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Franchise: BIONICLE
Unity. Duty. Destiny.

Gathered friends, listen again to our legend of the BIONICLE...
—Turaga Vakama

LEGO's (surprisingly in-depth) Merchandise-Driven storyline, originally based on its pre-existing LEGO Technic line. Featuring (Bio-)Mechanical Lifeforms in a Schizo Tech universe, the story mainly concerns the conflict between the followers of the Physical God Mata Nui and the forces of the Big Bad Makuta.

The story is told through comics (Published by DC Comics for LEGO Club members and later widely distributed by Papercutz; these hit the high points of the story), a book series (that went in-depth), Web Serials (side stories), and the occasional Direct-to-Video movie (by Creative Capers Entertainment for the original trilogy, Threshold Animation for The Legend Reborn, and Wang Film Productions/CGCG. With both Miramax Films and Universal as distributors). There are also a few beginning reader books, unimportant side stories designed to deliver An Aesop.

The main Myth Arc is that one thousand years ago, the evil Makuta made the Great Spirit Mata Nui fall asleep. Since a Physical God protector being unconscious is a bad thing, the Matoran people and their Toa protectors are now working to wake him up again. The Matoran saga is split into three Rotating Arcs (labeled by book series title):
  • BIONICLE Chronicles: The Toa Mata arrive on the island of Mata Nui and begin their quest to awaken the Great Spirit. Their series of struggles against the evil Makuta are concluded (in the Mask of Light movie) by the arrival of a Toa of Light and the discovery of the lost city of Metru Nui.
  • BIONICLE Adventures: While the Matoran prepare to return to Metru Nui, tales are told of when Mata Nui fell asleep, showing how Metru Nui became lost. Each half included a movie, Legends of Metru Nui and Web of Shadows.
  • BIONICLE Legends: The Turaga have discovered that Mata Nui isn't just asleep, but that he's been dying. The Toa Nuva prepare for his final awakening, but first a new team of heroes must save his life. However, it's revealed that Makuta has been running an Evil Plan the whole time that may ensure his ultimate victory. No movies for this one.
In the end, the Toa Nuva finally wake up Mata Nui - allowing Makuta to commit Grand Theft Me and usurp the Great Spirit, sealing Mata Nui's spirit into the Mask of Life and exiling it into space. Nice Job Waking It, Heroes.

The story then picks up on the wasteland world of Bara Magna, where tribes of Glatorian and Agori compete in Gladiator Games for scarce resources. Mata Nui lands there and ends up making friends and uniting the tribes while he tries to find his way home. There was one movie called The Legend Reborn, while a web serial kept tabs on the Matoran.

The series has Loads and Loads of Characters; check the Character Sheet for more info on them.

The toyline ended in mid-2010. The storyline was continued on LEGO's website with Bara Magna restored as Spherus Magna and its people forming a unified society with the Matoran, but it eventually petered out, with the website set to be shut down in summer of 2013. It has been replaced with the more sci-fi Hero Factory, which boasts "From the makers of BIONICLE!" on the label.

One very notable feature about the storyline was that all of the comics and nearly all of the books and web material was written by one man: Greg Farshtey. Throughout BIONICLE's entire run, he kept in close contact with the fans, particularly the surprisingly large fan site BZ Power (check it out here). He answered questions, dropped hints about upcoming storylines, and stayed commendably dedicated to his work for all ten years it ran. Because of this, the fandom considers him My Real Daddy.


Provides Examples Of:

    open/close all folders 

    Series-Wide Tropes 
  • The Abridged Series: this video puts the 2001 to 2010 plot in under 2 minutes.
  • Adaptation Distillation: The movies, which seem to be partially aimed at a wider audience, especially the first one.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The movie novelizations can get into the heads of the characters, better explaining their motivations and providing links to continuity that doesn't appear in the movies. See All There in the Manual below.
    • Oddly enough, however, the movie Web of Shadows, the novelization of the movie, by the same name, and the comics running at the same time all have somewhat different plots.
    • The plot differences between the books and the comics are common and generally glossed over.
  • Adaptation Personality Change: In the first Direct-to-Video film, the protagonist Takua was written as irresponsible, goofy and rather dim to contrast with Jaller's Straight Man, whereas in previous and arguably every other incarnation he is an adventurous Guile Hero.
  • Advertising Only Continuity: Most ads fall under this. Some really stand out:
    • The Toa Mahri ads showed some sort of machine attaching their masks and gills before they go underwater. In the canon, the Toa Mahri's gills were a permanent anatomical feature, and they couldn't breathe air at the time the commercial took place.
    • The Piraka Ad implied that they were in a police lineup and breaking out of prison. The Piraka were never imprisoned at the time (and police lineups didn't exist in the Matoran Universe) and were instead leaving the Dark Hunters.
  • All Deaths Final: There are a handful of Only Mostly Dead guys (see Matoran sections), but all those had special circumstances and everyone else who dies stays dead.
    • This may have been subverted by the recently revealed function of the Red Star, in that it had immediately resurrected the characters after their death, but they apparently Came Back Wrong and were unable to go back to their former lives. For the purposes of the story, they were mostly dead, though.
  • All There in the Manual: Everything, if you consider the toys to be the primary medium.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: There are several always-enemy races on both worlds. The Matoran Universe has the Makuta and their spawn, the Rahkshi; the Visorak, the Skakdi (which include the Piraka), and the Zyglak. Bara Magna has the Rock, Sand, and possibly Iron Tribes; the Bone Hunters, and the baterra.
  • Ambiguous Robots
  • Ancient Order of Protectors: The Order of Mata Nui had a few members guarding the Mask of Life on Voya Nui.
  • Apocalypse How:
    • Matoran saga: A Class 1 event occurs in Adventures, and two separate Class 4s are averted in Legends (The first of the Class 4s actually occurs in The Kingdom Alternate Universe, but there are enough survivors to scrape it up to a Class 2.)
    • Spherus Magna suffered a Class 2 known as "The Shattering" a hundred thousand years previous, splitting the planet into three; a new planet called Bara Magna and its moons, Aqua Magna and Bota Magna.
  • Arc Villain: Makuta is the Big Bad, but most story arcs put someone else in the lead antagonist role; only a few of which are strictly affiliated with Makuta.
  • Assimilation Backfire:
    • Vakama and Onewa managed to defeat a Tunneler, a Rahi which had the ability to take on the form of any force directed at it, by combining their Elemental Powers to transform it into brittle glass.
    • In the Kingdom Alternate Dimension, Teridax is killed after he absorbs Matoro, who fights back successfully due to Teridax's weakened will due to his plan's failure in that dimension.
  • Author Catchphrase: A few:
    • Characters always respond to someone shouting "Hang on!" with "That was my plan!".
    • Psychic attacks always escalate until they hit a damage cap, at which point the target realizes that "the pain can grow no worse" and "draws strength from the thought" to counterattack.
  • Backstory: Lots of them, especially some serials.
  • Behemoth Battle: In the final battle between Mata Nui and Makuta Teridax, both of them are inhabiting enormous, multi-million-foot-tall robots.
  • Big Bad: Makuta, though there are several Arc Villains that push Makuta into a Bigger Bad role.
  • Big Good: Mata Nui.
  • Broad Strokes: The story is told through several different media. They all contradict each other, but the basic, important plot points are (usually) left intact.
  • Built with LEGO: Well duh, it's a LEGO toy line. (But also subverted - with the exception of a few playsets, BIONICLE uses specialized pieces based on the TECHNIC line instead of the standard bricks.)
  • Cast Herd
  • Casual Danger Dialog: Apparently, all Toa have the ability to make lame jokes while fighting.
  • Cataclysm Backstory: the Shattering, the Dreaming Plague, the Great Cataclysm
  • Character Blog: Some web serials.
  • Colony Drop: First when Mata Nui crashes onto Aqua Magna thanks to Makuta, then Makuta finds himself, while controlling Mata Nui's original body, on the receiving end when Aqua Magna returns the favor. By his use of gravitational on the planet no less.
    • Interestingly enough, Mata Nui was attempting to do this prior to Makuta intervening with all the planets, but to reform Spherus Magna rather than destroy all the fragment planets.
  • Color-Coded Characters: Every major group has members colored red, blue, green, black, white, and brown, though orange or yellow are sometimes used in brown's place. In the case of Mooks there are six breeds in those colors. For Toa and Matoran and for Bara Magnans, the colors show the tribe they belong to; with Toa/Matoran this also indicates gender (or is supposed to) and Elemental Powers. Evil characters (the Makuta and Bara Magna's rock tribe) also favor black.
  • Contest Winner Cameo / Official Fan-Submitted Content: Lego loves these kinds of contests. The most notable winning entries are Toa Krakua and Tahtorak.
    • A large amount of Rahi and just about all the Dark Hunters fall into this category.
  • Crapsack World: Bara Magna after The Shattering split Spherus Magna. It got better after Mata Nui's restoration.
    • To add to that about Bara Magna; As 2009 (the year of the Bara Magna Arc) may have been the biggest change in story and sets combined, the old fans may have seen the new toyline and story as this. (See: They Changed It, Now It Sucks)
    • After the Great Cataclysm, most of the Matoran Universe became this. It got better, though, and then back after Makuta's defeat.
  • Darker and Edgier than most other LEGO lines.
  • A Day in the Limelight / Lower Deck Episode: the web serials
  • Death Is the Only Option: In the Chamber of Death, the only way to proceed was for one member of the Toa Inika team to sacrifice himself or herself. Matoro volunteered, but was revived immediately afterwards, as the purpose was a test of courage. (spoiler: This was because the Ignika, the mask the chamber was protecting, requires the sacrifice of the wearer to be used. Matoro's willingness to give himself up showed the mask that he was the true bearer.)
  • Defanged Horrors: The serials.
  • Diminishing Villain Threat: Tuma is utterly upstaged in The Legend Reborn. He only has two scenes (one with no lines, and one where he gets his ass kicked), and ultimately comes off as merely The Dragon to the Agori traitor.
    • While most of the Barraki are arguably less intimidating than their backstories had implied (having started a war that Toa couldn't contain and required Teridax of all people to step in and resolve), Carapar got the worst of it after the Mahri Nui Arc. He became essentially a prisoner of the Order of Mata Nui and was sent on a suicide mission with his jailer, then gets killed by Tren Krom's eyebeam in an instant. This is a far cry from his original position as a ruthless and cunning warlord who commanded a whole kingdom.
      • Blame Takadox's hypnotizing. Spending thousands of years being hypnotizes erodes a lot of one's mind.
  • Dismantled MacGuffin: the Makoki stones, the Keystone, and the Prototype Robot parts.
  • Doing in the Wizard : After the Mask of Light saga, all the mystical aspects (such as Mata Nui being a great spirit/deity) were gradually stripped away for more "logical" explanations. See main page for more.
  • Earth Drift: Of a sort, related to Doing in the Wizard above. The franchise was never set anywhere close to Earth, but the first few years were very influenced by Polynesian themes (set on a tropical island, everyone wears tiki-like masks, actual Maori terms were used, etc). Part of it was legally mandated (see "Meaningful Name" in the Matoran section), but the theme was pretty much lost by the time they found a lost city Beneath the Earth.
    • Arguably, also inverted with the relatively much less alien Bara Magna setting, which featured such Earth-inspired themes as characters wearing armor (as opposed to having it be part of their bodies), having romantic relationships, or eating with their mouths.note 
  • Elemental Nation: Mata Nui and Metru Nui were divided into seven regions, six of which corresponded to each element of Fire, Water, Air, Earth, Stone and Ice (the seventh was a central neutral zone). Bara Magna has all the trappings of this, but nobody actually has innate elemental powers.
  • Expy: Agori and Glatorian are basically powerless versions of Matoran and Toa (in-universe, it's the other way around; the latter were modeled after the former with Elemental Powers added on).
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: Most of these deaths were only described in the books or web serials, leaving exactly how nasty they were up to the reader's imagination. Still, for a Merchandise-Driven LEGO series, the deaths of characters were pretty graphic, including Icarax getting attacked mid-teleportation, scattering every piece of his body throughout the known universe, Botar being crushed by his armor while he's still wearing it, alternate-universe Tuyet getting hit by a Portal Cut, "Ancient" getting blown to atoms, the "Phantoka" and "Mistika" Makuta being incinerated (with the exception of Krika, who becomes so intangible that his atoms fly apart), and Makuta is on the receiving end of a Colony Drop.
  • Fantasy Gun Control: Averted somewhat; lots of projectile weapons but the closest they get to firearms are rocket launchers.
  • Fantastic Fruits and Vegetables: Bula (berries that restore energy), Madu (explosive coconuts), and Thornax (spiky, sometimes explosive, fruit).
  • Fictionary
  • Fire/Water Juxtaposition: Most Toa teams have a Toa of Fire as The Hero and a Toa of Ice as The Lancer, typically having a Red Oni, Blue Oni dynamic with one another. Tahu and Kopaka are the most prominent example, although they're both just as likely to start arguing with Gali, the Toa of Water, as they are with each other.
  • Five-Man Band (Well, Six, but who's counting?)
  • Genre-Busting: It has magical epic fantasy, cyber-city sci-fi, plenty of action (both regarding the usage of special powers, or plain hand-to-hand combat), a Cosmic Horror Story or two, war tales, crime and mystery, western-ish Desert Punk, some mild philosophizing, tells moral fables, and showcases various kinds of humor (sarcastic and dry verbal jokes, or visual Slapstick). Comes in the form of plastic toys, comic books and novels, 2D and 3D animations and Direct-to-Video movies, and its music ranges from rock and techno mixes of varying hardness to orchestral choirs, tribal drums and hums and almost rural-sounding chimes.
  • Geodesic Cast
  • Handwave: The author Greg Farshtey is probably the token king of this, when he's not making shrugs of God.
  • Have a Gay Old Time: The word "toa" is Swedish for "toilet."
  • Head Bob: In the web animations.
  • Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: Inverted; rather than obscuring the face, headgear often is the character's face for all intents and purposes. And they're pretty cool.
  • High-Tech Hexagons: In pretty much all the graphics of 2006, plus a large amount of the graphics from 2007 and 2008, there are hexagons in the background, most likely to give the images a high-tech feel.
    • They even changed the shape of the Matoran alphabet characters from circles to hexagons. It does make you wonder, though, why they didn't use hexagons in 2004, when the futuristic city of Metru Nui was the main setting.
  • Hobbits: The Matoran and Agori
  • Hold Your Hippogriffs
  • Homeworld Evacuation: In the Kingdom Alternate Dimension, Matoro fails to revive the Great Spirit Mata Nui, leaving the Matoran Universe in danger and prompt mass exodus onto the island of Mata Nui. Not all beings made it safely, but while many made it to the island, it is only a temporary refuge. The survivors settled quickly and also planned on how to leave the island for the stars.
  • I Knew There Was Something About You:
    Vezon: Who are you, and why are you here?
    Mazeka: I'm here to kill you!
    Vezon: Oh. I knew there was something about you that I liked!
  • Invading Refugees
    • As the Toa Metru journeyed through the Maze of Shadows, they were frequently attacked by Rahi running in their direction. After some battle they realize these Rahi were fleeing something away from where they were heading.
    • The Rock Tribe from the north initially partake in the Glatorian system before straight up invading other tribes for resources. It turns out they were only doing this because the Baterra drove them out of their old home and killed a significant portion of the tribe.
  • Large and in Charge:
    • Another common trope: The Bahrag for the Bohrok, Makuta for the Rahkshi, Sidorak and Roodaka for the Visorak, and Tuma for the Skrall.
    • Averted with the Brotherhood squad in Karda Nui, the Baraki and the Order of Mata Nui. For the Brotherhood squads Icarax is larger than the others but Antroz is the leader. For the Barraki Pridak was their unofficial leader, while their subordinate Nocturn was probably the largest of the lot. The Order of Mata Nui is filled with massive creatures like Botar, Brutaka, and even the Ancient, but their leader is Helryx, who is stated to be just a normal (but very old) Toa.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Mata Nui was a victim of Grand Theft Me and exiled.
  • Late to the Tragedy: More or less the standard storyline, as it was used in Chronicles, the latter half of Adventures, Bara Magna, and all three parts of Legends.
  • Law of Alien Names
    • This was slightly averted in Mata Nui Online Game 2, where there were many new names given (mostly non-cannon) to every character in the game (as it had an Open World), many of which were exclusive to the game. There were some names which are human names (maybe slighly modified) such as Kai and Marka. There were a few which don't fit perfectly in either world, such as Nixie.
    • Many fan made characters/Lego creations (non-cannon) have names that are very similar to existing cannonical names.
  • Leet Lingo: The web codes on the toy packaging became this as of Bara Magna.
  • Level In Reverse: BIONICLE Heroes for the DS has a level which is one of the previous levels, only upside down.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: This fanart on BZ Power showcases 432 of them, though it does include wildlife.
  • Long Lived / We Are as Mayflies: Everyone; apparently biomechanicals commonly have lifespans reaching at least five or six digits. Even the people of Bara Magna, who are just organic with some biomechanical implants.
  • Melting Pot Nomenclature: In its first year (2001), the brand drew its character names, place names, and other terminology from a wide range of Polynesian languages. This led to some controversy over the use of Maori names, and in 2003 some of these original names were changed to My Nayme Is variants. But 2003 also introduced Loads and Loads of Characters in the Mata Nui Online Game II, who had Meaningful Names coming from even more diverse global languages. Examples include Nixie (English), Pelagia (Latin), Taiki (Japanese), Tehuti (Egyptian), Kalama (Hawaiian), and Pakastaa (Finnish).
  • Milestone Celebration: The "BIONICLE Stars" toys, celebrating the line's tenth (and, it turns out, last) year.
  • Minor Major Character: the Great Beings
  • Mutagenic Goo: Energized Protodermis is either this or an Acid Pool, depending on the destiny of whatever is exposed to it. The Pit Mutagen slowly mutates any being into Fish People, although the effect is much slower and less noticeable on organic creatures.
    • Unpredictable Results: Mostly; It's possible to find out if Energized Protodermis will transform someone or not; it's how they're transformed is what's unpredictable.
  • Myth Arc: for the first eight years - Awaken Mata Nui, defeat Makuta, and save the universe.
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Extensive use of K-names; plus Scary Nouns (Brutaka - "brute"), "Mor" (Morbuzakh), and The Adjective One (The Shadowed One). A few Foreign Language Names, too, but they mostly belong to the good guys - see Meaningful Name entry in the next section. Bara Magna also has the option of invoking the Ancient Dead Language category via Canis Latinicus.
    • Also Miserix (Misery), Teridax (Terror), and Tren Krom, whose name sounds like that of one of the Great Old Ones (and is indeed a reference), also Helryx's name begins with the name of the Norse goddess of death, Hel.
  • Never Say "Die": Averted; despite the line being mainly aimed for kids, characters rarely shy away from calling death what it is.
    • Except in the early years, anyway. The series really started averting this trope with Piraka saga.
  • No Blood for Phlebotinum: One of these wars is what led to the Shattering and what started this whole mess.
  • No Flow in CGI: Well, all the characters are robots, for all intents and purposes.
  • No Hugging, No Kissing: [[Handwave Handwaved]] for Matoran, at least, by the fact that they're mechanical beings with no need of romance for reproduction purposes. There was a Hewkii/Macku pairing and some Jaller/Hahli teasing in the flash cartoons of Chronicles, though they ended up being dropped as a result of this trope taking effect. Note: this trope has not stopped shippers in the slightest. (Does anything really?)
    • Promoted to Love Interest: The Adventures movies have Toa Matau flirting a bit with Toa Nokama and Sidorak offering a marriage proposal to Roodaka (the latter is handwaved that "marriage", here, is just a politically-motivated civil union).
    • Ship Tease: The last novel throws one in for good measure: Action Girl Kiina hugs Mata Nui and tells him that he shouldn't make her cry just before he places his spirit into the Prototype Robot and goes to fight Makuta alone. Of course, given the No Hugging, No Kissing rule, it's officially wholly friendly and platonic, but it's also not hard to think it would've been written a bit differently if the series wasn't already canceled by that time.
  • No Pronunciation Guide: Several; for example, is "Lewa" Leh-wa or Lee-wa and is "Onewa" Oh-new-uh, Oh-neh-wah, or Oh-nee-wah? And "Jaller" doesn't use an "er" sound, it's supposed to follow the original spelling of "Jala". (The BIONICLE Encyclopedias do include pronunciations, but variations are still out there. For the record, Mask of Light puts the example names as Lee-wa and On-uh-wa)
  • Off Model: Both movies and Comics exhibit this fairly often.
  • Only One Name: Pretty much everybody except Tren Krom and Mata Nui. In Tren Krom's case, that's probably to highlight his other-ness.
  • Only Six Faces: Thanks to the fact that Lego reuses parts often. Very extreme in Chronicles, were everyone had one of twelve masks. It was gradually being averted as the series went on (especially in Legends where we met more communities of Matoran with different masks), but never completely got free. Bara Magna had a similar problem.
    • This is even more hilarious if you consider that all of the "faces" are actually masks; Matoran, Toa and even Makuta possibly ALL have the exact same face. Ditto goes for almost all the residents of Bara Magna. Averted with everything else, since they usually have heads constructed of generic LEGO elements rather than a mask (subverted in the case of Hydraxon and Maxilos, whose faces are actually mask pieces, but are explicitly stated to be their actual faces, and Toa Ignika, whose whole existence is only a mask to begin with).
  • Our Elves Are Better/Superior Species: The Av-matoran are more or less this to other matoran. While all the other matoran only have a minor trait of their powers, Avs have this and more. These include the ability to disguise themselves as another type of matoran by bending light around them, and most of all they can actually use their elemental powers (not on a toa's level, but still). Other traits and facts include them being the first matoran, them being the only one to give toa that they are "riding" benefits, and they are said the be the most likely to be made toa.
  • Parodic Table of the Elements: The Periodic Table of Imaginary Elements has Antidermis, Exsidian, and Protodermis in it.
  • Recognizable By Sound: In the Hordika arc, Toa Nuju speaks to his companion Kualus about his old friend Ehrye. Just then, he hears Ehrye's voice calling for help. Kualus warns him not to follow it, but Nuju doesn't care. Sure enough, the source of the voice turned out to be from an Oohnorak waiting in ambush, having read Nuju's mind and then started mimicking Ehyre's voice.
  • Red Is Heroic: The leader, representing fire, is usually red.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Botar's replacement is one.
  • This Resolution Will Only Be Televised: Occasionally happens in the comics because they can't cover movie material.
  • Respawn Point: The Red Star was intended to keep resurrecting all the dead characters in the Matoran Universe into new bodies, so that there would never be a shortage of workforce. It did just that, but thanks to a glitch, they remained stranded there, unable to return to the MU. Due to this, it seemed like they had been Killed Off for Real.
  • Rock Monster: The Vatuka.
  • Same Character, But Different: As a result of Conflict Ball, some of the characters in the movies have suffered this, but none more so than Takua/Takanuva. Before the first movie, he was potrayed as adventurous, if a bit unsteady, but ultimately a resourceful and very heroic character. In the movie, the "unsteady" part suddenly became "irresponsible" and at the same time lost all of his resourcefulness and selfless heroism, becoming almost a full-fledged load until the last act or so.
  • Satanic Archetype: A Fallen Hero from one of Mata Nui's elite soldiers, grew envious of Mata Nui, wants to supplant him and believes himself capable of doing so, an absolute master of manipulation... yep, Makuta Teridax fits the bill.
  • Scenery Porn: The island of Mata Nui is basically this, whether it's in the movie, or in Mata Nui Online Game (1 and 2), it's just amazing.
    • Metru Nui is this as well.
  • Sentient Phlebotinum: Energized Protodermis and Antidermis
  • Schizo Tech: The rule of thumb in the Matoran universe is "no wheels, no paper", regardless of how high the tech can be otherwise. Taken to its extreme in Chronicles, where cyborgs are mining with high technology to trade gems for fish and torches. Justified in Bara Magna due to the place being a Scavenger World - actually, the major settings in Chronicles and Legends qualify as Scavenger Worlds, too.
  • Shoddy Knockoff Product: There were several instances of a bootleg line called "Invincibility Robot", which often featured toys that different quite a bit from the packaging, which were ripped straight from the Bionicle toys. They covered everything from the Bohrok to Fero and Skirmix. There was also "SOLDIER", which included the Rahaga with oddly-shaped Darth Vader heads and a barely functional spinner launcher.
  • Show Accuracy/Toy Accuracy: Falls on the Toy Accuracy side. The comics and books are fairly consistent with the toys, only needing occasional tweaks; but the Matoran-era movies are pretty inaccurate.
    • Invisible Anatomy: One of the main "tweaks" is adding fingers to hands, which don't show up on the toys until Bara Magna. The movies also had Heart Lights.
  • Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale: The Mata Nui Robot is supposedly 40 million feet tall. 40 million feet is the approximate diameter of the Earth.
    • It could be intentional, Mata Nui does have a whole world inside him, though it would make Bara Magna about as big as, say, Neptune, in the real world...
  • Sealed Cast in a Multipack: The Toa Mata were Sealed Good in a Can, but the sealed and then awakened Bohrok, Bohrok Va and Bohrok-Kal provided the creators with one and a half year's worth of enemy sets and plot-engines for a cheap price... Not so much the collection completists. Subverted in all the Rahi species that escaped from their stasis tubes in the Onu-Metru Archives — those weren't released as sets, and for the most part weren't even that important to the plot.
  • Shattered World: Spherus Magna was split into Bara Magna, Aqua Magna, and Bota Magna by an even that's even called "The Shattering".
  • Single-Biome Planet: Justified as all known planets were split from Spherus Magna's larger ecosystem. Aqua Magna (where the Matoran saga takes place) is an endless ocean, Bara Magna is a desert planet, and Word of God says the last piece is mainly forest, called Bota Magna.
  • Sixth Ranger: Played straight in many series. Beginning in 2003 (and ending in 2009), Lego sold an extra basic or "Canister"-sized figure (usually referred to as a "Seventh Toa") packed in with a vehicle and sold at a higher price point, and usually joined the main team of heroes in-universe later in the story, though almost every year deviated from this in some way;
    • 2003 - Takanuva was a new member who joined the team just before the finale of the first movie (and stayed with them afterwards) and was packed with the Ussanui (which existed for about 30 seconds before being destroyed in the movie) and is considered the basis for the "seventh Toa" in the rest of the franchise.
    • 2004 - Toa Lhikan was packed in with a Kikanalo, though in-universe, he existed before the main heroes, is the one who gave Toa Metru their powers, and never had a connection to the Kikanalo.note 
    • 2005 - The only year without a true Seventh Toa, though the special edition Toa Norik and Toa Iruni were sold on the side and fill the seventh Toa slot (though both were sold at the same pricepoint at the regular figures, neither had a vehicle, and were completely disconnected from the main story in-universe). In some countries, Toa Lhikan & Kikanalo came out in '05.
    • 2006 - Vezon filled the seventh Toa slot but was a villian instead of a hero. Vezon was packed with two sets: first with the spider Fenrakk and then the Kardas dragon, and was (in-universe) a clone of the Piraka Vezok (Vezon is even the Matoran word for "Double") and fought both the Piraka and the Toa Inika.
    • 2007 - Lesovikk filled the seventh Toa role toy-wise (being packed with a "Sea Sled"), but never met the main heroes (the Toa Mahri) in-universe.
    • 2008 - Toa Ignika, packed with a "Skyboard" was, in-universe, the Mask of Life given a physical body who joined and fought beside the team after initially being questioned.
      • Ironically, the original Seventh Toa, Takanuva, also made an appearence (though in a much larger, Titan-sized form).
      • It should be noted that there was another villain, Mutran, who was also a basic figure and was packed with another smaller figure (Vican) and was sold as an exclisive, though Ignika more closely follows the Seventh Toa formula.
    • 2009 - It could be argued that Fero falls into the seventh Toa slot as he was a small figure (though he was Impulse sized, not Canister sized) that was packed with a larger one, namely the reptilian steed, Skirmix.
    • Averted with all of the Codrex Vehicles during the Karda-Nui saga; while they all featured canister sets as their pilots these figures are all alternate forms of two of the heroes and one of the villains. In-universe; the heroes had adaptive armor that changed to suit the vehicles they were piloting, and the villain could shapeshift at will (which pretty much amounted to the same thing).
  • The Smurfette Principle: Five guys to one girl at best:
    • All Ga-Matorans (and by extension Toas and Turagas that come from them) are female by default. Since Blue is one of the six colors in every rotation, this meant that every Toa Team, Matoran set and Turaga set had at least one female member, even if they looked nothing like it (Inika Hali was the worse, with her mask having a beard and butt chin).
    • This got worse with the Glatorians. Some viewed the change in setting means we might see more girls, as they're not exclusively tied to the blue sets of each rotation now. NOPE. The first blue Glatoran and Agori were men, and no different-colored female were present at all. The second wave came with one...then proceeded to release almost a dozen other male glatoran.
  • Stars Are Souls: Spirit Stars appear before a Toa is created or when a Toa completes a certain task.
  • Sticks to the Back: common in animations, especially involving the Toa, as well as the Glatorian's weapons in The Legend Reborn. Justified for Takanuva (Mask of Light version) and the Toa Metru, as the toys had weapon mounts built into their backs.
  • Stock Subtitle: "Comic 13: Rise of the Rahkshi!", "BIONICLE 1: Rise of the Toa Nuva", BIONICLE Heroes
  • Team Shot: every year has at least one of these showing the new sets.
  • Theme Table
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Done quite a lot.
  • Toyless Toyline Character: Several, including two-thirds of the Toa Hagah team, Lariska, Toa Helryx and Artakha.
    • There's also a number of quasi-examples that aren't directly marketed, but are built from existing parts. A number, like Graalok the ash bear, the Shadowed One, and Botar, were designed by LEGO and alternate building instructions were included with the toys. Several others, mostly Rahi beasts and Dark Hunter mercenaries, were designed and built by fans and then canonized.
  • Translation Convention
  • The Thunderdome: the Coliseum in Metru Nui, Atero Magna on Bara Magna.
  • Underground Monkey: the sets up to 2007. The Voya Nui Online Game also had these.
  • Villain Episode: The Legends book Legacy of Evil (featuring the Piraka), as well as web serials "The Mutran Chronicles" (the Brotherhood of Makuta), "Federation of Fear" (various villains in a Boxed Crook team), "Empire of the Skrall" (the Skrall), and "Sahmad's Tale" (Sahmad and the Iron Tribe).
    • Also, in the Voya Nui and Mahri Nui arcs, the hero toys got released in a later wave than the villain toys, so in the story keeps pace by focusing on the villains messing things up before the heroes come along to fix it.
  • Water Is Blue
  • Wind is Green
  • Word Puree Title
  • World-Healing Wave
    • The Staff of Artakha does this to the Matoran Universe, save for Karda Nui, for all damage caused by the Great Cataclysm.
    • Mata Nui does this to repair the fragmented world of Spherus Magna. Effects include Terraforming, growing lage amounts of vegetation, and curing the effects of some Mutagenic Goo.
    • A literal version in the Ignika, which was designed to heal Mata Nui in the event his life was at risk. It's technically this because Mata Nui (at the time) was the world.
  • World of Snark: It would just be easier to list the number of characters who don't make a sarcastic or witty remark at least once in the story.
  • World-Wrecking Wave: The Great Cataclysm.
  • The Worm That Walks:
    • Zaktan was composed of microscopic Protodites.
    • The giant made of scarabax beetles that appears in the climax of Legend Reborn.
  • Wrap It Up: 2010 skipped over at least two arcs (one with the Element Lords and one on Bota Magna) to get to the final battle with Makuta.
  • Year Zero: Two. The first is "The Shattering" about a hundred thousand years ago that split Spherus Magna; it also marks the beginning of the Matoran world. The Matoran also have the "Great Cataclysm", one thousand years before the story starts, when Mata Nui fell asleep, causing numerous disasters.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: A rule of thumb for this series: anyone who tries to overturn their destiny will inevitably fail. This includes Makuta himself.

    General Matoran Tropes 
  • Abandoned Mine: in the Mata Nui Online Game 2, the Great Mine was abandoned due to flooding by Gahlok in the previous arc. Hahli, a Ga-Matoran and experienced swimmer, has to dive through the mine to retrieve tools and materials for the Onu-Matoran miners.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: the Matoran and Mata Nui's other races. Designed to be essentially "nanotech" in Mata Nui's body, they turned out sentient and developed their own cultures and such.
  • All Myths Are True (possibly heavily distorted, but true nonetheless)
  • All Your Colors Combined: six Toa can combine their power to create a Toa Seal.
  • Anatomy Of The Soul: Spiritual light and darkness, and losing the former, are a major part of the Karda Nui arc. Destiny is also a big deal to the Matoran.
  • Animated Armor: the Makuta
  • Because Destiny Says So: The Toa Mata/Nuva are destined to revive Mata Nui (technically everyone has a destiny, but the Mata/Nuva are one of only a few to know theirs before it happens).
  • Blade Brake: Kopaka uses his Ice Blades so slow his fall in a crevice when the Bohrok-Kal steal his Elemental Powers.
    • Tahu uses his Magma Swords to slow his descent down a wall in Mask of Light.
    • Matau uses his Aero Slicers to decelerate in a chute.
    • Done in Legends of Metru Nui, such as Nuju using his Crystal Spikes in stopping his fall on a Knowledge Tower and Nokama with her Hydro Blades in the Coliseum, and again with Matau and his Aero Slicers in the chute.
  • Cain and Abel: Mata Nui and Makuta (so the Back Story claims). Also Artakha and Karzahni.
  • Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp": "Rahi" is the Matoran term for animals in general, and each species has its own name (Ussal crabs, Gukko birds, etc.)
  • Citadel City: Ta-Koro, a walled city that is surrounded by lava, within a volcano.
  • Code Name: the descriptive kind; most Dark Hunters have them (because stuff like "Silence" and "Darkness" don't have to be cleared through Lego's legal department; unlike, say, "Lariska")
  • Combining Mecha: The theory behind the Toa Kaita, shown with the Toa Mata (Wairuha being formed of Lewa, Gali, and Kopaka, and Akamai being formed from Tahu, Pohatu, and Onua.) It's stated that most Toa groups are able to form Kaita forms, but never comes up in canon beyond the Toa Nuva. The Toa Metru were implied to be able to do it (but didn't know how), whereas the Toa Hordika were one of the few groups that could not (due to the Visorak infection that turned them into Beast People).
    • Meanwhile, there are other fusions, but very few have come about in the storyline, such as a Matoran Nui and Bohrok-Kal Kaita.
  • Conditional Powers: Kanohi grants the wearer powers as long as it is worn.
  • Cypher Language
    • Bilingual Bonus: For example, seen at a trader's stall in the online game: "My friend went to Po-Koro and all I got was this lousy rock."
  • Dangerously Genre Savvy: Makuta, who knows better than to try and Screw Destiny
  • The Dark Side: The element of Shadow
  • Data Crystal: Memory Crystals used in Metru Nui.
  • Domed Hometown: the Matoran world is located in underground domes (actually Mata Nui's body cavities)
  • Egopolis: The lands of Artakha and Karzahni are named after their rulers.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Tren Krom. Subverted in that, while powerful and immeasurably ancient, he is not an alien - he was created by the Great Beings like everything else in the Matoran world. Written as a Shout-Out to Lovecraft.
    • Also the Energized Protodermis Entity, who existed within Spherus Magna even before the Great Beings discovered Energized Protodermis.
    • Teridax tried to appear as this when the Toa Mata first faced him in the Mangaia, turning into a mass of swirling pieces and tentacles. After being defeated, he tried to be more direct in later confrontations (largely because the Toas have then learned what he really was).
  • Evil Plan: "The Plan."
  • Fantastic Light Source: Lightstones, the Light Element, and Karda Nui's Lightvines
  • Fantastic Measurement System: "bios", "kios", and "mios" are units for distance used. The distance units are as follows:
    • 1 bio = 4.5 feet = 1.37 meters
    • 1 kio = 1,000 bio = 4,500 feet/0.85 miles = 1.37 kilometers
    • 1 mio = 1,000 kio = 850 miles = 1,370 kilometers
  • Fantastic Nuke: the Toas' Nova Blast ability
  • Fictional Sport: Kolhii (a lacrosse-like game), Ignalu Lava Surfing, Huai Snowball Sling, Ngalawa Boat Racing, Kewa Bird Riding, Great Ussal Race on Mata Nui. Akilini, Kanoka Toss, and Disk Surfing on Metru Nui.
  • Genius Loci: the Matoran world is actually inside Mata Nui's submerged body, with the island of Mata Nui perched on his face.
  • The Ghost: Mata Nui, until around the end of Legends
  • Ghost City: Metru Nui for a thousand years after the Great Cataclysm, the island of Mata Nui after the events of Mask Of Light.
  • Goal-Oriented Evolution: Matoran to Toa to Turaga. In their case it's more akin to Goal Oriented Puberty; Matoran who first become Toa are rather naive compared to more experienced ones and act more like teenagers, and the toas who become Turagas have gain enough knowledge and experience that both Toa and Matoran respect them without question. Matoran of Light can also be Matoran to Bohrok. The Makuta species also evolved to the point of being Energy Beings in Animated Armor.
  • The Gods Must Be Lazy: Something has to be really wrong in the world to grab Mata Nui's attention. Makes sense when you consider the Womb Level nature of the world - do you think of your stomach when you don't have indigestion? Of course, once he does start paying attention, his hands get tied.
  • Gods Need Prayer Badly: Mata Nui suffers if the Matoran don't do their jobs. Eventually explained as his robot body will shut down if not maintained and kept working.
  • Handy Helper: in the Mata Nui Online Game, Takua becomes Pohatu's eyes when the latter was blinded by a Nui-Jaga scorpion.
    • The Phantoka Makuta were permanently blinded by the light after the Ignika fell into Karda Nui. Thus, they have Shadow Matoran to be this for them.
  • Heart Light: All the people of the Matoran Universe have these, at least according to the books and movies. They're even called heartlights.
  • The Heavy: Usually the Arc Villains are the Heavy to Makuta's Bigger Bad, though sometimes even the Arc Villains stay mysterious and leave Heavy duties to a lesser villain.
  • Hufflepuff House: Any tribe outside the main six and Light, really.
  • Humans Through Alien Eyes: no humans around, but once in a while there's an item that's strange to the characters; the list includes roller skates, eggs, and a scroll
  • Humongous Mecha: Mata Nui. He's about 40 million feet high and contains the Matoran world.
  • Island Base: Odina (Dark Hunters), Destral (Brotherhood of Makuta), and Daxia (Order of Mata Nui); Destral is able to teleport to any location in the Matoran Universe thanks to a device on the island.
  • Kansas City Shuffle: Everyone thought Makuta's plan was just to knock Mata Nui unconscious and then stay in power while he can't do anything about it. That was his original plan, but he eventually revised it with bigger prizes in mind...
  • La Résistance: Matoran tend to form these when they're taken over, with the Voya Nui and Karda Nui ones being the best examples. The Toa Hordika and Rahaga also formed one against the Visorak. One also formed against the Toa Empire in the "Dark Mirror" alternate universe.
  • Lava Surfing: Ignalu Lava Surfing is practiced as a sport in Ta-Koro.
  • Letter Motif: Each element has a syllable representing it: "ta" for fire, "ga" for water, "le" for air, "po" for stone, "ko" for ice, and "onu" for earth. These show up in some variation in the names of the Toa Mata/Nuva, the Bohrok, the Rahkshi, and the Visorak; as well as in reference to the Matoran tribes (the fire Matoran are called the Ta-Matoran, for example).
  • Living Ship: In a sense. Word of God states that Mata Nui wandered space with the Matoran world inside - not that the Matoran were aware of where they were (either in space or inside their Great Spirit).
  • Mask of Power: Kanohi Masks
  • Mechanical Lifeforms: Mata Nui. All the other races he looks after - which have a few organic parts (save the Bohrok, though they may not be "alive") - qualify as well.
  • Miniature Senior Citizens: when a Toa completes his/her destiny, he/she is transformed into the shorter Turaga, serving as the elder for Matoran.
  • Minor Major Character: Mata Nui
  • Monster Compendium: The Rahi Beasts guide, in-universe and in real life.
  • Mordor: the realm of Karzahni
  • No Name Given: Makuta until about the end, "The Shadowed One", and a few fan-made Dark Hunters (such as Prototype).
  • Nonindicative Name: The "Great Spirit" Mata Nui has a physical body.
  • Oh My Gods!/Thank the Maker: Mata Nui is invoked occasionally
    Nuhrii: Mata Nui protect us!
  • One Steve Limit: Averted somewhat; Mata Nui, Artakha, and Karzahni all have locations named after them, and a plant creature also has Karzahni as a namesake.
    • "Makuta" and "the Makuta" also sounds confusing, but there's a reason for it: it's a title, and one character prefers the title to his actual name. It's like a group of Dukes, one of which likes being called "Duke".
    • Also averted when it comes to soundalikes; the series includes characters named Krekka, Krahka, Krakua, and Krika.
  • One-Winged Angel: Makuta (subverted in that his true form is just energy that can't do much without a shell; played straight in that he's made the shell bigger and nastier in a couple fights)
  • Our Souls Are Different: Disembodied spirits (including the Makuta's energy forms) can possess robots or soulless-but-still-alive bodies. Makuta can dispossess their bodies at will, but others need to use Applied Phlebotinum (like a Mask of Spirit). And souls depart to whatever afterlife at death, but the death can be reversed and the soul restored if done quick enough (though woe to you if some other soul gets to your body before you do!)
  • Patchwork Map: the islands of Mata Nui and Voya Nui
  • Personal Dictionary: Farshtey used "universe" to mean the Matoran world, not the entire cosmos, as from the Matoran perspective that is their universe and they are aware of very little outside it.
  • Phlebotinum: Protodermis, the substance that makes up the entirety of the Matoran world - metal, water, living tissue, everything.
    • Phlebotinum-Handling Equipment: as Energized Protodermis either transforms or destroys whatever it touches, there are special containers that are able to hold it. Exsidian is a component of one type of resistant materials.
    • Single Phlebotinum Limit: We did say "everything", right?
    • States Of Phlebotinum: Protodermis is classified by liquid, solid, and energized forms.
    • Unobtainium: ultra-hard metal Protosteel and transformation-causing Energized Protodermis
  • Retired Badass: Turaga are essentially this. They used to be Toa who sacrificed their powers.
  • Sailor Earth: Common in the fan community. Just choose an Elemental Power, a Stock Superpower, and a weapon; and think up an exotic name and you've got your own Toa!
  • The Savage South: The southern edge of the Matoran Universe are said to be so dangerous that not even Makuta go there.
  • The Starscream: Deliberately invoked by the Shadowed One, who encourages his minions to constantly observe him, and, should he show signs of weakness, kill him.
  • Taught by Experience: all the Toa to some degree, but especially the Toa Metru
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: The Toa hold this view but it's dealt with rather pragmatically; this code of conduct was officially adopted on the grounds that they need to keep the trust of the Matoran, but they are willing to waive it (or at least just consider killing) if necessary, such as in wartime or when facing extreme threats. And one of the Order's reasons for existing is to allow the Toa to have this code, doing the Dirty Business in their place.
