Follow TV Tropes

Following

Manga / My Hero Academia

Go To

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/0ca7eca3297aedf9b2c46ec63244290d.png
Go Beyond! Plus Ultra! note 

"You can become a hero."
All Might

My Hero Academia (僕のヒーロー・アカデミア Boku no Hero Academia) is a manga written and illustrated by Kōhei Horikoshi, author of Oumagadoki Doubutsuen and Barrage, and published in Weekly Shōnen Jump. It was reworked from a one-off story for Akamaru Jump before being expanded into its own series.

Over the past century, the human race has been manifesting superpowers known as "Quirks". With 80% of humankind now possessing some kind of Quirk, crime has been amplified to superhuman levels; but in turn, those who seek to use their Quirk to save lives and uphold justice can train to become an officially-licensed hero.

Izuku "Deku" Midoriya is a young and idealistic boy who dreamed of becoming just like his favorite hero, All Might. But his hopes seemed to be shattered when he discovered at the age of four that he's Quirkless, the unlucky one-in-five that would never develop a Quirk. Despite this, he continued to hold onto his dream of becoming a hero some other way, filling countless notebooks with study notes on Quirks and fighting crime.

Yet a chance encounter with All Might himself changes everything when the veteran chooses Midoriya to inherit his Quirk: "One For All". Now Midoriya has a genuine chance to become the kind of hero he always dreamed of and attend U.A. High School, the most prestigious Hero Academy in the world. He swears to train his hardest no matter what obstacles try and stop him, and follow in All Might's footsteps as the Symbol of Peace, inspiring all with the belief that everyone can be a hero if they help those in need and never give up.

It has been picked up by Viz Media and the English version of Shonen Jump. The manga serialization began its run in the English version by showcasing the first chapter before going into the middle of the Sports Festival Arc, which was where the series was at that point, with a recap explaining things up to get readers caught up. Volume collections were eventually released, covering the stories that were skipped over.

An anime adaptation by Studio BONES began airing in April 2016 as part of the Spring 2016 Anime season. Funimation gained the license to the series and produces the English dub. Interestingly, the episodes of Funimation's simuldub were being made a week after the initial episodes aired. Season 2 premiered in April 2017 as part of the Spring 2017 Anime season. This time around, the first fourteen episodes of Funimation's simuldub premiered simultaneously with the Japanese release. A third season was soon announced after Season 2 ended, and began in April 2018, with Funimation once again airing their dub on the same day.

The series has produced a number of spin-offs. The first, My Hero Academia Smash, is a parody Gag Series. The second is entitled Vigilante - Boku no Hero Academia: ILLEGALS. Made by a different author and artist, this manga, set some time shortly before the events of the main series, details the story of a group of unlicensed heroes. The third series is a Yonkoma Slice of Life manga called My Heroine Academia,note  it details the daily lives of the U.A. female student body.

A series of Light Novels featuring short stories about everyday school lives of the students titled My Hero Academia: School Briefs were released in 2016 and 2017.

A battle action video game developed by Bandai Namco, My Hero One's Justice, has been announced for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch, as well as a PC version for the Western markets.

A movie titled My Hero Academia: The Two Heroes was released in Japanese theaters in August 2018. It will be released in North America in September 2018.

Toonami licensed the anime adaptation, which began airing on May 5, 2018, replacing Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans.

Do not confuse this anime for Boku no Pico... just don't!

This page has unmarked spoilers for Seasons 1 and 2 of the anime or up to Chapter 70 of the manga.


My Hero Academia provides examples of:

