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  • Abandon Shipping:
    • Tauradonna (Adam + Blake) shippers ended up all but disappearing after "Heroes and Monsters" was released and revealed what kind of person Adam really was, which turned the once well-liked ship into complete No Yay, compounded by confirmation in the Livestream that Adam was abusive to Blake in the past. The news even spawned a controversial alternate name for the ship on Reddit - "Animal Abuse" - which only further encouraged everyone jumping ship.
    • Emberald (Cinder + Emerald) shippers have always been on shaky ground due to the relationship being canonically abusive (Cinder slaps Emerald during a flashback in Volume 3), but Emerald and Mercury indirectly saying that Emerald saw Cinder as a surrogate mother for the one she never had was another nail in the coffin.
    • Cloqwork (Ozpin and Qrow) shippers took an initial hit in numbers after Ozpin's death and possession of a teenage boy, but Volume 6 was a series of sustained gut punches to the ship thanks to Qrow's Broken Pedestal. Ozpin gaining a more canon love interest being Salem's past lover also didn't help things. Time has gradually healed the wounds, especially as more people became receptive to the idea of Qrow being shipped with men after Volume 7.
  • Acceptable Targets: In general, sexual abusers and lechers are a common target in the show. Junior's flirting with the then-underage Yang in the Yellow trailer is treated as justification for her to hit him, and Adam's abusive and possessive behavior in Volume 3 toward Blake immediately marked him as a monster. Later on, in Volume 5, a lecherous man Yang encounters at a gas station keeps hitting on her and then tries to touch her hair, and she promptly punches him so hard he's hurled out of the store and gets a water on the house for it.
  • Adorkable:
    • When Ruby first arrives in Beacon, she gushes so much over all the new weapons she can see other students carrying that she briefly turns into a cute, floating chibi version of herself with stars for eyes. When Yang later suggests she make her own friends, she begins hugging and caressing her weapon like it's a kitten. Ruby is obsessed with weapons and admits she went overboard when designing her own because of this. She therefore tends to become very nerdy in a very cute, excitable way whenever she has a chance to wax lyrical about them.
    • Jaune is introduced as someone who is full of optimism and wants to make friends and meet cool, quirky girls to talk to, but he also becomes clumsy and over-eager when talking to such girls. While Yang was turned off by him wearing onesie pyjamas, the sheer pride with which he poses in such an embarrassing outfit, when he spots Yang looking at him, made him very endearing to fans.
    • Velvet is a shy, unassuming rabbit Faunus who is an amateur photographer with a strong engineering aptitude. She is always excited to show off her photography to anyone she can, even though most characters think she's bad at it because they don't realise she's photographing weapons instead of people. She also tends to become embarrassed when catching people off-guard when taking photographs, leading to her apologising in a cute and flustered way. Because she has a weapon that has to be used sparingly, she rarely gets to use it in battle and becomes extremely excited whenever given the chance. In the novels, her engineering abilities are explored further, showing that she can be an absolute geek when she's given the opportunity to start talking about the inner workings of her weapon. While it doesn't always impress the characters around her, it helped endear her to the fandom.
    • Penny is a Robot Girl who is extremely cheerful and optimistic, but occasionally hits the wrong social note in wacky and endearing ways. When she first meets Team RWBY and gets knocked to the ground, she starts greeting them while lying on the ground until they ask her if she's okay. She becomes extremely excited, and latches onto Ruby like a lost puppy, when Ruby calls her "friend", and, during the school ball, she doesn't waltz like the other students; she performs the robot dance in a very gentle, tentative way. As her robotic nature was originally a secret, when she accidentally gets a magnet stuck to her head, she tries wearing an excessively large straw hat to hide it which makes her look both cute and silly at the same time.
    • Marrow is the youngest and newest member of Ace-Ops. He tries so hard to be as cool as the rest of the team that his attempts to mimic Clover's stern, straight-backed, confident walk, making him look extremely dorky. His attempts to be stern or stand-offish tend to fall apart because of his dog tail, which constantly wags and gives away his true feelings; and when he updates a soldier in the background on Ace-Ops' recent mission, the audience can see him enact the entire fight for them in an extremely enthusiastic, slapstick fashion.
  • Angst? What Angst?: One of the show's criticisms, especially in its early stages, was Ruby being perennially happy and whether or not it grated as the Volumes steadily got darker and darker and the cast developed their personalities - only one episode implies it might be for show.
  • Anti-Climax Boss:
    • Adam Taurus was built up as a powerful and dangerous adversary for almost five years, ever since the initial "Black" trailer. In Volume 3, he nearly killed Blake and crippled and traumatized Yang. In Volume 5, he successfully pulled a mutiny on the White Fang's leader and took over. At the end of the volume, he and his forces are easily caught and thwarted by Blake and the rest of Menagerie. When Adam moves to attack Blake, she strikes him down with a single dodge and a double-handed strike. While confronting Blake and Sun, Adam's forces are beaten and apprehended; he retreats from Haven, abandoning his men to their fates.
    • The Battle of Haven had several anticipated battles cut or relegated to offscreen, most notably Qrow fighting Raven and Ruby, Weiss and Blake versus Emerald, Mercury and Hazel. The scene cuts to Yang confronting Raven, but when it cuts back to the lobby, the girls have somehow scraped together a victory.
    • The Leviathan, despite being showcased as a force to be reckoned with and possessing raw power unlike any Grimm before it, is ultimately put down by Ruby managing to unleash her Silver Eyes again and weaken the Grimm for Cordovin to finish it with a direct attack with her drill in the span of 10 minutes.
    • Jacques has been built up as a personal antagonist for Weiss since the White Trailer, with her eye scar being a result of her trying to free herself from his grasp. His role in her storyline ends abruptly however in Volume 7 when an intervention by an at the time unseen character enables Jacques to be instantly arrested using unforeshadowed means. And while the means themselves make sense in the context of the setting, the manner in which it's used makes it seem like Weiss is conveniently handed the material she needs to get rid of Jacques with no proper build-up. A single-episode resolution after years of build-up left the fandom feeling like his departure was both weak and rushed. Weiss's mother Willow is properly introduced when she accidentally runs into Weiss and reveals she secretly recorded Jacques discussing rigging the election with Watts; Weiss immediately gives the footage to the council and arrests Jacques with her new Huntress license.
  • Archive Panic: New fans often say they indulged in an Archive Binge. While the short amount of episodes stimulates it, the length (usually 12 minutes, disguised in Volume 1 by splitting a few in two-parters) makes for at least 15-16 hours to watch all 7 volumes.
  • Arc Fatigue:
    • One common issue fans had with the first volume was that the six episodes immediately after "Players and Pieces" were very slow-paced episodes dealing with school life where Weiss had to grapple with Ruby becoming team leader and Pyrrha discovering Jaune's secret and Jaune dealing with the consequences of it. The slow pace of those episodes, the shortness of each episode, and the fact that they were split across six weeks when the show first aired meant that many fans got tired of waiting for something interesting to happen. This is less of a problem now that one can sit through all of those episodes in under twenty minutes.
    • Volumes 4 and 5 were criticized by some fans for having multiple plotlines that took a long time to resolve due to the main characters being split apart. One particularly common complaint was that Blake's arc in Menagerie was taking too long to resolve. Another arc that was complained about was RNJR's arc in Mistral in Volume 5, which mostly involved them hanging around the house, only training in one episode, and having exposition-heavy scenes, all while basically waiting for the plot to advance, while Blake managed to conclude the Menagerie arc all by herself. Like the above, the ability to watch it all in one go makes it less of a problem.
    • Ruby takes three seasons to ask about the Silver Eyes, even though she spends much of that time travelling with two people (Ozpin and Qrow) who knew her mother well; and even then it comes around because of Maria joining the cast.
  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • The handling of Sienna Khan in Volume 5 was so strongly criticized by the fandom that the creators acknowledged it and decided to address it in the Volume 6 Adam character short. The criticism focused on the idea that while Sienna introduced the idea of a moral grey area between being a freedom fighter and a terrorist, it was prevented from being explored at all due to Adam abruptly killing her. The character short focused on displaying examples of anti-Faunus hate and violence that necessitated the more radical ideals Sienna believed, as well as show the impetus behind Ghira losing the favor of the White Fang to Sienna and Adam. Additionally, it demonstrated Sienna's overall authority, abilities in battle, and role in Adam's Start of Darkness, allowing her character to be explored posthumously.
    • Ruby's handling garnered a lot of complaints over Volumes 4 and 5 due to not being active, having less relevance compared with other characters in spite of being the protagonist and not asking about her silver eyes. In Volume 6, the writers specifically said that Ruby was on their list of things to improve with this volume, and Ruby has been the primary focus for the volume, assuming a leadership position and central role in the story and finally solving the silver eyes issue. However, while she manages to get prominent focus, it also came at the cost of bringing the fact that she's a Vanilla Protagonist to the forefront, narmy speeches and all.
    • Volumes 4 and 5 were criticized for a sharp quality drop in the fight animation compared to the Beacon volumes (More specifically Volumes 1 and 2, as 3's fights were on-average less well-received than the first two volumes barring outliers like Mercury vs Yang)—the infamous Battle of Haven is a glaring example of this. Come Volume 6, and the animation and choreography of the fights were improved drastically, as shown with Cinder vs. Neo and Blake and Yang vs. Adam. Volume 7 also had a lot of (mostly) well-choreographed fight scenes, with six battles within the last three episodes of said volume (only Jaune, Ren, Nora and Oscar vs. Neo gained criticism in regards to the choreography).
    • Blake's new haircut was widely criticised in Volume 7 due to poor texturing and lighting conditions making it look unflattering, with various comparisons to Lego. Members of the crew noted early into Volume 8's production that Blake's hair was specifically being given a retexturing to appear more natural.
    • RWBY received criticism for the lack of dark-skinned (and in some ways, diverse) POC representation in its large cast since its inception, but eventually began increasing representation from Volume 4 onward; this relieved some of it, though there's varied views on how well it has done so. There was no dark-skinned representation among the main characters, considered heroes, and many among the villain roster. While Ren is supposed to be Asian-inspired, the show's use of the Anime way of depicting characters does not translate well to western audiences. Eventually, Oscar, Maria and several others join the heroes and Ozpin's original form is eventually revealed, with at least a few fan favorites among them.
  • Badass Decay: In his debut and in his appearance in Volume 3, Adam Taurus acts like a calm and collected badass. His humiliating defeat in Volume 5 at Blake's hands caused many fans to admit that they could not see him as a threat anymore. His Volume 6 short partially helped reestablish his fighting prowess, but on a character level the damage had been done for many.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Blake Belladonna is easily the most controversial of the four main characters. Alongside being tied to the White Fang plotline, a plot that even the creators have admitted regret in handling, Blake is divisive due to her actions right after Volume 3. She left Yang's side before Yang regained consciousness from getting her arm cut off to save Blake; many saw this as reprehensible, especially as Blake goes on to verbally and physically berate Sun several times. Her fans usually argue that Blake, as a victim of abuse from Adam, had her reasons for leaving and excuse some of Blake's behavior towards Sun as animation mishaps due to creator confirmation that some of her slaps were not intended to be so harsh. Her combat record has also been controversial since her original introduction forced her, unlike the other main characters, to share the limelight with another character in Adam; since then, her combat feats within the show have been a source of constant debate over whether or not she holds her own or is forced to look weak to boost her companions, usually Yang or Sun. Combined with her connection to contentious subplots such as the White Fang, Blake's popularity has been subjected to extensive debate. This has however died down somewhat with volume 7 and 8.
    • While popular in the first three Volumes, Cinder has become a more steadily controversial character as each Volume goes on. The primary points of contention lie in the quality of her voice acting, her personality and the lack of character growth and background that she's received. Despite being the longest running villain on the series to date, many detractors feel that Cinder is criminally under-developed, with the only true hints to her background being in Volume 3 where she alluded to wanting power. Her fans argue that Cinder's background has been sufficiently hinted at or point to Volume 4 indicating that the power-hungry nature is just a mask hiding her true self. The end result is that as of Volume 7, Cinder is one of the most divisive characters in the show, with various arguments had over whether or not she should have been killed off or if it is too late to give her backstory and flesh her out after so long.
    • Adam's portrayal is extremely contentious as the fandom strongly disagrees over the consistency in his portrayal. He is introduced in the Black Trailer as a powerful warrior who looks after Blake even as he robs trains and doesn't care about collateral loss of life. In the show, Blake describes him as a hero who gradually fell into extremism while fighting for Faunus equality. However, his confrontation with Blake during Volume 3's Battle of Beacon solely focuses on his abandonment issues, portraying him as a domestic abuser who intends to punish Blake for leaving him and who never believed in Faunus equality. The fandom is split between those who feel he's consistently portrayed as a character whose full truth is revealed over time to both Blake and the audience, and those who feel there's such a dissonance in this characterization that he was derailed from a potentially interesting equal rights extremist into a one-dimensional abusive stalker with wasted potential.
