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We are one, we are EXO!L-R
Current line-up.L-R 

"We may be separated into two groups, but really, we are one big family."

Legend dictates that twelve young men with supernatural powers hailing from another planet called the "Exoplanet" were nurturing the tree of life. However, an eye of red force created evil, so the twelve divided the tree into half and hide each side, overturning time and creating two suns that look alike into two worlds that seem alike...

Or at least, that's the concept formed for the band.

EXO (Korean: 엑소) is a South Korean-Chinese boy band who debuted under SM Entertainment on April 8, 2012, after 23 teasers. They are split into two sub-units, EXO-M and EXO-K, who promote in China and South Korea, respectively.

The group originally debuted with 8 Korean members and 4 Chinese members. Former member Kris filed a lawsuit to terminate his contract in early 2014. There was debate about the group disbanding for a while, but members have reassured their fans that they will continue on. Also, as of 10 October 2014, Lu Han has decided to terminate his contract with SM Entertainment as well. There were rumors as far back as September 2014 which said that Lu Han would be leaving due to his health and because SM would make him work despite his health, so as sad as fans were that he decided to leave EXO they were not surprised. Member Tao went on hiatus from group activities beginning April 2015, and officially departed from the group in August.


After the departure of 3 Chinese members, EXO-K and EXO-M began promoting as a single group EXO. However, due to political reasons, EXO currently promotes as 8 members, while Lay does solo activities in China. Despite this, Lay participated in the group's fifth studio album Don't Mess Up My Tempo released in 2018. On May 7, 2019, eldest member Xiumin enlisted for mandatory military service, and member D.O. has voluntarily applied for early military enlistment in July of the same year, leaving Don't Mess Up My Tempo as the last album with the participation of 9 members and Love Shot as the last album with the participation of all 8 Korean members.

The group's two albums, the 2012 debut EP MAMA and the 2013 comeback studio album XOXO, were major commercial successes, selling over 1.5 million units in total worldwide. All versions of XOXO collectively sold over one million copies, making EXO the first South Korean artists to reach that milestone in 12 years. The group was also named the Best Korean/Japanese Act at the MTV EMA Awards. Their following releases continued their trend of having strong sales, with each comeback being impressive on its own, either in terms of pre-orders, sales numbers or charting position. The Korean version of their third EP Overdose had over 660,000 pre-orders, making it the most pre-ordered Korean EP in history. It also peaked at number two on Billboard's World Albums Chart, and at number 129 on the Billboard 200, making EXO the highest-ever charting male Korean group at that time. Overdose became the best selling release of 2014 in South Korea, and was the first EP to top the yearly charts and win the Album of the Year Award at the Mnet Asian Music Awards.


In 2015, the group released a special single titled Lightsaber to promote the movie Star Wars: The Force Awakens ahead of its release in South Korea, as part of a collaboration between SM Entertainment and Walt Disney. Domestic pre-orders for third studio album Ex'Act exceeded 660,000 copies and broke the record for the highest first-week sales of a Korean album, previously set by the band's own fourth EP Sing For You.

On November 4, 2015, EXO released their Japanese debut single Love Me Right ~romantic universe~. On the day of its release, the album sold 147,000 copies and reached the top of the Oricon chart, becoming the all-time best-selling debut single in Japan by a Korean artist. On January 31, 2018, the group released its first Japanese studio album Countdown, debuting at number one on the weekly Oricon chart, selling approximately 89,000 copies. This achievement made Exo the first non-Japanese band whose debut single and debut studio album both reached number one on the weekly Oricon chart, and ten days after its release, it was certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of Japan.

On October 31st, 2016, a sub-unit of the group debuted under the name EXO-CBX (Korean: 엑소-첸백시; EXO Chen-Baek-Xi), CBX standing for Chen, Baekhyun and Xiumin, the members composing it. Their debut EP Hey Mama! topped the Billboard World Albums chart and South Korean's Gaon album chart. On July 22, 2019, a new sub-unit EXO-SC (Korean: 세훈&찬열, EXO Sehun & Chanyeol) consisting of members Chanyeol and Sehun debuted with the EP What a life, in which the mentioned members have participated in the songwriting and lyrics composition.

In 2016, main dancer Lay debuted as a solo singer with the Chinese mini album Lose Control. The mini album stayed as number one on Billboard's China V Chart for six weeks in a row, broke the record in South Korea for the most sales by a solo artist, peaking at #1 on the Gaon Album Chart and number four on Billboard's US World Albums chart. In 2019, main vocalist Chen's first Korean solo album April, and a Flower debuted at No. 3 Billboard's World Albums, making him the highest-charting solo K-pop act since November 2018 and the first solo star to chart this high in 2019. Main vocalist Baekhyun had his solo debut in July 2019 with the mini album City Lights, making him the 5th solo artist to sell over 100,000 album copies in the past decade and breaking previous records set by EXO (placing number 1 on iTunes in 63 countries) and fellow member Lay (highest first day sales by a solo artist). In March 2020, leader Suho's debut mini album Self-Portrait topped iTunes album charts in 50 countries, notably getting 1st place in Japan, a feat which EXO as a whole has yet to achieve.

Members Suho, Lay, Baekhyun, Chen, and D.O. have their own pages. Ex-members Kris Wu, Lu Han, and Z.Tao have their own pages.

