Ranma ½

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"Is that incredibly hot redhead the cool-looking pigtailed kung-fu guy's twin sister? Man, how am I supposed to date her?!" [1] On your marks! Get set... GO!

Ranma ½ is a long-running martial arts/comedy manga and anime series by Rumiko Takahashi. It has a lot of Urban Fantasy aspects and a generally light-hearted atmosphere.

It tells the story of Ranma Saotome, a teenage martial arts prodigy. Upon returning from a training journey with his father Genma, he finds himself engaged to marry Akane Tendo, another teenage martial artist prodigy and the daughter of Genma's best friend.

There's a small problem, though: during their training journey, both Saotome men had an accident at a magical training ground in China called Jusenkyo, and now bear shapechanging curses. Whenever Genma and Ranma are splashed with cold water, they transform; Genma turns into a giant panda, and Ranma turns into a busty girl. Getting splashed with hot water restores them to their normal selves. Further complications arise in the form of other engagements arranged by Ranma's amoral father, boys pursuing the girls so engaged, and various other persons wanting to either kill or marry Ranma (in either—or both! -- of his forms). Several of these folks also bear Jusenkyo shapeshifting curses. Almost all of these people are world-class martial artists, which results in considerable property damage whenever a fight breaks out. Hilarity Ensues.

This is the series which brought the "Harem" trope to its ridiculous extreme—there's a reason that the Love Dodecahedron trope exists, and this series is that reason. The core cast numbered more than a dozen persons caught up in a complex web of love, hate, duty, honor, and rivalry—and all of it was played for laughs. More characters joined the madness every year, making for one of the larger ensemble casts in anime and manga. Drawn by popular Mangaka Rumiko Takahashi, the manga ran in the Shounen Sunday magazine from 1987 to 1996 and was later collected into thirty-eight tankoban and shinsoban volumes (which were condensed to fit into thirty-six volumes for the American version).

The anime adaptation lasted seven seasons; it was supplemented by eleven OVAs, one theatrical short (released as the twelfth OVA outside Japan), and two motion pictures. Production ended when Kitty Studios folded in 1996. A belated thirteenth OVA was released in 2008 (along with special episodes of Inuyasha and Urusei Yatsura) as part of the Rumic World art exhibition that commemorated the 50th anniversary of Takahashi's publisher, Shogakukan.

While the anime is considered a "classic", it suffers from several problems. It rapidly Overtook the Manga and was was canceled before it could complete the full storyline, ending three years before the manga itself concluded. The dearth of new material caused the show to become somewhat repetitious as the production team resorted to cookie-cutter Filler episodes that were unrelated to the original manga plot. (Of the final season's twenty-five episodes, only ten were based on the manga). This reflected a change in the manga itself, which had also abandoned an overarching plot in favor of smaller arcs and episodic comedy. The artistic quality of the show began to suffer noticeably early in its run—there is a visible decline in quality of animation, music, and writing starting in the second season—but around the fourth or fifth season, this tendency had begun to reverse itself; the final seasons showed considerable improvement in the animation department and the OVAs and movies are of superb quality.

Even with these problems the Ranma ½ anime was quite popular in its day—a popularity that surprisingly carried over to North America. It was one of the first major crossover hits that helped usher in the explosion of anime importation in the early-to-mid-1990s. The dub by Viz Video is thought by some to be one of the first decent efforts in the history of English anime adaptation. Cultural translation, bowdlerization, and localization were all minimized, in marked contrast to its near-contemporary Sailor Moon (most likely because it was released direct-to-video rather than syndicated broadcast). It was even briefly optioned for a live action Hollywood film in the late 1990s, although nothing ever came of it. It was also fortunate to arrive in the the English language market at about the same time that the internet emerged from academia into public life and rapidly acquired one of the first online fan communities (the Fan Fiction Mailing List or FFML was for many years predominantly Ranma, despite the name) and perhaps the very first scanlation effort in the Ranma Scan project.

Despite its age Ranma ½ still has a remarkably large and vigorous North American fan community and is still responsible for a significant fraction of the anime fanfiction on the web, including a wide variety of crossovers. Ranma ½ is probably one of the most crossed-over series on the internet—on fanfiction.net alone, it has over 1,100 crossovers listed (with hundreds, if not thousands, listed elsewhere, not even counting unlisted crossovers, either there or elsewhere). To put that into perspective: while that's one-eighth the number of crossovers that Naruto has listed, Naruto also has over twenty-four times as many stories listed as Ranma does total. One sub-type of these crossovers—the Fuku Fic—is common enough that it has its own trope entry. The series' length and fanbase has predictably resulted in copious amounts of Fanon. It was even the main inspiration for the comic series Ninja High School, among many others.

On December 9, 2011, a two-hour live-action TV movie version aired on the Japanese network NTV. Based on an original story by Yoshihiro Izumi, it starred Kenta Kaku and Natsuna Watanabe as male and female Ranma, respectively, and Yui Aragaki as Akane, along with an impressive supporting cast. The official NTV site for this live-action special is here. Unfortunately, it was disappointing and subpar in the view of most fans, Japanese and American both.


Ranma ½ is the Trope Namer for:


Tropes used in Ranma ½ include:
  • Abduction Is Love: Once to female Ranma in the manga, once to Akane in the first movie, and every female but Cologne in the second movie.
    • Given all the "female counterpart" rescues in that story (inverted when Kuno is too incompetent, and Nabiki rescues him instead), it would have been particularly funny to have seen one for Happosai and Cologne.
    • Female Ranma was also kidnapped for this purpose, and very nearly bewitched with a Love Potion in the Toraware no Hanayome PC Engine video game. Akane had to rescue her from being married to a bear prince.
  • Aborted Arc (manga only): Ranma's attempts to conceal his curse are quietly dropped in the middle of the "Full-body Cat's Tongue" arc and the story goes from no one at school knowing about his curse to everyone (except the Kunos, of course) knowing about it with hardly a comment from anybody, initiating the manga's shift from a Romantic Comedy to a status quo is darn near god Situation Comedy.
  • The Abridged Series: Ranma ½: The Abridged Chronicles
  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: Kuno. With a wooden sword, no less. Konatsu, Ryoga, and even Kodachi, are still more extreme. The former uses a sword made of paper, and the two others regular pieces of cloth.
    • An intentionally absurd justification is made for Kuno's wooden sword by showing that he's so fast with it that when he swings, it he can smash rocks from the air pressure alone.
    • Lampshaded in the Martial arts rhythmic gymnastic competition when Kodachi attacks with a steel bar: "she uses that rope like it's a steel bar...oh wait it is a steel bar"
  • Abusive Parents: Staggeringly none of the parental figures in either the manga or the anime are ever considered abusive within the setting despite their actions. The sole exceptions are: Genma, whom the Tendos call out for Jusenkyo and the Cat-Fist, and is called a monster by his best friend for knocking his own wife unconscious to preserve his and Ranma's secret; and Principal Kuno, who everyone calls out for being a lousy parent who tortured and eventually abandoned his children for his personal amusement whenever the issue of his parenthood comes up.
    • In the case of Nodoka, she allowed Genma to take Ranma away for training on the basis that he would turn their son into "a man among men," a statement too vague and subjective to truly be a valid measure of character, and even let him sign a Seppuku oath to that end—which was the only reason she let him take Ranma away in the first place. Her absolute devotion to this duty, both before and after finding out about the curse, constantly keeps Ranma on edge (especially since she was willing to go through with it once) and would be considered an even greater sort of emotional abuse even if Ranma himself weren't desperately willing to make her proud of him (and his manliness.) This dynamic is typically Played for Laughs, with no one batting an eye at it in-story, until the Values Dissonance sets in for the audience.
  • Accidental Engagement: Ranma and Shampoo; Kodachi's behavior is similar.
  • Adaptation Dye Job: Girl-Ranma, from black in the manga (and varicolored in random non-canon illustrations) to cherry-red in the anime. Likewise Shampoo, from black to lavender/purple. Often overlooked is Akane, who also had black hair in the manga but started getting illustrated consistently with brown hair in late Takahashi illustrations (around the same time Ranma's red hair leaked back into Takahashi's style) but was portrayed with midnight-blue in the anime.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The 13th OVA episode - which was done years after the originals as part of Shonen Sunday's 50th anniversary - added more content than was in the original manga story it was based on. Most likely done to allow more of the old cast to play part as a service to the fans who hadn't seen them in years.
  • Affably Evil or Faux Affably Evil: Nabiki, Pantyhose Taro, Pink, Shampoo.
  • All Amazons Want Hercules: Shampoo towards Ranma.
  • All Cheering, All the Time: Mariko, though we only ever see her when she's actively being a Combat Cheerleader so she might not talk that way in civvies. Then again, this is Ranma ½.
  • And Call Him Charlotte: Azusa Shiratori.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: There exists Played for Laughs and at least one Played for Drama versions.
  • Anachronism Stew: Nabiki often carries an abacus (played for laughs), even though this is seemingly modern day Japan (well modern being set in the same decade as the show was produced), and hand-held calculators should have been readily available.
    • They were and are, but abaci were still in common use at the time.
  • Animation Bump: The OVAs to the show, especially the most recent, which beats out even the movies for slick animation.
  • Anime Theme Song
  • Angst Nuke: The Shi-Shi Hokodan.
  • Anti-Hero: Soun, Konatsu, and if you feel charitable Kuno, are type I; Hinako is a type II; Ranma, Akane, and Ryoga are type II-III; Kumon Ryu is a type IV. Pantyhose Taro may be a type V. Nobody else has demonstrated any heroic aspirations.
  • Armor-Piercing Slap: Akane is capable of landing a slap to the cheek on anyone, regardless of how badly they may outclass her in terms of fighting skills. The catch is that they must first insult her fighting skills or general appearance. This effect is such an important part of her character that it was used in both the manga and the series to break her out of an amnesiac effect.
  • Arranged Marriage: The driving force of the series. Three times in the original manga (the Tendo promise, Ukyo, and Picolet Chardin,) plus an extra two time in the anime, once to serve as the justification for a Villain of the Week's Martial Arts and Crafts challenge and the second time as a gag at the end of the episode.
  • Art Major Biology: Akane somehow survives all of the water in her body being instantly evaporated by the Kinjakan. Of course, like almost everything else in the series, A Magical Device Did It.
  • Ash Face: A frequent result of Happosai's fire bombs.
  • Astonishingly Appropriate Appearance: Pick any of the visiting Martial Arts and Crafts people who come by.
    • The French Cuisine arc in the manga had the governess dressed in 20th century French gown, with her hair tied up to resemble a roast chicken. The gambling king looks exactly like the King playing card, right down to the swirly beard and crown.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: The Orochi, Pantyhose Taro's monster form, and Happosai, Soun and Genma's Battle Aura manifestations. Not to mention the Dojo Destroyer, in the manga.
  • Attention Deficit Ooh Shiny: Hinako Ninomiya in child form.
  • Attractive Bent Gender: Ranma. All the guys at school cheer whenever Ranma suffers a Mode Lock as they seem to like ogling Ranma more than most of the real girls. Nyanniichuan victims in general seem to fall under this category, perhaps because it ups the embarrassment factor of the curse; see the Musk Dynasty, especially their prince, Herb.
    • Ranma's popularity as an ogling target might stem less from the fact s/he is attractive (though it's undeniable that s/he is) and more from the facts that Ranma has a tendency to suffer Clothing Damage due to his opponents often wielding blades or bombs, doesn't wear bras (for obvious reasons) and, most importantly, lacks "feminine modesty" and so is far less likely to get pissy/violent at them then any of the normal girls.
  • Author Tract: Almost completely bereft of them, as Takahashi is a very creative and diverse, almost purely entertainment-driven artist, but the self-stated ongoing message of her works is "be kind to others", and she has also stated that she "finds perfect characters boring," which fits with the goofy cast and overall tolerant tone.
  • Aw, Look -- They Really Do Love Each Other: Ranma and Akane. There is one moment of this in the second movie between Shampoo and Mousse.
  • Badass Family: The Saotomes, most obviously, with Ranma and Genma both being martial arts masters. Shampoo and Cologne, the latter being the former's great-grandmother also count. The Tendos could theoretically count, but only two of the four members are fighters, and rather weak ones compared to the other cast members (though not to anyone else).
  • Badass Longcoat: Shinnosuke. A janitor's coat, yes, but Shinnosuke makes it very badass; Arguably Mousse (for all of three panels)... he's pretty much a subversion from then on; right clothes, right skill level, wrong antics.
    • Given that Shinnosuke is constantly stumbling into his own traps because he forgets where he put them, wouldn't he also count as a subversion like Mousse? Or would that be more an amusing character quirk?
      • The guy fights a gigantic dragon of Japanese legend with a push-broom. He's allowed to fall into a couple of traps.
  • Barehanded Blade Block: Or, if their hands are full, barefooted blade block.
  • The Barnum: Nabiki to an extreme degree.
  • Bash Brothers: Mikado Sanzen'in and Azusa Shiratori, the Golden Pair of Martial Arts Ice Skating.
  • Battle Aura: Pretty much every martial artist in the series. Happosai can actually shape his into a giant copy of himself, effectively becoming kaiju-sized. One episode of the anime has Happosai split into seven clones (long story) and all of them do this at once.
    • In one arc, Happosai and Genma keep one-upping each other...until they both faint from exhaustion.
    • Moreso in the anime, but Genma and Soun can both become kaiju-sized, although Genma is always in his Panda form when he does this, and Soun is always dressed as a Samurai. This is regardless of whether or not Genma was human at the time... and Soun just seems to keep his armor, spear and bow in Hammerspace in case he needs to make a quick costume change.
  • Battle Harem: Ranma's Unwanted Harem is full of Hot Amazons and Action Girls. Not surprising, since he lives in a world where everybody gets their own style of martial arts.
  • Beach Episode
  • Beam of Enlightenment
  • Beautiful All Along: Inverted—Mousse is first introduced as what appears to be a stoic Bishonen... and then he puts on those incredibly stupid-looking Nerd Glasses and proceeds to make an idiot of himself.
    • Arguably moreso without the glasses.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: Konatsu, raised by a psychologically abusive family, latches onto Ukyo because she treats him better than they did. Not by much, still better.
    • This is the entire reason that Maomolin tries to "help" Ryoga win Akane's heart in the anime-only story "Ryoga's Proposal".
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Ranma & Akane—the Trope Codifiers for anime.
  • Best Her to Bed Her: Shampoo, and indeed, all of the Chinese Amazons.
  • Big Bad: There isn't one, but Happosai, Pantyhose Taro, Ryu Kumon, Herb and Saffron have fit the role in long single storyarcs.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Quite a few times, but the best was when Ranma (who had all his strength taken away) was about to get ambushed by four of his old foes... Defenseless and pinned against a tree, Ranma closes his eyes and waits for it... But nothing happens. Looking up, he sees Ryoga, who had stepped in the way and defeated all four of the foes.
  • Big Eater: Ranma and Genma, the latter more than the former.
    • Both are put to shame by the whole Chardin family, and later by Kurumi "Tendo" in the OAV.
    • Nabiki Tendo has some traits of this, especially when she's being fed out of other peoples' wallets.
  • Big Fancy House: The Tendo home, which contains separate bedrooms for all three of the daughters, Soun himself, and two guest bedrooms—one downstairs used by Happosai, and another upstairs which Genma and Ranma share. It also includes a full traditional Japanese bathing area, an equally traditional dining/living room, a modern kitchen with a big worktable in the center of the floor, a garden with large pond, and a dojo large enough to comfortably seat virtually every character ever seen on the show as of the series' first Christmas episode. The Kuno Estate is a massive place that almost resembles a medieval Japanese fortress—particularly in the anime, where it has a literal labyrinth of secret passages, dungeons, and deathtraps.
    • One might assume that the Tendo Dojo would have some provisions for accommodating students. It is a dojo after all.
      • It's also implied that the house is rather old, they mention the wood rotting in the anime.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Nabiki. Oneshot character Satori the psychic kid even more so.
  • Blessed with Suck: Most of the main characters with Jusenkyo curses, or other oddities, such as Ryoga's causality-bending complete lack of direction-sense. Ranma feels this way about his curse (though he does seem to get some enjoyment/use out of it), but it's fairly neutral in and of itself... compared to, say, turning into a defenseless little animal considered tasty-looking and edible by just about everyone, ala Ryoga Hibiki. Mostly, it's Blessed with Suck because of the Seppuku pledge his father and mother made, the fact he's physically weaker in that form, it results in various complications that wouldn't have happened if he didn't have it (first meeting with Akane, Shampoo trying to kill him, nightmares about having Tatewaki Kuno's children, etc.), and the fact it makes him the target of just about every pervert and degenerate to crawl out of the woodwork... including Dirty Old Man Happosai and his fiancée's unscrupulous and money-crazed elder sister.
  • Blind Without'Em: Mousse
  • Blow You Away: Ranma's most frequent Finishing Move is the Hi Ryū Shoten Ha, which creates a tornado. He's also fond of modifying it on the spot to beat the more serious enemies.
  • Blue with Shock
  • Boobs of Steel: Played straight with Shampoo and Female-Ranma, who have generous busts and are highly skilled martial artists, as well as Miss Hinako who is one of the most powerful characters in the series since she drains power from her opponents.
    • Atsuko Nakajima's OAV and movie character designs obviate the trope by making all of the girls extremely well-endowed, even the more modest ones.
  • Bow Ties Are Cool: Ranma's pastel orange shirt and little red bowtie combo.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Happens to Male Ranma when his female half is duplicated (though not split from him) and it seduces him in one anime episode.
  • Brought Down to Normal: When Happosai used moxibustion to rob Ranma of his prodigious strength, to the point where a toddler could beat him up.
  • Bully Hunter: Ranma does this occasionally, for example when she stopped Kodachi from beating up the Fūrinkan gymnastic team further or the time he stopped a group of masked kids that were bullying Gosunkugi.
  • Butt Monkey: Most of the regular characters of the show at one point or another get beaten for comic relief, the males more regularly than the females. Most frequently Ranma, as he is the main protagonist.
  • Call Back: To Akane and [male] Ranma's first encounter, twice: Shinnosuke running into Akane in the bath (confirming his identity to her) and Kiima posing as Akane walking in on Ranma in the exact same pose and angles as in the introductory chapter.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Almost entirely spoofed in the manga: nearly every attack, no matter how minor or improvised, has some sort of name. The Saotome school even has a named 'attack' that consists of running away until you can think of something else. But it's also played straight, particularly with Ranma and Ryoga's most devastating attacks.
    • Not to mention The Crouch of the Wild Tiger—a "maneuver" that has the martial artist dropping on all fours and begging for mercy from the "target".
      • Even better is the Howl of the Demon Dog, where the user slides backwards and shouts that he doesn't care that he's been beaten. Ranma quickly renamed it the Whine of the Beaten Dog.
    • Konatsu is the most extreme spoof of this. Almost everything he does, no matter how useless or unrelated to combat, is shouted out with a silly title, including coming up with multiple names for doing the same thing...
    • Don't forget the Carp on the Cutting Board...preluding the Cradle of Death.
    • Attack of a thousand clubs!!...it looks like she's using 10 or 20 clubs...oh wait she IS using 10 or 20 clubs.
    • Then there's both the Yamasenken and Umisenken, which have some seven attacks each, with Ranma and Ryu calling each attack when they're used.
  • Canon Foreigner: Sasuke Sarugakure, the Kunos' Ninja servant, in the anime.
  • Can't Catch Up: Akane and the Kuno siblings to Ranma.
  • Can't You Read the Sign?: Has oodles of fun with this trope. Characters sit on water mains with signs that read, "Danger: Do not Sit", laugh in areas where signs read, "Do not laugh loudly in the garden", and run on fences that read "Danger: Unstable". Rumiko Takahashi has quite a bit of fun with this gag.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Happosai. However, just because he is the only character who is actually proud to be "evil", he really isn't nearly as bad as some of the others, and he always tries to be nice to little children.
    • He molests women, invades the privacy of women who are changing clothes or taking baths, steals underwear and food, racks up extortionate bills and sticks them on the Tendo dojo, bullies and beats and harasses his students... how does that make him better than anyone else in the cast?
      • In answer to your question, I have two words: Genma Saotome.
    • But Happosai can't be beat. Even when he believes he's doing good, it's still used in his selfish pleasures down the road. Proof: as much as he says he taught the Happo Failure to Hinako when she was a kid so her health could improve (which it did, truth be told), in the end, he used it just so he could freely steal the nurses' panties as she drained their vital energies.
  • Catch Phrase: Many, but most notably Kasumi: "Oh My", Akane: "Honestly" and "Ranma no baka!" (roughly "dummy", or "Ranma you jerk" in the dub; she even has a "Baka Song"), Ranma's catchword "kawaiikune" ("uncute"), Happosai: "What a haul!" and "Sweeto!", Shampoo: "Nihao, Airen!" and, to a lesser extent, "Aiyaaa!" and of course Ryoga's "Ranma, Prepare to Die!" He never follows through on it when he wins. Akane in particular typically uses both of her catchphrases at least Once an Episode.
  • Cerebus Fandom: Despite being one of the "classic" comedy series, the fanbase is littered with angst and drama fics as all get out.
    • That's partially because the characters are so screwed up, partially because it's much harder to write intelligent comedy, and partially because the manga recurrently mixed very serious, with goofy, or even very dark gag comedy. It's a diverse mixture, and comes out particularly odd when a fanfic writer makes a serious effort to translate all of the aspects into another medium. Also, fanfic authors as a whole are not very happy people. It frequently goes so far that it has nothing to do with the original though. Ranma the nihilistic lolicon-fetishist cyberpunk pimp doesn't really work very well... and no that's not remotely an exaggeration.
    • As far as the actual series goes, if anything, it inverts it ("serious" arcs like Herb, Ryu Kumon, and Saffron notwithstanding). Whereas the earlier arcs with Shampoo and Mousse at least tried to create transition from one situation to the next, by the time Hinako showed up, Status Quo become God, and arcs like the Battle Dougi and Haunted Mirror typically ended with a single panel "conclusion" doing nothing but implying a Reset Button.
  • Changing Clothes Is a Free Action: Often as part of a sight gag, such as Ranma getting into or out of a costume to fool Ryoga in the space of a single panel, or Nodoka (who is in a full dress kimono) seeing Ranma for the first time (but wearing girl's clothes,) hugging him, and suddenly standing in proper Seppuku attire.
  • Characterization Marches On: Rumiko Takahashi herself stated in an interview that she originally intended Ranma to be "a clean-cut, nice boy with frank disposition", but that he kept surprising her and "turned out to be an indecisive, stubborn, sly guy."
    • The Tendos' characterisations are also more rounded in the first couple of books, with Kasumi dismissing younger men as boring, calling Genma out and being snarky, and Nabiki being a more normal high-schooler.
  • Character Development: Arguably Ryoga, who first appears as an enemy and gradually evolves into a rival, a reliable ally, and possibly a friend. (Of all the characters who crash the abortive wedding, Ryoga is the only one who is not trying to deliberately spoil the event.)
    • Akane, and to a lesser degree Mousse, also turn nicer as the story marches on.
  • Chef of Iron: Ukyo, master of Martial Arts Okonomiyaki and wielder of giant spatulas. Cologne to a degree with ramen noodle attacks and teaching Shampoo Martial Arts Takeout Delivery.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The horn whistle Shinnosuke gave Akane during their childhood is the only thing that can pacify the Orochi and send it back to sleep.
    • The photo of Akane that Nabiki sells to Ryoga winds up playing a role in snapping Ranma out of his stupor after falling down Saffron's pit trap -- and winds up alerting the Phoenix to Akane's existence and leading to her kidnapping.
  • Cherry Blossoms
  • Chick Magnet: Ranma attracts a good number of female characters in the series, even one-shot gag characters.
  • Childhood Marriage Promise: Ukyo made a deal with Ranma while they were still kids who played together regularly that, in exchange for allowing Ranma to taste her family's secret okonomiyaki sauce recipe (which is Serious Business, even in the real world), Ranma would marry her if it tasted good.
    • The exact words she used were "would take care of her forever", but the intent was obvious. Plus, it doesn't matter, as Ranma manages to wheedle out of that promise—though not out of the Arranged Marriage between him and her.
  • Child Marriage Veto: Genma, and Mr. Tendo had arranged for Ranma and Akane to marry. The kids swear they won't because they hate each other, but most people who've seen the series swear it's more akin to Aw, Look -- They Really Do Love Each Other.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: What the hell happened to Dr. Tofū after volume 12?
    • To elaborate: After being a significant supporting character in the first couple volumes, Dr. Tofu is gradually demoted to a plot device, then starts to appear more and more infrequently until, just over a third of the way through the series, he completely disappears and is never mentioned again. The anime averts this, having him show up in filler episodes right up to the final season.
      • Word of God says that Takahashi didn't like the character; when Cologne brought her knowledge and martial art prowess, Tofu got completely useless and was properly scrapped.
    • Also Shampoo's father in the manga. He appears in volume 4 with two lines of dialogue, then he can be seen helping out at the Cat Café for a little while, but then he's just gone.
  • Clingy Costume: Ranma gets stuck in a cursed swimsuit, which will drag 'her' into the depths of the sea unless she is honestly complimented by a particular man.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Shampoo, Ukyo, Kodachi, and most of the male suitors.
  • Cloning Blues: The Haunted Mirror.
    • Subverted in that arc is hilarious and all of the angst is played for laughs.
  • Clothing Damage: Pretty much every time Ranma fights as a girl.
  • Cobweb of Disuse: Happens within minutes to the Tendou household when they temporarily lose all their money due to shenanigans involving Nabiki.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Ranma and Genma. They've turned cheating, cheap shots, and taunting into an art form. Fear the mighty Crouch of the Wild Tiger! Beg for your life!
    • Saotome Ultimate Technique! A special skill that relies on withdrawal, concealment, and deliberation. In other words, run away and hide until you can come up with a better idea.

Genma: Hey, it's harder than it sounds!

  • Combat Commentator: Happens occasionally, with the peanut gallery making quips to explain what may be missing in a single still panel shot. Of course, this happens to also give certain characters an unusual and inconsistent knowledge of the martial arts, even if it is accepted as fact that they have no interest in them. Such as Nabiki immediately commenting on the nature of Happosai's "Hermit Crab Fist" being him moving from bucket to bucket really fast. Also parodied later in the Ten-yen bet saga, where Akane and Ranma serve up some overdramatic commentary on the rather mundane happenings. One of the best examples of this trope might be the anime-exclusive episode dealing with Martial Arts Shogi, where Happosai and Nabiki (the former of which is just being a coward) take to the sidelines with Happosai explaining how Battle Shogi relates to the rules of the boardgame.
  • Comedic Sociopathy: And how...
  • Congruent Memory: Kuno's watermelon sword training.
  • Continuity Nod: Remember how Akane can't swim to save her life? Rumiko Takahashi did when she dropped her in a Jusenkyo spring.
  • Cooking Duel: Practically every third episode, at least two involved actual cooking. See Martial Arts and Crafts for some examples.
  • Cordon Bleugh Chef: Akane Tendo. For reasons that are probably understandable only by herself, the girl seems to consider any recipe as always being in need of improvement... and her choice of extra ingredients is always deleterious. In her first attempt at cooking that we see, she mixes up wine and vinegar when making curry—then "fixes" the mistake by adding sugar, mayonnaise, and wasabi. Unlike most examples of this trope, however, even she finds her concoctions to be thoroughly inedible, if she ever tastes them. Her main problem is that she never actually tastes the food before she serves it, occasionally being offended if the subject is even raised. Needless to say, nobody except Ryoga Hibiki is willing to even touch her food unless intimidated or guilted into doing so. Later in the manga she does make edible curry and tries it prior to serving it. In the anime she also learns to prepare tofu and boil water.
    • Learning to open a packet of cold tofu, slice it and serve it up, still cold, isn't exactly a great feat.
      • Neither is boiling water. Which should give you an example about how Bleugh she is.
      • To be fair, ignoring the anime continuity, Akane doesn't try to cook too often, her mistakes are often explained by carelessness and/or overeagerness, she knows she can't cook worth a damn but she still tries and she does manage to cook an edible curried rice - surprising even herself. Maybe because it's the first time she tastes her cooking before serving.
  • Counter Attack: The Hiryū Shoten Ha; almost all the techniques in the Umi-Sen Ken style are specific counters to the Yama-Sen Ken.
  • Covert Pervert: Akane and Ukyo have both had at least one of these moments each in the manga, as did virtually everyone else. It is a sex-farce comedy as much as it is a Martial Arts comedy, after all.
  • Crosscast Role: The school play is the first time Akane is ever actually asked to play Juliet instead of Romeo.
  • Crossdresser: Ukyo, Tsubasa, and Konatsu. Unfortunate applications of hot water tend to make male Ranma one of these, to the horror of innocent passerby (including his own mother).
  • Cross-Popping Veins
  • Curse: The keystone and main plot driver of the series.
  • Cursed with Awesome: Ranma's Jusenkyo curse, according to some people, though he would not agree. The theory that Ranma is under some curse that makes him a Weirdness Magnet counts if you believe it—though in this case it would be an example of Ranma not minding the curse. Canonically, Pantyhose Taro and Rouge; both of them have Jusenkyo curses that cause them to transform into super powered, if bizarre, alternate forms. Pantyhose Taro becomes a kind of flying minotaur that later gains Combat Tentacles. Rouge sprouts four new arms and two more faces while gaining the ability to fly, hurl lightning bolts, and breath fire.
  • Cute Little Fangs: Ryoga, primarily, though Rumiko Takahashi's art-style allowed virtually every member of the cast to acquire them during at least one rant through the course of the manga.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Nabiki's "Ten Yen Bet" arc. It allows her to have her own set of wacky adventures, and "love interest," with Ranma and Akane as the background commentators. Her "New Fiancée" and "Destroyed Concert Ticket" stories also qualify.
  • Deadly Dodging: Makes up a large component of Ranma's fighting style.
  • Deadly Training Area: The valley of Jusenkyo has acquired this reputation.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Nabiki of course, though most of the cast have their moments in occasion.
  • Death by Materialism: Nabiki fights a boy whose style of "martial arts" is based on sticking other people with the debts he incurs.
  • Defence Mechanism Superpower: The Neko-Ken.
  • Demon Head: Soun, whenever he needs to jolt Ranma into doing something that he wanted, usually involving swallowing his pride and being nice to Akane.
    • Kasumi and Nabiki also pulled a Demon Head during the Chardin arc.
  • Determinator: Just about every martial artist in the main cast has pulled this act off at least once.
  • Different for Girls: Explicitly lampshaded.
  • Dirty Old Man: Happosai.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Many characters have done this on whim, usually Played for Laughs. However, Shampoo, Happosai, Saffron, Nabiki, and Herb are easily the most extreme cases.
  • The Ditz: Azusa, Hinako. To a lesser extent Rouge and Konatsu.
  • Does Not Know His Own Strength: Ryoga, through and through. It's played up much more in the original manga, but in either version when his mind wanders, he tends to destroy everything he's touching. It's possible that Shampoo might also be an example of this... or simply that she gets a kick out of proving how strong she is by demolishing everything in her path.
  • Domestic Abuse: all of the girls who claim to want Ranma routinely beat the shit out of him. This is part of the comedy. Another example, definitely not played for laughs, is Genma being willing to knock his own wife out to steal from her.
  • Double Standard: According to Akane, it's okay for a girl to see a guy nude but not for a guy to see a girl nude.
  • Double Standard Abuse (Female on Male): Where to begin...
  • Dramatic Wind
  • Drives Like Crazy: The entire main cast (sans Nabiki and Kasumi) in episode 119. This is only slightly justified due to it being a race.
  • Dropped a Bridget On Him: Subverted with Hiroshi and Daisuke, at least in the manga. Their response to discovering that cute redheaded girl they've been crushing on is, in fact, their male best friend? "We don't care, she's still hot." Tsubasa also drops a Bridget on Ranma at the end of his introductory (and sole, in the manga) story, and Konatsu drops it on Ukyo at the end of his.
  • Dysfunction Junction
  • Easy Amnesia: Shinnosuke, guardian of the Forest of Ryugenzawa. There's a pressure point technique that can not only erase certain facts from the victim's memory, but also prevents the victim from re-learning the fact in the future.
  • Eating the Eye Candy: There are several scenes from the point of view of Ranma's various would-be lovers showing just why they consider Ranma to look good. In Akane's case, the girl most likely to get this (she's the other half of the Official Couple, of course she gets this the most), this almost inevitably prompts Ranma to say something that points out why "Jerk with a Heart of Gold" still references Jerkass.
  • Ecchi: Mostly of the comedic misunderstanding variety, but that doesn't discourage skin from showing in the slightest.
  • Efficient Displacement: The surprising amount of detail on the character-shaped holes or impressions is part of the fun.
  • Effortless Amazonian Lift: Played with. Ranma only allows Akane to carry him when in his female form, but not in the male one. He seems to think differently of himself according to gender perception.
    • In another instance, female Ranma has to carry the much larger and much more powerful, but unconscious Prince Herb in her arms to save him from a collapsing mountain. In fact, Ranma (and Mousse and Ryoga) was splashed with cold water instants before for the sole reason of turning him female for this scene.
  • The Electric Slide: Pick your poison; everyone does it as they're all martial artists of some form or another.
  • Embarrassing First Name: Quite obviously, Pantyhose Taro. "Pantyhose Taro" is his full name, but he only wants to change the first half of it into something less embarrassing, such as "Awesome Taro."
  • Enemy Mine
  • Energy Absorption: English teacher Hinako Ninomiya.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Two of the guys lose their clothing after a transformation; and Ranma's tends to get torn up during the same. Even Kuno and the reveal of the two Male-to-Female crossdressers.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Everybody in this series is a Jerkass at some point, yet most of the cast members considers something too much for them.
    • Nabiki has had one canonical moment of this. When Soun reveals that he's stolen Ranma's cure and is going to blackmail him into marrying Akane for it, Nabiki comments that at least she only steals money. Some fans also think her motive in the "Nabiki, Ranma's New Fiancée" story arc was teaching Akane to appreciate what she had in Ranma.
    • Ryu Kumon, one of the more villainous of Ranma's opponents, has a pretty good example in his arc. In his search of an important document that Ranma's mother has, he pretends to be her son (whom she has never seen) in order to search for it. At one point, he gets tired of searching and walks up behind her, considering the fact that he could simply force her to give it to him and reaches out for her... and ends up giving her a massage when she sends him a smile, commenting that he's "Not THAT cruel."
  • Even the Guys Want Him: During the Koi Rod arc Ranma (in both his male and female forms) falls in love with Ryoga, causing much fan rejoice from the shippers.
    • Technically this also applies to Ranma himself as a lot of the male students lust after Ranma (in his female form), knowing full well that he is in actuality a guy.
      • Dunno if that really applies. Guys have been known to lust after pictures. Onna-Ranma is actually more real by virtue of being physically present.
  • Everybody Was Kung-Fu Fighting: Anything-Goes insert-what-have-you-here.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": The Dojo Destroyer, Principal Kuno, (Kuno Kocho in Japanese) whose given name was never revealed. The Jusenkyo Guide is only ever called "Mr. Guide" by the cast and "Father" by his daughter.
  • Everything's Better With Pandas: Or so Genma would like you to believe.
    • In the earlier arcs of the manga, he even had a tendency to appear out of nowhere and randomly save Ranma's from having people discover his curse. This is part of the Aborted Arc to keep Ranma's curse a secret.
  • Messy Pig: If we're allowed to define "messy" as "complicated," Ryoga definitely qualifies.
  • Evil Feels Good: Nabiki, Shampoo, Pink, to a lesser degree Happosai, as he is even more upbeat, but not quite as malevolent. A running theme of the show is that several of the most Jerkass-y characters tend to be extremely serene and happy about it, whereas people with a strong conscience tend to get depressed far more easily, much like the real world tends to work, rather than sticking to the corrupt story convention that pain equals evil and happiness equals goodness. It is most overtly displayed with Pink and Link, the former physically identical twin is a happy casual sadist, and the latter an altruist who gets victimized for her sister's misdeeds.
  • Evil Old Folks: Happosai, possibly Cologne.
  • Evil Twin: Kiima, after she used the Akaneniichuan., Pink.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Spring of Drowned Yeti holding an Eel and Crane while Riding an Ox.
  • Extreme Doormat: Konatsu
  • Extreme Omnivore: Kurumi in the OAVs can eat six-course meals prepared by Akane and ask for seconds. Ranma supposedly gained this ability from a "noodle of strength" (which would come in handy with Akane), but it was never mentioned again.
  • Face Fault
  • Failure Is the Only Option: Ranma never escapes the curse (and the ways in which it comes crashing down sometimes meanders into Yank the Dog's Chain), and his Unwanted Harem never loses any members.
  • Fan Service: And how. Ranma spends at least half the time female, and much of that time topless...
    • And on the flipside, Ryoga and Mousse are often stark naked when they transform back into men.
  • Father, I Don't Want to Fight: Ranma in the anime only episode Am I Pretty? Ranma's Declaration of Womanhood. after a bonk on the head. Akane uses Ranma's skull as the Reset Button at the episode's end though.
  • Faux Paw: Ranma does this when his ailurophobia drives him into thinking he's a cat. Justified in that he's not actually supposed to be a cat or part-cat; he's just acting how he perceives a cat would.
  • Feminine Women Can Cook: Kasumi's defining trait and a source of major angst for Akane; this is also Ukyo's primary advantage over Akane in the fiancée sweepstakes, and one she lampshades constantly. Shampoo as well.
  • Femininity Failure: Generally the case with Akane.
  • Festival Episode
  • Filler: Both the manga and anime alike are full of minor stories designed to take up one episode or chapter and not really be of any importance. The anime gets more attention paid to its filler, however, because it created its own minor stories as well as adapting others from the original manga, making it appear far less connected to the manga, which consequently had fewer gaps between its story arcs.
  • First Kiss: Ranma and Shampoo, much to Akane Tendo's ire.
  • Flung Clothing: Kodachi, more than once, changing to her leotard.
  • Freaky Is Cool: "So, when is Ranma gonna turn back into a guy?" "Hey, fine by me if he stays a girl."
  • Friendly Enemy: Ranma and Ryoga, after the first few stories. Much as Ryoga is fixated on beating Ranma (which becomes more simply being the Arrogant Kung Fu Guy then revenge pretty quick), he is perfectly willing to help Ranma out, Ranma has no qualms about helping Ryoga, and the two are generally quick to make alliances of convenience. Of course, they're equally quick to fall out again, but what do you expect? Shampoo and Ukyo have some elements of this... in the manga, this usually results in one of their more villainous moments.
  • Fruit of the Loon: The loon is Principal Kuno, the fruit is pineapples. Any questions?
  • Furo Scene: Many, given the role hot water plays in the series.
  • The Gadfly: Nabiki towards Akane and Ranma, Ranma often acts that way towards Ryouga too.
  • Gainaxing: And in the OAV, they have independent mobility.
  • Gender Bender: Making Ranma both Ms. Fanservice and Mr. Fanservice at the same time.
  • Gender Vocabulary Slip: Ranma routinely uses the masculine pronoun of "ore" to refer to himself, even in his female form.
  • Genre Shift: For the first few volumes the manga is a (comparatively) grounded romantic comedy series with arc-based plots and tangible Character Development. After a while it transforms into a manic, sitcom-esque gag-fest with an episodic monster/new character/new magical trinket of the week format and an unshakable status quo, punctuated by occasional longer arcs. Your Mileage May Vary on which style works better.
  • Ghibli Hills: Anywhere in Japan that isn't Nerima tends to be presented as such. At least until Ranma and co have finished trashing it over a Martial Arts tiddlywinks challenge or some such.
  • Ghostly Goals: The anime has a cute ghost girl named Kogane who wants somebody to find her lost tanuki doll. The manga has an ugly old ghost matron who places a death curse on Happosai that won't lift unless he swipes her old-fashioned bloomers.
  • Girls with Moustaches: When Akane eats the super soba. It's full of male hormones, making facial hair growth a side effect. At least the whiskers drop off once the magic wears off.
  • The Glasses Gotta Go: Inverted; Mousse looks like a handsome Bishonen... until his terrible eyesight forces him to put on a hideous set of Nerd Glasses.
  • The Glomp: The Trope Namer. It's Shampoo's signature move towards Ranma, although Ryoga has also been glomped by Akane once (while she was brainwashed—by Shampoo, natch).
    • Akane has also glomped Ranma once, when he returned to the Tendo home after his fight with Herb.
    • Ryoga was also glomped by Male form Ranma during the Koi Rod arc (and the shippers rejoiced).
    • During the Do-chan (Battlesuit of Armor) arc, Ranma glomped Akane the best he freaking could without fainting on the spot... They are a Takahashi Pairing after all.
    • The most extreme glomping-series was the chapter wherein Shampoo used a magical "shiryaki mushroom spice" that gave anyone a hypnotic command to perform over and over. An awful amount of glomping was going on there. Ranma later used a suggestion incense to get Ryoga to hug anyone that said pig since Akari really liked pigs, with similar goofy results.
  • Goldfish Scooping Game
  • Gosh Hornet: Ranma's father tosses a beehive at his son as Training from Hell... with fairly mixed results.
  • Grand Finale: For the manga. Abandoned arcs aside, it definitely deserves a mention for this trope for taking up two manga volumes.
  • Grand Theft Me: The Vengeful Spirit Doll, Maomolin, the Oni...
  • Hair Colors: Mostly a consequence of the animated adaptation, which gave the characters distinctive colors that remained fixed throughout the production. The first chapter of the manga was in color and portrayed Ranma with black hair in both forms. The fact the rest of the manga was in black and white, coupled with the greater availability of the anime, means that Girl-Ranma's hair is red in the public perception, to the extent that referring to her with black hair usually confuses most fans. Takahashi herself fueled this by publishing promotional pictures of "Ranma-chan" with various hair colors.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: While not half-humans themselves, the people of the Musk Dynasty have inherited the blood of powerful animals and mythological creatures by throwing them in "The Spring of Drowned Girl" and mating with them. The Phoenix Kingdom, on the other hand, became Winged Humanoids through centuries of consuming Jusenkyo-cursed water (bird curses, natch) for pretty much every aspect of their lives (drinking, bathing, washing...) throughout generations.
  • Hammerspace: Used by nearly everyone in the cast in the name of comedy. Hammers are but a fraction of the items pulled out.
    • Usually it's a shinai, bokken, spatula, chui, kettles, tables, miscellaneous so-called-weapons, heavy blunt objects in general...
  • Hand Behind Head
  • Harmful to Minors: The whole point of the Neko-Ken, a technique officially banned by all right-thinking martial artists due to the fact it revolves around traumatizing a young child physically and mentally to induce a Berserk Mode. Not just Training from Hell, but also fundamentally flawed as well. Unfortunately, Genma Saotome is not a right-thinking martial artist.
  • Heavy Sleeper: Ranma, who can dodge attacks without waking up. Shampoo also knows of a technique that allows her to fight automatically while asleep. Akane once inhaled a magic incense that did the same thing.
  • Henohenomoheji: Ranma often wears one as mask.
  • Heterosexual Life Partners: Though they haven't seen each other for a long time by the time the series starts, in the anime Genma and Soun are usually shown hanging out together, playing shogi, go, or enjoying the countryside. In the manga they don't spend much time together on screen. However, in both canons, Soun considers Genma to be morally reprehensible and gets mad at him for his various Jerkass deeds, although it never has any serious consequences.
  • Here We Go Again: The end of the "Invincible" Phoenix Sword saga.
  • Heroic BSOD: Ranma, upon Akane's Disney Death at Jusendo. Not even a Get a Hold of Yourself, Man! punch from Ryoga fazes him, nor is the prospect of being eaten alive by Saffron's egg.
  • Hey, You: Ranma as "Boy".
  • High School Hustler: Nabiki, in fanon—in canon, she's more of The Barnum.
  • Hilariously Abusive Childhood: Ranma especially, but many secondary characters also have some form of trauma that's typically played for laughs (Ryoga unintentionally abandoned by his family at a young age, Mousse's constant beatdowns from Shampoo, Principal Kuno's treatment of his children).
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Herb was ultimately defeated by gathering all the energy he had released into one big, mountain-crushing bomb.
    • Kuno's Watermelon Sword attack is defeated when Ranma places a watermelon on his head, causing him to knock himself out.
      • The Hiryo Shoten Ha technique works by turning an opponent's own strength and rage against them, and is usually a one-hit-KO. The aforementioned mountain-crushing bomb, as well as the method that defeated Saffron, were variations on this technique and worked on the same principle.
  • Honest John's Dealership: Nabiki, at every given opportunity.
  • Honor Before Reason: Ryoga has a strict honor code, and strict is the way he adheres to it. He'll never, never, fight anyone who cannot fight back, or take advantage of an opponent's weakness.
  • Hot Amazon: Shampoo
  • Hulk Speak: Shampoo, but only in the English and German dubs.
  • Human Doorstop: In the first movie, Lychee's elephant, Jasmine, stomps a hole in the bottom of the boat they're taking across the Sea of Japan. The gang plugs the hole with Happosai, whose antics got them in the mess in the first place.
  • Human Mail: Happosai gets stuffed into a box to be mailed somewhere a couple of times in both Manga and Anime. It never sticks.
  • Hyperspace Mallet: In fanon this is Akane's signature weapon. However, while she occasionally does use some form of mallet in both the anime and manga, she usually uses any available blunt object, most frequently shinai, and various other characters have used them in either medium.
    • Noteworthy for Soun, who, when using his battle aura to turn Kaiju size, appears in full samurai armor.
  • Hypno Fool: Ranma and Akane are frequently the victims of mind-influencing magic, spells and poisons. Ranma is more frequently the victim in the anime (a hypnotic technique from Sasuke to make him go on a date with Kuno, being controlled by his evil side come to life courtesy of Happosai), while Akane tends to be the victim of choice in the manga (Happosai uses a magical incense that causes her to fall asleep until spring).
  • I Do Not Drink... Wine: The Seven Lucky Gods from Nekonron, China.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Akane tries to pass off Kuno's obsession with her onto Ranma this way, though it doesn't actually work. Because he wants both of them. Aside from that, the only person in the entire series who comes close to playing this straight is Konatsu towards Ukyo.
    • It's also shown by Ranma toward Ryoga in the Fishing Rod of Love arc.
  • I Was Just Passing Through: Is actually subverted with Ryoga, who comes to Ranma's aid during the moxibustion storyline. With Ryoga as Ranma's not-very-friendly (up until then) Rival, whose horrible directional sense would enable him to legitimately make the claim to having been "just passing through," you'd expect the playing of this card to be a no-brainer. But when Ranma out-and-out asks him if he's saving him for himself, Ryoga angrily denies it, says he hates bullies, and then breaks down crying with sadness to see a "great warrior" such as Ranma reduced to such a state. Later he helps Ranma regain his strength.
  • Identity Amnesia: After bonking himself hard on the head during the Watermelon Island story, Kuno went from grabby-but-harmless buffoon to a crazed stalker whose skill actually allowed him to terrorize Ranma.
    • In one anime episode, Ranma, when he got whacked upside the head hard enough, thought he really was a girl. However, that was a case of Loss of Identity rather then Identity Amnesia—she remembered being "Ranma" perfectly, her personality was just twisted into an entirely new format.
  • Idiot Crows
  • The Idiot From Osaka: Ukyo; although she isn't an idiot, is often depicted as a bit moneygrubbing, another stereotypical Osakan trait.
  • Imagine Spotting: Combines with Medium Awareness as characters are often able to look up into previous panels and make remarks such as:

"Laying it on a bit thick, aren't you?"
"Good idea, we should have a Western ceremony!" or
"Leave me OUT of your sick fantasies!"

  • Important Haircut: Akane
  • Improbable Weapon User: Lots of minor characters, but the main crew isn't too far behind.
  • Improvised Weapon: Akane is very good at using anything at hand to bash Ranma.
    • Ranma, particularly in the manga, is very good at improvising weapons and has done so with a large variety of objects like pinwheels, rocks, sticks, clothesline poles, his hair, tennis rackets, paper fans, Ryoga, etc.
  • Indy Ploy: Every. Single. Fight.
    • Ranma is particularly adept at coming up with new variations of old techniques during the middle of heated battles.
  • Innocent Fanservice Girl: Ranma does not seem to comprehend that being topless as a girl is not always appropriate. He honestly isn't much better at staying clothed as a guy, either.
  • Instant Cosplay Surprise
  • Insulted Awake
  • Japanese Architecture: The Tendo home and dojo, to the point where many of its traditional features are essential to the plot. Much if not most of the progress in Ranma and Akane's relationship takes place on the engawa overlooking the koi pond.
  • Jerkass: Most of the cast.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Ranma, and Ryoga. Ranma is a rude, obnoxious, conceited, petty, manipulative, braggart, but will generally feel sorry about being an ass and is compassionate and helpful towards most people in trouble. Ryoga gives a harsh first impression, his anger can run away with him, and he is prone to idiotic behaviour, but behaves in a more polite and considerate manner in general, is just as helpful as Ranma when confronted with people in trouble, and his compassion is as overemotional as the rest of him. (Typical example: when Ranma is rendered weak by Happosai, and needs someone to fight seriously against him, Ryoga tries to help, but finds that he is unable to consciously strike someone so much weaker than himself, and runs away crying Tender Tears... Also earlier in the same arc, it's Ryoga who saves Ranma from Tatewaki Kuno, Principal Kuno and Mousse, because he couldn't bear to see anyone taking advantage of his weakness.)
  • Kamehame Hadoken: the Shi Shi Hokodan and Moko Takabisha Ki Attacks. This is more notable in the anime, where they're shown as sustained energy beams in the second Non-Serial Movie (normally, they're Hadoken-style fireballs). Herb's Ki Attacks are also like this once he gets out of Mode Lock. The anime has Natsume & Kurumi's "Ryūka Ringu", or "Ring of Dragon Fire", which is one part this to one part Everything's Better with Spinning. Though based on magic instead of ki, Saffron has a variety of fiery projectiles, all the way up to a super-blast of flame the name of which roughly translates as "Empire Instant Annihilation Blast".
  • Kawaiiko: Azusa Shiratori
  • Kansai Regional Accent: Ukyo.
  • Karma Houdini: Nabiki Tendo has never received any sort of comeuppance for her callous actions in the entire series. Rumiko Takahashi likes this character and considers her sociopathic actions within the family dynamic to be the reason she's funny.
    • Asuza never pays for her kleptomaniac tendencies, in which she steals things in plain view, sometimes right IN FRONT OF the owners. She also has no problems beating up the owners to get said cute thing of the hour. In a sense, she's basically MUGGING people and always getting away with it. Hell, I wouldn't be surprised that some of the things she's got stashed in her house she stole from little kids...
  • Keeping Secrets Sucks
  • Kendo Team Captain: Tatewaki Kuno.
  • Ki Attacks
  • Kid Samurai: Tatewaki Kuno.
  • Kill It with Fire: Saffron's attacks.
  • Kill It with Water: Quite a number of martial artists are transformed into (relatively) harmless animals when hit with water. Once, an entire mountain was rigged so as to eliminate all enemies this way.
    • In the first movie, Ranma realizes how to get past the Big Bads perfect defense. He kicks up water in the flooding room, and punches it blazingly fast at his opponent. As he blocks punches by grabbing them with his chopsticks, this technique obviously does not work on the water punches.
  • Knife-Throwing Act: Mousse disguised himself as a circus knife-thrower when he came back (for good) to hunt down Ranma. And he did pin the latter down to the target board, but Ranma escaped the deliberate stabbing.
  • Knuckle-Cracking: Ranma likes to crack his knuckles, especially by just flexing his fingers, all the time when getting ready to start fighting seriously. Ryoga also makes a show of crushing some walnuts in his fingers to emphasize his attitude towards Ranma in his second appearance.
  • Kryptonite-Proof Suit: Water proof soap.
  • Lamarck Was Right: The Musk Dynasty. To some extent, the Phoenix Kingdom. Superpowerful Genetics play a large role in these cultures' development.
    • Well the Musk don't really fit this mold since their animalistic abilities come from ancestors who were actually magically transformed animals. The Phoenix clan does kinda fit the bill here though.
  • Large Ham: "I MUST PREPARE THE INK QUICKLY LEST I FORGET!"
  • Larynx Dissonance: In the European Spanish dub, the same actress dubs female and male Ranma. Spot-on performance for the former, while the latter sounds ten years old.
    • Sarah Strange played male Ranma in the first few seasons before Richard Cox took over the role.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Or Bokken Guided Amnesia as it were...
  • Last Confession Wins
  • Left Hanging: The Anime series ends nowhere near the manga's climax, whose own open ending may be just as bad depending on your perspective—though by that point both the manga and the anime had evolved into an ensemble comedy and any semblance of an overall plot arc had long-since been abandoned. Takahashi likely took one look at the Love Dodecahedron and simply gave up resolving it.
    • It's worth a mention, however, that Ranma and Akane made a lot of progress in their relationship, as compared to the earlier volumes. Ranma was even able to confess his love to her in the final volume.
      • Yeah, after he thought that she had died because he'd taken too long to beat Saffron. He couldn't bring himself to say anything like that in the relatively calmer moments after they got back to Japan -- he even denied saying something like that out loud when Akane asked if he had said he loved her. (To be fair, it's unclear in the manga whether he actually said anything other than her name out loud.) And the only time Akane openly admitted her love for Ranma was during the contrary jewel arc, when under the influence of the titular artifact.
  • Lethal Chef: Akane. Her cooking is so bad that anything living would get food poisoning (averted by Kurumi). Happosai, who's probably the most inhuman character in the series, couldn't even stomach eating her cookies and complained that he should've been warned they weren't meant for human consumption. This gets ridiculously Flanderized in Fanfic, even after she begins to improve in the last third of the manga and makes an acceptable curry once (the funny part about this is that the men of the house only find this out after she leaves to deal with a "monster" in the woods at the request of some villagers, and they think she ran away from home out of rejection).
  • The Little Shop That Wasn't There Yesterday
  • Loads and Loads of Characters
  • Loophole Abuse: In the Martial Arts Rhythmic Gymnastics, also Ranma winning the combination of downhill race and running battle, and more. See Loophole Abuse for details.
  • Lord Error-Prone: Tatewaki Kuno.
  • Lost in Translation: See Punny Name below. All they had to do was adjust the pronounciation of the dub (or the spelling of the subtitles) a bit...
  • Loudspeaker Truck
  • Lovable Sex Maniac: Happosai, not so much lovable, but is a sex maniac. Kuno, on the other hand, is that and a masochist.
  • Love At First Punch: just about everyone who falls for Ranma or Akane seems to do so after being pounded on by them.
  • Love Dodecahedron: The term was coined just to describe Ranma's relationships
  • Love Makes You Crazy: Pick a suitor.
  • Love Makes You Dumb: Dr. Tofū around Kasumi. "And he was such a good doctor".
  • Love Potion: Not actual potions as such, but otherwise a common feature. Between the anime and manga, we've seen, among other things, a literal Together Umbrella and Red String of Fate, mushrooms that become a love potion when stewed, bracelet "jewels" that are taken as love potion pills, "compatibility testing" sakura-mochi, a box of aphrodisiac-soaked band-aids, and a "heart fishing pole". Thanks to his Unwanted Harem, and the general lack of scruples on the parts of... well... everyone... Ranma Saotome tends to be the one who gets whammied with these the most.
  • Lover Tug of War
  • Mad Love: The Kuno siblings are madly and unrequitedly in love with alternate halves of Ranma. Tatewaki is deluded from reality, and wants to court several disinterested women at once; whereas Kodachi is extremely flamboyant, psychotic, and tries to use paralysis potions in her aim to gain Ranma as an enamoured servant. Shampoo's personally stated motto centers around her willingness to kill any "obstacle" in her path if it is convenient. She is also a sadistic bully and manipulator, will gladly brainwash others if possible, and even force Ranma into loving her. Mousse, meanwhile, has been stalking the utterly disinterested (to the point of wanting him to die) and recurrently violent Shampoo since they were three, and is so fixated on her that his initial purpose in the series is basically defined as Murder the Hypotenuse. However, Mousse turns more conflicted, is far more loyal (as seen in the Herb arc), and usually less calculated than she is, and settles down to simply wanting Ranma to get married to Akane, to leave Shampoo for himself.
  • Making a Splash: Cologne's Shark Fist and various other water-manipulation techniques. Also Ranma himself in the climax of the first movie.
  • Making Use of the Twin: Elaina Wotten-Costain's season six substitution for her sister Angela Costain as the voice of Nabiki in the North American dub. Her performance was perfectly indistinguishable from her sister's -- many fans didn't notice the actress had changed.
  • Martial Arts and Crafts: The Trope Codifier, if not Trope Maker. Some of them include:
    • Martial Arts Rhythmic Gymnastics
    • Martial Arts Pairs Figure Skating
    • Martial Arts Takeout Food Delivery
    • Martial Arts Tea Ceremony
    • Martial Arts Cheerleading
    • Martial Arts Calligraphy
    • Martial Arts Shogi
    • Martial Arts Dining
  • Master Apprentice Chain: Happosai > Genma & Soun > Ranma & Akane
  • Master of Disguise: Tsubasa Kurenai, who is just as likely to crossdress as a pretty girl as be disguised as a very convincing tree. Kiima claims that her people have regularly used Jusenkyo to transform into humans other than Akane when they want to spy on or mingle with them.
  • Master Poisoner: Kodachi Kuno
  • Maybe Ever After: how the series ends.
  • Mega Manning: Ranma can learn new martial arts techniques simply by watching others train at them, or even by having the techniques used against him.
  • Mega Neko: The cat-ghost in S4 E18.
  • Megaton Punch: Akane to Ranma, but most of the martial artists do this at one time or another.
    • Notably used by Shinnosuke's supposedly infirm grandfather, who even screams, "Megaton Punch!" as he does it.
  • Megumi Hayashibara: Girl-type Ranma, theme songs, member of DoCo supergroup.
  • Mind Control Device: Quite a few, which are usually used on (and even by) Ranma Saotome.
  • Mind Control Eyes: Happens to Ranma quite a bit and usually his male half.
  • The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body: Animal-curse characters can fly or run on all fours instants after being cursed. Pantyhose Taro's octopus tentacles burdened him with octopus instincts. Rouge goes Ax Crazy when transforming into Asura. Hinako acts childish as a young girl, but cold as woman. Ranma normally acts the same whatever his form but will react in a feminine manner whenever Rule of Funny requires it.
  • Miniature Senior Citizens: Cologne; Happosai; Rakkyosai; Chingensai; Sentaro's grandmother; others.
  • Misplaced Wildlife: Lampshaded and justified with the forest of Ryūgenzawa.
  • Mistaken for Cheating: Multiple times, and almost always over-the-top.
  • Mistaken for Gay: Ryoga, when he accidentally snags Ranma with the "Fishing Rod of Love" (he wanted to get Akane instead): Ranma gets genuinely infatuated with him, but it's Ryoga who gets the short end of the stick.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: Pantyhose Taro's monster form; he later augments it himself with extra body parts.
  • Mode Lock: Depending on the mode, either the method of curing the curses or a reason to look for an antidote.
  • Moment Killer: All the time to Ranma and Shampoo and to Ranma and Akane.
  • Money Fetish: Nabiki Tendo, without a shadow of a doubt. There's almost literally nothing she won't do to make a few yen. Ukyo has a tiny bit of it as well.
  • Mood Whiplash: The Ryu Kumon storyline. While still crammed with the usual Takahashi humor, his backstory is surprisingly somber (at least initially), and his relationship with Nodoka Saotome has layers upon layers of meaning.
  • Morality Pet: Inverted. Being the pet, and his subsequent falling in love with Akane, is part of what sets Ryoga on the path to his eventual Heel Face Turn.
    • Of course he wasn't really bad in the first place.
  • Morally-Ambiguous Ducktorate: Mousse; he's an antagonist often enough to qualify.
  • The Mourning After: Soun Tendo, never quite got over his wife's death, as painfully illustrated in the end of the Manga Hinako arc.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: Pretty much every crazed suitor in the entire series. Shampoo is willing to pull this on Akane and Ukyo if she thinks she can get away with it, as is Kodachi, while Mousse tries to dispatch Ranma in the same way. Its not clear whether early-series Ryoga would kill Ranma, but he definitely wants to severely beat him him/her.
    • Ranma, under the Koi Rod of Love's spell, viciously attacks Akane, believing her to be the Hypotenuse.
  • Mutilation Conga: Happens to every main male character at some point in the series.
  • My Significance Sense Is Tingling: Several times; most notably Akane and Ranma sensing Ryoga being killed by Lime in the manga, but there are other examples.
  • My Kung Fu Is Stronger Than Yours: Obvious here.
  • Neck Lift
  • Nerd Glasses: Mousse
  • Never Trust a Hair Tonic: Genma is quite embarrassed about his baldness and has tried all kinds of cures. There's the one that only works when he's angry, the one that comes from a one-of-a-kind dragon's whisker, and so forth.
  • Never My Fault: Everyone.
  • Nightmare Face: Ranma's face during his Cat Fist that appears at 16:18 in episode 23. It just looks creepy.
  • Ninja: Subversion: Sasuke. Played straight: Konatsu the Genius Kunoichi, who lives up to the "Genius" part but not so much the "kunoichi" part
  • Noblewoman's Laugh: Kodachi Kuno, and it's really exaggerated, played up to the point of absurdity.
    • This may have to do with the fact pretty much everything about Kodachi is absurd.
    • Once done in an area where a sign read, "Please do not laugh loudly in the garden".
  • Nobody Calls Me Chicken: Ranma, moreso in the anime than the manga
  • No Export for You: Hey Viz, how about that "Secret Spring" OVA, huh?
  • Non-Fatal Explosions: Happosai regularly throws around homemade gunpowder hand grenades. It's usually Ranma himself that gets left charred, smoking and pissed off, but otherwise unharmed. In one episode of the anime he also uses Abnormal Ammo, altering this move from the "Happo Daikarin" to the "Happo Daikabin", or "Happo Mold Burst". That's right, as in the nasty fuzzy stuff that grows on spoiled food.
  • No Romantic Resolution: Takahashi spent so much time getting to the ending that she did not know how to make a serious resolution anymore.
  • The Nose Bleed: Ryoga, mainly.
  • No Sense of Direction: Ryoga is the king of this trope. Flanderized to high heaven in fanfiction, with him crossing continents, dimensions, and even fictional boundaries without noticing. (Although to be fair, the anime did show that at one point he had stumbled into Moscow while lost, albeit as a joke in and of itself, so the first isn't much of a flanderization.)
  • No Social Skills: Being raised alone, constantly on the road, with martial arts as the most important goal, and by Genma no less, did a number on Ranma's people skills. While he has no problem socializing per se, and generally gets along just fine, he's extremely blunt, has all the tact of a chainsaw, and casually insults people who are standing right there (often, to their face.) This would make him grade-A Jerkass material, but considering Genma—the only person Ranma had constant contact with for 16 years—acts the exact same way towards everyone, and treats Ranma even worse...
  • Oblivious to Love: Akane seems perpetually ignorant of the fact Ryoga is head-over-heels for her.
    • Also Ranma to Akane. He seems ignorant of her feelings for him and ends up hurting her because of it.
  • Ocular Gushers
  • Off-Model: You can tell which Season 4, 5, and 6 episodes were outsourced to low-budget studios.
  • Old Master: Cologne and Happosai, each of whom is 100+ years old (300+ years old in the anime) and can kick the asses of the rest of the cast combined.
  • Old-Fashioned Rowboat Date: Ukyo and male!Ranma go on a date involving row boats. Ryoga and Akane are also on a date, and fighting ensues.
  • One-Hour Work Week: Soun Tendo's seat on the neighborhood council seems to give him an inordinate amount of free time (enough for a few training trips and playing Shogi all day with Genma), yet yields enough cash to pay the taxes and bills on his Big Fancy House and attached dojo, plus cost of Martial Artist induced repairs, support his daughters, and still fit in expensive family holidays to seaside inns or mountain villas. He does complain about the bills, but it's only been twice in the entire anime and manga that they've ever been a problem. Also, the Tendo Dojo doesn't appear to have any actual students.
    • He does rent out the dojo for social gatherings, seen in one saga, and gets paid to take monster- or hoodlum-hunting missions though.
  • One-Sided Arm Wrestling: Ranma versus Akane, and Akane versus Ranma after she ate some magic noodles.
  • One of the Boys: Ukyo gets this treatment a lot.
  • One-Winged Angel: Subverted by Saffron's transformation, which only turns him into a more adult version of himself. Possibly played straight with Pantyhose Taro's Monster Form.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: All of Ranma's recurring rivals to some extent, leading to plenty of Rivals Team Up situations.
  • Oracular Urchin: Miyo, a classmate of Akane's who appears in an anime Filler episode.
  • Orochi: A giant monster from Japanese mythology. Its Ranma incarnation is unique in that, rather than an eight-headed serpent, its eighth head is actually its body, with seven independent heads trailing behind it from their necks.
  • The Other Darrin: Starting with season 4, the English dub abruptly switches out the voice of male Ranma from Sarah Strange to Richard Cox; the two sound not even remotely alike.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: In the beginning, Akane and the Kuno siblings were hot stuff, already capable of superhuman feats. Then Ranma Saotome rolled into town, and Akane became a definite second-stringer, due to being completely unable to touch Ranma unless he let her. Kuno and his sister were still a credible threat... but then Ryoga Hibiki arrived... and then Shampoo showed up... and soon the original "best martial artists in Nerima" were at the bottom of the totem pole.
  • Overtook the Manga: this resulted in the anime needing a number of unique episodes, many created homebrew, a few actually extensions of manga Filler stories (such as the "Japanese Nanniichuan" story, which took up one or two chapters in the manga and three episodes in the anime).
  • Pair the Spares: Played with and postulated, but not actually done.
  • Panty Thief: Happosai
  • Paper Fan of Doom
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: All the time. Akane and Ranma seem to be the only ones able to see through it (poor, poor Ryoga...) although Soun has a moment during the Hinako home-visit arc.
  • Parental Abandonment: Half-way done to Ranma by Genma, who takes him away from his mother before he can even walk. Genetically-induced in the case of Ryoga, whose parents' sense of direction is as bad as his; whenever he manages to get home, he finds out they've been absent for weeks.
  • Parody: The Mirror Copy arc is a huge parody of Kazuo Umezu's much more serious Scary Book 1: Reflections. It starts with narration speaking of a place called "the Mirror Mansion" for the enormous mirror governing the main hall—all of which is a word-for-word copy of the original story's Opening Narration. Even the interior decoration is almost the same (with the only difference that the original Mirror Mansion's mirror was placed on the main stairs' first landing, rather than the floor.) The original is also based on a young woman who was so enthralled with her own beauty, she'd spend countless hours before said mirror, until her reflection actually escaped, and its mischief across town made her life miserable.
  • Pastel-Chalked Freeze-Frame
  • Pay Evil Unto Evil
  • The Peeping Tom: Nodoka, Ranma's mother, has a definition of "manliness" that includes a man must be a peeping tom.
  • Perfectly Arranged Marriage: Ranma & Akane.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: Phoenix King Saffron; Dragon Prince Herb; Battle Aura Happosai; Asura Cursed Rouge; Ultimate Shishi Hokodan Ryoga.
  • Playboy Bunny: Several times.
  • Playing with Fire: Saffron, "a flamethrower without a safety valve".
  • Please Kill Me If It Satisfies You: Type 2 with Ranma to Ryouga during the Koi-Rod arc.
  • Poster Gallery Bedroom: Tatewaki Kuno, with his giant posters of Akane and female Ranma, possibly to help him "meditate" and choose one of them. Kodachi follows his example with massive photos of male Ranma. Also, Mariko Konjo puts up a gigantic picture of Kuno in her bedroom, even kissing it goodnight, during her story arc.
  • Power Perversion Potential: And how!
  • Powered Armor: Do-chan the sentient Battle Dogi and Gosunkugi's mail-order Power Suit.
  • Power-Up Food: The legendary Super Strength Soba noodles confer herculean strength to whoever eats them. After Akane mistakenly ate Happosai's, she was able to lift, toss, juggle, and split in half multi-ton, two-stories-tall iron bells. Unfortunately, they had the side-effect of sprouting whiskers on her face until she took the antidote.
  • Prepare to Die: Practically Ryoga's Catch Phrase, when Ranma's name is attached.
  • Professional Gambler: The Gambling King, who is actually a terrible gambler. It just happens that Ranma is worse.
  • Punny Name: In the original Japanese the names of the Joketsuzoku characters were Bilingual Bonus Punny Names—Shanpū, Koron and Mūsu had Chinese-sounding names that coincidentally sounded like the English words for hygiene products; similarly, the Musk Dynasty warriors Haabu, Raimu, and Minto, whose Theme Naming revolves around food ("herb", "lime", and "mint".) The English and Spanish translations play the pun straight by spelling out the English words.
  • Puppy Dog Eyes
  • Qipao: A standard part of Shampoo's wardrobe.
  • Quivering Eyes
  • Radial Ass-Kicking: Early on Akane had to do this to get to school.
  • Rain Aura
  • Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs: The Kachu Tenshin Amaguriken. Fans argue over whether this is an actual technique or not, but it does allow the trainee to pull this feat off.
  • Real Men Hate Sugar: Hardcore Martial-Artist Saotome Ranma is a subversion of this trope: he personally loves elaborate ice cream sundaes and parfaits but would not be caught dead saying so, much less going to restaurants and ordering them. Fortunately, he is able to turn into a cute girl. This allows him to openly and gleefully order chocolate sundaes with a cherry on top in public; heck he even uses the cuteness of his appearance to scam free ice cream cones off the young and impressionable clerks!
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Ranma Saotome is skilled enough at cooking that his mother is impressed, at least passably skilled at sewing, good at tea ceremony and gymnastics, and seems to take pride in his ability to wind guys up by acting cute when in girl form.
    • This is more of a result of him spending most of his life on the road. He and his father had to know how to cook and sew just to get along. The teasing is just a variation of what Genma does. Instead of outright lying and stealing, he just manipulates people.
    • In a nearly literal interpretation of the trope, Ranma can make a pastel orange shirt and little red bowtie look kinda badass.
  • Red String of Fate: a literal one of these shows up in the anime, whereupon Shampoo promptly tries to use it on Ranma
  • The Rival: Ryoga, primarily, but truckloads of guest-rivals filled out an awful lot of story arcs. Ukyo and Shampoo have this relationship in the anime.
  • Road Sign Reversal: Ranma and Genma travel back in time, switching the arrows pointing to Jusenkyo so their past selves will go the wrong way. Happosai sabotages the attempt by reversing them again. It wouldn't have worked anyway, because the whole thing takes place inside Ranma's dream.
  • Roofless Renovation
  • Running Gag: Shampoo will always, without fail, hit or run over someone with her bicycle when she appears.
    • In the manga there are periodically signs in the foreground or background that read something to the effect of, "Please do not [do whatever the character in the panel is doing]", usually with bizarre specificity.
  • Sacred First Kiss
  • Say My Name: "Ranmaaaaaaaaaaaa!"
  • The Scottish Trope: Happosai, in Fanon, though Soun and Genma have made jokes referring to similar superstitions.
  • Screw Yourself: The manga features a plotline where Ranma runs into magical female doppleganger who, upon discovering that Ranma is actually male, latches onto him like only a crazy Yandere could. In the end, she hooks up with a magical male Ranma doppleganger, and they become Sickeningly Sweethearts.
    • Not to mention his female side Happosai once separates from his body. She appears to be quite adamant about getting back together with Ranma. Although, surprisingly, she doesn't try anything naughty once she has him under her spell.
  • Selective Obliviousness: Just about everyone in the series at some point. Most notably: Kuno's apparent refusal to understand either that Ranma and "the pigtailed girl" are one and the same, or that neither "the pigtailed girl" nor Akane Tendo are at all attracted to him, seems to be one part this, one part massive ego; Also, Akane Tendo either remains unaware of Ryoga's attraction to her, no matter how obvious it turns, or immediately forgets it. She also tends to believe the worst of Ranma even when he doesn't deserve it, or in other cases, want to believe the best of characters when they don't deserve it, such as Nabiki, Shampoo, or in Ranma's case the battle-dougi story.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Soun and Genma, and to a lesser extent Ryoga & Ranma.
    • Ranma filling the "Manly Man" half being of course rather ironic.
  • Second Love: Akane ending up falling in love with Ranma after getting over her first love, Dr. Tofū.
  • Seppuku: Genma promised Ranma's mother that he and Ranma would commit Seppuku if he didn't raise Ranma to be "a man among men".
  • Shapeshifter Swan Song: Copycat Ken's breakdown resembles this (anime only).
  • Shapeshifting Squick: Kiima transforming into Akane and then instigating naked cuddling with Ranma in the final storyline.
  • Shipper on Deck: Oh, where to start? While just about every member of the Love Dodecahedron ships their rivals at some point (in an attempt to Pair the Spares), Soun & Genma stand out by shipping Ranma and Akane in nearly every episode. Then again, they did engage the two of them in the first place. When Genma plans says that he's going to make Ryoga the heir to the Saotome school, both Genma and Soun ship Ryoga and Akane.
  • Ship Sinking: Most of the teased ships are ruthlessly sunk right in the harbor before they can truly sail, but it doesn't stop them.
  • Ship Tease: Takahashi has teased a wide variety of the ships found in the yard, even going so far as to tease a RivalShip (Ranma/Ryoga) during the Koi Rod of Love arc. But nearly all of them are followed by Ship Sinking.
  • Shouldn't We Be in School Right Now?: Despite being shown attending school and having a few scenes set in school, they don't seem to be doing that much academic work. Ryoga appears to have dropped out in Jr. High to follow Ranma. Shampoo and Mousse are implied to be around the crew's age yet have never been shown going to school.
  • Shout-Out: Viz Video's VHS and DVD releases often referenced movie titles, songs, or other pop culture elements. Such as Big Trouble In Nekonron, China, Nihao, My Concubine, Like Water for Ranma, Akane and Her Sisters, An Akane to Remember, One Flew Over the Kuno's Nest, and Faster, Kasumi! Kill! Kill!. And those are just the movie and OAV releases—the TV series had gems such as "Dharma Chameleon" and "Smells Like Evil Spirit". Then it got even worse. The Japanese episode and movie titles within those releases had straight-up translations, though.
    • The anime also has a number of Shout Outs to Urusei Yatsura; a couple of characters from the series can be spotted in blink-and-you'll-miss-it scenes—the two most notable are when Shampoo demonstrates Instant Nanniichuan, the dog turns into a replica of Ataru, and when Kuno does a flying dive onto a status of Cherry in the Wishing Sword episode, but they also show up in a couple of crowd-scenes. One anime filler episode has Kodachi show up in a scene that may be a reference to the first introduction of Ryoko Mendo. The below mentioned OVA also has Lum herself clearly show up as one of Ranma's many fawning concubines during Akane's first nightmare.
    • The recent single episode OVA that was released as part of the It's a Rumic World celebration for the anniversary of Shonen Sunday had multiple shoutouts to Inuyasha.
      • In one of Akane's dreams, a painting on the paper wall is clearly Sesshomaru's dog form. In another scene, Akane dreams that she's in a losing battle and you can clearly see Kagome, Inu Yasha, Shippo and Miroku as her fallen comrades. Later in the same dream, we see Kodachi with facial markings similar to those seen on Sesshomaru, his mother and other full blooded dog demons.
    • The manga has a blink-and-you'll-miss-it reference to Dokonjo Gaeru—a sickly little girl with a crush on Ranma, appearing in a single Valentine's Day filler chapter from the manga, calls her stuffed bunny "Pyonkichi."
  • Shrine to the Fallen: A typical Buddhist shrine to the memory of Mrs. Tendo is occasionally shown.
  • Sibling Team: The OAVs' Natsumi and Kurumi.
  • Signature Move: Ranma's Hiryu Shoten Ha and Ryoga's Shi Shi Hokodan are definitely iconic enough.
  • Sitting on the Roof
  • Single-Minded Twins: the anime has Ling-Ling and Lung-Lung, the manga has Pink and Link.
  • Slap Slap Kiss: Subverted—Ranma and Akane bicker constantly but never quite succeed at kissing, despite their obvious growing attraction to each other.
    • It doesn't count when you use tape.
  • Sleeves Are for Wimps: Many of Ranma's Chinese outfits, and also Pantyhose Taro and Ryū Kumon's entire look.
    • Ranma readily wears heavy sleeved outfits when the weather is cold; he rolls them up often for fights (which happen often).
  • Small Annoying Creature: Happosai.
  • Smashing Watermelons: Used as part of one of the early storylines. Tatewaki Kuno also turns this into a inverted form of Training from Hell.
  • Smoke Out
  • Snap Back
  • Snot Bubble
  • Soap Opera Disease: Happosai, in season 3. He gets better. Also Hinako Ninomiya had a case when she was a child (weak constitution, with an IV in her arm, which she can slip out of to go play with a random stranger). She gets better as well.
  • Social Services Does Not Exist: How Genma could pull off the Cat-fist training and not get jailed for child abuse is a wonder to everyone, in the show and out.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": "Tendō" vs. "Tendou" vs "Tendo". Repeat for any place, character, or special technique with an "oh" sound anywhere in their name. Fanfic is split on the latter two, with both seeing a large amount of usage in stories.
    • It doesn't help that the video games and certain official materials with romanized names take it one step further and use spelling such as "Kunoh."
    • In a more specific example, the character officially romanized as "Rakkyosai" is often spelled "Lukkosai" due to early fan scripts and the character's own nickname, "Lucky." [2]
    • Often also written as "Tendö" in Fanfic by writers who do not know better, which is especially hard on the eyes for Fanfic readers in countries which do use Umlaut characters, because there "ö" stands for a completely different sound than "oh".
    • Names with y-based diphthongs get hit with it the worst, especially as they combine with the "oh" sounds above, with some segments of the fandom spelling items like "Jusenkyo" or "Moko Takabisha" as "Jyusenkyou" or "Mouko Takabishya."
    • The Punny Names for the characters mentioned in that trope are also spelled in those approximations of Chinese in certain circles, whereas the majority (as well as official translations) go straight for the pun.
  • Spider Sense: Most of the martial artists have this.
  • Spirited Competitor: Ranma and Ryoga
  • Squeaky Eyes
  • Stalker with a Crush: Both of the Kunos, and Mousse too.
    • Tsubasa would also qualify.
  • Standing in the Hall
  • Status Quo Is God: No one ages, no one graduates, and Ranma and Akane's relationship develops at a positively glacial pace.
  • Stealth Clothes
  • Stout Strength: Genma. Yeah, he's a fat, old, lazy part-time panda, but he's still able to go toe-to-toe with Ranma and often comes out on top. Arguably the Dojo Destroyer too, but that is more a case of an Informed Attribute (at least in the manga; the anime version is definitely portrayed as formidable).
  • Straw Hypocrite: Many of the ones inflicted with the curse want to be rid of it yet have no problem with the advantages.
  • Sudden School Uniform: Principal Kuno introducing a mandatory hairstyle (or trying to) in addition to the existing uniforms.
  • Supernatural Martial Arts
  • Super Speed: While none of the characters travel at 'standard super speed', Ranma is capable of punching dozens, or even hundreds of times at such speeds that not even those attacked noticed. At least until they realize that they can't be hurting that much from one punch.
    • Even before taking the speed-training from Cologne, Ranma was able to punch over 500 times in 5 seconds while being spun around at super high speeds.
    • When so inclined, the characters can actually run (or cycle, or row, or swim, or whatever) at greater-than-human speed, even if they don't quite hit the "run 100 miles in a second" pace typically associated with Super Speed.
  • Surprise Jump: A running gag results in Ranma clinging to the ceiling if he is scared enough.
  • Surrogate Soliloquy: Subverted—Akane talks to P-Chan, who's actually Ryoga. Ryoga, in turn, is often seen practicing his lines to Akane with an oddly-cute storefront doll shaped like an anthropomorphic frog in a sundress.
  • Swarm of Rats: Unleashed against the kidnapped girls in Nihao My Concubine, followed by a tide of cats chasing them just after Ranma has gotten all smug about girls being scared of small furry animals.
  • Tame His Anger: Both Ranma Saotome and Ryoga Hibiki do this. Their anger was towards each other. By the end of the series they're pretty much the best of friends.
  • The Sweat Drop
  • Sweetheart Sipping: Kuno and Girl-type Ranma (yeah, It's a Long Story). Also Girl-type Ranma and Harumaki (one part softheartedness to one part blackmail—the old lecher won't stop haunting her dreams unless she gives him a date). Come to think of it, doesn't it happen with Girl-type Ranma and Densuke too?
  • Sweet Polly Oliver: Ukyo, for all of one episode.
  • Sweet Tooth: Ranma takes advantage of his much-hated girl form at any opportunity to get ice cream in the anime.
  • Talking with Signs: Genma-Panda
  • Taste the Rainbow: A martial art for every interest.
  • The Tease: Girl-Ranma; Nabiki; to a small extent Hinako;
  • Thanks for the Mammary: And he just freezes in shock and dread, forgetting to let go!
  • Theme Naming: Pretty much every regular that is part of a group or family: The Tendos, all Chinese characters, the Kunos, the Saotomes...
  • Theme Tune Cameo: The studio would insert the first season's theme song for random music whenever they needed a generic song. The background music is used for Ling-ling & Lung-lung's hypnotic music tape, Yuka and Sayrui sing it karaoke style in one Filler episode, and there's plenty of other times it shows up, sometimes as actual background music to what's happening on strings.
  • There Was a Door: This could almost be considered Shampoo's characteristic schtick, although Ryu Kumon, Ryoga and even Kuno get into the act at one time or another.
  • The Thing That Goes Doink
  • Those Two Guys: Hiroshi and Daisuke for Ranma and their Distaff Counterparts Yuka and Sayuri for Akane. These are filler characters in the anime. Lime and Mint and Koruma and Masara act like this towards their respective lords. In the anime, Nabiki gets two unnamed extras usually helping her run her gambling pools.
  • Through His Stomach: Over and over again. It gets to the point that even Akane realizes Ranma is more like to succumb to temptation by Through His Stomach instead of Show Some Leg. A Running Gag is that Akane constantly tries to invoke this trope despite being a Lethal Chef.
  • Thundering Herd: Used many times, most notably in the opening of the first movie.
  • Time to Unlock More True Potential: Which then involves Training from Hell.
  • Time Travel: The Nanban Mirror, only in the anime.
  • Tomboy: Akane; Ukyo. Ironically, Wholesome Crossdresser Ukyo is actually less of a Tomboy than the dress-wearing Akane. Ranma is also this, when female and not pretending to be a girly girl (usually for the sake of a disguise).
  • Took a Level in Badass: It is never explained how Nodoka went from being hideously clumsy with a sword (such as accidentally flinging it at people while unsheathing it), which is very very bad for a kaishakunin, to handling it with skill perhaps equivalent to Tatewaki shortly before becoming a permanent member of the Tendo Dojo.
    • In the OAVs, Akane specifically trained to take back the Tendo Dojo from Natsume and Kurumi.
    • Inverted with Tatewake Kuno, who, upon his introduction, demonstrated enough martial prowess to slip through Ranma's guard and mark his neck and was portrayed as a possible serious rival, only to devolve into a gag character in subsequent appearances, and can only be seen as a badass again (or even as a threat at all) when facing regular humans or when augmented by hyper-specialized, albeit temporary, training.
  • Tone Shift: As mentioned above, something of a reverse Cerebus Syndrome; the series starts out comedic, but restrained, and with some semblance of an ongoing plot; over time it gets progressively wackier and more episodic, until past a certain point it almost feels like a different series compared to the early story arcs.
  • Tough Love: Poor Ranma. As above, how Genma "trains" his son using the 'Cat-fist' method.
  • Training from Hell: seems to be the only way any of the higher-grade special techniques can be learned. Also inverted in one storyline; training on Watermelon Island is Training from Hell... that's actually useless in battle. It's Training from Hell for the Smashing Watermelons game.
    • Soun and Genma spent years with Happosai, supposedly training. Of course, the training is implied (they are strong martial artists, Overshadowed by Awesome not withstanding), we are only shown the hell.
  • Transformation Ray: Usually related to mystical water:
    • Jusenkyo. Drowning (non-fatally) in a spring or being splashed with water from it will curse you with transforming into whatever creature drowned there first. Powdered versions exist, but they're only good for one transformation. In addition, Prince Saffron needed pure water from Jusendo (the source of Jusenkyo) for his metamorphosis into the Phoenix King.
    • Japanese Nannichuan. Created by a traveling monk, underneath what is now Fuurinkan High's women's locker room, to transform a pack of mischievous foxes into men. The men then turned out to be even worse than the foxes...
    • Togenkyo. Anything that falls in the spring or is splashed with its water will be permanently transformed into a man.
  • Trap Is the Only Option: In an early chapter/episode, Gosunkugi/Sasuke (manga and anime respectively) finds out about Ranma's phobia of cats and decides to lure him into a cat-filled room to terrify him. He does this by sending Ranma a letter telling him to show up at a particular location if he ever wants to see Akane again...while Akane's standing right next to Ranma and reading the letter too. He then does a hilariously poor impersonation of being the kidnapped Akane (once again, while Akane's right next to Ranma) when Ranma shows up at the designated location. Ranma still goes along with it because he just wants to know what the hell this weirdo is up to.
  • Trash Talk: It's an integral part of Ranma's fighting style.
  • Trickster Mentor: Happosai again. He really IS that annoying. Cologne also qualifies.
  • Trying to Catch Me Fighting Dirty: Ranma; Genma; Kodachi
  • Tsundere: Akane; precisely which type is heavily debated, but perhaps the most reasonable explanation is that she's intended to be a Type B (mainly from Kasumi's description of her as a "very sweet girl, she's just a violent maniac/little high-spirited), and becomes one after a particularly rocky start that makes her seem more of a Type A. Of course, you have a lot of argument over which canon makes her lean more towards one type or another.
    • Inverted -- Ranma in his female form. He even breaks out the time honored "I'm not doing it because I like you" line.
  • Tunnel King: Ryoga.
  • Unfazed Everyman: Nabiki.
  • The Unfair Sex
  • Ungrateful Bitch: Akane a majority of the time towards Ranma.
    • Stops her from fighting Shampoo who could've killed her, she elbows his face
    • Inadvertently stopped Kodachi from malleting her when she was defenseless, and she leaves him paralyzed on the roof
    • Catching her when Cologne cut the support line they were hanging onto, she kicks him away towards Ryoga
    • Tackles her out of the way from Ukyo's spatula, she punches him for shoving her too hard (>_>)
    • Fights the Dojo Destroyer when it was obvious Akane can't do jack against him, and she tells Ranma to get lost because it was her fight
  • Unholy Nuke: Ryoga's Shishi Hokodan, which is fueled by negative feelings and highly destructive.
  • Universal Adaptor Cast
  • Unlucky Childhood Friend: Ukyo; Mousse; Shinnosuke.
  • Unskilled but Strong: Saffron
  • The Unwanted Harem: The Trope Namer, both played straight and Deconstructed Trope; Ranma's status as a chick magnet gives the Jerk with a Heart of Gold a fairly debilitating guilt trip. But though he's not enough of a cad to abuse the situation, it also soothes his manly Pride—badly battered by his Attractive Bent Gender curse. And though all the girls involved adore him, they're also rather exasperated by his wishy-washy attitude. It should be no surprise that the end-of-series attempted marriage ended in a Blast Out.
    • Somewhat subverted during the Reversal Jewel arc when Shampoo, under the jewel's effect, attempts to leave the harem, Ranma rather insistently runs after her to get it back, at first because of her abrupt change of temperament than due to his ego rather than true feelings. Lampshaded by Cologne when she notes that he got so used to Shampoo chasing him, he had to find out why she stopped.
    • Taken Up to Eleven in Episode 4 of Season 2 where it's indicated (by way of Flash Back) there are at least two girls whose fathers Genma promised Ranma to long before he is even introduced to the rest of the cast. Ranma Lampshades this by asking 'How many more fiances do I have, anyway?' at the end of the episode.
  • Valley Girl: Mariko, like totally. Subverted in that she appears to be the strongest young female fighter in the series. Or at least she's the only one who can actually claim to have defeated Ranma, if mostly, or entirely, through surprise—and in one hit, no less.
  • Vanity Is Feminine: Ranma takes insults to his female form's attractiveness much harder than he does to his male counterpart.
    • One specific installment had Ranma insult Akane on her looks, which naturally put her into a temper. Kasumi confronted him afterward and said he had to apologize, because even if she was tomboyish, "...she's still a girl."
  • Walking the Earth: Ryoga, though rarely on purpose; Ryū Kumon, since he's looking for the counterpart technique to his own; Ranma and Genma prior to the manga.
  • Warding Gestures
  • Weak but Skilled: Occasionally Ranma, relatively speaking.
    • Specifically, characters such as Happosai, Saffron, the Orochi, Herb, Pantyhose Taro,Ryoga shishi houkoudan, and Ryu are explicitly displayed to have considerably greater raw offensive power than himself. Ranma tends to find some way to either win or obtain his objective by a combinations of strategy(All of them), cheap shots(Happosai,Herb), exploiting specific weak spots, luck(Saffron/Happosai/Herb), speed, and through judicious use of the Saotome Ultimate Technique (Run away and come up with a better plan). Ranma is usually untrained at whatever Martial Arts and Crafts of the week he is challenged at, but his genuine aptitude for anything Martial Arts usually lets him/her triumph.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Ranma's ailurophobia; Rouge's back pain due to having six arms; any Jusenkyo-cursed martial artist and water.
  • Weirdness Censor: Both Tatewaki and Kodachi Kuno are oblivious to the fact that male and female Ranma are the same person... despite the fact that's he's transformed in front of them!
  • Welcome Titles
  • What Do You Mean It's Not Awesome?: Take Out Delivery Martial Arts, Fine Dining Martial Arts, Tea Ceremony Martial Arts, and so forth...
  • What Song Was This Again?: Viz Video's song subtitles, as well as dubbed versions of DoCo's OAV songs, were "translated" to fit the melody and the rough spirit of the original lyrics. Fans came to label these "Trishliterations" after Viz Media's Trish Ledoux.
  • When She Smiles: Ranma's opinion of Akane.
  • When the Clock Strikes Twelve: Used twice: first, during the Curse of the New Year's Bell arc, where the Mao Molin's curse would have turned Shampoo permanently into a cat unless kissed before the 108th toll of a bell. Then, when Akane was reduced to a dehydrated doll by the magic of the Kinjakan, Ranma had to bathe her in Jusenkyo water before her eyes closed completely, or else she would die.
  • Where It All Began: The final arc of the manga revolves around returning to Jusenkyo to save it. The readers finally get to see Akane at Jusenkyo, and fall in a spring.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Ukyo; Konatsu. In a filler, Tsubasa.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Ranma's fear of cats.
    • Also somewhat invoked by Ranma in the anime; while falling into the pool he screams, "Why does it always have to be water?!"
  • Wife Husbandry: Inverted in a flashback where Genma offers Ranma to this fate in exchange for some food. Husband husbandry anyone?
    • Of course Genma, being Genma, Crosses the Line Twice and steals Ranma back then has the nerve to act righteous about it. Of course, we are talking about the man who treats 'the Line' like a jump rope.
  • Willfully Weak: It is common for the characters to limit themselves be it to the rules of the particular style, not using every ability to their fullest extent, trying to not injure/kill their opponent, not caring enough to bother with it, etc. Special mention goes to Genma though since he came up with, and then chose not to use, the Umisen-ken and Yamasen-ken techniques, and almost never uses his battle-aura. Ryū Kumon supposedly promised to not use the "school of the violent thief" after his duel with Ranma, and Ranma himself never again used the counterpart school either, although in that case, beyond being a counter to Yamasen-ken, all that it really provides is extreme ninja stealth and master thievery.
  • The Worf Effect: Done most often to Ranma himself, as most of the (anime) Villain of the Week characters wind up proving their cred by kicking Ranma's ass. Mousse and Ryoga get this treatment during the Herb arc, as both are effortless beat by Mint and Lime respectively to build hype on Herb... who proceeds to Worf the crap out of Ranma just to prove this is serious opponent.
    • Usually done to point out Ranma's (relatively) weak but skilled nature. He almost always wins his fights through some clever ruse.
    • Ryoga also occasionally gets his ass kicked, but generally much less often then Ranma does and usually to help highlight that this is an unusually potent opponent.
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Mostly Fanon, though there is a degree of it in both Ranma and Ryoga's actions—though the former can work around the issue, rather obviously. Likewise, Ryoga has no problem hitting Ranma's girl side... unless a wig and glasses disguise is involved (though that's only while he's unaware of Ranma's real identity).
    • Also averted early on by the Hentai Horde, who would hit Akane if they were good enough to lay a finger on her.
    • Averted with Ranma himself as he showed no qualms about wanting to hit Cologne during her debut. There was also the fight with Kodachi where he himself was on the line (and she did hit Kodachi using P-chan as a weapon).
      • In the anime, they actually could touch her on occasion, but either they used grabs (which she could break out of, due to being much stronger than them) or she blocked them with her bookbag. That was only in the first season, though, and no other Mooks would ever be able to touch her afterwards.
  • Yamato Nadeshiko: Kasumi, Kasumi. Can you respond to any situation in any other way than to say, "Oh, my!"?
    • Sure. She also says "Dinner's ready!"
    • Sure. She called Akane a "violent maniac"... A line which got mistranslated (by the otherwise good and faithful English dub) into merely being "high-spirited".
    • Sure. In one manga chapter she gets so "mad" at Ranma that she pokes him in the forehead and says "Me" to him, just like mothers do to their babies when they misbehave.
  • Yandere: Most of the girls get accused of this by different fan groups. However, while under the influence of the Fishing Rod of Love, Ranma becomes a terrifying Yandere towards Ryoga. Hilarity Ensues. (Perhaps we should be glad Ranma is such an easy-going guy.)
    • Kodachi and Shampoo are the only ones who have been flat out shown as very willing to kill anyone in the way, although Shampoo isn't crazy, but rather really really into expediency. (Even scarier)
    • To point out how insane Ranma got, he deliberately triggered his curse for him and told Ryoga she'd gladly let him kill her if it would make him happy. Oh, and he also attacked Akane when the latter interrupted, which finally prompted Ryoga to step through his fears and doubt to defeat Ranma cleanly, for perhaps the only time in the manga. Notable because Ranma never got his win back from that.
  • You ALL Share My Story: Ryoga very prominently; many others as well throughout the series.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Both Akane (black with blue highlights) and Shampoo (lavender/violet) in the anime. And as an Adaptation Dye Job, female Ranma's bright red hair.[3]
  • You Have Got to Be Kidding Me!: The phrase "Joudan ja nai wa yo!" literally means this, and Akane says this more times than one can count throughout the anime. Usually with maximum rage in her voice.
  • You Know What You Did: Akane gets lured into this a lot.
  • You No Take Candle: Shampoo and the Jusenkyo guide. While this is supposed to illustrate Chinese language in Japanese, the odd thing is they are the only Chinese people who speak like that; Cologne, Mousse, Pantyhose Taro etc. all speak properly.

"Oh-No, Honored Customer, you fall in spring of Drowned Troper, is too, too, tragic tale of person too busy editing articles to look where going, now you turn into person unable to turn off computer..."

  1. Answer: They're one and the same.
  2. "Rakki" is Engrish for "lucky."
  3. Towards the end, the red color leaked back into the manga for color drawings.