Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney

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"OBJECTION!"
Phoenix Wright, and many others

The first three games in the Ace Attorney series star Phoenix Wright, a sympathetic, easily flustered Perry Mason with Anime Hair, who digs deeper into the mysteries surrounding his client's cases (which always seem to involve murder), butts heads with a host of eccentric characters, discovers clues and evidence the police miss, and uses those clues in court to force the truth out of witnesses and discover the true perpetrators. He fights alongside his late mentor, Mia Fey, and her Genki Girl sister Maya Fey.

They were originally developed for the Game Boy Advance, with the exception of the fifth case of the first game, "Rise From the Ashes", which was exclusive to the DS remake, known as Gyakuten Saiban: Yomigaeru Gyakuten (Turnabout Trials: The Revived Turnabout) in Japan. The game plays out in a Visual Novel style through the perspective of Phoenix Wright during investigation sessions, where you can talk to other characters, present evidence, and find clues to build up your case. Usually the next day, court begins, where you cross-examine witnesses to find contradictions, eventually forcing the real culprit to confess. Starting early on in Justice For All, you can try breaking characters "Psyche-Locks" by using evidence to tear their secrets apart and reveal vital information. The bonus 5th case of the first game took advantage of the touch-screen and mic on the DS allowing for more in-depth investigations on evidence.

The eponymous first game of the series chronicles Phoenix's first cases, Mia's death, and Phoenix's first battles with prosecutor Miles Edgeworth and his abhorrent tactics, culminating in a fierce face-off with Edgeworth's mentor, the legendary Manfred von Karma. In 2010 it gained a U.S. iPhone port. A live action movie directed by Takashi Miike was released in theaters in Japan in February 2012.

The second game, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Justice for All, introduces von Karma's prodigal daughter, Franziska von Karma, out for revenge after the events of the first game, and highlights the nature of the relationship between Phoenix and Edgeworth.

The third game, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Trials and Tribulations, further explores the background of Mia, Maya, and Phoenix by way of the mysterious coffee-guzzling prosecutor Godot.

A further Updated Rerelease featuring all three games was released for iOS in February 2012 (currently in Japan only), targeted primarily at the iPad and replacing the pixel art in the GBA and DS games with scanned versions of the original character drawings.

A character sheet for the whole series can be found here.


Tropes used in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney include:

General Tropes[edit | hide | hide all]

All three games provide examples of[edit | hide]

  • Abhorrent Admirer: Oldbag. Poor, poor Edgeworth.
  • Absolute Cleavage: Mia. Especially when she's channeled by Pearl, whose clothes are... small.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: The blatantly obvious example of Oldbag's affection for Edgeworth (and assumably all of her other crushes).
  • Angrish: Whenever you catch someone in a lie.
  • Anime Hair: Oh so much.
    • Phoenix possesses what could be classified as "hedgehog hair", with spikes that protrude behind his head. His wannabe double, Furio Tigre, has similar spikes on his head.

Maya: I mean, you normally only see hair like that in a video game.
Phoenix: (Is my hair really that weird-looking?)

    • Pearl has a big pretzel on the top of her head, and her mother Morgan sports a massive shapeless bun that can only be held together by antigravity. Ron DeLite has a pair of cinnamon buns on the side of his head that spring outward when he's upset (which is often). Detective Luke Atmey's hair looks like he shaved his head, broke a plate, took the biggest piece, spray-painted it bright yellow, and glued it to his head. Redd White and April May both have unnatural hair colors—dark blue-lavender and bright pink, respectively.
      • Both Maya's and Phoenix's hair is lampshaded frequently throughout all games. ("...Is my hair too spiky? Not spiky enough?" Phoenix says this when Pearl starts crying.)
    • Ace Detective Luke Atmey, if presented with Phoenix's profile, deducts that Phoenix must be a defense attorney because his hair shows that he's constantly taking blows from his enemies.
    • Gumshoe's pointy hair cannot be contained by and sticks through the bandages on his head at the end of the final case in Justice For All.
  • Arc Words: In the third game, "The only time a lawyer can cry is when it's all over."
  • Armor-Piercing Slap:
    • Pearl, whenever she believes Phoenix has wronged "Mystic Maya" in any (in)significant way.
    • Franziska, throughout her appearance in the third game, very rarely hits Edgeworth with her whip even in court, choosing to hit other people instead of him. When she does smack him, its to shake him out of his deep depression over losing Iris when his fear of earthquakes caused him to pass out while he was guarding her. Also, if you ask the wrong question to Sister Bikini during that trial, it is possible to make Franzy Whip It Good. She makes up for it in Investigations however. She'll whip him a good number of times in required scenes, more if you press certain things or present the wrong evidence. Edgeworth and Gumshoe are also her victims-by-proxy whenever she doesn't want to whip the person who wronged her.
    • * Whenever Phoenix Wright gets too sappy talking about Dahlia, Mia subconsciously attacks Grossberg to vent.
  • Artistic License: Law: Barely follows the rules of the criminal justice system. For instance, there is not even a Grand Jury to review evidence for the trial before hand, and defendants don't receive a trial by jury. Real life trials take weeks of cross examining evidence and witness testimony, with plenty of time for the defense to review all the evidence out of court. Granted, Japan's court system had trials with only one judge and no jury until 2009, when a system incorporating a group of judges was implemented. Makes use of many common subtropes.
  • Asshole Victim: Robert Hammond from 1-4; Turner Grey from 2-2; Juan Corrida from 2-4.
    • Also, Jack Hammer (1-3) may count ( dies trying to frame Will for Dee's murder, thus getting Will framed for his murder instead), and Valerie Hawthorne (3-5) plays with it a bit: she helped Dahlia get Terry arrested, but she later felt bad and tried to clear things up with him.
  • Awesome but Impractical:
    • The DS support functions for the microphone and touch screen were tacked on to all three of the remakes. While it is cool to press the Y button to turn on the mic and yell "OBJECTION!" and "HOLD IT!", it's far easier to press the shoulder buttons instead. The touch screen is rarely ever required for any of the games either.
    • The Wii remakes let you swing the Wiimote as if you were making Phoenix's trademark 'Objection!' pose. Fun, but ultimately it's easier to just press the minus button.
  • Back for the Finale: Larry in the first game, Edgeworth in the second, Franziska and Edgeworth in the third.
  • Back from the Dead: Mia Fey is also channelled throughout the series after her death.
  • Bash Brothers: If there's a legal version of this trope, Phoenix and Edgeworth are definitely it. Edgeworth wants to get the guilty into jail, Phoenix wants to keep the innocent out. There is no contradiction here. If Phoenix has a definite lead in court that points to his client being innocent, Edgeworth will pick up on it and do everything in his power to help Phoenix, as long as it is within his ability and duty as a prosecutor. The way they took down Damon Gant, in particular, shows how much criminals should quake in fear if both of them are on the same case.
    • They worked together to take down Matt Engarde and Godot as well. If the two are working together on any case after 1-4, they will find and take down the true criminal.
  • Berserk Button: One of the lighter examples, but in 1-4 when you talk to Gumshoe about Gourdy and say that you're looking for him, Gumshoe flips out. Of course, Pheonix didn't have the common sense to tell him beforehand that they had to give information about Gourdy to Lotta for the investigation.

Gumshoe: You have time to go wild monster hunting!? Why not do a little questioning for me then!?