    • Robyn Hill had one of the most controversial debut volumes of any character in the show. Her fans loved her for her can-do attitude, her willingness to stand up for the people of Mantle and stand up to Ironwood, her blunt willingness to cut through red tape, and for the potential of shipping her with various characters, particularly Fiona and Winter. Her detractors have criticized her for being part of an Arc Fatigue-ridden plot with the Council Election, her relatively uninteresting design with its muted colors, her mundane weapon, and her role in the events of Chapter 12 which saw Clover's death, Tyrian's escape, and her and Qrow being arrested due to her Hot-Blooded nature.
    • Ironwood's character and portrayal in Volume 7 has caused a massive debate. Ironwood is clearly portrayed as a man who is traumatized by his failure to protect Beacon and is driven to stop Salem at all costs. This created a rift between himself and the heroes which caused the fandom to split between those who support Ironwood's stance and those who support the heroes. Ironwood's supporters argue that his increasingly draconian measures are the only options he can take as a military leader who has been backed into a corner by the heroes withholding vital information, leaking intel behind his back, and constantly criticising and obstructing him without offering good alternatives; this left him with no choice but to arrest them just to make sure Salem can't win. The heroes' supporters argue that his paranoia, inability to trust and habit of overreacting have made him his own worst enemy, putting the heroes into an impossible situation where they tried to support him until it became clear that it would sacrifice the whole world just to protect a few. Although both sides of the debate were shocked by Ironwood's decision to shoot Oscar for trying to reason with him, it has only reinforced the two sides of the debate rather than ending it.
  • Better on DVD:
    • Volume 1 attracted some criticism for its short episode length, which was compounded by the wait between episode releases. These issues become much less pronounced when the entire Volume is watched in a single sitting on its various venues, since there's no wait to make the show feel like it's slogging.
    • Volume 4 has this reputation as well, as it's basically an entire Volume dedicated to world-building and Character Development and as a result has a slower pace that is better viewed all at once.
    • Volume 5 follows in this trend, with the main thrust of the season being a slow build-up to the climactic Battle of Haven and reuniting the main cast bit by bit. But in the meanwhile, individual episodes tend to have little action, which makes experiencing the season episode by episode on a weekly basis drag much more than being able to experience it in a single sitting. The Blu-Ray version of Volume 5 also went back and retroactively inserted some background fighting in one scene to address the criticism of everyone standing around for much of the Haven Battle episodes.
    • The Japanese dub is better on home release than its broadcast version, RWBY 1-3: The Beginning, due to the amount of scenes cut from the show to fit a 30-minute 13 episode series, which includes the removal of the controversial Jaundice arc.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: Volume 2's post-credits scene with Yang meeting Raven in Beacon's courtyard is a scene that is never once referenced again in the entire show, and Volume 3 retcons it out of existence by having Yang specifically say she never spoke to Raven and only saw her when Raven saved her from Neo. While the coloring of the scene indicates that it could be a dream, it's an odd scene to end the season on. Explanation 
  • Broken Base:
    • Volume 3 marking a drastic tone shift from an archetypical high-school battle anime to a world-spanning save the world plot has divided viewers. People in favor of it argue that the Beacon chapters were only meant to be a prologue to the story at large and that this allows the show to explore Remnant in full and put the characters in more unique situations. Detractors criticize the show for inconsistent pacing, especially in Volumes 4 and 5 right after the tone shift, or argue that the series worked better when it played into its cliches.
    • Ren's arc in Volume 7 divided viewers over its quality, in particular his sudden shift to being more obsessed with training and pushing away Nora. Proponents feel that Ren has various backstory reasons for leaning towards siding with Ironwood and being more cold (such as the existental dread about facing Salem, the fear of losing Nora to the mission or a delayed reaction to being forced to relive the traumas of his childhood), but Ren in-series never gets to explain his position and the shift in character coming off Volume 6 felt jarring for many, which also undercut the impact of Ren and Nora finally kissing this season. Volume 7's commentary would see the team admitting that Ren was meant to get such scenes, but they were pushed back to the next volume.
    • The battle between Team RWBY and the Ace Ops has quickly become one of the most heated debates in the fandom. Those against claim it makes no sense that a group of teenagers who never officially graduated as Huntsmen were able to defeat a team of hardened, experienced soldiers described as some of the best Huntsmen in Remnant, while those who liked the battle point out that it makes sense due to the various handicaps the Ace Ops had at the time (Vine and Marrow were actively holding back to try and de-escalate the situation, Harriet underestimated Ruby, and Elm made numerous tactical blunders due to her anger over Team RWBY "betraying" Ironwood clouding her judgement).
    • The FNDM is rather split over whose side to take when Team RWBY and Ironwood's group come to blows at the end of Volume 7. One side agrees with Ironwood and rejects Team RWBY's argument, taking the position that it's better to evacuate who they can save in Atlas and concentrate on keeping the two Relics and Winter Maiden as far away from Salem as humanely possible, especially given that they had almost no time to prepare before her army of Grimm arrived at the kingdom's border. Another group sides with Team RWBY and rejects Ironwood's argument, taking the position that Ironwood is morally wrong to abandon Mantle and the rest of the world to die by Salem's hand, and taking the Relics and Winter Maiden into orbit will only delay Salem at best. There is also a third group that argues the narrative is clearly on Team RWBY's side and against Ironwood, and that his plan is terrible, but that Team RWBY's approach to dealing with it was so self-sabotaging that they're basically Right for the Wrong Reasons. While the first two groups can't find any middle ground between them, both groups argue with the third group due to being incompatible with how their preferred side is represented.
  • Captain Obvious Reveal:
    • Cinder's reveal as The Man Behind the Man: While there's not a lot of buildup or misleading per se, the first volume's Spoiler Opening places her very prominently in comparison to Roman, the supposed Big Bad up until then.
    • Based on Jaune's outdated weapons, lack of combat-related knowledge, overall clumsiness, and Glynda's mention that despite what his transcript said he wasn't ready for Beacon, people began to theorize he somehow got into Beacon outside the normal means. It is later confirmed when he admits to Pyrrha that he faked his transcript in order to enter Beacon.
    • Penny's Robotic Reveal in "A Minor Hiccup". It had previously been somewhat confirmed in the earlier episode "Black and White", which shows she has a large mechanical compartment in her body that holds her swords. Miles admitted in the commentary track for Volume 1 that Monty had shown Penny's abilities off earlier than intended.
  • Cargo Ship: Ruby x Crescent Rose. It helps that she's cuddled it, called it her "sweetheart", and in general is quite attached to it, on top of being a weapons enthusiast and Lindsay Jones herself believing Ruby is asexual and wouldn't be interested in boys or girls.
  • Cliché Storm: Though they were well-received, the first few episodes were criticized by some for having a lot of familiar anime tropes from the get-go, primarily in the classroom and character areas.note  However, it moves away from this in later seasons, using the setup as a jumping-off point. The fact that many of these common anime tropes are rare in Western animation probably also helps.
  • Complete Monster:
    • Cinder Fall is a woman in Salem's service, with an intense hunger for strength, power, and fear. Attacking the Fall Maiden Amber to steal her powers, Cinder masterminds the Fall of Beacon, starting with orchestrating the death of the human-like robot Penny Polendina at the hands of the noble Pyrrha Nikos, who she later murders after finishing off Amber to take the rest of her Maiden power. Recovering from injuries by Ruby's Silver Eyes powers, Cinder coerces Raven Branwen into joining Salem; mocks Jaune over Pyrrha's death and impales Weiss to hurt him further; and kills Vernal, believing she has the Spring Maiden power. Joining Neopolitan and Arthur Watts against the heroes, Cinder massacres the Atlas command center; aids in the destruction of Atlas and Mantle and knocks them into the void; and betrays Neo and Watts, kicking the former into the void, and leaving the latter to burn in the command center. A cruel, ambitious, and petty narcissist, Cinder leaves the kingdoms and alliances of Remnant shattered in her quest for power.
    • Adam Taurus is the embodiment of spite and cruelty. A high-ranking member of the Faunus liberation group the White Fang, Adam begins verging into extremist terrorist attacks with no care for innocents who die, prompting his Love Interest Blake Belladonna to flee the group. Adam later assists in the attack on Beacon Academy, during the Vytal Festival, unleashing Grimm on the city. When encountering Blake, Adam vows to kill everything she loves, maiming Yang when she tries to defend Blake and trying to murder Blake herself. When the high leader of the White Fang, Sienna Khan, objects to what Adam has done, Adam murders her and takes her place before ordering Blake's family killed to "keep his promise" to her. Adam then leads a White Fang attack to destroy the Haven Academy, spitefully attempting to detonate explosives to kill himself, Blake and all the Faunus present, White Fang or innocent, when he's cornered by the authorities. Adam later savagely slaughters his own former followers of the White Fang when they question him and returns to stalking Blake, hellbent on murdering her and making her suffer for "ruining his life".
    • Doctor Arthur Watts is a high-ranking member of Salem's inner circle, assisting Cinder in her actions in Vale to throw the city into chaos and facilitate a Grimm invasion. Once a former Atlas scientist, Watts was furious that Ironwood would acknowledge Pietro Polendina's genius over his, leading to him faking his death and eventually joining up with Salem. Returning to Atlas and Mantle, Watts schemes to have the vicious Tyrian Callows murder the supporters of Robyn Hill and frame Penny Polendina for the killings, shutting down Mantle's heating grid to allow countless citizens to freeze to death to rely on chaos and negative emotions to bring about a Grimm invasion of slaughter to further Salem's schemes. He later implants a virus into Penny when she has the Winter Maiden powers to force her to open the Relic vault and self-destruct; aids Cinder and Neo in slaughtering the Atlas command center; and reactivates the bomb to blow up Mantle.
    • For Dr. Merlot, see here.
    • For Roman Torchwick, see here.
    • For Jax Asturias, see here.
    • Fairy Tales of Remnant can be found here.
  • Crack Pairing: Adam and Ironwood are shipped together despite never having met in the show. Weiss and Ilia took off after Volume 5: although they're both from Atlas, they've never actually met. Some interesting crazy ship ideas can be found here.
  • Crazy Is Cool:
    • Can't think of a good covert distress signal? Consider a sloth. Need a mode of transportation? Ride an Ursa. Picking up a chess piece? Sing about it! Comrade can't make a proper jump? Destroy the bridge for propulsion. Team leader is being bullied? Offer to help by breaking the bully's legs. Not sure if Red Sap is edible or not? Consume an entire jar anyway. Nora does this all the time. Even her Semblance is pretty awesome.
    • Qrow firmly plants himself here by turning up drunk, goading Winter Schnee into fighting him and keeping pace with her the entire time.
    • Tyrian is quite literally Laughing Mad, and quickly became the most popular new villain added in Volume 4 with the standout fight of the season against Qrow. His blocking sniper fire with his tail without even looking endeared him quickly.
  • Creator Worship: To a part of the FNDM, Monty Oum was considered the sole creator of RWBY, could do little wrong, and his unfortunate passing is when they accuse the show of entering Seasonal Rot. This group dislikes criticism of Monty, objecting both to anyone who dislikes Monty's fight animation or prefers the fights of later volumes. Any faults within the show that they do acknowledge are blamed on the show's writers, Miles Luna and Kerry Shawcross, who they accuse of ruining Monty's vision. This can also be attributed to criticism of the series before Monty's passing.
  • Creepy Awesome:
    • Neopolitan acts cutesy and elegantly, even when curb-stomping Yang into unconsciousness, whimsically dancing and somersaulting around the fist-fighter while silently egging her on with mocking smiles. Once Yang is on the ground and unconscious, however, Neo casually strolls over to her, drawing out a hidden blade from her parasol. She raises the blade with the intention of stabbing Yang with a wide, creepy grin that shows all her teeth. She appears to be a mute, so her body language is often exaggerated and focused on mocking her opponents. Given the chance to do violence, however, she seems to take a visibly vicious delight in drawing her blade.
    • Tyrian is Ax-Crazy, can barely talk without breaking into insane laughter, his eyes are almost constantly unnaturally widened, he's thoroughly devoted to Salem, and oh, he's a scorpion Faunus. He also utterly curb stomps Team RNJR in a fight, and gave Qrow a good run for his money too.
    • Cinder Fall, thanks to a surprisingly chilling performance by Jessica Nigri. She's introduced with Glowing Eyes of Doom, she's almost sickly-pale at times, and constantly speaks in a very composed and enigmatic tone, all of which make her Curb Stomp Battles that much more intimidating.
    • Adam Taurus is a narcissistic, sociopathically unstable, yet incredibly skilled swordsman who embodies spite, hate, and evil. He engages in a frighteningly realistic depiction of abusive and stalker behavior toward Blake, his former protege, and forcibly dismantles anyone serving as an obstacle in his quest for power.
    • Salem, the show's true main antagonist, is an immortal sorceress with the power to control the Grimm. Her appearance alone makes her unsettling, with chalk-white skin, Tainted Veins, and glowing red eyes. Jen Taylor's killer voice acting makes her even more unnerving and helps to make every scene she's in (such as her torturing Oscar in Volume 8) feel like a living nightmare.