    open/close all folders 

    #-F 
  • 20 Minutes into the Future: Technology in this world is a bit more advanced than our own; hologram projectors are small and cheap enough to be handed out with magazines à la CD-ROM demos and in an omake, Mount Lady mentions 8K television.note 
  • Abusive Parents: Shouto Todoroki's father and mother play it straight and subvert it, respectively:
    • His father only married his mother to produce an offspring powerful enough to one-up All Might, and would frequently put his then-five-year old son through Training from Hell; the poor boy would end up kneeled over vomiting as a result, because he couldn't keep up.
    • As for his mother, she was a kind woman who encouraged Shouto to pursue his own dreams, but snapped due to a combination of the frustration for being used and the fact their children were beginning to look like Endeavor, which resulted in her dumping boiling water on Shouto's face. Fortunately, that was merely a Moment of Weakness, and she gets better later on.
  • Academy of Adventure: U.A., a school that trains those who wish to be superheroes. Not only that but they have a Hero Support course for Gadgeteer Geniuses, a Hero Management course and a General Education course for those who don't make it into the hero course or are expelled from it.
  • Accomplice by Inaction: In the aftermath of the Hideout Raid Arc, Aizawa states that were it not for All Might's retirement, he would not just have expelled Midoriya, Kirishima, Iida, Yaoyorozu, and Todoroki for their actions during said raid, but ''every single student in Class 1-A save those who were Locked Out of the Loop simply for knowing about it and doing nothing to stop it.
  • Action Girl: Female heroes are not uncommon.
  • Actor Allusion:
  • Adaptation Expansion:
    • The anime generally spends more time on fights and occasionally adapts volume extras and omakes from the manga, such as Mount Lady and Midnight's Cat Fight.
    • In the anime, All Might's fight with Noumu takes a few minutes, consisting of All Might throwing the Noumu up and down and destroying the ground and the ceiling with his punches.
    • Due to working with tight deadlines in Shonen Jump, a lot of fights which weren't very noteworthy in the Sports Festival Arc got little or no attention, with some being skipped entirely. This was particularly egregious in the case of Yayorozu's ill-fated bout with Tokoyami, which actually messed her up a bit emotionally, and Horikoshi chose to reduce it to a flashback. Season 2 of the anime wasn't tied down by such limitations and needed to fill up its allotted time, so all the minimized fights get the attention they truly deserve.
    • The Internship/Stain Arc in the manga focused primarily on Midoriya, Iida, and Todoroki's internships, leaving the others to cameos. The anime, however, devotes an entire episode to the internships of Uraraka, Bakugou, Kirishima and Tetsutetsu, Yaoyorozu and Kendou, Jirou, and Tsuyu, showing events that were only referenced in manga such as Tsuyu stopping a group of stowaways, and Uraraka's training under Gunhead.
    • In the End of Term Test Arc, each student vs. teacher match goes one team at a time while the others wait and prepare strategies, unlike in the manga where all ten fights are ongoing at the same time. This gives the earlier matches a bigger disadvantage, but it does allow the anime to focus on each match instead of flipping around like the manga did. Thus, fights which happened offscreen in the manga, such as Iida/Ojiro vs. Power Loader, are shown. As a result, Midoriya doesn't watch the others after his match; instead, he is joined by Uraraka. Also, the anime devotes a bit more time to showing how the students prepared for the written exam.
    • The Training Camp Arc has a few pages of Todoroki, Iida, Bakugou and Midoriya fighting against some of Pixiebob's rock creatures. The anime adaptation has a four minute long sequence of the fight, showcasing each member of Class 1-A using their Quirks to fight them.
    • Episodes 54 and 55 expand on the Provisional Hero License Exam by showing what students other than Midoriya and Bakugou were doing while Class 1-A was separated: Todoroki battles a group of ninja, the manga only showed the aftermath, while Yaoyozoru, Jiro, Tsuyu, and Shouji gets an anime-exlusive sequence where they deal with a coordinated attack by an all-girls school and Yaoyozoru in particular gets the chance to shine.
  • Adult Fear:
    • Todoroki's backstory with his mother where despite her love for him, she still couldn't control her insanity and attacked him. This mirrors several stories in real life where parents become their kid's abuser due to their own trauma.
    • Parents whose children being born with disabilities that prevent them from achieving their dreams or cause them to be bullied by their peers.
    • Children like Kouta whose parents die in the line of duty and leave them orphaned. It's for the exact reason above that Nana Shimura, All Might's predecessor, gave away her child for adoption to a civilian family, so as to spare him/her the heartbreak and keep him/her away from danger, having already lost her husband to a villain and then eventually meeting the same fate as he did.
    • Midoriya's mother keeps seeing her son mutilating his body for his dream while villains attack him on a regular basis.
    • Chisaki's horrendous treatment of his "daughter" Eri comes to mind, in a case of parents who use their children like tools instead of treating them like human beings with feelings and manipulate them into willful obedience. Plus, there's the fact that he subjects her to physical torture all the time by farming Quirk-destroying bullets by digging the raw material for them out of her own flesh.
  • All Genes Are Codominant: Quirk inheritance sort of works this way. A child of parents with Quirks can get a Quirk that's a combination of both (such as Bakugou, whose mother secretes glycerin and whose father secretes nitric acid, thus, explosion powers for him, and Todoroki, whose father had fire powers and whose mother had ice powers, thus, he gets both). Other times, the child can get one or neither of the parents's Quirks.
  • Alone with the Psycho: Happens with Midoriya just before the training camp kicks off, when he encounters Shigaraki at the mall. He's only saved due to the timely arrival of Uraraka.
  • Alternate Universe: The second popularity poll shows its participants in fantasy clothing, which was later expanded into an RPG-Mechanics Verse through merchandise. This scenario is given a better look in the third ED of the anime, which shows all the characters adventuring in that world.
  • Always in Class One: With only two classes of new students in the Hero Department, it was roughly a 50-50 shot. Still ended up putting everyone important in Class 1-A.
  • Ambiguously Human: Several characters, ranging from major to background ones, are this thanks to the diversity of Quirks. This was Deconstructed in the past, as the definition of "human" became very loose and humanity in general devolved into chaos, halting progress considerably.
  • Ambiguous Time Period: It's hard to tell when exactly the series takes place, other than it being in the future. Though the level of technological advancement shown seems to place the setting 20 Minutes into the Future, it's been stated that most scientific research slowed down in order to focus more on the study of Quirks, meaning that the actual year could be centuries ahead of ours.
  • An Aesop: The Sports Festival gives a rather interesting and unconventional one: if you're in a competition, it's important to give it your all even if you have a massive advantage over the rest of the contenders. There are two reasons for this: the first is that if you underestimate your enemies it becomes easier for them to completely sweep you off your feet, as shown by Monoma and Bakugou both suffering humiliating defeats at the hands of others because they disregarded them as a threat. Monoma learns nothing from the experience, but Bakugou learns to judge others by their own merits, and as such secures a win from Uraraka after she lays a pretty devastating trap for him. The second is that if you don't give it your all, you're insulting your competitors and disrespecting their efforts. Todoroki holds back on his devastating potential and half of his Quirk, which results in a lot of people coming to dislike him. Despite having his own reasons to do so, Midoriya eventually reaches out to him and convinces him that his father's Quirk is his own.
  • Animation Bump:
    • The finale of the fight between Midoriya and Todoroki gets a rather noticeable animation quality hike. Its rather breathtaking.
    • Bakugou blasting off to escape the League of Villains and take Kirishima's hand has a large spike in quality— if not for the fact that such movements are impossible, it could be mistaken for Rotoscoping.
    • Midoriya and Bakugou's fight in Season 3 really ramped up the animation to the same level as Midoriya vs. Todoroki.
  • Anti-Hero: Deconstructed. Heroes are supposed to be beacons of hope for society, so just because someone is strong and capable of defeating villains, there will be issues if a huge jerkass becomes a hero. It's understandable that Endeavor has a large hatedom and only a select few of the characters believe in Bakugou's intent to become a hero.
  • Anti-Regeneration: Endeavor defeats a Noumu with a "Super Regeneration" Quirk by making his flames hot enough to turn blue and carbonize the head off.
  • Arc Villain:
    • The Introduction Arc: While not exactly a villain, Bakugou is the closest it has to an antagonist, especially during the Battle Trial. The Sludge Villain counts only for the first chapter.
    • The USJ Arc: Tomura Shigaraki, with Noumu as The Heavy.
    • Sports Festival Arc: Shouto Todoroki, but only because of Endeavor being present to trigger him.
    • The Field Training Arc: Stain.
    • The End of Term Test Arc: Technically, U.A. and its teacher staff. Justified with this being a school setting, although some of them did go a bit too far.
    • The Training Camp Arc: The Vanguard Action Squad, but Muscular in particular due to his story with Kouta's parents.
    • The Hideout Raid Arc: All For One.
    • Provisional Hero License Exam Arc: Gang Orca served as the main antagonist in the actual exam, but Inasa was the closest thing the arc had to an antagonist.
    • The Internship Arc: Chisaki.
    • Cultural Festival Arc: Gentle Criminal and La Brava.
  • Arc Words: "[X]: the Origin", whenever the narrative focuses on a particular U.A. student and their starting point in becoming a true hero. So far, this has been the case for Midoriya, Todoroki, and Bakugou. Endeavor also eventually gets his own "Starting Line" in Chapter 167.
  • Armor-Piercing Response: When Iida is consumed by vengeful rage and hunts down Stain for crippling his brother, he vows to exact retribution upon the Hero Killer. Stain's response? He points at the injured hero behind him and says:
    Stain: Save that guy first.
  • Arrested for Heroism:
    • Due to the highly-regulated nature of Quirk usage, it's entirely possible to be arrested for using your Quirk to save someone's life or even to defend yourself from an attacking villain. Even heroes in training aren't exempt from this rule, since their teachers have to give them express permission to do so lest they face the legal consequences. The only other exception is if the students earn a Provisional Hero License to act independently, as Class 1-A and 1-B attempt to do after the Hideout Raid Arc. This leads to The Greatest Story Never Told after the Stain Arc, since the police would legally have to punish Midoriya, Todoroki, and Iida for stopping Stain, even after they stopped him from murdering a Pro Hero. Then after the Hideout Raid Arc, Aizawa threatens his entire class with expulsion when Midoriya, Iida, Todoroki, Kirishima, and Yaoyorozu interfered in an official hero operation to rescue Bakugou from the League of Villains. After that, Midoriya and Bakugou get placed under house arrest after having an unsanctioned brawl to sort out their troubled feelings after All Might's retirement.
    • Turns out this happened to the villain Gentle. Back as a student, he tried to help someone and ended up interfering, injuring the victim and the Pro Hero who was on the scene. His parents drowned in lawsuits and he would end up being kicked out after being expelled.
  • Art Evolution: Season 1 has rather noticeably thin outlines around characters that leave them looking papery at times. By Season 2, however, the outlines are thicker and more on par with what is seen in the manga.
  • As You Know:
    • The recap at the start of the the anime's second season is framed as a letter to Gran Torino, but includes details about the mechanics of One For All that are both closely guarded secrets and information Gran Torino is already well aware of.
    • The Season 3 premiere has Aizawa and Vlad King recount the Quirks of Class 1-A, although this is information that both of them should already know, or at least be familiar with, given that they're both homeroom teachers.
  • Astonishingly Appropriate Appearance: Sometimes, characters have distinguished features that aren't really effects of their Quirks. For example, somebody like Ashido having pink skin because of acid pigments counts as a Quirk side-effect, so she's not an example of this, but somebody like Todoroki having red and white Multicolored Hair which is perfectly split in the middle is pretty much a big coincidence (not forgetting that there was a higher chance of him being born with only one of his parents' Quirks instead of both like he did, furthering the coincidence).
  • Author Appeal: Horikoshi really likes drawing hands— a lot of major characters have attention drawn to their hands either through their Quirks (such as Uraraka's hands having pads on their fingertips that are the catalyst for her anti-gravity Quirk, or Tsuyu's hands having odd proportions compared to the rest of her body) or their costumes (Hagakure's costume is literally a pair of hands, and Shigaraki's main defining trait is being covered in desiccated hands). His Author Avatar in Shonen Jump is even a pair of disembodied gloves.
  • Badass Teacher: According to Midoriya, all of the teachers at U.A. are active or former Pro Heroes, including the #1 Ranked Hero in the world, All Might.
  • Bad-Guy Bar: The original base of the League of Villains is one of those, with Kurogiri acting as the bartender.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: The end of the Training Camp Arc saw the League of Villains get what they wanted (Bakugou) and manage to get away even though a few were beaten and captured, including the villain who killed Kouta's parents.
  • Bad Powers, Bad People: The main recurring villain has Touch of Death powers, and the Hero Killer paralyzes people by licking their blood. And then there's The Man Behind the Man, who can just downright steal Quirks.
  • Bad Powers, Good People: A good chunk of the hero population have Quirks that could be easily associated with villainy and have an appearance to match, but are firmly in the side of good:
    • Class 1-A has a guy that controls a Living Shadow (Tokoyami) and a girl who can generate Hollywood Acid (Ashido). Neither of them are evil, and this is not even counting the teacher with black hole powers who works solely on disaster relief.
    • Hitoshi Shinsou has a Quirk, referred to as "Brainwashing", that lets him take total control over anyone who responds to him verbally. Nearly everyone he's ever known remarks how the power is perfect for a villain, but he desires above all else to be a hero.
  • Badass Adorable: The art style makes it quite easy for all characters to be seem as cute, and since basically everyone is a badass, a lot of characters can be seen as this. Midoriya, Tsuyu, and Uraraka deserve special mention.
  • Bait-and-Switch Credits: If you were to just watch the two ending themes for Season 2 of the anime, you would get a pretty inaccurate picture of what the series is about:
    • The first ending simply shows all the girls in Class 1-A hanging out together, making you think it's a slice of life story instead of an action adventure story about superheroes.
    • The second ending shows all the characters in a Heroic Fantasy setting, fighting monsters with swords and magic. At face value, it has nothing to do with a story about superpowered heroes in a modern day setting. The designs came from the art for the second popularity poll and a second piece of side art drawing all the characters in fantasy outfits.
  • Bathos: Invoked by Bakugou in Chapter 98 when he makes Kaminari short-circuit himself after the class found out that because of Midoriya and co.'s actions and the rest of the class knowing about but doing nothing to stop them... all but three of the class would have been expelled if the situation didn't look so dire.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Used in the Hassaikai Arc. While all of the male heroes go up against enemies that leave them bloody, and severely injured, the female heroes all go up against an enemy that simply drains their energy, and don't sustain any serious harm.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: The Training Camp Arc has both Shigaraki and Stain as the main antagonists, although the latter has a more active role.
  • Big Good: Deconstructed. All Might filled this role to the entire word, citizens felt safe with him, heroes looked up to him and villains feared him. Understandably, his retirement causes a general state of disturbance, insecurity, and rise in crime rates, even worse because the aforementioned Endeavor became the top hero.
  • Bilingual Bonus: The motto of U.A. High School, "Plus Ultra", means "Further Beyond" in Latin. It comes from the phrase "Non Plus Ultra",note  which is supposedly inscribed on the legendary Pillars of Hercules that marked the western edge of the known world in Europe for centuries. Plus Ultra is also the motto of Spain, especially the Spanish Crown.
