Digimon

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Base entry for the Digimon Media Franchise, a Bandai franchise centred on Bond Creatures Mons from Cyberspace spread across numerous alternate continuities in multiple media including seven anime series, four manga, and countless video games. All of it originated from the Digimon virtual pet, conceived as the Spear Counterpart of Tamagotchi in an effort to broaden the latter's appeal to boys.

The franchise's first adaptation was a one-shot manga called C'mon Digimon, released in 1997 shortly before the original virtual pet and centered around the competitive nature of the devices. The first appearance of the Digital World, goggles and numerous other mechanics prevalent in the franchise came a year later in Digimon V-Tamer 01, a serial manga which continued well into 2002. Around the same time it received its first game called Digital Monster Ver. S: Digimon Tamers, a scaled-up version of the virtual pets for the Sega Saturn.

Anime

In 1999, Toei Animation was given the task of adapt the rapidly-growing franchise into an anime series. It could have just been yet another cheap and quickly-forgotten toy anime adaptation in a sea of hundreds of the things, and that could have been the end of it... and yet, it wasn't. The result was Digimon Adventure, and despite being a relatively low-budget production, it was lucky enough to have an excellent writing team and to feature a cast of thoroughly fleshed-out and dynamic characters. The premise was that seven children were Trapped in Another World -- in this case, Cyberspace -- where each met and was partnered with a Digimon. As in the virtual pets, each Digimon would grow stronger and gain the ability to evolve (the American dub used "digivolve") into stronger forms, as their human partners learned important lessons about themselves and dealt with the serious consequences of ignoring those lessons.

Following it was a sequel: Digimon Adventure 02 Time Skipped forward three years, where the original children had grown up and become entrenched in the demands of life, and so the torch was passed to a completely new group of children -- including the two youngest from Adventure and their newly-met partner Digimon, dealing with the rise of a new threat in the Digital World, this time human.

Digimon Tamers was much darker, deconstructive and psychological in tone than before, comparable to Serial Experiments Lain (they share a head writer) or Neon Genesis Evangelion. The setting is very meta: the Digimon card game, video games, and anime are just those in the Tamers universe, until strange turns of events lead to Digimon actively coming into the human world. It's the first show not to give particular prominence to the Digital World (only coming into it in the last half of the series), with its focus firmly on the human drama in the real world interspersing with the consequences of having Digimon around.

Manga

From then onwards, the anime series were set in Alternate Continuities, later established by a series of WonderSwan games to be loosely connected as a Multiverse; these games demonstrate this with a Canon Immigrant Ryo Akiyama, who originated in the Adventure universe and came to live in the Tamers universe.

Digimon Frontier abandoned the concept of humans partnering with Digimon, and had them able to turn into Digimon. Otherwise, it seems to be a throwback to Adventure: a bunch of kids lost in another dimension and they can't get home until they save it, and happily, they manage to sort out their various problems along the way.

Following Frontier, the anime experienced a Sequel Gap of three years, but the franchise's merchandise kept up alone with several waves of virtual pets (and, oddly enough, an entirely new English card game[1]) released during this time, introducing plenty of new Digimon. There was also a CGI Made for TV Movie, Digimon X Evolution, in 2005, which remains the only major Digimon production to feature no human characters whatsoever and to focus exclusively on the Digimon.

CG movie

Digimon Savers came out in 2006, targeted toward the people that had watched Digimon as kids and the basic set-up seems to be a throwback to Tamers; in tone it's somewhat darker and extremely Hot-Blooded. The dub was named Digimon Data Squad. Running around the same time was another manga, Digimon Next, which employed similar mechanics, the same Digivices and the same partner Digimon, but was more like any of the predecessors of Savers in theme and presentation.

Console/PC video games

Digimon Xros Wars (pronounced Cross Wars) premiered July 2010 on TV Asahi. It harkens back to the the animation style of Adventure and generally contains quite a few throwbacks to it, though its basic set-up is significantly different. A trio of humans lead their Digimon armies in a great war against The Empire with the intention of reunifying the shattered Digital World. Running alongside it was a manga adaptation, also named Digimon Xros Wars, which experiences several unique changes and deviations from the plot of the anime. It is the longest of all seasons with three arcs noted by their different subtitles Digimon Xros Wars the Evil Death Generals And The Seven Kingdoms and finally Digimon Xros Wars: The Young Hunters Leaping Through Time which many fans mistakenly believe to be its own season.

From China, there are (much compressed) manhua adaptations of the first four anime, as well as the unique Digimon D-Cyber, and in America, Dark Horse Comics did an adaptation of the first few episodes of Digimon Adventure.

Following the original virtual pet, a massive variety of video games crossing numerous genres have been released for the PlayStation, PlayStation 2, Wonder Swan, Game Boy Advance, and Nintendo DS. The games starring Canon Immigrant Ryo Akiyama, being Wonder Swan games, were never released in the west. The games include the Digimon World series, consisting of Digimon World, Digimon World 2 and Digimon World 3 for the PlayStation, Digimon World DS and Digimon World Dawn and Dusk for the DS. and "Digimon World Data Squad" for the Playstation 2. Also, it's best not to compare it to Pokémon. You will regret it for the rest of your life.[2]


Tropes used in Digimon include:

Handheld video games

    • Mostly averted in Digimon Tamers. Not only did Yamaki and the Wild Bunch know more about Digimon than the Tamers did, but they were actively involved in the Tamers' challenges, from traveling to and from the Digital World to leading the fight against the D-Reaper. In fact, it was a modified version of Yamaki's Juggernaut program, installed in Terriermon, that ultimately defeated the D-Reaper.
    • Also mostly averted in Digimon Savers. Captain Sampson, while staying in the commanding officer position a lot, bails the heroes out three times. That old man who gave Marcus his Digivice, helps out at times and gives him sage advice? That would be Commander Yushima, who bails the heroes out twice, and gives assistance during some fights later on. Marcus's open-minded mother, Sarah, gives refuge to the heroes after they become fugitives from the Confidentiality Ministry thanks to Kurata. Keenan's parents help the heroes get to the Digital World to chase after Kurata. And, finally, there's Marcus's father Spencer, who is one of the most badass characters in the series, only rivaled by his own son. And his partner BanchoLeomon, whom allows Spencer to share his body.
    • One of the leads, Yoshi, is technically an adult at 18 years of age.
  • All Myths Are True: The franchise's very big pool of monsters takes here and there, from the Classical Gods, to Judeo-Christian angelology, to the Four Great River Dragons, to even the Akashic Records.
  • All There in the Manual: A significant portion of the mythology of the series must be pieced together from the anime, video games, and manga.
  • Alphabetical Theme Naming: With the exception of Masaru/Marcus, all the main Chosen Children's names have begun with "ta" (た) or "da" (だ, derived from "ta"): Taichi, Daisuke, Takato, Takuya, Taiki, and Tagiru. Masaru gets included if you say all the names begin with a syllable ending in "a." Daisuke's dub name Davis doesn't fit the theme because it would be transliterated into katakana as DEIBISU. Of course, Davis also had to compete with T.K., or Takeru. Masaru is a twist on the theme, same as his series in general: the kanji for his name is the same as the 'dai' in 'Daisuke,' but it's pronounced differently depending on whether it stands by itself or is part of a compound word. Not to mention his surname is Daimon (Damon, in the dub).
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song: In the English version, an action-oriented rap song is used for the first three seasons, an epic chant for Digimon Frontier, and a rock song for Digimon Savers.
  • Anime Theme Song: Almost all of them are by Kouji Wada, while Ai Maeda was responsible for all the Ending Themes from Adventure through Frontier.
  • Another Dimension: "The Digital World" as described by the human kids.
  • Awesome but Impractical
    • The whole Ultimate (Mega) level was this. In its debut in the Digimon pendulums it required the Jogress of three separate Digimon, or a perfect care record in the case of some vaccine attributes. Sometimes the resulting Digimon may be weaker than the Digimon it used to be, such as when MetalGreymon to Wargreymon. In the Adventure universe, Ultimate evolution was only possible through the intervention of the Digital Worlds gods or the malign influence of something like the dark network. Doing so causes the digital world to become more unstable and vulnerable to attack.

Other Official Media

  • Multiple Digimon trading card games
    • In-Universe, to a certain extent. Megas go through so much energy that they functionally shorten their lifespan.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Wishing for a Digimon is nice, until it gets loose in your school. On several occasions, characters try to force a digivolution, and it goes horribly right.
  • Beyond the Impossible: The Ultimate/Mega level was presented as this when it first debuted in Adventure, as at the time Perfect/Ultimate was considered fully-evolved.
  • Big Bad: Apocalymon was revealed to be reason for all the evil in the Digital world in Adventure. 02 had Vamdemon return as the cause of everything that happened in 02. Frontier had Lucemon. Savers is an odd case -- while Kurata dies long before the final episode, his destructive actions are causing the entire endgame mess; Yggdrasil is only acting. Xros Wars has Bagramon. The Wonderswan series had Milleniumon, who, in releasing Apocalymon into the Adventure Universe, basically set the whole chain of events in motion for the first two seasons.
  • Bishonen Line: Many prominent Digimon, both good and evil, are humanoid in their more powerful forms. Some go back and forth.
    • Angemon of Digimon Adventure is a variation, not in that he's the end of an evolutionary line, but in that he's the last and most powerful Champion the team gets.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Nearly every series ends with the final Big Bad defeated and peace restored, but the Digimon having to return to the Digital World and leave their beloved partners behind. Digimon Adventure 02 is the only one with a completely happy ending. How much hope there is they'll meet them again varies from series to series.
  • Bizarrchitecture: An upside-down pyramid building. The Digital World in general has no need to conform to the laws of physics or logic.
  • Body Snatcher: The Royal Knights in the Pendulum X. They infect the digimon that can defeat them via their Master Tags, allowing them to become more powerful by possessing a succession of increasingly more powerful digimon.
  • Body Surf: How the Royal Knights increase their power.
  • Born-Again Immortality: With the exception of Tamers and Xros Wars, all Digimon have Type IV. When killed, they normally turn into digi-eggs and are reborn (though it varies as to if they remember their past life or not, even within the same season). Myotismon from Adventure had a different type in that his soul just kept coming back in a stronger body till it was destroyed. A plot point in Savers was that Kurata found a way to rob Digimon of this, making him able to kill them off for good. In Xros Wars, they remain dead unless someone resurrects them or they can maintain a form of memory.
  • Brought Down to Badass: Several of the Perfect level, then the highest evolution level, Digimon introduced in the obscure Digital Monster were retooled as Adults in subsequent materials. These include Ebidramon, Minotarumon and Mechanorimon. Of course, they're still plenty dangerous.
  • Brought Down to Normal: Syakomon, like the examples above, also originated in Version S and got this treatment. Unfortunately, since he was small and cute, not unlike an aquatic Mamemon, he was reassigned to the Child level.
  • By the Power of Greyskull
  • Calling Your Attacks: A series staple. Tamers features the humans doing this as well as the Digimon with the Card Slash feature. Savers actually had to have the Bridge Bunnies call their partners' attacks, as they were mute. In the Japanese version, it's averted in all the movies except the Frontier one; no-one calls attacks at all in them.
  • Canon Immigrant: Ryo Akiyama. He makes a few cameos in Our War Game and 02, and is a Sixth Ranger in Tamers, but he originated as the star of a series of Wonder Swan games.
  • Can't Catch Up: Once a Season, the cast is divided into tiers this way. In the original version of Adventure, Tentomon has the presence of mind to lampshade this immediately.
  • Cash Cow Franchise
  • Character Development: Par for the course with the protagonists.
  • Character Focus: Remarkably done with all main humans.
  • Chest Blaster
  • Combined Energy Attack
    • In Name Only; Wargreymon's "Terra Force" and Black Wargreymon's "Terra Destroyer". Word of God is that these attacks actually do have the energy of an entire planet, but they obviously don't require draining energy from any external sources.
    • Black Wargreymon was even able to spam his attack! There are draining moves in X-evolution but they still don't drain much.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: Played With; The anime (and movies) mostly averts, subverts and inverts the trope, especially when played for drama, while Xros Wars plays it straight.
  • Cosmic Keystone
  • Critical Failure: War Greymon's Dramon Killers can cause this. They're especially effective against draconic digimon. War Greymon himself is a "dragon man" however, and is constantly at risk of serious, self inflicted injury as a result.
  • Curb Stomp Battle: Normally, the first appearance of the new Big Bad or enemy of a higher level than the characters presently have is accompanied by one of these. Likewise, the first fight of most of the characters new digivolutions are this as well.
  • Cute Monster Girl: Sometimes played straight, sometimes averted, with both "sexy" and "monstrous" female Digimon.
  • Cyberspace: The Digital World.
  • Darker and Edgier: Digimon Tamers most definitely, and Digimon Savers.
  • Deadly Upgrade: Dark Evolution. It's rationalized as a perfectly legitimate potential evolution variation under natural circumstances, but in Digimon partnered to humans, it's an aberration caused by very negative emotions on the human's part.
  • Dimension Lord: Both good and evil examples.
  • Disk One Final Boss: In nearly every season. A good rule of thumb is never assume the first Big Bad is the final one.
    • Subverted in Xros Wars, where Bagramon is still considered the final threat. Bagramon is actually a rather impressive triple subversion. He remains the main villain until close to the end of the series, and as he's fighting the heroes he suddenly gets backstabbed by his brother-slash-Dragon DarkKnightmon who forces a Xros between the two. Next episode, Bagramon reveals he saw it coming a mile away and kills his brother in a Battle in the Center of the Mind, taking back control and continuing on as the Big Bad til the end.
  • Don't Try This At Home: Downplayed. The dubbers used changes in voice casting and dialogue to add at least one year, sometimes two, onto the ages of several characters. This advances most of them into puberty, in an attempt to make them less impressionable.
  • Dub Text:
  • Dying as Yourself
  • Ear Wings: Patamon, Terriermon, Lopmon, and Culumon.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Some Digimon qualify as this, like Apocalymon, Millenniummon, and especially UltimateKhaosmon.
  • Enemy Scan
  • Emotion Eater: All of the Digimon outside of the videogames feed on human emotion as the canon explanation to where a Digimon gets power from its human. This is inherent to all of the anime and most of the manga, but made most explicit in Digimon Savers. In a bit of a subversion, the humans whose emotions are eaten typically aren't harmed by this process alone (though Digimon will often kidnap or exploit humans for their feelings) -- but Digimon can be poisoned if they get fed an emotion that doesn't agree with their nature (hence: Dark Evolution).
  • Evolutionary Levels: A big thing in the franchise; although with the six levels being threated as stages of growth it's probably closer to Metamorphosis Monster. Usually also doubles as Power Levels though there are some misleading cases where a Digimon is stronger or weaker than its evolution level would suggest. Notably, Xros Wars mostly abandoned the system.
  • Expository Theme Tune
    • "Change into digital champions to save the digital world..."
    • Applies to the English dub of the first three seasons only -- and Tamers changed that line to "Change into digital champions to save and defend the world", because they didn't actually go to the digital world until late in the season. Frontier and Data Squad have completely new theme tunes, and Xros Wars hasn't been dubbed yet.
  • Expy
    • The leaders of every incarnation's team resemble each other in appearance, and most of them have similar typical shonen hero personalities. And just about all of them have a Digimon partner who has fire elemental attacks (Agumon, Flamedramon, Guilmon, Agnimon, etc.)
      • Takato is an exception, being much more subdued and quite a bit more obviously introspective.
    • And then you have The Lancer, who will be known for having a blue theme going around them (blue eyes, blue hair, or blue Digimon) as well as sibling issues. Expect them to have dog-themed partners, as well (or canine in general, since Renamon was a fox).
      • Renamon doesn't count as foxes aren't canines, they are vulpines which isn't the same thing.
      • Played with a twist in Digimon Xros Wars, as the lancer role is split up between The Rival (with the aloof attitude and blue theme) and the internal lancer of the Digimon ensemble (a Big Badass Wolf).
    • Guilmon is a quite obvious expy of Agumon. Both are fire-breathing dinosaurs which become larger versions of themselves, said larger version becomes a cyborg, and finally a more humanoid warrior version. Justified in that Takato designed Guilmon himself and was a fan of whatever Digimon series existed in their universe, which presumably also featured an Agumon as the leader's partner -- his thought process in designing Guilmon was literally "Agumon, but better".
    • Meanwhile, Shoutmon has a combination of various main Digimon design, while having his own personality of a hot-headed character normally found on human leads.
    • Veedramon was an expy of the original adaptation's Greymon before, their current appearance became standard. Veemon is one of Veedramon.
  • The Four Gods: Qinglongmon/Azulongmon the Azure Dragon, Zhuqiaomon the Vermillion Phoenix, Xuanwumon/Ebonwumon the Black Turtle, and Baihumon the White Tiger. Azulongmon appears in Adventure 02, while the others are only mentioned. All four star in Tamers. There's actually a fifth "god," Huanglongmon/Fanglongmon the Yellow Dragon (see the trope page). Supplementary materials present as the boss of the other four. Oddly, or perhaps not, Xros Wars has him as a villain, The Dragon of The Dragon of The Big Bad, little more than a Monster of the Week who exists to get amalgamated into that mini-arc's primary antagonist.
  • Humans Are Special: Some how, maybe because their networks created or expedited the Digital World, Humans have a huge influence over the Digimon from evolutions to raising eggs it seems that Humans Do It Better then most Digimon can do it on their own.
  • Gag Dub: Similar to how Samurai Pizza Cats was dubbed, but the dub generally avoided this during the especially serious moments.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Although Tamers is by far the most infamous for it, really, all three of the early seasons managed a lot of this, doubly so for their time. Nightmare Fuel on Character Development on Heroic BSOD, all with no Reset Button... in a lot of ways, it's astounding the shows were even aired at all.
  • Giant Spider: Dokugumon (with six legs and classified as an insect) and Arukenimon (semi humanoid).
  • God
    • Alluded to, anyway, in the EU. The Three Celestial Digimon featured in Frontier hold the Law, Knowledge, and Love of God. They also defend the "Kernel", the center of the Digital World where the God of the Digital World (who may be Fanglongmon or Yggdrasil) rests.
    • There's multiple "gods" throughout the mythology of the series, from The Four Gods to Yggdrasil himself. ENIAC from Brave Tamer might actually count too, considering its resemblance to one particular incarnation of Yggdrasil, and ENIAC appeared before Yggdrasil was even conceived.
  • Goggles Do Nothing: Aside from Marcus, every team's leader wears a pair on their head. Only Takato makes frequent use of them. In Digimon Xros Wars, it is somehow seen as a symbol of the leader, as when Taiki is unable to lead, Zenjirou temporarily puts it on. Daisuke/Davis does at one point say "Maybe I should put on my goggles!" He doesn't.
  • Gratuitous English: Almost all attacks are in English.
  • Heart Drive: The Master Tag to the Royal Knights. You can acquire these in the Pendulum X V-Pets by defeating their corresponding Royal Knights. If you give it your digimon Congratulations! You just gave Yggdrasil a more powerful Royal Knight to hunt down illegal digimon with.
  • Heel Face Turn: This is traditional for every season and is expected in the sixth. The Heel Face Turner may also become Sixth Ranger if human. Usually involves More Than Mind Control.
    • Adventure: Gatomon/Tailmon, Wizardmon/Wizarmon, Orgemon
    • Adventure 02: Ken
    • Tamers: Rika, Impmon
    • Frontier: Kouichi
    • Savers: Keenan, Craniummon
    • Xros Wars: Baalmon (revived as Beelzebumon), Grademon, Nene, Kiriha, Yuu
  • Humble Goal: Davis just wants to run a noodle cart. He gets to in the future.
  • Hypnotic Eyes: Gatomon's Cat's Eye Hypnotism move gives her these.
  • Idiot Hero: Several, the goggleheads in particular.
  • Image Song: And how.
  • The Imp: PicoDevimon in Adventure; Impmon, of course, in Tamers.
  • In the End You Are on Your Own: In Adventure and Frontier, to the point where in Frontier there was pretty much no-one else left alive in the Digital World. Averted in 02, Tamers, and Savers -- in those cases they had the extensive support of all the world's Chosen, Yamaki and the Wild Bunch, and the Royal Knights respectively. In Xros Wars the main kids never get help outside, but they do have armies of Digimon to use.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Tactimon's could supposedly cause much destruction, if he ever unsheathed it. Next Zambamon practically calls the trope by name
  • Killer Rabbit: Many Digimon are cute but deadly.
  • King of Beasts: Leomon. His signature movie is actually called "Fist Of the Beast King"
  • The Lancer: There's one in every team, who generally doesn't get along with the leader and they normally have blond hair (the exceptions are Henry and Koji, both have blue hair.
    • Henry is even more of an exception, as he and Takato genuinely get along.
      • Because the lancer is Rika.
  • Living Doll Collector: Piemon.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: The first episode of the first season throws 22 characters at you. Fourteen are constantly seen throughout the series. All show up again at least once. It doesn't help that they get a new name each time they digivolve. Taking the franchise as a whole, there are over one thousand Digimon species.
  • Loyal Phlebotinum
  • Lull Destruction: The dub usually inserts new dialogue to make the show more understandable for kids or to insert an added joke.
  • Make a Wish
  • Magikarp Power
    • Numemon has one, and ONLY one use: evolving into Monzaemon in the original virtual pets. That is to say, unless you find throwing poop useful...
    • Also Patamon, who's a Ridiculously Cute Critter even by Rookie level standards but evolves into Angemon, one of the strongest Champions.
  • Marathon Running: When a marathon on Fox Kids wasn't Power Rangers, it was Digimon.
  • Martial Arts Do Not Work That Way: The entire franchise consistently averts it, which is surprising considering that this is intended for kids and has plenty of fighting, even between humans.
  • Merchandise-Driven: Digimon is first and formost a toy franchise, so much so that having good toy sales can save your season from being canned even if it has low ratings.
  • Mechanical Monster: A good 185 or so of them comprise the Metal Empire "family". Specific Digimon species of this nature are usually classed as "Cyborg" or "Machine" type Digimon.
  • Motor Mouth: What happens when you have thirty seconds to explain what happened in thirty minutes, although this counts as Dub Text.
  • Multiversal Conqueror: Several of the villians, who have set their sights on conquering both worlds.
  • Must Make Amends
    • Ken Ichijoji, in Digimon Adventure 02, after discovering that the Digital world is not just an artificial construct in which he can play out his anger and issues concerning his brother's death. This method essentially turns him from the Big Bad to The Woobie.
    • In one of the Digimon movies, the little American boy had one of his Digimon go rogue; he had been chasing it all over the US in an attempt to fix it. Even after the other kids show up, he is initially insistent that because it is his Digimon, he needs to make it right, himself.
    • Beelzemon, good Lord, Beelzemon. See the trope page for details.
  • My Master, Right or Wrong: Usually played straight, as with Gabumon, Wormmon, Renamon, Duskmon, Gaomon, and most of Kiriha's army (in fact, everyone but Dracomon, who just stays inside of Kiriha's Xros Loader and pleads for him to stop, and Deckerdramon, who actually turns on him and attempts to remind him of the 'strong love' he once felt). Heel Face Turn may include a subversion of this. Once Gatomon realizes that her place is with Kari, all of her dialogue with Myotismon amounts to "screw you." Though she was also helped by Myotismon being a sadistic monster.
  • No Body Left Behind: Digimon normally disappear into data upon death, though depending on which canon is in question, they might also leave a Digi-egg behind.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Far too many times to list politely, here's a list.
  • Non-Indicative Name
    • Why are the ones that look like bees called Flymon?
    • Then there's DinoBeemon, JewelBeemon, HoneyBeemon, FlyBeemon, CannonBeemon, and FanBeemon, which are, in order, A bug/dragon mishmash, a humanoid insect knight, a bee-fairy, a humanoid dragonfly, a Dendrobium Orchis, and finally something something more or less resembling a bee.
      • I agree Flymon doesn't make sense, but the others do, Dinobeemon is a combonation of the words Dino which is Greek for terrible and Bee hence "Dinobee" being a pun on its title of Terrible Bee, JewelBeemon from the jewel beetle, a common name for the buprestidae, a taxonomic family of over 15,000 beetle species, known by this name owing to their glossy, iridescent colorings, HoneyBeemon is from Honeybee which is a variation of bee, Flybeemon comes from dragonfly and bee, Cannonbeemon because it's a Bee with a Cannon, and FanBeemon who is a bee.
  • Not Quite Dead: While used less often than reincarnation as the series went on, seeing one burst into data isn't always a sure sign that they are deleted, sometimes they reform back together. We're shown the point of view of someone in this state at least once.
  • Nuclear Weapons Taboo
  • Oh Crap
    • Myotismon has this reaction when he sees Kari get her hands on her Digivice. The original version uses the "oh, no!" variant of this trope.
    • Takato and Henry have one when they spot a Deva hanging out with Henry's sister.
    • Mass "Oh Crap" is a very common trope.
    • Priceless one when Kurata sees a very ticked off ShineGreymon Burst Mode heading right for him. Most of his faces after Burst Mode is reached qualify as well.
    • Subverted by Gravimon upon seeing Shoutmon X7. What does he do after seeing a huge, golden Digimon that is quite powerful that his army behind him got obliterated? He smiles evilly.
  • Once a Season: Try to find one season without a main character who is either overprotective of their sibling or has some sort of complex. Try it.
  • Our Angels Are Different: List, to simplify things.
    • Angemon, Winged Humanoid with a face mask and six wings. Champion Level. (Evolves from Patamon).
    • Angewomon, Winged Humanoid, and Angemon's Distaff Counterpart with a face mask and eight wings. Ultimate Level. (Evolves from Gatomon, either via the Crest of Light or jogress with a flying Digimon -- usually Hawkmon, but Biyomon was used in older incarnations).
    • MagnaAngemon (Holy Angemon in Japan), with enhanced armor, a sword and eight wings. Ultimate Level. (Evolves from Angemon).
    • Seraphimon, wholly armor-clad Winged Humanoid with ten wings. Mega Level, classed as a Great Angel. (Warp evolves from Angemon. Once-shot to make way for Magnamon and Rapidmon in the third movie).
    • MagnaDramon (HolyDramon in Japan), a holy dragon Digimon with ten wings. Mega Level, classed as one of the Four Great Dragons (based on the Dragon King of the South Sea in Chinese Mythology). (Warp evolves from Gatomon. Once-shot to make way for Magnamon and Rapidmon in the third movie).
    • Cherubimon (sometimes translated phonetically as Kerpymon). A massive, anthropomorphic rabbit with a jester's frill that has a particularly bad habit of turning evil. When good, sweet and cheerful Sweet Dreams Fuel with winglike ears (each with a Holy Ring). When bad, fearsome and malicious Nightmare Fuel with a dash of Monster Clown and has ringless ears that are rotting through. Mega Level, classed as a Great Angel. Evolves from Lopmon (Antylamon specifically). (Once-shot Seraphimon and MagnaDramon only to be defeated by Magnamon and Rapidmon).
    • Pid(do)mon ("Pid" as in Cu-Pid), a Palette Swap of Angemon with only two wings. Champion Level.
    • MarineAngemon: A Ridiculously Cute Critter in the form of a Sea Angel (as in, not technically an "Angel" angel, but still wields The Power of Love). The Holy Ring around its neck is said to secure its decapitated body. Mega Level. One of several final evolutions for Gomamon.
    • Gallantmon: Crimson Mode. Can be easily described as turning Gallantmon Up to Eleven with ten wings. Not a straight example, but in some incarnations appears as a jogress of Gallantmon and Seraphimon. Usually appears when Gallantmon combines with Grani. Mega+ Level.
    • Beelzemon: Blast Mode. An eight-foot tall leather-wearing Winged Humanoid with a gigantic Arm Cannon, three eyes, claws, fangs, a tail, and two black wings. Mega Level. Is also one of the Seven Great Demon Lords, but is the least evil of the lot, and was one of the good guys in the third season of Tamers.
    • Ophanimon. Winged Humanoid, and Seraphimon's Distaff Counterpart, though with less armor. Has ten wings and wields a dual-end lance not unlike Gallantmon Crimson Mode's. When fused with the Chrono Core, the wings and lance consist of flames. Mega Level, classed as a Great Angel. (Supplanted MagnaDramon as Angewomon's proper evolution). Now has a Falldown Mode, like Lucemon, though not evil, per se. The Ophanimon in Digimon World 4 is male.
    • Lucemon, Winged Humanoid in the form of a young boy with various markings all over his body. Has twelve wings, which is all the more notable in that he is officially classed as Rookie level. Has two Mode Changes (which count as Mega Level), Falldown Mode, and Satan Mode (Bowdlerized into Chaos and Shadowlord, respectively), though Satan Mode contains Lucemon Larva Mode in the orb it holds, which is called Gehenna (English speakers know Gehenna as Hell). Notable, Lucemon was said to be corrupted by GranDracmon, which would make the Vampire King more evil than the Digimon Satan. Also got short shrift in Digimon Xros Wars, where he serves as Lillithmon's underling. The three Great Angels are said to each be a manifestation of one of his aspects.
    • Darcmon, named for Jeanne d'Arc. A low-ranking angel that usually appears in the angelic vanguard, sometimes called the "Goddess of the Battlefield". One appeared in the Digimon Frontier movie, leading the human faction warring with the beast faction. Revealed to be Murmuxmon, who was also masquerading as Hippogriffmon, the leader of the beast faction -- he was attempting to generate enough hatred to generate Ornithmon.
    • Guardi/SlashAngemon, an alternate evolution of MagnaAngemon with bladed armor and wings. While not a Great Angel, is equivalent to the "Power" choir of angels. (See main trope entry).
    • ClavisAngemon, an alternate evolution of MagnaAngemon with a more defensive bent in mind. Armed with a key sword and has stylized wings. Fills in the "Virtue" choir of angel.
    • Dominimon, an alternate evolution of MagnaAngemon featured in Digimon V Tamer 01. Little distinguishes it beyond being MagnaAngemon turned Up to Eleven. Corresponds to the Dominion choir of angels.
    • Bagramon, a Demon Lord Digimon that was once an angel digimon that rebelled against god for his injustice, and cast out as a result of his failed rebellion. Can Become DarknessBagramon with eight massive black wings. A demonic inversion of Archangel Gabriel.
  • The Paladin
    • The Royal Knights are ostensibly a collection of these, though most often come with a bad rash of My Master, Right or Wrong.
    • Dukemon and Alphamon are straight examples, along with Imperialdramon Paladin Mode (who was not an actual member, but rather the founder of the order).
  • Parents as People: Lots of examples of parents making a decision with the best intentions, but being horribly, horribly wrong -- or even just reacting to something badly-yet-understandably-so.
  • Personal Space Invader: In the pilot film, the first Koromon that Kari and Tai meet wraps his ear... tentacle... things around their heads and kisses them repeatedly about twice each.
  • Planar Champion: The various Digidestined/Digimon Tamers.
  • Post Cyber Punk: Digimon is an extreme example. Everyone, including the Hacker are good guys, they're trying to save society, and are trying to improve themselves.
  • Power Creep, Power Seep
    • Happenes to some of the digimon designed for the the earlier video game adaptations when the Ultimate(Mega) level was introduced with the Pendulum style v-pets. Notable examples of Power Creep include Saberleomon, Mugendramon (Machinedramon), and MetalEtemon who were all designed to be Perfects. On the seep side of things we have Ebidramon, Mechanorimon and Syakomon, former perfects who were bumped down to adult and child respectively. The Pendulum series did this a lot, with four of the five having examples of this.
    • Happens again when a line of V-pets came out with Super Ultimate/Level Seven. Thankfully it was mostly ignored by the rest of the franchise that time.
    • Prevalent in the card games. Numerical values creeped higher and higher with every new expansion in the Hyper Colosseum game. By it's last expansion, Adult level digimon had surpassed the Ultimate levels in the first few sets.
    • Some non-standard Power Levels themselves are prone to this, namely Armors and Hybrids. (Digimon Xros Wars looks at your Power Levels and laughs). To take the armor example, a generally good rule of thumb is that the vast majority of armors have a mean power range between Champion and Ultimate, whereas the Golden Digi-Eggs (Miracles and Destiny) range from Ultimate to Mega. In the card game, however, Magnamon is treated roughly equivalent to a Champion due to the nature of the game mechanics (a specific type of evolution getting you a Mega-equivalent from a Rookie would certainly skew the game); in the games, he can generally be counted on to rumble with other Ultimates; and in his Royal Knights incarnation, he's on par with Mega.
  • Power Glows: Isn't it pretty?
  • Punch-Punch-Punch Uh-Oh: PowerLevels + Constant battling = Troperiffic
  • Purely Aesthetic Gender: Despite the fact that Digimon may look male (such as Piedmon) or female (such as Ladydevimon), because they are all made of data, they simply appear as they do. No Digimon actually has a "true" gender, though this is a general rule that is kept in the card games and various video games. The animated series apply it more as Digimon lack true sexual division, but may identify as a gender. Frontier seems to avert the trope entirely and Xros Wars averts it unmistakably.
  • Random Power Ranking: There's no real consistency between the various digimon properties when it comes to how strong any particular digimon species is. One day they may be considered the strongest digimon in existence, the next they may be used as cannon fodder for the new designs. Evolution levels also suffer from this. Several digimon may exist as two or more different levels simultaneously. For example, Whamon is an Adult on File Island, but a Perfect on Folder due to their increased strength and larger size. In theory this means any given digimon species may exist on all evolution levels simultaneously just by increasing or decreasing it's power or size. Curiously, Adventure Whamon(File Island) was drawn larger than V-Tamer Whamon(Folder).
  • Rank Inflation
    • Originally the evolution went through Baby I > Baby II > Child > Adult > Perfect Stages. The Ultimate stage was added later in the franchise with the introduction of the Pendulum V-Pets and Jogress evolution. V-Tamer added another level after that; the Super-Ultimate, but this hasn't really stuck.
    • Some translations (including English) refer to the levels as Baby > In-Training > Rookie > Champion > Ultimate > Mega; so when the sixth level was added it caused confusion as to what people meant when they said "Ultimate". (JP level 6 or US level 5?)
    • The above tends to be inverted quite often in the video games. It's pretty common for Ultimates and Super Ultimates to be merged with the Perfect level for the sake of better gameplay.
  • Real Place Background: A tradition for the franchise, and a defining aesthetic look. No matter how different the Digital World may be, the "Real World" will be extremely faithful to the actual place bar some artistic liberties. Notable examples range from TV Asashi's building in Digimon Adventure, the country of Japan in Digimon Tamers, the Shibuya district in Digimon Frontier, and the Odaiba Bay in both Digimon Savers and Digimon Xros Wars.
  • Retcon: Overlapping with All There in the Manual: the CD dramas included little things like Mimi being present for 9/11, his brother Shuu being the person Jou was on the phone with in the Pilot Movie, and Miyako's "Yamato Nadeshiko Panic!" song, but it also completely threw out the second Digimon Tamers movie, by not having the Tamers reunite with their partners. Or did they? Later, perhaps? We don't know.) According to the drama CD, it seems they don't, or at least, not through the method hinted at by the end of the actual show.
  • Reincarnation
    • All seasons except for Tamers have a village where previously killed Digimon are reborn. What would happen to a human who dies in the Digital World isn't certain.
    • And then they manage to turn it around and take it into Nightmare Fuel territory at least once: We dunno what would happen if a human would die in the digital world, but we sure as hell know what happens to a digimon who dies in the real one -- they remain a half-conscious, mostly-spectral wraith for the rest of time with no hope of rebirth. Poor, poor Wizardmon...
    • On the other hand, none of the digimons killed in the real world, except Wizardmon and Myotismon return as ghosts.
    • Tamers' third act was more or less instigated by its aversion of this trope.
    • One of the things that makes Kurata in the fifth season so despicable is the use of weapons that make this impossible, effectively making any victim of his Gizmon Killed Off for Real.
    • Xros Wars plays this trope straight with Baalmon, who is reincarnated as Beelzebumon, as well as some others, but otherwise Digimon stay deadwithout the code crown.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Most Digimon in the early stages, though there are a few exceptions with later forms being adorable.
    • Kenta's little pink partner is MarineAngemon, a Mega level!
    • And now Xros Wars has a Digimon actually named Cutemon.
  • Rousseau Was Right: Played straight in 02 (with Ken and Oikawa), Tamers (Yamaki), and Xros Wars (Yuu); averted in Adventure and Frontier (no human villains), and averted hard in Savers (DAMN YOU, AKIHIRO KURATA!!!).
  • Sacrificial Lion: If your name is Leomon or has "Leo" in it or you're related to Leomon, you're probably doomed.
  • Sapient Cetaceans: Dolphmon possesses advanced intelligence, but its form of thought is too complex for a normal person to understand.
  • Satan
    • The Devil's two popular personas of Satan and Lucifer are divided among two different digimon: Lucemon, who originally appears as a beautiful angel before gradually degrading into a dragon of the apocalypse, and Daemon, a demonic-looking digimon whose monstrous form is usually hidden in its cloak. Both are members of the Seven Great Demon Lords and Lucemon is the leader of the entire group.
    • Subverted with Beelzebumon. While he's an example by name and also one of Seven Great Demon Lords, he's the only such character with a moral compass. In most of his appearances, he's either a hero from the beginning or starts as a villain but eventually does a Heel Face Turn. Xros Wars averts this trope completely and makes him a holy warrior.
    • Each Season has its Satan
      • Digimon Adventure has Devimon (basic classic devil) and Myotismon (The Beast).
      • Digimon Adventure 02 has Daemon, who is the official Satan of digimon, and MaloMyotismon (Belial).
      • Digimon Tamers has Beelzemon (Beelzebub) but he's not evil, but the D-reaper posesses many Satanic qualities (lies and manipulates, wants to end the world).
      • Digimon Frontier has Lucemon, who is Lucifer, Falldown mode (who is lucifer in the process of falling) and Satan Mode (The Dragon)
      • Digimon Savers has Belphemon, who is Belphegor.
      • Digimon Xros Wars has Lucemon and Beelzemon again, as well as Lilithmon, another demon lord.
  • Satellite Character: Partner Digimon tend to fall into this depending on the canon in question or how many other human characters there are around at the time; the partners in Adventure arguably fell into it the most. Best averted in Xros Wars, where Digimon are most often treated as independent characters within each army. The few that remain are exaggerations.
  • Seven Deadly Sins: The Seven Great Demon Lords, each representing a specific sin.
  • Shout-Out: Yes, Gennai does sound like Jedi. Yes, he does look like Obi-Wan. Yes, he looks like Ewan MacGregor in season 2. Yes, he is The Obi-Wan.
    • Digimon has lots of Paradise Lost shout outs. Deathmon is named after the demon Death, Lucemon and Barbamon has, respectively, an attack named Paradise Lost and Purgatory Lost. Beyond it, both Barbamon and Belial Vamdemon reference the city of Pandemonium in their attacks.
  • Shown Their Work: Moved here.
  • Sixth Ranger: Like Heel Face Turn, a tradition.
    • Adventure: Kari/Hikari
    • Adventure 02: Ken
    • Tamers: Anyone who's not Takato, Rika, or Henry; Ryo is the straightest example
    • Frontier: Kouichi
    • Savers': Keenan
    • Xros Wars: Kiriha and Nene
  • Sleep Mode Size: Partner digimon usually spend their off hours in Rookie level form.
    • Played straight with Demon Lord Belphemon, whose main form Rage Mode only shows up once every thousand years. For the rest of that time, he looks... well... take a look. Though Belphemon actually subverts it by still being pretty huge in this form.
  • Sliding Scale of Anime Obscurity: Roughly around the zero mark. Behind Dragon Ball, Sailor Moon, and Pokémon, this may be the most well known anime in America.
  • Smash Cut: A common way to transition to digivolution in the heat of battle.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Evil: Gennai: "[villain name here] was not the true enemy!"
  • Special Guest: Terry Bradshaw. Yes, the NFL's Terry Bradshaw. He used to host a Digithon (digimon marathon) on Fox Kids. Not only that, it was a Super Bowl themed marathon, in which Bradshaw would provide commentary in-between episodes.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Not necessarily a spelling issue, but there are usually inconsistencies even on this very wiki over whether to use the English dub names or the original Japanese names -- mainly because while there is quite a lot of Nostalgia Filter over growing up with the dub despite (or because of) the occasional Cut and Paste Translation, the Japanese version has recently amassed a large fanbase, and both are widely accepted in their own right. It is generally optimal for fandom members to familiarize themselves with both sets of terms for minimum confusion. It doesn't help that some of the English names are plagued by Engrish; for instance "LoadKnightmon" (seen in Savers), whose correct name would be "LordKnightmon" or "RhodoKnightmon" (a pun on "rhodonite"). It also doesn't help that multiple names are used even in English, like when the dub of Frontier named this very same Digimon as "Crusadermon".
    • A lot of digimon in the expanded universe (and their attacks) suffer from being written in mostly katakana, which leaves interpretation up in the air. Most of the time, a simple solution can be found, but in some cases, a foreign attack name will slip under the radar due to being obscure[4] or due to the aforementioned Nostalgia Filter[5].
  • Starfish Aliens: The Digimon themselves. Sure, they tend to have mostly human behaviors, but they're pretty unusual: They're data-based (as opposed to matter), each subspecies have radically different and varying forms, and even each individual have different forms through their life! They also change said forms instantly, changing in shape and size in seconds (and without regard to biology). Even stranger is that Digimon seem to lack individual names. In fact, most Digimon of the same subspecies are almost indistinguishable from each other. The Digignomes and the D-Reaper also count. Inverted, in that from the point of view of the Digimon, humans are Starfish Aliens. When Sora explains that on Earth there are hundred of kids, Biyomon visualizes hundreds and hundred of Soras. Later, Patamon states how weird humans are to Digimon.
  • Stationary Wings: Applies to most winged Digimon.
  • Stock Footage: In addition to each partner Digimon's individual Transformation Sequence, virtually every major Digimon's attacks rely on stock footage.
  • Synchronization: Most apparent in Tamers, where the damage that Digimon take will occasionally visibly affect and push around the Digimon's partner.
  • Tactical Rock-Paper-Scissors: Concerning the Digimon attributes: Vaccine beats Virus, Virus beats Data and Data beats Vaccine.
  • They Killed Kenny
    • Leomon always dies, preferably by Heroic Sacrifice, and it's always played for tragedy. Digimon Frontier escapes this by having the heroes kill a Panja/IceLeomon instead, and Digimon Savers lulls the viewer into a false sense of security by killing a SaberLeomon about a quarter of the way in, only to throw BanchouLeomon onto the viewer later... The very first scene of X-Evolution is of Leomon dying!
    • Exception: Frontier has Kouichi, whose Digimon forms were lion-themed, and in Japan his Beast form's name was KaiserLeomon. Then again, he didn't quite die, either, although it seemed that way.
    • Xros Wars' very first enemy of any significance is MadLeomon, and he gets killed off in episode 3. Subverted later on that he gets revived as Leomon.
    • Oh look, we have another humanoid lion named Apollomon! He has the noblest of intentions! His Jekyll and Hyde sickness pretty much confirms him being killed.
      • Like MadLeomon Subverted not one but twice. Once in Prison Land as both him self and Whispered and again when Mikey obtains the completed Code Crown in the battle against MegaDarknessBagramon, where he is revived alongside all of his other fallen allies.
    • Funny enough, he did not die in 02, namely because nobody noticed him. Those with a sharp eye will notice that, when many Digimon show up during the final battle with the Big Bad, a Leomon is amongst them. He has literally like just two seconds of screentime, but hey, it's the one time he does not die.
    • Leo didn't die, but V Tamer 01 was never released internationally and predates the running gag anyway.
  • The End: Keeping the pattern of title cards at the end of episodes, Xros Wars ended with a card that said "owari" (おわり).
  • This Is a Drill: Digmon, Drimogemon, LoaderLiomon, Breakdramon, and Dorulumon all exhibit this trope.
  • Tired of Running: All of the male leads have a moment like this.
  • Title Theme Tune: Used in the English version for the first three seasons. Though presumably due to legal wrangling, it hasn't been used since Tamers.
  • To Be Continued: Let's just go ahead and say that the dub abused this trope. Xros Wars, the Japanese version, abused it, too.
  • Transformation Sequence: And how.
    • Transformation Name Announcement
    • Stock Footage
    • Transformation Is a Free Action: Normally, but Infermon averts it to great effect in the first movie. This is actually quite interesting because we get to see what a Digimon looks like while it's transforming, "outside" of the sequence. We get an even better view in the Savers movie -- When Agumon digivolves to ShineGreymon, it looks like a series of progressively bigger digieggs which eventually hatch to him.
  • Truth in Television: There is no such thing as joint parental custody in Japan. This adds subtext to the lives of several characters:
    • Takeru and Yamato probably spent more time apart than foreign audiences might think, which helps to explain Yamato's angst.
    • If Mr. Minamoto never had custody of Koichi, it was that much easier to pretend that his ex-wife was dead.
  • Universe Concordance
    • The Digimon Encyclopedia by Chris McFeely, which covered all of Adventures to Tamers, and part of Frontier. It was the main source of Digimon for fans before the advent of Wikia.
    • And officially, the Digimon Dictionary, that is, if you can read Japanese.
  • Voice of the Legion
  • War Elephants: Mammothmon are usually used in this fashion.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: A prevalent theme, especially when there are human villains involved
  • "What the Hell?" Dad: Any parent.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: Several members of the main cast(s) seem remarkably mature or intelligent for their ages.
    • Kari especially, to the point that some accusations of Sue-hood have been thrown at her over the years.
    • Rika/Ruki seems to be this at first glance in Tamers. Naturally, this gets horrifically subverted.
    • Taiki too, who is quite a different goggle-head boy.
  • World Gone Mad: The Digital World varies from series to series, but all agree that it is bizarre even under the most peaceful circumstances.
  • Xtreme Kool Letterz: The sixth season is called Xros Wars. Justified, in that this is taken from "Xaos", the greek spelling of Chaos. The "X" is pronounced like a "K" or "C". Pronouncing the western character "X" as "cross" seems to be becoming a specifically-Japanese trope. It is two lines "crossed" but still.
  • Your Size May Vary: A lot of larger digimon are prone to being inconsistently depicted across the various mediums. Especially partner digimon, who will often carry their partners on their head or shoulders; Imperialdramon Fighter Mode and SaintGalgomon are kings of this, being to other huge partner digimon as they are to their original humans.

See each series page for series-specific tropes.

  1. this is odd because card game aside, the franchise pretty much ceased to exist in the west in this time period
  2. For the sake of clarification: the similarities between the two pretty much end at their status as Shonen Mons franchises which debuted at roughly the same time; beyond that, they are vastly different beasts in every respect. Of course, the Pokémon Fanbase doesn't seem to realise that; it's actually rather one-sided, though, as a rather sizable portion of the Digimon base also enjoys Pokémon.
  3. Nukes are triggered mid air to maximise the destruction, and are specifically designed to not trigger due to impact.
  4. Fandubbers can be forgiven for calling AlforceVeedramon's attack the Tense Great Shield; how many of you know what tensegrity is in the first place?
  5. More than a few were surprised when Sukamon's official english name came out as Scummon.