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"After returning from the sea, we were all alone."

The BTS Universe (also known by fans as the "Bangtan Universe", the "HYYH Series", or its Officially Shortened Title "BU") is a multimedia original story comprised mainly of a series of Concept Music Videos from Korean group BTS, created by them and BigHit in collaboration with Lumpens and (occasionally) GDW.

The series officially started with the music videos from the 화양연화 (Hwa Yang Yeon Hwa, or The Most Beautiful Moment in Life) album series, continuing through WINGS and the LOVE YOURSELF series, and is currently still ongoing, expanding into short films, literature, and even webcomics. Not all of the music videos they have released since the start of the series are part of the BU - the ones that unquestionably are have a "BU belongs to..." disclaimer in the YouTube video description. But even then, it has teased connections even to videos that came before the series officially began.

Here, each one of the BTS members plays a fictional character both named after and partly inspired by their real-life counterpart, with the members themselves having input in the story: in an environment where Adults Are Useless, seven boys of various ages find company in each other at school for a year. 2 years later, oldest member Jin tries to Set Right What Once Went Wrong and fix the series of events that led to tragedy after the group's separation.

The storyline is closely linked to the general narrative and themes present in BTS' music, both containing a Coming of Age Story: the beauty and struggles of youth (Hwa Yang Yeon Hwa), facing temptation and inner conflict (WINGS) and the idea of trying and failing to love and be loved while hiding under a mask (LOVE YOURSELF) translate into the characters dealing with school and societal pressures, poverty, family and mental health issues, fear of the future, maturity, regret, and so on. A select few BTS' songs even directly reference or hint at events and concepts from the storynote .

Also, the series is a complete Mind Screw. With a story told in Anachronic Order, and lots and lots of symbolism, half the fun of watching the series is making or following up on theories and putting together the puzzle pieces of the story across its entries in various media. Along with the music videos, these include SAVE ME, a Korean webtoon that tells the main conflict in a straightforward linear structure (working as the series' Mind Screwdriver and an alternative entry to the series for newcomers), and The Most Beautiful Moment In Life: The Notes, a series of diary-like narrations from the point of view of each one of the characters at various key moments of the story, originally found in the LOVE YOURSELF physical albums and later released as a novel.

Other clues for both concepts and key events have been found in other music videos, trailers, concept pictures, tour VCRs, live shows, and even commercials and selfies note . So yes, anything can be a clue.

In August 2019, during the first Big Hit Corporate Briefing with the Community, Bang Si-hyuk announced plans to keep expanding the BTS Universe as a trans-media story, including the future release of a Korean Drama series about the boys' first meeting (with the members being portrayed by professional actors) scheduled for late 2020 to early 2021, and a mobile game developed with Netmarble (also responsible for the game BTS World), the latter of which will feature live-action scenes with acting from the members as well as 3D animation, the announcement of which was accompanied with an "Official Art Concept Teaser" video featuring both live-action and animated scenes.

In February 2020, in the second BigHit Corporate Briefing, along with the announcement of the second volume of The Notes, there was also an announcement of the release of "graphic lyrics"- 5 picture books with illustrations that aim to "convey the lyrical experience" of 5 songs that "started" in the BU: "House of Cards", "Save Me", "RUN", "Butterfly" and "A Supplementary Story: You Never Walk Alone".

In July 2020, after more than a year of silence, the official account Smeraldo Books started posting excerpts of new unpublished Notes. In July 29th, however, something new was added to the mix: the new Note was followed by a two-option choice determining the narrating character's actions, with a Twitter survey for fans to answer with 24 hours to spare. This would lead to the announcement of a new mobile game titled BTS Universe Story, described as a sandbox-style game with a story creation system (links to pre-registration through its official page). The official trailer can be seen here.

A drama adaptation titled Youth has been in production.

