly has new levels in classes that make her the leader of a cult dedicated to spreading the glory of the Sorcerous Kingdom.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: This happens a lot whenever Momonga or his forces are involved. It might as well be "Curbstomp: The Anime".
    • In his first battle, Ainz summons a Death Knight, a mid-level monster... that in the new world, is known to single-handedly destroy cities. He later forces an angel summoner to bring out his trump card to do a tiny bit of damage... and it still gets instakilled.
    • Brain fights at his absolute maximum ability... and is unable to get past Shalltear blocking him with a single fingernail. During the rematch, he manages to clip that fingernail, which makes him deliriously happy, to Shalltear's confusion.
    • Cocytus' fight against the Lizardmen ends when they manage to use tactics, spells and misdirection to deliver a powerful blow... that's No Selled because they just weren't strong enough.
    • Ainz fights a troll without removing his magical protections, leading to the troll attacking one of its minions to check if his sword was still working properly.
    • The battle of the Katze Plains ends with several thousand dead for the Kingdom (all from Ainz' spells) and less than two hundred for the Empire... all of them self-inflicted as they tried to get the hell away from the battlefield.
    • Ainz shows up to fight an intelligent troll in the Empire's arena, deliberately not using magic (including his melee protection) and only using a staff and a pair of daggers. He still wins handily, causing Jircniv to willingly surrender to him.
  • Dawn of an Era: The Great Tomb of Nazarick upon entering the New World, with it ushering a Rising Empire feeling.
  • Death Glare:
    • Say something negative or contradicting about Momonga in front of a Nazarick denizen and you will instantly be hit with one of these. Albedo is also prone to flashing these for a brief instant when she becomes jealous of something or someone having Momonga's affection.
    • Aura manages an epic one from several kilometers during the fight with Shalltear, interrupting her just long enough for Ainz to win.
  • Death Is Cheap: Subverted. There exists a resurrection spell in the New World called Raise Dead. However, it cannot be used to resurrect just anybody as the person being resurrected must have a great amount of life force in order for it to work, and those who do not fit the requirement are simply turned to ash. Even after being resurrected, the person would be left in a very weakened state, requiring a long recovery time. A literal averted example is when Ainz resurrected Shalltear, the cost of resurrection being a huge amount of Nazarick's treasures.
  • Deconstruction: While the story and setting are very reminiscent of D&D with many of the same elements, magic, and creatures in place (not surprising given that the author is an admitted huge tabletop RPG fan), many things, events, characters, and situations are deconstructed from the standard fantasy setting.
    • Humans are not in fact the most abundant race nor are they very dominant over the world scene in general. While in many fantasy settings and stories, humans are the ones with the most influence by virtue of numbers, in the New World outside of predominantly human kingdoms and countries, humans are at the bottom of the pecking order/food chain. The story answers the question of how humans in any fantasy setting filled with magical creatures, monsters, and peoples that at a basic level are superior to them with special senses and abilities could be the dominant race. The answer? They wouldn't be and before the coming of the Six Great Gods, humanity was on the verge of extinction.
    • Trying to take over the world or even a single country via overwhelming power and brutal force isn't a great way to secure your rule in the long run. Hell, trying to get your way by being seemingly the toughest bastard around is also not a great idea. To the first, several hundred years before in story, the Eight Greed Kings tried to do just that. They had great resources and were stronger than 99% of anything around. Their rule lasted all of 5 minutes before they turned on each other threw away everything they gained because they, big shock, couldn't share. As to the second, well, a lot of powerful (by normal standards) New World fighters, assassins, and magicians operated this way...right up until they met somebody from Nazerick. Best case they escape with their lives though mentally traumatized. Worst case they end up with a Fate Worse than Death. This is in fact on of the primary reasons Ainz prefers force as a last resort and keeps looking for ways to get stronger. Nazerick may be the biggest fish now but who's to say that will always hold true.
  • Decoy Protagonist: In the opening of the first anime episode, the narrator talks about the immersive game world of Yggdrasil, while a team of heroes battle hordes of the undead, before confronting a powerful lich and his minions. A cutscene later, the heroes are all defeated. The lich is actually Momonga, the real protagonist.
  • Defeat Means Friendship:
    • This is how Momonga makes The Wise King of the Forest his pet.
    • Brain and Gazef are a longer example: After Gazef beat Brain in a duel, he joined a bandit crew in the hopes of getting into more fights. When Shalltear left him a broken shell, Gazef found him and slowly brought him back to normal.
  • Dem Bones: As a necromantic lich, Momonga has no flesh on him and is comprised solely of bones.
  • Despair Event Horizon: The aftermath of the Battle of the Katze Plains in Volume 9 of the light novels is explored in Volume 10 which is pretty much "People Cross the Despair Event Horizon: The Novel".
    • Marquis Raeven retires to his estate and keeps out of Kingdom politics.
    • The surviving Eight Fingers all show significant signs of PTSD to the point where none of them can eat solid food due to having their innards eating by cockroaches, healed, eaten, healed, eaten...
    • King Ranpossa III is despondent after the death of Gazef.
    • The Thousand Mile Astrologer, a diviner who works for the Slane Theocracy, locks herself in her room after witnessing, through magic, the events at the Katze Plains.
    • The leadership of the Slane Theocracy experience something similar when they read her report.
    • Emperor Jirciv crosses over it several times over the course of the novel. From physical ailments like an ulcer and thinning hair to a desperate attempt to ally with the Temples and the Slaine Theocracy. Ainz accidentally foils it by showing up unannounced and demonstrating that even giving his opponent every opportunity to kill him and not using magic, he's still too strong. The Emperor then proposes making his Empire a vassal state to the Sorcererous Kingdom of Nazarick. He gets a lot better after he does that, as the specter of being powerless to stop Ainz destroying his empire is no more.
  • Divided We Fall: The Re-Estize Kingdom is split between the Royal faction and the Greater Nobility faction. It's hard to say which is worse: the Nobles' actions are primarily selfish and short-sighted, but the ailing king is the Only Sane Man of his family.
  • The Door Slams You: Before heading off to posing as adventurers, Momonga witnesses Shalltear "accidentally" slam Albedo with the door as she arrived to meet with him in the manga.
  • Draconic Humanoid: Sebas Tian's true form is a dragonoid.
  • Dragon with an Agenda: Albedo wants to kill the other Supreme Beings.
  • Dramatic Irony: There are a number scenes involving people from the New World talking and thinking about Momonga as if he were a normal person. Part of the charm of the story is how they react as he gradually reveals the full extent of his power a fraction at a time.
    • On a more disturbing note, however... Demiurge's tendency to use double-meanings in his statements ultimately causes Momonga to misinterpret his "cattle" experiments as actual cattle. Momonga doesn't care about it because he doesn't realize he's actually tormenting otherwise-harmless/innocent beastmen. Even when confronted with them, Ainz is genuinely confused and doesn't put two and two together.
  • Elaborate Underground Base: The tomb is buried deep underground, and has 9 floors. It is big enough to house towering monstrosities such as Gargantua.
  • Eldritch Abomination: It turns out at least one type, the Dark Young of Shub-Niggurath, exist or at least can be summoned in the New World. They're extremely powerful (over level 90, though the exact number is not known) and cause fear and insanity in those who see them. Momonga has a spell to summon them, and when he does, is extremely pleased at establishing a new record by managing to summon five at once, who then bulldoze through an army almost 200 000 strong without breaking a sweat.
  • Eldritch Location: The Great Tomb of Nazarick was a habitat designed in a game that didn't have to make too many concessions to reality and it shows. The sixth floor for example looks like a totally convincing simulation of being outside, complete with a vast forest and an open sky. Arche from Foresight finds out the hard way that she's underground when she tries to fly away to safety only to encounter an invisible wall in the "sky".
  • Elite Mook: Death Knights are level 35 monsters that were one of Momonga's favorite creatures to summon in Yggdrasil. In the New World they are among the most feared undead. Ainz's foes tend to panic when they discover that he is able to summon and control hundreds of them at once. Hell, when he summons just one it brutally massacres a whole battalion.
  • End of an Age: The Great Tomb of Nazarick at the close of Yggdrasil. Momonga comments that a mere 4 of the original 41 guild members were still active in the final months, of whom only he and Herohero were online at the last few minutes (though the latter logged out before server shutdown). Also has elements of Vestigial Empire, as the guild was far more powerful when all its player characters were active.
  • Entertainingly Wrong:
    • Demiurge interprets Momonga's command on fostering a relationship the New World's denizens and Ainz Ooal Gown as an intent to invade and conquer the entire planet.
    • Various people's interpretations of Ainz' actions come across as this, not helped by his being coincidentally right (for example, coughing while looking at a door is interpreted as his knowing about the person hiding behind it).
