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    A 
  • Adorkable:
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Zeref. Was his threat to wipe out all of humanity genuine, or is he actually forcing himself to think that way, as a last-ditch effort to keep his powers under control, in the hopes that his brother, Natsu, kills him? Or is it just the ultimate expression of Rage Against the Heavens?
    • Is Natsu really the Idiot Hero who only fights, eats, sleeps, and annoys his guildmates, or is he a Stepford Smiler with abandonment issues who only willingly shows glee or burning rage? The scene in chapter 338 where he arrives at the banquet after having stolen the King's crown was very over-the-top, even for Natsu, and he had experienced a great deal of trauma during the Eclipse arc.
    • Brandish. Bunny-Ears Lawyer with a Sweet Tooth and a penchant for treating her subordinates like slaves, as well as openly complaining to her superiors about doing her job because her sheer power and worth to The Empire allows her to get away with it, or Broken Bird who felt the need to become so powerful out of a misguided desire for revenge for her deceased mother, or victim of child abuse at the hands of Aquarius who made her act like a dog, call her "master," and apparently beat her as well?
    • Lyon's relationship with his allies in the Galuna Island Arc. Did he sympathize with their losses to Deliora? Or did he just view them as useful allies for his scheme? It's possible both interpretation overlap to a degree.
    • The Alvarez Empire as a whole. A utopian, prosperous nation ruled by a benevolent (at least, domestically) monarch where non-mages and mages live together in peace not terribly different from Ishgal and Fiore in particular, or a brutal, militaristic, classic example of The Empire whose citizens are blind to the suffering Alvarez causes to the nations it attacks because of their own nationalistic pride? The fact that Alvarez makes no distinction between light and dark magic and is ruled by Zeref, a man universally feared in Ishgal but beloved by Alvarez' citizens, also makes for some In-Universe Values Dissonance, something a lot of fans would have liked to have seen explored.
  • Americans Hate Tingle: As any English Fairy Tail forum will tell you, Jellal Fernandez is one of the biggest base-breaking characters in the series. While his initial role as a villain was well received, his frequent appearances in following arcs have attracted complaints that he's overstayed his welcome versus those who like him and enjoy the Ship Tease with Erza versus those who wished he'd just stayed dead after his original arc. However, in Japan and China, he consistently ranks high in opinion polls, coming up just beneath the five main characters. Pretty high, considering he's a side character who isn't even in the titular guild. Post-time skip he's ended up better received by the fanbase, although this trope still hold in some circles.
  • Anvilicious: The series is infamous for laying the "friendship wins the day" moral rather thick. While The Power of Friendship is common amongst shonen, Fairy Tail in particular earns scorn for frequently preaching its importance and rarely teaching anything else, even if it's more or less explicitly shown to be a magical power to make it justified in the setting.
  • Arc Fatigue:
    • The rescue portion of the Grand Magic Games arc to get Lucy out of the castle gets criticized for this. Hardly anyone took the Executioners as a serious threat for Natsu and company, and was described as nothing but stalling to make sure that the rescue continued alongside the final event of the Grand Magic Games.
    • The Key to the Starry Heavens arc in the anime actually got this in reverse, with the first half up to the appearance of the new Oracion Seis being incredibly mundane, running around bringing together pieces of the Infinity Clock... i.e. the clock which was supposed to bring about chaos if its pieces were brought together, and fighting with Legion who were all fairly low-level one-trick-pony wizards who should have been easily beaten by our heroes after the insanely powerful rivals of the previous Sirius Island arc. It just rolled on and on, painstakingly slowly and things only picked up when the actual main plot came into play with Oracion Seis in the second half, and got increasingly interesting from there, although not enough to save the arc all in all. Unfortunately, the appearance of Oracion Seis highlighted how ridiculous and nonsensical the previous fifteen or so episodes had been and made everyone's power levels and fighting ability look insanely inconsistent. Except Mirajane. Who has a form that can easily beat Satan Soul... which is both terrifying and awesome.
    • The Eclipse Celestial Spirit arc has gotten quite a bit of flak from those who couldn't care less about the oddly designed and paced fights. It doesn't help that the fandom had gone through a great deal of impatience to see it done with, to get to the canon arcs that come after, which deal with the heavily-hyped Tartaros Dark Guild. The studio's insistence on dragging the filler out even longer by animating almost every single omake chapter made in the last year, only intensified this reaction, until finally the Tartaros arc began airing in April, 2015.
    • The Tartaros arc got some of this. Not the arc as a whole, mind you; it is regarded as one of the best in the series despite some setbacks. However, within the arc were two aspects that many felt dragged on for too long: The first is the countdown of Face. We start with it seemingly getting destroyed about 10 chapters after it emerges, only to reveal 3000 more and initiate another countdown that actually reaches 0, then we go back 20 minutes before this and have several chapters ultimately leading to the same chapter ending as when it went off just to keep the cliffhanger... and it's destroyed by the Dragon Slayers' long-lost parents just as it goes off. The second is the way the chapters juggled through several concurrent fights, often without significant progression in all but one that the chapter would end on.
    • The Alvarez Empire arc. While it started off promising, with a feeling of impending doom that terrified even the main characters, a series of Curb Stomp Battles that set the Spriggan Twelve up as a threat unlike anything Fairy Tail has ever faced before (and themselves being interesting and sympathetic characters, overall considered to be worthy successors to the Balam Alliance dark guilds), and a truly heartbreaking reveal of the backstory between Zeref and Mavis pushing some fans into full-blown Rooting for the Empire mode, the fights themselves in the latter part of the arc have been met with calls of being poorly handled, not the least of which has been the heavily criticized overdose of the Not Quite Dead trope. The arc went on for over 100 chapters and even the fact that this was the final arc didn't stop people from voicing their complaints. Many were eager just to move on to the inevitable final battle with Zeref and Acnologia.
  • Archive Panic: Manga: 545 chapters. Anime: 328 episodesnote . And there's also 6 Spin-Off mangas, 2 prequel mangas, 9 OVAs, 2 movies, and a spin-off sequel manga.

    B-D 
  • Badass Decay:
    • Minerva is usually accused to have suffered from this by the time of her reintroduction during the Sun Village arc. What started off as a fun, despicable, Jerkass Anti-Hero during the Grand Magic Games arc, has resorted to joining a Dark Guild for, among other things, the purpose of getting revenge on Erza for humiliating her during their tournament duel. The humiliation was bad enough, but by joining a Dark Guild with vague motivations at best, it ended up destroying what previously made her an interesting character. In addition, Chapter 388 possibly made this worse. Fans (for the most part) seem fine with Minerva's past, but think that her character wasn't explored enough to make her sudden change from revenge obsessed to self-loathing for being weak enough to fall to darkness convincing. As a result fans seem to think the character lost everything that made her a interesting as a character to begin with.
    • Name almost any character from a Dark Guild and you'll have people making this claim about them due to never living up to the badass hype Mashima develops for them at the start of their arcs.
  • Best Known for the Fanservice: The story is well known for having plenty of curvy ladies who often suffer Clothing Damage. The series is actually quite equal opportunity with regards to fanservice, as there are just many muscular and handsome men who put little effort into hiding themselves. The original anime had a near-memetic "Wow!" during erotic scenes.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment:
    • The random guy stuck to a dolphin who shows up out of nowhere during the fight against the Royal Army in Mercurius proclaiming he's the strongest before getting one-shoted by Natsu and never mentioned again. Even the character are baffled by it and question whether he's supposed to be a wizard or a Celestial Spirit. To add to the randomness, the dub has Johnny Yong Bosch voicing the character.
    • The scene with Mio and Arius in the final chapter. They appear to be reincarnations of Zeref and Mavis, somehow being the same age as the latter pair who had only died a year ago. The concept of reincarnation flies in the face of Ankhseram's policy on death. The other characters look confused, but end up taking it in stride without actually stopping to question it.
  • Bizarro Episode: Fillers in the anime tends to be this when they're not stories from the manga. And sometimes when they are based off bonus stories from the manga.
  • Broken Base:
    • The pacing of the series is noticeably faster than many of its contemporaries, with most fights ending in 2-3 chapters. Some appreciate that most arcs don't overstay their welcome, while others feel that the fights often feel anticlimactic as a result. This becomes especially apparent with the final battles with Zeref and Acnologia, as some people feel how they went fit the themes of the series and some people bash them by saying they feel far too rushed and make the Big Bads look like weaklings.
    • The series openly pushes its romantic pairings much more than many other similar shounen. Shippers appreciate Mashima's willingness to embrace pairings instead of beating around the bush. However, some feel that Mashima is instead forcing ships down the readers' throats, such as abusing Accidental Pervert moments for all they're worth. Further controversy lies in how the relationships have developed, with characters like Levy, post-Time Skip Jellal, and especially Juvia often being criticized for having their characterization revolve too much around their pairing. The final chapter occurring only a year after the Alvarez arc, with virtually none of the ships ever becoming official, Mashima's Twitter illustrations continuing to push Ship Tease for pairings that the actual story never finalized is viewed as either throwing the shippers a bone or simply mocking them.
    • Was the anime better with Satelight or Studio Bridge? The former is praised for brighter colors and more consistent art quality, while the latter is praised for more closely resembling the manga.
