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Web Animation / Final Fantasy VII: Machinabridged

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It's Avalanche Time!

"Don't f*ck up!"

Final Fantasy VII Machinabridged is an Abridged Series and Machinima based on and filmed in the pecking-order-dodgingly phenomenal Final Fantasy VII. It is the first machinima series made by Team Four Star (TFS). The series ran from 2015 to 2020, concluding with a 40-minute Finale Movie.

Unlike DBZA, the producers, directors and writers Antfish (Anthony Sardinha) and Takahata101 (Curtis Arnott) hire several guest voice actors and other YouTubers outside of TFS for most characters, hence double castings being the exception rather than the rule, for once. The footage is recorded and edited by MasakoX (Lawrence Simpson) rather than KaiserNeko (Scott Frerichs), allowing the series to be produced parallel to that of Dragon Ball Z Abridged (another series created by Team Four Star) without slowing down the latter series, especially since the script for each season has been written beforehand. As with all TFS productions, the music producer is AinTunez (Cliff Weinstein).

The series can be found on TFS' website and YouTube channel.

Not to be confused with Final Fantasy VII Abridged.

As a parody of Final Fantasy VII, it is assumed that viewers are familiar with the source material. Due to this, spoilers related to the original narrative will not be marked.

Can you do me a solid and list the Tropes?