  • Big Damn Heroes: Just about the only thing Detective Gumshoe does right. Mia, despite being dead and buried, also has a knack for this. And yes, it's lampshaded by Godot.
  • Big Screwed-Up Family: One really wonders if the Fey clan's ancestors deliberately structured their clan's hierarchy to promote hatred, jealousy, infighting, and backstabbing so that only the strongest daughter may even hope to survive to adulthood, let alone claim the prize.
  • Bittersweet Ending: A few of the cases end on a fairly bittersweet note. One example being case 1-5, where Lana is cleared of her murder charges, and is finally able to act like her old self again, and Gant is convicted for not one, but two murders... the first of which he had convinced Lana that her younger sister had (accidentally) committed, and the second of which he was blackmailing Lana into taking the blame. However, Lana will still have to answer for several other crimes she committed under blackmail, and will, in all likelihood, still end up having to serve some jail-time, leaving Ema alone regardless. A more straightforward example occurs in the very first case. Larry is proven innocent, but the fact remains that his girlfriend (the victim of the case) is dead and the clock that he gave to Mia would be her murder weapon.
  • Born Lucky: Many characters accuse Phoenix of winning his cases with mostly pure luck, though they are not far from the truth considering something ALWAYS comes up in the last minute that can help Phoenix win.
    • Phoenix falls through a burning bridge, into a river that has previously been established as having a horrifically strong current, in the middle of winter, and survives even when it's been reported people die from the river all the time. Granted, he gets a cold and a night in the hospital, and recovers solely because he's dedicated to proving his client not guilty, but that seems a little light compared to cold death. This gets Lampshaded by Franziska, who claims that's she unsure whether Phoenix is lucky or unlucky.
    • Phoenix, in the long run, isn't even that lucky. He gets handed some pretty horrible cards on each of his cases, most clients are unresponsive and hard to work with, and the true culprits won't confess so easily.
    • Overall, whenever something truly bad would happen to Phoenix, he gets the best result... but if someone terrific would happen to him, he gets the worst result instead.
  • Brick Joke: A possibly unintentional example in Justice for All. One of the cases introduces Ini and Mimi Miney. About a case later, we're introduced to the clown Lawrence Curls, who goes by the name of Moe.
  • Butt Monkey: Detective Gumshoe. Larry Butz. Hell, Larry gets ripped apart by everyone on both sides in Investigations.
    • Phoenix himself comes across as being rather unlucky. What with him being surrounded by lunatics and idiots in a justice system that's ridiculously stacked against him. Or how he's repeatedly injured and assaulted, be it from being hit by a car, knocked into a river, or getting shocked by a tazer. This becomes really apparent when you play as Edgeworth for a portion of a case in T&T: witnesses and detectives are actually helpful rather than directly or indirectly hindering and undermining you, the judge comes off as being slightly more reasonable, and the prosecutors don't assault you!
      • Edgeworth does, however, begin to suspect that there may, in fact, be a "Kick-me" sign on the defense bench in the court.
    • Maggie Byrde has an extreme run of bad luck her entire life, most of it told through backstory. When Maggie and Phoenix's first cross paths, their bad luck combines and Phoenix gets hit on the head, ending up forgetting all the rules of the court right before defending her. He still wins.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Larry Butz, Butt Monkey extraordinaire, managed to save the day three times in the whole series' run...
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Every case in Phoenix's trilogy is referenced by some other case in the series. This even includes an instance where the bonus case in the first game had a reference to the only non-referenced case by way of a flyer for the restaurant there. This made sense in Japan, where the third game had been out for years and this case had been made for a special edition released a few years later. However, to gamers outside Japan that are unaware of the series history on the GBA, it just came off as a strange instance of foreshadowing.
    • Also in the DS-exclusive 5th case of the first game. Look at the safe Chief Gant has closely, you can see the logo for KB Security, yet another future nod to the third game.
    • In Justice for All, Shelly de Killer has apparently been paying attention to the previous cases and decided to go in for a symbolic gesture, as when he shoots Franziska, he does so in the right shoulder, just like her father had been.
    • Getting poisoned by coffee is quite the reoccurring theme in Trials and Tribulations. It's the method of death for Terry Fawles (suicide) and Glen Elg (homicide). It's also what puts Diego Armando/Godot on the shelf for five years and gives him his white hair and visor. Furthermore, it's initially believed in Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney that Drew Misham was poisoned by a coffee mug, but he actually left the poison on the coffee mug when he drank from it after being poisoned.
    • Additionally, Franziska von Karma shares some animations with her father, as does a young Edgeworth. (The younger Edgeworth also wears a blue vest reminiscent of Manfred's, with matching trim on the suit jacket.)
  • Colon Cancer: Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Trials and Tribulations and Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Justice for All.
  • Courtroom Antic: Frequently.
  • Dojikko: Maggey.
  • Determinator: Phoenix, without a doubt. The odds are so stacked against him, most lawyers would simply accept a Guilty verdict, forget their doomed client and move on. Not Phoenix, not ever. He will prove the innocence of his clients, no matter the personal cost or the odds. And when they aren't innocent, he'll put them away for good.
    • Maggie Byrde has pretty much lived her entire life spitting in the face of her horrible luck. No matter what happend, Maggie keeps on moving with a positive attitude. She's a tough old byrde.
  • Devil's Advocate: The rival prosecutors sometimes become this, rather than your true opponent. Once he warms up to Phoenix, Edgeworth isn't acting as a prosecutor because he wants you to fail, but because he wants all the holes in the logic of the case to be filled satisfactorily.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?:
    • Almost nobody likes Phoenix, except for a token few. Even his "friends" Edgeworth and Larry don't give him much respect despite him having an almost 100% success rate.
    • While Phoenix himself suffers both inside and outside the courtroom, pretty much anyone leading the defense tends to suffer extremely abusive treatment from everyone in the courthouse for most of the trial. Edgeworth, after suffering under the same circumstances during his one trial as a defense attorney in 3-5, engages in a bit of Lampshade Hanging when he wonders if the defense's bench has a target painted on it.
    • At the end of the conversation referenced in the Dirty Old Man entry under the third game, Mia says that she can't believe that Maya channelled her for that.
    • This is very much due to the Japanese legal system (and the culture surrounding it) of which the gameplay is based. Because the legal system is built on an inquisitorial system, in which the court has an active role in the case (whereas the adversarial system in the West reduces the role of the court to a form of referee), Japan has an incredibly high conviction rate. Furthermore, only in 2009 did Japan re-institute a form of jury system after revoking it in World War II. As a consequence, how people view prosecutors and defense attorneys is reflected as one of adoration and contempt, respectively. That Phoenix Wright has such a success rate is nothing short of unprecedented: Defense attorneys in Japan are lucky if they score an acquittal in their entire career.
  • Economy Cast: Detective Gumshoe and the Judge, for the most part. Other characters in those positions appear only when absolutely required by the plot—and in the judge's case, when a second judge is required by the plot, it is always his almost identical brother. Strangely, in an interview it's been commented that the first game (in GBA form) had filled its cart to the brim, so much that one character (Grossberg) had to have animations cut. This doesn't seem to be a problem with the later games, so having an Economy Cast only really makes sense for plot reasons (plus the occasional Lampshade Hanging).
  • Exact Words: The Magatama has a problem with this. Depending on how the question Phoenix asks is formulated, there may be no Psyche-Locks appearing because the character may not really have something to hide about that specific point. In case 2-4, Phoenix at first believes Matt Engarde to be innocent because he asked him if he killed anyone and Engarde says no, he never killed anyone; and no Psyche-Locks appear. But that didn't imply that he didn't hire a killer to do it for him.
  • Fan Girl: Pearl is an in-universe Phoenix/Maya shipper, and Maya is also a huge fangirl of the Steel Samurai. Trucy becomes a belated fangirl of the Gavinners, and Apollo used to be a Phoenix Wright fanboy (before he actually met him). In Investigations, the extent of Edgeworth's Fan Boy attitude towards the Steel Samurai is revealed!
  • First-Person Smartass: Phoenix, on occasion. Edgeworth somewhat more so in his playable segment.

Edgeworth: (Thank god for inner monologue.)

  • Foe Yay: So much of it, you half expect Edgey and Phoenix to rip their clothes off in the middle of a trial and start screwing like bunnies.
    • Edgeworth and Franziska to an extent as well.
    • Franziska and Phoenix have their moments.
  • Foreshadowing: Oh so many.
    • In case 1-2, Mia says that Phoenix would be more likely to get Maya a guilty sentence rather than an acquittal, and that she should wait three years. Three years later, Phoenix finally stands on his own in the last case of the trilogy, without someone else coming in with new evidence, or objecting for him. He still has help along the way, but he finally finishes a case on his own terms.
    • There's one in case 3-5:

Pearl: You'd walk over hot coals for Mystic Maya, wouldn't you, Mr. Nick?

      • Later in the case he runs across a burning bridge for her.
  • George Jetson Job Security: Gumshoe appears to have this, in some part due to Edgeworth's influence.
  • Going for the Big Scoop: Lotta Hart does this in three separate cases, one time she goes crazy and starts going after the crime scene Laughing Mad. Even Wright doesn't know which is scarier after that, the ghosts or Lotta.
  • Good Lawyers, Good Clients:
    • Phoenix always seems to get the innocent clients, leading one to wonder just how competent the investigators are if they arrest innocent people that often...
    • Well if they're all like Gumshoe...
    • However, this is subverted with the final defendant of the second game, Matt Engarde.
    • Ron DeLite subverts it, too. True, he didn't murder anyone, but Phoenix still successfully got Mask*DeMasque off the hook for larceny... albeit with Luke Atmey's help.
    • This trait is actually justified in-universe. Phoenix (and Mia) always ask the cliente if they are truly innocent, and only will defend them if they believe the answer. As of the second game, Phoenix backs this up with the magatama. If there's no psylocke, he assumes they are truly innocent. This comes back to bite him in case 2-5.
  • Hot Chick in a Badass Suit: Mia.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Most of the cases have the word "Turnabout" in their titles.
  • Indy Ploy: Usually, Phoenix has no idea what he's going to reveal when he presses someone.
  • I Was Quite a Looker: Wendy Oldbag claims this, but we only have her word for it. However, one of stories in the first volume of Official Casebook (a collection of Ace Attorney Doujinshi), we get to see how her identical grandmother (!) looked as a young lady, and she was quite attractive.
  • Japanese Pronouns: In the Japanese version, Matt Engarde uses boku when he displays his flaky outer persona and ore when he reverts to his sociopathic true self, further indicating the difference between the two.
  • Kubrick Stare: Phoenix is especially good at this, or at least his sprite suggests so.
  • Like Brother and Sister: Phoenix and Maya, although you may interpret their relationship as something more. Pearl certainly does.
  • Metal Detector Puzzle: One in all three games.
  • My Sibling Will Live Through Me: Mia, through Maya (and Pearl), far more literally than in most cases of this trope.
  • Next Sunday A.D.: The first game takes place in 2016. Almost nothing has changed, except the court system. They use 90s-style cell phones and VHS tapes.
  • The Nicknamer: Maya, as well as Franziska (who invariably calls Gumshoe "Scruffy") and Wendy Oldbag.
  • The Obi-Wan: Mia.
  • Oblivious Mockery: A museum worker says that any intelligent person would think that the writing on an urn belonging to a clan whose founder was Ami Fey would say "Ami," and would reassamble the urn to say that if they broke it. Unknown to her, a little girl who broke the urn and is standing with her reassembled it incorrectly such that the name was spelled wrong.
  • Passing the Torch/Take Up My Sword: When Mia dies, Phoenix takes over her law firm having only won two cases. Maya or Pearl still summon Mia throughout the trilogy whenever Phoenix needs help. However in the very last trial of the Phoenix trilogy, Mia only comes to help Wright solve the whole dilemma regarding Maya's whereabouts and Dahlia's return from the dead. Once the trial goes back to what it was originally about, a murder case, Mia refuses to help Phoenix, rendering him for the first time without assistance. However, when Phoenix finally figures out the source, the real murderer and presents the final piece of incriminating evidence that the player will ever present, Mia's spirit appears beside Phoenix, mimicking Wright's final presentation (in slowmotion, no less). Godot who would never accept Phoenix and never forgive him for Mia's death became so shocked that his visor blew up.
  • Perpetual Poverty:
    • Gumshoe is at the point where even instant ramen is a luxury, and he's on the verge of having to pay to do his job.
    • Despite his success as a defense attorney for several high-profile clients, Phoenix also seems to suffer from this, albeit to a lesser degree. This can be puzzling if you play the second game and think "Didn't he successfully solve a fifteen-year-old murder his client had confessed to, and then went on to expose corruption in the police department and prosecutor's office, all within his first year as a lawyer?" He has a better record than Johnny Cochrane. It's implied that Phoenix's clients don't pay him, and Maya's burger addiction probably has something to do with it, too.
  • The Power of Trust: Phoenix and Edgeworth, in pretty much everything from midway through their second case together and beyond. Which is a very interesting display of trust, considering the fact that one of them will have to lose whenever they're in court together.
    • Although later on Edgeworth realises that there's a lot more to being a prosecutor than just winning or losing.
  • Punny Name yet Meaningful Name: Dear God, where to begin? Phoenix's habit of rising up out of the ashes of his cases, Mia Fey (me, a fey), the detective Dick Gumshoe (both slang for detectives), and those are just the main characters. Everyone else? Frank Sahwit (the witness, who saw it), Redd White (of Blue Corporation), Will Powers, Jack Hammer (action stars), Penny Nichols, Wendy Oldbag (very verbose), Lotta Hart, Lawrence 'Moe' Curls (a clown)..
    • Pretty much every name in every game, with only a few exceptions.
    • The Feys are also Arthurian Theme Naming, after Morgan le Fay (with altered spelling), evidenced by Misty Fey (after the Mists of Avalon). The tradition continues into Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney with the Gramarye family, named after Merlin's island.
  • Running Gag: Maya appears to have trouble understanding the concept of a stepladder. Examining one almost always yields a conversation in which Phoenix has to explain to her what a stepladder is. This is continued by Trucy and Apollo and Miles and Kay.
    • Ema gets in on the action in 1-5, and another variation occurs in 3-2 with Maya confusing a fireplace for a hearth.
    • Gumshoe also gets in on it in case 3-5.
  • She's All Grown Up: Maya or Pearl, whenever either one of them summons Mia.
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend: Maya and Phoenix go through this a few times, first with Larry Butz assuming Maya is Phoenix's partner in more way than one, and subsequently several times with Pearl.
    • ...though in 3-5, pressing the fake Iris at one point yields the following exchange:

"Iris": Mystic Maya... She's your girlfriend, isn't she?
Phoenix: ...!

  • Spirit Advisor: Mia Fey fills this role, and even though she appears to be omniscient (since she's dead and all), she seems to have varying levels of this (such as in the third case of the first game where even she doesn't know what happened until Phoenix does).
  • Stuffed Into the Fridge: Subverted with Mia Fey. When she's murdered at the beginning of the second case, it seems like a standard cliche - female character close to the protagonist is killed solely so that avenging her can serve as his heroic motivation. In fact, though, Phoenix is unable to convict her killer on his own, and it's Mia who avenges herself from beyond the grave in the most literal way possible. Furthermore, even in the third game, it's still Mia, not Phoenix, who is Dahlia Hawthorne's ultimate nemesis.
  • There Can Be Only One: The brutal system of succession in the Fey clan of women.
  • They Call Me Mister Tibbs: Parodied with Detective Dick Gumshoe.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Maya and her burgers (Ramen in Japanese), and to a lesser extent Gumshoe and his instant noodles (which is about all he can afford on his salary).
    • Plus Godot and his coffee.
  • When It All Began: The majority of the cases in the game have some event before that gives the true killer their motive.
  • You Keep Using That Word: From the first game: "Accidental murder is still murder." Apparently "manslaughter" isn't in an Ace Attorney's vocabulary.


Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney[edit | hide]

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney provides examples of[edit | hide]

  • Absence of Evidence: In the 5th case (MAJOR spoiler): Damon Gant has just proved Ema Skye pushed the victim to his death using a fingerprint-laden piece of cloth he personally cut from the victim's vest. However, Phoenix notes that while the victim died of a pierced lung and was coughing up blood on himself for a while before death, the piece of cloth has NO blood on it. Since this proves the cloth was cut BEFORE the victim was killed, Gant is a bit unnerved.
  • Absolute Cleavage: April May and Angel Starr.
  • Affably Evil: Damon Gant
  • Amoral Attorney: Miles Edgeworth and Manfred Von Karma set the series tradition for these types of prosecutors. Robert Hammond from the fourth case was murdered for being one.
  • Arc Words: "DL-6" throughout the first four cases; "SL-9" in the fifth case.
  • Asshole Victim: Robert Hammond and debatably Jack Hammer.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Played for laughs in the side-comic for Case 4.
  • Awesome but Impractical: The DS support functions for the microphone and touch screen were tacked on to all three of the remakes. While it is cool to press the Y button to turn on the mic and yell "OBJECTION!" and "HOLD IT!", it's far easier to press the shoulder buttons instead. The touch screen is rarely ever required for any of the games either.
  • Bara: Will Powers. In fact, Gumshoe and Powers are often a bara couple in fanart.
  • Berserk Button Don't ever come between Manfred von Karma and his perfect record. Berserk Button doesn't even begin to describe the consequences you will suffer if you do.
  • Big Bad: Manfred von Karma, along with Damon Gant in the 5th case
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Cody Hackins
  • Chekhov's Boomerang: For example, the metal detector in case 4.
    • Case 5 has the security camera video, which comes up four times
    • The Unstable Vase was used at least 3 or 4 times too.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • In the Mia Fey murder case, there is a note that has Maya's name written in blood. This was a receipt for the lamp that would help out late in the second trial.
    • In Rise From The Ashes, "Rule 1: no evidence shall be shown without the approval of the Police Department!" This comes back to bite Damon Gant in the ass, since the Police Chief himself taunting Phoenix to show something technically counts as "approval"...
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Larry Butz, seemingly a blockhead doofus who's just at the wrong place at the wrong time appears out of freaking nowhere and 180's the entire fourth case. Prior to this he was only the defendant of your very first trial and in the fourth case he had only appeared selling hot dogs and unintentionally spawning lake controversy about a rumoured monster in the lake.
  • Clock King: Manfred von Karma in the fourth case. Edgeworth specifically (though not by name) suggests Xanatos Speed Chess as a method of combating him.
  • Covers Always Lie: See that woman, on the far right in the trope image (the game's cover)? She dies in the second trial. In the original, she only makes a few more brief appearances when being summoned by her sister.
  • Cowboy Cop: Played literally with Jake Marshall, the justification being that he's from west L.A.
  • Crazy Prepared: Manfred von Karma practically defines this trope; he forges evidence, retrains a parrot, and prepares his witnesses perhaps even more than he prepares himself to get a guilty verdict.
  • Creative Closing Credits: The ending of Case 5.
  • Crime After Crime: Joe Darke's backstory in case 5. It ends with him killing at least five people. Jake Marshall's brother, however was killed by Damon Gant.
  • The Day the Music Lied: At one point, Edgeworth brings up an OBJECTION!, his awesome theme music starts up... then he realizes he has nothing to say. The music kinda deflates. Then it starts up again when he does think of something.
  • Dead Man's Chest: In case 1-5, Gant needed to stash the body of the detective he killed and got Lana Skye to do it. Unfortunately for him, Lana was spotted--which led to her being accused of the murder instead.
  • Death Glare: The big bad of case 5, Damon Gant. In the same case, Angel Starr's burning hatred for prosecutors in general makes her glares pretty nasty as well.
  • Defeating the Undefeatable: Phoenix goes up against two prosecutors with perfect records... until they encounter him.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: How dare that Gregory Edgeworth so much as scratch my perfect record? I swear, if he crosses me once more, I'll kill him, raise his son to be a prosecutor, and then frame him for murder...!
  • Don't Explain the Joke: This game tended to Lampshade Hanging the Punny Names. Someone on the writing team must have figured out how unneeded this was, because it stopped happening.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: This game features a different health system, with a "five strikes" rule rather than the lifebar and variable penalties given out in the latter titles. The trials also take place over three days, which was changed to two days in subsequent games after complaints that the frequent shifts between the trial and investigations phases ruined the game's pacing.
  • Eureka Moment: "Perhaps you'd like to cross-examine the parrot?"
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": The Bellboy, a.k.a. "The Bellboy Who Swore An Affadavit".
  • Evil Overlooker: See the picture.
  • Expressive Hair: Most memorably Angel Starr. Depending on which eye her bangs cover, she can be sweet as a lollipop, or sour as a lemon.
  • First Episode Spoiler Mia is murdered in case 2.
  • Fission Mailed: In the middle of 1-4, The Judge finds Edgeworth guilty. Then Larry arrives.
  • Foe Yay: Gregory and Manfred, according to most of Fandom.
  • A Fool for a Client: Phoenix winds up representing himself for the last trial of case two.
  • Foreshadowing: possible there was some collaboration between the English script writers and Takumi. In Case 5, upon presenting your badge to Lana...

Lana: Give it three years. Then we'll see what you have become.

    • Strangely inverted by Mia, though. In her phone conversation with Maya, she says to give him 3 years unless she wants a guilty verdict. Guess when's the first time Phoenix fails to get an innocent client off the hook?
    • "Rise From The Ashes" actually manages to foreshadow things in Ace Attorney Investigations! Mainly how Ema thinks that Edgeworth's framed jacket has a story, a cop suggesting that the gunshot someone heard was a recording, and how Edgeworth will one day be forced to see the limitations of the law while trying to find the truth.
    • In Case 4 it actually, although subtly, foreshadows Justice For All! Upon talking with Maya about how Larry started the myth about Gourdy living in Gourd lake with his Steel Samurai inflatable Maya says "someone should whip that Butz into shape". Guess what whip-toting prosecutor comes in next game?
    • While defending Maya Phoenix asks Gumshoe the likelihood of a victim writing their murder's name in their blood. In this case, that didn't happen. Later in the game, the unstable jar does have the murders' name written in blood.
  • Freudian Excuse: It can be a bit jarring when you go back through this game, after finishing the others, and notice just how much of a jerk Edgeworth was, with the loss of his father, and replacement of his father with a colossal jerk being revealed as an excuse. Even in his first case against you, an old friend, Edgeworth is snide, condescending, rude, dishonest, and manipulative. Fortunately, his Excuse was upgraded into Character Development over the course of the three games.
  • Freudian Trio: Phoenix, Edgeworth, and Larry, when they were childhood friends.
  • Gag Boobs: April May takes it Up to Eleven, and the bellhop of the Gatewater Hotel even makes mention of how she's unmistakable because of "them" with a HUGE blush.
  • Gambit Pileup: Damon Gant from 1-5 has a freaking plethora of gambits all going on at once and literally everything in the entire case went the way he had predicted and wanted it to be. The only way Phoenix could Out-Gambitted him was by postponing a piece of evidence for a few minutes until Gant persuaded him to present it, as otherwise it would be rendered illegal evidence.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar:
    • Also in case 1-2, after you get April May's wiretap.

Phoenix: I'll get to this woman's bottom! Wait... I mean... you know what I mean.

    • From the same case:

Bellboy: It's French for "kiss", but not a French kiss, sir.

  • Gonk: Sal Manella, the sweaty otaku TV director.
  • Grandma, What Massive Hotness You Have!: Damon Gant is 65 when he first appears.
  • Hammerspace: Case 4 establishes that Phoenix has carried a full-sized metal detector around with him for several hours.
  • Head Desk: Manfred von Karma pulls one of these against the wall as a Villainous Breakdown.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Damon Gant, as part of Phoenix's counter-gambit in 5. The cloth with Ema's handprint on it was Gant's insurance policy, and the reason he could not be found guilty as the murderer. Phoenix had one chance near the end of the trial to present it, but doing it at that point would count as an attempt to convict someone with illegal evidence as the cloth had nothing to do with the case at hand, resulting in a Nonstandard Game Over further on at the end of the trial. However by delaying the inevitable with a few seconds space after he was persuaded by Gant to present it, Phoenix eventually presented it since the evidence would authentically be legal as it was shown after being allowed clearance by the lead Police Chief, which was Gant.
  • Hypocritical Humor: When Dee Vasquez complains about Phoenix slamming his desk, Edgeworth slams his desk, chimes in "Yeah! Mr. Wright...! then realizes his mistake and says "Oops".
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: PWAA: Both the fictional and apparently true fate of the victim of case 1-3, who died by being shoved onto a spiked fence. Plus the irony factor of him having killed someone else the exact same way years before his own death.
    • And don't forget in Case 5, Damon Gant impales Neil Marshall on the suit of armour. While he was still alive.
  • Karma Houdini Warranty: Edgeworth.
  • Last-Second Word Swap

Maya: Wow! It's amazing.............ly dusty.

  • Laughing Mad: Damon Gant.
  • Make the Dog Testify: As seen in the (former) page image, Phoenix brings a parrot to the stand at one point. Said parrot completely turns the case around.
  • Man in White: Bruce Goodman
  • Metal Detector Puzzle: Used in the fourth case.
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Manfred von Karma. And if the name itself isn't badass enough, it's also seemingly a reference to Manfred von Richthofen, better known as the Red Baron.
  • The Nicknamer: Damon Gant (e.g. "Wrighto" for Phoenix, "Udgey" for the Judge).
  • Nonstandard Game Over: If you present a certain piece of evidence too early in 5 (the cloth with Ema's fingerprints), you are later told the trial was unwinnable from the time you presented it. The screen then goes black with a "Guilty" verdict.
    • Before most testimonies you have the option not to cross-examine, but this usually just results in your assistant calling you an idiot and making you go ahead with the cross-examination anyway. However, in 1-4, if you choose not to cross-examine the witness after Maya is arrested for contempt of court and dragged off to prison then Phoenix really will decline the opportunity to do so, which results in an instant "Guilty" verdict.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Yanni Yogi, the Boat Rental owner. He pretends to be a senile old man who thinks Phoenix and Maya are his children until Phoenix reveals his true identity, at which point he confesses.
  • Ominous Pipe Organ: While Gant's Leitmotif doesn't use pipe organ in-game, he himself plays one and his leitmotif was arranged for organ for the Villain Medley in the 2008 Gyakuten Meets Orchestra concert.
  • Only a Flesh Wound: Manfred Von Karma, who spends 15 years with a bullet in his shoulder.
  • Parental Bonus: "I like men with a big... vocabulary."
    • This technically foreshadows and possibly lampshades Redd White's splendiforusly huge vocabulary.
  • The Password Is Always Swordfish: Manfred von Karma has his ATM PIN set to 0001 because he's "number one"—and openly highlights this during a trial. Damon Gant's safe combination is the same as his ID card number: 7777777.
  • Polly Wants a Microphone: Although Polly can't talk with a mind of her own, she is useful in that she can be taught to say certain words in response to a question.
  • Pretty in Mink: Angel Starr.
  • Put on a Bus: Maya, right before Case 5.
    • Though she returns quickly.
  • Rear Window Witness: April May in the second case is initially set up as one. But it turns out she knows a lot more about the crime than a mere 'witness' should...
  • Running Gag: Gumshoe excitedly barging in on Phoenix and co., finding them all depressed, and then trying to excuse himself happens three times throughout Case 5, with almost the exact same dialogue each time.
  • Six Is Nine: In the fifth case, a piece of evidence contains a note that reads "6-7S 12/2." However, the note was apparently written upside down and it actually reads "2/21 SL-9," tying it to another case altogether.
  • Smug Snake: Redd White.
  • Snot Bubble: Yanni Yogi gets one when he falls asleep, when you first meet him in Case 4.
  • Stupidity Is the Only Option: Actually having Phoenix give the evidence that would convict von Karma to the man himself, despite the fact its obvious he's just going to destroy it like all the other evidence he just stole from the police. And then Phoenix still doesn't just report the assault and the theft to the police, even though they're already at the police department.
    • This is painfully prevalent in this game—you have to confront Redd White and Dee Vasquez with their guilt as well, though the results aren't quite so devastating to your case as with Von Karma.
    • Also, in case 1-2 you're never given the option of looking at what the receipt with Maya's name written on it is actually for, and need to wait for Mia to come back from the dead and tell you about it.
    • In 1-3 Phoenix somehow doesn't pick up on the killer indicating that she already knew the victim was dead before the body was discovered, so that Edgeworth can point it out instead.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Ema Skye in the bonus chapter is very similar to Maya. Phoenix lampshades the similarities between her and Maya both having older sisters, and Lana happened to know Mia. Ema resembling Maya is even part of the reason why he took the case.
  • Taking the Heat: April May refuses to willingly provide information that might incriminate Redd White in wiretapping or murder, and Lana is doing this for Gant, as a result of being blackmailed.
  • That Was Objectionable: The Trope Namer.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: Double subverted in case 1-3, when Edgeworth voices an objection to the usual heroic fanfare... which dies when he admits that he has nothing to say. Seconds later, he objects again, and the music starts back up when he realizes that he does have something to say.
  • Theme Naming: All of the chapter names (save for the DS-exclusive chapter, "Rise From the Ashes"--and even then, only in English) have the word "Turnabout" in them.
  • They Died Because of You: Manfred von Karma tries to convince Miles Edgeworth that he (accidentally) killed his father, Gregory Edgeworth, by getting angry and throwing a gun that went off and hit him.
  • Title Drop: A subtle example, but still... the full name of the DS re-release of the first GBA game is Gyakuten Saiban: Yomigaeru Gyakuten. "Yomigaeru Gyakuten" is the name of the 5th case of the DS version of the game (and its literal translation is "The Revived Turnabout"). This 5th case was then localized as "Rise from the Ashes".
  • Valley Girl: April May.
  • Vanilla Edition: An odd inversion. The Wii edition of the first game does not include the fifth case, which must be purchased for an extra 100 Wii points ($1 U.S.) Said case was not released until May 2010, four months after the game itself became available for purchase. (Presumably this is because the DS-specific Waggle mechanics in Case 5 took longer to adapt for the Wii than the rest of the game, because of the case-unique evidence examination mini-games.)
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: The killer of 1-5 sets up two separate framings in the brief time between Joe Darke's escape and recapture. First, he arranged the room to look like Ema killed Neil. This involved impaling Neil's body on the statue, writing on the jar, breaking the jar, and stashing the critical evidence in his safe. Then, once Lana arrived, he persuaded her to fake the evidence needed to arrest Joe Darke. This is extremely fast work, manipulating both people and evidence.
  • Yakuza: Dee Vazquez has ties to the Yakuza, but Phoenix, always one to search for the whole truth, confronts her anyway.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Redd White's hair is lilac. And it sparkles.


Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Justice for All[edit | hide]

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Justice for All provides examples of[edit | hide]

  • Accidental Murder: Acro in Case 2-3. He didn't mean to kill the ringmaster. He did, however, mean to kill his daughter.
  • Alliteration: "You huffy, puffy, loosey-goosey excuse for a whimpering whining wuss of a witness." - Franziska, with some good ol' rhyming added for good measure.
  • Affably Evil: Shelly de Killer is incredibly polite for a hired assassin (unless you push his buttons), and will not consider a job done until any and all suspicion is drawn away from his client.
  • Amoral Attorney: Franziska von Karma.
  • Anachronic Order: The second case is set before the first case.
  • Avenging the Villain: Franziska von Karma. Subverted. She eventually reveals that she didn't give a crap about her father's downfall; the entire rivalry was simply for satisfying her ego by besting Phoenix when Edgeworth couldn't. The Freudian Excuse was that she wanted to defeat Edgeworth all along.
  • Bait and Switch Boss: Franziska is all set to enact her revenge on you in the final case until...De Killer shoots her and Edgeworth makes a dramatic return, taking up the case.
  • Berserk Button: Whatever you do, don't accuse the Judge of being the murderer. The results won't be pretty.

Judge: GWWWWAAAAHHHH!!
Judge: WHAT DID YOU JUST SAY TO ME!? THAT'S A PENALTY!! (45% penalty)
Phoenix: Arrrgghhh!
Judge: WHAT'S THAT!? YOU WANT A DOUBLE!? HERE YA GO!! (50% penalty)
Phoenix: Double arrrggghhh!![1]

    • Franziska doesn't react too kindly to getting accused of being the murderer, either. Fortunately you only get a standard penalty if you do that, but you also get the mother of all whippings to go with it.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Although any good mystery story requires some criminals who don't seem like criminals at first, such as Miss Miney, the crowning example is Matt Engarde.
  • Break the Cutie: In 2-3, Moe the Clown brings the ultra-sheltered Pollyanna Regina to court on the day Acro is to be revealed as the true criminal specifically for this purpose, so that she can understand both the truth of her father's death and her own responsibility for Acro and Bat's injuries. She cries at the end of the trial and realizes some hard truths, but the fact that during the credits she seems to think Zimbabwe is full of talking bunnies and castles made out of cake, it seems uncertain that the change stuck.
    • In 2-4, Adrian Andrews applies too. Not to mention Maya Fey, who gets accused of murder once per game, along with getting kidnapped in 2-4, and many other things throughout the series. Finally, we learn in the third game that Mia Fey's first trial ends in an innocent man committing suicide on the stand and having the real killer go free. She even later gets murdered by Redd White. It seems like all the Feys have horrible luck.
    • Going off of Cry Cute, below: As is revealed in the closing credits, it seems the whole game was this for Franziska von Karma, whose worldview and obsession with perfection are not only challenged by two losses, but by Phoenix willingly and happily accepting his first defeat in court.
  • Camp Straight: Maximilian Galactica has bright pink hair, sequinned makeup, calls everyone (including Phoenix) sweetie, has the Catch Phrase "Fabulous!"... and is totally in love with the very Moe Moe Regina Berry. Although his metro-persona seems to be a mask to hide his Deep South, Good Ol' Boy past.
    • In that same case, Maya refers to the ringmaster as metrosexual after getting a glimpse at his makeup collection...
    • In their defense, they both work in the entertainment business, where pretty much everyone wears makeup. Max is only likely wearing his during the trial to keep his public image up.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The scrap of paper in the ringmaster's coat in 2-3. Maya spots it the first time she sees the coat, but Phoenix tells her to quit snooping around in other people's things. The next day, it turns out to be an important piece of evidence.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Two of them in Case 2-1: Maggey and Richard having the same exact eyeglass prescription (which leads to Maggey being accused of murder when Richard's glasses are found underneath the victim) and Phoenix and Richard having the same exact phone model and color (leading to Richard accidentally swiping Phoenix's phone after he attacks him when he meant to grab his own.)
    • Also, Maggey just happens to accidentally step on her glasses and break them around the same time the pair of broken glasses was found underneath the victim.
    • Possible Hand Wave in the fact that it never states Maggey or Richard's exact prescriptions, just that Richard is near-sighted, and that Maggey is wearing a spare pair at the moment (which could have a slightly older prescription on them than her normal pair), so their prescriptions could be actually different. It's still pretty dang convenient that they're both apparently near-sighted and still must have at least fairly similar prescriptions, though.
  • Cry Cute: Franziska von Karma in the post-credit epilogue of the good ending.
  • The Cutie: Regina, to a ridiculous extent.
  • Deadly Delivery: Career Killer Shelly deKiller disguises himself as a hotel bellboy delivering tomato juice to get into his target's room.
  • Dead Man's Chest: An unusual version of this trope occurs in the second game when Mimi locks Maya in the chest and then proceeds to frame her for the murder, using the same chest to hide herself when Maya first enters and when Nick and Lotta bust in.
  • Dead Person Impersonation: Ini Miney is actually dead--the one you meet in the game is her sister, Mimi Miney, who took over her identity when both were involved in a car wreck that killed Ini and injured Mimi so badly as to require reconstructive surgery.
  • Demonic Dummy: Trilo. Not actually demonic, but may as well be.
  • Demoted to Extra: Maya spends most of the game sidelined in favor of Pearl (and, for part of the first case, Maggey Byrde) and only really takes much of a part in the third case. Not to say that she doesn't play much of a role in the overall storyline, though, she just spends most of it in the background.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: Franziska von Karma is quite fond with the word 'fool'.
    • In the original, "baka" takes its place.
  • Diagonal Cut: During an awards ceremony, the Nickel Samurai does this with the moon.
  • The Ditz: Ini Miney in the second installment.
  • Dr. Jerk: Dr Turner Grey, although he turns out to be right about Mimi being responsible for the malpractice.
  • Dirty Coward: Richard Wellington deliberately caused Phoenix Wright's amnesia in the first case and also murdered Dustin Prince to prevent being exposed as a con artist. Ironically, by doing so he sealed his own fate by stealing the wrong phone. A better example would be Matt Engarde by holding Maya hostage to force Phoenix to try to get a Not Guilty verdict.
  • Everything's Worse with Bears: Juan Corrida is strongly associated with bears (most likely due to a PR move) and his room is full of nearly every bear related object known to man. The whole reason he is killed is because Matt discovered Juan had a fake suicide note written by "Celeste" that would have ruined his image. The note was hidden in a bear which was to be given to Matt after Juan was murdered.
    • Not to mention the camera hidden inside of the bear's eye, which ends up an incredibly crucial piece of evidence.
  • Expressive Shirt: Moe's hat reflects his emotions.
  • Foreshadowing: In 2-2, pay close attention to the cutscene of the car accident. Specifically, the hair of the survivor. Now look at the Miney sisters' profile pics. Now drop a brick.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Acro has birds that fly around him. Subverted, as he turns out to be a murderer, then double-subverted: as Maya points out at the end, there were no bad people in that case.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Phoenix has an interest in Max's bust.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Matt Engarde has a decidedly evil scar on the side of his face that he covers with his hair to make him look more innocent.
  • Highly-Visible Ninja: A Show Within a Show example is the Jammin' Ninja. He has a bright blue suit, a golden shuriken on his forehead, and wields a bright red guitar. Justified in that the Jammin' Ninja is less about ninjitsu and more about music.
  • Hitler Ate Sugar: Inverted in an equally illogical manner, oddly enough. In 2-4, Will Powers' testimony mentions some rather incriminating observations about a certain bellboy, who Phoenix knows very well is actually an assassin hired by the defendant, whom he is being blackmailed into getting a acquittal for, namely the bellboy's unusual pattern of stitches and his non-uniform leather gloves. Phoenix's objections to each respectively are

"Baseballs have stitches! Are you saying all baseballs are suspicious?!" and
"Footballs are made of leather! Are you saying all footballs are suspicious?!"

  • Hitman with a Heart: Shelly deKiller shows signs of this, which is pointed out by Phoenix on occasion.
  • The Hyena: Laurence "Moe" Curls, the clown.
  • Impersonating an Officer: During the third case, Gumshoe says he won't let Phoenix into a crime scene simply because he flashed his attorney's badge again. Maya states that he would if they were to show a Steel Samurai badge. Gumshoe's response implies that yes, it would indeed work. "Crime scene security" obviously doesn't exist in the Ace Attorney world.
  • Infinite Supplies: Adrian Andrews with her many many many pairs of glasses that are fragile enough to be broken by nerves and shock.
  • The Ingenue: Deconstructed with Regina. Growing up in the circus sheltered by her dad meant that she has no idea what's real or normal, including the concept that people die. So when she accidentally kills Bat, she feels absolutely no responsibility for her actions.
  • Ironic Echo: Fransizka promising to end Phoenix's perfect record at their first meeting.
  • It's a Wonderful Failure: The miracle never happen.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Dr. Grey was right and Mini Miney was at fault for the malpractice.
  • Karma Houdini: Shelly de Killer. He's an assasin who killed Juan Corrida and presumable many others. At the end of the game, he gets off scott free and he even sends a cheerful transceiver message saying that he's leaving the country but you can give him a call anytime.
  • Locked Room Mystery: 2-2.
  • Love At First Punch: "Director Hotti" reacts quite... happily... to being whipped by Franziska.
  • Mad Scientist's Beautiful Daughter: Obscure, but in the Nickel Samurai, all three ninja brothers fall for the evil Strawberry Clan leader's daughter.
  • Moral Dilemma: Justice For All teaches us that "Justice" does not always mean "Not Guilty" with case 4.

Edgeworth: It doesn't matter how many dirty, underhanded tactics you use in court. The truth will always find a way to make itself known."

  • Murder by Mistake: In 2-3, Acro tried kill Regina Berry. Instead he killed her father, Russel Berry.
  • Never Speak Ill of the Dead: Averted by Turner Grey in Justice For All, who continues to talk about how much of a failure his subordinate Mimi was after her death, even going so far as to want to get a spirit medium to summon Mimi for the express purpose of making her take responsibility.
  • Never Suicide: Averted with Celeste Inpax.
  • Nightmare Sequence: The dream where the shade of the Judge brings a gigantic gavel down on Phoenix, telling him, "You are no longer worthy of your title!" in the opening of the first case. Reappears in the fourth and final case, when Phoenix is deeply conflicted about Maya's kidnapping and the defense of Matt Enguarde.
  • Noble Demon: Shelly de Killer.
  • Nonstandard Game Over: Happens in 2-4, if you don't present the right piece of evidence to the right person near the end of the case. However, instead of getting a "Guilty" verdict, it's a "Not Guilty" verdict for the guilty-as-hell defendant.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Mimi Miney and Matt Engarde.
  • Ominous Pipe Organ: Bach's "Toccata and Fugue in D minor" plays during the opening cutscene.
    • Which becomes a Chekhov's Gun later in 2-1, as this is Richard Wellington's ringtone.
  • 108: Subverted. Phoenix can inspect an ancient Kurain tapestry, which has a list of 108 ways to make money. Then Phoenix thinks of two more, and they're immediately put on queue to be added to the tapestry.
  • Princess Curls: Regina Berry.
  • Red Herring: At the beginning of Case 2-4, the rivalry between two film studios is discussed at length. What does this have to do with the case? Nothing. The rivalry between individual people working at those studios is relevant, but the studio rivalry means nothing to the case.
  • The Reveal: Matt Engarde's legendary Obfuscating Stupidity revelation in 2-4.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: In Case 2-4, Wendy Oldbag is absolutely convinced that Matt Engarde is, in her words, "an evil, evil man." How she reached this (completely correct) conclusion? She thinks he ordered his manager to get close to Juan Corrida in order to cause a scandal. Not so correct.
  • Sequel Difficulty Spike: A slight, but noticeable example thanks to the new health system. In addition to the fact that you can now get penalties that wipe out all or most of your health bar in one go, if you do a really poor job of unlocking the Psyche-Locks you can end up going into the trial with only half of your health. In addition, you don't get health bar refills in the trial, which can become a real problem in the last case.
    • Played with somewhat, though, by the fact that unlocking Psyche-Locks does refill some of your health meter, so that's a bit of a help.
  • Shipper on Deck: Pearl is absolutely convinced that Phoenix is Maya's "special someone", and nothing either of the supposed lovebirds can say will change her mind.
  • "Silly Me" Gesture: One of Ini Miney's regular gestures.
  • Stage Mom: Morgan Fey is a particularly venomous version; it's clear she's not happy about being passed over as head of the Kurain legacy, and she attempts to frame Maya for murder so that Pearl will become the next head of the Fey family, effectively putting Morgan in charge for the next decade, if not longer. Her attitude towards Maya is particularly tragic considering that Pearl herself idolizes Maya and hangs on her every word.
  • Stupidity Is the Only Option: Played straight in the last case when Phoenix finds out that his client Matt Engarde is truly guilty since he hired an assassin to kill Juan, but the assassin is holding Maya hostage in exchange for a not guilty verdict on Matt, which would mean Adrian will be blamed and sent to jail. Phoenix pretends that he doesn't know anything (eventually, Edgeworth learns about situation and plays along with Phoenix during the trial) in order to buy time and wait until Gumshoe finds and rescues poor Maya, so that Matt can get the guilty verdict he deserves.
  • Ultimate Job Security: Edgeworth apparently can leave the prosecutor's office for a year, with no explanation other than what appears to be a suicide note, and immediately reclaim his position on his return when his sort-of-sister is shot and unable to prosecute. Must be a serious shortage of prosecutors in Tokyo/Los Angeles (despite the fact that in this universe they are better paid than highly successful defense attorneys!), which would explain the government's willingness to allow teenagers to be prosecutors.
  • Valley Girl: Ini Miney, who makes Elle Woods look articulate by comparison. Although we only see a copycat of her.
  • Viewers Are Geniuses: Sort of, anyway. 2-1 requires the player to know enough about baseball to realize that a catcher wears his mitt on his off-hand, and 2-2 requires the player to know that the driver sits on the right in British automobiles..
    • Well, for 2-2, if you don't know which side the driver's seat is on in a British car, you can press one of the statements and Phoenix will make a comment about it.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: In Justice for All, Shelley de Killer is never brought to justice despite being the actual murderer in the final case. Recently revealed promotional materials are making it look like you'll finally have a chance to put this plot thread to rest in Ace Attorney Investigations 2.
  • You Can't Get Ye Flask: 2-1 revolves around a murder where the victim was pushed from a ledge and died of a broken neck upon impact. The defendant is accused because the victim wrote her name in the sand with his finger before expiring. You are not allowed to argue that it wouldn't have been possible for someone with a shattered neck to write a name, even if he didn't die immediately.
    • Possible Call Back to 1-2, where arguing that the victim couldn't have written the killer's name due to expiring immeadiatly fails because the prosecutor shows evidence that they might have survived long enough to.


Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Trials & Tribulations[edit | hide]

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Trials & Tribulations provides examples of[edit | hide]

  • Acquitted Too Late: Terry Fawles.
  • Always Murder: Double subverted with case 3-2, which starts off with a grand larceny trial only for your client to get charged with murder after acquittal for the theft.
  • Ambidextrous Sprite: In case 3-5, Edgeworth plays defense attorney, and instead of using his left hand for pointing, he uses his right.
  • Amoral Attorney: Godot (sort of).
  • Anachronic Order: The first and fourth cases are set five and six years before the second, respectively.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: Case 3-5 has two trial days. There isn't a single prosecutor, lawyer, judge, witness, or even defendant who is present on both days until the final cross-examination.
    • On a smaller scale, you play as Mia in cases 1 and 4 rather than Phoenix.
  • Anticlimax Boss: Luke Atmey in 3-2 initially appears to be one of these, since he gives up with surprising ease on the first trial day and admits to being the true thief. Actually a subversion however, since he wanted to be found guilty of theft, so that he would have an alibi for the murder of Kane Bullard, which was in fact his doing.
  • Asshole Victim: Played with in Valerie Hawthorne's case: she is murdered precisely because she decided to atone for her misdeeds.
  • Back for the Dead: Misty Fey, who has a strong role in the back story of the series and is killed fifteen minutes into the only case she appears in person in.
  • Back from the Dead: Godot (actually Back From A Coma, although he himself refers to it as being raised from the dead) and Dahlia Hawthorne (being channelled).
  • Berserk Button: Don't ever poison or betray someone when Phoenix Wright is involved. Love wounds run deep.
  • Berserker Tears: Ron DeLite is said to have done that.
  • Big Bad: Morgan and Dahlia.
  • Big Damn Heroes: In 3-3, in two ocasions: first, Gumshoe enters in a fight agains Don Tigre and Armstrong so Phoenix would keep an evidence; second, Gumshoe bursts into the court with "Decisive Evidence" at the last minute! ...Which turns out to be fingerprints that became irrelevant no more than 2 minutes ago. Though it still serves to be the evidence that breaks the case.
  • Big No: Edgeworth in 3-5 involving Larry and the "psycho-locks". It easily qualifies as a Crowning Moment of Funny.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Dahlia Hawthorne
  • Bluffing the Murderer: In 3-3, this is how Phoenix finally catches the killer.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Victor Kudo in Trials and Tribulations pelts Phoenix with an endless supply of birdseed when he gets angry. Phoenix even questions if Victor has an infinite ammo code on.
  • Brain Bleach: Referenced in Case 3. At one point, Phoenix comments that a witness only saw the waitress from the back and "Even I could have been in that uniform!"; the judge asks that he refrain from putting those images in their heads. Later, Phoenix's response to seeing Jean Armstrong rub oil on himself (the player just sees a generic animation, thank God): "M-My eyes! My EYES!"
    • And in case 5 of the same game, Sister Bikini. There's a good chance she actually does it on purpose.
  • Brick Joke: In the final case of Trials and Tribulations, Phoenix has a conversation with Edgeworth where he feels much stronger, as if he had literally passed on his cold to someone else. In the next scene, we find that the judge who looked over the first half of the trial suddenly developed a cold and couldn't make it.
  • Bring My Brown Pants: Phoenix, when Furio Tigre is on the stand.

Phoenix: *gulp* (Maybe I should've brought a diaper with me today...)

  • Butt Monkey: Mia uses Grossberg as a random punching bag during 3-1. 3-4 shows exactly why Mia is acting the way she does.
  • Callback: A remix of the first game's "Cornered" theme plays when you're presenting evidence against Godot, and a remix of said theme's "Variation" plays after the epic finger point.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The 'Double Jeopardy' rule in 'The Stolen Turnabout' (the Mask DeMasque case) when it gets Ron DeLite off the hook for the many thefts he committed
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Going back two games, even! If you were paying very close attention in 1-2, you might remember Misty Fey's face, which makes the real identity of Elise Deauxnim clear immediately.
  • Confess to a Lesser Crime: A variant. Luke Atmey wants to get convicted for stealing the Sacred Urn of Kurain to avoid being convicted for murder.
  • Cover Identity Anomaly: An impersonator doesn't know that the person he's imitating recently suffered an injury that made him unable to hear out of his left ear. When a witness who was fooled by the imitation testifies that the person was wearing an earpiece in his left ear, Phoenix has to point out that it makes no sense.
  • Cowardly Lion: Ron DeLite, who despite being a neurotic, fussy, and perpetually fearful is a Gentleman Thief by trade and met his Biker Babe wife by attacking multiple armed men that were threatening her.
  • Crazy Prepared: Luke Atmey is only one of about two people in the world crazy enough to use a guilty verdict as an alibi. It just so happened that the other person that would do that was Ron DeLite. Morgan Fey also counts. In the second game she tried to pin a murder on Maya. After that failed, she's almost immediately made a backup plan that would come in action a whole year later.
  • Crime After Crime: Dahlia Hawthorne's looooooooong list of murders to cover up the previous ones.
  • Cry Cute: Iris.
  • Deadly Euphemism: Viola's "coffee" is strongly implied to be poisoned.
  • Dead Man's Chest: In Case 3-2, Ron DeLite stumbles into the same situation when he goes to meet the CEO, gets knocked out by the real murderer, and wakes up to find the CEO's body. To try and prevent himself from being accused, he hides the body in a safe in the office, where it isn't found for several days.
  • Death Glare: Mia gives a particularily nasty one to Payne in the first trial of Trials and Tribulations.
    • Then, of course, there is Dahlia's?
    • Edgeworth remarks on how his glare scares people. You can't see his in-game sprite while he's saying that, but if you think about the sprite while reading that, it makes sense.
  • Defeating the Undefeatable: Lampshaded with Godot, who is described as undefeatable—until you actually meet him and he brags that he's never lost because it's only his first case as a prosecutor.
  • Different As Night and Day: Dahlia and Iris.
  • Dirty Old Man: Victor Kudo. The man will throw birdseed at poor Phoenix, but the moment Maya channels Mia in the skimpy waitress outfit, he'll be eating it out of her hand.
  • Dojikko: Adrian Andrews, after allowing herself to pursue her own personality.
  • The Don: Bruto Cadaverini.
  • Dramatic Irony: 3-4 has this in spades, due to it taking place before any other case up to that point in the series (including 3-1). Thanks to info about Edgeworth's perfect record in the first game, Dahlia's appearance in 3-1, and Mia's trauma about the case, we know something bad is going to happen, no matter how hopeful things might seem along the way.
  • Evil Overlooker: There is a poster for this game with Godot as the overlooker.
  • Evil Redhead: Dahlia Hawthorne. This is the only physical difference between her and her 'good' twin sister Iris.
  • Evil Twin: Trials and Tribulations: Dahlia and Iris, twins who are evil and good, respectively, and both wind up impersonating the other at certain points in time. Also spoofed in the third trial of Trials and Tribulations with the Phoenix look-a-like Furio Tigre, whom Maya refers to as Xin Eohp, and she wonders if she has her own evil twin whom she names Ayam.
  • Expressive Hair: Ron DeLite's twisted-up buns start swirling whenever he breaks out into panic (which is often).
  • Flamboyant Gay: Chef Jean Armstrong. Full stop.
  • Flash Back: 3-1 and 3-4 are playable flashbacks.
  • Foregone Conclusion: 3-4 is also Edgeworth's first case; since he had a perfect win record in the first game, that means Mia cannot win.
    • Additionally, in 3-1, Mia mentioned she had worked a case six years earlier, and it traumatized her so much that she never set foot in a court room until that case, so you knew that the case wasn't going to end well.
  • Foreshadowing: In the ending of case 3-1, Phoenix says that he doesn't believe the Dahlia he saw during the trial is the one that he knew, Mia thinks that he's delusional. Then it's revealed in the ending of the final case of the game that she really wasn't the Dahlia he knew.
    • Another case has Desiree DeLite talking about how Ron saved her life when they fell in love. Maya then asks Phoenix if he would ever risk his life for her. In 3-5 Phoenix believes Maya's life is in danger while a murderer is on the loose and chases after her across a burning bridge
      • Don't forget how Pearl asks whether Phoenix would run across hot coals for Maya.
    • In 3-2, Pearl cheerfully says that if Phoenix worked hard, he would have copycats of his own. Guess what happens on the very next case.
      • In 3-2, Maya asks what Phoenix would think if she came in calling herself Ayam (which is both the backward spelling of her name and a homophone of "I am.") Early in case 3-3, when it turns out that someone is impersonating Phoenix, who Maya calls Xin Eoph, Maya asks, "I wonder if Ayam will make an appearance?" Later, we see that Phoenix's impostor also has an assistant from a messed up family who looks a teensy bit like Maya, although the person said assistant impersonated wasn't Maya.
    • In case 3-3, upset with Viola's misguided affection, Phoenix mentions that poisoning and betrayal - the marks of a coward - are things he considers unforgivable. Cue case 3-4...
    • Case 3-5, being heavily involved with spirit mediums and channeling, throws a pretty good bit of foreshadowing at you. After Dahlia (being channeled by Maya) switches places with her sister Iris, the person who Phoenix believes to be Iris starts using a lot of Dahlia's reaction poses and animations, albeit without the parasol.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Dahlia has butterflies. Subverted, since she turns out to be a killer - when she sheds her facade the butterflies burst into flame.
  • Fun with Palindromes: The third case has Blue Screens Inc., a computer firm where all of the employees have palindromes for names.
  • Futureshadowing
  • Gambit Pileup: The final case. If it wasn't entirely resolved in the first two games, it's resolved here. Good grief. By the end of it, the player feels quite a bit like Phoenix, as he/she tries to comprehend the following: the victim was actually Misty Fey, the result of her, Godot, and Iris' gambit to save Maya's life. Knowing that Morgan would try to take revenge, Godot listened in on her visits with Pearl, then tracked down Misty and set everything up. On top of Morgan's attempt (since JFA!) to kill Maya, lovely Miss Dahlia is running her own separate campaign to destroy Mia (who is already dead, but she doesn't care). And then, while all of this is being dropped on the player, Godot enacts his own mini-gambit in order to steer the trial to get himself convicted.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: 3-1 gives us:

Mia: "That "P" on his chest doesn't stand for Phoenix anyways!"

    • Also from 3-1:

Dahlia: The pharmacology students love their drugs...

Edgeworth: "Are..."
Franziska: "You..."
Judge('s brother): "High! [She's] really high up [there]!"

    • And when they judge misinterprets one of Godot's obtuse coffee metaphors: "Cafe o' Lay? Is that even legal?"
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars. Terry Fawles from 3-4 has a series of plus-shaped scars going across his face, and he's probably one of the sweetest guys despite his deteriorated intelligence... which makes his ultimate fate of poisoning himself just before he can be proven not guilty even more tragic.
  • Grand Finale: 3-5 neatly wraps up the trilogy.
  • Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow: Winston Payne (In five words... "My... hair... is... flying... away!"). The judge notes that Payne has lost his spirit along with his hair very soon after. It's mostly true, though he keeps more of his general ineffectiveness than he regains his self-confidence....
  • Hannibal Lecture + Humiliation Conga: How Phoenix and a channeled Mia expel Dahlia's spirit from Maya.
  • Head Desk: Gumshoe pulls a wall bang (off screen) when Phoenix and Maya tell him that Maggey hates him for betraying her.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Franziska in 3-5:

Franziska: Listen, Phoenix Wright! It's impertinent to call people by their full name!
Phoenix: I was only copying you.

    • Let's not forget Edgeworth in 3-4:

Edgeworth: Young people these days simplydon't know how to respect their elders.
Mia: (Why you...! You're even younger than me, you hypocrite!)

  • Identical Stranger: Wright's doppelganger is a complete subversion. Aside from the hair they don't even have the same skin color or accent.
  • I Never Told You My Name: Iris to Phoenix in the last case. When confronted about it, five psyche-locks appear before her and the issue has to be dropped. It's not explained until the very end of the game. The fact that you can't ask her about the subject later actually foreshadows the fact that she's Dahlia.
  • Infinite Supplies: Victor Kudo with his box of birdseed (lampshaded with infinite ammo code).
    • Godot has an apparently unlimited supply of coffee mugs. Rather than simply refill his empty mug, it disappears without explanation (always while the camera is elsewhere) and a brand-new mug comes sliding across the bench into his hand from off-screen. This is patently impossible, as there is never anyone besides Godot standing anywhere near the bench. That doesn't stop him from doing it several dozen times per trial. Presumably a bailiff could be getting these, but that's still a lot of coffee...
  • Informed Ability: Ron Delite wears a vivid green jacket/vest with a cape-like back. It has large, very dramatic cuffs near the hands. There are a large number of bright, gold-colored leaves going down the front of his costume. He keeps his very red hair in Princess Leia hair buns that occasionally spiral outward. He has a baby face and an effeminate appearance that would be considered attractive by bishonen standards. Even by animated character standards, he has a very expressive face that moves between expressions that show surprise/determination, uncertainty, and pouting/fear. He frequently shrieks loudly at people to get their attention. And we're supposed to believe that he has a hard time getting people to notice him.
  • Ironic Echo: Dahlia declaring she was going to make Mia suffer in the afterlife.
    • Luke Atmey delivers the following line twice, with a completely different meaning on each occasion:

Atmey: Take a good look, everyone! Unable to find a rival worthy of my genius, I was forced to create one by myself! Here I am! The tragic clown...

  • Kansai Regional Accent: Furio Tigre in the Japanese version (hence his Brooklyn accent in the English adaptation).
  • Lethal Chef: Jean Armstrong again, along with Viola Cadaverini in the same case. Two different types, though; Armstrong is just a terrible cook, while Viola at least implies that poison is a key ingredient in her 'cooking'.
  • Licensed Sexist: Despite being clearly chauvinistic, even embarrassing Franziska, Godot is still treated as a Tragic Hero who failed to protect his love. Why, exactly, Mia Fey would want him is unclear.
    • Well, he wasn't that much of a Jerkass before he got poisoned and fell into a coma, and he wasn't that much of a chauvinist back then from what we can see. And, c'mon, there must be a few times back in the second game when you wish you could punch Franziska in the face.
  • Lonely Piano Piece: "Elegy of the Captured".
  • Lucky Charms Title: Mask★DeMasque. Ron DeLite will be sure to correct you if you don't include the ★.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Elise Deauxnim is revealed to be Misty Fey, Mia's and Maya's mother.
  • Made of Iron: Phoenix chews up a glass bottle with poison residue with no ill effects, and later runs across an old, burning bridge and tumbled into the freezing cold rapids in February and only catches a cold. He also is repeatedly whipped by Franziska and has scalding hot (and one cold) coffee thrown on him by Godot, though both of these are Played for Laughs.
    • It's a possible allusion to his extreme luck, both in and out of court.
  • Meaningful Name: Almost every character has a punny and/or meaningful name. Most of the examples are on the tvtropes Ace Attorney character sheets.
    • The Fey family's surname. The definitions of the word "fey" include: "appearing to be under a spell; marked by an apprehension of death, calamity, or evil" and "supernatural; unreal; enchanted."
    • Mask DeMasque. He wears a mask and Ron DeLite just put masks over his name!
  • Meido: The Tres Bien cafe. The food is terrible and over-priced—hence the only regulars that aren't mobsters are perverts.
  • Musical Nod: The first game's Cornered theme plays during the last confrontation with Godot.
  • Musical Spoiler: Subverted for the final piece of evidence in the last case; the music keeps going either way, tricking you into believing that you failed.
  • Never Found the Body: Dahlia.
  • New Old Flame: Two: Dahlia or rather Iris for Phoenix and Godot for Mia.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: At the beginning of case 3-2, Phoenix easily gets Ron DeLite off a larceny charge by proving he was somewhere else... only for Godot to come up to him afterward, say there was a murder committed there, and haul Ron off into custody again. What, you thought it wouldn't be Always Murder? Made worse by the fact that he was the thief and turned himself in out of guilt. Phoenix was defending him because his wife told Nick he was a delusional Fan Boy.
    • He was the thief in general, but not in that particular instance. He turned himself in to ensure he could have an alibi for the aforementioned murder.
  • Only Six Faces: Referenced when Furio Tigre passes off as Phoenix by way of his hair... and a cardboard cut-out badge.
  • Palette Swap: Iris and Dahlia's court record pictures are exactly the same except for the hair color.
  • Palm Fist Tap: Mike Meekins does this, then yanks on his hand since he did it with his bandaged hand and he hurt himself doing it.
  • Punny Name: Luke Atmey likes to be the centre of attention
  • Queer People Are Funny
  • Reading the Stage Directions Out Loud: Larry actually wrote "Salutation here" at the top of a letter.
  • Running Gag: Phoenix cleaning the toilet in 3-2.
  • Sdrawkcab Name: Maya insists on referring to Phoenix's imposter in 3-3 as "Xin Eohp". Furio Tigre is less than impressed the one time he hears her say this.

Maya: Ah! It's Xin Eohp!
Tigre: Who you callin' "Zinnee Oooope"!?
Maya: Aaaaah!
Phoenix: (Come out from under the table already, Maya!)

    • In the same case, Maya asks whether they'll find her doppelganger, "Ayam." As it turns out, they do, sort of, but the person Viola impersonates isn't Maya.
    • And then there's the victim of the same trial, Glen Elg, and his boss, Lisa Basil.
      • And another Blue Screens employee, Adam Mada.
  • She's All Grown Up: Invoked Trope in 3-3. A recalcitrant witness is titillated by waitress outfits like the one Maya is wearing, but since Maya is small and looks young he has no interest in her. Mia then takes over Maya's body, which changes it to Mia's rather... ample form. The witness becomes much more helpful.
  • Sherlock Scan: Parodied.
  • Shout-Out:

Lisa Basil: That data is SuPer-Admin Restricted Desktop Access password-protected.
Maya: SuPer-Admin Restricted Desktop Access password-protected!? What!? This is madness!
Phoenix: No, Maya, that is SPARDA.

Judge: I-I'm a spoon!? I'm no spoony bard. I'll have you know!

  • Sickeningly Sweethearts: Phoenix plays one half of the equation. The other side only looks like she shares this, though... Maybe she does. Or better said, her twin sister does.
  • Sissy Villain: Subverted in case 3-3. Jean Armstrong is very much a sissy, and has a criminal record, a motive, an opportunity, and the means to commit murder, but is not the culprit.
  • Snow Means Death: Case 3-5.
  • Spit Take: Played straight by Godot, but occasionally spoofed where he, upon having his witness discredited by Phoenix, grabs a coffee mug, brings it to his mouth, takes a sniff, takes a sip and THEN finally spits it out.
  • Stealth Pun: DAHLIA Hawthorne's most famous murder was committed using poison.
    • Then again, it turned out that it wasn't a murder. Diego Armando was assumed dead, but woke up from a coma 5 years later.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: Both Luke Atmey and Ron DeLite describe a thief's appearance at a crime scene as him "dancingly descending". From the entrance.

Phoenix: So he neither "descended" nor "danced"...

  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Gumshoe doesn't have feelings for Maggey Byrde, pal!
    • This, along with Exact Words: I was not the one who took her life, no.
  • Thief Bag: Mask*DeMasque uses the Japanese-green-and-white-swirl variety.
    • Occasionally, Gumshoe will bring evidence in a similar, smaller version.
  • Tiger Versus Dragon: Furio Tigre and Phoenix Wright. It makes more sense in the Japanese version as Phoenix represents a dragon.
  • Title Drop: Luke Atmey calling himself the "Ace Detective" prompts Phoenix to introduce himself, "I am Phoenix Wright...Ace Attorney."
  • Too Dumb to Live: Phoenix and Maya are investigating a murder that was apparently committed in a restaurant and carried out through poisoned coffee. Meanwhile, Phoenix hears that his client was apparently fooled by a Phoenix impersonator who shares Phoenix's spiky hair. During the first day of trial, there is a witness who says he saw the defendant, a petite dark-haired young woman, put something in the coffee. After asking the witness to describe who he saw in more detail, Phoenix suggests to the court that the witness only saw the woman from behind. At some point, Phoenix and Maya go into the restaurant's kitchen and find the restaurant owner, who is deeply in debt, being confronted by a petite, dark-haried young woman who acts as though she is mentally unstable and threatens to burn down the restaurant if he doesn't repay what he owes. When they inquire about this, the owner tells them that the woman threatening him worked for a loan shark called "the Tiger" who has spiky hair like Phoenix's and gives them the lender's address. When they go there, they meet the same young woman who threatened to burn down the restaurant. She's giggling creepily like she was before. Phoenix and Maya are offered coffee. They actually drink it!
  • Tragic Villain/FallenHero: Diego Armando/Godot
    • Acro also seems to be the most remorseful culprit of the series. For one, he didn't even kill the person he wanted to, and ended up killing the man who had given him everything. By the time Phoenix uncovers his guilt, he seems to be willing to let go of his hate of Regina, who has realized that her naïve outlook on death is what caused everything.
  • Twin Switch: Phoenix thought he was dating Dahlia (who, unbeknownst to him, wanted to kill him). It turns out he was dating Dahlia's sister, Iris, who asked Dahlia to take her place so she could retrieve a trinket that Phoenix had without Dahlia killing Phoenix.
  • Unfortunate Names: Detective Gumshoe always mistakes Phoenix for Larry; the only problem is, he always calls him Harry Butz. Also applied when Phoenix tells us that in school, the kids had a saying... "When something smells, it's usually the Butz."
  • Weapons Grade Vocabulary: Particularly clever counterpoints apparently have the ability to hit opposing attorneys like a gale-force wind, throwing them back, making them flinch and, in one particularly devastating case, tearing all the hair off a person's head, leaving him mostly bald.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Minor, but curious. At the end of Justice for All, Franziska von Karma says that she'll give the card with Maya's drawing of Phoenix to him the next time they meet. She doesn't.
    • The fate of the Hawthorne family's diamond is never revealed.
      • Presumably, it's still at the bottom of the river.
      • Or Dahlia took it. She was apparently living under her real name for 14 months in between case 4 and case 1. It seems unlikely that Ivy University would give her a free ride or that her father would pay for her tuition.
  • X Makes Anything Cool: Cold Killer X.
  • Yakuza: Furio Tigre, a.k.a. the "Phony Phoenix Wright", as well as Dee Vasquez; the English version changes it to The Mafia.
  • Yamato Nadeshiko: Dahlia's twin sister Iris.
  • Yandere: Dahlia Hawthorne, though twisted with hate for Mia rather than love for anyone. Maybe, Viola Cadaverini as well.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle: In the final case, after a long and arduous battle, Dahlia Hawthorne is exposed for the failure she is and the case seems to be resolved... but then Godot chimes in, pointing out that it still hasn't been established who actually did the stabbing. Thus, there's one final gameplay segment over which Phoenix eventually proves that Godot himself is responsible.
  • You Watch Too Much X: In Bridge to the Turnabout:

Edgeworth: I think you've watched to many trials, Detective.

Notes

  1. Note that this is a total of a 95% penalty. If you've taken any damage at all in the case to this point it's an instant game over.