    • Who's the better major villain: Zeref or Acnologia? Supporters of the latter mock Zeref for whining too much and his questionable relationship with a physically 13-year-old girl (which has been outright confirmed to have been sexual in the past), and believe that Acnologia works just fine as an unrelenting force of destruction with no sappy sob story attached. Supporters of the former praise Zeref's detailed backstory and sympathetic motivations and condemn Acnologia for having a very shallow backstory only briefly mentioned during the finale, which was almost unanimously agreed to not only make Acnologia a massive hypocrite and less interesting, but was so disjointed and illogical that it was seen as making Acnologia practically incoherent.
    • The ending. Hiro Mashima's almost gleeful refusal to pair up anybody and deliberate attempt to troll the fans, his retaliation toward fans making too much FT couple fan art and taking the piss out of depicting anybody together himself, or a stylistic way of telling us this was really Lucy's story from her viewpoint, not ours? Either way, it left a huge dent in the fanbase, considering how Rave Master, his previous work, ended with the main love interests Happily Married and with a son.
    • The Running Gag of Makarov trying (and failing) to pass on the title of Master, with his successors constantly passing the title back to him by admitting they're not interested and believe he's still the best choice. A nice subversion of possible Mentor Occupational Hazard and Passing the Torch oh-so-common that shows how much the guild cares about him as a father figure, or annoying Status Quo Is God and They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot that stymies possible Character Development for other characters?
    • The fanservice. One of the most prominent aspects of the series is the multitude of curvaceous ladies who, when not already wearing skimpy outfits, suffer no shortage of Clothing Damage. Some readers enjoy the fanservice, and defend the female characters for remaining a significant and competent fighting force compared to many other battle shounen while also being sexy. Others feel that it can be too distracting, especially as it gets ramped up as the story progresses. Some of the most polarizing events include the Hot Springs Episode in Chapter 355 (which Mashima himself later acknowledged in a tweet to have gone a bit too far, and expected this trope to take hold), Erza's torture during the Tartaros arc (nudity is not uncommon for torture victims, but critics argue that that the sequence was more titillating than horrifying) and the Stone Age omake (even many ardent supporters of Natsu x Lucy felt that Natsu's actions toward Lucy were comparable to sexual assault).
    • Whether to say the series was heavily inspired by One Piece or not. There are many characters who could be seen as parallels of equivalents One Piece characters, such as Gildarts to Shanks. However, Mashima himself has never listed One Piece as one of his inspirations, and some fans say it is disrespectful to him to say he was inspired by something he didn't say he was, while others say that the similarities are too much to be merely coincidental. The Fandom Rivalry with the One Piece fanbase complicates this further, with the former side accusing the latter of helping the One Piece fandoms accusations that Fairy Tail is a clone of One Piece
  • Captain Obvious Reveal:
    • The minute Yukino said she had an older sister who was kidnapped by Zeref cultists, it didn't take long for fans to put two and two together and reach the conclusion that Yukino's sister, Sorano, was none other than Angel from Oración Seis. They have very similar physical appearances, they're both Celestial Spirit Mages, and they even dress in a similar way to one another. This was finally confirmed in Chapter 365.
    • Another odd example is Silver from Tartaros. The moment of his introduction, he was revealed to have ice powers, and is established to have a "connection" to Gray. Everyone was convinced that the man was his father, and sure enough, by Chapter 390, that was confirmed to be true. However... what DID surprise a larger portion of the fanbase was that Silver is in-fact dead, and is actually the demon, Deliora, having manifested itself in Silver's corpse to survive. There were some people that guessed this as well due to being a member of a guild that's comprised of nothing but demons, but it's a tiny fraction compared to how people saw the original reveal coming, but then, Silver is hit with a another reveal that basically brings it back to the first reveal due to the Deliora reveal turning out to be a lie, though he's actually the reanimated corpse of his dad. Ya... it's complicated.
    • E.N.D. stands for Etherious Natsu Dragneel. Some may feel that it's pretty obvious considering how much the Tartaros arc foreshadowed it, and it was hinted at as far back as the Sirius Island arc. Although many will agree that figuring out what the E stood for to describe E.N.D. was probably the hardest part to figure out.note 
    • Zero: When Mavis reveals that her magic powers involve illusions, pretty much everyone immediately assumes that her best friend Zera is another one of her illusions. This was confirmed in chapter 11, when Yuri admits that neither he nor his companions can see or hear Zera. Granted, Zera's illusion works differently from Mavis' other illusions, and only works so long as Mavis doesn't realize that she's an illusion.
    • Irene Belserion of the Spriggan 12 being Erza's mother. They look so similar to one another that it would of been a much bigger plot-twist if it turned out that they were completely unrelated.
    • The frozen mountain in the Sun Village. It looks suspiciously like a giant flame. It's not until the second half of the arc when they finally realize how obvious it looks, and only then do they learn that it's the Eternal Flame from Flare. Although, WHO the Eternal Flame actually is, was much more surprising.
    • Hardly anyone was surprised that Gray's trump card against Zeref turned out to be his Iced Shell spell. Even fewer were surprised that he was not allowed to go through with it.
  • Cargo Ship: Max x Broom. And Mashima himself seems to enjoy joking about it in manga, since most of Max's panels in the Tartarus arc has him holding said broom. The final color page of the series has Max with a broom, too.
  • Catharsis Factor:
  • Cliché Storm: For better or worse, the series tends to follow a lot of shonen manga cliches, such as heavy use of The Power of Friendship and most major characters having Plot Armor. Whether this makes the series a fun and light-hearted adventure or dull and predictable depends on the reader.
  • Common Knowledge: Natsu is always in Lucy's house because he climbs through the window, right? Actually, one of the post-volume Q&As say that Mira gave him a key to it, though it isn't elaborated on how she got it.
  • Crack Pairing: The Ship Tease for Freed/Mirajane and Evergreen/Elfman has caused some fans to want to round it out by pairing Bickslow with Lisanna. While Evergreen and Elfman have a great deal of Belligerent Sexual Tension and the ending of Freed and Mirajane's fight has some Ship Tease, Lisanna and Bickslow hardly ever interact, save for fighting Rustyrose and keeping an eye on Raven Tail during Laxus's fight with "Alexei".
  • Crazy Is Cool: Quite a few characters:
    • Fukuro is a cross between an owl and a man, sees himself as a superhero, has Power Cpoying powers and, most of all, uses two missiles as a jetpack.
    • Also Gajeel, here's a short list of problems and his solutions:
      • Want to be accepted by friends? Hijack the stage and sing a song in a silly hat.
      • Encountered one of the most badass furries ever? Tell him you are going to make him your cat.
      • A freaking Humongous Mecha? Eat the damn thing!
    • Natsu as well:
      • Faced with a Anti-Magic Sphere of Power? Use your magic outside to propel yourself and punch the guy in face.
      • How to stop a powerful moon beam from entering a pyramid? Break the pillars on one side and tilt it.
      • Dealing with an enemy who can read your mind? STOP THINKING.
      • In a bonus chapter, Natsu uproots an entire tree of flowers and promptly sends it to Lucy because she wanted to see it.
      • Before finding out the guy shared a backstory and friendship with Igneel, he intended to EAT Atlas Flame, a humongous fire dragon, and use that power up to kick Future!Rogue's ass. From what it looked like, one could believe his plan would have worked.
    • Finding that touching Jackal causes an explosion on his body? He eats the EXPLOSION. Or more accurately fire from it, minimizing the damage.
  • Critical Dissonance: The anime and manga of Fairy Tail have both won numerous awards from reviewers and critics in Europe since 2009 - even ranking within the top 10 most popular manga series in Japan from 2010 to 2011 and 2012 onto 2013. Upon ending the manga in 2017, Mashima even won the Harvey Award in New York. In stark contrast, Fairy Tail is highly divise among fans online, with some even calling it the most hated shonen series around. Much of this has to with fans having lots of other contemporary Shonen manga to compare FT with (e.g. One Piece, Naruto, Bleach), and the clichés of Fairy Tail being far more obvious and irksome since many have been seen in previous Shonen works before, thus leaving little in the series that is original or fresh.
  • Cry for the Devil: Zeref. Where to even begin? He Used to Be a Sweet Kid who just wanted his baby brother back, while constantly being chided by his teachers for what they perceived as blasphemy. When he didn't take a hint and got a little too close to figuring out how to resurrect the dead, he ended up being cursed by a Jerkass God and killed everyone around him, leading to his guilt complex. He spends the next few centuries creating demons in a desperate bid to kill himself because of the sheer amount of pain he's feeling and causing the rest of the world, culminating in his magnum opus, E.N.D., a.k.a. his dead little brother Natsu. A while later, he meets Mavis, the first and only person to ever show him genuine kindness, causing him to teach her magic that inadvertently makes her immortal. He eventually falls in love with her, and just when it looks like he's got a chance at Eternal Love and a tiny glimmer of hope at being happy, his curse kills her body causing her to be placed in suspended animation. Now, his only hope at ending his suffering is to die, and it has to be E.N.D. (a.k.a. Natsu, the same brother he dedicated his entire childhood to resurrecting) to be the one to do it. Nobody - nobody - can go through all of that without losing it afterward. He was already in Ensemble Dark Horse territory, but after The Reveal of his and Mavis' backstory, some sections of the fandom are in full-blown Rooting for the Empire mode, and now believe that Acnologia and Ankhseram are the real villains.