  • Aborted Arc: Icicle Lodge and Mt. Gaia in their entirety are completely omitted. Much like the Garlic Jr. Saga, this is done to eliminate filler.
  • Action Film, Quiet Drama Scene: Game parody more like, but some humor is downplayed to preserve the original drama the game had.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: Cloud, Tifa, and Barret fail to stop Shinra's Turks from dropping Sector 7's Upper Plate on the slums below. Barret himself is devastated by the destruction of the city and the loss of his fellow AVALANCHE allies... until Tifa attempts to cheer him up by recalling Clouds crossdressing incident back in Wall Market. It actually works with him laughing much to Cloud's annoyance.
  • Adaptation Distillation: Season 4 covers all of Disc 2 at once, which results in a much faster pace than the previous three seasons as well as a lot more cut content (It's generally accepted by fans that this is to prevent the burnout that killed Dragon Ball Z Abridged). In particular:
    • To preserve the gravitas and the mood of Aerith's death, the Jenova-LIFE fight was cut. Similarly, because said death is Season 3's finale, Season 4 opens with the party already at the Northern Crater, cutting out Icicle Inn and Gaea's Cliff, as their purpose as breathers are redundant due to the year between seasons, and to preserve the dour mood and Cloud's Tranquil Fury.
    • The need to search for Cloud following the Northern Crater is eliminated, with Shinra having found Cloud at Mideel in the week Tifa is unconscious, so after escaping Junon, the Highwind flies straight to Mideel, and Tifa never assumes the role of party leadernote .
    • The Huge Materia missions on Fort Condor and Corel are covered simultaneously, with the 6-man party split between the two places. The Corel mission, however, gets a bit more spotlight with catharsis for Barret's story, while the Fort Condor cutaways are played for gags.
    • Ultimate Weapon's scripted boss in Mideel is cut, going straight into the Lifestream's eruption.
    • The Junon Huge Materia quest is glossed over, especially the submarine minigame. What's more, in a case of Adaptation Deviation, AVALANCHE is able to halt the plane that escaped Junon carrying the Huge Materia from Mt. Nibel. As such, the contents of Shinra No. 26 is instead a Mako bomb. Either that or there were only three in this canon.
    • The battle against Diamond Weapon was cut out, skipping from its arrival on the shore near Midgar to the Sister Ray firing and killing it because the party doesn't have a chance against something that big.note . Likewise, the entire trek underground is cut, and the confrontation with the Turks is moved and recontextualized for the movie.
    • Likewise, Vincent is capable of transforming into Chaos on his own power, the Lucrecia sidequest being made an unrelated visit for the movie.
    • The final phase of the Hojo fight is cut out entirely, ending instead on Helletic Hojo. Given the character they built him up as and his incredibly hammy declaration of having become his fetish, this was done entirely to preserve the humor, as it wouldn't make sense for a gross deviant like him to cross the Bishōnen Line. It also makes it a little bit more poetic - Hojo's final form before his death had become exactly as hideous in body as he always had been mind and personality.
  • Adaptational Badass: AVALANCHE's days of preparation, from gathering their ultimate weapons, becoming as powerful as they possibly can, and even acquiring the legendary Knights of the Round materia, are rendered useless by Safer Sephiroth. It's only due to Aerith's intervention via Great Gospel-induced recovery that the Cloud gets the strength to put the One-Winged Angel himself down.
  • Adaptational Heroism:
    • Cait Sith is far less reluctant to spy on AVALANCHE in the original game than he is here, where he genuinely wants to help save the planet and sees it as his only escape from the constant humiliation, loneliness, and helplessness against his peers' senseless acts of destruction that he must endure at Shinra. With Tseng, he openly admits he'd rather throw in his lot with Cloud, much earlier than his canon counterpart, due to "decisions made by upper management", which Tseng doesn't surprisingly blame him for.
    • Cid is much less verbally abusive, though that's mostly because everybody's a lot more foulmouthed. But most of all, his abuse towards Shera is only verbal and even then is just a front, as they already worked out their issues long before their first appearance, and any of Cid's legitimate negativity towards her is vented through their BDSM sessions, with Shera as the Dominatrix. Cid even enforces the use of their BDSM specifically so that he DOESN'T legitimately hurt Shera. There's even subtle flirting between the two that just flies over the heads of everyone else unaware of their kinky means of resolution. Also, while the original got briefly tempted by the reality of his dream coming true, even getting into a slight argument with Cloud, here, Cid has no hesitation with trying to shut down Shinra's rocket scheme. The only reason the rocket still launches is because they're more or less too late.
    • The Ultimate Weapon. In the game, it's a boss that has to be beaten in order to get Ultima Weapon. Here, it gives Cloud Ultima Weapon without a fight as it tells them that it only fights threats and sees the party not as threats but as heroes.
    • The Turks. They never really got to show remorse for their acts working under Shinra in Advent Children, particularly dropping Sector 7's plate in the original, but here, once Shinra has collapsed, they express it big time, even doing AVALANCHE a solid on the house by getting all their ultimate weapons (and directing them on how to get Cloud's), but they know they've got a lot to do before they can come close to making up for what they did. They aren't Easily Forgiven, but their efforts are being recognized.
  • Adaptational Jerkass:
    • Instead of being a Team Mom like in the original game, Tifa is an Ax-Crazy sadistic bitch that frequently tricks or threatens Cloud into doing stuff for her. Her character arc revolves around her taking a level in kindness and moving more towards her actual Team Mom status.
    • Aerith is still The Heart of the team, but here she has a nasty side that comes out whenever she feels like another girl's coming between her and Cloud. Aerith has casually withheld aid that could save Tifa's life multiple times, and once "accidentally" broke a materia that had a female summon that saved their lives, simply because Cloud thought she was beautiful.
    • Sephiroth, who is much pettier in this version, particularly with his murdering of people close to Cloud. He specifically murders Cloud's mother to make Cloud "just like him", namely without a mother, as payback for the lad's incessant fanboying. With Aerith, instead of dismissing Cloud's ability to have emotions, he does the complete opposite and taunts him for his failure to promise to protect her, along with rubbing the above murder in his face.
      • However, it may be subverted, as Cloud's False Memories mean that the conversation didn't happen as shown. When we see the actual confrontation between the two, Sephiroth appears to just stab Cloud, only bothering to talk to him when Cloud manages to turn the tables on him, never mentioning anything about specifically targeting Cloud's mother, and actually expresses confusion over who Cloud is, implying his mother's death wasn't actually targeted and it was just Cloud's false memories making himself seem more important.
      • Mixed with Adaptational Villainy, his god complex is even worse here. It's implied that after finding out Jenova wasn't a Cetra, he, at the very least, just reinterprets her as divine judgment incarnate, out to purge each planet of their sentient life because they could potentially become "human". And as her son, it is his birthright to become a god and extinguish "the cruelty of humans", just as he believes Jenova would. It's almost as if he cannot handle the idea of being anything less than "superior to all humans", making him a Shadow Archetype to Cloud's own obsessions early in the show.
  • Adaptation Relationship Overhaul:
    • In the original, Barret and Red are friends but they are no closer to each other than they are to any of the other party members. Here, they quickly become A Boy and His X-type best buddies and the show's Those Two Guys. Their character-focused episodes will usually strongly involve each other as a double act, while in the original, Red is not mandatory for Barret's story, and vice versa.
    • Not as closely as the above pair, but Yuffie is given a connection to Tifa as a hyperexcited fangirl of the latter, who is initially annoyed by it, but the two evolve into a sibling dynamic, especially after Yuffie's materia sidequest, becoming a vehicle for Tifa's Character Development.
    • Much to the relief of many, Cid and Shera's relationship is changed here. Their infamous verbally abusive relationship is just a front that's barely held up at all, whilst their real relationship is much more loving and mutual, albeit done through BDSM, with Shera as the dom. This way, Cid can vent any legitimate lingering frustrations towards her without actually hurting her in any way. The two even subtly flirt with each other in ways that fly over the heads of everyone else. In fact, his character arc is excised, and his reconciliation with Shera is instead just him being even more appreciative of her.
  • Adaptational Wimp: The normally badass and aloof Cloud is now a confused and naive kid who can sometimes pull through in battles, only to shortly afterward, well... fuck up.
  • All Men Are Perverts: A big contributing factor as to why Cloud began hanging out with Tifa when he was twelve was because she had "pretty eyes", and adult Cloud admits that he was definitely not looking at her eyes.
  • Androcles' Lion: The Zolom in Episode 12 only attacks the party because it was hurt, and it was taking out its anger after its mate was killed by Sephiroth.
  • Animal Wrongs Group: What Hojo assumes AVALANCHE is this when they break into his lab.
    Hojo: Ooohhh. So what'll it be this time? "They deserve to be free"? "They have feelings too?" Or, my personal favorite, "They have a name!". Ahahahahaha!
  • Anime Hair: They lampshaded Cloud's a lot in Episode 2 from how in the description of him in the news was a palm tree with yellow leaves to how even Cloud admitted that even with that they could easily find him.
  • Anti-Climax Boss: Invoked with every single boss in the game and Played for Laughs at its finest. The standard formula is the party is too busy bickering with each other and they take their tensions out on said boss, one-shotting it. This does make sense since it is supposed to be abridged, and certain boss fights can go on for a while in the game proper. Even Safer Sephiroth, while he does come very close to killing the party, is ultimately a three round fight filled with a lot of dialogue in between.
  • Arc Words:
    • "Don't fuck up!" and "Can you do me a solid?"
    • "All is forgiven", in reference to Aerith.
    • "The Promised Land."
    • "SOLDIER", relating to Cloud's obsessive need to be seen and respected as a badass.
    • The original source material's arc words like "reunion" and "calamity from the sky" still apply here.
  • Art Evolution: Aerith's portrait has a more cartoony look in Season 2. The art style has changed in general beginning in Season 2. Cloud, Barret, Tifa and Red XIII keep their portraits from Season 1, but outside of those portraits, everyone looks more exaggerated and Animesque. Episode 23 is a good example of this.
  • Art Shift: Episode 23 has a few scenes with original animation provided by Team Four Star.
  • Ascended Extra:
    • The news reporter in Midgar, here known as Tom Lastastaname, is a recurring character, while he only appeared in 7th Heaven in the original game.
    • Priscilla, the girl Cloud saves from Bottomswell, is the leader of another anti-Shinra group, TSUNAMI.
    • The Tankceratops gets several appearances and is apparently an in-universe mascot. In the original game, the Heavy Tank only appears in Gongaga and the Battle Square, so many players may not even encounter it.
  • Ass Shove: Both threats courtesy of Tifa.
    • Tifa threatens to make a hand puppet out of Cloud to intimidate him into helping.
      Tifa: Shoulder deep, Cloud!
    • When Reno recovers and gets out of surgery from Tifa's Groin Attack on him, their next encounter has her threaten to shove his new staff up his.
  • Asshole Victim: While his death at Sephiroth's hands is still quite tragic, Tifa's father becomes this in hindsight after Episode 29. There, after Cloud and Tifa's fall from Mount Niebel, he blames Cloud for getting Tifa hurt and gives a needlessly harsh Reason You Suck speech toward the then-12 year old Cloud, calling him weak and reasons that's why no one likes him. And to top it off, he abandons the poor kid to crawl back to Nibelheim and forbids him from ever seeing his only friend. That incident gave Cloud a host of self-esteem issues, which eventually culminates him assisting Sephiroth in summoning Meteor. It's safe to say that the audience might lose a bit of sympathy for him when they look back on his demise. The sad part is this isn't even a case of Adaptational Jerkass; it also applies for the original, just that it's more pronounced here given the more obvious dysfunction of the cast.
  • Atomic F-Bomb: Barret does this twice.
    • First, when Hojo points out that the door at the top of the stairwell (which Cloud, Barret and Tifa all climbed round-trip) had been locked for years.
      Barret: [distantly, with the camera zoomed out below Shinra HQ] FATHER F*CKER!!!
    • Second, shortly after promising to respond appropriately to Cloud's explanation of what he said to Aerith (which he does).
      Barret: [Distant Reaction Shot with the camera zoomed out above Cosmo Canyon] AWWWW, YOU F*CKED UP!!!!
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other:
    • While Tifa and Cloud bicker a lot, they are shown to genuinely care for each other. Tifa shows concern when Cloud is in danger and wants to help him. When Cloud sees Tifa with Don Corneo he doesn't hesitate to go on a rescue mission, going as far as to cross-dress, and Tifa is clearly happy to hear that he didn't die in the fall. Tifa even stays behind to help Cloud in Episode 10, and they share a touching moment, before Tifa makes a 69 joke to intentionally kill the mood.
    • Cloud's mom may have doubted him and nagged him, but they angrily shout phrases of love during their argument, and learning that Sephiroth murdered her drives Cloud into a rage.
  • Awesome Mc Cool Name: Barret openly admits that Cloud Strife is a badass name. It's one of the few times Barret honestly compliments Cloud.
  • Bargain with Heaven: Barret reveals that he used to pray every night that God could take everything he had in exchange for a "Talkin' dog best friend." He then notes that he's lost everything, but met Red XIII, a talking dog and therefore the deal is done to his satisfaction.
  • Bathos: There's a dramatic showdown between Barret and Dyne that is played almost completely for Cloud's offscreen commentary on the whole thing.
  • Bestiality Is Depraved: Hojo outright admits the records of his crossbreeding experiments are his spank bank, and upon being told that they're to become part of them, AVALANCHE is utterly horrified, with Tifa asking "Are you sure you can't just kill us?"
  • Berserk Button:
    • Cloud doesn't like not being recognized, especially since he was part of SOLDIER. People not recognizing him is justified, as he was never actually a SOLDIER.
    • Barret doesn't appreciate when people imply he's a bad father. The one time it happens, he beat up (or possibly killed) the person that suggested it. He also doesn't take the threat of dogs being killed, as Dyne, who he was otherwise reluctant to harm, found out the hard way.
    • Played for Drama with Cait Sith, as he takes serious offense to the idea that he would even like anything about the asinine and heartless company he's stuck working for, especially with everything they've done.
  • Big Damn Movie: The Grand Finale is portrayed in The Movie, with the last of the game being adapted.
  • Bland-Name Product: Aside from The Shintranet (for the internet, so not strictly speaking a brand name), there's also Warker (for Twitter) and Shindr (for Tindr). As of Episode 28, there's also Shinflix (based on Netflix).
  • Black Comedy Rape: Tifa blackmails Cloud, with strong implications, that if he is arrested, he'll likely be subjected to gang rape in prison thanks to his appearance ("Four dudes, at a minimum."). So he would have no choice but to stay with AVALANCHE now that he is considered an accessory to their revolt/terrorism on Shinra. This is initially Played for Laughs until Cloud finally chews Tifa out for it in the final scene of Season 1, and the way he talks about it so seriously forces her to admit she crossed a line.
  • Book Ends: For Season 1:
    Question: Who would have thought lightning would kill a robot?
    Response: Anyone. Everyone would think to do that!
  • Brick Joke:
    • At the beginning and end of Episode 1, both Barret and Cloud utter the phrase "Tifa, your friend is killing me," respectively.
    • In Episode 4, Rude sent soldiers to "babysit" Reno due to an incident involving a falafel stand. In Episode 7, one of Reeve's arguments against dropping a entire section of the city onto Sector 7 is that Sector 7 contains a falafel stand that all of the Shinra executives really love.
      • Episode 16 has one of Cait Sith's "fortunes" (actually excerpts from Reeve's diary) mention that a Shinder date had cancelled on him, only to find her making out with another guy at the falafel stand.
    • Two in Episode 6, the first one being the drugstore owner finally being asked for what he sells, and AVALANCHE's hideout being discovered by one of Don Corneo's agents playing on the Seventh Heaven pinball machine.
    • In Episode 11, Cloud suggests Sephiroth give a Pre-Mortem One-Liner "sorry to cut this meeting short" the next time he kills an opponent. Later in that episode, Sephiroth uses it when he slashes Tifa.
    • At the start of the series, one of the options on the Start Menu is "HD Remake." The player gets a fail sound effect when they try to pick it. Season 3 tries again, but it shows that it will be ready for "another five years"
      • Season 4 starts with choosing the HD Remake option again, when for a message to say "The joke is dead" before continuing the story.
      • At the start of the finale movie, which came out after the remake finally did, the option gets stolen by an Arbiter of Fate (a.k.a. a Whisper).
  • Episode 11 has Barret list the many, many forms of the dragon Bahamut while Cloud recalls the Nibelheim Incident. He lists another set while panicking from Yuffie stealing the party's materia in Episode 22, but she returns them after reconciling with Tifa, even finding a Bahamut for him to make amends. Barret later gets another Bahamut after his team saves Corel. In the Finale Movie, he finally gets to summon Bahamut himself.
