%% Image moved to VillainWorld per Image Pickin' thread: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/posts.php?discussion=1439375132057541700

-> ''"'''Long ago, in a distant land,''' I, '''Aku''', the shape-shifting '''Master of Darkness''', unleashed an '''unspeakable evil!''' But a '''foolish''' samurai warrior wielding a magic sword stepped forth to '''oppose''' me. Before the final blow was struck, I tore open a portal in time and flung him into the future, '''where my evil is law!''' Now, the fool seeks to return to the past, and undo the future that is '''Aku..."'''''

So begins the introductory sequence to ''Samurai Jack'', an animated series created by GenndyTartakovsky (''WesternAnimation/DextersLaboratory'').

As a young boy, the titular samurai watches as the demon Aku destroys his entire kingdom; he escapes, however, and trains with warriors from around the globe for years. He returns to his kingdom as an adult to defeat Aku, but as the [[OpeningNarration opening monologue]] above indicates, Aku flings the samurai thousands of years into the future -- where, thanks to the absence of the samurai, Aku has control over the entire world (and possibly others). [[NamedByDemocracy Inspired]] by jive-talking locals to adopt the alias "Jack," the samurai wanders the world, fights the machinations of Aku (and other evildoers), and searches for a way back to his own time so he can defeat Aku for good and prevent this future from ever happening.

Genndy supposedly intended to finish off the story with [[TheMovie a movie]], but Cartoon Network ended the series after fifty-two episodes (and no GrandFinale).

Fans remember the show chiefly for its outline-free art style, impressive action sequences, and long stretches of animation without dialogue. The show took numerous stylistic risks (especially in the final season), such as the episode where Jack fights a {{ninja}} entirely in light and shadow.

Since the show's end, rumors have swirled around Tartakovsky's desire to conclude the story with a film. Though the film supposedly entered pre-production at Frederator Studios and Bad Robot, no real news on it has come to light. [[http://www.cinemablend.com/new/Genndy-Tartakovsky-Samurai-Jack-Movie-It-Getting-Closer-31873.html As it stands now]], if the film does have a chance of happening, it'll have to escape DevelopmentHell first. Tartakovsky himself has said that the series is not dead. [[http://screenrant.com/jj-abrams-producing-samurai-jack-movie-robf-35322/ Information released]] [[DevelopmentHell in 2010]] said J.J. Abrams would produce the film, which would have an estimated twenty-million-dollar budget.

Comics publisher IDW [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samurai_Jack#Comics kicked off an official comic book based on the show in October 2013.]] Jack and Aku are set to appear in the IDW CrisisCrossover comic book event ''ComicBook/CartoonNetworkSuperSecretCrisisWar'' in June 2014. It is set to end on it's 20th issue in May 2015, with the last issue functioning as a DistantFinale to the series. Unfortunately, it was a BolivianArmyEnding.

Cartoon Network's original {{Toonami}} block aired reruns of ''Samurai Jack'' during the block's third and fourth incarnations; the show even ran as part of Toonami's final pre-cancellation block. The revived Creator/AdultSwim version of Toonami brought back Jack in February 2014, and a re-release of the series on DVD began in the same year.

----
!! ''Samurai Jack'' contains examples of the following tropes:

* ZeroPercentApprovalRating: In a notable subversion, "Aku's Fairy Tales" shows Aku as aware of how his subjects view him, which leads to a clumsy attempt to persuade children to like him. Outside of that instance, Aku seems not to care (since nothing his subjects could do can hurt him). The only reason his approval rating hits zero percent, however, was Jack -- he showed people that a world without Aku could possibly exist.
* AmbiguousEnding: [[spoiler: the ending of the comic book- much to many fans dismay. We only know one thing for certain- Jack never found a way back home and is now concentrating on the future and defeating Aku.]]
* AbnormalAmmo: The snake arrow in "Jack and the Hunters"
* AbsurdlySharpBlade: Most of the swords and other bladed weapons are capable of cutting through robots made of metal easily. Of course Jack's blade is supernatural in origin, immune to damage and able to cut through anything. Only a handful of items in the series are able to counter it, the Scotsman's sword had magic runes that prevented Jack's sword from breaking it. In one episode, a series of {{Elite Mook}}s made of {{Unobtanium}} were too dense for Jack to damage, but only for lack of physical strength. A PoweredArmor arm made up for that and, when the gauntlet ran out of power, called upon the spirits of his ancestors for a FinishingMove.
* [[ActionFilmQuietDramaScene Action Cartoon, Quiet Drama Scene]]: all over the place, it would probably be more effective to list scenes where he isn't brooding and staring down his enemies for long stretches of time.
* ActionGirl: The Scotsman's wife; she ''single-handedly'' beats an army both her husband and Jack -- two of the greatest warriors ''ever'' -- had trouble fighting, and starts off said fight by ''[[DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu punching a god in the gut]]''. Just because said god [[BerserkButton called her fat]]. Did I mention that she was entirely unarmed?
** She is also one of few people Jack, without question, [[spoiler: ran away from a fight with.]] And this was after the Scotsman gave him some friendly advice, warning him it was a battle he would never win.
* AffectionateParody: The ''WesternAnimation/DuckDodgers'' episode Samurai Quack. Not only did Genndy himself have a hand in writing it, he actually shows up for a brief live action cameo!
* AllForNothing: The winter segment of "Four Seasons of Death". An extended ForgingScene for a tribe of orc/yeti creatures to make a sword, then the sword is rammed into a pillar while the orcs fight for who gets to wield it. The winner takes that sword, which now can apparently throw lightningbolts, then goes to wait in the raging blizzard outside. Jack comes by, they fight... and the sword is instantly cut in half.
* AmbiguousRobots: Any time Jack slices someone/something up, it's usually mechanical. WordOfGod is that it was intentional so he could get a lot of gore in a children's cartoon just like in old samurai movies that inspired it without falling foul of censors. Where things aren't mechanical but bad, it's likely to be something MadeOfEvil like Aku himself or his demon minions. Though many of his enemies are just clear-cut robots, others don't show any signs of being mechanical until we see the stumps of their dismembered limbs crackling and spewing oil.
* AnachronicOrder: The backstories of Jack and Aku are shown out of order.
* AnachronismStew: Jack's own time period: the equivalent of Feudal/Edo Japan seems to co-exist with cultures based on the Vikings, Classical Greece, Medieval England, and even Ancient Egypt, for a range that spans thousands of years in the real world.
** Aku's 'dark future' is a stew as well - much of the Earth is primitive to various degrees, so that stories involving gangsters, cowboys, stone age primitives or robots can coexist. The occasional piece of SchizoTech also appears.
* AncestralWeapon: Jack's sword, forged from the pure spirit of his father by mystic monks and first wielded by him to stop Aku the first time.
* {{Animesque}}
* AppropriatedAppellation: "Jack" is not his name, but rather a slang term much like "Guy" or "Dude" that he chooses to identify himself by.
* ArrogantKungFuGuy: There are lots of them. Da Samurai is the only one who gets some CharacterDevelopment.
* ArtificialGill: Jack is given a device before swimming underwater to the HumongousMecha.
* ArtShift:
** Used to great effect to make the visions Jack experiences (and the episode as a whole) in "Jack and the Haunted House" more terrifying.
** In "The Princess and the Bounty Hunters", when each bounty hunter tells his or her plans for defeating Jack, the animation is rendered to closely represent the art styles of each bounty hunter's homeworld: traditional Oriental brushstrokes for the HiveMind cat hunters, a filter to give the effect of a black-and-white movie for the gentleman hunter, childish animation for the rather simple Russian bounty hunter, traditional Aborigine art for the Aborigine hunter, and blue with white outlines for Princess Mira, giving it a science-fiction feel.
** Not to mention the 4th season episode "Samurai Vs Ninja" where the entire scene changes to purely silhouettes of black and white for both the fighters and the environment.
* {{Backstory}}: Quite a bit for Jack and Aku which is slowly presented over the course of the series in AnachronicOrder.
* BackToBackBadasses:
** Jack and the spartan king vs the machine leader.
** Jack and the Scotsman fighting through hordes of countless demon robots and coming out (exhausted, but) pretty much unscathed?
* {{Badass}}: [[WorldOfBadass Practically everyone]], but there's Jack, the Scotsman, Aku and a few other standout examples.
* BadassBoast: Many. Jack only does so occasionally, but almost everybody he fights has one.
-->'''Jack:''' ''"Do not worry... '''I have only begun to fight.'''"''
-->'''Aku:''' ''"Who dares to summon the master of masters, the deliverer of darkness, the shogun of sorrow... '''AKUUUUU!!!'''"''
-->'''The Scotsman:''' ''I'm the most wanted man on the planet!''
-->'''Gordo the Gruesome:''' ''Prepare to suffer, Two-Sandals the Treacherous! I will beat you like a drum! I will hang you out like laundry! [[OverlyLongGag I am the master mechanic - the alpha and omega! I will put a hurting on you, slave! I'm gonna tear you up into little shreds - and then I'm gonna take those shreds and tear them up into little shreds! I will make your mother cry! I will make your Aunt Edna from Withershoot proper, south of Barnaby, cry! Are you ready for pain, Two-Sandals?!]]''
-->'''Demongo:''' ''"I am the dealer of destruction, the merchant of doom... '''and I seek you, Samurai Jack.'''"''
* BadassFamily: no doubt Jack is as badass as his own father, they are a samurai family. Another one is The Scotsman's family. Himself, his wife and the other scotsmen are all strong warriors.
* BadFuture: The setting of the series; one where Aku has ruled the world for thousands of years.
* BadGuyBar: Jack frequently drinks water or tea at these places, and they're always filled with bounty hunters wanting to collect on his bounty.
* BalefulPolymorph: One episode saw Jack transformed into a chicken after accidentally bumping into a foul-tempered wizard on the street. He was then swept up and placed into a cockfighting match, but proceeded to kick all kinds of (chicken-sized) robot nonetheless.
* BerserkButton: Several characters have fallen into this:
** The Scotsman's wife: Do ''not'', under any circumstances, insult her weight.
** The wizard from "Chicken Jack" does not like being jostled in a crowd, and will respond with a BalefulPolymorph.
* [[BigNo/WesternAnimation Big No]]: In episode 23 Demongo uses one after Jack defeats him.
** Jack does this in the Pyramid Heist episode when it looks like The Suit has abandoned him to be killed by the pyramids guards in a sealed room.
** Jack's father in "Birth of Evil", when Aku restrains and forces him to watch as he lays siege to his village.
* BigBrotherIsWatching: Aku has a system of automated spies that let him track Jack's movements almost constantly, no matter where he is, though this mostly adds up to him complaining about his minions failing to kill him.
* BigGood: A few times we are shown actual deities from mythology like [[Myth/NorseMythology Odin]], [[Myth/EgyptianMythology Ra]] and [[UsefulNotes/{{Hinduism}} Vishnu]] in the show, who are incredibly powerful and aid Jack at specific times. The Prequel episodes reveal that Aku was a fragment of a CosmicHorror creature that was destroyed by them millions of years ago. It's strongly implied Aku is so below their own power that they don't see a need to get personally involved, but provide Jack's father the sword to handle the situation himself.
* BigOlEyebrows: Or rather, '''[[LargeHam GREAT]] [[IncendiaryExponent FLAMING]] [[MemeticMutation EYEBROWS]]!!'''
* BlatantLies:
** In "Jack and the Gangsters", the gangsters give Jack a job to deliver a package with a bomb in it, but Jack seeing the sorry state of the victim, helps him escape, which is imposed over him telling gangsters that he did everything as planned.
** In the episode where Jack and Aku agree to a duel, Aku agrees to several conditions which he will honor for the duel. He's a terrible liar. (See IKnowYouKnowIKnow.)
* BoisterousBruiser: The Scotsman. Da Samurai to a lesser extent, [[SmallNameBigEgo though he isnt nearly as skilled as he thinks.]]
** Villainous example with Gordo The Cruel, the first gladiator champion Jack fights in the Dome of Doom.
* BountyHunter: Lots of them, they're one of Jack's most common type of enemies.
* BoringInsult: at the end of episode 8, along with "IKnowYoureWatching.
** ---> '''Jack:''' ''I know you’re watching. These tricks are starting to annoy me.''
* BrawnHilda: The Scotsman's wife.
* BullyingTheDragon: One would think that Jack's annihilation of entire armies would be enough for every bounty hunter in the world to understand that going after him is a death sentence, but there is still no shortage of them ready to try.
** Da Samurai from "Samurai Vs Samurai" is worthy of special mention. He knows Jack's story and watches him easily dispatch three robotic assassins sent by Aku in a matter of moments, and '''still''' decides to antagonize Jack into giving him a fight.
* TheCameo: In "The Good, The Bad, and the Beautiful" WesternAnimation/QuickDrawMcGraw and Baba Looey make a brief appearance. Quick Draw is even voiced by his original voice actor.
* CaptainErsatz: The wolf in Aku's version of Little Red Riding Hood is basically Yogi Bear, but as a wolf.
* CarnivalOfKillers: A lot of episodes feature bounty hunters contracted to take out Jack.
* CatFolk: The Imakandi are {{Proud Warrior Race Guy}}s from a distant world. Aku seeks them out to capture Jack. And they ''do.''
* CharacterNameAndTheNounPhrase: Out of the 52 episodes, 20 are titled: "Jack and the X." Another 5 are titled: "Jack, the X, and the Y."
* ChronicBackstabbingDisorder:
** Aku, [[ItsWhatIDo any time anyone ever trusts Aku]]: the fish people, the scientist who makes the assassin robots, and Jack himself when they duel.
** Zeke and Josephine Clench (from the Western-themed Episode XXIX). It is implied they [[SlapSlapKiss love each other]], but are so [[MoneyDearBoy obsessed with money]] that they regularly betray each other, especially Josephine. Zeke even has a restraining order on his wife, but he forgets it when she sweet talks him. They actually manage to capture Jack, but Josephine is unable to resist trying to cut Zeke out of the profits by shoving him off the moving train - unaware that Jack has just ''tied her to Zeke.'' They're left [[HoistByHisOwnPetard dangling comically in their own chains]] as the train disappears up the track, with Jack still aboard. Josephine then says that she didn't ''mean'' to betray Zeke...
--> '''Zeke:''' [[CrowningMomentOfFunny "Court says a hunnerd an' fifty feet, woman! A hunnerd an' fifty feet!"]]
* CliffhangerCopout: Episode XIV begins with Jack about to enter a [[PortalToThePast Time Portal]], when Aku shows up and puts it out of Jack's reach. During the episode Jack learns how to [[InASingleBound "Jump Good"]], and the episode ends with Jack leaping up to attack Aku and reach the Portal. The next episode begins like any other, and doesn't even mention the events of the previous episode. Strangely, Jack's ability to "Jump Good" is mentioned in a later episode, so clearly ''something'' happened, we're just not shown what.
* TheComicallySerious: Jack. He has yet to crack a joke, although (funny) [[YouFightLikeACow insults]] are frequent. This is what makes certain bizarre episodes like an ''Literature/AliceInWonderland'' {{homage}} where Jack ends up [[WholesomeCrossdresser crossdressing.]]
** Except for the episode where he fights the stone viking.
---> '''Jack:''' Surely he takes me for a fool to follow deeper into his trap.\\
[Spiked ceiling starts to lower]\\
'''Jack:''' A fool I be!
** Or in "The Scotsman Saves Jack, Part 2." After Jack's memories are restored following his SurferDude amnesia:
--->'''Jack:''' I am forever in your debt.\\
'''Scotsman:''' Ah, don't mention it. So, how ya been?\\
'''Jack:''' ''(in surfer voice)'' Like totally cool.\\
'''Scotsman:''' What?!\\
''(they laugh)''
** Or in "Jack vs Mad Jack", Jack delivers a deadpan line after being attacked by a cross between [[Franchise/StarWars Chewbacca]] and Domo-Kun in such a manner, it's almost impossible to think how he could have said it with such a straight face.
--->'''Alien:''' Googolplex... ''(he falls unconscious)''\\
'''Jack:''' ''(he stands over him)'' Looks like there will be no money for you, crazy round man.
** In "Samurai vs. Samurai", Jack completely ignores Da Samurai's bragging.
--->'''Da Samurai''': Didn't you hear who I am?\\
'''Jack''': I believe everyone heard who you are.
* ComplainingAboutRescuesTheyDontLike: The Scotsman's wife is quite... abrasive... when Jack and her husband come to rescue her. She spends nearly the whole time yelling at them, forcing them to carry her and calling them sissies, and then ends the whole thing by knocking them out of the way and beating up the entire evil army that kidnapped her single handedly.
--> ''"THIS RESCUE STINKS!"''
** Granted she calms down considerably after being insulted and defeating the army with her bare hands so she probably just had a lot of pent-up annoyance which turned into anger.
* ContinuityNod: Pretty rare, in this show.
** The blue Thing that was briefly Jack's sidekick shows up as a child's doll in a later episode.
** There is a sudden barrage of them in the episode where Jack fights off an infestation of Aku's evil - almost everybody that Jack has helped in prior episode is shown.
** During Scotsman Saves Jack, when Jack and the Scotsman are [[ItMakesSenseInContext competing to see who will row the other back to shore,]] they engage in a high-jump contest. One that Jack wins handily.
--> '''Jack''': (smug smile) Jump good.\\
'''The Scotsman''': Yeah, yeah...
* CowboyEpisode: Episode XXIX is set on a train, where Jack is pursued by a ([[SlapSlapKiss married couple]]) of bounty hunters.
* CrapsackWorld: The future Samurai Jack gets thrown into. It's ruled by Aku and there's little to no hope.
* CrazyPrepared: Jack in "Jack vs. Aku."
* CurbStompBattle: The series alternates between this, OneManArmy, and WorthyOpponent.
** Special mention to an episode where Jack takes down five legendary bounty hunters at once before a drop of water from a nearby low-hanging icicle can hit the ground.
* DamselOutOfDistress: The Scotsman's wife. Presumably they managed to catch her without enraging her enough to set her off on one of her destructive rampages. She does not even need a sword to take down an army of robots right after being rescued by Jack and The Scotsman.
* DanceBattler: DJ Salvatore from "Jack and the Rave".
* DangerouslyGenreSavvy: Although hero and villain alike ordinarily suffered from ContractualGenreBlindness, "Jack vs. Aku" started with a hilarious subversion - Aku confronts Jack, and then explains ''exactly'' how this confrontation is going to play out. Then he suggests that they end the endless cycle with a final duel. [[SchmuckBait Of course,]] it's a trap. [[PingPongNaivete Less predictably,]] Jack knows it's a trap. [[BattleOfWits However,]] Aku knows Jack knows it's a trap... but [[IKnowYouKnowIKnow he doesn't know]] that Jack knows that Aku knows that Jack knows that it's a trap. Or... something like that.
* DarkActionGirl: Ikra in "The Warrior Woman" ([[PaperThinDisguise who is obviously Aku]]). They get along remarkably well until she manages to pry the IdiotBall out of his hands.
** Josephine Clench, a SouthernBelle turned bounty hunter whose weapons included a very dangerous [[ParasolOfPain parasol]] and [[GunsAkimbo two guns]] hidden under her poofy dress.
** Also Mira, a [[BadassPrincess princess]] who lead a group of bounty hunters against Jack, and was so skilled with a sword she could [[ImplausibleFencingPowers slice a single drop of water in half]].
* ADayInTheLimelight: The Scotsman gets some focus in XLV and XLVI ("Scotsman Saves Jack"). X9 in "Tale of X9".
* DaysOfFuturePast: Aku's world is one where robot Vikings exist side-by-side with cyber-bayous, hidden Spartan villages, futuristic versions of 1930s Chicago and a lot of other distorted fragments from our history.
* DeadpanSnarker: This is Jack's usual coping mechanism for the absurdities of the world.
* DeathSeeker: The Norse warrior [[WhoWantsToLiveForever cursed with immortality]] by Aku. As a follower of the Norse religion, he needs to die in glorious battle to join his people in the afterlife, something forever denied to him. Being placed in a nigh-unbreakable crystal prison, from which he cannot attack or be harmed, really makes it hard to die in combat.
* DivineConflict: Aku's backstory is that he is a tiny surviving fragment of an EldritchAbomination that was fought against by the combined might of Horus, Odin, and Indra.
* DivineIntervention: Happened literally in "Birth of Evil", the origin of Aku. The sword that Jack would later use was forged by the gods Odin, Ra, and Rama, using part of the Emperor's (Jack's father's) soul, to grant him a weapon that could defeat Aku.
** A very direct example in "Jack In Egypt", Jack gathers three pieces to build a tiny scarab which flies off... and summons the Egyptian god Ra, who eradicates the Minions of Set that were pursuing Jack.
* TheDrifter: Jack. He once came across the lands he called home as a child; he was nostalgic for awhile... then [[WalkTheEarth moved on]].
* EvenEvilHasStandards: Aku on many occasions. In ''Aku's Fairy Tales'', it shows that he doesn't like hurting children. In ''The Aku Infection'' as well, he refused to fight Jack due to getting cold out in the snow.
* EvilCannotComprehendGood: Aku chalks down all of Jack's good actions to being a "[[MemeticMutation FOOOOOLISH SAMURAI!!!]]" and is almost always completely flabbergasted when Jack defeats his plans.
* EvilIsNotAToy: Oddly subverted in "Jack and the Minions of Set". Aku releases the titular monsters, an evil far more powerful than even him, and while they slaughter the robots he brought with him, they don't lay a finger on him. Possibly prohibited by some sort of LiteralGenie rule.
* EvilKnockoff: Mad Jack.
* EvilOverlord: Aku.
* {{Expy}}: The "crazy round man" in "VIII" greatly resembles Domo-Kun.
** The Suit, the master thief in one episode, looks like [[Franchise/LupinIII Jigen Daisuke]] (with his boss's personality) dressed as Music/MichaelJackson from [[Film/{{Moonwalker}} "Smooth Criminal"]].
** The lion-like hunters in one episode evoke the Film/{{Predator}}s.
* EyeBeams: Aku seems to have a whole range of abilities stemming from those awesome peepers; thus far, abilities include force blasts, ''incendiary'' force blasts, alchemy, summoning, teleportation, transformation, necromancy, and general spellcasting. Basically, whenever Aku's [[AffablyEvil feeling lazy]], he'll just use his eyes.
** There's also the giant sun guardian dude (presumably the Egyptian god Ra or Horus), who zaps away the three minions of Set with no trouble.
* FailureIsTheOnlyOption: Jack's attempts to return to the past. They always fail for whatever reason, the means to return gets destroyed, or he blows his chance due to his ChronicHeroSyndrome. Likewise, his and Aku's attempts at killing each other never work, which Aku even lampshaded in "Jack versus Aku".
* FairyInABottle: In one episode we hear a legend of a fairy can grant ''any'' wish, but only ''one'' on her entire life. When Jack tries to acquire her so he can go back to the past, his hand ends up trapped in the magic sphere where she was captured and the key to open it was destroyed on the fight with the fairy's captor. [[spoiler: Jack uses the wish to set them both free.]]
* FairySexy: The fairy Jack rescues in "Jack Tales." The Spring Maiden from "Four Seasons of Death" is a [[LightIsNotGood significantly]] [[BitchInSheepsClothing more]] [[StepfordSmiler sinister version.]]
* FantasyKitchenSink: Since it's set in the distant future, there's the expected sci-fi fare of aliens and robots (lots and lots of robots), but the world is also filled to the brim with zombies, elementals, demons, mystical guardians, and at least three pantheons of air. Hell, half the episodes revolve around trying to reach some [[MacGuffin magical artifact]] to achieve the SeriesGoal.
* FireForgedFriends: Jack and the Scotsman initially mock and fight each other, but after beating down some bounty hunters together, they become fast friends.
* FishPeople: The Triceraquins from "Jack Under the Sea".
* ForgedByTheGods: Jack's sword was forged by the chief deities of multiple religions using [[spoiler: the pure spirit of his father]], making it the only weapon able to kill Aku.
** Jack gets an upgrade in "Jack vs The Ultra-Robots" when his sword doesn't prove powerful enough to defeat the last bot. He actually ''prays'' to the gods to help him out and they respond with a brief power upgrade to the sword.
* ForScience: X9 gives this as the reason to why his MadScientist creator installed an experimental emotion chip in his hardware
--> '''X9''' He was.... funny like that.
* TheFutureIsShocking: Jack is transported into a big city in the future and the first place he goes in is a nightclub with a rave going on inside. However, Jack is more disturbed by the fact there are aliens there than anything else, so it might not count.
* FutureBadass: While Jack is already quite the badass, see below on GateGuardian.
* GateGuardian: One episode has Jack discovering a working time portal, and a guardian who is sworn to not allow '''''anyone''''' other than the one prophesied to defeat him to use it. Jack's repeated pleas that he needs to use the time portal to defeat [[BigBad Aku]] are met with indifference. Jack finally decides to take the portal by force, and battles it out with the guardian. Jack is completely outclassed in every way, and after being given several chances to leave unharmed, the guardian loses his patience and Jack is '''''brutally''''' beaten unconscious and almost killed before the portal sends a vision to the guardian. The guardian looks into the portal and [[spoiler:sees an older Jack leading an army against Aku. He]] then loads Jack onto a bird creature to be carried off, muttering: [[spoiler: Not yet, Samurai Jack... Just not yet...]]
* GenderBender: In the comics, a band of leprechauns turns Jack and the Scotsman into "Samurai Jacqueline and the Scotswoman" ForTheEvulz.
* GoshDangItToHeck: The word "damn" apparently slips by the censors in the Mondo-bot episode, according to the DVD captions. It's muttered in a robotic voice and hard to catch, which is probably why.
* [[HighPressureBlood High Pressure]] [[SymbolicBlood Oil]]: Not only do the robots Jack regularly obliterates have oil come out of them, they have oil come out of them ''very'' profusely.
* HeroicLineage: Jack's father was no slouch himself, as proven in "Birth of Evil", being the one to defeat and imprison Aku in the first place.
* HonorBeforeReason: One of the more prominent examples of this is in "Jack, the Monks, and the Ancient Master's Son" where he chooses to save the lives of two monks instead of entering the portal to the past and preventing thousands of years of Aku's rule.
* IKnowYouKnowIKnow: Turns out that Jack is too GenreSavvy to trust Aku when it comes to honoring the conditions of a duel.
--> '''Jack:''' You see, I am smart. And you are [[CardCarryingVillain pure evil]].
* IKnowYoureWatching: At the end of episode 8.
* InASingleBound: In "Jack Learns To Jump Good" Jack learns, and does, this with the help of the blue apes, in exchange for teaching them to defend themselves. Complete with a [[TrainingMontage training montage]].
* InertialImpalement: Several enemies are defeated this way, notably in "Jack and the Spartans" and one where a charging elephant robot keeps going after running over Jack holding his sword in the air and its guts spill out from its belly.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: The Scotsman is hilariously unpleasant, but a steadfast friend, and is also extremly nice and helpful to Jack. Da Samurai, who is largely a {{Jerkass}}, shows at least a trace of a better nature.
** Even Aku may fit under this trope, as he's the evil of all evils, but doesn't hurt children
* {{Jerkass}}: Lots of characters, most notably Aku himself. It actually cost him victory at least twice (most notably when he pulled the standard "Agree not to harm someone/thing if you do X for me, then do it anyway" with the scientist who made his assassin robots, who then gave Jack the means to destroy them.)
* JerkassGenie: The spirit of the magic well in "Jack and the Blind Archers". The three archers told Jack that when they wished to be the "greatest of warriors", it did fulfill that part, but also blinded and enslaved them. Jack promptly destroy it in response rather than use it return to the past.
* JiveTurkey: 'Da Samurai' is an unabashed parody of this trope. There's also the three bystanders in the pilot who gave "Jack" his name, and are Jack's first taste of the future's culture.
* TheJuggernaut: The Minions of Set. They're fast and strong enough that Jack struggles to land even a single blow on them... and when he did manage to hit one it recovered from the damage almost instantly. He spends the rest of the episode running from while desperately trying to find a way to stop them.
* JustOneMan: "Jack and the Three Blind Archers"
-->'''General:''' There are only three archers, yet they decimated my whole army. You are just one man. Do the math.
** Ironically, [[ConservationOfNinjutsu the math was in Jack's favor, as the General himself just stated.]]
* KarmaHoudini: Of a sort - the series' abrupt cancellation left Aku undefeated, although the episode where Jack fights the Guardian for the time portal [[spoiler: at the end shows a future version of Jack and implies he has been victorious]].
* LargeHam: Aku (just listen to the opening monologue). The late voice actor Mako makes this a crowning example of Large Ham done ''right''. Said monologue is actually what an opening to a traditional Japanese Kabuki piece would be like if it were translated into English. The Scotsman, the other character Jack plays off of regularly, is also hammy.
** Some one-shot characters are hams as well, such as the '''SAH-MUH-RHAI''' and Gordo the Cruel.
* LaughablyEvil: Aku, also FauxAffablyEvil. He's one of the few genuinely, irredeemably evil villains who can come across as funny while simultaneously being threatening.
* LawyerFriendlyCameo: "Jack Remembers The Past" has a scene where Ogami Itto, the protagonist of ''Manga/LoneWolfAndCub'' and his son appear, and in fact inspire Jack to take up swordplay. They're never named, but it's apparent who they are.
* LeaningOnTheFourthWall: Aku does it once in a while.
--> '''Aku:''' ...I'll fly off saying something like "We'll meet again, samurai!"... and then we won't see each other for about a week. And then we'll go through the whole thing all over again.
* LightIsGood: Almost entirely played straight. Jack, the biggest paragon of virtue in the desolate future is almost always dressed in white, and can also use the light like a ninja would use the shadow.. There's also the peaceful white-furred ape tribe from Jack Learns to 'Jump Good'.
** In commentaries Genndy has said that the art theme of Samurai Jack is simple: '[[LightIsGood white]] against [[DarkIsEvil black]] over red [background].'
* LittleRedFightingHood: Aku in one of his {{Self Insert Fic}}s.
* LoopholeAbuse: The Scotsman accuses Jack (who is fond of TakeAThirdOption) of this.
--> '''The Scotsman:''' "Okay! This is gonna be fair! So don't you cheat!"
--> '''Jack:''' (offended) "I don't cheat!"
--> '''The Scotsman:''' "Well... okay, you don't. But you don't play by the rules either!"
* MadeOfIron: Jack.
* MadeOfPlasticine: The robots are made of a material which can be easily cut, kicked or even punched through.
** Averted with the assassin robots, which are invincible until their creator [[PowerFist upgrades Jack]].
* MadScientistsBeautifulDaughter: Ikra. Memorably subverted, when [[spoiler:the daughter is Aku in disguise]].
** However EvilIsSexy was in full effect.
* MagiTek: The robots in "Jack and the Ultra-Bots", which Aku used his own power to bring to life.
* TheMagnificentSevenSamurai: Jack does this one solo in a jungle-set episode. Jack meets a friendly bunch of high-jumping simians who share food with him, and are then attacked by a rival group of apes. Jack drives them off, and teaches the friendly apes to defend themselves with bamboo staves, in exchange for lessons on how to "jump good."
* MartialPacifist: Jack.
* MeaningfulName: "Aku" is the Japanese word for "evil".
* MechaMooks: To get past censoring, most enemies Jack encounters are machines. Some baddies he fights don't even look like robots until he slashes them open.
** [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] in the ''WesternAnimation/DuckDodgers'' episode "Samurai Quack":
--> '''Dodgers:''' [[PunctuatedForEmphasis Robot! Robot!! ROBOT!!!]]\\
'''[[TheCameo Gennedy Tartakovsky]]:''' Stop! Not a robot! Not a robot!\\
'''Dodgers:''' ''(pauses)'' You're lucky I didn't cut you to ribbons.\\
'''Tartakovsky:''' [[BreakingTheFourthWall Not with a Y-7 Rating, you won't.]]
* MoralityPet: Lulu...sweet thing.
* MoreHeroThanThou: A variation demonstrating heroic courtesy. The last ten minutes of "Scotsman Saves Jack Part II" is devoted to Jack and the Scotsman going through a bunch of contests to see who rows off the island in a two-man rowboat. But it isn't the ''loser'' who rows. [[spoiler: Probably not a big surprise, but Jack wins.]]
* MorphicResonance: No matter what form you take, Aku, you cannot change your [[ShapeshifterDefaultForm original]] colour motif!
** It's a good thing for him that [[PaperThinDisguise Jack rarely sees through this anyway.]]
* MosesInTheBullrushes
* MrFanservice[=/=]LGBTFanbase:
** Jack frequently gets his [[ClothingDamage clothes ripped off]] in battle (though this happened more in later seasons than it did in season one). If his clothes get a single cut or tear on them, off they go!
** There are also all the times when his [[SlipknotPonytail hair comes undone]] or he gets CoveredInGunge.
** Jack wears a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fundoshi fundoshi]] under his robe. We know this because he's been seen sans robe more than once.
** And in the aptly-named 'Jack is Naked,' Jack is. [[IllBeInMyBunk That scene with Jack under the waterfall...]] He spends much of the rest of the episode either nekkid or nearly so.
* MundaneMadeAwesome: Jack and the Scotman's thumb-wrestling match at the end of "Scotsman Saves Jack Part II".
* {{Necromancer}}: Demongo the Soul Stealer, supposedly Aku's most powerful minion.
** Although thanks to NeverSayDie, the words "soul" is only used once, at the very beginning, and afterwards replaced with the slightly less sinister word "essence".
* NeverTellMeTheOdds: When told a unit of Aku's robots have a 1 in 325 chance of hitting their target with their only shot, Jack ''immediately'' bails out to destroy the robots.
** Justified from his perspective: the exact same statistician told him the odds of "defeating three [[MiniMecha Mantoids]] using only a sword" -- a feat he pulled off perfectly -- was 1 in 6923. So Jack's probably wasn't inclined to trust the "math" during that episode. Notably they did seem fairly close to hitting the rocket.
* NiceToTheWaiter: Jack is respectful toward all. (In the episode with Da Samurai, he's ''literally'' nice to the waiter.)
* NighInvulnerability: The Time Portal Guardian in "Jack and the Traveling Creatures." Jack manages to hit him with two of his own missiles, and it only manages to piss him off because the explosion [[ClothingDamage ruined his favorite suit.]]
** The Minions of Set, even Jack's sword doesn't hurt them.
* {{Ninja}}: Jack fought a robotic ninja assassin called Shinobi in one episode. Jack himself also reveals that he's been trained as one.
* NoirEpisode: Two - the gangster episode and the Tale of X9, the robotic hit man.
* NoEnding: Least none as of this writing. There's suppose to be a film version in the works to wrap up the story but it's been stuck in DevelopmentHell for awhile.
* NoNameGiven: Jack's real name is never revealed.
--> '''Jack:''' [[FalseReassurance They call me... Jack.]]
* NotHimself:
** In "The Aku Infection", Jack gets infected by Aku's evil. One of the first signs that something's going horribly wrong is that Jack acts completely out of character. He steals priceless gems from two miners. Then he expects a reward in return for saving a stranded climber. Worse yet, Jack ''kills'' an innocent robot over a small offense.
** "Aku's Fairy Tales" [[ParodiedTrope parodies]] this: To win the childrens' approval, Aku tells them fairy tales that center him and twist Jack into the villian. In Aku's twisted tales, Jack acts nothing like his actual self.
* ObviouslyEvil: Aku. Huge [[DarkIsEvil black]] figure with [[SpikesOfVillainy spikes for shoulders]], chevron-like horns, [[FangsAreEvil a quite unusual set of teeth]] and [[UnusualEyebrows GREAT FLAMING EYEBROWS!]]
* OhCrap: Several, including a few from Jack. Aku's particularly prone to these moments. No better way to describe Aku's face after Jack learns how to [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uwbqr2UjeSg 'jump good.']]
* OneManArmy: Jack again.
* OriginsEpisode: "Birth of Evil"
* OurDragonsAreDifferent: "Jack and the Farting Dragon"
* OutfitDecoy: In ''Jack and the Three Blind Archers", Jack figures out the eponymous archers' blindness by waving his hat in front of them without it getting shot, and then dropping it on the ground to see it immediately hit with arrows when the archers heard it hit the snow.
* OutlawCouple: Josephine and Ezekiel Clench of "The Good, The Bad and the Beautiful."
* PersonalityChip: Poor X9...
* PhlebotinumKilledTheDinosaurs: The fragment of primordial evil that would eventually become Aku killed the dinosaurs.
* PreExplosionGlow: In episode 23 this happens to Demongo after Jack releases the spirits trapped inside him, leaving him a burned out husk.
* Really700YearsOld: Jack and Aku have been going at it since the days of medieval Japan, after all. Meanwhile, Aku is a tiny piece of a larger EldritchAbomination killed by the gods Odin, Ra, and Vishnu before human history began.
* RedOniBlueOni: The Scotsman and Jack, respectively.
* RidiculousFutureInflation: It's not mentioned what currency Aku's empire uses, but any future economy where the bounty on a fugitive's head can be measured in ''googolplexes'' (go ahead, look it up) has to fall into this trope.
* RockOfLimitlessWater: A MacGuffin of an episode. Created by a water deity and guarded by deities of wind, earth and fire, Aku would try and fail repeatedly to get his hands on it. Jack has to steal it for TheMafia for a chance to kill Aku. TheMafia end up with it, and are selling water it produces at the end of the episode.
* RuleOfCool: Why are there demonic Celtic robots, high-tech pyramid vaults, cowboys riding jet-propelled horsebots, volcanoes possessed by Viking princes, boisterous highlanders with machine-gun legs, 'unlimited' class cockfights, bayou cyborgs, immortal monks, carelessly scattered time portals, etc.? ''Because awesome.'' It was all but outright stated in a featurette that RuleOfCool dictated the writing sessions for Tartakovsky and his creative team. They would sit down and ask: What cool thing can we invoke this episode that we saw on TV when we were kids?
* {{Samurai}}: Obviously, but also a very specific example. In the third episode, Jack takes on the full samurai mantle against an oncoming horde: longbow, spears, katana, and full "splint" armor, riding atop the closest thing to a warsteed available. As the episode's battle progresses, he slowly gets pared down to the essentials: a [[KatanasAreJustBetter katana,]] some skills for wielding it, and [[SymbolicBlood lots and lots of oil.]]
--> '''Jack:''' "No. ''There is no escape."''
* SamusIsAGirl:
** Princess Mira. Her true gender is not revealed until she takes her helmet off.
** In "Jack and Farting Dragon", the dragon seems male at first, talking to Jack in a masculine voice. When Jack decides to help it by crawling inside its stomach to find out what's making it sick, he eventually learns otherwise: the reason is [[MonsterIsAMommy a baby dragon that is partially hatched]], lodged in the obviously female dragon's womb.
* ShockwaveStomp: The Scotsman's wife can do this.
* ShoutOut: Lots of them. ''Franchise/StarWars'' gets the most.
* SlidingScaleofSillinessVersusSeriousness: All over the place, some episodes don't have a single joke to them while others have almost everything PlayedForLaughs.
* SmallNameBigEgo: Da Samurai. His brief encounter with Jack sets him down the right path though.
* SpaceJews: In one episode Jack encounters an alien race with large noses who wear what look suspiciously like yarmulkes, and are being mistreated in horrible conditions by cold, uncaring oppressors who believe they are naturally superior to other races. [[ThoseWackyNazis Remind you of anything?]]
* SymbolicBlood: Jack's usual mechanical or demonic foes spray oil or black [[HighPressureBlood very fiercely]].
* TookALevelInKindness: when The Scotsman first appeared, he was a violent, barbaric and egotistical annhilator who wanted to start a fight with Jack just because of an arguement over crossing a bridge. After becomming friends with Jack, he showed a more humble side, and is now one of the friendliest characters on the show.
* TheCorruption: Allowing even a sliver of Aku's evil mass into your body will rapidly destroy both your body and your spirit, turning you into something soulless and evil just like Aku. Even Jack was almost helpless in the face of the infection, stealing precious gems from a group of miners, demanding cash payment in exchange for rescuing a stranded mountaineer, and killing an innocent robot in cold blood just for bumping into him on the street. And this was before the infection ''really'' set in.
* TheStoic: Jack, though he does slip into being NotSoStoic every so often. Also, [[GenerationXerox Jack's father, a.k.a. the emperor of Jack's home village.]]
* TheUnintelligible: Seems to be a staple of Genndy's, but specifically in "Jack and the Scotsman", we have the redneck boss pig, "BLA-BABADUGORBLUBURDEERBLAGOLBADU!!!" Brilliantly performed by the VA, [[Creator/KevinMichaelRichardson Kevin Michael Richardson]], in that it almost sounds like he's actually saying something, as opposed to just speaking gibberish.
** Later on though, as his mercenary army of soldiers, tanks, and walking artillery guns are approaching the heroes, "BANGBANGBANGITYBANGBANGBANG!"
* ThisCannotBe: When Jack takes on a series of super-robots that can only be defeated by a specialized cybernetic arm, he manages to destroy the last one, despite said arm being disabled, with the power of the Japanese Gods.
-->Robot: ''Unbelievable!" [is bisected]
* UnusualEyebrows: Aku's flaming eyebrows (or if you prefer, his ''[[UnusualEyebrows GREAT FLAMING EYEBROWS!]]'')
* ValleyGirl: More of a "[[GenderInvertedTrope Valley Guy]]" variant as Jack adopts the accent and mannerisms due to amnesia in "The Scotsman Rescues Jack, Parts 1 & 2"
* VillainEpisode: "Aku's Fairy Tales" and "Birth Of Evil", both of which focus on Aku. Jack appears indirectly and is referenced but the episodes are all about Aku.
* ViolentGlaswegian: This is essentially the Scotsman's most notable characteristic (although he's got HiddenDepths), and his wife as well.
* VoluntaryShapeshifting: Aku's main power.
* WeakButSkilled: Jack himself is not very large and can't offer the same physical strength as many other characters in the show, but compensates by being exceptionally well trained. One example comes from meeting the Scotsman's clan and being forced to compete in throwing a large stone. Unfamiliar with the sport, he did poorly on his first attempt. But after noting his opponent is much heavier than the stone, he used a martial arts move of redirecting weight and energy to fling him an equal distance.
* WhatMeasureIsANonHuman:
** Violence against MechanicalLifeforms is shown in full detail, violence against organic enemies is always [[GoryDiscretionShot obscured in some way]]. This is due to Cartoon Network's censorship rules, which don't allow any blood to be shown. Tartakovsky still got away with a lot of SymbolicBlood with the robots, though.
** Deconstructed, along with WhatMeasureIsAMook, in the episode "Tales of X9"; ADayInTheLimelight for one of the assassin robots that Jack routinely confronts.
** Jack himself subverts this trope in "Jack and the Ultra-Robots": he's appalled just as much by the violence perpetrated on robot villages as on human and alien ones.
* WholePlotReference: The episode "Jack and the Spartans" to ''Film/The300Spartans''.
--> '''The King of the Spartans:''' They will forever be remembered... the 300... [[MyFriendsAndZoidberg plus one.]]
* WombLevel: The inside of the dragon in "Jack and the Farting Dragon." It's also much, ''much'' BiggerOnTheInside.
* WorldOfBadass: Given the number of supervillains and monsters that roam the planet, you have to be rough and tough to avoid just ending up as a victim. Still won't always save you though.
* WretchedHive: In "The Samurai Called Jack", Jack finds himself in one that's a futuristic cross between this and CoolestClubEver. Many episodes later, the Scotsman brings his amnesiac buddy to the seaport of Heck's Bucket and uses those exact words (yet another ShoutOut).
--> '''The Scotsman:''' Ye will never find a more wreched hive of scum an' villainy! An' the crab cakes aren't too bad either!
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