  • Designated Love Interest: More than a few people think that Gray is this for Juvia. Gray has barely shown any indications of a serious romantic interest in her, at least at first. This isn't helped by Juvia's obsessive behavior.
  • Designated Villain:
    • The Magic Council are constantly portrayed in a negative light for trying to keep Fairy Tail in line, even though the guild repeatedly breaks the law with reckless abandon, from property damage to defending wanted criminals.
    • Kagura during the Grand Magic Games arc is portrayed as an antagonist for wanting revenge against her older brother's killer, Jellal. While Jellal did so under Ultear's control, Erza's protests appear largely based off of her feelings for Jellal, with no attempt to convey to Kagura that he wasn't in his right mind when it happened.
    • Scarmiglione, the winning guild in the X792, is painted in a negative light with the members' somewhat shady-looking appearance and holding back their full power until the finale to make for a better show. At no point did they do anything illegal, yet Natsu is apparently justified intruding the arena and burning them (and most of the arena) without provocation to display the results of his training from the second Time Skip.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Ultear, pre-Heel–Face Turn. Her known atrocities are slaughtering Merudy's village, brainwashing Jellal into continuing the Tower of Heaven after the slave revolt, leaving him a reviled criminal in the eyes of most characters, and assisting Lyon in trying to revive a demon who slaughtered several characters' families (he at least wanted to prove that he could kill it, she was planning on using it to wreak havoc). Her motivation, while admittedly sympathetic and working under the belief that all her crimes will be erased, is Poor Communication Kills by not revealing herself to Ur before deciding that Ur had forgotten about her. Even now that she's The Atoner, her only punishment was self-inflicted. Despite all this, her character has been received quite positively, especially in comparison to the guy whose crimes were forced by her.
  • Dueling Shows:
    • With One Piece, partly as a result of having similar art styles and somewhat similar premises, with a cast of misfits going on adventures.
    • And briefly Slayers during its short-lived revival.

    E-L 
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Naturally, there's quite some. Notably:
    • The Oracion Seis overall (sans Brain), likely due to the fact they were the first dark guild that posed an actual threat to the heroes as well as being evil but also tragic figures given their past as slaves. They were so popular that they not only got a second arc as the villains, but also became good guys with Jellal and Meredy.
    • They're joined by Azuma, the single most badass member of Grimoire Heart.
    • Millianna, who became a great deal more popular in fanart after the timeskip, what with her new outfit.
    • Silver, an Anti-Villain who's spawned a TON of Wild Mass Guessing, has an amusing personality, and a badass capable of instantly freezing the spirit of a dragon MADE OF FLAMES and later Natsu. Indeed, after The Reveal, his status only grew, despite the fact that not only was he Evil All Along, but Silver wasn't even his original name - it's Deliora. Many are calling it the single greatest plot twist in the last hundred or so chapters... at least before he decided to reveal that the plot-twist was all a lie.
    • Seilah has reached this point, too. She had quite a fair number of fans right out of the gate (mostly because her relationship with Kyouka was perhaps the most well done villainous romantic relationship yet), many fans refused to believe she could have possibly gone down because of one punch to the back of the head in one of the victories in the arc. It reached the point where fans were lobbying Hiro Mashima over Twitter, demanding she come back... and she did, in perhaps the most badass way possible, giving her the send-off many fans believed she deserved and had been previously denied.
    • Brandish is easily the most liked of the Spriggan Twelve. An intriguing backstory connected to Lucy, as well as just being a fun character to watch, had many hoping that she will perform a Heel–Face Turn somewhere down the line, and much to a many's joy, she ultimately did.
    • August of the Spriggan Twelve has also gathered himself a sizable fanbase primarily for curb-stomping Jellal's guild all on his own. His "The Reason You Suck" Speech that followed which deconstructed Crime Sorcière's rigid belief that Dark Is Evil and Light Is Good with zero room for nuance definitely helped. There's also the fact that he is the only member of the Spriggan 12 who didn't suffer Badass Decay, making him one of the most dangerous antagonists in the series. The Reveal about his true identity in Chapter 526, served with an extra helping of Heartwarming Moments and Tear Jerker, only intensified this, now tying him with if not surpassing Brandish as the most popular member of the Spriggan 12.
  • Epileptic Trees: The sheer number of times Makarov has been subjected to the Not Quite Dead trope has led some fans to wonder, completely seriously, if he is immortal like Mavis and Zeref. Even detractors admit that there really is no other logical explanation for it at this point.
    • Another one that has been developing has been the idea that Mashima was being forced to rush the series to its end by his editor or rushed it to just be done with it. Some fans cite the atrocious pacing of the finale arc after Irene cast universe one where many of the issues under Bile Fascination really began to occur.
  • Evil Is Cool: Most of the Arc Villains, with each having a Quirky Mini Boss Squad, and we’re not even talking about the series’ resident Big Bad Ensemble, Zeref and Acnologia.
  • Fandom Rivalry:
    • Once the anime began airing, Fairy Tail has quickly garnered comparisons with One Piece, Naruto and Bleach. If you're a fan of Fairy Tail in particular, you could see it as a good thing that Fairy Tail is considered right up there with the Big 3.
  • Fan Nickname: "Aizawa Belserion" for an unnamed man revealed in a flashback in the Alvarez Empire arc who was Erza's scumbag father due to his uncanny resemblance to Shota Aizawa.
  • Fanon:
    • Given that the S-Class Trial arc didn't have a true resolution, a lot of fans tend to believe that Cana Alberona won the test given that she was the only one that actually reached Mavis' grave. Although considering she knocked out and abandoned Lucy in a crisis situation to get there, it's questionable if she even deserves it.
    • A lot of people tend to believe that Erza's "fake-eye" played a part in the Kyouka fight to overcome the loss of her five senses. It's a perfectly valid excuse, and even though it wasn't explicitly stated (Happy's 'explanation' has even been likened to an In-Universe Shrug of God), fans truly believe it's the only logical explanation for how that fight went. However, a few panels where the artificial eye was exposed showed that it was darkened just like her real eye.
    • Conversely, some take Pantherlily's explanation on unlocking a sixth sense as the true canon rather than Happy's (who's consistently shown to be an Unreliable Narrator).
    • Erza's hakama outfit is often justified as turning her into a Glass Cannon by converting her magic from defense to attack. When we first see her use it against Ikaruga, the latter states that she senses no magic power from it like her armor, and Erza explicitly calls it "just fabric". However it was the sword Benizakura that she used against Azuma while wearing the outfit that maximized her attack power, but required her to not be wearing protective gear. Since then Erza has used the hakama to different effects - both using it with specialised weapons and simply just funneling her magic power into the attack of two more ordinary katanas.
  • Fashion-Victim Villain: Some people felt that Irene's outfit was trying a little too hard to be sexy, particularly with the Underboobs.
  • Faux Symbolism: Jellal, especially in the Nirvana arc. Crucifix? Yep, his coffin's shaped like one. He gets revived from the "dead", and in addition uses Heavenly Body Magic.
  • Foe Romance Subtext:
    • Jellal and Erza in the Tower of Heaven arc, compounded by how possessive of her he is even while planning to sacrifice her to Zeref and Erza's feelings for Jellal as a kid prior to his Face–Heel Turn. Becomes flatout Ship Tease once Jellal comes back without his memories and becomes an ally during the battle with the Oracion Seis.
    • Azuma has some with Mirajane and Erza.
    • Minerva towards Erza, so freaking hard. It approaches Albert Wesker levels in Chapter 386.
    "Now, come and show me what you're made of, my beloved... ERRRZZZAAAAA!!!"
    "I won't forgive you any more. I don't love you any more!"
    • Erza and Kyouka have shades of this. Particularly the amount of time Kyouka wishes to..."torture" her.
    • DiMaria of the Spriggan Twelve runs on this trope. She really likes cutting off women's clothes with her sword, while admiring their bodies. Whether she really is a Psycho Lesbian or if it's a tactic to psyche them out is up to interpretation, though it's probably both.
  • Franchise Original Sin: While Fairy Tail has always been divisive, and a source of mockery because of the friendship speeches, somewhat nonsensical victories (which sometimes got a pass because of Rule of Cool), and Fanservice, these elements were not as prominent early on, especially the latter. These examples were most of the time used for funny gags, but after the Timeskip, these elements got prominently turned up to eleven with tons of cleavage/butt shots, and moments where the characters were naked for no logical reason except for the fandom (which usually reacted negatively). In addition, the Ass Pulls became more and more exaggerated, causing the Willing Suspension of Disbelief of the fandom to be very low (Read the Ass Pull examples above. You'll notice that some of these could have gotten a free pass in a less divisive series).
  • Friendly Fandoms: Fans of Fairy Tail became attracted to Black Clover after Fairy Tail had ended, with the series rising in popularity around the time. Both take place in a world of magic and have a colorful cast, with the core characters comprised of a group of quirky mages.
