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Western Animation / Voltron: Legendary Defender

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"Defenders of the Universe," huh? That's got a nice ring to it.

Allura: You five were brought here for a reason. Together, you will form Voltron, the greatest weapon ever known, protector of the innocent, and our only hope to save the universe.
Hunk: Geez, no pressure.

Voltron: Legendary Defender is the newest Voltron series since Voltron Force was cut short in 2012. Unlike that show, however, Legendary Defender reboots the concept and gives it a nice clean slate to tell the tale anew. It is also the first Voltron series to be produced after the franchise was bought by DreamWorks Animation, among other titles. The show is produced by Lauren Montgomery and Joaquim Dos Santos, best known for their work on Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra and animated by Studio Mir (also known for its work on Korra).

Far into the future, humanity's fledgling space travels are run by the Galaxy Garrison, which is shaken when one of its most talented members, Shiro (Josh Keaton), lands back on earth after going missing on a mission a year prior. Shiro and four other pilots — cadets Lance (Jeremy Shada), Pidge (Bex Taylor-Klaus), and Hunk (Tyler Labine), as well as dropout Keith (Steven Yeun), chance upon a giant robotic Blue Lion in the desert. They are transported to the mysterious Castle of Lions, where the alien Princess Allura (Kimberly Brooks) of Altea has been in cryosleep for 10,000 years. Allura names the five Paladins of the legendary warrior Voltron in hopes that they can defeat the nefarious Galra Empire, who have been conquering the various galaxies for millennia, and restore peace to the universe. But first, they'll have to rebuild Voltron, figure out how to pilot their individual Lions, learn to work as a team, build alliances with colorful alien races, and maybe grow up along the way.


The series is streamed on Netflix, with 78 episodes altogether, produced as three production blocks of 26 episodes each, released in eight variable-length seasons. The series premiered on June 10, 2016 and its eighth and final season premiered on December 14, 2018.

Note that spoilers from Seasons 1-4 are unmarked.

The five Lions form these tropes:

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    Tropes A to F 
  • 2D Visuals, 3D Effects: Though Voltron, the Lions, and most Robeasts are definitely CG, the improved techniques make them blend far better with the rest of the art than in almost any other show to date. However, the CG sequences run at 24 fps while the animated sequences run at 15 fps, so a lot of the action sticks out pretty jarringly. In 3x07, it seems the Lions were created with "battle damage", because the animation team didn't bother to alter the 3D models for their debut scene.
  • Action Girl: Allura. Not only is she capable and fearless while piloting the Castle of Lions, using it for fire support, she's also surprisingly strong and badass physically, as we see in "Collection and Extraction".
    • Pidge as well, though she tends to lean more toward Action Survivor, but when given no other choice she manages to hold her own in a one-on-one. Where technology is concerned, there's no one better.
  • Adaptational Diversity:
    • The main team goes from a mix of East Asian and Western characters to a more obviously diverse group — Shiro is Japanese instead of Norwegian, Keith is half-Galran instead of Chinese/Japanese, Hunk is Samoan instead of vaguely browner than everyone else with no explanationnote , while Lance is Cuban. Allura is still an alien, but is dark-skinned and white-haired instead of blonde and fair-skinned.
    • In terms of gender and sexuality, Shiro is gay (his Voltron counterpart ended up married to Romelle) and Pidge is female instead of male.
  • Adaptation Distillation: Rather than changing up the series to appeal to what people THINK younger viewers like, thus inevitably falling afoul of the Nostalgia Goggles, Studio Mir & Co. decided to slap the Goggles on themselves and create an Ultimate Universe of the original series, which is basically a giant love letter to both the Voltron and GoLion aspects of the original series.
    Dos Santos: We like to think we're not making the show we watched... rather, the show we remember watching.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The main characters have backstories and a purpose for going on their missions. Most notably Shiro was captured and experimented on by the Galra, and Pidge is actually a girl named Katie looking for her missing father and brother. In the second season, Keith also finds out he has Galra heritage.
  • Adaptation Name Change: In a sense. In the original Voltron series, Blue Lion's original pilot was named Sven. However, his GoLion counterpart is named Takashi Shirogane. The Black Lion's pilot in Legendary Defender, who goes by the nickname Shiro in this continuity, shares his full name with the character from the GoLion anime.
    • But in Season 3, the Paladins encounter an Alternate Universe Shiro who goes by the name Sven. Complete with Scandanavian accent.
    • In a similar full-circle version of this trope, the villains in this series are named the Galra Empire, after the name of the villains from GoLion (their leader is still named Zarkon, however).
    • Sendak, the first Galra commander the team deals with, and later Big Bad of season 7 is visually based off the original series character Yurak, (Sadak in GoLion) as they both have an artificial eye and arm.
    • Pidge's real name was given as Darrel "Pidge" Stoker in the comics, while here it's mentioned to be Pidge Gunderson. Pidge's real name is actually Katie Holt.
  • Adaptation Personality Change:
    • All over the place. While each team member's visual design has been adapted closely from their 80's incarnations, their personalities have largely been redefined. Examples include:
      • In the original series, Keith was the calm, collected leader, with Lance, fittingly enough, as the hotshot loner. In this version, Keith is the hotshot loner while Lance is more a comic relief character who sometimes butts heads with him. Keith mellows a little in Season 3, and several seasons later becomes The Leader like his original counterpart.
      • Shiro is vastly different from his original counterparts from both Voltron and GoLion — and ends up being a much more popular character then either version. So much so, in fact, that he ends up coming back from the dead as a permanent member of the cast.
      • Hunk is a teddy bear, not a gruff man of action.
      • Counter to that, Pidge is now reserved and slow to open up to others, as opposed to the happy and overtly friendly kid from the original.
      • Coran is eccentric comic relief and still, occasionally, a stoic source of wisdom.
      • While she was never completely helpless, Allura is much more of a badass than her older counterparts.
    • Lampshaded and parodied when the team makes it back to Earth and their exploits are adapted as a television show... that is implied to be the original Voltron cartoon. Hunk laughs at how different they really are from their TV counterparts.
      Hunk: They got it so wrong.
  • Adaptational Badass: Allura has most definitely racked up the badass points compared to other adaptations. She is highly skilled in combat, particularly with a staff, but can also hold her own in a straight fight, thanks to Altean super-strength. In Season 3, her bayard takes the form of a whip, which she uses very effectively.
    • In the original show, Voltron was the be-all-end-all solution. Now all the Lions have their individual moments to shine, and the pilots get their moments out of the cockpit.
    • Most notable is Coran who despite being a comical character has several badass moments.
    • Zarkon was already badass, but now he can take on a Voltron Lion head-on, with no ship, just a sword. That his sword is the Black Bayard probably gives him an extra advantage.
    • Robeasts actually get these. In the original, they were something for Voltron to fight, but not always threatening. In this, each Robeast gets an entire episode to itself, SOLELY for the fight. And while individual lions can take out Galra cruisers with no problem, a Robeast is always a significant threat even to Voltron itself, and several have only been defeated via virtual Deus ex Machina (and one of those came back for seconds!)
    • The Castle gets this, changing from simply being the base where the Lions launch to a powerful warship in its own right.
    • The girls of Lotor's harem appear as a badass Amazon Brigade/Quirky Miniboss Squad and appeared to be the Voltron equivalents of Ozai's Angels — until one of them was Killed Off for Real and the rest were Demoted to Extra.
  • Adaptational Sexuality: San Diego Comic Con 2018 reveals that Shiro was dating a man named Adam prior to his trip to Kerberos, who we don't see until season 7, where he's promptly killed off. Shiro ends up marrying another man in the distant finale. Previous versions of Shiro usually ended up with Romelle.
  • Adaptational Wimp: On the opposite end of the pilots and Lions, Voltron itself is hit pretty hard by this. For all the claims of it being the most powerful weapon in the universe, the individual Lions end up doing far more damage to the Galra forces. Even as the Paladins gain experience and form bonds with their Lions even stronger than what the original team was implied to have (as despite Coran's knowledge in The Legend Begins, even he seems unaware of the ability for a Lion to activate on its own), it spends nearly every fight getting thrown around like a ragdoll until a Deus ex Machina triggers.
  • Adaptation Origin Connection:
    • Pidge and Shiro's backstories are expanded upon to tie them more directly to the Galra, and to each other, with Shiro being close friends with Pidge's father and older brother.
    • Shiro was friends with Keith for several years before the start of the series. Then there is the fact that Keith is actually half-Galra.
    • Lance had a one sided rivalry with Keith back in the garrison academy. Keith leaving is the only reason that Lance got to become a fighter pilot which leads to...
    • Lance, Pidge, and Hunk were a team in the garrison academy.
    • Lord Zarkon was now close friends with the king and the former Black Paladin.
  • Advertised Extra: Season 7 got hit with this pretty hard. Hello, Adam! Goodbye, Adam!
  • Age Lift: Four of the Paladins were aged down (or, in Pidge's case, aged up) to their teens — see below.
    • Allura is a teenager and Coran is however old enough to be a father figure for her, although they were put in stasis for 10,000 years. Comments about Coran remembering his grandfather building the Castle (and the Castle being at least 600 years old) suggest Alteans have considerably longer lifespans than a humans and that Coran is Really 700 Years Old. Allura, however, is likely a literal teenager considering Kova was only 28 decaphoebs and Allura was born years after him.
  • Alien Lunch:
    • It seems the only food on the ship is an odd, green goo. Hunk doesn't seem to mind.
    • Once settled in on Arus, our heroes get subjected to one of these after another.
    • We get a humorous view from the other side on an Earth favorite. After acquiring Kaltenecker and being introduced to milkshakes, Allura and Coran immediately take a liking to them. However, they have no idea how to extract the milk to make more. They try politely asking the cow to make some for them, with predictable results. Lance, wanting to be helpful, decided to show them how to extract the milk so they can make it themselves. We never see them eat another milkshake again.
  • Alien Sky: When Earth becomes a member of the Coalition at the end of Season 7, a time skip establishing shot shows that the Balmera also traveled to the Sol system and entered Earth orbit as a defacto second moon.
  • Aliens Speaking English: Almost all of the alien races in the show speak English and no explanation for it is ever attempted. Although there are some differences in terminology and pattern, such as Alteans keeping time via "Ticks" and the Balmerans speaking with a very distinct speech pattern. Written language, however, is completely different from written English, which causes a few problems. Then of course... "be bo bi bibo bi Paladins of Voltron bee beebo."
  • Aliens Steal Cattle: Referenced when the the crew picks up Kaltenecker the cow in an alien store selling Earth merchandise "Space Mall."
  • All There in the Manual: The website and comics often give out details that aren't in the show — yet. For example, Pidge's mental processes and skill set are given much more focus in the comic (including the fact that she keeps a mental log of her teammates' strengths and weaknesses), while Lance's unique attributes — that he genuinely believes he lacks, leading to some angst in Season 2 — are spelled out by Pidge herself.
    • The Paladin Handbook, a tie-in guidebook released after Season 3, confirms all of the Paladins' ages (Shiro is 25, Keith is 18, Lance and Hunk are 17, Pidge is 15). Other tidbits revealed include:
      • Garlic Knots are Lance's Trademark Favorite Food
      • Hunk still thought that "Pidge Gunderson" was Pidge's real name even after her Gender Reveal.
      • Shiro's Skunk Stripe was caused by stress.
      • All of the Paladins have their own pair of lion slippers. Lance is thus far the only one to wear his onscreen.
      • Pidge is Italian.
      • Lance is Cuban and Hunk is part Black, part Samoan. The former was mentioned in-show, albeit not until Season 6 (well after the creators had first mentioned it).
      • Keith's birthday is October 23rd. Lance's is July 28th. Shiro's is February 29th.
      • Shiro's Fan Nickname of "Space Dad" is used by the other Paladins in-Universe.
    • The first names of Kinkade, Rizavi and Leifsdottir, the other three Garrison cadets that made their debut in season 7 were revealed to be Ryan, Nadia and Ina, respectively following the official website being updated after season 7.
  • The Alliance: In its early days, but the initial Coalition begins in Season 2 with Voltron and the Blade of Marmora on the battlefield against Zarkon, with support from the Olkari and the Balmerans. Following Zarkon’s defeat at the end of Season 2, more planets are rebelling and seeking to join up. In Season 7 Earth becomes not just an official member of the Voltron Coalition, but its central hub world following its liberation.
  • Alliterative Family: Allura and her father Alfor, who ruled the planet Altea.
  • All There in the Script: Crew member Curtis never gets his name dropped in the show.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: Subverted with the Galra. In universe, many people and races — including Allura — believe it's being played straight, and all the Season 1 villains are highly antagonistic high-ranking Galra. However, Season 2 introduces the Blade of Marmora, a Galran resistance group that eventually teams up with the Paladins. It also has the Galran Sal as the owner of the restaurant "Vrepit Sal" and the mall cop Varkon, both of whom are slightly antagonistic but not evil. Season 3 reveals that before Zarkon became corrupted and led them down the Galactic Conqueror route, they were more of a Proud Warrior Race.
  • Always Save the Girl:
    • Near the end of Season 1, Allura gets captured by the Galra and the team has to decide to either leave her or risk running a Suicide Mission by attacking Zarkon's ship. Guess which one they choose?
    • After returning to Balmera, the team discovers that Shay has been taken to the planet's center before their arrival. They suspect that it is most certainly a trap, but save her anyway.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Princess Allura and many of the Alteans are various shades of brown rather than just being (or looking) white.
  • Animesque: Obviously, given it's a reboot of an anime.
  • The Artifact:
    • The Lion's personality preferences and elemental status, as well as the exclusivity of their Paladin bonds, post-Lion swap. Black allegedly prefers a natural, cool-headed leader, but takes on hot-headed, I-work-alone Keith. Red prefers an instinctive, determined risk-taker, but opts for strategist and Jack-of-All-Trades Lance. Blue's preference was never stated, but Allura has a lot of trouble adapting to Blue's preferred style of partnership. No mention is made of whether the Lions are simply attempting to make the best of things, or even if they want their original Paladins back, bringing the "irreplaceable" nature of their bonds into question if they can switch fairly easily.
      • There is a probable explanation for why Black Lion chose Keith. The spirit of the real Shiro had been inhabiting it since he died and he was the one who wanted Keith to replace him as leader if necessary. Lance isn't as hot headed as Keith, but still is impulsive and quick to act.
    • The opening sequence becomes more and more outdated as the series progress. It still shows Lance, Keith and Shiro piloting their debut lions while Allura stays in the Castle. Zarkon still appears even after dying in season 5, and, in season 7, the Castle is destroyed.
  • Artistic License – Military: Despite the accurate implication that Commanders outrank Lieutenants, there is no visible difference in their uniforms (grey with three stripes on each shoulder).note  Several officers with three stripes, however, do have unique medals and insignia on their uniforms, designating them as higher than the rank of Commander, but lower than the rank of Admiral, which in the Garrison has four shoulder stripes.
  • Ascended Meme: Even the other Paladins call Shiro "Space Dad."
  • Awesome by Analysis: How the elite Blades of Marmora take out Druids. In season 7, we see that Keith slows down and studies the Druid's teleportation allowing him to predict where he will be next. Kolivan and some of his generals can even ricochet their shots to hit telporting Druids on the bounce.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Season 3 strongly foreshadowed that either Lance or Shiro would step down from the team due to the Lion-musical-chairs: Lance because he feels superfluous due to seeing Allura as a superior Blue Paladin, and Shiro because of Black's unexpected cold shoulder. Comes Season 4, Keith, the much-toted Ace Pilot and vice-command of Voltron is the one to leave the team after Black starts talking to Shiro again and Keith starts distancing himself from the team. His departure for the Blade of Marmora leaves Lance in Red and Allura in Blue, averting Lance's prediction that, with Shiro back in the roster, Keith would reclaim Red while Allura took over Blue permanently.
  • Bait-and-Switch Credits: The intro features the Lions emerging from their respective hiding places from the original Voltron, which never show up on account of the series being a galaxy-spanning Space Opera instead of confined to a single planet. Voltron is also depicted destroying three Robeasts in a single slash, while in-show the Robeasts have only appeared one at a time, and only two were defeated by the sword.
  • Beehive Barrier: All Altean barriers are blue and made up of the typical High-Tech Hexagons. Meanwhile, all Galra barriers are red and made up of more distinct looking very evil Galra-like interlocking shapes.
  • Between My Legs: It happens in the first episode with Shiro, but it's his suit that's being framed.
  • The Big Bad Shuffle: The ultimate threat the Paladins face has been bouncing back and forth between Zarkon, Lotor, Haggar, and Sendak. As of the end of Season 7, Zarkon, Lotor and Sendak are dead, leaving Hagger (or rather her original persona Honerva) as the final villain.
    • Seasons 1-2: Emperor Zarkon.
    • Seasons 3-6: A blend of Prince Lotor and High Priestess Haggar, with Emperor Zarkon briefly returning for the title.
    • Season 7: Commander Sendak.
    • Season 8: Honerva.
  • Big Brother Mentor: Shiro serves as this to all the paladins, but he was close to Keith before the start of the series.
  • Big, Thin, Short Trio: Hunk, Lance, and Pidge's dynamic before they joined the team proper.
  • Bilingual Bonus:
    • One of the characters introduced in Season 3 is named Acxa. Her name may sound weird and unusual but it is an actual word in Esperanto, which when translated into English, it means "dreadful", as in episode six of the season, Acxa accidentally blows up the cargo ship with the shot originally intended to aim at Voltron (though Voltron was planning to blow up the cargo ship anyway in order to stop Lotor's forces from using it), which resulted in Lotor disappointed in her doing so, implying that she was dreadful at following his orders to destroy Voltron in order to stop it from destroying the cargo ship.
    • Project Kuron. Kuron is Japanese for "Clone."
    • Project Komar. Komar is Russian for "Mosquito", very fitting considering what the device does.
  • Bittersweet Ending:
    • Season 6. Lotor is presumed dead as a result of Voltron taking down Sincline in the rift, Honerva and Sendak are still at large, Team Sincline have floated away from the battle after being ejected from their ships, the fates of the surviving Alteans remains unclear aside from the ones who were harvested for their quintessence and the Castle of Lions has been sacrificed to save the universe, but on a positive note, Shiro has been revived by Allura, Keith returns to being the Black Paladin and leader of Team Voltron and the team vow to return back to Earth along with Coran, Krolia and Romelle.
    • Season 8. Big time. Allura sacrifices herself alongside Honerva and the spirits of Lotor and the original Paladins in order to restore the multiverse; thus leaving Team Voltron and Lance heartbroken. However, not only have the realities been repaired, but Altea and Daibazaal have been restored; Keith rejoins the Blade of Marmora with Acxa, Zethrid, and Ezor and helps rebuild the Galra Empire; Lance becomes an honorary Altean, Hunk becomes a successful chef, Pidge builds a robotic companion with her family mentoring a new team of Legendary Defenders, and Shiro is now married to Curtis.
    • Interestingly, the final shot of the series is the lions flying through space towards a nebula that bears the image of Allura. What this could mean is up for debate.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: Alteans, while looking mostly human, can change their skin color at will and the males grow facial hair at a much earlier age than human boys. Older Altaen males can also be afflicted by a condition that causes their skin to excrete an extremely slippery substance.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Most of the battles that take place outside of the Lions involve Galran Mecha-Mooks, so they can be torn apart by the heroes without mercy.
  • Blue Means Cold: The Blue Lion can generate ice breath.
  • Borrowed Biometric Bypass: In "Taking Flight" Shay uses the severed arm of a Galran sentry to get from one area of the Balmera to another. Hunk does it in "Return to the Balmera", and it happens pretty much routinely thereafter.
  • Brain Uploading: Alteans developed the technology to do this, used to create the AI of King Alfor on the Castle of Lions. It can also be used to copy the memories of prisoners despite Coran’s insistence that it hasn't been done before and the aforementioned King Alfor would probably not approve.
  • Breather Episode:
    • Played with in "Space Mall", in Season 2. While the A plot about going to the mall and C plot about Allura's girl day are pretty light-hearted, the B plot about Shiro's battle of wills against Zarkon for the Black Lion is pretty intense and plot relevant.
    • Season 4 plays it much straighter in "The Voltron Show", where Coran is infected by a mind-altering parasite, and becomes obsessed with turning Voltron into a Sentai-esque stunt show.
    • Season 5 plays with it again. While Lance, Hunk, and Pidge grant an AI Sentry the ability to have fun and get chased around by Galran soldiers, Keith rescues an ally and finds out she is his mother.
    • Played straight in Season 6 with "Monsters and Mana", where the team takes advantage of a lull in the conflict to sit down and relax with a game of the Altean equivalent of Dungeons & Dragons.
    • Also played straight in Season 7's "The Feud!", in which the heroes find themselves trapped in a surreal game show.
    • Season 8 has two.
      • Played straight with "Day Forty Seven" which is Kinkade and Rizavi attempting to make a documentary. Hunk turns it into a cooking show, it's stolen by a dog, Rizavi tries to make it more dramatic, and more chaos.
      • Played with in the second one "Clear Day" Where the Voltron crew go to a fair. Lance tries to win a prize for Allura, Pidge has to fight with her mom for more tokens, Shiro enters an arm wrestling contest, Coran enters a Yalmor cry contest, and Keith and Hunk get trapped on a ride. Meanwhile Allura is hallucinating as the dark entity from the Quintessence field attempts to convince her to use it's power.
  • Bright Castle: The Castle of Lions has this aesthetic when grounded, especially as first seen embedded in Arus.
  • Broken Aesop:
    • The titular Voltron is a gestalt robot that is much stronger than the Lions who form it. Unsurprisingly, the whole series spends a lot of time reminding us that "the whole is stronger than the sum of its parts," and that the day would ultimately be saved when everyone worked together. This message has a few serious wobbles throughout the series, but is utterly broken by the finale, where saving the multiverse ultimately comes down to Allura alone. The other Paladins, their allies, and Voltron itself have very little to contribute.
    • The Family of Choice Aesop was something of an informed message as well. Despite the constant talk of how team Voltron are their family now, Keith, Pidge and Allura's spanning characters arc are about their biological family. And none of them are about letting them go and accept their Voltron Family either. Keith only found peace after reuniting with his mother; Pidge's at her happiest when playing around with her mother and father and Allura constantly yearn for King Alfor's guidance. In short, they are only at peace around their biological family and not their Family of Choice.
      • On the other side of that equation, it was the villains who actually followed through with choosing their family and was portrayed as insane for it. Lotor choose his Altean heritage instead of his brutal Galran one while Honerva drilled holes into realities to choose hers.
  • Brought to You by the Letter "S": Voltron now has what appears to be a large, stylized "V" on his chest, rather than the crest of the Castle of Lions (which is now on his left shoulder). Similarly, all the Paladin uniforms have the same "V" emblazoned in their respective colours, including Allura's pink version.
  • Bury Your Gays:
    • Inverted with Shiro who died, and then was later explicitly revealed to have been in a relationship with a man. He got better though.
    • Played straight with Shiro's former boyfriend, Adam, who dies in the attack against the Galra in Season 7. As one of only three confirmed gay men characters in the series, his death falls under this trope.
    • Downplayed with Ezor and Zethrid, who are apparently killed off five minutes after they're implied to be in a relationship. Turns out they're not dead, and both come back in the final season.
  • The Bus Came Back: An in-Universe example. As the series starts, it's established that Shiro has been gone for a year, but then he returns with an alien ship, a robotic arm, and amnesia.
  • But What About the Astronauts?: It turns out that a lot of Alteans did survive the destruction of their homeworld by being off-planet. An entire colony is made up of them and their descendants.
  • Call-Back:
    • Episode 11 of Season 2 has the team reflect on several moments from previous episodes while preparing or their fight with Zarkon.
    • When The Paladins form Voltron for the first time in Season 3 Allura shouts, "I'm a leg!" to Hunk's amusement.
    • Episode 6 of Season 3 has a creature that looks like an uncorrupted Drazil outside the Galra base.
  • Call-Forward: During the Season 3 finale when the old Paladins seemingly destroy the Quintessence monster Gyrgan (the pilot of the Yellow Lion) shouts, "I'm a leg!"
  • Cathartic Exhalation
    • Low risk example; after being banned from the Garrison for espionage, Katie Holt infiltrates it as a male student named Pidge Gundarsson. For fear of being recognised by the headmaster, she covers her face with her left hand as he walks past; he assumes she is saluting, says she is using the wrong arm, but continues walking. After he is far enough away, she lets out a sigh.
    • Happens again, this time during Allura and Shiro's infiltration of a Galra ship; Allura fumbles through allaying the suspicions of a Galra officer, and sighs heavily after seemingly convincing him all is well.
  • Character Shilling: Shiro spent the entirety of Season 2 asking Keith to be the leader of Voltron, believing he was the only one that could do it and trusting his leadership skills. However, for the entirety of the first two seasons Keith was portrayed as a hotheaded loner who had in no moment done any leading whatsoever, making it an Informed Attribute.note  These doubts are acknowledged in-universe in Season 3, as when Keith actually does lead Voltron no one else has faith in him and his hotheaded loner tendencies do get them in trouble and almost killed. He does get better later on.
  • Chekhov's Gunman:
    • The Galra that saves the Paladins in the first season finale is seen listening with Prorok in "Taking Flight", implied to be an underling of his. As it turns out, he's The Mole to a splinter faction of Galra opposed to Zarkon.
    • And the end of Season 2, Keith rescues and teams up with a mysterious Galran in the heart of a Weblum. It's Acxa, one of Lotor's lieutenants.
    • Commander Throk has a few cameos in the first two seasons aboard Zarkon's command ship before becoming a more prominent character in Season 3.
    • Season 5 has Sendak return.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Lotor is revealed to have a massive Messiah Complex, believing that no matter what he does, it will be better for the world and he will be revered for it, even if it means killing the Lions or their Paladins; hell, he even said he would wipe out all Galra.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Despite its family-friendly rating, there's a lot of swearing in this show, albeit all in Altean. Although "quiznak" was an initially ambiguous Altean swear word, both the reactions of Allura and Coran in the first episode to "shut your quiznak" as well as later seasons have cemented it as the Altean "F-word", and it's used frequently. Though even by season 7, Lance still uses it ambiguously.
  • Cliffhanger: The show's a big fan of these.
    • The first season ends with The Castle and the Lions exiting a destabilizing wormhole in separate directions, with no idea where they will end up or how they will find each other again. Also, a member of the Galra (later revealed to be Commander Thace of the Blade of Marmora) mysteriously helped the team escape from Zarkon.
    • The second season ends with Zarkon defeated but at the price of Shiro going missing. Also Haggar's Wham Line shows the Galran Empire isn't done, even with Zarkon currently in a coma...
    Haggar: Summon Prince Lotor!
    • The third season ends with Haggar remembering who she is and trying to bring Zarkon back to full strength.
    • The fourth season ends with Lotor foiling Haggar's plans and saving Voltron and the rebel fighters from a failed mission that would have cost solar systems had it failed. Also, he would like to discuss some things with the team.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience:
    • Unlike The Third Dimension and Voltron Force where the costumes were swapped to match the pilots' Lions, in this series the pilots' Lions are swapped to match their costumes (i.e. Keith is piloting the Red Lion, Lance is piloting the Blue Lion, and Shiro is piloting the Black Lion). After Shiro goes MIA at the end of the second season, the roster switches to the classic setup with Keith in Black Lion, Lance in Red Lion and Allura becoming a paladin to fill the empty slot in Blue Lion, without anyone changing uniforms, resulting in the lion/uniform color mismatch of the original show.
    • All Altean technology is white with blue Tron Lines, while all Galra technology is purple and black. Garrison Tech is Orange and Grey with glowing blue lines if it is being powered by Altean means.
    • The Blade of Marmora primarily uses indigo with both black and white for their sigils, suits, and architecture; Effectively putting them in-between the other two opposing forces.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Since Voltron is "the most powerful weapon in the universe", the team's go-to strategy is a)Form Voltron, b)apply Blue Lion to enemy rear at high velocity. Which is why they keep running into Plots Tailored to the Party that keep them apart or otherwise make Voltron unfeasible.
  • Combining Mecha: "Form Voltron!" — most often said by Shiro, once by Pidge.
  • Commuting on a Bus:
    • In Seasons 4 and 5, Keith leaves Voltron to become a Blade of Marmora agent. He shows up periodically but is typically following his own plot, or else when Voltron needs the Blade of Marmora.
    • Season 7 and 8 have Kovira as well as Lotor's Lieutenants popping in and out of the plot as necessary.
  • Composite Character: This version of Zarkon takes on aspects of both the original Zarkon and the Voltron Force version of Lotor, in appearance and some motivations (Lotor used haggarium to grow stronger and harvested it while this Zarkon uses "Quintessence")
    • Pidge's Gender Flip probably has her take over for Allura as Voltron's female pilot. May also be a nod to Choujin Sentai Jetman's Ako Hayasaka/Blue Swallow, both her and the original Pidge being based on Jinpei the Swallow. This doesn't stop Allura actually becoming a Paladin herself in Season 3.
  • Compressed Hair: Allura, Keith, and Lotor all have long hair that should stick out the back of their helmets, but all three are able to perfectly fit that into their helmets.
    • Justified in-universe in that the suits are designed to meld themselves to fit their wearers in the case of Keith and Allura. Lotor, given his heritage, may have learned to develop similar tech to allow the same to work for him.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu:
    • At first, a single Galra warship nearly defeats Voltron, but by the time of the first season finale, each lion is able to obliterate multiple warships by themselves. Justified, given that in the first fight the Paladins had very little idea of what they were doing.
    • In season seven a single Altean Humongous Mecha keeps pace with Voltron, the MF Es and even the Atlas. In the final season the MFE's can handle one on their own, and Voltron can take down several at once. This is justified as the first one was a new threat, and managed to majorly weaken most hero forces before they found out it had a Komar weapon.
  • The Conspiracy: It's implied that the Galaxy Garrison is hiding the truth about what happened on the Kerberos mission, and knows a great deal more than it's letting on. Examples include none of the tech's that attend to Shiro post-crash listening to him about an impending alien invasion and a very unsubtle insistence that the Kerberos mission going wrong was entirely due to the crew, no investigation needed. This is confirmed in season 7, as well as hiding the fact that the Galra are likely going to attack them, out of fear of causing panic.
  • Continuity Reboot: Serves as one for the franchise after the last show was a pseudo-sequel series to the original.
  • Cool Starship:
    • The Castle of Lions now doubles as The Battlestar in this incarnation. It comes complete with a Wave-Motion Gun, Deflector Shields and the ability to create wormholes that allow instantaneous transportation across vast distances among other features.
    • Lotor’s cruiser is pretty damn cool, possessing a sleek design unlike that of the typical Galra battlecruisers. Then there is the Comet Ship, which is able to fly circles around Voltron as well as fire an ion cannon so powerful it can punch clean through the Castle of Lions' particle barrier and knock down Voltron.
    • Season 7 gives us the Atlas: The perfect fusion of Altean and Earth tech and powered by the collapsed quintessence field generated by the destruction of the Castle of Lions. It lacks the Castle of Lion's Wave-Motion Gun and wormhole, but it sports even stronger Deflector Shields, is backed up by heavy armor, and has a massive array of laser pods and missiles, and it dwarfs every other ship in the show so far (it's large enough to hold all five lions AND an entire platoon of fighter ships]]. Plus it can turn into a robot so big that Voltron doesn't even come up to its waist.
  • Creator's Favorite: Parodied in-universe in "The Voltron Show" when a drugged-up Coran threatens to replace all the paladins with actors that will support his ideas... except for Shiro, who is everyone's favorite character. It's both a funny joke, a nod to the fanbase (many of whom consider Shiro their favorite paladin) and a jab at Executive Meddling forcing them to change their original plans for the story and bring Shiro back prematurely.
  • Crystal Spires and Togas: Present in some of the alien civilizations, most notably on Olkarion, which is a scientifically advanced planet with sleek buildings and a deep connection to its inhabitants, who are aliens clad largely in pastel robes.
  • Cue the Sun: In "Rebirth", the sun rises at the end after the Balmera is healed.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: The opening title sequence shows the Black Lion taking out a Galra cruiser single handed while the Castle destroys an entire fleet. Feats they never quite measure up to in the actual show.
    • We finally get to see the Black Lion tearing up a cruiser with its jawblades in the Season 2 finale, after two whole seasons of training and experience for Shiro.
  • Darker and Edgier: Season 3 deals with more mature themes than the previous two, such as moral ambiguity, addiction and obsession, a closer look into some of the tortures Shiro went through, and the dangers of love. Season 4, while being more lighthearted overall, has the show's first onscreen death, as well as a character coming across a mass grave. Season 5 featured a major onscreen death and indications of an upcoming civil war. Season 6 had several Alteans being harvested for their quintessence, and one of the drained victims dying on-screen.
  • Dark Is Evil: The Galra operate entirely in black and purple, to contrast with the Altean white and blue.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: There are some examples:
    • Shiro wears black clothes and his cybernetic arm glows purple.
    • The Black Lion is on the side of good and mostly helps the heroes and serves as Voltron's torso. Though it DOES have conflicting loyalty issues due to having two Paladins: Shiro, and Big Bad traitor Zarkon, the latter of whom is hell-bent on reclaiming the Black Lion and Voltron. In Season 3, its new Paladin is Keith.
    • The Blade of Marmora still use dark motifs despite being in opposition to the main Galra nation.
    • In Season 5, Lotor sports a black version of the Paladin gear.
  • Dark-Skinned Blonde: Allura and both of her parents have dark skin and Mystical White Hair.
    • Also Haggar, to a slightly lesser degree.
  • A Day in the Limelight: The Season 3 finale serves as a prequel to the series and casts Zarkon and Alfor as the leads showcasing the friendship and how they came to be enemies. It's also the episode that reveals Haggar's backstory.
  • Decoy Protagonist:
    • Lance towards Shiro in the first episode. That said, the narrative eventually gives way to focus on each member of the group. Still, the opening episode is rather coy as to who the bonafide protagonist will end up being.
    • Season 2 and 3 start focusing more on Keith and his destiny to lead Voltron. Then Shiro comes back, and Keith leaves Voltron entirely, moving focus back to the rest of the team.
  • Defeat Equals Explosion: In grand Voltron tradition, Robeasts typically explode when defeated. As do enemy ships.
  • Defeating the Undefeatable: Only Voltron has the strength above the Galra to defeat them.
  • Detective Mole: Zarkon gives the task of finding the traitor on his flagship to Thace, who is the Blade of Marmora's agent on the ship.
  • Deus ex Machina: Frequently, especially in the first two seasons. Hardly an episode will go by without one of the Lions developing some kind of extra-special new weapon or skill that instantly solves the problem at hand.
    • The rescue mission on Balmera only succeeds because of the inhabitants' sudden ability to communicate by placing their hands on any surface to talk through the Balmera. And again towards the end, where somehow Allura's residual magic is enough to undo all of the damage from the Galra's strip-mining efforts and save the living planetoid from the brink of death. To be fair, the ancient healing ceremonies only took a small number of Balmerans using their healing powers to assist. The fact that Allura was assisted by all of the Balmerans might have had something to do with it.
  • "Die Hard" on an X: "Tears of the Balmera" is basically "Die Hard on a Spaceship-Castle", with Pidge as the designated John McClane.
  • Disney Villain Death: Haxus falls from a high catwalk after Pidge trips him up. He tries to grab Rover for support, but Rover deactivates and they both fall to their presumed deaths.
  • Divergent Character Evolution: While the original Voltron Lions were elementally themed and had some differences in weapons, designs, and abilities, here the differences are even more vast.
    • The Red Lion is Fire, whose heat-beam laser is practically a mobile Kill Sat. It is also a Fragile Speedster, incredibly quick and maneuverable with decent weaponry but lacking in staying power. It powers up to have a back-mounted ion cannon that is even more powerful.
    • The Blue Lion is Water, and has a freeze ray. In terms of capability it is the Jack-of-All-Stats Lion that's balanced in speed and power but weaker overall, especially compared to the Black Lion. It powers up to have a back-mounted sonic cannon that also allows him to instantly map locations.
    • The Yellow Lion is Earth, which is a Stone Wall that burrows well and typically relies on physical attacks. This is the Mighty Glacier of the bunch, strong and heavily armored but far slower as a result. He also has the ability to summon extra armor, claws to lock into place, and extra thrusters for force.
    • The Green Lion is Forest. It's fast, but not quite as fast as the Red and carries a shield on its back, and Pidge gives it an invisibility feature as a modification midway through the first season. Later her newfound connection with nature gives it the power to spawn vines from a cannon on its back.
    • The Black Lion is Sky (represented by outer space), and is the only Lion to have wings. Like the Blue Lion, it's also a Jack-of-All-Stats — but to a much higher degree. Season 3 confirms it has Teleportation as a power.
  • Diving Save:
    • Lance does this for Coran when an explosion goes off in "The Fall of the Castle of Lions".
    • Keith saves Lotor's life by pushing him away from an explosion in "Kral Zera", Lotor had previously saved Keith's life in "A New Defender" so it could be Keith returning the favor.
    • Lance does it again in Season 6, using Red Lion to tackle Allura and Blue Lion out of the way of an explosion.
  • Double-Meaning Title: The title of the first season finale is "The Black Paladin". It can refer to Shiro, who learns a bit more about what happened to him while he was captured and how he got his arm. It can also refer to Zarkon, revealed to be the former Black Paladin of Voltron, who is able to use the Druid's Magic and his connection to the Black Lion to force Voltron apart, eject Shiro from the Black Lion, and nearly steal it before he's stopped.
    • Similarly the third season episode "The Red Paladin" is both about Keith and Lance accepting their new roles in Voltron (Keith leaving the role of Red Paladin, and Lance stepping up to fill it.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: The instructor back at the Galaxy Garrison takes this approach. Princess Allura also uses this tactic in "Some Assembly Required", uniting the team by giving them a common person to hate, which is the trope's purpose in real life.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: Alfor’s solution to closing the rift on Daibazaal involved blowing up the entire planet after evacuating it. After Zarkon Came Back Wrong, he inflicted the same fate on Altea as retaliation.
  • Electronic Telepathy: The Voltron Lions are explicitly said to be able to link with their pilot's minds allowing for more fluid control and the ability for the pilot to see through their Lion's eyes. This becomes more pronounced in the second season, especially for Keith and Red, where Red routinely comes to Keith's aid when they're separated, as well as Shiro and Black, where Black gives Shiro a crash course in the history of Voltron through his eyes. Season 7 sees all the pilots master this ability, giving them the ability to call their Lion's from the edge of the solar system and even pilot the Lions remotely via telepathy.
  • Elite Mooks: The Druids are implied to be this, as seen by Keith's one-sided fight with one. Later that same Druid manages to paralyze all of Voltron force, and Keith with help from Cosmo can barely keep up with him. It's also confirmed (somewhat) that one Druid is worth one hundred Blades of Marmora.
  • Empathic Weapon: The Bayard, small handheld devices that take on the form of a weapon that reflects its owner's personality and can be combined with Voltron to summon a weapon.
    • Keith's bayard becomes a sword, and can summon a sword for Voltron to use. In the final season he gains the ability to turn it into an armor piercing heavy rifle.
    • Lance's bayard becomes an assault rifle. While in possession of the Red Bayard, it takes the same form but also can form a sniper rifle. In Season 5, he learns how to turn it into an Altean Broad sword.
    • Hunk's bayard becomes a gatling gun, and can summon a shoulder cannon for Voltron to use. He can also use it to deploy automated turret drones.
    • Pidge's bayard becomes a katar which doubles as a taser, and can launch its head as a grappling hook.
    • The Black Bayard went missing with its original pilot. "The Black Paladin" reveals it to be in the hands of Zarkon, the aforementioned original pilot, who can make the Bayard take any shape he wants. Shiro then gets it back in "Black Out" but disappears before what form the bayard would take when he wields it is revealed.
    • When Allura wields the Blue Bayard it takes the form of a whip.
    • When Lotor used the Black Bayard, he turns it into a whip sword, and a crystal blue claymore.
    • The Lions themselves are sentient and are capable of giving their respective Paladins hints whenever they believe they can help in a specific manner. For example, Red guides Keith towards forming the sword and Yellow does the same for Hunk in forming the shoulder cannon. In Season 3, they are able to shut out and accept pilots as they choose, necessitating a change to the team.
  • The Empire: Galra subjects other planets to their rule in order to achieve universal domination.
    • In the Mirror Universe, there is the Altean Empire. They just want to spread peace and stability through the universe… but do so by forcibly implanting others with devices called hoktril that remove any free will or personality.
  • Enemy Civil War:
    • In Season 3, Lotor and Hagger have a silent type going where they constantly undermine each other. It escalates in Season 4, where Lotor is outright declared an enemy of the Galra Empire.
    • In Season 5, After Lotor kills Zarkon the various generals begin plans to seize power, through official ceremony and rite of combat. Once Lotor succeeds, many of them fraction off into their own splinter groups and begin warring with each other.
  • Everyone Knew Already: When Pidge makes her Gender Reveal to the team, it turns out Lance was the only one who didn't already know. Corran didn't even realize it was supposed to be a secret.
  • Everything in Space Is a Galaxy: Despite claiming to be an inter-galactic conflict, there are never more than a handful of single-planet civilisations involved and travel between inhabited worlds treats them as being functionally next to each other.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: When Coran and Shiro find a fragment of the teledav used at the end of Season 2 to wormhole Zarkon, Allura states it would be useless without an Altean to operate it… before remembering that Haggar is Altean.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Kalar the DavDabHau has one.
  • Faceless Goons: Galran Mecha-Mooks have blank masks with a Y-shaped eye slit. Galran imperial soldiers have masks that cover half of their face with a V-shaped slit.
  • Facial Markings: Members of the Altean race have markings around the outside of their eyes, which vary in color by person.
    • Haggar also has red markings, which none of the other seen Galra possess. It turns out she is actually Altean. Her markings seemingly changed from the standard small Altean ones to larger ones during her Sanity Slippage.
    • The inhabitants of planet Puig also have three markings, one on each cheek and one on the nose.
  • Fallen Hero: Implied with Zarkon. He is the former Paladin of the Black Lion, and is able to override Shiro's control of it. Confirmed in Season 3, by Coran. Zarkon was a noble leader, but he and Haggar became obsessed with the power from the wormhole. When Haggar was dying, he betrayed the team to ressurect her and both became corrupted by the pure Quintessence inside.
  • Falling into the Cockpit: None of the current generation of Voltron Paladins had been trained to pilot Altean spacecraft before getting called on to pilot a Voltron Lion. In addition, only one of them (Shiro) had been fully trained in piloting Earth spacecraft, and two of them (Hunk and Pidge) had no pilot training whatsoever. As a direct result of this, it takes half the first season before they really know what they're doing, and even in the season finale, it's strongly implied that they have a lot more to learn before they can use Voltron to its full potential.
  • Fanservice: Keith and Lance both get this in "Eye of The Storm", featuring the boys being shirtless when trying to get to the castle's pool, and also focusing a lot on their legs and feet.
  • Faster-Than-Light Travel: Well, duh. You can't have a galaxy-spanning empire without it. The Galra cruisers use hyperspace drives, while Allura creates wormholes for the castle-ship to go through. Wormhole travel seems to be faster than standard hyperspace travelnote .
  • Fantastic Racism: Princess Allura refuses to believe Ulaz, regardless of who vouches for him. Even after his Heroic Sacrifice she refuses to acknowledge him. This comes to a head when she suddenly becomes hostile towards Keith after it's revealed he's part Galra. This does not correct itself until the penultimate episode of Season 2.
    • The Blade of Marmora are subject to this by the inhabitants of Puig in Season 3. Despite the fact that they are firmly against the Galra Empire they are still members of the race that has spent the last 10,000 years conquering the universe.
  • Fashionable Asymmetry: Due to the Lions all getting the Divergent Character Evolution treatment, Voltron gets this in terms of its natural defenses; what with the shielded Green Lion and heavily armored Yellow Lion both acting as its left side appendages.
  • Finishing Move: Voltron uses its signature sword to finish one fight, against Zarkon's battle armor.
  • Forever War: It could be implied that many races and civilizations across the universe have battled Galra armies for the past 10,000 years, but none of them could ever succeed in victory because Galra tech and weapons are far too advanced beyond anything that others could ever use against them thanks to Quintessence and their alliance with the Druids, thus making it a Hopeless War.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • In the first episode, Pidge reacts negatively after the others find a picture of him hugging a girl, whom Hunk assumes is Pidge's girlfriend. The picture pops up again when the team is trying to mentally connect with each other, and Coran mentions that there can be no secrets between them. It's later revealed that the kids in the picture are siblings, and Pidge is the girl.
    • During Allura's flashback to when Zarkon was attacking her and her father in the Castle of Lions, Zarkon appears to be wearing the smashed and broken helmet with a design that is strikingly similar to that of a Voltron Paladin.
    • Done throughout the entirety of Season 1 regarding the reveal Zarkon is the original Paladin of the Black Lion. The Black Lion's energy aura, since black wouldn't show up very well visually, is purple, the same color that everything Galra makes has glowing around it, including the Castle of Lions when it's briefly hooked up to a Galra energy crystal, and Quintessence after the Druids refine it into Galra fuel. The Black Lion requires a pilot who is "a born leader and in control at all times. Someone whose men will follow without question". A vast majority of the Galra Empire follows Zarkon with fanatic loyalty, and Zarkon barely bats an eye even when fighting a Voltron Lion on foot, or when Keith spontaneously sprouts a power-up cannon during the fight. Shiro's Bayard is missing, lost with its original Paladin, and we see Zarkon put it to extremely good use in the finale. And finally, Allura notes a Lion chooses its pilot, and that it's a mystical bond that cannot be forced. Throughout the backstory and the season, the Alteans are very concerned about Zarkon seizing Voltron, and King Alfor deliberately hid the Lions rather than risk Zarkon capturing them because, as one of the Lions' pilots, Zarkon could actually control Voltron, bringing the most powerful weapon in the universe to serve Galra. Zarkon also talks about "reclaiming" Voltron, an odd choice of words unless he actually used to have a claim it.
      • In hindsight one could even say the Black Lion choosing Shiro in the Season 1 opener is foreshadowing as well, as out of the five Paladins, Shiro was the one who had spent a year as a prisoner of the Galra.
    • The the finale of Season 1, Zarkon, during his fight against Keith, muses that he fights like a Galra soldier. Later, in Season 2, it's revealed that Keith has Galra blood in his veins, making him part-human and part-Galra.
    • In "Space Mall", a glimpse into the Black Lion's past shows it has Intangibility powers that Shiro hasn't unlocked yet. In the season finale, he finally manages to use them to steal his Bayard back from Zarkon.
    • In Season 6 Shiro's Dungeons And Dragons-esque character's entire plotline in "Monsters and Mana" is both a callback to Go Lion and foreshadowing that Shiro had, in fact, died and had been replaced by a clone after Season 2.
  • Forgot About His Powers: The Red Lion's Wave-Motion Gun from the first season finale, shown to be capable of destroying a large swath of Zarkon's fortress in one shot, never shows up again, especially when it would be useful. Until Season 7, where it makes a reappearence when the Lions attack the Zaiforge cannons above Earth
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
    • A bit of Foreshadowing of Keith's Galra heritage that went largely unnoticed by the fandom, but Keith's casual outfit has the exact same color patterns as a Galra Commander's uniform.
    • Pausing and looking closely at the maps on Keith's wall in the pilot (and comparing the image to real maps of the United States), reveals that the Galaxy Garrison is located in Arizona.
      • And an even closer comparrison reveals that the Blue Lion was hidden under the Grand Canyon.
    • Pausing during the newscast in "Tears of the Balmera" reveals the full names of the Galaxy Garrison crew.
    • In the same episode, the flashback to Pidge meeting the team for the first time features a brief shot of a doorway labeled "Faculty Offices": Pausing here will reveal that the names on the door are those of the show's key production staff.
  • Funny Background Event: During the talk with Rolo in "Taking Flight", Pidge can be seen in the back going nuts over the robot, Beezer.

    Tropes G to M 
  • Gender Flip: Pidge is actually a girl this time around.
  • Genius Loci: The Balmera, a living creature that for all intents and purposes is also a planet. It can generate crystals that are used as the power sources for multiple things, including battleships.
  • Gilligan Cut: From the first episode:
    Pidge: I wonder if Hunk and Lance are having as good a time as us.
    [Cut to Hunk and Lance screaming.]
  • Gladiator Games: The Galra Empire have this, and force their prisoners to partake in it.
  • A God I Am Not: Allura tells the native Arusians that she is not a god, and is only interested in being their friend.
    • Inverted with Lotor who is venerated as a god by the Alteans he rescued after Zarkon destroyed their home planet. While the audience doesn't get to hear how he feels about this, the giant statue of Lotor and the fact he uses the Alteans' admiration to manipulate them into listening to whatever he tells them indicates he at least doesn't mind the adoration.
  • Good News, Bad News:
    Coran: There's a bit of good news and bad news. The good news is the Red Lion's nearby! The bad news is it's onboard that Galra ship orbiting Arus, but, wait, good news again, we're Arus.
  • Gratuitous Princess: Allura was princess of Altea before the planet was destroyed and she was put into cryosleep. After she wakes up she isn't technically princess of anything, but is still consistently referred to as one.
  • Graying Morality: A major theme from Season 2 onwards is that not all Galra are bad and not all Alteans are good, from the heroic Blade of Marmora and Keith being part-Galra, to Haggar being revealed to be Altean and the alternate dimmension Altean Empire. This does a number on Allura, who held a strict Black-and-White Morality.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: As long as the Mecha-Mooks can't see the heroes sneaking around, they can't seem to hear them, either. They also have predictable security rounds, which is exploited by Shiro, and never alert the rest of security when they are attacked by a hero in a lone hallway.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: Besides Keith's personal weapon. There is a resistance group called the Blade of Marmora who are against Zarkon and their signature weapons are swords. In Season 5, Lance gains a sword as a new form for the bayard. Allura even comments on it representing his growth as a hero.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: At the conclusion of Episode 3 of Season 2, Ulaz sacrifices himself by getting consumed by the Robeast, and activating the pocket dimension from within it.
    • At the end of season seven, it looks like the Paladins pull one to get the Altean Mech off Earth before it self-destructs and takes out most of North America, with the next scene being Shiro giving a speech at what could be their memorial, only for it to be revealed that the Paladins did all survive, but had to be hospitalized.
  • Hidden Villain: Prince Lotor appears to be this. Throughout the first two seasons, the Paladins firmly believe that to defeat the Galra, all they have to do is defeat Zarkon and the Galra Empire will fall apart without him to hold it together. Zarkon having an heir is never even once addressed by anyone, so Lotor's existence appears to be a closely-guarded secret known only to Galra high command, since not even the Blades of Marmora appear to know Lotor exists; at the very least, they never mention that Zarkon having a son might throw a wrench into their idea that Zarkon is the only one capable of leading the Empire. And sure enough, in Season 3 Allura is quite horrified by the news that Zarkon has a son. It's later revealed that Lotor was born after Allura went into stasis, explaining why she doesn't know about him, and that he's been in exile for a while, which, depending on when the Blade of Marmora was formed, could explain why they're unaware of him as well.
  • Hide Your Gays:
    • The exact nature of Shiro and Adam's relationship is never made clear in the show. The only thing saving them from being Ambiguously Gay is the Word of Gay that occurred before Season 7 aired and even this had to be pushed past executives, who wanted Adam referred to as Shiro's "best friend". The lines were recorded, but ultimately cut from the final episode. However, the Audio Description track on Netflix uses the cut lines, and that scene plays this trope straight. The Japanese version adapts the censored script as well.
    • Despite the Ship Tease between Zethrid and Ezor in Season 7, they aren't explicitly stated to be a couple on-screen, either.
    • This is corrected in season 8, which has Zethrid and Ezor's relationship become more explicit, and Shiro and Curtis get married and have an on screen kiss.
  • Homing Lasers: Voltron's Shoulder Cannon is capable of firing a huge salvo of these at once. In several cases, the projectiles go so far as to completely fly past a target in order to loop and hit it in the front that way.
  • Hope Springs Eternal: Altea has been destroyed by the Galra Empire, but Alfor sent each of the Lions to the farthest corners of the universe before Zarkon could get his hands on them. This leaves almost everyone in the universe helpless against their conquerors for the past 10,000 years. Only a handful of star systems remain free. Hope comes back as our heroes have been chosen by the Lions to become the next Paladins and Voltron has returned to free the universe from its evil oppressors.
    • In the series finale, after a year of peace and prosperity in a galaxy without Zarkon, Haggar, or Lotor to threaten it, the Lions say a nonverbal goodbye to the Paladins and fly off into deep space, perhaps to await the day Voltron may be needed once again. And it is implied that the Holtz family, using all the knowledge gained by their new galactic allies, are building a new Legendary Defender.
  • Hourglass Plot: Allura and Shiro gradually exchange roles over the course of the series. Allura begins as the commander of the Castle of Lions which is powered by her life force and serves as the overall Big Good and The Heart for the paladins of Voltron, before becoming a paladin in her own right. Meanwhile Shiro, who begins as leader of the paladins, loses the ability to pilot his lion, but becomes commander of the IGF-Atlas, the successor to the Castle of Lions which is similarly tied to his own life force, and takes over as the team's new commander, taking the place of Allura. He even has white hair and possession of the Balmera crystal within Allura's tiara to boot.
  • Human Aliens: Princess Allura and the people of Altea. Subverted later on, when it is explained that her race are chameleon-like in their ability to mimic the appearance of other races, which made them natural diplomats. And spies, too, judging by the way she uses said ability to infiltrate a Galra ship.
  • Human Popsicle: Princess Allura and Coran survived the destruction of the Altean empire this way.
  • Humongous Mecha: Voltron, the season 8 Robeasts, and several others. There's even a character page dedicated to them.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: A good chunk of the Galra footsoldiers that we get to see and even some of their point defense systems are remarkably poor shots.
  • In Name Only: Season 8 gets us new powerful enemies the cast calls Robeasts — even though as piloted giant robots, they don't actually fit the term at all.
  • Internal Reveal: Played with in "Taking Flight". Pidge reveals her true gender. Coran (and presumably the mice) knew from the start, Shiro figured it out by the end of the premiere, Keith clued in shortly afterwards, Hunk had figured it out but wasn't 100% sure, and Allura had known for some time (that period being a day or two because that's when the mice told her), leaving only Lance to be completely taken by surprise.
  • Interservice Rivalry: The Galra military and the Druids don't get along. The Druids are clearly in the ascendant in the first two seasons, but in Season 3, Lotor appears to favor the conventional military.
  • Irony:
    • Lance, the resident womanizer and most likely person to hit on any female member of any alien species, completely and utterly failed to notice the other female member of the team until she revealed herself.
    • At the start of the series, Shiro becomes the Black Paladin, but gets no Bayard because the Black Bayard is still in the hands of the previous Black Paladin, Emperor Zarkon. At the end of Season 2, the Paladins finally manage to recover the Black Bayard only to lose their Black Paladin, after Shiro mysterously vanishes from the Black Lion after his battle with Zarkon.
    • In season 6, Lance points out the irony that he, the resident womanizer/heart breaker, is the one dealing with a broken heart.
  • Lame Pun Reaction:
    • After Lance and Hunk crashland on a water planet, Hunk says that his lion is "dead in the water."
      Lance: *Groan* Hunk, the situation is bad enough without you making puns.
    • By "The Journey Within," Hunk even seems to have become self-aware about his puns.
      Hunk: I guess when it's this dark, nothing really matters! Huh?
      Pidge: [groans in exasperation over the radio silence]
      Hunk: ... this is why no one rides with me anymore, isn't it.
  • Lampshade Hanging: In the second episode of Season 2, Hunk mentions the miraculous fact that they landed on a planet, in spite of the fact that Pidge told them "space is 90% empty."note  Lance simply replies with "Yeah, well, her science must have been wrong."
  • Large and in Charge: The DavDabHau value size and strength. Their leader Buruk is large.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Pidge is actually female. The audience learns this in Episode 3 of Season 1. She drops the masquerade with the rest of her team in episode 6, most of whom have already figured it out anyway note . All media and interviews released after the first season drop with the pretense, and refer to her exclusively with female pronouns and terminology.
  • Leader Forms the Head: Of course this is in play, as the original Voltron was the Trope Namer; Shiro is the squad leader and his Black Lion forms the head and torso of Voltron. And when Shiro disappears in Season 3, the rest of the Paladins bicker over the Black Lion by saying "I want to form the head!" In this case, though, multiple Lions receive symbolism regarding what part of Voltron they make:
    • Hunk is told that the Yellow Lion forms one of Voltron's legs, providing stability to the team. As a result, he excitedly shouts "I'm a leg!" when forming Voltron for the first time, and versions of "I'm a leg!" have become a Running Gag whenever a new or rearranged roster makes Voltron for their first time.
    • In Season 3, the Red Lion is emphasized as the right hand, with its pilots being the faithful Lancers to their respective Blacks.
  • Life Energy: Quintessence. It's the source of Zarkon's strength and longevity, heals Keith's wounds after he gets some splashed on him, and in the first season, Haggar's druids develop a way to drain an entire planet's worth in a matter of minutes.
    • Allura also performs a ritual to give up a sizable portion of her own life energy in order to save a dying Balmera. In the distant past, Alteans would perform less drastic versions of this ritual as a gesture of gratitude to the Balmera for giving them the crystals that powered their technology.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Justified, the Paladins only have their Paladin armor and the clothes they were wearing when they fled Earth. They didn’t exactly have time to pack.
  • Lock-and-Load Montage: Occasionally we see one of these when the Paladins get into their armor.
  • Logo Joke: Voltron cuts the moon into a crescent shape, and stands behind it in the empty space where the fishing boy would normally go.
  • Long-Lived: The Alteans are implied to have a much longer lifespan than humans. Coran fondly reminiscences visiting Balmeras with his grandfather while the latter was building the Castle of Lions over 10,600 years ago. Even discounting his time as an Altean Popsicle for 10,000 years, that makes him at least 600 years old.
    • Zarkon was contemporary to Alfor and the other Alteans, and doesn't seem to have spent that 10,000 years in stasis. Zarkon may be extending his life via Quintessence, but that is never made clear. It's even more confusing when Season 3 reveals that he died 10,000 years ago, but was revived as some kind of revenant.
      • Allura does show genuine surprise that he's still alive after 10,000 years, so it's definitely not normal.
    • Also, the Mirror Universe Alteans recognize Allura and believe who she is instantly when the more realistic option of being merely someone who looks like their former Empress.
  • Magitek:
    • Heavily implied with Altean technology. Altean scientists are called alchemists, and according to King Alfor Altean alchemy is used to create marvels of engineering.
      Coran on the Castle of Lions: The ship might seem like a fantastical, magical creature to you, but it’s really just a big embodiment of advanced supernatural technology that cannot be explained by science alone.
    • Galra technology also qualifies, considering the Druids and the fact that their fuel is refined from Life Energy through magic.
  • Masculine–Feminine Gay Couple: Following the Time Skip, the rough, brawny Zethrid and the perky, slender Ezor are implied to be a couple.
  • Meaningful Name: Allure is the quality of being powerfully and mysteriously attractive or fascinating. Allura is noted by many to be very pretty.
    • "Hunk" typically refers to a large, attractive man, or indeed anything that is large. Hunk is the tallest character in the main cast, and has at least one admirer.
    • Shiro has a white stripe of hair in the present. Inverted in that he pilots the Black Lion. His full surname "Shirogane" also means "silver". At the end of Season 6, after Allura transfers Shiro's soul from the Black Lion to his clone's body, all of his hair turns silvery white.
    • Lance, being a self-described ladies man like Lancelot. He's also perpetually The Lancer, being designed to serve as both a counterpart to Keith's confident and brunt force nature, as well as Shiro's calm calculated style.
  • Mecha-Mooks: Most of the Galra soldiers are sentries. This helps serve up Bloodless Carnage when the Paladins (usually) Curb Stomp them in battle outside of their lions.
  • Microts: Alteans measure time in "ticks", which are noticeably different from seconds. The team spends a little time trying to work out the comparison. The second season expands on this: Decafeebs are years, quintants are days, vargas are hours, and dobashes are minutes. After a while, the Paladins manage to pick up on it.
  • Mission Control: Allura and Coran tend to stay out of the field and funnel orders to the Paladins rather than get into the mix themselves. This changes when Allura becomes Blue Lion's pilot in Season 3, and in Season 8 Shiro gives the orders as captain of the Atlas.
  • Monster of the Week: Averted. In deliberate contrast to just about every version of Voltron that came before, the titular mech spends most of the show doing battle with Galra spaceships then he does other giant monsters and robots; those fights tend to be saved for season finales.
  • Mook Horror Show: The attack on Naxzela was told in part from the POV of the Galra mook stationed on the planet. It's pretty horrifying to be on the receiving end of the most powerful weapon in the universe.
  • Mother Nature, Father Science: Sam and Colleen Holt; the former is the Garrison's foremost engineer while the latter is a botanist.
  • Mukokuseki: Unsurprising given the Animesque art style, and invoked. Word of God states that with the exception of Shiro, who was explicitly intended to be Japanese from conception, the cast was designed with ethnic ambiguity in mind. Amusingly demonstrated in Hole in the Sky, in which the Shiro's alternate universe counterpart, Sven, has the exact same face as him despite speaking with a thick Scandinavian accent.
  • Multiple Demographic Appeal: The show is clearly mainly aimed at young boys, but it has managed to rope many other groups, including the fans of the original Voltron series and female viewers, with Pidge and Allura's presence in the team being specifically made with this in mind.
  • Mythology Gag: It has its own page.

    Tropes N to S 
  • Never Say "Die": It becomes obvious, at various points in the first season, that the writers were told partway through production that they wouldn't be allowed to use the word "slaves" in a Y-7 program, and hastily replaced all instances of it in the script with "prisoners." Later seasons avert it, featuring dialogue about Zarkon being "on his death-bed" and an alien pilot dies in Pidge's arms.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Voltron and the individual Lions get new weaponry whenever it's convenient, even long after the pilots have gotten a handle on using him.
    • Princess Allura's ability to shapeshift is brought up in the penultimate episode of Season 1, where it becomes useful, as well as revealing her Super Strength.
  • No Conservation of Energy: The material Voltron is made of and found in special comets scoffs at the rules of thermodynamics. The Altean alchemist Honerva created a Perpetual Motion Machine using a drop of quintessence in a machine made from the ore which was still running a year later without any drop in performance. Per Alfor’s own words, the Voltron Lions work on a similar principle.
  • Nothing Personal: The pair of bounty hunters in Season 1 aren't especially fans of the Galra Empire, but by turning over a Lion they can get pardons for their own crimes, which would result in them being executed if they were captured.
  • Official Couple: Shiro and Curtis get married. They are the only couple involving a main character to officially be together by the end of the series.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Lance unlocking the ability to turn his bayard into a sniper rifle in Season 3 qualifies as this, since it was both desired heavily by the fandom and fit into his 'sharpshooter' abilities. He is shown to be using the sniper rife at the beginning of Tailing a Comet with no indication that it could even be possible, nor how it happened in the first place.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Keith when he faces up against one of the Galra Druids. Galra Druids do not play nice.
    • In the Season 1 finale, Keith again: in a rare heroic Why Don't You Just Shoot Him? moment, he goes off to take out Zarkon when he steps out of his flagship to personally retrieve the Black Lion. Going up against the un-armored Big Bad in a space-side fight when you're in the Red Lion seems smart, right? Well...not when it's Zarkon and he's armed with the Black Bayard, as poor Keith finds out quickly enough.
    • Lotor when he discovers that Romelle, one of the Alteans that he had hidden away is now on the Castle of Lions and is about to reveal the truth of his machinations to the Paladins, which will ruin everything he's been building up for the past two seasons.
  • Once More, with Clarity!: The rescued prisoners claim Shiro attacked Pidge's brother in a fit of bloodthirsty rage, shocking not only Pidge but Shiro himself, who can't remember doing it or not. By the end of the episode he's able to recall that moment — injuring Matt was the only way to keep him out of the gladiator games.
  • One Size Fits All: The Voltron Paladin suits all come in the exact same size, which Hunk even notices is much smaller than him, but all manage to fit everyone regardless — although Hunk's helmet takes a little while to fit properly. A flashback in later seasons clarifies that the suits change their shape to best fit their Paladin.
  • Outside-Context Problem:
    • Haggar and her Druids. Magic is an accepted fact of this universe but the Galra Druids use it on a level beyond anything that anyone in the setting is remotely familiar with, meaning that the Galra have options available that no one are even aware are possible.
    • The Blade of Marmora. A renegade shadow group of Galra who disagree with the Empire's methods and have members in key positions throughout the Galra Empire, some even as high as Zarkon's personal command. They also have access to weapons that can harm the borderline invincible Druids, implying a knowledge of mysticism that is largely absent in the greater universe.
  • Our Orcs Are Different: The Galra are basically a purple, futuristic counterpart, but otherwise fit the bill in both appearance and culture.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Pidge/Katie ended up basing her "male" appearance on her brother; all she does is cut her hair and put on glasses. This immediately sticks out like a sore thumb to Shiro, who worked very closely with said brother and their father and was a close family friend. By the time the truth comes out, everyone but Lance had worked it out as well. Coran is even confused, and asks if they were supposed to think Pidge was a boy.
  • Percussive Shutdown: After Sendak takes the castle and captures Lance and Shiro, Allura and Keith are stuck outside after the particle barrier is activated, leaving Pidge the only Paladin still at large on the inside. Allura directs Pidge to the castle's star drive chamber, in order to shut it down and prevent Sendak from getting away with the castle, and also the Lions. Unfortunately, the drive activates before Allura can go through the proper shutdown sequence, disrupting communications. With no other options, Pidge just says "whatever" and smashes the controls with her bayard, preventing the launch.
  • Planet Looters: The Galra do this to the planets they take over, and make a huge breakthrough shortly into the series that allows them to remotely drain a planet of all of its life force in a matter of minutes.
  • Plot-Based Photograph Obfuscation: Sort of. The photo Pidge keeps thinking of in "Some Assembly Required" is shown very quickly. One may not notice that that the boy in the photo has irises too small for him to be Pidge. Pidge is actually Katie, the girl in the photo.
  • Poorly Disguised Pilot: The Last Stand (Pts 1 & 2) is believed to be this, with the large focus on the MFE Cadets and their treatment as equal or superior to the Voltron pilots in some respects as remnants of an aborted attempt at launching an Earth-centric spinoff.
  • Power Crystal: Altean and Galra technology both make use of these, apparently sourced from a Balmera, with the former using naturally shaped light blue crystals while the latter use spikier purple crystals. One is prominently placed in the control centre of the Castle of Lions while smaller crystals are responsible for the Beehive Barrier. The crystals come in different sizes, with battleship-class crystals apparently being rather rare. Sam Holt confirms in Season 7 that most alien technology uses crystals as a power source.
  • Power Gives You Wings: The Black Lion is revealed to have wings as a power upgrade, which give it the ability to pass through solid objects, as it was able to pass right through Zarkon's Humongous Mecha armor and retrieve the Black Bayard for Shiro.
  • Power Trio: Lance, Hunk and Pidge in flight school at the start of the first episode.
  • Pride: Earth hasn't made contact with aliens or even developed the tech to leave their own star system, but they still call their Exploration/Defense force "Galaxy Garrison".
  • Purple Is the New Black: The major color scheme of the Galra and Lord Zarkon in this incarnation is purple; it's used for almost everything they have. And Shiro, whose team color is black, is often shown with purple-tinged highlights in cutaways, as well as a purple aura when his lion glows.
  • Race Lift: Lauren Montgomery said this was a deliberate effort to avoid having the team consist of 6 white teenagers this time around. Of course, in GoLion the Earth humans were meant to be Japanese, even if they looked otherwise.
    • Princess Allura is now ambiguously brown with pointy ears, pink markings and Mystical White Hair when in the past, she was a white blonde human alien.
    • Hunk and Lance are dark-skinned like their past incarnations, but rather than being Ambiguously Brown, it's now explicitly attributed to their ethnicities, with Lance confirmed to be Cuban, and Hunk is Samoan.
    • Shiro is an unusual case of a recursive Race Lift. In Voltron he became a Scandinavian named Sven, but for this continuity he returned to his original GoLion name and Japanese ethnicity — his full name is Takashi Shirogane.
    • The whole Altean race went from Human Aliens in the original to Space Elves in this series.
  • Ragnarök Proofing: Downplayed Trope. While the Castle of Lions is in remarkably good condition several systems were not functioning correctly after 10,000 years, the least of which was the barrier crystals responsible for the particle barrier being out of alignment. The Alteans were a Higher-Tech Species after all.
    • Played Straight with the Lions. After 10,000 years they are still in perfect condition, despite several of them apparently having their particle barriers active the whole time.
  • Reality Ensues: As much as it can for a show about alien robot lions in space.
    • In their first real fight as Voltron, they struggle because despite Voltron being the most powerful weapon in the universe, it take an enormous amount of coordination between five pilots to make it work.
    • Pidge's male disguise doesn't work very well. Most of the team figures it out early, especially Shiro who knew her back when she was just Katie Holt.
    • Hunk and Pidge are stuck in a zero gravity situation at one point, so Hunk decides that he will "swim" through the air over to Pidge. He goes absolutely nowhere. Later in the same scene, Hunk kicks Pidge over to the door, but she has too much momentum to stop and just bounces off.
    • Shiro points out that with Zarkon having been active for 10,000 years and his empire now dominating much of the known universe, even if Voltron is the most powerful weapon there is — they have a lot of work to do and taking it apart won't be as easy as simply marching to Zarkon's front gate and beating him down considering their entire force consists of only five inexperienced Paladins, an Altean Princess and her assistant, and one castle-spaceship. He's proven right when Zarkon proves to be more powerful than anything they've ever seen, even when equipped with only a Bayard.
    • In "Space Mall" Coran tries to bribe a help desk worker, she does not recognize the money being not only is it 10,000 years old but also from a dead civilization.
    • Coran's societal knowledge of the aliens in charge of the mall is also completely out of date, and over the thousands of years, they have grown from thuggish mercenary traders, into exemplary, civilized capitalists.
    • Throughout the first two seasons, the Paladins act under the assumption that if they can defeat Zarkon, then the Galra Empire will collapse without him to lead it. Shiro even exclaims during the battle with Zarkon in his mechasuit during the Season 2 finale that this may very well be their last battle. Unfortunately, even though the battle ends in their victory, and Zarkon badly wounded and in a coma, Haggar's final line reveals that Zarkon has a successor, namely Prince Lotor, meaning that it's really not as simple as taking out the leader to defeat an empire as vast as the Galra.
    • In Season 3, Keith and Lance changing to the Black and Red Lions respectively presents them with difficulty since their new Lions are different enough to require a learning curve, Red Lion for example being much faster than Blue and Lance needing to compensate for the increased speed. Allura has slightly less difficulty with Blue because, as she points out, she has been piloting the Castle of Lions but still needs to adjust to an entirely different vehicle.
    • Despite being firmly on the side of Voltron, the Blade of Marmora are still members of the same race that has spent the last 10,000 years conquering and enslaving entire galaxies. There is a lot of Fantastic Racism against them, and feelings like that do not disappear quickly.
    • When Coran is at the controls of the Atlas, a ship made by the Galaxy Garrison as a successor to the Castle of Lions, he has no idea how to work them since the ship is Earth-made rather than Altea-made.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: In his first appearance, Prince Lotor does this to one of his political rivals. To highlight the pettiness of this move, he does so after getting said rival to publicly kneel and swear loyalty to him.
  • Recruit Teenagers with Attitude: Allura didn't have many options. She does, however, luck out in that one of the Ragtag Bunch of Misfits is an experienced (if shell-shocked) soldier and the rest, while still bickering teenagers, were Military School students with some relevant training. With a bit of training and experience on their side, and they brush up pretty well as "Defenders of the Universe" — of course, they still bicker incessantly.
  • Recursive Canon: In Season 8 Episode 1, the original Voltron anime is inserted into the series as a show loosely based on the Voltron team's adventures. Pidge is unimpressed by her portrayal, Lance is outraged that the show ships Keith and Allura, and Hunk is more amused by all the details it got wrong than anything.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Robot Rover is hacked to join Team Voltron by Pidge, and because of this sacrifices its life to kill the Galra soldier attacking Pidge.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Keith and Lance, though their traits are mostly switched.
  • Repressive, but Efficient: "Space Mall" gives a nice demonstration of this trope. Before the Galra conquered most of the known universe, the Swap Moon was a Wretched Hive populated by Space Pirates and other scoundrels. Under the Galra's rule it's a tacky but clean and (more or less) safe shopping mall.
  • La Résistance: Team Voltron and the Blade of Marmora.
  • Retcon: At the end of Season 4, "Vrepit Sa" was all but confirmed to mean "Victory or Death", then in Season 6, Dayak comes in and quiznaks it up to mean "Killing Stroke".
  • Reunion Vow: In the seventh season, Krolia, about to be parted from Keith again, apologizes for having to say goodbye to him. However, Keith insists that it isn't goodbye. He bequeaths his knife to her and tells her she can return it "when [they] see each other again". Sure enough, in the season finale Keith wakes up in a hospital bed to see her and Kolivan there, having made their way to Earth.
  • Rewatch Bonus: The show is already made for this, with many foreshadowing details and character moments hidden in plain sight, most notably Lotor's. However, many of Shiro's moments, especially with Keith, take on a whole new meaning after it's revealed that he spent most of his life dying of terminal illness, and chose to follow his dreams over a loving relationship.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: The aliens that Pidge meets in the trash nebula are little round balls of fur with big eyes and stubby limbs. She even calls them cute once she gets a good look at them.
    • The space mice, of course. Especially when they perform.
  • Robeast: It's a reboot of the Trope Namer; so it's not surprising they show up. What is surprising, however, is how little they appear; Haggar creates exactly three Robeasts in the first two seasons, and then never does it again. Voltron spends the next few seasons battling regular Galra warships, with only the occasional Humongous Mecha (and one plant monster) thrown in. Even the new "Robeasts" in the last season are actually piloted giant robots, just like Voltron, and therefore don't technically qualify. Perhaps to make up for their few appearances, they're also much nastier threats than in previous versions of the show; entire episodes are dedicated to beating them.
  • Rousing Speech: Several.
    • At the end of the first episode, as the Lions are being pulled in by the tractor beam, it's Shiro's last-minute do-or-die speech that gives the rest of the Paladins the team spirit necessary to form Voltron for the first time.
    • Allura's broadcast to the Coalition towards the end of Season 4:
    Allura: Fellow members of the Voltron Coalition, if you are hearing me now, it is because you have pledged to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with us in our fight against Zarkon's enslavement of the free peoples of the universe. But that enslavement is about to be dealt a crushing blow. The time for a full-scale attack on the Galra Empire is now. Far in the future, when they speak of this day, they will speak of our sacrifice, but they will also remember this as the day that freedom began to overtake tyranny. You all have your missions. You know what to do. Good luck. We'll see you on the other side.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Princess Allura commands the Castle of Lions, which doubles as a massive battleship which assists Voltron in battle with supporting fire. Alteans are mentioned several times to have been excellent diplomats and she's always ready to meet and encourage communication with other races. On the ground, she uses her chameleon-like abilities to sneak into an enemy ship and takes out several guards. Though she has no idea how to hold a rifle. Come Season 3, and she is the Paladin of the Blue Lion and joins the others on the battlefield.
    • Before then, King Alfor not only created Voltron, but he also served as the previous Red Paladin.
    • On the villain's side, Zarkon and Lotor. Zarkon takes the fight to Voltron himself during Season 2, and Lotor spends all of his appearances actively working towards his own goals.
    • All of the previous Paladins were leaders on their home planets.
  • Russian Reversal: After Krolia trades the access codes to a weapon that she and Keith were planning to destroy in exchange for Keith's life, Keith complains that she'd just handed the weapon to the Galrans. She replies that no, she's just handed the Galrans to the weapon. It's revealed that the "weapon" is a berserk monster that kills the Galrans when they open the door to its room.
  • Samus Is a Girl:
    • Pidge hid her true gender when her original identity was compromised during her investigations.
      • Everyone except Lance figured out she was a girl before her "big reveal," however, but that's okay, as she was really only trying to fool the Garrison staff.
    • Keith also assumes that Acxa is male the first time he sees her, due to her helmet obscuring her face and the fact that she never spoke to him then.
  • Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale: Zig-zagged. The earlier seasons were actually pretty good about portraying distances in space in a realistic manner, but the later seasons seem to be having more of a problem with it.
    • This is lampshaded as early as Season 2's "The Depths", as Lance says Pidge has mentioned that space should be "more than 90% empty" and yet they keep randomly bumping into habitable planets or significant bodies/nebulae. Not to mention that a 10% full space would be ridiculously crowded compared to what it actually is in real life.
  • Sentai: Though they don't have transformation sequences or go about assuming Super Sentai Stances, most of the trappings are still there. Unsurprising, as the original GoLion was produced by the same company that made Super Sentai (Toei). Parodied in "The Voltron Show" where Coran turns them into a Sentai-themed stunt-show complete with the "Super Sentai" Stance.
  • Series Fauxnale: "Defender of All Universes", the Season 6 finale, has a sense of coming full circle in its conclusion that makes it feel a lot like a series finale, even when it was made with the full knowledge that it wouldn't be. If not for the fact that Honerva is still out there, the story could wrap up in that episode. There's even a unique credits sequence for it. Quite possibly a Mythology Gag, as the 52nd episode of the original Voltron was also a Series Fauxnale.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: The opening scene. A research team claims that examination of the ice core samples they're taking from the outer solar system could provide evidence as to whether there is life in other solar systems. Moments later, that research goal becomes moot when a Galra spacecraft appears on the horizon.
  • Shipper on Deck: Lance's sister ships Lance and Allura.
  • Ship Sinking:
    • Any ship involving Shiro and female characters is impossible, on account of the fact that he's gay and ships involving other men apart from Curtis are also impossible since Shiro eventually married Curtis.
    • After season 8, any ship involving Allura can't happen since she is dead.
  • Ship Tease: The show is very light on romance, but there's an occasional amount.
    • Lance develops a crush on Allura the second he meets her. Though she isn't interested. His casual flirting with her continues for a while, but it's mostly Played for Laughs. In later seasons the ship receives some proper teasing with the two bonding more and more after Allura's transition to paladin. The pair are able to confide in each other about their doubts regarding Shiro in Season 5, once Lance comforts Allura she admits she enjoys Lance's company, and after Lance unlocks his bayard's ability to form into an Altean broadsword, Allura makes a Double Entendre before knocking him to the floor. In Season 6 Lance's evolving feelings for Allura are spelled out in great detail to the mice, who subsequently tell them to Allura, who does not appear to return his feelings at that time. Lance is also the first one too support Allura after her heartbreak from Lotor's betrayal. Season 7 adds to the ship tease as Allura appears to be warming up to Lance, and even brings on a Shipper on Deck in the form of Lance's sister. And then Season 8 actually lets them get together.
    • It's strongly implied that Hunk has a crush on Shay (and vice versa), since he gets very defensive when teased about it, yet in the official guidebook mentions finding Shay very pretty. Whenever one is mentioned in the presence of the other, expect them to get very excited and/or flustered.
      Hunk: She's just a rock I met and admire very much.
    • Subverted with Keith and Allura. Though the the two receive a lot of seeming Ship Tease in Season 2, such as running off together to discover what or who is leading Zarkon to the castle, and Keith catching Allura in a Bridal Carry before she jumps away flustered with a blush on her face, Word of God confirms these scenes were intended to be deliberately ambiguous-looking but ultimately nonromantic as a Mythology Gag to the fact that Keith and Allura were the Official Couple in previous iterations of Voltron.
    • The former Blue Paladin, Blaytz, is seen flirting with a male Galra servant and asking him to join him at a banquet, to Zarkon's chagrin.
    • When Matt meets Allura, it is Love at First Sight with Matt running up to her and shouting "You are so beautiful!". He develops an instant crush on Allura and blushes whenever she is around. This makes Lance very jealous.
    • In Season 5, Sam likens the way that Pidge and Hunk bicker about modulation to the way he met his wife. Downplayed as they look unamused and even weirded out by it.
    • Season 5 is very strong in pushing the Lotor/Allura relationship. They are very casual and close to each other and never shy away from physical touches, in "Bloodlines" alone, Allura walks with her hand in his arm, and they are even holding hands later. The entire later part of the season shows Lotor and Allura developing a softer and sweeter side for each other that they don't show others and becoming surprisingly intimate. In season 6 the two are around each other more to build the Sincline ship and almost shared a kiss before being interrupted by Pidge and Hunk, causing Allura to jump away from him in embarrassment. After going through the rift, the two finally share a kiss. However, after finding out Lotor's true plans, Allura refuses to have anything do to with him, even when he tells her that his feelings for her were not a lie and knew she felt the same about him. She appears to have some lingering feelings as she was the only one who looked back at Sincline floating lifelessly in the rift before Voltron escapes. In Season 8, she either hallucinates him or is visited by his actual spirit, with him even whispering seductively in her ear. By the end of the series, she appears to have forgiven him and admits to Honerva how much he helped her.
    • Acxa receives some teasing with Keith from Zethrid and Ezor whom she has since turned against, who taunt her about having feelings for Keith. Both she and Keith are unfazed by the accusation, but Acxa later on admits that she did seek Keith out as someone to follow, and is later seen watching him from afar at his father's grave. In the Season 8 finale, she's shown working alongside him as a member of the Blade of Marmora, but they're given no romantic resolution and comments by the showrunners indicate their relationship is platonic.
  • Shock and Awe: Galra Druids are capable of firing blasts of purple lightning as the one who fought Keith in "Collection and Extraction" demonstrated.
  • Shown Their Work:
    • Hunk explains correctly how Fraunhofer lines work.
    • When Pidge and Hunk get stranded by a lack of gravity, Hunk tries "swimming" through the air, which is a spectacular failure because a) air is a lot less dense than water, b) air is compressible. Pidge, on the other hand, decides to use Newton's third law to get around the problem. She and Hunk push off each other, and thanks to the laws of motion they move away from each other. What's more, Pidge picks up a lot more momentum than Hunk does due to the differences in their relative masses. Pidge is smaller so she gets a bigger boost.
    • When the shuttle that the paladins are on starts to dive bomb in Season 5, Episode 2, everyone is lifted into the air and moves around in a zero gravity manner. This is actually what happens when an aircraft nosedives in real life and has been a technique used to both train real astronauts, and film weightlessness in many modern space moviesnote .
  • Show Within a Show: The original 80’s series was made in-universe by ‘’somebody’’ between seasons seven and eight.
  • Shout-Out: Has its own page.
  • Slasher Smile: Lotor reveals his in Season 6.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Subverted, Allura is set up to be this, until Pidge's Gender Reveal. Though this did make Pidge the sole female Paladin. At least until Season 3 when Allura becomes a pilot as well.
    • The original Paladin team did have only one female.
  • Space Elves: The Alteans even have the pointed ears to go with it.
  • Summon to Hand: The bayards can be summoned directly to the Paladins hands and dismissed in a similar way. Weaponised by Keith during while fighting Ezor, when she pins the arm wielding his bayard down he just teleports it to his other hand. He does this again while fighting Shiro after the clone reveal in Season 6. Then again in Season 8, when he summons his Bayard to ambush the soldier who was guarding his Bayard. None of the other Paladins do this, although there's no reason to believe they can't.
  • Sweet Polly Oliver: Katie Holt's persistent investigation of her father and brother's disappearance gets her banned from Garrison bases, so she becomes Pidge Gunderson to keep the investigation going.

    Tropes T to Z 
  • Take a Third Option: Regarding the Lion Swap, both in-universe and narratively. With Shiro's return, both Lance and audience began to speculate whether it would be Lance or Shiro who would be benched from their role as Paladin (Allura, the newcomer, was also a super-powered princess and seemed guaranteed to remain a pilot). Audience and Voltron alike were surprised when it was Keith who voluntarily left the team. Until he finally returns to the team and the Black Lion in season 6.
  • Techno Babble: Lots of made-up science sounding-phrases get thrown around, especially by Pidge and any character with a science background.
  • Teens Are Short: Keith and Pidge, though Lance is also shorter than Shiro and Coran.
    • Played with in that Allura can change height; at the end of Season 2 she grows about two feet, enough to tower over everyone else.
  • This Cannot Be!: Haggar utters this when Allura absorbs her magical attack in the Season 2 finale.
  • Thunderbolt Iron: Voltron is built from strange, trans-dimensional meteor ore, and is incredibly powerful as a result.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: A staple of the Blade of Marmora’s fighting style, they can pull off some pretty insane tricks including rebounding the blade off surfaces to strike opponents from behind. Combined with their Combat Parkour they are terrifying combatants.
    • Keith isn’t quite on the Blade of Marmora’s level, but he can still throw his sword straight with lethal accuracy. Must be a Galra trait.
  • Time Skip: Season 7 reveals that the time-space disruption caused by the duel between Voltron and Sincline resulted in the Lions disappearing for three deca-phobes. This gives the Galra Empire time to advance their technology to pose a significant threat to the Lions, and for Lotor's generals to go their separate ways.
  • Tractor Beam: Galra battlecruisers have massive ones on the bow of the ships. Their fighters have smaller ones capable of lifting a Lion.
  • Tragic Villain: Season 3 uses this trope in the backstories of Zarkon and Haggar, showing that they are not so much pure evil as Brainwashed and Crazy by an Eldritch Abomination.
  • Transformation Is a Free Action: Ambiguous until "Stayin' Alive", where it is averted.
    Keith: I don't think the Robeast is gonna sit around and wait for us to transform.
    • Played straight, however, as Voltron forms several other times under time pressure, and the transformation sequence never seems to impact the amount of time remaining before disaster ensues.
  • Trap Is the Only Option: At one point, Shay is taken hostage by Galra forces. The team assumes it is an ambush, but decides to rush in anyway. The Galra don't even bother sending forces, instead opting to lock the party in.
  • Trash the Set: The Castle of Lions is destroyed at the end of Season 6.
  • Trauma Conga Line: Poor Shiro just can't catch a break. He was captured by Galra during the Kerberos mission, tortured, experimented on, forced to fight as their gladiator, and suffers from PTSD as a result. And this is all before the show even started. Since then, during season 2 he gets the shit beaten out of him by lizard creatures while Voltron is scattered across the galaxy and has to constantly psychically battle with Zarkon for control of the Black Lion. At the end of the season, he vanishes. During season 3 he wakes up from being tortured and experimented on again by the Galra, escapes and proceeds to fight for his life on an ice planet. He very nearly dies in space before the Black Lion senses him and Keith finds him. During season 5 he starts doubting that he's really himself after some uncharacteristic outbursts. Season 6 really cranks it up - Haggar fully possesses him through mind control, forcing him to attack the rest of the team. It's revealed that this Shiro has been a clone the whole time just before he fights with Keith and gets his Galra arm cut off. Shiro then appears to Keith in the Astral Plane and reveals that he's been dead since season 2, and that the Black Lion stored his consciousness. Allura is able to put real Shiro's consciousness into clone Shiro's body, bringing him back, but his hair turns completely white from the stress. Season 7 reveals that Shiro had a degenerative disease and was in a serious long-term relationship with his flight partner, Adam. Shiro decided to pursue his dreams by going on a space mission over spending his remaining days with Adam, which causes Adam to end his relationship with Shiro and he tell him that he will not be waiting for him. Shiro returns to Earth only to find out Adam had already died in combat.
  • Turncoat: Multiple in Season 2. Turning for Team Voltron are the Blade of Marmora, but the season finale reveals that someone else turned the other way: in the climactic battle aboard Zarkon's flagship, Allura manages to knock off Haggar the Druid's hood and discovers, to her horror, that she and Coran are not the last surviving Alteans after all...
  • Unobtanium: A few types have appeared so far.
    • Scaultrite, a rare crystalline substance which amplifies energy. It is needed in the construction of the teledav, which allows certain Alteans to create wormholes. It is formed in the third stomach of a Weblum, a giant Planet Eater, when it fires its Wave-Motion Gun Breath Weapon.
    • The substance the trans-reality comets that Voltron, and later Lotor’s ship, are made of is a material that can pass through realities, seems to be able to generate an “endless supply of power” when infused with quintessence and is almost indestructible.
  • Unrelated Effects: Basically all of the lions' weapons seem to cause massive explosions, even when they're just cutting Galra ships' hulls. Also seen late in Season 2 when Keith fires a blaster a few times at a massive structure inside Galra HQ and slices it cleanly in half.
  • Untranslated Catchphrase: The Galra have "vrepit sa". In season 6, Hunk has the opportunity to learn more about Galra culture, but is informed it will be a challenging endeavor from which there is no backing down. With more than a little trepidation, Hunk asks if he'll learn what "vrepit sa" means. When he's told he will, he immediately decides the training will be Worth It.
  • Ultimate Universe: Serves as this for the original series.
  • Villainous Virtues: Haggar, of all people, demonstrates this in the two-part finale of Season 2, even after it becomes clear that Zarkon has gone well and truly off his rocker in the quest to reclaim the Black Lion and is preparing to make his final stand in an experimental armor against Voltron when for the first time it looks like the Galra might actually lose, Haggar keeps her cool, remains loyal to him even as she forcibly disagrees with his methods, gathers her Druids, and acts as Zarkon's buff support until Allura brings the fight right to her. Later, she is shown to have reclaimed Zarkon's body and attempted to treat his grievous wounds. Season 3 reveals that Zarkon and Haggar were once a married couple, which would explain her loyalty.
  • Vestigial Empire: By season seven, the Galra Empire has become one. With Zarkon's final death, and Lotor and Haggar's disappearances, three years later the Empire has more or less disintegrated, with its territory being divvied up by whichever commanders or warlords happen to remain. That said, some of those warlords, like Sendak, are still powerful enough to be a serious threat on their own. Haggar even says as much when the Kral Zera breaks down into pointless in-fighting, that the Empire is finished.
  • Villain World: By the start of the series, the Galra have already taken over most of the universe, and they're already getting closer to reaching Earth! Voltron and the Paladins' goal is to liberate it from them and form an alliance of Planets they freed to prepare a Rebellion.
  • Void Between the Worlds: The Quintessence Field is a white void between realities filled with potentially unlimited Quintessence which can only be accessed through the material of the trans-reality comets or the rifts created by them. Both Zarkon and Lotor aim to gain access to the field in order to harvest the power.
  • Wave-Motion Tuning Fork:
    • The Ion Cannons mounted on Galra battlecruisers.
    • Keith causes one to appear on the back of the Red Lion during his battle with Zarkon.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Season 5, Episode 2. What starts out as a prisoner exchange ends with Zarkon being killed by Lotor!
    • Season 6, Episode 4. Just after she and Lotor share a kiss, Allura learns that Lotor has been secretly using a hidden colony of Alteans to harvest quintessence for centuries, or possibly millennia. Then the whole team learns at the worst possible moment that the person they thought was Shiro is clone, as he knocks them all out and makes off with Lotor.
      • Almost the entire back half of Season 6 qualifies: Episode 5 includes the reveal that Shiro has been cloned and episode 6 reveals that the original Shiro died at the end of Season 2 and had his consciousness stored in the Black Lion.
  • Wham Line:
    Shiro: [to Pidge] Your father and brother would be proud of you, Katie.

    Zarkon: [to Keith] You cannot stop me. The Black Lion will finally be returned to its original Paladin.
    • The trailer for Season 2 starts with one:
      Shiro: Keith, if I don't make it out of here... I want you to lead Voltron.
    • The last line in Season 2:
      Haggar: Summon Prince Lotor.
    • At the end of Season 4:
      Lotor: Attention Paladins of Voltron and the Rebel Fighters; I know we've had our differences in the past, but... I think it is time we had a discussion.
    • At the end of Season 5:
      Krolia : That used to be my knife. Until I gave it to your father.
    • In Season 6, Episode 6:
      Shiro: I died, Keith.
  • Wham Shot: When the Voltron pilots are captured by an energy shield in the finale it is seen being shut down by a Galra soldier, Thace.
    • At the end of "Shiro's Escape", we see Keith looking at his knife. He removes the wrappings on it... And it has the same symbol of a Galran resistance, the Blade of Marmora.
    • The second season's finale, "Blackout", shows us what Haggar looks like under the hood...
      Allura: You're... Altean?!
    • And just afterward, on opening up Shiro's cockpit after towing his Lion back to the ship, the Paladins find it empty...
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • A light-haired human officer who looks suspiciously like a shapeshifted Princess Allura appears very briefly at Shiro's crash site in the first episode, is specifically mentioned by Lance, and is subsequently never seen again.
    • After his defeat Sendak is locked into stasis until Shiro forcibly ejects his pod after a panic attack. Unlike many of the other Galra officers, who are visibly shown being defeated or killed, his ultimate fate is left ambiguous. He eventually turns up in Season 5 as Haggar's puppet in the battle for the Galran throne.
    • Kaltenecker is never seen for the entirety of Season 3. She returns in Season 4, now providing the crew with fresh milk for their milkshakes.
    • By the end of Season 4, the Voltron Coalition has managed to hijack a powerful Galra cruiser. While it is disabled by Haggar, we never learn if it's abandoned or subsequently re-purposed by the Coalition.
  • World-Healing Wave: Allura performs a ritual transfer of Life Energy to restore the Balmera, which is ultimately crucial to defeating the Robeast.
  • World Shapes: Many planets are not spherical.
    • The Galra homeworld of Daibazaal has a strange comet shape, with one side formed into curved area ringed by several large protrusions forming a jagged edge that covers a rougher spheroid on one side. The atmosphere covers all of this.
    • Olkarion has a giant mountain range that extends far beyond the rest of the surface, dividing the planet into city and forest halves.
    • Another planet was shaped like a double Daibazaal or an apple core with most of the skin still there, with every surface habitable.
  • World War III: It is mentioned by Veronica that the Garrison's underground tunnel system was leftover from World War III, but no other details are provided.
  • Worst Aid: After Lance is extensively injured but before the Galra infiltrate the Castle, Shiro carries Lance by slinging him over the shoulder.
  • Would Hurt a Child: The Galra Empire would gladly send children to be killed in their Gladiator Games.


Video Example(s):


Voltron: Legendary Defenders

While not said out loud, Allura & Coran have this reaction, when they learn where Milkshakes come from.

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