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The videos and content that are explicitly part of the series - and are essential to understand the story - are (in order of release):

     The Most Beautiful Moment in Life series 
    LOVE YOURSELF series 

    Other (essential) media 
  • The Most Beautiful Moment In Life: The Notes: A novel with diary-entry-style narrations from each one of the seven main characters at different points of the story (starting from their childhoods), revealing key plot points as well as backstory. Available in Korean, English, Japanese and (through pre-order) Spanish through the Weply app. The first volume was released in early 2019, with a second volume being announced for 2020.
    • Some of these Notes were originally released in non-chronological order as booklets from the physical albums of the LOVE YOURSELF series. Each version of the albumsnote  contains a different set of Notes, making all versions complementary to each other. BigHit has published one of the Notes from each album in the series on Twitter and Instagram weeks before said album's official release, one in LOVE YOURSELF: Her (Jin, published on August 14th, 2017, Korean time), one in LOVE YOURSELF: Tear (Jungkook, published in May 4rd, 2018), and one in LOVE YOURSELF: Answer (Jin, published in August 7th, 2018).

     Notable non-essential content 
  • The albums themselves contain elements that tie lyrically or conceptually into the story; most notably, the title songs, the Intros and Outros, the solos in WINGS, and the song "The Truth Untold", which references the story of the Smeraldo, found in the flower shop website.
    • 5 songs that have been stated to have "started" in the BU are "RUN", "Butterfly", "House of Cards", "SAVE ME" and "A Supplementary Story: You Never Walk Alone".
  • Non-essential music videos:
    • The "Danger" music video. It's mostly lacking in plot other than the members angsting by themselves, but it Foreshadows some themes of the series - and even gets a Call-Back (and possible Continuity Nod) in a couple of videos.
    • I NEED U (Japanese ver.) and RUN (Japanese ver.). Japanese versions of both songs and music videos, with original scenes and imagery (though it mostly references and gives hints of the story rather than actually advancing the plot).
    • The comeback trailers (mainly "The Most Beautiful Moment in Life" for the album HYYH pt. 1, "Boy Meets Evil" for WINGS, "Serendipity" for LOVE YOURSELF: Her and "Singularity" for LOVE YOURSELF: Tear), which contain the intro songs for each of their corresponding albums, introduce the album's concept and themes and symbolically (rather than narratively) tie into the storyline. For "Euphoria" and "Epiphany", see the LOVE YOURSELF folder under the "explicitly part of the BU" section above.

This series as a whole provides examples of:

  • Adults Are Useless: The boys don't live exactly in the best environment, with all the adults (both parents and teachers) being either negligent, abusive, or absent.
  • Ambiguous Situation: Played very, very straight. Many key events - along with their context and place on the timeline(s?) of the story - are rather open to interpretation. It's an unusual example where the themes of the story are actually clearer than the basic plot.
  • Anachronic Order: There's not a completely clear order for the events seen in the videos and the HYYH Notes (though the latter and the Highlight Reels contain some key dates), adding to the Mind Screw nature of the series. Some of the events in The Notes are also sometimes contradictory, because they happened in different timelines.
    • Also in a meta sense; the first chapter of the LOVE YOURSELF series (Wonder) only seems to consist in "Euphoria", which was released months after LOVE YOURSELF: Her (the second chapter in the series), and a month before Tear (the third chapter).
    • Finally Averted in SAVE ME, which re-tells the story in a linear structure.
  • Arc Words: "You need to survive."
    • To a lesser extent, a special font of "I'm fine", which, when read upside-down, gives "save me".
  • Breaking the Fellowship: After the trip to the sea, they all went on separate ways.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: The whole series (most noticeably "I NEED U") is this for BTS' music videos, which up until 2015 (other than "Danger" and perhaps "N.O.") were completely angst-free. Even for videos that came after, expect a video containing the "BU" disclaimer to be much darker than, say, "Dope" or "Mic Drop". Note also how, despite serving as a prelude to the LOVE YOURSELF series via the "Highlight Reels", the BU (at least explicitly) does not appear at all in the videos from the LOVE YOURSELF: Her era, while in LOVE YOURSELF: Tear it takes front-and-center and the "Epiphany" comeback trailer for LOVE YOURSELF: Answer directly references it.
  • Coming of Age Story: Much like the narrative of BTS' albums, the story of the BU has the boys facing various difficulties as young men in their tumultuous path to adulthood.
  • Darker and Edgier: Than the rest of BTS' music videos, as well as Korean music videos in general. See Cerebus Syndrome above.
  • Deal with the Devil: A recurring theme (along with Set Right What Once Went Wrong), seen especially in WINGS, though what the deal consists of is not explicitly stated.
  • First-Episode Twist: You can't really talk about anything in the series without directly or indirectly referencing the events from "I NEED U (Original version)", such as Jungkook getting into a car accident, Yoongi's death via fire, and Taehyung murdering his abusive father.
    • SAVE ME has one of its own (with events that partly overlap with "I NEED U"), with Jungkook and Yoongi dying, Taehyung killing his father and Jin being granted the chance to fix everything through time travel on its first chapter.
  • Former Friends Photo: A non-enemy variant; the Polaroid pictures of the trip to the sea, particularly the one with all seven boys together in the truck (see the page image), are recurring elements in the series.
  • Friends Are Chosen, Family Aren't: None of the boys have a family situation that is even close to ideal. The only time we truly see them happy is when they're together.
  • Growing Up Sucks
  • Lonely Together
  • Lyrics/Video Mismatch: The music videos in this series rarely are directly about the topic of the songs, though they do connect thematically and emotionally while sticking to the BU story of the seven boys:
    • "I NEED U" is about a relationship with a girl falling apart, jumping back and forth between love and hate for her, while the video shows scenes of the boys suffering alone intercut with scenes of them happy together.
    • "RUN" is about a Destructive Romance where the singer can't fall out of love even though the relationship is doomed or already ending. In the video, we see the characters physically jumping back and forth between their moments of happiness and the present, seemingly losing sense of reality, while also getting scenes leading to the group's separation, such as Jungkook and Yoongi's fight (though it's ambiguous whether it's actually this trope in this case).
    • "Blood, Sweat and Tears" is about being tempted by an "evil", forbidden kind of love, with a heavily sexual connotation. In the video, while the choreography completely fits the song, the individual scenes of the characters show them indulging in other, highly symbolic variations of temptation, or in symbolic representations of their inner conflict.
    • "FAKE LOVE" is about a relationship that comes to a messy end because the singer can't stand hiding their true self to the other anymore. In the video, Jungkook goes through hallways in a mansion where each room has one of the other boys locked in, forced to face their fears and traumas.
  • Mind Screw: The series relies heavily on symbolism and a lot of key elements are ambiguous, to the point that many fan theories center around trying to figure out what in the world is going on. Each new piece of information just creates more questions.
  • Mind Screwdriver: The Notes and especially SAVE ME work as this, providing narration and dates in the former, and a linear structure and proper dialogue and exposition in the latter.
  • Recurring Camera Shot:
    • The sea.
    • The boys in the truck (the image above).
    • Birds flying away in the sky.
    • Jin opening the curtains and looking out of the window. As confirmed by SAVE ME, it's him waking up after going back in time.
    • From The Most Beautiful Moment in Life, Jimin burning a photo, then dropping it, with a Match Cut to falling petals over the logo.
    • From the WINGS teasers, a One-Eyed Shot of each of the members, with something reflected on it.
  • Rule of Symbolism: A recurring trope. Many events, like in Prologue, the Highlight Reels or Euphoria, are not quite logical or comprehensible, drawing many interpretations. Anything can mean something else and even give clues to plot points revealed later, including details in sets.
    • The Japanese versions of "I NEED U" and "RUN", everything in WINGS, and in "Fake Love" (including its teaser and extended version), which all go straight into World of Symbolism.
    • The Smeraldo flower also deserves special mention as a recurring symbol. It's a fictional flower that appears frequently in the LOVE YOURSELF series and it's said to symbolize "the truth untold" (though it might have more meanings).
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: A recurring theme. Jin is trying to fix things and avoid his friends' fates in "I NEED U" - as revealed in later videos, through Time Travel.
  • There Are No Therapists: All of the characters seem to be suffering from depression, neglect, or some sort of trauma. They only have each other until they separate.
  • A World Half Full: There's poverty, abuse and tragedy all around, but not without moments of sheer beauty in between.