  • Call-Back: It appears Rufus is just as miffed about his father's way of dealing with things as Reeve is, after Heidegger suggests blowing up the entire Western Continent to take Out Sephiroth.
    Rufus: Heidegger, that seems like an overreaction. Like, dropping a section of the city ON TOP OF ANOTHER SECTION OF THE CITY! Let's use a scalpel instead of a hammer to fix our problems nowadays, okay?
    • Hojo apparently found the girls caring for him on the beach in Costa Del Sol by noticing they were "open to experimentation". Except they turned out to be prostitutes.
    • Cloud's name that he makes up for when Rufus asks for it after the Shinra parade is "Thunderhead", the same name he gives while cross-dressed.
    • The segment of the movie involving Ultimate Weapon is one to the Midgar Zolom from Episode 12. Both involve a giant insurmountable monster that the party repeatedly attempts to beat, mostly driven by Cloud's dogged obsession, only for the misunderstanding to be cleared up by a party member who turns out can understand the monster. Cloud is also shown respect by the monster for his strength. With Ultimate Weapon, it's to show Cloud's Character Development and how different he is from before. Cloud's obsession to beat it is not out of needing to prove his badassery like with the Zolom, but to get the weapon he needs to be able to defeat Sephiroth and save the world.
  • Call-Forward:
    • When President Shinra captures the main characters, we get this exchange:
      Barret: Next time I see you, you're a dead man!
      Shinra: Trust me, and when I say this I mean no metaphor...the next time we meet, one of us will be dead.
    • Sephiroth's only line in Season 1 nods to his greeting of Cloud in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children.
      Sephiroth: Good to see you, Cloud.
  • Calling Your Attacks:
    • Cloud does this, much to Barret's exasperation.
      Cloud: SOLDIER BOLT!
      Barret: I can't believe you named it...
    • Tifa isn't shown calling her attacks, but she does name them, most notably the Dolphin Blow, for which she gets a lot of ribbing from Cloud. At one point she states that she intends to name one of her attacks "assault spiral" after hearing Reeve say it in a different context.
      • Her master Zangan named all of his attacks as well—unfortunately, the vast majority fall under Innocent Innuendo. Whether he called them or not isn't shown, but it would seem in character for him if he did.
    • Tifa questions what the hell a "Clim Hazard" is after Cloud uses "Soldier Climhazzard" - according to Cloud, it's a Clim that's Hazardous.
    • In her first appearance, Yuffie tries to jump the party, but calls out "Surprise Attack!", which gives Tifa plenty of time to retaliate.
      Yuffie: FOOLS! Now you face the GREAT NINJA YUFF— [gets punched in face]
    • When Tifa then recommends that Yuffie might not want to shout while making a sneak attack, Yuffie is shocked and impressed, since it literally never occurred to her before.
      Yuffie: WHOA! That's a good idea! You're totally blowing my mind right now!
  • The Cameo: Linkara — the host of Atop the Fourth Wall — plays Choco-Bill the chocobo rancher in Episode 12 and the Movie.
  • Can't Drop the Hero: Cloud and Cid's mandatory presence in the party as leadernote  is used to facilitate their character interactions. Cloud's presence is mostly used to illustrate his general insensitivity and inability to read the room, though after episode 29, it's used to show said character flaw's disappearance. Cid's tenure as leader, meanwhile, is used for some extra interaction with Barret and Red, particularly when they summon Bahamut and start the Chocobo breeding sidequestnote .
  • Casting Gag:
  • Censored for Comedy: While there's quite a few swear words, the word "fuck" is almost always censored with the "command invalid" noise from the game proper. However, it's occasionally left uncensored as a way of highlighting the drama of the line.
  • Central Theme:
    • What it means to be a badass. Cloud and Tifa best exemplify this through their character arcs, especially Cloud's. Cloud is primarily obsessed with being recognized as a badass to be respected and looked up to, but his ego and foolhardiness have the opposite effect. Likewise, Tifa's reliance on her abusive and abrasive personality as her coping mechanism to deal with her truckloads of trauma causes her unnecessary fire-causing friction with people who she could've got along with much more easily, particularly Cloud, Aerith, and Yuffie. The two of them run from things that they perceive as weak about themselves, and it just causes a series of them fucking up in different ways that break the both of them hard. It's their letting go of needing to be the toughest hardasses in the world, and remembering why they needed strength in the first place that they truly become stable, emphatic, functional people that could be truly seen, not as badasses, but heroes.
    • The movie cements it best, between Zack's final monologue in Cloud's flashback over why he and Cloud wanted strength compared to everyone else, Cloud's finally letting go of his need to be recognized as SOLDIER, Ultimate WEAPON recognizing AVALANCHE not for their strength, but their acts of heroism against Shinra, Tifa graduating to full Team Mom status, and the general emphasis of choosing empathy over force, especially in Aerith's ending monologue.
    • Cid is another example of this, as his Adaptational Nice Guy status and the Adaptation Relationship Overhaul of his and Shera's means his original story arc is excised due to being pointless. Rather than treat Shera as his verbally-abused servant as in the original, while it seems that way at first, it's strongly implied that they already worked out their issues long ago and they arranged for their BDSM relationship with Shera as the dom. Despite having legitimate lingering grievances against her for ruining his dream, he would rather have her whip him than him legitimately hurting her with words or worse. In other words, he chose to be the better, kinder man. It also plays into Cloud's sole reasons for wanting him to join them, being laser-focused on his foul mouth and crass attitude.
    • The expansion of Sephiroth's god complex also lends to this. Here, he views Jenova more than just the Ultimate Lifeform, but outright divine punishment incarnate, thus his godhood and punisher of mortals is his birthright. For Sephiroth, Might Makes Right, and is the twisted logical conclusion of Cloud's image of being an aloof badass.
    • A secondary theme revolves around the Arc Words "Don't fuck up". The cast regularly rotate on criticizing those who've fucked up, usually Cloud, but as the story progresses, the reveals that they themselves don't exactly have the moral high ground to be criticizing Cloud, especially after his issues come to light. Strongest example is Tifa, who comes to terms with the fact that Cloud fucking up constantly is largely on her because she fucked up by failing to be emotionally mature enough to handle the unstable Cloud from the minute they met again in Midgar.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: The first two seasons are fairly comedy-centric, with more jokes being told and more character interactions that are humor-based. Even after Sephiroth entered the picture in Episode 10, jokes were still told even though he firmly remained a Knight of Cerebus. Starting about halfway through the third season, things took a gradually-darker turn (somewhat in-line with the game). By the time the party returns to Midgar to deal with Hojo, story beats are being played completely straight with almost zero comedy or levity like there was before.
  • Character Catchphrase:
    • Tifa: "Would you do me a solid?"
    • Cloud: "I was in SOLDIER." Even extends to his attacks.
    • Aerith: "yay!" and more significantly, "all is forgiven."
    • Yuffie: "Yuffie out!" She also has a tendency to respond to accusations with "What? No I'm not!"
    • Barret: "I'm about to/let me lay some Wallace Wisdom on your ass"
    • Barret and Red XIII: "AVALANCHE TIME!"
    • Red XIII: "Was it hot?"
  • Character Development: Throughout the first season, all of the characters change in some way, aside from Red XIII, who debuts in the penultimate episode of the season.
    • Cloud exhibits more of a backbone against Tifa and Barret, eventually earning some respect from both of them, culminating in a rant directed at Tifa in the season one finale. He also begins to seem legitimately badass, and his interactions with Aerith demonstrate a softer side.
    • Barret begins to cool off on his treatment of Cloud and begins to openly express disgust with Tifa's remarks against Cloud. While still a huge jerk, he also tries to protect Aerith and Red from harm, seeing them as too innocent to be caught up in the events that are transpiring.
    • Tifa lets slip that she might actually care about Cloud as the season continues, expressing some genuine worry when he performs risky actions. Her insults also become much less profane, though this doesn't stop the ensuing rant from Cloud during the season one finale.
    • Aerith, despite appearing stupid, becomes very sassy and subtly insults Tifa many times across the season. She also begins to form a bond with Cloud.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Ramirez, the put upon grunt from Cloud's flashback. Those who've played the game will know why. For those who haven't, Cloud's memories are fake and Ramirez is Cloud himself.
  • Childhood Friends: Averted. In this version, Tifa and Cloud aren't really childhood friends, though it seems that Tifa took advantage of Cloud as a kid to do stupid stuff for her.
  • Clear My Name: The reason the party sets out after escaping Midgar: to find Sephiroth and clear their names after Rufus Shinra spreads the news that they were the ones who murdered his father.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Aerith wants Cloud all to herself, and is quite hostile to anyone who she perceives as a threat to that. Aerith constantly snarks at Tifa, refuses to heal her when she's poisoned, and in general seems to be trying to hasten Tifa's demise to have Cloud to herself. Also, when Yuffie joins the party, Aerith openly tells her to leave and that the party doesn't need her. This even extends to Materia summons, shown by Aerith "accidentally" destroying Shiva because Cloud and Tifa found her attractive.
  • Cloudcuckoolander:
    • Aerith lacks an entirely firm grasp on reality due to being raised by a stoner. For example, she doesn't realize that flowers can't break falls and believes in fairies.
    • Palmer, who thinks that in order to buy a space (defined as what you see when you make a telescope out of your hands and look into it), you have to throw a billion gil into a fire because the smoke delivers the gil to space.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Tifa gets two in season three.
    • First, when she realizes Sephiroth is going to reveal the truth of the Nibelheim incident, she rapidly mutters "fuck" several times.
    • The second time comes in the following episode when Rufus asks her to watch her language because "he's trying to keep the broadcast of her execution family friendly".
    Tifa: Well in that case, f*** your breakfast! F*** your shower! F*** your suit! F*** those chairs! F*** these computers! F*** this hallway! F*** this chamber! Oh, and most importantly... F***! YOU!
  • Comically Missing the Point:
    • Cloud thinks that the Mako reactor is a totally eco-friendly, zero-emissions factory until Barret points out the chimneys spouting green smoke.
    • Palmer is more horrified that President Shinra's metaphor ends without the pay-off than he is that President Shinra got stabbed by Sephiroth.
  • Commonality Connection: As illustrated in Episode 31, the eight surviving party members are framed in pairs based on the nature of their quests and their reason for fighting:
    • Barret and Cid: For their loved ones
    • Yuffie and Red: For their homes
    • Cait Sith and Vincent: For redemption
    • Cloud and Tifa: Though unstated, theirs is for their own character growth, personal beef with Sephiroth, and the obvious reason.
  • Cosmic Deadline: The first twenty-five episodes cover the entirety of Disc 1, culminating with Aerith's death; however, following said event, the series plows through Disc 2 at such a pace that, by the end of episode thirty, the Sister Ray has been moved to Midgar, setting the stage for the climactic battle against Hojo. This is understandable, though, and arguably necessary, considering that Cloud's Sephiroth-induced identity breakdown and later resolution of the same with Tifa's help are the only non-optional significant plot and character development-related scenes in Disc 2, barring the climax. Most of Disc 2 is devoted to the Huge Materia subplot, which, while offering bits of character development for the rest of the cast, doesn't feature nearly as much material to draw from as Disc 1.
  • Cringe Comedy: During the Nibelheim flashback, Cloud is acting like an immature kid's idea of what a badass soldier is like. He's coming up with team names and Character Catch Phrases before he's even off the truck, says that "there's a 100 percent chance of precipitation" with him and the ladies, and generally fanboys over Sephiroth so hard that even the normally-stoic Sephiroth is clearly annoyed by Cloud's antics. The whole time, Cloud's awkwardness and very immature behavior is meant to make the audience laugh at him.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Cloud is rather whiny and fucks up a lot, but in combat he is, if allowed, rather skilled and strong. The others have no idea he took out a pair of guards in a matter of seconds while treating their attacks as if they were minor annoyances.
  • Cruel to Be Kind: Tifa's verbal abuse in Season 1 turns out to be a way for Tifa to cope with her trauma, revealing that while she is verbally abusive to Cloud she does actually care about him, and can be kind to him when he really needs it.
  • Cuteness Proximity: Upon realizing that Red XIII can talk, Aerith asks if the party can keep him. She starts high pitched and excited, and by the time she's finished it's little more than incomprehensible squeaking.
    • Barret is an unconventional take on this trope, of course with regards to Red. While Aerith is openly blubbering about him, he's catatonically processing the fact that Red can talk. We only learn it's this trope when they're put in the same cell and he dramatically and enthusiastically reveals his childhood dream of having a "talking dog best friend".
    • Season 2 reveals that Tifa is also susceptible to this, squealing with delight upon meeting Priscilla's dolphin buddy.
  • Dare to Be Badass: The whole premise of Cloud's character is his (poor) attempts of trying to come off as a badass.
    • He gives off a speech in episode 12 to rally everyone to try to kill the Midgar Zolom. It doesn't work.
    • He gives a far more effective speech after Aerith runs off to the City of the Ancients about confronting his fears and how he intends to keep his promise. This speech is far more successful at moving the group to action than the speech from above... until he's forced to admit he doesn't know where the City of the Ancients is.
  • Darker and Edgier: Season 4. Oh it's still funny, but with the world on the edge of the apocalypse, the team dealing with the death of their close comrade and Cloud's true past being revealed, the series doesn't shy away with the seriousness of the situation.
  • Darkest Hour:
    • The end of Episode 7: Aerith has been kidnapped by the Turks and taken off to Shinra HQ. Cloud, Barret, and Tifa barely escape the destruction of Sector 7, and the rest of AVALANCHE is dead. Barret also suffers a brief Heroic BSoD and it takes Tifa telling him that Cloud dressed up as a woman to snap him out of it.
    • Episodes 9 and 10: The party is captured just as they're about to escape Shinra HQ and sentenced to be subjects in Hojo's breeding program. However, they're set free by Sephiroth, who went on a rampage through the building and murdered the President. Rufus pins his death on the party and they are forced to leave Midgar (with Barret leaving Marlene behind with Elmyra) so they can find Sephiroth and clear their names.
    • Episode 16: After one rant-inducing slight too many, Barret has called off his friendship with Red and left the party, with Red having gone off to cry in a corner somewhere. Along with Cait Sith, Cloud and Aerith have once again been blamed for murders they didn't commit and are about to be thrown into Corel Prison, and Tifa and Yuffie have no idea they're in trouble.
    • Episode 24: After all the effort they went through to get the Black Materia, Sephiroth Mind Rapes Cloud into giving it to him.
    • Episode 25: Aerith is dead, and Cloud lapses into Tranquil Fury, determined to kill Sephiroth in revenge. (It should also be noted that, despite being a parody series, all of this is Played for Drama.)
    • Episode 26: The party reacquires the Black Materia, but thanks to Sephiroth's mind games, Cloud is sent over the Despair Event Horizon and willingly gives it back to Sephiroth. All hell breaks loose as Sephiroth summons Meteor and the WEAPONS built to protect the Planet awaken.
    • Episode 27: Tifa and Barret escape from Shinra custody and reunite with the rest of the party, but Meteor is now floating over the Planet. To make matters worse, Cloud is in a near-vegetative state due to Mako poisoning, and Tifa refuses to leave his side until he comes out of it.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • Everyone, really, but the most effective are Aerith and Tifa, especially when it comes to the other.
    • Of particular note is the drug store owner from episode 5, whose dialogue is almost nothing except scathing sarcasm.
  • Delayed Reaction: Elmyra is too stoned to really register that her daughter's been kidnapped, and only has a major reaction to the fact after several minutes of exposition and telling them that her daughter's been kidnapped.
  • Depraved Bisexual: Both one of Don Corneo's henchmen and the crime boss himself are very interested in Cloud, whether or not he's pretending to be a woman.
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: Reeve desperately wants anything else other than the miserable job working for Shinra he's stuck with. This is where Cait Sith comes in.
  • Determinator: Cloud has a single-minded focus on finding Sephiroth out of revenge, as in the game. Unfortunately, this doesn't improve his actual competence much and frequently erodes his nicer qualities.
    • He thinks he's pursuing Sephiroth in a quest for revenge over everything he's caused Cloud to lose, but the truth of the matter is that his body was infused with Jenova cells and his "pursuit" was actually a summon to the Reunion.
  • Die Laughing: Jessie dies laughing at the thought of Biggs thinking his dick was above average size.