    • The Hound from Volume 8 has quickly become one of the most popular Grimm in the series for its sheer scare factor. The way it's seen stalking Oscar's team throughout the episode, the fact that it frightens other Grimm, its near human-level intelligence, and the fact that it can talk all make for a memorable first impression. The Reveal that the Hound was a Silver-Eyed Faunus who was cruelly experimented on and turned into a Faunus-Grimm hybrid by Salem has only made it even more popular due to the horrific implications of this revelation.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: Basically the only reason why Roman is a likable character, between his Card-Carrying Villain status and his Large Ham personality. Blowing up an airship filled with soldiers? Horrifying. Pulling a What Does This Button Do? and then cheering like he's watching fireworks? Surprisingly funny.
  • Crossover Ship: Yang Xiao Long has become the most popular character of the series to be shipped with others from outside properties.
    • Fans of Akame ga Kill! often pair Leone with Yang due to similar appearances and personalities.
    • In a sort of Opposites Attract manner with their personalities, Yang has also been paired with Izuku Midoriya from My Hero Academia due to both being brawlers.
    • There's a small following of Yang with Ben Tennyson. There's even a name for the ship, OmniDragon.
  • Cry for the Devil: Volume 4 generates some unexpected sympathy for Cinder, revealing she has lost an eye, is badly scarred and struggles to speak, managing only a faint whisper; having been strong, powerful, and commanding in Volumes 2-3, Volume 4 reduces her to a broken wreck. Although mocked by Salem's other subordinates, Salem regards Cinder as vital to the success of her plans. She forces Cinder to sit out Volume 4, remaining by her side to heal and train. When Salem reveals that Cinder has a crippling weakness to Ruby's abilities, Cinder's reaction makes it clear she didn't know what she was signing up for, something emphasized further by her absolute horror when Tyrian descends into insanity in front of her and maniacally tears a Grimm to shreds. Volume 5 ends this state when she returns to the front lines, her confidence, cruelty and callousness restored. The full reveal of her backstory in Volume 8 has generated even more sympathy.
  • Cult Classic: While it didn't receive localization in South Korea, it did, however, gain a sizeable fandom there and Korean fans demanded to have an official Korean dub of the series.
  • Die for Our Ship:
    • Sun and Neptune's individual introductions had them very quickly flirting with Blake and Weiss respectively, with them being dates during the school ball. The duo very quickly drew the ire of Blake/Yang and Weiss/Ruby shippers for being canon threats to those fanon favorites. The Sun/Neptune pairing was born from these spats but has since become a popular pairing in its own right.
    • Similarly, Oscar's increased presence around Ruby has infuriated both the Ruby/Weiss and Ruby/Jaune shippers during Volume 7 as Ruby hasn't had significant and meaningful interactions towards the latter two, threatening the fanon pairings.
  • Draco in Leather Pants:
    • Roman Torchwick is often portrayed sympathetically in fanworks, being frequently made into a Lovable Rogue or an Anti-Villain of sorts. In canon, he is a violent criminal who commits armed robberies, gleefully blows up airships and is implied to engage in You Have Failed Me towards his underlings. His sole motivation is stated to be his own survival and he doesn't care how many people he has to hurt in order to ensure it. The only sympathetic quality he is shown to possess is his Villainous Friendship with Neo.
    • Neopolitan, Roman's partner in crime, is quite popular with the fanbase due to her character design and a unique combat style. While not much is known about her, she is established to be a remorseless killer and an accomplice in some of her partner's worst crimes. Fans still tend to show her a lot of sympathy and tend to give her redeeming traits, occasionally resulting in a full-blown Heel–Face Turn. Her grief over having lost Roman as shown in Volume 6 further encouraged fans to give Neo this sort of treatment.
    • Adam Taurus is a mass-murdering terrorist and emotional abuser, portrayed as an embodiment of spite and cruelty. Any well-intentions he had for his actions have long since been lost as he got Drunk with Power and began Slowly Slipping Into Evil in the backstory. His handling is regarded as contentious due to a large portion of fans thinking he would have worked better as a well-intentioned anti-villain. Then there are some fans who attempt to whitewash Adam's canonical nastiness, ignoring or excusing many of his villainous actions. For example, they downplay his abuse of Blake, justifying his emotional manipulation by saying that he wasn't lying to her during his character short and arguing that he only vowed to destroy Blake's life in Volume 3 because she "betrayed the White Fang". This became more common after Adam revealed his face, which not only proved he had a traumatic past but also increased his attractiveness significantly.
    • While she isn't necessarily evil, Raven Branwen's characterization in fanworks generally emphasizes her regretful, self-loathing side that is briefly glimpsed during Volume 5's finale. The other side of her characterization, specifically the It's All About Me aspect that directly leads to the final battle in Volume 5, tends to be played down.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Velvet was confirmed by the creators to be a one-shot character who was such a hit with the fans that she was given an expanded role. She is usually the member of Team CFVY that the main characters interact with.
    • Perry is a small, slim member of the White Fang who stood out to the fandom immediately. He wears small, round, bookish glasses over his mask which causes the fandom much hilarity. When he speaks, he's extremely polite and posh in manner. Both aspects are completely at odds with the terrorist work the White Fang is doing, and the over-excited behavior of his boss, Roman.
    • The White Fang Lieutenant is first introduced as an announcer for Roman at the White Fang gathering, where Roman promptly steals the show. He made a surprising appearance later as a hulking man who drags his chainsaw blade through the ground as he walks, and who relishes the chance to kill a Schnee when faced with Weiss as his opponent. While he does has a mask that is unusually patterned for the White Fang's plain white Grimm masks, it's only after his fight with Weiss where he beat her down and apparently forced Blake to flee that he's presented as Adam's lieutenant.
    • Thanks to the RWBY Character Status Charts, the nameless Atlas pilot who flies Weiss from Atlas to Mistral was picked up by the FNDM despite his short appearance. He was christened Pilotboi and managed to win one of /r/RWBY's character tournaments.
    • Volume 7 introduced Marrow Amin, the rookie Faunus member of the Ace Operatives. Due to getting the lion's share of the Ace Ops' screentime (second only to Clover in that regard), he became a fan favorite immediately, helped by his cool Semblance and friendly attitude with the gang.
  • Epileptic Trees:
    • The villainous actions of Volume 3 clearly involved some kind of ability to mind-screw protagonists or by-standers. Theories about what was happening included Emerald or Mercury having illusion powers; Neo having illusion powers being able to manipulate things while hidden or not existing and just being an illusion created by Emerald; Mercury using mercury poisoning; or Cinder using Fall Maiden powers. The speculation spawned a meme that "Everyone is Neo". While Cinder does indeed have Fall Maiden powers and Neo does have some kind of unexplained illusion-esque ability, most of the villain actions have been facilitated by Emerald's confirmed hallucination Semblance which allows her to target one or (at most) two minds and trick the victim into seeing (or not seeing) whatever Emerald wants.
    • One long-running theory about Tyrian going back to Volume 4 is that he actually has very bad eyesight similar to scorpions in real-life, and that he realies on his other senses or can sense people through their Aura. This ties into another running theory chain about Tyrian (his special interest in Jaune when he meets RNJR), as Jaune's large Aura would make him stand out like a signal fire to Tyrian. Given that Huntsmen are said to channel their Aura into weapons, this is also why some fans assume Tyrian seemed so blindsided by Qrow resorting to punching him during their fight, as Tyrian couldn't track Qrow's fists as easily as he could Harbinger.
    • It has been speculated that Taiyang and Raven are the parents (either with each other or other partners) of several other characters, particularly Jaune (who has the same blue eyes and blonde hair as Taiyang) and Adam (due to having a similar color scheme, weapon and White Fang mask to Raven).
    • Many songs are fairly clear in which character(s) are involved, even if the meaning of the song is highly debatable. However, the Volume 2 song 'Sacrifice' raises a lot of debate amidst the FNDM over who is the singer and who is the subject. The song makes numerous references to the Secret War between Ozpin and Salem, and comes across as the singer calling out one or both of them in particular. Common ideas have been that the song is about Cinder; or about Raven, given the similarities between the lyrics and Raven's canon feelings about the Secret War; or, as of Volume 6, Salem, primarily due to the lyrics working as a call out to not just Ozma, but the brother gods as well.
    • When Salem's domain was first shown in Volume 4, many viewers noticed that Salem's table had six seats, despite only having four enforcers including Cinder, with Mercury and Emerald conspicuously standing behind Cinder rather than at either empty seat. Due to this, many began wondering if they are just empty seats to space out the cast, or, much like she had Cinder working in Vale and Tyrian hunting for the Spring Maiden, she has two enforcers still out there who were just unable to return to her domain (one popular theory being that one of said agents is Summer Rose herself, having become a Fallen Hero).
      • Related, but during the third episode of Volume 4, the Seer Grimm is introduced and Salem is shown ordering it to "reinforce [their] numbers at Beacon. The Relic is there." Later Volumes would establish that the Seer Grimm is ultimately a communication device for Salem, with one used as a receiver and another a transmitter. Due to this, many began theorizing as to who Salem was speaking to in Volume 4, and if they were possibly one of the two missing enforcers believed to occupy the remaining two seats.
      • The confirmation that Tock was one of Salem's enforcers via RWBY: Amity Arena has only bolstered this idea, with many wondering if one of these possible enforcers is out hunting Silver-Eyed Warriors much like Tock was tasked with.
    • With the release of After The Fall, there have been theories on Tumblr that imply that both Bertilak and Carmine were hired by Arthur Watts based on the fact that they were Atlesian expats that are all based off of Arthurian mythology. Therefore, it stands to reason that Watts would try and capture Gus to provide Grimm bait through his Semblance - either to cause discord in Atlas, or to provide a convenient distraction when retrieving the Sword of Destruction in Vacuo. Before the Dawn debunks this, as it's shown the Crown has no connection with Salem or Watts.
  • Evil Is Cool:
    • Roman Torchwick was a surprising example, given his apparent Non-Action Guy introduction. He proved himself to be quite the badass when he fended off both Blake and Sun at once and consistently gives his opponents a run for their money, all the while being stylish and snarky, and managing to look cool even while losing.
    • Cinder Fall's debut involved her showcasing her fire themes by glowing with fire and wielding it, and blocking bullets from Crescent Rose with her bare hands. Her subsequent battles showed off her materializing her bow-sword out of volcanic glass and brutally curbstomping most of her opponents. The first three volumes also show her to be an incredibly competent leader and organiser who had the flexibility to adapt strategies on the fly in response to new information or events. Even though the heroes know she's around and is carrying out the Big Bad's plan, she successfully hides her identity and manipulates everyone without them fully realising she's responsible. This culminates in her "PvP" speech where she creates mass panic, distrust of authority figures such as Ozpin and Ironwood, and triggers an invasion involving elements as diverse as Grimm and the White Fang. With help from Watts' pre-arranged hacking and virus skills, she seizes control of Atlesian military tech that was supposed to protect against her while increasing world-wide panic by broadcasting images of Atlas's apparent betrayal. While Salem arranged the plan and some of the resources, Cinder has the freedom to adapt it whenever she feels the situation on the ground changes, never losing her cool in the process. She only loses her composure when interrupted by an unforeseeable intervention at the last moment; it doesn't stop most of the plan from succeeding. After recovering from this setback, she quickly returns to her old magnificence, again only ever failing due to setbacks that are impossible for her to predict.
    • Raven Branwen is essentially RWBY's take on a Social Darwinist magical samurai Batman. Skewed morality aside, it is -at least- as cool as it sounds. She also shows her intelligence in "Vault of the Spring Maiden." She was the Spring Maiden and had Vernal masquerade as the maiden in a ruse that completely fooled everyone, including Cinder. Her following decisive victory against Cinder truly cements how cool this woman is.
    • Adam Taurus is a skilled swordsman, and capable of injuring Yang and sending the heroes running. Whilst he suffered Badass Decay in Volumes 4 and 5, he got to show off his charisma and skill once more in his own character short.
    • Volume 7 cements Watts and Tyrian in this role, as they tear apart Atlas and Mantle with flair and enthusiasm. After Cinder Fall ruined the attack on Haven by ignoring his warnings, Watts was sent to his home kingdom Atlas to set up the next stage of Salem's plan. During the attack on Robyn's rally, Tyrian massacres her supporters with horrific grace as Watts conducts the entire affair like an orchestra while framing Penny for Tyrian's acts and rigging the election for Jacques. Both of them are having the time of their lives and it is as enthralling as it is horrifying. He tricks Jacques into giving him access to Atlas' secure network through a shared desire to destroy Ironwood, allowing him to switch off the heating grid that protects Mantle's citizens from freezing to death. As with Cinder's plan in Vale, his aim is to cause a Grimm invasion by maximising the population's distress. However, unlike Cinder, his aim is to actually lose... by forcing Ironwood to sacrifice everything he can to stop Salem's plan, Watts is able to activate Salem's true plan: leaving Atlas, Mantle and Ironwood himself as vulnerable as possible for Salem's personal arrival. His badass cred only went up for fans when he delivered a scathing "The Reason You Suck" Speech towards Cinder, outlining many of the problems fans had with her character all while being dangled over the edge of a building, and lived.
  • Evil Is Sexy:
    • Roman Torchwick, due to his Pretty Boy looks, red hair, enticing voice, and sharp style making him considered one of the most attractive villains. He seems to be doing this on purpose if the guyliner is any indication.
    • Cinder Fall in Volumes 1-3 both looks and sounds quite sexy (and the series knows it); she's almost always wearing tight pants or a Dangerously Short Skirt, and the camera graces her with some very nice angles.
    • Emerald Sustrai's hips don't lie, and she's also quite busty and bares her midriff.
    • The Big Bad herself, Salem, is somewhat attractive. While in the present day she looks rather monstrous, in the past she used to be a human woman with long, flowing blonde hair, and wore an elegant white dress. Even after absorbing the pools of annihilation that turned her eyes black and red and her skin pale, she still looked cuter than the monstrosity that Ozpin and his forces fight to this day. Even though her body is covered with black veins, her hair is done up elegantly and the long, black cloak she wears accentuates her lithe figure and exposes her cleavage.
    • Adam Taurus was already attractive thanks to his slick design, interesting outfits, and his inherent evil appeal, but the second he removed his blindfold and revealed his eyes, his attractiveness levels increased significantly. Interestingly, his branded eye barely harms his looks at all.
    • From the novel: Carmine Esclados. She's the only one who can give Yang a run for her money, especially when they have similar outfits. Hell, even Coco calls her one In-Universe when they met for the first time!
  • Fan-Disliked Explanation: At RTX 2020, the writers revealed that Ironwood's Semblance, Mettle, allows him to hyper-focus when decision-making. The information is so vague that fans don't know how to apply it to the show, sparking numerous debates such as whether it feels like an excuse for Ironwood's villainy or whether it should be ignored completely since it's never addressed in the show or given a cue to signify it's active like other Semblances. Discussions have ranged from debating when and how much it influences Ironwood to interpreting it as superpowered autism or PTSD.
  • Fanfic Fuel: Team STRQ is mentioned in the show as the team that Ruby and Yang's parents were part of when they were in school. It contained their mutual father (Taiyang), each of their mothers (Summer and Raven respectively), and their uncle Qrow. They were the elite student team of their day but the show doesn't detail they things they did, it just leaves a couple of hints: Qrow says there are lots of inappropriate stories he could tell his nieces, but won't. The teachers mention there was once an incident involving Qrow wearing a skirt, and Raven bitterly recalls how favoured they were by the headmaster for special missions that she doesn't elaborate on. Beyond these titbits, there is no solid information about Team STRQ at all because they disbanded due to an unexplained comment by Taiyang about Raven's character flaws tearing the team apart. There is just enough tantilising pieces of information for the fandom to have spawned many prequel fanfic stories exploring Team STRQ's school days such as their outrageous exploits, how on earth Taiyang ended up producing children with both female members of the team, the missions they went on, the reasons for them breaking up, how Summer died and how Qrow ended up becoming The Alcoholic.
  • Fight Scene Failure:
    • The Battle of Haven is choreographed as a set of individual battles that are all occurring at the same time, in the same room. There's very little integration between the characters, so both they and camera angles warp around with no rhyme or rhythm. This leads to odd pauses in the middle of fights or between different fights and characters standing around instead of fighting to allow a different fight in the room to 'catch up', so that interaction can happen between groups. There is also a lot of off-screen fighting so that characters enter fighting poses but the camera cuts away before the fight sequence commences. The battle was widely regarded as messy and anti-climactic as a result.
    • Of all of Volume 7's final battles, Jaune, Ren, Nora and Oscar vs Neo is usually considered the worst fight of the season and one of the worst fights of the series since the Battle of Haven. The heroes all take a dive intellectually as they only charge Neo one at a time, with Ren and Nora, in particular, getting a bad showing after spending much of the season training under the Ace Ops. Alongside sloppy animation and inconsistent continuity (Oscar goes from landing a sucker punch on Neo to being on the back foot for the entire portion of his fight) and the fight did a massive number on JNR's credibility, especially coming off the RWBY vs Ace Ops battle.
  • First Installment Wins: A lot of spin-off material such as RWBY Chibi, the manga anthologies, and various games are all either set during or use outfits from the Beacon Era (Volumes 1-3) with very rare exceptions. The first three volumes are also the most iconic ones and the ones generally better regarded.
  • Foe Yay: In general, a rule of the fandom is that if two characters fight, someone will start shipping it:
    • How a portion of the fandom sees Roman's relationship with Ruby, despite the show having multiple times where he proves them wrong.
    • Fallen Petals (Cinder/Ruby) was a considerably popular crack ship until Cinder's character motivation became killing Ruby and Ruby's feelings for Cinder are mutual.
    • After their clash in "No Brakes", Yang and Neo (known as either Banana Split or Baked Alaska) have gotten a pairing, too.
    • Some people also see this on Tyrian's creepy interest in Jaune. In their first meeting, Tyrian points out Jaune is the only one he might have any interest in among his group, besides kidnapping Ruby. The creepy softness of his tone when talking to Jaune just adds to it.
    • When Weiss was captured by Raven's tribe, a lot of people watched Weiss and Vernal exchanging snark and Vernal's consequent declaration of Villain Respect and came away thinking Vernal had a crush on her. If she did, it evidently wasn't enough to spare Weiss from a later thrashing.
  • Franchise Original Sin: From the very beginning, RWBY was criticised for several traits that would haunt the series for years to come, including awkward dialogue, weak character growth and excessive character bloat. However as many early fans were more there for the spectacle of the fight scenes, the show could ignore those traits. But in Volume 5, much of the screen-time consists of lengthy scenes of exposition while there are very few fights of generally lower quality, making the flaws much more apparent and resulting in the volume gathering a very poor reception compared to the others.
  • Friendly Fandoms:
    • The show has this kind of relationship with Black★Rock Shooter ever since the early 2010s when both shows were still relatively new at that time, thanks to the various similaritiesnote . Fans of both series made crossover fictions and artwork between the two, such as this one.
    • It wouldn't be hard to find a Kill la Kill fan in the RWBY community, especially considering they were both released the same year. Fitting, as a similar work to Kill La Kill was also Monty's favorite anime.
    • Also with Bloodborne of all things. Many have pointed out similarities between the works, like the crazy trick weapons, monsters out of old fairy tales and horror stories, and the protagonists being Hunters.
    • As well as The Witcher Franchise. Both protagonists are monster slayers from Hunter schools who have magical powers, monsters from fairy tales and folklore whose tropes are being played with, racism that led to the creation of a terrorist group and political intrigue from different kingdoms. Some say jokingly or seriously that the RWBY series is by accident and/or coincidence a very Lighter and Softer version of The Witcher.
    • Thanks to BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle, the BlazBlue, Persona 4, and Under Night In-Birth fandoms have become even friendlier with the FNDM. Though BlazBlue has had a longer history with the FNDM thanks due to both creators being fans of each other's works, with many crossover fics due to how similar both franchises are.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
    • After learning that Jaune snuck his way into Beacon, and learning his reasons for doing so, his previous Butt-Monkey antics take on a whole new light.
    • A few regarding Jaune and Pyrrha;
      • In Volume 1 Jaune, rather out of nowhere, makes a suicide joke to Pyrrha while they talk about his bullying problem (much to her distress). In Volume 5 Cinder refers to him as "a failure with a death wish." Not only does he not refute her claim whatsoever but he openly states that he's fine with dying if it buys the rest of the group time; Indicating that he has in fact become suicidal but is waiting to essentially use himself as a human shield for one of the others.
        Jaune: [jokingly] Pyrrha, I know I'm going through a hard time right now, but I'm not that depressed.
      • There have been constant jokes among the fandom basically summing up to "JAUNE! KISS HER YOU IDIOT!", and in "End of The Beginning", he does, right before Pyrrha dies.
    • During the Volume 2 food fight, Weiss gets knocked out cold and Ruby hams up her "death" and begs her not to leave her. Three volumes later, in a much less funny scene, Weiss is nearly killed by Cinder, with Jaune essentially filling in for Ruby (who was, herself, knocked out cold by Emerald).
    • Sun jokes that with RWBY off scouting out the Southwest Quadrant, he and Neptune can tour Vale without the explosions that seem to follow them. Episode 11 ends with the Grimm breaking into Vale after Torchwick and the White Fang blew open an opening for the Grimm to invade.
    • During certain instances, Nora being a Big Eater was played for laughs. That isn't so funny anymore after Volume 4 Episode 10 revealed that Nora was a Street Urchin before she met Ren, and she was forced to scavenge the trash for food, even if it was moldy bread. It is likely Nora came close to starvation at times.
    • In Volume 3, there's a brief argument between Ironwood and Qrow after the latter started a fight with Winter in Beacon's courtyard, where Ironwood explicitly states that if Qrow was under his command that he "would have [him] shot". While it was originally meant to be a humorous moment due to Qrow snarking "If I was one of [his] men, I'd shoot myself.", it loses any humor with Volumes 7 and 8 showing that yes, Ironwood would follow through with his threat. As demonstrated by his attempted execution of Oscar for trying to talk him down, successful execution of Sleet for daring to question him, and attempted execution of Marrow for declaring he's done supporting him.
    G - M 
  • Genius Bonus: There are subtle references to fairy tales, mythology, literature and history everywhere, particularly in the form of meaningful names:
    • Jaune's bully in Volume 1 is named Cardin Winchester. Henry Beaufort, the Cardinal of Winchester, was the one who presided over Joan of Arc's trial and execution.
    • Fans especially knowledgeable about Ancient Greek philosophy will notice that Pyrrha's training speech in episode 6 references the traditional principles of Arete, the Greek ideal of self-excellence.
    • With JNPR being all gender-reversed references to famous cultural heroes, this foreshadows Pyrrha's injury and death, in the same manner as Achilles. Further, her name foreshadows her fight with Penny, in that she wins easily, but Cinder uses it to spark chaos.
    • It's incredibly subtle, but in the first episode, the number on Roman Torchwick's mugshot is 274761453. Scholars of the history of Rome will know that these numbers correspond with the "end" of each stage of Rome's history: 27 BC was when Octavian became the first Roman emperor, 476 AD was when the western Roman Empire fell and Emperor Romulus Augustus was deposed, and 1453 AD was when Constantinople fell and the eastern Roman Empire finally ended.
    • Robyn Hill and her fellow Huntresses are all based on gender-reversed characters from Robin Hood. Attentive viewers noted that May Marigold was clearly inspired by Maid Marion, but was still a female character, and deduced that she was transgender, particularly as she was voiced by Kdin Jensen. Kdin confirmed that May was transgender shortly after her debut.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: This series seems to have found a dedicated audience in Asia, to the point that there is both a Chinese and Japanese fan-dub. It eventually got picked up by Warner Bros. Japan for an official Japanese dub with an All-Star Cast.
  • Gotta Ship 'Em All: The fandom is incredibly open minded about the characters. A single one is always shipped with just about every other existing character to some extent regardless of sexual preference. If they exist, shipping fanworks about them will exist with the entire cast.
  • Growing the Beard: Volumes 2 and 3 are generally considered when the show picks up the pace and starts consistently improving.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • In the Black Trailer, Adam and Blake hijack a train with the Schnee family logo on it to steal the Dust it's carrying. Blake is worried about the lives on the train that will be lost if Adam sets the charges like he plans, but Adam makes it clear he doesn't care about those lives. As a result, Blake abandons him, leaving him with the Dust, but escaping with the rest of the train. At the end of Volume 1, Weiss reveals how the war between her family and the White Fang has made her childhood extremely unpleasant; one of the examples she lists as an event that caused her (implied to be) abusive father to come home in a foul mood to make her childhood unpleasant is the train heist that occurs in the Black Trailer. Blake's past terrorist activities have accidentally directly contributed to the domestic abuse Weiss has been living with.
    • In Heroes and Monsters, Roman lectures Ruby during their fight that her attempts to be a hero will be wasted because history shows that anyone who tries to play the hero will just end up getting themselves killed. An episode later, Pyrrha heroically attempts to single-handedly stop Cinder from destroying Beacon Tower, while Jaune tries to get help; Ruby heroically tries to come to Pyrrha's rescue but arrives just seconds too late; the tower falls and Cinder kills Pyrrha right in front of Ruby's horrified eyes.
    • During the tournament, Nora has a Made Myself Sad moment as she lists off all the bad things that could happen if JNPR loses the tournament. Although it's superficially Played for Laughs, it drops the bombshell that the reason Nora is panicking is because she and Ren are orphans; without Beacon, they have no home and no family. The volume ends with Beacon's destruction and her worst fears coming to pass. She, Ren and Jaune join Ruby on a journey across Anima to try and find out what on earth is really going on, only for them to come face to face with the monstrous reason for why Ren's an orphan and how he and Nora have been helping each other to survive since a very young age.
    • In Volume 1, RWBY and JNPR get a front-row seat to Cardin and his team bullying Velvet, with team CRDL pulling on her rabbit ears and mocking her for being a Faunus. While Pyrrha expresses disgust over Cardin's actions and Yang remarks on how hard the Faunus must have it, none of them actually do anything to stop Cardin's discriminatory treatment or even speak up about it despite finding it reprehensible. Later, in the Volume 5 episode Alone Together, when attempting to capture Blake, Ilia lumps all humans into two categories; The ones who hate the Faunus, and the ones who stand by and let that hatred happen, which is exactly what happened in Volume 1 .
    • Blake's past of being abused by her ex in light of Arryn Zech revealing she was abused by her ex-boyfriend.
    • The RWBY creative team is based in Texas. A major plot point in Volume 7 involved Mantle's heating grid going down, leaving the city's residents facing life-threatening freezing conditions. A year later, the team was affected by real-life power blackouts during a heavy snowstorm that left Texans facing life-threatening freezing conditions for two weeks.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight:
    • Nora's famous "Boop" moment was heartwarming on its own, but after her Image Song in Volume 2 revealed that's her way of telling Ren she loves him, the scene became even more heartwarming.
    • Ren and Jaune share a funny moment in Volume 2 which Jaune pours his heart out asking Ren for advice and calling him the brother he never had while Ren is only wearing a towel. Ren's tone and the funny nature of the scene make it seems that he is returning Jaune's feelings only for politeness, but in Volume 4, it's pretty clear that they have grown to have a really strong bond, even hugging each other before having to go their separate ways, and Ren's claim about Jaune being like a brother to him was really genuine.
  • He Really Can Act:
    • Miles Luna shows off his acting talent during The Reveal that Jaune faked his transcripts. There's also his raw, heart-rending scream when Jaune is helpless to save Pyrrha from her suicide mission. This is followed by his anger, self-loathing, and impotent rage at Qrow in season 4, and at Cinder in season 5.
    • For years, Garrett Hunter was derided as being the worst voice talent for the show as Adam, but come Volume 6 and he finally became comfortable with the character, to the point where many fans said Garrett has had the most improvement of any of the actors in the show.
    • Jason Rose gets plenty of time to shine as Ironwood throughout Volume 7, delivering what many felt to be one of the strongest performances in the entire show to date.
  • He's Just Hiding!:
    • After certain character deaths in Volume 3, many theories started popping up to explain why they might still be alive. The creators confirmed the deaths had been planned from the beginning; while they have been ambiguous about whether they'd ever brought a character back, they have mentioned that bringing back even one would open a flood gate they're not in a hurry to experience. Penny is a robot, so the fandom's assumption is that she can be rebuilt or fixed which paid off in Volume 7. Pyrrha's body disintegrated on screen because the creators hoped fans wouldn't latch onto the No Body Left Behind trope; however, fans theorised that she was teleported or Ascended to a Higher Plane of Existence. Roman's demise triggered so many theories that the creators announced he'll never come back; the fans rely on the Lying Creator trope to counter that, along with Coco surviving a similar incident in the novel After the Fall.
    • Volume 6 triggered further examples of the fandom theorizing how characters can come back from the dead. Adam's death involved the creators having him fatally stabbed twice and bounce off a rock with a sickening crunch as he falls over a cliff, and then confirming on RWBY Rewind that he's dead; however, fans observed that Cinder had survived her own fall over a cliff despite being completely frozen in ice as she fell, and therefore theorize how Adam could return.
    • Although fans accepted Clover's death in the back half of Volume 7, fans immediately latched on to several theories to undo the death, including Oscar's Semblance allowing him to travel back in time and prevent the events that led to the death or the Staff being able to revive the dead. The same carries true into Volume 8 with Penny's death, with theories such as Pietro building a new Penny and bringing her back, thinking the realm RWBY fell in is the Afterlife, or even suggest that Penny's mind is now part of Winter.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Some (possibly) less informed fans assumed it was a Japanese animated series and demanded that Crunchyroll make the Japanese version available. Well, it seems Japan likes this series too, and a Japanese fan dub of the series is underway. It's even funnier now that RWBY has an official manga adaptation.
  • Idiosyncratic Ship Naming: The show's name RWBY, while standing for the four main characters of Ruby Rose, Weiss Schnee, Blake Belladonna and Yang Xiao Long, also stands for the four colors each girl is defined by: Red, White, Black and Yellow respectively. Every character in the show is represented by a color so the fandom tends to name ships in honor of the show's emphasis on color themes, such as Ruby and Weiss being called White Rose and Blake and Yang being called Bumblebee. A full list of shipping names is being collected at a fan site here and here.
  • It Was His Sled:
    • Volume 1: Blake is a Faunus, Penny is an android.
    • Volume 3: Penny, Pyrrha and Roman die while Yang gets her arm cut off.
    • Volume 5: Raven is the true Spring Maiden, with Vernal acting as a decoy. Not helped by Rooster Teeth themselves spoiling this by having the thumbnail for the following episode be a clear shot of Raven using the powers.
    • Volume 6: Everything about Ozma and Salem's origins, Adam dies after a protracted battle with Blake and Yang, and Neo returns to seek revenge on Cinder and Ruby.
    • Volume 7: Ironwood shoots Oscar, Tyrian kills Clover, Penny becomes the Winter Maiden.
  • Jerks Are Worse Than Villains: Volumes 1-3 includes both school bullies and villains. As ringleader, Cardin demonstrates Fantastic Racism towards Faunus, kick-starts Jaune's development via blackmail, and highlights Pyrrha's exceptional abilities. He's therefore a flat character the fandom loves to hate while the villains all have interesting hooks. As leader, Cinder is a mysterious woman with unusual powers. Her team includes: the stylish, charismatic Roman; the flamboyant, acrobatic Neo; and the sassy Emerald and Mercury who really enjoy their work.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: Monty Oum had a famous and recognizable style of choreographing and animating fight scenes. His name alone was a draw for people familiar with his work to give RWBY a look when it first started airing. After his death, new animation teams and software took over the show, changing the style of action scenes. This created a divide between fans that are only interested in Monty's work and fans that are interested in the show regardless of the fight animation style used.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Due to the fandom's openness with shipping, as well as their love for Crack Ships, just about any character can become this (hell, there are so many ships that an entirely dedicated spreadsheet exists just for cataloging them!). Yes, that includes background characters like the shopkeeper that appeared throughout the first volumes.
    • On the female side, Ruby and Neo are the most often-shipped female characters due to their bubbly personalities and (potential for Ruby, canonical for Neo) sadistic sides.
    • For the male characters, Jaune and Qrow have the largest number of distinct ships, with Jaune having at least one art piece or fanfic shipping him with every female character in the series (and an entire sub-genre of fanfiction specifically about making him a harem lead), while Qrow's Ambiguously Bi traits are often used to ship him with male characters on top of the women Jaune is often shipped with, particularly Ozpin, Ironwood, Taiyang and Clover.
  • LGBT Fanbase: From very early on in the series, Monty and the cast were open about the show having LGBT characters who would gradually come out to the audience. This took several years but eventually paid off after 2017 introduced Ilia as the first out LGBT character in the series, and she has since been joined by several other characters including Coco Adel, May Marigold and Blake Belladonna.
  • Like You Would Really Do It: As the title characters, fans are convinced that Team RWBY will never be killed off; any situation that looks like any of them will die therefore doesn't incite fear of death. Examples include believing Team RWBY would survive the dark events of Volume 3, near-fatal injuries sustained during the battle at Haven, and the grave danger they were put in during Volume 8's evacuation. While Yang's Volume 3 arm loss was shocking, Weiss's near-fatal impaling at Haven was correctly interpreted as a reveal set-up for Jaune's Semblance. Yang's Volume 8 fall into the Void Between the Worlds was portrayed in-universe as "death" but interpreted by fans as Volume 9 set-up; her team's subsequent fall and The Stinger were seen as "proof".
  • Magnificent Bastard: Ozpin, born Ozma, is an unfathomably old wizard who has walked Remnant for centuries. Having once built an empire with his evil former lover Salem before leaving when seeing the monster she became, he would oppose and war with her for centuries to come. In his life as the King of Vale, Ozpin thwarted Mistral and Mantle's final plan in Vacuo, wiping out their armies in a horrific battle where he would inspire legends of his greatness and terror as "The Warrior King". Ending the war with all bowing to him, Ozpin went on to restructure the governments of the world according to his own design, ensuring he would have allies in each government's Council and sealing away the Relics to hide them from Salem. As Ozpin, he is nearly able to damage Cinder Fall's machinations, and even after the Fall of Beacon, he ensures that the Relic of Choice is hidden far away and that he reincarnates into Oscar Pine earlier then the villains plan for. After being captured by Salem, Ozpin helps with Oscar's plan to divide Salem's group before Oscar is able to briefly destroy Salem herself by blasting her with the cane, a secret weapon Ozpin had been preparing for centuries.
  • Memetic Badass:
    • As the show's most popular villain, Roman Torchwick never stopped being top dog of the antagonists, is only toying with Cinder by pretending to be unaware and compliant with her nebulous grand scheme as he builds up his dragon's horde of Dust, that furthermore his humoring her is the only thing that is keeping her in a position of power at all, he can pimp-slap any of the heroes into submission without missing a beat no matter the odds, could pickpocket the whole cast blind without a single person becoming aware, rules over all human and Faunus gangs alike with Machiavellian absolute authority, and is only deigning to remain in Ironwood's custody because he can make use of the position he's in. Those are often the same fans who don't believe he's actually dead.
    • Mercury Black, thanks to being in three of the best fights of Volume 3, his constant smug demeanor and a rip-roaring metal song in "I'm The One," to the point where some chan boards nicknamed Mercury "The One," out of respect during Volume 3. Even with his lessened screen-time in the Mistral Arc, Mercury managed to only add to this status in Volume 6 with the revelation that he doesn't even have a Semblance thanks to his father. Many fans took this as a sign of Merc's utter badassery that even without a Semblance, he was able to go toe-to-toe with Pyrrha and Yang, and both only won because he threw both fights.
    • After his dressing down of Jacques Schnee, many fans insinuate that James "Two Seats" Ironwood replaced both of his testicles with some form of God chairs. Most also believe that, should Ironwood get a third seat on the council, he would become all-powerful and single-handedly destroy Salem and the Grimm. His Amity Arena art confirms that he dual-wields revolvers which just made him even more of a badass in the eyes of his fans.
    • Kali Belladonna. While she had little actual screen time during the attack at her mansion and was mostly shown to be a Combat Pragmatist with a skill to improvise and adjust to a dangerous situation, even taking out Yuma with a tea tray, most fans consider her to be on equal footing with her husband or possibly even above him in skill and strength. She became especially known for her badass one-liner when shooting Mooks that cornered her in the library
      Kali: GET OUT OF MY HOUSE!
    • In Volume 8, the manner in which The Hound was introduced was badass enough to make it the first Grimm to score a victory against main characters. It kicked the asses of Oscar, Ren, Yang and Jaune because it can shapeshift new body parts as needed, employed human-level intelligence, and it can talk.
  • Memetic Loser:
    • Jaune; he's joked a lot on how he's clueless about things and how incompetent he can be in battle. Admittedly some of this was intentional since he's a normal dude surrounded by insanely powerful huntsmen and huntresses but there are many fans who tend to only focus on his earlier bumbling attitude rather than his increased fighting skills and leadership capabilities shown in later volumes. This has only gotten worse after "Heroes and Monsters" aired wherein Jaune (unintentionally) got Amber (and because of what happened after that, Pyrrha) killed when he was distracted by Pyrrha's screams during the power transfer which ended up given birth to a couple of memes. Hell, even the creators have started making fun of Jaune's perceived uselessness. This lessened somewhat after he stopped the Nuckelavee's charge cold in the Volume 4 finale (but not by much), then got reduced even further in Vault Of The Spring Maiden when he unlocked his Semblance and saved Weiss with it.
    • Weiss has earned herself this reputation over time, due to having sustained a number of defeats over the course of the show. She had to retreat from a pack of Beowolves after starting a fire during the fight in Volume 1's Initiation arc, lost to Adam's Lieutenant, performed a near-Senseless Sacrifice against Flynt, lost to Winter's summons back when she was still training (becoming the only character to date to lose a fight in her own trailer), lost in a duel with Vernal and nearly got killed by Cinder shortly afterwards — after which she had to be saved by Jaune, the show's other Memetic Loser. All of the above made Weiss a target for jokes regarding her perceived uselessness and poor tactical skills.
    • Oscar after Volume 6. He'd already gotten mocked during Volume 5 for being used to deliver exposition through Ozpin while not getting much time in the spotlight to develop himself, but after Volume 6 saw his coming to terms with Ozma's curse and get an outfit upgrade offscreen (while Jaune got an extended scene to mourn Pyrrha and all of the Volume 7 costume changes were shown on-screen), it became common to joke about how even the writers forgot Oscar was his own character.
    • The Grimm are presented as a dangerous force in-universe, with frightening visual designs and unsettling behaviors. However, because they get frequently slaughtered in the majority of fight scenes without seriously harming anyone, a lot of fans have joked about them being akin to the Stormtroopers from Star Wars or other ineffectual, easily-stomped Mooks. However, there are a few exceptions to this, such as the Nuckelavee, the Apathy or The Hound.
