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"Agents are… GO!"

"ARE YOU READY? THREE, TWO, ONE, GO!!"
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Elite Beat Agents (an Americanized version of Japanese rhythm game Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan) is a 2006 Rhythm Game for the Nintendo DS that makes extensive and exclusive use of the stylus. It stars the EBA, Men In Black who solve the world's problems through music and dance, as opposed to the uniquely-Japanese male cheerleaders from its Japanese progenitor.

Known primarily for its weird Japanese charm and unique control scheme, Ouendan became a hit among import gamers, prompting Nintendo and its developer to bring the game to North America under its alternate name, retaining most of the visual charm of the original, but (understandably) replacing the J-Pop music with various popular American songs to create a uniquely "American" atmosphere. Elite Beat Agents was also treated as a genuine sequel to Ouendan and featured many gameplay upgrades over its Japanese predecessor and even a few cameos from Ouendan characters as an Easter Egg for the import fanbase.

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The game sold reasonably well, though despite Ouendan receiving a Japanese sequel, a sequel to Elite Beat Agents hasn't been forthcoming. Many of the mechanics upgrades from Elite Beat Agents found their way into Ouendan 2 anyway, and a special promotion in Japan allowed players to download a special "EBA Mode" that replaced the Japanese Ouendan with the Elite Beat Agents.


This game provides examples of:

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    #-C 
  • 10-Minute Retirement: Hulk Bryman never thought he would play baseball again after retiring shamefully in "Anthem". Then a golem attacks, and only his baseball skills can save the day...
  • 100% Completion: There are several layers of this trope in play:
    • Complete the game on all four difficulties and you'll unlock Commander Kahn for Hard ROCK! and multiplayer.
    • Get all the best endings in every mission on every difficulty.
    • Reach the final profile rank, "Lovin' Machine" and get a congratulatory picture.
    • S-Rank all missions on every difficulty.
  • Abnormal Ammo: For Jake Irons, the only way to defeat the zombies in "Survivor" is to throw and shoot peanuts at them.
  • Acme Products: The ABCD company makes many sports goods, ranging from footballs to track outfits.
  • Acrofatic: Ken Ozu is fairly portly, even after he's been transformed into a Ninja and is running up buildings and jumping into ceiling vents.
  • A God Am I: Bison Wood declares himself to be a god if the blue team wins in the "Axemaster Olympics" multiplayer scenario.
  • Air Guitar: The agents perform this move in "I Was Born to Love You".
  • Aliens Speaking English: The Rhombulans speak perfect English, but in a terrifying, deep, threatening voice, so that Earthlings can clearly understand what they want.
  • All Men Are Perverts: In "La La", Cap White aims to defeat Mr. Virus. Mr. Virus intends to rip off her clothes.
  • Amplified Animal Aptitude: In "September", a group of animals appear out of nowhere to help the weather reporter change the weather.
  • Amusement Park: The agents have their own amusement park, for some reason. That, or they got away with painting stars on a roller coaster car and teacup. Could go either way, really.
  • And Then John Was a Zombie: What happens to Jake if you fail "Survivor".
  • Anthropomorphized Anatomy: In the "La La" level, within the body of a sick track runner, you see a white blood cell shown as a Hospital Hottie wielding a giant hypodermic needle against viruses, shown as blue demon-like beings.
  • Anime Hair: J. His hairstyle was proved possible by singer Eleanor Jackson of La Roux.
  • Anti-Frustration Feature: As one of several new features not in the first Ouendan game, if you fail a mission prematurely, you'll be given the chance to "review" the last several seconds of play leading up to the moment you failed, as a third option in addition to "yes" and "no" answers to the question of whether or not you want to "regroup" and try the mission again.
  • Attack Reflector:
    • In "The Anthem", Hulk has to use his baseball skills to deflect fireballs hurled by the golem back at him.
    • In "Without a Fight", the prisoners use sound to deflect the petrification rays of Rhombulan troopers right back at them.
    • In the "Axemaster Olympics" multiplayer scenario, branching cutscenes at the end of any phase between the first and last can show one guitarist attempting to attack another with a signature move, only to have it backfire on him, depending on who's in the lead.
  • Attract Mode: Leave the game idle at the title screen or main menu and a demo of the first phase of the first level will play on Cruisin' difficulty.
  • Autosave: The game auto-saves after a successful stage clear.
  • Badass Driver: Jack in "Sk8er Boi". Such feats of his include skimming the surface of a lake and driving up the side of a building.
  • Badly Battered Babysitter:
    • "ABC", where a cat named Max tries to save his owner's baby from a dangerous construction site.
    • Could also describe Jane from "Walkie Talkie Man", depending on how poorly you perform.
  • Bare Your Midriff:
    • The Elite Beat Divas' uniform consists of just a crop top, shorts and long-sleeved pants over those shorts that partly expose the thighs.
    • The Carrington sisters are only in bikinis for most of "Material Girl".
  • Battle Aura:
    • In "Sk8er Boi", the entire taxi gets enveloped in a blue flame aura whenever you get an Elite Beat.
    • In "Jumpin' Jack Flash", humanity's determination to repel the Rhombulan invasion is represented by every person on Earth irradiating a blue aura that glows increasingly brighter as their singing and dancing becomes more lively. This energy is then channeled into a single attack, which takes the form of an impressive Wave-Motion Gun that obliterates the alien mother ship.
  • Beach Episode: Played with in two missions that take place on the ocean or a small island, but the dance team does not dress for the occasion (although Commander Kahn would happily don a tropical shirt for the castaway "Material Girl" mission). But if you achieve the final profile rank of "Lovin' Machine" with a total high score of 80 million, you are treated to a still image of the entire Elite Beat Agents force, save Derek and Morris, enjoying a beach party.
  • Benevolent Conspiracy: The Elite Beat Agents are a shadowy organization with worldwide surveillance that dispatches teams of well-equipped, trained operatives on missions around the globe. Their principal weapon? The power of dance. Their goal? Inspire people into overcoming their own problems.
  • Big "NO!": Uttered by characters frequently when something inconvenient happens.
  • Big Rock Ending: "Highway Star" and "Walkie Talkie Man" have these as they did in their original versions, while "Jumpin' Jack Flash" is given one.
  • Big Word Shout: "GO!" and "HELP!" normally, and "MOVE!" in the Without A Fight level, when the Agents/Divas try to run interference and wound up Taken for Granite for their troubles.
  • Big "YES!": Complete a level after clearing all of its stages, and Commander Khan will scream out a satisfying "YEAH!" while giving a thumbs-up.
    • You'll also hear it when you unlock and view a special picture of the Agents, Divas and Kahn going on vacation, save for Derek and Morris, by achieving the Lovin' Machine rank.
  • Blank White Eyes:
    • Everyone in every level, constantly. If you are doing poorly, the characters are given this to convey their despair and exasperation; but if you get an "Elite Beat", it's to show their determination to overcome their problems.
    • The "HEEEAAALLLP!" before each stage shows characters with this feature.
    • The one stage that completely averts this trope is "You're the Inspiration", as such cartoonishness would have utterly destroyed the mood. However, when Lucy returns for the final level, the trope comes back in full force.
  • Bowdlerise:
    • Played straight with the Elite Beat Divas' attire: they were meant to be cheerleaders by all intents and purposes, but the devs thought the ordinary cheerleader outfit, such as the ones in Ouendan, might be too racy for an E10+ rating, so the Divas got long-sleeved pants that only reveal a slice of their thighs.
    • Parodied in the "Survivor" level, where it takes zombie lore and makes it fit into an E10+-rated game. The zombies don't bite, they kiss, and the protagonist uses peanuts as ammo! Considering the tone of the game, it fits.
  • Brainless Beauty: The Carrington sisters don't know how to do the simplest things (likefeeding themselves a fruit), relying on their looks to get other people to do them favours.
  • Busman's Holiday: Jane, a babysitter, is roped into looking after three children on what should have been her day off in the first level.
  • Butt-Monkey:
    • Almost everyone can qualify if you fail at their songs, but Colonel Bob in "Let's Dance" gets this treatment no matter what you do, as he brings it on himself.
    • Sam (the pug) is an interesting inversion; if he shows up in any scenario other than his own, it's usually to humiliate someone else (usually by peeing on them).
  • Call on Me: No matter what, the Agents will gladly respond to a cry for "HEEEAAALLLP!"
  • Calling Your Attacks:
    • Hulk in "The Anthem" named his pitches and plate stealing maneuvers.
    • The guitarists in the "Axemaster Olympics" multiplayer scenario do this at the end of phases between the first and last one.
  • Cap: The game does not anticipate players to score at least 100,000 points on a Spin Marker. If you use tool assistance to make the Spin Marker spin insanely fast enough to score that much, the bonus counter glitches out by omitting any place values beyond the ten thousands.
  • Catchphrase:
    • Several, including Leo's "Si!" and Hulk's "You bet, kid!"
    • Kahn's AGENTS ARE GO!! is repeated at the start of every mission (save the one where the agents are sent to help Lucy, to prevent Mood Whiplash, as well as the very last mission since the Agents were already dispatched and turned to stone by the Rhombulans.). This is followed by the Agents' own catchphrase: ARE YOU READY? THREE, TWO, ONE, GO!
    • VULCAAANNOOOOOOO!!!!! - said by Leo if you do well.
    • Hey guys! *boing* HI GUYZ! is said every time the Carrington sisters use their charms on the island animals.
    • Cap White's At this rate, we're DOOMED! gets repeated after every cutscene on her chapter, even if the player aced the previous segment.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Lucy from "A Christmas Gift" refuses to give up at a critical moment, indirectly saving the world by starting the crowd chant that de-petrifies the EBA.
  • Christmas Episode: Episode 12: A Christmas Gift, starts a few days before Christmas's Eve and concludes with Lucy reuniting with her ghost father to celebrate the festivities together.
  • Clap Your Hands If You Believe: "Jumpin' Jack Flash", where everybody claps and shouts out the names of the agents to free them from the aliens' petrifying beam.
  • Climactic Elevator Ride: Toward the end of "Survivor", Jake takes the freight elevator to the top of the peanut warehouse where the source of the zombie virus is; a gigantic fungus monster.
  • Clothing Damage: Happens to Cap White (the Anthropomorphic Personification of a white blood cell) if you fail the first section of "La La", and to Ken during "Canned Heat" for a similar failure. Sexy for the former, amusing and vaguely gross for the latter.
  • Continuity Cavalcade: "Jumpin' Jack Flash" has every character from the previous episodes (except the ones from "I Was Born To Love You") helping you out. This even includes characters from the bonus missions, albeit with fewer appearances.
  • Cooking Duel: The multiplayer part of some songs features this scenario. It's an Iron Chef-like duel with Leonardo Da Vinci as Chairman Kaga.
  • Cool Car: The agents have one. They also have a cool dune buggy. And a sub. And a chopper. And a blimp. And a merry-go-round teacup.
  • Cool Shades: Comes standard with the uniform. Commander Khan has a pair of shades as well.
  • Couch Gag: The way Kahn sends the agents out, and how the agents enter the situations:
    • In "Material Girl", Kahn is wearing a Hawaiian shirt.
    • In "Survivor", Kahn has a can of peanuts on his desk.
  • Cover Version: All the songs are covers, likely to save development costs and help prolong the licenses to use them. It also allowed for changes to the songs for gameplay purposes. For one example, if they had used the original version of "Jumpin' Jack Flash" for the final story mission, it would have been easier to complete as its tempo is slower than the cover used in the game.
  • Critical Annoyance: When your Elite-O-Meter drops into the No zone (less than 50 percent), your dancers will droop down in demoralization and the camera will zoom up close to them to warn you that your mission is in jeopardy. If the Elite-O-Meter is almost empty, the camera will zoom closer up to the leader's face and the "No" icon on the meter becomes an exclamation mark.
  • Cross Counter: Happens in the Space Battle multiplayer scenario if the match ends in a draw.
  • Crowd Chant: "E! B! A!" in the last level.
  • Culture Police: The Rhombulan aliens from "Without a Fight" and "Jumpin' Jack Flash", who hate music (because it's their Achilles' Heel).
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    D-G 
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!:
    • The version of "Rock This Town" used in the game is a shortened cover of the swing version by Brian Setzer, not the rock version done when he was with the Stray Cats. The changed tempo can wreck your pattern if you're more familiar with the rock version. Similarly, the version of "I Was Born to Love You" used is not a cover of Freddie Mercury's original version, but the remade version by Queen, which is structurally very different in some parts. The version of "Jumpin' Jack Flash" could be a case if you're expecting it to sound like The Rolling Stones' original version, as the version in the game is a complete rearrangement of the song.
    • More commonly, (nearly every stage, in fact) during the chorus of most songs the pattern repeats. If you aren't careful (or fail the same stage often enough to get the first pattern ingrained) when you reach the finale of the song and the pattern changes, this will cause you to miss notes.