  • Bland-Name Product:
    • As a child, Midoriya obsessively watched a "YoTube" video of All Might's debut as a hero, in which he saved over a hundred people from a bus crash.
    • When Gran Torino's microwave breaks, the replacement he orders arrives in a box from "Omozan," rather than Amazon.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: The anime adaptation, as a whole, is much more prone to showcase the gruesomeness of injuries and battles than the manga. While the manga often uses come way to censor the worst and goriest injuries, the anime shows them fully, no matter how bad, and will also show the blood spread by them, which is something that very rarely happens in the manga. Midoriya's injuries are a common cause of this. In the manga, it usually shows his body bruising and darkening. The anime, however, showcases his body being outright maimed by said injuries.
  • Boarding School: After Bakugou is kidnapped and rescued, U.A. becomes this in order to better keep an eye on its students.
  • Body Horror: Some Quirks alter their user in truly bizarre and disturbing ways, though thanks to how ubiquitous Quirks are, this isn't usually a problem for them. This leads to cases of Unusually Uninteresting Sight fairly often. For example, Seiji Shishikura has the Meatball Quirk, first seen in Chapter 106. This allows him to control raw human flesh, including his own. His main combat style is to detach his limbs into flying globs of flesh, and the moment they touch his enemy, he's free to warp and compress their body until they're a sentient globe of misshapen flesh. Fortunately, dealing enough damage to Seiji would break the Meat Prison.
  • Boxing Lessons for Superman:
    • At the end of the Sports Festival, All Might suggests to Tokoyami to improve his physical conditioning since the latter was defeated by Bakugou when he broke through Dark Shadow and grappled Tokoyami to the ground.
    • Quirk Extension training is covered in the School Trip Arc; essentially, pushing your Quirk to a comfortable limit, and then beyond that. As they're physical abilities, a comparison is made between Quirk Extension and strength training, as muscles have to tear themselves and then repair before they are strengthened.
  • Brains and Brawn: All Might's relationship his ex-sidekick, Sir Nighteye. All Might was the brawn while Nighteye, with his intellect, investigative skills, and precognition Quirk, made him effective as the brains:
    All Might: His physical abilities aren't all that impressive, but that brain of his was just the thing to help me out.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: In Chapter 124, Yaoyorozu offers the aside that Togata succinctly explained the last week and a half of the manga in three panels.
  • Breather Episode:
    • After the intense Hideout Raid Arc, we get a slice-of-life mini-arc beginning in Chapter 98, where the characters move into their dorms and decide to see each room and vote for the best one. In-universe, this is invoked, as the characters feel the tension in the air and try to disband it.
    • The chapters following the end of the Intership Arc's events such as Nighteye's death and Mirio's loss of his Quirk focus on Bakugou, Todoroki and Inasa as they take supplementary classes, which are quite lighthearted and fun, with Gang Orca playing a comical Large Ham.
  • Brick Joke: During Kirishima and Tetsutetsu's match, the viewers made a remark how it would be great to have them both as sidekicks. Sure enough, they became sidekicks of the same hero in the internship period.
  • Broad Strokes: In the manga, the End of Term Test Arc has all of the students facing the teachers at the same time and Recovery Girl situated in a temporary first aid tent. In the anime, the adaptation messes around with the sequence of events to the advantage of its format. The tests take place in order of one through ten, with the most climactic fight (with Midoriya and Bakugou vs. All Might) obviously at the end. Recovery Girl is also situated in a more upscale location to monitor the events and perform first aid, and instead of being out on the field, Midoriya and Uraraka are watching the tests to observe, learn, and strategize from what their classmates fail/succeed at doing, and are here together because their training partners won't communicate with them (allowing for some light Ship Tease). It's also a lot more like the Battle Trial Arc in this respect. Functionally, the story is still the same, just modified to be more convenient for a different format.
  • Bystander Syndrome: This is legally enforced. Someone with the perfect Quirk for a situation will be unable to help if they lack a hero license.
  • Caged Inside a Monster: The sludge villain trapped both Midoriya and Bakugo before attempting to enter and take control of their bodies, even using Bakugo as a Human Shield when confronted by heroes.
  • Call-Back:
    • Chapter 4 is titled "The Starting Line". Chapter 11 is titled "Bakugou's Starting Line". Similarly, Chapter 1 is titled "Izuku Midoriya: The Origin". Chapter 39 is titled "Shouto Todoroki: The Origin". Chapter 62 is titled "Katsuki Bakugo: The Origin".
    • An odd callback of sorts. For the results of the second popularity contest, Horikoshi drew the top 10 most popular characters in a fantasy style, with medieval clothes and weapons. Later, he drew other characters in the same style as side art. For the third ending for the anime, all the characters appear in their medieval outfits from before in a medieval setting completely unrelated to the actual story.
    • During the USJ Arc, it's joked that Class 1-A thought the "Unforeseen Simulated Joint" stood for "Universal Studios Japan". In Episode 52, the joke is repeated when Aizawa leads Class 1-A to the school's TDL, the "Training Delicatessen Land", which Midoriya, Uraraka, and Ashido mistake with "Tokyo Disney Land" and wonder if a mouse is angry at them.
  • The Call Put Me on Hold: This is the basic premise of the manga. Since Midoriya's future self is narrating the story, it's known that he becomes the world's greatest hero. He just got a Quirk ten years later than everyone else.
  • The Cameo: Characters from Horikoshi's other work, Oumagadoki Doubutsuen, can be seen in various chapters. Chapter 36 has Shishido and Toytoy appear in the bleachers. Uwabami appears in Chapter 48 as the hero Yaoyorozu and Kendou intern with for a week.
  • Can't Get Away with Nuthin': While modern society has done its best to adapt to Quirks, it's done so by becoming strictly rule-bound. While for the most part things run smoothly, you have occasional hiccups like Midoriya and a few of his classmates getting penalized for getting into an unlawful fight with a villain.
  • Cast of Snowflakes: Subtle, but every character has their own distinguishable facial features. For example, their eyes.
  • Cat Fight: In one omake, Mount Lady and Midnight get into one on a televised panel after the former snipes at the latter's age.
  • Cell Phones Are Useless: Zigzagged. This is averted during the Stain Arc, where Midoriya manages to call Todoroki for backup using his cellphone, but played straight during the Training Camp Arc. Midoriya can't pull the same trick again despite squaring off against a powerful villain because said villain broke his phone.
  • Central Theme:
    • The manga explores themes of law and order on the one hand and freedom and license on the other. For example, you have occasions such as hero interns getting punished for getting into unlawful combat with a villain, even in self-defense, and the League of Villains attracting members in no small part with the promise of freedom to do whatever you want. There are even instances where the rules meant to create good heroes have caused certain forms of social stratification (U.A.'s hero exams are heavily geared towards those with Quirks directly capable of violence).
    • The advantages someone is born with vs. what they earn through hard work, and the danger of confusing the two.
    • How rivalries, when healthy, can help both parts of it grow.
  • Cerebus Rollercoaster: The manga operates in this pattern, usually having a light hearted arc followed by a darker arc. This becomes especially noticeable following the Hideout Raid Arc. This dark arc is followed by the more light hearted Hero License Arc, which is then followed by the even darker Internship Arc and the even lighter Culture Festival Arc, with the lighter arcs all starting off with Breather Episodes.
  • Chekhov's Gunman:
    • While the #2 Hero Endeavor makes his official debut in Chapter 28, there's a cameo of him as early as Chapter 3 during All Might's reflection on U.A. High. In fact, he appears even earlier, in the very first chapter, in the very first splash page. He's being shown on a jumbotron/advertisement billboard in the background, as unsuspecting scenery.
    • Yaoyorozu got the second place in the class representative elections by having two votes: one of her own and other from someone who's never revealed. At the time, it was irrelevant, but after she goes into Heroic Self-Deprecation and becomes a Broken Ace, finding out that the person to vote for her was Todoroki revitalizes her confidence in herself enough for her to get them to pass on the end of terms test.
    • Kirishima shows up several times in Chapter 3, though he's impossible to find unless you've read Chapter 144 and learned what he looked like before getting into U.A.
  • Cherry Blossoms: There's an incredible amount of cherry blossom symbolism in this series. When All Might announces Midoriya can be a hero, cherry blossoms fall to represent the blooming of a new hero. Notice the cherry blossom trees in in the background of the first opening between Midoriya and Bakugou representing the blossoming of rivals that will spur each other to greater heights.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: This is apparently quite common. All Might mentions that all the top heroes' stories include some iteration of "My body moved before I could think" when it came to their first acts of heroism. Izuku doing the same in the beginning of the series is what wins him All Might's respect.
  • Clark Kent Outfit: Many of the cast are curvier or more muscular than their civvies and school uniforms indicate; even some of the hero costumes are baggy enough to disguise what shape the heroes are in.
  • Climax Boss: Several over the course of the series, often tied in with someone's character arc:
    • Midoriya's is the Sludge Villain, where he proves that he has the heart of a true hero despite being Quirkless.
    • Todoroki's is Midoriya, who manages to put him on the road to embracing his fire powers as part of himself and overcoming his father's abuse.
    • Iida's is Hero Killer Stain, who forces him to face the fact that he has put his selfish desire for revenge over the greater good.
    • Bakugou's is All Might, forcing him to put his pride, anger, and rivalry with Midoriya aside in order to accomplish his goals.
    • All Might's is All For One, who forces him to exhaust all of his remaining reserves of power in order to defeat him and forces him into retirement.
  • Color-Coded Characters: Impressively, the anime's website manages to give an unique associated color to each member of the quite large cast. From the students alone:
  • Coming-of-Age Story: The manga as a whole plays as this to Midoriya, since he grows from a wimpy, shy kid to the world's greatest hero.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: Invoked by the League of Villains during their raid on the USJ; while the majority of villains are rough and tumble thugs, they've been saving Noumu specifically for All Might. This is invoked again during the Training Camp Arc, when they send in a squad of specialists instead of the army of thugs they tried the first time.
  • Contrasting Sequel Antagonist: Between arcs:
    • Introduction Arc: Bakugou is a Nominal Hero in training, with a history with the protagonist and while loving All Might, he likes fighting and destroying his enemies. He's a Bully who takes pleasure in toying with and hurting Midoriya during their fight and is his most direct Foil.
    • USJ Arc: Shigaraki is a Psychotic Manchild who uses video game metaphors all the time. He's an admitted villain who has big goals and despises All Might, unlike Bakugou. Furthermore, he isn't active in the forefront, as he prefers to let his minions do most of the fighting, and he knows that he's outmatched against All Might.
    • Sports Festival Arc: Todoroki is the main antagonist of the arc. He's a hero in training. Unlike Shigaraki, he's also much more stoic and composed than the previous antagonists. Also unlike them, he is outright shown as someone sad deep down and instantly befriends Midoriya once the arc is over. In contrast, Endeavor is the first hero to actually showcase how corrupt heroes can be.
    • Stain Arc: Stain is a villainous Well-Intentioned Extremist that kills heroes that don't befit his ideals. The difference between him and Shigaraki is basically spelled out by Midoriya at the end of the arc that, unlike Shigaraki, Stain praises All Might and has an ideal and an objective to follow.
    • End of Terms Arc: The teachers play the antagonist of the arc. The difference here is that they don't mean any harm to the protagonists and are only trying to test them.
    • Training Camp Arc: The Vanguard Action Squad is a group of murderous criminals that get together under Shigaraki's command. They are very happy to murder people just for the fun of it and are much more competent than the original formation of many untrained thugs of the League of Villains.
    • Hideout Raid Arc: All For One, the actual Big Bad of the story, steps down to take the center stage. Unlike those before him, he has no interest in anyone or anything but All Might and is much Older and Wiser than the teen/twenty-something villains of the League. He's also immensely more powerful and the fight against him is a Wham Episode in itself.
    • Provisional Hero License Exam Arc: Inasa is The Ace of another school, with personal beef against Todoroki. Unlike the antagonists before him, he's genuinely nice to everyone most of the time and is a loud and boisterous guy with a huge respect for heroes and heroes in training of all kinds. He's also capable of making amends to Todoroki — and later, Endeavor — after a while.
    • Internship Arc: Overhaul is a Yakuza with intention of taking over All For One's spot as the head of the organized crime. He lampoons Shigaraki for not having any plans and ambitions to do the same, while showcasing he has an organized and long-term plan to achieve his own goals. He's also much more cruel than prior villains as he happily tortures and mentally abuses a little girl with the intention of creating his anti-Quirk serum.
    • Culture Festival Arc: Gentle and La Brava are a duo of quirky, lovable Anti Villains with tragic backstories and broken dreams. They commit non-lethal crimes with the intention of gathering a fanbase and show the errors of the heroes while having a much nicer relationship with each other than the prior Bad Boss or lonely type antagonists before them.
  • Conveniently Empty Building:
    • Discussed. During the Heroes vs. Villains training exercise, both Bakugou and Midoriya lose standing in the results for firing off massive blasts while indoors. The U.A. kids are taught from the very beginning to avoid property damage whenever possible because this isn't in play, and the series itself often shows civilians in buildings during times of crisis.
    • During the climax of the Internship Raid, Chisaki goes on a rampage and damages many of the occupied houses around him and Midoriya, with one panel even showing a mother protecting her infant from falling debris. Midoriya uses a 100% kick to get Chisaki away from the people.
  • Create Your Own Hero: All Might and Midoriya's Quirk "One For All" was created by a villain who could give and take Quirks. The villain gave a Quirk to someone who already had one, which led to One For All's formation. The users of One For All all opposed the villain, and the villain was eventually defeated by All Might.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: It's acknowledged a few times that the entrance exam to get in U.A.'s Hero Course is overly geared towards combat-oriented Quirks, leading to people like Shinsou who have powerful Quirks that just happen to be useless in this particular test.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • Todoroki does this at least three times, the first against Ojiro and Hagakure during the Battle Trial, the second against a group of villains during the USJ Arc, and the third against Sero during the Sports Festival tournament.
    • Tokoyami provides one against Moonfish during the School Trip Arc.
    • In Chapter 87, the combined pro hero and police force utterly decimates the League of Villains and rescues Bakugou without a hitch, completely preempting Midoriya and his friends' plans to rescue him.
    • In Chapter 88, All For One returns the favor by kidnapping Bakugou again, ambushing the police force with a fraction of the Noumu army, and takes out several pro heroes who were at the Noumu factory in less than a second with the No. 4 hero Best Jeanist among them.
    • Mirio delivers one to the entirety of Class 1-A, taking the whole class down within the span of few minutes, including beating all of long ranged fighters in less than six seconds.
  • Damsel in Distress:
    • Zigzagged during the entrance exam. Uraraka is trapped beneath heavy rubble when a massive hazard-bot suddenly appears in the middle of U.A.'s practical exam. She manages to escape under her own power while Midoriya is busy demolishing the robot and gets to rescue him before he faceplants from fifty stories up.