  • Memetic Psychopath:
    • Though Neo has shown some signs of being Cute and Psycho in the show itself, the fandom has taken it to insane proportions, portraying her as murdering random people whenever she can. There is also more than a few fan artists who have portrayed Neo as being sexually excited as she attacks/kills people, usually Yang.
    • Nora has been known to get very aggressively enthusiastic when offering support to her friends, particularly if it involves a (potential) fight of some kind. Because of how eager Nora gets during these moments, especially the whole "We'll break his legs" incident, many fanworks make Nora out to be a violent person who gets off on injuring or murdering random people on a whim and someone who frequently encourages her friends to do the same. Amusingly enough, this is always Played for Laughs.
  • Misblamed:
    • It didn't take long at all after the season 3 finale for many, many fans accusing Miles and Kerry of killing off Pyrrha solely as one final tragedy in a season that was already divisive due to its massive change in tone and threat level. Thankfully, this died down quickly after it was confirmed by both Monty's widow and Pyrrha's voice actress that Monty himself planned Pyrrha's death before the series even began.
    • Miles often gets accused of writing Jaune (who he voices) as a self-insert and giving him an abundance of screen time. A Reddit AMA revealed that Monty and Kerry were behind most of Jaune's prominence and that Miles actually became averse to writing scenes with Jaune because of the accusations.
    • Eddy Rivas is often misblamed for the supposed queerbaiting that happened between Clover and Qrow, but little actual dialogue suggests a romantic bond between the two. Most of the blame for this can be laid at the social media team deliberately pushing the idea of the ship, several animators deliberately adding flirtatious content like Clover's wink when the script didn't call for it, and the voice actors of Qrow and Clover for underselling that they were meant to be more antagonistic.
  • Moe:
    • Ruby is just adorable, with her tendency to geek out over weapons, woobie tendencies, and tiny size.
    • Velvet, her timidity and bashfulness made her a fan-favorite in no time, and her eagerness with both photography and helping her friends leave the impression of a precious bunny.
    • Oscar, being even smaller and younger than Ruby with the same wide-eyed admiration for Hunters and Huntresses, naturally falls into this as well. Just look at him.
    • Blake, a Cat Girl that comes across as aloof, but is actually very sweet and overly hard on herself.
    • Penny, a cute android who wants nothing more than to find friends and live a normal life.
  • Moral Event Horizon: While James Ironwood is presented as Volume 7 and 8's Arc Villain, he starts off as a Well-Intentioned Extremist who genuinely wishes to protect the Kingdom of Atlas from Salem's forces. The moment that cements him as having gone too far is when he cold-bloodedly shoots Oscar, who was just trying to talk him out of abandoning the city of Mantle to a Grimm horde. From that point onward, he's portrayed as having Jumped Off The Slippery Slope, committing such atrocities as murdering councilman Sleet, shooting down ships meant to help Mantle's citizens evacuate to safety, and forcing Penny to come back to his side by threatening to nuke Mantle if she doesn't comply.
  • Most Wonderful Sound: Any time Crescent Rose or Ember Celica unfold, cock or fire.
    N - Z 
  • Narm Charm:
    • The JNPR dance is the corniest, cheesiest thing imaginable, but there couldn't be a more awesome or satisfying conclusion to that subplot.
    • Ozpin doing voices for the Maidens in the World of Remnant episode "The Four Maidens" is goofy, but it adds to the feeling that it's something out of a storybook, and works really well.
    • The first time Adam encounters Blake after the Black Trailer, his first line is delivered with almost no emotion and therefore doesn't even seem to be a question. When he's about to try and murder Blake, the line is supposed to show how far he's fallen and how he can't be reasoned with anymore.
  • Never Live It Down:
    • Weiss calls Ruby a dolt once, very early in the first volume. The fandom has made it her catch-phrase and go-to insult whenever anyone, but especially Ruby, annoys her.
    • Jaune is initially introduced as a character who struggles to do anything right, from throwing up in his first introduction because of travel sickness to bumbling through his very first lesson. He only attempts to hit on Weiss a couple of times in the first two volumes but has been defined by the fandom because of his hopeless crush and his terrible attempts to woo her. The fandom portrays him as hitting on her on a daily basis, something that sometimes overlaps with parts of the fandom who prefer portraying the two characters in different ships.
    • Nora eagerly suggests breaking Cardin's legs only once in the entire series as a response to the fact her friend and team-leader, Jaune, is being bullied by Cardin. However, this line is the reason why fanfic writers commonly make Nora comically violent in ways that far exceed her canon character. For the same reason, Cardin is popularly portrayed as having his legs broken in various ways as karmic retribution for his bullying.
    • Yang's voice actor is (in)famous for her pun-making skills and Yang's appearance and personality are similar to her. The fandom, therefore, jokes that Yang is a relentless pun-maker. However, Yang's first pun occurs in Volume 2's first episode, and her total number of puns can be counted with one hand.
    • Yang's initial anger at Ozpin for giving Raven and Qrow the power to turn into birds. This is meant to add shades of grey to Ozpin, but the problem is that the powers have no shown drawbacks, and they can change back and forth whenever they want, making the scene looks like a comical overreaction. This moment has been mocked to no end by the whole FNDM.
    • Yang's "No more lies or half-truths" line, given that in every Volume since said line was spoken Yang has kept a lie from the team. While it's ambiguous whether or not Yang eventually told the team about what truly happened in the Spring Maiden Vault (and thus the Maiden's true identity), Yang does partake in the lies to Ironwood in Volume 7, and then goes behind his back to talk with Robyn Hill and tell her about the Amity project, with it once again ambiguous if she told Ruby, Weiss, or the rest of her friends.
    • The quality of the non-combat animations and how janky it is in Volumes 1 and 2 are often used as a black mark against the show and has become one of the more known aspects of it to people outside the show.
    • The Battle of Haven as a whole haunts Hazel's reputation in the eyes of the fans. While he had been a fairly popular character prior for his Noble Demon attributes, the explanation of his backstory being shoved in during the episodes and him suddenly becoming a violently hypocritical berserker (Hazel sides with Salem due to wanting revenge for his sister's death, so he willingly helps try and kill numerous children his sister's age), and his cries of "OZPIIIIIN," still get brought up. While Amity Arena elaborates on Hazel's backstory and explains his hypocrisy by noting that he's likely in deep denial and Volume 8 builds up on why he sides with Salem, this came far too late to stop many members of the fandom from turning him into a joke.
  • Nightmare Retardant: After the release of the volume 4 finale, The FNDM was quick to point out that the Nuckelavee's stretching arms combined with its jerky movements make it look like a demonic inflatable air dancer. The comparison makes the monster go from disturbing to downright goofy for some.
  • No Yay: The penultimate episode of Volume 3, "Heroes and Monsters", does this for Blake/Adam. His downright abusive expression of how he'll make Blake suffer for leaving him, not to mention what he does to Yang who tried to save her, has done a lot to turn people away from shipping them. And with Rooster Teeth later officially confirming that their past relationship had been an abusive one, Tauradonna shippers have all but disappeared. See that page's entry for more.
  • Older Than They Think:
    • Several years before the series was made, Monty made a short that used "shotgun nunchucks". Both RWBY and the short use the same animation for the fight scenes. There's also a girl in the short who leaves copies of herself behind and dual-wields.
    • Characters in Monty's ''Dead Fantasy'' series use some of the same powers and fight moves that would later be seen in RWBY. (Something very similar to Weiss's time-stopping Semblance shows up here, for example.) In a larger sense, Dead Fantasy serves as a sort of prototype for RWBY's style of combat, in which super-powered heroes engage in a little good-natured sparring with weapons and attacks that would be lethal to ordinary humans.
  • One-Scene Wonder:
    • Tukson only gets a few minutes of screen time before his assassination, but his design, voice, and implied backstory made him very popular with the fans.
    • Amber, the Fall Maiden before Cinder steals half the power and leaves her comatose. While she does have several appearances while in a coma, her one scene in the flashback shows that she was a frighteningly competent user of the powers, alongside having a stellar design to emphasize her Fall theming.
    • Volume 5 gave us Pilot Boi, who had several small scenes in Volume 4's finale and Volume 5's premiere before his big scene in Volume 5's second episode. His sarcastic attitude and banter with Weiss made him an immediate fan favorite who wound up winning a subreddit's popularity contest that year.
    • Volume 6 had one in Tock, which right from her appearance in episode 7's thumbnail caught the public's attention by her scary design. Her one-minute fight scene with a young Maria made for one of the most memorable battles in the season.
    • While she's seen in the background a few times before, Fria, the Winter Maiden, has only had one major scene in the series in "The Enemy of Trust". Despite being on death's door, she shows what a fully realized Maiden is capable of, solidly curbstomping Cinder and unleashing a raging blizzard that holds back all of her opponents in defiance of both Winter's and Cinder's attempts to claim her power by force. She then calmly accepts her own death and gives her power to Penny, becoming the first Maiden in the series to die on her own terms and affirming Penny's humanity in the act. For a character that had been treated in-universe and out as a Living MacGuffin with no real agency of her own, the fanbase was quite impressed by her power and her initiative.
  • One True Threesome:
    • Blake had ship tease in the show with both Sun and Yang across the first five volumes. One solution to the fandom shipping wars between Blake/Sun (Black Sun) and Blake/Yang (Bumblebee) was to create the fairly popular ship Sunny Bees, consisting of all three characters together.
    • Once Volume 5 confirmed that Ilia used to be in love with Blake, threesome ships of Ilia/Blake/Sun and Ilia/Blake/Yang exist. However, the big solution, given the already existing Sunny Bees threesome, was to simply add Ilia into the mix and make it a One True Foursome.
    • Taiyang has two daughters by two different mothers who are two years apart in age. Both of their mothers were in Taiyang's team in school. Instead of arguing about whether Taiyang/Raven or Taiyang/Summer is the better ship, fans went for the threesome. This generated the meme "Entire Team, Qrow" due to there being no hint that Qrow was ever a likely love interest for Taiyang; the joke is that, as the only member left out of the ship, Taiyang must be determined to land Qrow and score the entire team.
    • Ruby Rose is most commonly shipped with Weiss Schnee, her Defrosting Ice Queen partner, and Penny Polendina, a Robot Girl to whom she is the first friend. After a moment in the Volume 7 finale where both Ruby and Weiss cuddle up to Penny at the same time to comfort her, Ruby/Penny/Weiss has become a common ship.
  • Only the Creator Does It Right: The show was originally advertised as an animation created by Monty Oum, who had built up a reputation around having a signature style of choreographing flashy, high-speed fights. For fans who follow the show because it's a Monty Oum creation, the quality of fights and the development of his original vision are both extremely important. Ever since Monty's untimely death after Volume 2's end, there have been fans who feel no subsequent animators can do the fights justice and that the original vision of the show has been lost. Sadly, there are numerous fans who seem to think that Monty did everything in the show, thus they consider the "original vision" to be everything in-series.
  • Periphery Demographic: The show is aimed towards adults, but attracted a sizable fanbase of children during the early years. The creators acknowledged this in a message that doubled as a warning that the show was going to get darker in Volume 3. A possible explanation for the RWBY Chibi spin-off is born out of a desire to provide this younger audience (and also adult viewers who were drawn to the light-hearted comedy and slice-of-life aspects of RWBY's earlier episodes) with a non-alienating alternative to the Darker and Edgier direction the main show is taking.
  • Portmanteau Couple Name:
    • Jaune Arc/Pyrrha Nikos is referred to as "Arkos".
    • The wikia forums gave a joke name to the Ruby/Jaune ship, known as Arse (Arc + Rose) shipping. And they also add S.S. in front of the ships' names.
    • Barbara (Yang's VA) once used "Blang" (for Blake/Yang) on a Twitter pic of her and Arryn (Blake's VA).
    • Mercury/Emerald is frequently called "Emercury".
    • For a while the ship name "Neiss" (say it out loud) for Neptune and Weiss was popular.
    • "Renora" for Ren/Nora (naturally).
    • "Pyrruby" for Pyrrha/Ruby.
    • "Ironqrow" has gained some popularity, for Ironwood/Qrow.
    • The threesome between Ren, Nora, and Jaune Arc goes by "Renorarc".
  • Realism-Induced Horror: One of the main reasons Adam is considered one of the show's scarier villains is because he comes off as all too real in some respects. When one strips away the fantastic elements of the show's in-universe prejudices, Adam is a terrorist with views and goals that are radical even by his organization's standards, who carries out brutal attacks on innocent people to sow fear and further his goals, and who tries to drag his organization to even greater extremism. In spite of some of his more cartoonish aspects, like his edgy fashion sense and over-the-top anger, he still cuts disturbingly close to real-life terrorists in how he descends into further and further extremism, especially when coupled with his equally-disturbing obsession with Blake.
  • Relationship Writing Fumble: Qrow and Clover were initially supposed to be antagonistic towards each other and only become friends over the course of Volume 7. However, fans mistakenly thought the pair was being set up for a romance due to several unplanned events that forced writer Eddy Rivas to acknowledge with hindsight that it could have been better handled: the voice actors so underplayed the early antagonism that fans didn't realise they were supposed to dislike each other initially; certain animators improvised scene animation to make the characters' body-language more flirtatious than intended, and the official RWBY social media account pushed the pairing via the use of Ship Tease. This created a backlash from the LGBTQ community, who felt like they'd been queerbaited when Clover's death ended the opportunity for some rare male representation in a show dominated by females.
  • Sacred Cow: Part of the fandom is really invested in the show, to the point where they consider it almost flawless. This part of the fandom doesn't like when the show is criticized and can become very defensive when it happens. This has unfortunately led to the fandom developing a bit of a bad reputation for being unable to handle criticism.
  • Seasonal Rot: Volume 5 is considered drastically inferior to previous volumes due to a lack of well-animated action, the over-reliance on exposition, and unnecessary talking scenes that slow the narrative; these concerns were strong enough to require direct acknowledgement by the creators. While fans generally agree that Volume 6 has improved from Volume 5, the feeling is that the latter half of the volume deteriorated from its strong start and that the creators still have to do more work to reclaim the quality of earlier volumes.
  • Ship Mates:
    • Within the fandom, it's not uncommon to find Ruby/Weiss shippers that also support Blake/Yang. This isn't limited to Team RWBY members; supporters of Jaune/Pyrrha and/or Ren/Nora also exist. The trend continues even if characters are mixed and matched; for example, Ruby/Blake shippers often support Weiss/Yang.
    • If someone ships Sun/Neptune, it's a good bet that they were and are big fans of a pairing of Blake and one of her teammates (usually Yang) first.
    • Most people split Team JNPR into Jaune/Pyrrha and Nora/Ren, with double dates being a common fanfiction setup.
    • The major ships involving Ruby tend to be very protective of her. White Rose (Ruby/Weiss) is the most popular next to Nuts and Dolts (Ruby/Penny), Lancaster (Ruby/Jaune) also became popular in Volume 4 and Rose Garden (Oscar/Ruby) in Volume 5 skyrocketed, and the disagreements within the shipping camps are intense at times.
  • The Ship's Motor: Many fics about Ren and Nora have them platonically sleeping together. This helps to ramp up sexual tension if the fic is romantic, but it's also an extrapolation of the very close partnership they have in canon.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat:
    • There’s a lot of tension between shippers of Bumblebee (Blake/Yang) and Black Sun (Blake/Sun), especially after the focus on Blake and Yang's friendship at the end of Volume 3 and the release of what was seen as a Black Sun-themed song "Not Fall In Love With You" gave both fandoms hopes for canonization. Williams has since stated at NYCC that it was a generic love song from his boy-band days and not dedicated to any particular character. Escalation factors include the Volume 4 soundtrack, where "Like Morning Follows Night" can be interpreted as a ship song for Sun and Blake while "Bmblb" is interpreted as Yang singing about her feelings for Blake, though the latter apparently didn't get creative consultation from M&K according to Blake's VA. The shipping war has eventually become Bumblebee vs any other ship with Blake or Yang that gets popular, such as Freezerburn (Weiss/Yang), Catmeleon (Blake/Ilia), and Monochrome (Weiss/Blake).
    • Not as bad as the above mentioned but some small parts of the Renora ship can be quite vocal about their dislike of the Martial Arcs (Jaune/Ren) ship, which has gained quite a bit of support with Volume 4's increased focus on Jaune and Ren's relationship. It's not all that uncommon for Martial Arcs shippers to receive nasty messages on Tumblr about how Renora is clearly superior and canon already. The Martial Arcs side of this rarely retaliates though because the Renora fans massively outnumber them.
  • Shocking Moments:
    • In Volume 7, the airship transporting Tyrian back to Atlas produces a very shocking twist. Ironwood's order to arrest Qrow leads to a conflict between Robyn, Qrow and Clover that allows Tyrian to kill the pilot and crash the ship. With Robyn unconscious, Tyrian obtains freedom while Clover and Qrow fight. When Qrow tries subduing Tyrian, Clover keeps attacking Qrow. The first shock is Tyrian's offer to team-up with Qrow to subdue Clover actually being accepted by Qrow to produce a very unexpected Enemy Mine partnership. The second shock is Clover and Qrow ending their fight in an argument that distracts them both from what Tyrian is doing: killing Clover with Qrow's weapon.
    • In Volume 8, a new Grimm is introduced in a way that leaves everyone in-universe and out-of-universe equally stunned. The Hound is capable of thinking and strategising like a person. It stalks Oscar until the perfect ambush moment presents, then brutally knocks him out seconds later. It tanks anything that's thrown at it, kicks Ren and Yang's asses, and uses Oscar's body as a Human Shield. Ren tells the Hound to give Oscar back, but the creature shapeshifts its throat and retorts "No".
  • Signature Scene:
    • From Volume 1, the first Red trailer and the Nevermore/Deathstalker fight scene of Players and Pieces.
    • Out of all the events that occur during the Volume 3 finale "End of the Beginning", two moments stand out the most because of the out-of-universe shock. The first was Yang having her arm chopped off by Adam, which occurs in slow-motion and dramatic red-and-black silhouetting. The second is Pyrrha's death, which happens in such a stylised way that the moment Cinder touches her and she dissolves into ash is one of the most iconic scenes of the show
  • Spoiled by the Format: The layout of Rooster Teeth's website displays all the thumbnails for a volume's episodes at the same time, allowing the audience to click on whichever episode they want to watch. Most of the volumes have one episode thumbnail that functions as a Spoiler Cover, damaging reveals or plot twists that the volume is trying to build towards. While most don't act as a spoiler until a few episodes into the volume, or at least don't spoil the biggest events of that volume, the Volume 5 and 7 spoilers are very big ones.
    • The goal of the Volume 2 White Fang plot line is exposed in the Chapter 12 thumbnail. What they're up to is the big mystery of the volume, but the thumbnail reveals that the goal is a Grimm invasion.
    • Certain twists from Volume 3's finale are partially revealed in the Chapter 13 thumbnail. The appearance of the Wyvern is supposed to be a shocking moment, but it's visible right outside Ozpin's office while Cinder's standing inside Ozpin's office; this gives away both the Wyvern and the fact a second Grimm invasion occurs in Volume 3.
    • The Volume 5 Spring Maiden's reveal is spoiled by the Chapter 13 thumbnail. Vernal being a decoy for the real Spring Maiden is spoiled by the thumbnail showing a close-up of Raven's face with the signature Maiden fire streaming from her eyes. This is made worse with the Chapter 14 thumbnail, where it immediately reveals that Raven would win her fight against Cinder.
    • There is an unexpected character appearance in Volume 6 that is spoiled by the Chapter 11 thumbnail. Adam's return to sabotage Blake's ability to help the heroes against Cordovin is the plot twist of Chapter 10. However, the Chapter 11 thumbnail shows Adam and Blake fighting.
    • An unexpected character appearance in the first episode of Volume 7 is spoiled by the Chapter 6 thumbnail. Penny's return to the show is built up to a reveal in the first episode, but her presence in the Chapter 6 thumbnail immediately gives the game away.
  • Starboarding: Some Qrow/Summer shippers believe (or like to portray) that Qrow was a Romantic Runner-Up, in love with Summer but that decided to step aside and let Tai be with her, both because she liked him more and because of his own semblance.
  • Superlative Dubbing: The Japanese dub is seen as one of the better language tracks of the series, as it brings an All-Star Cast of great and well known voice actors to the table and the delivery is fairly good.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: The intro to "Not Fall in Love With You" sounds a lot like "Looking for the Magic" in a higher key.
  • Take That, Scrappy!:
    • After spending Jaune's arc bullying and forcing Jaune to take part in his vicious schemes, Jaune stands up to Cardin at the end of "Forever Fall". When an Ursa interrupts them, Cardin's team abandons them, leaving Cardin's life to be saved by the very boy he's been bullying. His team is later demolished in a sparring match when Pyrrha single-handedly defeats them.
    • Even in-universe despite her power, Cinder is often derided or mocked by her allies and underlings. Neo expressly can't stand her and rolls her eyes at Cinder's over-dramatic antics, Watts often mocks her to her face, and Mercury bluntly calls her 'a pain.' The only people who don't outright hate Cinder are Emerald (who Cinder has expressly conditioned into treating her like the mother Emerald never had), Hazel (who treats Cinder with indifference), and Salem.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Despite being the main protagonist, Ruby receives far less character development or back story exploration than the other main characters, and some minor characters. For example, her complicated family situation is only discussed whenever Yang's character is being explored and her goals and drives in life usually only get mentioned by proxy when other characters are discussing their own life goals. With only a few exceptions, her feelings and thoughts about even traumatic events tend to only be hinted at, or speculated about by other characters. As a result, Ruby's role in the story is passive, acting as a lens for the characters around her to be explored and as a pivot around which the plot occurs, rather than contributing to, or driving, the plot in more a active fashion. It took until Volume 6 for her to finally become more assertive.
    • A lot of fans felt that, aside from Sun himself, Team SSSN has been criminally underused, as they mostly show up as secondary characters, with two team members, Scarlet and Sage, being only shown in a couple of episodes despite showing up in the opening title for Volume 2 and being one of the first teams Monty designed, even earlier than team JNPR. Scarlet being the one openly gay male character in the series only to have been written out of the show years before he was outed made the reception to his LGBT status colder than it would have been had he been more fleshed out. Neptune gets more scenes but is still a secondary character who only appeared in Volumes 2 and 3 with a quick cameo in Volume 6. Things were exasperated in 2020 when the light novel Before the Dawn came out, which promised to flesh out the team after years of waiting, only for the results to be contentious at best, with Sage still getting no proper character.
    • There is a widespread complaint within the fandom that Sienna Khan was too underused after being introduced in Volume 5. In her introductory scene, she displayed an interesting character design, combining Faunus traits and tiger-striped tattoos with a detailed fashion design that made her stand out from the outset. When she revealed her motives for turning the White Fang militant and how her philosophy of achieving equality through violence actually works, she introduced a moral ambiguity that the White Fang appeared to be lacking in Volumes 1-4. However, the focus in Volume 5 is on Adam's black-and-white view of the world and his morally unambiguous opinion about humanity instead of exploring the grey area between violence and peaceful protest that Sienna's outlook introduces. Adam murders Sienna in the very same scene that introduces her precisely so that he can turn the White Fang to his cause instead of Sienna's, leaving the fandom's interest in the moral issues Sienna introduces unsatisfied. In acknowledgement of the fandom's criticism about how they used Sienna, the creators deliberately designed the Volume 6 Character Short to give Sienna a significant role, introducing her fighting style and weapon choices, and revealing how she was involved in inadvertently setting up Adam's dark path.
    • While Adam's death was certainly welcome, some felt that it occurring immediately after the revelation of his Facial Horror, the implications, and how the show basically brushed it off, was a poor decision because it could have been used to add depth to a character many felt was too one-dimensional, and ends up unexplained. In particular, that Adam had no conflict with Weiss despite the built-up war between the SDC and White Fang was seen as a particular disappointment.
    • Penny's development in Volume 8 had a great deal of potential that was never realized thanks to "The Final Word". Using the Staff of Creation to remove Penny's artificial body and the life-threatening virus inside, Penny is made a pure human. The series could have explored Penny's feelings with the transformation and how she had to learn to adapt to being biological with needs like eating or sleeping. Instead, Penny is fatally wounded by Cinder in less than an hour and has to convince Jaune to kill her so she could pass the Winter Maiden powers to Winter Schnee and keep them from Cinder.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • After two volumes building up Cinder's obsessive hatred towards Ruby and their first confrontation since Volume 3, the anticipated face-to-face meeting passes with barely any interaction between them, and the Volume 5 fight that Cinder compromised the villains' mission for never occurs.
    • Much of the narrative surrounding the Faunus and the racism they face is heavily pushed to the backburner during Volumes 6 and 7, with the entire White Fang having seemingly disintegrated after the Battle of Haven due to Adam's downfall and having no mentions in Volume 7 (which is set in Atlas, one of the most hostile nations to Faunus in the setting). While this is likely due to Miles' stated Creator Backlash against the plot, feeling it overly ambitious for the series (alongside it being one of the most often criticized plots in the entire series), that the reaction from the crew has been to reduce it to background dialogue was seen as a wasted chance to at least try to redeem the plot.
    • In Volume 6, Oscar finally has enough of the abuse RWBY, Qrow and JNR have laid on him due to being Ozpin's vessel and sneaks away into the city of Argus. Oscar vanishes for an episode and comes back with new clothes, having gotten over his issues offscreen. That this was skipped over while Jaune got an extended scene to mourn Pyrrha was a particular point of contention for critics of Volume 6.
  • Too Cool to Live:
    • From the beginning of the show, Ozpin is searching for his mysterious Guardian. He describes to Qrow a maiden who is "strong, intelligent, caring..." and "most importantly, she's ready". Unfortunately, Ozpin's search for the perfect warrior ensures she's too perfect to survive long in this world. Pyrrha is introduced as an ace warrior with global fame, a child prodigy who has won the Mistral tournaments four years in a row — and she's only seventeen. She's kind and compassionate to everyone who needs support, she doesn't judge Jaune for his weaknesses and instead helps him find a path to overcome them. Ozpin regards her as the perfect candidate to become the next Fall Maiden, a person who needs to be kind, compassionate and capable of taking on crushing burdens to protect the world against an Ancient Evil. It brings her into direct conflict with Cinder, who is in the process of stealing the Fall Maiden's power for herself, and results in her death by Cinder's hands.
    • Qrow finds some solace from his Semblance in Volume 7 when he is teamed with Atlas Ace operative Clover, whose controllable Semblance of good fortune helps to counter Qrow's own uncontrollable Semblance of misfortune. Out of all the Ace operatives, Clover is easily the most friendly of the group towards RWBY and their allies and works the best with them, and when they are forced against one another due to Ironwood's orders, he's initially one of the most rational in attempting to settle matters peacefully. But ultimately he is forced to fight his new friend, and he is murdered by Tyrian with Qrow's weapon, who had been egging on their conflict the whole time.
  • Tough Act to Follow: The quality of the animation and choreography of all the fights in newer seasons following Monty's death is often a point of contention among the FNDM, as many fans have said that many fights in Volume 3 were lacklustre compared to the flow, momentum, and impact that resulted from Monty's touch. Many fans have pointed out that Monty kind of set the bar a little high and think RT is doing an okay job, while others feel the fights in newer seasons leave much to be desired. Volumes 4 and 5 were also criticized by many fans for having fight scenes that were perceived as far less complex or fluid than even Volume 3.
  • Uncanny Valley:
    • There is something off about Whitley Schnee and his demeanor, which is probably why so many people pegged him as evil. His mannerisms are rather similar to Emerald or Mercury while they're interacting with Team RWBY during the Vytal Festival. They're proven right in "Punished" where it's revealed he plans to have both his sisters removed from his father's will, thus leaving him the sole heir of the SDC.
    • The Nuckelavee due to its humanoid head, which twitches around very uncannily. This is probably intentional.
  • Unfortunate Implications: The fandom generally regards the Fantastic Racism of the Faunus as badly handled, including portraying the only Faunus rights organisation (the White Fang) as terrorists that only achieve success when led by A Nazi by Any Other Name who abusively stalks his ex-girlfriend. It accidentally sends the message that the fight for equal rights becomes morally wrong if there's any deviation from peaceful protests while also portraying peaceful protests as ineffectual (e.g., see some examples as follows). The creators have acknowledged in interviews that they didn't handle it well, and discuss in Volume 5, Chapter 10 DVD Commentary how they originally planned a minor background storyline before realising that the issue is too important for that and that they should have handled it better.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: Ozpin in Volumes 6-7. He didn't tell the group that the Relics attract Grimm or that Salem is immortal and apparently can't be killed. However, the group only learns the latter by watching his greatest regrets and mistakes play out in front of them, including having to watch the love of his life become a monster and his children die. Being forced to relive the trauma drives him to tears; in spite of knowing this though, Yang and Qrow (and later Jaune) tear into him while the others just watch in disapproval. Although he tried to explain why he kept secrets, they don't let him speak, resulting in them denouncing him just as he feared. A lot of fans, therefore, think the group is too hard on Ozpin, and that he was justified in his behavior, which is reinforced during Volume 7. Namely after Ruby repeats Ozpin's lie to Ironwood, and Oscar later admits that Ozpin's true fear was that the truth would destroy people's hope, which has been the case for almost every character who found out: Raven, Leo, Qrow, and Ironwood.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic:
    • RWBY and Qrow's collective actions towards Ozpin when the Awful Truth is revealed in Volume 6. While they have every right to be angry, the depth of their aggression towards him shows no regard for Oscar's innocence as Ozpin's host, or the fact that they've been shown such a personal, tragic back story that Ozpin has been reduced to tears right in front of them: Qrow punches Oscar as he disowns Ozpin; and Yang's rage is complicated by the audience not knowing whether she's ever revealed the secret she's keeping about Raven. Their behavior towards Ozpin is exacerbated in Volume 7 when Ruby decides to keep the same secret from Ironwood that Ozpin kept from them, leading to Ironwood eventually turning on them the way they turned on Ozpin, and at most Ruby is simply questioned on her decision or the others express frustration at the secret-keeping in general. This is eventually rectified in Volume 8: having gone through two volumes of learning what it really means to place trust in others and dealing with the consequences of keeping their own secrets, Teams RWBY and JNR are able to forgive him for not trusting them with the truth about Salem and accept his request to trust him once again.
    • At the beginning of Volume 8, Yang's argument about how to deal with Atlas and Mantle's plight leaves many fans finding it hard to side with her due to actions she took in Volume 7. When Yang questions Ruby's leadership abilities, she insists on saving Mantle while Ruby opts for completing Amity Tower to warn Remnant about Salem. While both plans are carried out, fans struggled to sympathize with Yang because her and Blake's decision to leak the Amity information to Robyn contributed to Ironwood turning on the heroes; this was done without Ruby's consent, making Yang seem like she's deflecting blame onto Ruby.
  • The Un-Twist: After all the subtle and unsubtle hints that Blake is a Faunus, it was theorized that she was not a Faunus herself, but merely connected to them in some way. Turns out, no, she really is a Cat Faunus.
  • Values Dissonance:
    • In the first episode of Volume 3, Nora belches loudly after eating a bowl of ramen. While this is considered bad table manners in general, the crude and unladylike point of the belch doesn't work so well as a joke as in Japan, so they decided to change it into a modest "Guhhh!" for the Japanese dub.
    • During the dinner scene in Volume 5, Ruby gestures and points at Ren with her chopsticks, which was uncomfortable viewing for fans from Asian cultures where this behavior is regarded as rude table etiquette. Because Ruby's table manners were not perceived to be a problem within the US, where the show is made, Japanese fans suggested that Rooster Teeth should have someone on staff who can educate the creators on table manners with chopsticks.
    • A common complaint in the Japanese fandom is that the female characters walk or stand in a "crab stance", or with their toes and knees spread outward. They find this posture unladylike, especially for girls in skirts (particularly Weiss, who is supposedly the most cultured of the main four), and wish they'd keep more Acceptable Feminine Goals and Traits. Many women in Japan are pigeon-toed and some have attributed it to their history of wearing clothing limiting their feet movement (such as kimonos) as well as societal rules on how they are supposed to sit and stand. Moreover, Japanese women wear skirts on a more regular basis than Westerners, especially as most professions require them to do so, including offices, hospitals, and police stations. The Western fandom, however, rarely notices this, especially as Westerners usually don't wear skirts as often as the Japanese.
    • Ruby telling Yang she loves her at the end of Volume 3 was said to be "very American" by Japanese viewers since those sorts of expressions are not very common in the culture.
    • Blake's Declaration of Protection to Yang in Volume 6 came off as very romantic to Japanese viewers and they thought it was the perfect response to comfort her, which was why some of them didn't understand why Yang was offended by it. A Japanese commenter had even said that Yang's reaction was "very American".
  • Viewer Name Confusion:
    • Jaune's name is sometimes mistaken for the similarly sounding "John" or the similarly spelt "Juane". The fandom's confusion was even lampshaded in V7 as a one-off joke about Marrow struggling to get Jaune's name right.
    • There was confusion over whether Neo's name was 'Neopolitan' or 'Neo Politan', as information about it tended to be contradictory and the characters only referred to her as 'Neo'. The artbook eventually confirmed her name was 'Neopolitan', which was further canonized in Volume 7 when Nora exclaimed "Neopolitan!".
  • Visual Effects of Awesome:
    • For Volume 3, the face rigs were severely updated across the board. This allows for a far greater variety of expressions than in past volumes. This is evident right from Episode 1.
    • From Volume 4 onwards, the team switched from using Poser to Maya for the animation software. Although the opening credits are regarded as having clumsy movements and a narmy Blake-Adam confrontation, the episodes themselves use a gorgeous cel-shaded artwork with plenty of visual treats to spare.
    • The animation used for Volume 5, while minor in comparison, is noteworthy when they manage to capture a look of pure terror on Weiss' face when she's pinned down by Beowolves during her character short.
  • Vocal Minority: While Adam has attained Draco in Leather Pants status, it's only for a very vocal minority of the FNDM. Most see him either as the show presents him, a not so well intentioned stalker, or as wasted potential.
  • What an Idiot!:
    • When Weiss fights Vernal in the climax of Volume 5, she keeps trying to summon the Knight despite being in the middle of a fast-paced battle with a skilled opponent. Vernal, naturally, takes advantage of this to keep attacking her while she's distracted with her summons, and Weiss keeps trying to summon despite the fact that it isn't working and she's got other options to fight Vernal instead. Naturally, Vernal slaughters Weiss in the opening seconds of the Battle of Haven as a consequence, leaving her without any Aura to stop Cinder from impaling her.
    • Raven, despite wanting nothing to do with Ozpin's war, invites the Spring Maiden into her tribe and attempts to train her. Instead of kicking her out when she showed no improvement over time, Raven kills her and takes her powers. Raven subsequently becomes a key factor in the war and requires Vernal to pretend to be the Spring Maiden so no one learns the truth. This ends with Raven being dragged into the war anyway when Cinder strong arms her and Vernal into going to Haven to open the vault; Vernal is then killed when Cinder betrays them to steal the Maiden powers herself and the flaw in Raven's plan to steal the Relic to protect herself from Salem is exposed by Yang, who points out that will just make Salem even more likely to hunt her down.
    • During Volume 7's penultimate episode, an arrest warrant is placed for RWBY, JNR, Oscar, and Qrow. Qrow, having just helped capture Tyrian, is on an airship with Clover and Robyn when the news reaches them. Everyone barring Tyrian then subsequently falls into this:
      • Robyn, despite Clover assuring her she's not being arrested and will be free to go when they land, chooses to pick a fight with Clover in the enclosed environment of the airship even though her weapon works best at range. One of her bolts then frees Tyrian, allowing him to kill the pilot and crash the ship.
      • Clover, when Qrow wakes up from the impact, reluctantly attacks him with the intent to bring him in. However, when Tyrian shows up, even though Qrow has focused his attention on Tyrian, Clover still attacks Qrow, seemingly confident in thinking he can take both Qrow and Tyrian in a free-for-all without even considering a temporary team-up with Qrow to put Tyrian down first.
      • Qrow then decides to team up with Tyrian, the known Serial Killer who nearly killed him in Volume 4, tried to kidnap his niece and personally assassinated many of Qrow's Huntsmen friends in Mistral during Volume 5. Naturally enough, Tyrian uses the team up to run Clover through with Qrow's sword after the fight then runs away as Clover dies.
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: Burnie Burns, among others at Rooster Teeth, has stated that part of why they made the show was so that they could have something made by their company that they could watch with their kids. Yes, it's lacking the swearing that fills most of their work, and it makes full use of Bloodless Carnage. This was later acknowledged during the airing of Volume 3, with Rooster Teeth warning people about how the show was going to get much darker going down the road. Come Volume 4, and RWBY has a darker setting, with violence, betrayal, and profanity as the story gets much more serious.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Political?: The White Fang, a Western Terrorists group that gives a bad name to an established minority group. Related, Weiss, a character represented by the color white, is presented as a racist, while Blake, who is represented by black, is a former member of the group. It hurts that exposition in episode 16 reveals that despite Faunus officially being recognized as equal, they are still commonly mistreated. Even worse, it's mentioned that Schnee industries used "Faunus labor" and with the way it was said and how Blake mentioned back in episode 2 that the company was at the center of a lot of controversy, it's implied that the workers are either overworked, underpaid, or have poor safety conditions. It really does seem similar to how slavery was outlawed after the American Civil War, but not long after the Jim Crow laws were passed, creating more or less slavery in all but name. There is also a comparison between the Schnee dust company and the real-life deBeers diamond company, which uses questionable labor practices in their African mines. The two companies even have Germanic names.
  • Win the Crowd: Each of the series' opening trailers serves as one of these to get a new audience locked in, with progressively more beautiful choreography and escalation. For those who missed the initial trailers and jumped into RWBY itself, there was a taste of the spectacle the series would be known for when Ruby fought Roman's thugs. And for those still on the fence, there's Volume One, Chapter Eight's battle against the Deathstalker and Nevermore to seal the deal.
  • WTH, Costuming Department?: From Volume 7, Jaune's appearance is altered to give him a more mature appearance. He is given short blond hair, skin-tight jeans and top, heavy knee-high boots, and a more Heroic Build appearance overall. The fandom's response wasn't to regard his new appearance as cool or badass, but to instead view it as a walking Chad meme — a reaction that the creators admitted took them by surprise.
  • Woolseyism:
    • The Japanese dub includes a little something extra for Yang. What does she say when unleashing a flurry of punches on an enemy? Why "ORA ORA ORA ORA ORA!!", of course!
    • Within Korean fandom, the term "Faunus" translated as "Suu-in" (수인/獸人), which literally means "human with beastly characteristics"/"anthropomorphic animal" or simply "furry".
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