  • Disproportionate Retribution:
    • In Episode 3, a random civilian questions how Barret can be a parent with a gun for an arm. What's Barret's response? Beating him with it with the intention of giving him a taste of the hardships of raising a child with one arm.
    • Dropping the Sector 7 plate onto the slums to kill one terrorist group. Reeve sums it up quite nicely.
      Reeve: Okay, I'll use a metaphor. it's like you're trying to make an omelette... BY DROPPING A SECTION OF THE CITY ONTO ANOTHER SECTION OF THE CITY!
    • Rufus admits that his father was far too keen on this approach and intends to be more surgical than the old man was.
  • Distinction Without a Difference: In Episode 6 at Don Corneo's Girls Only Mansion:
    Cloud: Well, how about I give you the info you dressed all slutty for?
    Tifa: [testily] First of all, I was dressed... whore-y. Second of all, that would be great.
  • The Dog Bites Back:
    • Cloud stands up for himself against Tifa at the end of Episode 3.
      Cloud: Hey Tifa? Can you do me solid and GO F**K YOURSELF!?
    • Given the source material, it gets literal when Red XIII mauls Hojo after Barret shoots open the cell.
    • Cloud gets another chance at the end of Episode 10 when Tifa's comment about Cloud feeling "safest" when in her presence finally causes him to snap and unload a scathing verbal beatdown on her.
  • Doomed Hometown:
    • Nibelheim is this for Tifa and Cloud.
    • Corel for Barret.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: Cid and surprisingly Yuffie have this reaction at attempts toward Black Comedy by the doctor monitoring the mako-poisoned Cloud.
  • Due to the Dead: As the party depressedly follows Cloud to the Northern Crater after Aerith's murder, Tifa goes back to Aerith's resting place and leaves behind a bouquet of white and yellow flowers.
  • Dumbass Has a Point: Stoner rather than dumbass, but when Elmyra bases her assumption of Barret being Marlene's father on the fact that Marlene has a gun and Barret's hand is a gun, Barret admits it's a fair assessment.
  • Dysfunction Junction: AVALANCHE. Cloud is kind of dumb, has a psychological need to prove how strong and cool he is, and he's hearing voices. Tifa has repressed the trauma of losing almost everybody she cared about, leading to or compounding anger issues and emotional immaturity. Aerith is pure and naive to a fault, though she's getting jealous of the women around Cloud, and she's not handling the jealousy well at all. Red XIII is essentially a typical dog, and probably a sex addict. Yuffie is a kleptomaniac, kind of dumb, and inappropriately cheerful. Vincent is a morose and unabashedly creepy corpse of a man with bugs having made a home in his body. Barret is the only one approaching normal, even if his parenting techniques are questionable, but considering what he has to put up with, he's often angry, frustrated, or exasperated. Cid, despite his penchants for stories about his ancestors also named Cid and infamous potty mouth, joins him in that department, and probably more so.
    • Come Season 2, Barret's own Dark and Troubled Past comes to light, showing that he was a very chipper person prior to his Doomed Hometown meeting its fate. This leaves Cid the only one without a proper character arc or goal, since the changes to his relationship with Shera means it's excised.
  • Easy Come, Easy Go: Dio takes the news of his bankruptcy pretty well and decides to use it as an opportunity to travel the world.
  • Establishing Character Moment:
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Palmer somehow believes that burning gil by the billions allows him to buy sections of space. Even President Shinra, who'd just earlier levelled part of his own city to crush a tiny resistance, agrees with Reeve that Palmer is an idiot and shouldn't be in charge of their space program budget.
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • President Shinra is a Corrupt Corporate Executive who's willing to kill innocent people and waste a large amount of resources just to get rid of AVALANCHE. When he hears Palmer has been literally burning cash thinking that it will let him buy parts of outer space, Shinra removes his budgeting privileges.
    • Almost everyone who's aware that Hojo's experiments involve forcing people to breed with animals treat it with appropriate disgust and horror.
  • Exact Words: When giving a comment to the news about his father's death, Rufus says "I loved my father as much as he loved this city and its inhabitants." Keep in mind that his father saw no issue with ordering an entire section of Midgar dropped on top of another section just to kill six people, pointless death and destruction be damned. So Rufus really did love his father as much as he claims. As in, he never loved him.
  • Extreme Omnisexual: Red XIII is in a constant state of "horngry"note , which might be a side-effect of being used for Hojo's... experimentation. At one point, he even tried to bang a living motorcycle. He'd even bang Jenova if he could.
    Red XIII: Was it-
    Cloud: It was not hot.
    Red XIII: That's subjective.
  • Fantastic Racism: Moogles are not considered full citizens by the government of Midgar.
    News Anchor: Coming up next: Moogles. Do they deserve full citizenship? And will marriage be next?
  • Flashback Cut: Played for Laughs in Episode 4 when Cloud tries to justify to Aerith why he fell through the roof of the church.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: The giant Zolom snake that guards the marsh to the mythril mines? Its name is Ashton.
  • Foreshadowing: They do a better job of preparing for one of the original game's bigger twists. Despite supposedly being in SOLDIER supposedly recently, Cloud's Shinra memories only seem to disappear between the immediate past and several years back, such as when he thought they could use the 60th floor's back door to sneak in when according to Hojo, "it's been sealed for years."
    • On the same note, in Episode 11 Sephiroth reacts with annoyance to Cloud's obnoxious fanboying, but then confides his personal troubles and backstory to him, as though he's talking to two different people.
    • It's difficult to hearnote , but after the Shinra board meeting is adjourned, Reeve demands that Hojo come back and explain how he spent five billion gil teaching an animal how to talk, which can only mean he's talking about Red XIII.
    • In Episode 9, when Cloud has a freak-out, Tifa attempts to comfort him by telling him to repress what he saw. This somewhat foreshadows her Freudian Excuse.
    • While staying in Kalm in Episode 11, Barret asks if they bought any new materia, but Tifa says the shop's entire stock was stolen. Yuffie is an unrepentant materia thief, after all.
    • In Episode 13, Yuffie claims that she isn't going to steal the party's materia after openly admitting that she's a kleptomaniac. In Episode 22, she steals the party's materia.
    • In Episode 14, when Cloud confronts Sephiroth on the ship to Costa Del Sol, Sephiroth flat out states that he has no idea who Cloud is and doesn't remember killing everyone in Nibelheim, which not only foreshadows that it's not actually Sephiroth, but a piece of Jenova using his appearance, but that Cloud was never in SOLDIER.
    • In Episode 15, Cloud that he's surprised to see that Hojo hasn't combusted in the sun like a vampire. Hojo replies that he'd be surprised what vampires can do nowdays...note 
    • During Barret's flashback, Scarlet promises Dyne that life in Corel will get better if they let Shinra build a mako reactor there, and asks both Barret and Dyne to give them a hand...
    • Since Cait Sith is a fortune teller, it's unsurprising that he gives a lot of this in episode 16.
      • Aerith asking if she'll always be remembered and Cait responding that she's "far too important to ever be forgotten", which hits hard. This is further alluded to when one of Cait Sith's fortunes states "all flowers eventually wilt".note 
      • When Cait Sith and Cloud bond about women they work with that emasculate them. Cait asks if Cloud has slept with his yet.
      • One of Cait Sith's "fortunes" is "I stood and cried as I watched thousands of innocent lives perish. Why must I work for such an empire of evil when my heart beats for justice?" echoing the sentiment shared by Cait Sith's controller Reeve back in Season 1 about the collapsing of the Midgar plate.
    • After Cloud's very insensitive attitude toward's Zack's death, Tifa calls him out that he wasn't there. Which foreshadows that Cloud's memories are fake. She then backtracks by saying that he wasn't there when Zack died, which is ironically wrong as Cloud was only a few feet away from Zack as he made his last stand.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
    • In Episode 11, when Cloud, Tifa and Sephiroth take their picture together, Cloud's face is blurry due to a conveniently-timed sneeze.
    • When Cloud and Aerith meet Cait Sith, his naming screen shows "Reeve" for precisely three frames before deleting it.
  • Freudian Excuse: Tifa's dad dying seems to have taken part in the development of her now extreme personality.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes:
    • Cloud has been shunted into this role due to fucking up the first mission, making practically everyone in AVALANCHE see him as an annoying hindrance that they have no choice but to keep around.
    • Yuffie is tolerated by Cloud, and Red is too high to care. Barret and Aerith want her out (annoyance at her personality and klepto tendencies for Barret, her hero-worship of Tifa and potentially just being another girl in team with Cloud for Aerith), and Tifa seems to be in the middle with being annoyed by her, but not enough to want to throw her out.
  • Gag Penis: Reno, apparently, and it's Not Hyperbole after he had to go into surgery due to Tifa's punch.
    Reno: (after being hit by Tifa in the 'nads) Aah, you destroyed half of my enormous dick.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: In Episode 10 when Barret's party is fighting the Hundred Gunner, he chides Red XIII for casting Fire on a robot, even though he did more damage than Barret himself.
  • Goldfish Poop Gang: Individually, the Turks can be intimidating. In fact, Reno, Tseng, and Rude are all at their most dangerous when the party encounters them without any of their fellows. In their first appearance as a group, however, they lose nearly all credibility. Granted, this is thanks to Elena joining their ranks to replace Reno while he's in surgery, but even when she's not with them and Reno's back, they still end up making fools of themselves.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Tifa tells Cloud near the beginning to pull his balls out of his fanny pack. By the end of Episode 10, Cloud has managed to level up his balls enough to intimidate her while telling her how much of a bitch she's been to him since they've known each other.
  • A Good Name for a Rock Band: Tifa wants to name one her moves "The Assault Spiral" after hearing that that's the name Reeve gave to the cycle of assault and bribing Heidegger is responsible for kicking off whenever he assaults a random civilian. She later calls dibs on "Galactic Rock Crusher" when Cid describes Shinra using his rocket as a missile against Meteor.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: Aerith uses the word "blank" to substitute actual curse words.
  • Granola Girl: Aerith's adoptive mom is an environmentalist hippie who's all but stated to use various hallucinogens. The first descriptions of "the lifestream" come from her.
  • Groin Attack: Tifa shatters Reno's pelvis with a single mighty punch when he is trying to take down the Sector Seven plate. He requires surgery to fix his nethers, which he mentions later on.
    Reno: Aaaaw, you destroyed half of my enormous dick...
    Tifa: [snrk] Yeah, OK.
    Reno: Owowow, bad day to wear tight pants!
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Tifa, particularly in episode 7 thanks to the stress of traveling through a sewer after finding out her home is in danger. Of course, Aerith manages to test it and prove just how short her fuse is.
  • He Knows Too Much: Wedge had to join AVALANCHE after he found their hideout through the pinball machine, and saw too much.
  • Hearing Voices: Several times, Cloud hears and converses with the voice of Zack in times of distress, near-death, and while he's unconscious.
  • Hello, [Insert Name Here]: Prior to renaming the characters have different names by default:
    • Cloud started as "Blonde Zack", then switched to "Croudo-kun" before changing to "Cloud" proper.
    • Barret is "Mr. T".
    • Tifa is "Tifa The Liar".
    • Aerith has a humorous variant where the naming screen cannot decide "Aeris" or "Aerith," a nod to her Inconsistent localized names before deciding on the latter.
    • Red XIII's is DogCat, later switched with MeowBark, and then his name.
    • Yuffie gets interrupted mid-sentence with a fist to the face while introducing herself (cut off as "Yuff—"). The naming screen was nice enough to finish it.
    • Cait Sith has "Ket Shee" (the technically proper pronunciation of his name) and, a split second before that, "Reeve".
    • Vincent is "Alucard".
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Barret and Red XIII quickly becomes best friends and even joyfully snuggle together.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Aerith and Elmyra don't realize that Reno and the Turks are not nice people and have plans for Aerith. Even after they broke into their house and broke stuff in a rage, the two still think that the Turks are just worried about Aerith.
    • Cloud is the only party member who seems oblivious to the fact that Cait Sith is a Shinra spy, plus he automatically likes anyone who sides with him or is nice to him on their first meeting, regardless of whether they deserve it or not. He also ended up in Avalanche in the first place when he believed Tifa when she told him that the "solid" she wanted him to do would be super-easy.
  • Hurricane of Puns: Invoked and then immediately subverted by Reno and his posse discussing the "Falafel Incident".
    Reno: So what you're saying is... because of the awful falafel... I became unlawfully awful.
    Soldier 1: Yes sir, that's... exactly—
    Soldier 2: WORD PLAY!
  • Hypocritical Humor: Yuffie chewing out Cloud for being awful at picking up social cues. Before immediately asking Tifa if she's ready for the time of her life.
    Tifa: I'm ready to end my life.
    Yuffie: Great!
    • Red-XIII's reaction to Aerith being able to understand the Midgar Zolem (He was stoned off his ass at the time)
    Red-XIII: YEA! Animals can't Talk!
  • Idiot Plot: Invoked. Cloud and co wonder how they were beaten by the band of idiots that compromise Shinra's top executives after watching Palmer throw a tantrum because they took away his control over the funding of the space program, only to acknowledge the pinball machine, but gets countered with the idiot secretary that let them (and later apparently Sephiroth) walk in.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: After Cloud does something unsavory to get a pair of knickers, he marches straight back to the drug store and orders "One drugs, please."
  • The Infested: Vincent Valentine is filled with spiders that crawl out of his eye socket.
  • Innocent Bigot: Red XIII, who is rather simple but ultimately a nice guy, calls Barret "Black" as an In-Series Nickname. Barret allows it because of this trope.
    Barret: Scout ahead, Red.
    Red XIII: Okay, Black.
    Barret: You get a pass.
  • Inherently Funny Words:
    • In the outtakes, Takahata has a hard time reading Red XIII's line ("I've had an exceptionable amount of sex here") because he keeps laughing every time he says it.
    • Falafel, more specifically an awful falafel that led to Reno becoming unlawfully awful.
      Soldier: WORD PLAAAAY!
  • Intelligible Unintelligible: Jessie speaks like she has a sock in her mouth, probably due to the "alley dentist" mentioned by the others. The other characters can somewhat understand her, though Cloud mistakes her saying "My foot is stuck!" for something dirtier.
  • Interface Screw: After Tifa punches Yuffie in the face, the "name your character" screen pops up with several letters missing or out of place.
  • Ironic Echo:
    • The season one finale is full of them.
      • Upon finding President Shinra's body, Barret's response is "Well, well, well."
      • "Wow, who thought lightning would kill a robot?" "Anyone! Everyone would think to do that!" First between Cloud and Barret in the first episode, then between Tifa and Cloud in Episode 10... with the twist that Tifa was snarking and Cloud was being Sarcasm-Blind.
    • Barret keeps telling Cloud not to f*ck up. However, while passing by the ruins of Corel, a group of resident force him to say that he f*cked up after a past deal with Shinra led to the town's destruction years ago.
      • By extension, Dyne saying not to fuck up (uncensored), echos how serious their situation is.
    • Don Corneo asks Cloud, "Do you think you could ever, fall for me?" before dropping him into a trap door. Reno later asks Don Corneo the same thing before letting him fall off a cliff.
  • Irony: Tifa normally enforces Cloud's jumbled memories to avoid damaging his fragile psyche. The one time she calls him out on it by saying that he wasn't present when Zack died, she's the one that gets it wrong.
  • Jerkass: None of the characters, bar Aerith, her mother, and Red XIII, are nice people, being quick to insult others or get violent, and even Aerith has a rather subtle nasty streak. Once they all stop being this trope, they become much more competent, functional, and are truly worthy of being heroes.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: From the perspective of Tifa and Barret, Cloud is a whiny asshole who keeps fucking up. However, they can't help but acknowledge his frustrations with being recruited into a terrorist plot has a ring of truth.
    Cloud: I did you a solid and now I'm part of a terrorist cell!
    Tifa: Well... guess you got me there.
    • And then there's this little exchange where Barret was about to tear into Cloud yet again
      Yuffie: Wait wait wait wait wait... We're Shinra's most wanted?! AWESOME!!! What're you guys' kill counts at?
      Barret: About to go up substantially... because once again... Cloud has-
      Cloud: F**ked up, right? Because it's my fault that the only lead on Sephiroth just happened to be in a military town run by Shinra... 'Cuz it's my fault, right?
      Barret: Thank you, Cloud, I now have one rant saved for later.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
    • Barret is a foul-mouthed short-tempered jackass who isn't all that nice to Cloud and manipulates him into staying in AVALANCHE with Tifa's help, but he adores his adopted daughter Marlene and cares deeply for her. He also rags on Cloud constantly, but when Cloud starts standing up to him he responds by showing him some genuine respect at long last.