    open/close all folders 

Active in current group promotions:
  • Xiumin note (Kim Minseok, born March 26, 1990)
    • EXO & EXO-M: Sub Vocalist, Sub Rapper
    • EXO-CBX: Leader, Main Rapper, Main Dancer, Lead Vocalist
  • Baekhyun (Byun Baekhyun, born May 6, 1992)
    • EXO & EXO-K: Main Vocalist
    • EXO-CBX: Main Vocalist, Lead Rapper, Lead Dancer
  • D.O. note (Do Kyungsoo, born January 12, 1993)
    • EXO and EXO-K: Main Vocalist
  • Kai (Kim Jongin, born January 14, 1994)
    • EXO & EXO-K: Main Dancer, Lead Rapper, Vocalist
  • Sehun (Oh Sehun, born April 12, 1994)
    • EXO: Lead Dancer, Lead Rapper, Visual, Maknae
    • EXO-K: Lead Dancer, Rapper, Sub-Vocalist, Maknae
    • EXO-SC: Main Dancer, Lead Rapper, Maknae
  • Suho note (Kim Junmyeon, born May 22, 1991)
    • EXO & EXO-K: Leader, Lead Vocalist
  • Chen note  (Kim Jongdae, born September 21, 1992)
    • EXO & EXO-M: Main Vocalist
    • EXO-CBX: Main Vocalist, Maknae
  • Lay note (Zhang Yixingnote , born October 7, 1991)
    • EXO: Main Dancer, Sub Vocalist, Sub Rapper
    • EXO-M: Main Dancer, Sub Vocalist
  • Chanyeol (Park Chanyeol, born November 27, 1992) note 
    • EXO & EXO-K: Main Rapper, Vocalist
    • EXO-SC: Main Rapper, Sub Vocalist
  • Luhan (Lu Han, born April 20, 1990)
    • EXO & EXO-M: Lead Vocalist, Lead Dancer
  • Kris (Wu Yifannote , born November 6, 1990)
    • EXO: Main Rapper
    • EXO-M: Leader, Main Rapper, Sub Vocalist
  • Tao (Huang Zitao, born May 2, 1993)
    • EXO: Lead Rapper, Lead Dancer, Sub Vocalist
    • EXO-M: Lead Dancer, Lead Rapper, Sub Vocalist, Maknae

  • EXO-K - The sub-unit promoting in Korea. The group consists of Suho, Baekhyun, Chanyeol, D.O., Kai, and Sehun. The unit's leader is Suho.
  • EXO-M - The sub-unit promoting in China. Upon the departure of members Kris, Luhan, and Tao, the group currenly consists of Xiumin, Lay, and Chen, with the former two currently inactive from group activities. The group did not elect a new leader after Kris's departure.
  • EXO-CBX - With CBX standing for Chen Baekhyun Xiumin, the group was formed in 2016. The group promotes in Korea and in Japan and is also called ChenBaekXi (Korean: 첸백시) due to its easier pronunciation. Promotions ended in early 2019, and they are currently on hiatus due to leader Xiumin's enlistment in the military. As of December 6, 2020, Xiumin has completed his military service, but Chen enlisted in the military back in October, which means that the unit is still on hiatus.
  • EXO-SC (Korean: 세훈&찬열) - A sub-unit consisting of Sehun and Chanyeol.


Studio AlbumsMini Albums
  • 2012 - MAMA
  • 2013 - Miracles in December
  • 2014 - Overdose
  • 2015 - Sing for You
  • 2016 - For Life
  • 2017 - Universe
  • 2021 - Don't Fight the Feeling
Live Albums
  • 2014 - Exology Chapter 1: The Lost Planet
  • 2017 - EXO PLANET #3-The EXO'rDIUM[dot]

Japanese Release

  • Studio Albums
    • 2018 - Countdown
  • Mini Albums
    • 2015 - Love Me Right ~Romantic Universe~
    • 2016 - Coming Over


  • 2012 - What is Love
  • 2012 - History
  • 2014 - December, 2014 (The Winter's Tale)
  • 2015 - Lightsaber
  • 2015 - Unfair
  • 2016 - Monster [LDN Noise Creeper Bass Remix]
  • 2016 - Dancing King feat. Yoo Jae Suk
  • 2017 - Power [R3hab remix] (for SM Station)

    Solo Discography 


  • 2015 - You Are The One (OST of Falling For Challenge)
  • 2016 - Call You Bae (Duet with Jimin)
  • 2017 - Young and Free (Duet with Mark, for SM Station)
  • 2018 - Beyond
  • 2019 - You (For SM Station)







  • 2015 - Who I am
  • 2015 - Last Hunter (Theme song of Law Of The Jungle)
  • 2015 - Young Street Logo Song (Young Street Logo commercial)
  • 2016 - You Are
  • 2016 - I Hate You (duet with Yuan Shan Shan, OST of So I Married An Anti Fan)
  • 2016 - Freal Luv (Collaboration with Far East Movement and Marshmellow)
  • 2016 - Moon
  • 2016 - Stay With Me (Duet with Punch, OST of Guardian: The Lonely and Great God)
  • 2017 - Let Me Love You (Duet with Junggigo)
  • 2017 - Hand
  • 2018 - We Young (duet with Sehun, for SM Station)
  • 2019 - SSFW (For SM Station)




  • 2015 - Beautiful Goodbye
  • 2017 - I See You
Mini album
  • 2020 - KAI (开)
  • 2021 - Peaches



  • 2017 - A Go
  • 2018 - We Young (duet with Chanyeol, for SM Station)


    TV Dramas 


  • 2008 - Things I Will Do Even If Regretted(literal translation), as one of the gang (cameo)
  • 2008 - High Kick!, as one of the delinquents (cameo)
  • 2013 - Royal Villa, as one of the popular university boys (cameo)
  • 2017 - Missing 9, as Li Yeol (supporting character)
  • 2018 - Memories of the Alhambra, as Jung Se-Ju (supporting main character)
  • 2017/2018 - Andante, as Lee Shi-kyung (main character)
  • 2018 - Spring Has Come, as Lee Ji-won (main character)
  • 2018 - The Miracle We Met, as Ato (supporting character)
  • 2013 - Royal Villa, as one of the popular university boys (cameo)
  • 2016 - Seondal: The Man Who Sells the River, as Gyeon-I (supporting main character)
  • 2015 - Salut d'Amour, as Min-sung (supporting character)
  • 2016 - So I Marry An Anti-Fan, as Hoo Joon/Hou Zhun (main character)
  • TBA - Catman, as Liang Qu (main character)
    Web Dramas 
  • 2015 - EXO Next Door, as himself (supporting character)
  • 2015/2016 - Falling For Challenge, as Na Do-jeon (main character)
  • 2015 - EXO Next Door, as himself (main character)
  • 2018 - Secret Queen Makers, as himself (one of the main characters)
  • 2015 - EXO Next Door, as himself (supporting character)
  • 2015/2016 - Choco Bank, as Kim Eun-haeng (main character)
  • 2016 - First Seven Kisses, as Himself (one of main characters)
  • 2015 - EXO Next Door, as himself (main character)
  • 2018 - Secret Queen Makers, as himself (one of the main characters)
  • TBA - Dear Archimedes, as Yan Su (main character)
    Web Movies 
  • 2018 - Dok Go Rewind, as Kang Hyuk (main character)

Tropes relating to EXO-CBX and EXO-SC can be found on their respective pages. Tropes relating to the members' solo works can be found on their respective pages (Suho, Lay, Baekhyun, Chen, D.O.).

EXO provides examples of the following tropes:

    Band and Member Tropes 
  • Accidental Pervert: D.O. once walked in on Kai dancing in the shower.
  • Affectionate Nickname:
  • Animal Motif: They all have an official one confirmed in Exordium dot.
    • Xiumin is a cat.
    • Suho is a rabbit.
    • Lay is a sheep. He even released a Boastful Rap declaring himself as the sheep. His original motif in MAMA MV is an unicorn. In "Go Fighting!" he is also referred to as a little fox. With the release of his song "Honey", he is now associated with a bee.
    • Baekhyun is a flying squirrel. He is often compared with a puppy (particularly a Corgi) by fans due to his looks and hyperactive personality.
    • Chen is a dinosaur. Some fans compared him to a cat.
    • Chanyeol is a white tiger. Like Baekhyun, he is also compared to a puppy by fans. His original motif in MAMA is a phoenix.
    • D.O. is a penguin.
    • Kai is a bear.
    • Sehun is a wolf. Some compared him to a baby bird or chick.
    • Lu Han is compared to a deer. Bonus points because his name means "deer of the dawn" in Chinese. He refers to himself as the deer in his solo work.
    • Kris's motif in MAMA is a dragon.
    • Tao is often compared to a panda because of his eyes, and he calls himself "Kung Fu Panda".
  • Arc Number: There's 88 for WOLF.
  • Badass Baritone: Chanyeol has quite a low voice, which compliments his rapping which is generally well-received and seen as awesome.
  • Big Little Brother: Sehun is the youngest member yet is one of the tallest members.
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: D.O. has a pair, to the point it becomes his trademark facial feature. Sehun's "angry brows" are his second-most notable feature and are often used by new EXO-L to distinguish him from Suho early on.
  • Bishōnen: All of the boys have a pretty face and are lean and attractive. Technically kkotminam, since they're Korean.
  • Boy Band: One of the most popular examples in Korean Pop Music.
  • Breakout Character:
    • Lu Han, who was the most popular member of the group. He was also voted as Asia's Most Handsome Man of 2013 and shows up often in Chinese newspapers.
    • Xiumin is also "the trend" in Korea, always topping the search lists whenever he is in featured in a show.
    • While taking solo endeavors in China (and later on, in America!), Lay has proved himself to be this.
  • Butt-Monkey: Suho lost in almost every game they play, is the victim of many pranks and tease, and whenever he speaks, nobody listens.
    Baekhyun (teamed up with Suho): "We have no hope."
  • Cat Smile: Chen has one.
  • Catchphrase: "We are one" and "사랑하자" (meaning "let's love").
    • Suho usually ends events with "지금까지 엑소 였습니다" ("Up until now, this has been EXO!").
    • Lay's personal motto and catchphrase is "努力努力再努力" ("Work hard, work hard, and work harder"). This is included in his solo song SHEEP's lyrics and is his display name on Weibo.
    • Lay also has a specific way of saying aiyowei (a Chinese expression for shock or surprise).
    • Lay also has his golden advice for the trainees in "Idol Producer": BALANCE.
  • Cast Full of Pretty Boys: And how! (See: Bishōnen.)
  • Child Popstar: Lay, a local one in Changsha, Hunan.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: EXO's official color is silver, or as some called, cosmic latte.
    • Purple for Lay as a soloist.
    • In CBX promotions, Baekhyun is blue, Chen is green, and Xiumin is red.
  • Cool Pet: Chanyeol owned a ferret in grade school.
  • Creepy Shadowed Undereyes: Tao, which can either be played straight when he looks like a badass or subverted when he looks like a panda.
  • Dancing Is Serious Business: The dance line, Kai, Lay and Sehun, are all renowned dancers with remarkable solo works.
  • Dark-Skinned Blond: Kai, near the end of the Wolf era. The hair color makes a return for Monster and Lucky One.
  • Embarrassing Nickname:
    • Xiumin: "lil fattie". Once was an acceptable target but no longer after his rapid weight loss.
    • Lu Han: "Marilyn Monroe" or any other female names since he dislikes to be compared with girls.
    • Suho: "Mom" or "Eomma". Also once acceptable before he expressed his disliking for them.
    • Chanyeol: "Yoda", "Dobi", "Elf" and others which are directed at his ears.
    • D.O.: "Satansoo". Once a Running Gag, but subverted after revealed that his behavior was due to his astigmatism.
    • Kai: "Kkamjong" which means "black-jongin" because of his skin color. You can imagine how rude is that, especially to some fans with 'real' dark skin.
    • Sehun: "Thehun", borned because of his lisp.
  • Eternally Pearly-White Teeth: Chanyeol's teeth is known for being quite white and pretty.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: D.O. is the most popular member among men.
  • Eye Scream: Baekhyun was hit with some fireworks after standing too close to the edge of a stage during a performance.
  • Fake-Out Make-Out: A Sebaek moment in EXO Next Door.
  • Fanboy:
  • Female Gaze: Certain fancams aren't, uh, shy with following members' certain body parts and only said body parts.
  • Five-Man Band:
  • Flanderization: Their fans are experts at this in their fanfiction.
    • Xiumin was stereotyped as a big eater until he lost an alarming amount of weight. Nowadays, it's no longer acceptable.
    • Luhan is often feminized, much to his dismay.
    • Kris is the snarky, aloof team Jerkass.
    • Suho is called $uho for coming from a wealthy family.
    • Lay is the Cloudcuckoolander. Also the ForgetFul Jones.
    • Chen is a Troll for making many snide remarks (all in good fun, of course.)
    • The beagle line (Baekhyun, Chen and Chanyeol) together is portray as mischief makers who play pranks on everyone.
    • Tao is a narcissist who constantly takes photos of himself.
    • Kai will sleep with anything that moves.
  • Full-Name Basis: Luhan is actually a full name, with Lu as his last name and Han as his given name.
  • Fun with Acronyms:
    • EXO-CBX, which stands for Chen Baekhyun Xiumin (often called ChenBaekXi for short), or as Chanyeol asserts, it can also stand for Chanyeol Baekhyun Xiumin.
    • EXO-SC, which stands for Sehun and Chanyeol.
    • The name "Lay" can be interpreted as "Look At Yixing." Additionally, his Instagram username of zyxzjs stands for Zhang Yi Xing (his real name) Zhang Jia Shuai (his birth name).
  • Fun with Foreign Languages: All members can speak in Korean, conversational Chinese, conversational Japanese, and basic English, but the special mentions are:
    • Kris (born in China but moved to Canada, works in Korea) can speak in English, Cantonese, Mandarin, and Korean.
    • Lay (born and works in China, moved to and works in Korea, and promotes in America) can speak in Mandarin, Changsha dialect, Korean, and English.
  • Friend to All Children:
    "It seems as if there is a young boy living in the body of a young man. As soon as he came into the studio, he squealed while looking at the baby shoes and had fun while touching the baby clothes that were hung in the closet."
    "The little kids clearly all really liked Lu Han, and kept talking to him. Lu Han would always stoop down to listen carefully, nod intently, and reply. Afterwards, as soon as the kids raised their heads, he would stoop, lean over and listen with a really gentle expression. Later, because it was easier to chat with the kids, he just crouched down and would keep one eye on the recording while constantly playing with the kids."
    • This video of Kris playing with a little kid. Shows just how much of a softie he is.
  • Gentle Giant: Chanyeol.
    Baekhyun:"I always worry about him because he has a weak heart. I always worry about him, I am afraid that someone might hurt his feeling."
  • Gratuitous English: Xiumin, Luhan, Kris, and Lay often mix in English expressions when they're talking in Korean/Chinese. Especially Xiumin with his frequent "oh my God"s and "ddaengkyu"s.
  • Groupie Brigade: Frighteningly taken up to eleven with fans in South Korea and China, so much that the members are often injured by the groping, wind up with scratches and cuts, etc.
  • Guyliner: The use of makeup of more outlandish makeup was more common in the group during their debut era, but they've mellowed out since then.
  • Happily Married: Chen announced his plans to marry his non-celebrity girlfriend in January 2020. Their daughter was born in April of the same year.
  • Heavy Sleeper: Kai once slept for 20 hours straight, without waking up.
  • Hidden Depths:
    • Xiumin is good at maths, and was in his school's SKY class (gifted class) in high school. He is currently studying for his PhD.
    • Baekhyun is the co-creative director of Privé, and designs for his own streetwear line.
    • In their early years, under the 'Happy Virus' image, Chanyeol always seems to be goofy and happy. However, he confessed that he actually crys a lot, and is much more sensitive than some thought him to be. His self written songs proof it, especially this.
    • While seemingly tough and fierce on stage, Kai is in fact quiet and shy, and loves reading and arts, with his favorite writer being Keigo Higashino. A lot of his quotes shown that he is way more mature and wise than some people of his own age.
  • I Am Not Pretty: Or I am not cute in D.O.'s case, while this guy is in fact a walking 'I am cute' logo.
  • I Can't Dance: Chen and Chanyeol, although they have been getting better.
  • Iconic Logo: Their hexagon logo and its iterations.
  • I Have Many Names:
    • Kris, oh my God, Kris. His birth name is Li Jiaheng. He changed his name to Kevin Li when he was in Canada and while he was in SM Entertainment, he chose Kris as his stage name and currently his stage name while doing solo work in China is Wu Yi Fan or Kris Wu.
    • On a lesser note, Lay. His birth name is Zhang Jiashuai. His name was then changed to Zhang Yixing, which is his current name and what he's called as in Chinese promotions. His stage name is Lay or Lay Zhang and it's what he uses in albums and other promotions.
  • Jack-of-All-Trades:
    • Xiumin, the only member whose position in the group keeps changing. He was a rapper for EXO-M and is the main rapper for EXO-CBX, but during EXO's OT12 days he was considered the part of the dance line. When EXO-K and EXO-M officially merged into EXO, he's considered part of the vocal line (though he's usually third choice for rapping next to Chanyeol and Sehun) and can reach the highest notes out of all the members in the group. He dances, raps, sings, acts, hosted programs, does sports and martial arts, and attended school to obtain his doctor's degree while still promoting EXO. And though he is one of the members with the fewest lines in songs, he's actually the backbone of the group's backing vocals and most of the time, he has the hardest choreography parts (along with the dance line). Oh, was it mentioned that the members of EXO-CBX dance while singing in falsetto?
    • Lay, the main dancer who also is sadly given only a little amount of lines in EXO songs, as of 2019, has released 2 solo albums and 3 EPs in China. And he wrote all his songs by himself, while helping out with the choreography. And not just his title songs have performances: most of his songs are performed with dances. He is a regular cast member and has participated in five seasons of the show "Go Fighting!" which is considered as the Chinese equivalent of the Korean variety show "Infinite Challenge". He is also the main mentor and producer of the two seasons of "Idol Producer". And he also acts in dramas and movies.
    • Baekhyun, ever since his dance skills have developed to the point of him being able to keep up with the dance line. He can sing, rap, dance, host, design, does martial arts, has a master degree and is handsome to top it off, hence the nickname "genius idol". Netizens say he's "born to be on stage", and even celebrities comment that he is a star of variety shows.
  • Kaleidoscope Hair: During the Wolf promotions, especially, everyone's hairs were switching between all kinds of colours.
  • Keet: Baekhyun, being small and cheerful.
  • Korean Honorifics:
    • The most confusing one is Xiumin (1990) and Suho (1991), who treat each other like same-age friends even though they are a year and two months apart. According to Xiumin, Suho told him that they were the same age when they first met, and that when he found out Suho's "real" age, it was "too late". Suho is also same-age friends with other idols born in 1990 (Jonghyun, Yoona). In many situations, Xiumin pokes at Suho to address him hyung, but the latter never (or rarely) does. Xiumin confesses in Heart4U that he still feels awkward with this setup, despite Suho calling him "my best friend, my lover" in an EXO-L Japan feature and Xiumin himself being the one to tell Suho that they are BFFs.
    • Suho and Lay are same-age friends both born in 1991, though Lay properly calls Xiumin hyung.
    • Baekhyun, Chen, and Chanyeol (all 1992) and D.O. (early 1993) are friends.
    • Kai and Sehun are 3 months apart but Kai is considered early-born 1994. Sehun sometimes calls him hyung, sometimes doesn't. On occasions, Sehun has admitted to calling Kai hyung on broadcast just for formality.
  • Master Actor: D.O., who had starred in different movies and dramas include  and received a large number of positive comments from both netizens and industry seniors.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Minseok means "prized with beautiful jade". Xiumin means "shining jade".
    • Junmyeon means "clever and hardworking". Suho means "guardian", and he was named this because he is "EXO's guardian", the leader.
    • Yixing means "art flourish ". Play for fun, but 'Lay' also means "tired" in Chinese (累; lei), and this often gets him teased. It's actually a minor tearjerker, given his body condition. But according to Lay, SM Entertainment got it from Huaze Lei.
    Lay: "At that time the company (preparing for debut), they said they think the name "Lay" is not bad. I asked why. They said in "Meteor Garden" there is a character called Huaze Lei, who is quiet and doesn't say much, but plays the violin and is talented and likes music quite a bit. At that time how could I think much? Sure, as long as I can debut, sure sure, you guys do what you want, I'm fine, I'm fine with it. I didn't think it'd become an attribute I can't shake off, 'tired'."
    • Baekhyun means "the wise elder".
    • Jongdae could be interpreted as " focussing on greatness". Chen means "midnight stars".
    • Chanyeol is from "alchan yeolmae", which means "fruitful berries".
    • Kyungsoo means " respectful and talented". D.O. is from his last name, Do.
    • Jongin means "the man who strikes the morning bell", named by the boy's grandfather. It becomes an Ironic Name, since the owner is known to be the Heavy Sleeper of the team. Kai means "open" in Chinese.
    • Sehun could mean "achievements of the century".
    • Yifan roughly means "also normal". Kris means "a follower of Christ".
    • Luhan means "deer of the dawn".
    • Tao means "hidden talents".
  • Mistaken Age: Xiumin and Lu Han, who are the oldest, while Kai and Sehun are the youngest.
  • Mistaken for Foreigner:
    • Xiumin and Chen are often assumed to be Chinese due to their stage names and the fact that they're part of EXO-M.
    • Luhan is good at speaking Korean, so at times it's assumed that he is a Korean.
    • Kai is usually mistaken for a Japanese.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Kai, and also Lay and Baekhyun to an extent. Very much so and acknowledged In-Universe.
  • No Pronunciation Guide:
    • Xiumin is mostly pronounced like shoe-min, which is the Korean pronunciation, but it's actually pronounced like show-min (Chinese pronunciation).
    • Lay's real name Yixing isn't pronounced yiksing but i-shing.
    • Though at a glance, you'll know that "Chen" is read as chen, in Chinese it's actually pronounced somewhere in between chon and chun.
  • Odd Name Out:
    • Xiumin points out that compared to the members, his name is the longest in Korean (with three syllables; though Kris is written with three as well, it's easier to pronounce than Xiumin).
    • On the other hand, Chen is the only one to have his stage name in one Korean/Chinese syllable.
    • D.O. is the only member to use an acronym for a stage name, and it's the only one to be almost always written in English (Kris is usually written as 크리스).
    • Luhan is the only member to have his birth name (which is Han) in one syllable.
  • Otaku: EXO-CBX a.k.a the Otaku trio. Chen got the highest points in a 'homebody quiz'. Baekhyun's favorite hobby is gaming and had once spent eight hours straight on Battlegrounds. Xiumin even got invited to a show called "It's dangerous outside the blankets" which was specifically for otakus.
  • Performance Anxiety:
    • D.O. tends to stutter or mess up a lot of scripted lines, and generally keeps quiet unless prompted.
    • There are also dozens of interviews where Sehun barely speaks.
    • It wasn't until EXO Showtime that Xiumin began to talk and stand out a bit more. He even said on EXO 90:2014 that unless he's spoken to, he'll rarely speak to people.
  • Power Trio: EXO-CBX.
  • Reality Show: They got their own show, conveniently named EXO's Showtime!
    • Later, they had EXO 90:2014, alternately named "K-Pop Time Slip".
    • In 2017, they have a show on Vlive+ called "EXO Tourgram".
    • The show Travel the World on EXO's Ladder season 1 and 2 will be aired in 2018.
  • Secret Relationship:
  • Schedule Fanatic: Xiumin, who is also a Neat Freak.
    "I get anxious whenever something is uncertain, and I especially have a hard time when it gets hasty/untidy/busy in the morning. So when I wake up in the morning I toast some bread and eat breakfast, take a shower, and think about the things I have to do that day. If I don't do that, I feel like I would lose my composure and mess up my entire day."
  • Shrinking Violet: Kai, especially in their early debut days. He said that this was the reason he didn't have many friends as a child, making him a Bookworm.
  • Solo Side Project:
    • All of the members are also active actors (drama series, movies, musicals), but special mention goes to D.O. (drama series and movies) and Suho (drama series and musicals). Xiumin even stars in a musical while he's inside the Korean military.
    • Though all of the members have solo tracks for concerts and release collaborations with other artists, only Lay, Baekhyun, and Chen have released their own solo albums and have active careers as soloists (Lay in China, Baekhyun and Chen in Korea).
    • Kai was part of the promotional groups Younique Unit and SM The Performance, with Lay also being a member of the latter group. Chen is part of SM The Ballad. Kai and Baekhyun are also members of SuperM.
    • Kai is very active in the modeling scene and is an ambassador for Gucci. Sehun is a brand ambassador for the Italian brand Ermenegildo Zegna. Lay has a long list of brands that he's an ambassador of: Converse, MAC Cosmetics, Chaumet Paris, Ray-Ban, Milka Chocolate, H&M, Perrier, Valentino, Calvin Klein, Daniel Wellington... He was the ambassador for Huawei Nova from 2015 to 2018 before switching to Samsung, though he terminated his contract with Samsung in 2019 after the brand violated the One-China policy.
  • Speech Impediment: Sehun has a lisp that is most noticeable during his parts in Two Moons. and after fans outright made fun of him for it, god help you if you bring it up now.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad:
    • Kai, Lay and Sehun for dancing, and Baekhyun, Chen, and D.O. for singing. Even some non-fans admit that they're talented.
    • Over time, Baekhyun's dancing skills have improved so much he's started to be compared to the dance line since Love Me Right era. Xiumin, too, gets more recognition as a dancer.
  • Stage Names: Xiumin for Kim Minseok, Suho for Kim Junmyeon, Lay for Zhang Yixing, Chen for Kim Jongdae, D.O. for Do Kyungsoo, Kai for Kim Jongin.
    • Baekhyun was almost named Guan Yu after a Chinese war general, while Sehun was almost named Seoul (same English spelling with the capital city but spelled and pronounced differently in Korean).
  • Stalker with a Crush: Seems to be a constant wherever they decide to go, mostly thanks to dedicated fansite masters or overenthusiastic international fans. Unfortunately, many people stereotype all of EXO's fans as this.
  • Step Up to the Microphone: Since Love Me Right Kai went from receiving barely any lines to being featured prominently in various songs. He even gets the lead vocal position in Twenty Four.
  • Stepford Smiler:
    "No matter how difficult and hard something is, I will always be positive and smile like an idiot." - Chanyeol
  • The Perfectionist:
    • When asked who was a perfectionist in EXO-M during an interview, Lay pointed at himself. This is shown in his solo works.
    • When asked by Chen why he's so sensitive about a lot of things, Suho admits that it's because he's a perfectionist.
  • Team Dad: Suho, concurrently also the Team Mom after Kris left the group. While he could be doting to his members and cares for them, he's not afraid to keep them in check and speak in their stead.
    • Baekhyun calls himself 'Appa' (dad) to EXO-Ls, as daughters always follow their fathers, like how EXO opens the path for EXO-Ls.
  • Technician vs. Performer:
    • Lay and Sehun (Technicians) vs. Kai (Performer) when it comes to dancing. To be fair, Kai can be considered a Technician that learned to act like a Performer, as much of his charisma is amplified by how flawless his technique is.
    • Chen and D.O. (Technicians) vs. Baekhyun (Performer) for singing.
  • Teen Idol: Just about all debuted as idols in their teens.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Bread and coffee for Xiumin, strawberries for Baekhyun, fried chicken for Kai and any types of sweets for Sehun.
  • Unicorn: Lay's original Animal Motif.
  • Wound That Will Not Heal: Lay has a slight form of haemophilia, which almost took his life when he had a tonsil operation at a young age. He was seen with bloody hands a few times in public. Ironically, his given "power" is healing.
  • You Are Number 6: Each member is associated to a specific number: 99 (Xiumin), 7 (Luhan), 00 (Kris), 1 (Suho), 10 (Lay), 4 (Baekhyun), 21 (Chen), 61 (Chanyeol), 12 (D.O.), 68 (Tao), 88 (Kai), and 94 (Sehun).

    Music / Music Video / Concept Tropes 
  • Abandoned Warehouse: Their Growl music video looks like it's being shot in this.
  • Amazing Technicolor Battlefield: The primary setting for their Power music video takes place on a vividly blue and purple planet complete with 80s-style motifs.
  • Animated Music Video: The introduction of their MAMA music video.
    • Again in Power.
  • Anti-Climax: In their Lightsaber MV, we see Kai, Sehun, and Baekhyun acting cool with their lightsaber, Kai waving lightsaber in the hallway with the music building up. Then the song ends and the hallway turns empty.
  • Artistic License – Space: What is Love MV. You can't watch a solar eclipse directly like that. Sehun and Chen didn't learn from that and made the same mistake in their Pathcode teasers.
  • Asian Speekee Engrish: The pronunciation of "wolf" in Wolf. Weird is that in the leaked demo version the "wolf" is pronounced properly.
  • Audience Participation: EXODUS' Pathcode teasers, with hints available from the official Pathcode twitter account. Analysis were rampant such as this one.
  • Audience Participation Song: Drop That.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Shown here, about two and a half minutes in.
  • Bilingual Bonus: You could learn that "Comet is Appearing in 10 cities in the world" from Tao's pathcode teaser if you know Spanish.
  • Catholic Schoolgirls Rule: Gender-inverted examples.
  • Christmas Songs: Miracles in December and For Life contain Christmas-themed music. Also The Winter's Tale.
  • Cool Car: A white Lamborghini and red Ferrari in their Call Me Baby MV, and a vintage red Mercedes-Benz in the Ko Ko Bop MV.
  • Cover Version:
  • Differently Powered Individual: The concept behind their MAMA promotions was that each member had a specific super power. They are still portrayed as superhumans in later promotions, but only rarely. The concept was then revived in the Pathcode trailers, with Call Me Baby, Ko Ko Bop, Power, and Obsession showcasing the superpower concept again.
  • Dubstep: Their music is very, very heavily influenced by the genre.
  • Eiffel Tower Effect: London Eye in Kai's Pathcode teaser.
  • Escaped From The Hospital: What the video for Lucky One is all about.
  • Evil Counterpart: OBSESSION introduces the existence of X-EXO, described as questionable beings causing abnormal activities around the globe and are assumed to be similar in form with EXO. The reports confirm that only six of these beings exist: Suhø, Baëkhyun, Chën, Chanyeøl, Kāi, and Sehůn.
    • Though initially thought that they were evil versions of EXO and were separate beings, with them participating in battles against each other in the Obsession music video, EXO describes them as the evil inside them and make comments such as "I'm going to turn into X-EXO".
  • Fairytale Motifs: Both fairy tale and fantasy motifs appear a lot as themes or references in their music, including but not exclusive to El Dorado, Black Pearl, Baby Don't Cry, and Peter Pan.
  • Fantastic Romance: A lot of their songs are implying this including Don't Go (with a butterfly girl), Baby Don't Cry (them singing from the prince's POV), Wolf (the Korean title is even Wolf and The Beauty), also Paranormal Romance in Angel (them as an angel loving normal girl they protect).
  • Genre Roulette: EXO's music spans a rather wide variety of genres, ranging from standard teen pop and R&B to hip hop, baroque pop, harsh Electronic Music and the occasional ballad.
  • A Glass of Chianti: Chen is seen with this in the Lotto music video.
  • Gratuitous English: Most of, if not all their songs, will have at least one English line.
    • "Careless, careless, shoot anonymous, anonymous. Heartless, mindless, no one who care about me..."
    • The very popular "Shawty imma party til the sun down" from Love Me Right.
    • "Time's wasting girl" and "never don't mind about a thing" from CALL ME BABY.
    • "Honestly you da true, body talk when you move" from Sign.
  • Hotter and Sexier: Lay's mini album Honey and Baekhyun's debut mini album City Lights in comparison to Chen's debut mini album April, and a flower, the latter which came out around four months earlier than the first two.
  • Ice Queen: The love interest of their song Machine, an Emotionless Girl with perfect beauty, doll-like feature, and cold smile.
  • Image Song: The tracks (and specific lyrics) from the 5th album Don't Mess Up My Tempo each correspond to a specific member and his powers:
    • Xiumin has 24/7, a song about the singer's love interest becoming an Ice Queen to him after an argument/breakup.
    • Suho has Oasis, a song about finding an oasis after a long and tiring journey.
    • Lay has Smile on My Face (though he didn't participate in the song), a song about healing and moving on from a breakup.
    • Baekhyun has With You, a song about falling in love with someone who fills the singer's words with light.
    • Chen has ''Damage: "It’s all your fault that the damage grew, you set off my flares."
    • Chanyeol has Sign: "It might set off a firework that will burn it all down" and "the fire spreading in a way we can’t stop"
    • D.O has Gravity: "My heart will always draw you in like gravity."
    • Kai has Ooh La La La, a song about the singer trying to approach and get closer to his love interest.
    • Sehun has Bad Dream: "This nerve-wracking silence; you blow in on it at some point, at some point."
  • Just Friends: A theme of their song My Lady, also appeared in Tender Love.
  • Korean Honorifics: For the Obsession promotions, EXO speak in formal Korean while X-EXO speak in informal Korean.
  • Lighter and Softer: Growl isn't as harsh and loud as previous songs.
  • Limited Wardrobe: X-EXO's other outfits are just palette swaps of their main outfits.
  • Location Song: El Dorado is about the singer looking for El Dorado.
  • Love Is a Drug: Overdose, as the title say, equating love with overdosing.
  • Lucky Charms Name: The X-EXO members are listed as Suhø, Baëkhyun, Chën, Chanyeøl, Kāi, and Sehůn.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: Happens extremely frequently, but is most obvious in The Eve from their album The War. The English demo is overtly sexual, but the final Korean version is about wanting to work out a troubled relationship. Then there's the choreography...
  • Lyrics/Video Mismatch: MAMA's lyrics are pretty symbolic, about people losing contacts and love with each other, while the MV is mostly about the group showcasing their elemental powers.
  • Manly Tears: Chanyeol and Tao in Miracles in December.
  • The Maze: Their logo for Overdose, also appearing in the MV.
    • The hospital in Lucky One is also shaped like one.
  • Merchandise-Driven: EXO-K's song for the Samsung ATIV Smart PC.
  • Metal Scream: MAMA in both versions:
  • Money to Burn: Quite funny that Suho is the one burning a pile of money in their Lotto music video.
  • Nonuniform Uniform: Their Growl era costumes are basically personalised school uniforms, from sleeveless jackets, neckties/no neckties and inside shirts.
  • Onomatopoeia: From the songs Growl and Wolf; it's right in the titles.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: Wolf is all about being a werewolf in love with a beautiful girl. In the Drama version of the music videos for both Wolf and Growl, we can see that being a werewolf in EXO entails having an exotic white hair colour, a cool tattoo on your arm, glowing red eyes at certain times, and no transformation (although the usual werewolf aspects of super-strength are still there).
  • Playing with Syringes: The nurses in Lucky One injected mysterious black substance in their IVs.
  • Pixellation: Done a few times in their Monster music video for aesthetic effects.
  • Product Placement: Samsung Level headset in Call Me Baby, Samsung phones and headsets in Pathcode teasers. Maybe because they have a tie-in with Samsung.
  • Sequel Song: My Turn to Cry is the prince version of Baby Don't Cry.
  • Shirtless Scene: The Let Out the Beast VCR in The Lost Planet concert.
  • Sixth Ranger: After Kris's and Luhan's departure, D.O. and Baekhyun are featured in some of EXO-M's songs.
  • Shout-Out
    • Alice's Adventures in Wonderland in Love Me Right. Analysis is here.
    • There's also a Murakami reference in the same MV. It's the quote on the wall reading "that's what this storm's all about."
    • Lightsaber, considering the Star Wars tie-in, doesn't have a lot of shout outs. Started from Darth Vader breathing in the song, lightsabers in Baekhyun's, Kai's and Sehun's hands , 'Jedi Only', 'May the Force', 'Security Notice: Concealed Sabers are Prohibited in This Facility' signs in the MV
  • Sigil Spam: A lot of their MAMA era costumes incorporate their logo somewhere. Logos also appeared on kites and caravan in What is Love MV.
  • Singer Name Drop: The "E-X-O" in Growl and Overdose, as well as the "EXO" in Two Moons''.
    • Lately the "E-X-O" came back in Call Me Baby.
    • There's a subtle one in XOXO.
    • Also appeared in Drop That, "JUMP! JUMP! JUMP! JUMP! JUMP! JUMP! E X O".
  • Space Whale: On the cover of their second winter special EP, Sing for You.
  • Stock Sound Effects: There are lot of cha-ching!s in Lotto.
  • SWAT Team: SWAT-like team appeared in Monster, upped up with their Lotto where the SWAT-like team have uniform with SWAT written on their backs.
  • Total Eclipse of the Plot: In What is Love. Also appeared in Pathcode teasers and later again in Total Eclipse teaser. A big theme of the group.
  • Translated Cover Version:
    • For singles and mini albums, EXO-K and EXO-M sing in Korean and Mandarin, respectively.
    • The first four albums have two versions: Korean and Mandarin. Due to Lay's absence leaving EXO-M with two active members, the fifth album and repackage only have the title tracks Tempo and Love Shot in Mandarin (with Lay only participating in Tempo). After Xiumin enlisted, leaving Chen as the only active EXO-M member, the sixth album only contains the title track Obsession in Chinese, with the vocals of the six promoting EXO members.
    • LOVE ME RIGHT is the only title song with three versions: Korean, Chinese, and Japanese. The promotional single Lightsaber has Korean, Chinese, and Japanese versions.
    • LOVE ME RIGHT's B-single Drop That has a Korean version.
    • D.O. performed an English cover of For Life.
    • Chanyeol's SSFW has Korean, Chinese, and Japanese versions.
  • Vanity License Plate: The plates on the cars in the Call Me Baby MV read Tao, Kai, El Dorado, and EXO 12.
  • You Are Number 6: The jersey numbers in Love Me Right, the chokers in Monster and Lucky One, and the case sightings in OBSESSION label the members with their specific number.

Tropes found in the variety shows:

Tropes for Travel the World on EXO's Ladder can be found on its own page.

    EXO's Showtime

The first season of the show "Showtime", EXO's Showtime is a reality TV show that allows the fans to see behind-the-scenes of EXO's daily lives and how they act offstage.

EXO's Showtime provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Haunted House: The members visit one in episode 10.
  • Manly Tears: Shown in the fourth episode, where the members watched Miracle in Cell No. 7. Even Xiumin, who rarely cries, shed tears as he was watching. The only exception is Lay, who slept throughout the entire movie.
  • Missing Episode: A lot of members' parts are cut due to editing restrictions, such as the drivers' license team or the rap line practice.
    • Chanyeol and Kai were edited from the the Haunted House episode, and people assumed it was because they swore a lot. In a different broadcast 7 years later, Chanyeol explains it was because they took the wrong path through the haunted house, going into random places like in between the wooden boards, and bumped into the staff who were getting ready.
  • New Year's Resolution: In episode 8, the members go out to do things that will help them achieve their goals in 2014. Over dinner, the members discuss goals they have for the new year of 2014. Afterwards, some split off into groups to engage in activities related to their goals. Xiumin and Chen take a coffee making lesson; Kai and Sehun learn how to perform a tea ceremony and write calligraphy; while Chanyeol, Suho, Kris, and Tao exercise and replicate moves with a martial arts instructor.
  • Room Escape Game: Present in episode 11, where all twelve members were isolated in separate karaoke rooms. The purpose was to test EXO's "telepathy skills," thus the goal is for all members to give the same answer.
  • Set Behind the Scenes: Episode 9 shows the boys preparing for their upcoming concert.
  • Show Within a Show: Baekhyun and D.O.'s talk show, which appears in episodes 6 and 12.
  • Slice of Life: Episode 2, which focused on what the members do when they have free time. Kris, Tao, Baekhyun, Chanyeol and Sehun go window shopping and try different Korean traditional food; Xiumin, Lay, Chen and Luhan go biking at the Han River; D.O. watches a movie alone; and Kai and Suho go out for a walk with Kai's dogs.
  • The Stoic: Kris always tries to act like one only to fail.
  • The Quiet One:
    • Xiumin's New Years' Resolution is to be able to talk more. A segment in the last episode is dedicated to letting him talk.
    • The members point out that D.O.'s improvement as a result of filming the show was that he would now talk during interviews.
  • Surprise Party: The member's plan one for Chanyeol's birthday in episode 11.

Promotional image for the first season (Xiumin)

EXO's first personal reality program, Heart4U: EXO's Relay Video Records (Korean: 심포유 - EXO의 릴레이 영상 기록기'') is a reality series that closely records the daily life that each member wants to share with their fans. The first season's promotional material includes Lay in the lineup, however, he was removed in the second season onwards.

The first season follows Xiumin's daily life, including his housewarming party and trips with friends, filmed before his enlistment in the Korean military. Besides the EXO members, his non-celebrity friends are featured in the show.

Xiumin passes the baton to the next member, who he chose because said member appeared at the Heart4U filming afterparty. The second season is Chen's national busking tour before the release of his second mini album Dear my dear. Many Korean singers are featured as his guests as he travels to Busan, Gwangju, Daejeon, and Seoul.

For some reason, Chen doesn't pass the baton to the next member, and Suho introduces himself as the third member to participate in the series. The season shows Suho's preparations for his first solo album Self-Portrait and moments spent with the other members (and their manager), also before his mandatory enlistment.

Heart4U provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Competition Freak: Chanyeol. In the first season, he was about to leave for a different recording but came back upon hearing that the members are going to play the "frying pan game". In the third season, Suho and Chanyeol (and later Sehun) compete for prizes that varied from an air fryer to a snack coupon.
  • Camping Episode: Suho goes camping with Chanyeol and Sehun in the third season.
  • Fancy Camping: The aforementioned Camping Episode isn't going outside to form a bonfire and sleep in tents: it's to play games and sleep in small air-conditioned and furnished huts/houses. They originally planned for a bonfire, but it rained so they weren't able to do it.
  • Fortune Teller: Xiumin visits one with his friends, and he asks about things in their life such as their health, careers, and about love. Xiumin then takes the opportunity to test his compatibility and relationship with leader Suho.
  • Gratuitous English: Xiumin frequently uses the expression "Oh my god" and "ddaengkyu".
    • There's also "I can do it. You can do it. We can do it."
  • Guest Host: Suho leaves for a moment, and Chanyeol and Sehun have already claimed the show as their own.
  • Korean Honorifics: Fans ask Xiumin to test on the lie detector whether he wants Suho to call him hyung or not.
    Xiumin: Do I want Suho to treat me like an older brother? No, we're friends. We're friends. My friend, my leader. I would never lie about that. (lie detector goes off) I think this is broken...
  • Lovable Jock: Xiumin's sports abilities are showcased in a soccer game with his friends.
  • Neat Freak: Xiumin is frequently shown cleaning, and some extra clips are dedicated to him showing how to fold clothes and make the bed.
  • Otaku: Xiumin's friends recall that during their school days, he liked watching anime and playing Pokémon. Xiumin says he still does, and that the other members tell him to act his age.
    • In one of the paid episodes, Xiumin buys anime figures to display in his living room.
  • Set Behind the Scenes: The first episodes of the third season feature Suho's preparations for his first solo album Self-Portrait, including not just the photoshoots and music video filming, but also the concept meetings and lyric-writing.
  • Singer-Songwriter: Chen had written the lyrics for his song Beautiful, which was specifically written by Jo Jungchi as a memento of their tour.
  • Slice of Life: The main purpose of the broadcast is to showcase EXO members' daily lives. Xiumin's episodes were focused on his new house and him hanging out with his non-celebrity friends.
  • Travelogue Show: The whole second season is dedicated to Chen's busking tour in Korea.