    • Invoked by the HUC (Help Us Company), who are professional damsels in distress. Justified too, as their role is to judge an aspiring hero's ability to handle the situation during crises, and they have terrifying eyes for details in this case.
  • Darker and Edgier: ILLEGALS, which focus on vigilantes and more street level crime, including drug dealing and an Attempted Rape.
  • Deconstructor Fleet: Has its own page.
  • Decon-Recon Switch: The story deconstructs several tropes normally used in the Action Shonen genre, to the point of becoming a Deconstructor Fleet at a point, but it overall reconstructs the genre.
  • Determinator: The "You can accomplish anything if you try hard enough and never give up, no matter the personal cost" mindset is played as destructive, as the main characters suffer great injury because of it. For example, Iida sustains nerve damage in his arm, while Midoriya's arms won't last much longer either.
  • Degraded Boss:
    • The feared 0-point robots in the entrance exam are later reused as obstacles in the Sports Festival race, where several students are easily able to handle them. Discussed by the proctors, who point out that the robots not being treated as hazards to be avoided has a different psychological effect on the kids.
    • There are more than one Artificial Human Noumu, but the first one was the most refined of them all as it was made for the goal of defeating All Might. Later ones are not as strong and can easily be taken down by the likes of Endeavor and Gran Torino.
  • De-Power: A chilling threat in a society where nearly everyone is a Differently Powered Individual:
    • Aizawa has the power to depower others for as long as he avoids blinking.
    • All For One can steal Quirks, resulting in this happening to his victims.
    • Chisaki and company are working on drugs that stop a person's Quirk factor. They've made bullets that stop it temporarily, but it's implied they're developing a permanent depowering version. They succeed, using the first batch to depower Mirio Togata, a student who was said to be the closest to taking the position of Number One Hero.
  • Deus Exit Machina: Mirio, a character who could very reasonably stand in the way of Midoriya achieving the narratively predestined endpoint of being the number one hero, gets his ability taken away permanently by way of a special type of bullet that's meant to be eliminated permanently at the end of the same arc.
  • Differently Powered Individual: By the time the story takes place, these represent the majority of the population, with a whopping 80% possessing some type of Quirk. Most simply continue to live ordinary lives, though, with only a small number becoming full-on superheroes or supervillains. This is inverted with Quirkless people, individuals with no superpowers who make up only 20% of the population.
  • Double Standard: During Bakugou and Uraraka's fight, many spectators start booing the former for not going easier on a girl. Aizawa immediately calls them out for this; this is the same audience that was fine with the three other male vs female matches, including a boy who could shoot lasers against a female opponent. The only difference is that Bakugou is an unlikable jerk, therefore the audience just assumes everything he does is to bully his opponent.
  • Dualvertisement: In the run-up to the anime's third season, a series of ads was produced to promote the Japanese release of Avengers: Infinity War, where All Might asks the members of Class 1-A which Avenger they admire the most. For the record: Midoriya admires Captain America, Bakugou admires Iron Man,note  Uraraka admires Black Widow, Iida admires Doctor Strange, Todoroki admires The Mighty Thor, and All Might himself admires The Incredible Hulk.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Characterization of several characters was highly different than what would became of them in later chapters:
    • Early chapters paint Todoroki with a rather Anti-Hero/Ambiguously Evil vibe that never appears again, since he was only not willing to kill a villain because it would make him look bad later, and for that, didn't even try to save the villain, just told him to get out of the ice soon or else he would tarnish his reputation. Then his Dark and Troubled Past comes into light and we are given an explanation for why he behaves so grimly, and Midoriya yanks him out of his grudging state.
    • All the way back during the USJ Arc, Shigaraki was very fond of video game lingo and metaphors. This aspect rarely shows up later, although it may be a case of Character Development.
    • Midoriya used to have a crush on Uraraka (or, in the very least, he wasn't subtle about it). As the series progressed, his crush on her never seems to get mentioned again, while Uraraka starts developing feelings for him. This might have just been his skittishness around girls, since he simply wasn't used to talking to people of the opposite gender without them mocking him.
    • Midoriya was shown to be pretty resentful towards Bakugou at the outset of the story because of his bullying in the first chapter. This is a stark contrast to the Midoriya now, who still admires him and is optimistic that he can still be friends with him.
    • A lesser example is with Iida. At the U.A. entrance exam, he is rather severe towards Midoriya and has a rather severe expression the entire time. Though he and Midoriya quickly become friends on the first day of school after the former apologizes for how he was, Midoriya is initially unhappy to learn that they were in the same classroom. His hair style is different at first, initially being an undercut style. Shortly after school begins, it has grown out to a more generic hairstyle.
    • Though it is partially because he is regularly Off-Model, Kouda looked fairly different early in the manga. Early on, his looks emphasized his Rock Monster traits more heavily, but as the story goes on, he begins to look less ugly and more nervous, fitting his personality more.
    • In the first chapter, Bakugou always wore a smug grin on his face. Since then, he's been a Perpetual Frowner.
  • Elaborate University High: U.A. has buildings devoted to teaching and classes, dorms after it becomes a Boarding School, an Olympic-sized sports stadium, and several city-sized complexes that are used for hero training. This is partially justified by one of U.A.'s teachers literally manipulate cement as much as he wants,note  but the school's incredibly large property is still highly unrealistic for a Japanese city.
  • Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors: Quirk advantages are a concept that's been there since the first chapter. They're often basic like the wood manipulator being weak to fire, or the shadow beast user being weak to anything that can produce reasonable light. Some are more subtle though, like the Quirk eraser having a disadvantage against mutants, whose Quirks tend to be permanent alterations on their bodies (and thus can't be turned off).
  • Enemy Mine: The League of Villains is not a fan of Chisaki and the yakuza, and during the Internship Arc, Toga and Twice openly sabotage the villains, helping the heroes' rescue operation.
  • Entertainingly Wrong: Todoroki, having recognized the similarity between Midoriya's powers and All Might's, but not knowing about the fact that All Might's power can be deliberately passed down, asks Midoriya if he's All Might's illegitimate child.
  • Everybody Is Single: The only characters who are confirmed to be in romantic relationships are parents. Not a single U.A. student has been confirmed to be in a relationship or has ever been in a relationship. With students in the hero course so focused on becoming heroes, the series places way more emphasis on friendships and teamwork than romance. During the rare times romance is brought up, it's usually thought of as a distraction to hero careers. That said, they are all high school freshmen at a new school, most of them not knowing each other before entering U.A., so it makes sense they haven't immediately hooked up with each other.
  • Everyone Is a Super: By the time the series begins, 80% of humanity has some kind of Quirk. That said, most humans aren't superheroes. Inverted with animals, with only a rare few obtaining Quirks and intelligence as a result. The principal is one such animal.
  • Evil Is Cool: The villain Stain is seen as this In-Universe, but this is deconstructed. The manga shows how damaging the concept can be to society, especially to young people since the attention Stain gets from the media encourages already troubled people such as Toga and Dabi to become full time villains, with Spinner even patterning himself after Stain himself. This is also troublesome because even if these villains are cool, they are still evil, as shown when Kaminari praised Stain's coolness, failing to realize he just praised the man who permanently crippled his classmate's brother right in front of said classmate until he is called out on it.
  • Evolutionary Levels: Apparently, people with Quirks lack a joint in their pinkie toe. It's explained that this joint is vestigial in humans, and therefore anyone without it is part of a new stage in evolution.
  • Evolving Credits: In the closing credits of the first three episodes of the anime, Midoriya is seen running in his middle school uniform. Once he makes it into U.A., he wears his high school uniform instead.
  • Exact Words: Important during All Might's fight with Noumu:
    All Might: He said your power was shock absorption, not nullification! That means there's a limit to what you can take, right?!
  • Famed In-Story:
    • Most Pro Heroes are famous to varying degrees, with All Might being the most famous of them all.
    • Because of its large national audience, students of U.A. have the chance of making their name known across the whole nation at the U.A. Sports Festival.
    • Even compared to other U.A. students, Midoriya's class became famous after they were able to repel a villain ambush during one of their lessons. It actually caused them to overshadow the other U.A. students at the above-mentioned Sports Festival as the media and audience paid more attention to them.
  • Fantastic Racism:
    • When Quirks first began to emerge, people who developed them were ostracized by society à la X-Men, but now that the majority of people in the world have powers, it's the powerless who are at a disadvantage. Even those who have odd appearances as a result of their Quirks aren't notably discriminated against.
    • Chapter 171 reveals the existence of a villain known as Destro, who is or was leader of the "Metahuman Liberation Army", suggesting that at some point, those with Quirks fought back against those who ostracized them in the early days of powers coming into existence.
  • Fat Flex: All Might describes his superpower to be similar to this. Just like a normal human can puff their chest to look stronger, he too can redistribute his body's energy output to turn from a skinny bloke to a superhuman form. However, doing so puts heavy strain on his body, even more so after he got a lung ripped out in battle and so has had his transformational time halved.
  • Feeling Oppressed by Their Existence: This is pretty much the mentality of how a lot of the villains in this series operate. They don't like living in a peaceful time or in a world where they can't do what they wish such as killing people and causing havoc. So they wish to change the system to suit their own means.
  • Fictional Disability: In Chapter 168, it's revealed that some people have Quirks that aren't compatible with their biology. For example, Aoyama's Navel Laser can seriously injure him from overuse, due to a birth defect. This also explains why nobody really batted an eye when Midoriya kept severely injuring himself in the earlier story arcs.
  • Filler:
    • In the anime, there have been moments here and there of Adaptation Expansion, such as getting to see the Sports Festival fights that were off-panel in the manga, with many confirmed canon such as Yaoyorozu's fight with Tokoyami. However, episode 19 of Season 2 is technically the first true filler episode that delves into some of the post-Sports Festival internships of the U.A. students while Midoriya recovered in the hospital following the fight against Stain. One noteworthy internship that's given the spotlight here is the one for Tsuyu, which shows the entirety of the mission she's on dealing with a group of villains on a naval ship. These events, at least in the case of Tsuyu, are a case of adaptation expansion/canon too, as they're all referred to as occurring in the manga, just offscreen. It's still technically filler though in that unlike the Sports Festival, no manga events takes place in the episode with it.
    • Season 3 opens with a swimming competition between Class 1-A that's never in the manga in a long Shout-Out to Free!. The episode, however, has comparatively less fanservice than what's usually seen in this situation, which is lampshaded when Kaminari and Mineta try to check out the girls in bikinis, only to find out that they're wearing full body swimsuit; if anything, the fanservice comes from the male characters who only wear shorts.
    • Also in Season 3, the Provisional Hero License Exam adds a few segments that weren't in the manga. One showcases Todoroki vs. a class of ninja-themed students. The other pits a team of Yaoyorozu, Tsuyu, Jirou, and Shouji against an all-girl squad led by a hyper-intelligent strategist.
  • Fire/Ice Duo: Invoked by Endeavor, who wanted a child with a strong Quirk. He sought out a woman with a strong ice Quirk to complement his fire Quirk, and trapped her in marriage. She eventually gave birth to Shouto Todoroki, who can generate fire from his left side and ice from his right.
  • Flaw Exploitation: The End of Term practical test is redesigned into this after the incidents involving the League of Villains. The teachers pair up students against the teacher who can best force them to deal with their weak areas.
  • Foil: Gentle and La Brava in the Cultural Festival Arc are shaping up to be foils to Stain; as opposed to spreading the ideals of a world with uncorrupt heroism through violence, Gentle and La Brava seem to only care about making videos of their "villainous" acts, which so far consist of them robbing a convenience store because the pudding they were selling was expired. It Makes Sense in Context.
  • Foregone Conclusion:
    • In general, Midoriya's narration says at the very start that this is the story about how he became a great hero. So assuming he isn't lying, we can assume he succeeds in the end.
    • Midoriya's narration in Chapter 46 indicates that something bad will happen to Iida. It does.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • While All Might explains the nature of "One For All" as a Quirk that is to be cultivated and inherited, there are eight balls of light which are interconnected, like a constellation. These hint to the eight previous holders of the Quirk, with Midoriya being the ninth successor.
    • All Might gives Izuku a training regime to prepare him for U.A. Izuku quickly starts going beyond the limits the plan called for, causing him problems with overwork. Not only does Izuku hurting himself from pushing himself too far become a recurring element of the series, but the differences between his and All Might's personalities seriously hampers their teaching relationship.
    • Early in the USJ Arc, Kirishima describes his Quirk as not at all "flashy" and thought it be easier for him to be a Pro Hero if he had a flashier moniker. Come the Internship Arc, it's revealed during middle school, around the time Bakugou and Midoriya fought the Sludge Villain, that Kirishima was having self-doubts about his chances at being a hero, even giving up on going to U.A. at one point.
    • In the opening shots of the second opening, Midoriya can clearly be seen. Note the sleeves on his arms, which seem to have been torn off. This is a hint as towards the permanent damage he'll do to his arms at the end of the arc.
    • During the last thirty seconds of the third opening, one gets a decent shot at all the major members of the League of Villains, including it's real leader, as the shadow behind them heavily resembles Sensei.
  • Four Lines, All Waiting:
    • There's the main plot, which is society attempting to raise a new generation of heroes.
    • Midoriya is struggling desperately to become All Might's replacement as the Symbol of Peace without dying along the way.
    • The League of Villains is trying to remake society in its own image while grooming a new leader to answer the Symbol of Peace.
    • Character Focus continually jumps around, from Todoroki to Iida to Kirishima, with major characters All Might, Bakugou, and Uraraka flitting in and out along the way. Horikoshi very much wants to give all the characters what focus he can, and repeatedly laments all the characters he hasn't yet been able to focus on.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
    • Some of the poster scenery in Season 2 is directly ripped from the volume covers of the manga.
    • The third opening has a shot of Iida looking towards the camera, and the smile of his brother reflected in the lens of his glasses.
  • Fridge Logic: In-Universe. Midoriya belatedly realizes that since he can produce blasts of air at just 20% of One For All's power, then All Might wasn't using 100% of his power all the time while in his muscled form. If he was, he'd create a hurricane every time he moved.
  • Friendly Rivalry:
    • The most notable pair are Kirishima and Tetsutetsu. They're both at odds about having very similar Quirks, but soon become friends after they first tie in the Sports Festival's tournament.
    • Bakugou starts out as just The Rival, but after he miserably fails the Provisional Hero License Exam and figuring out that Midoriya has All Might's Quirk, he starts to mellow out a little towards Midoriya.
  • Frog Men: Tsuyu and her family are all notably froglike.