    • Tifa has used and abused Cloud for their entire friendship, tricked him into joining a terroist cell, treats Cloud like shit, threatens him with an Ass Shove and goes into great detail about how he'd get raped in prison to convince him to stay, but she does care a little about him in Episode 3 when he's about to fall to his death. Her character arc is about getting rid of the "jerk" part, as well as coming to terms with why she's one. Slowly, she drops this trope with Aerith, Yuffie, then finally, Cloud.
  • Knight of Cerebus:
    • President Shinra in his brief time does a decent job of being genuinely intimidating to the party. He speaks in a calm, deep voice with a slow cadence, and his only moments of levity are his metaphors, but even so, he proves to be a capable and ruthless leader of the Shinra Electric Power Company, able to leverage Heideggar and Scarlet's expertise without letting them get carried away, keeping Hojo on a loose leash in exchange for Hojo's scientific expertise, having Reeve in the loop while still mostly disdaining his bleeding heart, and (mostly) curbing Palmer's excesses. Of course, he's only a Starter Villain, and not even a full season into the series, he gets stabbed in the back as the main man takes center stage.
    • Sephiroth establishes himself as this from the moment he appears, with his ominous communication with Cloud and Aerith and the ensuing murder of President and his bodyguards and cell guards with a bloody floor. In the second and third seasons he's the character played closest to the source material, the only obvious deviation being exasperation at Cloud's desparate fanboying. And he still kills Aerith in cold blood at the end of the third season
  • Lame Pun Reaction: Every single time Cloud tries a one-liner, it falls hard.
    • When Barret tells Cloud "It's show time", Cloud responds with "Show time? Then I guess I'd better perform".
      Barret: Mmmmmmmm, mother of God.
    • When Cloud destroys the Motorball with a lightning spell:
      Cloud: And that's how I roll.
      Tifa: Uuuuuuuuuuuugh.
      Barret: "Eye roll" indeed.
    • Cloud suggests to Sephiroth that he use a cool one-liner the next time he kills someone. He suggests "Sorry to cut this meeting short." Sephiroth likes it, and later obliges.
      Sephiroth: Sorry to cut this meeting short.
      Tifa: *slow-motion, falling* That was sooo laaaaame!
      Cloud: Tifa!
      Sephiroth: That one-liner was for you, Cloud.
    • When Cloud defeats Jenova-BIRTH with Shiva:
      Cloud: Looks like you've been...put on ice.
      Tifa: Oh my God, Cloud.
    • When Cloud and the party resolve to defeat Sephiroth, he makes one last try. This is the first one that really makes the party actually angry.
      Cloud: Let's make Sephiroth's dream of becoming a god his... Final Fantasy.
      Everyone: BOOOO!!!! (throws tomatoes at him)
  • Lampshade Hanging:
    • Everyone comments on Jessie's screwed-up voice, with even Cloud commenting that she should probably get it checked out.
    • Barret says Aeris at one point, to which Tifa corrects him that it's "Aerith".
    • The Finale Movie has everyone take care of any unfinished businesses. The last episode of Season 4 has Cloud point out that they should finish any remaining sidequests and sweet loot to give them the edge in their final battle against Sephiroth.
  • Last-Second Photo Failure: While visiting Nibelheim, Cloud and Sephiroth get a group photo with Tifa, only for Cloud to sneeze just as the photo is taken. Subverted come the premiere of season 4 which reveals the real photo to actually be Zack in Cloud's place and shown to having been able to keep a stance.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
    • In the beginning of Episode 12, Cloud angrily hums the FFVII main theme as the party wanders aimlessly outside of Midgar.
    • In Episode 27, after the entire encounter at the Northern Crater. Tifa's wondering what happened in the week since they were there. Barret takes the time to say just how serious things are.
    Barret: Cloud— and I say this with zero comedic intent— *opens window to reveal Meteor in the sky* Cloud fucked up.
    • AVALANCHE hears "One-Winged Angel" the minute it starts, and are appropriately scared.
  • Leg Focus: Tifa believes her legs are her best feature and loves to show them off. Cloud...disagrees.
  • Limit Break: Parodied to hell.
  • Little Miss Badass: Marlene is left to run the bar, with a loaded gun.
    Customer: Excuse me, aren't you a little too young to be working at a bar?
    [gun cocks]
    Marlene: Aren't you a little too old to be asking stupid questions?
    • Priscilla, a small child who runs an anti-Shinra terrorist organisation and blackmails the gang into attempting an assassination against Rufus. She also swears like a docker.
  • Logging onto the Fourth Wall: The site mentioned in Episode 14,, is real (albeit crudely designed) with the rankings that were mentioned in the episode. The pic used for Tifa is a webcam girl that happened to cosplay as her at one point, and links to her Twitter (which is NSFW, as one might suspect).
  • Madness Mantra: When Cloud first meets the creepy, black robed guys AKA, The Sephiroth Clones all they can do is repeat the word "Reunion" over and over, much to his increasing annoyance. Subverted in that they change it up slightly, just to further piss him off.
    Cloud: Can you say anything else other than "Reunion"?
    Little Robe: (Quieter) Red onion.
    Cloud: Oh, now you're just pissing me off!
    Both robed guys: Reunion
    Cloud: Shut up!
    Both robed guys: Reunion
    Robed guy: Reuni-
    Cloud: Shut up!
    Other Robed guy: Reu-
    Cloud: Shut up!
    Robed guy: Sephiroth
    Cloud: SHUT U... wait, say that again?
    Both robed guys: REUNION!
  • Manchild:
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!": A prominent example of this is in episode 25. Cloud requests to speak to Aerith as she praying in the Temple of the Ancients. Everything seems fine until Sephiroth brainwashes him into brandishing his sword...
    Tifa: Cloud, no!
    Cait Sith: WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!
    Vincent: Noooo...!
    Red XIII: Bad human! Drop it!
    Barret: DON'T F**K UUUP!!!
    Zack: Cloud...!
  • Mate or Die: When Avalanche is captured by Shinra, Cloud and Tifa are taken away to become part of Hojo's experiments. Cloud reacts with horror at the prospect of having sex with Tifa, which offends her.
    Cloud: [in panic] No no no, you can't force me to have sex with Tifa!
  • Meaningful Echo: In Episode 25, Aerith snaps Cloud out of mind control by telling him "You're Cloud, never forget that!" She's killed by Sephiroth seconds later. In the finale movie, when Sephiroth asks Cloud "Who the hell do you think you are?!" Cloud replies (alongside an Omnislash) "I'm Cloud. Never forget that!"
  • Miles Gloriosus: Cloud talks a big game, but most of the time, he's a total coward near any actual danger.
  • Money to Burn: Unintentionally by Palmer. While being questioned about what he could possibly need 10 billion gil for in the Space Division (the equivalent of being Reassigned to Antarctica in Shinra), Palmer gleefully notes he has been literally throwing billions of gil into a fire, because he thinks that's how you buy space.
  • Mood Killer: Tifa in episode 10, when she purposely counteracts her desire to make sure Cloud was safe by making a lame "Floor 69" joke.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • Episode 10 starts with the group in prison with their usual quirks, followed with Cloud's nightmare of Sephiroth and his murders ensue. Then two comical boss fights occurring at the same time with Cloud and Rufus trash-talking each other when the latter escapes and Cloud fighting off the authorities on a bike and another boss fight. And then it ends with Cloud giving Tifa a truly scathing "The Reason You Suck" Speech. Ending with Red XIII saying "Holy shit". The latter is Played for Laughs. The former, Played for Drama.
    • Episode 11 switches rapidly between Sephiroth being treated as a genuinely nightmarish and broken presence in past events, and the comedically dysfunctional exchanges between Cloud and company. The episode then ends with a dramatic (if intentionally goofy) Say My Name between Cloud and Sephiroth, quickly followed by Barret revealing that he was so busy listing the various Bahamut's that he missed the entire story.
    • The full Season 4 compilation features the 'Tankceratops and The Vehicularsaurs' sketch from Episode 28, which is absurd and downright silly; before jumping straight into one of the most serious, if not, important backstory-focused episodes of the entire series.
  • Mushroom Samba: Episode 7 has Tifa have some of Elmyra's "special cookies" and she sees a unicorn that turns into snakes.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Cloud does a forced laugh that sounds remarkably similar to Tidus' own forced laugh when Tifa pauses his flashback to make fun of Cloud's fangasm over Sephiroth.
    • In Episode 20, when Cloud, Yuffie, and Aerith find Vincent's coffin, Aerith guesses that it's a zombie, while Yuffie guesses that it's a werewolf. They're both right, with Vincent's Frankenstein's monster-like Death Gigas and werewolf-like Galian Beast transformations.
    • One of Cid's gimmicks for this characterization, where all other Cids in the franchise are ancestors of his
      • In episode 21, Cid says that a bad idea is "pissing your wife off so bad that she turns your ass into an oglop," which happened to his great-grandpa, Cid the IX.
      • At one point he mentions Cid VIII, noting that he was the headmaster of a prominent academy— and the black sheep of the family.
    • Episode 23 opens with Cid regaling about another great-grandpappy, Cid the VI, described as having "created magical technology for an entire empire" yet wears a "f**king banana suit"
    • Also in Episode 23, Vincent once again talks in his sleep (in the cemetery of the horror-themed hotel...even if those are supposed to be passages to the other areas of the theme park) and from his mumbling, he says something like "You're looking quite the dirge today, Cerberus".
      • Additionally, the portrayal of his transformations call back to that game as well. Just like in Dirge, he only has two: his starting Galian Beast and Chaos. Also, Galian Beast is only referred to as a werewolf, despite not looking particularly canine in the original graphics, but it kind of does in the original artwork, and definitely so in its redesign.
      • His middle two transformations are still referenced in smaller ways. Vincent's extra emphasis as a living corpse could represent the Frankenstinian Death Gigas, while his use of Ash William's "Groovy" represents the chainsaw-armed Hellmasker.
    • Bahamut's appearance has a few references
      • Just like in a lot of games, most notably Final Fantasy X, he acts as the spokesdragon for his fellow summoned kin.
      • He also has references to his original appearance. He's given an offering related to rodents[[note]]the Rat Tail in I, two innocent Mu squirrels here and in turn, he gives them access to greater power for their offering, reverence, and respectnote .
      • Given his comparisons to Bahamut here, Ultimate Weapon takes his original appearance's role of judge of the heroes' worthiness and rewarding them for it with amazing power, in this case, Cloud's Ultima Weapon.
      • Red brings up Ifrit having anger issues, likely a reference to his more recent antagonistic portrayals in Final Fantasy XV and XVI
    • Safer Sephiroth's opening lines are based on Dummied Out lines he would have said signaling the start of the battle, tweaked to be more personally directed at AVALANCHE.
    • Cloud Omnislashing the shirtless Sephiroth to death set to "One-Winged Angel" seems like an ironic use of the theme, unless you recall that's what happens in Advent Children. Especially since Cloud and Sephiroth have a similar exchange regarding Sephiroth being a memory.
    • Just like in Reminiscence of Final Fantasy VII, the ending scene of The Lifestream stopping Meteorfall is set to "Aerith's Theme".
  • No-Nonsense Nemesis: Sephiroth is The Stoic, and much less intentionally funny than the rest of the cast. He does lay on the snark in Episode 11... until The Reveal that JENOVA is his mother, causing Sephiroth to drop the snark entirely in favor of being a Cold Ham.
  • Noodle Incident: Reno isn't trusted to handle Aerith by himself after something involving a falafel stand.
  • Not Now, Kiddo: In Episode 12, Aerith repeatedly tries to tell the other members of AVALANCHE that the Zolom is hurt and just needs to be healed, but no one listens to her.
  • Not Hyperbole: After getting given a Tifa punch to the 'nads, Reno is able to moan out that Tifa destroyed half of his enormous dick. Tifa snickers, not believing it for a second. Come Season 2, when Elena joins the Turks, it turns out Reno is in surgery from the hit and it really was that big.
  • N-Word Privileges: Invoked by Barret. Red XIII calls Barret "Black" as an In-Series Nickname after Barret calls him "Red" in the same way. Barret decides that Red XIII gets a pass, presumably because he doesn't know any better.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Barret realizes both Red XIII and Aerith are this when they call "Not it" before he even finishes saying someone will need to scout outside of Shinra HQ to see how strong the army of soldiers is.
    Barret: Neither one of you are as dumb as you lead on to be.
  • One-Hit Kill: this is what happens whenever Tifa's in the party and they face a human enemy : the fight's over in one punch. The victims so far are Reno, whose pelvis and testicles she shattered, and Yuffie, who got her face smashed in and her naming interface scrambled.
  • Only Sane Man: Reeve to the Shinra executives. He tries to rein in their corrupt, stupid, or just plain insane abuse of their budgets, and he's the only one that cares that the company killed a bunch of innocent people in an attempt to kill AVALANCHE.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: Aerith is somehow able to meet up with Cloud after he runs away from her house. This is lampshaded by Cloud, who questions how she was able to move that fast.
  • Overly Long Gag: For the entirety of Episode 11 while Cloud talks about his and Tifa's first encounter with Sephiroth, Barret can faintly be heard listing off the many, many versions of Bahamut; both the versions in the Final Fantasy franchise and parodied from different game titles.note 
  • Parody Assistance: The soundtrack for the series is the original Final Fantasy VII OST with new arrangements by AinTunez. The reason Team Four Star is allowed to sell albums of this music is because they have a contract with Square Enix to use the original game's score in the series and pay back a cut of the profit. As such, this is one of the only abridged series that has legal sanction from the holder of the parodied work's IP.
  • Person as Verb: Red at one point uses Cloud's name as synonym for "fucking up" after being insensitive to Barret, much to Cloud's chagrin. Worse yet, it catches on.
  • Phrase Catcher: Cloud's also on the receiving end of a number of "Don't fuck up"s and "Did you fuck up?"s from Barret.
  • Played for Drama:
    • The teams threat to Cait Sith drops any pretense of humour. There is no joke here. The calm but furious tones in their voice make it clear that if Cait Sith screws them over again, they will find the real him and throw him off the top of Shinra headquarters.
    • Aerith's death scene is played incredibly straight with zero humor, thanks to Sephiroth and a pissed-off Cloud.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: Random encounters in any area are usually glossed over. Several boss fights are skipped outright or reduced to only one or two attacks before they go down. The Jenova fight that occurs after Aerith's death is omitted entirely.
  • Precision F-Strike: The word "fuck" is normally censored by the original game's "cannot do an action" buzzer. A few times, it goes uncensored for dramatic effect.
    • Just as Dyne falls in Barret's flashback, he tells Barret "don't fuck up," explaining the origin of Barret's Character Catchphrase and serving as the first instance of the word being uncensored.
    • Episode 18 has Tifa being suspicious with Cait Sith being The Mole. When Cloud and Aerith ignore this...
      Cloud:" It could be anyone... Tifa.
      Tifa:''' Oh you are un-fucking-believable.note 
    • Episode 24 has the entire group openly questioning why Cait Sith is still with them when he's an acknowledged traitor, overriding any protest on his part.
      Tifa: Then why, Cait? Why's your greedy corporate fat-cat ass even here?
    • In the Big Damn Movie, Cloud gets one when he visits the libratory where Sephiroth began his Villainous Breakdown just before his final battle with him, only his delivery is more scared and tearful, conveying his vulnerability.
      Cloud: I'm scared. I'm so fucking scared.
    • Played for Laughs later in the movie, courtesy of Red XIII after Tifa and Cloud's heart-to-heart under the Highwind.
  • Prison Rape: Cloud is intimidated into sticking with AVALANCHE by Tifa and Barret both pointing out that should Cloud be caught, he'll be sent to prison, where his hair makes for a convenient grab hold for no fewer than four men. This is one of the primary points Cloud brings up in his "The Reason You Suck" Speech at the end of Season 1.
  • Puff of Logic: After Yuffie joins the party, a monster attacks them. The one thing Cloud notices about the monster is that it has gills and proceeds to question how it is able to survive outside of water for so long. It immediately dies after Cloud brings up this fact.
  • Rage Breaking Point:
    • After an entire season of putting up with Tifa's abuse, Cloud finally gets sick of it in Episode 10 after she remarks that he "feels safest" around her. This triggers him giving her one hell of a "The Reason You Suck" Speech that leaves everyone in stunned silence.
    • Both Tifa and Cloud are enraged when they meet Sephiroth in episode 14 and he doesn't remember them or burning Niebelheim down to the ground.
  • Really Dead Montage: After Sephiroth kills Aerith, the bouncing hair band she wore is interspersed with shots of her throughout the adventure while her theme softly plays on a piano.
  • Ripped from the Headlines: Turns out Palmer wanted to go to space so that he could take a photo to prove that the world is flat.
  • Rule of Funny: In episode 26, Cid yells "WELCOME TO EARTH, BITCH!" as he kills Jenova-DEATH. In-universe, this makes no sense - the planet is officially referred to as Gaia in future material but simply "the Planet" in the original game. Out of universe, it's hilarious, so it gets a pass. note 
  • Rule of Three: President Shinra's Verbal Tic of "Well, well, well...", which is lampshaded in episode 9.
    President Shinra: Well, well, well... Well, well, well... Well
    Tifa: Oh, god, get on with it!
    President Shinra: Let me finish. I've got two more "wells" in me, young lady.
  • Running Gag:
    • Somebody telling somebody else (usually Cloud) "Don't fuck up!" and every possible variation.
