Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
This page needs some cleaning up to be presentable.

Tropes for the manga, anime, movie and licensed game all are jumbled indiscriminately together below. Separate pages should be created for each, with a franchise page organizing them. Also many YouTube links go to videos which are no longer available and need to be replaced or updated.

Mugi, Mio, Yui, Azusa & Ritsu

"Really noisy, never ending girls talk!
Can't wait until the ending bell!
Even if I'm late, I'll never leave early, no no no!
With all my might, I'll study after school!"

When Sakuragaoka High School's Light Music Club (keiongaku-bu) is about to be disbanded with all of its members graduating, Ritsu Tainaka seizes her chance to become a club president without actually being elected and drags her shy friend Mio Akiyama along for the ride. They recruit two more students in order to meet the minimum member requirement: Tsumugi Kotobuki, a wealthy blonde who was looking for another club entirely, and Yui Hirasawa, a spacey girl whom they tempt with numerous sweet things until she agrees to join.

With their new band formed, the four come to a sudden realization: none of them can actually play an instrument that well - or, in Yui's case, at all. The group sets off to improve their musical skills, with plenty of Slice of Life cuteness along the way.

K-On! follows their progress as they get a club adviser (Sawako Yamanaka, an alumna of the light music club), decide on a band name (Houkago[1] Tea Time), write their first original songs and finally perform on stage. Later, they recruit an additional guitarist: Azusa Nakano, a hard-working musician bewildered by the eccentric and relaxed attitudes of the other members.

The Yonkoma manga by Kakifly, serialized in the same magazine as Hidamari Sketch, was turned into an anime by Kyoto Animation in the spring season of 2009. The show proved to be a runaway success, with the opening and ending themes topping out at #1 and #2 in the Japanese music charts as well. The manga has been translated into English and released by Yen Press. The second season, K-On!! (note the two exclamation points), aired in the spring of 2010 for 26 more episodes. A movie was announced after the second season ended, and released on December 3, 2011.

In 2010, Bandai Entertainment announced that they had licensed the first season. In August of that year, they announced they would dub it. The first volume of the English dub was released on April 26, 2011. In early 2012, Sentai Filmworks licensed the second season.

Between April 2011 and June 2012, Kakifly continued the original manga series with a pair of new stories, parallel plots following the four original members of Hokago Tea Time as they continue their friendship and band in college, while Azusa, Yui's sister Ui and their friend Jun form a new band as the next generation of the Light Music Club. These were collected into a pair of tankoubon volumes entitled K-On! College and K-On! High School respectively. And in 2018 Kakifly began a new K-On! manga, K-On! Shuffle, in which a girl from another high school is inspired to join her school's Light Music Club and start her own band after seeing Hokago Tea Time perform -- only to discover there isn't one, and she must hijack its Light Music Appreciation Society instead to accomplish her goal.

All characterization tropes are listed on the character sheet subpage. There is also a Wild Mass Guessing page.

Not to be confused with Ju-On. Or Kuon.

Tropes used in K-On! include:

A to D

  • Abbey Road Crossing, referenced in K-On!! (season 2) episode 27 (OVA), when Mio fantasizes about a trip to England -- the land of Rock Bands! (Apparently Mio really is a Classic Rock fan).
  • Absurdly Powerful Student Council:
    • Subverted. When the third-year members all end up in the same class they think new president Nodoka might have arranged it, but it turned out she couldn't do anything of the sort. Sawako-sensei was actually responsible.
    • Two sketch gags in manga Volume 3 show Sawako asking Nodoka for a raise, and Tsumugi's butler asking her for a bigger role in the series.
  • Adaptation Expansion: Compare any anime plot to the manga segment it was based on. Definitely for the better, though, and produces lots of good music and extra gags. This is even more pronounced in the second season.
  • All Just a Dream: Most of S2 E13 is like this.
  • Aliens Steal Cattle: According to the Occult Club.
  • Alma Mater Song: Which later got released in a rock version.
  • American Kirby Is Hardcore: The Yen Press published tankobon tend to include slightly more swearing than is true to the translation.
  • Anachronic Order: None of the second season's bonus episodes take place after the graduation in episode 24. The chronological order is 1-13, 27, 14-21, 25, 22, 26, 23-24. The Movie was also set before and during graduation.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: In the Licensed Game, K-On! Houkago Live!!. Not bad, since those are the clothes that the girls wear in the anime.
  • Animal Motifs: There are small sculptures of "The Tortoise and the Hare" attached to the stair railing that leads up to the light music club's music room. Season 2, episode 8 makes it quite clear that the tortoise symbolizes Yui's slow development.
    • These are actual architectural features of Toyosato Elementary School in Shiga Prefecture, which the high school in the anime was based on.
    • Turtles and tortoises also tend to show up in all kinds of other forms and shapes--even living.
  • Artificial Riverbank: Yui lives close to one, and practices there during finals season for a talent show. All four of the third-year students practice their farewell song there during the movie. It's one of the locations mentioned in the lyrics of "Tenshi ni Fureta yo!".
    • The river bank, like a lot of depicted locations, is based on a real site, and can be found along the Takanogawa river flowing through Kyoto.
  • Art Shift: A distinctive Chiaroscuro lighting scheme is used whenever a character is being dramatic (or just pretending to be). Also when Mugi gets ideas. Moreover, during the School Festival there is a Music Video within a show that has a noticeably different style.
    • There's a quite creepy one in the manga.
    • The characters break the Fourth Wall to explain that Sawako's eyes have drastically changed shape, color, and design in episode 5.
    • Then there's the DVD specials, which are drawn in a sketchy limited-animation style more reminiscent of Crayon Shin-chan. "K-On Shin-chan", perhaps?
    • The anime closing/credits "music video" features the girls making mouth movements and facial expressions that deviate from the normal style of the show.
    • Mio does this during the test of courage in the forest at night, at their second training camp, when she mistakes Sawako to be an evil spirit.
    • Yui bursts into a slight Art Shift when she is called "Yui-Senpai" for the first time by Azusa.
  • Ascended Extra: Jun. Started as a miscellaneous unnamed friend of Azusa's but in later chapters (and during the second season of the anime) is given her own place among the cast. In the fourth volume she even has a spot on the character introduction page with the other eight characters. And as of the 2011 restart, she joins Azusa and Ui in the Light Music Club.
  • Attention Deficit Ooh Shiny: Certain people from the Fandom believe Yui has this.
  • Baker's Dozen: Episode 14 was included in the first season's final Blu-ray volume. It followed the girls New Year's Eve, but with a new twist not in the manga; they performed at a local live show. After all that was done, the episode shifted back to following the manga at the end.
  • Battle of the Bands: Yoshii sets up a competition between Houkago Tea Time and OnNaGumi in the manga's university storyline.
  • Beach Episode: Two of them. Held at Mugi's vacation house, which also includes a Hot Spring.
  • Beyond the Impossible: In K-On! high school [sic], Ui plays a guitar line that Sawa-chan-sensei is certain requires six fingers on her hand to play. Yes, Ui has normal hands.
  • Big Eater: The enormous amounts of sweets, cake and other desserts the girls eat every day during band practice don't seem to affect their waistlines at all. Especially Yui appears to have an extremely high metabolism.
    • As of volume 5 chapter 14 reveals Mio gains weight of 2 kilos after entering university. When Mio tries to eat a smaller portion of her meal she then is peeved when Ritsu eats the food on her plate. Catch is what Mio eats goes to her boobs which is why she is wearing loose clothing to hide them.
  • Big Fancy House: Unknown, since you need an appointment to stay over Mugi's house. Her summer villas on the other hand are humongous. In any case, Sawako was really impressed when she drove Mugi home.
  • Big No: after the Panty Shot below, Mio has a Big No that can be heard outside the auditorium.
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: Tsumugi (seems like a family trait, given that one of the music store's clerks realized she was the owner's daughter simply by looking at her eyebrows).
    • Lampshaded in the last episode of the first season: in Yui's fever-dream, Mugi's eyebrows are actually slices of pickled radish.
      • Which was a reference to a omake that ran through the collected manga volumes.
    • In season 2 episode 5, Azusa imagines a more responsible Yui with Big Ol' Eyebrows encouraging her in the clubroom. Moments later Jun imagines the Light Music Club playing "Kick the Can," with the can having a smiley face with pronounced eyebrows.
      • The eyebrows on Azunyan's sempai (the rest of the girls) in s2-ep05, were actually strips of nori seaweed.
    • One of the girls from the Occult Club has them too.
  • Bishonen: There are actually some fairly good looking male background characters considering the cute art style
  • Bishoujo Series: Expected, given the setting.
  • Biting the Handkerchief: Yui is guilty of this at least once.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Natch. A few second season episodes have this, but the kicker is definitely Episode 24, and the second Extra Episode, which ends with Azusa practicing a rough version of "Fuwa Fuwa Time" with the future members of next year's light music club (which, given the voices, are Ui and Jun) for the recruitment concert. The seniors decide not to disturb them and run away, out into the yard in the sunset, where they give their old school one last goodbye.
  • Bland-Name Product: While Mio uses a "Pony" cassette player and the girls eat at "Max Burger" (complete with golden "M"), the musical instruments and equipment are shown as they are: Fender, Gibson, KORG, Yamaha, Marshall, Peavey, and VOX.
    • The name "Max" has more to do with the Japanese burger chain Mos Burger, while the shop design is derived from another Japanese chain Freshness Burger.
    • Played straight whenever the musical instruments are reproduced for merchandise such as figurines and the PSP game: the makers' logos are always removed.
    • However, at the instrument shop, there's a "Peart" Drums adboard, as well as several bins of "Dunlup" guitar picks.
    • Mio and Azusa's tuners -- Mio's is a Korg AW-2 (backlit), whereas Azusa's is a Korg AW-1, but mislabeled a Yamaha. Ironically, Korg has a license with Yamaha for actually selling a Yamaha AW-1 in Japan only, but the real one has the triple-tuning-fork logo on the clip, not written in block on the face.
  • Blank White Eyes: Everyone. Free triangle-shaped mouths included.
  • Blue with Shock: Happens occasionally, with most of the cast getting it at least once. Played comically in episode 18 season 2, when Azusa tries to encourage Mio about her role in the Romeo And Juliet play.
    • And Ritsu in episode 22 season 2, when she misplaces her exam pass.
  • Blood Sisters: The girls of Hokago Tea Time eventually form a friendship that's closer than most sisters ever will be in Real Life, and nowhere is this more evident than the tearful embrace they share in Season 2 Episode 20 and Episode 22, when they realize that their determination and dedication helped them all pass the entrance exams for the same university, meaning that they won't have to break up the band.
    • Interestingly, their voice actresses apparently grew to be close friends as well, and have maintained their frriendships despite going their separate professional ways after the end of the series and the movie.
  • Blush Sticker: Pretty much everyone at some point or another.
  • Boke and Tsukkomi Routine: Ritsu and Mio. Complete with an image of Mio hitting Ritsu with a fan when Mugi talks about their relationship to each other in the manga.
    • Lampshaded by Ritsu while they're in college.
    • Yui and Azusa do an actual manzai performance at a talent show, in front of an audience. (Yui is the Boke.)
  • Book Ends: Season 1 episode 10, which begins and ends with Azusa meeting up with Ui to hang out.
    • Overlapping with Meaningful Echo and Ironic Echo, Yui and Azusa telling the band "It wasn't very good, was it?" bookend the entire series.
      • To elaborate, when Yui is first drafted by Ritsu and Mio in season 1, they play a song for her and she says it's not very good. She joins the club anyway. At the graduation Grand Finale, Azusa tells the four of them this after they play Tenshi ni Furetayo! -- a song they wrote to express their feelings about her.
    • The first season also had Book Ends before the two extra episodes were shown. The first episode of the season started with Yui running to school because she thought she was late. Episode 12, the 'final' episode of the season, ends with Yui running to school because she's actually late for the festival concert.
    • Azusa's first act as president of the club is grabbing onto Jun and Ui while shouting "Members secured!", exactly how she was inducted.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: A special issue of the Manga was released when the K-On! anime was first announced. Among expected things (like Mio freaking out about being on TV), Yui actually straight out admitted she hadn't actually continued to sing when off panel, since because it's a comic no-one would notice.
    • This happens a few times in episode 5. The characters talk out loud about how the teacher has "triggered flashback mode!" and how Sawako's art style changes.
    • In episode 9, Ritsu is hit by Mio; the hit is covered by a crayon-drawn title card showing Ritsu at her drums. In the next shot, Ritsu is shown with a lump on her head and she is holding the title card.
    • When Sawako in the manga complains about not being able to tell Mio and Azusa apart without her glasses, Mio makes a minor comment on how the artist could be blamed for that.
    • In Season 2 Episode 9 Yui does this in an And Knowing Is Half the Battle moment when she looks directly into the "camera" and talks about how she has decided to better herself.
  • Breathe on the Fan: Ritsu does this in season 2 episode 11.
  • Brick Joke
    • "Your bangs are really long..."
    • At the end of the Christmas Episode from season 1, Mio and Mugi are distressed over how much weight they gained over the holiday. Then in season 2 episode 11, once Azusa mentions that sweating a lot is sure to result in weight loss...
    • "The strawberry on top is the cake's heart! Its soul!"
    • Ritsu putting her hand on Yui's shoulder in the class photo in s2 ep 3, for a payoff in ep 26, virtually an entire season later!
    • In season 2 episode 4, Sawako buys a green match-making good-luck charm in Kyoto. Seven episodes later, Mugi notices a green charm hanging in Sawako's car...
  • Burger Fool: At one time Mugi - yes, Mugi - gets a part-time job at the local fast food restaurant.
  • Butt Monkey: That one unnamed music shop clerk. Seriously, that guy does NOT get a break.
  • Call Back: Yui's rush to school at the beginning of the show is mirrored in the twelth episode. She gives a touching reassurance to her past self and it's all set to Mio's rendition of Brush and Ballpoint Pen
    • The photos shown for Mio's fan club include Mio and Ritsu's first day of high school (episode 1), the first beach trip (episode 4), everyone except Yui dressed in yukatas (episode 12), and the first sunrise of the new year (episode 14).
    • Nodoka reminding Yui about her career assessment paper (and Yui responding for not being smart and doesn't know what she'll do in college) in Season 2 Episode 8, traces back on the first season at Episode 1. (with comparison shot)

Nodoka: "You really are going to become a NEET like this"
Yui: "I feel the weight of your words this time!"

    • The image of the girls jumping through the air with nothing but the sky in the background in the second season 2 ED looks quite similar to the jump done in the pre-Azusa version of the season 1 OP.
    • "Lycopene."
    • After listening to the rest of the band play a song for her at graduation day, Azusa repeats Yui's "You're not very good at all" from the very first episode. Shortly before that, she was given the photo Ritsu took of the girls in the same episode (with a picture of Azusa added to it).
  • Canon Foreigner: Ton-chan and Satoshi are original to the anime.
    • Budokan was never mentioned once in the manga, which is sort of why the girls are accused of forgetting their goals by fans.
    • Satoshi was mentioned in the manga, but was never shown.
  • Captain Obvious

Yui: What's that?
Azusa: It's a tuner. It's used for tuning.

    • Another one in season 2 episode 10 (which might work better in the original Japanese):

Yui: "Will I grow up when I grow up?"

  • Cat Smile: Ritsu displays a prominent one in the opening of Season 1.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: A mild version. The second season is still a cute Slice of Life comedy, but there's an undercurrent of sadness to it. There are frequent mentions of the fact that four of the five club members are graduating at the end of the year, and of the open question of what will happen to the band afterward.
    • Made obvious in Season 2 Episode 20.
      • And then we have episode 21, where we learn that the exact length of Yui's bangs is Serious Business.
    • This theme is rather typical for series with a high school setting. It also happens in Lucky Star, Azumanga Daioh and Manabi Straight!, for instance.
    • Although in this case, there is really no need for the tearjerkers, since the senior girls all end up going to the same college, and the Light Music Club continues with Azusa, Ui and Jun.
  • Chase Scene: When Yamanaka-sensei runs towards the music room in episode 5. No actual Sheet of Glass or Fruit Carts used, but they may as well have been.
  • Chekhov's Gun: When Yui nearly trips over a cord before the concert in Episode 6. Mio ends up tripping over the same cord after the concert.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: During the marathon in episode 15 season two, two girls are seen passing by Ritsu, Mugi, and Mio as they search for Yui, talking about UFO sightings in the area, and making it a research project for the school festival, leading the trio to hypothesize that Yui was abducted by aliens. Cue episode 19, where those two girls turn out to be in the Occult Club, and lend their Rosetta Stone for use as Juliet's gravestone. And then during the all-nighter after the play, the Light Music Club decides to bring some of Ui's food to thank them, and enter their clubroom... to see the Occult Club arranging a diorama of a cow being picked up by a UFO.
  • Cherry Blossoms: Ever present in the first episode of Season 2. Yui collects them and even has a petal on her head while the students sing the school song.
  • Christmas Episode[context?]
  • Cicadian Rhythm
  • Class Trip: The girls of the band, minus Azusa, travel for one to Kyoto.
    • Which is a tad odd, since most locations depicted in the show are actually situated in Kyoto already.
  • Club President: Subverted by Ritsu being no more or less important than any of the other girls. She is not particularly driven and often needs "positive reinforcement" from Mio, whom she is more interested in dressing up in a maid outfit.
    • The beginning of both the anime and manga versions have this post as one of Ritsu's goals for restarting the club. Since it's nearing dissolution she doesn't need to run for the post and can obtain it by default.
    • Azusa imagines herself as the Light Music Club's president, as she will be the only one left after the upperclassmen graduate. The manga shows that she becomes the new president after her sempai all graduate.
  • Coconut Superpowers: Kyoto Animation very obviously tries to avoid showing the girls playing their instruments as much as possible.
    • A case of Misblamed. The manga is about as bad on this regard. In fact, the anime has probably more music!
  • Color Coded for Your Convenience: All the girls have one (Yui's Red, Mio's Blue, Ritsu's Yellow, Mugi's Pink, Azusa's Teal, Ui's Orange, Nodoka's Light Green, and Jun's Light Blue).
    • Also, each age group has its own color on their Inside Shoes, ribbon ties and track suits; the main girls are blue, Azusa and Ui's year are red, and the first years in the second season are green.
  • Color Failure: Happens fairly frequently, especially Mio.
    • And then there's the instance in episode 2 season 2, where all of the girls get it. To be fair, it was in the face of an angry Sawa-chan.
    • Yui suffers one in front of Sawa-chan in episode 3 of Season 1 right after finishing her make-up test.
  • Companion Cube: Bordering on Cargo Ship at times with Yui and her guitar. She bought it because it was "cute", gives it a name (Les Paul Gitah!), sleeps with it, and apparently dresses it up(!).
    • Of course, she dresses the Les Paul like a girl. So this Cargo Ship is Les Yay.
    • Which is not that much weirder that the attitude of most guitarists toward their Gibson Les Paul (most of the ones I've seen have prices starting at $2,500 USD). You simply want to pamper it.
    • Her Image Song, "Gitah ni Kubittake" is pretty much a love letter to Gitah.
  • Conspicuous CGI: Besides the season 2 openings, most of the cars in season 2 are very clearly CGI.
  • Continuity Nod: Turtle plushie that Ui won in episode 5 makes its appearance in episode 17. Can be seen with Mio when she visits Ui with other HTT members.
    • In Episode 22, the scarf Ui's wearing is the same one Yui gave her during Christmas.
    • The two women served by Mio at the Maid Cafe (S2 E18 17:17) go to the live show at the festival two episodes later and are given HTT T-shirts to wear (S2 E20 10:45).
    • In one of the last episodes of the second season, Mugi cleans a window in the club room with a cloth she bought at a convenience store early in the first season, noting that she'd never gotten to use it.
  • Conveniently Seated: Yui and Ritsu both sit next to the window in the last two rows in class.
  • Cooldown Hug: Yui performs one on Azusa. It works like a charm.
  • Corner of Woe: More like a corner of fear and denial, which Mio goes into regularly. In episode 5, Yamanaka-sensei heads into one, only to discover that Mio is already there.
    • Ritsu has hers too in episode 3 of season 2, when wishing to change instruments from drums.
  • Cosplay: Sawako has a thing for dressing up the other girls. Possibly also counts as Cosplay Otaku Girl, but Sawa hasn't shown any otaku tendencies so this area is a little gray.
  • Cranial Eruption: Poor Ritsu.
    • Most of the time it's her own fault anyway.
    • Sawako-sensei gets one after attempting a Skinship Grope.
    • The correct term for this in Japanese, is a 'tankobu' (たんこぶ - literally 'bump' or 'swelling' on the head). It's a standard comic device for when the 'tsukkomi' (straight man, or Moe) hits the 'boke' (fool, or Larry/Curly/Shemp) for doing/saying something idiotic. If you look in S1-EP03, Ritsu even earns a stacked set of tankobu, which hilariously resemble stacked New Year mochi rice cakes.
  • Cross-Popping Veins: Mostly Mio, but it's seen in many of the main cast.
  • Cultural Cross-Reference: Most of the famous musicians the band members talk about are Western rock stars.
  • Cultural Translation:
  • Cuteness Proximity: Azusa provokes this reaction regularly from the older club-members, but mostly Yui.
  • Date Peepers: In episode 11 of the first season, Ritsu, Mugi, and Azusa spy on Mio, Yui, and Nodoka in a cake shop. Ritsu gets a little jealous that Mio seems to be very friendly with them, and decides to crash into the latter group.
  • A Date with Rosie Palms: Discussed when the gang visits Ritsu's house. When they arrive Ritsu's younger brother walks out of the bathroom, sees the girls, babbles randomly, and backs into the bathroom again, causing Ritsu to quip, "Puberty, huh?"
  • Daydream Surprise: Azusa has four of these in episode 13 of season 2. Lampshaded when she asks Mugi to pinch her and near the end of the episode wondering if it was All Just a Dream.
  • Defictionalization: A cassette with the tracklist the band put together in season 2 episode 23 was released three weeks after the series ended its broadcast run.
    • In February 2011, to announce The Movie, a concert entitled "Come With Me!!" was held, featuring the voice actresses from the show performing "in character" -- right down to Hokago Tea Time to playing their instruments (for at least a few of their songs). There was also a fifteen-minute mini-concert featuring Death Devil.
  • Delayed Reaction: Usually involving Ritsu or Yui. (Especially Yui.)

Mugi: Mio asked me to go request some stage time for the school festival. But they denied me since the Light Music Club isn't recognized as an official club.
Yui: Oh, I see.
(six seconds pass)
Yui: Huh?

    • Ui has one when she realizes Yui will be away a school field trip overnight. She nearly breaks down in tears until Azusa offers to sleep over.
    • Also when Yui cuts her bangs a bit too much...
    • Needless to say, it's used pretty often throughout the series.
  • Description Cut: Used during Azusa's introduction in the manga:

Azusa: I heard the recording of the live performance at last year's school festival. The guitarist was so awesome! I really admire her!! The level of this school's Light Music Club must be really high, right?
[Next panel]
Yui: How do I play a C chord again?

  • Description Porn: Episode 2x02 did nearly a full minute's background and detail on Sawako's surprisingly valuable Gibson guitar, explaining why the girls were basically getting 500,000 yen for free.
  • Detached Sleeves: Part of Sawako's and Yui's heavy metal costumes.
  • Did Not Do the Research
    • There is no feedback when you unplug an electric guitar. You at most get a loud thump if you unplug it from the guitar end, which is nasty in its own right. There is, however, some nasty feedback when you plug it in to the guitar while the amp is on, but that's an entirely different story.
    • Guitar strings generally don't rust, but simply wear down and become dirty after a while.
    • Mio's fingernails are a bit long for a bass player. Sure, one can pluck the strings with the fingernails, but that would produce a different tone than Mio's.
    • Very nitpicky perhaps, but where Yui's guitar is clearly a Gibson Les Paul Standard, Azusa's guitar doesn't sound anything like the Fender Mustang she's supposedly playing.
    • Another very nitpicky detail is that Mio's laptop keys do not make the same noise as actual laptop keys. They sound more similar to a separate keyboard.
    • Keeping a pig-nosed turtle in the club room might not be such a good idea, considering the specialized care such an animal requires.
  • Do I Really Sound Like That?: After hearing a recording of herself, Azusa apologizes for sounding so strict. Mio's also embarrassed of her voice, to a lesser degree.
  • Does Not Know Her Own Strength: Most of the time, Mugi carries her Korg Triton by herself. Thing is, it weighs 16.9 kg, almost as much as a bloody FGM-148 Javelin or these missile launchers.
    • Possibly lampshaded during her outing with Ritsu. The latter brings the former to an arcade and tries out an arm wrestling game. Ritsu lost despite using both arms and putting her entire weight on it while Mugi effortlessly beats it literally singlehandedly.
    • In the first festival episode (S1 Ep.06) Mugi is shown carrying numerous heavy things past Yui, who is struggling to carry only one (an amp).
    • Brought up again as a kind of Continuity Nod in the restarted manga. Akira, a university freshman and member of the university's own light music club ends up making Mugi cry due to something she said. In an effort to make it up to her, she lets Mugi slap her, thinking that a pampered Ojou like Mugi would probably be pretty weak. Boy was she wrong; the slap quite literally sends Akira flying across the room.
  • Doppelganger: In "Listen!!"'s credit sequence, there's a second, fairy/Ant Queen-like Mio inside the giant cake, complete with antennae and butterfly wings, with no indication of who and/or what she's supposed to be.
    • There's another Mio clone in the school; her name is Fuuko Takahashi, and she wears glasses and her jacket open.
    • Another side character example: Fumie Kimura [dead link] and her namayake friend here [dead link] seem to look alike. Another background girl, shown in this picture shown in the same scene resembles both girls as well.
  • Dragged by the Collar: Mio to Ritsu in episode 1 season 1, for being too aggressive in trying to recruit people
    • Tiny-little Azunyan dragging Yui crying off to study in season 2 episode 9.
    • Mio flies along behind Sawako like so much fluttery clothing when Sawako drags her out of the music room at mach speed to get changed.
      • Ui: What was that?
    • And Ritsu to Mio in episode 18 season 2, when the latter refuses to practice for their school play, Romeo and Juliet Romio and Ricchan.
  • Dreadful Musician: The band, at first, is quite lacking in the musical talent department.

E to H

  • Early-Bird Cameo: Yui passes Mugi, Ritsu, and Mio on the way to school in the first episode.
    • The Student Council President makes an unvoiced cameo appearance in episode 6, which takes place halfway through the first year. In the manga storyline, she's not introduced until the very end of the second year.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Quite literally in the case of the four original members of HTT; their love and friendship was so strong that it gave all four of them the resolve to study hard and pass the exam to Mugi's prestigious Private University as one, so Hokago Teatime will never break up.
  • Edible Smelling Salts: The girls are trying to wake up a sleeping Yui, claiming that they bought her a cake. Later Yui went back to sleep when there's no cake at all.
  • Elegant Gothic Lolita: The outfits of the girls in the first season ED are highly influenced by this.
    • Even more so the outfits they wear while singing "Fuwa Fuwa Time".
    • Also, the Goth duo at the live house.
  • Embarrassed Finger-Twiddling: Yui in episode 5 of Season 1 when admitting she can't sing well while at the same time trying to be made lead singer.
  • Emotionless Girl: The girls of the Occult club have this as their shtick.
  • Even the Girls Want Her: Mio has her own fanclub, complete with official membership cards.
  • Everyone Meets Everyone: When the first episode begins, only Mio/Ritsu and Yui/Ui/Nodoka know each other.
  • Evolving Credits: Azusa is added to the opening after she joins the club. If you listen closely, you can also hear an extra guitar part added to the song.
    • This is more noticable with you listen to the first release of the "Cagayake Girls" OP song and the "Cagayake Girls (5-nin version)" released a bit later.
  • Excited Show Title!: And the second season is even more excited: K-On!!
  • Expy: Some fans have argued that Kakifly hasn't been very imaginative when creating new characters for the restarted manga: Sumire is Mugi+Mio, and Nao is Nodoka+Yui. The new University characters are existing characters with their most distinctive attribute removed: Akira is Azusa without being a Kid Sidekick, Sachi is Ritsu without being a Tomboy, Ayame is Mio without being a Shrinking Violet, and Kana and Chiyo are Sawako and Norimi as grad students.
  • Eyecatch: The cassette and reversing cassette animation in each episode.
  • Eyelid-Pull Taunt: In the second season opening titles, Ritsu does a half-hearted version, with the finger being more on her cheek than close to the eyelid. It's adapted directly from a title page in the manga.
  • Face Fault: The whole audience does this in Episode 6's music-video-sort-of-thing.
    • Ritsu does an absolute beauty in Season 2, Episode 4. While running.
  • Fake Band: Only Houkago Tea Time ("Afterschool Tea Time", a.k.a. HTT) and Death Devil have released songs on CD. The voice actresses do their own singing, but music is performed by studio musicians except in the Radion CD (see above under Crowning Music of Awesome). Other fake bands which have been mentioned in the show include Love Crysis, Kamakiri, Death Bang Bang Ji (punk), Black Frill (goth loli) and Namaha Ge.
    • Hokago Tea Time was defictionalized for a 2011 concert. The voice actresses were taught to play their instruments (most of them; Yui's seiyuu was already an acoustic guitarist) for a few of their songs, and mimed the rest as a backing band played them.[2]
  • Fan Girl: Mio has a fair share, but most notable are Jun and Megumi, the latter being the student council president and the president of her fan club.
  • Fashionable Asymmetry: In the second season ED, both Mio and Ritsu wear one glove each, Mio on the left hand and Ritsu on the right.
  • Faux Horrific: In episode 2 of Season 2, after cleaning out the closet of the music room, Mio and Asuza find out that Yui left a lot of things still and get mad at her. Yui pouts and claims that Ui would get mad and make a scary face if the latter brought more stuff home. Cue cutscene showing a "scary" Ui giving a thumbs up to Yui, after the latter had dropped other stuff she took home earlier and apologized profusely. Both Mio and Asuza wonder if Ui isn't the older, more responsible sister after all.
  • Filming for Easy Dub: Mio has a tendency of hiding her mouth behind her microphone during the end credits.
  • First-Name Basis: Pretty much applies to almost everyone, even Sawa-chan-sensei ...except for Okuda-san.
  • Five-Woman Band: One of the few literal examples. The Hero: Yui; The Lancer: Mio; The Smart Guy: Mugi; The Big Guy: Ritsu; and The Chick: Azusa. Sawako takes on some of the elements of The Obi-Wan.
  • Flanderization: In the non-canon Anthology guest strips, Ui's infatuation with her sister and Mugi's love of Girls Love are often all there is to their respective characterization.
  • Flash Back: Occasionally with Flash Back Back Back.
  • Flipping the Bird: Yui almost does this in the Music Video that plays during their first festival performance... and then turns it into a peace sign. (S1 06 19:15)
  • Four-Girl Ensemble: Later on, it becomes a Five Woman Band (sorta) once Azusa Nakano joins the club.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Yui and Ritsu are sanguine, Mio is either melancholic or choleric, Azusa is somewhat choleric, and Mugi is phlegmatic.
  • Foreshadowing: Sawako's driving through the marathon's course, and Ui notices "We're almost home" (S2 E15, 07:05). Later in the episode, when Yui's lost, Ui guesses where she is because they're close to her home.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: Episode 2x13, take a closer look at Azusa's yakisoba when she goes down the slide.
  • Freudian Slip: Mio, about Nodoka. Either Mio thinks that Nodoka acts too much like Yui's mom or she has mommy issues.
  • Fundamentally Female Cast: Both the manga and the anime; the only male character in the anime who isn't a one-shot nameless extra is Ritsu's brother.
  • Genius Ditz: Yui, especially after Azusa arrives. Best example: Yui doesn't know what a guitar tuner is; she's only able to tune her guitar because she has perfect pitch. Which gets even worse, because she doesn't know what perfect pitch is...
    • Or what about that part in episode 4 where Yui reproduces a song she only heard once? Even Mugi was stunned by that.
    • The mere fact that she manages to play guitar at a fairly high level in a few weeks' time, even without any lessons, should tell you enough already.
      • Still, it looks like her (non-ditz) sister Ui even surpasses her. Maybe it runs in the family.
  • Gilligan Cut: Episode 4 of the second season has plenty of these, courtesy of poor Sawako-sensei.

Ritsu: Take a picture with us, Sawa-chan!
Sawako: No I won't...!
Sawako: v(^_^)

    • Also:

Mio: So, did you figure out how to get there?
Ritsu: You bet I did! It's this way! Follow me!
Ritsu: We're lost...

    • Later in that same episode, Yui asks Sawa-chan to talk with them for a few minutes. Mugi offers to sweeten the deal with some snacks, but Sawa-chan politely refuses... then in the very next scene she's eating with them and complaining that the girls are ruining her reputation as a teacher and why the other girls are referring to her as Sawa-chan as well.
    • A smaller example (S2 16 16:13):

Azusa: We really need to practice today, really need...
<cut to Ton-chan in a bucket, and the girls starting to wash her tank.>

  • Girlish Pigtails: Azusa. Also Jun from her class.
  • The Glomp: Azusa is a regular recipient of this from Yui. And this is what happened seconds after she said that she wanted to join the club.
    • Everybody gets into the glomping in the second season's OP2.
    • Yui glomps the new character, Akira, after meeting her in the college K-on club.
  • A Good Name for a Rock Band: The band-naming session goes nowhere fast, but it does include Yui suggesting "Hirasawa Yui and Her Happy Friends". Sawa-sensei is annoyed that the debate is delaying her tea-time and forces the band to adopt the name "Hokago Tea Time".
    • When Hokago Tea Time meet Love Crysis (the band whose drummer went to junior high with Ritsu), Yui is envious of how much cooler their name is.
    • Sawako's metal band, Death Devil, has a good name and an even better logo.
    • Black Frill is an excellent name for a Gothic Lolita duo.
    • One of Mio's rejected suggestions for a band name, Pure Pure, ended up getting recycled into a song, "Pure Pure Heart".
    • On the other hand, one of Ritsu's rejected suggestions for a band name was OnNaGumi (Gang of Girls), and by a truly Contrived Coincidence, this turns out to be the name of Akira's band when they meet her in college. The other band in the college Light Music Club is called Guitar Allergy.
    • Sawako seems to have established Wakaba Girls as the name of the band formed by Azusa, Ui, Jun, Sumire and Nao.
  • Gonk: A mild example of this trope, but the beady-eyed first-years in the Jazz Club and Mio's fan club are intentionally plain and generic-looking.
    • The girls' classmates are depicted as rather pretty, though. Is this a school for fashion models?
  • Gossip Evolution: Mainly played for laughs in season 2 episode 24, where during the graduation ceremony, while Yui is holding onto the thank you card for Sawa-chan, the message, started by Mio, changes from "Miss Sawako is worried about you, Yui" to "Miss Sawako failed" by the time it reaches the end. Afterwards, it turns out that it was Ritsu who screwed up.
  • Gratuitous English
    • In episode 10, we have this exchange between Yui and Ritsu in an Imagine Spot by Azusa: "I'm flyiiiing!" "Yes! Yes! Yes!"
    • Mugi in episode 14 season 2: "Just a moment, please". Lampshaded by Ritsu, who wonders why she said it in English.
    • Ritsu herself in episode 22 season 2: "That's answer three!"
    • Ritsu again in episode 10, season 2: "I am a pen."
    • Jun's Image Song begins with the lines "I wanna be a cool bassist girl. Yes, I wish, I wish, love! Oh rainy day!"
    • After-School Tea Time's songs are full of Engrish; Mio seems to be responsible, as they're usually her songs. Sometimes the same line will occur in both languages as if for emphasis. ("We'll sing utauyo!")
    • Season two's special episode has Yui's "NO RICE - NO LIFE" line.
    • Yui's important question to ask while visiting an English speaking country.
    • The Death Devil members' stage names, presumably to sound cooler: Catherine, Christina, Jane and Della. Kawakami -- the manager of the live house -- wasn't in Death Devil, but is referred to by Sawako as "Janice".
    • "Don't say lazy" has two. "Please don't say you are lazy, datte honto wa crazy"
    • Played With in The Movie when Yui says that, no matter where they go, the band will always be named Hokago Tea Time (not Afterschool Tea Time).
  • Gratuitous French: Ui's first two Image Songs contain some of these in either the lyrics or the title (Oui! Aikotoba).
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Jun becomes quite jealous of Asuza when she starts to hear about all the fun the latter is having with the light music club, such as going to the beach to practice music (or rather goofing off), hanging out together at a music festival, and the close bonds they all have with each other.
  • Hair Decorations: Pretty much a necessity since it's hard to tell Yui, Ui, and Ritsu apart from each other (aside from their bust size) without the accessories. That becomes a plot point when it turns out that Ui and Yui are virtually twins and can masquerade as each other just by using each other's hair decs.
  • Happily Married: Yui's parents.
  • Hard Work Hardly Works: The anime shows HTT delivering very good performances even though they constantly slack off when they're supposed to be practicing.
  • Hidden Buxom: Mio hiding her growing breasts with baggy clothes. Lampshaded in the college chapters of the manga. Improbably successful in some anime episodes, where she's shown as practically flat-chested in some shots.
  • Hit Me Dammit: After seeing how other members of the Light Music Club affectionately whap each other on the head for being silly or stupid, Mugi demands her own share of affectionate whaps from Ritsu, who reluctantly obliges.
  • Holding Hands: Possibly Intertwined Fingers: Yui and Ui during the Christmas Episode.
  • Hollywood Tone Deaf: In one flashback to Yui's childhood, her Seiyuu sings an appropriately ear-grinding song about turtles (she was only a little child). Some people thought it was cute.
  • Honest Axe: Yui and Ritsu play this out in front of Nodoka, when they're trying to get an air conditioner.

Ritsu: Is it the gold AC you'd like? Or is it the silver AC?
Yui: My Lord, I just want a regular AC.
Ritsu: How honest you are! Then I shall bestow upon you a brand new AC.
Yui: Thank you, My Lord!
Nodoka: What was that supposed to be?

    • The Honest Axe Story is retold in its entirety in the 4th DVD special in Season 2. We also learn that the story convinced little Yui to become a woodcutter when she grows up. She would drop cakes instead of axes...
  • Hot Mom: Yui and Ui's mother turns out to be quite the beauty.
  • Hot Teacher: Sawako. Her glasses also add a Hot Librarian element to her look.
  • Huge Schoolgirl: Sachi.

I to L

  • I Call It "Vera": Yui nicknames her guitar "Geetah".
    • In the second season, Yui has taken to calling Mio's bass "Elizabeth/Erizabesu" (which Mio inadvertently does as well, to the amusement of Mugi, Ritsu, and Yui) while Azusa quietly decided to name her Fender Mustang "Muttan."
      • Elizabeth's name comes from the fact that it's a bass guitar ("bass" sounds like "beth" in Japanese phonemes). Muttan is from the sound of "Mustang" without the "g" sound (the "s" sound is rather faint when she pronounced it). Gitah's origin should be rather obvious.
        • At one point in the movie, Yui manages to further mangle "Muttan" into "Mudstain".
    • In the new manga, Akira calls her black Les Paul "Rosalie".
  • I Just Like Saying the Word: Mugi: "Cut!"
  • Informed Disability: We are repeatedly told that Houkago Tea Time is "not very good" even as late as S2 Ep24. You'd never know it from listening to them, though. Or from the number of fans they seem to have picked up from amongst their schoolmates for that matter.
    • In S2 E24, she was talking about a specific song, which the girls may not have had enough time to rehearse.
  • I Was Told There Would Be Cake: Frequently used as motivation. For example, when Yui falls asleep in the classroom, the girls try to wake her by saying "We've got cake for you." She looks up, doesn't see any cake, and goes right back to sleep.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Every episode title is a noun (or noun phrase) followed by an exclamation point.
  • Idiosyncratic Wipes: The second season has a bunch of different wipes between scenes, like link, for example.
  • Image Song
  • Imagine the Audience Naked: Well, imagine the audience is Ritsu, but close enough for a grade-school-aged Mio.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun/Punny Name: "Only Mio fits Ro-'mio'!"
  • Inherently Funny Words
    • Sharekoube[3].
    • Lycopene.
  • Instant Bandages: Seems to have replaced Ritsu's Cranial Eruptions by the second season.
  • Instant Fanclub: Mio gets hers right after the performance at the culture festival.
  • Invisible Parents: The number of times Yui and Ui's parents appear in the manga, TV series, and movie can be counted on one hand with fingers left over, and they're the only parents who appear at all.
  • Iyashikei
  • Japanese Delinquents: The girls appear to portray themselves as such in the "No, Thank You" ED, with the unbuttoned uniforms, loose ties, and spraypainting.
  • Japanese Honorifics: These get a real workout in the show:
    • Yui refers to all her friends by -chan.
    • Mio is embarrassed when asked to use Yui's name without honorifics.
    • The music store employees all use -sama and -ojousama when they talk to Mugi, while her correct and proper butler refers to her with the formal mouthful "Tsumugi-ojousama".
    • Ui (disguised as Yui) gets found out when she uses -san instead of -chan for Yui's friends.
      • It also doesn't help that she calls them by their proper names instead of their nicknames.
    • Azusa always uses -sempai for the other girls in the club.
    • While everyone uses -sensei for Yamanaka, they use different emphases for when she's being admirable, perverted, or just friggin' awesome.
      • Yui (usually, but occasionally the other club members) calls Sawako "Sawa-chan-sensei," which later even gets copied by her other students, much to her dismay. Or not.
    • Azu-nyan is less of an honorific and more of a reference to Catgirls or Verbal Tics. (In the manga it's translated literally as "Azu-meow".)
      • Yui introduces Azusa to her neighbour as "Azunyan", so she goes on to call her "Azunyan-san", possibly the only time she gets an honorific on top of the nickname.
        • Nope, there's another time (if less serious): When Azusa asks her to stop singing, Yui calls her "Azunyan-sempai". (S2 16 16:30)
    • When in class, Sawako addresses all her students as Last Name-san, but is on First-Name Basis with the girls when they're having tea in the club room.
  • The Jimmy Hart Version - The tracks "Virtual Love" and "Pinch Daisuki!" sound suspiciously similar to "Das Model" by Kraftwerk and "Popcorn" by Hot Butter respectively. Not that that's a bad thing, mind.
  • Kansai Regional Accent: During a school trip to Kyoto, Ritsu suggests that they should all talk like this while they're there. Mugi actually pulls it off. It helps that Minako Kotobuki is from Hyougo, and grew up speaking this dialect.
  • Kimodameshi: Mio and Azusa participates in one during the second Beach Episode. They stop playing when Sawako turns up out of nowhere to scare Mio half to death, leaving Ritsu alone in the woods with a wet sponge, waiting for them to show up.
  • Kotatsu: Yui almost has to be surgically separated from hers.
  • Last Name Ultimatum: Ritsu's reaction to Azusa laughing at her being cast as Juliet in the School Play: "NA-KA-NOOOO!"
  • Late for School: Yui, in the first episode. Ends up being subverted when it turns out she was actually an hour early.
  • Lens Flare: Mostly in beach shots.
  • Limp and Livid: Whenever Mio is about to go Krakatoa on Ritsu for screwing things up with her apathy/stupidity again.
    • Also, whenever Sawa-chan-sensei's ladylike mask cracks and turns her into "Katherine." Most notable examples include when the girls huddled together in terror as she got a jack-in-the-box-in-the-face for her Christmas present, and when she cracks and shows just how "Death Devil is not cute" at her friend's wedding.
  • Live Action Adaptation: Sorta-kinda. In 2011 the cast was assembled for a live concert in which they performed in character -- not just the girls from HTT but the entire cast, including Sawako's seiyuu in a 15-minute miniconcert for Death Devil.
  • Living Prop: Most of the class in the second season, most notably Tachibana Himeko (formerly "The Girl Who Sits Next To Yui").
    • One Steve Limit: Exception: there are two girls in Class 3-2 named Toshimi.
  • Look What I Can Do Now!: Subverted. Yamanaka-sensei takes Yui away for vocal training... except that they trained too hard and Yui loses her voice.
  • Love Letter Lunacy: Ritsu gets a love letter at one point, which distresses her highly -- until it turns out to be song-lyrics written by Mio.
  • Lower Deck Episode: Episode five of season two, which focuses on the second year student trio (Ui, Azu-nyan and Jun) while the Class Trip episode (the previous episode) is happening concurrently.
  • Luminescent Blush: Yui's in response to Mio's cuteness is especially endearing.
    • Sawako-sensei manages to blush through her mask during the flashback in which she confessed to a guy.
    • Numerous characters manage to blush through the hair on the back of their heads when their face is not visible because they have turned away in embarrassment.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: In spite of Mio writing lyrics about stuffed toys, food and stationery (see Sickeningly Sweet), HTT plays moderately hard pop-rock/pop-punk songs, often with a retro-'60s style.

M to P

  • Magic Skirt: Outright defying physics by being suspended in the air pointing upwards sometimes.
  • Meido: Ritsu suggests dressing Mio up as one for the school festival, spawning "Moe Moe~Kyun!" She gets a bump on the head for the suggestion.
    • All five girls work at a Maid Cafe for a day to help Mio overcome her shyness.
    • When her uniform is drenched, Yui chooses that one from the club's extensive cosplay costumes collection (S2 06 08:04).
  • Minion Maracas: Ritsu shows Mio some pictures at the end of the first Beach Episode (S1 04). One of which happens to be rather embarrassing to Mio. Cue this trope, with Mio demanding that Ritsu delete the photos.
  • Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: The band's songs tend to not be too hard and are within levels three to five. In Sawako's Flash Back she recalls making the journey through virtually the entire scale. Her Image Song with Death Devil sounds much tamer, however.
    • Their hardest song is the second ED from the second season, "No, Thank You", which could deserve a level 6.
  • The Movie: Released on December 3, 2011. The plot involves Hokago Tea Time going on a trip to London.
  • My Eyes Are Up Here
    • Ui says something to this effect to Sawako, although she was pretending to be Yui, and Sawako did prove that she could tell the two apart by bust size.
    • Repeated in the first chapter of the K-On! high school [sic] manga:

Sawako: Are you pretending to be Yui-chan again?
Ui: Please don't talk to my chest...

  • My Skull Runneth Over: Yui forgets all the chords she learned after cramming for an exam. To be fair, she had just learned those chords.

Yui: Don't talk to me. Everything I memorized will fall out.

  • Nakama: Very much so; on more than one occasion, the girls drop everything to help each other out.
    • Their voice actresses apparently became one, as well.
  • Newspaper-Thin Disguise: When Ritsu - along with Mugi and Azusa, who she dragged along - spies on Mio and Nodoka at the cafe, they hide their faces behind menus.
  • No Antagonist: The only real source of conflict in K-On! is the possibility of the band getting broken up, whether it's because they don't fulfill the requirements to exist as a club, or in the second season, if the girls were to go to different universities. However, they always end up doing the right things to keep themselves together, and nothing bad ever happens in this show.
    • The restarted university and high school manga show that the real conflict present throughout all of K-On! is laziness vs. diligence. Laziness usually wins.
  • No Name Given: We never find out the real names of Death Devil's drummer and bassist (who don't get any lines); the liner notes of their CD single only give their stage names, Jane and Della.
    • In-universe example with Okuda-san, at least for the first few months they've been together.
  • Noblewoman's Laugh: Ritsu, oddly enough, when she puts on airs over her test-taking skills.
  • Nobody Loves the Bassist: Averted. Everybody loves Mio, both within the band and outside. Mio even is the only band member with her own fan club! The HTT songs also tend to have noteworthy bass lines, mixed way up front.
  • Non-Indicative Name: In Sawako's school days, the light music club played really insane metal.
    • The school's annual "marathon" is really only a 5K run.
  • Now That's Using Your Teeth: Yamanaka-sensei, when demonstrating her old skills.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: Beautifully averted in episode 11 of the second season. The girls want to have an air conditioner for their clubroom, but they have to go through the student council to get it. Ritsu prepares herself to explain why they should be given one, expecting a lot of opposition, and is surprised when the student council's answer is "Yes, sure, you can have one."
    • Heck, the only reason they have the problems they do with the student council is because they keep forgetting to file the paperwork for them.
      • ...and Nodoka ends up doing most of the paperwork for them anyway because she and Yui have been friends since childhood.
  • Odd Couple: The shy and fearful Mio and the energetic (and slightly Jerkass) Ritsu. They've been friends since at least elementary school, but one wonders how Mio put up with her all that time since Ritsu constantly plays on Mio's phobias and shyness.
    • Mostly because Ritsu's not always a jerk... there are many examples in season 2 when Ritsu encourages Mio gently, as though she's known her weaknesses for a long time. Mio reins in and makes Ritsu fess up to her blunders and provides grounding. They're pretty well-matched as girlfriends, actually.
  • Off-Model: The anime is very inconsistent about whether the girls have the figures of teenagers or pre-teens. Mio in particular is only noticeably busty when it's a plot point; at other times she's depicted flat as a board. And they're all depicted with feet that are about four inches long.
  • Oh Crap: When all the girls huddled together in adorably Super-Deformed terror as Sawa-chan cops a jack-in-the-box in the face on Christmas Eve.
  • Ojou: Mugi, whose butler answers the phone when she's on vacation overseas.
  • One-Gender School
  • One-Scene Wonder: Himeko Tachibana, who has appeared in a single episode and yet has quite a handful of fanart (warning: NSFW, even though this now points at Safebooru).
  • Only Six Faces: Strangely mixed with Cast of Snowflakes, since everyone in the class look different despite having almost the same facial features (including the two girls with the '60s-manga-styled eyes).
  • Onion Tears: Happens to Yui and Ritsu in episode 10 of Season 1.
  • Orbital Shot: The opening of the second season has several around the whole band.
  • Overtook the Manga: Averted; the second season showed episode 24 (concluding the main story) after the manga had finished about a week earlier.
  • Painting the Fourth Wall: The exposition about the girls' music teacher/club sponsor is revealed to be Ritsu talking the whole time.
    • Later, Mio has an Inner Monologue, to which Ritsu adds narration. Mio tells her to stop doing that.
    • In the manga chapter where Ayame and Sachi flash back to their high school days when Akira used to be much more feminine, Ritsu repeatedly points up to the previous panel to ask "Who is this person you're talking about?"
    • In the PSP game, Mio's notes are dominated by directional buttons instead of shape buttons, since she's a left-hander.
  • Panty Shot: There's a rather gratuitous panty-shot of Mio after their performance at the school cultural festival. Except the anime audience doesn't get to see it, as Kyo Ani replaced that with a bowl of rice. Everybody in the auditorium, on the other hand...
    • Contrarily to most panty shots in anime, it's actually not gratuitous, since it's heavily commented upon (even in the second season), and was one more obstacle for Mio to overcome her shyness.
  • Paparazzi: Yui and Ritsu briefly pretend to be a pair of muck-raking reporters harassing a stoic Mugi as they go through an airport during their trip to England in The Movie.
  • Parasol of Prettiness: Fittingly used by Mugi in the season 2 opening titles.
  • Parental Abandonment: None of the girls seem to deal with their parents a lot, even though they are only 15 years old at the start of the series.
    • While Yui specifically says her parents like to travel a lot, she seems to be the only one with actual abandonment going on. Mugi mentions spending time with her parents all the time, Mio and Azusa talk to their respective off-screen or off-panel mother a few times, and so on. Like Peanuts, most adults in K-On! are apparently He Who Must Not Be Seen.
    • The Hirasawa couple are finally home! After three years. And they make their only animated appearance in the Movie for just a couple minutes on the day everyone leaves for London.
  • Passing the Torch: When the first four girls go to college, Azuza takes over the club president role, and Ui and Jun join her in the club.
  • Performance Anxiety: Akiyama Mio, because of her shyness.
  • Picture Drama: The DVD specials.
  • Pillow Fight: Apparently, Mugi loves them. Most likely this is part of her fascination with the details of normal middle-class life, due to being an Ojou. Similar to her fascination with fast food, part-time jobs, and hardware stores.
  • Pinky Swear: Ritsu and Mio, when they decided to form a band. At least, according to Ritsu...
  • Piss-Take Rap: Done in the dub of "Fuwa Fuwa Time". Helps that the music background sounds close to something Nu-Metal-esque:

But that's the biggest problem, ya see
‍'‍Cause then I'll need to think of a topic to speak
And it ain't gonna be natural for me
To do that in the first place, I think

Asuza, counting: A, B, C, D, E, F... Do they really need that many trees?

    • Oddly enough, Yui seems to get as much stage time as the lead players.
  • Playing Against Type: An in-universe example, when Mio and Ritsu are forced to play Romeo and Juliet, respectively.
    • Also out-of-universe, Satomi Sato had a main role before and after Ritsu whose character type she plays more often, as in subdued characters like Yuzuki Mikage or Manami Tamura. Likewise with her role as Shichijou Aria in Seitokai Yakuindomo, who is now a perverted Ojou.
    • Speaking of Seitokai Yakuindomo, just try comparing Shino to Mio.
    • Mio's seiyuu voices a character in Seikon no Qwaser. No, you don't need to know which character it is for it to clash with Mio, you just have to know that the character is from Seikon no Qwaser.
    • Subverted with Yui's seiyuu, which was a Casting Gag of Yui.[context?]
  • Polar Bears and Penguins: Justified since it's part of an Imagine Spot by Yui and Ritsu. It also includes a mammoth.
  • Portmanteau Couple Name: An in-universe use: When Yui and Azusa perform as a duo, they decide to call themselves YuiAzu.
    • The title for episode 19 of season 2 is "RomiJuri!"
  • Pose of Supplication
  • The Power of X Compels You!: "The Power of Cute compels you!" is used several times in the English dub.
  • Power Pop: Much of the music that Hokago Tea Time plays would fall under this umbrella, although they kind of sound more like The Pillows plus The Who.
    • They combine a couple of notable genres, most notably math rock. Their sound has also been described as pop-punk.
  • Power Walk: In each of the three endings, the girls do this, although a bit differently each time. In 'Don't Say Lazy', the four original members do it together in their (much loved, according to fan art) Goth-Lolita outfits. In 'Listen!!', the five members of Hokago Tea Time after the addition of Azusa do this inside the cake. In 'No, Thank You!', the five girls are all present doing this amidst a field of H's and T's, although this is the only time they are not together as a group, and also the only time they are wearing school uniforms (although they've all changed by the time the chorus comes; also note that the school uniforms worn are not the uniforms of Sakuragaoka). It is possibly worth noting that in each of these cases, the girls are walking right to left.
  • Puni Plush: Very noticeable, in some scenes more than others. Listen to Yui exclaiming "Puni! Puni!" as she squeezes Mio's callused fingers.

Q to T

  • Real Place Background: The anime's settings are based on actual locales in Kyoto. The school building is modeled after a renovated elementary school in Toyosato, Shiga Prefecture, which isn't that far from Kyoto either.
    • California Doubling: However, the fact that they have to pass Mt. Fuji on the bullet train to get to Kyoto indicates that the setting is supposed to be in the Kantou region.
  • Recycled in Space: It's Lucky Star with musical instruments! [4]
  • Recurring Extra: The Occult Club.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Ritsu and Mio.
  • My Love Is The Red Stapler: Sales of Fender instruments rose thanks to the show.
  • Refusal of the Call: Mio really doesn't want to be Romeo for the school play, except, she doesn't have a choice. Used in conjunction with the Five Stages of Grief for the lulz.
  • Romantic Two-Girl Friendship: By the latter half of the series, it's hard to find any friendship among the main cast and supporting characters that hasn't been romantic (or at least loaded with a planet's worth of Les Yay) in some way.
  • Right Behind Me: In season 1 episode 10, when Azusa is telling Ui what she thinks of her new friends in the light music club, she proceeds to call Ritsu irresponsible and sketchy... at which point Ritsu replies from the seat immediately behind Azusa.
    • It's actually Ritsu who asks what Azusa thinks about Ritsu, as she had been listening in on the conversation. Ritsu's ability to imitate other people and intrude into their inner monologues is a running gag in both the manga and anime.
  • Rubber Face: Sawa-chan does this to Ritsu during episode 4 of Season 2 after the latter mentions that the former is much scarier without make up on.
  • Running Gag: So many:
    • In the manga, Yui's wish to be able to snap her fingers turn up at various times.
    • The statue of the school founder keeps getting new accessories.
    • (Azusa shows up with a tan) "Who are you?"
    • Mugi carrying heavy objects without any strain. Not exactly a gag, as it isn't commented on much.
      • She did beat that arm-wrestling machine in S2-EP14 literally single-handedly.
    • Barnacles.
    • Ui's resemblance to her sister.
    • Someone is hiding behind the club room's door, secretly watching what happens on the other side, and falls down (or is hit by the door) when the door is opened. (Examples: S2 07 04:29; S2 16 08:08; S2 22 16:39)
      • Carried over into one chapter of the restarted manga; at the start of said chapter, Yui opens her door, slamming it into the face of Akira, who was left with the rather unsavory task of waking her up. At the end of the chapter, Yui opens her door the next day and slams it into Akira and Ritsu's faces. "Some doors are more dangerous to stand in front of than others'" indeed.
    • When the band is hanging out in either the club room or Yui's house, Sawako-sensei has a tendency to appear without anyone else noticing, usually with Ritsu shouting, "Wait, when did you get here!?"
  • Save Our Club: At the start of the series, the club has no members whatsoever and needs to basically be rebuilt from the ground up.
  • Say My Name: A cute, roundabout version occurs in Cagayake GIRLS!:

Mugi: "Uuuuuu~Yui!"
Yui: "Azusa~!"
Azusa: "Mi-o!"
Mio: "Riiiiitz!"
Ritsu: "MU! GI!!!"

  • Scenery Porn: What you get when you hire KyoAni to do a school trip episode taking place in Kyoto high school show taking place anywhere.
  • School Festival: Three of them, all of them including concerts.
  • Schoolgirl Series
  • School Play: With Mio and Ritsu as Romeo and Juliet.
  • Sensei-chan: Sawa-chan.
  • Series Continuity Error: In the second season, Azusa is told about Megumi Sokabe, the former Student Council President. According to the flashback, she's two years older than the main four girls, and therefore graduated when they finished their first year. However, she made a quick cameo appearance in episode 11, where she talked to the Light Music Club, which at that point in time also included Azusa.
    • Retcon: When we first see Megumi in the first season, she's wearing a green ribbon, indicating that she's one year ahead of Nodoka. However, in the flashbacks from the second season, she has a red ribbon, which means she was two years ahead. (After her class graduated, the incoming first-year class, which included Azusa, was next to use red ribbons.)
      • It's probably because Kyo Ani decided to make the stalker incident a flashback for some reason, while it actually occurs that very year in the manga instead of the previous year.
    • In season 2 episode 13 (15:05), Azusa complains that Yui still hasn't learned to read music, which is consistent with the manga, but in a scene created for the anime in season 1 episode 10, Yui was reading a score while practicing guitar in the middle of the night.
  • Series Fauxnale: At the end of the first season, Yui reflects on how much she's grown from the person she was at the beginning of the show, and the band performs at the school festival, exclaiming "This is our Budokan!". A change from the manga, where Yui's cold results in the performance being quite bad, so as to make the last episode more satisfying. Then the second season gets announced, and the episode is pretty much handwaved.
  • Serious Business: The strawberry on top of a slice of cake.
    • Rice cakes as well.
    • In the case of Light Music itself, despite this being a series about playing in a band, this trope is a bit subverted in that most of the time, the club doesn't really take its band practice all that seriously.
  • Sexy Discretion Shot: Done when Mio stumbles and bares her panties. Only in the anime, though.
  • Sexy Santa Dress: Sawako first puts Yui in one, but changes her focus to Mio when Yui turns out to like it. In the anime, the design is changed from a two-piece to being a big, shoulder-revealing sweater.
  • Ship Tease - Read the entry for "Les Yay" on this page.
  • Shaped Like Itself: Happens several times.
    • Yui: "Fun things are fun."
    • Yui: "Look at these screws! They're all screws!"
      • In fact, she meant "The whole shelf is nothing but screws".
    • Yui again (S2 16 19:16): "Well, I think Azunyan is Azunyan. Ricchan is Ricchan. Mio-chan is Mio-chan. Mugi-chan is Mugi-chan."
    • "Afterschool Tea Time will always, always be... after school!"
  • Shown Their Work: The instruments played by the girls are all existing models in the real world:
    • Yui plays a Heritage Sunburst Gibson Les Paul Standard Classic -- not bad at all for a first guitar.
      • She apparently strings it with D'Addario XL Nickel Round Wounds. And those really don't rust.
    • Mio provides the low frequencies on a left-handed 3-Color Sunburst Fender Jazz Bass (likely Japanese) in the anime, and a Fender Precision in the manga, both four-string. The bass she swoons over in the anime is a five-string left-handed Music Man Stingray -- good taste there!
    • Mugi's keyboard is a Korg Triton Extreme (likely the 76-key version since she mentions it in her Image Song). Its built-in valve circuit features prominently in the opening credits. In "No thank You" the second ending of the second season, she plays a Hammond organ.
    • Ritsu bangs around on what looks like a Yamaha Hipgig Rick Marotta drum kit.
    • Azusa made a fine choice with her Cherry-red Fender Mustang, since its short scale is a nice fit for her small hands.
    • In the manga, Akira plays a late-1970s-vintage Les Paul Black Beauty (one of the ones with a maple neck).
    • Several of the random items (such as the tea sets or Mio's headphones) are also recognizable (and very expensive) real world products. Mio's headphones are the AKG K 701, for example.
  • Shrinking Violet: Mio at times, especially when spooked or embarrassed by Ritsu.
    • Curiously, Ritsu's younger brother Satoshi tends to go into hiding when the other girls visit Ritsu's home.
    • The club holds interviews from random students and faculty for their promotional video, and the student they talk to in the library appears to be this.
  • Shy Blue-Haired Girl: Azusa with her blue-black hair and her trepidation for Cosplay.
  • Sibling Incest: One of Ui's Image Songs is titled "Lovely Sister Love" and contains the line "Onee-san daisuki" ("I love my big sister").
    • Ui's infatuation with her Onee-chan is rather clearly shown in the Anime. It's just that it hasn't reached critical romantic intentions.
  • Sick Episode: One of the second-season DVD-bonus episodes has Sawa-chan-sensei at home with a cold.
  • Sidetracked by the Analogy: Yui. So many times.
  • Signature Colors: Each of the main characters in K-On! has a signature color: Yui's Red, Mio's Blue, Ritsu's Yellow, Mugi's Pink, Azusa's Teal,[6] Ui's Orange, Nodoka's Light Green, and Jun's Light Blue.
  • "Silly Me" Gesture: Combined with Hand Behind Head by Yui and Sawako-sensei in episode 5.
    • Sawako does it again after she spent the night before the summer festival partying instead of sleeping.
    • And again in the penultimate episode when she is complimented on her video editing skills.
  • Sleep Cute: All the girls of the band do this together after a concert.
  • Sleeper Hit: The original Yonkoma was virtually unknown before being turned into an anime.
  • Slice of Life: Music-playing aside, this show is basically about cute girls doing cute stuff.
    • Which even gets throttled to almost Piano-like levels in the second season. Episode 13 is mostly about Azusa and her friends being bored, for instance.
  • Smashing Watermelons: Mio does this in the manga. In the anime adaption, she brings the watermelon with the same intention, but realizes that they can't spend all of their practice time goofing around on the beach.
  • Sound Off: An attempt to use their own songs during a marathon fails when the songs turn out to be too fast.
  • Spit Take: Satoshi's reaction to hearing that his sister is going to play Juliet.
  • Squee: Ritsu does this twice in the first episode, learning Mugi has joined her club, and first meeting "expert guitarist" Yui for the first time.
    • The whole audience watching Class 3-2's production of Romeo and Juliet squees at Ritsu and Mio performing the balcony scene.
  • Standing in the Hall: Mugi insists on being punished this way, since she considers it an essential part of a regular high school experience.
  • Stealth Hi Bye: Sawa-chan does this occasionally, either in the club room, or Yui's house. The girls, particularly Ritsu, are usually surprised at her sudden appearance.
  • Stealth Pun: Yui wears a giant chicken suit when trying to gain new members for the club, and underclassmen flee before her in terror. While "chicken" in Japanese is niwatori, the word for molester is... chikan.
    • Does that also count as a Bilingual Bonus Visual Pun?
    • Another one: The last names of the band members spell THANK, as seen in the second season's second ed.
      • In the scene where they all line up in the ED, their positions spell KNAHT from their last names, which is THANK if you read right to left, like a JDM audience.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial
    • Azusa, when Ui asks her what she was pondering about: "I wasn't thinking about Valentines or anything like that" (S2 22 01:17)
    • In the manga, Sawako is quick to point out that the reason she's no longer a homeroom teacher is certainly not that the school thought she did a bad job with the last class.
  • Sweat Drop
  • Sweet Dreams Fuel
  • Synchronous Episodes: The episode "Field Trip!" follows the third year class on their trip to Kyoto. The following episode "Staying Behind!" shows what the second year students were doing during the same time. A phone call between Yui and Azusa is shown from both points of view.
  • Tag-Team Twins: While not twins, Ui takes her older sister Yui's place in band practice when Yui catches a cold, attempting to fool the other band members. See Twin Switch below.
  • Tan Lines: Azusa tans really easily, which is embarrassing for her when she goes to the pool right after spending a day in the mountains.
  • Tareme Eyes/Tsurime Eyes: The art style has everyone (yes, even Yui) toggling between these two types of eyes, but it's most noticeable with Sawako, showing how wild she's currently being.
    • When Yui does an impression of Mio in the manga, she uses her fingers to physically push her eyes into the Tsurime shape for one panel.
  • Team Pet: Ton-chan, the pig-nosed turtle.
    • Azu-nyan also is treated as such by everyone but Mio when she first joins the club.
  • Technician Versus Performer: A veeeeery mild example between Azusa (technician) and Yui (performer). Azusa knows much more about guitars and playing technique, with years of experience, but Yui has a natural talent for most instruments and perfect pitch.
  • Technology Marches On: A cassette recorder is used to record the band's complete song list, of all things.
  • Teru Teru Bozu: Yui makes a bunch of them and hangs them upside down in hopes of getting rain the next day. It doesn't work.
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: Almost none of their time (be it Yui's class or Ui's class) is spent practicing as a band.
  • Theme Twin Naming: Yui and Ui. While they are not twins since Ui is a year younger than Yui and have different hairstyles, they look very alike. In fact, Ui poses as Yui during band practice in Episode 12 of the first season when Yui has a cold. See Twin Switch below.
  • Those Two Girls: The occult club.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Ritsu and Mio. Especially in the flashback to elementary school, with brash, Shorttank Ritsu and shy, dress-wearing Mio.
  • Trailers Always Lie: The next episode previews intentionally feature snippets of dialogue that never convey what the episode is actually about. For instance, Season 2 Episode 18's preview made it look like Mio was serious about moving to Irkutsk, when it was just one of her increasingly lame excuses to get out of starring in the class play.
  • Twelve-Episode Anime: The first season's main Story Arc spans twelve episodes. Episode 12 was labeled as the "finale," causing some people to think it would actually be the last one (It was, until the announcement of Season 2, which is why it was very finale-esque). There is an Episode 13 and 14, but they lie outside the story arc.
  • Twin Switch: When Yui gets sick before the concert, Ui lets her hair down and goes in her place. She fools everyone for a while, but Sawako-sensei eventually sees through her disguise as she is slightly better "endowed" than her older sister.
    • Curiously, nobody wonders why Yui would suddenly don the red Inside Shoes worn by first years.
    • A similar event occurs in S2 E4: Yui is shown packing things for her Kyoto trip and declaring that everything is all set... and then ties up her hair. Ui was packing for her sister, and then proceeds to wake up Yui, who is sacked in her bed. And in S2 E23, we see Ui ironing... but it's actually Yui.
    • Yui uses Ui's picture for her summer school ID card.
    • Milked for all it's worth in episode 21, where Yui is trying to decide which hairstyle to use for her yearbook picture. That includes having Ui model for her, and this being Yui, she forgets to take her hairpin back, and Ui ends up wearing it for the morning. Everyone comments how identical the sisters are once Ui lets her hair down. Bonus points when Azusa sees it, and Ui hugs her from behind saying Azu-nyan! in the cutest voice ever heard.
    • Used once again in the second chapter of the new manga, when Ui tries to convince Azusa that she was really Yui come back to check up on the club. Azusa and Jun actually start to buy it until Ui is "outed" again by Sawako-sensei in the same way as the first time (i.e. Sawa-chan noting the difference in chest sizes).
  • Two Lines, No Waiting: The current[when?] structure of the manga, serialized across two magazines. Chapters covering Yui, Mugi, Mio and Ritsu's first year at university alternate with those about Azusa, Ui and Jun's last year at high school, and it is expected that they will be published in this order in the tankoubon.
    • Expectation Jossed in the North American release, where the two storylines were published in two separate volumes.

U to Z

  • Unlimited Wardrobe: When not in school uniforms, the girls pretty much never wear the same clothes twice.
    • With only a single exception at the end of the second Beach Episode, where Azusa is wearing the same outfit when she met Ui at the beginning of the episode, only with a tan.
  • Unmoving Pattern: In the manga, both Mio's and Yui's pajamas are drawn like this.
  • The Un-Reveal: In episode 3 of the second season, Sawako's attempts to look younger "goes too far", which results in her wearing a face mask and sunglasses to school. She shows her face to Yui and Ritsu, but viewer only sees the back of her head.
  • Vacation Episode: The Movie involves Hokago Tea Time taking a trip to London.
  • Vocal Tag Team: Yui and Mio, sometimes trading off mid-song.
  • Wants the Work Done for Them: Sawako-sensei never makes tea, and neither does Jun when she joins the light music club in the manga. On the day that the other club members are learning about the previous year's club, Azusa gets upset with Sawako and Jun when they complain that nobody's made tea.
  • Weight Woe: Mio and Mugi always have issues about their weight gain at the end of the year.
  • What Do You Mean It's Not Awesome?: Ritsu dive-rolling into the room in Episode 3. Repeated three times from three different angles. Neither characters nor audience is impressed, though the latter is generally amused. One fan decided to make the scene even more over-the-top awesome.
  • Whip Pan: This funny scene.
  • Wiki Rule: Would you believe it?
  • Wingding Eyes: Many of the light music club members have done this, often with golden stars in their eyes.
  • With Friends Like These.../Vitriolic Best Buds - One wonders why Mio still considers Ritsu her friend, with the teasing, humiliations and blackmailing and all...
    • She gets back at Ritsu through violence. See Cranial Eruption above.
    • During her brief stint as a waitress, Mio tries pretending all the customers are her friends to overcome her shyness. Problem is, even the imaginary Yui and Ritsu irritate her.
  • X Meets Y: Lucky Star meets BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad
  • Yonkoma
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Averted in the main cast and a large part of their classmates, who have black, brown or blonde hair. However, among the many unnamed first and second year students, green and blue hair colors show up more often.
  • Your Door Was Open: Played for laughs. Occasionally, Sawako-sensei suddenly drops in unnoticed when it should be logically impossible for someone not to realize she came in, usually when she was neither invited or informed of the get-together beforehand. Ritsu is usually the one to make a note of this, saying "Wait, when did you get here?" or "You were sitting here the entire time?!"
  1. after-school
  2. Interestingly, most if not all the actresses kept up on their instruments, as they were noticeably more skilled at them during their surprise appearaince at the 2019 Animelo Summer Live festival.
  3. skull
  4. Yui=Tsukasa, Ritsu=Konata, Mio=Kagami, Mugi=Miyuki+Hiyori, Azusa=Yutaka, Sawako=Nanako
  5. Yui=Osaka, Ritsu=Tomo, Mio=Yomi+Sakaki, Mugi=Kaorin, Azusa=Chiyo, Sawako=Yukari
  6. Note the alignment of these five colors and the stereotypical colors for a Five-Man Band in toku shows.