    • Demiurge's plan to conquer the Empire would have taken months and would only happen after taking down the Kingdom. Ainz did it in a few days by complete accident, prompting Demiurge to praise his master for his omniscience.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Most denizens of the Great Tomb of Nazarick are Chaotic Evil warmongers who'd genocide an entire continent just For the Evulz. However, everyone within the guild treat each other like family, and take extremely violent offense when accused of betrayal or going against their master's wishes. Until a certain World Class Item became known, the notion of a Nazarick member turning against another was unimaginable, and in fact Ainz can't convince any of them that he didn't hold the affected guardian responsible, including said guardian.
  • Expository Theme Tune: The anime's OP song Clattanoia directly addresses Ainz's situation and the effect it's having on his mind, including lyrics like "I feel overflowing power, and find myself starting to laugh" and "I reach for the mask's edge, but all I feel is bones".
  • False Flag Operation:
    • The attack on Carne Village in volume 8 in the first part (from Enri's point of view) is revealed in the second part (from Ainz's point of view) to have been arranged by Ainz as a pretense to give Guu's sword to the village to improve their defenses and to help convince Nfirea to keep the results of his research a secret.
    • Also everything done under the alias of "demon emperor Jaldabaoth" in the kingdom and later in the Holy Kingdom. Essentially creating a huge false threat to make Ainz look good when he defeats it.
  • Fantastic Racism: The reason the guild of Ainz Ooal Gown was created and apparently encouraged by the Yggdrasil admins, since PK'ing Heteromorphic players was actually a prerequisite for unlocking some powerful classes, making them popular targets.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: The south apparently serves as Japan / the Far East: Nabe and Ainz' illusory face are said to look southern, Brain's Katana comes from there, and they apparently have Buddhism as one of their religions. May be averted in that the area may have been founded by Players from Japan. The Eight Greed Kings' castle is also to the south.
  • Fastball Special: In the manga, Shalltear punts a newly-created Lesser Vampire at the bandit guards to attack the hideout (even with a comment of "Strike!" and her Vampiress Brides clapping for her), rather than simply getting into a frenzy immediately.
  • Feigning Intelligence: While he's fast to adapt and a quick learner, Ainz is not half the genius his NPC followers believe him to be. He often pretends to be all knowing, but words conversations for the speaker to reveal their complicated idea, without giving away that Ainz was in the dark and needed a detailed explanation. Often times the person will praise Ainz for giving them the inspiration for said plan, and how without him it could have never happened. He's very grateful for the fact that his undead visage is incapable of making facial expressions or nervous sweating. He does something similar in his guise as Momon the adventurer when he wants to accept a quest but doesn't want to reveal that he can't read the New World's written language.
  • Flight: The third-tier spell "Fly". It's very useful for Magic Casters who don't do well in close-range combat, though it's a drain on their mana reserves.
  • Foil: The Re-Estize Kingdom and the Baharuth Empire serve as this for each other in several aspects including the personality of their monarch, their military and the trajectory of their nation.
    • The Kingdom is ruled by King Lanposa III who is elderly and highly benevolent. However Being Good Sucks and his power is checked by the Noble Faction making his court a fractious affair with his nobles divided into various warring factions. His military is comprised of his nobles' peasant levies that Zerg Rush the enemy. The constant disruption to harvest due to skirmishes with the Empire and the infighting between his nobles has put the kingdom in dire straits. Even his advisers believe that the Kingdom will fall in a generation unless something drastic is done. Finally as a father he loves his children dearly and has a certain degree of rose tinted glasses when dealing with them. The Kingdom is also highly classist with the nobles rejecting some of the most talented individuals of their nation due to their humble birth.
    • The Empire is ruled by Emperor Jircniv Rune Farlord el Nix, a ruthless young tyrant that has honestly earned his moniker as the "Blood Emperor". However his purge of the nobles, enacted when he was 13 means that his power is uncontested and the nation is largely unified. Rather than reign cruelly, Jircniv works tirelessly to administer his Empire and forge a strong bureaucracy that will underpin the Empire long after his death. The Empire fields a professional military that guarantee the nation's security. While the Kingdom is a subversion of the Good Old Ways, the Empire is progressive with Jircniv employing talent where he finds it. Jircniv does have some affection for his children but does not really love them. He considers talent the only benchmark for selecting his heir and will gladly remove a child from succession that does not meet his standards.
  • Food Porn: The menu that Ainz shows to Nemu Emmot, Enri Emmot, and Enfi Nfirea, as well as the meal he has his maids prepare would not be out of place in a very high-class restaurant.
  • A Form You Are Comfortable With: The human-appearing Guardians of the Great Tomb of Nazarick are actually nightmarish creatures when they unleash their full power. Even the beautiful Albedo and Shalltear are horrific looking in their true monster forms. Momonga also plays this trope with his undercover identity as Momon, wearing full plate black armor and illusion spells to conceal his undead appearance.
  • Four Is Death: Ainz gets around sharing food with the Swords of Darkness (he has an illusion of his face, but it'd just go through his jaw and ribcage) by claiming his religion forbids eating with more than four people after taking a life.
  • Friendless Background: Jircniv took the throne as a teenager, and ruling the Empire day-to-day has left him with no time for making friends. Once the burden of leadership is lifted from him, he becomes fast friends with Riyuro, who also had control of his empire removed from him by Ainz.
  • Friendship Moment: Although Albedo and Shalltear often squabble, after Shalltear got mind controlled and fought Ainz, Albedo mentions to Ainz, with genuine concern, that Shalltear is ridden with guilt. Though Ainz reasonably didn't hold her accountable over the incident, Shalltear could only blame herself for the situation out of a need to atone, and Albedo suggests to Ainz to assign her a punishment for her mental well-being.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Momonga and the other members of guild Ainz Oowl Gown were just players who often get discriminated for playing as non-human races. And then they thought if people are gonna treat them as monsters, then let them be one. They then became one of the best-known and powerful guilds in Yggdrasil and their base became a dungeon infamous for being totally unbeatable.
  • Functional Magic: Yggdrasil magic and artifacts work in the New World, but because it's an actual world and not a game the effects aren't always predictable. Momonga spends a lot of time trying to figure out how his in-game stats and abilities work in the New World.
  • Giver of Lame Names: Momonga/Ainz has horrible naming sense. Some of the names he chooses are downright unpronounceable.
  • Giving Radio to the Romans: A lot of magic items can be seen as this.
    • A magical version of this trope was done by the Six Gods of the Slane Theocracy. Before their coming, humanity as a whole was on the ropes and were possibly facing extinction in the near future. Giving a whole new (and powerful) magical and item crafting system in the form of YGGDRASIL Tier Magic not only displaced the native Wild Magic but also acted as a Game Changer for humanity. It is also possible that they also used their twenty-first century knowledge of economics and politics to help organize the resulting human kingdoms.
    • Deconstructed when we learn that a minotaur player ended up being called the Boastful Sage because he was unable to explain the technology behind the items he proposed, such as boxes that keep food cold or devices that propel air to cool a room.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: Arche, who has the ability to detect a person's magical potential, initially thinks Ainz is unable to cast magic. And then he removes the ring that suppresses his magic aura. Arche doubles over vomiting and is pretty much incapacitated just from the sheer magical pressure emanating from him, and Roberdyck is forced to cast a courage spell on her just to get her back on her feet. The anime shows that a first tier magic caster has a slightly visible magic aura around them, by contrast, Ainz (who can cast Super Tier magic) has a huge roiling maelstrom of raging magic force around him that seems to stretch all the way to the sky.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: This usually happens to people who try to go against Nazarick.
    • Jircniv's request that Ainz use his most powerful spell on the battlefield against the Kingdom's army was an attempt to gauge Ainz's strength in preparation for eventually turning on him. This backfired spectacularly: the spell was so powerful and horrifying that it drove the Empire's knights to run away in sheer terror (the only casualties on their side were the ones who were trampled by their fleeing comrades), with many of the survivors quitting military service (and the Empire can't replace knights as quickly as the Kingdom can replace their soldiers) and blaming Jircniv for making the request in the first place. And though they don't know it, that wasn't actually Ainz's strongest spell (though it was one of the flashier ones) so the Empire still doesn't know Ainz's true power.
    • The Slane Theocracy considers the Kingdom to be this. The Slane Theocracy founded the Kingdom long ago in the hopes that it would be a breeding ground for future heroes of humanity. Instead, the Kingdom became a cesspool of infighting and corruption. Worse, the crime syndicates that took root in the Kingdom are trafficking drugs to the other human nations, depleting humanity's overall strength.
  • Good Powers, Bad People: Ainz can summons angels as easily as he can summon undead.
  • Gratuitous English: At the very least Momonga is being played from a Japanese client with distinctly Japanese ideas and terminology thrown around, and this is the main language of the out-of-universe series. The spell, ability, and buff names are all in English in the anime, however.
  • Guide Dang It!: The YGGDRASIL game had this built into its core gameplay. Of the three common playstyles, it encouraged exploration the most and thus there were many hidden secrets to be found in the game. Ainz commented to himself that information was the most precious commodity among the YGGDRASIL community and that websites purporting to have the "inside scoop" were often wrong or worse, purposeful red herrings.
  • Happiness in Slavery: Ainz makes a point of ordering Cocytus to treat the Lizardmen in this manner.
    Ainz: That's enough of the 'stick.' You must use the 'carrot' from this point on. Under no circumstances are you to treat the lizardmen with a 'reign of terror'.
  • Hellish Horse: Volume 9 has a couple of these courtesy of Ainz. The first is the creature that pulls Ainz's carriage when he arrives at the Empire's fortress. It's a muscular scaly fanged beast which is described as an avatar of brutality and violence that is vaguely horse-shaped. The mounts carrying the small escort army he brings with him consisting of hundreds of Death Knights and Old Guarders are Soul Eaters: skeletal horses with an unearthly aura that shines in their chests, three of which apparently slaughtered over 100,000 beastmen in the past.
  • Hell Is That Noise: [in-universe] The Dark Young make sounds like a perfectly ordinary goat. Some of the more traumatized survivors suffer mental breakdowns if they hear goats bleating afterwards.
  • Hidden Depths: In a bid to find out whether his Floor Guardians can learn and grow, he sets them tasks they are not suited for to see how well they perform. As a result, they end up developing surprising talents. For example, Blood Knight Cocytus ends up a competent administrator and overseer for a race of Lizardmen while The Berserker Shalltear turns out to be an effective strategist so long as she does not belittle her opponent and avoids going into a blood rage.
  • Hold the Line: Sebas Tian and the Pleiades were designed for this task so that the Nazarick player characters could prepare for a Last Stand in the throne room.
  • Hope Spot:
    • The Lizardmen have one during their arc. Having successfully repelled Cocytus's forces, and defeated the Disc-One Final Boss lich who the Lizardmen assume was their leader, they take a moment to celebrate. Ains then later shows up again with yet another undead army, along with his floor guardians. A giant golem also tosses a ridiculously large stone block into the swamp so as to show off his true power. He tells them that he's going to attack again, this time with Cocytus.
    • Arche recives one in the 7th book, after her friends preform a Heroic Sacrifice to allow her to escape, she tries to make her way out of the forest she was teleported to, then Shalltear finds her and she attempts to fly away, thats when she finds out she's actually in an Artificial Outdoors Display.
    • Jircniv asks Fluder's top acolyte about taking over his mentor's position. The acolyte instantly perks up... then Jircniv explains that would make him the Empire's first line of defense against Ainz.
  • Honor Before Reason: Gazef chooses to fight Ainz despite knowing his chances are zero, as he swore to serve his country.
  • Horny Devils: Albedo's creator programmed her to be a nymphomaniac. Right before YGGDRASIL was going to be shut down, Momonga changed her settings to remove this detail, then as a joke modified her so she would be in love with him. He's understandably guilty when she becomes a real person with a personality based on those settings.
  • Horse of a Different Color: After taming the Wise King of the Forest, Momonga uses her as his mount. Interestingly, while everyone around him is awestruck by him riding on such a powerful beast, Momonga himself just feels embarrassed of riding on what he perceives to be an oversized hamster.
  • Humans Are Insects: A fairly common train of thought among the most of Nazarick's denizens.
  • Human Subspecies: The traditional "human" race of YGGDRASIL are not Homo Sapiens. In-game, the category of human even includes the likes of elves and dwarves! This is in contrast to the categories of demi-human (orcs, beastmen) and actual monsters (99% of the Tomb of Nazarick, but notably excluding Mare, Aura, and Aureole Omega).
  • I Control My Minions Through...: While Ainz mainlines (Fanatical)Loyalty traces of all options can be seen as the series expands.
  • Immortal Breaker: Due to running on Wrong Context Magic, Razor's Edge is one of the only things that can hurt or kill Ainz. Ironically, it isn't even a highly-enchanted weapon.
  • I Never Said It Was Poison: When beginning an infiltration mission, CZ accidentally says that they're going to the city in part to get information from the demihumans about the local surroundings, but Neia knows that they didn't talk about that in front of her. Still, with her blind loyalty to Ainz, she ignores it.
  • Infinity -1 Sword: In the YGGDRASIL MMO these were various Pay-To-Win items, Divine Class Items, and spells such as Wish Upon a Star. Some were rare or Too Awesome to Use, but did not change the Metagame or cause an Instant-Win Condition like World Class Items did.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: Practically anything from the Great Tomb of Nazarick armory are considered to be these by the native New World population, but for the denizens of YGGDRASIL, the Game-Breaker World Class Items fall into this category. The Great Tomb of Nazarick has 11 of them.
  • Ironic Echo: Before logging out, Herohero tells Momonga that it would be exciting if all the guild player characters were to reunite in a new MMO together. Momonga becomes upset at the comment, because he believes it will never happen. After being transported into the New World, Momonga hopes he can find his old guild mates there, and several long term plans he puts into effect are designed to somehow attract their attention if they transferred with him.
  • Jaw Drop: Ainz does this on occasion. Notable since as a lich his mouth normally doesn't move even while talking, but if he's surprised (or angry) enough his jaw drops open (since he doesn't have an Expressive Skull in the manga, instead his entire body goes to a chibi art style).
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Jircniv feels an instinctive dislike for Renner, which is why he doesn't consider her as a possible empress. He recognizes the value of her populist measures, however, and keeps himself informed about them to apply them to the Empire, and is always impressed by how well they work.
  • Keystone Army: Ainz is one to the Great Tomb Of Nazarick. When discussing the merits of having an heir, Cocytus makes it clear that without a master to serve, the denizens of Nazarick would fracture into independent groups or collapse into civil war. The differing factions are unified by their absolute and unwavering loyalty to Ainz. Without that, incompatible desires and personalities will cause conflict.
    • Also, the guild of Ainz Ooal Gown will cease to exist if the Staff of Ains Ooal Gown is destroyed, though it is unknown what that would do in the New World. Possessing it would allow for an unknown level of control over the Great Tomb of Nazarick. It is implied that destroying it would cause the Great Tomb of Nazarick to cease to exist.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: Discussed: an innkeeper mentions that going into other people's rooms is not allowed, something that would be obvious in normal society, but given how much of society owes to former RPG players...
  • Knight in Shining Armor: Gazef Stronoff, the Re-Estize Kingdom's strongest warrior, in everything but name. Technically only Nobles can become "Knights", so his official title is "Warrior Captain".
  • Lack of Empathy: Momonga shows signs of this, and is aware of it. He wonders if this is because of his transformation into an undead being. He's still better than most of his servants, who outright despise humans (being created by a guild that allowed only nonhuman races).
  • Large Ham: Played with. Momonga isn't actually hammy (though he does have his moments), but has to pretend to be one in front of the Guardians because he believes he must play their expectations as an Evil Overlord in order to maintain their loyalty. In his downtime, he's often in his room posing in front of his mirror and writing down lines he believes are befitting of an evil overlord.
  • Legendary Weapon: The Razor Edge is one of the Kingdom's Five Treasures. This magical sword cuts through metal as if it were paper and according to Ainz it can overcome his passive resistance to low-tier attacks even though other weapons and attacks imbued with the same level of mana as Razor Edge can't scratch him. Wielding the sword is an honor reserved only for the warrior officially recognized as the strongest in the Kingdom.
  • Lethal Joke Item: The two Horns of the Goblin General Ainz gave to Enri are normally one-shot items that summon a small troop of Goblins. However, if the summoner meets three currently unknown conditions, the Horn will instead summon an entire army of Goblins. An army consisting of thousands of elite Goblins. This saves Carne Village from the Kingdom's army in volume 9, since Enri somehow met the conditions before blowing the second Horn in desperation.
  • Lighter and Softer: To an extent (and coupled with Denser and Wackier), the manga adaptation compared to the anime. Common silly anime/manga tropes are prevalent (Momonga's Sweat Drops, a super-deformed skeleton head appearing when he's in shock), the more graphically violent scenes are skimmed over, and the timing and presentation on Albedo showing off her hand-made Momonga body pillow to a shocked Demiurge is funnier (shown before any of the Clementine/Khajit plot really kicks off, so there's no tension).
  • A Lighter Shade of Black: Almost to the point of grey, if you were to consider just Momonga. His reign and protection is positively benign compared to what could happen (see Carne Village); and if you became personal friends with him, you practically have a free pass from death! Unfortunately, Nazarick's denizens are definitely not "acting" evil like Momonga (sometimes) is, and he can't stop them from misinterpreting the actions they take on his behalf.
  • Light Is Not Good: The Slane Theocracy uses holy spells, summons angelic entities... and devastates villages full of innocents.
  • Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards: Played With:
    • A first tier magic caster is just barely seen as useful as an equally leveled warrior, and only with the proper equipment and spells.
    • A third tier caster more or less outstrips a warrior of the same level, and is rare to the point where they're considered worth their weight in gold.
    • Fluder, roughly between a fifth and sixth tier caster, is considered equivalent to the military force of a small nation. The only suggested strategy against him that people believe might have even a chance of working is basically sending in wave after wave of soldiers at him until he runs out of mana.
    • Ainz, a user of Super Tier Magic, is so far beyond anybody else that just seeing the magic he casts can drive people insane.
  • Love Hungry: While Albedo takes the limelight in her desires, all of Nazarick to one degree or another feels incomparable joy when aiding a Supreme Being, while Momonga's status as The Needless frustrates things to no end; for example, the cooks can't fix him a meal as he can not eat.
  • Man of Kryptonite: Shalltear is an undead being who can wield powerful Holy magic. Since her level is comparable to his, this makes her a near perfect opponent for Momonga, since his most powerful necromancy spells have little effect against the undead and he takes more damage from holy attacks. When Momonga is forced to fight her due to brainwashing, he bitterly wonders if her creator specifically designed her to be able to beat him.
  • Massive Race Selection: YGGDRASIL allows player a large amount of races to choose from; the total number of races reaches 700! To simplify this a bit in terms of in-game factions, they are categorized three-ways: Humans (including Dwarves, Elves, etc as "human enough"), demi-humans (orcs, beastmen, humanoids) and our favorite monsters (with a more technical term since they're more specifically defined as "not human at all", such as slimes and giant insects).
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!":
    • The Lizardmen's reaction when they see a second undead army outside their gates again. Not only that, but most of the undead rabble are wearing magical armor. Ainz then also freezes the swamp, has a giant golem toss a big stone block into it, has the undead assemble themselves into a staircase, then summons the high-level cloud monsters as heralds and destroys them as a further show of his power. Demiurge also uses a Compelling Voice to get Zaryusu and his brother to get on their knees.
    • Jircniv's diplomatic visit to Nazarick starts off badly- he's asked to wait outside so Mare can clear the clouds away and brought food better than they've ever tasted, with Death Knights as waiters. With every new room they enter, the entire contingent realizes just how outclassed they are.
    • Raeven and Gazef see a bunch of monsters in the Imperial army, with their adventurer bodyguards telling them they're called Soul Eaters, three of which killed over 100,000 people. Ainz brought 500 of them, each carrying a Death Knight. And then Ainz start casting.
  • Minion with an F in Evil: Inverted, while Momonga has his moments his minions are by far much more evil. Oddly enough, the character pages have him at -500 (the same as said minions), presumably the scale can't go lower.
  • Mook Horror Show:
    • Occurs whenever Momonga/Ainz or one of the Floor Guardians takes the field. A notable case is Shalltear's rampage in the third volume of the Light Novel, where she completely breaks Brain into a whining, crying mess who becomes a hobo for a while.
    • Pretty much all of volume 7 is a demonstration of how useless it is to try and conquer Nazarick, seen from the would-be looters' point of view.
    • Several characters get the minimum of backstory and characterization needed for the reader to empathize when they get steamrolled by Nazarick.
  • More Deadly Than the Male: Ainz views Shalltear and Albedo in this manner, when either of them get angry over things (most often for his affection). Humorously even Demiurge prefers to allow them to scuffle and lose strength, or find another woman to intermediate things, before intervening between the two.
  • More Than Infinite: Among the 200 World Class Items, there are 20 Instant-Win Condition items feared as (appropriately enough), The Twenty. Ainz mumbles about the Great Tomb of Nazarick possessing 2 of them, though officially it remains unanswered.
  • Moral Myopia: The denizens of Nazarick have no qualms over treating outsiders like vermin to be exploited and crushed. However, even the slightest insult or sign of disrespect (even an unwitting one) towards Nazarick or Ainz is absolutely unforgivable and must be paid for with blood. Ainz embracing this mindset is one of the signs showing that he is growing into his role as a true Evil Overlord.
  • Mouth Flaps: Ainz figures out Translator Microbes are in effect because while he hears the natives speaking in Japanese (honorifics and all), their mouth movements don't match the words.
  • Mugging the Monster: Pretty much anyone who attacks the residence of The Great Tomb of Nazarick in the first 8 books often resulting in a Despair Event Horizon and Villainous Breakdown moment. Special note goes to The Syndicate group “Eight Fingers” many of whom end up with a Fate Worse than Death for antagonizing Sebas.
  • Multiple Government Polity: After Ainz unintentionally vassalizes the Empire, there are only two major changes in the law, as Ainz has quite enough trouble ruling his own domain: the place of Nazarick denizens (above everyone else), and condemned criminals are to be shipped off to Nazarick. And it turned out one guy was framed, so he was sent back to the Empire. The Emperor is seen to be a lot happier once this happens, both because he no longer has to worry about Ainz invading him, effortlessly destroying the work he and his ancestors worked so hard to build up over the years, but also because Nazarick now uses its own inexhaustible military to defend the Empire's borders (he finds that his workload is now vastly lightened, because whenever a complaint he can't deal with himself comes to him, he only has to send back "take it up with Ainz" for the complainer to suddenly decide it wasn't that important).
  • Mutually Unequal Relationship:
    • All of Nazarick (especially the Guardians) see Ainz as their godlike master and ruler and have no greater joy than to serve, even if it requires their death. Ainz, on the other hand, sees them as the only link to his former friends in the guild (as they were custom-designed NP Cs before gaining sentience), and the idea of one getting killed is akin to the death of a child placed under his supervision.
    • Ainz wants to rule Nazarick the way he'd have wanted an ideal Japanese corporation to be run and be a Benevolent Boss. Everyone else sees him as an undead monstrosity of incalculable power who can kill thousands with a thought (not exactly inaccurate). Thus when Ainz is fighting in the Empire's arena, he thinks of Jircniv as a fellow ruler and doesn't understand why the Emperor is rooting against him, and never seems to get that people are genuinely afraid of him (or that the Guardians are more than happy to kill people for what they perceive as insults to Ainz or Nazarick).
    • One of the Kingdom nobles believes he has a good chance of seducing Albedo and inheriting the Sorcerous Kingdom through her. Albedo already hates humans and has difficulty in restraining herself from splattering the idiot all over the walls. The other humans coerced into working for Albedo (and having witnessed firsthand how they treat potential enemies) get stomach ulcers from having to deal with such monumental arrogance and being unable to correct him.
  • My Master, Right or Wrong: It's cited on several occasions that the Floor Guardians are especially loyal to the Supreme Being who created them, and in the unlikely event a Floor Guardian was forced to choose between Momonga and their creator... they'd side with their creator, even with the amount of love they feel for Momonga. Subverted with Albedo, who eventually reveals she wants to kill all the Supreme Beings other than Momonga. This is not only due to her mad love for Momonga, but also the belief that by abandoning their creations, unlike Momonga, the other Supreme Beings are no longer worthy of Nazarick's loyalty.
  • The Namesake: Momonga is a member of the Overlord species (one of the highest racial tiers for Undead in-universe, with the lowest tiers being basic Zombies and Skeletons) with 5 Racial levels, which grant him a number of exclusive powers and abilities. He's also Overlord of the Great Tomb of Nazarick.
  • National Weapon: The Kingdom's warriors and knights favor swords, and one of the Kingdom's greatest Treasures is the sword Razor Edge.
  • Necromancer: Momonga specializes in such magic, and is surprised to discover the differences with the game with his first creation (instead of summoning a temporary Death Knight, the spell now uses a recently-killed knight to create a permanent one).
  • Nightmare Fetishist: In volume 9, most of the Empire's troops flee in panic when they see one of Ainz's summoned Dark Young approaching them. Though it's not actually trying to attack them, the sight is so terrifying that it leads to a rout. Seeing Ainz slay 70,000 troops in the blink of an eye and unleashing the Dark Young he summoned with those deaths upon the remaining Kingdom troops had already horrified them to the point of tears. Except for a few who remained motionless, absolutely mesmerized by the sight of power far beyond humans.
  • Night of the Living Mooks: An undead army is raised against Momonga by enemy forces in Chapter 7 of the manga. He is able to raise even more powerful armies of undead of his own, as seen in volumes 4 and 9.
  • Ninja Maid: The Pleiades are a team of combat maids loyal to Momonga.
  • Noble Demon: Guardians with "Good" Karma like Sebas Tian and Cocytus. To the point that they are actually more moral than Momonga, though they will still obey him no matter what.
  • No Item Use for You: Beings from YGGDRASIL cannot learn Martial Arts or Wild Magic, which are abilities only natives to the New World can access.
    • Averted with actual items, natives can sometimes use them better than Ainz.
  • Normal Fish in a Tiny Pond:
    • In the original YGGDRASIL game, Momonga was just one of many players who had reached the level cap, and his build wasn't particularly suited for PVP. He believes he was in the mid-upper tier. In the new fantasy world, the average "levels" are much, much lower. It's hinted that there are beings that rival or surpass him in power (possibly other former players), but as of volume 8 he hasn't met any yet.
    • It's more than just hinted... it's pretty much canon that other YGGDRASIL players arrived BEFORE Momonga to the New World. That is to say they arrived centuries in the timeline before he did. This explains why things from YGGDRASIL — like World Class Items, summon monsters, and magic spells — exist in the New World. They were introduced by past YGGDRASIL players. A major current question is, "what happened to them?" Another question is, "will more arrive in the future?" As stated above, Momonga has yet to encounter another YGGDRASIL player, ally or enemy, but would rather try to negotiate a peaceful coexistence if he does meet one.
    • Momonga and his guild NPCs are the fourth known group to arrive from YGGDRASIL. The first set was known to the New World as the Six Gods. While their ultimate fate is unknown, one was killed at least once by the next group to arrive, and none of them have appeared again in centuries. The second set became known as the Eight Greed Kings. After conquering the world through violence and bloodshed, the eight turned against each other, ultimately killing or weakening themselves to a point natives of the New World could slay them. The third set was two players who became part of the Thirteen Heroes. Like the Greed Kings before them, the pair ultimately had a falling out and slew each other. Given the final fate of these individuals, the Dragon with an Agenda cited above makes a whole lot of sense. Of these groups, it would appear that the one closest to rivaling the Great Tomb of Nazarick was the Eight Greed Kings, as hints have been dropped they possessed at least one World Class Item, a guild dungeon, and a powerful weapon that embodied and represented their guild like Ainz's staff.
  • No-Sell: Magic resistance, high tier physical immunity and other such skills make the higher level characters in Nazarick largely immune to anything anyone can throw at them and, depending on race, they may be immune to other attacks or effects. Further, possessing a World Item makes you immune to the effects of any other World Item being used on you with the sole exception of the item that can change the rules. The programmers of YGGDRASIL apologized and said that making them immune to this effect as well would be very difficult to program.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Ainz's final battle with Demon Emperor Jaldbaoth is not shown in depth. All we get is a short description from Neia who says it comprised of incomprehensible phenomena which included: light, darkness, fire, lightning, and meteors, all colliding with incredible force.
  • Oh, Crap!: Many characters get these moments when Nazarick members show their power, but the most notable has to be Shalltear during her battle with Momonga. She's left staring at Momonga in slack jawed horror several times during the fight.
  • Ominous Floating Castle: The Eight Greed King's castle of Eryuentiu is this. It features weapon-building Eternal Engine areas and a Waterfall into the Abyss that feeds into the abandoned city beneath it. True to their name, the features are likely Cast from Money and still ongoing.
  • One-Hit Kill: Momonga specializes in spells that are capable of causing instant death. While few of them are surefire hits in the game, he also has a special skill "The Goal Of All Life Is Death" that allows his one-hit kills to work against opponents normally immune to one-hit kills, at the cost of a 12-second delay. In the new world, the latter isn't even needed.
  • Only in It for the Money: In Volume 7 "Momon" asks the Worker groups why they are willing to risk death by exploring the Tomb of Nazarick. The Workers unanimously reply "money". It's implied this is one reason Ainz felt no qualms about letting them all march to their deaths.
  • Our Demons Are Different: Undead exist to destroy all life, but demons exist to make them suffer. They have a tendency to go berserk and have special summoning and flame based abilities. It's implied that even the mostly human looking ones like Albedo stand out in disguise because they seem unnatural. Albedo, for example, is too beautiful to be human.
  • Our Liches Are Different: A lich is a type of skeletal spellcaster above a skeleton mage but below an overlord. They are either decaying corpses or outright skeletons. They naturally have the ability to cast at the third tier or higher and, it's implied, favor fire based spells. Their abilities do not decline with age, they're immune to poison, cold, mental effects and lightning, are weak to fire, light, holy and bludgeoning and resist slashing and pierce. They have relatively low physical abilities, but are still dangerous in melee due to the ability to spread negative energy as a touch attack. Overlords also possess numerous aura abilities which can either spread mental effects or cause instant death. They do not possess a phylactery.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Vampires are almost universally incredibly ugly and monstrous. Vampire Brides are the sole exception from Yggdrasil while Evileye appears to simply be an undead human and her appearance hasn't been affected by her status. Shalltear has a form that looks like a lamprey despite her normally cute looks.
  • Outside-Context Problem: In YGGDRASIL, Momonga was a player character optimized for PvE and role-play instead of PvP, but his skills and knowledge made him a low upper tier player. After coming to the New World, the Sorcerer King Ainz Ooal Gown can make nations quake in terror with alarming ease. For those who remember, PCs from YGGDRASIL aren't so outside-context...
  • Overly Long Gag: When Momonga was preparing to fight the mind-controlled Shalltear, he cast a buff spell on himself to start the fight. When she continued to stand in place afterward, he realized that she wouldn't fight back until he used an actual attack on her, so he proceeded to spend a full minute doing nothing but casting buffs on himself and laying traps; in the anime, this is in Gratuitous English and a very rapid-fire intonation.
    • This is not so much a gag but a realistic portrayal of what real life players do in MM Os when getting ready to challenge an overpowered enemy.
  • Over Shadowed By Awesome: This happens constantly to the inhabitants of the New World given the general power level of YGGDRASIL characters. Even a mook monster is a legendary monster to them. It is easy to forget that a character like Clementine or Khajit are powerful enough that only a few New World natives could challenge them when they are nothing but speed bumps to Yggdrasil NPCs and PCs.
  • Overtook the Manga: The anime's second season had already ended and the third season announced while the manga still has yet to reach the second season's final arc Ainz sparing Tsuare, the raid on Eight Fingers and the first appearance of Jaldabaoth. Thankfully, the light novel still has plenty of material.
  • Overzealous Underling: The guardians are so eager to please Ainz the incarnation of all things evil that they interpret everything he says according to his wishes. As Ainz still has some sense of morality, this causes no end of problems (such as taking his "taking over the world might be interesting" quote as a direct order).
  • Papa Wolf: Ainz doesn't have much opportunity to demonstrate it, but the moment someone from Nazarick almost gets killed, the only reason he doesn't obliterate the would-be killer is because it's necessary to the plan. And for extra irony, his Tranquil Fury is interpreted as Anger Born of Worry by Evileye, who falls for him that much harder.
  • Parental Abandonment: Part of the reason Nazarick is so loyal to and protective of Ainz is they don't want him, the last of their creators, to leave them like his guildmates. Albedo even outright believes it's an unforgivable act of betrayal, and plots to kill any Supreme Being who may have made it to the new world to protect Ainz and the rest of her "family".
  • Physical God: How Momonga's minions see him, complete with zealous worship. While he is technically just a very powerful lich his strength is so off the charts in the New World the argument could be made that he might as well be a god.
  • Power Is Sexy: Shalltear Bloodfallen got excited down there after she felt Ainz's Despair Aura.
  • Power Nullifier: The only way to prevent the after effects of a World Class Item, is to be equipped with another World Class Item before being attacked by it. This mechanic is how Momonga safeguards Shalltear and the other Guardians from a repeat of the problems in Volume 3.
  • Product Placement: In-Universe, Ainz uses the war in the Holy Kingdom as a chance to shill his lame mid-level gear that he pretends are runecrafted items. The shilling is incredibly blatant and bad, but everyone thinks it's genuine and are amazed at these new runecrafted items, available now only at Sorcerous Kingdom inc. for the low low price of 10000 gold pieces per month, operators are standing by!
  • Protectorate: Carne Village falls under Ainz's unofficial protection after the events of volume 1. He later sends one of the Pleiades, Lupusregina Beta, to watch over the village and protect a few of the inhabitants who managed to get on Ainz's good side such as Enri, Nfirea, Lizzie, and Enri's little sister Nemu after she flattered him during her visit in volume 8 by praising Nazarick as an amazing place.
  • Psycho Supporter: The Guardians with an 'Evil' Karma rating tend to act like this for Ainz. They generally think of humans as scum to be crushed beneath their feet.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Cocytus always speaks this way. One translation of the light novel renders it as speaking. In. One. Word. Sentences.
  • Quantity vs. Quality: The regularly scheduled battles between the Empire and the Kingdom go this way. The Empire fields a relatively small army of elite knights, while the Kingdom fields a much larger army of barely trained conscripts. The only reason the Kingdom hasn't already been overrun by the Empire is because the Empire is playing the long game. The wars are bleeding out the Kingdom's civilian workforce and harvests. Thus the Kingdom will be easy pickings when the Empire decides it's time to conquer it.
  • The Quisling: Though otherwise lacking in most leadership abilities, Ainz has a knack for finding outsiders or prominent figures and offering them the one thing they could never otherwise have so long as they serve his will. Ainzach is given the chance to turn the Adventurer's guild into true adventurers, a dwarven runesmith fanboy helps revive the dying art, a sociopath princess turns on a kingdom that does not respect her, an albino female lizardman is tied to him with the revival of her lover (although Ainz lied about her betrayal undoing the revival), a human archmage is given the chance to study magic he would never otherwise be able to learn and so on. None of them are strictly villainous, even the princess, but they sell their people out to earn the one thing they desperately desire.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: The worker group Foresight are an example, the group is the equivalent of a mithril level adventure team and are made up of True Companions, at least two members of the group actively try their best to help people and they help each other out. In any other story they would be the lovable rogue heroes Unfortunately since this is Overlord and they are Hero of Another Story they die during their A Day in the Limelight to the main characters for attempting to steal the riches of Nazarick
  • Reality Ensues: Ainz is somewhat disappointed to learn that the life of an adventurer isn't the same as "MMORPG player": they're used mostly to keep monster numbers down, but governments don't like the idea of experienced and heavily-armed sellswords not under their control, so they make sure to keep them out of the way and those with real military power don't even see the need for them.
  • Resurrection Sickness: Resurrection magic drains the life force of its targets. The lowest known resurrection spell, Lakyus's 5th-tier "Raise Dead", takes a toll severe enough that lower ranked Adventurers would immediately die right after being revived while higher level characters will suffer Level Drain, and be unable to fight properly for a day or so. Higher tiered resurrection spells are less draining, but all of them carry some penalty. Wild magic carries no penalties... but as it is fueled by the destruction of souls, it has its own consequences.
  • RPG Episode: The "Human-Understanding Tabletop Game" Drama CD has Ainz GM a tabletop RPG for the Guardians in an effort to get them to stop looking down on humans by playing as human adventurers. What follows is a disturbingly accurate Off the Rails session with plenty of desperate improvising, backtracking and out-of-character arguing (Albedo starts by murdering the questgiver, it goes downhill from there). And in the end, all it does is convince them that humans really are weak, powerless creatures, but even they can be of some use to Nazarick... if they display the same devotion and faith in Ainz as the Guardians do.
  • RPG-Mechanics Verse
    • YGGDRASIL was a typical MMORPG, and thus has all of normal tropes and a familiar rules systemnote . While Momonga and the guardians still follow those rules and speak of them frequently, things for the natives are a bit more loose.
    • In the New World, adventurers can be analyzed into YGGDRASIL classes with sufficient examination, but they frequently exist in impossible combinations, and they have no awareness of game concepts like Character Level (at least not in a concrete sense). In addition, they are capable of learning "Martial Art" skills which exist outside the level progression, and which game characters like Momonga cannot learn regardless of effort. Momonga theorises that, while no one in the new world is as strong as an ''YGGDRASIL'' character, they also do not possess a level cap.
    • The magic system of the new world is the same as YGGDRASIL's, in that it has tiers of magic spells that reflect their relative power and magnitude. However, the New World inhabitants are capable of inventing new spells which YGGDRASIL players could not use. It's been canonized that the use of the similar magic systems is the result of YGGDRASIL players who arrived in the New World centuries before Momonga and taught their magic to the locals. Tiered magic was much easier to use for humans, and it partially displaced the world's native Wild Magic in the fabric of reality.
  • Secret Test of Character:
    • When Ainz talks to Cocytus about his failure at wiping out the Lizardmen, he seems disappointed in his guardian. Later it turns out he wanted to see if Cocytus could develop tactics and strategies on his own, hence giving him a massive but weak army, and seeing what Cocytus would do with it aside from just charging all their forces in.
    • Ainz ordering Sebas to kill Tsuare. Sebas obeys, but Ainz had Cocytus block the attack and determine whether or not it was delivered with killing intent.
  • Self-Proclaimed Love Interest: Albedo and Shalltear. It's worth noting while Albedo's love for Momonga was something he jokingly reprogrammed her to possess before she became real, he did no such thing for Shalltear... which likely means Peroroncino had originally configured her like that from the beginning.
    • Peroroncino had programmed Shalltear to be a necrophiliac, and as since Ainz is the most powerful male undead in Nazarick, Shalltear immediately saw him as an object of desire.
  • Sensing You Are Outmatched:
    • In volume 7, Arche vomits in fear the moment she sees Ainz's true power with her Aura Vision and desperately warns her teammates that their opponent is a monster that humans can't possibly defeat.
    • In volume 9, Gazef is pretty sure he's completely outmatched by the Dark Young even with the Kingdom's Treasures, but tries to fight one anyway. He at first activates the 'Sense Weakness' and 'Possiblity Sense' Martial Arts to discern any possible weakness or chance of victory. This proved to be a mistake — the heightened awareness just made it crystal clear to him that he was no match for the beast.
    • Go Gin locks up in fear just before he faces Ainz. He actually thanks his trainer for the opportunity to fight a truly strong enemy.
  • Sentient Phlebotinum: The Orb of Death proves to be very chatty when Ainz gets a hold of it. The Orb is extremely impressed by Ainz's power and wishes only to serve him. The Orb becomes upset when Ainz (who is so powerful that the Orb is useless to him) hands it over to Hamsuke for safekeeping instead.
  • Sequence Breaking: In volume 11, much ado is made about three trials that one must pass in order to travel from one dwarven city to the capital. One is a massive underground bottomless canyon with any routes around it infested with powerful monsters. The second is a river of lava guarded by a powerful fish monster. Ainz and his team simply fly over both of them, and never even see the river's guardian.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: The entirety of Light Novel volume 7. We are introduced to various teams of Workers (unlicensed Adventurers), many of whom are highly sympathetic. Momon joins them in a mission to explore a recently found ruin. The ruin is Nazarick. Needless to say none of the Workers returned alive even after the most sympathetic ones tried a You Shall Not Pass! moment to let a least one of their number escape. Many a Cruel and Unusual Death occurred due to Ainz's machinations mainly as a data gathering exercise. In truth Ainz did not gain all that much from making the Workers run his maze.
  • Share the Male Pain: Lockmeyer winces when he sees Succulent take a massive kick to the balls from Climb (note that Climb is wearing metal armor and Succulent is not).
  • Shipper on Deck:
    • Demiurge becomes one for Sebas Tian and the girl Tsuare he rescued from the slave network, because he wants to find out if breeding hybrids is possible.
    • The various maids of Nazarick are divided between two major factions: one supporting Albedo being with Momonga and the other seeking a Shalltear victory. Only a handful of maids remain neutral, with both hopeful wives seeking to win them over to their camp. Because of the influence they possess among their coworkers, courting the Pleiades is considered an important milestone by Albedo.
  • Shout-Out: see the subpage.
  • Single-Target Sexuality: Albedo is wholly in love with Momonga since he edited her data on a whim before the game was about to shut down. He feels a lot of guilt about this and even confessed to Albedo that he did this to her. She doesn't care (or can't).
  • Slavery Is a Special Kind of Evil: With the exception of Nazarick and the Lizardmen, this trope is in full display throughout the entire light novel. Every time a Human Subspecies is seen enslaved, that being is going to be in a living hell. Tsuare gets special mention in volume 6.
  • Sleeping with the Boss: A goal that Albedo and Shalltear desire, with a rivalry to determine who gets there first. Never mind that the boss doesn't have the necessary emotions or organs.
  • Spoiler Opening:
    • Opening 1 : The opening reveals Shalltear's hideous true form for a brief second during her dance with an umbrella, Shallter's crimson Valkyrie ultimate form, and that she battles Ainz in a duel. There's also a quick shot of Cocytus soloing the Lizardmen, which occurred only because the army he led got defeated by them. This last part doesn't even happen in season 1.
    • Opening 2 : Zig Zagged with the part where Momon fighting a masked Demiurge. As while it spoils a fight, it doesn't spoil the context (a set up, they're faking it).
  • The Strategist: Demiurge. While Albedo is commander of the Floor Guardians, Demiurge is their designated tactician and mastermind.
  • Starfish Language: Victim's dialogue is always very bizarre, and automatically translated in an oddly childish voice.
  • Stone Wall: Ainz's Death Knights are offensively weak (relatively, they are still strong enough to slaughter almost anything from the new world), but very tough on the defense. Because of their ability to taunt and to endure any attack with a Last Chance Hit Point, they are an invaluable summon for Ainz, who has high offensive power but lackluster defense.
  • Stupid Evil: Most of the Floor Guardians will default to just murdering everyone unless Ainz gives them very precise and unambiguous instructions not to. Apparently they aren't as capable of learning as he thinks because he makes it very clear that he wants to avoid unnecessary bloodshed, but they still cause massacres the moment he takes his eyes off of them. Even Sebas gets in on this in a way by picking a fight with the criminal underground of the kingdom and slaughtering even helpless surrendering mooks, though that's more Good Is Not Nice in his case.
  • Summon Magic:
    • Several groups can use YGGDRASIL derived Summon Magic or necromancy to the same effect. So far the Sunlight Scripture of the Slane Theocracy and Zuranon have done this. In the New World this type of magic is something of a Game-Breaker as the summons are vastly more powerful than New World inhabitants (whereas they are speed bumps for YGGDRASIL PCs) and more importantly, they can become persistent. This makes a dedicated necromancer like Ainz far more dangerous as he can create entire armies of undead.
    • Ainz entrusts a goblin-summoning horn to Carne villagers. Not only do these not fade away, they end up training the villagers in self-defense.
    • Ainz summons a bunch of evil clouds as heralds to announce his intention to wipe out the lizard villages. Then he has Shalltear destroy them in plain sight, to reinforce the impression that he's so powerful he can summon and destroy minions for such a petty purpose.
  • Supernatural Martial Arts: Martial Arts in the New World, which are basically self-buffs people can use without relying on magic. Includes skills for boosting agility, strength, defense, etc. Beings from Yggdrasil can't use them.
  • Sure, Let's Go with That: A lot of the humor in this series comes from the way people around Ainz interpret everything he says or does to be evidence of his status as The Chessmaster. Ainz, when he's not being oblivious to this, will encourage this to maintain his reputation (though he usually has Demiurge spell it out for the benefit of those who don't get it).
  • Take a Third Option: After Cocytus's failure to wipe out the Lizardmen, Ains tells him to slaughter them all. However, Cocytus is reluctant to do so, thinking that sparing them would let Ains summon them as undead later. However, Ains doesn't seem too interested in it. Demiurge then suggests that they basically make the Lizardmen swear fealty to Nazarick as a test case for them ruling over many lands and races later. Ains then changes his mind and goes with that idea (happy that Cocytus manifested an original idea), and instead has Cocytus fight their best warriors on his own for his earlier loss.
  • Take Over the World: After taking an off-hand comment too seriously, Demiurge leads the rest of Nazarick to conquer the New World for Ainz. Ainz spends a good chunk of the story completely unaware of this, but rolls with it when he finds out to avoid losing face.
  • Technical Virgin: Shalltear Bloodfallen. She's never slept with a male (saving herself for Momonga), but is Bi the Way and a massive sadist. Alluded to have taken the virginity of unfortunate victims and is especially active with violating her vampires brides to unimaginable degrees.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Sebas Tian and Demiurge are both loyal servants to Momonga, but they don't get along very well due to their radically different alignments. Sebas is one of the most Good Guardians, while Demiurge is probably the most Evil one. Albedo and Shalltear don't get along since they are both interested in Momonga.
  • Teleporters and Transporters: Teleportation magic isn't unheard of in the New World, but the highest tier teleportation magic most New-Worlders know of is the third-tier "Teleport" spell that can only transport the caster. Magic that can transport other people is considered the stuff of legends.
  • Terrifying Rescuer: Momonga is this when he first arrives to save Carne Village, finding out the hard way that everyone in the new world is terrified of the undead. The fact that he shows up as a giant skeleton, insta-kills an armored knight with magic then reanimates him as a towering undead monstrosity might have something to do with it...
  • Too Awesome to Use: The 20 most powerful World Items are deliberate Game Breakers, but as a tradeoff, they can only be used once.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Enri Emmot of Carne Village quite literally takes a few levels in badass. Specifically, she started out as a level 1 Farmer. By leading the Goblin troops, she has gained a few levels in commander classes. Now she's a level 1 Farmer, level 1 Sergeant, level 2 Commander, and level 2 General.
  • Training the Peaceful Villagers: After the attack on their village in the first volume, the residents of Carne Village take steps to protect themselves from any future assaults. When Momonga visits the village again in volume 2, Carne Village is almost unrecognizable. It's built more like a fortress town, and the villagers are training under the Goblin Troops Enri summoned with the Horn of the Goblin General that Momonga gave her in Volume 1. Enri herself literally took a few levels in badass commanding the Goblins.
  • Trauma Button: The people of Carne Village are all survivors of the Slane Theocracy's vicious attacks on their homes. In Volume 9, the forces under the Crown Prince launch fire arrows at a watchtower in an attempt to strong-arm Carne Village into submitting to the prince's demands. This has the opposite effect: seeing the tower burn before them triggers horrific memories of the attacks and enrages the villagers.
  • True Companions: Momonga saw his fellow guild members of Nazarick this way. He extends this feeling towards The Guardians, which are the creations of his fellow players. When he learned that he would have to fight Shalltear due to someone using a World Class item on her, he entered an Unstoppable Rage that even his undead body's ability to regulate emotions couldn't suppress.
  • Trying to Catch Me Fighting Dirty: In the fight between Ainz and Shalltear, it's all but stated that Ainz got an assist from Aura at the critical moment. Note that Ainz didn't ask for it, she just gave it because she didn't want to see what would have happened if he didn't get it. It's also probable that he would have won anyways.
  • Undead Laborers:
    • The Baharuth Empire has been running tests on the viability of using skeletons to tend to their fields to free up manpower for their military forces. Progress has been slowed by opposition from their religious leaders who denounce the idea of desecrating the dead this way, as well as the well justified fear that overuse will inevitably summon stronger, more dangerous, uncontrollable, and completely hostile undead. A rather hilarious and unnerving example appears in Volume 9, when Ainz uses a team of five Death Knights — legendary undead that are greatly feared in the New World with the power to wipe out entire kingdoms by themselves — as wait staff to Emperor Jircnirv and his escorts. The hapless guests can only stare as these imposing monsters prepare refreshments for them.
    • Ainz himself starts experimenting with golem and zombie farmers while he's still adventuring.
    • In the Pleiades skits, the Death Knight is still around, holding a tea platter and not contributing much to the conversation.
  • Underestimating Badassery: Most of the Kingdom's nobility are guilty of this in volume 9. They remain unduly confident and scornful in the face of Ainz's claim to E-Rantel and its lands. It doesn't occur to them that someone whom 1) the Baharuth Empire is willing to lend its support, 2) the Slane Theocracy (the most powerful human nation in the New World) doesn't want to antagonize, and 3) their strongest Warrior Gazef warns is too powerful to defeat isn't someone they want as their enemy. Marquis Raeven is just about the only one to take the warning seriously, and makes his plans by assuming Ainz is able to inflict 10,000 casualties during the battle, out of 250,000. Try 70,000 with a single spell, and a killcount at 180,000 by the end of the battle.
  • Undignified Death: One almost feels bad for Succulent, seeing as he was beaten by an opponent much younger than him, his illusions countered at every turn, after getting kneed in the balls by said (armor-wearing) opponent so hard another guy winced... while wearing a maid outfit. Almost.
  • Undying Loyalty:
    • The Guardians and NPCs of the Great Underground Tomb of Nazarick worship Momonga like a god, simultaneously, he feels very protective of them as their leader while trying to finding a happy middle ground between their Undying Loyalty and Blind Obedience to their perfect liege.
    • On the other hand, though, custom NPC's have shown that they are ultimately most loyal to the guild member responsible for their creation and would betray Ainz for them almost immediately if they ever had to make the choice. However, Ainz is not only aware of this fact, but approves of it since it shows how much the NPC's truly care for his friends and their legacies. The sole exception to this is Albedo. This is not a good thing. For anybody.
  • Unfulfilled Purpose Misery: : Nazarick's NPCs were originally designed by players for defensive purposes, able to follow simple commands and purely cosmetic backstories and personalities. Once brought to life in the New World, they believe their only purpose is to serve Ainz' every whim as the sole remaining Supreme Being (what they call their creators), and the fact that Ainz doesn't consider them as tools and playthings frustrates them to no end (he doesn't need to eat or sleep, and his attempts to give them salaries, days off or vacations fall flat). For his part, Ainz considers them his last link to his former guildmates and resolves to watch over them as if he'd been entrusted with their children, and finds their servile attitude disturbing.
  • Unholy Nuke:
    • The ultimate skill of the Eclipse class, and the main reason Momonga built his character to get the class in the first place, is "The Goal Of All Life Is Death", which temporarily removes the ability of anyone and anything to resist his One-Hit Kill spells (albeit it delays the effect of the spell for 12 seconds). This, combined with his "Cry Of The Banshee" spell boosted with "Widen Magic", creates a massive "Instant Death" Radius that kills everything in it — even things that shouldn't be able to die, like air.
    • Another example in Momonga's arsenal would be the spell "Ia Shub-Niggurath"; casting it kills 70,000 soldiers instantly. those deaths are merely a sacrifice to enact the spell's true purpose, to summon Dark Young. Momonga is extremely pleased to have managed to summon five at once, which is a new record.
  • Uniqueness Value: Ainz has a collector's mentality, and spares some enemies if they'll work for him and are unique enough, including a giant hamster and an overweight frost dragon.
  • Unskilled, but Strong:
    • Momonga is fully aware that his martial skills are pathetic compared to a true warrior like Gazef Stronoff. Even if he converted his caster levels to warrior levels, he'd still be half-assed compared to a real level 100 warrior. In his "Momon" disguise, he's still a super strong lich clad in nigh impenetrable armor who can swing two huge swords hard enough to slice through an ogre with a single stroke.
    • Volume 3 reveals all the denizens of Ainz Ooal Gown are like this. Their normal strategy is using a powerful attack, and if that doesn't work, just follow it up with a stronger attack. Momonga quickly takes notice of this after his battle with Shalltear, and takes steps for everyone to apply actual tactics and strategy when fighting.
  • Vader Breath: Cocytus regularly emits clouds of vapor when he talks.
  • Vampires Are Sex Gods: Shalltear plays this up as much as she can, given her loli appearance.
  • Vendor Trash: Lampshaded. Momonga gives Gazef Stronoff an item that Albedo decries as being incredibly valuable. In reality, Momonga makes a mental comment that it was just a junk drop from a 500 Yen gacha crate (although the ability to switch places with someone else is a valuable one that saves Gazef's life).
  • Villain Protagonist: Most of the point of view chacters are very, very bad people.
    • Momonga/Ainz, the main point of view character the story follows, finds himself transformed from a Japanese salaryman to the Evil Overlord of a tomb of vicious monsters, a role he increasingly embraces as the story goes on.
    • The majority of other sections in the story follow Ainz's subordinates in the Great Tomb of Nazarick, who aren't just faking their way into villainy, but are demons and monsters who find almost everyone other than Ainz and themselves less than insects.
    • Even sections following those other than Ainz's group show those characters to be monstrous in their own ways. For instance, the sections following the "Golden Princess" Renner reveal her to be a sociopath who thinks just as little of other humans as the denizens of Nazarick, including her beloved Climb, who she views as a pet rather than anything close to an equal.
  • Violently Protective Girlfriend:
    • Albedo is Momonga's girlfriend only in her own mind, but she fits this all the same. Her reaction when someone slightly hurt Momonga was something to behold. Shalltear also considers herself the master's romantic interest, though her role as the dungeon Wake-Up Call Boss as Guardian of Levels 1 thru 3 prevents her from having as much time standing by his side, something Albedo gleefully enjoys.
    • Renner for Climb as well. She's been killing pretty much any palace maid, who are generally the daughters of nobles trying to make connections with the royalty, who she perceives as having malign intentions against Climb.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: This was Shalltear's primary role in YGGDRASIL, as she's often regarded as at least the second most powerful NPC in the Great Underground Tomb of Nazarick and is Guardian of the first three layers of the dungeon. She becomes this for Ainz after her Artifact Domination betrayal, revealing there are things in the New World that can endanger level 100 characters.
  • We ARE Struggling Together:
    • The Re-Estize Kingdom is divided between the Noble Faction and the Royal Faction which are constantly vying for influence and power. This is despite the Baharuth Empire skirmishing with them every year. Its Lampshaded that the Baharuth Emperor is content to bleed out the Kingdom through these skirmishes while the Kingdom's factions duke it out rather than unite against him.
    • The Lizardmen are this as well. They are initially reluctant to rely on other tribes, until Ains declares he's going to wipe them out one at a time. Zaryusu then suggest they form an alliance so that they have a chance of winning, or at least dying together. While Crusch agrees, Zenberu's tribe won't commit until Zaryusu defeats him in a one on one match. Ultimately however, they agree to band together.
  • Welcome Back, Traitor: Shalltear Bloodfallen. Though it was largely due to Artifact Domination and something she greatly regrets, to the point where Ainz punishes her so she'll stop blaming herself.
  • Wham Line:
    • At the very end of the fourth episode of the second season, Crusch tells Zaryusu to impregnate her as a means of Someone to Remember Him By, knowing he's likely walking into his death by fighting Cocytus.
    • Solution calling Ainz to tell him Sebas might have betrayed them. Downplayed in that Ainz immediately questions if that's true.
  • World's Best Warrior:
    • Gazef Stronoff is widely considered the strongest warrior of the Re-estize Kingdom, so much so that he is its final trump card.
    • The Baharuth Empire has Fluder Paradyne, who is the World's Best Wizard... that is until Ainz showed up. Fluder can cast up to Tier 6 Magic, though it will leave him winded. Ainz can cast Tier 10 Magic (and above) and has a magic point pool that lets him spam those spells repeatedly.
    • The Baharuth Empire has the reigning Martial Lord who is the single strongest warrior in the realm, surpassing even the Four Knights of his own nation and rivally Gazef in sheer combat prowess.
    • The Holy Kingdom has the head of the Paladin Order, Remedios Custodio. She is strong enough to kill a summoned demon from Nazarick.
  • Worthless Yellow Rocks: Ainz thoughtlessly hands off two red healing potions to some local townspeople, unaware that such potions are completely unheard of in the New World (red being an almost-theoretical purest form of healing potion, while the New World could only manage lesser blue potions.) This act eventually allows Nfirea to connect the dots and figure out that, since the second potion was handed out by Momon, Momon is actually Ainz in disguise.
  • Worthy Opponent: The Lizardmen in Volume 4 to Cocytus. So much so that he begs Momonga to take them in as vassals rather than turn them into undead. When the Lizardmen's strongest warriors face Cocytus in Combat by Champion, he gives honest praise and respect for their efforts even though the vast difference in power makes his victory a Foregone Conclusion.
  • Yandere:
    • Princess Reneer is a sociopath who doesn't really care about other people. The one exception is her bodyguard and childhood friend Climb, who she wants to chain up in a dungeon forever as her own personal pet/ sex toy. It's implied that a lot of the good works she does are simply an act to make herself look better in his eyes.
    • Albedo and Shalltear are this for Momonga. The pair would happily fight to the death to win his affection if he desired it, and other Floor Guardians are careful to avoid saying things that could make them turn violent about it. However the fact that Momonga doesn't want them fighting over him (or even be the object of their lust), and it would take massive amounts of damage for one to kill the other, their rivalry is mostly Played for Laughs. There's also an interesting twist to the dynamic: it's explicitly stated that Shalltear and Albedo might be willing to share Momonga, and their aggression is determining who gets to be his wife and who gets to be his mistress... however neither wants to be second place.
  • You Bastard: The author delivers one to the light novel readers in no uncertain terms. During the web novel version of events portrayed in Volume 7 Arche survives, albeit as a sex slave of Shalltear. However her little sisters get taken into Nazarick and live under Ainz's protection. The author offered a poll to the readers on Arche's fate in the published light novel version. The readers voted to have her killed. So the author had her die horribly and her body dillied up like spoils to various creatures. One gets her head as an ornament, another gets her skin, Entoma gets her voice box and the rest of her goes into the larder. The fate of Arche's adorable younger sisters? Sold into slavery and subsequently die of overwork.
  • You Do Not Want To Know: Orcs captured by Jaldabaoth are so broken by the memories of their torture they refuse to tell Ainz what it was. It very likely involved having to kill and eat each others' children and long with being flayed alive and healed.
  • Younger Than They Look: Sebastian one of the guardians looks like an old man having white hair and a beard, but he was created by one of Ainz Ooal Gown’s guild member within a game that is inferred to be from the previous generation which couldn’t be more than at most 20 years ago.
  • Your Money Is No Good Here: YGGDRASIL currency isn't recognized in the New World, though it's still incredibly valuable since it's mostly pure gold. Ainz as "Momon" avoids using it since he doesn't want "Momon" to be associated with Nazarick yet. One of the reasons for the adventurer guise is to earn some New World currency.
  • Your Soul Is Mine: In the Web Novel, this is how the World Class Item "Avarice and Generous" works in the New World. Momonga was pretty shocked when he used it since in the Yggdrasil game it was simply a means of collecting a lot of experience at once. Witnesses were understandably terrified of the monster devouring the souls of the dead.
  • 0% Approval Rating: The nobles of Re-Estize Kingdom are headed towards this after the events of Light Novel Volume 6. They effectively abandoned the people of the capital and concentrated their efforts in reinforcing their own holdings. This endears them to the peasantry not at all.

Ple-Ple-Pleiades~! contains examples of:

  • Balloon Belly: Solution gets fatter after eating people but returns to her usual figure once she spits them out, in contrast with the mainstream stories where she can easily hold a large number of items in her body without changing proportions. She sets a new record of 10 people in episode 9.
  • Butt-Monkey: Clementine is the Pleiades' punching bag. Exact methods are thus:
  • Combining Mecha: A proposed upgrade for CZ. She agrees that combining and separation is a young girl's dream.
  • Covert Pervert: Cocytus, apparently. Go figure.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Each episode focuses on a different member of the Pleiades, aside from the first episode (the setup) and the last episode (the wrap-up).
  • Dancing Theme: Some of the later specials like the Hamsuke and Doppleganger episodes have the Pleiades do this in 8 bit form with a chiptune version of the usual ending theme.
  • Detachment Combat: Yuri throwing her head. She finds the whole thing deeply embarrassing.
  • Horrifying the Horror: Even Ainz's emotional limiters are no match for the Pleiades' attempts at singing. Cue Freak Out!.
  • Manchild: Cocytus bursts out crying at the smallest provocation.
  • Not Himself: The Total Maniac item has the effect of disabling Ainz's Emotion Suppression. The plot of the series has him thrust into a series of bizarre situations while trying to maintain his Evil Overlord facade.
  • Situational Sword: Conveniently, the Total Maniac has the power to ignore all racial restrictions when there are 8 of them in one place and an Undead, Demon, Dullahan, Werewolf, Doppelganger, Slime, Arachnoid, and Automaton are all in the vicinity. Ainz lampshades the absurdly specific circumstances.
  • Something Something Leonard Bernstein: Lupusregina's's attempt at singing the credits theme ("mumblemumblemumblesofuckinggrateful!").
  • The Unreveal: Entoma takes off her mask bug at Ainz's request, horrifying him, but the audience never sees her real face.
    • However, Entoma's true face is revealed in Season 2, Episode 11 of the anime, which has a spider-like appearance.

Alternative Title(s): Overlord 2012

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