Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
RWBY logo.png

Red like roses fills my dreams and brings me to the place you rest
White is cold and always yearning, burdened by the royal test
Black the beast descends from shadows
Yellow beauty burns gold


In the world of Remnant, humanity clings to civilization in the face of the creatures of Grimm, a veritable army of monsters and supernatural forces. Only the power of a substance known simply as "Dust" allowed humanity to win the battle for its survival against the Grimm, and even now its creatures are only barely held at bay.

Responsible for defending human civilization from the forces of darkness are the Huntsmen and Huntresses, highly skilled individuals with unique weapons and a mastery of the use of Dust. These guardians are trained in special institutions, such as Beacon Academy in the city-state of Vale.

RWBY follows the story of four extraordinary girls and their friends as they first start their training as Huntsmen and Huntresses, then head out into the world to face not only the creatures of Grimm, but all-too-human threats to the survival of humanity in this dangerous world -- and ultimately, the more-than-human power behind them.

An innovative Web Animation series created by the late Monty Oum of Rooster Teeth, it was heralded months in advance by a series of carefully doled-out trailers ("Red", "White", "Black" and "Yellow"), which built up a remarkable level of excitement and speculation before its premiere in July 2013.

As of this writing[when?] it is about to begin the ninth of a projected twenty "volumes" (although that number is subject to change). A video game adaptation based on the series, RWBY: Grimm Eclipse was released on 1 December 2015 on PC as an Early Access "work-in-progress" in Steam and left Early Access on 5 July 2016. Also, a free-to-play Deckbuilding Game was released on 14 February 2019.

On May 7, 2016, Rooster Teeth released the first installment of the Spin-Off comedy series, RWBY Chibi. In 2021, a second spin-off began, RWBY Fairy Tales.

There have been three Manga adaptations so far as of the end of 2021: The first, entitled simply RWBY, began publication in 2015 in Ultra Jump magazine. It was followed by RWBY: Official Manga Anthology in 2017; in 2019 a Team JNPR Anthology series was announced for release in 2021. And finally in 2018, a third manga adaptation, RWBY: The Official Manga, began appearing in the English version of Shonen Jump; this adaptation ended in 2020.

In 2019 DC Comics began publishing a RWBY comic book series. And in 2021 they also released RWBY x Justice League, a series in which versions of DC heroes native to Remnant begin appearing.

In 2022, a RWBY anime, RWBY: Ice Queendom, was announced, and judging from the trailer released for it, it appears to be a Shot-for-Shot Remake of Volume 1.

Tropes used in RWBY include:

(List is compiled as episodes appear, and is subject to constant update/revision.)


  • Abandoned Area: Mountain Glenn, a failed attempt to expand the Kingdom of Vale to the southeast. It's not clear if the name refers to the entire area, the Ghost City there, or both.
  • The Abridged Series: At least three: RWBY: ABRG by KRWBY Productions, RWBY Abridged by Dust to Dust Productions, and another RWBY Abridged by ZehOverseer.
  • Absurdly Sharp Blade:
    • Ruby's scythe, which can effortlessly slice werebeowolves in half, chop down old-growth trees, and is capable of decapitating giant monsters.
    • Blake's gunblade Gambol Shroud effortlessly slices through armored security robots and a thick steel train coupling.
  • Academy of Adventure: Beacon Academy, in V1-3.
  • Action Girl: Pretty much every female character.
  • Action Mom: Kali Belladonna, as well as Summer Rose by reputation. Averted by Raven Branwen, who is ultimately a coward.
  • Adults Are Useless: Thoroughly averted. The school kids we've seen in action may be badass, but when we finally see the adults cut loose, it's pretty damned clear why they're teaching the kids. And the bad guys are just as badass.
  • Alien Sky:
    • Remnant is definitely not Earth, not with a shattered moon in the sky.
    • Salem's realm has a perpetually dim, blood-colored sky.
  • All CGI Cartoon
  • All Planets Are Earthlike: As seen briefly in one of the World of Remnant shorts, Remnant seem to be a near-twin of Earth in many ways.
    • Averted with Salem's domain, an inhospitable, rocky realm which somehow manages to have a dark red sky even during the day. It's possible that it isn't even on Remnant proper, since it appears from comments made in early V4 that no one knows where she's based. However, we find out in early V6 that it's the former realm of the Dark God, and is somewhere on Remnant that can be reached by overland travel. And in V6E4, an airship from Haven flies there.
  • All There in the Manual: Starting in August 2014, Rooster Teeth began releasing World of Remnant videos -- short "history lessons" about the world -- on some of the "off weeks" between episodes. All of them provide key background information, all of which is ultimately plot-relevant.
  • Almost-Dead Guy: The wounded guardsman in V4E2.
  • Almost Kiss: Between Blake and Yang when the latter returns to the Schnee mansion in V8E10. They're just inches away... and then nothing.
  • Alternate Universe: No argument. A broken moon in the sky, unfamiliar continents, active magic with technology, humanity besieged by hordes of monsters...
  • Am I Right?: Yang says this in V2E1 as part of defending an Incredibly Lame Pun on her own name.
  • American Accents: In addition to the "default" accent imposed by being an American production, the two cops investigating the Dust shop robbery in V1E15 have distinct Joisey/Bronx accents.
  • Anatomy of the Soul: While as of early V8 there has been very few specifics revealed, we have learned that with the right technology, souls can be detected, moved between bodies... and divided into pieces.
  • Ancient Tradition: Ozpin, Goodwitch, Qrow and Ironwood are revealed in V3 to all be members of nameless group which has watched over the Four Maidens for centuries, and is responsible for their history becoming Shrouded in Myth.
  • And This Is For: Ren in V4E12, against the Grimm which killed his parents and practically everyone in the town where he was born.
  • Androids Are People, Too: This is Ruby's reaction when she discovers Penny is a Robot Girl and Penny subsequently claims she isn't "a real girl", in "Painting the Town..." (V2E4):

Ruby: Of course you are. You think just because you've got nuts and bolts instead of squishy guts makes you any less real than me?
Penny: I don't... um... (Leans in close to Ruby's face.) You're... taking this extraordinarily well.
Ruby: You're not like those things we saw back there. (Taps her chest.) You've got a heart, and a soul; I can feel it!

  • Animated Armor: Weiss's opponent in the "White" trailer.
  • Animation Bump: Overall, Volume 2 is a vast improvement over Volume 1.
    • Any time we see fighting, dancing or other action tends to be visibly better animation than people just walking around.
      • Although by the end of Volume 3, the walking and running animation has improved considerably.
    • Volume 4, from the very first moments. The improvement due to the change in animation software is palpable.
  • Animesque: A deliberate style choice made by Monty Oum when planning the series.
  • Anyone Can Die: Starting at the end of Volume 3.
  • Applied Phlebotinum: Dust, the "energy propellant". According to The World of Remnant, it has a thousand uses, from fueling effects that look like magic spells, to powering tech like electricity, to essentially forming "cartridges" for guns. It is directly responsible for human civilization and survival.
  • Apocalypse How: In Remnant's distant past, a Class 3A is done to the planet by the Gods after Salem incites humanity to attack them, leaving only her behind. They then left the planet, busting up the moon on the way out. At some much later point, humanity 2.0 appeared, although how this happened is not yet explained as of the end of V6.
  • Arc Words: In an odd case most of RWBY‍'‍s arc words aren't in its dialogue, but in its soundtrack and songs. For instance, the phrase "bloody evolution" appears in "This Will Be The Day", "All Things Must Die" and several other songs. See the Analysis page for an extensive list.
    • One bit of dialogue that's cropped up over and over again, starting with the "Yellow" trailer, is "It's... a long story".
  • Art Evolution: The design for the beowolves changed between the release of the "Red" trailer and the series premiere in July 2013.
    • Even more profound is the change seen when Rooster Teeth moved from Poser to Maya between V3 and V4. Check out the difference in the images of Team RWBY on the Characters page.
  • Art Shift: The "news broadcast" seen at the end of V1E1 is, or is made to look like, traditional animation instead of CGI.
    • Yang's Flash Back in V2E6 is presented in a completely different art style from anything we've seen before in the series.
    • The World of Remnant shorts use a very stylized, angular silhouette style reminiscent of paper cut-outs.
  • Artificial Intelligence: Apparently a routine accomplishment of Atlesian technology -- their robots all possess AI, and the communications tower has a virtual AI receptionist. The pinnacle of Atlesian AI is Penny, who is the first robot with a soul.
  • Artistic License Astronomy/Artistic License Physics: According to Word of God, Remnant's moon is not tidally locked the way Earth's is, allowing the shattered part to rotate into and out of view (which is why we sometimes see a full unbroken moon). However, the general consensus is that a two-planet system like Earth-Moon or Remnant-Remnant!Moon will pretty much inevitably end up with at least one of the component worlds tidally locked to the other over the course of a solar system's usual "lifespan". This, of course, assumes Remnant has about the same mass as Earth and its moon is similar in mass to ours, that it exists in a universe that (mostly) functions like ours, and that it wasn't artificially constructed along with its moon in geologically recent time. Some of those assumptions might be safe. Some... might not. For example, we learn at the start of V6 that the shattering happened in something close to historic time -- say less than 50 or 25 thousand years previously -- in such a way that it probably also started the moon rotating if it wasn't already. Even if it had been tidally locked before, it hasn't had the time to get locked again.
    • For instance, Remnant's moon is also either much closer to its primary than Earth's is, or much bigger -- in its smallest renderings it appears to have a significantly larger angular diameter than our moon does, and if the largest it appears is not artistic exaggeration it must also have a wildly elliptical orbit. Even if the "huge moon" is exaggeration, Remnant should still have tides everywhere that put the Bay of Fundy to shame. Maybe it's crumbling because tidal stresses are tearing it apart...
      • Note also that we never see a crescent moon -- the moon is always full, whether it's in pieces or not.
    • Based on the globe visible behind Professor Port during his lectures in V1, it's clear that the maps of Remnant we've seen are of the entire planet instead of a small section of the whole (as has been suggested as a solution for the "megacity" issue discussed in Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale below); this puts Vale roughly at Remnant's equator -- yet they have a temperate climate. That suggests a much colder planet which should possess commensurately larger ice caps than Earth does, but if the maps are to be trusted Remnant's Arctic seems barely touched by ice, and there's none in its Antarctic.
    • This is later Jossed in V7, when we see that the landmass hosting Atlas and Mantle, the city below it, is dangerously cold. Mantle is only inhabitable because of technology that renders the climate in the city temperate. (What happens when that tech is disabled is a plot point late in V7 and in V8.)
    • And almost all of this may be justified by the presence (up until near-historical times) of two Physical Gods on the proto!Remnant, who apparently were taking an active hand in shaping the world to their liking.
  • Artsy Moon: If you consider being broken into a few dozen pieces "artsy".
  • As You Know: Ozpin says this to Blake in a brief moment of exposition toward the end of V2E2.
  • Ascended Meme: In V2E4, Team RWBY uses some of the Fan Nicknames for the various shipping pairs as names for maneuvers and joint attacks.
    • In V3E2, Jaune tries to direct Team JNPR similarly, but apparently no one else on the team remembered what the combo names were or meant. Or that they existed.
  • Ash Face: Weiss suffers this after Ruby's "accident" with dust in V1E2, and also after sacrificing herself to take out Flint Cole in V3E5. She shakes it off in seconds the first time, but the second time it lasts for a while.
  • Asleep for Days: Ruby sleeps for three days after her mysterious silver-eyes power activates for the first time at the end of V3.
  • Audible Sharpness: All over the place, given how many blades are in this series. Particularly noticeable during the Tournament in V3.
  • Avengers Assemble: The moment in V3E10 when all the teams are arming up after their rocket-lockers have knocked out the giant nevermore which attacked the arena.
  • Back from the Dead: In V7 it's discovered that Robot Girl Penny Polendina was "resurrected" by her scientist father, who transferred her memories to a new, more-mature looking body, and then donated (another) piece of his soul to restore her.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Blake and Weiss against the White Fang early in V3E10.
  • Badass Family: The extended Long-Rose-Branwen clan.
  • Bag of Holding: The foot-and-a-half-long mailing tube in which Yang and Ruby's father sent them Zwei, a small heap of canned dog food and a can opener in V2E11.
  • Bait and Switch Credits: Explicitly averted in V5. Judging by the commentary track from the Blu-Ray, the production team took especial delight in creating credits that practically laid out much of the climactic battle of the season, but in such a way to make viewers assume everything shown was metaphoric.
  • Bar Brawl: Pretty much the majority of the "Yellow" trailer.
    • Cinder and Neo throw down in Little Miss' bar in V6E5.
  • Bare-Handed Truck Stop: Penny performs one in V2E3.
  • Battle Aura: Demonstrated by Yang in her trailer as part of her fire powers, but also seems to be a common (but not universal) manifestation of "aura" or a "semblance" in use.
  • Beast Folk: The Faunus, who are treated as second-class citizens.
  • Become a Real Boy: Played with in the case of Robot Girl Penny Polendina. When she first appears in the series, she's convinced she's not a real girl even though she demonstrably has a soul. Ruby has to reassure her that even though her construction is mechanical, that doesn't mean she isn't "real". Taken one step further in V8 when, to free her of a Computer Virus which is trying to make her self-terminate, Team RWBY uses a divine artifact to give her an actual flesh-and-blood body, leaving the virus behind in what was now a mindless mechanical shell.
  • Behind the Black:
    • In V1E15, Penny quickly dashes through the black to get in front of Team RWBY after they walk away from her. Lampshaded by Weiss's disbelieving and baffled response as she looks back at (and points to) where Penny was.
    • Penny does it again in V1E16, hiding behind the black just before she appears following Ruby, Yang and Weiss. Yang and Weiss similarly disappear behind the black while Ruby is talking to Penny.
    • Where Nora and Ren are at the end of V3E12 when Ruby steps out of her house and greets Jaune as though he is alone.
    • It's also where the mysterious red-haired woman goes in V6E9 when Ren and Nora find Jaune in the park by Pyrrha's statue.
  • Bellisario's Maxim: Invoked (along with the Rule of Funny) in the director's commentary track for volume 1 when discussing how Weiss and Ruby ended up clinging to the flying Nevermore in V1E8.
  • Bifurcated Weapon: A frequent feature of the weapons in this series.
  • Big Bad: Although as of Volume 2 this appeared to be Cinder Fall, starting the end of Volume 3 it's pretty clear that Salem, the apparent Grimm Queen, is the one giving her orders.
  • Big Ball of Violence: Ruby and Yang, the first night at Beacon in V1E3. Complete with the sound of That Poor Cat.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Blake gets one in V5E13, when she shows up at Haven to stop Adam and the White Fang, at the head of an army of faunus.
  • Big Fancy House: Is it any surprise that the Schnees live in one that seems to be the size of a castle?
  • Big No:
    • Ruby, upon witnessing Pyrrha's death at Cinder's hands in V3E12.
    • Emerald in V5E14, when Yang returns with the relic moments after Emerald insisted Cinder would show up with it and beat all the good guys.
  • Big "What?": Cinder when Ruby unleashes her secret power in V3E12.
  • Bizarre and Improbable Ballistics: Blake's weapons seem to demonstrate this in the "Black" trailer.
  • Blah Blah Blah: Professor Port's first lecture in V1E9 turns into this as the camera focuses on Weiss's growing irritation with Ruby's behavior in class. We get it again early in V2E3.
  • Blackmail: For about a quarter of Volume 1, Cardin uses Jaune's secret to basically turn him into a lackey and dogsbody.
  • Bland-Name Product: During the food fight in V2E1, vending machines for "Dr. Piper" soda (as well as "People Like Grapes") can be seen at the base of the "table mountain".
    • Ruby is holding a "juice box" of milk labelled "Udder Satisfaction" at the start of the fight.
    • Zwei's dog food is "Gentleman's Best Friend" brand.
  • Blank White Eyes: Numerous times in the series. Usually on Weiss.
  • Bloodless Carnage: At first, the closest thing we see to spraying blood are showers of rose petals. See also No Body Left Behind below.
    • Although at the end of V2E12 Ruby mentions that many people were hurt in the Grimm incursion, we never see any indication of any of these "many" casualties during or after the fight.
    • An odd case in V3E6 and E7: We never actually get to see whatever illusion of mangled flesh and bone Emerald creates over/around Mercury's leg, although we see plenty of reactions to how gory and disturbing it apparently is.
    • Averted in V3E7, in that while we can't actually see the wounds that caused them, we do see the bloodstains on Mercury's pants from the damage ultimately responsible for the amputation of his legs and their cybernetic replacement.
    • And in V4E7, Qrow's wound is realistically bleeding. It would appear this trope is in play for the "fun days at school" portion of the series, but starting with the Tone Shift in V3 it is increasingly averted.
    • Not completely, though -- Hazel does not appear to bleed from being impaled back-to-front by a Lancer's stinger in the battle at the end of V5. Justified with Weiss' wound in the same fight, as it was inflicted by a spear of fire which presumably cauterized it.
    • And there is no visible blood when Adam Taurus is run through with swords from both front and back at the end of V6.
  • Book Ends: The Jaune arc late in Volume 1 begins and ends with scenes on a roof.
  • Bookcase Passage: At the end of V4, Klein Sieben opens a secret passage behind a bookcase in the Schnee mansion library so that Weiss can escape her father and the house arrest he's placed her under.
  • Break the Cutie: What seems to be happening to Pyrrha starting in the middle of Volume 3, but ultimately averted -- even in defeat and death she is unbroken.
    • And to Ruby in V3E12.
  • Break Them by Talking: Cinder's broadcast in V3E9.
  • Breaking the Fellowship: Both Team RWBY and Team JNPR are broken at the end of V3 -- RWBY by geographical separation and trauma, JNPR by the death of Pyrrha.
  • Bright Castle: Beacon Academy is presented this way in V1&2.
  • Bullet Time: Seen in the RTX 2016 teaser for V4.
    • Also in V4E1, when the camera follows the shot fired by Ruby at the Geist.
  • Bury Your Gays: Deliberately averted in V5 when someone on the staff pointed out that a character who was intended to be gay -- the pilot transporting Weiss -- was also selfish and promptly died; Miles and Kerry decided that no, they didn't want those Unfortunate Implications and decided to save the first gay character with dialog for later in the season with Ilia's confession of her feelings for Blake.
    • The production team was accused of this in the wake of Clover Ebi's (apparent) death at the end of Volume 7, after he spent almost the entire volume basically feeling out a possible relationship with Qrow.
  • But for Me It Was Tuesday: Deliberately invoked as a taunt by Cinder toward Jaune in V5E11; he calls her out on Pyrrha's death and Weiss' apparent fatal wounding, and her only response is, "who were you, again?" But she knows who he is and uses that to twist the knife a few lines later.
  • Butt Monkey: Jaune in V1. Lampshaded when he complains to Pyrrha that he wants to be more than just the "lovable idiot stuck in a tree while his friends are fighting for their lives". With her help, he (mostly) grows out of it... but not completely, as V4E1 testifies.
  • By the Lights of Their Eyes: Several times, most notably during the cave sequence in V1E7.
  • Call a Rabbit a Smeerp: A mix of averted and expressed. The obvious "wolfmen" Ruby fights in the "Red" trailer are called beowolves, but many of the other creatures of the Grimm are original and have original names.
  • Cape Snag: Ruby in V1E8 when one of the Nevermore's Feather Flechettes pins her cloak to the ground.
  • Captain Morgan Pose: In V1E8, Ruby briefly takes a Morgan-like pose while perched on a sloping boulder after effectively taking the lead of the ad-hoc team that's formed at the ruins.
  • Captain Obvious: V1E8, as Jaune dangles from the stinger of a deathstalker:

It's not the relic! It's not!

  • Cat Smile: Briefly seen on Neon Katt (appropriately enough) in V3E5.
  • Catapult to Glory: The final phase of Ruby's Crazy Enough to Work plan in V1E8 involved firing her at the Giant Nevermore using an immense slingshot improvised out of two stone pillars and Gambol Shroud's ribbon.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: Designed into the show's long-term plot, with the tone shift kicking in during Volume 3.
  • Character Development: One of the engines that turns RWBY‍'‍s wheels. Pick any of the major characters, and compare what they're like in Volume 1 to what they're like in Volume 8.
    • Discussed by Ren in V5E8 as most of Teams RWBY and JNPR muse about how different they are now compared to their first weeks at Beacon.
  • Characterization Marches On: Designed into the story from the start -- the characters were never intended to be static, but grow and change as they progress through the story. Compare Blake from the end of V1 with Blake from the start of V3 -- and V4. Compare Yang from the "Yellow" trailer with Yang from early V4. Or even better, Weiss from early V1 with Weiss from V8.
  • Charity Ball: In volume 4, Weiss Schnee's father Jacques throws one for the benefit of a victims of the fall of Beacon Academy. Jacques being who he is, the ball is more about his public image than the charity, and Weiss finds that she is disgusted by both him and all the attendees who also don't really care about what happened, but want to be 'seen as caring.
  • Chekhov MIA: Raven Branwen, Qrow Branwen, and Taiyang Xiao Long are mentioned several times early on in the first couple volumes, well before they finally appear.
  • Chekhov's Gun: "Landing strategies" and the rocket-propelled lockers, by Word of God on the director's commentary track for Volume 1.
    • The rocket-propelled lockers showed up in use in V2E7. And get great use at the end of Volume 3.
    • And why did Ruby's silver eyes merit comment by Ozpin in V1E1? With the end of V3, we finally know...
  • Chekhov's News: In V1E2, a newscast shows a relatively-peaceful protest by Faunus before it's switched over to Glynda welcoming the students to Beacon. V1E9 introduces (to those who haven't seen the prologue trailers) the White Fang, a not-at-all-peaceful Faunus terrorist group.
  • Chess Motifs: The "artifacts" recovered during the initiation in V1E8 are oversized chess pieces.
    • The cryptic message "Queen has pawns" Ozpin receives from Qrow in V1E16.
    • The image of a queen that briefly appears on all the screens in the communications tower after Cinder appears to infect the Vale CTC with a virus in V2E7.
  • Chest Insignia: All of the girls in Team RWBY as well as a few other characters have distinctive symbols that are worn or appear on their equipment.
    • Ruby's rose symbol can be seen on her headphones in the first episode, and hangs on her belt near her right hip.
      • Her V4 outfit uses it as a cloakpin at her neck.
    • Weiss' snowflake is on the back of her jacket. (It also seems to be both the Schnee family symbol and the Trademark for the Schnee Dust Company.)
    • Blake's flower-like whatever-it-is can be seen at the top of one of the thigh-high stockings of her V1-3 outfit.
    • Yang wears her burning-heart insignia, partly hidden, on one breast. It also appears on her motorcycle helmet.
    • Although Nora's clothes and equipment have hearts on them, her actual symbol is a stylized "hammer-and-lightning-in-a-circle", which can be seen on her back, as the background during her "I'm queen of the castle" song-and-dance in V1E8, and behind her silhouette during the closing credits of an episode late in Volume 1.
    • Played for Laughs in V4E1, when Jaune reveals that the hoodie he wears as padding under his armor has the head of cereal Mascot Pumpkin Pete (a cartoon rabbit) on it. (Ruby's reaction makes it clear that she's never seen Jaune in the hoodie without his armor before.)
    • Even earlier than that, in V2E12, we see that his onesie has the head of the as-yet-unidentified Pumpkin Pete on it as well.
  • Chew Out Fake Out: Ruby expects Dr. Oobleck to chastise her when he sees that she's brought Zwei along to Mountain Glenn in V2E11, only for him to call her a genius instead for bringing a useful resource.
  • Chirping Crickets: Tumbleweed variation only, during the first encounter with Penny in V1E11. Twice. Blowing in two different directions.
  • Circling Birdies: When Ruby is momentarily stunned in V1E8, alternating stars and cartoon wolves orbit her head.
    • In the "Yellow" trailer, a stunned Junior is momentarily circled by a ring of hearts. It even gets mentioned in Yang's Image Song, "I Burn":

Watch the little hearts as they scrape you off the floor.

  • Climbing Climax: Appears to be in play in the very first episode (V1E1), when Roman Torchwick inexplicably climbs a ladder up to the top of a nearby building to escape a confrontation with Ruby Rose at street level. It turns out to be the subversion, as a Bullnose (a VTOL craft) appears and he boards it.
  • Colony Drop: In V8E14, the city of Atlas loses its support and crashes down into the city of Mantle beneath it.
  • Color-Coded Elements: Definitely present, although not universal, and clearly linked to the Color Motifs.
  • Color Motif: The production team explicitly designed the look of everything in the series around a specific system of colors/meanings.
  • Colossus Climb: Ruby, Weiss, Jaune, Ren, Nora and Qrow clamber all over an Atlesian mecha piloted by Cordovan while trying to defeat it in V6E11.
  • Colourful Theme Naming: As noted under Theme Naming. Revealed in V2E8 to be a deliberate in-universe political choice among the peoples of the world in defiance of some tyrannical enemy who -- among other things -- sought to suppress and destroy all individuality and artistic expression. Monty Oum encouraged naming OCs and OC teams using this convention [1].
  • Combat Commentator: Professor Port and Dr. Oobleck occasionally slip into this trope in their roles as the hosts/announcers for the Vytel Festival Tournament in V3.
  • Combat Stilettos:
    • Weiss's boots in her V1-3 combat gear look to have a four-inch or higher heel. Lampshaded by Ruby in V2E6 when she has trouble just walking in similar heels at the dance and wonders how Weiss can fight in them. Her subsequent outfits also incorporate overly-high heels.
    • In the "Yellow" trailer, Melanie and Miltia Malachite wear high-heeled ankle boots.
  • Combination Attack: By Volume 2, Team RWBY has worked out some impressive combo attacks, among them a fog bank and projectile ice attacks. And in the first episode of Volume 4, Ruby and Nora do... something together that just manifests as the two of them hurtling toward their target in a spiraling pink-and-red blur, followed by its total destruction.
  • Comic Book: In V2E2, Jaune is seen reading one entitled "X-Ray & Vav", a Shout-Out to another Rooster Teeth production. (Mercury steals a copy of the same issue from Tukson's shop in V2E1.)
  • Comic Book Time: Averted, according to Word of God. The original intent was that characters would age in real time with the viewers; the example given by Monty Oum was that after ten years of production, 15-year-old Ruby will be 25. This is probably not as averted as was originally intended, though -- as of V4E1, Ruby's clearly taller and more mature-looking than she was in the previous three volumes, but she's nowhere near being 19. And comments made during V5 clearly indicate that the other girls on Team RWBY are still under 18 -- not the 21 they should be if one volume equaled one year. Given how rapidly the events of Volumes 5 through 8 take place, it seems likely that by the end of V8 the older girls are no more than 19 and Ruby is 17.
  • Competence Zone: Realistically averted. The main characters are supposed to be exceptional individuals, going to a school teaching them to be even more exceptional -- and their teachers are definitely more competent than they are, more than capable of teaching them things they need to know. Other adults vary, just as they would in the real world.
  • Competition Coupon Madness: In V4E1 Jaune admits that he sent in 50 box tops from Pumpkin Pete's Marshmallow Flakes to get the hoodie that he wears under his armor. No wonder he recognized Pyrrha from the box...
  • Constructed World: Remnant.
  • Convection, Schmonvection: In V3E1, Reese Chloris supercharges her skateboard-weapon with fire Dust and is able to convert a block of ice holding a teammate to steam in a second or two -- without burning him.
  • Conversation Cut: Happens during Weiss and Blake's argument about the White Fang in V1E15 -- it goes from mid-morning on a street to nighttime in their dorm room in the middle of a sentence.
  • Cranial Eruption: Happens to Weiss after her sister Winter smacks her in the head in V3E3. Ruby pokes it back in.
  • Cool School: Academies, like Beacon, Haven, Shade, and Atlas, teach their students to be Huntsmen/Huntswomen, so they can fight the Grimm.
  • Crash Into Hello: How Weiss met Ruby. And how Weiss met Penny.
    • The Volume 1 director's commentary hinted that this might be a Running Gag for Weiss, but by the end of V3 it really hadn't materialized.
  • Crate Expectations: In V2E3 , Ruby knocks down a pile of wooden crates (all amusingly labeled "Breakable Things") to deter a pair of pursuers.
  • Curse Cut Short: When Blake puts her sword to his throat in V1E16, Torchwick mutters "What the f..." before being interrupted.
  • Cuteness Proximity: Weiss upon meeting Zwei in V2E9:

Weiss: Are you telling me that this mangy... (the camera switches between Zwei and Weiss) drooling... mutt is gonna wiv wif us foweva? Oh yes he is, oh yes he is! Oh, isn't he adorable!

  • Cyborg: Possible with Atlesian technology; two characters are confirmed cyborgs by the end of V3, and as of V4E4, Yang, who received a cybernetic arm from Ironwood.
  • Dances and Balls: A formal dance in V2E6 is the occasion for several important plot developments.
  • Death World: Remnant. How humanity ever survived to achieve civilization is a miracle. (Then again, see Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale, below.)
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Neon and Flint's reaction to their defeat by Weiss and Yang in the Vytal Tournament.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: This line from V3E1:

Dr. Oobleck: (commenting on the action at the Vytal Festival Tournament) And yes, Peter, these are certainly some spectacular spectacles on which to spectate on.

  • Design-It-Yourself Equipment: Ruby offhandedly mentions in V1E3 that every student at Signal Academy designs and forges their own weapon. It's unclear, though, whether this is common practice at all the "primary" Hunter schools, or unique to Signal. (Jaune clearly doesn't know.)
  • Detonation Moon: Appears to have happened to Remnant's moon at some point.
  • Did Not Do the Research: During early Volume 1 in 2013 Monty Oum got a blast of Internet Backdraft on names and their pronunciations: "Weiss Schnee", for instance, is more correctly pronounced something like "Vice Shnay", and "Yang" should sound like "Yong". Oum has offered a Hand Wave for this, pointing out that Remnant is not Earth and their similarity to terms in Earthly languages is a coincidence.
    • Also, Casey Williams for mispronouncing "Super-Saiyin" (sounds like "super-sighin'") as "Super-Sayin'" in "I Burn".
  • Diegetic Switch: Subverted. In the opening scenes of the very first episode, Ruby's clearly listening to "This Will Be The Day" until she decides to interrupt the robbery of the Dust shop. After she follows one of the Mooks through the shop window, the music switches from a tinny, "heard over headphones" version to a high-quality version -- until we hear the "click" of Ruby turning off her player and the music stops.
  • Disney Villain Death: Adam Taurus, after getting stabbed by both Yang and Blake in V6E12.
  • Divide and Conquer: Salem's plan for destroying humanity -- isolating the kingdoms, sowing distrust, and breaking down the alliances that made mankind's survival possible.
  • Doomed Hometown: Strictly speaking not his home, but in V4E2, Jaune waxes enthusiastic about the next town Team RNJR is about to enter: it was someplace he spent much of his childhood, so he knows everything about it. However, he's barely done extolling its virtues when they look up and find it has been sacked and burned by bandits.
  • Double Jump: By Volume 4, both Sun and Blake have the ability to use their "images" to fling themselves into the air in several stages.
  • Dragged by the Collar: In V1E7, at the start of their initiation, Weiss turns around and drags Ruby off by the collar of her cape when she realizes her only other possible teammate is Jaune.
  • Dramatic Shattering: In V4E6, Yang drops a drinking glass, and the sound of it breaking triggers a brief PTSD flashback/panic attack.
  • Drink Order: An important part of early character design according to Word of God. When they figured out that Blake drank tea and Weiss drank coffee, Monty Oum and company felt they were starting to get somewhere.
    • Ruby, by the way, drinks coffee, black, with five sugars. Of course.
  • Drop the Hammer: Nora's weapon is a massive warhammer which is also a Grenade Launcher. With hearts on it.
  • Drop What You Are Doing: In the final moments of the V3E12, Ruby's father Taiyang drops a tray of food when he comes into her bedroom and discovers that she has left home.
    • In V8E10, Weiss drops a tray of food when the not-a-nuclear-explosion set off by Oscar destroys Salem's "whale".
  • Dynamic Entry: Pyrrha into Ozpin's office in V3E12.
  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • The "beowolves" of the "Black" trailer, which look more like movie werewolves than the creatures they became by V1. Later Retconned as an even weaker variety of Grimm that resemble "true" beowolves.
    • The "shadow people" of Volume 1 -- black silhouettes used for almost everyone outside of the main cast. They are replaced with fully-rendered individuals starting with V2E1. According to Monty Oum at RTX 2014, the shadow people came about because the production staff basically overlooked the need to do crowd scenes until very late in the development process; the silhouettes were essentially a fast-and-dirty hack to keep them on-schedule, and in between Volumes 1 and 2 they were able to take the time to replace them.
    • During Volume 1, episodes could vary in length between three and fifteen minutes. Staring with Volume 2, episodes all were in the fifteen-to-twenty-minute range.
    • Starting in Volume 4, Rooster Teeth began using a different, dedicated animation package instead of Poser, resulting in far more attractive, fluid and visually realistic animation, turning all of the first three volumes into the early installments with their consequent weirdness.
  • Easily Forgiven: The aftermath of the Food Fight in V2E1. The students wreck the cafeteria in what would be, to most onlookers, a brutal and deadly free-for-all, but they don't even get detention for it, their only punishment being Goodwitch sternly telling them not to "play with their food." Possibly justified, as given the Training from Hell nature of Beacon Academy, the occasional brawl between students might be seen as having benefits.
  • Easter Egg: The "RWBYsaurus", a raptor-like dinosaur which appeared in several silly posts on Monty Oum's Twitter feed, can be seen falling from one of the Bullheads shot by Penny in V1E16.
  • Edible Ammunition/Edible Bludgeon: See the Food Fight in V2E1.
  • Elaborate Underground Base: Cinder/Torchwick/The White Fang's base in Mountain Glenn.
  • Eldritch Abomination: With the first half of V4, it is seems more and more likely that the Grimm are some variety of lesser abomination... and Salem is a greater.
  • Elemental Powers: Individual Semblances seem to run along elemental themes.
    • Also, The Four Maidens, whose more-explicitly magical powers are seasonally-themed.
  • Elevator Buttons Mash: Described but not seen in V2E8, when Ruby arrives in Ozpin's office for a debrief after Cinder's infiltration of Beacon Tower:

Ah! Sorry it took so long. Someone accidentally hit all the buttons in the elevator on the way up here. [Beat] It wasn't me.

  • Empathy Doll Shot: In the wake of Ozpin and Salem's first battle during Jin's account in V6E3, a stuffed animal belonging to one of their daughters is shown amid rubble and dust clouds.
  • Epic Flail: Son's pistol-chucks.
  • Every Scar Has a Story: The story behind Weiss's scar is found in the "White" trailer.
  • Everyone Is Armed: The world of Remnant at first glance looks like this, but the sample is biased by virtue of the story being focused mostly on professional warriors, military, students and staff of combat schools, and criminals. The average person in the street does not appear to be armed, at least in the protected Kingdoms. Settlements in the wilderness, however, may be a different story.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: Pretty much the entire world outside of the kingdoms in a nutshell. And more than a few spots inside them, as well.
  • Everything's Better with Spinning:
    • Ruby's melee combat style involves many spinning moves that sweep her scythe through her enemies; her Super Speed mode often involves her spinning like a rifled bullet.
    • Cinder's moves in V2E7 also involve a fair amount of spinning.
    • Len demonstrates a spinning attack in V4E1.
  • Everything's Worse With Rapier Wasps: In V1E14.
  • Evil Laugh: Weiss emits one as part of a rant once she thinks she's figured out how to win the tabletop game the team is playing in V2E2.
    • Torchwick gives one after shooting Ruby in V1E16.
  • Exactly What I Aimed At: In the battle with Tyrian in V4, he grins when Ruby apparently misses him with a rifle shot and hits one of her teammates -- only to discover it was a lightning dust round deliberately aimed at Nora to give her a Power-Up.
  • Exposition Party: The Remnant-themed, Risk-like Board Game -- called Remnant: The Game -- played by Team RWBY in V2E2 seems like a subtle way to establish some of the geopolitics of the world.
  • Extraordinarily Empowered Girl: Most if not all of the female cast.
  • Extremely Short Timespan:
    • Volume 3 seems to take place entirely within the space of about a week, maybe less -- until the final minutes of the last episode, when a very quick Time Passes Montage shows us the passage of at least two or three months, leaving the scene in mid- to late-winter.
    • Volume 5 is an odd case. It has two narrative threads running out of synch with each other. The Menagerie thread takes place over the course of at least a month and possibly more -- but the Haven thread appears to take place in less than two weeks, possibly even in one week. (If these estimates are correct, virtually all of the Menagerie thread takes place before the Haven thread actually starts!)
    • Similarly, Volume 6 seems to take place in the space of a week or at most two, aside from flashbacks.
    • According to Kerry Shawcross in a November 2020 interview with, Volume 8 all takes place within the space of a day or two.
  • Eye Cam: We first see Nora through Ren's eyes as he wakes up on the morning of the initiation in V1E4.
  • Eyedscreen: We get some, along with some interestingly idiosyncratic Split Screens, during the combat in V2E10.
  • Eyelid-Pull Taunt: Neon Katt gives one to Yang in V3E5.


  • Face Fault: Not long after Team RWBY meets Penny for the first time in V1E15, they all face fault.
    • Ruby falls over laughing when she sees the logo on Jaune's hoodie for the first time in V4E1.
  • Face Palm: Pyrrha and Weiss were both given to facepalming in V1-3, usually over something Jaune did.
    • In V4E11, Gheera facepalms after Kali accidentally knocks down a door while eavesdropping on Blake and Sun.
    • Ruby does one when Qrow comes back drunk to Team RNJR's house in Mistral in V5.
  • Faceless Masses: In Volume 1, just about anyone who was not involved in the action in some way was simply a black silhouette. However, starting in Volume 2 the "shadow people" (as the Rooster Teeth staff called them) were gone, replaced with fully-rendered individuals.
  • Facial Markings: Penny's partner in V3, Ciel Soleil, has one on her forehead, a small gold circle with tiny pips around it at the 12, 3, 6, and 9 o'clock points.
  • Fade to Black: Repeatedly used in V3E7 around the Flash Backs.
  • Fade to White: V3E12, after Ruby explodes with white light.
  • Fairy Tale Motifs/Mythical Motifs/Historical Motifs: Everywhere you look.
    • For example, besides the obvious fairy tale motifs at play with Team RWBY, there's Team JNPR: Jaune=Joan of Arc, Nora=Thor, Pyrrha=Achilles, and Lie Ren=Mulan (all of whom crossdressed at some point).
  • False Camera Effects: Numerous, starting with the Animation Bump in V3E1. We get lens flares and depth-of-field, and in V6 a fisheye lens effect is used when presenting the point of view of the jellyfish-like Seer Grimm.
  • Fan Art: In Volume 2, fan art was used under the closing credits for each episode.
  • Fan Service: Scattered throughout the show.
    • The hip-swinging walk just about every female character demonstrates at one point or another.
    • Emerald and Cinder's outfits.
  • Fantastic Fighting Style: Each wielder of a custom multiform weapon naturally develops their own style to use it.
  • Fantastic Racism: Towards the Faunus.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Mostly implied. Vale seems to be more or less Remnant's "America", complete with Melting Pot reputation. The names of Pyrrha Nikos and Neptune Vasilios (and the city/state Atlas) suggest a pseudo-Greek culture exists or existed elsewhere. Jaune's name suggests a similar Gallic culture; likewise, Weiss and Zwei's hint at a Germanic area. How many of these cultures still exist is hard to say, humanity is now surviving in just four heavily-defended enclaves, of which Vale is one; these may well all be cultural melting pots with the original homelands completely overrun by the Grimm.
    • At the New York Comic-Con 2017 RWBY panel, Miles Luna noted that they intended for Vale to have a "European"/"Western" feel, and for Mistral to be "Asian" in flavor.
    • And Menagerie seems Caribbean.
  • Fantasy World Map: Glimpsed in full during the prologue, lingered upon during World of Remnant 2, and finally seen in-universe during V3; the vicinity of Vale is seen in more detail on Torchwick's map a couple of times during Volume 1. Monty Oum squirted ketchup into a paper napkin, wadded it up, and then unfolded it to determine the basic landmasses of the world.
  • Far East: Anima, the continent on which Mistral is located. If the towns and territory that Team RNJR has been traveling through in V4 are typical, it's a blend of medieval Chinese fashion, Japanese language ("Kuroyuri", the name of an abandoned town they find, means "Black Lily" in Japanese), and an architecture that seems to be a hybrid of both cultures.
  • Fast-Forward Gag: Briefly implemented in V1E3 when Weiss presents Ruby with the "Dust for Dummies" pamphlet.
  • Fate Worse Than Death: The transformation into Salem's Hound suffered by an unidentified silver-eyed man. Ruby and Yang suspect Salem did the same to their Missing Mom, and intends on doing the same to Ruby.
  • Feather Flechettes: The Nevermore fires its immense feathers in this manner.
  • Finishing Move: Ruby, in the Food Fight in V2E1.
  • Fireball Eyeballs: A tear-shaped aura of flame around each eye is the indication that a Maiden is using her power.
  • First Boy Wins: It's a bit premature given the planned scope of RWBY, but those fans who don't see Jaune and Pyrrha pairing up argue for Jaune and Ruby partly because of this trope.
    • And since Cinder killed Pyrrha at the end of Volume 3, Jaune-Ruby is back in play, although by V8 there doesn't seem to be any action on that front.
  • Flash Back:
    • V3E7 (entitled "Beginning of the End") is almost entirely made up of visual and audio-only flashbacks which each explain some Backstory for the villains.
    • V8E6 ("Midnight") recounts for the first time Cinder‍'‍s full backstory.
  • Flight: In V4, Ruby's speed reaches levels that allow her something that's almost true flight (not that her spiraling "bullet charge" -- as seen in V2E1 -- wasn't already nearly there).
    • In V4E3 both Sun and Blake exhibit unusually long "hang times" that verge on hovers.
  • Flipping the Table: Nora flips over a table full of watermelons during the Food Fight in V2E1.
  • Floating Continent:
    • In V5E2, we see an area on the Anima continent where numerous floating islands hover over a large lake or inland sea, supported by the gravity dust deposits in them (visible as huge dark crystals emerging from their undersides).
    • Atlas turns out to be a floating landmass on which the city is built; it hovers over the original capital of the kingdom, the city of Mantle.
  • Food Fight: An absolutely epic example in V2E1.
  • Force Field: As Jaune and Pyrrha make clear, one of the effects that Aura can provide.
  • Foreshadowing: Lots, betraying just how intricately planned and plotted the show is. A few samples:
    • Ruby decapitates a beowolf in the "Red" trailer in exactly the same way she decapitates the Nevermore in V1E8.
    • It's amazing just how many seemingly poetic lines from just the first opening theme ("This Will Be The Day") alone turned out to be absolutely literal by V7, like "miracles of ancient wonder".
    • The "big operation in the southeast" to which Torchwick refers during the White Fang meeting in V2E3. (Revealed in V2E9.)
    • In the opening credits to V3, Pyrrha is the first to break free and fall away from the ring of characters.
    • All of the fairy tales Pyrrha mentions as favorites when asked by Ozpin in V3E5 turn out to be plot-relevant, not just the story of the Four Maidens. In particular, "The Two Brothers" and "The Girl in the Tower" both come back up in the story of Salem and Ozpin's shared origins in V6E3.
    • Although we don't find out until V4E1 that Jaune's hoodie has the Pumpkin Pete logo on it, sharp-eyed viewers will spot the bottom curve of the logo just below the bottom edge of his chest armor as early as V2.
    • Count how many times a black bird is watching or flies through the action, starting with the trailers. Then think about Raven's claim in V5 that she's been watching over Yang a lot more closely than Yang's known.
    • Harriet's comment in V7 that Ruby's Semblance is "different" from other speed Semblances (like her own). She's right, and in V8 Penny casually reveals in just what way.
    • The "soul transfer" device under Beacon, intended to move the gift of the Autumn Maiden from Amber to Pyrrha, turns out to be the key to why and how Penny has a soul -- Pietro Polendina used something like it to give her part of his.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Team naming at Beacon (and possibly elsewhere) takes the first initials of the four members of a team and puts them in an order (usually with the team leader's initial first) that can be pronounced as -- or is just similar enough to justify pronunciation as -- a word that is or evokes a color: RWBY (ruby), JNPR (juniper), NDGO (indigo), CRDL (cardinal) and so on.
    • V4 practically starts with an argument between Ren and Nora about whether they should be Team JNRR ("Junior") or Team RNJR ("Ranger"). Somehow both ignore the obvious RRNJ ("Orange").
  • Functional Magic: V6E3 revealed that "Humanity Version 1" was universally gifted with magic. Ozma/Ozpin and Salem, as the only survivors of that generation of humanity, both still retain their sorcerous gifts. Salem's power, if V8 is anything to go by, is undiminished. Ozpin, on the other hand, still uses his magic, but the empowerment he has given various individuals, most notably the Four Maidens, Raven and Qrow, appears to have permanently reduced his strength and supply, and he apparently relies on an energy supply in his cane for anything of significant power.
  • Funny Aneurysm Moment: A very quick, very deliberate one: In V3E6, Ruby wishes Yang good luck in her one-on-one match in the tournament with the traditional "break a leg!". By the end of the episode, Yang has been framed for crippling Mercury's leg with an unprovoked blow after the match ended.
  • Funny Background Event: Blake literally climbing the walls of their dorm room to stay away from Zwei when he first appears in V2E12.
  • Funny Bruce Lee Noises: Ruby makes them while describing her (then-newly improved) combat skills in V1E1.
  • Gainaxing: During their commentary track for the Blu-Ray release of Volume 1, the four female stars allege that both Yang and Pyrrha are deliberately animated at times with the infamous "Gainax bounce".
    • In V1E9, Professor Port's stomach is animated with a "Gainax bounce" of its own.
  • Gale Force Sound: In V4E12, the centaur-like Nuckelavee roars into Ren's face powerfully enough to blow his hair back.
    • Similarly, the illusion (?) of Salem created by Emerald in V5E14 roars powerfully enough to send Weiss's ponytail fluttering.
  • Gender Scoff: "Women!", amusingly delivered by Nora after Blake abandons the board game in V2E2.
  • Gesundheit: Jaune, in V1E6:

Pyrrha: Why didn't you activate your aura?
Jaune: Huh?
Pyrrha: Your aura.
Jaune: Gesundheit.

  • Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: In V4E12, Nora bitchslaps Ren to stop him from trying to sacrifice himself.
  • The Ghost: Professor Peach of Beacon Academy, at least during V1-V4.
    • Weiss's mother during V4. Whitley and Weiss discuss her in V4E2 (she seems to be The Alcoholic and not happily married to Jacques Schnee) and acknowledge her presence in the household, but she is not seen on screen until V7.
  • Ghost City: Mountain Glenn, to the southeast of the Kingdom of Vale.
    • It would appear that Vale itself is now a Ghost City inhabited only by Grimm after the events of Volume 3.
  • Gilded Cage: In V4, Jacques Schnee disinherits Weiss for defying him, and then has her essentially placed under house arrest afterward.
  • Give Me Back My Wallet: Perpetrated several times in V2 by Emerald, particularly to Mercury and Roman Torchwick.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: The Grimm, especially starting in V4.
  • Gondor Calls for Aid: Blake and Sun's attempts to recruit citizens of Menagerie to help them stop Adam and the White Fang from blowing up Haven Academy in V5. Sadly, no one who is able wants to. At least, not until the White Fang attempts to assassinate the Belladonas and fail, which prompts Blake to give the people of Menagerie a "The Reason You Suck" Speech that shames them into joining up.
  • Gone Horribly Right: In V6, the plan by the founder of Brunswick Farms to calm the other inhabitants down and keep them from attracting Grimm.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: After Tyrian disarms him in V4E7, Qrow switches to a bare-handed beatdown of his opponent.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Weiss's surprisingly subtle facial scar -- acquired during the events of the "White" trailer -- is definitely a "good scar".
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck: The bartender at the "Crow Bar" in V3E2.

Awww, gee darn it.

  • Gosh Hornet: Lancers, bear-sized wasp Grimm who are first seen in V5.
  • Gravity Is a Harsh Mistress: When Jaune leaps out to catch a falling Weiss in V1E8, it becomes a classic Looney Tunes "Oh Crap" pause-and-plunge moment.
    • V1E9: Team JNPR leaning out their dorm room door tumble into the hallway when they realize they're all late for class.
    • V2E5: After Jaune attempts to serenade Weiss, Ruby realizes that she's leaning into frame at an impossible angle and promptly falls over; she stands back up straight for the rest of the scene while Yang, on the other side of the frame, remains at her own impossible angle.
    • V6E1: Ruby and Weiss lean improbably into view during a heartwarming moment between Yang and Blake
  • Great Offscreen War: The "great war" which took place eighty years before the opening of the show, the details of which still remain maddeningly hazy as of the end of V5.
  • Great White Hunter: Professor Peter Port.
  • Groin Attack: As part of his bullying in V1, Cardin gets one in on Jaune.
    • Earlier, in the "Yellow" trailer, Yang inflicts one on Junior.
    • Nora inflicts one with her hammer upon a member of team BRNZ in V3E2. And in the same episode, a member of Team NDGO inflicts one (just barely offscreen) on Scarlet, using a flaming coconut.
    • Jaune has one inflicted on him when blown into a boulder in V4E1.
  • Guns Do Not Work That Way: Certainly not as part of transforming gadgets which are melee weapons half the time.
    • Averted in the "Yellow" trailer, by Junior: using it as a bludgeon is a great way to break your rocket launcher.
  • Gut Punch: The last two episodes of V3. The entire volume had been slowly ramping up the Mood Dissonance, but in a sudden one-two punch the series suddenly changed from "fun at hero school" to something much more serious.
  • Hammerspace: Appears to be either a common technology or a standard Aura effect -- just about everyone demonstrates some variety of storing/retrieving items from thin air or smaller spaces than should be able to hold them. For instance, when Ruby reloads in the "Red" trailer, the clip is noticeably bigger than the pouch she pulls it from. And during V1-V3, Ren noticeably keeps his machine pistols in his sleeves.
  • Hand Wave: Monty Oum's explanation why some names are mispronounced compared to their source languages.
  • Happy Dance: Nora can be seen doing one after retrieving the artifacts but before the battle with the Deathstalker and the Nevermore in V1E8.
  • Headphones Equal Isolation: In V1E1, Ruby fails to notice the shop she's in is being robbed by Roman Torchwick because she's reading a magazine while listening to the season's theme song on a large pair of headphones.
  • Heart Drive: In V7 we learn that Penny's soul was originally part of her father Pietro's soul. And that he's donated part of his soul to her twice by that point.
  • Heroic BSOD:
    • Ruby late in Volume 3 after Penny is accidentally killed by Pyrrha in the arena.
    • Yang suffers one that spans the Time Skip between V3 and V4 plus the first few episodes of V4, after losing her right arm while fighting Adam at the end of Volume 3.
  • Hidden Villain: The very existence of Salem was hidden from the audience until the final minutes of Volume 3 -- and even then, exactly who she was and what she was planning was left for future episodes. (This even though she was the "mysterious narrator" who actually had a dialogue with Ozpin over the very first minutes of the first episode.) And her existence remained a secret to the vast majority of the people of Remnant until the middle of Volume 8 -- some five years later.
  • Hide Your Gays: Deliberately averted starting in V5, as the production crew began inserting a wider variety of both ethnicities and sexualities in background characters, starting in V5E1 with a gay couple in Mistral who've just bought a bamboo plant.
  • High Heel Hurt: During the party at Beacon in V2E6 and 7, Ruby has problems walking in high heels (and later fighting in them). She is visibly close to twisting her ankle at one point, after which she mutters, "How can Weiss fight in these things?"
  • High School Dance: In V2E6-7.
  • Hollywood Torches: Averted in V1E8, when Jaune and Pyrrha explore a cave with a torch Jaune made. It's just barely bright enough to illuminate them, and virtually nothing of the cave around them is visible, and when Jaune trips and drops it, it promptly goes out.
  • Hologram Projection Imperfection: The projections we see of Glynda Goodwitch in V1, and General Ironwood and the CTC operator AI in V2 all have slightly washed-out color and visible scanning lines. It appears to be a limitation of their technology.
  • Holographic Terminal: Some of the display technology in Remnant seems to work this way. For instance, see the video game that Qrow, Ruby and Yang are playing in V3E4 -- the screen is just an image floating in midair in front of the dorm room window.
    • In V4, the TV at the Long house projects a free-floating image for its screen.
  • Holy Shit Quotient: The back half of Volume 3 has a very high one indeed.
    • V6E3, too, has a high HSQ.
  • Hope Spot: Inverted in V3E1 when Nora starts speculating about "the worst that could happen" with and after their upcoming bout in the tournament.
  • Hover Board: Reese Chloris of Team ABRN, who first appears in V3E1, has one that's also a couple varieties of weapon.
  • Humongous Mecha: The "Paladin" battlesuit presented in V2E3, several of which were stolen by Torchwick.
  • I Have Brothers: Gender Flipped in V2E7 when Jaune explains that it's because he has seven older sisters that he can dance as well as he does.
  • I Have the High Ground: Blake in V5E13 calls out Adam from the top of one of the buildings at Haven.
  • I Lied: Jaune attempts to serenade Weiss into going with him to the dance in V2; she slams the door in his face and only opens it again when he promises not to sing. As soon as she does open it, he warbles, "I liiiiiiied!"
  • I'll Pretend I Didn't Hear That: Ozpin did this in V2E8:

Ozpin: I'm still curious how you all found yourself at the docks last semester. I'm interested to know how you really learned about a hideout in the southeast. And I certainly wonder why witnesses reported seeing robots and rose petals in a dance club some time ago.
Ruby: Um... well...
Ozpin: I doubt I'll ever find the exact answers I'm looking for. So how about this: instead of waiting for you all to break the rules, why don't we just bend them?

  • Iconic Logo: The distinctive look of RWBY‍'‍s title, with its oddly and sharply-serifed font. The silhouettes of the four girls against their signature colors as well.
  • Idiosyncratic Ship Naming: There's one for almost every pairing, and for ships within Team RWBY they're frequently color-based: Bumblebee (Blake and Yang), Ladybug (Ruby and Blake), Monochrome (Weiss and Blake), White Rose or Candycane (Weiss and Ruby), Sugar Rush (Ruby and Nora), Freezerburn (Weiss and Yang), Eclipse (Blake and Sun), Arkos (Jaune and Pyrrha) -- just to name a few. See them all here.
  • Ignored Enemy: Team JNPR does this in the middle of their fight with Team BRNZ during the Vytal Festival tournament when they get caught up in a discussion about names for combat maneuvers. However, BRNZ is far more determined to continue the fight than most enemies subject to this trope tend to be.
  • Image Song: "Mirror, Mirror" from the "White" trailer and "From Shadows" from the "Black" trailer are very much this for Weiss and Blake respectively. A snippet of Yang's song "I Burn" finishes up the medley which provides the soundtrack for the "Yellow" trailer, but can be found in its entirety in the V1 soundtrack. The odd man out is the "Red" trailer; its music is explicitly the theme to the entire series than an image song for Ruby; if any song can be said to be her image song, it is probably "Red Like Roses, Part II", which is played during the climax of the fight with the Nevermore, and is also available as part of the Volume One soundtrack.
  • Image Song Cameo: When Ruby goes all Finishing Move on the other participants in the Food Fight in V2E1, music from her fight with the Beowolves in the "Red" trailer plays.
  • Imagine Spot: Weiss plotting in V1E2 how she and Pyrrha will be an unstoppable team together.
  • Impossibly Cool Clothes: The "too good to be real" aspect of this trope is explicitly averted by the production team: All characters' costumes are designed with cosplayers in mind and nothing about them relies on impossible physics or materials. Even so, they still look awesome.
  • In a Single Bound: Not uncommon in Huntsmen and Huntresses -- but taken to truly ludicrous extremes by both Winter Schnee and Qrow in their fight early in V3.
  • In Medias Res: V6E1 starts out in the middle of a battle with flying Grimm on top of a moving train, then flashes back to before the train ride began and takes about 9 minutes of story to get back to its starting point.
  • In the Hood: Sun Wukon in V4E3.
  • Incompletely Trained: Jaune in V1-2, far less so in V3 and afterward. And never again after training with Atlas's Ace Ops in V7.
    • Ruby to a lesser degree -- she's very competent solo, but initially has no idea how to work in a team. Again, this is temporary, and she soon masters teamwork.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: Yang lets loose with one in V2E1 and gets ignored; Weiss tries her hand at the end of V2E4 and gets called on it.
    • Neon Katt. Full stop.
  • Individuality Is Illegal: Appears to have been one of the tenets of the unspecified enemy defeated in the "great war" 80 years before the opening of the show.
  • Instant Runes: Weiss and Winter's snowflake-like "glyphs".
    • Also, Glynda and Cinder both demonstrate pseudo-Hermetic designs in V1E1 -- a traditional circle for Glynda, and concentric cylinders for Cinder.
  • Intelligent Gerbil: According to the writers in their V5 commentary, the first draft of Ghira's speech in V5E3 included a joke character written to amuse each other -- "Saber Rodentia", who was a six-foot gerbil-man standing at Ghira's side. (Where all other faunus were humans with a single animal trait, this character was described as an animal with a single human trait.) Naturally, he didn't make it into the second draft. The name, however, was saved and applied to another character, a more "traditional" faunus with gerbil features who is one of Ghira's guards.
  • Interspecies Friendship: Between the faunus students like Blake and Velvet and their human teammates.
  • Invisibility: In V4, Ren's semblance is revealed to be the ability to briefly grant some kind of undetectability vs. Grimm to himself and/or others.
  • Ironic Echo: Penny's rapid-fire recitation of all the fun things she and Ruby can do together since they are now friends echoes word-for-word Weiss's sarcastic inventory of "girl things" to (not) do with Ruby when they met for the second time at the Beacon opening ceremonies.
    • Ruby picks up on some of this, asking Weiss moments afterwards, "Is this what I was like when we met?"

Weiss: No. She seems much more coordinated.

  • Is the Answer to This Question "Yes"?: V1E8 has this exchange when Weiss is holding Ruby -- the missile in an immense improvised slingshot aimed at a monstrous Grimm -- in place with one of her glyphs.

Ruby: Think you can make the shot?
Weiss: (smiling smugly) Hmph. Can I!
Ruby: (turns to her, confused) Can y--
Weiss: (offended) Of course I can!

  • It's a Long Story: Yang's final line in the "Yellow" trailer, when Ruby asks her what she's doing at Junior's bar.
    • Also an Incredibly Lame Pun, as it would be a story about Yang Xiao Long, after all.
    • In V8E1, when Oscar is asked how he ended up in the slums of Mantle, all he says is "It's a long story".
    • The phrase is used often enough that it counts as Arc Words.
  • Jittercam: Oddly used in V3E2 to represent Qrow's drunken lack of equilibrium as he leaves a bar -- from an outside POV.
  • "Just Joking" Justification: In V3E1, when Nora's summation of Team JNPR's strengths for their upcoming tournament match is less than complementary about Jaune, she says, "I'm kidding, he knows I'm kidding." Subverted in that Nora has absolutely no filter between her brain and her mouth, so it's practically certain that she was teasing him.



Penny: It sure is windy today.

  • Laser-Guided Cat: In V2E6, Yang uses a laser pointer to get Blake to come to her as part of an intervention over her obsession with Roman Torchwick and the White Fang.
  • Last Kiss: Pyrrha kisses Jaune -- their first and only kiss -- before heading off to confront Cinder at the end of Volume 3.
  • Leitmotif: Some of the Image Songs act like a Leitmotifs in the background music, and keep reappearing in different forms, like Weiss's song from the "White" trailer, "Mirror, Mirror".
  • Let's Get Dangerous: Ruby at the end of V5E12.
  • Like Brother and Sister: Although many viewers saw Jaune and Pyrrha shaping up into an Official Couple, the voice actresses on their commentary track for Volume 1 strongly hinted that the two were actually forming a very deep and platonic friendship -- something that turned out not be true, as something clearly forms between them in Volume 3 -- and then is destroyed when Cinder kills Pyrrha.)
    • Ren and Nora started off like this, although there are hints from the start that Nora wanted more -- and by the end of V4 they've graduated from "buddies" to "involved".
  • Limited Wardrobe: Although through the end of Volume 1 this trope seemed to be in play, with all we'd seen anyone own being just three outfits (combat wear, school uniform, and sleepwear), by halfway through Volume 2 it was being fully averted, with formalwear, alternate battledress and casual wear, and things like Nora's "BOOP" T-shirt. V4 revealed even more outfits for some of the characters, while at the same time reinforcing the trope for others new and old. For instance, Qrow and Oscar appear to sleep in their clothes even when not on the road.
  • Liquid Assets: The transfer of Amber's power as the Autumn Maiden -- in the form of her soul -- to Pyrrha in V3E11 definitely looked like this, with glowing conduits that "flowed" from the one to the other.
  • Literal Genie: Ambrosius, the spirit who resides in the Relic of Creation, not only will create things exactly per insufficiently detailed or specific instructions, he will gladly take stray comments made outside the specific context of describing what's wanted as an excuse to twist the results.
  • Little Bit Beastly: Basically what defines faunus. Different varieties have different "distinguishing features" -- small horns, tiny antlers, tails, and more traditionally pointed ears are common alternatives or additions to the standard "animal ears on top of head" look. Despite this, they are interfertile with "normal" humans.
    • According to Miles Luna, faunus normally possess a single animal trait (although they all also have keen night vision, if we are to believe Blake and Oobleck). He also acknowledges the possibility of faunus whose only defining animal characteristic is internal.
    • Mocked by the production staff during the making of V5 with the creation of a joke faunus character who was a Little Bit Human -- a giant hamster with one (unidentified) human trait.
  • Little Boy Blue Note: Casey Lee Williams, the distinctive female voice on many songs for RWBY, performed the songs for its original four trailers (2012-2013) when she was only thirteen years old.
  • Little Miss Badass: Just about every girl in the cast who isn't a Badass Adorable.
  • Load-Bearing Boss: No sooner is Torchwick killed in V3E10 than the Atlesian battleship he was controlling begins blowing up.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: According to Miles Luna, 56 named characters with speaking roles were in play by the end of Volume 3.
  • MacGuffin: "The Relic" (mentioned by Salem in V4E3 and Raven in V4E4) is a MacGuffin even though we learn more about what makes it important in V4E8.
  • Machinima: Averted. The animation was produced in Poser for V1-3, and in a dedicated digital animation package starting in V4. Neither is a game, which means RWBY is an All CGI Cartoon, not a Machinima.
  • Magic by Any Other Name: According the the RTX 2013 RWBY panel, Dust. Not that it's a surprise.
    • However, in V3 Ozpin makes a clear distinction between Dust and the powers of the Four Maidens, specifically calling the latter "magic"; in context it's clear that magic is something mythical, and somehow different from the spellcasting-like effects some Dust-wielders (like Weiss in the "White" trailer) can produce. If Amber and Cinder are any indication, "magic" is entirely internal in origin, requires no devices/props and appears to be at least an order of magnitude more powerful than Dust.
  • Magic Genetics: Whatever the hell is going on with Faunus. According to Word of God (Miles Luna and Kerry Shawcross, in this case):

Dog Faunus + Dog Faunus = Dog Faunus,
Dog Faunus + Human = Either Dog Faunus or Human
Dog Faunus + Cat Faunus = Random Faunus.

  • Magic Knight: Basically all Huntsmen and Huntresses.
    • The Four Maidens, too, if they're found and trained by Ozpin and his people.
  • Magic Skirt: Implemented almost accidentally in V1-3 as a result of using Poser as the render engine -- any clothing that wasn't a texture applied to a figure (as is painfully obvious with Dr. Oobleck toward the end of V2) was immobile except at the body articulation points.
    • With V4 this starts being averted thanks to the new animation engine -- rather dramatically and deliberately so in the V5 opening credits, when Nora is briefly seen hanging from (presumably) the ceiling of Team RNJR's quarters in Mistral with her skirt flopping down to her hips (and positioned such that any resulting Panty Shot remains off-screen).
  • Magical Security Cam: Several instances of footage reused as cam views can be seen in V1. Possibly justified by the (perhaps literal) Magical Computers in use.
    • In V4E3, part of the TV news Yang watches includes the footage of Glynda Goodwitch failing to repair a building from V3E12.
  • Magnum Opus: According to Ozpin (via Qrow), Man is the joint masterpiece of a god of light and a god of darkness.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: The Nuckelavee in V4E11-12 has several sonic attacks.
  • Male Gaze: In V4E4, Qrow tracks a pretty waitress's butt as she walks past him (after she very blatantly flirts with him) with a leer on his lips.
  • The Man Behind the Man: After going sixteen episodes thinking Torchwick is the main villain, we discover in The Stinger to V1E16 that the woman who seemed like his flunky in V1E1 -- called "Cinder" in the credits -- is actually his boss. And then at the end of Volume 3, we encounter someone who turns out to be Cinder's boss.
  • The Man in the Mirror Talks Back: One interpretation of what happened with Oscar at the start of V4E4.
  • Mana: Called "Aura", and a known, measurable quality possessed by Huntsmen and Huntresses.
    • Dust appears to be Mana in mineral form.
  • Mana Meter: Actually present In-Universe -- every student at Beacon can check their aura level with their "scroll" (a handheld computer/phone/PDA), and are exhorted to do so when fighting, so they know when to shift to defensive tactics if it gets too low. The aura display appears as a classic colored bar, starting out green, growing shorter as aura is used, and turning red when too much aura has been expended.
  • Mascot: "Pumpkin Pete" of Pumpkin Pete's Marshmallow Flakes, who turns out to be a cartoon rabbit.
  • Massive Multiplayer Crossover: All four members of Team RWBY appear in BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle.
  • Meaningful Echo: A non-verbal example: In the Volume One opening credits, Pyrrha is seen putting a reassuring hand on an uncertain Jaune's shoulder. In the Volume Two credits, the gesture and emotions are reversed.
  • Meaningful Name: It appears that most of the cast has a name that makes some kind of reference to fairy tales or fantasy/SF literature. (While at the same time following the Color Motif.)
    • "Remnant" itself. From the very beginning we are repeatedly shown that the four human enclaves are all that remain of a larger civilization destroyed by the Grimm.
  • Meanwhile in the Future: V5 ran on this for almost all of its length. The Yang/Weiss and Qrow/RNJR plots in Anima and Haven were concurrent and eventually merged (and Yang and Weiss were originally separate plotlines before they merged earlier); however Blake's storyline in Menagerie was set about a month before the others', presumably to allow for the time it took to transport the faunus army she raised to Haven for the final two episodes of the volume. Despite the chronological difference between the two threads, scenes cut back and forth between them as though they were happening at the same time. (Indeed, unless you paid close attention to certain dialogue starting in the middle of the volume, you wouldn't know they they weren't happening simultaneously.)
  • Mix-and-Match Weapon/Impossibly Cool Weapon: Everybody's got one! Most combine a firearm of some sort with a melee weapon, and change shape between functions.
    • Sun Wukon goes one better: his weapon is a staff that splits into a pair of nunchaku, which themselves are made out of pairs of pistols (which look like flintlocks, but are multi-shot).
    • Blake's Gambol Shroud can be a used as one or two blades for melee, as a kusarigama/sickle-and-chain, and as a gunblade.
    • Pyrrha's spear/sword/rifle and chakram-shield.
    • Jaune seems to avert this; his sword doesn't appear to turn into anything else, even if it is an Ancestral Weapon. His shield, though, folds for convenient storage, and to become his sword's scabbard.
  • Mood Whiplash: Volume 3 does this for the whole series.
  • Mooks: Torchwick has a small crew of them, and he's not impressed by their quality.
    • Junior's minions in the "Yellow" trailer seem to be the same group -- they have the same black-suit-white-face-and-little-red-sunglasses look. Given that Torchwick is very briefly seen concluding some kind of deal with Junior in the club just before Yang walks up to the bar, it's possible that he acquired his goons from Junior.
      • Confirmed in V2E4; Junior tells Yang that he loaned a group of his men to Torchwick, and that they never came back.
    • Torchwick later is in charge of what seems to be a platoon of White Fang footsoldiers.
    • According to Monty Oum at RTX 2014, the beowolves from the "Red" trailer (which were an abandoned early design and thus lack the white armor and spikes possessed by beowolves and all other Grimm in the series proper) are "mook"-level Grimm, and can be slaughtered with relative ease.
  • Mordor: The bleak, red landscape that is apparently Salem's realm, which we first see at the end of Volume 3.
  • Mother of a Thousand Young: The Grimm Dragon from the end of V3; it spawned other Grimm creatures as it flew over Vale and Beacon by dropping huge blobs of a semiliquid substance that upon hitting the ground reformed itself into various monsters.
  • Motion Capture: Confirmed to have been used for many scenes. However, in V1-3 it's often painfully obvious when it wasn't. To the surprise of many, motion capture is not used for the fight scenes.
  • Motionless Chin: Averted in the early volumes. In close-ups, chin movements were obvious and clearly synchronized to the Mouth Flaps. However, with the change in animation software between V3 and V4 the trope's slipped in.
  • Motor Mouth: Ruby, when she gets excited.
    • Nora, all the time.
    • Dr. Oobleck all the time, too, but even more so when he gets excited.
  • Mouth Cam: A variation: in V3E8, we see part of Penny's (first) death from a point of view inside her torso as it is ripped apart.
  • Mr. Exposition: Professor Port and Dr. Oobleck both become this trope in V3E1, when as part of their roles as hosts and Combat Commentators for the Vytal Festival tournament, they explain "to those just tuning in" how the tournament bracketing works.
    • Penny plays this role in a V8 episode where she explains what Ruby's Semblance really is and how it works.
  • Multicultural Alien Planet: By V4 we see that Remnant has a variety of different cultures; not everything looks like early-21st century America.
  • Multiple Head Case: The monstrous snake-based Grimm called the King Taijitu has a head at each end.
  • Mundane Utility: Cinder uses her fire powers to pop a single unpopped kernel of popcorn while watching the Vytal Festival tournament in V3.
  • My Friends and Zoidberg: A running gag in V2. For instance, from V2E1:

Ruby: (addressing the rest of Team RWBY) Sisters! Friends! Weiss!
Weiss: Hey!

  • My God, What Have I Done?: The look on Emerald's face during the first moments she's seen in V4E1 suggest her thoughts at that moment are something along the lines of "What have I gotten myself into?"
  • My Hero!: Uttered by Weiss in a totally bored and unimpressed manner when Jaune flubs an attempt to flashily rescue her from a fall in V1E8.
    • And again in V4E3 when Sun falls into a Princess Carry by Blake. When the reverse happens in the same fight, Blake does not return the favor (despite being prompted by Sun).
    • In V4E11, Sun's steadfast refusal to back away from Blake, as well as his declaration that his next fight with Ilia won't be for her but to get even, garners an amused "My hero" from Blake.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Cinder gets one in V2E6 when she's told that she has to get back to the ball by midnight.
    • In V5E1, a guy hitting on Yang says she's "not too bulky, not too lean, you're..." to which an unimpressed Yang replies, "Just right."
  • Named Weapons: Most if not all of the multiform weapons have names:
    • Ruby named her scythe Crescent Rose.
    • Weiss' sword is Myrtenaster (a old German word for the flower of the myrtle tree).
    • Blake's gunblade/kusarigama is called Gambol Shroud.
    • Yang's "Dual Ranged Shot Gauntlets" are called Ember Celica.
    • Jaune's sword and shield are jointly called Crocea Mors ("Saffron Death" in Latin).
    • Even Torchwick's cane-gun, which is called Melodic Cudgel.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: Deliberately done in the Volume 2 trailer -- the Ruby/Weiss Pietà Plagiarism moment from V2E1 was included, with all the Food Fight elements removed to make it look far more serious than it actually was.
  • Newer Than They Think: It initially seems like the academies and their formalized training of Huntsmen and Huntresses are a long-standing practice dating back centuries; we eventually learn that they're less than 80 years old, established in the aftermath of the great war.
  • Nightmare Sequence: Yang goes through one in V4E4, apparently as a symptom of her post-Beacon PTSD.
  • Ninja: If Blake's book collection is to be believed, they exist somewhere in Remnant.
    • In V3E1, Nora describes Ren as a ninja. Even though he's pseudo-Chinese.
  • "No. Just... No" Reaction: Blake at the end of V2E4 when Weiss tries her hand at a Bond One-Liner after Torchwick and Neo (No, not that one) escape.
  • No Body Left Behind: Grimm corpses "evaporate"[1] shortly after they are killed. Unlike most instances of this trope, this is used to keep the Grimm mysterious. You can't dissect a corpse that doesn't exist.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: The actor Spruce Willis is mentioned several times in the early volumes.
  • No Endor Holocaust: Averted. Any battles involving Huntsmen and/or Huntresses do a lot of damage to the surrounding terrain, and even though we don't see them, there are casualties. Especially toward the ends of V2 and V3.
    • Also averted in the distant past when the moon was shattered -- a storm of meteors fell upon the world in its wake. Then again, there was only one human on the planet at the time, and she was unable to die, so pretty much all that happened was landscape rearrangement.
  • No Except Yes: Maria Calavera's first lines of dialogue, in V6E2:

"My name is Maria Calavera, and I am not defenseless. I'm just a little hard of hearing. And... blind... without my eyes. [taps mechanical goggles] That are in desperate need of repair. Okay, I'm starting to see your point."

  • No OSHA Compliance: Team RWBY's improvised bunk beds don't look safe.
  • No Peripheral Vision: Played with in V1E1. The opponent Ruby is fighting seems to have disappeared -- she looks left and right, but still can't find him. Then she looks up...
  • No Pronunciation Guide: Happens in "I Burn", the pre-Volume 1 Image Song for Yang -- a line referencing Dragonball Z says "I'm Super-Saiyin now". As many will know, "Saiyin" should be pronounced like "Sighin'". Sadly, vocalist Casey Lee Williams was not one of those many, and Yang became "super-sayin".
  • Noodle Incident: Just how did Ruby and Weiss end up clinging to the Nevermore in V1E8?
  • Nothing Is the Same Anymore: The entire tone of the show changed in the last third of the third volume. Prior to the volume's Tournament Arc, it was a (mostly) happy-go-lucky series about a group of super-powered girls at a school for heroes. By the end of the third volume, though, two fan-favorite characters had been killed, the school had been destroyed, and the biggest bad in the series had been revealed after the success of the first stage of her master plan. The entire series took on a darker tone, and the focus changed from "hero high" to "save the world". The shift in the series had been planned from the start, with the characters who were killed created expressly to be Sacrificial Lambs, which caused the production team some concern when they discovered the early seasons of the show had picked up a Periphery Demographic of children that they had never anticipated.
  • Obligatory Joke: The girls on Team RWBY seem to be consciously choosing to make this a habit.
  • Ocular Gushers: Cascading sheets variant, from both Weiss and Ruby when Yang obliterates them in their Board Game in V2E2.
  • Off with His Head: Ruby decapitates a fair number of the beowolves attacking her in the "Red" trailer.
    • Ruby killing the Nevermore during the Emerald Forest initiation in Volume 1.
    • Jaune killing the ursa in V1E14.
    • Nora declares "Off with their heads!" at the start of Team JNPR's assault in the food fight in V2E1.
    • In V3E11, Adam attempts to decapitate Blake for betraying and leaving him at the end of the "Black" trailer. He only manages to cut the head off one of her after-images, though.
  • Off-Model: Endemic prior to the change in animation packages between V3 and V4. While much of the animation in the first three volumes -- at least some of it done by Motion Capture -- is beautifully fluid and realistic, many other moments... weren't.
    • There's one moment in V1E16 where Blake and Sun are speaking on the street. The shot is looking at Sun more or less over Blake's shoulder and her body is partially obscuring his -- but when he makes a particularly expressive gesture his hand and arm are suddenly, Escher-like, closer to the "camera" than she is. (This was later corrected for DVD/Blu-Ray and Tugg releases.)
    • V2E6: Before and during the formal dance, we see that the ballroom floor is beautifully polished to a near-mirror and reflects everything -- except for the dancers. Similarly, the floor of the vault in V3 reflects everything but the people walking on it.
    • V3E12: When this episode was released, the Long/Rose family cabin was made of logs that looked like smooth plastic cylinders -- no wood grain or bark texturing. (This was corrected in a later re-render.)
  • Offhand Backhand: Glynda Goodwitch disposes of several Grimm with casual back-waves of her riding crop/focus before repairing the subway breach in V2E12.
  • Official Fan-Submitted Content: When Velvet Scarlatina became more than a one-shot character, her combat outfit was determined by a contest held between V1 and V2.
    • Similarly, Team NDGO from V3 was designed by fans who had won the right to do so on Indiegogo.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: Lampshaded twice with blinking dotted outlines where the teleportees used to be.
    • Penny does it during her first appearance in V1E15, moving from half a block behind Team RWBY to just in front of them; also lampshaded when Weiss has a mild Freak-Out over it. (Possibly justified in this case by Penny being a Robot Girl capable of feats beyond human limits; she may have just run very quickly.)
  • Offscreen Villain Dark Matter: Averted with Salem, when we see the creation of Grimm at the start of V4.
  • One Steve Limit: Every character developed sufficiently to have a name has a unique name. There seem to be no "common" or "ordinary" personal names in Remnant, despite there being far more humans than there are possible color references to name them with.
  • Only a Flesh Wound: Thoroughly averted, especially in Volume 3.
    • Qrow tries to claim this after getting hit with Tyrian's poison stinger in V4E7. He's not able to hold up the facade, though, making this a clear aversion.
  • Orbital Shot: Around Oscar in V4E7 as he realizes he has access to Ozpin's memories.
  • Our Centaurs Are Different: The Nuckelavee from V4 is a Grimm shaped like an immense horse plus rider.
  • Our Souls Are Different: Called "aura". When "awakened", they provide the humans of Remnant with a variety of powers. The Grimm, by contrast, are said to be soulless.


  • Painting the Medium/Diegetic Interface: V4E1, where Ren and Nora manifest the team names "RNJR" and "JNRR" respectively as letters in the distinctive "RWBY" font floating in the air next to them. This not just a convenient device for the sake of the audience -- changes in camera angle allow us the see the backs of both sets of letters.
  • Palate Propping: In V1E8, Yang stands in the mouth of a Giant Nevermore, holding its upper and lower beak apart with her entire body while firing blasts from her weapon Ember Celica down its throat.
  • Panty Shot: Actively averted in V1-3, where Weiss and Ruby in particular have so many petticoats and crinolines under their "combat skirts" that even a direct upskirt angle (as seen with Weiss on her bedroll in Mountain Glenn at the end of V2) shows an almost-solid surface from which their legs sprout. With the change in graphics engine in V4, though, this may change.
    • V4E12 actually gives us a brief panty shot for Nora as she and Ren sit on the edge of the Mistralian airship; and Ren gets one during their fight against the Nuckelavee earlier in the same episode.

Nora: Stop looking!

  • Parasol Parachute: Subverted in V3E10, when Ruby uses Neo's umbrella against her by popping it open in a high wind and getting her blown off of an Atlesian battleship.
  • Periphery Demographic: RWBY acquired a much younger audience segment than the production team anticipated, resulting in a lot of concern about the effect of V3's tone shift.
  • Personality Powers: The Beacon students all appear to have gifts or talents, and most of the ones we've seen seem to be reflective of their owners' personalities: Ruby's speed, Yang's fire, and Pyrrha's magnetism, for example.
    • Blake explicitly invokes this when describing how her semblance reflects how she views herself early in V2.
  • Physical Gods: As of early V6, it's been confirmed that two gods -- brothers, one of Dark and one of Light -- used to dwell on the world that became Remnant before the start of (current) written history. (Their departure and the reasons for it are why current written history is only current, and why the moon is shattered.)
  • Pie in the Face: Weiss takes a classic cream pie right in the kisser at the start of the Food Fight in V2E1.
  • Pillar of Light: One appears in V6E3 in the tale of Salem and Ozpin's origins, at the center of the expanding wave of destruction when the god of Darkness wipes out Humanity Version 1.
  • Pinball Gag: In V5E1, Yang belts a creep who's been coming on to her, sending him caroming off everything in sight, including, briefly, the lintel, doorposts and threshold of a door he goes flying into and eventually through.
  • Pietà Plagiarism: Ruby holding a stunned Weiss during the Food Fight in V2E1, complete with a Big No.
  • Planar Shockwave: When Cinder breaks Pyrrha's spear/rifle in V3E12. And when the Grimm Dragon takes off the top of Ozpin's tower a few moments later.
    • When Raven makes her penultimate strike on Cinder in V5E13.
  • Post-Victory Collapse: All of Team RWBY after Hazel, Emerald and Mercury flee at the end of V5E14. No one passes out, although for Ruby it's a close thing.
  • POV Cam: V4E4, of Taiyang from Yang's perspective.
  • Power Glows: The Relic of Knowledge in V5E14, particularly at the very end.
  • Power Strain Blackout: Ruby, after the events at the top of Beacon tower in V3E12, after which she is Asleep for Days.
    • When she repeats the feat during the fight at the end of V5, she's only unconscious for a couple of minutes, and groggy for a minute or two after that.
  • The Pratfall: Nora drops right on her butt after the proto-Team JNPR defeats the deathstalker in V1E8.
    • This also happens to Reese Chloris of Team ABRN in the first minutes of their team fight during the Vytal Tournament in V3E1.
    • Oscar falls on his butt when he unexpectedly hears Professor Ozpin's voice apparently coming out of a mirror in V4E4.
    • Professor Port takes one as well in V4E4, while recounting an embarrassing story about Qrow.
    • Qrow and Professor Lionheart take pratfalls in unison when they surprise each other at the door to Lionheart's office in V5E1.
  • Precision F-Strike: Tyrian's "You bitch!" in V4E8.
  • Present Company Excluded: In V2E11, an exasperated Torchwick snarls, "Man! Animals, every one of them!" about his Faunus allies from the White Fang as the train they're on starts accelerating. Then he turns to the White Fang member who is driving the train and adds, "Not you, though, you're... ah... you're great."
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!/Punctuated Pounding: Yang bellowing "I! Hope! You're! Hungry!" as she fires Ember Celica -- one shot with each word -- right down the Nevermore's throat in V1E8.
  • Ramen Slurp: At various points during the dinner that starts V5E7.
  • Ramming Always Works: V4E3: Dust-powered ship vs. sea dragon grimm.
  • Ravens and Crows: Raven and Qrow Branwen, who can turn into their namesake birds.
  • Real Women Don't Wear Dresses: Utterly averted by Ruby and Weiss, even if they get picky about terminology:

Weiss: It's not a dress! It's a combat skirt!
Ruby: Yeah!
[hand slap]

    • And then there's the moment during an arm-wrestling match between Nora and Yang late in V5, when Ruby cheers Yang on by saying "You can't let yourself be beaten by a girl in a dress!" Which prompts Weiss to point out that Ruby's still in a combat skirt of her own.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Given to Yang by Taiyang in V4, when trying to teach her how to fight better. In it, he compares her semblance and how she uses it to throwing a tantrum in order to win a fight.
    • Blake gives one to the people of Menagerie near the end of V5 for letting the White Fang try to get away with genocide. She shames them into forming an volunteer army to stop Adam and his followers from blowing up Haven Academy.
    • And Yang gives one to her mother in V5E14.
  • Reckless Gun Usage: The Vale police investigating the dust shop robbery near the end of Volume 1. (Lampshaded by Torchwick's map which notes there are "dumb cops" in that part of Vale.)
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: When Cinder's faction takes control of the Atlesian robots, their faces/optical sensors/heads turn red.
    • Also, any time Yang's eyes turn red -- such as in the Volume 5 Trailer.
  • Regenerating Shield, Static Health: This seems to be the basic mechanism by which awakened Aura functions, acting as a large but finite damage shield protecting a significantly smaller quantity of health. It's not the only way Aura works, as it seems to regenerate health when it is present in sufficient amounts, as well as fueling Semblances; but once awakened it appears Aura immediately starts acting like a shield.
  • Repeat Cut: Used when Qrow blocks Tyrian's stinger strike on Ruby in V4E6.
  • Remonstrating with a Gun: Two plainclothes cops carelessly gesture with their pistoles while discussing a dust store robbery they're investigating in V1E15.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: The King Taijitu, a monstrous two-headed duotone snake fought by Lie Ren in the Emerald Forest.
  • Retcon: In the earliest materials, the planet on which the story is set was called "Vytal", but during the course of production the creative team renamed it to "Remnant". "Vytal" remains as the name of the festival that takes place during V3 and now refers to the location where the "Great War" was concluded.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: In V4E3, Sun thinks this is why Blake is heading to Menagerie. He's wrong, of course.
    • Hazel explodes into one toward the end of V5 when he discovers that Oscar is Ozpin's new reincarnation.
  • Roboteching: In V4, Nora's grenades start demonstrating this behavior, presumably as a result of the "upgrade" Jaune mentions she got.
  • Rule of Cool: Appears to be a law of nature.
  • Rule of Funny: Yang's Berserk Button: she's a cool, laid-back girl -- unless you muss her hair.
  • Running Gag:
    • Volume 1:
      • Jaune getting stuck in trees.
      • Weiss falling over when she runs into someone she wasn't expecting to be in her way.
    • Volume 2:

Torchwick: Ladies. Ice Queen.
Weiss: Hey!

    • On a meta level, Ruby's line "It's also a gun" from V1E3 has been repeated in a number of non-story contexts, including a T-shirt in Rooster Teeth's online store and as a lyric ("Yeah, I'm a girl but I'm also a gun") from Volume 5's theme song, "The Triumph".
  • Schedule Fanatic: Penny's minder Ciel Soleil in Volume 3 appears to be this. When Penny asks idiomatically for "a minute" to speak with Ruby, Ciel literally times her and permits only 60 seconds of conversation.
  • Schmuck Bait: Yang's offer to Junior to "kiss and make up" in the Yellow trailer.
  • Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale: If they even thought about it, most viewers assumed the map of Vale that Torchwick had pinned to a wall of his warehouse in V1 was of a reasonably-sized city and its outlying districts. However, the World of Remnant shorts released immediately prior to Volume 4 revealed that this was in fact an area that must be at least the size of Texas, if Remnant is anything close to the same size as Earth. The Kingdom of Vale was even explicitly shown to include several more unnamed cities hundreds of miles away down the coast to the southwest, along with the ruins of Mountain Glenn to the southeast. The three other kingdoms appear to be the same size as Vale, and all have multiple settlements. And then there's Menagerie, the Faunus nation, itself the size of one of the human kingdoms. These are the tiny, protected enclaves supporting the last remaining populations of non-Grimm, fighting desperately for survival? By any decent measure their population must number in the tens of millions if not the hundreds of millions, and they're occupying a combined "protected, safe" space at least the size of Europe. With those kinds of numbers, it's hard to see humanity as terribly threatened.
    • On the other hand, there is some evidence scattered through V1-3 that the "City of Vale" is no bigger than a good-sized city, and Mountain Glenn is no more than a few dozen miles beyond its borders. If so, then the fact that the area covered by Torchwick's map is still a region large enough to identify on the world map means that Remnant is a dwarf planet at the largest, and may even be as small as a large asteroid. This is supported by how quickly Blake travels by ship from Vale to Menagerie in V4, and how very quickly -- in two weeks, including organization, supplies and training -- Menagerie's volunteer army is transported en masse to Mistral/Haven, also by ship, in V5.
      • And if Remnant is a dwarf planet, it also explains why the moon is so large in Remnant's sky -- we might actually be looking at what is effectively a binary planet system, rather than a planet-plus-moon.
    • All of these oddities may be justified by the presence of two Physical Gods on the world into near-historical times -- gods who seemed to take an active hand in sculpting proto!Remnant to their liking.
  • Scooby Stack: Several instances in V1-3, most notably team Juniper in V1E9.
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: Jaune in V1E7 when he discovers that the "artifact" he's found is really a Deathstalker.

Yang: Some girl's in trouble!

  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Torchwick's primary tactic for ensuring his personal survival.
    • Also, this is basically Neo's reaction to Raven's appearance in V2E11 -- she takes one look at Raven and immediately teleports out.
  • Sea Monster: A sea-dragon-like Grimm appears in V4E3.
  • Separate Scene Storytelling: We get this several times (always accompanied by a change in animation style), most notably Yang's story of looking for her mother when she was very young, the tale of the Four Maidens, and Qrow's account of the creation of Remnant and humanity.
  • Serenade Your Lover: Jaune tries this in V2 as a way to ask Weiss to the dance. It doesn't work.
  • Serial Escalation: The back half of Volume 3.
  • Serkis Folk: Motion capture of the voice performers is used for a lot of the animation; in volumes 1-3 pretty much anything that doesn't look odd or awkward is motion capture. (Except for combat and dancing, strangely enough.)
    • After the change in animation software between V3 and V4, it's much harder to tell what's motion capture and what's not, but it's still used quite a bit.
  • Shaky Cam/Shaky POV Cam: Both get used in V3 when introducing Qrow to demonstrate just how drunk he is.
  • She's All Grown Up: Appears to happen to Ruby during the Time Skip between the end of V3 and the start of V4. She becomes a bit taller, with a more developed figure.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: This is the excuse that Jacques Schnee uses publicly to explain disinheriting Weiss and locking her in a Gilded Cage in V4E7.
  • Shields Are Useless: Averted by Jaune, whose shield seems pretty awesome even if he doesn't quite realize it.
    • Also averted by Pyrrha, whose shield is rather handy itself. What with also being a chakram and all.
  • Shirtless Scene: Ren gets one in a V2 episode when Jaune ambushes him right out of the shower to ask for romantic advice.
  • Shrouded in Myth: The Four Maidens.
  • "Shut Up" Kiss: Pyrrha gives one to Jaune in V3E12.
  • Shy Finger-Twiddling: Ruby during the first time she meets Weiss.
  • Sigil Spam: Schnee snowflakes are everywhere the Schnees or their corporation go.
  • Signature Colors: Huntsmen and Huntresses appear to have signature colors. It's more pronounced in the main characters -- Ruby's red and black, Yang's brown and saffron, Weiss's white and pastel blue, Nora's pink and white -- but it appears to be present in the stylings of the older generation as well. Ruby and Yang's father, Taiyang Xiao Long, seems to have a similar color scheme to Yang's, for instance.
  • Single Phlebotinum Limit: Dust; it seems to be the only thing allowing humans to have a civilization at all in the face of the Grimm.
  • Slow-Motion Pass-By: When Blake and Sun Wukon first see each other in V1E15.
  • Smoke Shield: During Weiss's fight with the Lancers in V5, she detonates every bit of dust her airship was carrying in the face of the queen Lancer, only to have the giant Grimm insect appear, unharmed, through the resulting cloud of smoke.
  • Snot Bubble: Nora while sleeping in the Beacon library, V2E2.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Evil: Clearly in play: Volume 1 is mostly Mooks and low-level bosses. Volume 2 begins upping the ante with mid-level boss Cinder. Volume 3 ends by revealing Salem, the apparent Grimm Queen. Volume 4 begins by revealing that Salem has a whole organization infiltrating the human nations, not just Cinder and her minions.
  • Spent Shells Shower: The "Red" trailer ends this way. Also in the "Yellow" trailer when Yang reloads Ember Celica.
  • Spider Tank: Seen in the "Black" trailer as part of the defenses on the train.
    • Pietro Polendina's four-legged walking "wheechair" appears to be a variation on the design.
  • Spike Shooter: "Lancers", first seen in V5, are a variety of giant wasp-like Grimm who can fire their stingers like harpoons and then reel them in. The Queen Lancer also fires spikes in a more typical fashion.
  • Spit Take: Sun gives one in V1E16 after he dismisses the White Fang as a bunch of "freaks" and Blake promptly admits she was a member.
  • Split Screen: We get some interestingly idiosyncratic ones, along with an Eyedscreen or two, in V2E10.
    • V3E5 throws one in to the fight between Yang/Weiss and Flint/Neon.
  • Squee: Ruby's reaction to both Goodwitch and Ozpin in V1E1.
  • Stab the Scorpion: In one of last episodes of V3, Qrow apparently attacks Ironwood, who is trying to explain he is not responsible for the Atlesian forces turning on Vale and Beacon. Ironwood -- and the audience -- doesn't realize until the last moment that Qrow is actually attacking a Gryphon which is about to strike Ironwood down from behind.
  • Standard Female Grab Area: Averted in V5E13 when Mercury tries to grab Yang and comes away with a handful of detached bionic arm instead.
  • Stat Meters: Exist in-universe with the "aura bars" displayed on each fighter's scroll, and on the scoreboard of the Vytal Festival Tournament.
  • Stealth Hi Bye: Penny in her V1 appearances, most notably. Ruby's speed lets her do basically this if she wants. Other characters manage this when it's funny.
  • Stealth Pun: The crescents on Jaune's shield? They're arcs.
  • Steampunk: Appears to be the basic design influence behind Mistral and its technology.
  • Stepping Stone Sword: While fighting the Giant Armor in the "White" trailer, Weiss leaps onto and runs up the Armor's sword to attack it close up.
    • During their fight in V3E3, Winter Schnee briefly lands on Qrow's blade.
    • Similarly, Pyrrha uses one of Penny's swords as a stepping stone in V3E9.
  • The Stinger: The finale to each season has had a Stinger after the final credits.
  • Stock Scream: A White Fang member thrown off a train in V2E11 gives a Wilhelm Scream.
  • Stock Sound Effects: Construction sounds -- saws, jackhammers, drills, etc. -- in the few seconds it takes Team RWBY to turn their beds into (dubious) bunkbeds in V1E9.
    • That Poor Cat during Ruby and Yang's Big Ball of Violence in V1E2.
    • A bowling ball making a strike is layered into the crash made when Ren slides into the tables after slipping on ketchup during the food fight in V2E1.
  • Stop Copying Me: The fight between Weiss/Yang and Flint/Neon starts with Neon briefly mocking Yang by mimicking her.
  • Stuffed Into a Locker: Happens to Jaune twice: Cardin stuffs him in one of the flying lockers and launches it as part of his bullying in V1. And in an Ironic Echo Pyrrha does the same thing to him in V3E12 to keep him from following her when she goes to confront Cinder.
  • Super-Deformed: Ruby in her first moments on the Beacon campus in V1E2, as well as the images in her "thought bubble" as she races to find a partner in the Emerald Forest in V1E7.
  • Super Speed:
    • A small degree of this seems to be common to most if not all Huntsmen and Huntresses. For instance, Weiss is by no means a speedster, but in the "White" trailer her "ricochet" movement between glyphs is clearly faster than human running speed, and in V1E8 she covers a distance that appears to be about a quarter-mile in a couple seconds.
    • This is "officially" Ruby's Semblance, but in V7 Harriet of the Ace Ops (another speedster) tells her that whatever her Semblance is, it's not just Super Speed. (Especially as it seems to let her almost if not actually fly at times.)
    • Professor Doctor Oobleck definitely is a speedster.
  • Super Strength: Penny.
    • And as revealed in V2E4, Yang. Even better, the more she gets hit, the stronger she gets; Ruby seems to consider this her "real" gift, instead of the fire powers.
    • Ruby has to have a certain amount to be able to swing Crescent Rose around the way she does.
    • Ghira Belladonna is able to catch and support a large wooden balcony that falls more than a story when one of its support columns is shattered in V5E10.
  • Super Window Jump: Ruby performs one in the V4 teaser shown at RTX 2016.
  • Swiss Army Weapon: Most of the weapons we see in the series. The few exceptions include Jaune's sword (although his shield might count), Ren's pistols (which while combining blades and guns haven't yet shown ability to change shape), and Torchwick's cane-gun Melodic Cudgel.
  • Sword Sparks: Multiple examples when Dust-using weapons are involved.
  • Tabletop Game: In V2E2, the girls of Team RWBY play a Remnant-themed game that seems to be half Magic: The Gathering and half Risk.
  • Talking to the Dead: V3E1 starts with Ruby at her mother's grave site, updating her on the events of the first two volumes.
  • Tenement Clotheslines: Several clotheslines are seen strung overhead between the buildings on either side of the street down which Roman Torchwick and his thugs stroll in the first few minutes of the very first episode. Interestingly, we never see such clotheslines in Vale ever again.
  • That Was the Last Entry: "I'm tired", in the journals of the founder of Brunswick Farms in V6. It's a sign of a plan Gone Horribly Right.
  • Theme Naming: All over the place.
    • The most prominent theme within the show is Colourful Theme Naming -- almost every character has some kind of color reference in their name, for in-universe political reasons. A few examples:
      • The girls of Team RWBY: "Ruby Rose" is obvious; "Weiss Schnee"="Snow White" in German; "Blake" is an old English word for "black"; "Yang Xiao Long" is Chinese for "Little Dragon of the Sun", but includes characters which can mean "yellow" or "gold".
      • "Jaune" is French for "yellow".
      • Velvet Scarlatina.
      • Although it's never actually given on-screen (save in the credits for V1), the newscaster on the broadcast seen at the end of V1E1 is, according to Word of God, named Cyril Ian (i.e., "cerulean"). His co-anchor is billed as "Lisa Lavender".
      • In November 2013, Monty Oum tweeted the explicit naming rules for RWBY characters:

1. Characters in RWBY must be:

  • A color
  • Something that sounds like a color
  • Something that means a color
  • Something that makes you think of a color
Further, if a character is on a team, the first letter of their name must fit into a 4-letter acronym which itself must follow the same rules.
Also, it's strongly implied in V1 and all but stated outright in V4E1 that the first letter of the team name is the initial of the team leader: CFVY/Coco, RWBY/Ruby, CRDL/Cardin, JNPR/Jaune -- and in V4E1, one of Ren's arguments for "RNJR" over "JNRR" is that since they're helping Ruby she's the team leader, not Jaune.
  • Another theme seems to be in play with the names of the various schools that we know of: Signal, Beacon, Sanctum, Haven -- all terms for places of safety or guides to the same.
  • The members of Team JNPR are all named for historical or mythological figures who crossdressed at one point or another. For instance, Achilles tried to duck out on the Trojan war by disguising himself as a woman named "Pyrrha".
  • Across teams, we have the historical theme naming between Jaune Arc and Cardin Winchester. (Henry Beaufort, the Cardinal of Winchester, interrogated and presided over the trial of Joan of Arc.)
  • Theme Song Reveal: The Volume One theme, "This Will Be The Day", was warning about the events of Volume 3 and beyond from the start:

Beware that the Light is fading;
Beware as the Dark returns.
This world's unforgiving --
Even brilliant lights will cease to burn.
Legends scatter --
Day and night will sever,
Hope and peace are lost forever.

    • The Volume Two theme, "Time To Say Goodbye", is clearly hinting at something -- especially in the bridge which isn't played as part of the opening credits:

Are we born to fight and die?
Sacrificed for one huge lie?
Are we heroes keeping peace?
Are we weapons pointed at the enemy
So someone else can claim a victory?

    • And the Volume Three theme, "When It Falls", makes no bones about what's going to happen by the end of that volume.
    • The songs from the four Trailers also are clearly implying things; all of them have turned out to reference events in the girls' lives prior to the start of the series, and save for the "Red" trailer (as of the start of V4 at least), these events have had surprising relevance to the plot as it's unfolded.
  • Theme Tune Cameo: In the first scene of V1E1, Ruby's listening to "This Will Be The Day" on her player, before it's been used as the theme tune for the first time.
  • There Is a God: According to Qrow, Ozpin insists that two of Remnant's many gods are in fact real: a god of light and creation, and a god of darkness and destruction, who were brothers and who fought over the state of Remnant.
  • They Walk Among Us: The Faunus.
  • Thick Line Animation: It's not consistent across all the artwork, but in general the show has this kind of look. It's especially noticeable with things like the Deathstalker in V1E8, and character faces.
    • With the change in animation software in V4, it's less pronounced, but still there.
  • Thigh-High Boots: Weiss in V2E3.
    • Cinder in V2E7.
    • Blake in V4.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Torchwick's reaction to Ruby's capture in V2E10:

Perry: Boss, we found something!
Torchwick: Is it good or bad, Perry? Because let me tell you, I have had a day.
Perry: Uh... it's a little girl?
[Torchwick looks]
Torchwick: That would be bad.

  • This Is Something He's Got to Do Himself: Pyrrha to Ruby and Weiss as Jaune faces the ursa in V1E14.
  • Three-Point Landing: Several times throughout the series, most notably Pyrrha after they defeat the deathstalker in V1E8.
    • Also multiple instances in the space of seconds in the opening credits for V2.
  • Throat Light: The Grimm, starting after the change in animation engines in V4.
  • Throw It In: The animators at Rooster Teeth are encouraged to come up with bits of "business" to add to scenes. For instance, the sequence where Torchwick silently mocks Emerald and Mercury as Cinder reprimands them in V2E1, ending with a mimed throat-cutting, was the invention of the animator who worked on that scene. Another created an entire sequence with detailed set for use late in V3 with spare bits of render time here and there during the preceding year.
    • The Crow Bar in V3E2 gained its name from an off-the-cuff name for its model file.
    • The entire Four Maidens subplot was created during Volume 2 by Monty Oum, and added to the pre-existing master plot.
  • Thwarted Coup De Grace: Neo is about to administer a Coup De Grace to Yang in V2E11 when she is interrupted -- not by Yang's death, but by the arrival of Yang's mother Raven Branwen through a portal.
  • Time Skip: V4 opens some six to eight months after the end of V3.
  • Timmy in a Well: In V2E10, Zwei rushes back to the team's camp to alert them that Ruby's fallen through a crumbling road and into a cavern beneath.
  • Toilet Humour: Ruby's scribbled drawing of Professor Port calling him "Professor Poop" (made in V1E9).
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Definitely in play between Ruby (tomboy) and Weiss (girly girl). Appears also to be part of the dynamic between Yang and Blake in V1-3, but they seemed to swap off on who's who as needed.
    • In V4, Ruby seems to be the Girly Girl to Nora's Tomboy. It's all relative.
  • Too Soon?: Asked by Sun Wukon of Blake in V1E12 after making a snarky comment about her former membership in the White Fang.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Jaune, in V1E14.
    • Ruby, during the Time Skip between V3 and V4.
  • Tournament Arc: Volume 3 appeared to be one, what with the Vytal Festival Tournament being in full swing as the first episode of the volume begins, but it turns out just to be the backdrop to the first major successes by Cinder and her forces.
  • Trailers: Starting November 5, 2012, Rooster Teeth released four trailers, spaced eight to ten weeks apart, which each featured one of the four main characters. Combining beautiful animation, non-stop action, Foreshadowing and awesome music, they were responsible for a remarkable level of anticipation and speculation before the series' premiere in July 2013.
    • A single trailer was produced for Volume 2, using material from the first six or so episodes. Likewise V3 had a single trailer assembled from its first few episodes.
    • V4 got a combat sequence between Ruby and a village full of Grimm as a trailer, along with a snippet of the first episode released very shortly before the premiere.
  • Train Job: The "Black" trailer is about one, which becomes a plot point late in Volume 1.
  • Traintop Battle: Team RWBY and Dr. Oobleck fight one with Torchwick's White Fang forces in V2E11.
  • Traveling At the Speed of Plot:
    • Ruby seems to forget she has Super Speed whenever she needs to be in peril, at least in the first volume or two.
    • If Remnant is as large as it seems to be, and Mountain Glenn is as far from Vale as the V4 World of Remnant shorts indicate, then the underground train on which Team RWBY and Dr. Oobleck were riding at the end of V2 could not possibly be moving as slowly as it did and still reach Vale in just ten or fifteen minutes. It would have to moving so fast that the slipstream would have blown them all off of it.
  • Tropes for Dummies: In V1E3, Weiss, thoroughly pissed off at Ruby, shoves a "Dust for Dummies" pamphlet in her face.
  • Tuckerization/Ink Suit Actor: Several minor characters in Volume 3 -- among them all of Team NDGO and the bartender at the Crow Bar -- are representations of real people, supporters of the RT film Laserteam on IndieGoGo.
  • Tunnel Network: Under Mountain Glenn.
  • Two Lines, No Waiting: Volume 5 has two narrative threads running out of synch with each other. If the estimates of how long they take to play out found in 'Extremely Short Duration above are correct, virtually all of the Menagerie thread actually takes place before the Haven thread actually starts!
  • Two-Teacher School: As of the end of Volume 2, the only instructors we have seen actually teaching at Beacon have been Professor Port and Doctor Oobleck, despite the obvious size of the school. Glynda Goodwitch, although referred to explicitly as "Professor" once, appears to be more of an administrator even though she leads a field trip to Forever Fall in Volume 1, and acts as referee for some kind of sparring or combat training late in Volume 2. There is mention of a Professor Peach, but she is never seen.
    • After the events of Volume 3, Beacon becomes a no-teacher school.


  • Umbrella Drink: Yang explicitly asks for "one of those little umbrellas" when she orders a Strawberry Sunrise at Junior's club in the "Yellow" trailer.
  • Uncanny Valley: Averted. Despite being made with Poser, whose photo-realistic figures live in the Uncanny Valley, RWBY's animation has its detail level dialed back and its abstraction level dialed up to give it a resemblance to traditional animation, and handily escapes the creepiness factor.
    • And starting in V4, with the change in animation engine, what little bit was inevitably imposed by Poser is now gone.
  • Unconventional Smoothie: The thick green "health drink" Ren makes for Nora in V3E8.
  • Undead Tax Exemption: Cinder, Emerald and Mercury's covers as Haven students in V2-3, abandoned at the end of V3 and confirmed as forgeries in early V5.
    • To a far lesser degree, Jaune's forged transcripts.
  • Unnecessarily Large Interior: The White Fang's "throne room".
    • The Beacon dining hall in V2E1 seemed to have had a lot more overhead space than it really needed.
  • Unsound Effect: In the subtitles on the YouTube versions. The season 4 trailer included such effects as *EYES*, *ROCK*, and *WOOSHY WOOSHY ROSES*.
  • Vestigial Empire: We are told explicitly by the unknown narrator that all four modern civilizations are this. Which is why the world is called "Remnant".
  • Victory Dance: Sun and Neptune perform one after they defeat team NDGO in V3.
  • Voices Are Mental: Deliberately averted with Ozpin and Oscar in V5. According to the writers' V5 commentary track, the production team felt that having Shannon McCormick's Ozpin voice coming out of Oscar's mouth would have been ridiculous. Instead, they lucked out in that Aaron Dismuke, Oscar's voice actor, could perfectly mimic Ozpin's cadence and delivery in Oscar's voice. Even so, the aversion wasn't total -- several times both performers' voices were carefully blended together for special moments.
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: Jaune, off-screen at the end of V1E1, and onscreen into a trash can at the start of V1E2.
    • Nora gets one in V3E8 after Ren feeds her a green "health drink" that seems to be made from algae.
  • Waking Non Sequitur:
    • Nora blurting "Pancake!" upon being awakened, V2E2.
    • Jaune blurting "Waffles!" upon being awakened by Ruby's phone call in V2E12.
  • Walk and Talk: The scene in V3 where Pyrrha is brought down to the vault under Beacon and has matters explained to her as they walk down the long, torchlit gallery.
  • Was Once a Man:
    • Salem, thanks to the combination of divinely-imposed immortality and whatever the Dark God's Grimm pools did to her, is much closer to a Humanoid Abomination than she is to a human being now.
    • Salem's Hound from Volume 8 turned out to have been "built" around a man possessing the same mystical silver eyes as Ruby. After its defeat, Ruby and Yang speculate that Salem probably turned their mother Summer Rose into such a creature and that it's why she wants Ruby captured alive.
  • Wave Motion Gun: Penny's big beam attack. To a lesser degree, Coco's man-portable minigun.
  • Web Animation
  • Weird Moon: A moon in pieces certainly counts. It also always appears to be some variety of full, regardless of whether we're seeing the intact or shattered side. We never seem to see it as a crescent or gibbous.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: The modern incarnation of the White Fang is full of these, but there are hints that they are being manipulated for some sinister purpose.
  • Western Terrorists: The version of the White Fang seen in V1-5 is somewhere between Type VII and Type VIII. They started out as a non-violent Civil Rights Movement for Faunus, but there was a change in leadership about five years before the start of the series, and their methods turned violent. There are hints that they are being manipulated by someone else for more sinister purposes.
  • What Does This Button Do?: Torchwick uses these exact words on the Atlesian battleship in V3E10.
  • What Happened to the Rapier Wasps?: Someone should have gotten stung in V1E14, but they basically vanished.
  • Wham! Episode:
    • Volume 3, Episode 6, "Fall".
    • Volume 3, Episode 9, "PvP".
    • Volume 3, Episode 12, "The End of the Beginning"
    • Volume 5, Episode 2, "Dread in the Air"
    • Volume 5, Episode 13, "Downfall"
    • Volume 6, Episode 2, "Uncovered"
    • Volume 6, Episode 3, "The Lost Fable"
  • Wham! Line:
    • Volume 5, Episode 12: "You won't find it, because Vernal isn't the Spring Maiden. I am."
    • Volume 6, Episode 2: "...a lonely girl, named Salem."
    • Volume 6, Episode 4: "I ... don't have one."
  • When the Clock Strikes Twelve: In a Mythology Gag for Cinder, she's informed in V2E6 that she has to get back to the ball by midnight.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: According to a story told by Port and Taiyang in V4E4, Qrow (as a student) was tricked into wearing a skirt in public.
  • A Wild Rapper Appears: Lamar Hall, in the full version of "I Burn" from the "Yellow" trailer/Volume 1, "Caffeine" from Volume 2, "Round One" from Volume 3, and "Big Metal Shoe" from Volume 6.
  • Wild Take: Ruby's reaction to seeing Jaune's "Pumpkin Pete" hoodie in V4E1 includes gales of raucous laughter, an exaggeratedly enlarged head filling much of the screen, and finally falling over onto the floor, giggling, with her feet in the air.
  • Will They or Won't They? At the end of V4 it looks like Ren and Nora are finally really together.
  • Word of Dante: The Manga version of RWBY published in Japan. According to Grey Haddock, "it's not not canon". Rooster Teeth is making sure nothing in it contradicts the series.
  • World of Action Girls: Most of the females with a name are very capable fighters.
  • World of Badass: Almost every named character is a Badass in some way.
  • Wrathful Wasps: Lancers, first seen in V5, are bear-sized wasp Grimm, whose stingers are Grappling Guns.
  • Wutai: The Asian-flavored towns and villages that Team RNJR encounters on the continent of Anima in V4. Oddly, their inhabitants aren't ethnically Asian, but everything else about the places is.
  • X-Ray Sparks: In V5E13, Nora's skeleton is briefly visible through her flesh when the enraged Hazel is unknowingly charging her up with his electrical attack.
  • Yin-Yang Bomb: Some of Team RWBY's combo attacks can be seen as examples of this trope, especially those which actively combine different elements for a blended effect.
    • The corkscrewing combo attack that Corsac and Fennec Albain launch at Ghira Belladona in V5E9 is another.
  • You Can't Thwart Stage One: All of Volume 3, basically, but especially the back half.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: The only character in Volume 1 with an obviously "unnatural" hair color is Professor Oobleck, who has green hair.
    • Lie Ren has a magenta stripe through the hair on the left side of his face. Flashbacks to his childhood show that it was in his hair then, too, so either it's a style choice he's maintained through his teens, or it's natural.
    • Several characters who make their first appearances in Volume 2 have "unnatural" hair colors, including Neapolitan, Emerald Sustrai and Neptune Vasilios. More show up in V3.
  • You Have Failed Me...: Less terminal that the usual example, but Salem lets Tyrion know that he has disappointed her when he returns to her without Ruby in V4E11. He might as well have been told he was about to be executed, given his initial reaction.
    • Professor Lionheart's failure has far more fatal consequences in V5E14.
  • You Monster!: When an ursa presses Yang's Berserk Button by slicing a single strand of her hair from her head in V1E7, she screams "You monster!" at it before literally exploding into flame and then pummeling it to death.
  • Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters: What the current version of White Fang thinks of itself, of course.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: Blake's stockings in her battle garb and Yang's stockings in her school uniform, during V1-3. Both are Rank A.
    • Weiss's "casual wear" revealed in V2E3 has her rocking Rank A stockings and Thigh-High Boots.
  1. The Grimm are solid, so "sublimate" might be a better word.