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A Different Lesson: Tropes M to Z

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     Tropes M-O 
  • Made of Iron: Lampshaded but also partly averted—characters get hurt badly a number of times, take time to recover, and have to be careful about side-effects and after-effects.
  • Major Injury Underreaction: Vachir, thanks to being the Made of Iron Implacable Man as well as the Healing Factor provided by Chao's dark chi.
    Vachir, after being hurled the entire length of a bridge, slamming into a wall, and leaving an Impact Silhouette: Sorry to disappoint ya. Was that supposed to tickle?
  • Making Love in All the Wrong Places: How Tai Lung and Tigress celebrate the defeat of Chao. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Making a Splash: Po's chi ability is water.
  • 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.
  • Master of Illusion: Chao uses this ability to disguise the briefly-possessed Xiu as Tai Lung during the Frameup.
  • The Matchmaker: Viper. Also Mei Ling to an extent.
  • 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.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Heian Chao means "The Great Dark One." He obviously chose it himself.
    • Wei Chang means "Large and Smooth," which is clearly meant to be ironic.
    • Shen Zhuang means "Robust and Strong", "Deep Thinker".
    • Yi means "Gift" (or "Joy").
    • Xiulan means "Elegant Orchid." Also somewhat ironic.
    • Xiu means "Graceful," Chun means "Spring" (or "Honest"), and Jia means "Beautiful." Or "Good". Given at birth, before it was known what they'd be, but also by an assassin mother who planned to raise them in the family business.
    • 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".
  • Mercy Kill: Tai Lung to Vachir.
  • Metaphor Is My Middle Name: Tai Lung uses this early on, in reference to his tenacity, though as usual subverted since he notes he doesn't have a middle name.
  • Mexican Standoff/Gunpoint Banter: The Wu Sisters, when they're holding Ping captive in his kitchen.
  • Mighty Glacier: Vachir
  • Mistaken for Gay: Near the end, Ping walks in on Tai Lung and Po in a situation that evokes this trope.
  • Modest Royalty: Emperor Chen
  • 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.
  • More Than Mind Control: Chao's possession, particularly with Vachir and Monkey.
  • Mr. Exposition: Oogway
  • Mr. Fanservice: Tai Lung, most of the time. Also Emperor Chen.
  • 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.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse (averted): Though she threatens it, Jia never takes this option.
  • 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.
  • My Skull Runneth Over: What happens to Xiu, after she is 'gifted' with Chao's dark chi.
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Heian Chao, “the Great Dark One”
  • 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 Found the Body: Tigress points this out regarding Mantis. And she was right.
  • Never Heard That One Before: Tai Lung to Monkey in the roofing chapter, about "taking a catnap".
  • 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.
  • Never My Fault:
    Chao, after having killed all his fellow students: No...you don't understand. None of you ever did, or ever will. I must do this...it is the only way. You...should not have gotten in my way. I...didn't want to kill you, but you had to intervene...yes, it is your fault, not mine...
  • New Era Speech: Chao makes one to both Xiu and Tai Lung.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Played with. The revelation that Chao has power over ice chi, which is both Foreshadowed and makes perfect sense for such a powerful master of chi, ends up not mattering when he has to face the pairing of Tai Lung and Po's Fire and Water chi. Also, while the protection which Oogway has Shifu set up over the Jade Palace as a barrier between Chao and the Heroes does come out of nowhere, it too ends up being fairly insignificant in the Final Battle: although it prevents the Big Bad from possessing or outright controlling his opponents, he's still quite able to use dark chi to horrific effect on Tigress and Jia, as well as strongly influence both Tai Lung and Po's emotions. The barrier only provides the Heroes enough wiggle room to still fight, with it being the combination of Tai Lung and Po's chi and kung fu and Tigress throwing the Golden Spear that finally does Chao in. Even the Urn of Whispering Warriors being able to release the Warriors of Tenshu and the Sword of Heroes being able to seal gateways to the underworld, as useful and sudden as these abilities seem to be, aren't precisely played straight, seeing as this doesn't contradict anything revealed by the movie, the KFP website, or Art of Kung Fu Panda.
  • Nice Guy: Po, even more so than in the movie.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Po's usage of the Wuxi Finger Hold also freed Chao.
  • 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.
  • Night of the Living Mooks: You'd think rhino zombies would sound goofy...
  • Nobody Calls Me Chicken: This is Chao's Berserk Button.
  • 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-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Po of all people, as well as Tigress, administer one of these to Xiu at Wu Dan. An even worse one occurs during the final battle, when Tai Lung uses almost every single kung fu technique he knows, in rapid, random succession, to take Xiu out. Both times, she most definitely deserved it. Chao also received one at the hands of Po and Tai Lung, while Tai Lung himself received one from Vachir. What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids? to the max.
  • Noodle Incident: The contents of Oogway's more explicit love letters. Also, the third usage of the Wuxi Finger Hold, which was actually a Rule of Three/Rule of Funny gag and never meant to be explained.
  • 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 Helping Your Case: Tai Lung knows better than to resist arrest, let alone kill any of the guards when they try to arrest him for Zhuang's murder (since even without knowing about the Demonic Possession he was well aware they'd never allow him Wrongful Accusation Insurance). He also is lucky enough not to be found bent over the victim, nor does he Manhandle the Murder Weapon (since it was removed from the scene). However, his later attempt to escape prison (complete with threatening Shifu's life as a hostage) really doesn't do much to prove his innocence (though in his defense he was suffering from Sanity Slippage brought on by the trauma of being imprisoned again). And he does have the unfortunate luck of being found by the city guard right as he was trying to calm Xiulan down.
  • 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 Possession More Than Mind Control at the time.
  • Not Quite Dead: Mantis, and even Xiu.
  • Not So Different: Tai Lung and Vachir. Also, Tai Lung and Chao, at least in Backstory.
  • Not So Stoic: Tai Lung reveals a sense of humor and light-hearted side. And eventually, so does Shifu.
  • Not Using the Z Word: Averted. When the Anvil of Heaven is resurrected by Chao, the story and the characters just call them zombies. Shifu does call them "revenants" at one point, which is just a fancy way of saying the same thing.
  • Not What It Looks Like: Tigress and Viper's apology; also, Tigress walking in on Tai Lung and Jia. Much more seriously and with more dire consequences, Tigress and Monkey catching Tai Lung literally red-handed, bending over Po's bleeding, unconscious body.
  • 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.
  • Nothing Personal: Jia tries to pull this trope on Po at Wu Dan, based on the fact she's a Punch Clock Villain Forced Into Evil who owed him The Promise. Surprisingly, even though this is all true, she is sincere, and he acknowledges these facts and shows regret for it, he still takes her out with the nerve strike instead of surrendering and agreeing to their/Chao's terms so he can learn about his parents—because it's also not personal for him, just something that has to be done if the heroes are to 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.
  • Oblivious to Love: Classic example, in both Crane and Mei Ling. He's an Unlucky Everydude, underconfident, can't believe she would notice him, and wants his beloved to be happy. She's a Broken Bird, and believes he must view her as a Rich Bitch, he sees her as a sister, or he thinks an Interspecies Romance will never work to explain why he's never pursued her, and so has fallen into Attractiveness Isolation. Add in Poor Communication Kills, Cannot Spit It Out, a Hate Plague, shake and stir. What makes the plot work is how in-character it is (at least on Crane's part, and if the Ship Tease of Secrets of the Furious Five is real then he does seem oblivious to Mei's feelings for him), that it is at least partly justified by Chao's interference, and that the resolution is genuinely romantic and sweet, as well as Played for Laughs.
  • Obviously Evil: Referenced by Monkey when he mocks Mantis for not having figured out sooner that he was under Demonic Possession: "I was startin' to think I'd have to hit you over the head with it before ya got the point—wear black all the time, maybe, grow oleander in the garden, decorate my room with skulls..."
  • 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.
    • Po, Mei, and the Wu Sisters when they find Monkey's Room Full of Crazy.
    • Everyone, when they encounter the zombie Anvil of Heaven at Chorh-Gom.
    • Tai Lung and Tigress, when Shifu walks in on them in the bedroom.
    • Shifu, when he gets told that Tai Lung has been arrested for the murder of Zhuang and again when Oogway's staff lets him see Chao's possession of the townsfolk.
    • Everyone, when Chao summons the yaoguai.
    • Monkey, when he sees Po took on Chao on his own.
    • And probably the strongest example in the fic, Chao when he sees the Golden Spear heading right for him.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Both Chao and Xiu.
  • 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.
  • One-Winged Angel: Chao has such a moment before the end.
  • 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.
  • Only the Pure of Heart: The Golden Spear which Tai Lung eventually becomes able to wield.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: The sign that things have reached their Darkest Hour would be when Po, ultimate Nice Guy and hero, not only approaches the matter of facing the Wu Sisters to rescue his father far more fiercely and seriously than anyone could ever have expected, to the point even Tigress is disturbed, but also swears for the first time when attacking Xiu. Not coincidentally, he's quite badass while doing so. Interestingly this is also an in-story example, since the fact he went this far is a matter of some concern for Po, since he believes it's a sign he is just like his highwayman father.
    • 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).
    • Lesser examples (though still meaningful): when the abandoned village of Qinghe is discovered, examining the dug-up graveyard causes Covert Pervert Mantis to completely go dead serious; and the reactions of Chun and Xiu to Monkey's Room Full of Crazy.
  • Operation Jealousy: Mei Ling and Tai Lung attempt this to force Tigress to admit her feelings for him. It works, after a fashion, but in the process, thanks to Poor Communication Kills, Crane first becomes a Green-Eyed Monster, then mistakenly believes their relationship is genuine and decides they belong together.
  • 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 want to fight him, and with Po and Xiu since she was focused on her Arch-Enemy Tigress at the time and had discounted him.
  • Orcus on His Throne (averted): Chao is actually shown doing quite a bit of villainy.
  • Otaku: Po was this in the movie, and still is, though now he's graduated to a Tai-otaku.
  • Our Liches Are Different: While he has no Soul Jar per se and is in some ways more demonic, Heian Chao could be considered a lich by virtue of the dark chi he absorbed keeping him alive indefinitely, not to mention his control over the undead. He certainly studied forbidden lore for the sake of power—and when separate from his body cannot be killed.
  • Out of the Inferno: Inversion—via a Flashback Nightmare, this is revealed to be how Tai Lung left his rampage in the village to head for the Jade Palace and steal the Dragon Scroll, disappearing into the fire. A direct Shout-Out to Sephiroth of Final Fantasy VII.

     Tropes P-R 

  • Painting the Medium/Spoiled by the Format: The opening of Chapter 22, wherein Po is using the action figures of himself, Tai Lung, and the Five to act out his wishful thinking of all of them getting along and being close friends (and in Tai Lung and Tigress's case, declaring their love for one another), is at first played as if it's the actual characters doing so before The Reveal. This is only possible in a textual medium, since in actual animation the truth would have been given away instantly. (Word of God has stated, though, that if it were possible to animate the fic, this scene would be done with the 2D animation to achieve the same effect—though the sudden appearance of 2D would clue the viewer in that something was up...)
  • Pair the Spares (partially averted): Jia is a spare, but Po isn't.
  • Papa Wolf: You don't ever threaten Shifu's children.
  • Pass the Popcorn: Mantis's reaction to Tai Lung and Tigress's incipient kiss during the Truth or Dare, as well as later when he's spying on them in the bedroom in chapter 24.
  • Passing the Torch: Shifu eventually steps down and gives his position to Tai Lung. (And he in turn inherits Oogway's position.)
  • Patricide: What Mei Ling believes Jia is guilty of. Actually it's Xiu, apparently because she's an Antagonistic Offspring who thinks Love Is a Weakness that is holding Jia back from her true evil calling.
  • 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.
  • Playing Possum: How Mantis survives his Disney Death, via a Shout-Out to Secrets of the Furious Five.
  • Playing with Fire: Tai Lung's elemental chi ability, via a nice Retcon of the movie.
  • Plot Armor: While most of the good guys get badly hurt, none of them die.
  • Plot Magnet: Tai Lung
  • 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.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: While Chao can gain power from anyone's chi, he is made strongest by that of an innocent child.
  • 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").
  • The Promise: Early on, Tai Lung wants Tigress to ensure that if he ever falls into darkness again, she stop him before he commits another rampage. Naturally, she is quite eager and willing to do so. But when, true to the trope, she faces the prospect of having to keep her word near the end of the story, ironically she is no longer so sure she can do it since by then she has come to love him. Luckily for her, her resolve is never tested since other forces intervene.
    • Chun and Jia also made one to Bao to look after his son. Thanks to Xiu, they weren't able to keep it until late in the story.
  • Psychic Powers: Chao can astral project. This is a key point, since it not only allows him fast travel, the ability to be in two places at once, and is what prevented him from going even more insane while being held prisoner for nine hundred plus years, it's how he was able to keep himself fed on chi and alive all that time, and how he visited Tai Lung in Chorh-Gom, corrupting him and influencing his hatred and desire for vengeance.
  • Psycho for Hire: Xiu is the most mentally unstable of the Wu Sisters, though technically all of them are for hire.
  • Punch Clock Villain: At many times, Chun seems to be an example of this, enjoying being an assassin solely because it's her job. (Type I Anti-Villain.)
  • Punctuated Pounding: Tai Lung, on Vachir
  • A Pupil of Mine Until He Turned to Evil: Heian Chao, to Oogway.
  • 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.
  • The Quiet One: Chun, for much of the story.
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad: The Wu Sisters, who are overall pretty effective as opponents.
  • Rage Against the Mentor: Tai Lung has plenty of this towards Oogway and especially Shifu.
  • Rape Is The New Dead Parents: Averted regarding Tai Lung‘s time in prison, as well as lampshaded and mocked.
    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!
  • Realistic Diction Is Unrealistic: Applies everywhere, even characters' thoughts, save for ones whose ways of speaking and thinking are different from the norm (Po's slang, Monkey's accent, Mantis using tangents and run-on sentences). This actually allows for a subversion later when Tai Lung realizes the thoughts in his head encouraging him to go off the deep end again are too perfect and too pat, thus giving away that it was really Chao trying to manipulate him again. Outdated, perhaps, but still an Acceptable Break from Reality.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Chao never truly died, he was instead sealed, so he was alive all that time.
  • 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 Equals Death: Happens to Vachir. Averted with Tai Lung, who redeems himself but gets to keep on living.
  • Redemption Earns Life: Arguably, the entire point of the fic is to do this for Tai Lung.
  • 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 controlling his 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 helping take out Xiu.
  • Redemption Quest: Another point to the story.
  • 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...
  • Rhino Rampage: Vachir actually gets to show off this time how Bad Ass he is...and not only wipes the ground with Tai Lung, but comes this close to defeating him. If not for Tigress...
  • Right Behind Me: Inverted. Shifu is well aware of the fact that Crane is eavesdropping on his and Tigress's conversation; perhaps it's those enormous ears of his...
    • A dramatic horror, rather than comedic, version of this occurs at Chorh-Gom, when Vachir forms out of the darkness right behind Tai Lung. Almost, but not quite, an Enemy Rising Behind.
  • Right Hand Versus Left Hand: Chao chooses not to share with the Wu Sisters the entirety of his plans for Tai Lung or Vachir, and nothing at all about his plans for Monkey, partly to keep his cards close to his chest, partly because he believes they will rebel if they learn the full story. He's right, since Even Evil Has Standards, Xiu is selfish, and none of them would care for being a Red Shirt. But keeping things from them ends up biting him in the ass, between Poor Communication Kills, Didn't See That Coming, and indirectly encouraging Jia's Heel-Face Turn.
  • 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.
  • Romantic False Lead: How Crane views Tai Lung, for a while. Unusually, Crane actually can understand what Mei Ling sees in him (partly thanks to his own low self-esteem), thus leading to I Want My Beloved to Be Happy.
  • Romantic Runner-Up: Monkey to Tai Lung, for Tigress's affections.
  • Room Full of Crazy: Monkey's room.
  • 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.

     Tropes S-U 

  • Sacrificial Lion: Zhuang. And it gets to you.
  • Sadistic Choice: Die for a crime you didn't commit, or go on a second rampage to save yourself, thus proving everyone right about your unrepentant villainy and giving the Big Bad the inroads to corrupt and possess you. Tai Lung can be very grateful there was a third option.
  • 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.
  • Say My Name: Happens a lot. An amusing variation is a Running Gag of a character being snapped out of a Flashback by their name being called.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Chao. Also, the yaoguai, though they seemed to be a Red Herring earlier in the story.
  • Second Place Is for Losers: Very much Tai Lung's attitude at not receiving the Dragon Scroll. Somewhat justified by him believing that earning it would make Shifu proud of him, and that after having been led to believe that he would be the Dragon Warrior, the people of the Valley resumed taunting and rejecting him for being an orphan trying to rise above his station.
  • Secret Test of Character: Shifu's 'confrontation' with Tai Lung and Tigress after catching them in a compromising position.
  • Seers: Meditating allows Shifu, like Oogway before him, to have visions and premonitions of the future. The one depicted in-story, aside from being ominous, portentous, and vague, is also enough to nearly make him pass out.
  • See You in Hell: Variation: Tigress tells Chao to 'drop dead', to which he replies, "I already tried that and it didn't agree with me."
  • Self-Disposing Villain: Or at least, Villain-Disposing Villain. But while what happens to Xiu (Convenient Coma) is thanks to Chao, it would never have occurred if she hadn't gotten Drunk on the Dark Side and begged Chao to give her his power. Though Po interfering with the transfer may also have had something to do with the results.
  • 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.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Po and Tai Lung, respectively.
  • 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.
  • Shadow Walker: Heian Chao is able to use his dark chi to transport his spirit-form through the shadows. This allows him to cover days worth of distance in a few seconds, and even act in two places at once.
  • Shaming the Mob: Subverted. Shifu and Mei Ling each try this, but thanks to Chao's chi manipulation, no one listens to them.
  • Shipper on Deck: Viper and Mei Ling, with Po to some degree later on.
  • Shoot the Rope: Variation, as just when Tai Lung is about to be hanged, Crane flies in and cuts the rope.
  • 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 Nod Shout-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.
  • "Shut Up" Kiss: Mei Ling to Crane. Jia almost does so to Po as well.
  • Shutting Up Now: Crane, during the Truth or Dare.
  • Sign of the Apocalypse: When both Tai Lung and Tigress agree on something (in this case, that the Truth or Dare game is a bad idea), everyone is shocked and stunned, and Po comments in his thoughts, "Should I be checkin' the almanac for an eclipse? Or lookin' out the window for a red comet?"
  • 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.
  • Slouch of Villainy: Chao, in the Vault of Heroes.
  • 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 influenced could 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.
  • Spiteful Spit: Zhuang does this to Xiu when she, possessed by Chao and made to look like Tai Lung, kills him.
  • Squishy Wizard: Averted, since Chao can heal himself of any injury so long as he has dark chi to draw upon, and is a skilled and powerful kung fu fighter in his own right.
  • Start of Darkness: Chao again, and he went at it all-out from the get-go.
  • 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.
  • Stealth Pun: From the scene at the apothecary:
    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.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: At one point, to keep someone from knowing what he actually had on his mind, Tai Lung says, just like Po, "What was I thinking about? Er...noodles."
  • Straw Nihilist: Chao definitely has shades of this.
  • Summoning Ritual: Chao does this with the demons.
  • Super Power Lottery: Chao (which is rather unsurprising for a Big Bad). He is a Body Snatcher and can create People Puppets due to Demonic Possession; can astral project and travel via means of a shadow world; can incite a Hate Plague and use More Than Mind Control to influence others; has powers over darkness and shadow and ice as well as some ability with illusion; and can both raise the dead and summon demons. Justified due to being a Kung-Fu Wizard and master of chi (which could be used for anything related to life, the soul, or the mind, as well as perception thereof), as well as using Black Magic to extend his life and generally discovering Things Man Was Not Meant To Know.
  • Surprise Witness: Ning Guo acts as this—not at Tai Lung's trial, but his execution, although by that point his words are only an additional confirmation rather than the linch-pin since Crane had already brought the evidence to exonerate the snow leopard and Shifu had exorcized the People Puppets of the village so that they could actually listen.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: How Po attempts to convince Jia he wasn't about to declare his love for her...
  • Sweet Tooth: Tai Lung. He doesn't like to admit it, but he'll blissfully chow down on any sweets he can get his paws on.
  • Sympathetic Magic: Chao does this with Tai Lung's fur.
  • Take a Third Option: Chao arranged things so that either Tai Lung would be captured, tortured, killed, and/or corrupted back into a villain by Vachir, or he would in turn kill Vachir and become just like him thanks to Roaring Rampage of Revenge, Thou Shalt Not Kill, and Jumping Off the Slippery Slope rendering him susceptible to Demonic Possession. Instead, Tai Lung does the right thing after Vachir is freed by Tigress fatally injuring him, by both granting him forgiveness and a Mercy Kill. Cue Big "NO!" and Villainous Breakdown.
  • Taking the Knife: Tai Lung does this for Tigress when Monkey tries to kill her.
  • Taking You with Me: Tai Lung tries to invoke this with Vachir, but fails.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: Occurs a number of times, but most notably during the final moments of the battle with Vachir.
  • Talk to the Fist: Tai Lung uses this on Chao, in a very nice Shut Up, Hannibal! moment.
  • 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.
  • This Is Something He's Got To Do Himself: Tai Lung views dealing with Vachir this way.
  • This Is Wrong on So Many Levels: Very much the reaction of everyone to seeing the contents of Oogway's more explicit love letters.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill (averted): Though Po still doesn't kill anyone, no one else seems to have this compunction.
  • Through His Stomach: Apparently this is one of the ways in which Po succeeds in befriending Tai Lung. Let the Ho Yay commence.
  • Tinkle in the Eye: Though not actually in the eye, this otherwise happens when Tai Lung, conscripted into helping Tigress at the day care, has to do the dreaded Diaper Change—from a red panda cub, no less.
  • 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.
  • Too Good for This Sinful Earth: Despite no one ever coming out and saying it, some might consider Zhuang to be this, considering he has a number of Gary Stu traits (though thankfully not fully becoming one due to not taking over the story), he has next to no flaws, and it is his death, among other things, that galvanizes Po to fight the Wu Sisters, sends Tai Lung on his Roaring Rampage of Revenge against Xiu and Chao, and even gets Xiulan and the rest of the Valley's support behind Tai Lung once it comes out who really killed him. The trope is still played with at least, since he does not get a long, drawn-out death scene (though there is a Meaningful Funeral and a Dead Person Conversation before he moves on to the next life—albeit for Tai Lung's ears alone) and the Big Bad not only doesn't reflect on it, he dismisses him as a mere peasant whose death was Laser-Guided Karma for being in the wrong place at the wrong time and a simple byproduct of his plan to Take Over the World.
  • 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.
  • Too Slow: Pulled on Tai Lung by Xiu at Yunxian.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Tai Lung absolutely adores candy and desserts of any kind, though he's very secretive and does not like people to know about it. This is further explored in one of the sequel vignettes, where Tai Lung buys the best confections that the store owner can provide, and it's all treated in a way that makes them look like they're smuggling and buying illegal substances.
  • Troperiffic: And deliberately so, by Word of God.
  • 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.
  • Try Not to Die: Tigress uses a snarkily dry variation of this in Chorh-Gom after having saved Tai Lung from falling off a collapsing bridge; because of the Slap-Slap-Kiss, Masochism Tango nature of their relationship, this rather than the usual plaintive, emotional version makes sense—for them, this is a heartfelt prayer to come back to each other.
    Tigress: Try not to fall again...I might not be there next time to catch you.
  • Tsundere: Tigress to the max, Type A. Tai Lung is both a male one and a Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
  • Twice Shy: Crane and Mei Ling are kept from hooking up for the longest time because of this.
  • Unlucky Everydude: Crane
  • 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.

     Tropes V-Z 

  • Very Definitely Final Dungeon: The Vault of Heroes has shades of this, being an underground location with epic architecture and statuary, lots of space for fighting, and an impressive name. However, not only is the name the exact opposite you would expect, the place was never intended to be the location for a Boss Battle, since it was a hall built to honor fallen heroes and a nexus of holy spiritual energy; it only becomes this trope due to being the place where Oogway imprisoned Heian Chao. Its choice for the Final Battle, on the other hand, is also a reference to its original intention as such for the movie.
  • Victorious Childhood Friend: Crane, or from a different point of view, Mei Ling
  • Viewer Gender Confusion (lampshaded, invoked, and parodied): The scroll of the movie's events in which Tigress was a man.
  • 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.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Xiu at Wu Dan, and you can see every step on the way to it. Heian Chao has one too, albeit more drawn-out: starting from after Chorh-Gom when things start going wrong for him (see Didn't See That Coming, Xanatos Gambit, and Take a Third Option), getting worse after Tai Lung is exonerated, and culminating when he discovers Po is not only still involved in the battle despite his I Have Your Father ultimatum but had also cleansed the Pool of Sacred Tears. Watch Chao go from suave, sophisticated Chessmaster to psychotic, raging apocalypse.
  • 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.
  • Voice of the Legion: Chao, especially when he is possessing someone.
  • We Can Rule Together: Chao offers this to Tai Lung, but he really needs to work on his sales pitch.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Xun Chao, before becoming Heian Chao, wanted to use his mastery of chi to bring order to China by overthrowing the Emperor. To do this, he needed to murder children and absorb their chi. By the time he tried to follow through with it, he was quite clearly out of his mind...and thanks to The Corruption, The Dark Side Will Make You Forget, and (it's implied) Love Hurts he has dispensed with things such as love, compassion, and morality as pathetic weaknesses, instead merely using appeals to them to justify his actions and manipulate others while not even believing in them any more.
  • 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."
  • What Would X Do?: See the Ice-Cream Koan above; Tai Lung is very bad at thinking like Oogway. Comes with a bit of I Can't Believe I'm Saying This as well, when he finds himself having to ask such a question in the first place.
  • Who's Laughing Now?: Another motivation for Tai Lung's rampage, besides claiming what he had been led to believe was rightfully his—to get back at those who had mocked him for not becoming the Dragon Warrior.
  • Why, Thank You, X!: Oogway pulls this on Shifu late in the story.
  • 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.
  • Wizards Live Longer: Chao is nine hundred plus years old.
  • Won't Take Yes For An Answer: How Po reacts to Jia revealing she has feelings for him, too.
  • 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 Puppets Demonic Possession. The fact it took so many elements to bring down this second scheme shows just how well-plotted it was, and how close it 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 Are Not Alone: Mei Ling tells Jia this during the final battle which is what finally pushes her to complete her Heel-Face Turn.
  • You Are Not Ready: Applies to both Tai Lung and Po, though stated specifically by Oogway as the reason he didn't tell Tai Lung sooner of his destiny. This was also what Oogway told Chao when he wanted the secrets of mastering chi so as to defeat the tyrannical emperor; naturally Chao didn't listen, and the rest was history.
  • 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 quite the 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 Got Spunk: Tai Lung certainly admires Tigress's spirit.
  • 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 Just Told Me: Used in humorous fashion early on when Tigress is made to admit to her deep and abiding distrust for Tai Lung by Shifu. Humorous because Tigress acts as if she genuinely thinks anyone couldn't figure out her desire to flay the snow leopard or at least give him a tongue-lashing.
  • You Keep Telling Yourself That: At Chorh-Gom, when Vachir tries taunting Tai Lung that they are Not So Different, the snow leopard furiously goes into a Roaring Rampage of Revenge, denying it via Punctuated Pounding. The rhino's response is this trope:
    Vachir: Awww, ya made it sound all so noble too, tough guy. I'm really proud of ya. Maybe, if ya keep sayin' it long enough, ya might actually manage to convince somebody besides yourself.
  • You Killed My Father: Mei Ling's motivation in pursuing the Wu Sisters. Turns out his killer wasn't the one she thought it was, but in the end she gets her Revenge...albeit indirectly through enabling Jia's Heel-Face Turn.
  • 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.
Tropes A To LFanfic/A Different Lesson    

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