    G-L 
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars:
    • Scars of heroic characters tend to be out of the way or subtle — Kirishima and Aizawa have little nicks near their eyes, Nezu has a thin stripe that runs over one of his eyes, and Vlad King has a faint X-shaped scar over his cheek. Midoriya's arms are Covered in Scars, but they're slashes that are covered most of the time. The exception is Todoroki's prominent burn mark, which could qualify as an Evil Scar, but it's still far less severe than Dabi's burns.
    • Meanwhile, villainous characters often have larger and more grotesque scars — Dabi's body is nearly covered in horrific dark burn scars, Muscular's got a giant slash over his missing eye, Twice has a very prominent vertical stitched-up scar that runs across his forehead, and All For One's face is entirely covered in scar tissue.
  • The Greatest Story Never Told: In Chapter 56, Midoriya, Todoroki and Iida have survived Stain's onslaught and even rescued Native, but tales of their heroics can never be told since they committed a violation of performing superheroics without any license; If word got out, they would have to be punished.
  • Greek Chorus:
    • During the Sports Festival, commentary on the matches for the benefit of the audience switches between the official commentators (Present Mic and Aizawa), the other students, and the visiting heroes.
    • Bakugou and Midoriya were the second pair to finish their final in the manga; afterwards, Midoriya commentates on the rationale and strategies of the remaining matches alongside Recovery Girl. Since the anime changes things so that the pairs go one at a time, Midoriya still watches the matches, but is joined by some of his classmates after they finish their finals.
  • Golden Snitch: In the second round of the Sports Festival, Midoriya is the snitch. His point value of ten million is greater than the rest of the students' points combined. Unlike most examples, the game didn't completely devolve into an all-out war for his 10,000,000 point headband, because there were openings for four teams to make it to the next round, and several teams decided it would be more worthwhile to go after other sources of points with less competition.
  • Hair Color Dissonance: Several characters that seem to be black-haired (ex: Midoriya, Iida, Tsuyu) have their hair with unnaturally-colored highlights (ex: mint, dark blue, teal), but sometimes, they will be drawn with their hair entirely on those colors, making it hard to identify their actual hair color.
  • Hair-Contrast Duo:
  • Headbutting Heroes: Heroism is a corporate affair, so there's an undercurrent of competition between various heroes and their agencies for the public eye and the business that provides; professional hero Mount Lady makes her debut by "kill stealing" from Kamui Woods in the very first chapter, for example.
  • Helmets Are Hardly Heroic:
    • If a main character wears more covering headgear than a Domino Mask or goggles, the very first hit said character takes in a fight will blow it off. Always. Special mention to Midoriya himself, who took over a hundred chapters to wear his mask again after it got blown apart by Bakugou in their first training exercise, even after it was repaired.
    • Sero actually does wear his helmet. However, you can see his face through the glass when his facial expressions need to be seen. Otherwise it's completely black.
    • Played with, with Iida. When in full uniform, he does wear his fully covering helmet, yet during the fight against Stain, which was his biggest battle yet in uniform, the helmet came off.
  • Hero Academy: U.A. is a Superhero School for those in the Hero Course, but it's this for those in General Education, Management, and Support, as these courses don't teach kids how to be heroes but rather other skills that would help them survive in a superhero-filled setting.
  • Hero of Another Story: Following the Sports Festival Arc, it's implied that Shinsou has been training, in the background, to become a hero in his own right; his most recent appearance has him a fair bit more muscular than he was previously, and it's mentioned that he seems far more intense.
  • Hero Insurance: Present, but there is a limit, as enough property damage can cause hero offices to go bankrupt, so destruction of property is discouraged.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Class 1-A to the other classes. Despite all the danger they got into, the fame that they get cause the other classes to look at them with disdain, believing the class to be cocky and enjoying the fame of surviving against villains. This is especially true regarding their plan for the culture festival, where two general department students talk of their good intentions badly in Bakugou's earshot.
  • Heroic Build: Most male heroes, including the teenagers of Class 1-A (except Mineta), are built like brickhouses.
  • Heroic Fantasy: Not the manga itself, but two pieces of manga bonus art depicts the characters as heroes adventuring in a medieval fantasy setting. This is expanded on in the second anime season's second ending, as well as one chapter in the light novels.
  • Heroic R.R.O.D.: While Quirks grant a user power, they're not infinite and often can cause harm to the to user if either used excessively or not used properly:
    • Midoriya can't control his power output so his bones break every time he uses One For All. By Chapter 47, he's trying to find a way around this.
    • Uraraka can't overuse her gravity power or she'll get violently nauseous or dizzy, as she has a weight limit.
    • Kaminari's charge reserves have a limit and if he uses too much, he'll be in a state of unparalleled stupidity.
    • Mineta can't rip out too many sticky balls or his skin will bleed.
    • Aoyama's navel laser can't be overused or his stomach will crumple or be crushed.
    • Aizawa has to maintain unblinking eye contact to nullify other powers or it won't work. He also can't stare for too long cause he has dry eyes.
    • Iida can overclock the engines in his legs for a single burst of incredible speed, after which he can't use his powers again for a while. In addition, his engines seem to be literal mechanical engines, with parts such as temperature regulators which can break.
    • Todoroki can suffer frostbite from using his ice powers unless he uses his flame powers to regulate his body temperature. Presumably something similar would have if he overused his flame powers and didn't regulate his temperature with his ice powers.
    • Bakugou needs sweat to generate his explosions. If he can't sweat, he can't make an explosion. He discusses this in Chapter 38, pointing out that every Quirk has some kind of limit. Bakugou designed his own costume specifically to help him collect sweat to amplify his explosions. His wrists also aren't immune to the kickback from the explosions he makes, so if he overdoes it, he could also injure himself by straining his wrists.
  • Heroic Wannabe: Many pro heroes treat their profession as a way to achieve fame and celebrity status, often forgetting the meaning of the word "hero". Midoriya, despite being Quirkless, was probably more of a hero than most of them, which is why All Might chose him as his successor in the first place. This type of person was also the main target of Stain's attacks.
  • Hidden Depths: Bakugou, of all people, took music lessons, and knows how to play the drums so well that it impressed Jirou.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: The user of All For One ultimately created his own opposition when he forced a Quirk that could stockpile power upon his brother, the original owner of One For All. This combination of power means that each successor of One For All becomes more powerful than the one prior, with the ultimate goal of defeating All For One.
  • Homage:
    • It is a distinctly Japanese take on Western-style superheroes. There are even color pages that resemble superhero comic covers, such as the one seen on this page.
    • All Might is one to the Flying Bricks of the Golden and Silver Ages.
    • Stain is very obviously based on the style of darker and edgier antihero that was popular in Western comics in the '90s.
  • Hope Spot: Endeavour ends up winning a hard battle that involved losing half his face to defeat the new Nomu. He rises from the battle in a similar pose to All Might to massive media uproar, and just as it seems he will be the new Symbol of Peace, Dabi shows up.
  • Hourglass Plot: Midoriya grew up being mocked and bullied for dreaming of becoming a hero despite his lack of a Quirk, while Bakugou was always showered in praise for his powerful Quirk. When they get into U.A., however, Midoriya quickly earns a lot of friends and respect thanks to him being a nice and friendly guy, while the rest of the class can barely stand Bakugou's mean and arrogant personality.
  • Hufflepuff House:
    • Aside from the Heroics department, the main focus of the series, U.A. also offers General Education (i.e. regular high school education), Support (gadget engineering) and Hero Management (hero managers) classes. Shishou is the only prominent Gen Ed student, while Mei is the only prominent Support student.
    • Class 1-B, the other Hero class of U.A., is more or less a glorified Hufflepuff House, with only three or so actually prominent characters (Tetsutetsu, Kendou and Monoma).
  • Hybrid Power:
    • Present given that Quirk inheritance is a thing, and sometimes children might inherit both of the parents' Quirks.
    • Endeavor invoked this directly; he had children with a woman with a strong Quirk in the hopes of siring a Superior Successor with a powerful combination of both of their Quirks.
  • Hypocritical Humor: After Kouta decides that he doesn't want to hang around the U.A. kids, acting rude and like he's above their "cheesiness", Bakugou, of all people, is the one to comment on his specific brand of trying to act mature.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: Midoriya wanted to be a hero badly, but being Quirkless, it only made him the butt of jokes for not being able to let go of his dreams. He even suffers a Broken Pedestal moment when his idol, All Might, tells him he can never be a hero without a Quirk. It isn't until he attempts to rescue his former best friend from a creature he caused All Might to lose that All Might has a change of heart and allows him to inherit his Quirk.
  • I Work Alone:
    • Some heroes have corporate identities and agencies all for themselves, which can be a problem when there's a limit to how much of the public eye each can have.
    • During the Provisional Hero License Exam, Todoroki, Bakugou, and Yoarashi attempt to do this, it results in all of them failing the exam, with the explanation that their inability to work together is damaging to the generation of heroes focused on unity and teamwork that they attempt to create to compensate All Might's retirement. In particular, Yoarashi and Todoroki stopping to deal with their personal issues during the fight against Gang Orca almost gets Shindou killed.
  • Informed Attribute: In the physical tests class 1-A take on their first day of school, all the students are able to outperform Izuku due to being able to use their Quirks effectively, while he can't. This is despite the fact that Izuku had undergone intensive muscle training in the preceding year and that they were physical tests, like long jump and softball throwing, which several of his classmate's Quirks wouldn't have been helpful with.
  • Innocently Insensitive: During the End of Term Test Arc, Iida and Midoriya give Kaminari and Ashido encouraging words for the written exams, and Todoroki tells them that it's hard to fail if they listen in class. Of course, these three are all in the class's top five, which is just rubbing salt in the wound. Yaoyorozu invites them over to her house for a study session, and quickly becomes this for an entirely different reason:
    "It's like she casually slapped me with the huge difference in how we were born..."
  • Intangibility: Deconstructed. As shown by Mirio, this power, which is often a Story-Breaker Power, is one of the hardest powers to use. Becoming intangible, Mirio becomes unable to breathe, hear or see, since he is intangible to air, sound and light, he even falls through the floor if his feet become intangible. Aside from the clear emotional scarring and how fatally dangerous this can be, this power is only useful because Mirio dedicated his life to training with it.
  • Jaywalking Will Ruin Your Life: Using your Quirk in public is considered a serious offense if it's not to protect yourself or other people. On the other hand, it's often treated as a very minor crime and offenders are usually just given a warning or long lecture if you happen to get caught. That said, should you be arrested for it, you are named as a villain. In the Illegals spin-off, a police officer mentions she will have to write a letter of apology for using her Quirk to free hostages. When Class 1-A is under attack from the League of Villains, Aizawa has to give them express permission to use their Quirks to enter combat or else they'll face legal ramifications.
  • Kid Hero: Midoriya and his classmates are all aged 15-16, yet they get a lot more chances to be heroic than U.A. expected from the freshmen.
  • Kids Are Cruel: Izuku was relentlessly bullied by all of his classmates all the way through middle school for being Quirkless and wanting to be a Hero. He was made the laughingstock of his entire class no matter what he did and his own teachers did nothing to stop them even as Bakugou told him to go take a swan dive off the roof.
  • Kung-Fu Sonic Boom: The clash between All Might and Noumu results in gale force wind that prevents anyone from getting within several meters of the fight.
  • Legacy Character: Three variants of this are present in the series:
    • The first is the passing down of a "title" from one person to another even if the characters are unrelated. Most noticeably, Midoriya becomes the ninth user of "One For All" after All Might, the eighth user, passed it on to him. In this case, however, it's the passing down of a specific superpower as well, much like the example of Ant-Man.
    • The second is a heroic legacy in a family, most prominently displayed in the Iida family. Tenya Iida's brother Tensei in particular is the much-beloved engine hero Ingenium, and Tenya inherits the name after Tensei is forced into retirement after being paralyzed by Stain, though Tenya has some issues getting to the point where he feels he can actually accept it.
    • The third is similar to comic book legacy titles. Kirishima wishes to become a hero like the similarly powered Crimson Riot, and so has his hero name modeled after him. He even gets a couple of spotlight chapters showing how he came to understand Crimson Riot's mentality, and near the end of them a pro hero accepts him as worthy of the name after the courage and tenacity Kirishima displayed.
  • Legion of Doom: The League of Villains, a group of villains who team up to kill All Might.
  • Leitmotif: Starting in Season 2, the anime started to give out theme to certain characters.
  • Little Bit Beastly: Some Quirks mutate their user to give them the appearance of a human-animal hybrid.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: At least twenty regular characters and many more introduced in later arcs. Horikoshi himself often laments in character bios that he isn't able to fully introduce many of them yet.
  • Lost in Translation: While for the most part the translations align, Viz's professional translators and the various fan translators have diverging interpretations of several key lines. The most egregious examples include:
    • When he first meets All Might, Midoriya asks if it was the villain Venomous Chainsaw who crippled him. According to the fans, All Might responds, "Yeah, he wounded me but I wouldn't let that stop me." According to Viz, it came out as, "That lowlife? He could never do this to me."
    • Hero Killer Stain has different motivations depending on the translator. According to the fan translators, it's "The word 'hero' must be restored!" or "If heroes aren't restored...!". But when Viz translated it, it was "If I don't reclaim my hero status...!"
    • Viz refers to the Number Two of the League of Villains by the original Japanese "Kurogiri", while fans have been translating his name literally as "Black Mist".
    • Uraraka's recognition of her feelings for Midoriya is handled differently. In fan translations, she apparently resolved to push her feelings aside entirely, while in the official translation, she wants to merely get them under control.
    • While discussing why All Might no longer works with Nighteye, fan translations had All Might explain it as, "We broke up, so it's kind of awkward", while the Viz translation is, "For certain reasons, it's awkward."
  • Love Is a Weakness:
    • Gran Torino points out Midoriya's idolization of All Might has warped his expectations of his hero and of the power of One For All, hindering his combat ability by making him think of his Quirk as merely a Special or even a Finishing Move.
    • Uraraka's feelings for Midoriya start developing in earnest after the first internship, but the topic terribly flusters her and even affects her field performance, so, not long after the U.A. becomes a boarding school, she resolves to get a handle on them.

