Sym-Bionic Titan

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No, you can't have one.

An animated series created by Genndy Tartakovsky, Paul Rudish and Brian Andrews for Cartoon Network.

A hybrid of high school drama and giant robot battles, Sym-Bionic Titan follows the adventures of three beings from the planet Galaluna: Princess Ilana, her bodyguard Lance, and their Robot Buddy Octus. Escaping from their home from the advance of the powerful General Modula, they crash-land in Sherman, Illinois and pose as high school students. However, Modula's forces have followed in pursuit and now they must defend their new home from his many monsters with their mechs.

Has a recap page.

Not to be confused with that other Cartoon Network show with giant robots. Or the other one. Or that other one. Nor the one on Adult Swim. Or the other Adult Swim one. Or the ones on Toonami and Adult Swim.

Sym-Bionic Titan was cancelled after its initial order of 20 episodes, ostensibly for not having a strong enough merchandising tie-in, though in actuality, was more of a contract dispute between Genndy and CN. The last three episodes were then shuffled to an early-morning slot on Saturday. The fast cancellation of such an acclaimed series has since quickly led to a fan movement determined on getting the show renewed.


Tropes used in Sym-Bionic Titan include:
  • Ace Custom: Ilana's mech, Corus, is implied to be this since no others like it were ever shown. Lance uses a standard issue Manus armor with a slightly different color scheme; the Combining Mecha aspect probably isn't standard, though, since the King passed him a new model (his old one had been confiscated) before sending him off.
  • Acting for Two: John Dimaggio as General Julius Steel and Ilana's father, the King of Galaluna. He keeps popping up as extras all over the place, along with Tara Strong. Of course, with their wide ranges and main character positions, this isn't really too surprising.
  • Acting Unnatural: In "Lessons in Love", Newton and Kimmy are about to kiss when Lance and Ilana burst in. Newton randomly shouts out the word "Parallelogram!" and extends his book pages forward towards Lance and Ilana, while Kimmy opens her book upside down.
  • Action Bomb: Tashy 497, of the explodes when killed (or just when it dies) variety.
  • Action Girl: Ilana. Not nearly as action-y as Lance, but she can still hold her own.
    • Kristin (the Goth girl) was also revealed to be one in "Under the Three Moons" when shown practicing martial arts.
  • Adorkable: Jason, and Octus as Newton.
  • Aeris and Bob: Within Galaluna, Lance, Edward (Lance's father), and Arthur vs. Baron, Ilana, and Modula.
  • An Aesop: Rather subtle by Western Animation standards, yet rather blunt by this show's standards. Episode 4 had a healthy-eating Aesop, but it focused less on "eating healthy" and more on "eating things that are edible." It also had a good minute's worth of Lance with an armful of fruit eating a nutritious breakfast for no other reason than to... show him eating a nutritious breakfast.
    • Actually, the healthy eating message was more of a metaphor for the actual plot of the episode involving Lance's boredom with Earth life. The blandness of the food is Lance's boredom with Earth, but he later realizes that even though it's bland at first, it has qualities that are good for him in the long run. Kids will understand the health message, but older audiences will see the subtext.
    • Episode 10, which is most remembered for the "Booty Quake" scene, actually did deliver a rather subtle aesop where Octus all but told Kimmy she didn't need to act like a flighty slut and should respect herself more.
  • Airborne Aircraft Carrier: G3's headquarters.
  • Aliens In Sherman
  • Aliens Speaking English: And if Octus' scans are right, they breathe similar gases, too.
    • All of the Mutraddi (the intelligent ones anyway) speak English as well.
    • If we think that the king explicity sent his daughter to that particular planet, we can consider that just because our planet is like Galaluna, he sent her to Earth.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: One of the reasons all the girls at Sherman High are into Lance. Octus even lampshades it at one point when Lance is being swarmed by fangirls.

Ilana: I don't get it.
Octus: Dark hair, bedroom eyes, moody demeanor. I totally get it.

  • All There in the Script: Several characters that are not called by name in the show have their names listed in the credits. This applies to most of the human cast and even some of the aliens. For instance, the Goth girl who likes Lance in "The Ballad of Scary Mary" is named Kristin, and the Mutraddi frog creature in "The Demon Within" is named Muculox.
  • Alliteration: Lance Lunas
  • Animation Bump: The show has always looked good, but some episodes are simply gorgeous with feature film-quality animation; a good example is "Escape From Galaluna." The entire episode is simply beautiful.
  • Animesque: It's Genndy Tartakovsky. If it wasn't, something is seriously wrong. In particular the art style owes a lot to Osamu Tezuka.
  • Appropriated Appellation: The "Titan" part of the robot's name is added after it's referred to as one by the Earth media.
  • Auto Erotica: The teens in episode 5 get as close to this trope as is possible on Cartoon Network. See Getting Crap Past the Radar.
  • Back from the Dead: Octus is revived by the leader of G3.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Lance and Solomon in Episode 11. Not only is it awesome, it's a plot point, since Solomon should not know the martial art Lance uses. Ilana and Lance do this later in the same episode just before they get their watches back.
  • Badass: Lance.
    • Modula, too. Solomon as of Episode 11 as well.
  • Badass Beard: The King of Galaluna. This is showcased in "Escape from Galaluna" when he's fighting the Mutraddi invaders alongside his soldiers. And when his gun breaks, he gets an even bigger one.
    • Again, Modula, and his beard trumps the King's.
  • Badass Longcoat: Solomon.
  • Badass Princess: Ilana.
  • Baddie Flattery: "...Good Foo-foo."
  • Bare Your Midriff: Kimmy in the "Ballad of Scary Mary."
    • Also Ilana's PJs in "Tashy 497".
  • Barrier Warrior: Ilana's Corus armor allows her to create force fields and the theme is carried over to her controlling the Titan's shield arm.
  • Batman Gambit: Solomon pulls one to figure out how the Titan works.
  • Beauty Equals Goodness: When General Steel goes even crazier than before in episode 20, his features are noticeably more detailed and ugly; jagged teeth, wrinkles, liver spots on his hands...
  • Berserk Button: Don't try to hurt Lance or Ilana in front of Octus. In the episode "The Fortress of Deception", he reaches downright Terminator levels of single-mindedness when Lance and Ilana are kidnapped. Also, don't imply that he is Just a Machine.
  • Beware the Cute Ones: Tashy 497. You will coo and squeal at him forever... at least until you remember he can take out an entire planet.
  • BFG: In flashbacks to the Mutradi invasion, the king is shown fighting along his troops with a standard issue rifle. The thing breaks in his hands, so a mook immediately passes him a bigger gun. Much dakka ensues.
  • BFS: Sym-Bionic Titan's sword, created out of the pilots' thoughts.
  • Big Bad: Modula.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: General Modula, General Steel, and Solomon, though Modula is really the only true Big Bad in the trio. The Galactic Guardians aren't actually villains, and Steel is a Well-Intentioned Extremist. And Solomon eventually pulled a Heel Face Turn and became a firm ally.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Octus in the finale, saving an outmatched Illana and Lance and allowing an even more powerful Titan to be formed. The Titan then proceeds to do the same for G3 and General Steel.
  • Birds of a Feather: Ilana and Jason; Lance and Kristin.
  • Biting the Hand Humor: The first episode has a parody of the type of teen dramas usually found on half-sister network The CW. "Tonight on the WC!"
  • Blatant Lies: Octus has to "go to the bathroom" a lot. With his brother and sister. Kimmy eventually gives up trying to get him to explain what he's really doing, but she's still not too happy about it.
  • Blob Monster: Episode 7.
  • Blood From the Mouth: Lance has the minor injury version when being beaten by G3's resident interrogator.
  • Body Horror: Xeexi forcing itself down people's throats.
    • Ilana slowly transforming into a frog monster.
  • Bodyguard Crush: Averted so far (probably due to their status as "siblings"), but we do get occasional Ship Teases and He Is Not My Boyfriend moments.
    • Genndy has actually stated in an official interview that he intends to go for a non-romantic relationship with Lance and Ilana because he finds doing a friendship between male and female characters is more interesting and that having them fall in love would be too easy. As of The Ballad of Scary Mary, alternate potential romantic interests have been introduced for Ilana and Lance.
      • In said interview, Genndy stated that the relationship of Pazu and Sheeta of Hayao Miyazaki's Laputa: Castle in the Sky served as inspiration for that of Lance and Ilana. To him this was a bond of mutual friendship with no romantic attractions involved. Of course, not all viewers agree on this point so Your Mileage May Vary.
    • Ilana's former bodyguard Hobbs in Escape from Galaluna might qualify, as they both showed a mutual affection for each other.
  • Bond One-Liner: Modula gets one in "Under the Three Moons" after a henchcreature bet his own life that a monster would succeed.

"You should have bet something else."

  • Breather Episode:
    • Considering the preview for the sixth episode, "Roar of the White Dragon" may have been this.
    • Episode 10 is also one as it is a teen romantic comedy set between the really sad episode 9 and a particularly violent and intense Episode 11.
  • Brown Note:
    • The above-mentioned Blob Monster is vulnerable to certain frequencies, though Octus doesn't figure out the lethal sound until later on.
    • The Monster of the Week in "I Am Octus" uses an ultrasonic signal to freeze humans in place.
  • Buffy-Speak: During their first excursion to the mall, Ilana describes a particular couch as being "smooshy", with emphasis on the "oo".
  • By the Power of Grayskull: Octus sometimes announces "Initiate Sym-Bionic Titan" before the combination sequence.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Though it's not necessary, Lance has on occasion called out a given weapon which the Titan created.
  • Came Back Strong: Octus and the Titan in episode 20. The new Titan is far more powerful and curbstomps three rather strong monsters that had G3 and General Steel completely outmatched. Lance even says Titan feels stronger than before.
  • Camp Gay: Todd, the male member of the dance committee duo, is a rather family friendly version of this.
  • Car Fu: The way Lance drives his car. On scaffoldings, and getting big air on broken pavement. It's almost Le Parkour with a car.
    • Let's not forget he grinds the motherfucker on a crane. That shit is like Car ninjitsu.
  • Cassandra Truth: In a flashback to his academy days, Lance was grabbed from bed and dumped in the hall in his underwear. The headmaster treats it as if Lance did this deliberately, despite the student body being well-aware of Baron's Jerkass behavior.
    • Lance again in episode 16, when the king refuses to believe that there's an invasion on the way, and Lance is dismissed as a lunatic. Said invasion shows up not long after.
  • The Cheerleader: More mean than stupid, but they don't exactly scream honor-roll material.
  • Child Soldiers: The Academy is a military training facility which starts training future soldiers as children. To be fair, however, it is partially Truth in Television: most of them are teenagers, and military schools do exist for such ages. However, they also showed a row of children who looked even shorter, and, presumably, younger than Lance and Arthur -- who were already small and really young-looking to begin with.
    • It's worth noting that the whole episode was a pretty big tribute to Ender's Game, which is about a kid being trained to become a soldier.
  • Coat, Hat, Mask: Solomon
  • Combat Pragmatist: Lance displays this during the flash back episode. Outmatched by the traitorous instructor, he used a rock to block his sword, and runs him through with his.
  • Combining Mecha: Sym-Bionic Titan, formed when Corus, Manus, and Octus combine.
  • Conspicuous CGI: The Titan, though it surprisingly works. Some of the monsters, on the other hand...
    • The Mutraddi in episode 16 get special mention, for being the most obvious to date.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • The construction site in Episode 5 is the same place that was destroyed by the first Monster of the Week.
    • And even before that, the giant effing crater in the middle of the city in Episode 2.
    • G3 has a storeroom of alien objects, including the trio's spaceship and the remains of several monsters they killed in the previous episodes.
    • In Episode 12, Kimmy is seen talking to her friend about the latest episode of Highschool Heights, a Show Within a Show mentioned in the first episode. "He can't read?" The show is mentioned again in Episode 13, too. Apparently Ilana and Octus are both fans.
    • In "Disenfranchised" we see that the legs of the giant Mecha-Hydra from way back in Episode 2 are in the exact same spot, and a park has even been built around them. The episode also has General Steel's spy questioning students about the events of "Showdown at Sherman High".
    • In "Under the Three Moons," the mall is still being repaired from the destruction caused in Episode 2.
    • In "The Steel Foe" Lance says that the H.M.E.R. is made of Mutraddi metal from the missile that was carrying Tashy.
  • Convection, Schmonvection: Averted with the fire monster from the first episode; the characters react to the heat.
  • Conveniently Empty Building: Subverted. The pilot episode has the Titan destroy an entire section of the city against the first Monster of the Week. The following episode strongly implies that the cost of the damage was more than just financial...[1]
    • In the finale, we actually SEE people inside of the buildings that are being blown up
  • Cool Car: Lance's new hobby in "Roar of the White Dragon".
  • Crystal Spires and Togas: Galaluna appears to be this initially, but as the series progresses and we get more flashbacks, it has more of a British Regency flavor -- in terms of dress, at least; the architecture is pretty lofty.
    • And the military uniforms have Napoleonic sensibilities.
  • Curb Stomp Battle: Pretty much any fight Lance has with jocks or criminals.
    • And a literal example when it comes to the Titan's battle with Xishi.
    • The H.M.E.R's first fight. Given the Tokusatsu influences, this isn't a suprise.
    • H.M.E.R, G3, and Lance and Illana all three suffer this at the hands of the three newested monsters Modula sent. H.M.E.R gets torn to pieces as well. The situation is completely reversed when the Titan Came Back Strong, making it strong enough to completely dominate all three monsters with no effort. In fact, it would appear they were playing with the first one to test out their new powers.
  • Cut Short: And how. Given all the storylines which went unresolved (including a handful which came up in the finale alone) the series pretty much has an open ending with no closure short of a feature film being created several years after the series ended.
  • Cute Monster Girl: Averted hard in Episode 13.
  • Cute Shotaro Boy: Lance looked surprisingly adorable as a kid. He's practically a puppy!
  • Cuteness Proximity: Lance is taken in by the Ridiculously Cute Critter Tashy 497 even though he was suspicious of it before.
  • Dance of Romance: Between Kimmy and her ex-boyfriend, and Jason and Maribel, and Lance and Ilana (though it can be debatable that it was arguably more of a sibling/familial-like dance than a romantic one) in "Under the Three Moons."
  • Darker and Edgier: This is one of several new Cartoon Network shows that has no problem using the word "death". Also, the first episode starts with Lance slaughtering a few dozen infantrymen and a tank or two before Ilana informs him the Faceless Mooks he's been killing are humanoid.
    • It's also this as a whole compared to Genndy Tartokovsky's previous works (except maybe Samurai Jack, but those were Mecha-Mooks).
    • The fact that it airs in Prime Time means that they can probably get away with a lot more since Cartoon Network is paying more attention to their Periphery Demographic these days.
    • Plus there was that opening scene in episode 6 with all the drowning people.
    • Episode 16 had Lance battling a traitor during the Invasion. At the final part of the battle he catches the traitor's sword with a ROCK then he jams his own sword right into the traitor's gut.
    • Episode 18 is where the show has a main character death, that of Octus.
  • Deadly Prank: In "The Ballad of Scary Mary," Mary is never seen again after a group of classmates lure her into the woods to tar and feather her. The trope is subverted at the end of the episode, when it's revealed that Mary wasn't killed, but instead hit it off with a cute biker boy she met in the woods and ran off with him.
  • Death World: If the local fauna is any indication, Mutrad is probably a huge one.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Kimmy. And in his own way, Octus.
  • Determinator: When the H.M.E.R. is smashed by an alien, general Steel doesn't give up. He gets out of the top and shoots the alien monster. With a regular handgun.
  • Deus Ex Machina: The mystery leader of G3 not only brought Octus back to life but made him stronger, just in time for the finale. At best, a type 2. More likely a type 3.
  • Diabolus Ex Nihilo: The energy creature from episode 18 shows up with no explanation for its presence or what it even is.
  • Didn't Think This Through: In order to contain a mutated and violent Ilana, Octus traps her inside his shapeshifting armor. However, he failed to consider that it would allow her to attack his "head", and pretty much names the trope.
  • Disney Acid Sequence: When Lance begins studying for his driver's license, it devolves into one of these
  • Disney Death: Ilana from "The Demon Within."
  • Disney Villain Death: The traitor during the invasion of the group's homeworld is stabbed through the gut by Lance and topples over the edge of a bridge to his death.
  • Distaff Counterpart: Lance meets what is pretty much a female version of himself at the Scary Mary party.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Subverted when Kimmy attempts this to get Octus to do her math problems for her, but it fails.
    • Although it seems to take effect during a conversation in Episode 13.
  • The Ditz: Invoked by Kimmy, who believes that she's stupid because she's the Alpha Bitch.
  • Downer Ending: Episode 18. Though it's arguably just a Downer Episode altogether. Things certainly don't look too bright for Lance and Ilana now that Octus is dead. Especially since they can't form Titan anymore.
  • Driving Test Smashers: Lance has this problem during his driving test.
  • Dumb Muscle: The school jocks aren't too bright, with Meat being the prime example.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: "Tashy 497" has Modula visiting his monster development facility. One of the monsters he sees ends up as the next episode's Monster of the Week.
  • Earth Obliterating Kaboom: Again, Tashy 497.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Some of the monsters. Xeexi and The Shaman are two of the most obvious examples.
    • Tashy 497 could be considered one, especially since its species are practically living supernovas.
  • Elegant Gothic Lolita: Ilana's fourth outfit (her second in the third episode). Oddly enough, her blonde hair really works well with it.
    • She borders on it again for most of Episode 10.
  • Elmuh Fudd Syndwome: Octus slips into this while watching Animal Friends.
  • The End - or Is It?: The Shaman might not be so dead after all...
  • Even the Guys Want Him: Lance again.
  • Everything's Better with Princesses: Ilana is an alien princess sent into exile to Earth due to the Mutradi invasion.
  • Executive Meddling: Of the "switch its time slot a lot" variety.
  • Expy: Baron bears a resemblance, in both personality and appearance, to Draco from the Harry Potter series
  • Face Heel Turn: General Modula prior to the beginning of the series.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Scary Mary in the flashbacks in "The Ballad of Scary Mary" fails to notice the girls laughing at her as the popular guy asks her out, then fails to notice the guy doing the same moments later. Justified, because unpopular Mary was clearly having the typical I Can't Believe a Guy Like You Would Notice Me reaction.
  • Family-Friendly Firearms: Subverted, the army is apparently using what look like HK G36's, though they don't help much against the mechs. Bank thieves likewise use machine guns.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: General Modula crushing a resistance fighter's neck with his fist. On Cartoon Network, no less. They at least had a Gory Discretion Shot.
    • They don't seem to have much of a problem with violently dispatching the monsters, either. In Episode 5 it shows Titan ripping off its limbs and punching a hole through it.
    • And in Episode 15 they literally hack the monster to pieces with a scythe.
    • Episode 16 has Lance stabbing a traitor who we then see fall from an extremely tall bridge. Though it's partially cleaned up by the fact that the wound isn't shown and he falls in water, it's pretty clear what happened.
    • Episode 17 has two. First the newly introduced Monster of the Week tears another monster to shreds and kills it by tearing its throat out. The monster itself is killed by being literally beaten to death by the Titan, blood splattering all over it as it does so
    • Octus' death in Episode 18 is pretty brutal, what with being electrocuted and drained of all his energy all while writhing in agony.
    • The three monsters in Episode 20 are brutally dispatched by the new improved Titan. The first one gets its leg severed and a spear driven down its throat. The second one gets an arm chopped off and sliced in half, and the final one is ambushed from behind and cut in half, its blood splattering all over Steel.
  • Fan Girl: Lance has quite a few of them at Sherman High, and Ilana had at least three on Galaluna who loved her so much that they copied her hairstyle.
  • Fan Service: Ilana's unlimited wardrobe; any time Lance is shirtless.
    • Kimmy's "little dance" for Octus qualifies as this.
    • They seem to have a penchant for exposing Ilana's legs as well. There's actually a scene in episode three featuring both shirtless Lance and Ilana in short shorts. And then there's the episode full of chearleaders crawling around an air duct.
    • Speaking of Ilana, at the end of "I Am Octus" her overalls have less material than Lance's shirt.
    • Lance spends the first half of Episode 11 in nothing but his boxers.
    • There's a lingering pan of Ilana when she shifts into her spacesuit in Episode 18.
    • Episode 19 sees Ilana coming out of the shower in nothing but a towel
  • Fictional Holiday: The Winter Harvest Festival seems to be Galaluna's version of Christmas.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: The main reason Ilana and Lance are becoming friends is because of the war on their home planet of Galaluna.
  • Foot Focus: "The Demon Within" has two shots focusing on Ilana's bare feet.
    • "Tashy 497 also features a shot of her bare feet as she walks up to Tashy's cage.
  • Foot Popping: Episode 10. After a study date, Kimmy does this when giving Octus a 'real' kiss before leaving.
  • Foreshadowing: In Episode 13, Octus says something to the effect of "Nothing stays dead today." At the end of the episode, Ilana's heart stops. In an almost literal moment of Heart Is an Awesome Power, it starts again.
  • Fragile Speedster: Corus, Ilana's mech.
    • The monster of episode 17 also counts. Its fast as lightning but so fragile the Titan doesn't even need a weapon to kill it, it just beats it to death once it finally catches it.
  • Freudian Trio: Lance (Id/Body), Ilana (Superego/Heart), and Octus (Ego/Mind).
    • Further, when they get into the local high school, they all end up as a different stereotype -- Lance is a bad boy, Ilana is a flower girl, and Octus is a Nerd.
  • Future Food Is Artificial: School lunches. Yes, the cliché is back.
  • Geeky Turn On: Octus's reaction to the White Dragon's car is to remark how it makes his "circuits tingle." Lance responds, "Mine, too."
  • General Ripper: General Steel has a "shoot first, ask questions never" policy with aliens. That this might not be the best policy to deal with alien threats can be seen in Episode 3.
    • This may not be the right trope to file this under, but the fact that Solomon was willing to sacrifice probably millions of dollars in damage to their Helicarrier, the lives of his men, and even beat the living piss out of them himself is pretty goddamn committed.
    • This is probably one of the most unrealistic parts of the show. Even as General Ripper types go, Steel would've already been removed for being dangerously psychotic.
  • Genius Bruiser: Octus may be The Smart Guy of the trio, but his robot body allows him to kick just as much ass as Ilana and Lance if push comes to shove.
  • Genre Savvy: Lance is fully aware that if they attempt to fight the first creature that Modula sent to Earth, it would give away their position, causing him to send more creatures after the fact, and refuses to fight it. Ilana talks him and Octus into it later, however.
    • Xeexi may count as well, being much more subtle and intelligent than most bad guys. Unfortunately for him, he did not kill Lance....
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Has its own page.
  • Gilligan Cut: In the first episode, when the gang try and introduce themselves without disguises.

Ilana: [hiding in a cave] If we're going to blend in with these Earthlings we'll need to know more about them. Perhaps we should go down there?
Octus: Agreed.
[Cut to the two aliens and one semi-transparent robot appearing before a lone woman in a darkened parking lot]
Illana: Salutations.
[Beat]
Woman: ...AAAAAAAAAAAHH!
Lance: [back in the cave] Well... that didn't work out so well.

  • Give Geeks a Chance: Kimmy's attraction to Octus.
    • Possibly Ilana with Jason as well, although she's not particularly popular herself.
  • Gonk: High school has never looked so grotesque!
    • Special mention goes to Arthur, Lance's roommate at the boarding school.
    • Most of the background characters, and in certain cases they make note to highlight it, as with the cafeteria... person.
  • Goth: Kristin, who hung out with Lance in "The Ballad of Scary Mary".
  • Grand Finale: Though probably not grand enough to match the creators' intentions, Octus is revived, the last monsters were killed, and "Newton" may resolve his relationship.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: The Monster of the Week in episode 5 has its arm ripped off by Titan as a weapon.
  • Gross Up Close-Up: As mentioned above, the Cafeteria person, and done again in Episode 4 with the teacher. And in Episode 10 with the pimple-faced nerd.
  • Gundamjack: Lance hijacks a Manus suit in order to scare off a murderous Baron. Baron responded by doing the same.
  • Had the Silly Thing In Reverse: in the flashback episode, Ilana and her bodyguard are able to tank-jack, but since the bodyguard was too wounded, Ilana had to drive the tank. The first thing she does at the controls is drive the tank in reverse.
  • Hair of Gold: Ilana.
  • Hartman Hips: Being a suburban middle-aged woman, Barb has these in spades.
    • Is it really that much of a surprise? Genndy has clearly utilized this trope before on a certain kid genius's mom.
    • Ironic since Hartman worked on that show alongside Genndy.
  • He Is Not My Boyfriend: When Ilana introduces their neighbor Barb to the family.

Ilana: This is Lance.
Barb: Boyfriend?
Ilana: Brother.
Barb: Boo!

    • Doubles as Incest Is Relative.
    • Octus pulls a She Is Not My Girlfriend to Lance and Ilana when they start teasing him about Kimmy. In the same episode, Lance and Ilana are hanging out when a classmate of Lance's bumps into them and assumes Ilana is Lance's "lady." They both deny it, Lance saying Ilana is just a friend while Ilana simultaneously blurts out that Lance is her brother.
  • The Heart: Ilana. She's even the Heart of the Titan.
  • Heel Face Turn: While they're not outright evil, Ilana manages to get the cheerleaders to help fight back against a Blob Monster.
  • Henshin Hero: All three of Titan's pilots.
  • Hero Insurance: Specifically averted. The first use of the Titan is specifically mentioned as having caused $14 billion in damage, and the battle scars on the city are shown and played for drama.
    • Also shown when in their second battle, they actively try to avoid causing damage to the area they're fighting in. Later episodes show them actively trying to move the fight away from inhabited areas before it starts.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Octus and Kimmy, though it's Kimmy who's attracted to Octus first.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Octus is killed by the energy cloud while trying to save Lance.
  • Hero-Killer: The Energy Cloud monster from episode 18. It's impervious to nearly everything they throw at it and is able to permently drain the energy out of electrical devices, meaning its dangerous to try and use their Powered Armor or Octus against it for risk of losing them for good. It becomes a literal Hero-Killer by killing Octus at the end of the episode. It takes the G3's battleship firing everything its got at it and blowing up the space station it was in to kill the darn thing!
  • He's Just Hiding: Out of universe, many people believe this of Lance's father. In universe, Lance agreed... at first.
  • Hidden Depths:
    • Implied with Lance.

Ilana: Why do you think my father chose somebody so...strange?
Octus: Maybe your father sees something in him that none of us do.

    • General Modula seems to have more than just a working relationship with the king prior to whatever mishap led to him being left behind.
    • After her many attempts to get out of working on math problems, Kimmy admits that she is well-aware of her status as Alpha Bitch and The Ditz and is convinced that's why she's "stupid," and even breaks down crying in front of Octus.
    • Octus himself is getting this treatment with his Ridiculously Human Robot status.
  • Hidden Eyes: General Modula wears his brim low.
  • High School Dance: The plot of "Under the Three Moons" revolves around the Sherman High's Homecoming Dance.
  • Hippie Chick: Ilana gives off this vibe, with all her talk of the heart, body, and mind as one.
    • Partially subverted: She does have a problem with school lunches having only 1% meat content, while the stereotypical hippie is, of course, a vegetarian. She is trying to provide healthier food for the school though, but anything would be healthier than what they had.
    • She's also been seen to sport some pretty funky clothes, like the technicolor nightmare in Episode 5.
  • How Do I Shot Web?: No one, not even Octus, had any idea they had the Titan at first. They figure out how it works pretty fast, though.
    • Shown in "Disenfranchised," Lance made a Kusarigama weapon construct for Titan, and when he did, Octus was shocked because he didn't know they could do so. It seems to imply that there is really no limit to the constructs Titan could create.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: In their Humongous Mecha, Lance and Ilana are this trope, though they're not officially an item. Kimmy and Octus are a better fit since they're a canon couple.
  • Human Aliens
  • Humongous Mecha: Sym-Bionic Titan; Lance's mech.
  • I Need to Go Iron My Dog: By the time "Under the Three Moons", Kimmy is sick of Octus' constant "bathroom" excuses.
  • Idiot Ball: The King. Should've listened to Lance, huh? Justified, in that Lance's sullen behaviour and tendency to get into trouble at the Academy meant he was a constant disappointment to the King. By the time of the invasion, Lance had very little credibility with the King.
  • Ignore the Fanservice/Not Distracted by the Sexy: Octus doesn't respond to Kimmy's attempts to seduce her way out of studying the way she'd hoped. Lance likewise is completely apathetic to the constant stream of poon that passes his way. Ilana counts, too, since she's seen Lance shirtless several times and is apparently not impressed.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: The Titan defeats the monster in Episode 6 by impaling it on a gigantic spear.
    • And then Lance does an encore in Episode 13. Bonus points because he does it WITH A FUCKING TRIDENT.
    • Octus is killed by the monster of episode 18 this way.
  • Impossibly Graceful Giant: The Titan robot is about at least several stories tall and must weigh quite a few tons, yet it can perform impressive feats of martial arts with no regard for the laws of physics.
    • Subverted with the H.M.E.R. It's bulky, slow and needs a ridiculous amount of jets all over in to make simple maneuvers.
  • Improbable Species Compatibility: Lance and Ilana seem to have this concern for Octus's relationship with Kimmy.
  • Innocent Cohabitation: Subverted. The main reason Ilana, Lance and Octus all live in the same house together is due to their mission to blend in with Earthlings. They avoid arousing suspiscion by pretending to be a family. And so far, there has been no romantic interest amongst them to complicate things.
  • Ironic Juxtaposition: Kimmy turns on her iPod and happydances her way home to A Flock Of Seagulls, while the Titan fights the EMP monster in the background behind her. There are visual similarities between her motions, swinging off the streetlamps, and the Titan swinging the monster by its tail.
  • Irony: The final episode is called "A New Beginning"
  • Jerk Jock: Ridiculously exaggerated versions appear in the first episode. Played straight with Baron, Lance's academy rival.
  • Jerkass: The White Dragon, who harasses Lance over a tiny slight, hounds him even when the Monster of the Week is trying to kill them, and uses his gang to cheat in a street race by trying to get Lance to crash.
    • Baron, Lance's rival in the Academy, who was also bad enough to try and kill him. Lance must be a psycho magnet. Baron even "killed" his own team during the war games just for a better shot at the top spot.
  • Kaiju: Pretty much all of the Mutraddi mega-beasts fit this trope.
  • Karma Houdini: Baron. He tries to murder Lance because Lance might have ruined his chances of getting on the royal guard by beating him in the war games (which, admittedly, was Baron's surefire ticket to the guard, though his record probably could have carried him there). When Lance steals the Manus armor to try and scare him off, he takes another and they get into a mecha duel which up blows up a good chunk of the academy. He's bailed out by his dad while Lance gets the blame. (He spent a short time in jail and it's implied his good reputation took a dive, but that's it.)
    • General Modula at the end of the series...but this is more on account of the series getting screwed by Cartoon Network.
  • Kids Are Cruel: They're so bad in Galaluna that they have no problem trying to murder their classmates with high-end weaponry.
    • There's also the story of Scary Mary in "The Ballad of Scary Mary."
  • Killer Rabbit: Tashy 497 is a cute little octopus creature that has the ability to destroy entire planets.
  • The Klutz: Jason tends to fall down a lot.
  • Latex Space Suit: The Galalunian space suits in "A Family Crisis". G3's suits aren't quite as form fitting, but are still much slimmer than a normal suit.
  • Left for Dead: Modula's main issue with the king is this, which lead to his Face Heel Turn. The king genuinely thought he was dead, not that Modula cares.
  • Left Hanging: Due to the shows cancellation, we will never find out what G3's connections to Galaluna were, or who the mysterious figure was who brought Octus back to life Not to mention Modula still ruling Galaluna and The King's unknown fate.
  • Letterbox: The whole series is presented in this format.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Octus
  • Limited Wardrobe: Averted with Ilana, who can't seem to stay in one outfit over a single episode, much less between them. Played straight with Lance and Octus.
    • Kimmy and her cheerleader friends also seem to be averting this trope, when they're not wearing their uniforms, of course.
  • Lipstick and Load Montage: Ilana, Lance and Octus all go through this prior to the Homecoming Dance in "Under the Three Moons."
  • Magic Skirt: Ilana every couple of episodes, and the cheerleaders in episode 7.
    • Averted by the Alpha Bitch of said cheerleaders. Her skirt floats when they dive into a pool, so the viewers get an underwater Panty Shot. The rest of the cheerleaders play it straight, though, despite being in the same situation.
  • Male Gaze: In episode 4 with the hot chicks. Twice inside of five minutes in episode 7; first with a quartet of cheerleaders, then with Ilana at her tryout for the squad. Then Kimmy in episode 10.
    • Again in episode 13 with Ilana in mech form.
  • Man Behind the Man: Solomon seems to be taking orders from a mysterious gauntlet-wearing figure.
  • The Masquerade Will Kill Your Dating Life: Happens with Newton and Kimmy in "Under the Three Moons." She breaks up with him because he's keeping secrets from her. It didn't help that he ditched her to fight a monster on Homecoming night.
  • Master of Disguise: Octus, using a holographic system, though he always seems to retain his overall cylindrical shape and hasn't changed into anything other than his two basic forms. His size is especially strange since we've seen him visibly change his actual form (into a ball). Episode 11 shows he could put more effort into it if he wanted.
    • The Chameleon in episode 12 could shape-shift into absolutely anyone, at any size, even scaling up its impersonations.
  • Meaningful Name: Corus = Heart, Manus = Hand, Octus = Eye.
  • Mighty Glacier: Manus, Lance's mech.
  • Mind Rape: Xishi and The Shaman specialize in this.
  • Monster of the Week: The Mutraddi Beasts serve this role.
  • Mood Whiplash: The ending of episode 4, which suddenly segues from Lance happily serving food at the cafeteria, to Modula torturing the king for information on Titan.
    • Earlier in the same episode, Lance is beating the piss out of some crooks, and next we have a shot of him showering with a huge grin on his face, and the whole breakfast scene with him being unnaturally cheerful.
  • More Dakka: General Steel seems to follow this philosophy, exemplified by H.M.E.R. and its literal rain of huge spent shells.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Lance.
  • Mrs. Robinson: Barb sort of let herself in when the trio moved into their new home. She immediately starts flirting with "Mr. Lunis".
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous: The six-armed baddie in episode 6.
  • My Death Is Only the Beginning: Before getting crushed by the Titan, Xishi manages to record their battle and send said recording to his master, making Modula aware of the Titan's existence.
  • Mysterious Past: Ilana apparently knows little to nothing about Lance's past, which Lance isn't fond of bringing up.
    • Though at this point his past is substantially less mysterious to we, the viewers.
      • Although in the pilot she explicitly says to him, "I know about you AND your past", what Ilana thinks she knows is pretty much what her father knows -- a rather incomplete and slanted version of Lance's growing up years.
  • Nakama: By the end of the series the trio consider themselves as family.
  • Name of Cain: In a recent episode, Ilana's cellmate introduces himself as Cain. Guess what happens.
  • Never Found the Body: Lance's father, though they still gave him a proper funeral.
    • Scary Mary, although she was only PRESUMED dead
  • Never Say "Die": Strongly averted, at least most of the time; not only do characters mention death but the monsters create massive amounts of collateral damage and most likely causalities as well. Modula also has no problem offing mooks casually.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Lance.
    • In the second episode, he exposes their identities to Solomon in trying to deal with Monster of the Week. Not to mention attracting the attention of said monster in the first place by activating his mecha unnecessarily, due to his being overprotective of Ilana.
    • In the fourth, his vigilante activities not only get him caught by the Monster of the Week, but expose their secret weapon to Modula (who had thus far been baffled by the princess defeating his monsters).
  • No Ending: The series never resolves the war on Galaluna or the confrontation with Modula.
  • No Ontological Inertia: When the Monster of the Week infects Ilana with a DNA-altering virus, killing said monster is sufficient for Ilana to revert to human form almost instantly.
  • No Sense of Personal Space: Meat, the jock who keeps bothering Octus in episode 7.
  • Nobody Poops: Averted in episode 2 by the realtor, then immediately exaggerated by Octus, who asks what the realtor was doing in there (justified, since Octus is a robot). Subsequently played straight so far for the rest of the series.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: When Octus and Ilana are feeling bad about missing the dance in "Uhder Three Moons", they end up beating the Monster Of The Week to death with Titan's bare fists.
  • Nosy Neighbor: Barb. Dear Lord, when she thinks the Lunis' have a new pet, she practically jumps on Mr. Lunis to find out what kind it is.
    • Granted, this is Barb we're talking about. That was likely less her being nosy, and more like an excuse to practically jump on Mr. Lunis.
    • And she has in every appearance so far walked straight into their house with no invitation.
  • Not a Date: Lance and Ilana's date-like hangout in episode 10. They don't think it's a date, but the person who invited Lance to the concert sure thought it was.
    • To be fair, it wasn't played out like a date at all. There was no awkward sexual tension or anything between them, and it really just seemed more like they were casually hanging out.
  • Not Blood Siblings: Ilana and Lance, who pretend to be siblings as a cover-up.
  • Not Wearing Tights: Ilana, Lance and Octus are essentially superheroes on Earth. They've got secret identities and special powers, and they fight monsters and save lives on a regular basis. The Titan robot itself seems to be considered a superhero by the general public, and Lance becomes the mysterious crime-fighting type as the Phantom Ninja. If they weren't wearing armor, they'd be wearing capes and masks for sure.
  • Oh Crap: Mike Chan's reaction to the giant wave that nearly washes him off the road in "The White Dragon".
    • The audience's reaction to the entirety of episode 6, particularly when the totem begins to glow and reform itself.
    • The Shaman himself gets one when he realizes Lance and Ilana have overcome their fears and his nightmare powers are now completely useless.
    • Xishi just before he gets stomped.
  • Opposites Attract: Octus and Kimmy.
  • Orifice Invasion: Xishi's method of mind control, which entails forcing itself down its terrified victim's throat.
  • Our Wormholes Are Different: How they got to Earth.
  • Parental Abandonment: Lance's father is supposedly dead and we never hear anything about his mother. Ilana's father is being held by Modula and we haven't heard about her mother, either, though she may have been at Lance's father's funeral.
  • Parkour: Lance pulls this off in episode two.
  • Parrot Exposition: Modula doesn't appreciate a Mutradi scientist repeating all of his questions back to him.
  • Perpetual Frowner: Lance
  • Please Wake Up: Lance to Ilana, after the Monster of the Week is killed, and she seems to have died as a result of their mind-link being severed.
  • Poor Communication Kills: The reason for Lance's and Ilana's "sibling" spat in episode 3.
    • Also, episode 11 might have gone a lot better if a) G3 hadn't been so aggressive towards the team and b) if the team had answered their questions.
  • Portmanteau: Symbiotic (two organisms living closely together) + Bionic (cyborgs) = "Sym-Bionic".
  • Powered Armor: Ilana's Corus unit is closer to this than a mecha.
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality: Because they're hiding out on Earth, the town they live in gets regularly attacked by giant monsters who destroy portions of the city (possibly killing hundreds if not thousands in the crossfire), but when Lance takes up vigilantism (which might make their visit a net positive for the city), he gets told to stop. Of course, Lance's actions resulted in a huge Nice Job Breaking It, Hero because he bit off more than he could chew, so Octus was arguably in the right to dissuade him.
  • Punch-Punch-Punch Uh-Oh: Solomon unleashes a flurry of punches on Octus, both head and body blows. Naturally, Octus doesn't even flinch.
  • Real Men Drive Pink Cars: Chan from "Roar of the White Dragon."
  • Reconstruction: Of the Humongous Mecha genre after Neon Genesis Evangelion and Gundam Wing deconstructed it.
  • Relatively Flimsy Excuse: Lance and Ilana masquerade as brother and sister, with Octus as their father.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter / Rule of Cute: Mushy Tarax 497 Tashy 497.
  • Ridiculously Human Robot: The main theme of "I Am Octus". Throughout the episode we see Octus wondering how much is he a machine and how much humanity does he have, if the emotions he has are real or are they just some sort of automatized response.
  • The Rival: Baron didn't like Lance from the first moment he came to the academy. In his introductory episode alone, he tried to kill Lance after being bested only once. It remains to be seen if Baron will return later on in the series, but the odds are high in favor of it.
  • Ro Yay: Octus in his human guises and several women.
  • Roadside Wave: Happens to Lance and Ilana when they are hitchhiking in the rain in "The Steel Foe".
  • Robeast: The Mutraddi Mega-Beasts fill this role.
  • Roof Hopping: Lance in the second episode.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Ilana is willing to fight to protect humanity from the monsters out to get her, despite her bodyguards' advice to do otherwise.
    • It apparently runs in the family. During "Escape from Galaluna", her father, the king picks up a BFG and fights on the front lines with regular soldiers. It's implied he's an even bigger Badass than Lance. When Lance defeats the fake king in Ilana's nightmare, he convinces Ilana it's a fake by saying there's no way he could have defeated him so easily in real life.
  • Rushed Inverted Reading: Kimmy does it in "Lessons in Love" when Lance and Ilanca interupt her and Newton when they were about to kiss.
  • Sassy Black Woman: Lance's driving instructor, who turns out to be pretty nice.
  • Scenery Porn: The show boasts some absolutely gorgeous background art.
  • Screwed By The Merchandise: Or lack thereof. Cartoon Network had to can the series after 20 episodes since no toy manufacturers were stepping up to make toys from the show (a unfortunate side-effect of an economic recession) though ratings were doing well. Genndy has now moved onto working at Sony Pictures Animation to focus on the Samurai Jack feature.
  • Secret Identity: Part of the heroes mission is to blend in with human society, after all. And then there's the Humongous Mecha they're all piloting.
  • Sexy Backless Outfit: In "Under Three Moons", Ilana is seen briefly sporting a backless dress, much to her apparent discomfort. It's worth noting that Kimmy was the one who picked it out for her.
  • Shapeshifter Guilt Trip: The Chameleon pulls this in episode 12 to get the edge on Titan, exploiting Octus' relationship with Kimmy. Lance and Ilana talk him out of it.
  • Shapeshifter Hammerspace: The Titan is able to form weapons merely by thought; Octus referred to it as a sort of Matter Replicator.
  • Shirtless Scene: Lance at night, and you can hear the fangirls from fifty miles away.
  • Shooting Superman: General Steel's solution to everything is More Dakka. It hasn't occurred to him yet that blowing stuff up doesn't work most of the time and/or makes things worse.
  • Shout-Out: The Abandoned Farm they stop at before heading in to space looks like Courage the Cowardly Dog's Farm.
    • Ron Stoppable as the school's mascott voice.
    • The first fight scene. The army's firepower does nothing to the monster, and then its first attack knocks the Titan flat on its arse against a building. Shades of Shinji's first fight in Neon Genesis Evangelion.
    • "Sherman, Illinois" may be a reference to "Shermer, Illinois" from the films of John Hughes.
  • Sickeningly Sweethearts: Judging from "Under the Three Moons", Newton and Kimmy seemed to be turning into this, with him calling her cheesy nicknames such as 'muffin cup' and 'honey bear'.
  • Significant Double Casting: Very likely with the gauntlet man behind G3. In addition to a bunch of evidence already pointing towards this, both he and Lance's dad are voiced by Richard McGonagle.
  • Smug Snake: From episode 8, Baron. Never have you wanted to punch a character who only appears for one episode as much as you have this guy.
    • Also Lance's former superior officer who betrayed Galaluna to aid Modula's coup. He got his though.
  • Something Completely Different: Episode 10, which is basically a romantic teen comedy. Complete with the token battle sequence being set to an 80s pop ballad!
    • Or "The Fast and the Furious". Lance getting his license, and a monster battle thrown in the last two minutes.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: The Titan's fight with the EMP Monster is to the tune of "Space Age Love Song" by A Flock of Seagulls
  • Space Is Noisy: So noisy in fact that the Monster of the Week can transmit an ultrasonic signal to Earth not only from space, but through the rift gate.
    • It could have been broadcasting it as a radio signal.
  • Space Whale Aesop: Ilana's lectures about following the rules would make a good Aesop if she chose rational examples. Instead she references her string of bad luck (which was not her fault), goes nuts about following the rules, then has to break them to save the day.
    • Then again, that could be the entire point.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": The credits of "Phantom Ninja" reveal that the alien enemy's odd name is actually spelled 'Xeexi', but the TV captions spell it as 'Xishi,' which has become the accepted spelling among fans.
  • Sphere of Destruction: The fight between the Titan and the monster in the first episode results in a spherical blast that wipes out an entire section of the city.
  • Spiritual Successor: To Samurai Jack.
    • Particularly the episode "Jack and the Flying Prince and Princess" with very familiar themes and character archetypes.
    • And could also be said to be one of Clone Wars. Hell, it's almost like their badass love child.
  • Spoiler Title: "Tashy 497". It's the name of the nebula created after Mushy/Terax/497 exploded, being a combined name from the first three.
  • Staring Kid: Octis gets one when he changes his holographic face to avoid recognition by the police. He tries to get his mom's attention, who tells him "not to stare."
  • Stealth Pun: The Spider Totem wields a train/chain.
    • Also used in the first episode where Lance was revealed to be a corporal.
  • Stepford Smiler: Kimmy.
  • Stepping Stones in the Sky: Lance manages this while driving a car in episode 5.
    • It's done again in episode 16, when the bridge he and his opponent are on is blown up.
  • Stood Up: Octus starts every date with Kimmy, but the Rift Gate always causes him to have to bail or no-show on her. The last straw is when Octus promises --and fails to show-- the night of the Homecoming Dance, in "Under The Three Moons".
  • Stupid Sexy Flanders: Octus has one of these moments regarding Lance in "Phantom Ninja". When Ilana remarks that she doesn't get what the girls at school see in Lance, Octus replies:

“Dark hair. Bedroom eyes. Moody demeanor. I totally get it.“

  • Stylistic Suck: Animal Friends, as well as the aforementioned parody of high school dramas.
  • Super Robot: The show is an homage to the anime that define this trope, so naturally, the titular titan is one.
  • Survivor Guilt: Lance in episode 18 immediately after Octus' death -- because he fell behind and Octus only died because he returned to save Lance.
  • Swiss Army Hero: Titan uses Octus' energy conversion with Lance's imagination to make any melee weapon they need at the moment. To a lesser extent, the same is true of Ilana's imagination and defensive items.
  • Take That: At the CW and teenage high school drama shows.
  • Tanks for Nothing: General Steel's default response to a threat is to throw tanks at it. This never works, of course.
  • Tar and Feathers: "The Ballad of Scary Mary", although it was probably a substance like molasses rather than tar.
  • Technology Porn: Titan.
  • Teens Are Monsters: Everyone at the trio's high school are jerks. It takes twelve episodes for the three to have a conversation with someone that isn't filled with scorn.
  • That's No Moon: In Tashy 497. Modula's ship is shown landing on a Death World where his Robeasts come from. During one of the establishing shots, a nearby mountain range suddenly opens its eyes as the ship flies past.
  • They Clean Up Nicely: We knew Ilana looked pretty in formal wear, but Lance (after giving the suit his own take) and Octus (after deciding to alter his shape a little) also do.
  • Three Chords and the Truth: The band Disenfranchised.
  • Tim Taylor Technology: In Episode 19, Lance attempts to revive Octus by connecting him to the electrical systems of a motel for "more power." Later, he attempts to try the same strategy with the H.M.E.R.'s power source instead.
  • Title Drop: Octus first refers to the trio's robotic warrior as the Sym-Bionic Titan after Ilana mentions that the media has dubbed it with the name.
  • Too Dumb to Live: General Steel. Aside from the fact that More Dakka is his first and only solution to any given problem, his incompetence and ignorance of basic scientific precautions unleashed a deadly lightning storm alien thing in episode 3. How he managed to get promoted so many times is anybody's guess.
  • Torture Technician: 3G uses lets one loose on Lance in "Fortress of Deception".
  • Transformation Is a Free Action: To be fair, it's portrayed as being almost instantaneous in real-time.
  • Transformation Sequence: Ilana and Lance's mech suits as well as the Titan.
  • Transformation Trinket: The watches Ilana and Lance use to activate their armor.
  • Tron Lines: Titan has these.
  • Troperiffic: Obvious by the first episode alone.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Lance after Octus' death.
    • To explain: He took over G3's ship and let loose everything in it had into the monster and the space station, vaporizing it completely. Even Solomon, who is just as Badass as Lance is, knew it was a good idea to stay out of his way despite the fact his ship had just been hijacked.
  • Uranus Is Showing: "Let me guess; you were trying to see Uranus, right?"
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Octus, to the point where he can make small adjustments (relatively speaking) on the fly.
    • The creature in episode 12 is seen walking through a crowd of people and randomly changing form as it goes.
  • Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World: It's a given, really.
  • Wave Motion Gun: Solomon's ship has one. It's even called the Wave Motion Cannon. The Titan has one, too. Very likely a Shout-Out, given the nature of the series.
  • Wave Motion Gun: one is used in the first episode. It's even called a "Wave Motion Cannon."
  • We Have Reserves: Modula and General Steele both have this attitude.
  • Well, Excuse Me, Princess!: Between Ilana and Lance.
  • Wham! Episode: Episode 18, "A Crisis in the Family".
  • What Could Have Been: Illana's actual bodyguard being injured in the invasion meant Lance was the only ready choice.
  • "What Do They Fear?" Episode: "Shaman of Fear."
  • What Do You Mean It's for Kids?: This show gets away with a fair amount of violence. And an amazing amount of blatant fanservice (see above).
  • What Do You Mean It's Not Awesome?: Barb opening a can of tuna fish for her dog.
  • What Do You Mean Its Not Symbolic: The end of episode 9, "Tashy 497".
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Mike Chan's Stripperific girlfriend who never spoke for some reason wasn't seen again in the end of the episode.
    • The mysterious man who Solomon reports to and later fixes Octus.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: It's apparently quite OK to tear apart the bad guys as long as they're the monstrous Mutradi, but Ilana immediately orders Lance to use non-lethal force once they discover that the humans look just like them (never mind that said humans were attacking them). Sure, their enemy may be monsters and easy enough to tell apart from natives, but it leads to Fridge Logic (and Fridge Horror) about the possible massacre that might've happened if they had landed on an equally innocent planet with inhabitants who look less than human/Galalunan.
    • We find out later that they were sent to Earth specifically because they looked so much like Galalunans... but the masks the soldiers were wearing and their "shoot first, ask later" attitude didn't help.
    • Episode 11 has them go all-out on G3 troopers. It's never stated that anyone was killed, though.
      • Considering it showed them being directly hit with gunfire, blasted with missles, and having their jetpacks blown off mid-flight, it's probably safe to assume there were quite a lot.
      • At the very least, the mechs at the end of the fight, prior to the use of Titan, back up in a very human fashion... only to be flattened by Titan.
    • If we see it this way, more than not being humanoid, they are at war with the mutraddi, meanwhile the humans are innocent victims who get in the middle of the conflict.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Octus calls out Lance for his vigilante antics. Later, Ilana calls out Octus and Lance for trying to forge a driver's license.
  • Whole-Episode Flashback: "Shadows of Youth" and "Escape from Galaluna", featuring Lance's academy days and the invasion of Galaluna, respectively.
  • Would Not Shoot a Good Guy: After some early misunderstandings, Lance and Ilana try their absolute best to minimise casualties during their run-ins with G3 and the US Army.
  • X Meets Y: One of Adult Swim's bumps described it as Voltron meets Kikaider meets The Day the Earth Stood Still meets Samurai Jack meets HELL YEAH!
    • The show has pretty much solidified itself as a cross between a John Hughes Highschool movie and traditional Mech Anime.
  • You Are in Command Now: Modula kills his lead scientist after his latest Mutradi fails to work as intended. He then turns to a random computer tech, promotes him, and declares that the same will happen to him if the next monster fails.
  • You Have Failed Me...: See above. He does it so casually, too. He zaps the guy to dust without getting out of his chair.
    • Another alien meets this fate when his monster fails in to kill Ilana in episode 17, after betting his life on it.

Modula: You should have bet something else.

  1. However, a huge death toll would probably scare people away from a city where alien giants keep showing up on a regular basis, instead of their going on with their lives as if nothing happened. Except, the populace is showing signs of apprehension and trauma, and the military is suddenly everywhere...