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RWBY - Tropes C to D

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    Tropes C 
  • Call-Back:
    • In the first Red Trailer, Ruby is first revealed when she leaps into the air, spinning her weapon into use, her face come into view while framed by the moon behind her. This sequence (against a moon or an artificial light that symbolises the moon) is repeated several times in the show every time a character is about to reveal themselves and/or their abilities for the first time. Yang does it when her introductory fight begins in the Yellow Trailer and Velvet does during Volume 3 when she finally reveals her weapon and Semblance.
    • Ruby hates the idea of being placed into Beacon two years early because she doesn't want to be regarded as "the bee's knees", she wants "normal knees". During the Grimm fight in Volume 1, Chapter 8, Ruby makes a breakthrough in her relationship with Weiss when Weiss saves her from the Deathstalker. Relieved that Weiss has offered an olive branch and is treating her like anyone else, Ruby sighs and whispers "normal knees".
    • During the Black Trailer, Blake and Adam rob a train that contains the Schnee family logo, which is first seen in the White Trailer and implies Blake is stealing from Weiss's family. At the end of Volume 1, Weiss and Blake's fight about the White Fang starts revealing personal secrets. Weiss refers to the effect on her home life that White Fang's personal war with her family has had, and references the robbery of a train full of Dust. The pressure of this fight brings to light Blake's status as a faunus who is on the run from the White Fang and ties the Black Trailer into the villains' actions during Volume 1, which sees them stealing and hoarding Dust for mysterious reasons.
    • During the Yellow Trailer, Yang visits a dance club because the man running it has a reputation for knowing things. She's searching for information on a mysterious woman, but Junior claims not to know anything. When Team RWBY decide to investigate Roman and the White Fang in Volume 2, Yang states she has contacts who might know something. She goes right back to that dance club to visit Junior. When she arrives, it's revealed that the club has taken precautions should she ever return... and, yet again, Junior doesn't seem to have any useful information to give her.
    • During the Volume 3, Chapter 7, the moves Amber pulls with her Maiden powers are designed to show us which of Cinder's past fighting moves are driven by the Maiden power she's stolen from Amber. Significantly, Cinder's ability to block Ruby's bullets in the pilot episode is a result of the Maiden power, as Amber blocks Emerald's shots the same way. Further more, Cinder's ability to create explosive fire circles underneath her opponents feet, first seen during the pilot episode against Glynda and Ruby, is something she also tries against Amber, revealing it's a native ability and not something given to her by the Maiden power.
    • Although Pyrrha and Jaune mean well and want to help each other, their inability to truly communicate their feelings properly to each other results in some significant moments that directly impact the way they behave during the next few episodes. In Volume 1, Pyrrha tries to help Jaune with his lack of combat training, but makes him feel so useless, be becomes entrapped by Cardin's bullying until he makes a decision to do the right thing, no matter what the personal consequences. In Volume 3, Pyrrha is struggling with the offer that Ozpin has presented her with, but when Jaune tries to offer her well-meaning advice, she falls apart and accidentally attacks him with her temporarily uncontrolled Semblance. Her abilities remain in limbo until she finally makes the decision to do the right thing, no matter what the personal consequences.
    • At the end of volume 3, Qrow asks Ruby if she remembers the first words Ozpin ever said to her, and reveals he knows what they were. He explains that Ozpin's reference to her silver eyes in the pilot episode is because of an ancient legend that silver-eyed people are destined to be great warriors who can kill Grimm - sometimes with just a glance. Ruby has a unique ability that she can barely comprehend that makes her extremely dangerous to the Grimm, an ability most people don't even know exists.
    • In Volume 1, Chapter 10, Weiss fights against a Boarbatusk in Port's class, which she kills. Later on, in Volume 4, Chapter 6, Weiss inadvertently summons the same Boarbatusk during the concert's after party.
  • The Cameo: As the show became more popular, several voice actors showed up as cameos.
    • Laura Bailey shows up in Volume 3 as Amber, the Fall Maiden, voicing her for a couple of lines.
    • Nick Landis (Lanipator) and Scott Frerichs (KaiserNeko) of Team Four Star each voice a businessman in Volume 4.
  • Campfire Character Exploration: In Volume 2, as Weiss, Blake, and Yang discuss their reasons for becoming Huntresses.
  • Cane Fu:
    • Roman's elegant fighting style relies heavily on his cane for melee strikes. The cane also doubles as a gun for firing at long range..
    • Ozpin holds his own against Cinder, who had just gained god-like powers, very efficiently with just his cane.
  • Cape Snag: Ruby gets pinned to the ground by her cape in Volume 1, Chapter 8. Only Weiss's intervention saves her life. Somehow averted every time Ruby spins her fully-extended scythe behind her back.
  • Casanova Wannabe: Neptune, since he hits on anything with a skirt and has only been shown to be successful with Weiss (though the team SSSN fangirls seem to like him just as much as they like the other members of the team).
  • Cast Herd: Becomes evident part-way through Volume 1, but the opening for Volume 2 establishes the herds pretty firmly.
    • Team RWBY Pronounced 'Ruby' (Ruby, Weiss, Blake, Yang)
    • Team JNPR Pronounced 'Juniper' (Jaune, Nora, Pyrrha, Ren)
    • Team CRDL Pronounced 'Cardinal' (Cardin, Russel, Dove, Lark)
    • Team CFVY Pronounced 'Coffee' (Coco, Fox, Velvet, Yatsuhashi)
    • The Beacon Academy staff (Ozpin, Glynda, Port, Oobleck)
    • Team SSSN Pronounced 'Sun" (Sun, Scarlet, Sage and Neptune)
    • The villains (Cinder, Mercury, Emerald, Roman, Neo)
  • Casual Danger Dialog: Sun tries flirting with Blake while they're fighting a giant serpent Grimm. Blake is not amused.
  • Casualty in the Ring: Occurs in Volume 3 in Penny and Pyrrha's fight, with Pyrrha accidentally dismembering and destroying Penny. The effect of the world seeing this gruesome display gives the Grimm enough fuel to attack Vale.
  • Catapult to Glory: The plan to defeat the Nevermore revolves around loading Ruby into an oversized slingshot (close enough to a ballista) made from Yang and Blake holding Gambol Shroud's ribbon and two pillars, and Weiss launching Ruby at the Nevermore's neck.
  • Cat Ninja: Blake Belladonna has a cat Animal Motif and is secretly a cat Faunus who fights much like a ninja, with a kusarigama-esque weapon, sneaky & fast movements and being able to create body doubles of herself.
  • The Cavalry: In the Volume 2 finale, an isolated Team RWBY are thoroughly outnumbered by Grimm, then they're joined by, in order: Team JNPR; the Atlesian military; Zwei; Team CFVY; Professor Port and Doctor Oobleck; and finally, a supremely pissed Glynda Goodwitch. Asskickery ensues. Cinder's group also helps stave off a few Grimm and (apparently) capture Torchwick.
  • Chainsaw Good: The Chainsword used by the White Fang Lieutenant, complete with Sword Drag in its introduction.
  • The Chains of Commanding: Ozpin warns Ruby that the position of team leader is both a badge of honor and a terrible burden. Naturally, the title of the episode is "The Badge and the Burden".
  • Changed My Mind, Kid: An abbreviated version in Episode 5; Weiss turns away and walks off upon finding out that Ruby is her partner, sees that the alternative is Jaune, walks back and drags Ruby off, all within the space of 25 seconds.
    Weiss: By no means does this make us friends. [drags Ruby by her hood]
    Ruby: You came back!
  • Character Blog: Weiss, Yang and Ruby have Twitter accounts.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: Aura is possessed by all living things, except monsters because they have no souls.
  • Chekhov's Gag:
    • In Volume 3, Episode 3, Mercury mentions that Qrow smells like "my dad after a long day". Come Episode 7 and we find out Mercury killed his father, who is strongly implied to have been an abusive drunk.
    • In Volume 5, "Rest and Resolutions", Yang ends an arm-wrestling match with Nora by detaching her prosthetic arm. Later, in "Downfall", she uses this same trick to escape Mercury's grasp when he tries to stop her from entering the Spring Vault.
  • Chekhov's Gun: In flashbacks, a young Ren has been given money by his mother to buy something for his father's return. He asks a weapons merchant what he can afford, and the vendor holds up a small wooden sword and hammer, which Ren rejects and moves on from. When the town is later attacked, Ren and Nora hide together under a house until it's over. Ren notices the same small hammer lying on the ground nearby and gives it to her, telling her they need to protect each other from now on thus revealing the origin story behind Nora's warhammer.
  • Chekhov's Skill:
    • In Volume 1, during Oobleck's class, it's established that most faunus are able to see in the dark. It's handy when Blake and Sun infiltrate a White Fang recruitment meeting in Volume 2 and are spotted by Roman.
      Sun: He sees us...
      Blake: [spots fusebox above her head] He can't see in the dark. [shoots fusebox]
    • Cinder is shown sewing clothing in one scene. Later on, Ironwood and Glynda discuss Cinder's catsuit lighting up when she fought Ruby and her dress lighting up when she fought Glynda in the pilot episode. Glynda uses the two examples to link the two women as the same person they're looking for, but Ironwood dismisses the connection between weaving Dust into clothing is an ancient, common, and well-known technique, making the similarity useless for investigative purposes.
  • Chess Motifs:
    • The relics Ozpin picks for the test take the form of large chess pieces in matching pairs of white (which are actually gold-coloured) and black. Team RWBY took the White Knight, Team JNPR took the White Rook, and Team CRDL took the Black Bishop.
    • At the end of Episode 16 Qrow sends Ozpin the cryptic message "QUEEN HAS PAWNS". The Stinger might imply this as an allusion to Cinder Fall and Roman Torchwick.
    • In Volume 2, Chapter 7, Cinder plants a virus with a black queen chess piece symbol in the communication tower computers.
  • Chew-Out Fake-Out: In Vol.2 Episode 9, after finding out Ruby brought Zwei with her on their mission, it seems as though Dr. Oobleck is about to read her the riot act... only for him to praise her as a genius, pointing out that they can use the dog's heightened canine senses to assist them in their tracking efforts.
  • Chiaroscuro: Used in "Family" during Qrow's meeting with Raven in the tavern. When the former stand at the top of the stairs, he's shown in warm yellow light, while the latter, at the far end of the balcony, is deeper in shadows, indicating which one is the lighter and darker of the pair. When the two actually sit down to talk, Qrow is on the side where the table lamp is shining, while Raven still remains in the gloomier shadows opposite him.
  • The City Narrows: The initial appearance of Mistral is of a beautiful city that uses every inch of picturesque mountain slopes to create an apparently happy, tranquil place with spectacular views. However, Qrow warns the teenage heroes to stay away from the city's lower levels and mentions that anything can be bought there for a price. When he goes looking for Huntsmen to join them on their quest, Ozpin asks him to choose those who can be trusted; Qrow cynically responds that they can be trusted to put up a good fight and heads into the seedy lower levels to find them. Here, strangers are met with suspicion, Faunus discrimination is openly displayed at the entrances to businesses, and both businesses and homes are run-down and shabby.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: The rap section of "I Burn" is hip-hop at its hip-hoppiest. (For comparison, the rest of the song uses a single "ass," and the show itself mostly uses very mild curses or cuts them short.)
  • Color-Coded Characters: Eighty years before the story begins, a global war ends which was fought over, among other things, the right to artistic self-expression. In memory of this, people ever since have named themselves and their children after colors, a core concept of art. As a result, every character is associated with a color that is built into their name either directly, or by association. The exception is Ozpin who, while associated with the color green, does not have a name that is based on, or associated in-universe, with that, or any other, color.
    • Team RWBY is associated with red, white, black and yellow. Ruby Rose is red-themed, having dark, red-tinted hair, wearing red and black clothes with a bright red hooded cape, and wielding a red-and-black sniper-scythe. She scatters red rose petals whenever her speed Semblance kicks in. Weiss Schnee is associated with white; she wears mostly blue-tinted white, has white hair, and favors Ice Dust in battle. Blake Belladonna is black-themed, with black hair, wearing black and white clothing and fights in a ninja-style with black weapons. Yang is yellow-themed, with golden hair, clothing in shades of yellow and browns and whose gun-gauntlets are bright yellow; she will also appear to be on fire when she gets angry and her Semblance kicks in. She also paints her new right arm prosthesis yellow in Volume 4.
    • Team JNPR is associated with yellow, pink, red and green. Jaune Arc is yellow-themed, standing out for having vivid (but natural) yellow hair; his armour and weapons are tinted a yellowish-brown. Nora Valkyrie is pink themed, with pale red hair, wearing pink skirt and firing rounds of ammo that have pink hearts on them. Pyrrha Nikos is red themed, with long red hair, a flowing red sash around her waist and with a red and yellow weapon. Her appearance is offset with yellow, such as her tiara and armor. Lie Ren is green-themed, wearing a vivid green jacket and wielding green knife-guns, but he has pink eyes and a pink streak of hair. Nora's primary colour is the same shade of pink as Ren's eyes.
  • Colourful Theme Naming: Field Trip reveals that 80 years before the series begins, there was a great war where even artistic self-expression was at stake. In memory and defiance of this, people have ever since named their children after colors, a core concept of art. All characters in the show are colour-themed, as are their team names. For unrevealed reasons, Ozpin is an exception to this rule. Examples include Ruby being red-themed, Weiss being white-themed, Blake being black-themed (although she is the black-themed character, her name comes from two Old English sources, mean either dark or pale; her clothing colors are black and white), and Yang being named after a Chinese word for light and the sun. Like Ozpin, Salem is also an exception to the rule because she was born long before it came into being.
  • Combat Stilettos: The student uniforms very often come with practical loafer-style shoes. However, many of the female characters will change into heels as part of their combat uniform. Certain characters are almost always seen in heels, whether in combat or not, such as Glynda, Winter, Neo, Melanie and Militia, but some make a conscious decision to change into heels for battle.
    • Cinder Fall wears very high heels when in her signature red costume, even when engaging in acrobatic close-combat fights. Due to her Cinderella motif, her shoes often get a lot of close-up camera shots, often with a sound effect that sounds like glass clinking. When she changes into a catsuit for an infiltration, she wears a different set of high-heeled thigh-high boots. It doesn't impede her ability to run across rooftops ninja-style.
    • Weiss wears wedge-heeled boots as part of her combat uniform. Her fighting style includes dance-like movements found in ice-skating, including twirling, leaping, and sliding across the ground. Ruby once complains that she can't understand how Weiss can fight in them.
    • When Blake wears her combat uniform, she wears ankle-boots with underslung heels. She is designed for agile, fast-moving combat, using high speed, leaps and dodging. Her heels don't slow her down at all. In Volume 4, she undergoes a wardrobe change and she now wears thigh-high boots with block heels.
    • Pyrrha's combat uniform is a Greek-inspired ensemble that includes armored high-heeled knee-high boots. She is capable of mid-air backflips without ever requiring a push-off point or touching the ground.
    • Coco is a fashionista whose combat uniform is designed to evoke the latest fashions. She wears high-heeled boots as part of the look, but her main fighting style is to stand and fire a huge minigun. When she is forced to move, she is as agile as any other fighter despite the heels.
    • Neo's knee-high boots and ankle-boots sport high heels, but she an athletic, acrobatic fighter who spins, cartwheels and somersaults around her opponents as if she's wearing flat, practical shoes.
    • Both of the Malachite twins wear thigh-high boots with very high stiletto heels, but Melanie is a literal example due to her heels actually being bladed to enhance her kick-boxing style of combat.
  • Combination Attack: In episode 8, how Team RWBY and (to a lesser extent) Team JNPR each take out their respective Grimm. By season 2, Team RWBY specializes in combination attacks, and can do them on Ruby's command.
  • Compilation Movie: The Japanese broadcast of the first 3 volumes, titled RWBY 1-3: The Beginning, was condensed into a 13-episode series.
  • Comically Missing the Point:
    • Ruby does this a lot...sometimes twice in a row.
      Weiss:: Gee, if only there were somewhere on campus to get food around here. [camera zooms out to show the entire fairground] Oh, wait.
      Ruby: It's okay, Weiss. I forget about the fairgrounds too.
      Weiss: I was being facetious!
      Ruby: W-well, if you were hungry, why didn't you say so!
    • Oobleck, being himself, gets in on this too.
      Oobleck: Aaaand now they've seen us.
      Weiss: What?!
      Oobleck: [leans in right next to her ear]' AND NOW THEY'VE SEEN US!
    • Jaune, who stops in the middle of a tournament fight to discuss team attack names and sees nothing wrong with this. His opponents aren't amused.
      Jaune: We are trying to have a team meeting here, thank you very little.
      Brawnz: ...We're in the middle of a fight!!
      Jaune: And we're in the middle of a conversation, WHAT DON'T YOU GET ABOUT THAT?!
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: Can be relied upon almost as much as gravity. Hordes of Mooks fall like bowling pins (sometimes literally), but any time a hero is fighting a single opponent, watch out.
  • Conspicuous Gloves:
    • Because any change to a character's clothing requires the creation of a whole new CGI model, characters who wear gloves are often seen wearing those gloves in situations where they don't really make sense (for example, Jaune wearing his combat gloves while eating dinner with chopsticks during season 5). It would have been too much trouble (especially for a show with such a tight budget) to create a whole new model simply for the sake of having them remove the gloves.
    • During Volumes 2-3, General Ironwood is never seen out of uniform. The white glove on his right hand would probably look the part if it wasn't for the fact that he wears no glove on his left hand. The glove on his right hand is never removed, not even when he's drinking coffee during indoor meetings with colleagues. The glove hides the fact that his hand is cybernetic. The entire right side of his body has been replaced with cybernetics but it's usually only his hand that would be visible if not for the gloves. From Volume 4, his uniform changes and he wears gloves on both hands.
  • Continuity Nod: In episode 15, Weiss mentions that an entire train of her family's Dust shipments had been stolen by the White Fang. The Black trailer involved Blake and Adam pulling a heist on a train with cargo that had the Schnee logo.
  • Contrived Coincidence:
    • In "The Shining Beacon, Part 2", after Ruby leaves Jaune to go to Yang, Jaune complains about how he'll never find another nice and quirky girl to talk to. As he leaves, we see Pyrrha, who happens to be the only background character that isn't a silhouette.
    • In episode 8, Ruby and Jaune bump into each other — in mid-air, and from vastly different trajectories.
    • The mere existence of RWBY as a team has elements of this. The nieces of a spy in a Benevolent Conspiracy, the heiress to the biggest mining corporation in the world, and a former terrorist whose agenda placed her in dead opposition with the above heiress? All of whom colored to align neatly with their spiritual predecessor, to whom Ruby and Yang are related to by blood? They could have won the lottery with their luck!
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: The Schnee Dust Company doesn't have a very good reputation and is described as being known for both its production of Dust and its exploited laborers and shady business practices.
  • Cool Airship: Winter Schnee arrives at Beacon in an airship with four wings and ribbons trailing behind it.
  • Cool Train: The train that Blake and Adam board in the Black trailer is so wide that it runs on two parallel sets of tracks.
  • Cool Uncle: Qrow was the team mate of Ruby and Yang's father, and also of the two women who became their mothers, so both girls call him "uncle". In the pilot, Ruby indicates he shaped her from nothing into a brilliant fighter who's above her academic age in ability. In Volume 3, he's willing to spend time playing video games with his nieces and giving them worldly advice, despite the very serious humanity-threatening danger he's involved in trying to stop. As the brother of Yang's mother, he's not Ruby's uncle by blood.
    Ruby: UNCLE QROW!!! (Jumps and latches onto his arm) Hi! Aahh! It's so good to see you! Did ya miss me? Did ya miss me?!
    Qrow: (smirks) Nope!
  • Costume Evolution: There is a Time Skip of several months between the end of Volume 3 and the beginning of Volume 4. To reflect that passage of time, the main characters from both Teams RWBY and JNPR sport significant changes to the styles of their clothing and hair. Each character's signature color schemes and personal symbology remains unchanged. Ruby, Nora, Jaune and Ren also have a ragged look to their appearances to reflect the months they've spent on the road in a harsh, combat-heavy environment. Jaune's new outfit also includes a red waist sash that trails on his right side, reminiscent of the one Pyrrha used to wear.
  • Cranial Eruption: In "It's Brawl in the Family", Weiss suffers this after an Armor-Piercing Slap from Winter. Ruby is kind enough to push the bump back in.
  • Creation Myth: When Qrow is telling Team RNJR stories around the campfire, he tells them of a creation myth about two brothers, the God of Darkness and the God of Light. The God of Light creates life while the God of Darkness creates destruction. In the myth, they don't get on very well and keep trying to one-up each other. In the end, they decide to create a single thing that they can both be proud of, something with the power to both create and destroy: humanity. Qrow tells Team RNJR that, while humans have come up with dozens of gods throughout Remnant's history, Ozpin once told him that the Gods of Light and Darkness are actually real: the God of Light created plants and animals while the God of Darkness created the Creatures of Grimm. They left behind four extremely powerful artifacts in the form of relics: the powers of Knowledge, Creation, Destruction and Choice, which are protected by the four Huntsmen Academies and which Salem is trying to find.
  • Cross-Referenced Titles: The seventh episode of Volume 3 is called "Beginning of the End". The twelfth and final episode of the volume is called "End of the Beginning".
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • Ruby delivers one in the first episode against Roman's thugs until Cinder shows up.
    • The students generally deliver these during their expedition into the woods. Although the Death Stalker and Nevermore had the initial advantage, those two are eventually on the receiving end as well.
    • Jaune suffers from one in episode 11 from Cardin. He later delivers one to an Ursa in the finale of Season 2, slaughtering it in 5 seconds without taking a single hit, albeit looking a little bit clumsy while doing it.
    • Penny delivers one to Roman Torchwick and the White Fang minions in episode 16 after Torchwick hits Ruby. She more or less single-handedly ends the fight and forces Torchwick and the White Fang to flee.
    • Pyrrha in Vol.2 Episode 5 against the entirety of team CRDL. Her opponents barely manage to touch her and Cardin actually damages his own teammate more than he does Pyrrha.
    • In Vol.2 Episode 11, Neo wipes the floor with Yang who can't even get a hit in.
    • Blake delivers one to Torchwick, and the only reason she didn't kill him was to help Weiss, who had been defeated by a White Fang Mook Lieutenant.
    • Coco blasts through a Death Stalker and three Nevermore — both of which took Teams JNPR and RWBY respectively an arduous battle to defeat — all by herself.
    • In Volume 3 Chapter 4, Mercury and Emerald brutally crush Yatsuhashi and Coco in the two-on-two matches of the tournament. In fact, their entire character song "I'm the One" (which plays during said battle) is dedicated to this.
    [Full Version, with both characters]: It might be hard to hear me say,/"Kicking your ass is child's play."/I hope you're not crushed by this ridicule.
    • In the above episode, Qrow totally demolishes both Ruby and Yang in a fighting game, to the extent that the game calls it "total annihilation".
    • "Never Miss a Beat" begins with Penny single-handedly defeating Russel and Sky of Team CRDL by implanting her swords into the rocks the two are hiding behind, lifting the rocks up as they hang on for dear life, and slamming them down.
    • In the above episode, there's a case of initial playing-straight and then subversion (if not playing-straight for the other side). Weiss and Yang's fight with Neon and Flynt starts with them getting their butts handed to them, but after Weiss' Heroic Sacrifice, things turn around; Yang is able to defeat a weakened Flynt and also takes out Neon after she trips and falls onto a geyser.
    • "Beginning of the End" showcases a flashback where Amber, midway through her surprise fight against Cinder, Emerald and Mercury, is forced to activate her Fall Maiden powers, violently trashing her opponents with magic until she's finally shot in the back by Cinder's arrow.
    • Ruby is on the receiving end of one when she goes up against Neo and Roman by herself. Despite getting Neo swept off the airship, a Badass Boast AND a Theme Music Power-Up, Roman continues to handily curb-stomp her alone.
    • Adam against Blake and Yang, if that can even be called a battle. He effortlessly beats and disarms Blake and when yang shows up, he baits her to attack before literally disarming her. The fight ends with Blake distracting Adam with one of her clones and dragging unconscious Yang away from the battlefield.
    • Ruby delivers one to Cardin in the second chapter of the manga after she's suddenly put in a mock match against him by Goodwitch.
    • "Tipping Point" ends with Team RNJR fighting Tyrian. Although he proves to be a challenging opponent, RNJR seemingly defeats him at one point...until it's revealed that he's a faunus, at which point the tables turn drastically and he wipes them all out effortlessly.
    • During the Battle of Haven, Weiss is pitted against Vernal. The fight consists largely of Weiss jumping around and trying to use her summons without much success and ends with Vernal winning decisively.
    • In his dedicated character short, Adam delivers one of these to a group of human supremacists who attacked the White Fang convoy. He swiftly beats them all without taking a single hit and seems to be enjoying himself until he is forced to use lethal force on one of the attackers.
  • Curse Cut Short:
    • Roman after Blake sneaks up behind him.
      Roman: Oh, for f—
    • Goodwitch arguing with Ironwood.
      Goodwitch: Why must your answer to everything involve a triumphant display of military bravado!? You treat every situation like it's a contest of measuring di
      Ozpin: Glynda!
      Goodwitch: Well, he does.
  • Creature-Hunter Organization: Signal, Beacon and the rest are this, since they train people exclusively to fight the Grimm.
  • Crush Blush:
    • In vol. 3 ep. 2, Blake blushes shyly in response to Sun smiling at her from the arena stage.
    • In vol. 5 ep. 2, Ilia's chameleon pattern looks like she's blushing when she tells Blake about her unrequited love for her.
  • Cut-and-Paste Translation: The Japanese dub makes numerous cuts to shorten runtime and condense episodes together. For example, the food fight in "Best Day Ever" has several portions omitted, including Ruby's Big "NO!".
  • Cuteness Proximity: Ruby and Yang's father sends them a tiny corgi dog in the mail. While Blake is understandably a little hesitant to welcome it, Weiss is afflicted by this trope when the dog looks at her. Her initial reluctance gradually changes into one of Squee! as the doggy looks at her.

    Tropes D 
  • Dangerously Short Skirt: A majority of the reoccurring female characters have worn short skirts during fight scenes at some point in the series - notably when it's all of Team RWBY plus Pyrrha and Nora in their school uniforms during the food fight. Some of the heroines even have what Weiss calls "Combat Skirts," where their outfits are designed to have short skirts as part of their battle attire (Ruby, Cinder, Weiss, Pyrrha, Nora, Raven, Melanie, Miltia and Blake/Yang in their V2 alternate outfits).
  • Darker and Edgier: The show begins with a light-hearted, comic air as the teenagers bed into their new school and begin learning how to be the next generation of heroes. However, Volume 2 kicks off with an assassination and mid-way through Volume 3, the creators published a warning to guardians of young viewers, advising them to double-check episodes before permitting youngsters watch them. From that time on, students have been framed for heinous violent acts and the villain takes her plans public, beginning with a bloody, violent invasion of Vale by both the White Fang and the Grimm.
  • Darkest Hour: The third volume's final chapter brings together strands of plot that have existed ever since the pilot episode to reveal just how dangerous the Creatures of Grimm can be, how precarious Vale's situation now is, and just how evil humans and faunus are capable of being to each other. Cinder obtains the Fall Maiden's full powers, and kills both Amber and Pyrrha. Roman dies, Neo and Ozpin are MIA, Adam stabs Blake and severs Yang's arm. Beacon and the CCT are in ruins, a Grimm Dragon is frozen on the Tower but still attracting Grimm, and Team RWBY is forced to split and go their separate ways. The Female Narrator is revealed to be a woman who looks like a humanoid Grimm, who is determined to destroy humanity because she hates Ozpin so much.
  • Dark Is Evil: The Monsters of Grimm are the reason humanity is confined to four easily-protected kingdoms instead of being able to build cities across the entire planet. They are a constant threat to humanity's continued existence, requiring humans and faunus to develop the skills, tactics and technology required just to defend the communities they've managed to set up. The Grimm are predominantly black creatures, with some white armouring and red eyes and mask markings. The major villain, Salem, looks like a humanoid Grimm, having ghost white skin, but red eyes, reddish-black Tainted Veins and dressing in black with red accents. She lives among the Grimm, controls them, and is determined to destroy humanity just to get revenge against her arch-nemesis, Ozpin, who has a great deal of faith and hope in humanity.
  • Dark Is Not Evil:
    • Ruby favours a gothic black appearance, with black tights, combat boots and corseted skirt. The black is accented with red and she wears a red cape pinned with crosses. Her weapon is a giant scythe that doubles as a rifle, which is also red and black in colour scheme. However, she has a bubbly, optimistic personality, always tries to see the best in people and is determined to become a Huntress because she wants to help make people's lives better. Her introduction in the Red Trailer, has her play a silent role as she walks through a forest with her face hooded and hidden before mowing down monsters in an extremely violent way. Until the main show revealed her true personality, the fandom thought she was a stoic, solitary Anti-Hero.
    • Qrow's colour scheme is dark greys and reds. He wields a Sinister Scythe, is heavily associated with death motifs, a Functional Alcoholic and one of the biggest jerk seen thus far in series. At the same time, he's a Jerk with a Heart of Gold. He's very affectionate to his nieces, Ruby and Yang, plays the role of a Cool Uncle, trained Ruby and acts with Undying Loyalty to Ozpin.
    • Maria dresses in shades of dark blue and grey. In her youth, she hid her face behind a white, decorated skull mask, and went by the name 'Grimm Reaper'. Usually, people who wear white masks are trying to mimic the Grimm and strike fear into the hearts of the people who behold them because of that reason, such as the terrorist organisation the White Fang and the bandit leader, Raven Branwen. However, Maria wore the mask to hide her identity so that she couldn't be hunted by people who might want to kill her for the special abilities she possessed; as someone who believed in protecting all life, Maria was normally only a threat to the Grimm, monsters who are trying to destroy humanity.
  • The Darkness Gazes Back: Implemented in Yang's personal flashback monologue to Blake in "Burning the Candle", where her younger self takes young Ruby and travels to a remote hut in the woods. When the viewers look into the hut, the red and glaring eyes of Grimm start appearing...
  • Dark Reprise:
    • The tune is the same, but the second verse lyrics of the Opening's "This Will Be The Day" are considerably darker.
    • As are the lyrics for Red Like Roses Part II.
      "It's your blood that's red like roses."
    • A Played for Laughs version, in Vol.2 Episode 1 Nora gives an Evil Laugh before singing "I'm queen of the castle" again, but filtered to sound more sinister, if it wasn't Nora singing it.
    • "Fall" ends with Yang being arrested as a sad piano version of "I Burn" plays.
    • "Battle of Beacon" begins with scenery of the city of Vale being destroyed by a Grimm attack as a glum, somber string/piano reprise of "When It Falls" plays.
    • In the same episode, an Ominous Pipe Organ rendition of "From Shadows" plays as Blake discovers Adam.
  • Dark Secret:
    • Jaune got into Beacon with forged transcripts. He can't actually fight and has no idea what Aura is until Pyrrha teaches him.
    • Blake is a Faunus and was part of the terrorist group known as the White Fang.
  • Death World: Outside of the main centers of civilization (the cities and Kingdoms proper, other places with strong natural defenses, certain large villages), Remnant is essentially totally inhospitable to human life. The Creatures of Grimm dominate most of the planet, being attracted to any source of negative emotions and appear to be consumed by the need to destroy humanity. Humans and Faunus therefore attract the Grimm just by existing, and only a few have the fighting skills necessary to even survive one encounter. Those who can't defend themselves usually have to hire someone who can; even civilian ships travel heavily-armed in case of Grimm attacks. Towns of any real size are usually far apart, and the Kingdoms are separated by large deserts or oceans. And if you manage to avoid the Grimm somehow, you have to watch out for bandits who prey on the weak and leave them to be finished off by the Grimm, who are inevitably attracted to the negativity lingering in places that have been devastated by bandits.
  • Debut Queue: The first half of Volume 1 introduces the various Loads and Loads of Characters in the show and gives them all a small introduction to their characterization, such as Blake with her love of books.
  • Deconstructed Character Archetype:
    • Jaune is a deconstruction of the Loser Archetype (subtrope: Butt-Monkey). He demonstrates how hard it can be for someone who is regarded as a joke and who has natural strength and instinct but no training. It's clear in the beginning he's leagues behind everyone else in combat and knowledge, especially since he faked his transcripts to get into Beacon. He has a strong Aura but it does nothing for him since he doesn't know how to properly utilize it until he gets proper training. He's aware he is seen as a lovable idiot and suffers an inferiority complex because of it. He has an extraordinary drive to better himself, but he comes from a background that never gave him the correct support required for him to achieve his potential. His life doesn't begin to turn around until he meets someone who believes enough in him to help him get his feet on the ground.
    • Pyrrha, Jaune's partner and Foil, is a deconstruction of the Heroic Archetype (subtrope: The Ace). Because she is pretty, sweet and talented, she is constantly put on a pedestal, idolized and treated like a celebrity. She finds it hard to develop a meaningful relationship with anyone because everyone sees her as "too good for them" and doesn't treat her like an actual person. It isn't until she meets Jaune, who is the first person she's met who had no idea who she was and therefore treated her like a normal person, that she begins to build a life where she can make genuine and lasting friends. Just as she's developing the normal life she's always yearned for, she gets selected by Professor Ozpin to become the next Fall Maiden, which will forever trap her into the special life she longs so much to escape.
    • Yang deconstructs the Anti-Hero Archetype: Blood Knight, by exploring the consequences of being a thrill-seeker who has a Hair-Trigger Temper. Volumes 3 and 4 explore the fact that she always fights the same way, fists first until her temper triggers her Semblance into powering her up, making her predictable and aggressive in battle. The villains are able to trick her into believing she's being dishonorably ambushed by Mercury while the world only sees her apparently attack a badly injured person without provocation. Disqualified and disgraced, she then tries to save Blake's life from Adam with her usual battle plan, only to have Adam easily amputate her arm in a single strike. She spends months rebuilding her life at her father's home while he retrains her and points out that her battle strategy is nothing more than a temper tantrum that cost her an arm; he makes it clear she needs to fight smarter, not harder. It becomes a lesson she has to learn the hard way.
    • Professor Ozpin deconstructs the Heroic Archetype: Big Good. He is the " cool, mysterious, fantasy teacher" who is always bending the rules for the teenage heroes. He's secretive and enigmatic, even to his closest allies. He brings Ruby into his school two years early, and grants her team a mission that's closed to first-years just because he knows they'll try and go to that region anyway. Not only do they barely cope with the threat level they encounter, but they accelerate the villain's evil plans in the process. Unable to support Ozpin's dubious decisions, one of his closest allies calls in the kingdom's Council to partially strip Ozpin's authority, who state they'll be discussing Ozpin's career options once the city's finished hosting its international festival. They all play into the Big Bad's plans, a personal nemesis of Ozpin's, whom he refuses to fully explain for reasons of safety and security. This culminates in the invasion of Vale, destruction of Beacon Academy, and deaths of many people, including himself. After the kid heroes, including a fourteen-year-old boy who is dragged into the conflict by virtue of being Ozpin's new host, are brought into the loop about Ozpin and Salem's Secret War, Yang makes it absolutely clear that her continued support is contingent on Ozpin immediately ending his habit of hiding facts and telling half-truths and riddles. In Volume 6, she is immediately furious with Ozpin for hiding the fact that the Relic of Knowledge attracts Grimm to it, thereby putting any people near it in danger. Ozpin only admits it when the protagonists are trying to strategise the protection of a train full of people from a pack of attacking Grimm. The new information forces them to take the drastic action of separating Team RWBY, Qrow, and Oscar from the train so that they can travel through the wilderness alone to avoid bringing the Grimm into contact with other humans. This time, even the ever-loyal Qrow is upset with Ozpin for hiding such life-threatening knowledge, and when the full Awful Truth about Salem becomes clear, they all turn on Ozpin completely — even Qrow.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: In "Never Miss A Beat", Team FNKI spend most of their fight antagonizing Weiss and Yang, with Flynt in particular harbouring a dislike of Weiss as her company put his father out of business. After the pair are knocked out, Neon instantly changes her tune and excitedly suggests that they should hang out sometime, while Flynt finds new-found respect for Weiss after her attempted Taking You with Me Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Defictionalisation: Ruby's rose pajama pants are now available in the Rooster Teeth store. Nora's 'Boop' shirt is also available, though it was there before volume 2 started (in male styles only).
  • Deliberate Injury Gambit: "Fall" ends with Mercury launching a flying kick at Yang after she's already won, causing her to bring down her gauntlet on and shoot his kneecap. However, the cameras showed nothing about a flying kick and only showed Yang shooting Mercury unprovoked as if to rub salt in his wounds. It turns out that Mercury attacking her was an illusion brought onto her by Emerald's Semblance, and Mercury was going along with it because his legs are robotic prosthetics that could get fixed easily.
  • Depleted Phlebotinum Shells: Firearms use Dust instead of gunpowder. It's also implied the bullets themselves, at least the awesome ones that Huntsmen use, are Dust-enhanced too.
  • Description Cut:
    • "We can do this. We've never backed down before and we're not going to start now. Besides, it won't only be us out there. We'll be fighting alongside a genuine Huntsman!" (Cut to team RWBY's Mass "Oh, Crap!" when they realize said huntsman is Doctor Oobleck).
    • "I suggest we find our Guardian." (Cut to Pyrrha).
  • Detonation Moon: The Remnant night sky has a damaged-looking moon. Humanity turned against the gods when Salem manipulated them into doing so. In response, the Gods destroy humanity and leave Remannt; the God of Destruction lectures Salem about disrespecting the power of her creators, then departs by smashing through the moon.
  • Deuteragonist: It looks like Jaune, Pyrrha, Nora, and Ren will be the deuteragonists of the series, compared to the protagonists of Ruby, Weiss, Blake, and Yang. Or, if you want to be more specific, Ruby and Jaune (leaders of their respective teams).
  • Didn't Think This Through: When Raven decides to intervene in the conflict between Ozpin and Salem in Volume 5, it's for a specific purpose, one based on a plan that she doesn't realise has a flaw until Yang makes her aware of this. When Salem's subordinates strong-arm Raven into helping them steal the Relic of Knowledge from Haven Academy, she decides to steal the Relic so that she can use its power to protect her tribe from Salem. By the end of the volume, Yang bluntly tells Raven that Salem won't stop at anything to possess the four Relics and steal the power of the Four Maidens that act as access keys to the Relics; as soon as she realises that Raven is both the Spring Maiden and possesses the Relic of Knowledge, both Raven and her tribe will be doomed.
  • Disinherited Child: Weiss and Winter are disinherited by their abusive and corrupt father Jacques Schnee. Winter's disinheritance is implied to be her decision to escape his control by joining the Atlesian military, a decision he blames on her superior, General Ironwood. In Volume 4, Weiss gets disinherited for her insolence once she inadvertently summons a boarbatusk to cause chaos at the charity benefit and later blasts Jacques for marrying into the family name. With Whitley becoming the sole heir to his father's company, Weiss decides to bail from Atlas in search of Winter. Although she's unable to find her sister, Weiss reunite with her fellow team-mates and stays with them for good.
  • Disproportionate Retribution:
    • How does Cardin want to get back at Pyrrha for snarking at him an episode earlier? By letting loose a bunch of "nasty" rapier wasps to attack her.
    • Maria testifies that Cordovin once caught her snacking on some smuggled pistachios on an Atlas transport flight years ago. The result: Cordovin placed her on an intensive screening list for the rest of her life.
    • The Atlesian military has a standard response for dealing with rogue airships in their airspace. Cordovin, however, isn't a fan of using the standard response when it's her authority that's being defied. When Cordovin realises the heroes have stolen one of her facility's airships, she interprets it as defying her authority as an Atlesian commander. When Maria, with whom she's had a long feud, deliberately taunts her from the cockpit of the stolen airship, Cordovin decides to throw the full might of the military base at them. Instead of scrambling fighter pilots to intercept the airship, she activates a giant mecha to try and destroy it.
  • Die or Fly: Early in Volume 3, Weiss struggled to activate and develop her hereditary summoning semblance. But when she angrily rushes in to protect Velvet from the Paladin, she spectacularly - if unintentionally - pulls it off.
    • Jaune triggers his semblance for the first time when it's the only thing that can save Weiss's life.
  • Distant Reaction Shot: In "The Next Step", when Ruby fires a shot at the Geist after it leaves the body it inhabited, the camera follows the bullet, and right before it hits the Geist there's a cut to birds flying away from trees.
  • Dope Slap:
    • Weiss has been slapped by family members. Winter gives her disciplinary smacks across the head. The first time she does it, Weiss gets a Cranial Eruption that Ruby pushes back in with a giggle. Her father, Jacques, hits her when she disobeys him one too many times.
    • Blake has taken to slapping Sun around the head for either embarrassing her or doing something she doesn't like. In particular, whenever he doesn't respect her personal space or privacy, she smacks him.
  • Doppelgänger Attack: Sun is capable of creating yellow clones of himself that explode on impact.
  • Doppelgänger Spin: Blake's Semblance lets her create clones of herself that disappear when hit. It seems that she can only create one at a time, however.
  • Dramatic Spotlight:
    • Team RWBY appears under one in the third opening, with all of them looking depressed. That is, all except Ruby. By the end of the volume, Weiss, Blake, and Yang have every reason to be.
    • Played for Laughs in "Lessons Learned"; during Qrow's flashback, we see him under one as he describes to Ruby and Yang feeling defeated...by the sight of an innkeeper's short skirt. Ruby is amused, Yang less so.
  • Dramatic Wind: Played with a lot, but used especially for Ruby and her red cloak, even when she's indoors.
  • Driven to Suicide: Unusually, discussed in Episode 12 when Pyrrha brings Jaune up to the roof of Beacon to talk. Jaune sees the railless rooftop and comes to a completely wrong conclusion: "I'm not that depressed!" Hearing this response, Pyrrha is initially confused, but the moment she figures it out, she's appropriately horrified and pulls him away from the edge. It's played for laughs.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Torchwick was eaten by a Griffon mid-rant.
  • Drop Pod: Beacon's weapons lockers can be programmed to fly to a set of coordinates, so they can bring weapons to their owners out in the field. They can also cause damage to enemies if they're made to land on top of them.
  • Drop the Hammer: Nora's weapon, in addition to being a grenade launcher that fires rounds with a pink heart on them, also has the ability to turn into a hammer that packs an explosive punch. Accordingly, she also uses it for the occasional Rocket Jump.
  • Dub Name Change: In the Japanese dub, "Hunter" is used for the gender-neutral form of "Huntsman".
  • Dull Surprise: From Vol.2 Episode 3:
    Penny: I'm not... a real girl.
    Ruby: [beat] Oh.
  • Dysfunction Junction: In Volume 2, we learn that the entirety of Team RWBY has some burden to bear. Ruby and Yang both have missing mothers, Weiss feels she has to redeem her family's name and Blake has to atone for her time in the White Fang.

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