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Manga / Haikyuu!!

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"Before my eyes, it blocks my path. A high, high wall. What sort of view is on the other side? What will I be able to see there?"
Shōyō Hinata

In junior high, Shōyō Hinata gained a sudden interest in volleyball due to seeing a match on television, which featured a star player nicknamed "The Little Giant", and yearned to follow in his footsteps to become a volleyball ace despite his short stature. Hinata starts his own volleyball club, which no one joins, and practices rigorously by himself. Eventually he convinces enough people to make up a rag-tag team consisting of a couple of members who haven't even played volleyball before just so he could compete in a tournament. His team is quickly annihilated by Tobio Kageyama - "King of the Court" - and his champion team. After suffering a miserable defeat, Hinata vows to defeat Kageyama and surpass him as a volleyball player.

Upon entering Karasuno High School - the school "The Little Giant" attended - Hinata learns that he's now on the same team as Kageyama. The two must learn to work together so they can restore Karasuno to its former greatness.


Haikyuu!! (meaning "Volleyball") is written and illustrated by Haruichi Furudate, and began serialization in Weekly Shōnen Jump in February 2012. An anime adaptation aired during the Spring 2014 Anime season for two cours produced by Production I.G, and has been licensed by Sentai Filmworks in America. The second season aired as part of the Fall 2015 Anime season, and the third season (subtitled "Karasuno High VS Shiratorizawa Academy") aired as part of the Fall 2016 season. The fourth season, subtitled "To the Top", begain airing January 2020 as split-cours, and the OVA "Land vs. Sky" was released in the same month; unlike the previous OVAs (which are anime original), this one contains manga content and adapts the Tokyo Preliminaries arc which star Nekoma and Fukurodani, taking place prior to Season 4. The series has also been adapted into a series stage plays in Japan since October 2015, called Hyper Projection Engeki Haikyuu!!.


Haikyuu!! also has two Gag Series spin-offs penned by other authors - Let's Haikyuu!!, a chibified yonkoma which parodies the original manga storyline, and Haikyuu-bu!!, which focuses on teams and characters other than the Karasuno boys' team.

Spoilers prior to Season 4 are unmarked.

Haikyuu!! provides examples of:

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  • Actually Pretty Funny:
    • On one occasion Daichi calls Asahi a dumbass. The tone he uses sounds similar to how Kageyama calls Hinata one, which amuses Asahi so much that he (along with Sugawara) asks Daichi to do it again.
    • Nohebi members trashtalk Lev in an attempt to rile him up, saying he's going to miss his spikes. Kenma (who scolded Lev for poor play earlier) fails to hide a chuckle, much to Lev's annoyance.
    • In Tsubakihara's Round 1 Nationals match, their pinch server is subbed into the first set. However, he's so nervous that he sends the ball flying into the ace Teradomari's head, much to everyone's shock. Despite having just lost the set thanks to this error, the captain Echigo can't contain his laughter because he finds it too hilarious.
    • Bokuto yells out mid-match, during a tense moment, that he's tired and that volleyball is tiring. Everyone around him is dumbfounded by this sudden Captain Obvious outburst. The captain of the opposing team, Kiryuu, can't help but let out a chuckle due to the ridiculousness, something he would usually never do during a game if the shocked reaction from his younger teammate is anything to go by.
  • Adaptation Induced Plothole:
    • At the Miyagi Spring High Preliminaries final, Karasuno's cheer squad solely consists of the Karasuno Neighbourhood Association (contrasting Shiratorizawa who boasts a mighty student cheer squad). Since no one from their school watches it, Hinata's classmates assume he's just a benchwarmer who does chores, not believing him when he says he's actually a regular on the team. This scene makes less sense in the anime adaptation where the vice-principal organises a Karasuno student cheer squad the very last minute to bring to the match, meaning students would have seen Hinata in action.
    • The stage plays omit Narita due to constraint issues. This creates a problem in the adaptation of the Shiratorizawa match when Tsukishima needs to get medical attention and is temporarily taken out of the game. In the original, Narita is the one to sub in for him since he's a middle blocker and so usually replaces Hinata or Tsukishima; in this adaptation, Ennoshita is used despite not being the right position (wing spiker) with no proper explanation given.
  • Adapted Out: Multiple characters are not present in Hyper Projection Engeki Haikyuu!! plays due to budget and time constraints. Often their parts are given to other characters in the play, for example Shimizu's lines getting delegated to the third-years and Ennoshita in the first play. Some characters get added in later installments, for example Shimizu and Kinoshita.
  • Animal Motifs: Volleyball teams are symbolised by animals so often that it could be considered a signature of the series. Some characters in those teams even have their own distinct animal motifs.
    • Crows for Karasuno. The Karasuno players are compared to crows several times:
      • The fact that like small birds breaking the egg's shell and learning to fly, they're continuously trying to evolve.
      • They eventually learn how to unify the team's strengths like a color blend that achieves pure black (black, naturally, being the color of crows).
      • Crows are omnivorous, which relates to the team's hunger for victory and evolution.
    • Cats for Nekoma. In their very introduction, Ukai compares them to cats due to their flexibility (in the context, their power of defense). They also have other similar motifs inside their own team, with the "Inu" in Inuoka meaning "dog", fitting to his role as Hinata's 'chaser' during the practice match against Nekoma, and Lev meaning "lion" in Russian, owing to his large build and seeing himself as Nekoma's ace.
    • Owls for Fukurodani. Bokuto in particular greatly resembles the animal thanks to his spiky hairstyle.
    • The 'shiratori' kanji in 'Shiratorizawa' means 'swan'. Interestingly enough, Ushijima is shown symbolically with an eagle instead.
    • Snakes for Nohebi, which comprises rather unpleasant players that sneakily rely on cheap tactics to win points.
    • Foxes for Inarizaki. Inari is the Japanese god of foxes, and most of the members are named after different species of foxes.
    • Seagulls for Kamomedai, with the ace Hoshiumi strongly resembling one.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Yamaguchi, of all people, dramatically delivers a question to Tsukishima in Chapter 88 which stuns him.
    Yamaguchi: Motivation? WHAT MORE DO YOU NEED THAN PRIDE?!
  • Art Shift:
    • The manga and anime can go from Super-Deformed drawings (often for comedic effect) to amazingly stunning artwork (especially in epic or emotional scenes) in one page or second.
    • During Kyoutani's first play against Karasuno in the anime, the art style shifts into a highly frenetic, heavily-inked style more reminiscent of Street Fighter than the rest of the series.
      • Powerful attacks are drawn this way as well, such as Asahi's spike against Date Tech, Oikawa's serves (particularly the ones that emphasize force), and Ushijima's spikes.
  • Art-Shifted Sequel: Season 4 of the anime adaptation marks the debut of the new art style. While Seasons 1-3 of the anime matches the initial manga design, it does not reflect the gradual art-shift the manga underwent; and so by Season 3 the anime had some stylistic differences compared to the manga chapters it was adapting (such as the slightly different hair and eyes and the toned down muscles). The Season 4 designs follows the later manga art more closely.
  • Backstory: You can bet that every character who says at least a few lines has got some sort of backstory, whether it be the main characters or players from a team that has only appeared for three chapters.
  • Bait-and-Switch: The Johzenji team attempt to imitate Karasuno’s synchronized attack after seeing it just once, surprising everyone. The build-up hints that a really badass moment is coming… and they just fail spectacularly, much to Karasuno's confusion (and Johzenji's coach and manager's embarrassment).
  • Birds of a Feather: You can count on the more like-minded players to get along, whether they're from the same or opposing teams. This includes the hot-blooded Tanaka, Nishinoya and Yamamoto (who all also bond over their admiration for Shimizu) and the fellow boisterous shorties Hinata and Nishinoya.
  • Blank White Eyes: A comedic staple, often used to express extreme emotion such as anger or shock.
  • Book Dumb: Tanaka, Hinata, Kageyama, and Nishinoya are talented regulars of the Karasuno volleyball club, which contrast with their terrible school grades. They're forced to amp up their studying when they find out the supplementary exam period clashes with their first trip to the practice games in Tokyo – while Tanaka and Nishinoya scrape by, Kageyama and Hinata fail one exam each (although Hinata would have passed it if he hadn't accidentally missed a line on the answer sheet) and miss part of the trip in order to retake the exams.
  • Book-Ends: One of the first things Hinata does with Kageyama when applying for the volleyball club is attempting to receive his serves at the gym. A flashback of their third year, on the day of their graduation (and so at the end of their high school journey), shows him and Kageyama doing the same thing—only this time, Hinata is able to receive it perfectly.
  • Boring, but Practical: Although flashy moves are often in play for epic effect (especially by Karasuno which boasts the freak quick attack), many mundane techniques are also effectively used in matches. In particular, it's emphasised that no matter how good or ridiculous one's attacks are, receives should also take importance as they can render even the most crazy of attacks useless.
  • Brick Joke:
    • Washijo grumbles that he'll make his team do a hundred serves later when Ushijima misses a serve during the Shiratorizawa vs Karasuno match. After the match, Washijo has a Pet the Dog moment with his team by telling them to get on the bus (instead of running back like he threatened them to), before adding that they still have to do a hundred serves.
    • At the Tokyo summer training camp, when Tsukishima tries to ask some of the Tokyo upperclassmen why they're so passionate about volleyball, Kuroo and Bokuto go offtrack when they start discussing how tada no bukatsu ("just a club") sounds like a name (Tada Nobukatsu, in Japanese naming order). When Karasuno and Nekoma play each other at Nationals, Kuroo teasingly addresses Tsukishima as "Nobukatsu-kun" while trying to give him advice.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Calling out one's attacks is occasionally parodied by players during comical moments, and it's also sometimes downplayed when players mentally yell out the name of their techniques during a match (as saying it out loud is naturally not practical).
  • Cast Full of Pretty Boys: Although only Oikawa is explicitly stated to be attractive, the character designs of most guys are generally easy on the eyes and strongly outnumber the female cast (justified as this series focuses on boys' volleyball).
  • Cast Herd: This being a sports story, characters are sorted with the team they're affiliated with.
  • Cast of Snowflakes: Every single player on a team gets a name and has very distinct features. A lot of detail is put into the spectators too. This is more obvious in the anime.
  • Childhood Friends: There's often at least one close pair of players in each team who have been friends with each other since childhood. This can have a positive effect on how well they work together on the court; this is why spectators regularly mistake Hinata and Kageyama to be longtime friends when they've actually only known each other since their match in junior high, considering how fluidly they play together.
  • Combat Commentator: Match commentary is often provided to the audience by benched players, coaches, or veterans like Shimada, Takinoue and Akiteru.
  • Continuity Nod: At one point when we first meet Lev, he apologizes to Kenma for being so forward and demanding when he calls for the ball, and Kenma tells him that he doesn't need to be so formal about it. Later on, in one of the national qualifier matches, Lev yells for Kenma to "Give it here – please and thank you!" and Kenma thinks to himself that he keeps telling him not to be so polite.
  • Cross-Referenced Titles: Chapters are sometimes named "[previous chapter title] 2" whenever they're meant to reference those aforementioned chapters in some way:
    • Chapter 357 is called "Guide Part 2", referencing Chapter 298. Both chapters have Tsukishima and Yamaguchi successfully carrying out their serve and block tactic, gaining momentum and also showing off their friendship. This tactic is what helps win Karasuno the second set in Chapter 357.
    • Chapter 361 is titled "The View From the Top Part 2", which references Chapter 8. Both chapters have Hinata spiking over a wall of blockers; Chapter 8 is the first time he and Kageyama do their freak quick, whereas Chapter 361 has the two pulling off an even more absurd quick attack at Nationals.
    • Chapter 365 is "Endings and Beginnings Part 2", referencing Chapter 1. Much like Chapter 1, Chapter 365 has Kageyama "beating" Hinata by standing on court the longest (Hinata is forced to retire from the match due to illness).
  • Crowd Chant: The more established teams tend to have set team chants at matches.
    • Date Tech High School's team chant, which is lampshaded to be rather catchy:
      Date Tech crowd: GO GO LET'S GO LET'S GO DATEKOU
    • One of the teams at nationals, Inarizaki, even uses this to their advantage. They know that they're a popular team with a wildly large crowd following and school cheer squad, so their cheer squad has specific cheers designed to destabilize the other team while they're serving or trying to make snap judgements. The stadium gets noticeably quieter and more positive when Inarizaki is serving, and the crowd goes as far as to boo players on the other team who made a good save or scored a point. It's a stunningly effective demoralizer.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • Prior to the Spring High preliminaries final, any high school volleyball team in the Miyagi prefecture are usually on the receiving end of brutal scorelines when faced against the powerful Shiratorizawa Academy. One of Shiratorizawa's qualifying sets ended 25-6 in their favour.
    • Hinata’s first match against Kageyama went poorly, with their scores not even surpassing 10 points. Hinata’s team was composed mostly of amateurs, while Kageyama’s team was the championship favorite.
    • Karasuno's match against Date Tech prior to the story was so one-sided that even Asahi, the ace, couldn't fight against their height.
    • Karasuno's performance at the Tokyo summer training camp is a lot less impressive than usual, since they've only just started to learn their new techniques. Their end results? 70 losses, 4 wins.
  • Cute Sports Club Manager: Attractive amicable female students acting as the manager are very prevalent amongst the boys' volleyball teams, including Karasuno and the other teams at the Tokyo training camp. The boys often have crushes or soft spots for them, and teams without female managers usually bemoan their lack of this trope. Although played straight, the focus and development of Karasuno's managers remind the audience that their jobs genuinely are important: Shimizu takes her duties very seriously which is what spurs her to look for a successor, and one of the first things Yachi does as manager is to make a poster advertising Karasuno to (successfully!) raise funds for their trips.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: A Discussed Trope in the series when it comes to receiving left-handed spikes; their rotation is opposite that of a right-hander's spike, and makes them more difficult to receive properly because the receiver will be used to a right-handed spiker's rotation. Even Nishinoya, the best receiver in the series, needs time to adjust to it.
  • Dark Horse Victory: The unexpected result of the Spring High preliminaries in Miyagi. No one sees Karasuno coming since everyone's focused on powerhouses like Shiratorizawa and Aoba Johsai (who Karasuno previously lost to at Interhigh). When Karasuno defeats Aoba Johsai, the TV news focuses on Aoba Johsai's loss and laments how they wouldn't be participating in the finals. When Karasuno wins in the finals, the audience is completely stunned since Shiratorizawa were the expected victors.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Due to the large casts, many characters other than the main duo Kageyama and Hinata get some attention and development at some point, especially the other members of Karasuno and the star players of their rival teams. Every team they play against generally gets to have perspective shots and flashbacks to when they were practising and stating their own goals, which usually are very similar to Karasuno's own. In particular, the main focus often shifts to Nekoma and Fukurodani later on whenever the story takes a break from Karasuno's side:
    • The first OVA, The Arrival of Haiba Lev, mainly shows the Nekoma team back in Tokyo and the difficulty in training Lev.
    • After the conclusion of the Spring High Preliminaries in Miyagi, Chapters 190 to 206 (adapted as an OVA which acts as a prequel to Season 4) shifts the attention to the Tokyo preliminaries which is where Nekoma and Fukurodani are competing. The arc focuses on two matches — Nekoma vs. Fukurodani, and Nekoma vs. Nohebi. Character development and backstories of a few Nekoma members are shown at this point.
    • Throughout Nationals, the series breaks away from Karasuno's matches to dedicate a couple of chapters to Nekoma's Round 2 match and Fukurodani's Round 1 and quarterfinal matches (which includes backstories for Bokuto and Akaashi).
  • The Day the Music Lied: When Takeda is talking about next month's Tokyo training camp Karasuno's been invited to, the background music is excited and upbeat... then he mentions that finals are going to be next month too, meaning anyone who fails has to retake the exams which is the same time as the camp. Cue the music stopping and the four idiots (Kageyama, Hinata, Tanaka and Nishinoya) going Blue with Shock, Blank White Eyes and Color Failure.
    Yamaguchi: Kageyama's not breathing!
  • Delayed Reaction: During the Miyagi training camp, Tsukishima asks Hinata to come with him. It takes a few seconds for Hinata to realize what he said and give him a shocked look, since Tsukishima usually goes out of his way to avoid him.
  • Description Cut:
    • When overwhelmed by Shiratorizawa's cheer squad (or underwhelmed by Karasuno's cheer squad in the anime), Shimada and Takinoue reassure themselves that the Karasuno members are surely keeping themselves together. The next scenes have 1) Kageyama gushing about being on centre court, 2) Yamaguchi and Asahi asking Yachi for stomach medicine, 3) Hinata wanting to go to the bathroom (again), 4) Tanaka and Nishinoya geting fired up over cheerleaders, 5) Daichi telling Tanaka and Nishinoya to shut up, and 6) Takeda telling everyone to calm down while being anything but calm himself.
    • In the manga, during a flashback of one of the training camps, Hinata gushes over Bokuto's t-shirt he got from Nationals which describes the three rules of being an ace (he must inspire his teammates, break all walls, and hit every ball decisively). Right after the flashback ends, the ever-so-reliable Bokuto (with a pained look on his face) asks his team mid-match, "How do I normally hit cross court shots again?"
  • Desperate Object Catch: Desperate diving saves are common during the climaxes of matches. One particularly notable example is during Karasuno's Interhigh match against Aoba Johsai — Hinata's spike gets blocked and three people try to save the ball as it does a Dramatic Drop, but all of them fail.
  • Dope Slap:
    • Iwaizumi comically whacks Oikawa often, and threatens him with it just as frequently.
    • Kageyama tends to grab people's head and squeeze them in annoyance, with Hinata (unsurprisingly) the most common target.
  • Down to the Last Play:
    • Karasuno's Interhigh match against Aoba Johsai goes to the maximum three sets, with the final set score going into the thirties.
    • Taken Up to Eleven during Karasuno's Spring High preliminary final against Shiratorizawa. The match goes to a full five sets, and Karasuno has to fight through deuces for every set they win. Even the final set, which only needs to be won in 15 points minimum, ends up being a final score of 21-19 in Karasuno's favour.
  • Dub Name Change: Downplayed. Aoba Johsai's nickname "Seijoh" is changed to its literal English translation, Blue Castle, in the official English manga release and English dub.
  • Ear Worm: Date Tech's cheer squad chant is noted In-Universe to be very catchy.
  • Everyone Went to School Together:
    • The Little Giant, Tanaka’s older sister Saeko and Tsukishima’s older brother Akiteru all attended Karasuno at the same time, with Akiteru being a year older. However, only Akiteru and the Small Giant were acquainted with each other at the time thanks to being club members. Saeko had personally encountered the Small Giant just once during one of his practices; and she only knew Akiteru by his surname which she remembers when finding out (Kei) Tsukishima is on the current Karasuno team, and she doesn't seem to recognise him when she catches him at the Shiratorizawa match.
    • Ukai, Shimada, and Takinoue were teammates on the Karasuno volleyball team. They maintain their friendships through adulthood and play on the neighbourhood association team together. Their connections end up being important for Karasuno, as Shimada and Takinoue often support the team in their practice and official matches and Shimada in particular mentoring Yamaguchi.
  • Excited Show Title!: Haikyuu!!
  • Extremely Short Timespan: Many chapters/episodes are often dedicated to a single match or tournament. For example, the Shiratorizawa match takes up about 40 chapters of the manga (nearly a year's worth of weekly serialisation); even as a Compressed Adaptation in the anime, it lasts all ten episodes of Season 3. As for the Nationals arc, Karasuno is knocked out on Day 3 in their fourth match; the tournament is covered in almost 140 chapters, totalling nearly three years of serialisation.
  • Eye Catch:
    • In Seasons 1-3 different eyecatches are rotated around each episode, and consist of players attempting to hit the drink bottle on the other side of the net with the ball with various results and reactions (such as Kageyama succeeding and getting excited about it, and Hinata failing to even get the ball over the net with Tsukishima and Yamaguchi snickering beside him).
    • Season 4 adopts a new eyecatch and mainly has a chibi Hinata-crow flying up or down, varying each episode. Eyecatches of the chibified animal forms of Kenma/Kuroo and Bokuto/Akaashi as cats and owls, respectively, are also used when the characters in question star in the episode.

  • Flashback Within a Flashback: In Chapter 372, which takes place a year into Hinata's arrival in Brazil, Oikawa recounted the time he met a Argentinean player as a child and went to him for advice during high school.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Being forced to work together as teammates is what causes Hinata and Kageyama to become friendly with each other.
  • Flipping the Bird: Tanaka is a regular offender of flipping the middle finger to intimidate or provoke others.
  • Flung Clothing: Jackets are sometimes thrown off right before a match for dramatic effect. Played for Laughs with Bokuto, who's shown twice flinging off his jacket to make his epic entrance to the court... followed by Akaashi scrambling to retrieve it.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
    • In Season 1 Episode 5, a closeup of the idol poster in the locker room is shown. If paused, one can read the little labels assigned to each girl — these labels reveal the, erm, preferences of the the second and third years (barring Asahi and Nishinoya who have not appeared yet).
    • Season 4's first opening has a few blink-and-miss-it details:
      • During the shot of Nishinoya receiving a ball at Nationals, the scoreline of Karasuno vs Tsubakihara can be seen in the background.
      • During the quick pan-shot of all the Nationals teams lined up with their signs, the captains of the Tokyo representatives (Kuroo, Bokuto and Itachiyama's captain) can be seen if paused at the right time.
  • Friendly Rivalry: No matter how fierce the official or practice matches can be, teams often good alliances with one another especially if in the same region. In particular is the Fukurodani Academy Group's training camp (Fukurodani, Nekoma, Shinzen, Ubugawa, and later Karasuno); outside of official and practice matches, they enjoy training with each other and don't hesitate to mingle or give advice.
  • Foreshadowing: Events are often hinted at, sometimes well over a hundred chapters before it happens.
    • When Tsubakihara's pinch server lands his first successful serve at Nationals, Kenma watches the match with a perplexed expression. When Nekoma plays Karasuno, Teshiro is subbed in as a pinch server and he uses the ceiling serve — an uncommon serve that happens to be the exact same one Tsubakihara used. Seeing this serve again annoys the Karasuno group, and Kenma notes that Teshiro's serve would have had a bigger impact if Tsubakihara hadn't already used it.
    • Tsukishima requests Hinata to help him with his blocks during the Miyagi First Year Training Camp. At Nationals, it's shown in a flashback that he had Hinata specifically help him recognise block-outs; this becomes crucial for Karasuno winning the second set against Kamomedai, with Tsukishima baiting Hoshiumi into doing a blockout and then moving his hand to let the ball go out of bounds at set point.
    • Atsumu Miya promises to toss to Hinata one day. He fulfils this promise a whopping six years later in-series when Hinata joins the MSBY Black Jackals, a V-League team that Atsumu plays setter for. The very first point of their match with the Schweiden Adlers ends with Hinata scoring a point from Atsumu's set, and their next attack together is their own version of the freak quick.
    • Hoshiumi tells Hinata he will wait for him, after the latter falls sick and has to put a stop to their Little Giant clash at Nationals. Cue Chapter 378 where MSBY Black Jackal and Schweiden Adlers are due to play each other — and both are Hinata's and Hoshiumi's teams, respectively.
  • Forgotten First Meeting: In the stage play adaptation, Hinata first encountered Nakashima after they both saw the Little Giant play at Nationals on TV. Hinata vaguely recognises him when they run into each other again in the present day but never figures out why.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: The first year players of Karasuno:
    • Hinata is Sanguine, as he is a hyperactive and optimistic guy who's passionate about volleyball and communicates very well with others.
    • Kageyama is Choleric, as he's a perfectionist who takes volleyball very seriously and can be bossy.
    • Tsukishima Melancholic, as he has an analytical approach to volleyball and is very aloof and unpleasant at times.
    • Yamaguchi is Phlegmatic, as he's a timid and gentle boy who lacks confidence early in the story.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
    • In Season 1 Episode 5, a closeup of the idol poster in the locker room is shown. If paused, one can read the little labels assigned to each girl — these labels reveal the, erm, preferences of the the second and third year members (barring Asahi and Nishinoya who have been absent from club activities at this point).
    • Season 4's first opening has a few bonuses:
      • During the shot of Nishinoya receiving a ball at Nationals, the scoreline of Karasuno vs Tsubakihara can be seen in the background.
      • During the quick pan-shot of all the Nationals teams lined up with their signs, the captains of the Tokyo representatives (Kuroo, Bokuto and Itachiyama's captain) can be seen if paused at the right time.
  • Funny Background Event: While Sawamura gives a speech at a school assembly with the other members behind him, Tanaka can be seen throwing in a sneaky peace sign... only to be slapped on the hand by Sugawara, who doesn't even have to look to know what he's doing.
  • Gainaxing: Being one of most endowed out of all the women in the series, Saeko's cleavage often defies physics when she moves, especially when she's cheering for the team in the anime (which at one point it gives Yachi A-Cup Angst). Notable, as this is a series that generally doesn't do fan service.
  • Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: Iwaizumi had to slap some sense into Oikawa during junior high school, after the latter lost it and tried to hit a younger Kageyama (who had only asked for guidance) out of resentment for having lost to Shiratorizawa.
  • Gotta Pass the Class: If a member of the volleyball team fails their exams, they can't attend the summer training camp in Tokyo as they have to do supplementary classes, so the more Book Dumb members of the team scramble to get tutored in time. In the end, despite Tsukishima's and Yachi's efforts, Hinata and Kageyama flunk their finals and hitch a ride with Tanaka's sister, eventually arriving at the camp late.
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language: Having now lived in Brazil for about a year, post-Time Skip Hinata is occasionally seen communicating in Portuguese with the residents there. Since he still has his heavy Japanese accent, the pronunciation doesn't come out completely right (eg. acoruda instead of acorda (wake up), voce atorazara instead of voce atrazara (you'll be late). Portuguese is frequently included throughout the Brazil arc, although not always accurately.
  • Groin Attack: Non-intentional. At the Miyagi training camp, Hinata doesn't pay attention and receives a spiked ball from Kindaichi... right in his own. All boys present share his agony.
  • Hair-Contrast Duo: Contrasting hair colours are often used to compare several pairs of characters.
    • Vibrant, Hot-Blooded Hinata's personality matches his bright orange hair, and contrasts with the dark-haired, aloof, and collected Kageyama. Together, their hair colors are orange and black, which are Karasuno's official team colors. When they're paired with Tsukishima (Karasuno's other first-year starter) or Yachi (their second manager, whom they befriend) it becomes Blonde, Brunette, Redhead.
    • Karasuno's managers. Quiet and composed Shimizu has dark hair while friendly and neurotic Yachi has blond hair.
    • Team Mom Sugawara has blonde/ash gray hair and is the vice-captain to the Team Dad and captain Daichi who has dark hair.
    • Takeda (dark-haired) and Ukai (yellow-haired) are a Sensitive Guy and Manly Man duo.
    • Kenma's hair is naturally dark, but it's dyed blonde, which helps highlight his shy introverted nature versus the dark-haired Kuroo's cooler, confident, more extroverted personality.
    • Energetic Manchild ace spiker Bokuto has white-gray hair with dark streaks, contrasting his quiet deadpan setter Akaashi's dark hair.
  • Hard Work Hardly Works: Player's skills and results coming down to hard work vs natural talent is a frequently discussed trope in the series, with those doing hard work sometimes falling short of the naturally talented. However even the ones with natural talent are still made put in some effort into the training to improve themselves.
  • Hate Sink: Nohebi Academy. In a series where almost every opposing team is treated as sympathetic and honorable, they stick out for having a Smug Snake as a captain and using dirty tactics like provoking their opponents with trash talk, deliberately obscuring the view of the flag referee, and sucking up to the net referee so that when they do make a foul it's overlooked. Considering that their match is a direct follow-up to the Nekoma vs. Fukurodani match, between two teams of lovable rivals, it makes quite a contrast.
  • Height Angst: Smaller players such as Hinata tend to angst a bit about their height. Justified as volleyball is a sport where height is advantageous, and it's extremely difficult to face off against players who are 6+ feet when you're below 5'8" or so. The libero is the one position where being small isn't a disadvantage, so players like Nishinoya aren't as fazed (although he is shown to be annoyed when Hinata points out his short height).
  • Hot-Blooded: Multiple characters are over-enthusiastic especially in anything related to volleyball, which often annoys their teammates to no end.
    Tsukishima: (referring to Hinata and Kageyama) Uselessly Hot-Blooded people irritate me...
  • Huddle Shot: A shot of any team huddling together is a prerequisite before matches.
  • Hypocritical Humour:
    • In the first OVA Yaku calls Hinata "shrimpy", despite not being that taller than him. Just don't point that out to him though, as Lev learned the hard way.
    • Tanaka calls Ohgi Minami a "team full of punks", which Sugawara notes is quite ironic coming from him.
    • A minor example. Oikawa keeps calling Tsukishima megane ("Glasses", "Four-eyes", "Bestacles") during the game against Shiratorizawa, while he himself is wearing glasses at that exact moment.
    • While waiting for the opening ceremony for Nationals to begin in the manga, Kuroo and Daichi tease each other for being too nervous, both while sweat-dropping and looking awfully anxious themselves.
    • During the Fukurodani vs Nekoma match at the Tokyo Prefectural Qualifiers, Kenma directs his team to target Akaashi with serves and receives to try and keep him in check. Later, whilst watching Fukurodani vs Mujinazaka during Nationals, he expresses disgust at Usuri for adopting a similar strategy.
    • Chapter 14 of Haikyuu-bu!! has the Miya brothers complain about their individuality not being recognised by others. When they swap bodies with each other, they're willing to go along with Suna's plan to just flip their hairstyles because it's too troublesome to fix the situation and nothing's really changed anyway (prompting Aran to point out the hypocrisy).
  • I Can Still Fight!: Defied most of the time. Injuries naturally come up and players will try to convince their teams they can play on; however Reality Ensues, and the injured players get taken out for at least part of the match since they're in no shape to continue and need to prioritise their health.
  • Idiot Crows: Crows appear in the anime after Hinata and Kageyama realize that they've run too far and have no idea where they are, crying "Aho! Aho!" and flying away, leaving them all alone. This is a Stealth Pun for some of the dumber members of Karasuno.
  • In-Series Nickname: Some schools are better known by shortened versions of their names, which usually come up in their school cheers:
    • Aoba Johsai → Seijohnote 
    • Date Tech (Date Kougyou) → Datekou
    • Wakutani South (Wakutani Minami) → Wakunannote 
    • Inarizaki High (Inarizaki Koukou) → Inakou
  • Insult to Rocks: Ubugawa High's captain Gora (who has thick lips) and Shinzen High's captain Ogano (who has curly hair) call each other Fish Lips and Broccoli Head during one of their Tokyo camp practice matches. Kuroo snarks at them to stop being offensive to food.
  • Interchangeable Asian Cultures: In a flashback of Hinata's first year in Brazil, a few locals mockingly called Oikawa Jackie Chan while inviting them for a match, having assumed they're Chinese. Oikawa corrected them, saying to call himself and Hinata Ken Watanabe instead.
  • Irony:
    • In the practice match against Aoba Johsai, Oikawa points out that Karasuno is still very inexperienced at receives, and repeatedly aims for their weakest receivers (Tsukishima and Hinata). In their Spring High preliminaries match, Aoba Johsai loses their decisive and last point thanks to an unsuccessful receive, and from Oikawa, no less (although it is pointed out that if Aoba Johsai's block hadn't touched the ball and changed its course, he probably would have received it pretty well).
    • Ushijima makes it clear he disapproves of Kageyama as a setter and doesn't consider him worthy of being a part of Shiratorizawa (a school he had tried to apply for). Several years later, when Kageyama is at the locker room and sees the selfie of Hinata and Oikawa, who does he show it to? His V-League teammate... Ushijima.
  • Ironic Echo:
    • Kageyama delivers one to Oikawa on Chapter 49 (Episode 19 in Season 1). After the latter scores by delivering a dump shot (in volleyball terms, a bold surprise attack executed by the setter), he tells the Karasuno players to "pay attention, because I'll be doing the same thing next time". Not long after, Kageyama also scores with a dump shot and repeats the exact same line to Oikawa.
    • Tsukishima gives one to Tendou after the latter calls him "the ordinary one". Tendou tries a one-man time differential against him (a move that previously fooled Hinata), but Tsukishima smacks it down with minimal effort.
      Tsukishima: Hello. I'm the ordinary one. A one-man time differential may be able to fool our team's resident wild child, but it won't have any effect on me, so please go right ahead.
  • It Is Pronounced "Tro-PAY": For unspecified reasons, the English dub pronounces Date Tech differently by saying the English word "date" instead of the Japanese date (伊達, meaning "elegant/showing off") which is pronounced as "dah-teh".
  • Large Ham: With the boys' volleyball teams often being rather colorful in personality, it's not unusual to have at least one member who acts over-the-top in everything they do. This varies from Nishinoya and Tanaka from Karasuno to Bokuto of Fukurodani.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: A rather sad example. After losing to Karasuno in the Interhigh preliminaries, Ikejiri comments that if they were in a work of fiction, those that won and go on to nationals would be the protagonists, and those who lost and had their season cut short were just the extras. Even if it does miss a little after Karasuno lost in the first tournament, it's a little heartbreaking.
  • Light/Darkness Juxtaposition: Hinatanote  and Kageyamanote  have this in their names to drive home just how different they are. This also reflects in their appearances and personalities, since Hinata is a cheerful redhead and Kageyama is an aloof guy with black hair.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: The author will name every player from every team that shows up with very rare exceptions, even if Karasuno only plays against them once (though sometimes they come back). They all have generally distinct faces and backstories which makes it easy to remember them.

  • Manly Tears: It's not unusual for the losing boys' volleyball team (or even the winning team, if the victory means a lot) to tear up after the match.
    • After the painful loss to Aoba Johsai at the Interhigh preliminaries, Ukai shouts the Karasuno team out for a meal. While eating, most of the team goes on a conjunct silent crying.
    • Oikawa and Iwaizumi shed bittersweet tears at the end of their middle school lives where they narrowly lost to Shiratorizawa, while swearing to defeat them in high school.
    • Karasuno's third years all hug each other and tear up after just beating Shiratorizawa, realizing they are finally going to Nationals in their final attempt.
  • Martial Arts Headband:
    • Shimada, Takinoue and their cheer squad are fond of wearing red hachimaki headbands that say "certain victory Karasuno" to Karasuno's matches, along with happi coats to complete the traditional cheerleading look.
    • The members of the Tsubakihara team wear yellow hachimaki headbands when they play at Nationals. The headbands also has their school name written on them, but this detail is ommited in the anime adaptation.
  • Meaningful Name: Characters' names often have some significant and relevance, whether it be Theme Naming or to highlight certain characters being Foils to one another.
  • Miracle Rally: A team having to come back from a one-set deficit to win a match comes up now and then, especially if saving match points are involved. Karasuno's victory against Shiratorizawa is one such example; originally down two sets to one, they have to fight off multiple match points in both Sets 4 and 5 thanks to some miraculous play.
  • Mr. Exposition: Since the average reader/viewer isn't expected to be that knowledgeable about volleyball, multiple characters' main roles (often as Combat Commentators) are to talk about various rules and techniques to someone else, usually to The Watson. For example, whenever he's not coaching, Ukai will often explain things to Takeda early in the series since he doesn't know much about the sport yet, and Shimada and Takinoue's constant presence in Karasuno's matches usually brings a lot of commentary which is handy for the ignorant like Saeko.
  • Night and Day Duo: This motif is present in the contrast between Karasuno's two first-year middle blockers, Hinata note , who is friendly, vibrant, and warm, and Tsukishimanote , who is cold, aloof, and distant. Tsukishima is the core of Karasuno's defense, an area where Hinata is lacking, but Hinata excels in stamina and is the core of their offense, the only places where Tsukishima is pretty much just passable. Hinata also syncs up with Kageyama almost instantly, and Kageyama has to make the most of his athletic ability, while Kageyama, when paired up with Tsukishima, starts deliberately setting too high because he's positive that Tsukishima isn't making the most of his jumps and he feels he needs to draw it out of him. It's acknowledged in-series.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Romero, a famous Brazilian player who plays alongside Kageyama with the Schweiden Adlers after the Time Skip, bears a strong physical resemblance to real-life Brazilian volleyball star Gilberto Godoy Filho aka Giba, who is acknowledged as one of the best male players in the world. The character in question receives similar treatment and admiration in-series.
  • Odd Friendship: Many characters befriend those with opposing personalities, ranging from Hinata and Kenma to Bokuto and Akaashi. This puts more fun in their interactions which highlight their differences and makes their good friendships all the more nicer.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome:
    • Although the series doesn't cover it, narration reveals that Hinata's second year in the Time Skip Date Tech finally makes it to the Nationals stage for the first time in 11 years at Summer Interhigh, and do it by beating Karasuno (fresh off their Spring High run) no less.
    • Similarly, narration reveals that during the Time Skip Karasuno successfully makes it to Spring High in Hinata's second and third years, too. While they don't win either of those times, it shows that their run in first year was not a fluke and they've truly regained their status as a powerhouse school; the opponents they do lose to are Inarizaki and Itachiyama who are strong opponents to begin with, and with the loss to Itachiyama they place third at Nationals overall which is impressive.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Hinata looks terrified when he realizes he's accidentally served the ball into the back of Kageyama's head in their practice match against Aoba Johsai.
    • During the Spring High preliminaries match against Aoba Johsai, Hinata panics when he jumps to avoid the blockers and ends up way too close to the net.
    • Shirabu looks horrified when his toss to Ushijima is off at the end of Set 2 and he realizes Tsukishima is about to take full advantage of that.
    • Tendou mutters "Dammit!" in horror during the final set of the Shiratorizawa vs Karasuno match when Karasuno are about to do their synchronised attack on their match point and he realizes no one will be able to stop them.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Players or teams not wanting their opponents to lose so that that they can play against each other sometimes comes up. In particular is Karasuno and Nekoma wanting each other to pass the qualifiers of Interhigh and Spring High in their respective prefectures so that they can square off at the national stage.
  • On the Next: Seasons 1-3 have a few characters exchange banter with one another during the next-episode previews. Season 4's next-episode previews are simpler, simply showing 1-2 shots with the character saying the episode title.
  • Opposing Sports Team: Mostly averted, as the opposing teams are honourable and passionate about volleyball, and are shown in a sympathetic light when fleshed out (often through backstories). The closest team that fits this trope is Nohebi at the Spring High Tokyo qualifiers — the members have bad personalities, provoke their opponents in a nasty way, and suck up to the referees and linesmen so that any fouls they may have committed are overlooked. And even in their case, it's eventually shown that they too can be worthy opponents and are not that terrible.
  • P.O.V. Cam:
    • In the first Season 2 opening theme, part of the footage of the practice match between Karasuno and Nekoma is through Yaku's point of view. This allows the audience to witness Karasuno's gameplay, in particular Hinata and Kageyama' quick attack, through the opponent's eyes.
    • The camera twice switches to the receiver's point of view when they're about to receive a nasty serve or spike. First is Daichi receiving an infamous Oikawa serve on Aoba Johsai's match point at the Spring High Preliminaries, while he has flashbacks of all the horrible serves he faced during training (including one from Ukai Sr). Second is Hinata when he makes a perfect receive on Aran's spike (which no one else anticipated), and he has a flashback of all the first years at the Miyagi camp (and Ushijima) spiking the ball.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: Since accurately recreating every single Haikyuu volleyball play is impossible in real life, the stage play adaptation reinterprets the volleyball matches as choreographed acrobatic/dance-like sequences. The screen provides visuals like the "volleyball" and the scores, and an actual ball on a stick held by a props person is also used for some scenes when the ball is specifically needed. This is effective, as basic volleyball movements like spiking and blocking are still kept while the choreography and music helps show the teams' different styles and how well they're playing.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: While Spring High usually only has one round of matches a day (and that's already tiring due to the high intensity), the third day is known as "Day Three Hell" because both Round 3 and the quarterfinals are played that day. That means teams that win their Round 3 match will have to deal with the exhaustion carrying over to their next match mere hours later, which can affect how well they play. This is a factor to Karasuno's loss to Kamomedai in the quarterfinals — putting aside the latter being very formidable opponents, Karasuno's condition is affected by their draining three-set win against Nekoma earlier that day. Two of the players hit hardest are Tsukishima and Hinata in Set 3; Tsukishima's stamina issues kick in and forces him to the bench, and Hinata is taken out of the match altogether because he's developed a fever from the lack of rest in between matches and concentrating a lot more than usual.
  • Repeat Cut: Multiple cuts of one scene are often done in the anime, such as Tsukishima's epic block against Ushijima during the Karasuno vs Shiratorizawa match which is repeated from three different angles.
  • Rousing Speech: Takeda is fond of giving motivational speeches. They tend to be full of analogies, though sometimes he ends them wondering if his words were too flowery or pompous for the boys to understand. Hinata and Kageyama indeed sometimes don't quite get it, but intention is what counts.
  • Running Gag:
    • Hinata is frequently vomiting during bus or car rides (especially when he's nervous), which is Played for Laughs.
    • Hinata tends to run into people from opponent teams while going to the restroom before a match. It even gets lampshaded in Chapter 108.
    • People from other schools often misread the kanji in Karasuno as "Torino".
    • Whenever a stealthy reference is made to another school when they are absent, one of them will sneeze. For example, at the mention of an iron wall, a guy from Date Tech starts sneezing. Most apparent when Nekoma is mentioned, and Inuoka starts wondering if he's catching a cold.
    • Karasuno's "four idiots" have an obsession with Tokyo landmarks (namely, Tokyo Tower and the Skytree), and each idiot mistakes mundane buildings for them during the Tokyo training camps (to Nekoma's bemusement). They finally see the actual Skytree on their way to Nationals, and Kuroo teasingly asks if they got to see it for real when they reunite at the tournament.
    • Extra sketches promoting the manga frequently show Oikawa and Kuroo sulking together over how they still don't have a solo volume cover to themselves.
    • Characters (especially Hinata) often get flustered and respond to praise or gratitude with "Yes! No!" (Hai! Iie!), much to the confusion of the other person.
    • It's common to see the ball thrown at Hinata's face during games.
    • Whenever Takinoue's introduced in the manga, instead of his full name the words "Takinoue Electronics" is shown alongside a good deal the store is currently offering.

  • Screen-to-Stage Adaptation: Has a stage play adaptation called Hyper Projection Engeki Haikyuu!!, which uses a mixture of choreographed acrobatics and dance movements to interpret the volleyball matches.
  • Sempai/Kohai: High school teams comprise at least first and second years (third years too if they've not retired yet), so upperclassman/underclassman interactions typically seen in Japan are in play. They're usually straightforward (with the juniors being polite to the seniors), but it plays some importance in some relationships:
    • Nishinoya and Tanaka are delighted to have -senpai added to the end of their names by Hinata and Kageyama, to the point that it draws Nishinoya back to practices (even if he still wouldn't play in games). Tanaka especially takes pride as the first year's upperclassman, feeling obligated to beg his sister to drive Hinata and Kageyama to Tokyo so they wouldn't miss the training camp.
    • Kenma appears to resent this kind of relationship, because his former upperclassmen from the volleyball club used to ignore him and see whatever he had to say as impertinence, just because he was an underclassman. He even promptly stops Hinata from getting worked up (he assumed Kenma was his age and wasn't using formal speech) just because he's an upperclassman.
    • Oikawa was Kageyama’s senior in junior high and still considers him his junior, calling him Tobio (or Tobio-chan if being extra "affectionate"); coming from him and given that he used to flat out reject Kageyama's requests of teaching him to serve (which goes well against a proper upperclassman's behavior), it's almost certainly an example of Terms of Endangerment. Kageyama doesn't enjoy getting chummy with him in the present but still highly respects his skills, and even swallows his pride to ask him for advice when a fight with Hinata leaves him confused.
  • Share the Male Pain: During the Miyagi training camp, Hinata fails to catch a spike and gets it right in the family jewels. All the guys present are absolutely mortified, and Kindaichi even mentally comments that he actually can't help but feel bad for him.
  • Shout-Out:
    • When comparing Hinata's height (roughly 160 cm) to Hyakuzawa (roughly 200 cm), Yachi and Yamaguchi remark how there's a whole Ketty-chan or Tekachu size difference between the two of them.
    • Kuroo and Yaku argue over their preferences, and somehow even end up which member of Perfume they prefer.
    • In Chapter 370 in Hinata's room, copies of the One Piece manga and Dragon Ball anime can be seen. They're also in different languages, helping Hinata get by while he is staying in Brazil for training. One Piece is referenced again, along with Naruto and My Hero Academia, a few chapters later in a flashback when Hinata and Pedro started hitting it off after Hinata first moved to Brazil, with the two bonding over their mutual love for One Piece and Pedro offering to show Hinata his Portuguese-dubbed recordings of Naruto and My Hero Academia.
    • The second Inarizaki chapter of Haikyuu-bu!! is titled "Miya's Name"/"Miya no Na wa", parodying Your Name. Appropriately, the plot involves the Miyas (and Aran) getting their bodies switched; when it first happens, the Miyas Title Drop the movie's Japanese name and ask each other, "Kimi/Omee no na wa!?"/ "What is your name!?" note 
  • Shower of Angst: In the manga extra (adapted in the movie recap) that focuses on Aoba Johsai after their loss to Karasuno, Yahaba is shown sitting in the bath looking annoyed. Complete with a Scenery Censor when he stands up to yell out his frustrations, with his butt conveniently covered by a flying rubber duck.
  • Significant Birth Date: Almost all of the the characters with listed birth dates are significant in someway. Here are some that stand out:
    • Asahi and Nishinoya have mirrored birth dates (01/01 and 10/10 respectively) to fit with the theme of the two being complete opposites in every way.
    • Oikawa and Iwaizumi are born on Alexander the Great's birthday and day of death respectively. Oikawa is called the Grand King (which in Japanese is similar to Alexander the Great's title) and has exceptional leadership abilities. Iwaizumi's presence humanizes Oikawa as a character, much like death would to a king.
  • Significant Double Casting:
    • In the stage plays adapting the Tokyo training camps and the Miyagi Spring High Preliminary matches, both Ukai Jr and Sr are played by Hayashi Tsuyoshi, emphasising how the grandson looks just like his grandfather. Hilariously made obvious in the Miyagi matches, where Ukai (Jr) loudly excuses himself or characters wonder out loud about his whereabouts every time Ukai (Sr) is about to make an appearance.
    • In The Strongest Team play, a younger Washijo is played by Hinata's actor Suga Kenta, which emphasises how Washijo subconsciously sees himself in the first year.
  • Sleep Cute: Nishinoya and Tanaka are seen sleeping closely next to each other on the bus ride home from tournament match, showing their close friendship.
  • Sneeze Cut: To the point of becoming a Running Gag. Nearly every time a character, usually someone from Karasuno, mentions a player from another team, there’s a panel showing said player sneezing and a teammate suggesting they caught a cold before it goes back to the original scene.
  • Spiritual Successor: This series is the gender-inverted version of the all-girls Attacker You! With Hinata strongly echoing the characteristics of Attacker You's heroine, You Hazuki.
  • Spoiler Opening:
    • The first opening spoils that there are two more Karasuno players, Nishinoya and Asahi - when the first years join the club, Asahi had quit and Nishinoya was briefly suspended from club activities. It also spoils Ukai becoming Karasuno's coach, first as a temporary one after giving in to Takeda's pestering, then their official one after he becomes determined to win again Nekoma.
    • The second opening of the second season spoils the outcomes of Karasuno's matches in the Spring High. It's shown like a highlight reel of the tournament, showing big plays and, since they're playing four different teams, the fact that Karasuno must have won at least three matches.
  • Spoiler Title: Don't want to know who wins the Karasuno vs Aoba Johsai match at the Spring High preliminaries in Season 2? Good luck avoiding the Season 3 title which is Karasuno High School VS Shiratorizawa Academy.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike:
    • Nishinoya and Tanaka mistake a transmission tower for the Skytree upon their first arrival in Tokyo, much to Kuroo's amusement. During the second Tokyo trip Hinata (who was late to the first trip) mistakes a transmission tower for Tokyo Tower, to which Kuroo snarks that he's heard a similar conversation before. Afterward a sleepy Kageyama (in the same situation as Hinata) is shown to have thought the same thing as he can be heard thinking/muttering, "That isn't Tokyo Tower?"
    • During the V-League match, Kageyama, Ushijima and Hoshiumi all share the same confused thoughts when Romero speaks to them in English.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: Characters are free to mentally monologue on the court. Most noticeable when they're in the air for a spike or block or when a setter is waiting for the ball to come to them. Played for Laughs when Akaashi contemplates whether to toss the ball to Bokuto and thinks through three scenarios, all in a span of 0.5 seconds.
  • Tantrum Throwing: A dramatic example in Tsukishima's backstory of his brother. Akiteru trashed his room and broke down emotionally the night his brother discovered he was lying, feeling ashamed of himself.
  • Team Hand-Stack: Hand stacks are frequently done by the teams.
  • Teens Are Short: Zig-zagged. Teenagers in the series range from Yachi (149 cm/ 4'9") and Nishinoya (159 cm/ 5'2") to Lev (194 cm/ 6'4") and Hyakuzawa (201 cm/ 6'7''). The cast is generally on the taller side, as height is advantageous in volleyball, but has their fair share of smaller people.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: The plot starts off with two bitter rivals having to compete on the same team, and learn how to work together.
  • 10-Minute Retirement: Karasuno's suffered from brief absences of players, with Ennoshita, Narita and Kinoshita temporarily dropping out the previous year due to Coach Ukai Sr's harsh training and Asahi and Nishinoya missing from club activities at the beginning of the story thanks to a tough encounter with Date Tech straining their relationship and mental fortitude (Nishinoya's one-week suspension also not helping his case).
  • Throwing the Fight: Discussed. Tsukishima offers this to Kageyama and Hinata upon meeting them for the first time, mainly to show his indifference towards the match. He isn’t taken seriously, of course.
  • Tiger Versus Dragon: Played straight with Tanaka and Yamamoto, whose given names’ first and last characters (Ryuunosuke and Taketora), respectively, mean "Dragon" and "Tiger". When their sisters encounter each other (not knowing who they are) the night before the two teams play each other at Spring High, their respective animals are drawn in the background to symbolise this rivalry; and a later chapter cover features the two girls facing each other with the animals again in the background to signify their battle.
  • Time Skip:
    • After Hinata's brutal loss to Kageyama in his only junior high school match, the series skips to nearly a year later where Hinata's starts attending Karasuno and is about to join the volleyball team... and finds out Kageyama is also there. All in the first chapter.
    • The final arc takes place five years after Karasuno's loss at Nationals, with Hinata now in Brazil for beach volleyball training. The events of his remaining high school years, as well as the whereabouts of the first years, are briefly summarised by Yachi's narration.
    • In Chapter 377, it's March 2018 when Hinata leaves Brazil to return to Japan and go to the tryouts for MSBY Black Jackals, a team that includes Bokuto and Atsumu. The next chapter jumps to eight months later, when MSBY (now including Hinata) is about to play a match with Schweiden Adlers, a team that includes Kageyama, Ushijima and Hoshiumi.
  • Trailers Always Spoil:
    • The two trailers for the "Land vs Sky" OVAs give away a few things if one has a keen eye:
      • Footage of Nohebi's matchplay spoils that Nekoma plays them after their Fukurodani showdown and not Itachiyama. It fortunately doesn't spoil that these two teams play each other in the losers match (the hosting representative match) and not the final itself, thus not giving away that Fukurodani beats Nekoma.
      • Clips of the back-up libero Shibayama in the Nohebi match hints that Yaku becomes unavailable to play for some reason, since there's other clips of the third year playing perfectly fine in the Fukurodani match beforehand.
    • Two PVs teasing Season 4 Part 2 were released before Part 1 finished airing, and it gave away Karasuno's next opponents and a major reveal: Inarizaki, the team of Atsumu Miya... and his twin brother, Osamu.
  • Training from Hell: Coach Ukai Sr. is apparently a specialist in brutal training and put Karasuno through one of these in the previous year.
  • Training Montage: Montages of the Karasuno team training are often shown whenever time passes, especially before tournaments.
  • Underdogs Never Lose: This is played around with. In the scope of sports manga, and shōnen manga more broadly, Haikyuu stands out for being relatively realistic in the match-ups and the outcomes, with teams that are considered in-story as underdogs to lose most of the time:
    • Hinata's team of friends in middle school (where two members don't actually play volleyball and the other three are only first years) has the misfortune of playing Kageyama's team from a powerhouse middle school. Despite the few flimmers of hope courtesy of Hinata's excellent reflexes, the match ends with the obviously superior team winning by a large margin, averting this trope.
    • The protagonist team Karasuno zig-zags this trope. On one hand, they've been nicknamed the "fallen crows" due to their drop in performance in recent years. On the other hand, they're a former powerhouse and have been described as a mediocre or middling team, and their starting lineup includes two people described in-story as geniuses (Kageyama and Nishinoya) and another described as having inhuman levels of stamina and reflexes (Hinata). So even when they are on the winning side of in-story upsets and this trope is in play, it's toned down. The trope is also averted at times to show that Karasuno still has areas to work on despite their improved lineup.
      • At the Interhigh Preliminaries in Miyagi, Karasuno look to be in decent shape when they not only comfortably win their first round match but also surprisingly beat the infamous blocking team Date Tech (who had curb stomped them in their last meeting). However Karasuno has only just recently begun training as a team together and still have some flaws (notably the limitations of the freak quick attack), leading them to lose (albeit narrowly) to powerhouse Aoba Johsai in the third round.
      • Karasuno wins four sets and loses a whopping 70 sets during their Tokyo summer training camp with the Fukurodani group. Justified as 1) the group comprises four powerhouse teams from Kanto and 2) the Miyagi school have just started trying out their new techniques at this point.
      • In their revenge match up at the Spring High Preliminaries with Aoba Johsai, a school favored to reach the finals to battle it out against Shiratorizawa as they did the year prior, Karasuno wins in three tight sets, surprising everyone and giving them the chance to go up against the reigning Miyagi champions Shiratorizawa in the finals. To everyone's further shock, they succeed, propelling them to Nationals once more.
    • The trope comes up at Spring High, but is defied just as often. Spring High emphasises that no matter how strong your team is, victory isn't guaranteed and anything can happen from being outplayed to just getting bad luck. To drive the point home, out of the top four seeded teams, none of them make it to the semifinals; Inarizaki loses to Karasuno in Round 2, the unrevealed third seed loses offscreen in Round 3, and Mujinazaka and Itachiyama (which both boast a Top 3 Ace) lose in the quarterfinals. Out of all the losses, Inarizaki's loss to Karasuno is particularly surprising since they were runners-up at Interhigh, comprise a couple of top-tier members, and were one of the favourites to win the tournament; this shock victory is where everyone truly starts paying attention to Karasuno. Karasuno, meanwhile, isn't able to play this trope straight to the very end, ending their surprise run at the quarterfinals in a three-set loss to the freakishly talented Kamomedai, and in a devastating fashion.
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: Hinata often pukes from stress or motion sickness, but fortunately for the audience this is done off-screen (typically screams of despair from everyone present will follow). One brief shot does show the aftermath of Hinata throwing up on Tanaka's pants on the bus, albeit coloured in white.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: The Interhigh match with Aoba Johsai is the first official loss Karasuno suffers after their revival, making it clear they still have a lot of work to do (especially Hinata and Kageyama's freak quick attack which is effective but vulnerable). This loss, along with a lot of other losses at their first Fukurodani Group training camp, is what motivates the whole team to sharpen up their skills and come up with new tactics.
  • Wax On, Wax Off: During Hinata's stay at the Miyagi training camp as a ballboy, he observes how the players receive and read the spiker's movements while he's doing chores. Whenever he's near the court and has to collect the stray balls during training sessions, he uses this as an opportunity to practise reading the spikers and catching their balls. This does wonders for Hinata's receives at Nationals, as he's able to analyse and correctly predict the spikers' movements a lot more than before and slowly able to start receiving better.
  • Wham Line: "Several years later" in the wake of Nationals. Followed up by a Wham Shot, depicting a grown up Hinata, nowhere near Karasuno or Japan, having relocated to Brazil for training.
  • Worthy Opponent: Healthy rivalries are common in the story, with opponents (and even teams) developing a lot of respect for each other and knowing not to take each other too lightly in matches. As Karasuno's skills and reputation improve, so does the admiration from their rivals.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are:
    • Kageyama, of all people, reassures Hinata (albeit in a rough manner) in their practice match against the nieghborhood association team when the latter starts feeling that his power as a decoy isn't good enough compared to a real ace’s height and power.
    • When Oikawa looks down on himself, Iwaizumi always reminds him, most of the time aggressively, that he's the setter of the team and that he shouldn't put so much pressure on himself.
    • Yamaguchi gives a surprising verbally violent reassurance to Tsukishima when the latter calls himself lame for not blocking Ushijima enough, by calling him "stupid" then proceeding to tell him they're going to Nationals anyway and all he can do now is work harder.

Alternative Title(s): Haikyuu


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