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  • Adaptation Displacement: There are people who aren't aware there were Gundam series before this one, though this attitude was mostly prevalent when Wing was new to foreign shores and mostly justified as it was the first official widespread North American release of any Gundam show.
  • Americans Hate Tingle: Fan opinion of Relena is split in America, while in Japan, she would often appear on the Gundam Ace "Top 30 Females" monthly rankingnote , not to mention ranking #21 on Newtype's list of Top 30 Female Characters of the 1990s, and even ranking #1 on a 2016 poll asking female Gundam fans which women from the entire franchise they admire the most. And that's not even getting into her spawning many close copies (and not just in Gundam either).
  • Awesome Music:
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    • White Reflection from the OST for "Endless Waltz" has a pulse pounding track and vocals. If that doesn't get your blood pumping, it's doubtful anything else will. Also, good luck trying to get it out of your head.
    • The soundtrack on the whole is sweeping and epic, often being favorably compared to that of Star Wars. Even those who don't like the rest of the series will concede that it has an awesome soundtrack. It helps that the whole thing, minus openings and endings, was done by Kou Otani, the award-winning composer for Shadow of the Colossus.
    • Two-Mix performs the opening and ending themes. That can't be anything but awesome.
  • Base-Breaking Character: Relena is THE poster child for Broken Bases in Gundam Wing (if not the entire franchise itself) though the majority of it is caused by shipping. And if it's not because of the shipping, it's because some fans ignore (or at least refuse to acknowledge) her Character Development throughout the series. Again, this mainly applies to American audiences, though her character has been considerably Vindicated by History for much of them over the years, especially when compared to even less well received Gundam franchise heroines.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment:
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    • The ending is a song about Type A Tsundere Relena glaring at the camera and annoying various animals on safari. Relena's presence is basically the most this sequence has to do with the events of the actual show.
    • Also, the scene where Trowa and Quatre play music. It's never mentioned again, and has exactly nothing to do with the events of the series.
  • Broken Base:
    • There are essentially three bases involved: the old guard mecha fans who think the show is schlock starring invincible prettyboys (or at best, So Okay, It's Average), the Yaoi Fangirl crowd who only cares about the cute guys and nothing else from the show, and the actual Wing fans who are tired of both of the above and just want to enjoy their show in peace.
    • Frozen Teardrop is this, if not outright Fanon Discontinuity. Some fans love it for being So Bad, It's Good hilarious nonsense, and don't really see it as being all that different from what the original show was. Other fans think it goes too far into bizarro territory.
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    • While it's mostly died off now, in the past debates over which version of the Gundams were better, Kunio Okawara's TV designs or Hajime Katoki's Endless Waltz designs, could get pretty nasty.
  • "Common Knowledge": The English voice actors are actually Canadian - as the dubbing was done by The Ocean Group. The fact that Western Canadian accents and American accents are very similar sounding long helps to contribute to this.
  • Complete Monster: Gundam Wing, while perhaps Lighter and Softer than other works in the franchise, that can't be said about the following:
    • Ken Tsubarov is the bloodthirsty Chief Engineer of the Romefeller Foundation. Supporting the warmonger Duke Dermail in the hopes his Mobile Dolls will be used for mass slaughter, Tsubarov even turns on Lady Une for suggesting an automated version to reduce civilian casualties. When the White Fang rebellion reaches the colonies, Tsubarov betrays Une, seizes control of the colonies, attempts to murder the captive Gundam pilots by cutting off their oxygen, and guns Une down when she tries to interfere, also preparing the devastating Libra weapon for his boss. When finally cornered by the rebels, Tsubarov snaps and turns his Dolls loose on the civilian population, ranting that he will achieve immortality.
    • Endless Waltz: Dekim Barton is the original mastermind behind Operator Meteor, plotting to drop a colony upon Earth and send the Gundams to raze what remained until it submitted to his rule. Upon the rebellion of the Gundam scientists and pilots, Dekim lies low, brainwashing his granddaughter Mariemaia Khushrenada to be the figurehead leader of the Barton family. Returning to conquer Earth, Dekim attempts to complete Operation Meteor with a new colony drop and murder Relena Peacecraft for trying to inspire the world to pacifism. Upon his own granddaughter Taking the Bullet for Relena, Dekim merely sneers that he can simply find another Mariemaia, as he is the one who created her to begin with.
    • The Last Outpost/G-Unit manga, by Kōichi Tokita: Dr. Berg suffers from a terminal case of Chronic Backstabbing Disorder. He is willing to betray and murder in order to complete his research and create the most powerful Gundams ever, as he takes pride and joy in inventing newer and newer ways for humans to kill each other. He has no regard at all for human lives and only considers people as guinea pigs for him to toy with. It is also revealed later on that he arranged for the death of Dr. Burnett and his wife, the parents of series protagonists Odin and Odel, in order to divert funding from their research to his own weapon manufacturing; this sends Odel into an Unstoppable Rage and drives him to kill Berg. Unfortunately, Berg activates his Grand Shirio's doomsday program to destroy the colonies and drop itself on Earth to pollute it with its nuclear engines.
  • Contested Sequel: The popularity of the series is not in doubt, it is generally considered the show to revitalize Gundam by creating an AU megahit and was a Gateway Series to bring in a new generation of fans and pull fans from other demographics. But its' tonal differences made it more controversial among Universal Century fans, as Wing is a lot more sprawling and melodramatic, while none of the UC projects ever attained the same popularity in the West. Over time, though, the series is acknowledged for what it accomplished and stands as a strong example of the Gundam franchise.
  • Die for Our Ship: Relena is one of the most infamous cases of character bashing ever in anime fandom, and a strong contender for all fandoms. This also happens to her rival Dorothy, Duo's best friend Hilde, and Chang Wufei, but much rarer.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: While by no means a good person, Treize has gone far beyond Memetic Badass and is treated by many as if he walks on water. Rose-scented water.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Duo is one of the most popular characters in the series, especially in the West. In the semi-official Gundam Ace "Top 30 Male Characters" poll in Japan, as well as the "Top 30 Male Characters of the 90s" poll in the March 2010 issue of Newtype magazine, he is the second most popular male Gundam Wing character (#21 in the Newtype poll), after Heero Yuy. Also, he was voted the Best Male Character in Animage's 1995 Anime Grand Prix Awards, and was voted the 3rd Best Male Character the following year.
    • Treize is by far the most popular out of all the antagonists for his unique sense of chivalry and overall Anti-Villain tendencies. Even Wing detractors cannot help but admire him for the unique point of view the show offered on the concept of war through his character.
  • Epileptic Trees:
    • Episode Zero features a young girl roughly Trowa's age named Midii Une; Fanon often tries to draw a connection between her and Lady, despite the fact that Word of God says there is none (Midii references a father and brothers, but no female relatives). Rather, Word of God says that the connection "will remain a secret forever." In other words, there is one, but they'll never tell.
  • Fanon Discontinuity:
    • Frozen Teardrop is regarded by much of the fanbase to be on the level of officially licensed poorly-written fanfiction. (Even worse when you consider that it was written by the series' head writer.) Problems include but are not limited to:
      • The cast is overloaded with Generation Xeroxes, not just of major characters like the Gundam pilots, but even one-shot characters like Sylvia Noventa.
      • There are few new characters who are not a direct Expy or clone of an existing character.
      • Every character being related, such as Heero being the step-nephew of Trant Clark.note 
      • Even if they aren't related, every character introduced looks exactly like an established member of the cast, including the original Heero Yuy being shown to look like Heero the Gundam pilot in his youth.
      • The ancestors of each character being revealed as being unlikable total assholes, if not worse.
      • Excessive and unnecessary detailing of back story, trampling over the well-received Episode Zero, especially since part of the appeal of the Gundam pilots was their mystique.
      • Taking the number-naming convention to ridiculous extremes (believe it or not, many of Wing's original characters weren't named for numbers)
      • A main plot and premise considered more appropriate for poorly written fanfiction than for extensions of the original material.
      • New technology relying upon ludicrous Hand Waves, including abusing the concept of Nanomachines to levels considered excessive.
    • While not declared Fanon Discontinuity, the Glory of the Losers manga, a retelling of the series with relevant side-stories added to the narrative, suffers the same problems. While it is beautifully illustrated and incorporates the much-loved Katoki redesigns, it also has horrible structural problems (shoe-horning in backstory/flashback at inappropriate points) and retcons a fair amount of the original series material (ex: Heero apparently killed Darlian, not Oz). Not to mention, it was designed as a continuity with the already much-hated Frozen Teardrop.
  • Fashion-Victim Villain: The Romefeller Foundation all wear old fashioned aristocratic clothing. Duke Dermail and Treize look okay, but then there's Colonel Tsubarov's blue jacket with puffy shoulders, neck frills, and blue puff pants. He wouldn't look out of place at a gaudy renaissance fair.
  • Foe Yay Shipping: Fans view Dorothy's obsessive passes with Heero and Quatre on occasion (not even counting her snarky interactions with Relena) as rife with suspicion to this day.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: In the Battlefield of Pacifists manga, Heero teased Duo that reason the latter followed him on a mission is because he got into a fight with Hilde. In Frozen Teardrop, Duo and Hilde are divorced.
  • Gateway Series: While not the first Gundam series released in America, Wing was the first to gain a large audience, and is the main reason more of the franchise made its way over to the West in the early/mid-2000s. It's also credited with getting more girls interested in Gundam, and possibly mecha anime in general.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: For being the Gateway Series for the Gundam franchise in the United States, and being considered less popular than the likes of SEED and the UC era in Japan... by a considerable margin. It isn't that Wing is disliked, but rather that the Universal Century and Cosmic Era timelines have much stronger and more fanatical fanbases. A 2014 poll, however, still placed Wing as Japan's 5th favorite Gundam series.
    • At least initially, the Japanese fans (especially the women) despised Quatre, while he's one of the more popular characters in the West.
    • Noin barely registers in Japan, but Western fans consider her to be the best heroine in the show and have long demanded an HG model kit of her white Taurus. There was one made back when the show was new, but it was limited and is now discontinued.
    • This trope actually gets acknowledged in some sources; for example, Gundam Extreme Vs. Full Boost's encyclopedia entry for Wing notes that it was the first Gundam show to air in America and remarks on its international success.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Many a Gundam Wing fanfic has had the Fandom-Specific Plot of Relena go evil, usually to facilitate killing her off and setting Heero with Duo. In Frozen Teardrop, she actually is brainwashed into evil - and it's implied that she caused her brother's stand-in's death thanks to it.
    • In a Real Life example, the controversy over "Mobile Dolls" and the meaning of unmanned combat vehicles takes on a whole new light 15+ years after this show's release, when drones and robotic unmanned combat vehicles are just beginning to enter the battlefield. There are probably a lot of Pakistanis out there who wish more people took Treize's message about the dangers of using robots as tools of genocide seriously.
  • He's Just Hiding!:
    • Zechs after the series. Noin's trust in him wasn't helping. Indeed, he was back from the grave in the movie. He even claims he was dead when asked.
    • Also applies to his MS: The novelization ends by stating the whereabouts of the Gundams and mentions Epyon is at the bottom of the ocean. Frozen Teardrop follows up on this by having Zechs recover it and upgrade it into Epyon II.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
  • Ho Yay: Dear God, where do we begin? Check out the Gundam Ho Yay page.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: The North American fans seemed to have a thing for Hilde. In fanfiction, she was often portrayed as being so kinky and desireable, that all the Gundam pilots (including Zechs) wanted to bang her. The now defunct "DxH Addiction" was an entire archive dedicated to such stories, with half its lemon section being reserved for her sexual escapades with Duo. The other half was for stories about the other pilots either seducing her, or being seduced by her.
  • Les Yay:
    • Relena and Dorothy. Actually, fans view Relena as having some form of UST with pretty much everyone. So much the worse for her...
    • In the Blind Target manga, between Relena and her female assistant Chris. The way they keep holding hands all the time...
    • Noin and Sally also strike up a fairly quick and close partnership of mutual Action Girl understanding and asskicking.
    • In Frozen Teardrop, it's implied that Sally and Iria (one of Quatre's sisters) had a fling (or even a full-on relationship) back in medical school.
  • Magnificent Bastard:
    • Treize Khushrenada, the leader of OZ, is a brilliant military leader with a chivalrous spirit. Masterminding a purge of his rivals to rise even higher, Treize learns of the Colonies deploying the Gundams against the Earth Government, and conceals their existence to better use them as an advantage, even tricking Heero into killing the leader of the Earth Alliance who was planning on making peace with the Colonies. Rebelling against OZ when the Romefeller Foundation takes over and institutes the AI Mobile Dolls, Treize systematically plays the entire war with his best friend Zechs Merquise to put themselves on opposite ends of the war and create a final, cataclysmic conflict to traumatize humanity off war forevermore. Combining a brilliant mind with a sense of chivalry, Treize is even able to recall the names and faces of every man who has ever died to make his dreams a reality and considers no price too great for peace, even his own life.
    • "Lightning Count" Colonel Zechs Merquise is a talented commander and mobile suit pilot who'll do what it takes to achieve peace between the Colony and Earth. Born Crown Prince Milliardo Peacecraft of the Sanc Kingdom, whose dynasty was nearly wiped out by the Earth Sphere United Alliance, Milliardo allied with Treize and OZ as Zechs to free his kingdom. With his skills and leadership, Zechs was one of the few capable of defeating the Gundams, even able to go toe to toe with Heero Yuy. When the Romefeller Foundation began their world conquest, collapsing the Sanc Kingdom, Zechs had an epiphany, making plans to put an end to all wars. Leading the rebel militia White Fang, Zechs returns to his original name and destroys the Romefeller Foundation before declaring war on Earth, with his goal being to show the horrors of war to all of mankind by using the Battleship Libra to ruin Earth, hoping the resulting disaster would scare others enough from war.
    • Dorothy Catalonia is a ruthless, brilliant warmonger who truly desires peace. The granddaughter of Duke Dermail, Dorothy hates war after losing her father, but understands world peace can't be achieved without being earned. Sent to spy on Relena Peacecraft and the Sanc Kingdom on the behest of her grandfather, Dorothy gets close to Relena and bonds with her, convincing her to relent to Dermail by collapsing the Sanc Kingdom, while secretly guiding Relena to leadership to overthrow her grandfather. Curious about the White Fang organization led by Milliardo, Dorothy approaches them to join, convincing Zechs and uses her authority in the group to use the ZERO System and nearly destroys most of the enemy Gundams with the Mobile Dolls. Awaiting Quatre in Libra for a final duel, Dorothy overpowers him while explaining her intentions before leaving Libra after Quatre escapes, returning to Earth in order to maintain the hard-earned peace her loved ones sacrificed themselves for.
  • Memetic Loser:
    • The Leo mobile suit, despite the first episode showing it could defeat a Gundam with the right pilot and equipment, is considered to be the worst mobile suit in the entire Gundam franchise due repeated stock footage of Leos getting destroyed and an instance when a pair of Leos explode from a missed Buster Rifle shot cementing its reputation as a disposable low-level mook that blows up if so much as sneezed on. Oddly enough, this has mostly served to endear the Leo to audiences as time has gone by.
    • Despite being the titular Gundam and having an extremely devastating weapon, the Wing Gundam is subject to a fair amount of derision from fans, due to its relatively limited screen time, lack of upgrades (it's the only one of the five Operation Meteor units to be outright replaced, rather than improved), and its tendency to be abandoned or ignored by its pilot. This is likely referenced in the Mythology Gag-riddled Gundam Build Fighters, where it serves as Sei's first Gunpla and gets completely thrashed by a Gyan.
  • Mexicans Love Speedy Gonzales: Loud, upbeat, garrulous, tactile, and occasionally tactless Duo from the American-sponsored L2 colonies has been the most popular Wing character by far in North America, ever since the show's 2000 debut.
  • Mis-blamed: For years, actor Mark Hildreth was blasted by fans for making Heero sound stiff and emotionless in the dub. Then, at a convention, he said he was told to act that way. Possibly because of the backlash, he has never been called back to play Heero in other media (though he has said he'd be happy to if given the chance).
  • Moral Event Horizon: Frozen Teardrop — Cinquante's kidnapping Angelina and getting Ein killed.
  • Narm:
    • The dub, being your typical cheesy 90's dub, has its fair share of moments, including General Septum's downright cartoonishly angry voice. Even when he thanks someone for holding the door for him he sounds outraged.
    • Zechs riding the Tallgeese into battle while saying "But I can't falter with the Sanc Kingdom right in front of my eyeeees!" in his best Jack Nicholson voice. Ditto for infamous yell of fooooolllls while destroying a cancer mobile suit.
    • Sometimes the dialog between two characters makes it sound like they are having two different conversations. Almost every time two characters discuss philosophy, there will be at least a few lines that seem to have nothing to do with what is being talked about. This isn't a dub issue either, as it happens in the sub as well.
  • Narm Charm:
    • Despite being a more "serious" show, it almost seems like the franchise is still shaking off the effects of the previous entry, what with the rose petal bubblebaths and super-humanly sturdy Heero and all... which, intentional or not, is often hilarious.
    • General Septum's voice.
    • "Ugh! ARIES!"
    • "Heeeeeeeroooo! I'm right here, so come and KILL ME!"
  • Never Live It Down:
    • The way some fans act, you'd think Wufei's entire vocabulary consisted of four words: "justice," "evil," "woman," and "Nataku".
    • People can't get over Relena's bizarre behavior towards Heero, either. Yes, it was strange. She also stopped acting like that fairly early in the series, acknowledged it was not the best move (she was hurting badly over her father's assassination and the revelations about her past and followed Heero to try coping with her inner pain), and by the end of the TV series she made a point about how she won't follow him anymore and HE will have to chase after her instead if he wants to see her.
    • Quatre was briefly pushed to the limit by his own father's politically-motivated scapegoating and suicidal murder, and subsequently built and used the Wing Zero on a cold-blooded rampage to take out the colonies' ability to wage war, that ended with him fighting Heero and Trowa and nearly killing the latter, even though he eventually regrets it all very quickly and continues to do so. Still, many in both the fandom, and in-universe characters, like Catherine, can't forget about his decision even after he successfully atoned.
    • Heero once threw a pineapple in a game of fetch with a couple of dogs while in temporary captivity. Suddenly, mentioning Heero and pineapples in the same sentence is a Memetic Mutation.
  • Nightmare Fuel: In particular, some of the things that the ZERO System is capable of doing to its pilots' heads.
  • No Problem with Licensed Games: Gundam Wing: Endless Duel is considered one of the best fighting games on the SNES and sees high-level tournament play even into the current day.
  • Poor Man's Substitute: Heero's dubbing voice actor, Mark Hildreth, apparently did not share the same love for the role the other Gundam pilots' voice actors did for their characters. Heero is the only one of the five to constantly be recast in productions following the end of the TV series. Initially, Hildreth was replaced by Louis Chirillo whenever Heero returned with voice acting. Chirillo eventually retired from voice acting, after which Heero's role was given to Brian Drummond, ironically the longtime voice of his rival Zechs Merquise. With each new voice actor change, Heero's voice changes just enough to be noticeable.
  • Portmanteau Couple Name: One of the more famous examples in anime fandom, Wing combines this with the Numerical Theme Naming; hence, 1x2 means Heero/Duo. Since most of the show's women don't fall under the theme, they're identified by initial (1xR = Heero/Relena).
    • The order in which the names are listed is important too. Whoever is listed first is the initiator or "aggressor" of the relationship, while the listing of XxYxX (as in 1xRx1) means both partners are equally interested. Certain listings indicate shifts in personalities; for example, 2x1 means a moody Duo with a happy Heero. Don't think about it too hard or you'll go cross-eyed.
  • Ron the Death Eater:
    • A lot of fanfiction acts as if Quatre's vengeful, detached Freak Out after his father's death (which he deeply regretted afterward) is his default state, ignoring how he's a guilt-ridden Nice Guy the entire rest of the time.
    • Saying that Relena gets this is like saying "the sun is bright"; the bare statement of fact simply doesn't do it justice. Usually for shipping reasons, fanfics will often take this softspoken and understanding Actual Pacifist and warp her into a violent Yandere.
  • The Scrappy: Wufei wasn't much liked by the American fanbase, largely for his flip flopping sides on a dime and abrasive personality. Of the five, he's usually viewed as the least interesting. Although some do see him as one of the most nuanced characters (especially with side material delving into it more), others see him as simply inconsistent and the result of the writers not knowing what to do with him.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat: Yaoi and Het fans can get very... touchy about their pairings of choice. The main war is over Heero x Duo vs. Heero x Relena fans.
    • You don't even need to bring up Heero/Relena in front of Heero/Duo fans. If you ask "Hey, who tops? Heero or Duo?" you can have a really "nice" flame war.
  • Squick:
    • The first time Heero uses Epyon it causes him to throw up. Inside his pilot helmet. Twice!
    • Frozen Teardrop mentions that when Treize was 5, his mom "kissed him like a lover."
    • Also from Frozen Teardrop, Trowa Phobos is in love with Catherine Oud Winner. He's 19, and she's 10.
  • Tear Jerker: No one can say they didn't at least get a little misty-eyed during Gundam Sandrock's death scene.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Frozen Teardrop and Glory of the Losers gave a unique opportunity for fans to finally learn who Midii Une really is and what's her connection with Lady Une. Nothing came out of this as Midii never showed up and isn't even mentioned.
  • Uncanny Valley: Mariemaia during all but the last act of Endless Waltz speaks in a far too even a tone regardless of what she's actually saying, and emotes once...at entirely the wrong moment to be doing the kind of emoting she does. The result is rather creepy and can fall squarely into this trope. It's telling when she's not repeating Dekim's dogma that her speech is much closer to what you'd expect from an 8 year old.
  • Values Resonance: A huge part of the show is the philosophical debate over whether or not Mobile Dolls — automated mobile suits — are ethical. It makes for interesting watching in the era of remote drone strikes.
  • Woolseyism: In an early episode, Duo refers to Relena as "Ojou-san," which is the proper way to address a young woman of high social status (though he may have just been flirting). In the US dub, he instead says "Hey good-looking!", which is more obvious flirting, instead of just calling her "Miss", "missy", or hilariously, "Princess".

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