    M-R 
  • Magic Pants: Zigzagged. Quirks involving transformation don't generally affect the character's clothes, as seen with Mount Lady's supersizing power, or All Might's hero outfit, which seems to magically appear and disappear as appropriate. This is justified in some cases because of Support Companies, which create high-tech costumes that can handle their users' Quirks. Though for some reason, this is averted for other chararacters, such as Yaoyorozu, whose "generate objects out of her body" Quirk frequently leads to Clothing Damage and/or partial undressing, and Togata, whose phasing ability frequently causes his gym uniform, but not his hero costume, to fall off.
  • Masculine Lines, Feminine Curves: There is a trend of the male characters being drawn with more defined muscles, sharp lines, and squares (eg. Iida, All Might) and the female characters being drawn with rounder features and curves (eg. Uraraka, Midnight). However, this is not totally ubiquitous; there are male characters who fall somewhere in the middle (eg. Midoriya, who has round features but a muscular body) or avert it outright (eg. Mineta, whose most notable physical feature is the round growths on his head), as well as female characters who have more jagged, angular designs (eg. Jirou).
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!": This is Midoriya, Iida, Todoroki, Yaoyorozu, and Kirishima's reaction when they see All For One for the first time.
  • Master-Apprentice Chain: Given One For All's unique nature as a Quirk that can be passed down to a chosen successor, such a chain is strongly implied with One For All's users, and is confirmed with its seventh, eighth, and ninth users Nana Shimura, All Might, and Midoriya.
  • Memetic Mutation: The kid who shouted at the media during the live news coverage of High End's attack to stop broadcasting despair and asked if they couldn't see that Endeavor was struggling to protect the civilians became an In-Universe instant meme after the incident. He earned the nickname "Can't ya see-kun" in reference to what he said, that particular scene started trending on social media, and merchandise of him like mugs and T-shirts printed started going around.
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard:
    • All Might's mentor nana allegedly died fighting All For One.
    • After the raid on the Hassaikai's hideout, Sir Nighteye, Mirio's mentor, dies from wounds he suffered fighting Overhaul.
    • All Might himself zigzags this. In the earlier chapters, Midoriya continuously sees him deteriorate as he is able to use his Hour of Power for less and less time, so when he goes up against All For One, the clash is played as All Might's final battle — because he uses up his last bit of power defeating the villain, not because he dies. But then in the Internship Arc, it turns out that Sir Nighteye, whose prophecies have, to date, never been wrong, foresaw that All Might's days are numbered anyway... but the end of the arc proves that Nighteye's clairvoyance isn't as infallible as he believed.
  • Modern Stasis: The setting seems only slightly more futuristic than the present day despite being at least a good four or five generations ahead (maybe). What advancements do exist seem to be linked to the training and equipping of heroes. In-Universe it's theorized that the societal upheaval caused by the sudden appearance of quirks delayed the development of new technologies for a while until things settled down. There are some who believe that, had quirks not appeared, humanity would already be in space.
  • Most Common Super Power: Many of the female heroes are well-endowed.
  • Ms. Fanservice: A lot of the female heroes wear either skintight bodysuits or skimpy, revealing outfits. While these aren't exactly the most practical outfits for superheroism, in a lot of cases, this is actually justified by the fact that several heroes, most notably Mount Lady, are Punch Clock Heroes constantly competing with each other for media attention and sponsorships in order to make money, and several of the female heroes actively use their sex appeal to achieve this.
  • Mundane Fantastic: Quirks are ubiquitous to the point where things like a newscaster with horns on his head isn't considered anything unusual.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Sir Nighteye's Clairvoyance Quirk can only do so much in combat, and has a once-per-day limit. So he fights his opponents with "hypermass seals". They look like regular office stamps, but they weigh five kilograms each. That's about the weight of a large cat, and he throws them around like they're shuriken.
  • Mundane Utility: For a story swarming with superhumans, use of Quirks for everyday purposes usually tends to be for straightforward things—like Present Mic using his Make Me Wanna Shout ability as a loudspeaker at the Sports Festival, Todoroki using his flame powers to light a stove, or Kaminari using his electricity powers to charge a phone. They rarely tend towards the humorously dull.
  • No Hugging, No Kissing: Downplayed. The manga is not, strictly speaking, averse to romance, but it has so many characters and plot threads that overt and consistent Ship Tease is practically non-existent, with only a handful of relationships getting anything close to it. Midoriya/Uraraka is teased far more than any other potential couple, but even that pairing only asserts itself through blushing and Bishie Sparkles or Love Bubbles, never escalating to flirting or physical contact.
  • Not So Similar: If becomes a plot point that despite their similarities All Might and Izuku are pretty different and Izuku starts to really make headway in his training when he stops just trying to copy All Might instead of doing what he's good at.
  • Numerical Theme Naming: Each of the successors to One For All so far have this motif in their names (Nana Shimura = 7th, Toshinori Yagi [kanji containing the word "eight"] = 8th, and the ku in Izuku = 9th).
  • Odd Name Out: With respect to the series installments. The manga and the anime usually feature the title of the installment at the start, but in situations where some really heavy or intense events transpire, the title will appear at the end of the installment, usually for added dramatic impact and in situations where knowing the title early spoils something important.note 
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome:
    • A lot of the fights in the Sports Festival Arc amounted to this in the manga because they were over very quickly. However, all examples of such are completely undone in the anime, where all of the fights happen on-screen.note 
    • Iida and Ojiro's fight against Power Loader in the End of Term Test Arc. All we see of the fight is the very end, right after Ojiro makes it past the gate. The same goes for Shouji and Hagakure against Snipe.
  • On the Next: In the Japanese release of the manga volumes, there would be a short little blurb and picture from whoever narrated on the back of the book (All Might for Vol. 1, Midoriya for Vol. 2, Bakugou for Vol. 3, Uraraka for Vol. 4, and Tsuyu for Vol. 6) detailing something that'd happen in the next volume.
  • One Person, One Power: Most people in the setting have only one Quirk; the exceptions being All For One, who can steal them, and any of the previous bearers of One For All who had their own natural Quirk as well. Most of the "Nomus" have multiple Quirks granted by the All For One bearer, but they're all mindless mutant clones, implying that it's dangerous or impossible to force several Quirks onto a normal human.
  • One Steve Limit: Played with. While there are occasionally characters with similarly pronounced names, they all have different spellings:
    • There are a villain and a police chief who both have names pronounced "Kenji", but the first uses the kanji for "health" and "magnet", while the second's name is written from the kanji for "dog" and "heir".
    • The series has Shouta (Aizawa) and Shouto (Todoroki) and two distinct characters called Kouda and Kouta.
    • There are two "Kens" in the series: Takagi (Rock Lock) and Ishiyama (Cementoss). Both are coincidentally Pro Heroes.
    • There are also "Ryukos", Tatsuma (Ryukyu) and Tsuchikawa (Pixiebob). Again, both are Pro Heroes.
  • Only in It for the Money:
    • Uraraka seeks to be a hero just because it's a well-paying job. While this would usually be portrayed as selfish and/or unethical, and she herself acknowledges how unwholesome this mindset is, she only wants the money to support her family; Iida reconstructs this by mentioning that there isn't anything wrong in looking for a well-paying job to sustain herself and her parents.
    • This is one of the many examples of "corruption" Hero Killer Stain wanted to excise from the world of heroics, leaving only those in it for the sheer sake of heroism.
  • Origins Episode: Chapter 59 explains the origin of "One for All".
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: Shinsou criticizes the entrance exam to the Hero courses at U.A. for being biased towards combat oriented Quirks. Making it difficult for Weak, but Skilled students like himself to be recognized, compared to the likes of Class 1-A who get tons of attention. This is acknowledged by several characters, with Aizawa agreeing that the test is unfair, and some Pros seeing the potential in Shinsou and his Quirk.
  • Papa Wolf:
    • Do not try and harm the students of U.A., because that will earn you the wrath of All Might.
    • Aizawa is no slouch in this department, taking on pretty much the entire League of Villains by himself to protect Class 1-A until Shigaraki unleashed Noumu on him.
  • Passing the Torch: Deconstructed:
    • Midoriya inherited One For All from All Might, but it's an incredibly destructive power, All Might is a miserable teacher, and Midoriya doesn't have the natural aptitude for it, so the poor kid spends lengthy amounts of the time in the hospital and has almost completely ruined his arms.
    • Todoroki is a heroic Laser-Guided Tykebomb meant to surpass All Might as the #1 Hero because his father, the #2 Hero Endeavor, never could. The efforts involved in breeding Todoroki have left misery in their wake, with Todoroki heavily scarred over one eye and his mother in the mental hospital.
    • Iida was asked to carry on the Ingenium name from his brother, but the circumstances of the original Ingenium's retirement were so traumatic that Iida nearly gets himself killed in a failed revenge attempt.
    • Once Sensei is locked away and All Might loses what's left of One For All, both pass on the torch to their juniors, Shiragaki and Midoriya, respectively.
  • Past-Life Memories: Of a sort. Starting in Chapter 192, Izuku has a dream about the previous users of One For All, including Nana Shimura, and the first ever user, confronting his brother, All For One.
  • The Perils of Being the Best:
    • The final hurdle in the Sports Festival obstacle race is a mine field, which means whoever was in first place is at disadvantage — they have the maximum chance of encountering one of the mines.
    • The festival then punishes the winner of the obstacle race by declaring a cavalry battle; every team will is assigned the total of points earned by its members in the race, and the first place position is awarded a whopping ten million points,note  making the it the biggest target of all. Midoriya, who holds this position, very briefly experiences the combined enmity of everyone in the competition, which All Might was hoping for as a taste of what being the #1 hero is like.
    • U.A. is acknowledged as being one of the top hero schools in the country. As a result, it's apparently tradition during the Provisional Hero License Exam that other schools will gang up to try and take down its examinees. Of course, Aizawa doesn't tell his class this.
  • Personality Powers: Characters will frequently have personalities and interests that perfectly mirror their Quirks. For instance, Jirou's Quirk gives her a pair of earphone jacks on her ears that she can plug into speakers to project deafening amounts of noise, reflecting her parents' background as musicians.
  • Perspective Flip: In Chapters 88 to 90, it makes it appear that Sensei is a hero for the villains, stopping an all-powerful foe (All Might) so he could save his beloved pupil.
  • Plot Tailored to the Party: Invoked by the faculty during the Final Exams Arc; the students vs. teachers matchups are explicitly designed to address some of the students' weaknesses and help them grow as heroes:
    • Midoriya and Bakugou vs. All Might is to see whether they can set aside their differences in the face of overwhelming adversity.
    • Todoroki and Yaoyorozu vs. Aizawa is for Yaoyorozu to improve her split-second thinking and action (and by extension her self-confidence) and to challenge Todoroki's tendency to use brute force by having them go against the Power Nullifier close-combat fighter Aizawa.
    • Jirou and Kouda vs. Present Mic is because while all their Quirks revolve around sound, Present Mic is powerful enough to cancel out direct usage of Jirou and Kouda's Quirks. Thus, the students had to find creative ways to use their.
    • Tsuyu and Tokoyami vs. Ectoplasm is to challenge Tokoyami's tendency to rely on Dark Shadow to do the fighting for him, since Ectoplasm's clones can get close with no problem, and to see how well Tsuyu can emotionally and physically support her partner.
    • Ashido and Kaminari vs. Nezu was chosen because these students tend to act first, think later; this is challenged when they go up against an intelligent villain who can effectively take advantage of this and outsmart them.
    • Satou and Kirishima vs. Cementoss was designed to test how the students would react to a battle of attrition, pitting their powerful yet time-limited Quirks against a villain able to produce an endless number of defences.
    • Iida and Ojiro vs. Powerloader pit two heroes who rely on firm footing (for movement and combat) against a villain who could disrupt the terrain. In light of Iila's confrontation with Stain, it was also a test of his judgement as to whether to fight or flee, considering the parameters of the scenario, and if he could achieve his objective with minimal loss or sacrifice.
  • Police Are Useless: Subverted. Superheroes act as a rapid response to disasters and criminals with powerful Quirks while the regular police continue to have jurisdiction over day-to-day matters and the investigative side of crime fighting. Also, in Chapter 95, after All Might finally loses One For All for good, and the League of Villains becoming stronger, the police chiefs realize they need to institute serious reforms to adapt to the emerging supervillain threat.
  • Portmanteau: U.A.'s name is one, being a portmanteau between the words "Yuusha"" and "Eiyuu". In Japanese, both words can be used to refer to a hero.
  • Post Injury Desk Job: Ragdoll goes from an active hero to someone who supports her team with desk work after she loses her Quirk to All For One.
  • Poster-Gallery Bedroom: We see several of these after the U.A. students are moved into on-campus dorms. Midoriya's is filled with All Might memorabilia as befits his fanboy nature, Kaminari's has games and fun stuff, while Ojiro's is very plain.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: Chisaki's Quirk cancelling drug operation is powered by Eri's blood/tissue, and that he harvests the material until she dies. Then he uses his Quirk to bring her back to life and start the process all over again.
  • Power Incontinence: Chapter 168 reveals that Aoyama suffers from this; much like Cyclops, his Navel Laser can leak out if there's not a lens to keep it under control. In addition, his body is ill-suited to his Quirk, and when his stomach is crushed by the laser... let's just say that the "incontinence" part of this is quite literal.
  • Power Nullifier:
    • Aizawa's "Erasure" Quirk, which temporarily disables the Quirks of people he looks at.
    • Eri's unnamed Quirk, which seems to have the ability to completely destroy the Quirk Factor of any person her tissue comes into contact with. Tamaki gets hit by a bullet infused with her DNA which makes him lose his Quirk for about a day, while poor Mirio gets hit head-on by a perfected bullet meant for Eri, completely destroying his ability to use his Quirk.
  • The Power Of Lust: Mineta's realization that he wants to be a hero so he can feel up a woman is what spurs him to beat Midnight and pass his final exam.
  • Power-Up Food:
    • Tamaki's "Manifest" Quirk makes any food he eats into this, as he can make aspects of that food (such as octopus tentacles from eating takoyaki, bird talons from poultry, and an entire swordfish) manifest on his body.
    • Satou's Quirk, "Sugar Rush", gives him super strength from eating sugar. However, when he crashes from his sugar rush, he not only de-powers, his intelligence also temporarily decreases.