    • Plans involving explosives are likely to go wrong, especially when Cloud is around.
    • The fact that the pinball machine in 7th Heaven is a horrible choice for the secret entrance to the AVALANCHE base is brought up frequently since there may be people who might be interested in playing. The Shinra Tower Secretary is being used in the same vein.
    • The squelching noise as Cloud gains or loses the Party in My Pocket. It understandably grosses him out.
    • Cloud hearing the voice in his head while he's asleep or unconscious, only for said voice to say something weird or awkward. He wakes up see someone talking to him, turning out to be a Crashing Dream.
    • Shinra's plan of dropping a section of [Midgar] city on top of another section of the city is frequently pointed out as excessive at least and insane at worst, before and after the deed is done.
    • Barret's frustration of facing Shindra's robots, especially when his friends have trouble dealing with them while he's around.
    • Characters debating whether Red XIII is a cat or a dog.
    • Cloud's terrible one-liners.
    • Cloud frequently making fun of the names of moves Tifa learned from "Zangan's Dungeon of Fisting", specifically her "[Innocent Innuendo Dolphin Blow]]".
    • Cid's running gag of mentioning his ancestors, who are also named Cid.
    • Yuffie's standard exit is yelling "Yuffie out!" and vanishing in a puff of smoke.
    • Cait Sith explicitly being unrecognized by the Shinra execs the party encounters even while he's airing his grievances as Reeve towards them, and clearly talks to them like he knows them personally.
    • Anytime anything remotely dark or morbid is brought up, Mog interjects with something nihilistically.
    • Anytime god summons are brought up, Bahamut is the fist the comes to mind for Barret. He then lists different Bahamuts based on game titles.
    • Any time the spiders that have nested in Vincent's body are mentioned, for some reason, they always crawl over Barret's face, much to the latter's natural horror. It's implied this happens far more than whenever the bugs are brought up.
  • Sanity Ball: The role of straight man is passed around a lot between Cloud, Tifa, Barret, and Cid depending on the situation.
  • Sarcasm Mode: Several times:
    • When Tifa forgets to bring the map:
      Tifa: Was there some sort of meeting?
      Barret: Oh yeah! With complementary meats and biscuits!
    • When Cloud gets frustrated with Tifa's immaturity while trying to rescue her from Don Corneo's.
      Tifa: I'm sorry. I just...I can't get over the boobs!
      Cloud: Well now I know what it's like to be one of your shirts.
      Tifa: Ohhh, sick burn Cloud. I have huge tits.
    • When Cloud spends all their money on a single chocobo green that he then loses when Red eats:
      Cloud: Are you calling me a liar?
      Tifa: Oh, no! That's my nickname, right Cloud? "Tifa the Liar." Well, here's one on the house for you: you're stronger than Sephiroth.
      Cloud: Thank you! ...Waaaaaait.
      Tifa: Also, you never fuck up! Never ever!
      Cloud: Okay, Tifa, I get it.
  • Sdrawkcab Speech: Cloud's imaginary friend "ChoCho" from episode 22 speaks in this briefly. It's framed like a humorous example of Black Speech unless you're reading the subtitles.
    ChoCho: Black Materia, join the Reunion.
  • Setting Update: The aesthetics of the characters and the world are the same as the original game but mobile phones are now modern touch screen smartphones instead of flip phones and there are now equivalents to the internet, Twitter and Netflix (Shintranet, Warker and Shinflix).
  • Silent Credits: After Aerith's death in episode 25, the normally upbeat victory fanfare is cut as Tifa's icon leaves flowers to mark the occasion in silence.
    • Episode 27 counts, but it's downplayed, as, while it lacks the fanfare, "From the Edge of Despair" is left playing with a sad image of Tifa, highlighting her own brokenness over Cloud's comatose state just after he'd completely been broken by Sephiroth and indirectly by her.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: Episode 25, which focuses on the death of Aerith, is much more somber than past episodes. Her death is played solely for drama, the entire group is heartbroken, and Cloud is burning with Tranquil Fury.
    • Episode 26 bypasses the entire Icicle Inn and snowboarding minigame segment, skipping straight to the party's arrival at the North Crater.
    • Episode 29 takes it a step further as the episode takes place entirely within Cloud's mind, delving into his backstory with Tifa. As a result, there is little to no jokes in this episode, with only one particular noticeable joke at the very end of the episode. Its also funny to consider that the Tankceratops skit from the previous episode is sandwiched between the end of that episode and all of Episode 29.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Sound-Effect Bleep: Particularly foul-mouthed cursing is at least partially bleeped out by the "invalid option" sound effect from the game.
    • It doubles as a reference to the game's liberal use of Symbol Swearing.
    • Notably averted with Dyne, the man who gave birth to "Don't fuck up." Whenever he says it, it's uncensored.
    • Also averted when Tifa gets annoyed at Cloud accusing her for being a spy.
    • As well as when Cait Sith blows his stack when the group likens him to the rest of the Shinra execs. Note that a few seconds earlier, Cid saying "fucker" also goes uncensored, letting you know the scene is turning serious.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Non-human example. While imprisoned by Shinra and after escaping Midgar, Barret throws around the idea of rebuilding AVALANCHE with the current party, but the idea is dropped not long after. Here, Barret, along with Red, still strongly carry the spirit of it well into the events of Disc 2 and onward, with their trademark "AVALANCHE TIME!" Character Catchphrase. Red still keeps it alive 500 years later, as well as by whoever's populating the ruins of Midgar, given the instantaneous response of "MOTHAFUCKA!" in the distance.
  • Speaks Fluent Animal:
    • Aerith can understand the Zolom. Cloud is apoplectic at wondering how, until Aerith says the Zolom thinks he's really strong, at which point Cloud is totally on board.
    • Somehow, Red can understand Ultimate WEAPON, so it's able to translate that it doesn't want to fight them. Barret lampshades the impossibility of him being able to understand "a world-protecting dragon". Red chalks it off to taking a night class.
  • Speech Impediment: Jesse has a slur that nescessitates the use of subtitles, implied to be the result of going to a Back-Alley Doctor instead of a real dentist.
  • Stab the Scorpion: When the group lures Barret to them in Corel Prison after he ran off, it looks like he's about to shoot them, only to reveal he shot a hidden assailant instead.
  • Stealth Insult: Rufus Shinra's official statement on his father's murder.
  • Sticky Fingers: Yuffie, as explained by herself in the Season 2 trailer. She will pick up anything not nailed down.
  • Story-Breaker Power: The powerful Materia Summons take a back seat for most of the series, and when they are used at least once, they are taken out for one reason or another.
    • In Episode 14, Cloud summons Shiva to eliminate a Jenova monster, but Aerith shatters it after out of envy of her beauty.
    • In the Finale Movie, Barret finally summons Bahamut before the Final Battle, but the dragon refuses to join. All of the other "Bahamuts" feel the same way.
    • Later, Barret and Red attempt to summon the Knights of the Round, but Safer Sephiroth simply swats the materia away before it activates.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: Both Tifa and Barret independently muse that Cloud would not do well in prison with that hair, because "There's just so much to grab."
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: This series does a great job of deconstructing standard RPG tropes.
    • The entrance to AVALANCHE's hideout is hidden under a pinball machine. Cloud rightly points out that literally anyone who wants to play pinball could accidentally find it (Wedge was forced to join AVALANCHE because of this), and it indeed ends up being their undoing.
      Tifa: How exactly did you figure out where our base is?!
      Don Corneo: Oh, well, there was a pinball machine in a bar my agent went to...
      Tifa: Say no more.
    • President Shinra apparently believed Talking Is a Free Action, which wound up getting him killed by Sephiroth.
    • When you treat your friends like crap and use Prison Rape as an ultimatum and STILL have the audacity to act like they still consider you a friend, they're going to snap at you eventually.
    • Yuffie combines President Shinra's mistake above with Calling Your Attacks (more specifically yelling SURPRISE ATTACK!!! and allowing Tifa to lay her out).
    • By the end of Season One, the party is set up to go on their epic, globetrotting journey, but Overworld Not to Scale is apparently not in effect.
      Tifa: Cloud, we've been walking for five hours.
    • Cloud rants at length about how the whole GP system at the Gold Saucer is stupid, and Dio ends up taking his criticism to heart in the worst possible way when he introduces a loot box system, which is not only a complete flop, but financially ruins Dio and results in the Gold Saucer closing down.
    • After all the crap he's pulled, Cait Sith is NOT Easily Forgiven even after he bares his soul to the party, with Tifa, Cid, and Barret making it overwhelmingly clear that they'll kill him if he betrays them again. Even after helping save their asses after Cloud royally f**ked up, Barret has no intention of apologizing to him. In fact, Barret initially instantly shoots down Cait Sith's idea on the grounds that he's a spy before the latter convinces him by bugging Rufus' meeting.
    • After failing TSUNAMI's mission to assassinate Shinra's leaders, Priscilla is in no mood to help out Barret.
    • A bone-thin, executive baroness slaps and abuses a handcuffed martial artist, chains her to a gas chair and leaves her to die, and expects recapturing her after her kaiju-assisted escape to be a cakewalk? Yeah, no.
    • Tifa's significantly mellowed out since Season 1 after coming to terms with her issues and with Cloud, Yuffie, and Aerith, and has since developed closer towards her canon counterpart. But the habit of giving threats of horrific violence isn't simply going to go away after five years of being stuck in that attitude. But due to Character Development, the full attitude returns only when sufficiently angered and towards someone who truly deserves it. Since all three of the above no longer even irritate her, she now directs such old habits if they do resurface towards her enemies, Scarlet in particular.
    • Similarly, the very tragedy of Tifa's attitude toward Cloud during Season 1 involves a case of this. In the flashback to them meeting again in Midgar after Nibelheim, when Cloud notices her being unusually kind towards and worried for him, she consciously reverts to her regular bitchy and abusive attitude as a mask to deflect suspicion. Unfortunately, because it is her usual behavior, her well-meaning intentions to hide her genuine concern for Cloud get lost in her dysfunction, resulting her in just being regularly abusive towards Cloud, causing serious harm to their relationship, and many more tragedies, both between and around them, before they finally resolve their issues together in Episode 29.
    • Midgard Channel 7 News may be a less then accurate news source. But that doesn't mean the people running it aren't human. During the news coverage of the WEAPONS awakening, the ticker writer leaves partway through broadcast in distress and more of the news team ends up leaving throughout Episode 27. Tom, the host, when faced with the news of the world destroying WEAPONS waking up, is far less composed then prior appearances. Upon being told that they have been active for a week and he (and most of the rest of the world) is only just now finding out, he rightfully calls his team out. When his team try to move the story on to AVALANCHE's capture to keep the news cycle going, he snaps. Professional news anchor for a corrupt regime or not, finding out about a world ending threat will break anyone's composure and will make every other story presented seem insignificant by comparison.
      Sam: Look! Look! Tom, Tom, I get it, ok? You're freaking out.
      Tom: It flies, Sam! It F***ING FLIES!
      Sam: Can we please be professional and move on to our other story?
      Tom: I'm sorry Sam, but no! There is nothing else-
      Sam: We got a report that Shinra's most wanted have been captured and-
      Tom: Oh my god, Shinra's most wanted has been captured. Yay! They were such a big threat. THEY'RE F***ING PEOPLE, SAM! THESE ARE GIANT F***ING MONSTERS! THERE IS NO OTHER NEWS THAT IS BIGGER THAN THI-
      (Cut to a shot of Meteor hanging in the sky above the Planet)
      Tom: ...I'm done. I'm out. I'm f**king out. F**k you, and f**k the news.
    • As Barret points out, detonating a high amount of unstable energy like the Huge Materia in the atmosphere would be a bad idea, not unlike a nuke detonating in the air. Meteor MAY get destroyed ( or not, as you find out once Shinra launches the rocket at it), but there could be lasting consequences on the already environmentally crippled Planet. Thus is the party's justification for stealing the Huge Materia.
    • As badass as the party is, they can't fight a Kaiju like Diamond Weapon, if only due to its sheer size. They can certainly try, but they're definitely going to have a bad time. The only reason they'd even try to fight one, even chase it across the Planet, is that one of them holds that would significantly even the odds against Sephiroth, Luckily for them, Ultimate at least is more intelligent in this version to recognize that AVALANCHE are the good humans trying to save the Planet, and so just outright rewards them with Ultima Weapon, and that Red conveniently can understand their speech to convey that.
    • Just because some monsters, be they normal or Summoned, are capable of speech, doesn't mean all of them are. Ultimate wastes 20 hours of AVALANCHE's by forcing it on a wild goose chase around the Planet, because it doesn't want to fight the people it recognizes as the heroes trying to save the Planet but has no way to conveying that, at least until someone who can understand it manages to hear it vainly trying to respond to Cloud. Retroactively, this means Cloud's attempt to reason with Diamond Weapon MIGHT have worked.
    • Having a giant, intimidating, heavily armed mecha doesn't mean much when the pilots have no idea how to control it. (Because he has no idea how it works Heidegger ends up accidentally triggering the self-destruct, killing himself and Scarlet in the process.)
    • Yuffie and her father have so much dysfunction between them that getting them to talk without trying to murder each other is near impossible. Both getting stoned off their asses is the only way the two calm down enough to actually communicate.
    • If fighting any of the Weapons was already an impossible task, what more fighting a Physical God of sheer cosmic power like Safer Sephiroth, even with the strongest weapons and Materia imaginable. It takes divine intervention from a Physical God that was a friend in life to at least even the odds, if not outright turn the tables.
  • Suspect Is Hatless: When asking the guard at Don Corneo's mansion if he's seen Tifa. He gives a vague description of her having brown hair, average height and long legs which the guard fails to recognise, at which Cloud gives up dancing around it and just says she had enormous breasts and probably insulted him which the guard recognizes instantly.
    • Subverted in episode 2, as the only thing the police sketch of Cloud got right was his spiky hair, but everyone considers this enough for Cloud to quickly get picked up by Shinra's forces.
  • Take That!:
    • When Cloud introduces himself to Barret in Episode 1, the latter questions if he got his name because he "rains on everyone's parade".
    • Barret's ramble in the background of Episode 11 ends with a jab towards Kingdom Hearts and its Sequel Gap between games II and III.
    • Episode 16 has one to microtransactions (especially the "Buy fake currency with real money" kind), and since it was released around the time of the release of Star Wars Battlefront II (2017) (a game with a large controversy regarding its pay-to-win mentality), it makes it even funnier.
      • Mocked further in episode 23, as Dio listened to Cloud's complaints about GP... and instead went with Loot Saucers. One conversation with Coates later, and he finds out he's now bankrupt for how poorly that idea went over.
    • Episode 16 also has another allusion to Final Fantasy VIII when someone floats the idea that Sephiroth might have added a gun to his sword, which Cloud dismisses because he could see someone cutting their own face with that setup.
      • Yet more shade gets thrown at Final Fantasy VIII during Cid's backstory, where Shera says that one of the oxygen tanks uses a "siphoning system that nobody really enjoys" and also has a "weird junction system".
      • The oxygen tanks are brought up again in Episode 30 when Shera comments that tank #8 was finally remastered. Cloud remarks "you paint a shitty house, it's still a shitty house. But hey, whatever makes you happy".
    • In episode 23, Cloud has an offscreen conversation with "some guy with a gunblade", which ends with them agreeing that 13 is the worst number.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Nobody in AVALANCHE actually seems to like working with each other; though they all gang up on Cloud, they're just as likely to bicker with each other while on a mission. Even as the rest of the team starts becoming Fire-Forged Friends, Aerith and Tifa are clearly not pleased with each other's presence (Aerith sees Tifa as a rival for Cloud's affections, and Tifa finds Aerith annoying).
  • Tempting Fate:
    • Episode 3: Cloud psyches himself up for the day saying he'll survive this. Gilligan Cut to him plummeting to his apparent doom.
    • Episode 13: The group has no leads with the Turks ahead of them and Red is still higher than a hippie on an airplane, and Tifa sarcastically asks for another headache from the universe.
    Yuffie: Surprise attaaaaaaack! *Fight Woosh*
  • Theme Naming: It turns out all freedom fighter groups are named after natural disasters. Besides AVALANCHE and TSUNAMI, there's also BLIZZARD, SANDSTORM, HURRICANE, and QUAKE.
    Yuffie: Ooooh, QUAKE sounds awesome!
    Barret: No! QUAKE sucks! They're a bunch of assholes!
  • Timed Mission: Also parodied to hell. Cloud attempts to set the bomb's time to ten minutes. Unfortunately, he sets it to five, then to one minute, to Barret's irritation.
  • Title Drop: As the Highwind heads to the Northern Crater to confront Sephiroth, Cloud announces that they will "make Sephiroth's dream of becoming a god his... final fantasy."

    He is immediately attacked with tomatoes.
    • It happens again when Safer Sephiroth has the heroes at his mercy.
  • Touché: In the second episode, Barret responds to Cloud's remarks about "having a long day" by asking if his plans went awry because someone fucked up.
    Cloud: Thanks to Tifa, yes.
    Barret: ...Fair enough.
  • True Companions: For all their bickering, shouting at each other, squables, and rivalry, the group has stuck together throughout their adventures and gradually has become closer as the series goes on. Cemented in episode 22 as Tifa declares they're family, complete with Yuffie listing off each character relationship.
  • Unfortunate Names: In episode 11, we meet the man who trained Tifa, who describes his dojo as "The Dungeon of Fisting", causing Tifa to get defensive. Then when challenged, Tifa has a hard time naming 3 attacks of hers that don't also sound like sex acts. Out of frustration, she threatens to Dolphin Blow them. Of course, based on Cid's comments in Episode 26, the naming scheme was likely deliberate, but poor Tifa remains completely unaware that it wasn't JUST a dojo....
  • Unsettling Gender-Reveal: Invoked, but subverted, Don Corneo isn't deterred by Cloud revealing that he's a guy. In fact, he's actually a bit elated.
  • Unwanted Assistance: As Cloud is setting up a bomb and Barret nagging him on what to do. Well... See above.
    Barret: Now, set the timer.
    Cloud: I don't need you micromanaging me okay?
    Barret: Oh really?! Because after the events of today, I would have to respectfully disagree! Now set the timer.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: It's revealed that practically all of Cloud's self-esteem issues that culminated in him assisting Sephiroth in summoning Meteor and becoming an Empty Shell could be traced back to Tifa's father blowing up at him when he was 12 years-old for an accident that wasn't even his fault.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: Yuffie and Tifa play Mog House at the Gold Saucer, and deliberatly kill the protaganist just to laugh hysterically at it.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: For all their sniping and insulting each other, Cloud and Tifa appear to genuinely care for each other. Cloud and Barret also seem to grow into this as well.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Dio just wears a pair of speedos.
  • Waxing Lyrical: In Episode 11's flashback to the Nibelheim Incident, Cloud twice says things to the lyrical structure of "One Winged Angel," even ending the second time with "SEPHIROTH!"
  • Wham Episode: Episode 25 with Aerith's death played completely straight without any humor, surprisingly somber for a comedic abridged series.
  • Wham Line:
    • Episode 11 fully cements Sephiroth's status as a No-Nonsense Nemesis by taking things even further than his canon counterpart.
      Sephiroth: I murdered your mother, Cloud.
    • Episode 17 subverts Censored for Comedy to highlight the emotional impact that Dyne's "death" had on Barret.
      Dyne: Take care of her. Treat her as your own. And live by these words: Don't. Fuck. Up.
    • Episode 30 has one at the end, with Cait Sith explain to the party the bad news about Shinra's cannon.
      Cait Sith: No... its... its bad new... really, really, big. Bad. News...