  • Genius Bonus:
    • "Ankhseram" is actually a combination of two words. An Ankh is an ancient Egyptian symbol that, even today, represents life, or the creation of life. 'Seram' is the Malay/Indonesian word for 'horror.' It's the true name of Zeref's Death Magic, only it's not magic, but a Curse.
    • How the Eclipse Gate works. Time flows differently in the Celestial Spirit world, sure. But why? Keep in mind, the Celestial Spirit World, as its name implies, is a dimension made up of multiple celestial bodies, and where gravity has been shown to be warped. The Eclipse Gate requires magic developed by Zeref and Celestial Spirit Magic (specifically, all twelve Zodiac Keys) to function, and presumably uses the Celestial Spirit World as the means for which Time Travel is possible. Meaning, the Eclipse Gate is less a time machine, and more like a wormhole through space. In Real Life, this concept is known as Time Dilation, and is a part of the theory of Relativity.
  • Growing the Beard:
    • There are several occurrences early on that could be established as when things decided to get serious for this series. It could be Galuna Island which moved away from Fairy Tail doing basic jobs for money. It could have been the Phantom Lord arc which was the first all-out war between guilds, or it may have been the Tower of Heaven arc which increased the size-and-scope of the series by now having the entire world at risk.
      • The Tower of Heaven arc also had a long-running storyline, massive emotional developments and very dark character arcs, characters dying and death being a real plausible threat, as well as a villain who completely out-classed the heroes.
    • The Tartarus arc, despite some rather controversial events, received much more positive reception than much of the content since the seven-year Time Skip, mainly for giving next tier power ups and Character Development to some of the more neglected FT members and addressing several of the series' mysteries.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Very early in the series, Lucy brings up the Fridge Logic to Natsu about how Igneel, a dragon, would teach him magic that is designed specifically to kill such creatures. Fast forward to the Grand Magic Games, where they learn that this is what the dragons had in mind to teach humans to battle their more carnivorous brethren, which unfortunately backfired and caused the humans to turn it back it on the more humane dragons as well.
    • Cobra pissed off Natsu by insisting that dragons were extinct. Aside from the previously human Acnologia, they are.
    • Fairy Tail Zero shows us how Mavis and Zeref really first met. Mavis showed Zeref what was probably the first bit of genuine kindness he'd experienced in centuries, if not ever, prompting him to agree to teach Fairy Tail's future founders the magic necessary to defeat Blue Skull. Fast forward a century, and Zeref kills one of those members and then declares his intent to wipe out humanity to Mavis' face. No wonder it looked like her heart was breaking as she heard him go on his Humans Are Bastards tirade; she was watching someone she genuinely liked, felt sorry for, and tried to help finally snap before her very eyes.
      • Chapter 450 somehow manages to make this even worse. Mavis died because of a Kiss of Death with Zeref. He then spent a long amount of time with her ghost on Sirius Island, unable to see her, hear her, or touch her, and doing little more than being able to feel her presence. All of that time, he spent stewing, wishing for death, before the ticking time bomb finally exploded in the aforementioned Humans Are Bastards scene. That must have absolutely broken her heart.
    • Also from Zero, every heartwarming interaction between Mavis and Precht instantly becomes this due to Precht turning to the dark side. Not to mention Precht's harshness towards Fairy Tail becomes much worse and pettier after that: he appointed Makarov as his successor and used to be friends with him.
    • The Eclipse Project, led by Princess Hisui, to use the Eclipse Gate to go back in time to kill Zeref before he became immortal. Chapter 436 showed us that Zeref never intentionally became immortal; it's actually a part of his curse, for angering Ankhseram by studying taboo magic. Yes, Zeref ended up doing some pretty horrible things and eventually did Take A Level In Jerkass, but at the time period in which Hisui wanted to kill him, Zeref was completely innocent, save from being a controversial figure at the Academy and a blasphemer. And the worst part is, he only became cursed because the guy just wanted his brother back. The plan was already considered extreme due it being a Butterfly of Doom scenario just waiting to happen, but if it had been allowed to succeed, Hisui would have murdered an innocent man in cold blood, and Natsu as we know him would have never existed.
    • The manga chapter where Igneel dies was published the same day Bob Magruder died. Fortunately, the English voice work for the first anime was already done, and so Magruder was able to complete his lines before then.
    • Zoldeo's appearance as a Seven Kin of Purgatory, after we learn why he became evil, snapping when Layla was sick and dying by murdering Grammi, Brandish's mother. What ultimately happened, to have him turn him into that, is horrifying.
    • After what happened to Scott Freeman, Bickslow being excited to team up with Wendy in Episode 141, becomes this.
    • The scene where General Rung brutally abuses Irene after her transformation into a dragon is harder to swallow after his English VA Chris Niosi publicly admitted to a history of abuse towards his girlfriends and fellow colleagues in July 2019.
    • Shortly before he excommunicates Laxus from the guild, Makarov lectures his grandson on not understanding what Fairy Tail is all about- among other things, it's a family for those who don't have one. Eventually, you learn that Makarov lost both his parents- his mother died shortly after giving him as a result of Mavis' curse, and his father died when Makarov was no more than five years old.
    • In the Battle of Fairy Tail arc, Juvia Lockser destroys a lacrima, which results in her getting shocked with electricity and passing out, so that she and Cana Alberona will not have to fight. By the time of Chapter 499, she sacrifices herself again and nearly dies. It's also Heartwarming in Hindsight to a certain degree, since it shows that Juvia would rather die than hurt someone she cares about, not just Gray Fullbuster.
    • Daphne's motivation becomes this with the revelation that all the dragons in the world are dead... except for Acnologia.
    • In the "Key of the Starry Skies' arc, Erza has a reaction to some bandits ruining her picnic that seems over the top at first...Until you remember that she grew up as an orphan slave who was going to be used as a sacrifice to resurrect Zeref. Add to that the fact that she specifically says, while beating up said bandits, that this is 'the very first picnic of her life', and it becomes far less amusing than it's probably supposed to be.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight:
    • The unique "Number One!" handsign all the Fairy Tail members perform in the second episode? Turns out that Laxus came up with it as a little boy so he could send a message to his grandpa during his first Fantasia Parade.
    Makarov: You'll hold up your hand?
    Young!Laxus: It's a message! When you see me holding up my hand like this, it means even if I can't see you, I'm looking your way!
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • During the Galuna Island Arc, Erza Scarlet hijacks a pirate ship and manages to win all the crew over by beating them up. Flash fowards to Mashima's next manga EDENS ZERO which features Erza's lookalike Elsie Crimson as a Pirate Queen who is similarly adored by her crew.
    • The 10th opening of the anime showing Zeref and Mavis side-by-side counts, as the manga hadn't even gotten to the point where it confirmed Zeref and Mavis has a deep connection at the time.
    • Jad Saxton voicing Carla became amusing once you realize that she also voiced Koneko, who resembles a cat like Carla, in High School D×D. The fifth Blu-ray/DVD release of Fairy Tail was released one month before the Blu-ray/DVD release of High School DxD. What's more, Saxton has a cat named Granger.
    • This wouldn't be the last time Patrick Seitz would voice a blonde psychopath who has an abusive father and wants to kill his adoptive family so he can take over their business.
    • Ultear's plan to use Zeref to return to a time where she can kill her mother, essentially re-writing history via time travel becomes a bit funny when you realize that this is literally Zeref's entire plan in the final arc in regards to his own family and Acnologia.
    • Mallorie Rodak voicing Yukino, who underwent a Shameful Strip and was banished from Saber Tooth after one failure too many in the Grand Magic Games, suddenly becomes funny when she later voiced Rossweisse in High School D×D. In Hero, Rossweisse also gets subjected to a shameful strip thanks to Issei's Dress Break, just like Yukino.
  • I Knew It!:
    • Many were already shipping Zeref and Mavis long before it was revealed that the two had a past relationship.
    • Angel of Oracion Seis being Yukino's long-lost sister, Sorano.
    • Silver being Gray's father.
    • E.N.D. = Etheriousnote  Natsu Dragneel.
    • Irene being Erza's mother. Some people tried to go 2 for 2 by claiming Acnologia was her father due to Irene's heavy involvement with dragons and being the first Dragon Slayer and as an explanation for Erza's amazing skill, but it turned out her father was just some random scumbag from an arranged political marriage that got his just desserts.
    • Quite a few anime fans predicted that Juvia's replacement voice actress, Dina W. Balencia, was actually a pseudonym for Dawn M. Bennett. They were right.
  • Inferred Holocaust:
    • Chapter 490. Irene Belserion casts a cataclysmically powerful Terraforming spell called 'Universe One' on the entire country of Fiore, which resulted in the entire country being shrunk to one-twentieth its geographic size, and people in the country randomly teleported all over the place. Think about that for a minute. How many citizens of Fiore are now in the middle of the ocean? How many of their homes are now destroyed, underwater, underground, or in several locations at once? Even in the best case scenario and there weren't many casualties, shrinking the entire country will wreak havoc on the nation's ecology, meaning land for agriculture and natural resources will almost certainly no longer be able to support Fiore's population, leading to overpopulation and famine. With a single spell, Irene has quite possibly done more damage to Fiore than all previous dark guilds in the series could even dream of doing, causing a near-apocalyptic event... at least until the country returns to normal with Irene's suicide.
  • It Was His Sled: Considering the length of the Fairy Tail series, there have been many revelations over the years that could be considered a given for newcomers.
    • Fairy Tail member, Loke, is Leo of the Celestial Spirits.
    • Gajeel and Juvia perform a Heel–Face Turn, and join Fairy Tail after the Phantom Lord arc.
    • Jellal lives past the events of the Tower of Heaven arc.
    • Wendy and Carla join Fairy Tail after the Oracion Seis arc.
    • Pantherlily performs a Heel–Face Turn, and joins Fairy Tail after the Edolas arc.
    • Lisanna was never truly dead.
    • Laxus returns to the Fairy Tail guild post Sirius Island. Doesn't help that the tenth opening outright spoiled his return.
    • A 7-year Time Skip occurs after Sirius Island.

    J-P 
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Sting ever since Chapter 300 due to Ziemma possibly killing Lector and Minerva manipulating his feelings under the promise he will get him back if they win. The guy just wants his cat back.
    • Minerva herself when all her heartless attempts to prove herself strong are revealed to stem from her father's abuse.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Given Fairy Tail's large cast, taking a single character, and pairing them off with someone from the list, is quite common amongst the fanbase.
  • Like You Would Really Do It:
    • What was that? You thought Arcadios was not of this world any more because he submerged, head-to-toe, into a POOL OF HOT LAVA? Don't worry. Turns out Lucy's silver key spirit, Horologium, was able to protect him!
    • The ending of Chapter 334. Nobody believed Mashima would actually randomly kill off Gray. Chapter 335 proved the fandom was right.
    • Chapter 362. Happy pulls a Pell-like Heroic Sacrifice by flying an exploding Jackal into the sky, and ends up with only an afro for his troubles.
    • Chapter 368 and 369. Did you honestly believe that Mashima would kill off Jellal to a guild that's been in lock-up?
    • Chapter 378. Wendy and Carla dying due to Face being destroyed? What, you think Hiro Mashima is the type to Kill the Cutie? Though Carla could have at least gotten an afro for her trouble.
    • A very rare villainous example, especially for a Shōnen series, comes in the Tartaros arc in the form of Mard Geer. While he does have his fans, the real reason few believed he was truly down and out when his curse was turned against him was because this would have not only meant he would never get a real fight against the protagonists (beyond that truly epic fight against the Celestial Spirit King), but it would have also meant that E.N.D. would never make his appearance, since his Book of Zeref would have been petrified as well. Never having that resolved, especially given E.N.D.'s apparent backstory with Igneel, would have been completely unacceptable to fans, and absolutely nobody thought Mashima was going to pull a What Happened to the Mouse? of that magnitude.
    • Zeref. The near-unanimous reaction from the fandom to Zeref's "death" in Chapter 464 was that there was no way Mashima would kill off the Big Bad before the rest of the Spriggan Twelve were revealed, before Natsu became aware of his true relation to Zeref, before Acnologia's appearance, or especially after right after revealing he has ties to Layla and another unknown character named 'Anna.' The fact that there was No Body Left Behind only further cemented this reaction. The very next chapter proved they were right.
    • Who actually thought Gajeel died after his fight with Bloodman?
    • In the span of a couple pages for Chapter 493, Mashima gives us Mira being shot through the heart by August, only for it to be revealed that Brandish shrunk the injury without anyone noticing.
    • Chapter 499. For the fourth time in the same arc, another character, Juvia, seemingly died by means of Heroic Suicide. Few people believed it would stick and sure enough, she recovered thanks to Wendy's help. The anime goes even further, by having a flashback montage of "important" moments from their relationship (like the time Gray accidentally touched Juvia's bum, or when Juvia gave Gray a love pillow of herself) set to weepy piano music. It's so unconvincing it might have been a stealth parody of Mashima's love of fake-out death gimmicks.
    • Chapter 505. Some people were suggesting this about Makarov after he activated Fairy Law in a situation that resulted in him dying in return for disposing of many of the Mooks from Zeref's army. Given several other already mentioned characters who've survived life-threatening situations, it was only a matter of time before Mashima pulled the Not Quite Dead trope again...then Chapter 537 happened although in that case he really was dead, but then literally brought Back from the Dead.
    • Chapter 522. Considering the number of times Gray has threatened to use it before and been interrupted, the likelihood that he would actually get to use Iced Shell on Zeref was slim.
    • Chapter 536. In another villainous example, this chapter makes it seem as though both Zeref and Acnologia are defeated simultaneously. The main problem with this is that the chapter's title page states that there are still ten chapters left, and despite vowing to kill him, Natsu has yet to even interact with Acnologia, who was merely sealed away. Sure enough, Acnologia breaks out stronger than ever and absorbs the Dragon Slayers into his new realm, giving Natsu a proper showdown, while everyone else fought on the outside.
  • Magnificent Bastard:
    • Zeref Dragneel, the Dark Mage, is known as the most evil wizard of all time. In truth, a tormented genius cursed with everlasting life after he tries to resurrect his beloved younger brother Natsu, Zeref plotted to send the Dragon Slayers into the future to one day combat the evil dragon Acnologia. Upon surrendering to darkness, Zeref clandestinely founded the Alvarez Empire as Emperor Spriggan and used them to wage war on Fairy Tail, seizing the ultimate magic Fairy Heart for himself, intending on using it to wipe out the current timeline and go back to correct all his mistakes in the hopes of forging a better world.
    • Ultear Milkovich is a manipulative, backstabbing sorceress who uses other wizards to further her Master Hades' plans to bring back Zeref, most notably causing the events in the Tower of Heaven that result with the Etherion cannon being fired at the Tower, destroying it. Even after her Heel–Face Turn, Ultear continues to show her ruthless nature, even trying to kill the heroic Rogue to prevent him from becoming a villain in the future and her honor by giving her youth to cast a spell to turn back time and save the heroes from death. Later returning as a magical projection, Ultear helps save Fiore from the Alvarez Empire's sorceress Dimaria.
  • Memetic Badass:
  • Memetic Loser:
    • Sting of Sabertooth is well-known for the amount of failure he accomplishes through the Grand Magic Games arc. From finishing last in chariot race, to losing to Natsu in a one-on-two fight where Natsu didn't even use 100% of his strength, to having his pet Exceed, Lector, taken away from him, and then, to top his losing streak off, he completely surrenders before even attempting to fight a single Fairy Tail member in the final match despite how badass he thought he became after learning the values of friendship. It's amazing the guy didn't fall apart afterwards. It only gets worse in the Tartarus arc, where he and Rogue fight Mard Geer, who has spent the entire fight Just Toying with Them and mocking them as the Puny Humans hes sees them as, all while No Selling every single thing they throw at him. Sting then demanded Mard fight them seriously. With his track record, Be Careful What You Wish For doesn't even begin to cover it. It reached such a point that even when he won a long and trying fight (albeit with help) against Larcade, one of the strongest Spriggan, some readers still felt he didn't deserve such a feat because of this status.
    • For all the criticism this series gets for abusing the Not Quite Dead trope, Simon ended up as this for being one few noteworthy characters on the good side who actually stayed dead.
  • Memetic Molester:
    • Flare comes across as a creepy Psycho Lesbian during her fight with Lucy. In fact, Lucy tends to fight a lot characters who give off rapist vibes.
    • Juvia due to her Stalker with a Crush attitude towards Gray.
    • Doranbolt, thanks to his stint with Wendy; particularly him standing behind her, with a creepy smile. Mashima clearly caught on, as when Erza is reverted into a child, she imagines Doranbolt taking interest in her just as Jellal dumps her.
    • Zeref gets this as well. According to at least one circle of fans, he's "done" everything. Some even go so far as to say he's the progenitor of all living things because of this, dubbing the phenomenon "The Big Bang Theory." This despite never showing even a casual interest in anybody but Mavis and seeming to be all but immune to the copious amounts of fanservice in this series, including from his own minions.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • The "Wow!" sound effect used during fanservice scenes (which actually originates from Parodius Da!) in the anime became a popular sound effect for various YouTube videos, either for other fanservice scenes or moments that are decidedly not sexy.
    • Jellal is probably best known for being the icon (albeit edited with a crudely-drawn moustache) of Just some guy with a Mustache, who is very well known on YouTube for posting comments on multiple videos. He was also the old icon of his friend, Just some guy without a Mustache.
  • Mis-blamed: Jellal regarding a lot wrongdoings that have occurred throughout the manga. Fans tend to forget that not only was Jellal brainwashed, mindraped, and controlled by Ultear for the duration of all his evil deeds, but he spends six years hunting evil and still feels his life was worthless due to what he'd done, it's surprising that he hasn't gotten more of a break from the fans (although his Creator's Pet status via Mashima could be a very prominent reason). Surprisingly, Ultear has never gotten a Never Live It Down reputation, despite not only freely chosing to Mind Rape Jellal for years but torturing and massacring huge numbers of people (Ultear's very prominent Freudian Excuse is one reason why she gets so much compassion). There seems to have been an attempt to rid Jellal of his Never Live It Down reputation after Mavis herself said he isn't evil - and she puts the 'God' in Word of God - however with not a huge amount of success.
  • Moe:
    • Mavis. Her cuteness even gets to people in universe. When she started crying during the Grand Magic Games, Marco cries, "Everyone, sooth First Master with all your might!"
    • Wendy also falls into this category. Cana remarks that her cute earnestness when saying how she wants to be useful to her new guild makes Cana want to root for her.
    • Frosch is a small cat (Exceed) in a frog onesie, and he is subject of many I'm Taking Him Home with Me!.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Ziemma crosses it twice. The first is when he orders Yukino to strip in front of all of the Sabertooth members and erase her guild mark, and the second one, when he erases Lector for no reason other than he bore the Sabertooth mark on his body. Considering that the rest of the guild was shown smirking or smiling even during his previous antics, their expressions at this wanton cruelty might signal that Ziemma may have crossed the line even in the eyes of many of his subordinates.
    • Future Rogue tops them all by trying to kill Lucy, killing Future Lucy in the process. This act instantly turns Natsu and company against him. He later tops himself when he reveals to Natsu that he killed Sting to absorb his powers.
    • Treasure hunter Hiroshi seems to have crossed it in Chapter 346, stating that a load of giants can die simply because they're not a valuable treasure.
    • Tartarus wasted absolutely no time in making a beeline straight for this. No less than three chapters into their arc, they mercilessly killed off possibly every single member of one of their vassal guilds except for Minerva, bombed the Magic Council's headquarters killing all but one of them, and then gassed an entire village/town and killed hundreds of innocent civilians and counting, and almost killed the Raijin Tribe in the process. Talk about Cerebus Syndrome!
    • Mard Geer ran head-first into the Moral Event Horizon, and kept on cruising afterward. The very next appearance after his debut, he tortured one of his subordinates and then callously sacrificed his own mooks just to make sure Fairy Tail fell victim to his trap with Alegria. Even Kyouka was horrified by this, and to put that into perspective, she did pretty much the same thing to Succubus Eye!
    • Speaking of the member who destroyed the Magic Council, he manages to cross it and then do even worse when he tries to blow up Natsu, just to prove a point. And then tries to force Lucy into a Sadistic Choice in either having the the Magic Council member or a pregnant woman be killed. Thankfully, Natsu stops him.
    • Arlock of Avatar crosses it the moment we finally get to see him in action. Operation Purification, a plan in which he was going to massacre a village full of innocent people to summon Zeref, was probably enough to qualify him for crossing this as it was, but oh no, that's not enough for this guy. Remember all of that debate from the fans about whether or not Avatar being fodder made them look weak, and the chapters fighting them a waste of time? Yeah, he wanted that to happen. He never had any intention of even his own followers surviving this, which he proves the moment he summons one of the Eighteen War Gods of the Yakuma, laughing like a maniac while it begins slaughtering his own men, while saying that sacrificing the true believers who worship Zeref will surely draw Zeref's attention and summon him to them. The sheer despair on Mary's face when she realizes Arlock is going to leave her to her fate speaks volumes. No wonder Zeref wants nothing to do with the people who worship him.
    • Ankhseram hasn't even been seen on-screen yet and the fandom already believes he's crossed this. Cursing Zeref because he just wanted to his little brother back from the dead was bad enough, considering his Start of Darkness was entirely Ankhseram's fault. But as if that wasn't already Moral Event Horizon material, he then cursed Mavis, and all she wanted to do was save her friends from a sort of Demonic Possession caused by the Sirius Jade, which would have caused mass casualties if she hadn't decided the risks of using an incomplete Law were worth it. The former could maybe be justified, if you buy the excuse of an In Mysterious Ways sense of a deity's Blue-and-Orange Morality. The latter was just a straight-up dick move against a character who absolutely did not deserve it. And just to cement how much of a douche he is Zeref's curse kills Mavis despite her own curse because they fell in love with each other, just to drive him even further into despair. He'd seriously be in pure evil territory had he actually appeared on screen.
    • Invel Yura crosses this when he uses his Ice Lock magic on both Grey and Juvia in order to force them to fight each other, fully expecting Grey to win and kill Juvia so that the "darkness" inside his heart can awaken and he can become a warrior who can defeat E.N.D.(i.e. Natsu, which means that if Invel's plan had succeeded, Gray would have killed two of his friends) This leads to Juvia's apparent death by Heroic Suicide, and Invel's manipulation leads Gray to want to kill Natsu.
  • Narm:
    • Chapter 246: Hades' almost cartoony facial expressions as Natsu starts beating him up in Lighting-Flame Dragon Mode.
    • Chapter 358-362: People were finding it difficult to take Tartarus seriously when Tempester and Jackal got their asses kicked in direct combat and had to resort to underhanded methods.
    • Chapter 365: Kyouka's Cold-Blooded Torture of Erza failed to qualify as Nightmare Fuel for many who instead saw it as thinly veiled Fanservice. Kyouka’s Agony Beam gives an excuse for the torture to not look as gruesome as it feels for Erza, whose sweaty naked body seems to be the focus over the tiny cuts.
    • Chapter 389: Sting and Rogue attempting to appear threatening as they fight Mard Geer, given their lackluster performance at the Grand Magic Games and Mard Geer's minimal effort to fend them off.
    • Chapter 394: Juvia tearfully giving a speech about love? Heartwarming. Juvia blowing up Keyes from inside? Moment of Awesome? Doing both at the same time? Narm.
    • Chapter 408: Demon! Ziemma's pointy hair and ears don't really fit with the rest of his extremely muscular body.
    • Lisanna and Mirajane talking in serious, concerned voices about how Seilah is putting Mirajane on the defensive by pelting her with books. And not in a creative way either – just throwing a small number of books straight at her over and over again while Mirajane stands there motionless guarding. It's funny both the first and second time you watch it – worse with the anime because of the dramatic music in the background.
    • FACE in general becomes a lot less scary when characters are blurting out phrases such as "Stop the face" or "We come face to FACE"
    • Chapter 505: During the otherwise dramatic fight between Natsu and Gray, after one combatant says that no one will stop him, the other yells "I'm gonna stop you!! I'm gonna stop you from breathing!!"
    • Chapter 531: Motion sickness, a Weaksauce Weakness among Dragon Slayers usually Played for Laughs, is seriously used to incapacitate Acnologia and later becomes crucial to his defeat.
  • Never Live It Down:
    • While fans all around go crazy regarding the Gajeel/Levy shipping, many do not let it pass over their heads that Gajeel beat-the-living-crap out of Levy in their initial meeting; labeling Gajeel as a wife-beater. The Would Hit a Girl defense has been tried in that Gajeel beat up all three people in Shadow Gear fairly equally, but without much success. Chapter 485 seems to imply that Mashima has caught on to this criticism with the Gajeel/Levy shipping, and reveals that Gajeel considers it to be his greatest sin.
    • Doranbolt makes one extremely creepy face while he was partnered up with Wendy, and he ends up forever labelled as a child molester; no matter what he does to improve his image. Mashima even goes along with it in a later chapter to the point that he agreed with the fans that Doranbolt should be a paedophile.
    • Doesn't matter what Sting does from here on out. No one will ever forgive him for his complete failure to live up to the hype throughout the Grand Magic Games.
    • Despite going through a Heel–Face Turn and making amends with Erza, Lucy and Kagura, some fans will likely never forgive Minerva for all the shit she pulled during the Grand Magic Games - namely, stabbing Kagura in the gut in a sneak attack and viciously torturing Milliana to near-death and mocking Erza about it.
    • Max is only ever remembered for the broom incident which has since become a Running Gag Cargo Ship.
  • Not Badass Enough for Fans:
    • Being one of the main characters, Lucy often gets this for her personal fighting abilities not being that impressive compared to the rest of Team Natsu, and this is a common argument against her when pitting her against Erza for the better character. Post-Tartaros arc, aside from being the one who ultimately defeated Jackal, saving the rest of Fairy Tail by summoning the Celestial Spirit King, and even gaining a desperately-needed Next Tier Power-Up, Lucy finally demonstrates the ability to fight all on her own with her Magical Girl-esque Star Dress power. You'd think this would alleviate these concerns, right? Wrong. Instead, the chief complaint about Lucy now revolves around the fact that Lucy has been repeatedly denied the chance to properly show off her new fighting prowess (except against Mary, but Avatar as a whole has its own host of issues that have been beaten to death above), mostly due to Natsu now being so absurdly powerful, to the point where fans have asked what was the point of Lucy gaining a Next Tier Power-Up was in the first place if she barely even gets to show us what she can do. One particular point that caused some annoyance with Lucy fans was when Natsu (who'd been unconscious for the last several chapters) shows up to help her fight Jacob.
    • Lisanna gets this, albeit to a lesser extent, since she's a secondary character. Surprisingly enough, it's less due to the fact that she's the weakest of the Strauss siblings and more due to people comparing her to Lucy and pointing out how poorly she stacks up in comparison.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Any of the Celestial Spirits, including the Spirit King, could be considered this in general as they can only appear when a Celestial wizard summons them. However, the Silver Keys (outside of Plue) are extremely rare to see.
  • Padding: Post-timeskip, and especially in the Sun Village arc, every episode will repeat the last five to seven minutes of the previous episode just to fill time.

    R-W 
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • Jellal was a fairly controversial character pre-Time Skip, due to perceived overexposure (especially with a lookalike) and controversy over whether or not amnesia pardons his past actions. Post Time Skip, between his self-punishment over what turned out to be brainwashing and pretty much canonizing Jerza, he's now a fairly popular character.
    • While Sting's good side was showing a few chapters prior, Chapter 300 might have had him join Rogue in being the only well-liked members of Sabertooth after blasting a hole through Ziemma after obliterating Lector for showing he had a guild mark. The fans were pleased to see Ziemma get it coming. Rogue and Yukino have been getting a lot of love, too, after the Grand Magic Games arc, especially following the Sabertooth side-story.
    • Also, Flare was a disliked member of the already disliked Raven Tail guild... until said guild disbanded and she came to Lucy and the rest of Fairy Tail in an apologetic state. When her backstory and Freudian Excuse for her prior behavior came out, the hate for her pretty much vanished in-story and out of it.
    • Though she remains a Base-Breaking Character by and large, Minerva, of all people, has surprisingly ascended to this trope to a fair degree. Before she was one of the most reviled characters of the story, but after it was revealed she is the way she is due to her Abusive Dad (who, among other acts, beat her for crying and left her naked in a forest one night) and that she actually regrets what she had become, the fanbase eased up on her a little bit. Obviously she still has a lot of things to make up for, but as far as most readers are concerned, this is still tremendous progress in her development.
    • The expansion in the anime did this for the Hungry Wolf Knights, giving them Pet the Dog and Defeat Means Friendship moments with the guild, as well as making them a bit less Ax-Crazy.
  • Rooting for the Empire:
    • The reason for this is because Zeref and Mavis' backstory proved to be so goddamned tragic that some fans actually want to see Alvarez win, just so that Zeref and Mavis can be reunited and given the happy ending they believe they so desperately deserve.
    • There are other fans who believe Alvarez is entirely justified in wanting to acquire Fairy Heart. To elaborate, for at least the last four hundred years, everyone in universe, from light guilds to dark guilds, from Zeref to Igneel, from Lucy's ancestors to the Fiore Royal Family, can agree on one thing: Acnologia is a menace and needs to be put down. Igneel, the other dragons, Zeref, and Anna Heartfilia even conspired for centuries to do exactly this, but Igneel's plan failed when the Dragons' hands were forced in the Tartaros arc, both to hold off Acnologia and to destroy Face before it could erase all magic in Ishgal. With that plan no longer viable, the last, best hope to stop Acnologia seems to be Fairy Heart, and Zeref might just be the last being left on Earth Land who has a single prayer of fighting him on equal grounds. Despite this, Fairy Tail outright refuses to even consider using it, despite knowing that neither Zeref nor the Dragon Slayers don't stand a chance without it, and there's at least one Bad Future in which Acnologia has succeeded in taking over the world. True, Zeref threatened to destroy humanity, but even that must be taken with a grain of salt given the nature of his Curse, and if there is any hope of Zeref having a Heel–Face Turn, it's Mavis. While the story attempts to paint this as Fairy Tail just protecting their First Master and refusing to use Fairy Heart on principle despite the fact that Mavis is now alive and well, it comes across to fans sympathetic to Alvarez as selfish Protagonist-Centered Morality that could very well doom the entire planet, and that Alvarez are the adults in the room for seeing this.
    • Once Zeref revealed the truth about his plan, a Ret-Gone by going back to the past and prevent himself of becoming immortal the Rooting for the Empire expanded. Let's just count how many tragedies occured, both directly and indirectly, because of Zeref that were the cause behind many Dark and Troubled Past (like Gray, Erza, Jellal, etc), the Start of Darkness of others (like the entirety of Oracion Seis and Hades) and the birth of evil organizations (like Tartaros and Avatar) and the creation of objects used for evil intents (like R-System and Eclipse) and we see that a world where Zeref died is clearly a better one. Some could actually say that Fairy Tail are being idiotic by fighting to maintain the status quo of the current world rather than considering that a world cleansed of Zeref and all the suffering he brought would be better for everyone. Though given the amount of consequences that altering four hundred years of history would cause (among other things, Mavis and the dragon slayers dying much earlier, dragons rampaging throughout the world, and a Temporal Paradox brought about by the fact that Zeref couldn't reset history if he didn't become immortal, create the Eclipse Gate, and make Mavis immortal), there's enough reasons for them to be stopped.
  • Salvaged Story: The anime sheds more light on Acnologia's backstory, after Mashima lamented that he was underdeveloped.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Samuel, from the Key of the Starry Sky filler arc, for being an Insufferable Genius and smugly looking down on Fairy Tail. For all his supposed intelligence, he never seemed to grasp that antagonizing Fairy Tail was a really bad move. He becomes slightly tolerable after Pantherlily kicks his ass although immediately leaping to the conclusion that Lucy had to die to stop the Infinity Clock didn't help his perception.
    • Avatar for being taken out so hilariously quickly so as to be seen as a waste of time. The fact Mashima attempts to justify this in-universe later on by revealing that Arlock intentionally led the rest of Avatar to their deaths did not help with this perception.
  • Seasonal Rot: Many fans consider the Avatar arc as the worst one due to how pointless the arc came off as absolutely pointless when it was all said and done. Other problems included the overexposure of Natsu, and wasted world-building potential.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat: Was always a minor thing until Lisanna came back into the picture, giving the Natsu/Lisanna fans a fighting chance against the Natsu/Lucy shippers. Ron the Death Eater accusations against Lisanna began already, while Lucy is being bashed for "being in the way."
    • Loke/Lucy is typically still treated as a minor and easily-squashed contender though.
    • The aftermath of Fairy Tail Zero Chapter 7 ignited a bit of this, between the already well-established shippers for Mavis and Zeref (mentioned below in Shipping Goggles), and the much-newer shippers of Mavis and Zeira. The former had been around for over a year (before Mavis/Zeref became canon, mind you), but now that we've actually seen how the two met, they were galvanized all over again, just two months after some rather major Ship Tease between the latter. Others decided to Take a Third Option.
  • Shocking Moments:
    • The Tartarus arc. In spades. Fairy Tail getting its ass handed to it for quite a few fights, even when compared to previous arcs? Check. Darker and Edgier? Check. Awesome plot twists, including Luke, I Am Your Father? Very, very well overdue Next Tier Power-Up for characters who all desperately needed to Take a Level in Badass for the last several arcs? Check. Appearance by Zeref? Check. Appearance by Acnologia? Check. And finally, the long-awaited appearance of freaking Igneel, followed by the other Dragon Slayer's parents? Oh yeah, check. Growing the Beard indeed.
    • The now-infamous 'countdown' chapters in the Alvarez Arc, starting with Chapter 483. To explain, these chapters' titles all have numbers in the titles counting downward from seven, eventually reaching zero in 490. What happened in these chapters? Erza is revealed to have some kind of relative in the form of Spriggan 12 member Irene, Sabertooth and Blue Pegasus were paraded around like war trophies in a very gratuitous Crucified Hero Shot, a huge Gut Punch in the form of Gajeel's apparent death, Mavis breaking out of the crystal, and Irene proving to be a Reality Warper who fought Acnologia on even grounds!
  • So Bad, It's Good: The reaction that some fans had to the infamous Chapter 519, where Erza, who at this point has had multiple bones in her body - except for the bones in her right arm - completely broken, gains the strength to fly into space to slice a meteor into billions of pieces, and knock her mother out of her Dragon form (albeit with quite a bit of help from Wendy). One has to see it to believe it. Mitigated by the official translations.
  • Squick:
    • In the Galuna Island arc Sherry took control of Taurus and probably would have forced him to rape Lucy if Lucy hadn't learned how to force a Gate closure, unsummoning him. The anime has been extremely careful in sidestepping the incredible volume of rape subtext in the manga, extending that particular scene to have Taurus attempting to punch her repeatedly.
    • The leader of the Jiggle Butt Gang shoving his ass in Erza's face. Pass the Brain Bleach please.
    • The Jiggle Jugs Gang.
    • As if the Cold-Blooded Torture involving Erza in the Tartaros arc wasn't bad enough on its own, Kyouka had left a chained up, naked, sweaty Erza with, of all things, a tentacle monster. Thankfully, Kyouka told it not to touch her.
      • She changes her mind and starts using the tentacle demon, but we fortunately don't get a Naughty Tentacles scene of the tentacles wrapping around Erza's naked body... because it merely grabs her arms and legs to start electrocuting her
    • Oddly enough, despite the couple being a fan favorite, Chapter 450 caused this reaction for the Zeref and Mavis pairing. Some people ended up getting turned off at the thought of what looked like Zeref kissing a little girl.
      • And now with The Reveal that they had a son and said son 's reveal was accompanied by a shot of a naked, sweaty and obviously in pain Mavis turned the Squick up to eleven.
      • Chapter 526 all but states outright that Mavis didn't tell the whole story; it wasn't a Kiss of Death, she went Out with a Bang. The fandom predictably exploded.
      • 532 confirmed it outright that they did the deed. Complete with a Sexy Discretion Shot... in full color.
    • One thankfully anime-only filler scene has a Vulcan for some odd and unexplained reason falling in love with Lisanna. It quickly decides to marry her and have mutant children with her. Keep in mind that not only are Vulcans basically animals, she was only eleven years old at most at the time, and could literally fit into the palm of the Vulcan's hand. God, why.
  • Strawman Has a Point: In Chapter 228, Mest proposes evacuating everyone using his teleportation powers so the Council's forces can bombard the island. Natsu and the others from Fairy tail object, due to not liking or trusting the Council, not wanting to blow up the island with the first Master's grave, and wanting to take down Grimoire Heart themselves. They, however, don't consider that Mest's proposal makes a fair amount of sense considering the number of injured people still on the island.
  • They Copied It, So It Sucks!: Anna Heartfilia's plan to defeat Acnologia towards the end of the Alvarez Empire arc, the fandom immediately noticed that her plan to defeat Acnologia (displacing him in time itself) was ripped straight out of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, only making the accusations of it being an Ass Pull even worse for having been lifted from another series. Word of God even confirmed that he's a big Skyrim fan.
  • Toy Ship: Romeo/Wendy is quite popular, considering they're both the same age as of the Time Skip. Their interaction in the Fairy Tail of the Dead Meeeen omake/episode helped boost this quite a bit. Sherria/Wendy is the only other sensible ship Wendy could have due to their minor age gap, as well as being a Mirror Character ship with plenty of interaction between the pair. And some fans just put all three together.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic:
    • Lyon's faction in the Galuna Island Arc. Their goal in reviving Deliora so Lyon can kill him in revenge, comes off as reckless regardless of their Freudian Excuse. It doesn't help they they show little regret over their actions in endangering the villagers and Erza letting them off comes across as undeserved consider how badly thing would have gone if Ur hadn't killed Deliora. The anime allivates this somewhat by adding an additional scene where Sherry and Yûka apologize to the villagers for their heinous actions and admit they were not so different from Deliora.
    • Fried Justine has a bad case of this in the Battle of Fairy Tail Arc. He's intially set up with Everyone Has Standards and displays doubts about the extremes Laxus is going to, but... he then goes on to Kick the Dog far worse than anything Bickslow or Evergreen did. Not to mention being a massive Hypocrite for questioning Juvia's loyalties, when he's the one attacking his guild members. Instead of the Token Good Teammate he should have been, Fried ends up looking like a hypocritical coward who makes appeals to morality but lacks the backbone to actually do anything. The fact he get Easily Forgiven and never actually punished is even more glaring. Mirajane comes off as a saint for being willing to forgive him after everything he pulled.
    • Future Rogue admits shortly before disappearing that Frosch's death turned him evil... which most people would say does not justify him killing his next closest friend to steal his powers, wanting to use a dragon army to fight Acnologia (not just to stop it, but for the self-centered goal of world domination in Acnologia's place), trying to have the dragons wipe out humanity for inadequately explained reasons in the meantime (which, as Natsu points out, is endangering the very Exceed whose death is supposed to drive him crazy), and trying to kill Lucy (while succeeding in killing the future version) because she had the potential to stop his selfish goals before they got off the ground.
    • Minerva is quickly absolved of her actions once she's given the Freudian Excuse of Ziemma's abuse. For some, this excuse came out of nowhere (Minerva had never shown any signs of submission or fear for her father in the present story), and doesn't justify all her cruelty (which wasn't really part of Ziemma's demands for her to "be the strongest", and was never displayed by the other members of Sabertooth, who were Smug Snakes at worst, despite being subjected to exact same abuse under Ziemma's command). Others felt that this was too predictable given Ziemma's behavior and an anticlimactic end to the conflict between Minerva and Erza that had been dragged on for far too long.
    • Aquarius in the Tartaros arc when she convinces Lucy to destroy her key to summon the Celestial Spirit King. Throughout the story, Aquarius had been portrayed as incredibly abusive toward Lucy, to the point where Lucy had come to expect Friendly Fire whenever she's summoned. She's also ditched Lucy in the middle of her fights a few times for selfish reasons, most notably in the Grand Magic Games' Naval Battle which ended with Minerva beating Lucy within an inch of her life. While the destruction of her key is portrayed as a highly emotional moment for both Lucy and Aquarius, some felt that the story hadn't properly built up a believable bond for it.
  • Unnecessary Makeover:
    • In the Tartaros arc, Wendy cuts her hair down to shoulder length to show her resolve despite the numerous Faces (Ezel had also partly cut it during their fight), and proceeds to... remain in the background until the Dragon Slayers' parents emerge to destroy Face, then just gets it back to normal with the help of Cancer.
    • Some people weren't too pleased when Natsu's Barbarian Longhair at the start of X792 was cut down to normal.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion:
    • It's not 100% apparent whether Midnight is a tomboyish woman or a somewhat feminine man. The only time anyone referred to him/her with pronouns they used female ones ('her', 'daughter', etc.) but that's obviously not complete proof... and in fact, eventually switched to using male pronouns. This is a translation confusion. Midnight refers to himself using a pronoun only used by men and boys, and the times that the translator has used him and daughter were actually gender-neutral phrases like person and father and child.
    • Eve of the Tri-men. With a female name, female (Japanese) voice actress, and tomboyish pixie cut, you'd be forgiven for thinking he's a Bifauxnen.
  • Wangst: Erza when she angsts about her torture at the end of the Tartaros arc. The issue is not the angst itself, but the timing; it would have been more acceptable during or right after the torture, but Erza failed to show any emotional or even physical impediment throughout the arc that is regarded by many to be one of her worst portrayals, coming fresh out of the torture cellar to initially overpower her torturer before fighting evenly without much apparent strain, then beating her rival from the Grand Magic Games in an anticlimactic fistfight that trivialized said rival's demonization, then finally trouncing the aforementioned torturer despite a horrible handicap in one of the series' most infamous Ass Pulls. She also suddenly starting displaying trust issues, even though only one person (the ex-Chairman who she barely knew) betrayed her, while her guild was the same as ever and she even got Minerva to pull a Heel–Face Turn. The most positive view to take away from all this is "Erza is such a badass that torture is no big deal", which makes her sudden trauma right at the end of the arc feel forced in for the sake of Ship Tease by having Jellal comfort her.
    • Another interpretation is that her singleminded focus on beating Tartaros kept her going during the battle, but she slid into a more melancholy mood in the aftermath considering the cost of their victory with Magnolia devastated, the guild hall destroyed, and the Dragon Slayer's parents fading away for good. Nobody was exactly celebrating after all.
  • Woolseyism:
    • Just before his match in the Grand Magic Games, Jellal switches from using "ore" to the more formal "watashi" as he remembers that he's impersonating Mystogan and using the latter's manner of speech. In the official English localization of the manga, he says "I've got this" before correcting himself and saying "Leave this to me."
    • Juvia addresses Gray with the honorific "-sama," which in most cases is extremely formal and respectful, but Juvia uses it as a term of endearment for the guy she has an extreme crush on. Rather than translate it literally, the Funimation dub had her use various pet names for Gray (e.g. "My darling Gray" or "My prince").
    • The Latin American Spanish dub is pretty notorious for using lots of Mexican street slang and references from Mexican TV shows and media, and even allusions from other roles their voice actors did in the past, not to mention the voice actors doesn't have any qualms on using strong profanity at times.
  • Writer Cop Out:
    • Pretty much any time the Fairy Tail's guild-master reverts back to Makarov. Instead of Mashima sending the guild in a different direction with a new master at the head, things will always revert back to normal due to Makarov somehow ending up in the position once more.
    • The amount of times that Mashima has relied on the Not Quite Dead trope can also be seen as this since it's become quite obvious to a plethora of readers that the author isn't interested in killing off any semi-regular good guy character permanently.
  • WTH, Costuming Department?: With the wide variety of outfits the characters go through, its inveitable this would come up.
    • After two good Edolas outfits, Natsu abandons his jacket near the end of the Edolas arc to reveal...a Blue Shirt with Yellow X's that looks wildly out of place with the rest of his look.
    • With Erza's variety of armor it not surprising she's got a few instances. Her Nakagami Armor has a Cleavage Window so enormous it looks like she's one wrong move away from a Wardrobe Malfunction. The Giant Armor has a solid design but the color scheme makes her look like a giant bumblebee.
    • Jose Porla's first outfit with batwings and a long drooping pointed hat can cause a few giggles. His second outfit with its military theme looks much better.
    • Gray's Grand Magic Games outfit with exposed shoulders, detached sleeves held on by belts, and baggy Hakama pants looks ridiculous and nothing like anything else he's worn. Thankfully he looks better once he inevitably loses the top.
    • Irene Belerion's outfit seems like it's trying too hard to be sexy, particularly with only a thin strip of clothing between her Underboobs and exposed midriff. She also wears a witch hat with bizarre tendrils and clawed gloves.
    • Mest's large red collar with furry trim and white spots around the neck on his Alvarez outfit, making him look like he decided to wear a upsidedown mushroom cap as a collar. Did he leave his fashion sense behind when he quit the Council?

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