  • Prequel: The Illegals series takes place several years before the start of the main series. In Chapter 6.5, its revealed that the series takes place before Midnight and Aizawa become teachers with, Midnight mentioning how she would be working at U.A. next year.
  • Pretentious Latin Motto: U.A. is one of the top educational institutions in Japan, and their motto is "Plus Ultra", Latin for "Further Beyond."
  • Psycho Serum: The "Trigger" drug, first seen in ILLEGALS and later ported over to the main series, massively enhances the power and potency of weak Quirks; in ILLEGALS, it turns a man with a Quirk that gives him a lizard-like appearance into a Pterodactyl-like humanoid, and in the Hero Internship Arc, it's capable of giving someone with a minor matter-manipulation Quirk the ability to mold an entire building like it was putty. The "Psycho" part is downplayed in the main series, but in ILLEGALS, it seems to drive people who have taken the drug berserk.
  • Punny Name: Many of the characters have a name that hints at the Quirk they have or their personality.
  • Pyrrhic Victory:
    • The first Heroes vs. Villains training exercise (Midoriya/Uraraka vs. Iida/Bakugou) ends up as this for Midoriya and Uraraka. Although they won by the conditions of the exercise, Iida and Bakugou were practically uninjured, while Uraraka ended up heavily nauseous and Midoriya was straight-up hospitalized. This is acknowledged in-universe.
    • All Might's final battle with Sensei. Even though Sensei is defeated and put into prison, All Might permanently loses One For All and his true form is revealed to the public. The age of All Might is over.
    • After All Might's retirement, Endeavor gained the #1 Hero status. He is not happy with it, because he did not earn it, he never bested All Might, who went out in a blaze of glory, more popular than ever after defeating All For One and their ultimate match will now never happen. That not even getting in the point that he realized that all he did with his family for the purpose of surpassing him was now completely pointless.
  • Quality over Quantity:
    • In the Training Camp Arc, to show how much the League of Villains have become a more of a serious threat than they were in the attack on USJ, they send a team of 10 skilled and experienced villains instead of the mobs of random thugs that had been used previously.
    • During the Provisional License Exam, over a thousand entrants are whittle down to about one hundred in the space of the first round alone. This is invoked by the proctors, who are trying to bolster the number of effective heroes against the recently surging League of Villains.
  • The Real Heroes: Downplayed. While he doesn't deny that the superheroes are the ones who make the biggest difference, after initially telling Midoriya that he probably can't become a superhero without a Quirk, All Might says there's still plenty he can do if he wants to dedicate his life to saving people, and mentions he could always join the police, and that it's a fine profession that doesn't get the credit it deserves due to superheroes overshadowing them. He also describes his costume designer as his hero, for constantly supporting his heroics.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • So, you're being a Warrior Therapist to The Ace of your class, who's Willfully Weak to spite his father for his inherited powers, while you yourself haven't mastered your own Quirk and are in fact beating yourself up just to have a fighting chance? You're going to lose. This is, however, reconstructed after the fight, saying that while Midoriya lost, he's still a true hero for actually giving a damn about Todoroki's fate. This leads into another case: one single pep talk isn't going to erase years of trauma. Todoroki is ultimately unable to conjure his flames again during the tournament, and he loses his final match with Bakugou as a result.
    • The series begins in a world where superpowers are accepted and considered normal. So there's a bit of a contrast when it's revealed that when superpowers first appeared, society unraveled, leading to a time of chaos and disorder. Also, a villain who won the Superpower Lottery took over Japan and it's implied he ruled from the shadows until fairly recently.
    • Nana Shimura gives a look on the heroes' personal life: she gives up her own son, so he will be safe of villains who may be after her. Similarly, Kouta is another example of this: he lost his parents to a villain's attack, and ever since then, he hated heroes, since it's a job that constantly puts people who have families in front of danger. Add this to the fact that no heroes shown so far seem to actually have a family or even a romantic relationship, being a hero basically seems to consume the rest of your life.
    • While Midoriya's mother is overjoyed that her son can finally pursue his dream, being the mother of a shōnen hero is far from enjoyable for her. Between watching her son be attacked by villains, and injure himself using his powers, she is constantly worrying for his safety. Asking him to quit the summer course when he injures his arm, and later seriously threatens to pull him out of U.A. out of legitimate concern for his safety and a lack of confidence in the staff.
    • Subverted with Aizawa's threat to expel the lowest ranking member of the class. After the tests, he admits he was lying, with some more levelheaded students pointing out that obviously the school wouldn't expel them on their first day. Except, as a conversation with All Might reveals shortly after, Aizawa can and has done exactly that in the past and only didn't this time because the lowest ranked student, Izuku, impressed him.
    • Invoked after the mock battle exercise, where Momo points out that in a real fight Iida would have easily taken back the bomb from Uraraka and that her and Izuku's 'victory' only came about from them using the rules of the exercise in their favor instead of actually triumphing over the other team.
    • It's repeatedly shown that the pressure One For All puts on his body causes Midoriya's bones to shatter when he pushes himself to it. This is presented as a mere limitation until it's revealed that continued careless use of his powers will eventually destroy the ligaments in his arms, leaving them permanently paralyzed. Because of this, he requested modifications to his hero costume that support his arms to help minimize damage to them. From this point on, he is also seen wearing a compression sleeve on his right arm (the one that sustained the most damage in each of his fights) in his daily life to manage what seems to be chronic pain in that arm specifically.
    • Bakugou flips his shit at the end of the (nationally broadcast) Sports Festival due to how he won and has to be physically restrained during the medal presentation ceremony. This unheroic behavior does not escape notice. Best Jeanist extends a sponsor offer to Bakugou specifically to try to iron his temper out of him and the League of Villains starts headhunting him as a potential new recruit.
    • In Chapter 98, Aizawa informs Class 1-A that he knew the class knew Midoriya and co. were going to rescue Bakugou. Because the class was told not to do so and had no legal authority to act as heroes, Aizawa would have expelled all of the class except Jirou and Hagakure, who were unconscious in the hospital, and Bakugou, who had been kidnapped. The only thing that saved them from expulsion is that with All Might's retirement, the country can't afford to lose any more heroes.
    • Zigzagged with the Provisional License Exam Arc. Just because you had a breakthrough in the last minutes of a competition, you will almost never be able to score enough to pass when there are people who have been working hard and done great since the start. In the Provisional Hero License Exam Arc, Todoroki and Yoarashi started fighting each other midway through the competition while the enemy was in front of them. While they were capable of in the last minute work it out and work together, even with Midoriya helping them, both of them did not pass. In the end, however, they were still allowed to take remedial exams in Spring.
    • From the Internship Arc: as it turns out, once you're Impaled with Extreme Prejudice, Quirks or not, advanced medicine or not, your chances of survival are slim if you don't get immediate medical attention.
    • Having The Ace as a teacher can actually be harmful to one's development as Gran Torino explains. Having taken to One For All very easily, All Might does not know how to properly instruct Midoriya, expecting him to simply pick it up as naturally as he did. It isn't until Gran Torino, a more experienced teacher, spends some time with him that Midoriya is able to overcome some of the difficulties he's been having.
    • Endeavor is the second most powerful and effective hero after All Might. However, since he's also a stern and intimidating man in a perpetual bad mood, he doesn't have anywhere near as many fans. There's also not much he can do about it, as the few fans he does have like him because he's such a hardass and are put off by his attempt to lighten up his image and the general public isn't swayed by said attempts. Even his dramatic and impressive battle with a powerful villain threatening a city mainly earns acclaim for a fan of his for encouraging people not to give up on him rather than Endeavor himself. The people are more willing to embrace a new figure than someone they already weren't fond of.
    • The Gentleman Thief Gentle provides on in that his notoriety will pale in comparison to other villains' since he doesn't perform the same level of violent crimes and destruction like they do. On a more tragic note, it also shows another potential failure: despite his best efforts, he could not become a hero and when he tried to help, he doomed his famiy to debt from lawsuits and was kicked out. The despair of it all broke him and in desperation, turned to crime to make his mark on the world. It is a heartbreaking show of good intentions leading to bad consequences and showcasing some of the failures of society to address this. In further irony, Gentle has become much more skilled with his Quirk, to where he beat five heroes at once with it. Imagine if he used those powers for good. Then you realize he wanted to, but couldn't.
    • From the Joint Training arc, Aizawa and Vlad both point out that Class 1-A is suffering from the Always in Class One trope— Class 1-B has better grades and better overall cohesion, while Class 1-A is lagging behind from being at the center of the plot.
  • Reconstruction: Basically one of battle shōnen. While the titles in that genre tended to get darker and/or weirder in the last two decades, My Hero Academia goes back to the basics of the formula, with simple but well-defined characters and stakes, and a healthy dose of brightness and optimism, while still addressing the issues of the characters and the world it's set in in a fairly nuanced manner.
  • Red Herring: Chapter 88 reveals that Shigaraki's real name is Tenko Shimura, which carries the implication that he's a relative of All Might's mentor, the previous One For All user. Given Shigaraki's obsession with the hand that he calls "Father", that means that Shigaraki's father was All Might's mentor, right? Not quite. Chapter 91 reveals that the name of All Might's mentor was Nana Shimura, and the following chapter clarifies that she was Shigaraki's grandmother.
  • Reference Overdosed: Horikoshi is a big fan of superheroes and Western movies, specially Star Wars and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which causes the story to be filled with Shout Outs to these movies. While much rarer, there are also quite a few shout outs to video games.
  • Reforged into a Minion: The Noumu are implied to be a species of Laser-Guided Tykebomb created by giving individuals Quirks too powerful for their bodies, then inflicting Body Horror and With Great Power Comes Great Insanity on them.
  • Required Secondary Powers:
    • Quirks don't work without the "Quirk Factor", which is the physical mechanism through which the Quirk functions; this can be anything from nerves being able to move a tail, to Bakugou's Nitro Sweat letting him spark explosions, to the pads on Uraraka's fingertips being the mechanism for her cancelling gravity. Aizawa's Erasure Quirk functions by temporarily disabling the Quirk Factor of the person he's looking at. Eri's Quirk, meanwhile, seems to be that her blood and other tissue actively attack the Quirk Factor of other Quirk bearers, with the possibility of destroying it completely if her blood is administered in high enough doses.
    • Invoked in the case of One For All; Midoriya has immense power, but not the immense toughness required to properly handle it, so heavy blasts rip him apart like firecrackers going off inside his limbs.
  • Retool: The series is based off a one-shot manga Horikoshi drew titled My Hero. The main character of the one-shot is named Jack Midoriya, and he's a salaryman selling gadgets to superheroes. The hero Snipe is from the one-shot.
  • The Reveal: All For One revealed that Shigaraki is the grandchild of All Might's mentor and the previous holder of the power.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons:
    • When Bakugou and Uraraka are paired up to do battle in a tournament, Bakugou keeps a heavy hit in reserve in case Uraraka, who he knows is friends with the ever-wily Midoriya, has some sneaky trick up her sleeve. He's right about the sneaky trick, though Uraraka actually declined Midoriya's help before the match and the idea was wholly her own. Midoriya sets him straight in the next chapter.
    • Todoroki observes that there's a connection between All Might and Midoriya, and correctly deduces that their Quirks are the same. He then concludes that Midoriya is All Might's illegitimate son.
  • Ripped from the Headlines: Gentle, a villain introduced in Chapter 170, commits crimes solely for online viewership and hits, acting as a commentary on outlandish YouTube behavior.
  • Rocket Jump: During the Sports Festival's first event, Midoriya launches himself into first place by stockpiling land mines and then detonating them all at once, using a fragment of robot armor as a blast shield and platform. He then does it a second time.
  • Rogues Gallery: As a series about super-powered humans who can undergo official training to become superheroes, the series naturally has a list of recurring villains, most of whom are members or allies of the League of Villains. This list includes All For One, Kurogiri, Hero Killer Stain, Shigaraki, Giran, Dabi, Toga, Mr. Compress, Magne, Spinner, and Twice.
  • Rotating Protagonist:
    • Played with. While Midoriya is always the protagonist, the group with him seems to vary, the rest of the main cast, Iida, Uraraka, and Todoroki, are prone to fall in and Out of Focus depending on the situation, such as Iida being Out of Focus in the USJ and Training Camp Arcs, while receiving the spotlight during the Stain Arc, or Uraraka being Out of Focus during the Hideout Raid and Stain Arcs. Bakugou is the only other character who is consistently prominent. The Tritagonist is All Might, who acts as Midoriya's mentor and plays a major role as a legacy character.
    • Secondary characters sometimes get to receive some focus, such as Tsuyu and Mineta (besides others such as Yaoyorozu, Jirou and Kaminari) in the USJ Arc, Tokoyami and Mei during the Sports Festival, Tsuyu, Mineta, Jirou and Kouda in the End of Terms Arc, Shouji and Tokoyami in the Training Camp Arc and so on. Kirishima receives a lot of attention, such as in the USJ Arc, Hideout Raid Arc, Training Camp Arc, and Internship Arc, bordering on being an Ascended Extra.
  • Running Gag:
    • Kirishima and Tetsutetsu being way too similar to each other:
      • They have very similar Quirks. The narrator even used the exact same wordings when describing their Quirks.
      • They got matched together in the tournament, which ends with a Double Knockout.
      • They became sidekicks under the same hero during the internship period.
      • They even share the same birthday.
    • Midoriya getting excited while watching and analyzing fights and constantly muttering to himself without realizing, much to the annoyance of those around him.
    • Iida shoehorning an Aesop into everything U.A. makes the students do.
    • In the anime, every "Next Episode" segment will feature one character trying to give the preview with Midoriya, and usually they'll freak him out in the process. A scene from the next episode will be mentioned where someone/a group will have something happen to them, and then the episode will close with both Midoriya and the character doing the recap giving a rousing cry, "Go beyond! Plus Ultra!" However, if the episode is of serious nature, it will feature a more traditional recap that defies this format.