  • What the Hell, Hero?: At the end of Episode 10, Cloud finally gets fed up with Tifa constantly belittling him and furiously calls her out on blackmailing him into joining AVALANCHE despite claiming to be his friend, followed by him accusing her of treating him so poorly because she hasn't gotten over her father's murder yet. Ouch.
  • With Lyrics: Yuffie tends to sing along to whatever tune is relevent to their current situation. In episode 15, she chants along to the victory fanfare.
  • Wingding Eyes:
    Red XIII: Maybe they sell antidotes at the buffet over there.
    Barret: Red, you know that's a chocobo farm, right?
    Red XIII: [With fried chicken wings in his eyes] Buffffffffff-èèèèèèèèt
  • With Friends Like These...: Cloud's friends are a psychobitch who's been extorting him since childhood and threatens him with blackmail if he doesn't follow through, and a terrorist who dropped the blame on him for every one of his actions in front of President Shinra. Cloud lampshades this when he meets Aerith, which isn't helped by the reveal of AVALANCHE betting on when they thought he would die.
  • Yandere: Aerith's Clingy Jealous Girl behavior starts crossing into this in around episode 14, where she 'accidentally' destroys the Shiva Materianote  after Cloud remarks on how beautiful the summoned goddess is.
  • Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters: Directly invoked in Episode 2, where Tifa and Cloud argue about what AVALANCHE is doing:
    Tifa: Oh, come on! How is destroying a factory that sucks the life out of the planet terrorism?!
    Cloud: Every— Every part of it was terrorism!

This is the tale... of AVALANCHE TIME!!*


Video Example(s):


Shinra Stairway

Cloud and the others take the long stairway back entrance to reach the top. Except, there was something at the top no one anticipated.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (15 votes)

Example of:

Main / AbsurdlyLongStairway

Media sources: