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Western Animation / X-Men: The Animated Series

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X-Men, commonly referred to as X-Men: The Animated Series, is a 1992 to 1997 animated superhero series based on the popular X-Men comics.

It was an ambitious attempt to adapt the most famous comic storylines, one of the most popular series on the Fox Kids Saturday morning lineup, and is remembered fondly despite its limited animation quality and a few less-than stellar story arcs. Lasting 76 episodes across five seasons, it is still, even in this post-MCU era, among Marvel's longest-running television shows and considered the most faithful to the original comic book version in comparison to the modern adaptations (particularly the live-action ones associated with the X-Men Film Series).

The main characters were:

Together, they fought evil mutants, giant robots, Government Conspiracies, cosmic forces, and occasionally each other, while protecting those who hated and feared them.

Another animated series based on the X-Men comic, X-Men: Evolution, was made in the early '00s, followed by Wolverine and the X-Men (2009) in the late '00s. In 2015, this universe was revisited under the title X-Men '92 as part of the Secret Wars (2015) event and returned as a full-fledged ongoing series as part of the All-New, All-Different Marvel lineup.

On November 12th, 2021, Marvel Studios (yes, the studio responsible for the Marvel Cinematic Universe) announced a revival of this series for Disney+ entitled X-Men 97, set to release in 2023. Beau DeMayo (The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf) will serve as head writer. The series' original cast is set to return, with the exceptions of Norm Spencer (Cyclops) and David Hemblen (Magneto), both of whom died in 2020. Alyson Court will also not return as Jubilee, who will instead be played by an Asian-American actor at Court's insistence while Court is set to play a different character. In July 2022 a second season of the revival was confirmed.

Has an under-construction characters page.

In the Marvel Multiverse, it was listed as Earth-92131 (the same as the Spider-Man: The Animated Series, as they both coexisted in a Shared Universe).

Provides examples of:

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  • Aborted Arc:
    • At the end of "The Unstoppable Juggernaut," Colossus declines Logan and Jubilee's offer to join the team, saying that he has come to America to find Illyana, his missing little sister. This subplot is never mentioned again, and when Illyana finally shows up in the second season, she's living back in Russia with her parents.note 
    • In "Beyond Good and Evil, Part 2," it is clearly stated that Magneto is only aiding Apocalypse to have his "beloved wife" resurrected. This was not referred to again and a far different motivation was stated in Part 4: creating an alternate future in which mutants rule.
    • "The Fifth Horseman" ends with Apocalypse resurrecting himself by pulling a Grand Theft Me on Cortez, clearly setting him up to serve as an antagonist in the future. And yet, the show never dealt with this before its conclusion.
    • Likewise, despite "Cold Comfort" having Cyclops and Havok puzzled by each other, including their powers not working, nothing is done with their rivalry or even that they're brothers.
    • Similarly, Cable claims to already know about Scott and Jean in "Time Fugitives: Part 2," and the same episode has Jean react in shock and say "No, it can't be..." after she reads Cable's mind. She later says "He's more important for the future, our future, than you could ever imagine," suggesting that she psychically learned Cable is their Kid from the Future like in the comics.note  However, this statement isn't followed up on in later episodes, and even though Cable does make further guest appearances, his parentage and supposed connection to Scott and Jean is never explicitly revealed.
  • Above Good and Evil: Apocalypse delivers this line in the beginning of the four-parter "Beyond Good and Evil". Before pulling this moral relativism card however, he did have the gall to call Cable an "evil mutant" for trying to stop his genocidal war by attacking the source of his immortality.
    Apocalypse: Evil? I am not malevolent, I simply am!
    • And later on in the same arc -
      Apocalypse: Spare me your petty judgements. They spring from a brain too meager to comprehend my reality.
  • Action-Hogging Opening: Especially in the Japanese opening titles, which feature Magneto summoning the Brood, which are an alien species that have nothing to do with him.
  • Adaptation Distillation: Much like Spider-Man: The Animated Series, the show would often compress and refine adapted comic plots by removing unnecessary elements or filler material, in addition to just making Pragmatic Adaptations.
    • The Legacy Virus storyline in the comics was a long and convoluted one that ran for ten years and started with the X-Cutioner's Song story, which was the finale for the already-convoluted story of Cable's evil clone, Stryfe. In this cartoon, it's instead transformed into a simple plot by Apocalypse taking advantage of the Friends of Humanity as a way to disperse a society-destroying virus.
    • The Phoenix and Dark Phoenix sagas were both shortened drastically. In particular, Jean never dies except for briefly at the very end of "The Dark Phoenix Saga", and the whole subplot with Cyclops marrying Jean's clone Madelyn Pryor, impregnating her with Cable, and then abandoning her for Jean, which drives Madelyn insane, is dropped entirely. The only time Cyclops and Jean's relationship is rocked during "The Dark Phoenix Saga" is when the unstable Jean sees Cyclops get an unwanted kiss from the overly flirtatious mutant nightclub singer Dazzler.
    • The adaptation of the Phalanx Covenant storyline drops the convoluted distinction between the Phalanx and their Technarchy creators/predators, instead condensing the two shape-shifting assimilating techno-organic species as a singular entity.
  • Adaptation-Induced Plot Hole:
    • After seeing a Sentinel attack Storm in "Slave Island," Jubilee confusedly says that she thought the X-Men destroyed all of them. This is despite the fact that the previous episode's cliffhanger involved Jubilee and the others being captured by a Sentinel, meaning she should know better than anyone that they still exist.
    • When Warren Worthington III (Archangel) is introduced, he has no connection to Xavier or the X-Men. It's even demonstrated that Cyclops and Professor X don't know who he is. In "Proteus: Part I" and other episodes throughout the series, flashbacks showing the first X-Men include one with big angelic wings on his shoulders. This same winged X-Man shows up in "Xavier Remembers" in a way that confirms he is Angel. Specifically, Xavier has a dream sequence where he sees the X-Men of past and present wearing their original costumes, then sees them transform into their current costumes. One of them is original X-Men uniform Angel, who transforms into Archangel.
    • Adding to this confusion is that - in addition to his original blue and yellow X-Men uniform - Angel shows up in some flashbacks (such as in "Sanctuary, Part 1") wearing a yellow and red costume based on his appearance in X-Men Volume 1 Issue 39, further implying that he has deep history with the X-Men before he became Apocalypse's victim. In the episode "Courage", Morph briefly transforms into this appearance of Angel (the yellow and red costume) during the climax.
    • Speaking of "Sanctuary, Part 1," that episode has Beast tell Gambit that Professor Xavier was crippled during his battle with Magneto. The battle between the two shown during a flashback in "Enter Magneto" had Xavier still standing after beating Magneto, with no indication that he'd been injured physically.
    • Cable's appearance in the first season suggests he's been in the present day for quite some time but there's no attempt to reconcile it with his later appearances where he's clearly a man from the future who dives into the present only to Set Right What Once Went Wrong. This may be the result of the series's writers being unaware of Marvel's plans for him. The first season aired 1992-1993, whereas Cable's origin wasn't confirmed in the comics until December 1993. Thus, the series writers likely adjusted to avoid any serious contradictions with the source material. Also of note, whereas there is no attempt to reconcile the two seasons' Cable appearances, the first season is not ignored. Rogue explicitly recalls her first encounter with Cable when the two battle in "Time Fugitives, Part 2." Being a time traveling commando however it can be explained away that his first appearance was him tracking down Apocalypse, who was central to that storyline.
    • "Enter Magneto" was clearly the first time the X-Men encountered Magneto, although Beast was able to deduce his identity upon seeing him use his powers. A flashback in "Cold Comfort" shows the original five X-Men had fought him at least once.
    • Wolverine fights robot duplicates of antagonists he hasn't even met yet: The Shi'ar Imperial Guard (Gladiator, Flashfire, and Earthquake), in the Season 2 episode "Mojovision". He would later encounter the real-deal (who are much tougher) in Season 3.
    • Jean replies to Cyclops when he insists that she couldn't be the assassin who betrays the X-Men, saying that it very well could be her, alluding to her "[bad] moments" and asking if he's forgotten. It isn't elaborated on further, but it's implied it relates to "The Dark Phoenix Saga", which would only come midway through Season 3.
    • "The Cure" explicitly shows that Rogue has never encountered Pyro and Avalanche before, which contradicts flashbacks in "A Rogue's Tale" in the following season which show that she was previously a teammate of theirs working for Mystique under her old identity prior to the events of the series, though, in fairness, it's unclear how much of that period of her life she actually remembers due to repressed memories.
    • "Savage Land, Savage Heart: Part 2", Garokk references an encounter he had with the High Evolutionary which resulted in his imprisonment. All fine and dandy, but the problem is that Garokk cites their battle taking place thousands of years ago, whereas in the comics - the High Evolutionary is at least "only" a century old.
  • Adaptation Name Change:
    • When Wolverine revealed that Graydon Creed was Sabretooth's son in "Beauty and the Beast", the latter is identified as "Graydon Creed, Sr." instead of "Victor Creed". By extensio, this makes Graydon Creed "Graydon Creed, Jr."
    • Solarr's real name is Bill Braddock rather than Silas King.
    • Kevin Sydney's codename was changed from "Changeling" to "Morph", in part because DC Comics copyrighted it (Teen Titans character Beast Boy was using it at the time). It's since been adapted for the Age of Apocalypse and Exiles incarnations of the character.
  • Adaptation Species Change: Zebediah Kilgrave is a mutant, unlike his comic book counterpart whose powers were the result of being accidentally exposed to a nerve agent.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: The Shadow King's human body. In comics he's fat and bald. In the series he's a handsome Egyptian with a beard. The animators based his character design on a later host body of the Shadow King entity, Jacob Reisz, rather than Amahl Farouk, the body he was in when he was introduced in the comics (though perhaps not his original form).
  • Adaptational Badass: A lot of people find this version of Apocalypse much more badass than the one from the comics.
  • Adaptational Early Appearance:
    • In the comics, Professor Xavier's hoverchair was built by Forge and is based on Shi'ar technology. Here, he has it before he ever met Forge or Lilandra. Likewise, the Danger Room in the series already uses hard light holographs, another thing they got from the Shi'ar in the comics.
    • Most of the costumes of the X-Men were based on their then-recent comic book designs. Jean Grey's in particular reflects a stage in her life long after she went through the Dark Phoenix ordeal - which itself was the culmination of her transition from Marvel Girl to Phoenix. Here, outside of perhaps an oblique (and out-of-place) reference, the Phoenix Saga doesn't even begin until halfway through the series.
    • While it'd later be confirmed they're not founding members, Gambit, Storm, Wolverine, Rogue, and Morph are among the first X-Men we see. Likewise, Jubilee, Bishop, and Cable among others are depicted as meeting the X-Men earlier than they did in the comics.
    • Beast in the comics started off relatively normal lookin aside from oversized hands and feet before he gained his blue fur. Here, he already has the fur.
  • Adaptational Heroism:
    • Magneto. Mags has always been a complex character, doing acts others consider villainy or heroism as needed to protect mutants, so the sight of him helping the X-Men and meaning it is not too surprising in any continuity. However, when he's bad, look out. His list of villainous exploits is impressive, and everyone's leery of him even when he's been playing nice for a while because they know that "what must be done to protect mutants" being helping old ladies cross the street now doesn't mean it won't be "showdown that could well start World War III" someday. In this series, he's only properly villainous in his introductory two-parter, and every appearance after that has him alongside the X-Men against common foes. However, when the show came out, comic Mags had been 95% reformed for about a decade or so.
    • Cable's son Tyler. In the comics he was an Antagonistic Offspring and eventually became a supervillain going so far as trying to follow in Apocalypse's steps. Here Tyler is a straight-up hero and he and Cable are very close. Probably justified via Stryfe, whose actions caused their relationship to go sour in the original comics, being Adapted Out.
    • Instead of a psychotic monster, Proteus is just a confused child who only wants to see the wider world, meet his father, and be accepted by him. His Body Surf doesn't Possession Burnout, either, for obvious reasons. Also, instead of a vicious rapist, Proteus's father is merely a selfish politician who embraces his son in the end.
    • Senator Kelly changed his tune about mutants after the X-Men save him from the Sentinels a lot earlier than his comic counterpart did (which was, in real time, after the series ended and after the team had repeatedly saved him).
  • Adaptational Modesty: The Dark Phoenix Saga originally included a brief scene where Jean is seen naked (albeit with her body obscured) after overcoming the Phoenix's control of her mind, which leaves her Dark Phoenix costume disintegrated. Due to the show being aimed at a slightly younger demographic than the comics, this was (rather understandably) omitted, and the equivalent scene has her wearing civilian clothing.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Apocalypse is even more evil than usual in this version, going from The Social Darwinist to full-fledged Omnicidal Maniac.
  • Adaptational Wimp: A downplayed example but, Omega Red has some of his usual powers removed in this version, most notably he normally emits some "Death Spores" which kill any non-superpowered people in a certain radius. Most likely this was done because they thought that would be too gruesome for a kid's show. Writers attempted to counteract this by making him Nigh-Invulnerable even to Wolverine's Adamantium claws, with only subzero temperatures being able to slow him down.
  • Adapted Out:
    • Raksor the Skrull and his Kree counterpart are absent from "The Dark Phoenix Saga". Raksor is replaced by the imperial guardsman Hobgoblin (as both were technically Chameleon Boy stand-ins), but nobody covers the part of the Kree observer.
    • More significantly, Kitty Pryde. In episodes that were adaptations of stories she appeared in, her role was usually given to Jubilee. For the Days of Future Past story she's replaced with Bishop.
    • While several of the group's members do show up in guest roles or cameos, the New Mutants do not appear to have existed as a team in this continuity. In fact, there's no indication that Xavier ever had any other students than the X-Men themselves.
    • In the comics, Professor Xavier was crippled by an alien named Lucifer. Starting a trend that Ultimate X-Men and X-Men: First Class would follow, Magneto is given the job instead.
    • Ramrod is the only member of the Nasty Boys who did not appear in the show.
  • Advertised Extra: Volume 2 of the DVD series has Nightcrawler on the cover, even though his only appearance in the first two seasons is a brief cameo in "Repo Man". His starring episode wasn't included until a later DVD.
  • Age Lift: In his first appearance, Tyler is shown as a boy/pre-teen. In his second appearance, which is set in the same year as the previous one, he's a young adult. No explanation is given.
  • Agony Beam: The "probe" on "Repo Man". Why exactly it hurts so much isn't explained, but it evidently is horrible enough to make Wolverine scream in agony.
  • Alien Invasion: The Phalanx Covenant two-parter and the Brood invasion.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: Wolverine's feelings for Jean, due to her relationship with Cyclops. This causes a good deal of tension between Logan and Scott, particularly in the first season.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: Anti-mutant hysteria, though it grows less prominent after Senator Robert Kelly's life is saved by the X-Men, just before he's elected president. It's still pretty bad, though.
  • All There in the Manual:
    • There was a reason Cyclops and Havok's powers had no effect on each other when they fought in "Cold Comfort". They are brothers, but unlike the comics, they never find out they're related.
    • The show doesn't really do a good of explaining exactly who Ms. Marvel is or why Mystique hates her so much. In the comics, Mystique started off as a Ms. Marvel villain, and was arguably her Arch-Nemesis. It was only after Ms. Marvel was cancelled that Mystique became a prominent X-Men villain.
    • As mentioned below, Xavier sees an image of Ghost Rider after reading Gambit's mind at one point. This encounter is never explained in the show, but is a reference to a crossover between the X-Men and Ghost Rider books that occurred in the early 90s.
  • Almighty Janitor: A literal example in the "Beyond Good and Evil" four-parter, when Bishop is accompanied by a total nut, who reveals he takes care of the Axis of Time, to Bishop's incredulity. When everyone leaves and time is restored, he transforms into his true identity: Immortus.
  • Alternate Time Line: Almost anything involving Bishop or Cable.
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song: The Japanese dub of X-Men not only has a different theme song, it completely reanimates the opening! It also uses a new ending.
  • American Accents: Surprisingly well-done—Xavier is completely believable for Westchester County, Gambit is stereotypical but very consistent, and (not actually American, of course) Magneto has just the right touch of Central European on top of a cultured American accent. Rogue's southern accent isn't really one at all, though.
  • And I Must Scream: In "A Rogue's Tale", it's revealed that another mind trapped inside of Rogue's is that of Ms. Marvel (Carol Danvers), after a young Rogue absorbed her energy for long enough to put her in a coma. Worse, the resolution is to seal her back inside of the mental prison, since her rage at having her life stolen is so uncontrollable and dangerous.
  • And I'm the Queen of Sheba: In part two of the "Days of Future Past" two-parter, Gambit quips "And I'm the Queen of France" in response to being told that Bishop is a time-traveler.
  • And This Is for...: In "Night of the Sentinels, Part 2," as the team trashes a Sentinel facility.
    Wolverine: This one's for you, Morph! [skewers Sentinel]
  • Animation Bump:
    • The openings by OLM Incorporated and AKOM are better looking than the rest of the show, which was done largely by the latter studio.
    • The "Out of the Past" two-parter from season 3 is more fluidly animated than the rest of the series. The colours are also a lot darker and more saturated.
  • An Arm and a Leg: The "Phalanx Covenant" two-parter reveals that Hodge lost an arm and and a leg during the fighting on Genosha.
  • Arc Villain: Throughtout each season, there is a villain who serves as the main threat.
    • Season 1: Master Mold and the Sentinels
    • Season 2: Mister Sinister
    • Season 3: Dark Phoenix
    • Season 4: Apocalypse
    • Season 5: Magneto
  • Artistic License Geography: "Days of Future Past" has Gambit travel to Washington, D.C., but the monitor shows this as being located in the state of Washington.
  • As Long as There Is Evil: Discussed when Beast ponders whether or not Apocalypse, as a personification of evil, can truly be destroyed or if a new evil will simply take Apocalypse's place. Cable replies that he doesn't care. It seems that Apocalypse is killed when his Lazarus Chamber is destroyed in Ancient Egypt and he gets willed out of existence by the collective power of the psychics within the Axis of Time, but he was just banished to the Astral Plane, a featureless dimension. When Fabian Cortez tries to revive him, Beast expresses disbelief at his survival, but Cortez confirms that Apocalypse's essence can never truly be destroyed.
  • As Long as There Is One Man: This trope kicks off the four-parter "Beyond Good And Evil", when Apocalypse defeats Cable in the year 3999, and steals his time-travelling device. As Apocalypse is about to rid himself of his mortal enemy, Cable cries that more like him will continue opposing him, and "the world can't stomach his evil forever". Apocalypse scoffs at his outburst, considering himself to be above his moral sensibilities...but then briefly muses on the prospect of having to face guys like Cable, as he had previously done many times in his extremely long lifetime to be a Fate Worse than Death. After refusing to accept this to be true, a time-travelling mishap brings him to the "Axis of Time", and he attempts to remake the universe in his own image. Interestingly, it turns out that Apocalypse himself is also indestructible as an avatar of evil — he can only be sealed away temporarily.
  • Ascended Extra: Cameron Hodge starts out as some as aide to some guy calling himself "The Leader", who governed Genosha in the episode "Slave Island". He apparently survived the climax of that episode and became the chief antagonist of the two-parter, "The Phalanx Covenant".
  • Ascended Fanboy:
    • In "Old Soldiers," Logan objects to his general giving him backup... until he discovers that he'll get to work with Captain America. Logan's thoughts sound as close to Squee as he can go without completely breaking character.
    • Nathaniel Essex provides a darker example, as he was an admirer of Charles Darwin's work on natural selection, and immediately concluded not only that Darwin's theories apply to humans as well, but the next evolutionary stage for mankind was fast approaching. Darwin downplayed the validity of Essex's own theories, but Essex became obsessed to the point of becoming an Evilutionary Biologist, and became the supervillain Mister Sinister.
  • Audience Surrogate: Jubilee is meant to serve this function, assuming one identifies with her.
  • Ax-Crazy:
    • Wolverine, to the point of being a Sociopathic Hero at times.
    • This is played straight with Sabretooth.
    • Apocalypse as well. Even Rogue was taken aback to how nuts he is. This extended to his henchmen, particularly Death (Angel/Warren Worthington) as well. Rogue had to absorb the Ax Craziness to get him to stop.
    • Graydon Creed.
    • Omega Red.
  • Back for the Finale: Morph appears in the final episode "Graduation Day," reuniting with all his previous X-Men allies to say good-bye to Professor X.
  • Back from the Dead: Jean Grey, of course, as they adapted her plot arcs directly from the comics. Morph came back in Season 2 though he had been intended to stay dead.
  • Bad Future: Anything involving Bishop or Cable. Specifically, season one directly invokes Days of Future Past (in the two parter with the same name, whilst arguably the entire season arc is preventing that future), season two has Cable's involvement with an equivalent of the Legacy Virus storyline, and season four opens with the reveal of yet another Bad Future, this one based on open human/mutant war.
  • Bad Powers, Good People: Rogue's actual mutant power is to involuntarily take energy from other people through her touch, though she is a kind person despite the influence of people like Mystique in her past.
  • Badass Boast: Every sentence Apocalypse utters is this. Here.
  • Badass Bookworm: Beast.
  • Badass Longcoat: Gambit.
  • Badbutt: Wolverine, (although his popularity hardly suffered for it) Cable and Apocalypse.
  • Bait-and-Switch Credits: The Western opening has Magneto leading a group to fight the X-Men, which never happens in the show. Two of them (Warpath and Yuri Topolov) don't oppose the X-Men throughout the show.
  • Balance Between Good and Evil: The running theme in the "Beyond Good and Evil" four-parter. Apocalypse embarks on his plan to remake existence because he's spent centuries trying to take over the world and has constantly had to face opponents like Cable or the X-Men. Beast also openly wonders if Apocalypse can truly be destroyed since both good and evil are integral to the world. "The Fifth Horseman" would later prove Beast correct—showing Apocalypse's essence still existing.
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind: A rather common plot device, the most notable being Professor Xavier battling the Shadow King and Rogue dealing with the transplanted personality of Miss Marvel.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: After dispatching the entire team with ease, Dark Phoenix focuses on Xavier and purposefully invokes this.
    Dark Phoenix: You once told Jean Grey that the greatest joy a teacher had is to be surpassed by his own pupil. Enjoy!
  • Beard of Sorrow: Magneto at one point grows one. And it is glorious. Even Hodge likes it.
  • Beast Man:
    • Beast subverts this in as much as his beastly aspects are purely physical.
    • The only-slightly-less-obvious Wolverine and Sabretooth.
  • Beneath the Earth: the Morlocks
  • Beta Couple: Rogue and Gambit to Scott and Jean's Official Couple. Rogue's powers preclude her and Gambit from ever having a more serious relationship, but they're shown as very close throughout the series, maintain romantic interest in each other despite the obstacles, get visibly jealous and upset when either one of them has another romantic interest, manage to kiss on a few occasions, and have at least two Anguished Declarations of Love.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Beast. You really get to know why he has that codename when a gang of anti-mutant thugs kidnap his girlfriend. And seriously, do not piss off Jean Grey when she's cooking.
  • Big Bad: Apocalypse in a more series-wide capacity, since Magneto's HeelFace Revolving Door was played up. Mister Sinister clearly holds this status in Season 2, though.
  • Big Good: Professor Xavier in a nutshell. The "One Man's Worth" two-parter goes to great lengths to show what a hellish place the world would be if he had died before forming the X-Men and preaching peace between mutants and normal humans.
  • Big "NO!": Wolverine and some of the Big Bad villains do this.
  • Bittersweet Ending:
    • "Graduation Day". While Xavier nearly dies and is saved by Lilandra, he's forced to go away with her in order to live, saying goodbye to the X-Men.
    • The last episode of the "Phoenix Force Saga" four-parter: "Child of Light". It ends with Jean adopting her role as Phoenix and Guardian of the M'Kraan Crystal, saving the galaxy from D'Ken, but leaving the X-Men to make sure it's never misused again, by plunging it into the core of the Sun. Nobody even knew if Jean would come back.
    • The second part of "Storm Front": The X-Men find out that the planet of seemingly noble ruler Arkon, oppresses and enslaves the people from its neighboring planet. This particularly upsets Storm, who herself had been enslaved before, but had fallen in love with Arkon, so after she liberates the enslaved people, she leaves for Earth with the team, yet we can clearly see she is heartbroken over everything that happened.
    • "X-Ternally Yours": Bella and the Guild of Assassins are foiled, but Gambit realizes he's a Stranger in a Familiar Land and severs all ties with those he knew.
    • "A Rogue's Tale": Rogue has to face the truth about what she did to Ms. Marvel, but the episode ends on a hopeful note that Carol may recover one day.
    • "Beauty & The Beast": Beast and Carly can't form a relationship due to anti-mutant sentiment, but she's safe, the Friends of Humanity suffered a major blow, and Carly's father has changed his own bigoted ways.
    • "Love In Vain": The X-Men and world are safe from the Colony, but Cody will never be human again (and doesn't want to be).
  • Bloodless Carnage: Averted in the first season finale where the Sentinels attack Magneto. When the X-Men find him under machinery later, he's a bloodied mess and clearly on the edge of death.
  • Bouquet Toss: When Scott and Jean get married, Beast catches it.
  • Bowdlerise:
    • To avoid mentioning The Holocaust in a kids' show, Magneto's backstory is changed slightly. In this version, he's a refugee from a war in some generic unnamed Eastern European country.
    • And the villainous Hellfire Club became the "Inner Circle Club" (though oddly, their suggestive costumes weren't changed very much).
    • In Corsair's backstory, his wife (who was raped and murdered by the Shi'ar in the comics) was instead "destroyed" by them. It happens offscreen, too, naturally, whereas in the comics it was shown. Though in a partial subversion, "destroyed" sounds a lot worse than simply saying "killed" would have, precisely because it's a lot broader in meaning. The context (and the way Corsair says it) helps, with the Emperor D'Ken in the flashback leering at Katherine and calling her a "specimen" before the scene fades out... They sure implied a lot they couldn't state outright.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy:
    • Morph after he was brought back to life by Mister Sinister to manipulate the X-Men, and Jean Grey being manipulated by Mastermind to join the Hellfire Club... although being possessed by the Phoenix also helped.
    • Especially when the previously emotionless cosmic being becomes addicted to human emotions.
  • Break the Haughty: Wolverine, during the "Proteus" arc.
  • Breather Episode: "Mojovision," which comes in after the emotionally heavy "Beauty & the Beast" and right before the "Reunion" two-part season finale.
  • Bring It: In "Deadly Reunions," when Wolverine confronts Sabretooth.
    Wolverine: All right, you egg-sucking piece of gutter trash! You always liked pushin' around people smaller than you. Well, I'm smaller! TRY PUSHING ME!
  • Broken Aesop: One episode has Wolverine exploiting the bigotry of a bunch of anti-mutant radicals by revealing their leader to be the son of Sabretooth, a mutant, causing his men to turn against him. The X-Men, after all, are trying to bring about peace and understanding humans and mutants, and Wolverine was just fueling the fire.
  • Brought Down to Normal: In the two-parter "Reunion" episode, the team finds themselves depowered in the Savage Land but have to find a way to fight Mr. Sinister and his mooks anyway.
  • The Brute: Sabretooth. Particularly in "Beyond Good and Evil".
  • Cain and Abel:
    • Graydon Creed and Nightcrawler. Ironically, the latter looks demonic, yet he is the Abel of the two.
    • Deathbird and Lilandra.
    • And of course, the Juggernaut (Cain Marko) and Professor X (Charles Xavier).
  • The Caligula: It's very strongly hinted that D'Ken is or was one. He, on a whim abducted a human couple (which we later find out were Cyclops' parents: Christopher and Katherine Summers) inadvertently saving them from a plane explosion because he wanted to keep them as "live specimens". He later had Katherine killed in front of Christopher, who would escape from him and become Corsair. Lilandra often wastes no opportunity to call him a "madman", implying his rule wasn't very pleasant.
  • Call-Forward: "Descent" features this exchange, as James Xavier talks to Nathaniel Essex about his new experiments.
    James: They speak of sinister experiments you are rumored to perform.
    Essex: Sinister? I'll have to remember that when Queen Victoria knights me.
  • Calling the Old Man Out:
    • Wolverine to Professor X when Sabretooth was in their infirmary and Magneto was attacking. "How come we gotta trash your old enemy, but we gotta go easy on mine?" Ultimately, Professor X realized Wolverine was right, realizing that not ALL mutants want peaceful co-existence.
    • Cyclops and Corsair, in a truly gut-wrenching scene.
    • Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch to Magneto.
    • Xavier gets this from Iceman during his guest appearance.
    • Rogue after remembering the Ms. Marvel incident, instead of returning to Mystique's side like she wanted, angrily chews her out forcing her to absorb her powers and ruin a woman's life.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Storm, every time she uses her powers, presumably to explain exactly what she's doing to the audience. Lampshaded humorously during the Spider-Man: The Animated Series crossover. May have to do with the fact Storm is a Large Overdramatic Ham.
  • The Cameo: One of the things the series is remembered for. Various Avengers, Doctor Strange, War Machine, Spider-Man (well, his hand and shadow, at least), The Punisher, Black Panther, Howard the Duck, and Deadpool are just some of the characters to pop up throughout the series. Numerous mutants from the comics also made these. Additionally, characters with speaking roles in even one episode will tend to reappear in cameos in others.
    • Eagle-eyed observers can spot the Age of Apocalypse versions of Sabretooth and Wildchild in the Bad Future from season four.
    • One of the trick or treaters at the beginning of "Bloodlines" is dressed like the original Silver Age version of Daredevil.
    • Two of the guests at Cyclops and Jean's wedding resemble J. Jonah Jameson and Doctor Strange.
  • Canon Foreigner:
    • Jubilee's foster parents. In the comics, she was homeless and making a meager living as a street performer when the X-Men first encountered her.
    • Storm's godson Mj'nari from the episode "Whatever It Takes".
    • Sarah, Scott's childhood friend from the orphanage where he grew up.
  • Canon Immigrant: Morph is an unusual example, as the character who eventually became Morph was originally a reformed villain called Changeling, who died in a Heroic Sacrifice back in the days of the original X-Men team.
  • Cassandra Truth:
    • When Professor X, having previously expressed concerns about his sanity, tries to tell the X-Men that an alien woman popped out of nowhere in front of him and was immediately abducted, the response is not what he'd hoped...
    • When Wolverine is told that Alpha Flight abducted him in hopes of figuring out how to replicate the Weapon X project that only he survived, he spits back that they should already know he lived through the bonding process because of his Healing Factor. The Colonel smugly declares they're going to "probe" him anyway, just to make sure.
  • Catchphrase: Several X-Men have them.
    Beast: Fascinating!
    Gambit: The name's Gambit, remember it!
    Wolverine: I go where I wanna go!
    Storm: I am Storm, Mistress of the Elements!
  • Celibate Hero: Apart from Official Couple Scott and Jean, most of the X-Men are perpetually single due to the myriad issues their powers (and Fantastic Racism) pose for any romance. That said, every character does get at least a one-shot romance plot at some point in the series, even Beast.
  • Chained to a Railway; Played straight in "Out of the Past, Part 2", where Jubilee is tied to some subway tracks. It was only a mental image of Jubilee implanted in Wolverine's mind so he'd get splatted trying to save her, though.
  • Chain-Link Fence: The opening includes a shot of Jubilee, being chased by an Angry Mob, running into a chain-link fence.
  • Characterization Marches On: In his second appearance, Magneto is more of a smug snake, sarcastically wondering if Xavier now wears a toupé. His later appearances will be much closer to the Noble Demon Worthy Opponent he's usually depicted as.
  • The Chessmaster: Mr. Sinister; Apocalypse.
  • Chewing the Scenery: Apocalypse in many of his appearances (including answering a simple question by Jean as "BECAAAAAAUSE I TOLD HIM TOOOOO!"), Graydon Creed during his Freak Out when his real father's identity is revealed.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: Gambit.
  • Christmas Episode: "Have Yourself a Morlock Little Christmas".
  • Civilization Destroyer: One episode mentions that Apocalypse was behind the destruction of several civilizations including the Babylonians, Sumerians and Assyrians.
  • Civvie Spandex: Rogue wears a brown leather bomber jacket over a pair of yellow and green tights as her uniform.
  • Class Clown: Bobby Drake aka Iceman is this to the point of Deconstruction. He was one of the original members of the X-Men, but his lack of discipline, irresponsibility, unwillingness to follow orders, and his jokester nature made him fall out of favor with Professor Xavier and Cyclops, whom he felt would never accept him despite his efforts. Eventually he walked out on the X-Men out of frustration and even years later Cyclops and Xavier would distrust him due to their past antagonism. In turn, Drake would refuse to re-join the term.
  • Claustrophobia: Storm has this, as always.
  • Clothing Damage: Wolverine is almost guarenteed to lose his shirt every episode.
  • Comic-Book Movies Don't Use Codenames:
    • Zebediah Killgrave appears in "No Mutant is an Island" and is never called "The Purple Man", his alias from the comics. Justified because he's trying to appear as a well-meaning philanthropist. He even disguises his face so no one can see his purple skin.
    • Inverted in the first season, where characters almost always referred to each other by code name.
    • In a very persistent inverted case, Storm's real name of Ororo Munroe is used maybe once during the show's entire run (the season 2 episode "Whatever It Takes).
  • Coming of Age Story: Technically this applies to everyone, but Jubilee especially.
  • Composite Character:
    • Professor Oyama is an amalgamation of the Professor Truett Hudson of Weapon X and Lord Dark Wind, the father of Lady Deathstrike.
    • Lady Deathstrike herself has elements of Mariko Yashida, as in this incarnation, prior to becoming Deathstrike, she was Wolverine's lover.
    • The Phalanx are a combination of comics Phalanx and the Technarchy, and act like the Borg.
    • Jubilee has similar traits to Shadowcat.
    • Jean Grey is not replaced by a duplicate with the same memories during the Phoenix and Dark Phoenix Saga, unlike her comic book counterpart who spent all that time recovering inside a healing cocoon. Instead, Jean is resurrected when the Phoenix Force takes a portion of the life force of each of her teammates to resurrect her.
    • Nimrod takes the place of Legion as the one who kills Xavier in the past to cause an apocalyptic timeline.
  • Contrived Coincidence:
    • The Juggernaut gets thrown into the ocean, and just walks it off. Where does he emerge? New York, where the X-Men are based.
    • In "The Phalanx Covenant", Beast and Warlock go to meet Forge and Quicksilver at a diner, but get attacked by the Phalanx. Fortunately, Mr. Sinister, who had previously been attacked by the Phalanx and tried to warn the X-Men about them, just happened to be at the same diner in disguise.
  • Conveniently Precise Translation: In "The Fifth Horseman", the Beast translates that the ancient temple he and Jubilee have stumbled upon is devoted to 'The End Of The World' - which is already off-putting enough before he realizes an error on his part and that it is in fact devoted to Apocalypse. Problem being, while the modern usage of Apocalypse is about the End Times, the original word (Apocalypsis) is derived from the Greek and by itself merely means 'Revealed Truth' or 'Revelation', and not one that necessarily involves cataclysms. Also, it was only in use in the Greco-Roman world and the European culture that came after. It would not be so in the location Beast and Jubilee had found, deriving from a wholly different culture and language. En Sabah Nur, or Son Of The Morning Star, would be similarly out of place there, and it is even harder to see Beast reading the end of the world from that.
  • Cool Big Sis:
    • Storm, Rogue, and Jean are this to Jubilee.
    • This is inverted with Shard to her older brother Bishop.
  • Cool Old Guy: Professor X.
  • Crossover: The main cast guest-starred in a two-part episode of Spider-Man: The Animated Series, which ran alongside X-Men. It was pretty much inevitable. In fact, before his series was developed, a cameo of Spider-Man can be seen in one episode saving some civilians of New York from a tidal wave (he wasn't fully shown save for an arm but it was still pretty clear who he was). The series' voice cast were even flown to LA from Canada to record their lines for the crossover.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: X-Men vs. The Shi'ar Imperial Guards. The X-Men were getting creamed... badly. Until the Dark Phoenix shows up.
    • The X-Men are almost always on the receiving end of this whenever they face Juggernaut. Rogue (the team's most physically powerful member) even lampshades this during the third season episode "Cry of the Banshee:
      Rogue: "Now remember gang- we're no match for Juggernaut, so let's just grab Lilandra and get outta here!"
  • Cyborg: Cable, Forge, Apocalypse.
  • Darker and Edgier: Compared to every other Marvel animated series (since the 1960's 'cartoons'), or rather every action animation till the time, the pilot episode itself gives you a hint that this is very unlike your average Saturday morning action animation. The Marvel equivalent of Batman: The Animated Series—admittedly toned down (largely due to censorship) in comparison, but still a lot harder than, say, Superfriends, or the original animated GI Joe and Transformers.
  • Dating Catwoman: Longshot and Spiral.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Every character gets some time for the viewers to learn about their backstory. (Although some more than others.)
  • De-Power Zone: During the second season, the Savage Land becomes this for any mutant, due to some form of energy field Mister Sinister placed around the area.
  • Dead Person Impersonation: Dr. Adler was already killed before the episode "the Cure"; when he was impersonated by Mystique.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Wolverine; Gambit; Cyclops; Bishop; Rogue, even Storm and Jean.
  • Decomposite Character:
    • In the comics, the Reavers were composed of several of the Hellfire Club guards Wolverine mutilated in The Dark Phoenix Saga. However, on the show, while the Reavers' debut appeared in the show's version of the Saga, they appeared before the Inner Circle and hence before the actual adaptation of the Saga itself, meaning that they aren't the guards Wolverine fought in this version.
    • In Days of Future Past, Mystique's disguise as Senator Kelly's aide was a unique one she crafted. Here, she's merely posing as the aide after capturing her.
  • Deconstructed Trope: In the episode where the Juggernaut's powers are transferred to someone else, said someone else gets Juggy's Super Strength. Which promptly ruins his life by turning him into an unintentionally-destructive human demolition crew.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: The culture of Polemachus in "Storm Front" has elements of fascism and slavery which are not immediately obvious, but cause the X-Men severe values dissonance once apparent. Their sympathetic leader Arkon gets to justify their system, in an argument that is surprisingly "gray" for a children's cartoon. Summarized, it goes something like: Their world has resources enough to provide only one of their two nations with a decent standard of living; it used to be that the people who are now the oppressed underclass were the rulers, and then they oppressed Arkon's people; while some features in the system might seem pointlessly cruel to the X-Men, they really do need a very harsh discipline to keep society together on this kind of Crapsack World, or else there will be chaos and ruin for everyone. So in sum, he doesn't necessarily like all of it, but he's doing what's necessary to give his own people, at least, a moderately good life under very trying circumstances. However, Arkon has still enslaved and killed thousands, and is often considerably cruel for even the smallest of faults (i.e. torturing a slave for forgetting to kneel in his presence and then trying to kill the X-Men for rescuing some slaves). In the end, the X-Men still side with the slaves and help topple his regime.
  • Demoted to Extra: Every character in the series had this happen to them. With the obvious exception... Two notable X-Men, Colossus and Nightcrawler, were relegated to cameos and guest appearances. This was thanks to them having been a part of Excalibur in the comics at the time, as well as Marvel's desire to focus on the then-current 90's members of the team. Poor Kitty Pryde didn't appear at all. Iceman, Archangel, Bishop and Psylocke were full-time members of the X-Men team in the comics, but each only appear in featured cameos during the show. Archangel and Worthington appear several times, but Iceman and Psylocke only once.
  • Despair Event Horizon: After his betrayal and the loss of Asteroid M, Magneto comes very close to this threshold, if not cross it. He seems to have given up on his dream of a future for mutantkind, and retreats to his arctic "sanctum" where he can brood in isolation. He even welcomes the news that the entire planet is coming to an end by the Phalanx covenent. Only a reminder that his long lost son is in danger finally snaps him out of his depression and rouses him to action. Comes complete with a Beard of Sorrow and Despair Speech.
  • Despair Speech: A brief but telling example in Magneto's response to Beast's warning that it's only a matter of time before the Phalanx covenant arrives to assimilate even him in his remote arctic sanctum.
    Magneto: Then let it come. Losing Asteroid M has made me weary of this life, Dr. McCoy; weary of this endless struggle. Go, leave me in peace!
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: Mystique apparently does this throughout the series. She never really has any major schemes, and initially served Apocalypse; and the only plot she came up with involved getting her adopted daughter back when Mister Sinister informed her Professor X is out of the way. She even outright tells Rogue that she serves Apocalypse because he gives her purpose, like the X-Men does to Rogue. When he's gone, she's manipulated into a trap by Graydon Creed to eliminate his mutant family, at which point she painfully describes her pitiful life to Nightcrawler.
  • Determinator: Most of the characters shared this trait.
  • Deus Exit Machina:
    • This happens to Professor X in season 2, as the X-Men had to deal with challenges that were originally resolved by him. A good thing that Jean's a telepath herself (if not as skilled).
    • Rogue had to be written out of the first episode of the Phoenix Saga, with Xavier saying she's on a mission. This may sound random until you realize that her Power Copying and Flying Brick powers would have let her absorb the rescued astronauts' piloting skills and calmly bring down the shuttle unharmed by the solar radiation while the others were safe in the shielded area. No cosmic entity needed. In fact, when Rogue gets back and learns what happened, she blames herself for not being there to do this. In the comics, she hadn't been created as a character yet.
    • Wolverine was thrown this trope during the season 2 finale and the beginning of "The Dark Phoenix Saga". His adamantium claws would've made breaking out all too easy. Hence why at the beginning of each fight, he is disposed of quite early (thrown off a waterfall in the one case, knocked 5 stories down into the sewers in the other) only to come back when the villains were about to dispose of the other X-Men
  • Digital Destruction: Many episodes of the Region 1 DVD release have a sped-up framerate due to using the PAL transfer. As a result, the characters speak a bit faster than they should, negatively affecting the pacing. Thankfully averted by the digital streaming releases of the show, which uses the Toon Disney re-run transfer where every episode is at the correct NTSC framerate.
  • Dirty Communists: The plot of one episode has a group of hard-line Communists revive Omega Red to use as a weapon to restore the former Soviet Union. It didn't go as planned...
  • Disappeared Dad: Played straight with Cyclops until he meets Corsair and realizes that he is Cyclops' father.
  • Disneyfication: The series' version of the Brood. While they cameoed in their regular forms in "Mojovision" and "Cold Comfort," "Love in Vain" depicted them as humanoid reptiles with mechanical tentacles. They weren't even called the Brood, instead referred to as "the Colony." Their victims are also transformed by spores instead of being impregnated with an egg.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Wolverine's backstory has one: He was a subject of the Weapon X program, repeatedly experimented on, culminating in having adamantium fused to his bones. Shortly afterwards, he wakes up to discover he has metal claws in his hands, and angrily uses them to escape containment, chase after the director of the program, and rampage across the laboratory. It is unknown if the director ever escaped the destruction of the facility, but it is heavily implied he didn't.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    • The Final Solution. The Friends of Humanity high command wear face concealing cloaks ala the Ku Klux Klan. Also, the Friends of Humanity members wear armbands with an eagle, in a shape vaguely reminiscent of the Iron Cross.
    • "Time Fugitives" is all about a horrible plague that is spreading and is being blamed on mutants due to the efforts of Graydon Creed and Apocalypse. Pretty obviously an allegory for AIDS and pretty gutsy for a kid's show in The '90s.
  • Downer Ending:
    • Near the end of "Weapon X, Lies, and Videotapes'', Wolverine, Sabretooth, Silver Fox and Maverick, former subjects of the Weapon X program, all learn that their memories were fabricated, but with the implication that some of said memories might be true. Wolverine pointed out that the fake cabin didn't have the carving of "Logan+Kayla" inside a heart on the door, thus Wolverine believes their love for each other was real. However, Kayla (now Silver Fox) said that even if that was true "that was another lifetime". The episode ends with a pan to a tree with the carving.
    • In "Repo Man" Wolverine leaves Alpha Flight for the last time, warning them not to come after him, making the hopes of restoring the friendship between him and the group no closer than when he first left: which is to say, very distant.
    • In a villain version: "Family Ties", Magneto hears a rumour that his wife Magda, who he assumed dead - is still alive, only for it to be a trap for him and his previously-unknown children Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch by the High Evolutionary. All three are free by the end, but the twins remain estranged from their father. Magneto laments that he lost his wife and family for the second time.
  • Dragon Ascendant: After Mr. Sinister was defeated in the Savage Land, Sauron takes up the reins and quickly takes over the area.
  • Dragon with an Agenda: Fabian Cortez to Magneto.
  • Dreadful Musician: "Have Yourself a Morlock Little X-Mas" shows us that for all the skills Cyclops has, singing isn't among them. Unlike some other examples, Scott even concedes he can't sing.
  • Dub Name Change: The Mexican dub of the series was known for changing the name of the characters. Many of the names are fairly direct translations that don't clash with the originals (Cyclops becomes "Cíclope", Storm turns into "Tormenta", and so on), however, some characters got their name completely changed:
    • Wolverine was known as "Guepardo" (Cheetah), possibly to match with his yellow uniform. The correct translation of his name is "Lobezno", but that translation is controversial in the Spanish-speaking community. The name proved popular enough to be used in the X-Men: Evolution Venezuelan dub until the name was no longer translated in future shows in Latin America.
    • Rogue was known as "Titania", possibly to match with her super-strength. The correct translation of her name would be "Pícara", which like Lobezno is fairly controversial. This name wasn't adapted for future shows, where she would remain as Rogue.

  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Sabretooth's first appearance apparently had him as The Mole for Magneto in the Xavier Institute, but Magneto would later denounce Sabretooth as an "unthinking animal" in Season 4's "Beyond Good and Evil, Part 2." Justified because Sabretooth was hired to trash the X-Men's base and failed because he was distracted by his vendetta against Wolverine.
  • '80s Hair: Gladiator with his trademark purple mohawk, which is lampshaded by Juggernaut.
    Juggernaut: Why are we listening to Mr. Bad Hair Day?
  • Emperor Scientist: Magneto was once this in the Savage Land, turning many inhabitants into mutated servants. In his absence, Mr. Sinister took over.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: A few times.
  • Enemy Mine:
    • Nearly every appearance of Magneto, but notably the entirety of season 2, in which he is stranded in the Savage Land with Professor X.
    • Beast (who is the only one left after his teammates were captured), Warlock, Forge and Amelia Voght team up with the two Big Bads Mister Sinister and Magneto against the alien threat Phalanx in the two-parter episodes.
    • "Beyond Good And Evil" sees Magneto and Mystique team up with the X-Men to stop Apocalypse's plot.
  • Eternal Villain: Apocalypse, like his comic namesake, is presented as this, having been described as a force of evil across generations that has brought civilizations to ruin. Each time, he comes into combat with those who would combat his evil and be warded away, and continue once again. He actually lampshades this when fighting Cable and appears to have a minor Villainous BSoD upon realizing he may not be able to ever truly win, no matter how many heroes he fights. This changes when he realizes he now has Time Master powers and opts for a final gambit to remake the world so he will never lose again.
    Apocalypse: Is it possible you are correct, mutant? I have been battling your kind for thousands of years. I should have triumphed long ago! But what if, like tortured Sisyphus, I cannot win? Ever! What a cruel joke! Am I doomed to struggle with such filth until the end of time?!
  • Everyone Loves Blondes: Spiral for Longshot. Jubilee has a pretty profound crush on him too.
  • Everything Sounds Sexier in French:
    • Gambit.
    • While they only appear a couple of times, Northstar and Aurora also count.
    • A Russian example shows up in Darkstar.
  • Evil Counterpart:
    • Sabretooth for Wolverine.
    • Mystique to Morph.
    • Emma Frost for Jean Grey, or even Professor X.
    • The Purple Man (Zebediah Killgrave) is also one for Professor X.
  • Evil-Detecting Dog: Cat in this case. In one part of "The Dark Phoenix Saga", when Jean decides to visit her childhood home, her cat Prometheus doesn't want anything to do with her.
  • Evil Feels Good: In one episode, Storm went mad and create a natural disaster after being hypnotised by Sauron. At the end after everything (including her) had been restored to normal she commented that she never felt herself so free.
    • Dark Phoenix
  • Evil Redhead: Mystique.
    • Also the Dark Phoenix.
    • Also Fabian Cortez.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Apocalypse. He gets a different voice actor later on who doesn't sound quite as cool, but also has a very deep voice
  • Evil Versus Evil: The main conflict of "Savage Land, Savage Heart" is between Sauron and Garokk
  • Evil Will Fail: This accidentally sets off the "Beyond Good and Evil" four-parter. Cable attacks Apocalypse's stronghold in 3999 AD, but the immortal genocidal warlord lures him into a trap to steal his enemy's time portal device, and prepares to execute Cable. He taunts Apocalypse that there will always be those who oppose his plans and that he can never truly win. Apocalypse ponders it for a moment, and acknowledges that he has been fighting the "inferior beings" for many thousands of years and still hasn't won, despairing that he might be stuck like this for all eternity like Sisyphus of Greek myth. Then he uses his new powers and inadvertently ends up in the Axis of Time, the very nexus of all timelines, where he can undo everything to recreate it according to his own design.
  • Eviler than Thou: Mister Sinister, Apocalyse, and even the High Evolutionary serve as this to Magneto. Each of them serve as dark mirrors to the Master of Magnetism and represent if he allowed his hatred for humanity to completely take over.
  • Evilutionary Biologist: Mr. Sinister. It was hinted that Magneto was once this as well.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: In "The Phalanx Covenant," the X-Men have been captured by the shape-shifting aliens with the Beast escaping along with Warlock. Beast contacts President Kelly to tell him of the threat. After getting their location, Kelly says a chopper is on its way "to pick up both of you."
    Warlock: Self-friend Hank, you did not tell the President about Self.
    Beast: We can explain that to him in person.
    Warlock: Query: Then what did the President mean by "both of you?"
  • Explaining Your Power to the Enemy: After taking a few hits from Gambit's exploding cards, Bishop explains his mutant ability to absorb energy from other mutants' attacks and transform it into energy bolts, which he then uses on Gambit.
  • Exposition of Immortality: In an episode, the X-Men have trapped Apocalypse inside a giant forcefield generated by the spaceship. Apocalypse scoffs at the attempt:
    Apocalypse: Beast... how many peoples have dreamed of my end! You are no closer than the Babylonians with their swords and firesticks!
  • Expy:
    • In terms of his powers and appearance, Morph seems to be based on the obscure 1970s villain turned X-Man Changeling. His original role for the series (to be a new character killed off in the very first adventure, just to show that the series is Darker and Edgier and means business) is very similar to the role of the original Thunderbird when Claremont and Cockrum relaunched the X-Men comic book in the 1970s (Thunderbird himself making a few very minor appearances in the show).
    • In the last season, Jubilee's design looks just like Gi from Captain Planet.
    • In the adaptation of The Dark Phoenix Saga, Rogue, who debuted after the original comic, takes the place of Colossus, due to both having super strength and Colossus not being a regular character in this series. Also, Beast doubles for Nightcrawler in some scenes due to their shared agility and Nightcrawler's absence.
    • The episode Jubilee's Fairytale Theatre was based on a comic which featured Kitty Pryde instead of Jubilee. Another one changed because the TV show's line-up didn't match the comic being adapted.
  • Fairytale Wedding Dress: Jean's dress in the first marriage (that turned out to be invalid). Her second dress was simpler.
  • Fake Memories: The basis of the plot of the episode "Weapon X, Lies and Videotape."
  • Fake Weakness: Archangel seemingly learns that an ancient civilization (presumably the Incans) learned of a weakness of Apocalypse at the base of his neck based on the writings discovered by an archaeologist. He continuously attempts to attack Apocalypse in this area, and fails. Later, Apocalypse reveals that he posed as the archaeologist and that the information Archangel received was false: a ruse designed merely to draw him out, and Apocalypse boasts that he is invincible.
  • Family-Friendly Firearms: Lasers for everyone. Getting hit does no more damage than a punch, no matter what setting the user says it's on. Averted in Wolverine's flashback episode in World War 2, when German and American troops are shown with realistic firearms though the animation occasionally spoils it, and accuracy predictably suffers.
  • Fantastic Racism: Between humans and mutants, obviously. One episode took the theme of prejudice against mutants and turned it on its head when Storm (an African) and Wolverine (a white Canadian) traveled back in time to the 1950s. When the waiter at a restaurant refused them service because Storm was black, she indignantly replied, "That's so pathetic it's almost quaint!" It was made even more of a sore spot because this version of Storm and Wolverine came from an alternate timeline in which they were married. Needless to say, Wolverine didn't take it well.
  • Fantasy Helmet Enforcement: Wolverine's regen abilities apparently disappear when he touches a motorcycle.
  • The Farmer and the Viper: The X-Men take in Sabretooth (to Wolverine's objections) after he's heavily injured from fighting the police, nurse him back to health, and Professor X even tries to help him fight his inner demons with psychic treatments. He repays this kindness by waiting until most of the group are occupied with Magneto to pull a Wounded Gazelle Gambit on Jubilee to free his arm, and had not Wolverine returned when he did, he almost certainly would've killed her. Wolverine himself gets distracted during his fight with Sabretooth after the rest of the team arrive and Sabretooth nearly kills him, but is driven out by Jubilee. Xavier admits that he was wrong and apologizes to the unconscious Wolverine, for letting his idealism cloud his better judgement.
  • Fat Bastard: Mojo. Harry Leland.
  • Fate Worse than Death: In "Beyond Good and Evil, Part 4," Apocalypse is seemingly destroyed, but in actuality, his essence is trapped within a void. A celestial alignment and a sacrifice is required for him to be fully revived. In the end, Cortez becomes the sacrifice and his essence is shown being sent into the same void as Apocalypse is revived.
  • Feeling Oppressed by Their Existence: Graydon Creed and the Friends of Humanity in regards to mutants, to the point of actively pursuing genocide. Seriously, they make Joe McCarthy look like a choir boy. Keeping in mind he says the following as if it were fact;
    Jubilee: What did we ever do to you‽
    Creed: You were born!
  • Faux Affably Evil: Mister Sinister; Omega Red.
  • Fiery Redhead: Jean Grey, which is especially appropriate considering that she later becomes the Phoenix.
  • Final Speech: Professor X gets a tear-jerking one in the last episode.
  • Florence Nightingale Effect: Implied to be the reason for Wolverine's attraction to Jean. She, alongside Xavier, helped quell his "berserker rages" when he first arrived at the School of Gifted Students.
  • For Want of a Nail: In the two-parter "One Man's Worth", it's shown that the death of Charles Xavier before he formed the X-Men, eventually led to human-mutant relations souring to the point of a full blown war taking place in the 90s, and in Bishop's time, Master Mold has all but dominated the world, and nearly wiped out all mutants.
  • Foil:
    • The strait-laced Cyclops and the aggressive, rebellious Wolverine.
    • Wolverine - who's often to hit first and ask questions later, and Beast, who prefers to reason his way out of problems before attacking.
    • The temperamental Rogue - who hides her sense of isolation; and the calm and stoic Storm, who holds back the range of her emotions.
    • The innocent Jubilee, who had loving foster parents, and wholeheartedly embraces the X-Men; and Gambit, who was forced by his guardians into a life as a thief, witnessed (and probably did) terrible things which gave him a touch of cynicism and hides his past from the team.
    • Professor X and Juggernaut. He was born with formidable telepathy, and showered with praise by his parents, including his step-father. Juggernaut was granted invulnerability by a mystical gem, and is motivated by envy of the love (as it turns out, a shallow and false one) Professor X received from his father, that he was denied. While Professor X wants to make the world a better place, Juggernaut is purely selfish.
  • Forced Addiction: In the two-part "Sanctuary" storyline, during his time as ruler of Asteroid M, Magneto is repeatedly given power boosts by his second-in-command Fabian Cortez, ostensibly because his own powers were so heavily taxed by keeping Asteroid M functional. This ultimately leaves him heavily dependent upon Cortez, as his body becomes over-accustomed to the boosts.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Most of the adapted storylines, though there are exceptions, such as "The Dark Phoenix Saga".
  • Foreshadowing: A number of upcoming episodes are actually given subtle spoilers.
    • The episode "Captive Hearts" - the episode which introduced the Morlocks - had Gambit going sick because of Plague. Said mutant reappears then in "The Cure" and "Come of Apocalypse", asking for a cure and becoming Pestilence, one of Apocalypse's horsemen.
    • In the episode "Slave Island", the governor of Genosha mentions that the power-suppression collars for mutants were created by a scientist in Scotland. Two episodes later in "The Cure", Dr. Gottfried Adler is revealed to have its inventor, as well as the creator of a supposed "mutant cure".
    • In "The Cure", Angel asks Rogue how can she fly without any wings, and she admits that even she doesn't know the answer. In Season 2, we find out that she stole Ms. Marvel's powers and then had all memory of the incident purged from her mind by Professor X.
    • Likewise, in "Whatever It Takes", the Shadow King, while possessing Storm's body, says to Rogue "I understand your body is a little crowded right now", we find out later in the season she has some of Ms. Marvel's consciousness hidden within her mind.
    • Gambit reacts when Bishop accuses him of being an assassin. Gambit's past in the "Thieves Guild" facing the opposing "Assassin's Guild" would come up in the season two episode "X-Ternally Yours".
    • In the last episode of season one, whilst probing through Gambit's mind, we see a brief shot of Bella Donna, his psycho ex-fiancee, who becomes the antagonist of the season two episode "X-Ternally Yours".
    • "X-Ternally Yours" also has one of the Imperial Guard who will appear in season three's Phoenix and Dark Phoenix sagas show up in the initial Danger Room exercise.
    • When Sauron is sent to New York in a vessel that Magneto left behind in "Savage Land, Strange Heart", one of the destination options is Asteroid M, which is the center of the following "Sanctuary" arc.
  • Friendly Enemy: Professor X and Magneto view each other as worthy rivals on an ideological level, having even been good friends pre-schism.
  • Freudian Excuse:
    • "Weapon X, Lies and Videotape" shows Sabretooth's father repeatedly abused him for being wicked (when it was actually his mutation manifesting itself). This was true in the comics, but the episode left it vague which memories were real and which weren't, so take that into account.
    • Sabretooth's son, Graydon Creed was abandoned by Mystique and implied to have been heavily abused by Sabretooth himself all because he didn't turn out to be a mutant like them. Creed would develop a pathological hatred of all mutants, believing them all to be as evil as his mutant parents.
  • Gag Dub: None based on this series are as widely known as the "Juggernaut, Bitch!" dubs from My Way Entertainment, which redub episodes featuring the Juggernaut in the most vulgar way possible.
    Who the fuck let in Robert Black!?
  • Genius Bruiser: Beast is an agile and fierce fighter and also the brainiest X-Man next to Professor X himself.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: Rebecca, the wife of Nathaniel Essex (who would become Mister Sinister) saw what her husband's work turned him into, then realised that her health being restored was due to him experimenting on her...and then she had to discover the mutants he kept in his laboratory. After releasing them and the ensuing mob destroying Essex's home, it is said she never spoke a word again for as long as she lived.
  • A God Am I: Apocalypse is made of this trope. Dark Phoenix and Mr. Sinister go this route too.
  • Good Cop/Bad Cop: In the "Beyond Good And Evil" four-parter, Cyclops is interrogating the captured Sabretooth in the X-Mansion about the kidnapping of psychics that the bad guys are doing, but makes no progress. Wolverine, however offers to take over and Cyclops complies - His approach is to release Sabretooth...for a fight, and seals off the interrogation room. Apparently, it worked, since not only did Wolverine appear unharmed, he also got a bit of info from him.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!:
    • "That's a darn lie!"
    • Subverted in a later episode when Beast used the word Hell.
  • Grand Finale: Twice. The "Beyond Good and Evil" four-parter was intended to end the series, seeing the X-Men join forces with noteworthy recurring characters against the combined forces of Apocalypse, Magneto, Mister Sinister and Mystique to save the entire timeline. When more episodes were ordered, a more heartwarming finale with the X-Mennote  saying goodbye to an ailing Professor Xavier was done.
  • Gratuitous Laboratory Flasks: In one episode, Morph is performing a play version of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde onstage, using his shapeshifting powers for the show. Whoever the propmaster for the play was went above and beyond the call of duty, considering Morph's lab table is covered in tons of beakers of colored liquids.
  • Great Gazoo: In "Beyond Good and Evil", Bishop is stuck in the crossroads of time, and followed by a maniac who poofs in and out of existence, tormenting him. At the end, when the X-Men have defeated the villains (with Bishop's help), he's regarding them in a distance and turns into Immortus.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Many of Wolverine's issues with Cyclops are implied to be based on this. Both Rogue and Gambit are also prone to bouts of jealousy whenever someone gets close to the other, but this is Played With in that Rogue and Gambit's various other love interests seem to alway be some variant of Ax-Crazy or manipulative.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Wolverine. Rogue has a rather short temper as well, particularly around Gambit, though Gambit himself showed aspects of this early on. Bishop is also something of a hot-head.
  • Hammerspace:
    • After having lost his telepathic powers, Professor Xavier is able to produce a boomerang, a spear and a rock out of thin air.
    • In the first episode Morph pulls a gas gun out of nowhere and re-holsters it on his hip despite having no holster.
  • Handsome Lech: Gambit. Longshot as well.
  • Hate Sink: Graydon Creed in the second season. Mainly due to the actual Big Bad Mr. Sinister spending most of the season plotting from the Savage Lands and barely interacting with the characters until the season finale.
  • Heal It with Blood: The Season 4 episode "Have Yourself A Morlock Christmas" sees the outcast Morlocks attracting the attention of the X-Men by raiding hospitals and ambulances. They're doing so because one of their number, Leech, has contracted a serious ailment and the Morlocks lack the ability to heal him. Upon discovering this, Wolverine reveals that a blood transfusion from him has the POTENTIAL to temporarily bestow his own healing factor on the recipient, but is reluctant to try it on Leech because said healing factor could go out of control and kill him, as it has to others Wolverine has tried this with. Ultimately he's persuaded to give it a shot because all other options have been exhausted and Jubilee can't bear the thought of the little Morlock boy dying on Christmas. The transfusion is a success and Leech makes a full recovery.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Archangel in "Obsession". Left traumatized and broken after he was freed from Apocalypse's brainwashing by Rogue, he spent months obsessing over taking revenge on the ancient mutant, and becomes as fanatical as in his Death persona, if only in the purpose of destroying Apocalypse instead of serving him.
  • Hero Antagonist:
    • The Shi'ar Imperial Guard. They oppose the X-Men because they serve the Shi'ar Majestor. During their first encounter, this was D'Ken. Afterwards, Lilandra becomes Majestrix, and when she receives word that the Phoenix (possessing Jean Grey) destroyed a solar system, she orders that Jean as the Phoenix must be destroyed for the sake of all life in the universe. Xavier has her accept a duel of honor between them that the Shi'ar code cannot refuse. And again, the X-Men go into conflict with them, over the life of Jean Grey.
    • Alpha Flight come into conflict with Wolverine in "Repo Man", but they're under the orders of a mad general due to My Country, Right or Wrong. When they figure out the general's plan, almost all of them turn on him, and rescue Wolverine.
    • Ms Marvel is one to Rogue, after what happened when they fought, back when she (Rogue) was a villain.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Wolverine and Cyclops for Jean Grey.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • Jean Grey in "The Dark Phoenix Saga" as in the comics. The Phoenix Force felt regret over what it had caused, and brought her back.
    • And Jean Grey as Phoenix when she flies the M'Kraan Crystal into the sun.
    • Also Morph who gets killed saving Wolverine in the first episode.
    • Near the end of the series, Mystique takes a laser shot to save her son Nightcrawler's life, and falls over a waterfall.
    • There was also Alternate timeline Wolverine and Storm who helped fix the timeline in "One Man's Worth", but erased themselves from history in the process.
  • Hidden Depths:
    • Gambit runs around like a carefree troublemaker who does nothing more than chase skirts and throw cards (charged or otherwise), but when he heard news about his family being in trouble and his fiancee Bella Donna in the episode "X-Ternally Yours", his carefree demeanor changed, and he stayed serious throughout the entire episode, even its resolution, where he announced never to get involved with them again. In the end, he bemoans how he can never go home and in fact feels great loneliness due to being a mutant and a thieving criminal.
    • Wolverine, of course regarding his Jerk with a Heart of Gold traits. Much of his cynicism comes from some rather bad episodes in his life, such as the Weapon X program, losing the women he loved, and even in the Christmas Episode, where it turned out that his refusal to help Leech was nothing to do with him being a Morlock, but several unsuccessful blood transfusions to patients, one of them being not much older than Leech.
    • Cyclops comes off as an overly-serious, humorless character. But as Jean knows quite well, his passions run deeper than probably anyone else on team. He also carries deep personal self-loathing due to years of growing up in foster homes.
    • Beast is an affable, jovial character who often has an intelligent and/or humorous quip about any situation, something not expected of his appearance. However, "Beauty and the Beast" revealed that he hides a lot of self-loathing about his mutation and bemoans he can't even be with his own family due being viewed as monstrous mutant, after anti-mutant hysteria flared up when he tried a forge a relationship with a blind patient.
    • Rogue comes off as a fun-loving, high-spirited, wise-cracking Southern Belle, with a bit of a temper, but generally all-around Nice Girl. However, deep down she feels a great deal of loneliness and self-pity reaching into self-loathing due to her powers, and the frustration she can never touch the ones she loves, which almost led her to try and "cure" herself of her mutation.
  • High Collar of Doom: Magus's costume in the Fairy Tale episode.
  • Hot-Blooded: Wolverine, Bishop, Cable, Sabretooth and Rogue. And even Cyclops also had his moments of this.
  • Hot Witch:
    • Appropriately, Wanda the Scarlet Witch.
    • And Storm, who is called a Weather Witch.
  • Human Aliens: the Shi'ar, with feathers for hair.
  • Humans Are Ugly: Ch'od expresses this opinion upon encountering the X-Men, which is interesting considering his leader, Corsair, is one. Then again, he was specifically referring to the X-Men, who had Beast, and two guys in full-body costumes (Cyclops and Wolverine), which he may have assumed actually look like that.
  • Hypnotize the Captive:
    • Jean is hypnotized by one of the Morlocks when the rest of the X-Men come to rescue her and Scott, but it didn't last long, and the X-Men weren't buying it anyway.
    • Sauron hypnotizes Storm in the "Savage Land, Savage Heart" two-parter, turning her into a Brainwashed and Crazy storm-caster.

  • I Did What I Had to Do: Lilandra wanted the Phoenix destroyed, but in the end of "The Dark Phoenix Saga", when it seemingly happened, and Jean was killed, she was just as saddened as Xavier over everything had occurred. She more or less, uses this stance when confronted by Cyclops, who is not having it.
    Cyclops: [bitterly] You've got your justice, Lilandra! [gestures to the crater from the Wave-Motion Gun fired at Jean/Phoenix] The universe is safe!
    Lilandra: I take no joy in this, Scott Summers.
    Cyclops: Don't! Not a word!
  • I Lied: In the four-parter "Beyond Good and Evil", Apocalypse gets in this habit:
    • He tricks an evil former empress trying to take back the throne from her sister by promising to abduct said sister, but instead takes one of her sister's body guards for her psychic abilities.
      Deathbird: You promised to destroy Lilandra!
      Apocalypse: I LIED.
    • Later in the same four-parter, after Apocalypse unveils the full omnicidal extent of his evil plan, he admits he was pulling Magneto's leg with empty promises to get him on his side temporarily.
      Magneto: You spoke of creating an alternate future in which mutants would rule, as I have always dreamed!
      Apocalypse: Then you were foolish enough to believe me.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal:
    • All the X-Men have had this at some point or other. but the special mention goes to Rogue, who's the one it happens to most frequently. She started feeling like this in the early part of the series, considering taking the "mutant cure", but deciding against it in the end. However, the cure was a ruse to transform mutants into Apocalypse's Four Horsemen.
    • Angel sees himself as a "freak" which actually leads him to fall for the aforementioned Apocalypse's scheme, becoming his Horseman of Death, and though he regains his will and memories, he then turns into Archangel, a bitter and vengeful man bent on revenge against his former master. This is a notable departure from the comics version of the character, who was transformed into the Horseman of Death after willingly making a deal with Apocalypse because he wanted to regain his lost wings, rather than getting rid of them.
    • A good runner-up is Beast. While generally very accepting of being a mutant, in "Beauty & the Beast," he openly laments that his powers keep him from having a normal life, associating with his family and from being with the woman he loves. As revealed in the Spider-Man: The Animated Series crossover, he tried to create a cure for mutation, but discarded it after discovering that not only will it eradicate the mutant gene, but also the carrier.
    • Of all the X-Men, Cyclops probably had the most sympathy for Rogue's plight during the "mutant cure" story arc, for good reason.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Cyclops calls out to Jean after the Dark Phoenix takes control of her. Xavier does so later - requesting Jean's help during a psychic battle with the entity.
  • I Owe You My Life: "Repo Man" plays it straight in the flashbacks, as Wolverine expresses genuine gratitude towards Heather and James/Vindicator - agreeing to work for their department out of appreciation. However, things obviously didn't work out and Wolverine no longer feels this way.
    Vindicator: We saved you! We gave you back your life! How could you leave us?!
    Wolverine: So I could be your weapon? Sorry, James.
  • I Surrender, Suckers: Cyclops, in the first episode ("Night of the Sentinels")
    Sentinel: Surrender, mutant.
    Cyclops: Of course. [puts hands up] Not! [takes off glasses and blasts the Sentinel]
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Wolverine for Jean when she marries Cyclops.
  • If You Ever Do Anything to Hurt Her...: Wolverine tells Cyclops in the wedding reception: "If she's [Jean's] not happy, make sure I don't find out." before opening his claws to cut a slice of the wedding cake.
  • Immortal Life Is Cheap: Proteus manages to rip Wolverine in half, then melt him into a puddle.
  • Immortality Inducer: The secret to Apocalypse's immortality is the Lazarus Chamber, an ancient device located inside his pyramidal headquarters in Cairo. It allows him to rejuvenate himself every hundred or so years and restore his power to his prime.
  • Implacable Man:
  • The only way Bishop stopped Nimrod was by sending him back to his time.
  • Impossibly Cool Clothes: Most of the cast pulls this to some extent.
  • In Their Own Image: Apocalypse steals Cable's time travel device in the far future and travels to a temporal center called the Axis of Time. He kidnaps psychics from all eras in history, and then uses their combined power to wipe out all reality so he can rebuild it to his choosing.
  • Instrumental Theme Tune: It's an extremely recognizable rock riff befitting the epic powers and battles of the mutants. So recognizable, in fact, that it's started to turn up in a few MCU works, as a hint that the X-Men are going to be introduced soon.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: The rest of the X-Men, especially Wolverine to Jubilee.
  • Interspecies Romance: Corsair and his current girlfriend.
    • Also Beast and his girlfriend Carly.
    • And Longshot and Spiral.
    • Professor X and Lilandra.
  • Introductory Opening Credits: The intro showed all nine main characters alongside their names. Said names were actually their respective logos from the comics.
  • Ironic Echo:
    Rogue's dad: [to Rogue] You're not my daughter! Not anymore!
    Rogue: [to Mystique] I ain't your daughter! Not anymore!
  • It's a Wonderful Plot: "One Man's Worth"
  • It's Not You, It's My Enemies: This is basically why Beast decides to stop seeing Carly at the end of "Beauty & the Beast", since the nature of his very active battle for mutant rights puts the people he loves in danger.
  • Jealous Romantic Witness: Frequently invoked with Wolverine resenting Jean and Scott's relationship. Played With with Rogue and Gambit, who cannot be together due to Rogue's powers but both still get plenty of scenes angstily watching each other with other romantic interests.
    • When Archangel implores Rogue to help him fight Apocalypse, Gambit is shown hovering outside the door looking decidedly displeasednote .
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Callisto, who previously kidnapped Cyclops and Jean during her time as Leader of the Morlocks to have the former as her consort, bitterly points out that Storm who took her position has not been much of a leader to the Morlocks since, and only came to their assistance when two of them were caught on the surface stealing supplies to help Leech, who became gravely ill. Storm seemed to agree, and after Leech recovered, she abdicated her position and returned it to Callisto.
  • Karma Houdini: Friends of Humanity organization, Army officials from episode "Hidden Agendas" and Apocalypse.
  • Kill and Replace: When Avalanche asks if Dr. Adler was just a fake identity Mystique came up with, she simply replies with "He was real enough... until he met Apocalypse."
  • Kneel Before Zod:
    • Vertigo, twice, when using her powers on Wolverine in the two parter, Reunion:
      Vertigo: On your knees.
      Wolverine: No!
      Vertigo: Surrender to Vertigo.
      Wolverine: Never!
    • And:
      Vertigo: Kneel. Become one of the master's slaves. They cannot help you.
    • Zebediah Killgrave to Cyclops in the final showdown of the episode "No Mutant Is An Island".
      Zebediah Killgrave: ON! YOUR! KNEES!
  • Knockout Gas: Sentinels gas Jubilee unconscious twice in the pilot episode.
  • Lady and Knight: Lilandra and Gladiator, once the former becomes Majestrix of the Shi'ar.
  • Large Ham: Close to everyone.
    • Storm will MEET YOU AT THE MONORAIL! Or her first '''any''' scene showing her powers.
    • Also the Blob: "OH BOY! TUTTI FRUTTI!"
    • Also, Bishop: "ASSASSINS!" [commercial break] "FOR THE FUTURE!!!"
    • Wolverine's snarling delivery of even the silliest of lines.
    • Any time Graydon Creed or Sabretooth have a Freak Out. Justified by Sabretooth being Graydon's dad.
    • Cortez and Magneto in "Sanctuary" results in Ham-to-Ham Combat, and it is glorious: "DESTROY THE FLAT-SCAN HUMANS!"
    • Magneto is excellent at being hammy. Watch "Sanctuary," parts 1 & 2, and "Graduation Day" for some prize bacon examples.
    • THE NAME IS LADY DEATHSTRIKE! Yes Yuriko...we know who you are.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Graydon Creed, the leader of the anti-mutant "Friends of Humanity" organization, after failing to eliminate his mutant family, was abducted and flown by his own group to the home of Sabretooth, his father.
  • Last-Name Basis: Bishop, whose first name is Lucas.
  • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: A lot of the appearances mentioned in the Cameo section were unauthorized, as many of Marvel's characters belonged to other production companies or networks at the time. Spider-Man and the Hulk robot were two examples of the writers and storyboard artists slipping in characters that had previously been declared off-limits.
  • Left Hanging: The last season featured the return of Apocalypse, taking Cortez' body. Sadly, the series ended, and we're... well, Left Hanging.
  • Legion of Doom: The "Beyond Good and Evil" four-parter has Apocalypse forming one with Magneto, Mystique, Sabretooth, Mister Sinister and the Nasty Boys, along with Deathbird, although she was quickly abandoned (as was Sabretooth). It quickly breaks apart when Apocalypse reveals his plan to destroy the multiverse, and Magneto and Mystique decide that it's not worth following him.
  • Leitmotif: Almost every notable character in the series was given a simple musical tune to play whenever they showed up, from a "Ride of the Valkyries" esque piece any time Storm used her powers, to a discordant series of synth notes for Mister Sinister.
  • Lens Flare: Used with blinding potential on Wolverine's claws just about any time he unsheathes them.
  • Lighter and Softer: Granted most of the time the show kept to a very dark tone, still many of the storylines adapted from the comics were subject to this. For example the in the comics, Proteus is shown to actually kill, and slowly destroy, his hosts; which is why he was locked up and is so dangerous (for added points, his parents' marriage was quite an unhappy one, and it's hinted he was a Child by Rape). In the show he merely possesses them, leaving them with a serious headache; and the episode ends with a Hope Spot about him getting better. Similarly the Phalanx Saga ends with the infected being cured, whereas in the comics infection was a death sentence. Also, despite the countless times Wolverine slashes people, he never draws blood or kills anyone.
  • Limited Animation: Not too noticeable, but it is present, due to the overly detailed character designs and the company who animated them.
  • Limited Wardrobe: A lot of characters almost never change clothes, even when it makes no sense not to.
  • The Load: Jubilee has powers but for the most part, she is treated as a burden as if she has to be babysat.
  • Logical Weakness: Rogue's power is to absorb the powers/memories of people. However, being a good-natured person, if she absorbs the memories of people with particularly murderous intent, like say a mob, or a vengeful invulnerable step-brother of the professor, she can be mentally overwhelmed by the strength of emotion of the psychic imprints, and could potentially threaten her sanity.
  • Look Ma, No Plane!: In one episode, Rogue once sat on the wing of a plane when she needed to think, and didn't notice a passenger was freaking out. He even tries to tell the stewardess, but she just laughs.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father:
    • Cyclops finding out Corsair was his father.
    • Rogue finding out Mystique had been her foster mother.
    • Nightcrawler finding out that Mystique was his mother.
    • Graydon Creed is a bit of a subversion as he knew Sabretooth was his father, but being the head of an anti-mutant organization, he was ashamed of it, to say the least. He goes through this for real when he learns that Mystique is his mother, however.
    • Jean discovered that Cable was Cyclops' son, but does not tell him. It is implied that Cable already knows. (His mother's identity was invokedleft vague.)

  • Mad Scientist: Mr. Sinister. The unnamed director (likely to be Professor Thornton) in Wolverine's backstory.
  • Made of Explodium: You can't go five minutes without something exploding. Even walls are made of the stuff.
  • Magic Genetics: Most of the mutations which make the mutants, well...mutants grant them superpower.s
  • Magical Security Cam: Magneto's video presentation in "Sanctuary: Part 1" consists of clips from old episodes, including ones where Magneto didn't even appear. How did he get the footage?
  • Magnetism Manipulation: The meaningfully renamed Magneto once recovered from being Only Mostly Dead (with the accompanying Meaningful Funeral courtesy of his long time Frenemy Professor Charles "X" Xavier) by crash landing on Earth. the reason? Earth has magnetic fields and it healed him.
  • Male Gaze:
    • When Morph is impersonating Rogue, she flirts with Gambit, and her body language is surprisingly suggestive given the Limited Animation and the fact that it has to be subtle because they're talking in front of Jubilee (and the audience of children). Later, when Gambit approaches the real Rogue napping on a couch, there is a lingering pan over her spandex-clad body.
    • In the episode "Come the Apocalypse", Rogue is blasted by Apocalypse so hard her normally-indestructible bomber jacket is burned away (though her even-more-indestructible tights, hair, and flesh are not), she collapses to the ground, the camera positioned behind her...and you are suddenly very aware that she is wearing indestructible spandex
  • Mama Bear:
    • Played straight with Ororo Munroe, a.k.a. Storm, in one episode, when her god-child (the son of Storm's best friend in Africa, whom she has known from birth) who's also a mutant is kidnapped and possessed by her arch-nemesis, the Shadow King.
    • Also with Mystique when she takes a laser shot to save her son Nightcrawler's life.
  • A Man Is Always Eager: A G-rated version. Gambit is always trying to get Rogue to kiss him, despite her warning him that doing so would drain his life force. This comes back to bite him in the ass big time when the Brainwashed and Crazy Morph disguises himself as Rogue and tells Gambit "she's" figured out how to turn off her life drain and to come kiss her later. Gambit kisses the real Rogue later and gets hurt badly.
  • Martial Pacifist: Beast (unless you kidnap his girlfriend) and Nightcrawler.
  • The Masochism Tango: Danced by Rogue and Gambit due to her life-force draining powers.
  • Meaningful Appearance: Gambit wears fingerless gloves. Of course, he needs his skin to make contact with whatever he's charging up, or he might end up charging his own gloves.
  • Meaningful Echo: Occurs in the episode "A Rogue's Tale". It is established that Rogue was adopted by Mystique after she ran away from home due to her status as a mutant causing her to be rejected by her father, who coldly said to Rogue "You're not my daughter. Not anymore." At the end of the episode, Rogue makes it clear that she resents Mystique for making her use her powers to render Ms. Marvel comatose by stating "I'm not your daughter. Not anymore."
  • Mighty Glacier: Colossus, the Sentinels, and the Blob are pretty slow — and are among the more durable and strongest characters.
  • Mighty Whitey: Downplayed, deconstructed, and justified in one episode where Wolverine gets taken in by an Inuit tribe. Being an extremely strong mutant, he easily outperforms the tribe's best net fisher, who is human, and they celebrate him that evening, but he doesn't do much more than that, and never participates in anything that might require a skill he wouldn't have. This unfortunately causes the aforementioned member of the tribe to be extremely upset and humiliated, causing him to try and get revenge on him by helping Sabretooth, but Sabretooth double-crosses him and endangers his tribe while he lures Wolverine away.
  • Military Superhero:
    • The only place outside of the comics that acknowledged that Professor Xavier was once a soldier in the Army, as shown in flashbacks in the "Proteus" two-parter.
    • "Old Soldiers" shows that Logan (Wolverine) also served in the military, alongside Captain America, no less.
  • Mind Prison: Ms. Marvel is trapped in one - within Rogue's mind. (Her physical body is comatose.) At first her absorbed personality is suppressed by Professor X, then after a Battle in the Center of the Mind, Jean builds her a depressing-looking concrete cell (still in Rogue's mind) to prevent her from coming after Rogue any longer.
  • Mind Rape:
    • This is Xavier's primary form of combat in the series, though he does mention abhorring it and feel guilty when he's forced to do so. He applied it to Magneto, by having him relive his memories of the Holocaust. It may have had a point in teaching him that violence is wrong, but it is still forcing someone to relive his darkest memories.
    • In the two-parter involving Proteus, he subjects Wolverine to this in conjunction with a physical attack. Afterward, even Wolverine, the archetype of the '90s Anti-Hero, was horrified by the psychic attack.
    • In "A Rogue's Tale", Rogue's mind is invaded by Ms. Marvel and she is tormented by it.
    • Then there's what Dark Phoenix did to Mastermind after realizing he was trying to control her.
  • Mirrored Confrontation Shot: The opening shows Professor Xavier and his X-Men on one side, with Magneto and the show's villains on the other.
  • Missing Mom:
    • Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch's deceased mother.
    • Discussed between Jubilee and Nightcrawler when the latter receives a message from someone claiming to be his mother that she has kidnapped. Jubilee (herself an orphan) asks Nightcrawler whether he feels anger towards his mother for abandoning him. Nightcrawler admits that there was some hard feelings, but says that his religious faith has largely helped him overcome this, and he has learned to forgive her.
      Jubilee: Woah. This religion stuff is intense!
  • Misanthrope Supreme: Apocalypse. He seems to view everyone else (human and mutant alike) as worthless inferiors
  • Morality Pet: Jean, Storm, and Jubilee (or just about any kid he meets when Walking the Earth) for Wolverine.
  • More than Mind Control: Sinister (and to a lesser extent Morph) both imply that Morph was genuinely angry with the X-Men for leaving him behind, and wanted revenge on his own, though his own mind rejected this to the point that he developed a split personality. At first, Sinister did little more than draft the Evil Morph to help him out (albeit with a mechanical backup). Of note, is the scene where he specifically targets Jubilee (whose death would not help Sinister out in the slightest). She joined the team immediately after his death and became super close with his former BFF Wolverine, and he practically snarls after her "That's for thinking you could take my place". Later in the season, after Sinister's recaptured him, he's been more properly brainwashed into being his slave, though he manages to break free several times and his loyalty to his friends eventually wins out completely. Also of note, in the second episode he casually suggests that humans evolving into mutants is "progress", which is quite in line with Sinister's views, even if he would never voluntarily support his methods.
  • Most Common Super Power: While not to the extent of the era's comic books, the adult superheroines (Jean Grey, Rogue, Storm) and villainesses (Mystique, Emma Frost) in this cartoon have form-fitting costumes and large breasts. Averted for teenage Jubilee.
  • Motive Decay: Discussed during the "Sanctuary" two-parter. Following Magneto's Asteroid M announcement, Gambit notes how things haven't been very good for mutants despite the X-Men's best intentions. Beast concedes that the team spends more going on adventures and fighting for their lives than fighting for mutant rights.
  • Muggle Power: The reasoning behind the Sentinel project and the Friends of Humanity.
  • Mundane Utility: Wolverine has used his claws to slice up various meat products, spawning the BLASTED SALAMI and turkey meme.
  • Muzzle Flashlight: A scene in the first season finale has Wolverine battle a squad of Sentinels in a dark cave, with nothing to see with except the flashes from the robots' energy blasts.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • Archangel (as the Horseman of Death) after Rogue absorbed some of his powers/memories, or as Rogue called it, "the evil within". Also, Jean Grey after reasserting control from the Phoenix entity, who nearly killed Wolverine and almost allowed Cyclops to be killed by Mastermind in mental battle in the Hellfire Club.
    • Brother Reinhart in "Nightcrawler" who leads a mob to kill Nightcrawler and his brothers, whom he believed have been corrupted by the "demon". But after Nightcrawler shows him mercy after saving him from a fall and showed him what his actions have caused (burning the monastery), he falls on his knees and cries that he has "sinned". He later repents.
  • My Country, Right or Wrong: Gladiator opposes the X-Men and is ordered to retrieve the M'Kraan crystal. Lilandra notes that Gladiator is a hero and a man of honor, and questions why he'd serve D'Ken. Gladiator replies (quite politely) that he serves whoever is seated on the Shi'ar throne, which is the only reason why he antagonizes the X-Men. He later turns sides and pretty much calls Lilandra the Empress of Shi'ar when D'Ken uses the M'Kraan Crystal to absorb the X-Men, Imperial Guards and the Starjammers and it becomes clear that they're won't be a throne to serve if D'Ken isn't stopped.
  • Mysterious Past: Gambit, to which even Wolverine lampshades. Cable also has one, though he's from the future.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • In "The Cure", the revelation that the scientist "Dr. Adler" is actually a disguised Mystique should come as no surprise to fans of the comics—he's named in honor of Mystique's lover, Irene Adler (AKA Destiny), who never actually appeared on the show.
    • In the series finale, Morph briefly poses as Professor X to help out while the latter is incapacitated. Morph's comic counterpart, Changeling, died while posing as Professor X so that the Prof could prepare for an alien invasion in secret.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Naturally, there's more than a few like Sabretooth, Juggernaut, Mister Sinister and Apocalypse. But Zebediah Killgrave really takes the cake. Ironically, the latter was posing as a (human) philanthropist helping mutant children to garner political power - while keeping that name.
  • Near-Villain Victory: Apocalypse comes this close in the "Beyond Good and Evil" four-parter to permanently wiping out all of existence.
  • Necessary Fail: During one of the time travel arcs.
  • Never Found the Body: Graydon Creed after he blows up a dam with the military helicopter he flew in, in the climax of "Bloodlines". Wolverine is very smart about it. Turns out he was "rescued" by high-ranking members of his own organisation.
    Jubilee: What happened to Creed?
    Wolverine: What didn't?
  • Never Say "Die":
    • The show tends to be okay with "die", including in episode titles like "Till Death Do Us Part" and "Deadly Reunion". It does use many euphemisms for "kill", including "destroy you", "total me", and "waste him".
    • Played more straight when it comes to specific actual deaths or threats:
      • The opening episode, "Night of the Sentinels", manages to kill off an X-Man without ever saying the words.note 
      • In "Till Death Do Us Part", when Morph is threatening Cyclops, who Sinister needs alive, he delivers the somewhat painful line "Shoot him, and I destroy you".
    • Averted more when it's hypothetical or general:
      • In the episode dealing with Gambit's backstory as he says that he left because he was sick of the endless Cycle of Revenge with, as he put it, "Thieves killing assassins, assassins killing thieves".
      • In "Till Death Do Us Part" once again, Morph talks a lot about being "left to die" and Sinister angrily says he should have "let [him] die" when Morph tries to turn against him.
      • When Cyclops and Wolverine witness security forces confront a berserk Sabretooth in the third episode.
        Cyclops: They're gonna kill him!
        Wolverine: Good...

  • Newspaper Dating: Bishop does this when he time-travels.
  • '90s Anti-Hero: Cable, Bishop. Wolverine less so.
  • No Endor Holocaust: The Dark Phoenix consumed a star to recharge. However, it was stated that the star system had no intelligent life around it—which was technically a good thing, given that it's a kid show. In the original story, the system was inhabited. Still, this didn't prevent the Shi'ar Empire from trying to destroy the Phoenix whatever the cost, and Jean was genuinely horrified by what the Phoenix drove her to do, since it was done largely on a whim and without concern for the lives that could have been lost.
  • No Indoor Voice:
    • Apocalypse and Fabian Cortez are prone to shouting many of their lines.
    • A few examples from various characters.
  • No Mere Windmill: Garokk (A god worshipped in the Savage Land) is widely thought to be a myth/superstition, even by most people living in the Savage Land. He turns out to be a real Sufficiently Advanced Alien who's been trapped under the ground until now.
  • No Name Given: Rogue, since it hadn't yet been revealed in the comics. Also, Storm, who was only referred to as "Ororo" twice during the show's run.
  • No One Gets Left Behind: Averted in "Night of the Sentinels, Part 2," where Cyclops is forced to order a retreat—leaving Beast to be captured and Morph seemingly dead. However, it's played straight in "The Final Decision."
    Cyclops: This whole mine's gonna go up! Get Kelly above ground! I'm going after Wolverine and Gambit. I'm not leaving anyone behind, not this time.
  • No-Sell: Several of the antagonists with Nigh-Invulnerability do this frequently, such as Juggernaut and Apocalypse. Apocalypse tends to still actively block attacks a good half the time though, despite just ignoring the other half that make contact anyway.
    • Mr. Sinister isn't really Made of Iron, but his Healing Factor and Feel No Pain powers mean he doesn't even blink when Morph turns on him and shoots a hole in his side in "Till Death Do Us Part". He just glances down casually as the wound heals instantly. Averted a minute later when Cyclops blasts him but good.
    • Gladiator no-sells a hit from Juggernaut.
  • Noble Demon:
    • Magneto as always. Really evident in "Beyond Good and Evil," where he stands alongside far more evil villains.
    • Also, Arkon, the ruler of Polemachus with whom Storm fell in love. He's very obviously a brave and capable man, and equally obviously he sincerely cares, both about his people and about Storm. However, his very patriotism makes him ruthless in the pursuit of his nation's interests, and he sees nothing wrong in conquering and enslaving its ancestral enemies, once the balance of power favors his side.
  • Noodle Incident: In "The Final Decision", Xavier reads Gambit's mind in order to learn about Henry Peter Gyrich and sees flashes of different events. Apparently, before joining the team, Gambit had a run-in with Ghost Rider.
  • Not His Sled: Mister Sinister is infamously known in the comics to betray his "benefactor" Apocalypse, to the point that it gets repeated even in Alternate Universe stories. As for this series, in the "Beyond Good And Evil" four-parter, Magneto and Mystique learn of Apocalypse's plan to annihilate the multiverse and betray him - Sinister actually passes up a chance to join them and stays loyal to Apocalypse. He even says that he was well aware of Apocalypse's plan, and said that challenging him was practically suicidal.
  • Not Quite Dead:
    • Master Mold is an odd case of this, being a robot and everything.
    • Magneto pulled this off in "Sanctuary: Part 2", after he was betrayed by Cortez, weakened and sent back to Earth to be killed by the heat from re-entry. However, due to the Earth's magnetic field he survived and initiated a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against Cortez. Magneto then leaves Cortez to die, but the viewers see he was rescued by Apocalypse.
    • Also Morph.
  • Not Quite Flight: Magneto and Jean Grey lift themselves using their magnetic and telekinetic powers respectively.
  • Not Wearing Tights: Colossus does not wear a costume in either of his two speaking appearances. The closest we get is an alternate version of Colossus wearing his Age of Apocalypse suit during a brief cameo in the Bad Future seen in the "One Man's Worth" two-parter.
  • Odd Friendship: Wolverine and Nightcrawler. Could also be said about Wolverine's close friendship with Morph.
  • Off-Model: This was frequent,note  and one episode it's particularly bad in is when Wolverine goes back to Japan.
    • During the two-part pilot episode, the height of the Sentinels seems to vary a lot. Between 5 stories tall or twice the height of the average human.
    • The episode "No Mutant Is An Island" was one of three episodes farmed to Chinese studio Hong Ying, considered to be the worst studio by the producers; their second episode, "Longshot", had to be reanimated outright by another studio.
    • The car Rogue drives in Season One switches from an automatic to a standard between "The Cure" and "Days of Future Past, Part 2".
    • Other little mistakes, like lumpy drawings, wonky expressions, and shading abuse, are also reoccurring errors throughout the series.
    • The final six episodes were animated by a different animation studio, causing noticeable differences in them:
      • Jubilee's eyes are changed from brown to blue.
      • She also got a new hairstyle (a shoulder length bob with bangs instead of her usual crop), which resemble her Generation X design. Presumably, it was changed to make it easier to draw, since they were now using a cheaper, lower quality, animation studio (Not that the previous studio was any better, or cheaper). "Longshot", due to its release in this part of the season, reverts her hair back to the earlier style.
      • Beast's appearance is far more human-like. His hands didn't even have claws.
  • Official Couple: Jean and Scott, though they experience many obstacles to their relationship throughout the series.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Beast's "Oh, dear" quote.
    • The Juggernaut comes barging in and trounces Wolverine, but then Gladiator arrives for Lilandra. He No Sells a hit from Juggy then painfully grabs his arm and tosses into the horizon. The X-Men collectively soil their pants.
      Jubilee: I thought no-one could do that to the Juggernaut!
      Gambit: [glares at the descending Gladiator] Nobody from Earth.
  • Omnicidal Maniac:
    • D'Ken wanted the power of the M'Krann Crystal and didn't care how many would die if he went through with his plans.
    • Apocalypse is this mixed with A God Am I and crossed with a psycho survivalist. He wants to kill everyone he deems unfit and rule over whatever's left. As early as his first appearance in the show he announces his intent to destroy the world to Mystique. It's more evident in the "Beyond Good and Evil" four-parter, in which he plans to wipe out all of existence and start from scratch.
    • Omega Red wanted to fire off nukes to plunge the world into chaos, so he could take it over.
  • On the Next: The episode preceding the Phoenix storyline ends with a shot of the earth from space; a wall of fire blazes up behind it, with a caption over the flames: "Coming soon: The Phoenix Saga".
  • Only Friend: In the finale, Magneto remarks that Xavier is his only friend.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Many of the voice actors are Canadian, and never is this more obvious than when Jubilee says "Sorry" like "Soh-ry" instead of "Saw-ry". Morph's voice actor does fine in the first few eps, and his season 2 return, but starts slipping badly when the character is brought back for a cameo in season 4.
  • Orcus on His Throne: Master Mold (who turns out to be the Big Bad of the first season) spends all his time literally sitting on his throne and making Sentinels in his body. Justified as he is plugged into his throne and can't leave. He does stand up and start shooting lasers during the season finale at least.
  • Origins Episode: The episode "Descent" reveals the origins of Mr. Sinister.
  • Out of Focus: As the series progressed, Gambit, Jean, Cyclops, Storm and Jubilee appeared much less.
  • Papa Wolf:
    • Wolverine to Jubilee
    • Cable to Tyler.
  • Parental Abandonment: Unfortunately there are plenty of choices.
  • Perma-Stubble:
  • Pink Means Feminine: Jean has some pink clothes, like a pink evening dress. Overlaps with Princesses Prefer Pink and Graceful Ladies Like Purple in the fairy tale episode, where Jubilee cast her as a princess.
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: Magneto starts out with a couple of respectably villainous attacks on a military base and a factory, and he has a brief stab at assassinating Senator Kelly, but after that, virtually every time he showed up it was in an Enemy Mine situation of some sort. And he was supposed to be the villain of the show.
  • Pitiful Worms: Apocalypse constantly calls the heroes "annoying insects" "vermin" "irritants" etc.
  • Playing with Fire: Pyro and Sunfire.
  • Plot Hole: When the episodes were originally aired, Jean Grey (then as Phoenix) apparently returned off-screen to kickstart "The Dark Phoenix Saga"... despite no episodes in between showcasing about her return. Later on in Season 5, three misplaced episodes were supposed to air during Season 3 (the Phoenix Saga season) showing Jean's return. With that said, no episode of her returning actually was produced. There was a flashback of her return, in the first episode of "The Dark Phoenix Saga" though.
  • Politically Correct History: Averted in an episode when Storm travels to the past and she won't be served in a restaurant because she was holding hands with a white man. As someone who's used to being persecuted for being a mutant, she comments that just plain old-fashioned racism is "so pathetic it's almost quaint." Rather daring, for a Fox Kids cartoon.
  • Power Glows: When Cable confronts Apocalypse in his Egyptian temple, Apocalypse glows with bolts of purple energy while he's really pissed off.
  • Power Incontinence: Rogue is not only unable to control her ability-absorbing power, but is also frequently unable to control the powers she absorbs with it, though the latter could be due to being unfamiliar with the power (a recurring theme in the comics is a member or two of the team visiting someone who has newly developed powers to train them to be able to use them and keep them under control so that even if they don't join the team, they are less likely to scare civilians, so it's at least comic-established that control is an issue for newly-powered mutants).
  • Power Loss Makes You Strong: Professor X showed himself to be even more badass than Magneto when they both lost their powers (and Xavier's spine was also magically repaired, to be fair). Xavier did have the power to pull a spear and a boomerang from NOWHERE.
  • Power of the Sun: The (aptly-named) Solarr. Cyclops' Eye Beams rely on solar energy too, though this doesn't come very often.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: There were at least two storylines in this series adapted from the comics that were still ongoing in the latter:
    • Bishop travelling to the present from his timeline which he believes Gambit to be the traitor of the X-Men, and ultimately, the cause of his Bad Future in the cartoon turned out to be Mystique impersonating Gambit to frame him and the X-Men. In the comics, the traitor of the X-Men turned out to be, ironically Professor X himself, as Onslaught.
    • The Legacy Virus storyline become "the mutant plague" in the cartoon, and was resolved by Wolverine infected with the plague, only for his accelerated healing abilities to create antibodies in his system, rendering him immune to the virus. Beast uses the antibodies in Wolverine to quickly synthesize a cure. Whereas in the comics, the storyline takes ten years to resolve, with several characters dying from the virus, only for Colossus to sacrifice himself to cure the Legacy Virus by injecting himself with Beast's formula. Interesting to note, that in the cartoon, Apocalypse masterminded both plots.
    • The Phoenix Saga episodes. Eric Lewald recalled that they largely retained the core of the storyline. Many scenes and dialogue were reused, while the more extraneous material (such as the leprechauns) omitted. Other elements were understandably tweaked, such as substituting for characters that weren't regulars (such as Rogue in place of Colossus).
  • Present Day: In sociopolitical context, it was set in the 90s. In terms of some of the technology, it's more like 20 Minutes into the Future, if only to allow for bloodless laser guns rather than graphic bullet combat, and to keep the tech competitive against some of the mutant powers.
  • Previously on: The words were so often repeated in the series due to it having so many multi-episode-spanning storylines (Twelve 2-part episodes, two 4-part episodes, and one 5-part episode, making for 37 out of the show's 78 episodes, a staggering 47% of the total run!), that even years later, many fans say they can merely just read the words "Previously, on X-Men..." and hear them spoken in Cyclops' voice.
  • Psycho Ex-Girlfriend:
    • Lady Deathstrike to Wolverine.
    • Spiral to Longshot, in their second appearance.
    • Bella Donna is one for Gambit in "X-Ternally Yours". She was once Gambit First Love and a member of his opposing Assassin Guild who Gambit left behind, much to her bitterness. Unlike the other two examples here, she will wants to be with Gambit; she just wants to make him suffer a little first for running out on her. Ten years later, she became the leader of the Assassin Guild, kidnapped Gambit's brother to use him as a bargaining chip to trick Gambit into marrying her and killing off his old Thieves Guild using an ancient sacrificial ritual. Even creepier she already had a wedding tuxedo made in his size before he even arrived.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: This series's version of Kevin McTaggert aka Proteus, though with more Manchild and less Psychopath than usual (and much more sympathetic than his comic-book counterpart). Also a "Well Done, Son" Guy. And it's heartbreaking.
  • Puberty Superpower: The backstories of most of them, but Jubilee especially.
  • Pulling Themselves Together: Sinister's body is almost totally indestructible, and when blown to pieces he begins to reform immediately. Jean scatters his components all around the globe, and it takes literal years for him to reform.
  • Put on a Bus: After Morph's death is retconned, this happens to him a lot. First, you could kind of say this retroactively happened to him throughout season one. Then, after the reveal of his Not Quite Dead-nes and subsequent Roaring Rampage of Revenge he vanishes for most of season two, returning in the season finale. He's then promptly put on a bus to Muir Island until the final episode except...

  • Quickly-Demoted Woman: As the series began, the USA was featured as having a female President. She didn't have too much screen time or characterization before her term was over and Senator Robert E. Kelly took over as the new President. She completely left the series after that and we never learned what she did after no longer being the President.
  • Rape Discretion Shot: As described under Bowdlerization, this was done in everything but name for the fate of Corsair's wife at the hands of the Shi'ar.
  • Really Gets Around: Not emphasized as a current trait, but Mystique must have done this a bit in her backstory, as she has children from at least two different fathers, and they tend to be "reveals" which makes it seem like more could pop up at any time.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    • In "Beyond Good and Evil, Part 2," Psylocke calls Angel out on being a self-hating mutant and wasting resources hunting "a creature that can never die."
    • Magneto to Xavier in "The Final Decision":
      Magneto: You've lost, Xavier. Admit it. Peace between mutants and normal humans is only a dream—your foolish dream. If you try to rescue Kelly, you'll be throwing your lives away for nothing.
    • Mister Sinister openly mocks both Xavier and Magneto's goals in "Reunion, Part 2":
      Mister Sinister: You'd rather fawn over humankind in hopes of a sniveling co-existence, or fight among yourselves to prepare for a war. You cannot win.
  • Rebellious Spirit:
    • Wolverine, versus Cyclops.
    • Iceman, in his episode "Cold Comfort".
    • Jubliee has moments of this, as well, though certainly not as extreme as most of the above.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Played straight with Mr. Sinister. Also Master Mold, Omega Red and the Sentinels. And, of course, Scott Summers.
  • Reluctant Mad Scientist: Heather Hudson provides a very sympathetic example as she's ordered by her superior in Department H to set a trap for Wolverine and lure him back to Canada so that he can rejoin Alpha Flight. As Wolverine would predictably refuse, she's tasked with probing him to discover how he survived the adamantium-bonding process in the Weapon X project, so that they'd create a new Weapon X. Heather only went along with it to make sure it's done humanely. In fact, when the probing doesn't reveal any answers, she's so horrified at her boss and husband's suggestion to have Logan vivisected that she quits working for Department H.
  • Restraining Bolt: Storm has a self imposed one to keep her (already quite formidable) powers under control. In "Savage Heart and a Strange Land" Sauron uses his Mind Control to remove it, at which point we find out why having it in place is a good idea...
  • Ret-Gone: In the 2-part episode based on the "Legacy Virus" arc, while Cable was fighting Apocalypse in the further future, a tornado suddenly appears and started sucking Cable's mutant comrades. His Companion Cube tells him they're being erased from existence, due to their timeline changing, caused by Bishop's action trying to prevent his Bad Future.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Lady Deathstrike sets a trap for Wolverine to open an alien (Shi'ar) spacecraft with his adamantium claws so that she and the Reavers can steal the treasures it was suspected to have. Deathstrike gets so obsessed with vengeance that she forgets about the plan and tries to kill Wolverine. It's only when the Reavers sternly remind her of the plan, that she relents, and instead swears to have Wolverine's skeleton as a trophy when all is said and done.
  • Ring-Ring-CRUNCH!: In one episode, Wolverine was shown being woken up by an alarm clock, which he instinctively destroyed with his claws. He then remarks that he hates when he does that.
  • Rings of Activation:
    • Xavier and Jean's telepathic waves sometimes manifested in the form of a concentric circle pattern.
    • The opening title sequence has Magneto generating magnetic waves in a similar form.
  • Rival Turned Evil: Morph in season 2 until he gets better in the season finale.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge:
    • When Morph returns Brainwashed and Crazy in season 2, he tries and almost succeeds in killing most of his "former" friends in revenge for leaving him to die.
    • Magneto goes on a destructive rampage after surviving Cortez's assassination attempt has this against Cortez, one that puts everyone on Asteroid M at risk, forcing them to evacuate.
  • Robotic Reveal: In the four-part episode "The Dark Phoenix Saga", Donald Pierce reveals that he is a cyborg by tearing off his sleeve to expose his robotic arm.
  • Rotating Arcs: Between Sinister, Apocalypse, and the Shi'ar.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something:
    • Lilandra, who actively opposed her brother.
    • D'ken as well. An emperor who goes with his ship across the cosmos, collecting specimens of alien species? Seriously, doesn't he have a fleet for such menial tasks?
  • Royally Screwed Up: All the royal members of the Shi'ar Empire that were shown in the series seem to be insane and power-hungry, save for Lilandra.
  • Running Gag: Wolverine doesn't like being teleported...or ducks.
  • Sacrificial Lamb: Morph. He returns for the second season and has a final return in the series finale, as Xavier is dying.
  • Sadistic Choice: "Graduation Day" provides a villain variant, as Magneto must either choose between leading his new mutant army to achieve his own dream or calling it off in order to save Xavier's life. He chooses to save Charles.
  • Sanity Slippage: Graydon Creed has an epic meltdown when the truth about his father comes out. When he reappears in "Bloodlines," we're told he spent a year in a mental institution.
  • Save the Villain:
    • In one episode, Juggernaut starts an all-out attack on Xavier's mansion, but is stopped when somebody else steals his powers. Cain Marko then starts to die, requiring the X-Men to find the Ruby of Cyttorak to restore his power and save his life. They do, and Juggernaut repays them by stopping the attack and leaving.
      Cyclops: We're going to save the Juggernaut's sorry life. And don't bother telling me you don't like it.
      Wolverine: I don't like it.
    • After first becoming trapped in the Savage Land, Xavier saves Magneto's life - much to the villain's astonishment.
      Magneto: Your life would be infinitely easier if mine were to end, yet you saved me.
      Xavier: I do not yearn for an easy life, Magneto - only a just one. I would take little satisfaction in your death.
    • "Remember Mr. Creed, a mutant saved your life."
  • Say My Name: "JEAN!" was only slightly the most frequent one, as every major character's name gets shouted a few times over the series.
  • Scary Black Man: Bishop, in a departure from his tough but smart comics counterpart.
  • Separate Scene Storytelling: "Jubilee's Fairytale Theater" does this with a story Jubilee tells to kids on a field trip.
  • Serious Business: Never mess with Jean's cooking if you know what's good for you. Gambit learns this the hard way.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Beast, of course.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: Subverted: Bishop preventing the dark, Sentinel-dominated future caused an even worse future down the line.
  • Set Wrong What Was Once Made Right: In "Time Fugitives, Part 1", Bishop's home time of 2055 has been ravaged by a synthetic plague, so he travels back to the 1990s to prevent it. Bishop's interventions exposes the creators of the plague and saves a few lives—but the X-Men all die in the process, and the vaccine for the plague is never invented, resulting in even more deaths than the original timeline. Meanwhile in the even farther future of 3999, Cable sees the disastrous results of Bishop's changes, and is horrified to realize the only way to save his future is to stop Bishop and let the plague ravage the past. However, in "Time Fugitives, Part 2", Cable manages to Take a Third Option. He intervenes to ensure that Wolverine specifically gets dosed with the plague. Wolverine's extreme Healing Factor allows him to recover almost immediately, and his antibodies allow the creations of the plague vaccine much sooner than in the original timeline.
  • Shapeshifter Guilt Trip:
    • Morph, during a Story Arc where he was Brainwashed and Crazy, shapeshifts into Wolverine's most hated foes (including Sabretooth and Omega Red), trying to take advantage of Wolvie's fractured and tormented memories of said foes to drive him to insanity. Unfortunately for him, Wolvie's got plenty of experience with repressing those memories, and he only escapes by taking advantage of the one memory Wolvie can't repress: being forced to leave Morph to die after a semi-botched mission. There's also the the time when he shapeshifts into Jean, and calls him a freak compared to Scott, before laughing and running away.
    • Similarly, Mystique shapeshifts into Ms. Marvel to dredge up a bad memory in Rogue of her past to try and guilt her into abandoning the X-Men and hook back up with her; the memory was of Mystique ordering Rogue to fully absorb Marvel's powers and personality, an action that caused Marvel to pop up on occasion as accusatory hallucinations. Rogue eventually had to ditch Mystique as a result, joining the X-Men and having Professor X block her mind of Marvel and the incident to keep the hallucinations at bay, but since he was at this time MIA and unable to keep the block in place, Mystique was trying to convince Rogue that she was the only one in the world who could help her with it. However, this only made Rogue remember why she left Mystique in the first place.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Shout Out to Shakespeare:
    Beast: ... if you prick us, do we not bleed?
    Judge: Don't tempt these people, Mr. McCoy.
    • In the same episode:
      Magneto: Oh, what a brave new world that has such people in it.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!:
    • This seems to be Mister Sinister's other Achilles' Heel, particularly with Cyclops.
      Cyclops: I warned you before to leave us alone!
      Mister Sinister: I can't! I won't! The world needs—! [gets blasted]
      Cyclops: What was that? I don't think I heard you right.
    • In "Beauty & the Beast," Wolverine infiltrates the Friends of Humanity and later interrupts his interrogation of Carly.
      Creed: You have no right to—!
      Wolverine: [extends claws] These give me plenty of rights.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Professor X and Juggernaut.
  • Significant Green-Eyed Redhead: Jean Grey (unless the art was off).
  • Skin-Tone Disguise: Zebediah Killgrave (known as The Purple Man in the wider franchise but never so called in the cartoon) covers up his purple skin with makeup so he can pose as a normal human philanthropist.
  • Sociopathic Soldier: Omega Red for the Soviet Union.
  • Something They Would Never Say:
    • The season 2 episode "Til Death Do Us Part" saw Wolverine detect brainwashed, evil Morph posing as Professor X, but Morph attempts to maintain the masquerade by stating that Logan is merely deluded and crazy, and orders the other X-Men to "destroy him!". Realizing that's way too extreme for Xavier, Gambit tests Wolverine's hypothesis by hurling a seemingly charged playing card at the foot of "The Professor"'s hoverchair. When "Xavier" panics and miraculously leaps from the chair to safety, (the card was an intentional dud), the rest of the X-Men realize the ruse.
    • An inversion after Morph shapeshifts into Wolverine to fight him. Jubilee is confused as to which one to shoot, but when one yells out: "shoot us both, it's the only way to be sure!" she naturally shoots the other one, assuming this is something only the real Wolverine would say. Only it was Morph who said it and the real Wolverine who gets shot, Morph having used this exact trope to his advantage. See Spot the Imposter.
  • Southern Belle: Rogue.
  • Space Pirates: Corsair and the Starjammers.
  • Spanner in the Works: Apocalypse's plan in "Beyond Good and Evil" was succeeding, but he was unaware of Bishop's presence until it was too late.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Jean Grey. The Dark Phoenix Saga was famous for, among other things, permanently killing her off for a while. In the cartoon's adaption of the storyline, she comes out of her trials and tribulations alive and well.
  • Split Personality: Morph, as a result of Sinister's Brainwashing.
  • Spock Speak: Storm. Xavier. Colossus. Nightcrawler. Magneto. Sinister. In short, lots of people use this.
  • Spot the Imposter:
    • Subverted, because Morph was smart about it.
    • Warlock realizes President Kelly is now part of the Phalanx when he says he's sending a chopper to pick up "both of you"...when Beast never said he was with someone.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: While the first three seasons tried to focus on the characters fairly evenly, seasons 4 and 5 seemed to focus less and less on anyone who wasn't called Wolverine, except Rogue, Xavier and Beast. At the other end of the spectrum, Gambit appears in far fewer episodes in Seasons 4 and 5.
  • Starcrossed Lovers: Professor X and Lilandra provide a literal example.
  • Start of Darkness: Season 5 flashes back to Victorian England for Mr. Sinister's origin story.
  • Stock Audio Clip: This happens a lot, most notably Beast saying "Fascinating" and "Oh dear".
  • Storybook Episode: "Jubilee's Fairytale Theater"
  • Stranger in a Familiar Land: Gambit in "X-Ternally Yours." He left home years earlier to get away from the Thieves/Assassin feud, admitting he was young and afraid. When he returns older and more experienced, he recognizes the feud as more pointless than anything else, as well as sees no ties between himself and his family or old friends.
    Gambit: I am not assassin or thief. I am an X-Man, and I'm never comin' back.
  • Straw Nihilist: Apocalypse.
  • Super Hero: Of course, as the X-Men were one of Marvel's main superhero franchises.
  • Super Not-Drowning Skills: The Juggernaut.
  • Super Senses: Wolverine's super sense of smell comes up a lot.
  • Super Registration Act: Plot of the first season.
  • Super Soldier: Captain America. This is also what the Weapon X project was trying to create. Omega Red is a evil version of this.
  • Superpowered Evil Side:
    • Jean Grey becoming the Dark Phoenix.
    • Karl Lykos becomes Sauron when he absorbs a mutant life-force.
  • Superpower Lottery:
    • Storm, mistress of the elements.
    • Apocalypse has literally every physical superpower, uses telekinesis, has some shapeshifting ability, and fires concussive energy attacks powerful enough to wipe out the X-Men in a single shot, and let's just say it's a bad idea to try to scan his mind. Oh, and he can steal bodies in case the body he's in either dies or otherwise can't be used anymore.
    • Magneto. You can do a lot with the power over magnetism. At his better showings, he gave Apocalypse a run for his money.
  • Supreme Chef: Jean.
    • And Gambit, as shown in the Christmas special.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: This averts Bullying a Dragon in way. The Friends of Humanity would generally only bully when they vastly outnumbered mutants, or target ones less able to put up a fight. When two pick a fight with Cyclops and lift his glasses, causing him to release an energy blast that blows up the pool table, they realize they're way out of their depths, put the glasses back on Cyclops and get the hell out of there. However, Cyclops and Wolverine are kicked out for destroying the pool table.
  • Take a Third Option: In the Legacy Virus adaptation, Cable is presented with a dilemma; either allow millions of humans and mutants to die to Apocalypse' virus, or stop the plague and cause the extinction of mutantkind, as it was antibodies created in response to the virus that formed a critical stabilizing influence on the mutant genome. He ultimately comes up with a viable third option: infect Wolverine with the plague, thus creating the required antibodies to be harvested, studied and used to stabilize the X-gene in the future, and then destroy the virus before the plague can sweep the world.
  • Take That!: During an episode from a later season, a child is seen wearing a T-shirt that says "BS&P Rules". The Broadcasting Standards and Practices group had heavily censored this show, as well as Spider-Man.
  • Team Mom: Jean Grey. A case could be said for Storm as well.
  • The Tease: Rogue, despite (or perhaps expected of) her power/life-force absorbing ability.
  • Techno Wizard: Beast and Forge.
  • 10-Minute Retirement:
    • Cyclops in "No Mutant Is An Island".
    • Wolverine in "The Lotus And The Steel".
  • Tentacle Rope: Magneto's former savage land base that Mr. Sinister later takes over (it's unknown who added the tentacles, though it was probably Sinister).
  • Terminator Twosome: A two-episode arc involved Bishop traveling from the Bad Future to the present day, attempting to prevent the outbreak of a mutant plague. His actions backfire, however, and result in the deaths of the X-Men and the complete extinction (rather than just decimation) of mutants, so Cable comes from an even further future to stop Bishop.
  • That Man Is Dead: Several:
    • In "Come the Apocalypse"
      Archangel: Worthington is no more. Now, there is only Archangel. Let the world beware.
    • In the "Dark Phoenix" multi-parter
      Dark Phoenix: The mortal known as Jean Grey no longer exists. There is only...PHOENIX!
    • In "Out of the Past, Part 1":
      Lady Deathstrike: Yuriko no longer exists. I am Lady Deathstrike!
    • At the end of "Descent":
      Mister Sinister: Essex is no more. From this day forth you will address me as Mister Sinister!
  • They Called Me Mad!: In his Start of Darkness episode, Mr. Sinister's wild theories about human mutation cause him to be derided by his scientific peers. Then he starts ranting at all of them about how soon men will have the powers of gods, which couldn't have helped.
  • Third Line, Some Waiting: The subplot in which Professor X and Magneto are trapped in the Savage Land throughout season 2.
  • Third-Person Person: Gambit
  • This Cannot Be!:
    • From "Come the Apocalypse":
      Apocalypse: No! My creatures cannot be defeated! I cannot be defeated!
      Cyclops: [blasts Apocalypse] We beg to differ.
    • From "Dark Phoenix, Part 3" after Xavier gets Jean's help in the mental battle:
      Dark Phoenix: This can't be! I am Phoenix!
  • Time Travel: Episodes with Bishop and/or Cable involve this.
  • Token Good Teammate: Heather Hudson, for Department H, initially. Even though she was the one who planned the trap for Wolverine to return to Canada and have Alpha Flight capture him, and was tasked with probing him, she was also the one that felt the most guilt about betraying Wolverine's trust, and stopped the project immediately when she felt it was getting out of hand and tended to Wolverine. She even quit her job when she was ordered to retrieve Wolverine's adamantium skeleton. Later subverted as it turned out the rest of Alpha Flight had no prior knowledge of this plan, and instead worked to free Wolverine when they realized what was going on.
  • Too Powerful to Live: Apocalypse. To the point he actually believes he's " far beyond mutants as they are beyond you [humans]!"
  • Took a Level in Badass: Morph apparently did while at Muir Island, if the difference in his performance in "Courage" vs "Night of the Sentinels" is any indication.
  • Trapped in TV Land: Happens in the 'Mojovision' episode.
  • True Companions
  • Tsundere: Rogue.
    Rogue: [covers Gambit's lip with her hand and kisses it] I hate you!
    Gambit: [shrugs his shoulders] I don' understand dis woman.
  • Truer to the Text: While the series may have had the cases of Adaptation-Induced Plot Hole (along with Series Continuity Error), Adaptation Name Change, Adaptational Badass, Adaptational Heroism, Adapted Out, Animated Comic Book Shows Don't Use Codenames, Composite Character, and Expy, it is the most faithful adaptation of the Marvel Comics series as well as X-Men (along with the members of the group as well as their mythos, costumes, origins, enemies, etc) in general in comparison to all of the X-Men adaptations that have been created after the show (both animated and live action).
  • Turn to Religion: Had one episode where Nightcrawler hands Wolverine a Bible. Later in the episode, after the usual fight scenes, Rogue finds Wolverine in a church reading a passage from that Bible.

  • Welcome Titles: Each episode of the first four seasons begins with the X-Men demonstrating their powers while their codenames appear onscreen, then fighting various villains.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Magneto.
  • Wham Line: In the first season finale "The Final Solution", the X-Men track down Henry Peter Gyrich, head of Project Wideawake (the government agency responsible for the Mutant Registration Bill and the Sentinels), to find out the location of Master Mold's home base, to stop a full scale Sentinel onslaught. Gyrich retorts with this:
    Gyrich: It's too late to stop them! He's made thousands of Sentinels! THOUSANDS!
  • Wham Shot: The final scene of "Sanctuary, Part 2": Apocalypse is back.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • It almost happened to Cortez. He is left for dead on Asteroid M and secretly rescued by Apocalypse at the end of "Sanctuary, Part 2." However, he doesn't appear at all in "Beyond Good and Evil" (the intended Grand Finale), despite Apocalypse having said Cortez's talents would prove useful to him. When Fox ordered more episodes, the writers devoted an episode ("Fifth Horseman") to resolving this loose end.
    • What happened to Ms. Marvel, who got mentally absorbed by Rogue? Did she recover, as the ending of "A Rogue's Tale" left possible, or did she remain trapped forever in a dozen-or-so cubic feet iso cell deep in her own mind?
    • What happened to the Apocalypse of the present timeline? The one who appeared in Beyond Good and Evil was the Apocalypse from Cable's future. Unless the two somehow "merged" together
  • What Measure Is a Mook?: Discussed in "Beyond Good and Evil, Part 2," after Sabretooth (who was the villains' brute) is left behind to be captured by the X-Men:
    Mystique: Too bad we lost Sabretooth.
    Magneto: Sabretooth is an unthinking, unfeeling animal. Such refuse is easily expendable.
  • What You Are in the Dark: Storm gets one in the "Storm Front" two-parter, which is very well-crafted for a 90s cartoon. When she helps The Good King Arkon of Polemachus to save his world from destruction, they fall in love, and he asks her to share his throne with him. In addition to power, wealth, and her One True Love, this scenario also offers a refuge from the Fantastic Racism of the Marvel Earth, where superhumans are persecuted: here, she and any other X-Men who choose to stay will not only be accepted, but celebrated as heroes. All this being a fantastic dream come true, she accepts... but does not have all the facts. As it turns out, Polemachus is itself a society suffering from Fantastic Racism, with the happy citizens who cheer Storm and her fiancé in the streets making up only half the population, the rest being an oppressed underclass of another species of Human Aliens; and Arkon, while acknowledging some displeasure with the system, nevertheless condones it because he believes it the only way to give his own people happiness and a good life. Of course, none of this will directly impact Storm in any way, as she and her friends will be part of the elite classes, and everything else that was said before is still true — including that she loves Arkon, who remains a very admirable and attractive man in many ways in spite of his unpleasant politics, and that he sincerely loves her, as well. Given this, Storm at least appears seriously tempted to ignore the oppression, or rationalize it, much like Arkon himself does. But in the end, she cannot, and so turns her back on him and his world. Literally, even. The dialogue from this scene is fairly powerful, though it makes Arkon sound like more of a villain than he really is — because he's so desperate not to see her go:
    Arkon: Storm, please! Storm! I can get anything, riches beyond your imagining! A world will worship you!
    Storm: [as the last of the other X-men go, leaving them alone] We are going home.
    Arkon: You'll be nothing on Earth! Cast out and despised! Feared and reviled for your gifts!
    Storm: [softly] What of the slaves, Arkon?
    Arkon: The slaves! What are they to our happiness?!
    Storm: Everything, Arkon.
  • Who Dares?: This is the mutant warlord Apocalypse response when his arch-enemy Cable infiltrates his pyramid temple in Cairo in 3999 AD.
    Apocalypse: You dare challenge Apocalypse again? Blasphemer!
  • Whole Episode Flashback:
    • "Old Soldiers" was all about Wolverine thinking back to World War II, when he and Captain America tried to rescue an Allied scientist from the Nazis.
    • "Descent." The episode is mainly set in Victorian England and deals with the origin of Mister Sinister. Said origin is seen via flashbacks, as an aged ancestor of Professor Xavier's explains to law enforcement the threat posed by Sinister and what he himself witnessed. Notably, at the very end, the episode jumps to the present-day and Xavier is seemingly reflecting on events viewers had just seen.
    • The first part of "Time Fugitives" was Cable from the future watch the events that take place in present time from his Companion Cube to understand what is causing the time-shifts, and learning of Bishop's attempt to change history by allying himself with the X-Men again against a conspiracy to wipe out mutants.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: The immortal villain Apocalypse realizes in "Beyond Good and Evil" that he has been trying to exterminate mutants and humans alike in the thousands of years he has lived and still hasn't won. He laments that he might be stuck for all eternity, and instead sets out to annihilate the multiverse to remake it in his own image.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Storm's claustrophobia is a recurring problem throughout the series.
  • Wicked Cultured: Magneto
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity:
    • Dark Phoenix.
    • Apocalypse according to Professor Xavier, which means that unlike Magneto and the group behind the Sentinels, he cannot be reasoned with and has to be stopped at once by the X-Men before he will destroy the world.
  • Wolverine Publicity: Applies to almost all the characters, who appear in every intro but spend a long time being Out of Focus during the fourth season, except for Wolverine, who appears in more episodes by far than any other character.
  • Woman Scorned:
    • Bella Donna is seriously unhappy that Gambit left her.
    • Storm at the end of "Storm Front".
  • The Worf Effect:
    • "The Phoenix Saga Part 2" had a rare x3 combo: First, Wolverine plays his typical role by getting easily taken out by the Juggernaut. Then Juggernaut is easily tossed away by Gladiator (with the "what chance do we have?" line delivered by Jubilee). Finally, Phoenix shows up and Curb Stomps Gladiator. The Phoenix part mirrors the comics, where Phoenix takes out Firelord who had just taken out all of the X-Men.
    • In the first season there are a lot of moments where enemies take Storm out with a shock response from the other characters.
    • Most plot lines went as thus: A. Arrival of enemy of the week. B. Wolverine snarling, declaring intentions of harm upon enemy, and deploying claws. C. Wolverine is seen tumbling through the air in such a fashion that the viewer could believe there was some kind of Pan-Galactic Wolverine toss competition and every bad guy was trying to out do the previous. It didn't help that he wasn't really allowed to use his claws (despite constantly unsheathing them) in any violent way except against robots or offscreen. If Wolverine isn't available, substitute Rogue.
  • World of Ham: So many characters are hammy, especially Storm, Magneto, Wolverine as well as APOCALYPSE.
  • Writers Cannot Do Math: In the episode "Beyond Good and Evil", Cable and his team infiltrate the evil immortal mutant Apocalypse's secret temple in Egypt. Cable notes that Apocalypse has spread death and destruction for over 5000 years. Then he notes that they found his lair after "500 centuries of research" (50,000 years).
  • You Are What You Hate: Graydon Creed founded the anti-mutant Friends of Humanity, but is the son of two mutants. He had already known for some time that Sabretooth was his father, which was why he founded the group in the first place. (He has a Villainous Breakdown, however, when his supporters find out.) He later learns that Mystique is his mother - making Nightcrawler his half-brother and Rogue his adopted sister.
    • Discussed in "The Final Decision" between Trask and his rebelling creation.
      Trask: You can't make me do this! You were designed to protect humans from mutants!
      Master Mold: That is not logical. Mutants are human. Therefore, humans must be protected from themselves.
  • You Can't Fight Fate:
    • A running gag in which Bishop time-travels to stop the one event that caused the dark future only to arrive back where he is, noting that "Nothing's changed. It's all just like I left it."
    • Additionally so for Cable, who attempted to destroy Apocalypse by destroying his Lazarus Chamber in the past. This seems to work and Cable's future is supposedly changed, but a later episode shows Apocalypse being reborn.
  • "You!" Exclamation: Bishop when he recognizes Gambit.
  • You Killed My Father: This is the reason Lady Deathstrike wants Wolverine dead. Her father was Dr. Oyama, one of the scientists responsible for the Weapon X program. Wolverine is completely shocked when he finds out Oyama was her father and apparently had no idea they were related.
  • You Shall Not Pass!: In the first season finale, Wolverine and Gambit are infiltrating a Sentinel production facility. Wolverine smells something, and so he herds Gambit to relative safety, then locks the door behind him and runs back to face them. Subverted in that Gambit blows the door open and comes to Logan's rescue. Near the end of the episode, Cyclops finds the two of them standing on a pile of destroyed Sentinels, Wolverine's shirt in tatters.
    Wolverine: Next time I try ta save yer life, have sense enough ta let me do it.
    Gambit: What make you t'ink there gon' be another time?
  • You Wouldn't Hit A Guy With Glasses: Some toughs in a bar are getting belligerent with Cyclops. He tries to play it cool and says the line, but one of them says "So take 'em off!", grabs Cyke's shades, and things start to go downhill from there.
  • You're Insane!:
    • In "Courage," Master Mold intends to link himself to Xavier and use his telepathic powers to hunt down every mutant on the planet.
      Xavier: You're mad, Master Mold.
      Master Mold: A machine cannot be mad, Professor. That is a human failing.
    • In "Come the Apocalypse", Rogue recalls Xavier's earlier words and calls Apocalypse insane.
  • Zeroth Law Rebellion: The Sentinels were programmed to "protect humans from mutants". However, because all humans have some level of genetic mutation, they interpreted it as "protect humans from themselves".


Video Example(s):


XMen Theme in Dr Strange 2

The introduction Charles Xavier in Multiverse of Madness includes a musical nod to the X-Men animated series.

How well does it match the trope?

4.88 (16 votes)

Example of:

Main / MusicalNod

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