    • Near the end of "Material Girl", hearing the bridge that leads to the ending fadeout may cause players to relax. Not a good idea, as it is shortened to two measures and the chorus is promptly repeated again.
    • In the third section of "Let's Dance", a plethora of notes appear all at once in the same string. You are supposed to hit the first half in rapid succession, pause, then do the second half. Not stopping yourself for a beat is almost an automatic failure.
    • Played with when transitioning from Sweatin' to Hard ROCK! difficulty. The latter mirrors the beatmaps of the former, but also shrinks the markers and speeds up timer circles to make them harder to hit correctly. And there can also be a few extra markers added in that weren't in the former.
  • Dancing Is Serious Business: In some levels, people can die if the agents do not dance well.
  • Dark Reprise: The opening fanfare that accompanies each level's intro is replaced with one of these in the intro to the finale.
  • Darkest Hour: The ending for "Without A Fight". The aliens have subjugated everyone and hit the Agents (or Divas) with a beam that petrifies them, removing the only hope everyone had. Until Lucy, the girl who lost her father, begins the Crowd Chant that saves the EBA.
  • Deadline News: The intro to "Survivor" has the news anchor being suddenly attacked by victims of the Zombie Apocalypse he is describing, followed by being zombified himself.
  • Determinator: The agents if you get halfway through "Jumpin' Jack Flash" with your Elite-O-Meter below half full:
    "We can still do it! DON'T GIVE UP!"
  • Digging to China: At the end of the third phase of "Let's Dance". If your Elite-O-Meter was below half full, you get arrested by Dan and Joe.
  • Distaff Counterpart: You play as the Elite Beat Divas in the game's hardest difficulty setting.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: The Carringtons are experts at creating this reaction. It even works on animals and aliens!
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male:
    • Inverted, if your Elite-O-Meter is below half full at the end of most phases in "La La", the viruses (males) stomp, punch, prick with a fork and, in general, beat the crap out of the (female) white blood cell. It's totally hilarious to watch.
    • Played straight with Angelina in a classic Tsundere manner.
  • Do Well, But Not Perfect:
    • Once a bonus mission has been unlocked it becomes mandatory for all future playthroughs.
    • If you unlock Hard Rock mode, but not the highest rank (Lovin' Machine), you can play as Mr. X instead of Commander Kahn. Who wouldn't want want to play as a seemingly drunken old man in a cat mask?
    • Getting the Bad Ending on a song is much harder than any of the Normal or Good endings simply due to having much less room for error in skirting the line between a "No!" on each segment and outright failing the whole song.
  • Downer Ending:
    • If you mess up on any level, you will get a bad ending where the episode's main character either dies, is badly injured or flat out gives up on everything. Completing a level while getting an X on all the cutscenes provides a negative outcome as well, though the characters usually manage to get on with their lives without suffering any long-lasting effects.
    • The "Without a Fight" level has a depressing ending regardless of the player's competence, as the Agents ultimately fail to repel the aliens attacking Earth and are petrified by the invaders. This sets up the events of the final level.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Jack, but only when he starts his taxi meter. Once he's at his destination, he reverts back to his meek self.
  • Driving Up a Wall: A taxi climbs a skyscraper in an early level.
  • Dual Wield: The skeleton of the pirate captain confronts Captain Brooke with two cutlasses in all three possible endings of "Y.M.C.A."
  • Eagleland: A mixed flavor, complete with crazy stereotypes. While Colonel Bob, his Gold Digger wife and the Carringtons aren't exactly the greatest people around, everyone else seems to be reasonably nice and hard-working. And even they aren't that bad.
  • Earn Your Bad Ending: Getting the bad ending in a stage requires your Elite-O-Meter to be in the red at every cutscene, while also not letting the stage end prematurely due to a game over. These endings usually entail the character getting what they wanted, but nothing more (Bill Mitchell recovers from the virus, but is only in enough shape to get bronze).
  • Early-Bird Cameo: A number of characters who are central to their respective missions end up making a brief appearance in earlier ones:
    • The Carrington sisters appear in "Highway Star" to assist Sam if you do well, four episodes before they're officially introduced in "Material Girl".
    • Colonel Bob from "Let's Dance" debuts in the intro for "Material Girl", offering diamonds to Isabella before being brushed off.
    • Bill Mitchell and his coach make a brief cameo at the end of "Sk8er Boi", long before we actually meet them in "La La".
    • Amanda and Tex from "Believe" make a cameo in "Sk8er Boi" if you're failing the second section as part of the crowd blocking Jack's route through the subway tunnel.
    • Alden and his mother make a brief appearance during "Highway Star" before their proper appearance in "ABC".
    • Max appears in "Rock This Town" as part of Thomas' act before he's fully introduced in "ABC" (the coloring of his fur is off, but the similar design and collar heavily implies that this is Max). Also, if you did poorly in the third phase, Thomas conjures Sam the pug, the main character of the next mission.
  • Easy-Mode Mockery: You get no immediate reward for clearing the game on Breezin'.
  • Edible Ammunition: In "Survivor", Jake uses the peanuts he habitually munches on to defend himself from zombies. As the song progresses, he starts to gain weapons that can somehow effectively shoot the peanuts at his targets.
  • Eiffel Tower Effect: During the last level, people from around the world dance around various famous landmarks.
  • Elite Agents Above the Law: In the "Sk8er Boi" mission, the Elite Beat Agents have no problem using their dance moves to help a desperate taxi driver break and evade the law, all to just get a poor pregnant lady to the hospital.
  • Emotionless Girl: Lisa, to the point where Leo's entire mission is to get her to smile for a picture. Her response to an oncoming herd of bulls? "BULLS."
  • Epic Fail: Can happen in "September" if you reach a branch point with your Elite-O-Meter less than half full.
    • The neighbors will turn a rain shower into a windstorm instead of pushing the clouds away.
    • The air force will summon a hurricane instead of clearing the sky. The pilots are even shown ejecting from their planes as if the stormy weather screwed up their systems.
  • Epic Hail: How you summon the Elite Beat Agents. A Skyward Scream of "HEEEAAALP!"
  • Everything's Deader with Zombies: "Survivor" features a hilariously and intentionally Bowdlerized example of this trope in action.
  • Excited Title! Two-Part Episode Name!: Titles tend to be "Shorter Phrase! Longer Phrase!!"
  • Expo Label: The signs that Sam follows home, which may not be literal. There are also humorous signs in "Y.M.C.A." labeled "Mysterious rock", "Enchanted rays", "Beautiful cave", and "Treasure ship".
  • Extreme Omnivore: The Carringtons' cat, if only because they're too stupid to know what to feed it.
  • Eye Pop: A few times, but most noticeably Max when Alden wanders into danger, and Jake when he sees zombies behind him (since it's only time his eyes are visible).
  • Faceless Goons: The guards in "Canned Heat", whose eyes are all hidden by the shadows of their caps.
  • Fade to White: Used frequently in the game, usually at the end of every attempt of a mission.
  • Fake Difficulty: Unlike other difficulty levels, which, among other differences, scale the difficulty by varying how complicated and intricate the note layouts are, Hard Rock difficulty simply takes the note layout of Sweatin' and flips them over into a "mirrored" version of the Sweatin' layouts, on top of smaller notes (requiring more precision to hit) and a much smaller window of time to hit them.
  • Fanservice:
    • Could there be any other reason the Divas' butts feature so prominently in their dancing? Then there's their Stripperific outfits.
    • The Carrington Sisters in "Material Girl" display Gainaxing to woo over the wildlife.
    • Cap White in "La La", who milks the Hospital Hottie trope for all it's worth.
  • Fan Disservice: The 60-something Commander Kahn follows the Divas' choreography, which usually involves a lot of twerking.
  • "Fantastic Voyage" Plot: "La La" follows a white blood cell as she tries to protect her human host from a deadly virus.
  • Favors for the Sexy: When the Carrington Sisters are stranded on a deserted island, they charm the fauna to provide their needs, from fire, to food, to shelter. For the entire song, both of them don't do a damn thing for themselves.
  • Fluffy Tamer: The Carrington Sisters turn wild animals into butlers with nothing but their own charms.
  • Funny Background Event: If the markers are the foreground, the agents' dancing in some levels would count.
  • Gainaxing: The Carrington sisters do this in every cutscene of their main chapter to charm the animals into doing what they want.
  • The Gambler: The Full House Bandits in "Rock This Town" use a playing card motif, being Captain Ersatzes of the Royal Flush Gang.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: In "The Anthem", you have to save a bunch of kids in an amusement park from a fire-breathing golem.
  • Girls Love Stuffed Animals: Lucy has a stuffed bear, Freddie, in "You're the Inspiration". The mission centers on helping her deceased father briefly come back to life to deliver her a second one.
  • Giving Someone the Pointer Finger: Commander Khan before each stage, with the exception of "You're the Inspiration", "Without a Fight", and "Jumpin' Jack Flash". The agents and divas give the viewer the pointer finger when they ask, "Are you ready?" Cap White first challenges Mr. Virus this way.
  • Gold Digger: Colonel Bob's wife turns this Up to Eleven. And she gets away with it.
  • Goofy Print Underwear: The pirate skeleton that Captain Brooke fights in "Y.M.C.A." has a pair of heart boxers and a wife beater.
  • Gratuitous Italian: Leo uses some in "I Was Born To Love You".
  • Groin Attack: Hulk Bryman gives the golem one by returning a boulder Tennis Boss style.

    H-M 
  • Heads I Win, Tails You Lose: The first part of the final stage. Die? Entire world turns to stone. Finish the song? The Agents get turned to stone anyway.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: All that the EBA really does is motivate people to solve their own problems, but almost every mission just shows how powerful that can be.
  • Hemisphere Bias: The results screen of the final level is a globe centered on North America. In the Japanese games, it's on Asia and Japan.
  • Henohenomoheji: Can briefly be seen at the beginning of "I Was Born to Love You".
  • Historical Domain Character: Leonardo Da Vinci is some Bishōnen lady killer, but when he finds Lisa del Giocondo, the woman of his dreams, the agents help him woo her, and when she smiles, he models her for the Mona Lisa. Not historically accurate (Lisa was married already), but that's clearly not the point.
  • Hit Flash: Sure, they could have shown the Agents' horse-drawn carriage flying through the air dramatically... but why do that when they can enter with speed lines and the written sound effect "Clappity-SWOOSH!"?
  • Hit Stop: Used for the final, fatal shot Jake delivers to the monster responsible for the zombie outbreak at the start of all three endings of "Survivor".
  • Hot Pursuit: Jack the cab driver partakes in a few while driving Linda (who's in labor) to the hospital.
  • Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: "Breezin'", "Cruisin'", "Sweatin'", and "Hard Rock!". Clearing every song on the last one and reaching the highest point rank allows you to use Commander Kahn in Versus Mode.
  • I Know Madden Kombat: Hulk, who beats up a fire golem with baseball skills (and cheers from the Agents, of course).
  • Indy Escape: Part of Chris Silverscreen's blockbuster movie in "Makes No Difference" involves the hero outrunning a giant boulder in a tunnel. Mess up and the actors and Chris get Squashed Flat by it.
  • Interface Screw: In the multiplayer, performing well enough sends an attack to the second player, which usually makes their beat marks smaller or makes the screen shake.
  • Interface Spoiler:
    • Those who read the manual are first led to believe that there are just two difficulty levels. Then one page about multiplayer gives away the existence of a new difficulty level, Hard ROCK!
    • Completing all story missions for the first time before you unlock the bonus missions will treat you to the credits, which will give you a sneak peak at which songs they will use.
    • Played with in the final mission, "Jumpin' Jack Flash": The Agents were just put out of commission after Taking the Bullet from the evil alien invaders, but even as you hear the people cry out for them and watch them helplessly turn to stone, in no position to do their dancey stuff at the start of this Grand Finale, the Elite-O-Meter instantly goes from empty to full as always as if this was just another ordinary mission, as if the game wants you to know that it's no surprise that they will definitely come back and kick these villains off the planet, even before the mission truly begins. In contrast, Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan 2, which replaces the alien invaders with an ice storm, gives its finale a much more dramatic start by having the spirit meter start at zero and keeping it empty until the Yuuhi Town Ouendan break free from the ice they were frozen in the place of their rival team.
  • Interspecies Friendship: The Carrington sisters and the animals on the island, thanks to their charm.
  • Intertwined Fingers: The ending picture of "Walkie Talkie Man", and a (one would hope) non-romantic use by the Carringtons in their intro.
  • Informed Ability: The profiles you see before you enter a level have a small tidbit of information about the target. These have no impact on the plot, though some are related to the mission.
  • It Can Think: If you got halfway through "Anthem" with your Elite-O-Meter below half full, the ensuing "fail" cutscene shows the golem being smart enough to thwart Hulk Bryman's atomic steal that would kick open a fire hydrant.
  • It's a Wonderful Failure: You ran out of life? Now you get to watch the person you're helping be reduced to a sobbing wreck if they aren't dead. Failed to keep the minimum life for the good cutscenes? You get to watch failure and keep playing and if you fail them all you get to see just how much you screwed up. Fail completely on either part of the two-parter end mission and you get to watch the aliens make examples of the heroes in front of the whole world.
  • Isn't It Ironic?:
    • A retired baseball player saves an amusement park from a giant golem and earns the adoration of one of his biggest fans, leading to a successful comeback. Set to an upbeat cover of "The Anthem", a song about how the singer doesn't want success or role models.
    • "Material Girl", if you take it as a satire of what the Carrington sisters play straight.
    • "Believe" is meant to be a post-breakup song, but it's being used for a mission where a young dancer must save both her dream and her relationship with her boyfriend.
  • Jet Pack: The Agents enter the "Makes No Difference" stage wearing them.
  • Kamehame Hadoken: The power of music and dance built up by the entire world in the final level unleashes one of these to destroy the Rhombulans.
  • Karma Houdini: The Colonel's wife, who is Easily Forgiven by the Colonel after losing his vast fortune and then breaking up with him because he's poor. Though Colonel Bob did offer one of the Carringtons a diamond (and his oil fields). Guess a Rich Bitch wife gets a Rich Bitch husband.
  • Large Ham: Pretty much the entire cast is loud and excitable, but the agents provide one of the greatest examples in the final chapter: "Music LIVES!!!!!"
  • Last Words:
    • In the intro of "You're the Inspiration", the last words Lucy would ever hear from her daddy before his accident was "Yup. I promise."
    • If you fail "Let's Dance", Colonel Bob dies of dehydration, screaming, "Who needs oil?? W-water!"
    • And at the end of "Jumpin' Jack Flash", just as the crowd unleashes a beam of musical energy at the Rhombulan mothership, the leader utters tortured screams in vain to stop the music right before being obliterated by the beam.
  • Lazy Artist:
    • In the last stage, when everybody is doing the arm waving thing, sure they bothered to update Colonel Bob and Bill's sprites (so that they are in their formal wear and tracksuit, respectively), but for some reason, not Captain Brooke and Ken.
    • At the start of the intro for "Jumpin' Jack Flash", the first scene shows the Agents getting petrified from a distance, seen as tiny silhouettes. The artists did not bother to make a version of the scene showing the Divas in their place for Hard ROCK! difficulty.
    • Also, in several cutscenes, the people in the background are mirrored. The car show scene in "Canned Heat" and the beginning of the last section in "Sk8er Boi", for example.
  • Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places: The intro for Leo shows that he can get ALMOST any girl he wants.
  • Life Meter: How low it is at the end of each segment determines how the mission plays out. If it's in the yellow, the protagonist of the mission performs well. If it's in the red, except an Epic Fail running on the Rule of Funny to follow.
  • Live Mink Coat: The Carrington sisters get some animals to lay around their necks to get them warm.
  • Lovely Assistant: Thomas Petree from "Rock This Town" has one named Angelina.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: Nothing quite says fighting viruses to get better than "La La", a song about kinky intercourse.
  • Magic Feather: Aside from the abilities to travel through time, shrink to the size of cells, and temporarily guide the dead back to the realm of the living, the Elite Beat Agents are little more than glorified cheerleaders. This is most apparent in the Highway Star level, where they arrive by motorcycle to cheer Sam the pug on his 400-mile journey. Why not just take Sam home on the motorcycles?
  • Make an Example of Them: In the final two missions, the invading Rhombulans enforce their ban on music with a petrification ray. If you fail either of these two missions, they'll use the ray on the Agents and the people they're rallying to show the whole world that Resistance Is Futile and they should prepare for a music-less future.
  • Mars Needs Women: The Carrington sisters. List of things they've won over via Gainaxing: raccoons, a gorilla, a lion, a bear, an elephant, a parrot, a crab, and an airplane (although it may have been more attracted to their credit card), in "Material Girl", Sam the pug in "Highway Star", and a team of Rhombulan alien soldiers sent specifically to destroy anyone singing, dancing, or enjoying the music in "Jumpin' Jack Flash".
  • Meaningful Name:
    • The virus that athlete Bill Mitchell receives is named... Mr. Virus.
    • The equally subtle name of the aliens. They're called the Rhombulans... and their leader happens to be a giant eye inside a rhombus. Also, a rhombus is a skewed square, and "square" is/was a slang word for uncool. Probably why they dislike - and die from exposure to - good music.
    • Chris Silverscreen, Hollywood director.
    • The archaeologist who buys the rights for Atlantis is called Dr. Archie Ologist.
  • Mega Neko: The cat from the "Romancing Meowzilla" level. In the final third of the film, it shows up and stomps around the city.
  • Misplaced Wildlife: Foxes, gorillas, bears and cows apparently live in the wild together, and there are parrots, monkeys, lions and elephants on a nearby deserted island. Like everything else, it's played entirely for laughs.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • After eleven levels of rescuing cartoon caricatures from wacky, off-the-wall scenarios, "You're the Inspiration" gives us a little girl still waiting for her beloved, recently deceased father to come home for Christmas. And even that stage has dashes of hilarity if you mess it up without failing.
    • Played for Laughs in Hulk Bryman's stage. After seeing a depressing montage of his career declining to the point where he's working as a custodian, a fire-breathing golem suddenly appears!
  • Morton's Fork: What happens story-wise at the end of a phase in a mission has no immediate bearing on how the story of the following phase plays out. For example, regardless of whether or not you pass the "Highway Star" mission's first phase (in which Sam the pug hitchhikes in hopes of getting closer to home), he always gets to the city with 200 miles left to go regardless of whether or not he gets a ride with the Carrington sisters (pass) or meets two crazy men whom he dislikes and bites the wrist of one of them (fail).
  • Multiple Endings: Every level has a "Good End" (cleared all stages), "Normal End" (cleared level, but failed one or more stages), "Bad End" (clear level but fail all three stages) and "Worst End" (Game Over).
  • Mundane Made Awesome: In the first three levels alone, baby-sitting, filmmaking, and taxi driving are all cranked up until the knob snaps. It only gets better from there.
  • Mundane Utility: Don Tanner using his star football skills to help babysit.
  • Musicalis Interruptus: The ending of "Without a Fight", to go with the Agents (or Divas) being Taken for Granite.
  • Must Make Her Laugh: Leo's goal is to get Lisa to smile.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: At the end of "Sk8r Boi", Jack realizes that he was speeding in his taxi once again and still in trouble with the law!

    N-R 
  • "Nations of the World" Montage: The penultimate mission, "Without a Fight", begins with this trope, showing the global scale of the alien invasion.
  • Nice Hat:
    • Agent Morris and Agent Chieftan wear one at all times to compensate for their lack of headphones or Anime Hair.
    • The Divas also have sweet hats, as seen at the end of "Jumpin' Jack Flash".
  • Ninja: Ken Ozu. Initially subverted in that he's a Lovable Coward son of an auto dealer, but if you play the level the right way, he becomes very formidable.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: The Carringtons are just a little too enthusiastic about being shipwrecked. If you play poorly, there's one point where they're enjoying the fact that an alligator is chasing them.
  • Nintendo Hard: Compared to other rhythm games, the beatmaps themselves are actually pretty simple (Barring a few songs, which can become pretty tricky). What makes the game Nintendo Hard is the absolutely unforgiving life meter, which penalizes you greatly for missed notes, such that it only takes a few missed notes before you fail out, and even if you manage to survive at first, not only is it really hard to build your meter back up, but you can still fail out later because the meter is always decreasing when you're not hitting notes. Which, by the way, makes it possible to fail even if you are hitting all the notes, unless you're hitting most of them perfectly. Oh, and the final stages? They like to throw a lot of spinners at you, and then have you hit tricky note sequences after the spinners, which tend to make your hand a little shaky for some time afterwards...
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Chris Silverscreen is more or less a lawyer friendly version of George Lucas.
  • No-Damage Run: All-300 runs. Achieving this on even one song, especially on the higher difficulties, is a sign of considerable skill. If you can do the whole game, you can consider yourself a Rhythm Game god.
    • Clearing a mission with a full combo also counts as this, with the game recognizing this with the word "PERFECT" on the mission scoring screen.
  • No Flow in CGI: Chieftain's and the divas' hair never move while they dance.
  • Non-Standard Character Design:
    • Tex's horse in "Believe" has cartoonier eyes than the horses in the rest of the levels.
    • Colonel Bob's cartoony appearance contrasts greatly with the rest of stylized characters. His design can easily be described as Mario if he were American.
  • Noob Bridge: Seemingly ironically, the easiest mode of EBA seems at times to be the hardest, due to the lower density of beats, making it harder to keep one's rhythm. Part of the problem is that on higher levels you react to the mere appearance of buttons, whereas on lower levels the buttons appear long before you need to tap them and you need to hit them when the closing circle hits the button's outer rim.
  • NOT!:
    • Jane utters this in the intro to "Walkie Talkie Man" to object to Martha's request to babysit several children on her day off.
    • Ken Ozu's girlfriend also does this to decline an offer to go out with him in the intro of "Canned Heat".
  • Only One Save File: There's only one save file. And it only allows you to save one replay per mission.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: The game is much more sedate in "You're the Inspiration", where the Agents help a daughter and mother cope with the death of the father. Commander Khan doesn't say his usual catchphrase but instead just stares at the screen, the Agents eschew their flashy dancing for just waving, and even the energetic note sounds are replaced with bells.
  • Oh, Crap!: In the final level, the Faceless Eye leader of the Rhombulans has this reaction upon seeing the massive Combined Energy Attack about to blow it up getting bigger, and bigger, and bigger...
  • Opening Scroll: A "Battle of the Aces" multiplayer match begins with this, in homage to Star Wars.
  • Or My Name Isn't...: Uttered by Sofie Hudson in the intro to "September" to make clear that she'll do ANYTHING to make her day off with her son a sunny day.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: "Survivor" has giggling zombies, who infect other people by kissing them and are controlled by a mushroom-spider monster. They can only be defeated by bad tasting peanuts.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Nearly everyone knows that Mr. X is really Commander Kahn.
  • Pep-Talk Song: Due to the "plot" of the game, every song is used as one. The agents motivate those who need them by dancing to music.
  • Perpetual Frowner:
    • Jake Irons from "Survivor" has a permanent angry scowl on his face, except in the Good Ending where he sort-of smiles in an advertisement for peanuts, or when you lose and he gets turned into a zombie.
    • Agent Derek. The reason why his afro is funny. He does smile if you do well in "Jumpin' Jack Flash", though.
    • Agent Chieftain doesn't smile that often, either, but he can still be spotted smiling in one of the splash arts (between unlocking new songs).
    • Being a parody of a stereotypical, strict spy leader, Commander Kahn always sports a serious expression, even when congratulating the agents on a job well done. He only smiles in the last unlockable splash art, as he enjoys his vacation with the other agents.
  • Phrase Catcher: Sam seems to get called a dumb mutt fairly often in his cameos or in some of his failure scenes.
  • Pose of Supplication: Seen whenever a mission is failed, with a couple exceptions.
  • The Power of Love: As with the Japanese incarnations, if you take note throughout the levels in this game, you'll notice that a common theme shared between a surprising number of them involves a person trying to romance a suitor with the Agents' help.
  • The Power of Rock: The agents' primary method of encouraging those they help out is through song and dance, and (so long as you don't fail) this always solves any problem someone might be facing. In the finale, this is especially important, as music is the Rhombulans' Kryptonite Factor. When the Agents are Taken for Granite, all of mankind uniting in a chant is able to revive them, and in the end, it forms a Wave-Motion Gun that blows up their mothership.
  • Punched Across the Room:
    • Fail the second phase of "Walkie Talkie Man" and the girl angrily kicks Don over a football goalpost for screwing up his touchdown throw of a hotdog.
    • The bad ending in "Let's Dance" ends with Colonel Bob's wife furiously kicking him for trying to give her a gift that really wasn't, thanks to the new oil source he found running dry.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Commander Kahn's rallying cry, as noted above.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: Complete a level after failing every phase before the last will turn the characters' victories quite sour. For example, Sam the dog might make it home, only to see that his owners have moved.
  • Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs: Sam the pug channels Kenshiro to defeat a group of gangster dogs.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Officer Poncho. Yes, he does threaten to take Jack's license but that's only after multiple speeding violations and that the last time he was caught, Jack was doing 40 MPH over the speed limit. Taken even further in that he tried to stop Jack but didn't know there was a pregnant woman in the taxi. After learning this he orders the other officers to clear the road for Jack, giving him a clear path to the hospital.
  • Rebus Bubble: Star high school wide receiver Don Tanner views all problems as (diaper/hot dog/skateboard) = Football. (Except Jane in the Good ending, who = a goal post.)
  • Required Spinoff Crossover: Inverted; the Elite Beat Agents are playable in Ouendan 2, rather than the other way around.
  • Rich in Dollars, Poor in Sense: The Carrington sisters are millionaires who don't know how to peel a banana. They have to rely on their bouncy breasts to get them through trouble.
  • Rookie Red Ranger: In Breezin' mode, the front-and-center agent is the headphones wearing Spin, agent #5. The two accompanying agents, Derek and Morris, are agents #3 and #4, respectively.

    S 
  • Save-Game Limits: In addition to there being only one save slot per copy of the game, you can only save one replay file per unique mission, meaning that you can't save multiple replays of the same mission at all, even if they are of different difficulty levels.
  • Saved by the Fans: This happens to the agents in-universe. After the Rhombulans petrify the three main agents, it's the crowd who cheers for them, giving them the energy they need to break free.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: There are at least two instances where the main supporting character will do this on the central character, should you fail their respective level.
    • “Walkie Talkie Man”: Don walks out on Jane due to being unable to cope with the children.
    • “YMCA”: Captain Brooke’s parrot abandons him at sea after they are forced to come up for air, leaving him alone and penniless.
  • Secret Level: There are three bonus levels unlocked as you go up in high score rank: "Believe", "ABC" and "Survivor".
  • Serial Escalation: The scenarios start off ridiculous but still somewhat mundane and only continue to ramp up in silliness from there.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: Some of the poor endings (where you fail every phase except the last by having your Elite-O-Meter below half full at the end of them) can be this:
    • For "Highway Star", it's where Sam makes it all the way back to Ted's house, only to find out that he moved out.
    • For "Material Girl", it's about the Carrington sisters getting onboard a plane to get off the godforsaken island, only to inexplicably wind up back on it, putting them back on square one.
    • For "Let's Dance", it would mean that Colonel Bob's new oil source runs dry very easily, and his hopes of becoming rich fade away. He needs to find a new one!
    • For "Survivor", it's about the boss and employees of Jake's company deciding to eat the mushrooms that remain from the monster Jake killed, so the zombie outbreak restarts just moments after he ended it.
  • Shared Life Meter: In co-op mode, all players share one Elite-O-Meter, and it's mission failure if it empties completely.
  • Show Within a Show: "Romancing Meowzilla." From what we see of it, it involves a wedding, an Indy Escape, and the titular beast rampaging throughout the city.
  • Single-Stroke Battle:
    • In the ending to "Y.M.C.A.", the lead character takes down a skeleton pirate with a single swing of his rapier. The skeleton falls apart a few seconds later.
    • Cap White vs Mr. Virus in every cutscene in "La La", which can end in either's favor depending on how well you perform.
  • Slapstick Knows No Gender: Whether they're the focus or not, female characters are put through just as much slapstick as the men if you mess up. Not even little Lucy is immune; fail her song's second stage and the wind blows the cake she baked right in her face.
  • Squashed Flat: Happens to Chris if you fail the third stage of his level, courtesy of a boulder.
  • Special Edition Title:
    • Invoked in Episode 12: A Christmas Wish. There is no dramatic cry for "HEEEAAALP!", just poor little Lucy asking for her father to come home. Commander Kahn doesn't instruct the Agents to deploy: he simply watches the monitor silently, and the pre-level cutscene implies they were already in the area. Finally, there is no countdown to the start of the stage, and the transitions are effectively missing.
    • To a lesser extent, "Believe" is similar. It still's got a lot of the zaniness of the other stages, but the transitions used are unique to it - rather than people waving their hands in the top screen, flashes of the client's friends inspiring her appear instead, and the agents kneel respectfully until they start dancing.
  • Split Personality: Jack from "Sk8er Boi" has one - it activates whenever he starts the meter for his taxi, and he reverts back to normal when he stops the meter; his normal personality is a meek and nerdy man, but his other personality is a badass and confident speed demon. It seems that the act of pressing the button itself is what triggers the change. He also doesn't seem to remember anything he did after he changes back, although he is at least aware of his other personality and when he changes back.
  • Stealth Pun: In "September", Sofie drives away the clouds by blowing them with fans from the ground, gliding through the skies sucking them with a vacuum, and fanning flames from the firepit; aka Earth, Wind & Fire, the group behind "September".
  • Sucking-In Lines: The Rhombulan mothership, when powering up its petrification ray.
  • Sunglasses at Night: All of the male agents have sunglasses that they never take off.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • In "Highway Star", Sam, a small pug, gets separated from his owner and is lost. If the player fails the level, Sam is seen lost in the desert and giving up on finding his owner. Sam is merely an ordinary pug and is not used to anything resembling the situation he is in right now, so he is naturally blindsided.
    • In the same level above, Sam challenges 3 larger dogs in order to defend a girl dog. If the player fails the section, he is quickly taken out by the dogs scratching him up a few times and is then left to suffer his injuries. Once again, Sam is a household pug with no fighting experience, and the dogs he was challenging were all twice as big as he was.
    • In "Sk8er Boi", Jack tries out several stunts in order to get to the hospital faster. Once again, if the player fails these, they all merely result in the car getting damaged (yet a subversion of this trope occurs in the fact that the vehicle is still operating perfectly fine).
  • Surreal Theme Tune: Basically, the game involves helping people do stuff while playing unfitting music... that actually fits surprisingly well.
    • Leo tries to prove himself to Lisa to the song "I Was Born To Love You".
    • Jack drives a taxi around at insane speed while making impossibly cool maneuvers and acrobatics, to the sound of "Sk8er Boi".
    • Amanda's struggle to fulfill her dream of becoming a dancer couldn't have a more fitting music than "Believe".
    • Lucy's wish to have her dad come home is set to "You're The Inspiration" ("Always on my mind, no one needs you more than ever")
    • Sofie goes to rid the sky of clouds to "September" ("Never was a cloudy day!").
    • "Survivor" is the song for the Zombie Apocalypse level.
    • Humanity's last stand against the Rhombulans, to the beat of (We're not going down) "Without a Fight"!
  • Swapped Roles: In the final chapter, the Agents are the ones in trouble and all the people they helped throughout the game are the ones who have to cheer to break them free of their petrification. Once that's done, they all join forces to unite humanity against the Rhombulans' invasion.
  • Symbol Swearing: Chris Silverscreen utters this in the second mission if you're playing it poorly.

    T-Z 
  • Taken for Granite: The final stages introduce the Rhombulans, aliens who can turn people to stone using their ray gun, which they use to take out all of Earth's musicians. If you get a Game Over, the Agents and the people they're rallying to fight the Rhombulans gets petrified. "Without A Fight" ends with the agents Taking the Bullet and getting hit by the ray, though they get better in time for "Jumpin' Jack Flash".
  • Taking the Bullet: In "Without A Fight", the Rhombulan Leader zaps the revolting crowd with its petrification beam. However, the agents jump in the way, saving them at the cost of being Taken for Granite themselves.
  • The Taxi: Jack in "Sk8er Boi", who is depicted engaging in Crazy Taxi style antics getting a pregnant woman to the hospital.
  • Tetris Effect: Take care around polka-dots after playing this game.
  • Thanking the Viewer: Done at the end of the end credits, just before "To be continued..." or The End.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: The entire point of the game is to provide an inspirational tune so that people can feel confident to overcome their problems.
  • Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo: The "Canned Heat" level, which is about the son of a Japanese auto dealer having to retrieve stolen car plans... by becoming a Ninja.
  • Those Two Guys:
    • Part of the three protagonists in each difficulty play, following up from Ouendan. Their names are Morris and Derek, by the way.
    • The Divas have Those Two Girls, Missy and Foxx.
  • Time Skip:
    • Complete "I Was Born To Love You" successfully and the ending skips one month ahead to Leo painting the famous Mona Lisa after impressing her. How well he does so depends on your overall mission performance.
    • Get a Game Over on "You're the Inspiration", and the story skips ahead ten years, when a now teenage Lucy and her mother grudgingly decide to move out.
  • Time Travel: The Agents go back in time to help Leonardo da Vinci in "I Was Born to Love You".
  • To Be Continued: Occurs at the end of the end credits until you beat the last difficulty level, Hard ROCK!
  • Too Dumb to Live: The Carrington Sisters, to sheer parody levels. If it weren't for their sex appeal they'd be long dead by now (literally).
    Norma Carrington: (holding an apple) How do you, like, eat this?
  • Took a Level in Badass: Everyone in the final chapter, but a special mention to the Carrington sisters, who manage to use their charms to convince a few Rhombulans to pull a Heel–Face Turn.
  • Tropey, Come Home: The "Highway Star" level, where Sam the pug falls asleep in a truck bed and wakes up 400 miles from home.
  • Unexpectedly Realistic Gameplay: To a humorous degree if you do badly on certain cutscenes.
    • If you finish "La La" but get X's on all scenes, the athlete you're assisting only manages to win the Olympic bronze medal. His coach isn't too bothered by this; he was sick just the day before, after all.
    • The Carrington sisters trying to seduce wild animals will just result in them getting attacked viciously by said wild animals.
    • Colonel Bob striking water in the desert? He gets branded a thief, beaten up, and arrested. Him digging all the way to Atlantis? Cue him being crushed by the collapsing rubble and having to be hospitalized. Him digging all the way to New York without a permit? He promptly gets arrested and has to pay for massive damages.
  • Unlockable Difficulty Levels: Finish all missions on Breezin' difficulty to unlock Sweatin' difficulty. Then finish all missions on Sweatin' difficulty to unlock Hard ROCK! difficulty.
  • Unsound Effect:
    • The beams that the Rombulans send out go "FLASH".
    • There's gold going "GLEAM" in the good ending for the "Rock This Town".
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: The EBA are essentially just a bunch of FBI agents that appear out of nowhere and start dancing. Nobody bats an eyelash at this, to the point where you'd think they're invisible if the final level didn't confirm that everyone saw their dancing.
  • Unwinnable by Design: Polite example. In some songs, if you happen to let your Elite-O-Meter almost empty out in a section with long delays between markers, consider yourself screwed because of how it constantly depletes.
  • Upper-Class Twit: The Carrington sisters, who are definitely not modeled after similar real-life socialites.
  • Up to Eleven: The powers of dance and pop music are able to inspire people to feats of great prowess and skill.
  • Urine Trouble: Tommy if you fail "Walkie Talkie Man"'s first phase, as well as Sam's cameo appearances.
  • Verbal Tic: "I believe" Thomas the magician has one!
  • Very Special Episode: Due to the darker subject matter it focuses on, "A Christmas Gift" removes most of the zany attitude in the other levels, to the point where the iconic "HELP!" and AGENTS ARE GO!! are absent.
  • Videogame Caring Potential:
    • "A Christmas Gift". As the ending has a grown Lucy falling into deep, realistic depression over the death of her father, failure is not an option.
    • Really, all of the missions are this if you manage to care about its characters and their stories. Failing any of them and seeing the resulting sadness and despair on their faces can be pretty tear jerking to watch.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Defiant to the End, the evil Rhombulan leader's Last Words are futile, tortured screams to stop the music as the Elite Beat Agents finally rally humanity to generate a powerful beam of energy aimed straight for the mothership.
  • The Vitruvian Pose: Passing the first section of "I Was Born to Love You" has Lisa do this pose in appreciation. She is being wooed by Leonard, after all.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: The Rhombulans hate music and abolish it after conquering Earth. Unfortunately for them, they're in a Rhythm Game.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: Whatever the difficulty level, Canned Heat is a step above the stages that came before it, and sets the tone for the later stages.
  • When She Smiles: Leo's stage revolves entirely around that, as his goal is to make a beautiful but emotionless young woman smile. When she does, it inspires him to draw the best painting he ever did (You know the one).
    • A horrifying male example happens with Jake, as he never smiles in the game except when you fail the mission and he is turned into a laughing zombie.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: Most missions taking place in the United States usually don't take pains to specify what city or state it is taking place in.
  • Widget Series: Toned down from Ouendan, but not by much. All they really changed were the cultural cues.
  • World of Ham: Let's just put it this way: by the end of the game, the only people who aren't Large Hams are statues.
  • Wolverine Publicity:
    • Agent J is only playable on one difficulty (Cruisin'), but he's on all of the game's advertising, the box, the title screen, and a trophy in Super Smash Bros.. Brawl, most of which have him front and center as if to imply he's the leader.
    • Also, "Cruisin'" is the game's "normal" difficulty, so it was probably expected people would recognize the character they play as the most.
  • Writing Around Trademarks: The second mission, for all intents and purposes, takes place in what would be Hollywood, but due to Hollywood and its sign being trademarked, the developers had to rename it Movieland.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: What the Elite Beat Agents do: Agents show up to convince people that they possess the strength to surpass their present obstacles without help from others.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: Parodied in "Survivor", the third bonus level. It's started by what seems to be a giant fungus/insect hybrid (Think a nastier version of Parasect, spread by kisses on the cheek, and cured by making the zombies eat peanuts.

"Mission Complete!"

 
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Later Dude!

In Elite Beat Agents, if you get a Game over in the level "YMCA", a scene is played where Captain Brooke's parrot abandons him, leaving the Captain completely alone.

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