Specific portions of the series provide examples of:

  • Abusive Parents
    • In the Notes, a memory is mentioned of Jungkook's stepbrother kicking him and laughing while his stepfather and other relatives ignore them and do nothing.
    • Taehyung's father is physically abusive to both of his children while drunk. The Notes mention Taehyung having scars all over his back, which his friends have noticed.
    • Downplayed/implied for Yoongi and Jin. Yoongi's father has become incredibly strict, to the point that there is absolutely no sound in the house after a certain hour. Jin is shown to be very afraid of his father.
    • See Parental Abandonment below.
  • Aside Glance: Non-comedic example. "Euphoria" has the members slowly and simultaneously turning towards the camera at one point, to eerie effect.
  • Call-Back: In the "Reflection" WINGS teaser, Namjoon is seen tattooing his own arm in a similar manner to when he did it in the "Danger" music video.
    • "Euphoria" is this to "Prologue" in many ways, down to repeating some of the same shots and places (most notably, Namjoon picking up Taehyung and Jin standing at the top of the watchtower). This is because "Euphoria" appears to be a "better timeline" version of the events in "Prologue" and "I NEED U".
    • In "Epiphany", Jin appears changing clothes in a similar manner to the Highlight Reels, leaving with a diary and a formal suit. He also closes the curtains of his window; he previously appeared opening them in several videos ("I NEED U", "Awake", "Euphoria") with the exception of "Fake Love", where he also closed them.
  • Changed for the Video: "I Need U"'s Original version added in extra instrumentals and made the chorus in some parts longer to compliment the storyline of the video.
    • "Blood, Sweat and Tears"'s video has a pause right after the bridge, adding in Namjoon's narration of a passage of Demian, followed by Yoongi playing "Passacaglia in D minor" by Buxtehude in an organ. Then it goes back to the rest of the song.
    • "Fake Love" also has a pause, leading to the scene of Jungkook entering the room with the cascade, adding instrumentals. Then it adds a portion not present in the actual song (sort of a pre-chorus to the pre-chorus), before going back to the pre-chorus.
  • Cherry Blossoms: The shot of Jimin dropping a burning photo in "I Need U" and "Run" has a Match Cut to cherry blossoms falling over the The Most Beautiful Moment in Life logo.
  • Childish Pillow Fight: The boys appear participating in this in "Run".
  • Color Wash: In the second chorus of "Blood, Sweat and Tears", and especially after the climax, the some shots suddenly gain very high contrast and shift palette into a very bright pink.
    • The Japanese version of "Blood, Sweat and Tears" goes hard on this, with the palette shifting through post-production between very bright colors such as green, pink, blue, red, among others.
  • Comforting Comforter: In "Prologue", while the boys are in the gas station, Hoseok sees Jimin has fallen asleep on the back of the truck, so he carefully puts a blanket over him.
  • Continuity Nod: Many.
    • "Prologue" starts off with Taehyung with his hands covered in blood after killing his father in "I NEED U".
    • The pictures taken with the polaroid in "Prologue" (especially this page image) appear several times:
      • In "RUN", most notably at The Stinger, where Jimin burns the picture with everyone in the truck, which is also a Call-Back to "I NEED U".
      • "Epilogue: Young Forever" is themed after the pictures and recordings.
      • The camera appears in the "Awake" teaser.
      • Jin is revealed to have a picture in his car in the Highlight Reels.
    • The Japanese versions of "I NEED U" and "RUN" are part-choreography videos and part-Continuity Nods to previous videos.
    • In the WINGS teasers, there are many references and flashes to previous events, including Jungkook waking up after the car crash from "I NEED U", Taehyung's past with his abusive father, Hoseok being taken in for Münchausen Syndrome, Jin's scene in "I NEED U" being given more context (sort of), among others. "Stigma", oddly enough, also contains a flashback to the "Danger" music video.
    • "Blood, Sweat and Tears" (Japanese version) references both the Korean version (in a much more realistic context) and every single previous video, possibly being the clearest a music video has been about the story.
    • In the "Highlight Reels", Taehyung has a Flashback to the when Namjoon helps him stand up in "Prologue". The scene is also mirrored in "Euphoria", but in a happier context.
    • "Euphoria" itself is a Continuity Porn short film, with many scenes in "I NEED U" and "Prologue" altered to give a happier outcome.
    • "Fake Love" and its teaser are absolutely full of these, connecting the HYYH videos, WINGS, the Highlight Reels, the HYYH Notes and the WINGS Tour VCRs. Notably, the teaser features the members exchanging objects seen in the WINGS teasers with objects seen in the Highlight Reels.
  • Continuity Porn:
    • While it doesn't necessarily apply to all of the music videos in the universe, videos like "Blood, Sweat and Tears" and "Fake Love" are full of symbolism referencing the plot; while they can be still enjoyed on their own, sometimes you'll be lacking a lot of context to really get what's going on (besides the choreography).
      • "Fake Love" and its teaser alone makes references to the WINGS teasers, short-films like "Prologue" and the Highlight Reels, and HYYH: The Notes, among other things.
    • "Euphoria", being more of a short film than a music video, connects all previous events in the story.
  • Cool-Down Hug: In "RUN", Jungkook attempted this when Yoongi started drunkenly trashing the room. When it didn't work (only getting pushed to the floor), Jungkook tried punching him instead. It didn't work, either.
  • Deal with the Devil:
    • The climax of "Blood, Sweat and Tears", where Jin kisses a dark-winged statue representing Taehyung, has undertones of this, especially as the song and the WINGS album themselves talk about facing evil and its temptation.
      • SAVE ME reveals on the first chapter that Jin was given a chance by a mysterious entity to save his friends from their tragic fates, gaining the ability of Time Travel.
    • The first one of the HYYH Notes from Tear, released on Twitter in 2018, reveals that Jungkook seemingly made a deal with a mysterious figure to stay alive after the car crash, even if this meant life would be more painful than death from there on.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: The third part of the Highlight Reels ends with Seokjin meeting with a girl for a date only for a car to suddenly appear and fatally hit her while she's running towards him.
  • Dictionary Opening: The first "FAKE LOVE" teaser begins with a definition: "'Magic Shop' is a psychodramatic technique that exchanges fear for a positive attitude".
  • Driven to Suicide:
    • Taehyung jumps off a watchtower to the sea in "Prologue", and describes his suicidal thoughts in the HYYH Notes in Tear.
    • In "I NEED U", Yoongi sets himself on fire; Hoseok overdoses on pills and Jimin seemingly attempts to drown himself in the bathtub, but whether the latter two were actual suicide attempts is unclear.
    • According to the HYYH Notes, Jungkook gets to a point that he thinks no one would miss him, so he almost throws himself off a building; it's also revealed he got purposefully beaten up in "I NEED U" days before. Right before getting hit by a car in the same video, Jungkook is seen simply staring at the incoming vehicle, unmoving.
  • Flashback: Both "I NEED U" and "RUN" go back and forth between the boys being happy together in the past and the boys suffering alone in the present. In the case of "RUN", it also shows moments leading to their falling out, such as Yoongi and Jungkook's fight.
    • The Highlight Reels feature one to Hoseok's mother abandoning him in the middle of an amusement park. Also counts as a Troubled Backstory Flashback.
    • HYYH: The Notes go back and forth between the boys' years in high school (years 19 and 20), the time after their separation (years 21 and 22), and each of the boys' pasts (years 7, 10, 14, etc.).
  • Flashback Cut: The "Stigma" teaser features several quick flashbacks to Taehyung's past with his father, including arguments, Tae trying to console his (bloodied) sister with his father still there, and the scene in "Danger" where he cuts his bangs.
  • Flash Sideways: Aside from Seokjin, other characters don't seem to be aware of what's happening. However, certain characters (Taehyung and Jungkook) have had a-bit-too-real dreams about events we see in alternate realities/timelines (Yoongi dying by Self-Immolation, Jungkook getting into a car accident, Namjoon "getting into a fight".
  • Foreshadowing: In WINGS, Hoseok is linked to imagery related to motherhood, including the Piéta and the Eva painting. In the Highlight Reels, it's revealed that his mother abandoned him as a child, giving him abandonment issues.
    • In both versions of "Blood, Sweat and Tears", Jimin appears with Yoongi, Namjoon with Jungkook (the former giving the latter a glass of what seems to be absinthe), and Hoseok with Taehyung (the former attacking the latter with an arrow/dart). In the HYYH Notes from LOVE YOURSELF: Tear, all of these pairings gain importance. Yoongi appears seemingly helping Jimin confront his fear, Jungkook is revealed to spend time with Namjoon so the younger can learn to be a real adult, and Hoseok stops Taehyung from killing his father, which is also shown in Euphoria.
  • Former Friends Photo: Both Jimin and Jin are seen with one. Jimin burns his.
  • Generation Xerox: As the first Note released from LOVE YOURSELF: Answer reveals, Jin's father went through the exact same situation as Jin when he was his son's age. Jin even finds out about this in a book with notes hidden in a cabinet in the main cast's secret room.
  • Gut Punch: "I NEED U (Original ver.)". At first it just seems like a slightly Darker and Edgier version of "Danger"(especially if you've only watched "I NEED U"'s short version). The second chorus comes in, however, and Jungkook gets beaten up by strangers and Hoseok passes out from narcolepsy in a street full of Apathetic Citizens. Then, after the bridge, Taehyung stabs his abusive father to death and Yoongi dumps gasoline all over his room, setting it on fire and letting it burn everything, himself included. It firmly establishes the tone for the series, as well as BTS' work from that point onwards.
  • Happier Home Movie: We never see him watching them, but Jin is shown almost constantly recording everything (if not taking photos) during their trip to the beach in "Prologue", precisely up until the moment where things really go awry.
  • In the Blood: As revealed in the Notes, Taehyung fears that this is the case for his father's violent urges.
  • It's All My Fault
    • Both Namjoon and Jin are implied to blame themselves for Taehyung's fate.
    • The Notes describe an incident where a teacher walked into the group's meeting place, a classroom where Jungkook and Yoongi were in at the moment, leading to the teacher hitting Jungkook, Yoongi defending the younger and hitting the teacher back. Jungkook blames himself for Yoongi getting expelled from the school as a result. And, as revealed on The Notes from Tear, so does Jin; under threats from the principal, he gave the teacher directions to the hideout thinking there wasn't anyone there at the moment).
    • Yoongi seems to feel very guilty over Jungkook's car accident, to the point that he can't even look at him when he gets to Jungkook's hospital room, uncharacteristically ending up in tears. He seems to want to avoid being relied on; he believes he'll only get others hurt, which might have to do with how his mother died.
  • Jump Scare: The "Lie" teaser, where a beautiful (if strange) image of Jimin standing on water suddenly cuts to different, overlapping takes of a shot of Jimin sitting (looking like Jimin has several heads), all set to distorted noise.
    • The end of "Fake Love (extended version)" has a small one where, after Jungkook joins the others and puts on a mask, a giant wall is seen falling abruptly in front of them, which could either be them being encased by a giant box, or them being crushed by a solid block.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: It's unclear if "Epilogue: Young Forever" - where the group happily reunites after getting out from individual mazes - is real, merely symbolic, an Imagine Spot, or this trope. Same goes for "Euphoria": while Jin seems to have been able to prevent tragedy, both the song lyrics and the video hint at the happiness being temporary or merely an illusion; The Reveal in the Notes for LOVE YOURSELF: Answer also brings the possibility of "Euphoria" actually representing Jin's father and his friends in the past.
  • Match Cut: The burning photo that Jimin drops in "I NEED U" (and its Call-Back in "RUN") turns into falling petals in the next shot, leading to the logo of the series.
    • The shot of Taehyung falling backwards into water is matched with a shot of Namjoon dropping candy on his coffee in "RUN". In the Highlight Reels, a reverse version of Taehyung's fall in "RUN" is matched with a shot of a flower vase falling and getting caught by Jin.
    • This is combined with continuous camera movement in "Lie", with Jimin falling backwards into a bathtub filled with water transitioning to Jimin waking up on a hospital bed.
  • Missing Child: According to the HYYH Notes in Tear, when Jimin was a child he disobeyed his teacher (who told him to stay put) and walked off alone, thus getting to the Arboretum. Judging by Jimin's strange reaction to seeing a sign pointing to the Arboretum years later (making Yoongi tell the others to change plans and go somewhere else), as well as to his fall during dancing in the Highlight Reels, it's clear that something happened that traumatized him to this day.
  • Missing Mom: Yoongi's mother died in a fire. Taehyung's seems to be dead or missing. Hoseok's abandoned him when he was a child.
  • Ominous Pipe Organ: In the interlude of "Blood, Sweat and Tears", Yoongi appears playing "Passacaglia in D minor" by Buxtehude on a huge pipe organ, leading to the scene of Taehyung covering Jin's eyes, only stopping in the climax with the statue.
  • One-Eyed Shot: A Recurring Camera Shot in the WINGS teasers is that of the protagonist of the teaser's eye with another recurring element (the burning piano, the walls with graffiti) reflected/superimposed on it.
  • Parental Abandonment: It's revealed in the Highlight Reels that Hoseok was abandoned by his mother as a child, left alone in the middle of an amusement park with only a candy bar left. He's been deeply traumatized since.
  • The Reveal: In the Highlight Reels, it's revealed that Hoseok was abandoned by his mother as a child. Also, Jin might be a time traveler.
    • The HYYH Notes in Tear reveal that Yoongi's mother died in a fire, that Jimin has a trauma due to an incident in a Flower Arboretum, that Jin got Yoongi expelled by accident (and that Namjoon knows and, unbeknownst to the other two, so does Taehyung), and that Jungkook lived with Namjoon for a while. But most importantly, the Note that was also released by BigHit before the release of Tear revealed that right after Jungkook's car accident, he made a deal with a mysterious figure in order to stay alive.
    • The first Note released by BigHit for LOVE YOURSELF: Answer has Jin find out that his father was on the exact same situation as him: he not only had his group of friends, but he made similar mistakes and despaired tried to fix them. Jin's father, however, eventually gave up and forgot, betraying his friends.
  • Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory: Jin knows that he's repeatedly returning to the past, and seems to be the only one really aware of what's happening; that said, he might actually be starting to lose memory from the repeated travels.
  • Sadist Teacher: None of the teachers and school authorities who have appeared in the series seem particularly pleasant, but the one that barged into the secret room, hit and berated Jungkook (making Yoongi step up in the boy's defense), and later kept hitting Jungkook for hanging out with the others, deserves special mention.
  • Scare Chord: The Jump Scare in the "Lie" teaser is set to sudden distorted noise.
  • Scenery Porn:
    • "Prologue" has gorgeous shots of the beach as the sun rises, with the melancholic background music - "Butterfly (Prologue version)" - only making it stand out more. See the page image.
      • To a lesser extent, "Euphoria", where the beach again features prominently.
    • The cinematography and color correction in the "Highlight Reels" makes the city look absolutely beautiful and dream-like.
  • Second-Person Attack: In the Japanese version of "Blood, Sweat and Tears", we see Tae attacking the camera with a knife... said camera being from the point of view of Jin.
  • Self-Immolation: Yoongi is seen dumping gasoline and setting the room (and himself) on fire in "I NEED U".
  • Self-Made Orphan: Taehyung fatally stabs his father with a bottle to defend his sister in "I NEED U".
  • The Stinger:
    • After the credits of "Prologue" (in the version that got deleted before Big Hit posted the final one), Jin looks at the photo he took with Yoongi at the gas station... and sees Yoongi has disappeared (or rather, been burned off) from the picture.
    • At the end of the uplifting "Euphoria" video, an ominous text appears, followed by a flashback to Jungkook's accident in "I NEED U"
      Is that all, hyung? Aren't you hiding anything else from us?
  • Time Travel: It's implied in the Highlight Reels that Jin is capable of this. Some characters even mention having a feeling of Déjà Vu in HYYH: The Notes. Confirmed in the Notes for LOVE YOURSELF: Answer.
  • Troubled Backstory Flashback: The first part of the Highlight Reels has one for Hoseok, revealing that he was abandoned by his mother in an amusement park in a very young age.
    • The Notes have some for several characters from when they were younger, including Yoongi managing to escape a fire, but his mother not having such luck, Jimin getting separated from his teacher and wandering to the Arboretum as a child, Hoseok having to count to ten in class and fainting because of his trauma (only a few years after the incident seen in the Highlight Reels above), and Taehyung as a kid seeing his father drunk and getting hit by him.
  • Uncanny Atmosphere:
    • The WINGS teasers are just eerie.
    • Towards the end, "Euphoria" gives off an ominously unreal, too-good-to-be-true kind of feeling, with the boys all dressed in pure white, laughing together... only for all of them to make a slow, simultaneous Aside Glance. Adding to this is Taehyung's odd reaction to Jin climbing the watchtower, which could imply he's the only one aware that something's off.
  • Wham Shot:
    • "Blood, Sweat and Tears" has two.
      • While Jin leans in to kiss the statue, it cuts to a shot of a veil being lifted over a hunched figure with the back towards the viewer; as the camera gets closer, we see that it's Taehyung with scars were wings would be, revealing him to be the figure the statue represents.
      • At the very end, after everything breaks and falls apart, there's a final shot of Jin sitting in front of a mirror, looking at some flowers on a vase and then towards his reflection... and seeing his face starting to crack, like a statue.
    • The Highlight Reels have a few:
      • In Chapter 1, we see a train passing by, revealing a girl waiting across from Jin, and also the first important character who is not related to the main cast. We also see Jungkook on a wheelchair at a hospital, revealing that he survived the accident in "I NEED U". At the end of the chapter, we jump to a memory of Hoseok, which has 2 of these. We hear the voice of a woman saying "Hoseok-ah, close your eyes", fading to a shot of a mother and a child in front of a carousel, with the mother leaving while the child covers his eyes. The next shot shows the child from a bit closer, still waiting, while a Snickers candy bar rests next to him. That's how we learn Hoseok's mother abandoned him.
      • In chapter 3, we get several. The sink where Jimin is desperately washing his hands is starting to fill with blood, Taehyung gets arrested, and Jungkook arrives to an empty hospital bed.
      • Chapter 4 shows several flashbacks in reverse, ending with Jin appearing back on his room from before (with a text showing the date, even), taking off the sweater he was trying on to reveal an absolutely exhausted and sad expression, putting on a casual cap instead. This reveals Jin's ability to go back in time.
    • The end of "Fake Love (extended version)" has Jungkook join the members while wearing a mask and a black tunic, with the camera slowly pulling away from the group, and then a huge block descends from above, appearing to either lock from view or crush the boys.
  • "What Do They Fear?" Episode: "Fake Love", where everyone (except Jungkook) is locked in a room facing their fears: Jin appears trying and failing to protect a Smeraldo flower, Yoongi is trapped in a burned room with a piano (which could very well be his mother's room), Hoseok is trapped among amusement park game pieces and later a sea of Snickers bars (all part of his memory of his mother abandoning him, Namjoon is surrounded by mirrors and can't recognize himself in them, Jimin is stuck inside a bathroom that gets inundated, and Taehyung is surrounded by phones receiving calls that he can't answer. Even Jungkook, who has to run around watching his friends struggling in said rooms, is facing his own fear: watching his hyungs suffer.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: Oh, Jin. Accidentally getting your friend expelled from school when you were trying to avoid it and seeing your group of friends fall apart because of it is one thing. Meeting a girl and going to great lengths to prepare a perfect date - including buying a specific species of flower from the one flower shop that sells it - to make someone happy and reassure yourself that you are a good person, only for a car to appear out of nowhere and kill her while she's crossing the street to meet you, right before your eyes? Sucks to be you, to say the least.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): BU


BTS - "Blood, Sweat and Tears" music video

In this part, the video jumps from a more natural color palette to a fuchsia/pink (adding other effects shortly afterwards). At 00:10 it starts to go back and forth between a natural color palette and this fuchsia Color Wash before eventually settling on the former.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / ColorWash

Media sources: