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  • Sand Is Water: Happens with regularity; see Sand Worm below. On top of that, people take to ships that sail on sand for transportation and for hunting down the Mohren family of monsters. Weapons made from sand monsters usually have water element attributes.
  • Sand Worm: Many, many examples.
    • From Tri onward there's Jhen Mohran. It swims through the sand at high speed, leaping to attack. It has even gained a mythical status in the Monster Hunter universe, similar to the Shai-Halud, being seen as an omen of prosperity. 4 introduces a relative of the Jhen Mohran, Dah'ren Mohran. It fights in a nearly identical way to its third generation cousin.
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    • Many smaller monsters such as Rhenoplos and Bullfangos have also been known to move about by burrowing.
    • The Cephalos and its larger cousin the Cephadrome are piscine wyverns that swim through the sand like fish. From Tri onwards Delex take over the role of "sand fish" from the Cephalos, and in both Portable 3rd and 3 Ultimate the hunter can fight the giant Nibelsnarf. Then in 4U the Cephalos and Cephadrome come back along with the Delex for a really crowded sandspace.
    • The giant crabs as well. Daimyo Hermitaur burrows through the sand in the desert, and the Shogun Ceanataur burrows through the mud in the swamp.
    • Most brute wyverns move about by burrowing — the Barroth, Uragaan, Duramboros, and The Dreaded Deviljho. In 3U, Brachydios was originally the only brute wyvern that didn't burrow, but in 4, it burrows when leaving an area. In World, Radobaan can burrow but Anjanath doesn't.
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    • A number of flying wyverns can also burrow, notably the Diablos, Monoblos, Basarios, and Gravios.
    • The Agnaktor and its smaller counterparts the Uroktor are a notable example in that they burrow not through sand or dirt, but through solid stone by superheating their beaks to instantly melt the stone into magma.
    • 4 introduces Zamtrios, a shark/toad hybrid that can walk on land, making it a literal Land Shark. 4 Ultimate introduces the desert-based subspecies Tigerstripe Zamtrios.
  • Save Scumming: Played straight because it's very helpful in manipulating the RNG into giving you that one last monster piece with a 2% drop/carve rate. Note that you can only instant-save/ load between quests, so you only save yourself the money and resources, not time.
  • Scare Chord:
    • Plays when you encounter a large monster. In 4, a distinct one plays when you're spotted by a Frenzied monster. 4 Ultimate adds another for Apex monsters. Generations adds a new one when spotted by Deviants.
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    • The "Quest Failed" theme in Generations starts with an especially jarring one.
  • Schizo Tech: The original game had an apparent Bronze Age or Iron Age with primitive firearms. The rest of the tech has advanced as the series has continued... but the firearms have kept step, and are always better than what should actually exist at that point in history. Then you get airships in Frontier and Sandships in Tri, plus complex mechanical weapons like the Switch Axe. And the Third Fleet Captain in World specializes in neuroscience.
  • Scratch Damage:
    • Played straight on both the monsters and on the player: any weapon can do damage no matter how insignificant, and most monsters can inflict this upon players who get in the way when the monster is repositioning itself — no, not actively charging, as in, stepping sideways to rotate themselves. Becomes irritating in the latter case, as it often leaves you vulnerable from the resulting flinch animation. Fortunately, "repositioning damage" is all but gone in World.
    • Generally speaking, if you have any armor at all, most small monsters will only be capable of doing this to you. Instead, the threat comes from knockback and potentially status problems.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: An NPC in Loc Lac City says this practically word-for-word.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: The player character at the end of the single-player campaign in Tri. With the revelation of the Ceadeus, the Guild has ordered the evacuation of Moga, and has expressly forbidden your Hunter from going after the monster, as it is one that they generally send armies of Hunters after. The Hunter's license is at risk if she/he doesn't follow the order. She/he does it anyway.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!:
    • Even the most persistent mooks will flee if two large monsters appear in the same area.
    • Every monster except for Remobras, Neopterons, and Melynxes will flee the entire map if an Elder Dragon is present.
    • Monsters encountered during 4U's Expeditions can permanently flee the area after enough time passes, denying you many rewards. When the game warns you that a monster is trying to escape, the next time the monster leaves the area, it leaves the map entirely. This can be a pain in the neck when you need drops from monsters that only come from Expeditions (Savage Deviljho on G-Rank is a notorious one), but this is the trade-off for having infinite carts.
    • World similarly had the message "[monster] will leave the locale soon" when a large monster present during an Expedition gets ready to leave. This usually occurs after a time limit (generally 40 minutes).
    • Also happens when a large monster is losing out in a turf-war with another large monster in World.
    • In the case of player hunters, two words sum it up nicely: Quest Abandoned. World Also gives the option of returning from a quest, which allows the hunter to keep any items they picked up and earn any rewards for breaking monster parts but without the main quest rewards or money being paid out.
  • Serial Escalation:
    • The weapon sizes by themselves could fit this trope, but weapon power is a whole different story. The Ukanlos Trampler has a raw damage rating of 1820, the highest of any weapon (at least in Freedom Unite), and that's before applying any attack bonuses. To put this in perspective, the only hammer to come close is the Enormous Ham G at 1612, but even then it's missing the Ice Element damage and the Defense bonus (though it does have a better affinity).
    • It's a tradition for each new generation of titles to add another tier of difficulty. High Rank not hard enough? Welcome to G-Rank! That still not good enough for you? Now we have Apex Monsters! And that's not all, you can get quests that level up in difficulty the more you play them, until they're even harder than regular G-Rank! Are both of those still weaksauce? Say hello to Hyper Monsters and the Deviant Monsters!
    • Frontier seems to be almost entirely dedicated to this trope. Not only do the monster designs and difficulty levels get more and more outlandish with each new content update, the amount of armor skills one can cobble together on a mixed set is nothing short of astounding.note 
  • Set a Mook to Kill a Mook: For most of the series, it's rare but possible for two large monsters to fight each other if one manages to hit the other and all the players vacate their immediate area of awareness. The perpetrator is usually Deviljho. In World, on the other hand, monsters will often meet up and scrap with each other, which counts toward your research as a Turf War. However, staying too close is generally not good for your health, as they will redirect their attention toward you if you get too close.
  • Set Bonus:
    • The games encourage you to create a full armor set from materials gleaned from a given monster to earn special bonuses otherwise unavailable when wearing equipment of different sources. Armor made from Deviant monsters in particular have a special skill that can only be activated if the entire set is worn together.
    • World introduces actual set bonuses called "[Monster name] Mastery" that are only activated when enough pieces of the same set are worn together, and are separate from the Skills on the armor itself. For example, wearing three pieces of the Legiana armor gives Good Luck on top of the existing Armor Skills, while the Zorah Magdaros armor gives Critical Status for wearing three pieces.
  • Shamu Fu:
  • She-Fu:
    • In a very bizarre example, Rathian's special attack is a draconic air-backflip that will poison you. World nerfed the backflip by allowing you to remove its ability to poison by lopping off its tailnote .
    • Pink Rathian can do this too, but with spinning.
    • Gold Rathian can do this multiple times in quick succession (with painful accuracy if the target is close enough), as well as backflip right after tripping. To be precise, tripping a monster usually means all hunters go completely on the offensive for free hits, rendering themselves vulnerable in the process, and this is where Gold Rathians' antics become annoying if unexpected.
  • Shifting Sand Land: The old Desert in Monster Hunter 1 and 4 Ultimate (known in the latter as Dunes), the new Desert in 2, the Sandy Plains in 3, and the Sand Sea in 3 and 4. During day, certain portions of those areas will be so hot that the player's health meter will gradually decrease unless a Cold Drink is consumed; during night, those same parts will be instead very cold, and decrease the player's stamina unless a Hot Drink is consumed. And various large monsters happen to love lurking in them, including the Daimyo Hermitaur, Cephadrome, Nibelsnarf, Sand Barioth, and Diablos.
  • Shoddy Knockoff Product:
  • Shoot the Medic First: People who like to play Hunting Horn melodies or the horn items a lot, or use the ranged [Hunting Bow/Bowguns] weapons, will be attacked by the large monsters more often. Justified, since people helping their team at a distance and not being targeted would suck a lot of the challenge out of the game.
  • Short-Range Shotgun:
    • The "Pellet S" ammunition rounds for the Light or Heavy Bowguns. It's basically buckshot that works exactly how this trope describes it — minus the instant lethality (you are fighting huge monsters).
    • The "Wyvernfire" is also a lot like a shotgun — get up close and unleash a massive burst of fire and gunpowder right into a monster's face.
  • Shoryuken:
    • This being Capcom, it was only a matter of time before one appeared, this time in the form of the Sword & Shield's aptly named Shoryugeki Hunter Art in Generations. When performed, the Hunter strikes with the sword, then follows up with a spiraling upward charge with the shield. This allows the player to KO airborne monsters, especially foes that have a tendency to take to the skies, such as Rathalos and Rathian.
    • You can purchase a Dragon Punch Gesture in World for $3.99 USD. It has invulnerability frames when performed, which has niche applications, but is otherwise nothing game-changing.
  • Shoulders of Doom: Not as pronounced as in some other games like World of Warcraft, but examples nonetheless exist:
    • The Monoblos and Diablos armor make good use of the monster's horns. The Gunner version of their sets are slightly more subdued.
    • The Daimyo Hermitaur armor resembles an American Football jersey, complete with rounded shoulder pads.
    • The Hornetaur blademaster set has enormous shoulder pads for both male and female versions. Because the accompanying leg armor is tight fitting, it has the side effect of making player characters look uncomfortably top-heavy.
    • The male Gravios armor has enormous pauldrons that stretch beyond the shoulders, looking like distorted side mirrors in the process. They make the player character look twice as wide as a consequence, and are thus highly disliked by players gearing for fashion.
    • The High Rank Nerscylla blademaster armor has a gigantic pair of pauldrons with long, drooping spikes that extend past the waist. The G-Rank version has more subdued shoulders, but replaces the spikes with a ribbon cape.
    • The G-Rank Lavasioth armor has enormous pauldrons shaped like the beast's tail fin.
  • Shout-Out: See here.
  • Shotguns Are Just Better: Bowguns can be equipped with shots that score multiple hits at close range. The same can be said of arrows used on bows, and the Wyvern's Fire on a gunlance can also double as a shotgun with the Spread shot.
  • Shown Their Work: World features two interconnected ecosystems: the Coral Highlands and the Rotten Vale beneath it. Animals from the Highlands die and drop into the Vale, where scavengers will eat their corpses. The detritus created by these rotting carcasses is eventually blown upward back into the Highlands, providing it with necessary nutrients. Other than the fact that this is all taking place on land, this cycle is a fairly accurate depiction of the marine snow and upwelling processes seen in the ocean.
  • Shows Damage: Averted for the hunters and their companions, but played straight for the monsters to the point of being a gameplay mechanic. Taking enough damage in certain parts of their body can cause them to break or otherwise suffer visible injury, usually giving the hunter an advantage. Cutting off a monster's tail, for instance, makes evading certain attacks easier, while damaging horns, fangs, claws, and other body parts can decrease the monster's damage or agility. Gravios in particular takes much more damage from body hits after you crack open the abdominal plating, and can (by breaking the back plating) lose the ability to hurt hunters around its ankles with a heat-blast after firing a heat laser. It can still deliberately vent heat downwards, just not casually after heat-ray attacks, due to the heat instead venting through the cracks in the back plating.
  • Sinister Scythe:
    • A few longswords are visibly scythes, but this is mostly aesthetic. Some are capable of literally slicing small wyverns in half, something that most other weapons in the game cannot claim to do.
    • The Switch Axe named "Sinister Saints"; the axe part looks like death, and the blade of the weapon is death's scythe, making it one in name as well.
    • The Gore Magala Switch Axe in 4 also takes on the form of a scythe in axe mode.
  • Situational Damage Attack: The Great Sword has its own damage system based on which part of the blade is in contact. The bottom and tip of the blade are weakest, while the center has the highest damage output.
  • Situational Sword:
    • Though often just an easter egg/visual gimmick, it's played straight with a lot of Long Swords, Hammers, and Great Swords once their Charged Attack is used. This is also the entire basis of the Charge Blade and Switch Axe weapons.
    • The ability Latent Power, which gives a massive Affinity boost and reduction to Stamina use for 90 seconds when certain conditionsnote  are met.
  • Skippable Boss: Technically, every large monster that isn't part of the objective of an Urgent Quest or a "key quest" (quests that are required to unlock Urgent Quests) doesn't need to be fought to progress the story, and it's possible to reach the ending scenes doing only key and Urgent quests. You'll probably still want to fight monsters from non-key quests, however, for their valuable drops that can go towards useful equipment.
  • Slain in Their Sleep: Sleeping monsters take triple damage from whatever attack wakes them up. Furthermore, monsters try to retreat to a place to sleep when they're low on health. This allows for players to finish off weakened monsters with high-powered attacks.
  • Slice-and-Dice Swordsmanship: Many of the smaller sword-type weapons. Example: the Order Rapier — a Dual Sword weapon whose weapon class only has about two stabbing attacks.
  • Sliding Scale of Silliness vs. Seriousness: The series pulls no punches about how badass and threatening the various monsters are, but the NPCs regularly lighten up the mood with jokes pertaining to the latest deadly monsters, and there are a number of cute and silly creatures such as the Felynes, Poogies, and Shakalakas.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: The Snowy Mountains in Monster Hunter 2, the Tundra in 3, and the Frozen Seaway and Polar Field in 4 Ultimate. In this case, there are no slippy grounds or dense snowy terrains, but rather there's the very cold temperature which will gradually deplete the dash meter of the player. Drinking a hot beverage will prevent this.
  • The Slow Walk:
    • Done by some wyverns. Sometimes, they will just decide to screw using their breath attacks or charges and simply walk towards you slowly, then use a bite or hip check. Sometimes it's actually not dangerous at all and a good chance to get in a few hits, but in a game where you're used to having an interval between enemy attacks of maybe 2 seconds, such a long silence can be oddly terrifying as the monster approaches you.
    • Zinogre is fond of this, and tends to do it completely unpredictably and right in the middle of battle before suddenly launching a lightning-fast attack. He can also summon an actual lightning storm while doing so. The Stygian Zinogre even features this as an upgrade to its signature charging phase, and it comes with dark lightning to protect it from unwary Hunters, to boot.
  • Small, Annoying Creature:
    • Cha-Cha and Kayamba, your shakalaka companions in Tri and 3 Ultimate. They help you out on the hunts, but they have a tendency to insult you and crawl away in fear in the middle of a battle, all while loudly insisting to anyone within earshot that you are their minion. They do become more courageous over time, though, and some of the masks they wear make them more polite.
    • Averted by the palicoes in 4. Although they will slack off from time to time and panic in certain situations, they're mostly very helpful and never insulting, plus they never call you "minion" (although the Ace Palico and the Headwhiskress at Sunsnug Isle does). While the Ace Palico initially considers you his minion, not only is he brave enough to pull a Big Damn Heroes moment later in the game, he eventually admits to the Guildmarm that you are the master.
  • Smashing Survival: How to escape when a large monster has you pinned. Or you could just detonate a Dung Bomb in its face.
  • Smoke Out:
    • "Smoke bombs" can be used to get close to a monster unnoticed, or make a monster lose you. If you drop a Smoke Bomb at the start of the Alatreon fight in Tri, you can buff up in peace for the time the bomb lasts. It will notice you very quickly otherwise.
    • The Farcaster item releases a burst of green smoke and teleports the user back to the base camp, simulating the effect of a smoke-covered escape.
    • Chameleos gains this as a Rage Mode mechanic in 4U, breathing a heavy cloud of mist that obscures the entire area it's in and enables it to use its stealth camouflage. The mist attack also doubles as a poisonous Breath Weapon, and as if those weren't enough, it also dampens its Leitmotif. Outside of rage, Cham also prefers spitting gobs of venom that vaporize into toxic clouds, manipulating them by flapping its wings and tail to either coalesce the vapor around itself or spread it out.
  • Socialization Bonus: A major part of the fun of the series is getting some friends together to clear out online quests that are much easier done with fellow hunters than by oneself. However, online servers tend to expire when new games get released, and portable games up until Monster Hunter 4 don't have online multiplayer. In the case of the former, playing an outdated game means not being able to do any online quests, and in the case of the latter, if you don't live someplace where there are a lot of players, you'll be able to do the multiplayer-capable quests, but at a major disadvantage since they are made with multiple hunters in mind.
  • Socketed Equipment: Weapons and Armor can have from zero to three "slots" in which to put gems. Said gems then count towards skill points needed to activate certain skills.
  • Soft Water: Played very weirdly in Tri. As always, your character can fall from any height onto anything without damage — at least one area has two exits that are probably 100 foot drops — minimum — one into water and one onto solid ground, and they're both perfectly safe. However, whenever you fall into water while carrying a Wyvern Egg, no matter how far you fall, you get the "sinks to the bottom" animation for dropping an egg by entering water, not the "break on impact" animation for falling from a height.
  • So Long, and Thanks for All the Gear: A variant where you can do this. Recruitable palicoes will sometimes be wearing basic gear (most often weapons). If you can use the gear but not the palico itself, you can recruit it, take possession of its stuff, then dismiss it the next chance you get.
  • Solo-Character Run: There are players who have completed the online/multiplayer quests with just their CPU-controlled allies accompanying them, or better yet with no allies at all. It's doable, but every boss becomes a Damage Sponge to compensate for the possibility of multiple players. On the plus side, you can have all of the supply items and reward money to yourself instead of having to share them. For those without a good Internet connection or local hunting buddies, this is the only option for taking on multiplayer quests.
  • Some Dexterity Required:
    • The games are known for their hand-unfriendly controls, particularly the PSP ones. Players of the PSP games can often be seen "claw-gripping" their systems — using their thumb on the analog nub to move and index finger on the D-pad to swing the camera. Although it's gotten better with the 3DS games, due to the Circle Pad Pro (original 3DS models), the C-Stick Nub (New 3DS models), or the touchscreen D-pad (all 3DS models). And dual analog sticks are standard on the Switch, allowing one to comfortably enjoy Generations Ultimate on the go without having to buy a specific model of system or invest in extra accessories.
    • None of which holds a candle to trying to play Tri with the Wii remote and nunchuck. There's only one "attack" input, with which attack you do determined by twisting the Wii remote. Factor in the Wii's teething problems with motion controls and it's a reliable as it sounds. Fortunately the developers realized this was madness (it was the only way to cram all the inputs onto a very limited number of buttons) and every copy of Monster Hunter Tri came bundled with a Pro Controller.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Weapon Effectiveness: Applied to all items in the games, not just weapons. When looking at any item, you see its Rarity, a number indicating how early or late in the game you're supposed to be able to get it. As of Unite, the Rarity levels go up to 10 (and in Frontier, 12). Everything up to Rarity 3 is the items obtainable with materials from low-rank quests, Rarity 4-7 is items from high-rank quests, and Rarity 8-10 is items from G-rank quests.
    • However, effectiveness is subverted occasionally with some weapons. For example, Siegmund in Freedom 2 is widely considered to be among the best Great Swords despite being Rank 7.
  • Spam Attack: The entire point to the Dual Swords weapon class.
  • Speaking Simlish: In the majority of installments, all voiced human dialogue is in a made-up "Monster Hunter Language". The only actual spoken line in the series is the "SO TASTY!" sound clip that plays when the player successfully cooks a Well-Done Steak. World introduces actual voice acting in various languages, but this can also be turned off and replaced with the standard gibberish.
  • Spin Attack: A few weapons get them, but of note is the Dual Blades weapon class, which heavily enforces spin attacks when it's not hacking the stuffing out of whatever it is you're trying to hunt. World takes this Up to Eleven, with the addition of even more spin attacks, including a new aerial action that has drawn several comparisons to Levi's Signature Move.
  • Spit Take: Happens in the Seregios ecology when a hunter drinking a cool drink spots a whole swarm of Seregios in the sky.
  • Standard Status Effects: Quite a few to say the least. They're divided into two categories: status effects and Blights. The effect often depends on whether the afflicted entity is a monster, companion, Hunter, or Prowler:
    • Status effects:
      • Poison causes Damage Over Time, starting at the green section of the health gauge. There are more potent variations of it: Noxious Poison, which has three dots in its icon instead of two, and Deadly Poison, which has four dots in its icon. Noxious Poison is exclusive to High Rank and above and inflicts damage at a much faster rate than normal Poison. Deadly Poison is exclusive to Deviants, inflicts damage at a faster rate than Noxious Poison, and is so potent that the Negate Poison skill can only reduce it to Noxious Poison.
      • Paralysis freezes the victim in place for several seconds. For Hunters and Palicoes/Prowlers, the effect wears off early if the victim is hit by an attack that sends them flying; this doesn't apply to monsters, so feel free to exploit their helplessness!
      • Sleep causes the victim to fall asleep. For monsters, they will take triple damage from the attack that wakes them up. Hunters can still move around for a few seconds, but cannot take any other action besides consuming an Energy Drink; whether they're in this "drowsy" state or asleep, it wears off early if they get hit.
      • Bind is exclusive to player characters and companions inhibits movement and prevents attacks and item usage other than Cleansers. It can take on different visual forms (mud, snow, tar, webbing, bones) but the end result is the mostly same, though webbing in particular freezes the victim outright.
      • Exhaust occurs when one depletes their stamina. Hunters stop moving, while monsters lose attack effectiveness, take long pauses to rest, and can trip up when performing mobility-related actions. Prowlers don't have stamina limits to begin with, so they cannot get fatigued.
      • Defense Down is exclusive to players and companions and reduces their defense. A more potent version is also available.
      • Elemental Res Down is exclusive to players and companions and reduces all of their elemental resistances.
      • Stun prevents the victim from acting for several seconds. For monsters, this causes them to be toppled for the duration of the effect.
      • Stench prevents Hunters from eating or drinking items and causes monsters to usually (but not always) flee the current area. Palicoes and Prowlers can't get it, and even if they could they don't use items and therefore Stench would have no ill effect for them.
      • Panic is companion-exclusive and causes the afflicted to run around in circles before stopping and collapsing for several seconds.
      • Felvine (from a Felvine Bomb) causes the afflicted to be targeted by wild Felynes and Melynxes. Unless the afflicted is a Felyne or Melynx themselves, in which case they become drunk.
      • Frenzy causes players to have a gauge build up under their name tag. If the gauge fills up completely, they enter a secondary status where they cannot naturally heal and take rapid damage from Frenzy attacks and pools, but if the victim attacks enough while infected they will gain offensive buffs and temporary immunity to the Frenzy. Monsters in 4 and 4 Ultimate may get infected with Frenzy, turning them Ax-Crazy and making their attacks more erratic.
      • Bleeding is player-exclusive and causes damage every time the victim evades, attacks, or runs.
      • Confusion is player-exclusive and reverses their movement controls.
      • Bubble is player-exclusive and has two stages. The first stage is actually beneficial, applying the effects of Evasion+1 and Constitution+1. The second stage, which the Bubble armor skill cannot inflict, causes the victim to slip everywhere as they move and prevents them from using non-Cleanser items.
      • Mucus Smear is player-exclusive and causes the victim to become bound in bones (i.e. Bind) if they roll along the ground (the only map where Mucus Smear can happen is the Wyvern's End, the floor of which is covered in bones).
    • Blights, which only apply to players and companions except for Blastblight:
      • Fireblight causes Damage Over Time, much like Poison, except it consumes the red section of the health gauge first.
      • Thunderblight makes the victim more vulnerable to Stun.
      • Waterblight slows down stamina recovery.
      • Iceblight speeds up stamina depletion for Hunters and slows down movement for Prowlers.
      • Dragonblight causes weapons to lose their elemental or status properties and their Affininties.
      • Blastblight causes players and companions to get hit with an explosion if they don't remove it in time or if they get hit with another powerful attack, while monsters slowly build the status up as they get hit with Blast weapons and the effect culminates in an explosion on the impact area of the hit that finally "completes" the effect. It was originally called Slimeblight because at first the only monster who could inflict the status was Brachydios, a slime-based monster, but Monster Hunter 4 introduces monsters other than Brachydios who can inflict the effect and don't use slime to do so.
  • Sticks to the Back: Played straight. Every single weapon class in the game does this — no, not even the Long Swords that come with sheathes are exceptions. The Bowguns that could have been given shoulder slings? Don't have them.
  • Stripperiffic: Female armor sets have a 20-40% chance of being this, but there are also a lot of Battle Ballgowns and everything in between to boot. Some sets, like the Bone armor, are skimpy even on male hunters.
  • Stuff Blowing Up:
    • The Heavy Bowgun's Supernova Hunter Art in Generations. The Hunter charges up a powerful shot, then fires it in the direction he/she's facing. The orb travels a ways before detonating into a massive explosion that engulfs everything around it for massive damage.
    • There's a reason why Bazelgeuse is known by fans as the "carpet bombing monster"; it has an annoying tendency to scatter its explosive scales all over the ground with most of its attacks, causing blasts to go off everywhere near your feet.
  • Stronger with Age: As descriptions for some G-Rank materials indicate, the strongest monsters are often the oldest. The Deviants in particular are ones who have survived numerous battles with other monsters and with hunters to become killing machines.
  • Super Mode:
    • The Long Sword has a Spirit Gauge that fills up with each regular slash. While you could normally spend the collected energy on powerful Spirit Combos as soon as it's available, maxing out the meter grants you a temporary attack boost. Starting with Tri, you could also activate a separate super mode by performing a Finishing Move during your Spirit Combo, which grants an additional temporary attack boost, and which can be powered up three times.
    • The Dual Blades are able to enter Demon Mode by tapping R, which constantly drains Stamina, but grants a variety of buffs such as increased damage and attack speed, and access to the powerful Demon Dance maneuver. If you attack consistently while in Demon Mode, you can then enter Archdemon Mode, which consumes no Stamina and provides a host of new attacks and an even stronger Demon Dance, alongside a special dodge move that can be chained straight into attacks.
    • If you know it exists, the Charge Blade's Element Up Mode in 4U. By having at least one charged Phial, then using Axe Mode's Amped Element Discharge and tapping R during the startup, you will use all of your Phials to activate a buff that grants +20% Axe Mode damage, and a variety of bonuses in Sword and Shield Mode, such as a powerful, explosive auto-shield, and Element Discharge-like bonuses to the Phial Charge follow-up and the "shield thrust" (X, X+A). You also gain access to the Charge Blade's ultimate move, the Super Amped Element Discharge.
    • World extends the Charge Blade's Element Up capabilities by enabling you to charge your Sword with Phial power. By entering Element Up, then initiating a Charge in Sword Mode and holding the Light Attack button during the Charge until you see your Shield burst with energy, then release the Light Attack button, your Sword will become charged. While charged, this grants, among other things, Mind's Eye as a weapon ability, which additionally allows you to strike with your Sword even if you're in Overcharge state, and the ability to apply a Phial burst upon landing any attack in Sword Mode that deals Phial-based additional damage.
    • The Insect Glaive has one for getting the red, white, and orange extracts on you all at once before they disappear, granting a further helping of attack and defense boosts as well as hearing protection.
    • The Valor Hunting Style from Generations Ultimate has this as its main draw. When the Valor Gauge is full, the hunter gains access to a variety of fast moves and powerful attacks.
    • Generations Ultimate has SP (Style Power-up) Mode. When someone uses an SP Art, a regular Hunter Art that the player designates as their SP Art, everyone in the area enters SP mode, which grants different benefits depending on what each player's Hunting Style is e.g. Guild can use items more quickly, Adept can perform Insta-moves more easily, etc. Using Alchemy Style can buff SP Mode, giving it more benefits like regenerating health.
    • Apex mode is this for monsters who manage to overcome the Frenzy. Apex monsters have massively improved offensive and defensive capabilities, making them very difficult to defeat, unless the hunter has Wystones with which to nullify it.
    • World grants Switch Axe the ability to enter Amped Mode, which rewards aggressiveness in Sword Mode with even stronger Sword Mode attacks and the ability to apply a Phial burst when landing any attack in Sword Mode that deals Phial-based additional damage. In addition, being in Amped Mode transforms the Element Discharge into the powerful Zero Sum Discharge, which involves mounting a target, then stabbing the Switch Axe into the target while unleashing a full power Element Discharge.
  • Super Not-Drowning Skills: tri- and 3 Ultimate's Oxygen Meters are already generous enough, taking minutes to drain and being easily refillable through air bubbles and oxygen-refilling items and extended with the Air Philter series of items, but oxygen can be made an outright non-issue by gaining 10 points in the Oxygen skill, resulting in the Endless Oxygen buff.
  • Super-Persistent Predator:
    • Minor predators like Velociprey will continuously do Scratch Damage at you even if they should be fleeing from the barn-sized monstrosity that keeps crushing them by accident. Some large species, such as Rath variants, will attack on sight and not let up unless seriously injured.
    • Subverted — bosses tend to flee when wounded and attempt to find a place to rest and recover. Others will actually ignore hunters entirely unless provoked, and will instead hunt other, more substantial creatures instead. In World, monsters will generally only attack Hunters if they are provoked or in the middle of a turf war with another monster and the Hunter gets too close. Even famously aggressive monsters like Rathalos are content to let you pass by, as long as you don't do anything stupid.
    • Technically, with the practice of Persistence Hunting, the Hunters themselves.
  • Super Title 64 Advance: Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, otherwise known as 3U / MH 3U, has one of its releases on the Wii U.
  • Support Party Member: The Alchemist style in Generations Ultimate is more focused on supporting the party compared to the other styles. It gives the player an alchemy barrel that can be used to create special items or perform certain actions like firing a projectile or healing everyone over time. Additionally, while the other Hunting Styles can only have one SP Art, all three of Alchemist style's Hunting Arts can be SP Arts.
  • Swiss Army Weapon:
    • The Switch Axe and Charge Blade. The Switch Axe is an axe that folds into a sword whereas the Charge Blade is a sword and a shield which combines into an axenote .
    • The Gunlance, a combination Lance and breech-loaded cannon. It's also one of the only two Blademaster weapons that accepts certain Gunner skills, the other being the Charge Bladenote .
  • The Syndicate: In 4, there's an "Egg Syndicate" whose main schtick is collecting fresh monster eggs for use in cuisine, and they often employ you to go out into the dangerous wild to collect Gargwa, Herbivore, and Wyvern Eggs for this purpose. They even threaten you with some Brooklyn Rage if you think about snitching on them. Their members are hidden among the many NPCs you meet, which include the Val Habar Armory merchant, the Cheerful Troverian, the Cheeko Sands Armory Felyne, and their Don, the Cathar Village Elder. In 4U, completing the two additional Egg Syndicate quests given by the female Relay Hunter in the Dundorma Assembly and slaying the Crimson Fatalis reveals that their true leader is implied to be none other than His Immenseness, the Wyvernian ruler of Dundorma City.
  • Tactical Rock–Paper–Scissors:
    • The primary mechanic of the Meownster Hunters Mini-Game in 4 and 4 Ultimate involves using this to help your palicoes beat up monsters. Melee attacks (blue) beat ranged attacks (yellow), which beat explosive attacks (red), which beat melee attacks (blue, again).
    • Combat in Stories revolves around this. Power beats Technique, which beats Speed, which beats Power. This only applies if both participants are aiming at each other.
    • The Kushala Daora, Teostra, and Chameleos armor and weapons are all built around defeating each other in that order. Kushala Daora's armor nullifies heat damage, Teostra's armor provides poison and item theft immunity, the Chameleos armor provides wind resistance, and the Chameleos weapons have poison attribute, which nullify Kushala Daora's wind. In Generations Ultimate, the G Rank armors from these monsters even have unique combination skills made specifically to combat the monster.
  • Tactical Suicide Boss: The Agnaktor is covered in an armor of rapidly cooling lava. After enough time, it hardens enough that nothing short of explosions can harm him. However, when he burrows underground, or uses his heat beam, or wades into lava, it softens enough for him to be attacked again. He'd be close to invincible if he stuck to just his hip attacks and charges, rather than burrowing and using heat beams.
    • The Glacial Agnaktor has the opposite problem, in that its icy armor melts the longer it's above ground and freezes back up once it burrows.
  • Take That!: The ad campaign for Monster Hunter Tri, pointing out the difference between "sissy" real life hunters and fishermen as opposed to big, awesome monster hunters. The ad campaign often made use of footage from television show Deadliest Catch. Deadliest Catch appears again as the name of a 3 star quest in Tri, pitting you against giant man-eating catfish and alligator monsters.
  • Take That, Audience!:
    • In Generations, when you accept the first village Urgent Quest, the Bherna Gal has some words of shade against players who harass struggling players without bothering to help them:
      "Do you ever say to yourself, 'wow I'm terrible. I'll never be able to take out that monster...' I know some people will tell you to 'git gud', but that's a terrible suggestion! Who even listens to those people anyway?"
    • Similarly within the same game, an NPC in Pokke has something to say about hunters who have their buddies do all the work for them then claim glorious well-earned victory, otherwise known as being "carried" in community lingo.
  • Take Your Time: The player can just grind and fight other monsters as much as they want before tackling any "Urgent Quests". Egregious in many main storyline Urgent Quests, particularly Final Boss battles, where the monster attack is said to be imminent — and is often played up to cause the destruction of a village, loss of lives, or much worse, if the monster is not stopped.
  • Tampering with Food and Drink: Raw meat can be tampered to give it different effects such as poison, sleep, stun, etc. which will be applied to a monster stupid enough to eat such "Trap meat".
  • A Taste of Power:
    • The training missions and many of the downloadable quests give you predetermined sets of equipment, some of which are far beyond what you're capable of making around the time you first unlock these missions.
    • The downloadable demo for 3 Ultimate gives you the highest tier equipment in the game, and lets you hunt a monster at the lowest rank.
    • Initially played straight, then subverted with the Special Demo for 4U. The gear you get is approximately middle High Rank equipment, alongside especially rare items you won't get until late postgame in the full version, such as Disposable Earplugs and Dust of Life. Against the Great Jaggi and Tetsucabra, it's a fairly simplistic task to hunt them due to your especially powerful equipment. However, the demo's Gore Magala is leagues above what your gear is capable of, as it can easily chop off half your health in one blow.
    • Played with when you fight the Apex Seregios in 4U. What you're fighting isn't supposed to be encountered until G Rank, as this monster type doesn't show up until then. However, you also get access to the Proto Wystone: Drive during the fight, allowing you to cut through its otherwise impenetrable hide. You don't get access to Drive Wystones until much farther into the postgame.
  • Technical Pacifist: You can spare a large monster's life by capturing it instead of killing it. In "hunt" quests, this counts as a successful hunt; you don't actually have to kill the target unless the quest objective explicitly uses the term "slay".
  • Technicolor Toxin: Poison in the Monster Hunter series always takes the form of a bright purple liquid or gas. Deadlier poison usually takes on a darker purple color. The really nasty poison is bright red.
  • Technology Marches On: Invoked in-universe in a strange way; the modern Large Barrel Bomb, which previously could not be used in wet, rainy areas in Dos/Unite but which could be used underwater in Tri, is implied in 4 Ultimate to be the result of research into waterproof explosive materialsnote . Amusingly enough, if the Kushala Daora that narrowly approached Cathar in 4U is the same "Frozen Dictator" that attacked Pokke Village in Unite, then the time duration for the development of waterproof bombs couldn't have been that long. Then again, Gunlances could already use Wyvern Fire in the rain or snow back when LBBs couldn't be used in similar weather...
  • Temporary Online Content: Console games up to and including tri- require you to go online if you want to access High Rank. Except those games' online services are now gone, leaving you stuck with Low Rank forever. Later games allow "online"/multiplayer quests to be accessible offline, and the PSP games simply consolidate the gathering hall and story quests together (since they have no online component anyways).
  • That Came Out Wrong: Several characters will utter embarrassing Non Sequiturs from time to time, but the Gathering Hall Shopmistress in 4U is this trope incarnate due to her nervousness, up to and including mistakenly saying "Boyguns" instead of Bowguns.
    Shopmistress: "WHAT!? No, I meant "Bowguns" not "Boyguns"! We don't have any boys that you can put in your guns!"
  • Teleporting Keycard Squad:
    • The series is infamous for doing this with its non-multiplayer item transport quests. When an item you pick up puts you in "transport" mode (because the item is something heavy and fragile, such as a monster egg), you cannot attack, your movement speed is reduced dramatically, and you'll drop and break the item you're carrying if you perform certain actions (most notably rolling and falling) or an enemy attacks you. So for transport quests that can't be done online, when you pick one of these items up and start to make your way back, you'll notice squads of Mook-type monsters that were not there previously. And just to make things worse, depending on how many of the item you've transported so far certain paths will be blocked off with inexplicable boulders, forcing you to take a longer path with each iteration.
    • Averted in World thanks to the game's open maps actually trying to simulate an actual ecosystem — the monsters that can make you drop the eggs are already there. That said, stealing a wyvern egg will still attract the Rathalos or Rathian in the region to you. Having the Ghillie Mantle equipped while doing so, however, makes the whole quest a joke.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: Certain missions will play the game's main theme song, Proof of a Hero, once you enter the final phase of the battle. It's often used during the designated final story quests of each game, with a few exceptions.
    • In missions where you're fighting a Colossal-class monster around the Fortress, the BGM will switch from that monster's rather threatening theme song to a more heroic one once it reaches the final area of the map, since that's where the outcome of the battle is decided. For example, the climactic fight against Lao Shan Lung at the Fortress gates uses the games' signature main theme for full effect.
    • When Hunters manage to hit Jhen Mohran or Dah'ren Mohran with the Dragonator during the final showdown, a new orchestral version of Proof of a Hero called "Testament of a Hunter" plays, being the only time you hear the MH main theme in Tri and 3 Ultimate (Dah'ren instead uses the new 4U version of the theme; see below).
    • In 4U, successfully using the Demolisher on Gogmazios during the fight in the Battlequarters triggers a re-orchestrated version of the MH theme song.
    • In Generations Ultimate, getting Ahtal-Ka to its fifth and final phase replaces the music with a faster-paced remix of "Proof of a Hero".
  • Third-Person Seductress: Like any game where you can choose gender, many males tend to choose the female option. Must be due to all those outfits you can dress her in.
  • This Is a Drill:
    • A couple of the lances in Unite.
    • Most Dragonators, such as the one at the Castle Schrade (a very large, spiky drill), the one at the Fort (consists of four very large, not-so-spiky drills), and the one during any fight that occurs on a ship, such as the Jhen Mohran and Dah'ren Moran fights, the "surprise" boss fight against Gore Magala on the Arluq, and an Event Quest fight against a Seregios, also on the Arluq.
    • The Skyscraper, a powerful weapon that is hard to obtain and is made from a chunk of worn-out ancient metal, is the largest lance in Tri and perhaps the entire series. When the player uses the lance's charge move, the lance spins, resembling something like a portable Dragonator. And according to the description, it's capable of piercing the heavens.
    • Also the Grief Lance/Fiendish Tower.
    • The Spiral Heat lance also starts spinning while charging.
    • The Undertaker series of lances seems to be a broken drill. It doesn't spin, but it's still a dragon-element drill. The Matenro series is the the fully repaired version of the lance, but exchanges dragon element with a huge boost in raw power.
    • The Ukanlos Trampler is the most powerful weapon in Unite. It's a drill hammer.
    • Another drill hammer makes its way into Monster Hunter 4. This time with a rocket that ignites while it charges!
    • Most of the Seltas equipment in 4 Ultimate is fairly drill-like. The Dual-Swords are actual drills. Combined with the Seltas Blademaster armor, you definitely will be piercing the heavens.
  • Threatening Shark:
    • Sharqs.
    • The Plesioth is a essentially a dragon shark that can shoot high-pressure water beams.
    • 4 introduced Zamtrios, which is basically is a frog with the head, dorsal fin, and tail of a shark.
  • Thriving Ghost Town: Averted. Towns are stated to be much bigger than the handful of NPCs and shops you see, but your hunter is only interested in the main drag with the facilities and people they need. There are small, self-sufficient villages like Moga, but these are acknowledged to be remote specks on the map (and often justify why you start off with boring gather quests — the Guild doesn't trust your outpost representative yet), and you usually need to head somewhere busier to meet other hunters for multiplayer.
  • Throw a Barrel at It: The bombs in this game always come in barrels. Hence the names "Small/Large/Mega Barrel Bomb/Bomb+".
  • Timed Mission: All quests have a time limit, typically 50 minutes, although some quests, particularly quests where repelling (i.e. holding out long enough against) a monster is a victory condition, have shorter time limits, typically 30 or 35 minutes. 50 minutes is more than enough for most quests, although some online/multiplayer quests, particularly ones against Elder Dragons or multiple monsters, can take almost the entire 50 minutes if you try to tackle them alone. Some quests toy around with the quest time limit; one DLC quest in 4 Ultimate, for instance, has you trying to slay a Chameleos in 15 minutes or less.
  • Time-Limit Boss: The above trope when applied to large monster hunting and slaying quests. In 4 and 4U, this applies to large monsters in Expeditions in a different way: If you take too long to kill a monster, it will leave for good.
  • Title Drop:
    • The most difficult G-Rank quests in certain games are simply called "Monster Hunter". Fittingly, they involve fighting multiple flagship monsters, one after the other.
    • Generations Ultimate has a similar quest called "Advanced: Ultimate Generation" ("Advanced: Double Cross" in XX, the Japan-region counterpart), which pits you against Hyper G Rank versions of the Fated Four with Valstrax to top the quest off.
    • Generations Ultimate also has "Meownster Hunter Ultimate", a Boss Rush quest that can only be accepted if you're playing as a Prowler.
  • Toilet Humor: Most of the dialogue from Stink Mask wearers in 3 Ultimate runs on this.
  • Took a Level in Badass:
    • The -dromes from recent MHF updates. While still King Mooks, they get significant attack pattern changes, making them more threatening than just being health-buffed versions of their subordinates.
    • In 4U, there is a cowardly felyne questgiver named "Whitescruff" who can be found on Cheeko Sands. He is initially scared to death of the monsters that inhabit the Primal Forest near their home, and asks you to show him how to be brave by fighting them off. Ultimately, he asks you to take down the Akantor that was responsible for both marooning the Felyne Elder on Cheeko Sands and the disappearance of her husband. Succeeding in this quest finally helps him get over his fears, and allows you to hire him as a Palico.
  • Too Awesome to Use: Defied with the Lucky Vouchers in World, since they're given out on a real-time basis but you plain lose out on new ones if you already have five. It encourages players to just use them.
  • Too Long; Didn't Dub:
    • The Argosy Captain and Neko (Means "Cat") parodies this habit of anime fansubbers in all their dialog and in the latter's case, his name.
    Neko (Means "Cat"): The Tanzia is three ports wrapped up in hitotsu! Hitotsu means one.
    • In 4/4U, not only do the Argosy Captain and Neko (Means "Cat") return for a guest appearance, the descriptions for the new armor based off of them are rife with this.
  • Total Party Kill: Due to the "three defeats across the whole party and they're out" mechanic, a team of three or four players can easily go from zero to three in seconds if they're unfortunate to all be low on health and be struck by the same monster doing the same attacks.
  • Tranquillizer Dart: Used frequently, with Tranq Bombs, Tranq S bowgun ammo, and even Tranq Throwing Knives, required for monster capture quests. It's not Instant Sedation though, the monster has to be near-dead and in a trap for it to work. However, you can use the Tranq before the trap, just in case you failed to catch them previously and are starting to build up resistance to traps.
    • There's also Sleep element weapons, which can make a monster randomly doze off in the middle of a fight.
  • Transformation Sequence:
    • The Switch Axe and Charge Blade are of the mechanical variety, being Swiss Army Weapons.
    • When enraged, the Rajang's normally smooth black fur gains a bright gold pattern and stands on end.
    • The Caravan vehicles in 4U are partly mechanized and can transform into shop buildings and market stalls.
    • In a cutscene in Monster Hunter 4,the juvenile Gore Magala undergoes a molting phase to become the adult Shagaru Magala.
  • Trauma Button:
    • The Ace Commander in 4U gets very nervous and lost in thought when Rathians are involved. This is because he and his mentor, the Master of Defense, were on a Rathian hunt when he caused the incident that led to his mentor's Career-Ending Injury.
    • Whitescruff, the scaredy Felyne on Cheeko Sands, keeps fretting over the dangerous monsters surrounding their home. It's because he was one of the survivors of a rogue Akantor attack during an ocean voyage, which resulted in his original Hunter master disappearing in combat against the creature and his entire family getting shipwrecked on Cheeko Sands.
  • Trauma Inn: Most Base Camps have a bed that can be slept in to restore health and cure negative status problems. The sleeping hunter's AI partner(s) are also healed instantly.
  • Trick Bomb:
    • Felvine Bombs, essentially catnip potpourri bombs that can either leave annoying Felynes and Melynxes drunk off their asses and have them drop Shinies, or can tag a monster and have said Felynes and Melynxes ignore you to focus on them. It also improves the accuracy of Palico attacks on a tagged monster. Just don't get caught in the blast radius or you'll be tagged as well. Also, make sure any Palicoes are away from one or they'll be too drunk to be of any help in a hunt for a while.
    • Any bomb type that doesn't blow up in a monster's face to damage it. This includes Smoke Bombs, Poison Smoke Bombs, Portable Steam Bombs, Farcasters, Dung Bombs, Sonic Bombs, Flash Bombs, Tranq Bombs, and more.
    • Bounce Bombs don't actually bounce. They're portable rockets for hitting monsters crawling on ceilings, and maybe flying monsters if your aim and timing is lucky.
  • True Companions: The Caravan in 4. The Caravaneer even lampshades it.
  • Turns Red: Both monsters and hunters are capable of doing this.
    • Nearly every monster gets angry when you hurt it enough, and gains power, speed, and new moves while enraged. Usually they'll calm down after a while, but the less health a monster has, the less damage it takes to make them angry again. On the plus side, you can get a rough idea of how close a monster is to dying based on how quickly they get mad.
    • This can also happen visually with certain monsters, such as the Gigginox, Deviljho, Rajang, and Tigrex, who will change their colors to depict whether they are enraged, or even exhausted. Special mention goes to the Baleful Gigginox, who literally turns red as a shout-out to the Red Khezu.
    • Beginning with the 3rd generation, having certain skills can boost the hunter's offensive prowess under specific conditions. For instance, the Challenger skill gives you an offensive boost whenever you're in the same area as an enraged monster, while the Latent Power skill decreases Stamina consumption and increases critical hit chances after either receiving a sufficient damage or a certain amount of time has elapsed.
    • The Valstrax armor has the Dragonheart skill, which grants significant Attack and Defense boosts and maxes out elemental resistances when your health falls below 2/3 of the maximum. This comes at the cost of afflicting Dragonblight, though it doesn't affect you if you're wielding a Dragon-element weapon.
    • Also inverted for the vast majority of monsters. Like Hunters, they have finite Stamina, and when they run out they become exhausted, have less effective attacks, are more clumsy, and tend to move around less.
  • 20 Bear Asses: Averted in the actual quest structure for the most part. Most of the quests only involve slaying a boss or two, though a few of the lower-rank missions do involve killing a larger number of smaller monsters. Tri's subquests sometimes play this straight, however, adding an optional requirement to kill a certain number of smaller monsters during a quest for extra rewards, and certain early quests in many games play it completely straight by making you scrounge around for things like Goldenfish, Popo Tongues, and Kelbi Horns. The Guildmarm from 4 Ultimate even lampshades this:
    Guildmarm: Of course, there has to be one "fetch-the-Unique-Mushrooms" quest. We don't mess with tradition here at the Guild.
  • Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny:
    • Ever wondered who'd win in a fight between Tigrex and Nargacuga? Now you know.
    • World's "Turf War" system allows this to happen in any hunt, as large monsters will fight each other if they run into each other — yes, even Elder Dragons. The only exception to this seems to be if it's a Rathalos and a Rathian, since both will instead end up double teaming the player.
  • Underground Monkey: There are several monster families that share movesets, tactics, and certain features, plus subspecies and such. This is usually a good thing, however, given that having to learn a brand new moveset for every new wyvern would make the game even more absurdly difficult, and the wyverns usually have enough distinctions between the subspecies, such as new moves, weaknesses, varied features, etc.
  • Unfortunate Names: There's a Black Face armor piece.
  • Unfriendly Fire: Aside from player-to-player damage being heavily decreased, this is in full effect; players can send flying or stunlock their allies if they don't pay attention to where they're swinging/shooting. See Friendly Fireproof above for examples.
  • Unidentified Items:
    • Throughout the series, Rust Shards and Ancient Shards can be mined from various maps, and are identified once the current mission is completed. They are either a random weapon of that hunter rank — sometimes a Rusted Weapon or Worn Weapon which generally upgrade into powerful weapons.
    • 4 Ultimate's Rusted Armor, found in the Everwood on Expeditions and Guild Quests. You can't tell exactly what kind of armor it is (only its type) until you finish the Expedition or Guild Quest, where what you found can be appraised. However, even after appraisal, the gear you found can't be worn until you get it polished in town. (Justified because who in their right mind would want to wear rusty armor?!?)
  • Unnecessary Combat Roll: For everyone except Lance and Gunlance wielders, this is the standard method of evasion. It has invincibility frames partway through, which allows you to roll through a variety of monster attacks unhindered at the cost of some Stamina. Hunters can increase or decrease the invincibility frames of the roll with the Evasion skill as well. The Aerial Style and Adept Style in Generations modifies or replaces the roll respectively tailored to the Style's unique functions. The Aerial Hunting Style modifies the roll into a jumping somersault, followed by a landing roll. This allows you to jump when performed near a large monster and covers more distance than the standard roll, but gives you no invincibility frames, making it near-useless as a method of evasion. Adept Style replaces the roll with either a Perfect Evade or a Perfect Guard, depending on the weaponnote , that initiates special effects when performed correctly, but must be done with near-perfect timing or else you'll just get walloped.
  • Uniqueness Decay: In 4/4U, the Article the Caravaneer keeps under his hat is a Shagaru Magala Pure Scale. Once you have the possibility of fighting Shagaru Magala, you can get more Pure Scales.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: The Striker Style in Generations is a variant on this. The style charges Hunter Arts more quickly than the other styles, can charge them by taking damage in addition to inflicting it, and allows the character to equip up to three Hunter Arts, which is a lot more than usual. However, what they gain in versatility for their super moves, they lose in complexity of their basic move set. Thus, Striker is all about offense and taking full advantage of the Hunter Arts.
  • Unstoppable Rage:
    • Large monsters can become enraged after taking enough damage. Generally speaking, this results in faster speeds, higher damage, and even entirely new attacks that they are not usually capable of pulling off. On the plus side, they usually become exhausted shortly after their rage subsides.
    • As of Monster Hunter 4, the Frenzied monsters can enter an essentially permanent Rage Mode once the infection inevitably assumes total control of its host, gaining speed, strength, and imbuing some attacks with the virus itself, potentially inflicting it upon the hunter.
  • Unwanted Assistance:
    • Do not hit a player who has mounted a monster. Doing so has a chance to knock them off, resulting in a very irritated player and a wasted opportunity to beat up the monster while it's down. Oh, and do not hit the monster too, because making it flinch, knocking it down, paralyzing it, or putting it to sleep will also shake off the rider. This is why many players set their automatic "mounted a monster" message to the tune of "Don't attack!" Generations averts this completely by reworking the mounting mechanics so that attacking a monster being mounted actually benefits the Hunter mounting it by increasing the mount gauge.
    • Trying to ambush a sleeping monster for the damage boost with Barrel Bomb L's and L+'s or charged attacks like the Great Sword's charged slash and the Charge Blade's Super AED can quickly lead to this if you're hunting with random players online, or even online friends without a third-party communication tool to get around being limited to chat macros for communication. Savvy players may pick up on what you're doing and leave you and the monster alone, or better yet put down their own Barrel Bombs to pile on the damage, but most players will simply whack the monster at the first opportunity no matter how weak their attack is, wasting a massive damage opportunity and potentially ending up on the wrong side of an etiquette lecture upon returning to the lobby.
  • Unwinnable by Design: Running out of tranquilizers or traps on a capture quest won't immediately result in quest failure, but unless it's tranqulizers (which can be made with materials that can be gathered on maps) that you're out of and not traps (which require Trap Tools, which can only be procured at shops), you are out of traps but get an AI companion to lay a trap for you, or you are a Prowler with a "Purr-ison" trap-laying Support Move (Prowlers gain access to infinite-use Tranq Bombs when close to a trapped monster and Support Moves are collect-type Charged Attacks), you may as well abandon the quest. Fortunately, World once again comes through by allowing the player to access their Item Box at a camp site, negating this until they completely run out of traps and materials..
  • Updated Re-release: Every main title has at least one such rerelease that adds new monsters and other content, including the coveted G-rank.
  • Vagina Dentata: The Khezu's mouth is a maw filled with teeth.
  • Vendor Trash:
    • In general, if the Flavor Text for an item ends in "...but of no use to a Hunter" or something along the lines of "sell it for cash", you can sell it for cash without screwing over a potential combination or equipment purchase.
    • Eggs that are given as quest rewards, especially Silver and Gold Eggs, often sell for four- or five-digits zenny. However, silver and gold ones are also necessary to craft Fate jewels.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: Against most monsters, you can choose to capture the monster to claim victory, sparing its life rather than hunting it to death.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential:
    • Hitting your fellow Hunters inflicts no damage, but causes Knockback. However, this is generally a bad idea while hunting, so this is best saved for the post-victory standby period. Averted to an extent as of 4U, where certain attacks from some heavy weapons such as the Hammer and Charge Blade's Axe Mode can actually launch other Hunters on strike, allowing them to get an aerial attack and potentially mount a monster.
    • Hitting Felynes and Melynxes with Felvine Bombs to render them drunk. You can also walk right up to them and kick them over, including the peaceful ones in the Felyne areas and even your own loyal Palicoes (and, if you're feeling particularly spiteful, your friends'). If you have the Felyne Kickboxer skill, they'll go soaring through the air when you punt them.
  • Video-Game Lives: Three KOs and you're out. In a multiplayer hunt, this is three KOs total, not per player. This means your party can fail a quest even if you have party members who don't faint at all, and that a party of three or four can fail a quest in record time thanks to a Total Party Kill. Generations introduces the Felyne Insurance food skill, which grants the party an extra "life" (specifically, the first defeat won't count towards the tally nor will it decrease the monetary reward).
  • Video Game Stealing: The Gypceros, Chameleos, and Malfestio deviant can steal your items with some of their attacks. Unlike the Melynxes, your items are gone once these monsters steal them.
  • Villain Decay: In 4/4U, that Plesioth whose hipcheck was probably the bane of your existence in the last two generations can now be killed by a group of Felynes and a fishing net.
  • Violation of Common Sense:
    • During Gore Magala's ambush on the Arluq after leaving Harth in 4 Ultimate, if you are ever in need of healing, you can jump right off your vessel. This will take you to a start point with stock supplies and a bed to rest in, and a convenient set of stairs to get you right back in the action.
    • A monster is going to sweep the arena with a death laser! So how are you to avoid this? Run TOWARDS the laser and dive — a move which you didn't really have to do at that point (and usually got you killed).
    • If you're using a Chaotic Gore Magala weapon, you'll want to get infected by the Frenzy Virus on purpose, since recovering out of it for the post-Frenzy buff removes its negative Affinity and adds it to its positive Affinity, giving you boosted Critical Hit chance.note 
    • Adept Style in Generations encourages you to roll into enemy attacks so you can use Insta-Moves. One of the easiest ways to get Insta-Moves? Fight a Brachydios and roll into its slime patches, since those count as attacks.
  • Virtual Paper Doll: With the wide variety of armor you can make, you can mix sets together for skills and looks. Also applies to Palicoes to a lesser extent.
  • Virtual Pet: Poogie and Moofy, though to a very limited degree. They're more for world building and personality than as an actual pet. World expands upon this by allowing you capture various small wildlife in the different maps and let them loose as pets in your room; with each upgrade you can set more with the highest room upgrade allowing you to display a small zoo's worth of creatures, which you can then interact with by "resting" in your room.
  • The Virus: 4 and 4 Ultimate's Frenzy Virus, a mysterious disease that is spread by Gore Magala and its adult form, Shagaru Magala, contaminating monster and human alike. Its effect on living beings varies depending on what is being affected.
    • Large Monsters that contract the Frenzy Virus will become Frenzied, becoming abnormally aggressive toward not only Hunters, but also other monsters, as if constantly enraged. Frenzied Monsters also get upgrades to their standard attacks that imbue them with the Frenzy Virus, allowing it spread to Hunters. Under normal circumstances, Frenzied Monsters tend to die soon after, preventing the virus from spreading. However, if a monster overcomes the Frenzy, it becomes an Apex monster, who are extremely deadly and resistant to many forms of conventional combat, as well as being able to spread the Frenzy Virus themselves.
    • Small Monsters die instantly from any attacks that cause the Frenzy.
    • Hunters that contract the Frenzy Virus will slowly become infected by it, denoted by a purple bar under the player's nametag. If it is unable to be dispelled, the Hunter will become infected, preventing them from recovering half of the damage dealt to them, as well as taking extra damage from Frenzy-type attacks and causing the Frenzy pools Gore Magala and Shagaru Magala create to rapidly drain the Hunter's health. However, it can be fought off with constant attacks, which causes the Hunter to dispel the Frenzy, becoming temporarily immune, as well as receiving a status and Affinity buff.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss:
    • Yian Kut-ku is the wake-up call from MH 1-2, a hunter's first real challenge after the gathering, herd thinning, and raptor hunting quests.
    • Tri has Barroth, the first urgent boss (large monster) of the online mode. Not only are his movements completely different from anything you know from other MH games, he is also heavily armored, moves around a lot, and has a nasty and hard to dodge status attack that renders you unable to act for a short amount of time. The fact it's the first monster whose roar stuns you doesn't help. There's a reason why players above hunter rank 9 tend to be a lot more skilled than below.
    • In Tri and 3 Ultimate, take your time to train up underwater combat skill against Royal Ludroth or Gobul. You will need them against Lagiacrus and others.
    • Later, the Purple Ludroth in 3 Ultimate serves as a message to players that high rank is high rank for a reason.
    • Similarly in 4 and 4 Ultimate, the Purple Gypceros in early high rank is much faster and far more unpredictable than your run-of-the-mill monster.
    • 4 introduces players to the Frenzy virus in the form of a quest to fight a Congalala that has given in to it. Though not the first time the Frenzy Virus is seen (you can thank the Gore Magala for that), it gives players their first taste of Frenzied monsters' atypical behaviors and attack patterns.
    • Glavenus in Generations offers a tremendous spike in difficulty for new players with moves to punish common rookie tactics like simply putting a lot of distance between themselves and monsters when there's need to heal (and underestimating how quickly it can close the distance) or diving away from any attack about to hit (when it can just do a quick follow-up). In spite of technically being the Glass Cannon of Generations mascots, it's the one that will require the most time and effort to understand and beat.
    • Redhelm Arzuros, also from Generations, is likely the first Deviant unlocked, but its heavy armor, devastating attacks, and High Rank-level health on top of its new tactics makes it clear that the Deviants are not your average monster.
    • World's Anjanath, which hits much faster and harder than any monster you fight before it. It's also the first really aggressive monster that will go out of its way to chase you down, demonstrating just how much the new open maps change the way the game is played.
    • Though not a new monster, the first proper Diablos quest in World is a wall that many series newcomers in particular have wound up being stalled on thanks to its sheer aggression and damage potential.
  • Walking the Earth: Unlike previous games, the player's "home village" in 4 is actually a traveling caravan led by a veteran caravaneer, though you still make stops on different villages.
  • Weapon of Choice: The closest thing we have to a class system in Monster Hunter, each weapon style is unique and plays differently, filling a different role in a hunting party. The exact number of different weapon styles varies between each game. Here's a rundown:
    • Great Sword: Mighty Glacier. Very slow on the move and a lot of wind-up for attacks, but hits like a train. Only a Hammer user potentially hits harder. Something of a beginner's trap, timing and spacing are crucial with this weapon; a skilled user will pulverise a monster with ease, but a novice will just be knocked around a lot. As a slow, methodical weapon which greatly rewards knowledge of timings and attack patterns, Dark Souls fans will take to this weapon quickly.
    • Longsword: Quick Glass Cannon. Plays similar to a Dynasty Warriors character, with very fast, wide-reach combo attacks which build up into a devastating super attack, which is repeated ad infinitum. Its long reach and wide swings also makes it infamous in co-op play, as it can trip other players.
    • Sword and Shield: Jack-of-All-Stats. A versatile, lightweight weapon capable of rapid attacks and quick movement. While the shield guard and physical damage is nothing too special, it can deal both cutting and blunt damage types and many swords feature an elemental or status ailment damage too. Only weapon that allows for item usage while unsheathed. Touted often as a beginner's go-to, but some veteran players swear by it.
    • Dual Swords: Fragile Speedster. Similar to the Sword and Shield but sacrificing the guard for even more speed and quicker strikes, this pair of knives features a Demon mode to unleash a flurry of Death By A Thousand Cuts blows. Fans of classic hack'n'slash games like God of War will like this one.
    • Hammer: Powerful Glass Cannon. Short reach and no defence, but obscenely high damage and decent mobility too. Hitting a monster's head will stun it. The Hammer inflicts the most important status ailment of all - dead, and it does it very quickly. Just try not to miss.
    • Hunting Horn: Oddball support Squishy Wizard. Similar to the Hammer but with the ability to throw out buffs to the party. However your damage drops off when you pause to play, and you're vulnerable to attack when you do. It also deals that ever-important blunt damage for KOs and breaking pieces off, so don't just be a cheerleader: get stuck in!
    • Lance: Stone Wall. Stout and stoic, the Lance fills a "tank" role and trades damage output for a superb guard and good reach. Being able to uniquely attack from behind a guard means taking blows and poking when you see an opening.
    • Gunlance: Mighty Glacier turned Up to Eleven. Don't make the mistake of thinking it's just a Lance with a built-in cannon; the Gunlance is much more powerful on the offence with its Wyvernfire shots but loses many of the ordinary Lance's mobility and defence options, though the guard is still excellent. It also, unfortunately, wears out the sharpness like no-one's business.
    • Switch Axe: Jack-of-All-Stats in axe form, Mighty Glacier in sword form. Similar to the trick weapons of Bloodborne which have two forms for different situations: use the long axe to play it safe until the monster is down, then switch to sword form and let him have it!
    • Charge Blade: Mighty Glacier. A mix between Sword and Shield and the Switch Axe, but requires a lot more dexterity than both of them. Notable for being the only bladed weapon in the series that can reliably stun monsters like a Hammer, so if you want to be able to do everything at once, the Charge Blade might become your new best friend.
    • Insect Glaive: Mechanically Unusual Fighter, verging into Lightning Bruiser territory. The only weapon with an aerial moveset, allowing you to parkour and climb over the monster to strike in and out. Remember to take advantage of the Kinsect to collect extract and augment attacks. Dragon's Dogma players who enjoyed that game's mounting mechanic might find familiarity in this peculiar weapon.
    • Light Bowgun: Squishy Wizard support. Utilises a variety of support ammo such as status effects, buffs and healing, while also allowing potshots from a safe distance, with good mobility and a high rate of fire. You'll never be the main damage dealer of your party, but that's the price for being selfless.
    • Heavy Bowgun: Glass Cannon or ranged Mighty Glacier. Trades utility ammo and mobility for raw firepower. Take advantage of explosive and elemental damage ammo to blast monsters to kingdom come!
    • Bow: Fragile Speedster, bordering on Glass Cannon. A happy medium between the Light Bowgun's support and the Heavy Bowgun's raw damage potential. Renowned for its great mobility, but watch out for your Stamina.
  • Weapon of X-Slaying: The recurring Dragonator weapon, a gigantic spear treated with a special coating that's designed specifically to inflict lethal damage to Elder Dragons.
  • Wham Line: Relatively tame since it only impacts a side plot and it's Played for Laughs, but in 4 Ultimate, when you complete the final Egg Syndicate quest, you get a letter that gives away the identity of the Egg Syndicate leader:
    "Harrumph!note  Egg-cellent work! I knew you had the eggs to pull it off!"
  • Wham Shot:
    • In previous games, you are always dropped into base camp on Low Rank missions even with a monster deemed out of your league on the loose. In Generations, there's a Low Rank quest that has you gather Abyssal Mushrooms in the Jurassic Frontier. Taking this quest drops you right where you need to be... ...right in front of a rampaging Glavenus.
    • In Generations Ultimate, completing the very first High Rank village quest results in a "WARNING" screen and a siren where the "QUEST COMPLETE" screen should be, followed by a cutscene of Valstrax putting a brief apperance before taking off. Then the usual quest completion routine plays out, but without any music.
    • Normally, when you complete a quest, you're shown back at the Village or gathering area where you embarked on the quest. But in Generations Ultimate, after completing the Lao-Shan Lung G2-to-G3 Urgent Quest for yourself, you instead get an immediate cutscene with tense music where you're speaking face-to-face with the Pub Manager. She's called your attention about an even bigger threat: a massive mechanical construct that has assaulted one of the Guild's patrol posts (later revealed to be the Ahtal-ka's doing).
  • What the Hell, Hero?: In Tri, the Chatty Woman in Loc Lac City has a condescending attitude towards hunters, and was sure to let you know how much she hates them. One conversation with her has her wondering how many baby monsters have been orphaned as a result of hunting.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: 4/4U ends this way after killing the resident Elder Dragon Final Boss, with a cutscene detailing what the Caravan members are doing after the defeat of Shagaru Magala.
  • Why Isn't It Attacking?:
    • For the very first time in the series outside of Frontier a few large monsters in Worlds won't attack you unless you attack them first. The list of creatures that do this even includes large predators such as Tobi-Kadachi. These creatures have no problem with you strolling along at their shoulder if you want. Most elder dragons are also non-hostile until you attack.
    • A few other creatures will give you a warning roar to tell you to stay away, but won't attack unless you get close. They will, however, glare at you until you break line of sight and some, like Diablos, will close the gap themselves if you linger too long.
  • Wizard Needs Food Badly: Both hunters and large monsters lose stamina the longer they go without eating. For the hunter, this decreases the amount of time they can run, dodge, or block attacks. For monsters, this can result in needing to stop and catch their breath, stopping certain attacks from working, and an overall decrease in attack power and mobility.
  • The Worf Effect:
    • Gravios' heat beams can and often become One Hit Kills at zero or worse fire resistance. Their rock-like magma resistant shell will usually take the sharpest weapons to even hit properly. Cue Akantor, unfazed by several seconds of concentrated fire, only to bite down at Gravios' neck in a Curbstomp Battle.
    • Agnaktor has the same moveset and roughly the same power as Lagiacrus, the flagship monster of Monster Hunter Tri. In Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, it's seen fighting a Brachydios; it uses its most powerful attack, a fire laser, on Brachydios. This does absolutely no damage to Brachydios whatsoever (and Brachydios goes on to kill Agnaktor in less than a minute).
    • Occurs in-universe in 4/4U. The Ace Hunters are considered some of the best Hunters you can get. Halfway through the story, they set out to the Everwood to kill Gore Magala. One Quest later, it turns out Gore Magala completely wiped the floor with them, and you have to go rescue the crew that got left behind when they fled.
    • In World, the Elder Dragons Teostra and Kushala Daora suffer this at the hands of Nergigante who is shown to be capable of manhandling them if a turf war ever occurs between it and the other two. Take note, that Nergigante basically does this to other Elder Dragons, since they're its food.
  • World of Badass: This game has two parties. The giant, ancient, powerful dinosaurs and dragons that walk the land and destroy whatever comes in their way, and their hunters, who actually manage to beat these monstrous creatures with wit, skill, and sheer determination. It's further emphasized with the use of Red Baron for the wyverns and Description Porn for the items, to make sure you have an idea just what kind of beasts you are dealing with.
  • Wutai: Yukumo, the player's base of operations in Portable 3rd, has a Far Eastern (particularly Japanese) look, down to a guild base which also doubles as a hot springs resort.
  • You No Take Candle: Cha-cha in Tri talks like this, as does Kayamba in 3 Ultimate. His in-game chat changes depending on whatever mask he's wearing, ranging from toe-curlingly bad puns to quite sophisticated, old chap.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: If you thought the humble Chainmail Bikini was sexy, you have yet to see how this game outfits its girls' chainmail stockings.
    • One armor set makes female characters look completely like school girls, complete with the stockings.
    • The female Khezu set resembles a nurse's outfit, and yes, it also comes with said stockings.
    • A set of armor called the Bistro Wear makes female characters look like waitresses. Again, with the same stockings.
    • The most famous of the Fanservice-y sets is the female Kirin armor, which is basically a swimsuit with — you guessed it — stockings.
    • The female Nargacuga armor is a ninja suit that evokes this imagery, although it leans more towards being a Leotard of Power. Played straight with the Silverwind armor.


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