• Before making a single edit, Tropedia EXPECTS our site policy and manual of style to be followed. Failure to do so may result in deletion of contributions and blocks of users who refuse to learn to do so. Our policies can be reviewed here.
  • All images MUST now have proper attribution, those who neglect to assign at least the "fair use" licensing to an image may have it deleted. All new pages should use the preloadable templates feature on the edit page to add the appropriate basic page markup. Pages that don't do this will be subject to deletion, with or without explanation.
  • All new trope pages will be made with the "Trope Workshop" found on the "Troper Tools" menu and worked on until they have at least three examples. The Trope workshop specific templates can then be removed and it will be regarded as a regular trope page after being moved to the Main namespace. THIS SHOULD BE WORKING NOW, REPORT ANY ISSUES TO Janna2000, SelfCloak or RRabbit42. DON'T MAKE PAGES MANUALLY UNLESS A TEMPLATE IS BROKEN, AND REPORT IT THAT IS THE CASE. PAGES WILL BE DELETED OTHERWISE IF THEY ARE MISSING BASIC MARKUP.


Farm-Fresh balance.pngYMMVTransmit blue.pngRadarWikEd fancyquotes.pngQuotes • (Emoticon happy.pngFunnyHeart.pngHeartwarmingSilk award star gold 3.pngAwesome) • Refridgerator.pngFridgeGroup.pngCharactersScript edit.pngFanfic RecsSkull0.pngNightmare FuelRsz 1rsz 2rsz 1shout-out icon.pngShout OutMagnifier.pngPlotGota icono.pngTear JerkerBug-silk.pngHeadscratchersHelp.pngTriviaWMGFilmRoll-small.pngRecapRainbow.pngHo YayPhoto link.pngImage LinksNyan-Cat-Original.pngMemesHaiku-wide-icon.pngHaikuLaconicLibrary science symbol .svg SourceSetting

Let's put weird and weird together/and make it even weirder!/Weird, weird space is/su-u-pe-er-weird!


An early work by Rumiko Takahashi, Urusei Yatsura is often considered the original Magical Girlfriend parody, enough that the bumbling well-meaning Magical Girlfriend has become an archetype in its own right. The show's poster girl, a cutesy alien named Lum who habitually wears a tiger-striped bikini, is easily one of the most recognizable anime characters in history.

The show centers around Ataru Moroboshi, an Ordinary High School Student who happens to be both the unluckiest and most perverted man in the world, possibly the entire universe. He is chosen by lot to challenge a band of alien invaders in a game of tag to decide the fate of the Earth. His opponent: the lovely Princess Lum, daughter of the invaders' leader, Mister Invader. After several false starts, it takes a promise of marriage by his long-suffering girlfriend and childhood companion Shinobu to bolster him to victory. Unfortunately, after his triumphant declaration of "Now I can get married!", Lum thinks Ataru wants to marry her, falls instantly in love with him... and the rest is history. Lum moves in with her "Darling" Ataru, and before long, the district of Tomobiki has become a hotbed for intergalactic weirdness involving Lum's friends and relatives, with Ataru stuck in the middle.

Unlike most Unlucky Everydudes who were only Accidental Perverts, Ataru actually was an unrepentant pervert, and generally found his loyal "fiancee" to be little more than a hindrance to his more lecherous pursuits, though even he wasn't below the occasional Pet the Dog moments.

If Maison Ikkoku is the first Pretty Freeloaders-style comedy, UY is one of the earliest tongue-in-cheek harem comedies, combining its outlandish premise to spice up deceptively typical plots, as well as parody the genre nearly a decade before the fact. It even manages to invert the genre it helped create (instead of one low-key guy being chased by every girl in sight and in the end choosing one, it's about a perverted guy who chases every girl in sight... except for the one girl in the universe who can actually stand to be around him).

The manga ran weekly from 1978 to 1987. It spawned an TV anime that aired 196 episodes between 1981 and 1986, as well as 6 theatrical movies (4 produced during the anime's run, one shortly after it ended, and a tenth-anniversary movie, the unusually offbeat Always My Darling), and a dozen OVA's on top of that. The anime is notable for being the first major project helmed by acclaimed director Mamoru Oshii; indeed, the second film in this franchise, Beautiful Dreamer, is considered by many fans to be one of his finest.

Tropes used in Urusei Yatsura include:
  • Absolute Cleavage: A lot of Sakura's off duty outfits, also a feature of the outfit Oyuki wears under her winter Kimono.
  • Abuse Is Okay When It Is Female On Male: Ryoko on Tobimaro.
  • Abusive Parents: Mr Fujinami and Ran's mother.
  • Accidental Marriage: Ataru to Lum, in the first story.
  • Adaptation Dye Job: A very triumphant example: Lum originally had iridescent (constantly shifting, rainbow colored) hair. It was changed to the iconic green (which was originally just Ten's) in the anime, which was so popular that it was retconned back into the later manga pages. You can see this in the color manga covers like these [dead link] for example. It's also the source of the very odd highlighting in the monochrome versions.
  • Alien Invasion: The main premise of the series. At first.
  • Aliens Speaking English: The chapter where Lum gets hit in the head and loses her memory of Japanese and can only speak the oni language is a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming when Ataru: allowing the tears to flow freely for the first time: embraces her and begs her to remember it.
  • All Just a Dream: In one episode, Kitsune watches a movie about a fox who uses magical nuts to turn the human woman he loves into a fox. Kitsune does the same to Shinobu (as well as Lum, Ataru, Cherry, and Kotatsu-Neko, by accident). In the end, however, he wakes up to finds himself in the open field where he saw the movie, revealing that the night he turned Shinobu into a fox was just a dream.
    • Played with very cleverly in the second movie.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: And if it isn't (the rare examples being Tsubame and Sakura and, eventually, Inaba and Shinobu), the rest of the craziness conspires to keep them apart. Arguably, Ataru and Lum also love each other, but analyzing that would require a separate page altogether. Even the author had to do it in the last volume of the latest version of the manga.
    • Many, many stories involve a love square with Lum, Ataru, and two other characters. The two other characters are often Shinobu and Mendou or Ran and Rei. You'll never take them seriously.
  • All Men Are Perverts: Ataru, in spades. In the 10th anniversary movie Always My Darling, Princess Lupika's computer pinpoints him as the most lecherous man in the universe.
    • Hell, every teenager in the series (and Ten) is a pervert except Inaba, Rei, Tobimaro, Nagisa and certain one-shot characters.