    S-Y 
  • Scooby Stack: Season 3's "special episode" has Iida, Uraraka, Tsuyu, and Midoriya stacked up like this while looking around a corner at a mock crime scene. Unusually, there's also a shot of the stack from behind, showing how it's possible—Iida, who's much taller than the others, is on top, with Midoriya crouching at the bottom, and the other two squeezed in between them.
  • Screw Destiny: Played with. Throughout the Internship Arc, Nighteye predicts the deaths of All Might, Midoriya, and even himself. When Nighteye gets wounded during his battle with Chisaki, there's a Hope Spot that Midoriya prevented his death, but Nighteye later dies from his wounds in the hospital.
  • Sdrawkcab Name: A variation. The "U.A." in U.A. High School can be pronounced "Yuuei, which is backwards for Eiyuu (the sounds/meaning the Japanese characters that make up the word are swapped, which isn't immediately prevalent in English), the Japanese word for "hero".
  • Secret Test of Character:
    • The entrance exam is revealed to be one. While indeed looking for those that have strength and ability, the examiners are likewise looking for those who put others before themselves. Midoriya passes for this reason as he saves Uraraka from a rampaging machine despite having gotten no points in the combat portion of the exam.
    • Iida seeing these everywhere even when there might be none is a Running Gag.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: One possible weakness of Sir Nighteye's power is his pessimistic attitude clouding his foresight and making him see a Bad Future every time he uses it. It's only after Midoriya's Determinator attitude brings him around that he realizes that the future isn't set in stone. Unfortunately, he dies shortly afterward.
  • Serious Business: Thanks to it serving as a staging ground for up-and-coming heroes to showcase their talents and attract sponsors, the U.A. Sports Festival has grown to have a larger national audience than the Olympics.
  • Shameless Fanservice Girl:
    • Midnight. Her current costume is a extremely thin, extremely tight bodysuit with a dominatrix outfit on top of it. Her previous outfit was a braless corset-leotard with a weapon harness that doubled as a string bikini top, which caused a law to be passed regulating how much skin a costume can expose. She still argues against this law, citing the fact that certain Quirks work better with skin exposed.
    • Hagakure has no qualms about running around naked, with her hero costume being two gloves and shoes (and no actual clothing). This makes sense, as she is permanently invisible. Amusingly, she does get embarrassed when seen "undressing" (taking her gloves off), but has no qualms about cheerleading without panties on or attending physical ed events topless.
  • Shout-Out: Has its own page.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Iida gives one to Stain when it looks like the latter is about to kill him. He doesn't care what Stain thinks of him or the heroes he's attacked. Stain is still just a criminal who hurt his brother. This is immediately followed by Midoriya [[Dynamic Entry rushing in and Smashing the Hero Killer in the face.
  • Sidekick Graduations Stick: Becoming a sidekick is supposed to be a stepping stone towards eventually running your own hero office.
  • Single-Power Superheroes: Most people only have one Quirk, so someone with more than one power like Todoroki is considered unusual.
  • Skewed Priorities: Aizawa accuses the upper management of U.A. as having this, as the test for acceptance into the hero department favor people with battle heavy Quirks. This means that people with incredibly useful Quirks, but don't really have any way to battle robots, will fall through the cracks and at best only be accepted into the General Studies course. That said, it is possible that if someone shows themselves to be useful, a General Studies student can get a transfer over to the heroics course.
  • Sliding Scaleof Idealismvs Cynicism: Besides the series having pretty dark moments and tackling some serious issues, My Hero Academia is heavily idealistic.
  • Spell My Name with an "S":
    • The school's name is frequently translated as Yuuei, but the students are often seen wearing school uniforms with letters U and A on them (which works as a sort of acronym for "Yuuei"). The Viz manga also uses "U.A." when naming the school.
    • There's some confusion as to whether the name of All Might's former sidekick is "Sir Nighteye" or "Sir Knighteye".
  • Spider-Man Send-Up: Naturally has a few influences.
    • For the main series this was actually split into two characters. Tsuyu Asui aka Froppy whose power, or "Quirk" in this series terminology, allows her to "do whatever a frog can" and indeed she can stick to surfaces and crawl along them like a spider. Then we have Hanta Sero aka Cellophane who uses his tape power to swing around and stick people to things like ol webhead.
    • In the spin-off, Vigilantes, the main character, Kouichi Haimawari aka "The Crawler" takes this even further. His Quirk, Sliding, has him have to go on all fours and slide along the ground like a water bug and later in the series he finds out he can stick to objects as well. What's more he's a college student, lives in a shanty like dwelling where his partners freeload at constantly, and usually is a butt monkey as much as Peter is.
  • Spin-Off:
  • Spiritual Successor:
    • To Naruto. Horikoshi himself stated that he was inspired by Naruto, which explains the similarities of certain aspects of this series. While My Hero Academia was already very popular when Naruto used to be in Weekly Shōnen Jump, this series' popularity increased even further after the latter ended. One fan even submitted Naruto's name in a popularity poll, in an obvious nod at this.
    • It can be seen as one for Tiger & Bunny. Both cover similar themes, like the commercialization of superheroes and rankings, and both Wild Tiger and All Might gradually lose their powers over the course of the series.
  • Stealth Pun: Despite the lack of Quirks, the fantasy universe seen in the popularity poll and ED3 still shows the cast as heroes.
  • Steven Ulysses Perhero: Played with, but not exactly straight. Characters are named after the powers they have, but because Superpowerful Genetics is in play, it ends being more of a case of Family Theme Naming from the part of the parents, although it's worth noting that a child has the chance of inheriting only one of the parents' powers, meaning there's a 40% or so chance of this being the case and another 40% of it being a subversion. The remaining 20% is when the child inherits both powers, so the name can be varying degrees of meaningful. And this is not including Quirkless people. That said, there are two legitimate examples in Izuku Midoriya and Toshinori Yagi (All Might), whose names follow a Numerical Theme Naming that coincides with their One For All (a power that they earn instead of being born with) successor numbers.
  • Super Breeding Program: In Chapter 31, Todoroki explains the idea of Quirk marriages, marriages planned with the express purpose of maximizing a Quirk via the children of the couple. Though there is no guarantee that a child born this way will have the desired Quirk mixture.
  • Super Empowering: The Quirk All For One, in addition to stealing Quirks, can also give these Quirks to other people, though it doesn't always end well for the recipient.
  • Super Hero Origin:
    • The concept is referenced in Chapter 1, which is titled "Izuku Midoriya: The Origin". The title evokes American superhero comics, such as Batman: Year One.
    • Interestingly, Chapter 39 is titled "Shouto Todoroki: The Origin". The character's history was shown in previous chapters, which suggests that the events of Chapter 39 causes the character to start becoming a true superhero. It occurs again in Chapter 62, titled "Katsuki Bakugo: The Origin".
  • Superhero Prevalence Stages: Since Everyone Is a Super in the series, besides the rare Quirkless individual, this is a Late Stage by default.
  • Super Registration Act: A fully functional type D, with the government funding the heroes.
  • Superhero Speciation: The major characters all have unique Quirks. The only exceptions among the main cast are Kirishima and Tetsutetsu, who are so alike in terms of powerset, personality, and other traits that it's a Running Gag.
  • Superhero School: U.A., of course. There are also others out there, but U.A. is the most prestigious of them all.
  • Superpowerful Genetics: Children of superpowered individuals will inherit the Quirk of either his parents. Sometimes, the child may even inherit both his father and mother's Quirks. There is also the possibility of the child not inheriting anything and ending up Quirkless.
  • Superpower Lottery:
    • The biggest winner is All For One who can steal Quirks, which can then be granted to others or be combined to perform devastatingly powerful attacks which are impossible to perform with only one Quirk.
    • One For All, which ironically is derived from the above mentioned lottery winner, is your standard Lightning Bruiser powerset at first glance. But considering it was capable of defeating said lottery winner, although with a hefty dose of Heroic Willpower, it's a strong contender for top spot.
    • Todoroki effectively has two Quirks in one, with a Quirk that lets him control ice and fire. It's also deconstructed in that his father forced his mother to bear children specifically to breed lottery winners.
    • Kurogiri/Blackmist's Warp Gate Quirk is simply Mass Teleportation. But it's so rare and too damn useful to find anything else, and simply having this Quirk secured him a Vetinari Job Security in the League of Villains.
    • Chisaki/Overhaul's power is Touch of Death and Healing Hands in one package. He can simply touch his target and blow them up, or touch his underling and heal them in an instant. It also works on nonliving matter, allowing him to fight à la Edward Elric. To top it off, he can even deconstruct both his underling and his own body, become a fusion of the two.
  • Taking Up the Mantle: The premise of the series is Midoriya's mastering the Quirk "One For All", and thus becoming the new Symbol of Peace like All Might.
  • Terrified of Germs: Seems to be part of Overhaul's motivation for erasing Quirks, as one of the leading theories for how Quirks came to develop In-Universe is that it's through some kind of virus.
  • Theme Naming: Horikoshi loves to give his locations the names of planets from Star Wars.
  • This Looks Like a Job for Aquaman: Inverted early on. All of the first pro heroes shown off are rendered utterly unable to help in the second battle against the Sludge Villain because the situation is a perfect storm of conditions that render all of the otherwise well-rounded heroes completely useless or otherwise too occupied to fight, forcing them to wait until All Might arrives. This gives Midoriya an opportunity to demonstrate he has the heart of a hero.
  • ˇThree Amigos!: Midoriya makes fast friends with Iida and Uraraka when he enters U.A., and they remain his close friends even as his circle expands.
  • Time to Unlock More True Potential:
  • To Be Lawful or Good: A major source of conflict in the story is the fact that only Pro Heroes are officially sanctioned to handle Quirk-related threats. As a result, people, even heroes in training, can be charged and severely punished for trying to save others or simply defend themselves without a proper license as it would be legally described as vigilantism. This comes up on multiple occasions in the story, such as the USJ Arc where Aizawa has to give his class express permission to defend themselves in order to avoid the legal ramifications of fighting villains without a license.
  • Tournament Arc: The Sports Festival, where classes compete to be noticed by sponsors. It even transitions into one-on-one battles for the top sixteen participants from the Human Cavalry event.
  • Tracking Device: During the School Trip Arc, Yaoyorozu manages to create one and have it implanted onto the Nomu that was chasing her and a schoolmate. This winds up crucial to the police's plans.
  • Training from Hell:
    • Deconstructed in Todoroki, who was subjected to this since he was at least five years old, and it was shown to be a horrible experience for him that broke him mentally.
    • Played straight with the class' summer training camp, which was intended as this. One of the very first parts of it is using their Quirks near-constantly to increase how far they can go before their respective Heroic RRODs kick in.
  • Transplant: A few characters from Oumagadoki Doubutsuen, Horikoshi's first work, show up as pro heroes (Uwabami, Sakamata) or make cameos in the series.
  • Understatement: Sero's statement, "A little much, don't you think...?" to Todoroki who basically froze him with enough excess ice to be visibly seen from outside the stadium, as in covering roughly one half of the stadium's open roof, in Chapter 34. Not surprisingly, many of the spectators were shocked and none of them could blame Sero for losing to Todoroki's attack.
  • Unsuspectingly Soused: Sakaki Deidoro, one of Overhaul's henchmen, is able to induce this in people with his Quirk "Dead Drunk", causing a feeling of intense dizziness and disorientation akin to having consumed a large amount of alcohol. Unfortunately for them, Mirio's Permeation Quirk means that he's constantly experiencing vertigo, allowing him to No-Sell the effects of this Quirk.
  • Viewers Are Goldfish: Starting with the second half of Season 2, a Boss Subtitles appears when a character with a Quirk appears onscreen for the first time.
  • Villainous Rescue: In Chapter 55, Stain rescues Midoriya from a Noumu that tries to fly off with him.
  • Villains Act, Heroes React: In the setting, villains are proactive troublemakers, while heroes react to keep them in check. Several arcs are kicked off through the actions of a villain.
  • Villain Respect: Many villains, most prominently Stain and those who share his ideals, admire All Might for being a hero for the right reasons while despising many other heroes they feel have sold out. Stain goes on to acknowledge Midoriya for the same reason.
  • Villainous Legacy: The relationship between All For One and Shigaraki.
  • Voice Changeling: Shinso's costume has "Artificial Vocal Chords" in it, allowing them to mimic the voices of others, which lets him easily use his Compelling Voice Quirk.
  • Wacky Homeroom: Class 1-A is definitely this. Superpowers aside, it has the typical cocky delinquent, the typical Class Representative who thinks everything is Serious Business, the typical pervert kid, etc. Not to mention that some of the students don't even look human. And the teachers can range from a Lazy Bum to a dominatrix to a radio announcer.
  • Warrior Therapist: Played realistically:
    • One good pep talk while battling will hardly solve years of internalized issues, such as what happened between Midoriya and Todoroki. While the former did help the latter overcome some issues with his Abusive Parents, he still has a long way to go to actually overcome them, is still dealing with trauma and comparing him to his father is still his Berserk Button. On the other hand, Todoroki grew to respect Midoriya deeply for what he tried to do, treating him as his first friend and a close ally to be called upon, which pays off during the Internship Arc when Midoriya calls him in for backup against Hero Killer Stain.
    • Then there's Midoriya's attempt to help Bakugou by getting into a pointless brawl with him to let him vent his frustrations and sorrow over being indirectly responsible for All Might's retirement. While it ultimately helps, the two still had an unsanctioned fight on campus and Aizawa would technically have to expel them for it, but he instead places them under house arrest instead and left them behind in class as punishment instead.
  • We Will Not Have Appendixes in the Future: People with Quirks apparently don't have an extra toe joint. Those who do, like Midoriya, are born Quirkless.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Chapter 13, which started like a regular lesson of the day chapter, only to turn into a life and death situation at the end, when the League of Villains revealed themselves to the students.
    • Chapter 88: All For One finally makes his move.
    • Chapter 92: All Might's true form is revealed to the world and Shigaraki is revealed to be the grandson of All Might's deceased mentor Nana.
    • Chapter 161: Even though the mission was completed with success, left in two bittersweet notes. Eri is quarantined due to her out of control Quirk and fever so she won't be better or have full control of her Quirk soon. Sir Nighteye, who Midoriya and Mirio went to for internship, died from his fatal injuries but not before seeing them changing their future and seeing All Might again one last time.
    • Chapter 193: Midoriya has a dream where he witnesses the pasts of All For One and his brother, the first user of One For All. After we see him get his quirk, the first user turns to Midoriya and acknowledges him, telling him that he'll learn more when he breaks his limits. Revealing there's far more to One For All than All Might let on.
  • Wham Line: In chapter 117:
Bakugou: (to Midoriya) You got your Quirk from All Might.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • In Chapter 38, Midoriya tears into Todoroki when he realizes the latter is shivering because of his own ice and is still refusing to use his flame powers to defy his father Endeavor. Midoriya points out that all of the other students are trying their best and giving everything they've got to win. Todoroki deliberately holding back like that is an insult. The chapter ends with Midoriya challenging Todoroki to unleash his full power.
    • Chapter 112 is called 'What the Hell Are You Doing', and the title is quoted verbatim by Midoriya when Todoroki and Yoarashi can't stop arguing long enough to defeat Gang Orca during the provisional exam, and have managed to put another examinee in danger. They snap out of it.
  • What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?:
    • Not every Quirk is suited for heroic purposes. Despite the fact that most of the population have Quirks, heroes tend to be winners of the Superpower Lottery.
    • The legendary One For All itself used to be a spectacular case. When it first appeared, being able to be passed to someone else was its only effect; it didn't actually do anything, and its wielder was thought to be Quirkless. Until All For One forced a power-stockpiling Quirk on him, causing both Quirks to merge and creating the legacy Super Strength we all know and love.
  • Workout Fanservice:
    • Particularly in the anime, during Season 2 episode 2, shows several of the characters working out, with Todoroki's being a particularly fanservicey one, since he wears only a muscle shirt to train.
    • Bakugou in the Season 2 opening has been considered this.
  • Wrong Context Magic: One For All is unique among Quirks in the setting. Right from the start, it's the only Quirk known to be passed down to a chosen successor rather than inherited from a parent. It also grows stronger with each successive generation, which does not happen with normally inherited Quirks. It was created artificially when the villain All For One gave his brother a Quirk that stockpiles power and it combined with that brother's then-unknown ability to pass on his Quirk. Plus, there's the implication that One For All is potentially also the embodiment of the wills of its previous users (even if All Might denies that's the case) which is also otherwise unheard of in this setting.
  • Xanatos Gambit:
    • Stain and Shigaraki's "competition" turns out to have been this, set up by the real Big Bad. No matter what happened, Stain would be seen as being part of the League of Villains. This would connect his actions to theirs and give them a kind of publicity and legitimacy.
    • The confrontation between All Might and All For One. If All For One kills All Might, that's fantastic, but even when he gets defeated and put in prison, All For One feels that he came out ahead because he knows that it will motivate Shigaraki to grow stronger and more capable as a villain.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: After a pitched battle between Endeavor and the strongest Noumu yet, Endeavor finally manages to defeat it at a horrific cost to himself: his left eye is nearly torn out, he's very badly injured, and his stamina has been completely burnt out through torching the Noumu with Prominence Burn. Yet, he wins. And then Dabi shows up.
  • Yonkoma: My Hero Academia Smash, written and drawn by Neda Hirofumi, takes this format.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: Parodied in the anime OVA Training of the Dead where Fujimi has a zombie virus Quirk and unleashes it on both his own teammates and a good portion of Class 1-A, causing all those to be infected to become mindless zombies.

Alternative Title(s): Boku No Hero Academia

Top