Malignant Plot Tumor: What starts out as a story about Tai Lung redeeming himself, making friends, learning to lighten up, and being accepted turns into a battle to take out assassins, a serial killer, and a dark chi wizard threatening all of China.
Mama Bear: Xiulan, though misguidedly so when it comes to protecting Yi from Tai Lung.
A Man Is Not a Virgin: Subverted nicely. Not only is Tai Lung an almost forty-year-old virgin, since he never bothered with romance in his single-minded pursuit of the Dragon Scroll, but he loses his virginity just before the battle at Chorh-Gom...and still loses to Vachir. And after he and Tigress finally become a couple and start frequently sharing a bed, he is still only one member of a team that helps save the day. He does defeat the Big Bad, but only with the help of Po and Tigress—so the Power of Love and the Power of Friendship trump losing your virginity.
Masochism Tango: Tai Lung and Tigress, before, during and after they hook up, though they do mellow out plenty after hooking up.
May-December Romance: Tai Lung is almost twenty years older than Tigress (and Jia is about the same age difference from Po). Xiulan is also much older than Zhuang.
Meaningful Echo: "You didn't see anything." "Sure did, every last beautiful moment." Also, with original movie dialogue, "If that's the way you want it..." "That's the way it has to be!" Said by Xiu and Po, of all people. And Crane's "Don't mention it. Ever," spoken this time to Tai Lung and in a completely different manner.
An example where an entire passage of text is echoed—the very opening lines of the fic, where Shifu first visits Tai Lung in his cell, are echoed when he visits him again later after he's been arrested for murdering Shen Zhuang. Considering the second one is an example of whether the snow leopard has truly changed due to the offer made in the first, the parallel drawn is apt.
Wu Qing, the mother of the Wu Sisters, has a name which means "Pitiless", "Merciless" and "Ruthless", while Xu Mei, the mother of Mei Ling, means "Gentle" and "Beautiful". The contradiction between them could not be more obvious.
Tai Lung's given name, Qiao Gang, means "Handsome, Hard, and Unbending". His father's name, Yong, means "Brave or Bold", his mother's, Jian, means "Determined or Resolute", and his brother De, The Casanova who will go after Anything That Moves, has an Ironic Name meaning "Virtue".
Mommy Issues (partially averted): While Wu Qing didn't beat her children, there was more than enough verbal abuse to justify turning out badly.
Mood Whiplash: Despite some pretty tough things happening overall, everything seems to look hopeful. Then chapter 24 comes by and things get grim. Also, deliberate contrasts between horror and humor are set up in chapters 17 (a fun slumber party scene segues almost immediately into a gruesome murder) and 33, while the trial is followed up by Tai Lung's opium Mushroom Samba. And it's all done so well you can't fault any of it.
Mundane Made Awesome: The scene where Shifu builds up what Tai Lung's first new lesson will be, only for it to turn out to be repairwork (and the "amazing" weapon being a hammer) definitely partakes of this trope. The fact it's a Motif for the fic and highly symbolic doesn't hurt.
My God, What Have I Done?: Tai Lung's Moral Event Horizon from the movie, rejecting his father's apology and love and almost killing him for the Dragon Scroll, becomes this to him once he's no longer controlled by rage and hatred. To an extent, the rampage itself also becomes this, but it's mostly that act of filial impiety. Another key moment of Character Development.
My Greatest Failure: Tai Lung speaks of this during the Truth or Dare. Shifu's parenting skills might also count, and Jia considers Wu Xuan's death to be this. Oogway also happens to have his fair share of failures, all involving Xun Chao.
Necromancer: Chao. Some Fridge Brilliance may apply in precisely how he gained this ability, since when his Backstory is eventually told, it is revealed that he was once a great healer and, had he stayed on the side of good, could have been the best doctor in the empire. I.e., as a master of chi he could already manipulate Life Energy. May also tie into how he can perform a Summoning Ritual.
Never Live It Down (invoked in-story): Played straight at first, but eventually averted. Tai Lung eventually forgives Po for humiliating him, and Tai Lung himself is eventually forgiven for his rampage, but not until after a great deal of time, soul-searching, and grudge-bearing—for the longest time it seems as if the snow leopard will never get over his final battle with Po or acknowledge the panda had done anything worthwhile as a kung fu warrior, and thanks to how terrible his rampage was it seems as if everyone will only remember Tai Lung for that and not any of his heroic deeds which preceded it.
Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Initially, Chao's attempt to use the murder of Zhuang to turn the People Puppet villagers of the Valley against Tai Lung was a brilliant, if Anvilicious, scheme which took advantage of the snow leopard being viewed as a Civilian Villain who would Never Live It Down. But once the truth comes out who really killed him, and Shifu and Po succeed in freeing the villagers from his control, this same plot is what sways even die-hard haters like Xiulan to Tai Lung's side, and compels Tai Lung and Shifu to seek Chao out in his lair. Oops.
No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Happens twice to Tai Lung, once when his working to save Po's life after the Wu Sisters' attack leads to Tigress and Monkey accusing him of the panda's murder, and a far worse one when his deciding to turn back to help Xiulan instead of returning to the palace (and establishing an alibi) gets him locked up and put on trial for Zhuang's murder. Yet Tai Lung doesn't use this as an excuse to fall back on villainy—partly because there's plenty of other good things he does that don't result in bad karma for him, partly because he knows the bad karma is actually being enforced by Heian Chao, and partly because in the end his name is cleared. Zhuang could be said to suffer from this trope too, since his death comes about due to trying to convince his wife to lay off Tai Lung, and trying to save Ping's life, but since he still succeeds in clearing Tai Lung's name and his daughter will be well looked after it's debatable whether he views what happens as a punishment—certainly not one to justify refusing to do good deeds.
No One Could Survive That: Tai Lung says this about Vachir, when trying to convince himself he'd died during the escape. And of course, it turns out he was wrong. Also, Jia regarding Po's throat-slicing and Monkey regarding Mantis.
Not a Game: Po gets this lecture from Tigress after awakening from a bad injury.
Not Me This Time: Thanks to being Reformed but Rejected, but believed to be a Civilian Villain, Tai Lung gets this several times—first being accused of nearly killing Po, then suspected of Vachir's killings around the Valley (something Xiulan is grudgingly forced to admit wasn't him), and finally put on trial for killing Zhuang. This last one, at least, is helped along not only by his former villainy but also by the authorities and innocent villagers being under Demonic PossessionMore Than Mind Control at the time.
Nothing Can Stop Us Now: Inverted and averted—it's one of the heroes who says this regarding their chances in the final battle if they all work together, and despite some hairy moments and coming close to losing Shifu, the Heroes win.
Obfuscating Stupidity: What Mei Ling thinks must be responsible for how Jia, of all people, could have killed their father yet still act so ditzy and flighty. She's wrong of course, though Jia may use it somewhat to make people underestimate her.
Odd Friendship: Tai Lung and Po become friends, as well as Tai Lung and Yi.
An Offer You Can't Refuse: Repeatedly used on Tai Lung. Vachir does it with "Come to Chorh-Gom and face me or I'll keep killing people", Xiu does it with "Join my clan or I'll kill Po", and Chao himself does it with "Join me or I'll kill you and resurrect you so you join me anyway". Averted when Tai Lung refuses the last two.
Offstage Villainy: While the reader gets to see a number of awful things the Wu Sisters do, a great deal of their history as assassins is left undisclosed. Also, their mother, Wu Qing, is terrifying enough to twist Xiu around her little finger and disturb the battle-hardened Wu Xuan, but the reader never gets to see exactly what she was truly like or was guilty of.
Oh Crap: As might be expected, a number of these moments show up:
Tai Lung, when he first encounters the Wu Sisters.
Tai Lung again, when Monkey and Tigress discover him bent over Po's wounded body.
Omniscient Morality License: While "there are no accidents," yadda yadda and so on, Oogway admits that he was wrong about many things and he feels more than a bit guilty about how things played out. Still, he did say that he believed everything worked out for the best in the end, and that he knew it would.
One Dialogue, Two Conversations: Crane and Mei. She's trying to explain to him why she is seemingly pursuing Tai Lung and not letting him in on it, he believes she is confessing to loving Tai Lung in order to help him earn Tigress's acceptance.
Only The Leads Get a Happy Ending: Played with. While it is unequivocally true that Tai Lung, Tigress, and Po all get happy endings, so does Jia, who while arguably a lead by the end of the story started off as a Punch Clock Villain, as do Crane and Mei Ling. Additionally, Monkey gets to redeem himself after his stint with Demonic Possession, and even Chang and Xiulan, despite losing his son and eyesight and her husband, find healing and seem to have a brighter future ahead of them, due to Tai Lung's carpentry apprenticeship and becoming godfather to Yi, and their families becoming friends.
A more story-wide example of this trope is that thanks to Chao's More Than Mind Control, the Genre Savvy reader (or character) is able to tell that this is going on whenever someone acts out-of-character. Prime examples would be the way Monkey acts toward Tai Lung (though no one but Mantis figures this out until it's too late), Fu Xiao's personality switch from humble and friendly to arrogant and hateful which Shifu remarks upon, and the progress of the Hate Plague during Chapter 27 (particularly the usually calm and collected Crane nearly losing it on Tai Lung).
Opponent Switch: Happens on Wu Dan, but subverted in that the switch doesn't instantly result in the heroes' victory (Tigress doesn't even beat Xiu in the end, it's Po, and it's Chun's original opponent, Viper, who takes her out). Also justified in the case of Po and Jia since she really doesn't wantto fight him, and with Po and Xiu since she was focused on her Arch-Enemy Tigress at the time and had discounted him.
People Puppets: Chao does this literally, both to the villagers and his former classmates.
The Perfectionist: Tai Lung, and definitely to his detriment since it led to an all-or-nothing mentality that contributed greatly to his rampage (if he cannot master the scrolls perfectly, he cannot become the Dragon Warrior, which then makes him nothing but a poor orphan and his kung fu is all meaningless).
Pet the Dog: Chun and especially Jia got a number of these regarding Po. Chun also reveals she isn't just the Emotionless Girl she appears when she notes in her thoughts that after discovering some of Vachir/Chao's victims around the Valley rim, she made sure to anonymously report them so they would get proper burials. Tai Lung himself had one when it was revealed he not only Wouldn't Hurt a Child but had a soft spot for them, and another when it's revealed he knows how to play the flute, and does so in honor of Oogway.
Poor Communication Kills: Crane and Mei again, though it is an example in which the lack of communication is actually in-character; it was established in Secrets of the Furious Five that Crane has confidence issues, and there also seemed to be a Ship Tease between him and Mei which he was, of course, completely oblivious to. It also doesn't help when a Hate Plague is making everyone suspicious and willing to jump to the wrong conclusions.
Power of Friendship: Tai Lung and Po to the max, though Tai Lung and Zhuang also count. And thanks to the nature of the villain's powers and plans, this is played unabashedly—and justifiably—straight. Just like...
Power of Love: Explicitly stated to offer protection to Tai Lung from Chao's dark chi. This also extends to Po and Tigress, possibly others. Ends up saving our heroes at numerous points, most notably at Chorh-Gom.
Power Trio: Tai Lung, Tigress, and Po become this by the end of the story. Which, if the surmise on the Fridge Brilliance page is correct, makes this highly appropriate in an archetypal, psychological sense. (Id, superego, ego.) It also acts as a form of Anatomy Of The Soul, since Tai Lung would clearly be Body, Po is Spirit, and Tigress (despite her temper and Action Girl nature) is a clever and intelligent fighter and therefore Mind.
Precision F-Strike: Po never curses. Never. And when he finally does say a single curse word (Bitch), can of whoop-ass doesn't begin to describe it. Also, when Tigress uses foul language on Tai Lung is when the story starts taking a very serious turn. Heian Chao gets the greatest example of this, however, when he lets loose a curse so foul it had to be written in Mandarin to avoid driving up the rating (it translates as, "Fuck your ancestors to the eighteenth generation").
Pure Energy: The Pool of Sacred Tears turns out to be this, as a gathering of holy chi. Which is thoroughly corrupted by Chao's touch into a terrifyingly demonic force that lets him make People Puppets of the whole Valley.
Tai Lung: Damn it all, is that all you ever think about? Why does everything have to be about sex...why does everyone have to jump to the worst possible conclusion? For your information, you witless little stick, that blasted shell on my back made it so no one could get to my arse, even if they wanted to! But that's not the point...the point is, there's a hell of a lot of things that can happen to you in a prison with a thousand men and no women, and they don't involve violation!
Reasonable Authority Figure/The Good Emperor: Emperor Chen, who not only pardons Tai Lung and Jia, but actually challenges the former to a friendly sparring match and compliments Po's cooking. He also trusts the word of Tigress in her letter and believes everything he is told about Chao without batting an eye.
Reason You Suck Speech: Xiu to Tigress in the birch forest. Chao gives a few as well. Po also gives one, of the "tired of your friend's action/attitude" type, to Tigress.
Reconstruction: The author takes a large number of super villain tropes which, by themselves, have either nearly become Dead Horse Tropes, are usually always subverted and played for laughs, or end up becoming Narm...and shows just why they were originally so effective and, quite often, scary.
Redemption Promotion: Tai Lung still loses in battle often enough to justify needing Po and the Five as his allies, and he has issues with controllinghis temper and (not coincidentally) his Fire chi, but in all other respects he remains as powerful, incredible, and Bad Ass a fighter as he was when a villain. The fact he isn't maddened or enraged all the time (and has gotten over his Freudian Excuse) also allows him to actually make use of those thousand scrolls he learned, and use them cleverly and effectively. The Fire chi and the Golden Spear also count as power-ups for him. Jia, when she changes sides, isn't demoted either, remaining as awesome and skilled in combat as ever, as well as helpingtake outXiu.
Red Oni, Blue Oni: Sort of. Tai Lung is for certain a red...Po isn't an exact blue since he's hardly calm and logical, but he is less emotional than Tai Lung so he counts.
Red Eyes, Take Warning: Monkey, though it takes a long time for anybody to notice it. Later on, the villagers. Also, Chao himself.
Reformed but Rejected: Tai Lung is practically the poster boy for this trope. Very, very few villagers are willing to give him a chance.
Replacement Goldfish: While this appeared to some degree in the movie as well, the implications of how Tigress was meant to replace Tai Lung in Shifu's eyes are explored more in-depth here, particularly when his return, Shifu's attempts to redeem him, and the subsequent reconciliation lead to her once more feeling pushed aside and forgotten, just as she had when Po was chosen as the Dragon Warrior. Leads to Calling the Old Man Out.
The Reveal: Quite a few, like Chao finally revealing his face, and Monkey revealing he was the possessed one in the middle of a very serious situation. Also, finding out who Chao actually was, who Po's parents were, who Tai Lung's were, Mei finding out who really killed her father...
Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Tai Lung almost goes into one of these during the trial. Po sorta goes into one (though he's not homicidal) against the Wu Sisters later on, particularly Xiu. Tai Lung also almost did at Chorh-Gom, as well as in the final fight with Chao. A chronic problem on his part which Po, thankfully, is able to help restrain somewhat. And when pointed at the right person...
Also invoked by name when Shifu, after revealing his Chew Out Fakeout was a Secret Test of Character, claims this is what Mantis would have said he'd do upon discovering Tai Lung and Tigress together.
Rousing Speech: Tai Lung gives a hell of a one just before the Heroes go to the final battle.
Rousseau Was Right: Oogway fully believed in Tai Lung all along, and that if he could simply be freed of Chao's influence and learn from Po's example, the goodness and heroic nature he once possessed would reassert themselves, as they were who he truly was at heart.
Hobbes Was Right: Ironically, Po thinks this after learning about his highwayman father Bao, but despite his ability to be ruthless and fierce in battle, he finds his fears are unfounded and, instead of this being In the Blood, he too has an inner goodness and heroic nature.
Royals Who Actually Do Something: Mei Ling, since she is descended from the ruling clan of Kunlun Shan and is thus a noble. Also, Emperor Chen, who not only fought on the battlefield for years alongside his men, but who became personally involved in the case of Po's parents.
Rule of Cool: A whole lot, natch. Let's just say it starts simple with Tai Lung being ambidextrous, and it escalates to things such as an army of ghostly warriors versus an army of demons, and manipulation of elemental forces. Almost the entirety of the Final Battle seems to run on this.
Sand in My Eyes: Tai Lung and Tigress both use this excuse at different points to conceal their vulnerable sides.
Satellite Character: Several, though not as many as in most fanfics. The two most obvious would be Zhuang and Xiulan, but although it is true their story mostly revolves around their reaction to Tai Lung and his possible redemption, they also have their own subplots relating to Tigress, Ping, and Chang (another Satellite Character). Also of note is that both Xiulan and Chang are that rare form of the trope, the one full of all-consuming rage, bitterness, vengefulness, and outright hatred.
Self-Parody: The action figures scene, which makes fun of both certain elements of Taigress fics and Tai Lung redemption fics as well as the author‘s own fic. An in-story example would be one only mentioned in passing: in the Truth or Dare, when asked to praise Po, Tai Lung adds in an extra of himself speaking of Po when he faced the Five on the bridge and hams it up for good measure.
Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: It's a good idea to keep a dictionary open in another tab while reading this. That said, the...uncommon words are used correctly, and in almost all cases are actually more of a precise fit than their everyday equivalents. In-story, this also applies to Chao's speech patterns because he's from an earlier time.
Shaming the Mob: Subverted. Shifu and Mei Ling each try this, but thanks to Chao's chi manipulation, no one listens to them.
Shout-Out: Far too many to count, whether to movies, books, video games, or other fics.
One particularly interesting one is a sort of meta Continuity NodShout-Out: the corruption of the Sacred Pool and its cleansing which bookend Tai Lung's arrest and trial are both mirrors of Disney's Fantasia—the corruption is an almost direct parallel to Chernabog's shadowy takeover of the town to resurrect the dead in Night on Bald Mountain, while the cleansing uses imagery quite similar to the Sprite's restoration of the land in the Firebird Suite.
Shown Their Work: The author did some serious and extensive research on ancient China.
Shut Up, Hannibal!: Some truly epic ones happen during the final battle, particularly the ones given by Mantis and Po. Tai Lung gets a pretty good one in his prison cell too.
Slap-Slap-Kiss: Aside from the overall progress of Tai Lung and Tigress's relationship, this actually happens literally during Tigress and Tai Lung's confrontation in the cave.
Sliding Scale of Comedy and Horror: In grand kung fu tradition (see Big Trouble in Little China), the fic begins with the comedy (and action) seen in the movie, then gradually introduces horror elements as the Big Bad and his lackeys become more prominent in the story. Mood Whiplash is also deliberately invoked a few times (the Truth or Dare immediately followed by the first murder victim being found, Shifu catching Tai Lung and Tigress in bed and Tai Lung fetching birth control bookending the corruption of the Sacred Pool by Heian Chao, the Mushroom Samba following the trial). But in the end, the comedy mostly acts as effective breather moments between the most terrifying horror scenes, and taking over again completely once the Big Bad is defeated. Overall it seems mostly balanced rather than one or the other dominant.
Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped (invoked in-story): While just about everyone gets to do this in the end, Shifu, Oogway, Po, and Tigress all especially have to beat it into Tai Lung's skull repeatedly that he is not the Dragon Warrior, was never meant to be, and why—but also that this doesn't doom him to be evil or mean his life and training are now meaningless. Also, when the time comes for Tai Lung to realize and accept that he and Po are meant to be brother warriors who fight as two halves of a team, their abilities and personalities reflecting the Yin and the Yang, this fact is ground in for him by Po's fur colors.
In addition, any number of times the point was repeatedly made (whether to Tai Lung, Shifu, Tigress, or the villagers) that while powerful and terrifying, Heian Chao's dark chi was always More Than Mind Control—i.e., that he was only influencing flaws and negative character traits which were already there, to make people do what they secretly wanted to on some level. Which meant that even once Chao himself was gone, these traits and flaws still must be dealt with in the usual manner to prevent tragedy and suffering in the future—and that no one he influencedcould be excused of their actions because of him. He encouraged and manipulated them, but in the end most of their choices were still theirs.
So Proud of You: Occurs a number of times, though the most notable would be Po's letter from his biological father.
Spanner in the Works: Shen Zhuang. Not only does he rescue Tigress and prevent the Wu Sisters from killing Ping, but his rescue of the Weis deprives Chao of power at a crucial moment, allowing Vachir and Monkey to be defeated and freed, respectively. And all without him even knowing he was doing it...save for leaving a message behind to name his killer, which most certainly ruined Chao's plans.
Stay in the Kitchen (averted): Not only does Tai Lung (wisely) never expect this of Tigress, but when Crane and Mei Ling get together, he follows her on a kung fu adventure across the empire. (This is contrary to some of the men Mei has known in the past, who were threatened by her Action Girl status.) And Po, of course, is the one who will stay in the kitchen when he isn't being the Dragon Warrior.
Ning Guo: Really? Well, nothing to be ashamed of, sonny, happens to all of us at the worst of times, doesn't mean anything about your masculinity. I could give you my own special brew...a certain weed I mix with something fresh from yours truly... Ning Guo is a goat.
Storming the Castle: The good guys do this first in Chorh-Gom, and later down in the Vault of Heroes.
Tell Me About My Father: Both Tai Lung and Po get to say this. One is quite happy with what he learns, the other...isn't. And it's not who you think.
Tempting Fate: Monkey really should have listened to Po, and not mentioned the possibility of spirits taking him over the night of the Ghost Festival... Crane also skirts the edges of this trope when, right before Chao first leaves Chorh-Gom to implement his plans, the bird almost thinks to himself the old Chinese curse "May you live in interesting times".
That Man Is Dead: Chao to Shifu during the final battle. Three guesses which way he says the trope name.
Thirteen Is Unlucky: Despite the story taking place in ancient China, Chapter 13 is when the Wu Sisters are first introduced and the Big Bad's villainy is made clear. On the other hand, this same chapter also includes one of the most touching and heartwarming moments in the story between Po and Tai Lung, and Tai Lung having something of a Meet Cute with his past cub self to reassure him he still has goodness in him.
This Cannot Be!: Chao several times (especially his death scene). Also Xiu at Wu Dan.
This Is Reality: Spoken by Tai Lung to convince Po they are truly facing someone like Chao.
Title Drop: Technically the title is dropped right in the fic's opening blurb ("Can a father undo his past mistakes? Perhaps, if the snow leopard can be taught...A Different Lesson"), but it is properly referenced at least three times in the fic itself—the first time during the training on Wu Dan where it emphasizes what Tai Lung has to do differently and how he should view the world and his place in it if he wants to be a hero, the last time at the very end when he is reflecting back on everything he's gone through. The second time, in a sinister variation, is spoken by the Big Bad, implying what he will offer if Tai Lung joins him.
Took a Level in Badass: At a certain point, Tai Lung shows that when cool and collected, he could defeat Po, probably easily at that. But after some time, lessons and new tricks from both Shifu and Tai Lung, combined with Po's natural talent, and... well, let's just say you also don't want to see an angry panda.
True Companions: Tai Lung eventually learns to see everyone in the Jade Palace as this.
Trying to Catch Me Fighting Dirty: Xiu epitomizes this trope. Aside from using Trash Talk and being a Manipulative Bitch, she is not above using dirty moves or outright cheating: after fighting Tigress and losing, she proceeds to call in her sister Chun to brain Tigress from behind with her meteor hammer, and during the final battle she manages to nearly incapacitate Tai Lung, despite having just been the victim of a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown, by punching him right in an arrow wound he'd previously received in his side.
Unspoken Plan Guarantee: Subverted. Shifu tells Tigress and Tai Lung exactly what he intends to do to stop Vachir. Despite this, the plan itself works perfectly—Vachir just happens to survive it is all. Also, despite Chao telling the Wu Sisters his plan for Tai Lung and the Five, it comes very close to working with only Oogway's protection preventing it. However, it is later played straight when Chao tells Tai Lung what he intends for him to do as his servant, which of course never comes to pass.
Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Aside from the way this already applies to him in the movie, the scene where Tai Lung and the others discover the portrait of him as an adorable cub in Oogway's room is the Old Shame/Played for Laughs variation of this trope. Except that instead of Tai Lung bemoaning the ruining of his Villain Cred, he's attempting to head off Badass Decay. Despite the fact he remains a badass for the rest of the story, amusingly, no one seems to believe him when he calls his cub self a hellion...except Tigress.
Utopia Justifies the Means: Chao uses this as his reason (excuse!) for murdering his friends and a group of children. Later on he still has it, just that now he's an asshole to boot.
Villains Act, Heroes React: At first played straight, then later averted. When the Big Bad first appears in the story, all of the plot-driven elements come about due to him or his lackeys, with the Heroes either trying to stop him, put an end to his crimes, or protect Tai Lung, Po, and the people of the Valley. But after one too many schemes, before Chao can recover and launch an even worse attack, Shifu decides to be proactive, learn who and what and where he is, and go take him out—and after learning of him from the Wu Sisters, the rest of the Heroes decide the same thing.
Villain Ball: While Chao is usually not found carrying one of these, he does do so in at least one respect: inflaming Jia's lusts for Tai Lung so that she comes to care for him too much, while at the same time encouraging Monkey and/or Vachir to kill him. And he doesn't expect this to cause any difficulties with Jia. Not the smartest move. Confessing his great plan to Tai Lung in his cell also counts.
Villains Out Shopping (subverted): What seemed to be the Wu Sisters out for dinner at Ping's restaurant was actually them casing the joint to get info on Po.
Vitriolic Best Buds: Variation A. Tai Lung will not miss an opportunity to snark at, poke fun at, and sometimes even threaten Po with physical harm, and Po just takes it all, except if Tai Lung insults Mr. Ping and his soup or restaurant. On occasion Po does return the teasing and snark right back, but only in a gentle, lighthearted way, naturally.
Wham Chapter: Chapter 34. Nuff said. Chapter 30 also counts. The first one is the chapter where Zhuang is murdered, Ping is kidnapped and Po informed of it, and Shifu has his frightening premonition just before the Cliff Hanger of Tai Lung's arrest. The second starts with Zhuang discovering the blinded Chang and his wife being fed off of by Chao and warned about Vachir, then has the zombie Anvil of Heaven, the fight with Vachir, the revelation that Monkey was possessed (and Disney Death of Mantis), and the stabbing of Vachir that led to the explosion of dark chi and Tai Lung and Tigress falling into the abyss. Whew! Chapter 34 also counts as a Drama Bomb since, unlike Chapter 30, it takes place after a breather in the plot and what seems to be things mostly better or on the rise toward resolution.
What Is Evil?: "Cease prattling about morality and ethics, you and I both know those are simply words we use as masks, facades to present to the world to keep the weak and misguided from interfering while we do our work."
Wicked Cultured: Until he loses his temper after the failure of his plans, Chao has this trope written all over him.
A Wizard Did It: Used quite literally to explain and justify such things as why Tai Lung conveniently forgets about Chao for a while, why the Five become increasingly argumentative, why Mei Ling doesn't tell Crane about her plan to make Tigress jealous, why Poor Communication Kills, why Tai Lung thinks it's a good idea to reconcile Tigress and Shifu in the middle of a Hate Plague, and so on.
The Worf Effect: As proof of what a serious threat the villains of the story are—Exhibit A: the Wu Sisters come this close to defeating Tai Lung during their first encounter, nearly kill Po, and do succeed in beating Tigress the first time they meet her; Exhibit B: Vachir gives an absolute No-Holds-Barred Beatdown to Tai Lung at Chorh-Gom and succeeds in holding Tigress hostage; and just before the Final Battle, during Heian Chao's series of Breaking Speeches to the kung fu warriors, we see from Tigress's POV just how powerful the shadow mage's chi is, since he comes quite close to breaking her. In the end, though, all of this merely allows for multiple examples of Heroic Second Wind as Xiu is eventually defeated by first Po, then Tai Lung, Vachir is dealt a fatal blow by Tigress, and not only is Chao killed, but his army of demons is taken out by the Five, led of course by Tigress.
Worth It: Tai Lung, after his toe-touching dare to Po.
Wouldn't Hurt A Child: Averted by Chao. Tai Lung plays this straight after unintentionally averting it during his rampage. As a result it's also a Berserk Button for him if you suggest that he would, as Monkey discovers.
Wronski Feint: Crane pulls one of these on Heian Chao during the final battle, except with a wall instead of the floor.
Xanatos Gambit: Chao, being Dangerously Genre Savvy, tries pulling one of these off on Tai Lung at Chorh-Gom, figuring that he'll either kill Vachir out of rage and be open to being corrupted, or get killed and serve him as a zombie; either way he would win. Similarly, no matter which way Tai Lung resolved the Sadistic Choice which Chao had set up via the murder of Zhuang and the trial, he would gain the snow leopard's service and power, and win...except for Zhuang's Dying Clue which Crane found and brought as evidence, and Po cleansing the Sacred Pool along with Shifu's use of Oogway's staff to free the villagers of their People PuppetsDemonic Possession. The fact it took so many elements to bring down this second scheme shows just how well-plotted it was, and how closeit came to succeeding.
Yin-Yang Bomb: The Wuxi Finger Hold turns out to be a variation of this, since depending on the intent of the user it can either be a force for destruction (as Shifu claimed it was in the movie) or salvation (as when Po used it to take away Tai Lung's rage and insanity, purifying his soul and thus giving him the chance to change and redeem himself). The two are mutually exclusive, since the latter application also repaired the damage to the village...though it did free Heian Chao from Oogway's prison. It's entirely possible the sequels will reveal this is actually the case, based on what Po did looking and acting nothing like what Shifu described...though if so, the second application will likely be a forced Ascent To A Higher Plane Of Existence instead.
You Are Better Than You Think You Are: A number of people, but most especially Po and Oogway, insist this is the case whenever Tai Lung is ready to disparage himself and believe he is only and always a villain...and in the end, they're right. This same appeal gets turned back on Po when he starts losing faith in himself thanks to what he learns about his family, and Mei Ling most definitely appeals to it in order to get Jia to finish her Heel-Face Turn.
You Can't Fight Fate: Played with. Tai Lung eventually learns/remembers that he had saved a very young Tigress from the ruins of her quake-collapsed house, suggesting he and Tigress were always meant to be together and be there for each other, but Oogway later states that their romance is something Tai Lung did all on his own. So while there may be no accidents, the future is clearly not set in stone either.
You Could Have Used Your Powers for Good: While no one actually stated the trope name aloud, let alone directly to Chao, Oogway did observe (as did Shifu in his thoughts) that the chi master could have been the best healer in the empire, perhaps even the world, had he stayed on the path of good, and that it was a shame he did not, respectively.
You Did the Right Thing: After Chao reveals that the Wuxi Finger Hold is what freed him, Viper has to appeal to this trope to help snap Po out of it.
You Exclamation: Chao gives one of these when he realizes Po is a) still with the heroes instead of dead or sitting the Final Battle out on Wu Dan and b) the one who cleansed the Sacred Pool, thus breaking his power and ruining his final gambit. To say he is displeased is quitethe understatement.
You Fight Like a Cow: Xiu uses this tactic a lot on Tai Lung and Tigress (Is That the Best You Can Do? comes up, unsurprisingly), though at times, especially when she is angry or on the verge of losing, this degenerates into Trash Talk. Tai Lung eventually turns it back on her, and to a point so does Po to Jia.
You Fool!: Pretty much the way Chao acts constantly during all his fights.
You Have to Believe Me: Shifu makes the mistake of invoking this during Tai Lung's trial. Jia uses it on Mei Ling regarding their father's murder with much more success.
You Have Failed Me (lampshaded and averted): Chun wonders why Chao is okay with them failing to kill Po at Yunxian, until Chao reveals he's surprisingly patient for an insane Big Bad. However, he later does consider pulling this, as does Xiu, although the latter borders on You Have Outlived Your Usefulness.
You Shall Not Pass: Mei Ling pulls this on the Wu Sisters when they come for Po, though she doesn‘t die in the process. And is of course quite badass while doing it.
You Watch Too Much X: Po's thought regarding Viper, when she decides to use the Truth or Dare game to help Tai Lung and Tigress hook up. A rare example where the genre in question is not that of the work it appears in. (In this case, that she was "reading too many romance novels".)
Zombie Apocalypse: What almost happens when Chao resurrects the Anvil of Heaven using his dark chi.