  • Aloha Hawaii[context?]
  • Ancient Astronauts[context?]
  • Animation Bump: There's a noticeable bump between season one and two, especially if you look at the chase scenes.
  • Anti-Hero: Ataru.
  • As Long As It Sounds Chinese: The oni language, which Lum's mom speaks, is portrayed in the manga as mah-jong tiles and as gibberish in the anime, complete with weird subtitles that make no sense. The first chapter also features a French announcer saying stock phrases like, "Where is the pencil?" "It is on the table." The Chinese announcer, meanwhile, is listing items from a Chinese take-out menu.
  • Ax Crazy: Megane in some episodes.
  • Baka: Lum's catchphrase, "Darling No BAKA!!!", always accompanied by said Darling (Ataru) being painfully electrocuted, probably for hitting on some other girl.
  • Balloon Belly: Happens to multiple characters, but Ataru and Cherry are the most prone to it. Inverted by Sakura, who literally eats a restaurant out of business and doesn't gain an ounce.
    • More accurately Sakura doesn't gain an Inch. In the manga, after completing the "Full Course From Hell" (which near the end featured the cooks offering her whole roasted duck, pig, and cow, which Sakura ate without difficulty), Sakura was shown in the pool wearing a bikini and clearly with the exact same figure as before the gigantic meal. Then she decided to have a nap on the same inflated mattress she had been laying on in the opening splash page, and sank like a rock.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: Averted. If nowhere else, then during Lum's initial Defeat by Modesty.
  • Barehanded Blade Block: Ataru is a master of this, usually against Mendou.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Are there any Fan Service tropes not related to Lum?
  • Baseball Episode: You can bet there will be one whenever Tobimaro shows up.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: Lum and most of the other aliens.
  • Battle Cry: Shinobu always evokes her super strength by getting worked up about boys. "MEN BE DAMNED!"
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Ataru is constantly chasing every girl around... only to have the one that can keep up with him and zap the living crap out of him if he gets out of line decide to keep him. Whoops.
    • In the story where Inaba let Ataru Lum and Shinobu make their own futures, Ataru of course tried creating a future where he had a Harem. Not long afterward he hid in that future, and after discovering that not only was Lum not there, but his future self had drive her off by being a supreme Jerkass. He responded going Hammertime on his future self then throwing that future away.
    • Also the second movie has a moment when Ataru is given the harem he's always dreamed of, and then rejects it because Lum isn't there.
  • Becoming the Mask: Ran seems to like it on Earth when being a kawaiiko student, seeing as she still attends Tomobiki High even after she mostly gives up on her revenge against Lum. Mostly being the keyword. In a subversion, she's still bitter, shrewish and violent on the inside.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: A strange case in that the show itself is not an example, but rather the reason for the trope coming into existence (for anime, anyway)! Rumiko Takahashi intended for the Official Couple to be Ataru and Shinobu... until the editor and the general public made it known to her that they preferred Lum to Shinobu. While Takahashi herself has stated her great liking for Lum since, and has no ill-feelings towards the Lum & Ataru pairing, she created the Belligerent Sexual Tension in every manga since to prevent any fan/editor hijacking of her romantic interests (ironically, though, every intended couple since has been the favorite of fans and editors anyway, so one has to wonder if there's really a need at all for her to do this, and if she just didn't realize the storytelling gold she had with Ataru and Lum at the beginning).
  • Berserk Board Barricade[context?]
  • Berserk Button: In the "Kotaru the haunted kotatsu" storyline, information from Mendou is required. He arrives, in full samurai garb, katana at the ready, 0.1 second after Ataru yells out, "MENDOU YOU SISSY!!!"
    • Call Ryuunosuke a "boy" at your own risk.
    • Do NOT spill the principal's tea.
  • Betty and Veronica: Shinobu and Lum.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: The only person the bitter and vindictive Ran fears is the calm, feminine and graceful Oyuki. With very, very good reason.
    • Shinobu can also count, but not nearly as much.
  • Bishonen: Rei, Lum's former fiance, draws squees from every female who sees him (his human form anyway). Mendou also qualifies, which is basically his most obvious difference from Ataru.
  • Bifauxnen: Ryuunosuke, who's studly enough that even girls who are aware of her gender swoon.
  • Big Bad: The movies usually have one in order to focus the sprawling cast into one plot.
    • In Only You, there is Princess Elle of... Planet Elle, whom Ataru also accidentally promised himself to.
    • Beautiful Dreamer gives us Mujaki, a dream demon who puts the cast (especially Ataru) through an emotional ringer. YMMV, of course, but he is likely the most personal threat the cast ever faced.
  • Big Eater: Sakura... the pretty one. She managed to out-eat an entire restaurant's menu... and still wants dessert...
  • Big Fancy House: Complete with multiple things that go doink
  • Big Little Man: In the first episode, after being knocked down by a ball, Ataru appears to have an enormous monk towering over him; it's only when he gets to his feet again that we realize the monk is half his size.
  • Biker Babe: Benten
  • Biological Mashup: Ataru and a notebook. Seriously.
  • Bishie Sparkle: Happens to Ataru at least once.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: "Tee-hee! Ran-chan is sooo happy!"
  • Bokukko: Ryuunosuke.
  • Book and Switch: Ataru
  • Born Unlucky: Ataru; his birthday is even April 13th, and the litany of bad luck omens associated with him appeared before he was even born. Not to mention his Meaningful Name (roughly translated, "hit on the head with a falling star").
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Jariten: he loves to act high and mighty, and puts on a façade of innocence ("I'm a good boy" is pretty much his Catch Phrase), but in reality he mixes a considerable amount of mischievousness with the same lecherous attitudes as Ataru and Mendo. He loves to stir up trouble to keep himself amused, playfully flirts with every girl he sees, and because he's considered an adorable infant, he can usually rely on women to protect him when he gets into more trouble than his ability to fly and breathe fire can handle. And even when they turn against him, Lum always supports him, to the extent she pays it no mind at all when, say, Ten shows up at Ataru's school and starts randomly biting people to soothe his toothache.
  • Break the Cutie: Parodied with Asuka, who would likely be the one to break anyone in half. Now, if only her nemesis wasn't Ataru...
  • Brother-Sister Incest: Subversion: the extremely sheltered Asuka fears all men except her "big brother" ("a special kind of man who is just like you!"). She considers Mendou (her fiance due to a family agreement) her brother because she heard Ryoko refer to him as such once and Ryuunosuke, since she was wearing her sarashi that matched her actual brother Tobimaro's. Guess which "brother" has to endure rib-crushing hugs in his bed or bath? Hint: he's rather terrified of this and their mother blames it on him.
  • Bucket Booby Trap[context?]
  • Butt Monkey: Ataru, Ran, Tobimaro, Onsen-Mark, Sugar, Ginger and Pepper. To a lesser extent, Mendou, Ryuunosuke and Cherry.
  • By the Eyes of the Blind[context?]
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Ryuunosuke, several times a day.
  • Can't Live with Them, Can't Live Without Them[context?]
  • Can't Act Perverted Toward a Love Interest: Ataru, partly because Lum would likely consider as his submission to their "marriage".
  • Casanova Wannabe: Ataru.
  • Catch Phrase: Several, most often a variation of the following:

Ataru: "Ojooooou-chan! Let's go on a date! / What's your address and phone number?"
Shinobu: "MEN BE DAMNED!!!"
Mendou: "Waaah!...It's dark! It's cramped! I'm scared!!"
Ten: "I'm a good boy!"
Rei: "Lum!" (which is pretty much the only non-food-related thing he says, though he did say "Ran" a few times)
Cherry: "'Tis fate."
Ryuunosuke: "I'm a chick, dammit!!!" (in a very manly manner of speech)
Mr. Fujinami: "I LOVE THE SEA!!!" (accompanied by a tidal wave, no matter where he might be)
Ran: "Ran-chan is sooo happy!"
Asuka: "EEEEK! A man!!" (followed by a Megaton Punch)
Mrs. Moroboshi: "We never should have had him!"
Ten's Mom: "FIRE!!"
Lum's Stormtroopers (particularly Megane): "Lum-saaaaan!!!"


Girl: Gorgeous!
Guy: know that's a girl, right?
Girl: Oh, we know. She's dreamy, isn't she?

  • Childhood Marriage Promise: Lum's great-grandfather promised his daughter to Rupa's great-grandfather in exchange for an antidote. Once the latter found out that there is no daughter, he vowed to wait until a girl was born in the oni royal family. As it turns out, his great-grandson is apparently the correct age to marry Lum, and had been brought up with the idea that he would marry her.
    • Also, Ryuunosuke and Nagisa, courtesy of their fathers.
    • And the plot of the first movie, Only You, where a six year old Ataru plays shadow tag with Elle, who he later learns comes from a planet where stepping on someone's shadow is considered a marriage proposal.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Mr Hanawa.
    • In the manga, Lum's Stormtroopers disappear after Mendou appears. In addition, they did not even get names.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Both Lum and Shinobu, to Ataru and Mendou, respectively, though Shinobu starts out as one to Ataru.
  • Closet Sublet: Lum, at first.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: The Principal.
  • Comedic Sociopathy: Everybody that shows up on screen. Everybody.
    • Except maybe Kitsune. Maybe.
  • Cooking Duel[context?]
  • Cool Big Sis: Sakura, when she feels like it. Ten seems to consider Lum his Cool Big Cousin.
  • Cool Bike: Benten's rocket cycle.
  • Crazy Prepared: Lum nearly always carries around some kid of weird alien device is useful to the situation at hand (and usually it makes the trouble one hundred times worse). It is also lampshaded: during one Christmas party in Mendo's manor, Ryoko -Shutaro's little sister- has planted several dozen of bombs around the place (in revenge for not getting invited to the party by her brother). Lum says she has an explosive detector, and Ataru asks if she always carries one around.
  • Crossdresser[context?]
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Ataru. Seriously, this guy has groped pretty much every female character in the series, mostly against their will. Given what they can do, that's an impressive feat.
  • Cursed with Awesome: Yes, Ataru, I'm sure it totally sucks to have a Green Haired Space Babe girlfriend.
    • Blessed with Suck: ...Who can fly, is a Clingy Jealous Girl, and has a built-in taser that she uses repeatedly on him if he so much as looks at another girl. Shit, they can't even sleep in the same bed together without him getting electrocuted every few seconds (accidentally, for once).
  • Custom Uniform: Mendou and Ryuunosuke.
  • Cute and Psycho: Ran and Ryoko are definitely this.
  • Cute Bruiser: Subverted with Shinobu, who can juggle desks easily, but believes herself to be a fragile sweet little schoolgirl.
  • Cute Little Fangs: Lum, although when she's upset she shows a mouth full of big pointy teeth (likewise for the other Oni, natch).
  • Cute Monster Girl: Lum again. Not to mention her friends Oyuki (Yuki-no-Onna), Ran (Gaki) and arguably Benten (Fukujin), as well as the minor character Kurama (Karasutengu- or "Crow Tengu").
  • Damsel in Distress: Subverted and possibly inverted by Shinobu. She might believe herself to be one, but her super strength gets her out of most scraps. Subverted by Lum in the Final Chapter: she loses her powers because her horns fall out, but she still bites and uses Ten effectively, almost escaping.
  • Dancing Theme
  • Dartboard of Hate: Parodied, Kurama has one of Ataru. She throws a dart at it, however the image catches the dart in its teeth and eats it.
    • Also one of the Spice Girls tried highlight Ataru as a potential "Weak point" of Lum by throwing a dart at a board with pictures of Lum, Oyuki, Benten, plus Ataru on it. The dart of course missed forcing her to walk over to the dartboard and move it over.
  • Deal with the Devil: Ataru forms one entirely by accident with a repeated running pattern matching a demon's personal crest for 13 days and a "V" Sign, if you'll believe that.
  • Defeat by Modesty: Lum, in the first storyline. Ataru uses a suctioncup gun to pull her bra off. She was so desperate to get it back she flew close enough for Ataru to grab her horns.
  • Deliberately Cute Child : Ten.
  • Depraved Dentist: Lum (not really a spoiler, just funny)
  • Determinator: Parodied and played straight with Ataru.
  • Dirty Old Man: When he's not pining for his lost wife, and sometimes even when he does, Mr. Fujinami really creeps the girls out. Then again he tends to creep them out anyway, mainly because the guy is also batshit insane!
  • Disproportionate Retribution: While Lum did get Ran into trouble as a child (sometimes on purpose, most of the time accidentally, but never with the intent to harm her), Ran swore a vendetta against her childhood friend after she hooked up with the guy Ran liked... and then dumped him.
  • The Ditz: Tsubame and Rei.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: Inaba starts out as a decidedly non-threatening version of this towards Shinobu. She eventually reciprocates. Rupa in the 5th movie is a much more aggressive version towards Lum.
  • Door Judo[context?]
  • Dork Horse Candidate: Ataru
  • Double Standard: Really messed with in some of the Ryuunosuke/Nagisa bits: Culminating in the fight between Ryu (Girl raised as a boy, and looking really masculine) and Nagisa (Boy raised as a girl wearing a dress and looking feminine in it).
  • Drunk on Milk: Lum and Ten wreak havoc when they get extremely drunk on umeboshi (pickled plums, usually regarded as a hangover cure). It turns out that alcohol actually cures them of being drunk, though all this is somewhat justified by Bizarre Alien Biology.
  • Dude Magnet: The male population of Tomobiki High School would all give an arm and a leg to have a chance with Lum, not counting her various alien suitors.
  • Dude, She's Like, in a Coma: Kurama
    • Not to mention how the tradition of her people even started.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Ataru may be a pervert, but the very first chapter of the manga and episode of the anime saw him saving the world from an Alien Invasion. Yet, he's treated as a pest and an idiot by everyone, got dumped by his girlfriend (that he should have married right after he thwarted the alien invasion) for a rich guy who's about as perverted as him, the alien girl he defeated to thwart the invasion is now in love with him and will electrocute him every time he look another girl, is persecuted by a jinxing monk who's so ugly his face makes people vomit and his mother is fond of saying she'd be better off if he was never born. Comes to think, in the manga he wasn't that perverted in the first chapters...
  • Dumb Muscle: Rei
  • Dysfunction Junction: Where to even start? Of course, it's all Played for Laughs.
  • Ear Cleaning: Lum can occasionally be seen cleaning Ataru's ears, at home or even at school (episode 17, for example). This is intended to be one of the signs that Ataru does care for her, but is unwilling to commit to her.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: "My name is Shutaro Mendou and I will soon become a regular character on this show."
  • Easily-Thwarted Alien Invasion
  • Edible Theme Naming: The Spice Girls, Sugar, Pepper and Ginger.
  • The Eighties: Even if the manga was started in The Seventies, the anime smacks of this. Just watch the second opening; it's Lum and the gang disco-dancing.
  • Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors
  • Epunymous Title: Takahashi replaced "urusai", which means annoying or loud, with "urusei", writing it with the kanji for "star". That makes the title mean something like "Those Obnoxious Aliens" or "The Annoying Space Guys".
  • Even the Girls Want Her: Ryunnosuke
  • Every Girl Is Cuter With Hair Decs: Early on, Ataru forces Cherry to give him a set of yellow ribbons that, if tied around Lum's horns, make her lose her powers.
    • In an early Manga episode, Lum decides to try visiting Ataru's class looking like a normal human girl. Part of her disguise was to use a liquid that softened her horns so they could be flattened to look like ornaments. This was also used in the Date episode.
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: One episode transports Lum, Ataru and Ten into the past, where a dinosaur mistakes Ten for its hatched egg and the egg believes Lum to be its mom.
  • Everything's Better with Penguins: The second episode involves the neighborhood being overrun with them.
    • Although the "penguin" was actually a swallow that had swallowed some of Ten's candy.
  • Everything's Better with Princesses: Aside from Lum, Oyuki and Benten qualify as queen and goddess.
  • Everything's Cuter with Lucky Charms[context?]
  • Expy[context?]
  • Extremely Dusty Home: In one of The Movies.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: Nearly every character is in love/obsessed with one of the other characters, and their actions are usually driven by this. But no one is ever, ever allowed to get together with the object of their affections, since that would kill their motivations. Hints may be dropped, and there may even be temporary romances, but no one ever "officially" gets together, and any attempts at doing so will result in a breakup by the end of a given episode.
    • Applies most heavily to Lum's eternal quest to get Ataru to admit he loves her. The very last story in the entire series ends with an angry mob threatening to beat Ataru senseless if he doesn't say it. Ataru chooses the beating.
  • False Start[context?]
  • Fan Girl: Mendou has a formal organization of fangirls following his every move, ready to punish Ataru for any perceived infraction against him.
    • Fan Boy: Lum has much the same. The subtitles refer to them as Lum's Stormtroopers, a term that also caught on with the fandom.
      • Both groups are equally horrified when it seems that Lum and Mendou are going to get together; they actually turn to Ataru for help, because a) Lum is the one girl Mendou shows serious interest in throughout the whole story (in the Destiny Production Bureau Arc, one future shows him and Lum happily married, with Ataru as their retainer) and b) outwardly, Mendou is close to perfection in looks, intelligence, and money, making it harder to constantly point out how unsuitable he is for Lum. Again, this proved to be a misunderstanding.
  • Fantasy Kitchen Sink[context?]
  • Fire-Breathing Diner[context?]
  • Four-Girl Ensemble: Starring Lum, Oyuki, Benten and Ran.
  • Franchise Zombie: A rarity for a Takahashi series, which are usually far more likely to be Cut Short after catching up to the source material and devolving into Filler. This show has the biggest episode count of any Takahashi series to date (196 episodes) and ended about the same time as the manga did. OVA's continued to be produced for years after the series ended, as were two more movies.
  • Freaky Friday Flip: Happens to Ataru and Jariten, and also Ataru and Mendou.
  • Frying Pan of Doom: Ataru's weapon of choice against Jariten.
  • Fur Bikini: Lum's outfit, based on the legends of oni wearing tiger skins.
  • Gag Dub: The BBC made one in 1998 called Lum the Invader Girl. Only two episodes are known to exist.
  • Gag Sub: AnimEigo's DVD subtitles would often do this with characters that speak the Oni language. From about Season 2 onward, Oni dialogue—complete gibberish in Japanese—was written in the Windows "Symbol" font (i.e. Greek letters, easily decipherable). Oni subtitles tended to say things like "If you can read this, you are a true otaku." (from Movie 1) and "That Star Wars reference was pretty cool." (from an episode that had a minute-long Star Wars-themed crack sequence).
  • Generic Cuteness: Shinobu.
  • The Generic Guy: Kosuke in the manga.
  • Genki Girl: Lum
  • The Glomp: Lum, to Ataru - occasionally electrified.
  • Gonk: Cherry, especially emphasized by his sudden entrances and close-ups. Sakura's mom, who looks like Cherry with hair. And, of course, Shinobu's highly persistent suitor, Soban from Busumetsu High, who raises this trope Up to Eleven.
  • Gratuitous English: "Darling!"
    • And in just about every theme song: "Dancing, dancing star"; "You are watching me, I am watching you"; etc. Some of the theme songs are sung partially or entirely in English (i.e. "Rock the Planet").
  • Gravity Is a Harsh Mistress: In one manga chapter, Ataru rushed out of his home through the nearest exit. Instants later he noticed: that exit was not a door but a window; and he could not fly. After he has hit the ground, Lum floats down to him and states: "For one second I believed you had learnt to fly."
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Ran, Ran and have I mentioned Ran?
  • Groundhog Day Loop: The second movie, "Beautiful Dreamer," revolves around this trope. Note that it actually came out nine years before the movie Groundhog Day.
  • Handsome Lech: Though rich, popular and good looking, Mendou is just as big a pervert as Ataru.
  • Harem Anime: Well, sort of. Ataru wants one, but none of the girls want to be in one. Could be considered the Unbuilt Trope version where Tenchi Muyo!! was the Codifier.
  • Harem Seeker: Ataru, to the horror of all women.
  • Hello, Nurse!: Sakura, even though she doesn't have the personality of one. Lum also qualifies, though with her being (probably) underage, older men aren't shown lusting after her... most of the time anyway.
  • He-Man Woman Hater: Tobimaro firmly believes that baseball is no place for women... though most of his issues with the gentler sex can be directly attributed to a childhood spent running from Ryoko Mendou.
  • Hot Amazon: Shinobu, and Lum. And Benten, don't forget Benten.
  • Hilariously Abusive Childhood: Ryuunosuke is frequently victim of this trope. Tobimaro had this too, all thanks to Ryoko.
  • Horned Humanoid: The Oni
  • Hot-Blooded: Tobimaro, complete with Hotblooded Sideburns even. He's an utter Butt Monkey, however.
  • Human Aliens: Averted with every alien aside from the important characters. Most aliens look nothing humanoid: see the omiai chapter/episode and take a good look at Lum's would-be suitors aside from Uni and the Prince of the Underground.
  • Human Outside, Alien Inside: One episode features Lum and Ten eating pickles and realizing too late that the brine has an effect on them that alcohol does not. (Arguably a Not Himself episode, as we never see them completely drunk at any other time in the series)
  • Hyperspace Mallet[context?]
  • I Can't Believe It's Not Heroin!: Oni get drunk on umeboshi (English translation = "pickled plums")
  • An Ice Person: Oyuki, the Queen of Neptune.
  • Idiots Cannot Catch Colds: Ataru.
  • Innocent Bystander: Subverted, Ryoko often poses as one.
  • Instant Fanclub: Lum, naturally.
  • Interspecies Romance: Kitsune develops a very innocent crush on Shinobu after she saves him from a pack of dogs. Also Lum and Ataru, obviously.
  • Involuntary Shapeshifting: Uber-bishonen Rei turns into an ushitora (a very large, goofy and stupid-looking cross between a tiger and a bull) whenever excited. And that means whenever lots of food is in front of him. Or, early on, whenever his ex-fiancee, Lum, spurns him. The only girl it doesn't bother at all is Ran... and even the girls who see both of his forms still aren't entirely against the prospect of romancing him.
  • Jerkass: Pretty much everyone in the series at some point.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Ataru and Lum in many episodes. Some others characters like Ten or Mendo have their moment too.
  • Journey to the West: Reenacted by the whole cast as a play. It's a very, very, very loose adaptation.
  • Kansai Regional Accent: Lum refers to herself as uchi instead of the standard atashi - a feature of Kansai-ben.
  • Karma Houdini: Ryoko tortures everyone (especially her brother Mendo and Tobimaro) and she is NEVER punished.
  • Kavorka Man: Mr. Fujinami apparently. He has photos of dozens of women with baby Ryuunosuke and doesn't even remember which one of them is his real wife, Masako. It then turns out that he never actually seduced them; he hired them to pose for the pictures because he wanted to "help" Ryuunosuke somehow.
  • Kawaiiko: Ran, whenever her psycho-bitch state isn't taking over. When Lum mentions that she should just be herself, Ran explains that getting back to her Kawaiiko mode is difficult.
  • Kidanova: Ten charms lots of girls with his cuteness. Also, one of his dreams is marrying Sakura.
  • Kid Samurai: Mendou, who keeps a katana in his locker and Tobimaro, who leads a hermit lifestyle in the mountains and always wears a ragged samurai robe.
  • King of All Cosmos[context?]
  • Kiss of Death: Ran
  • Lack of Empathy: Mr Fujinami, Oyuki, and Ryoko. Heck, everyone had this at some point.
  • Ladykiller in Love: Possibly subverted, since Mendou might want to marry Lum due to the prestige of having an alien princess as a wife: however, he does seem to have at least some genuine feelings for her. Subverted again in the fact that his relationships with both Lum and Asuka can be interpreted this way. The straight example is Rei; Lum is the only girl in the series who doesn't require food to get him chasing after her. If you don't see the magnitude of that achievement, you seriously need to rewatch the stories featuring him.
  • Late to the Punchline: So many Anime pros grew up with the show that comic Shoutouts can be found in hundreds of shows. You may not recognize some of them until you see the episode they took it from. (e.g. The lipstick commercial, Ryoko's "operation")
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: In one episode, Ataru is seen reading an animanga version of Beautiful Dreamer. In another, they pass by a movie theater with a poster for Remember My Love. Lum even glances at it briefly.
    • In the library episode in season 2, a Freeze-Frame Bonus reveals that one of the students is reading Urusei Yatsura, with the title written in romaji. More freeze framing shows Urusei Yatsura and Maison Ikkoku on the shelves (with normal, non-romaji titles).
  • Lethal Chef: Lum cooks reasonably well... but only by Oni standards
  • Letting Her Hair Down: Benten subverts this effectively.
    • There are only three instances where she's seen with her hair down: twice are shower scenes, the third is when she uses the chain that holds her hair in place to disarm Ran (she puts it back up seconds later).
      • Four, there's the episode where the Spice Gals steal her chain.
  • Lingerie Scene: Parodied
  • Literal Split Personality: The lecherous aspect of Ataru's personality gets split off in one chapter/episode... but the remaining non-lecherous portion of his personality is so weak that it can't even wake up.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: And they will constantly remind you of it.
  • Loveable Sex Maniac: Take a wild guess...
  • Love You and Everybody: Of course Ataru loves Lum... and Shinobu, and Sakura, and Ran, and Ryunnosuke, and Benten, and Oyuki, and Ryoko...
  • Love Martyr: Everyone considers Lum this.
  • Love-Obstructing Parents: Jariten, of course, although he's not a parent..
  • Love Potion: Several in the TV series. The plot of the 6th movie revolves around one.
  • Magic Pants: Pepper
  • Masquerade Ball: Parodied, as the Japanese words can be read in different ways.
  • Meaningful Name: Plenty. Jariten, for example, has been translated into Naughty Ten in some languages.
  • Mega Neko: Kotatsu-neko
  • The Men in Black: Pretty much everyone at the Mendou estate aside from the family themselves. (the men in black glasses and the kuroko).
  • Middle of Nowhere Street[context?]
  • Miko: Sakura
  • Milholland Relationship Moment
  • Mind Screw: Miserable! A Loving and Roving Mother! Also, the second and fourth movies, which go off the wall and pull off "What is going on?"-style plot twists to an extreme degree.
  • Miniature Senior Citizens: Cherry and Sakura's mom. Also Mujaki, the Big Bad of the second film: though he isn't nearly as harmless as he looks...
  • Missing Mom: No one can actually figure out if Masako is alive or had just left Mr. Fujinami.
    • Some letters that Ryuunosuke finds imply that Masako died in childbirth. It's never revealed if those letters were valid or not though.
  • Miyamoto Musashi: The Heian Era segments reenact this, with Onsen-Mark as Musashi, Ataru as a Big Eater and petty criminal posing as Musashi and Mendou as Kojiro.
  • Monster Roommate[context?]
  • Morphic Resonance: Kitsune transforms into the other characters by essentially becoming slightly more human-like, losing the tail and putting on the same outfit and hairstyle as the person he wants to turn into. It never fools anyone, but everyone plays along since he's so cute.
  • The Movie: Six of them (the most of any Takahashi series to date).
  • Ms. Fanservice: Lum. Oh, how we love the tiger-striped bikini.
    • Lampshaded a bit in the episode where Lum wound up getting drunk on pickled plums. Her first response was to start taking off her school uniform, then the camera cut away to the guy's staring and drooling over the view they were getting, and only cut back to Lum when Shinobu reminded everyone that Lum was just wearing her usual tiger striped bikini.
    • Benten may also count, with her Chainmail Bikini.
    • Well most of the alien girls like outfits that are very swimsuit like: Ran occasionally dons a pink bikini outfit, Oyuki has a crystal surfaced one with Absolute Cleavage (though she usually wears a kimono), and Kurama a black one piece front laced corset type outfit.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: Ran's default reaction to anyone who gets within ten feet of Rei.
  • Musical Pastiche: Apparently UY reused a BGM track from Kinnikuman (which was made a year before UY), although considering Shinsuke Kazato was the composer for both series, it really isn't of a surprise, don't believe me, click here for the Kinnikuman version, and go to 0:27 for the UY remix of this track, take a listen and tell me those two BGM's don't sound almost exactly the same.
    • One musical cue for the series resembles the chorus of The Beatles' "Your Mother Should Know" quite closely.
    • Another musical cue used in mood-establishing shots beginning around halfway through the series is pretty much a slow piano rendition of The Beatles' "Fool On The Hill".
  • Negative Continuity
  • Nice Guy: Inaba.
  • Ninja: In addition to the Kyoto story arc featuring a run in with an actual Ninja clan, during Mendo's introduction, Ataru not only used a Ninja style bare handed sword catch, but he also pulled the Ninja Log trick.
    • Eventually Ataru would catch Mendo's sword bare-handed Once an Episode.
      • Not just with his hands, either. Later examples include using his feet, teeth and even a pillow.
  • No Accounting for Taste: Ataru's parents and both of his girlfriends. To be fair, he does have his Pet the Dog moments.
  • Noblewoman's Laugh: Ryoko does a more subdued and ladylike version of this at times. She even does it as a baby.
  • No Fourth Wall: When a classmate asks Ataru if he knows Sakura, he replies, "Go read the first volume!" And when Ataru turns green, Lum comments that at least they aren't published in color.
  • No Guy Wants to Be Chased: Of course, Lum considers them married, so...
  • Non-Identical Twins: The one time everyone believes the kitsune shapeshifting.
  • Not So Different: Part of the humor is that no matter how frequently Ten and Shutaro call out Ataru on his lechery, they're invariably shown to be just as bad, if not worse, than him. Lum, meanwhile, is similar to both Shinobu and Ataru.
    • Elle in Only You, the first movie, is a more succesful female Ataru.
  • Not So Harmless: The Big Bad of the second film, Mujaki. Once revealed about three-quarters of the way through the movie, he comes across as an Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain who is only trying to do good (his character design reflects this, as he's drawn as a shrunken old man). However, he tricks Sakura and Mendou through this act (trapping them in an aquarium), though he ends up cornered by Ataru of all people. He proceeds to put Ataru through a series of increasingly cruel Mind Rape scenarios, culminating in a threat that he will never allow him to leave the dream world. He's only defeated when he decides that keeping up with Lum and Ataru is too much trouble, and leaves of his own accord.
  • Oh Crap: Several. One of the most memorable being Megane when he sees Oyuki's yeti friend in episode 8.
  • Off-Model: Too many instances to name. Not surprising considering it was a traditionally-animated TV series from the early 1980's (i.e. no time & no budget). Especially notable during production of the movies (which have no excuse[1]).
  • Our Demons Are Different: The Big Bad of the second movie, Beautiful Dreamer, is explicitly stated to be a demon (and it's implied by Sakura that he might be The Devil himself), though his powers and attitude are more reminiscent of The Fair Folk.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Well, they have the same drink-blood mentality, powers, and weaknesses, but they are far more pathetic than most people are used to...
  • Parental Abandonment: Ataru's parents wish they could invoke this trope, but really the best example would have to be Jariten, whose mother briefly shows up in just one early episode and then is never seen again. We also never get to see Shinobu's parents (unique among the four leads).
  • Personal Raincloud[context?]
  • Petting Zoo People[context?]
  • Playboy Bunny: The standard uniform for female employees of the Destiny Production Bureau. Males get slightly frumpy rabbit suits.
  • Playing with Fire: Ten
  • The Pollyanna: Mr Hanawa.
  • Prophetic Names: Metaphorical; Ataru's full name translates to "struck by a falling star." And one of the readings for Mendou is "trouble". Shinobu means "to endure". And Lum, well... Agnes Lum, after whom she is named, was a bikini model...
  • Public Execution: Averted in episode one, as it is reported on the TV news that a lynch mob is coming for Ataru and his family after his early attempts to beat Lum at tag and save the earth end in failure.
  • Pulverizes Men Out of Fear: Asuka Mizunokoji. Kept isolated from men according to family tradition, she inherited her mother's super-strength, which is her way of getting rid of all those scary men (unfortunately for her, the first one she ever met was Ataru Moroboshi). Of course that's the lesser evil, as her brother Tobimaro can testify, as being classified as a "big brother" ("a special kind of man who's just like you") combined with the fact that Asuka developed a crush on him means rib-crushing hugs.
  • Raised as the Opposite Gender: There's both a girl raised as a boy (Ryuunosuke) and a boy raised as a girl (Nagisa).
  • Reality Warper: Subverted. Mujaki, the Big Bad of the second film, was originally thought to be this. It turns out that he can only manipulate your dreams, which is just as bad if you're the one sleeping.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: The resident uber-studly man-amongst-men is not only female, but dreams of the day when she can wear a frilly dress and high heels. Ryuunosuke certainly doesn't think that Real Women Never Wear Dresses.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Ataru and Mendou; Benten and Oyuki.
  • Red String of Fate: Ataru has one on each of his fingers.
  • Reunion Revenge: Lum and Ran are reunited after a long time at Tomobiki High. This trope starts when Ran finally remembers that she didn't come for a friendly chitchat.
  • The Rival: Mendou to both Ataru and Tobimaro.
  • Robe and Wizard Hat: Though he has no hat, Tsubame always wears his wizard cape.
  • Romantic False Lead: Rupa in the 5th movie, once Lum finally gives Ataru the ultimatum to say he loves her or she's staying on the World of Darkness. In a subversion, she obviously doesn't like him as anything more than a casual friend, and that's after he stops trying to force her into marriage. In a twist, Lum is actually his Romantic False Lead as well.
  • Royal Brat: Oh Ryoko, how we love you and your kabuki stagehands.
  • Salaryman: Mr. Moroboshi (even though we never see him working)
  • Sarashi: Ryuunosuke
  • School Festival: The events of Beautiful Dreamer are framed by one.
  • Screwy Squirrel: Ryoko
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money: Mendou, plus his sister Ryoko on occasion.
  • Secret Test of Character: The crow-tengus set a few for Ryuunosuke, since they're looking for a groom for Kurama who has good character in addition to looks. She passes. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Serious Business: Playing tag (literally in Japanese, "the game of the oni")
    • For Tobimaro, playing baseball is serious business, seeing as he lives in the mountains and practices... to no avail... well, he gains the ability to eat plenty of balls, but that's it.
  • Shock and Awe: Lum
  • Shout-Out: To 2001: A Space Oddessy at least once, Blade Runner on another occasion, and to Star Wars several times (often in a Non Sequitur Scene).
    • ET and the xenomorph both appear at Ryoko's masquerade ball.
    • Megane's room has a poster of Spock from Wrath of Khan (plus about a dozen posters of Lum, naturally).
    • In one episode, while Princess Kurama's minions are searching for a suitable mate using a database of every male in the universe, a Pierson's Puppeteer briefly appears.
    • In the first film, when Lum arrives at the church to stop Ataru and Elle getting married, her pounding on the glass and yelling out "Darling!" numerous times is very much like the climatic scene from The Graduate.
  • "Shut Up" Kiss: What Ataru does to Lum at the end of the seventh ending theme.
  • Slapstick Knows No Gender
  • Small Girl, Big Gun: Benten
  • Smashing Watermelons[context?]
  • Snap Back: What do you expect from a long-running Takahashi romantic comedy?
  • Snow Means Cold: Oyuki's mere presence will always cool a room down.
  • Social Services Does Not Exist[context?]
  • Sparkling Stream of Tears: Lum
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Mendo/Mendou.
  • Spoiled Brat: Mendou, TEN, and most of all, Ryoko
  • Squeaky Eyes: Lum and Ataru do this at least once.
  • Stable Time Loop: When the gang tries to go back in time to cure Mendou's claustrophobia and nyctophobia, the bratty younger Mendou enrages his future self so much that he chases him into a dark room filled with large vases with a katana in hand and a rather maniacal expression in his eyes. Present-time Mendou begins smashing the vases while snarling out various threats at his child self. By the time the others get him out of there and The Men in Black find the child, little Mendou is practically hysterical in his vase.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Played for laughs with Rei, who, despite apparently loving only food (and whatever else can be considered food) still has feelings for Lum, much to Ran's chagrin and rage. How Lum managed to get him to fall in love with her remains a mystery. With a few exceptions, the girls Ataru pursues consider him this.
    • Also, played straight with Soban, the highly Gonk boss of Busumetsu High, who does little beyond charge at Shinobu yelling: "Shinobu-saaaan! I LOVE YOUUUU!!!!" Fortunately, Shinobu is stronger than him.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Parodied with Tsubame and Sakura, who never get the chance to kiss because of the constant presence of Date Peepers from Tomobiki High.
  • Statuesque Stunner: Sakura.
  • Status Quo Is God: Many stories end with the town in total chaos, or with Ataru having caused some sort of seemingly irrevocible disaster. But things are always back to normal in the next story, usually without explanation.
    • Even the final chapter adhered to this trope, with Ataru refusing to confess his feelings to Lum, even at the very end of the series.
  • Supporting Harem: The series became this, although it started out as more of a Balanced Harem between Lum and Shinobu, only later Lum become more popular and Shinobu got an alternative Love Interest.
  • Sweet on Polly Oliver: Subversion, the resident Casanovas Ataru and Mendou suspect Nagisa might not be a girl since they feel nothing towards "her".
    • The straight example is Ryunnosuke - Crossdresser or no, Ataru's happy to grope her as much as he is with any other girl.
  • Talking Animal: Kitsune
  • Terrible Trio: Sugar, Ginger and Pepper.
  • Theme Naming[context?]
  • Through His Stomach: Ran is extremely happy when Rei snarfs down her lunch with a little more dignity than those of the other girls, even saying her name reverently and responding with an enthusiastic yes when she asks if the food is good. Then Cherry shows up with a bigger bento... and Rei's reaction is exactly the same.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: Ataru is unlucky but he wins the presidency of his class against Mendo and once he is kissed by Rin (the kiss is supposed to be bad for him, but it doesn't work).
  • Thundering Herd[context?]
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Benten and Oyuki.
  • Too Long; Didn't Dub: The series is packed to the gills with wordplay and cultural references that are dealt with differently by the various translations from different companies. Most either ignore them or resort to Woolseyisms, but AnimEigo's releases of the TV series and movies supplement their translations with comprehensive note sheets inside the video/DVD case (and later on, on-disc translator's notes), explaining in detail the gags and references for the viewer to read at their leisure.
  • Transformation Ray[context?]
  • Tsundere: Shinobu "MEN BE DAMNED!!!" Miyake and Lum.
  • Tunnel King: The Prince of the Underworld.
  • Two-Teacher School: The only regular teacher we regularly see is Onsen-Mark. Beyond him, the only school staff we see are the headmaster and Sakura.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Lum's parents, although in one flashback it was shown that before they were married, Mister Invader wasn't bad-looking. Ataru's mom seems to think this about her marriage, with her melodramatic soliloquy about her wasting her life on "an idiot son and a good-for-nothing husband" when Rei came along...
  • The Ugly Guy's Hot Daughter: Lum, very much so.
  • Unbuilt Trope: particularly for Magical Girlfriend (and maybe for Harem Anime if you think the show counts as one)
  • Unfazed Everyman: Ataru, though this might be a bit of a subversion, considering his superior running-away skills and indestructibility.
  • Unlucky Childhood Friend: Shinobu, though she ceases to care roughly around the time Mendou shows up.
  • Unlucky Everydude: Ataru, taking it to epic proportions; he was actually born in the middle of an earthquake on a date that was considered extremely unlucky in both Western (Friday, April 13th) and Japanese (Butsumetsu) calendars.
  • Unknown Rival: Ran.
  • Unwanted Harem: Inverted, Ataru wants a harem to the horror of all the rest of the females
    • Played straight with Lum's other suitors, but subverted with her reaction to them. She treats most of them (particularly those from Tomobiki) as her friends. A good example of that is how she calls Mendou by his first name without any honorific, which is pretty intimate for Japan. But then again, she's not Japanese.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Ataru, most of the time.
  • Verbal Tic: Lum ends most of her sentences with "dat'cha!". Cherry ends most of his with "-ja", which is pretty stereotypical of old men in Japan.
    • Don't forget the Dappya Monsters!
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Brought Up to Eleven by Ataru and Mendou, who have a very destructive relationship despite being the closest thing to best guy friends the other has.
  • Waif Fu: Shinobu, of course. Especially when Soban is concerned.
    • Also, one story revolves around Lum trying to convince a younger girl that courage is all one needs to defeat her enemies. Said girl then asks Lum to defeat Soban ("Shinobu-saaan! I love yooouuu!") without using her powers. She even sends the challenge letter herself. Fortunately, Shinobu turns up before Lum loses all her super-strength pills.
  • Weirdness Magnet: Ataru, supposedly due to the circumstances of his birth.
  • Well, Excuse Me, Princess!: Lum
  • What Does She See in Him?: No one seems to understand why Lum is in love with Ataru, particularly her many admirers. For the record, Ataru has no idea either.
  • What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: Lame indeed...
  • The White Prince: Mendou
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Nagisa
  • Why Couldn't You Be Different?: Ataru and Ryuunosuke, though in the latter case her father chooses to completely ignore the fact she's a girl instead of openly evoking this trope.
    • Well during the episode where the Tengu's wanted to blast Ryu with a sex change ray and when the bluebird was granting wishes, he stopped pretending Ryuunosuke was a boy in favor of agressively making it real
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: "Waaaah! It's dark! It's cramped! I'm scared!!!"
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: Ten
  • Winter Royal Lady: Oyuki
  • Would Hit a Girl: Mr Fujinami, but only his 'boy' Ryuunosuke.
  • Would Not Hit a Girl: Ataru, Shutaro Mendou, and Nagisa.
    • In the anime, well really Movie 4, Ataru really doesn't want to hit anybody. In the manga, he somehow managed to KO himself from preventing himself from hitting Lum.
  • A Worldwide Punomenon: Ataru's name, the series name (which is a multi-layered pun), etc. The series as a whole is full of them. Most characters have a Meaningful Name, too.
  • Yamato Nadeshiko: Oyuki is a highly cunning and calculative variant.
  • Yaoi Fangirl: Mendou's fangirls were cheering a bit too much at the Ho Yay entry situation.
  • You All Look Familiar: The series as a whole loves to introduce several characters that are only the focus of one episode, but those characters often make token cameos in large crowd scenes in later episodes. This even includes characters from the first three movies appearing in TV episodes.
    • Several characters from popular series at the time are also snuck in from time-to-time: Kenshiro, Kei and Yuri, Ultraman's lobster rival, and Kyoko - and that's just in one episode!
    • The 2008 OVA continues the tradition as, at the end, Ataru is hitting on Kagome and Akane.
  • You Already Changed the Past[context?]
  • You Didn't Ask: In one manga chapter, Ataru, Lum and several of their friends went camping. Lum was making lunch and everyone were happy... but Ataru. He adamantly refused to eat. Keep in mind this is a guy who usually eats ANYTHING and EVERYTHING he can get his hands on. His friends nagged him about rudely rejecting Lum's food... and then they tried it. Right away they dragged Ataru away and asked him why he had not warned them Lum's food is very spicy. His answer? They did not ask (and he did not want to warn them).
  • You Gotta Have Green Hair: Lum had an Adaptation Dye Job in the anime, since iridescent hair would have been extremely difficult to color in 1981.
  • You Know What You Did: Subversion: since Rei talks very little aside from exclaiming "Lum!" whenever he sees her, Ran is very quick to assume that whatever situation involves the two is an attempt by Lum to get back together with Rei, much to Lum's horror.
  • Yuppie Couple: Miss Soup and Mr. Noodle
  • Zigzag Paper Tassel: Sakura sometimes uses an ōnusa to perform exorcisms.
    • Episode 47 featured a television crew that was recording a pseudo-documentary in the forest. They set up a shimenawa across the footpath to make it look more interesting.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: Alien tooth aches can be eased by biting others.
  1. except that the first 4 films were being produced by the same crew as was doing the TV series, AT THE SAME TIME as the TV series