- Ambiguous Robots: The Evas themselves.
- Ancient Conspiracy: SEELE
- Apocalypse How: Second Impact was a Planetary event that bordered on Societal Collapse. The explosion melted the Antarctic ice cap and shifted the Earth's axis; coastal regions were flooded and the entire ecosphere was thrown into chaos. Wars broke out, some going nuclear, many species went extinct, the ocean is completely dead, and roughly half of humanity is dead. The driving force behind the creation of NERV is that Third Impact will raised the severity to Total Extinction.
- Even without the Angels or Seele, it is hinted that Second Impact really was a Total Extinction event. Kaworu states that, as it stands, humanity will die with or without his actions; the damage to Earth is just too severe for them to endure for long.
- Applied Phlebotinum: Quite a bit, namely the AT Fields.
- Artistic License: Misato having a RHD Renault A310. Can be justified that she probably had brought the automobile to a professional car shop that converted the vehicle from LHD to RHD.
- Cataclysm Backstory: The Second Impact.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: Ender's Game often gets compared to Evangelion, and for good reason.
- Driving Question: Many, but possibly the biggest one is the nature of the Evas, which is also the closest one to getting a straight answer.
- The End of the World as We Know It: What apparently happens if an Angel ever merges with Adam. It happens anyway, but through other means.
- Evil Only Has to Win Once: See above.
- Giant Space Flea From Nowhere: The Angels are a mild example of this: although the characters are aware of their existence and they're expected to show up, they never know when, where or what the Angel will be.
- Kaiju: The show is directly inspired by Ultraman, and has as much in common with this mini-genre as Humongous Mecha.
- Magical Computer: Appropriately, the MAGI.
- Mildly Military: NERV.
- Mission Control: Straight down to spewing technobabble purely for the sake of the viewer.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: It never comes up in the show itself, but if you keep a close eye on the opening, you'll see a frame that informs you that "AT Field" in fact stands for "Absolute Terror Field."
- New Neo City: Even moreso in Japanese, where Tokyo-3's name translates as "New Tokyo No. 3". Justified, though, in that it is, in terms of Evangelion's alternate-history, Exactly What It Says on the Tin -- after the original Tokyo was destroyed, at least THREE new cities were built around Japan, all named New Tokyo.
- Omniscient Council of Vagueness: SEELE
- Precursors: The mysterious "First Ancestral Race" left Adam and Lilith on Earth, at least according to the first draft and one video game that pretty much just exists to deliver supplemental material. The show itself merely alludes to them; In episode 21, Gendo points out to Fuyutsuki that the Geofronts found under Antarctica and Japan were "left behind by someone, who was not us."
- Rapid-Fire Typing: Played straight (as a Justified Trope) and subverted in episode 13, when it takes Ritsuko a significant amount of time to dismantle and restructure the Magi in order to program a back-hack for the attacking angel.
- Ridiculously-Human Robots: The Evas bleed and seem to have at least some kind of personal set of emotions. It turns out, of course, that they're not really robots at all.
Ritsuko: We call it Evangelion. It is a synthetic cyborg created to fight the Angels.
- School Uniforms Are the New Black: Shinji will wear his school uniform even when he goes out at night to wander the streets of Tokyo-3. Rei is also an example.
- Science Fantasy: NGE is among the very softest science fiction. Those Humongous Mecha? They are revealed to be biological. CLONED FROM ANGELS! Who are aliens. Aliens with weaponized pseudo-Christian Kabbalah and existentialism-based force fields. And with human-like DNA but a different wavelength color(!?). All predicted by the Dead Sea Scrolls. The bodies of wizards and scientists alike are strewn across the field.
- Self-Destruct Mechanism: Geofront has one. Arguably justified as it's meant as a last-ditch attempt at preventing an Angel from making contact with the Captured Super Entity kept underground. Naturally, it ends up getting abused.
- Single Specimen Species: Despite the common denomination of Angels, each of them is completely different from the others, with the exception of the red core near their center. Well, it's more accurate to say that most of them are completely unique...
- State Sec: NERV. They are not only funded directly by the UN (actually SEELE), they have special legal protection and are the sole organisation operating Evas. There was one instance where an American admiral was forced to cooperate by a NERV captain, which shouldn't be possible in real life; in another example, the same captain requested a prototype weapon from the Japanese military and immediately got it without any red tape. It is said that their expenses involving Eva repairs and collateral damage could immediately bankrupt a small country. They also happen to have an Elaborate Underground Base as their main headquarters and a Captured Super Entity in the basement.
- Tokyo Is the Center of the Universe: Why are the Angels attacking Tokyo-3? Turns out that the "Black Moon" from which all life on Earth emerged just happens to be right underneath Japan, and their ultimate goal is to get in there and reunite with Adam. Subverted when Adam wasn't there originally and they were completely heading the wrong direction, and then played straight after episode 8 when Gendo has Adam brought there.
- The War Room: Central Dogma's command center, with Mission Control, natch.
- When It All Began: Second Impact
- Zeerust: No New Fashions in the Future? Check. Casettes? Check. Video games? Asuka loves her