  • Time Dilation Field: The Vahi Mask of Time. Damaging it causes... problems, and destroying it utterly would cause a Time Crash.
  • True Companions: Toa teams
  • Tunnel King: the cave-dwelling Onu-Matoran are an entire tribe of these.
  • The Underworld: Karzahni
  • The Wall Around the World: the dome that encloses Karda Nui.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: A Toa's power is halved if they lose their mask, and Matoran eventually shut down if they lose theirs.
  • Weather Control Machine: Certain Elemental Powers allow for weather manipulation. Bonus points most beings able to do this are part machine.
  • Weather of War: Toa often manipulate the weather offensively, such as Lewa and Gali combining their powers to create a storm to drive off Bohrok attacking Ta-Koro.
  • We Will Use WikiWords In The Future: Air Matoran "treespeak"/"chutespeak" slang
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Minor characters from past arcs don't usually get mentioned in new story material.
  • What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway??: Toa of Water tend to get stuck with limited-use Mask Powers. (Though the water powers are of course still good, which probably makes this more Flight, Strength, Heart.)
    • Averted and even inverted in Mahri Nui, as Toa Hahli had a Mask of Kindred that let her copy abilities of animals. Since she was quite knowledgeable about sea creatures and what they could do, she used this mask to great effect.

    BIONICLE Chronicles 
  • Arc Villain: The Bahrag and Bohrok-Kal take over in the middle arcs.
  • Bag of Holding: Used in both Mata Nui Online Games.
  • Bee People: the Bohrok
  • The Blade Always Lands Pointy End In: Happens to Tahu's Magma Blades and Kopaka's Ice Blades in Mask of Light when they get knocked out.
  • Brainwashed: the Rahi of Mata Nui though Makuta's infected masks, and threatened against its Matoran twice (originally by the infected masks, then by Bohrok Krana).
  • Building Is Welding: when Nuparu was finishing building the Boxor.
  • Building Swing: Lewa and the Le-Matoran do this to transverse through Le-Wahi.
  • Bug War: against the Bohrok
  • Cave Behind the Falls: one behind Naho Falls in the Mata Nui Online Game
  • Cave Mouth: The entrance to Po-Koro and the Ice Gate in the Mata Nui Online Game.
    • The entrances to the Temple of Courage and Temple of Creation in the Mata Nui Online Game II.
  • Changeling Fantasy: Everyone, audience included, thought that Takua was part of the Fire tribe - until he became a Toa of Light (even then, there's enough Phlebotinum thrown around that him originally being a Fire character was a possibility, until we learned that a tribe of Light did exist)
    • Moses in the Bullrushes: the Order of Mata Nui secretly spread Matoran of Light throughout the world so the tribe wouldn't be wiped out if their homeland came under attack.
  • Counterpart Artifacts: the Mask of Light and the Mask of Shadows.
  • Creation Sequence: The formation of the Toa Kaita in the Mata Nui Online Game and The Legend of Mata Nui.
  • Death Is Cheap: Notoriously so in Mask of Light. The two lead characters are both killed, but neither stay dead. Jaller is revived by Takutanuva, and Takanuva... well, his revival has never really been explained.
  • Decapitation Presentation: Gali presenting a removed infected mask from a Tarakava, heavily, but notably, subverting the trope.
  • "Did You Actually Believe? I would let them return?" (Makuta in Mask of Light, after Takanuva summoned the Matoran to his lair)
  • Enemy Without: the Shadow Toa
  • Face Hugger: Krana, Krana-Kal (though they never actually do this), and "Kratana" (Krana/Kraata hybrids)
  • Featureless Protagonist: Takua, throughout the prologue video game and almost all of the Mata Nui Online Game.
    • He then gets some series Character Development and appears as a character in every story arc set in the present in Mata Nui.
  • Fictional Currency: Widgets
  • Filler Villain: Although they are more accurately an ensemble of Elite Mooks than a single villain, the Bohrok-Kal were created by LEGO to fill the space between the defeat of the Bahrag and the return of Makuta.
  • Flying Postman: Venom Flyers were used to deliver messages between the Brotherhood of Makuta and the Dark Hunters.
  • Forgotten Phlebotinum: Kaita fusions, once this arc ends
  • Fusion Dance: Various "Kaita" fusions and Takutanuva. Technically, it is also Combining Mecha.
  • Gainax Ending:
    • Mata Nui Online Game II: The Final Chronicle ends on a particularly confusing note that only makes slightly more sense if you've seen Mask of Light. After winning the Kohlii Championship and collecting five of the six crystals, Hahli encounters Lerahk in Ta-Koro and escapes, watching as the village sinks into the Lake of Fire. She then arrives on the very beach where Takua's quest had begun, where she finds the last crystal and places the crystals in the Amaja Circle. Hahli is then enveloped in bright light and transported to Kini-Nui, where she sees three Rahkshi fly overhead. Then, Nokama tells Hahli that she's the new chronicler. And... that's it. That's how it ends.
    • Mask of Light also has a particularly odd ending, one that became partially explained in the following year but was left mostly unexplained. After defeating Makuta in a game of Kohlii, Takanuva takes off the former's Kanohi Kraahkan, and they both fall into a pool of Energized Protodermis which fuses them into Takutanuva. Takutanuva then lifts up a giant door (which, aside from a passing line by Makuta, was never mentioned before) to let the Toa Nuva and Turaga pass through, stopping Hahli along the way to bring Jaller Back from the Dead. Then, Takutanuva dies as the door's weight crushes him, sending the Kanohi Avohkii spinning across the floor. Turaga Vakama takes the mask and positions Hahli, Jaller, and the mask on the BIONICLE logo on the floor whilst proclaiming, "Let us awaken the Great Spirit! Unity, duty, destiny!", and this somehow revives Takanuva. Then, Takanuva, Jaller, and Hahli are standing on a beach and all have glowing, golden masks which send out a beam of light, revealing some new island which Vakama refers to as "home". Oh, and despite all that constant talk about "Mata Nui will be awakened this day!" for the final act, they don't awaken Mata Nui that day after all.
  • Glowing Gem: Lightstones
  • Going to Give It More Energy: This is how the Toa Nuva defeat the Bohrok-Kal.
  • Golden Super Mode: the Golden Kanohi worn by the Toa Mata.
  • Gondor Calls for Aid: The climax of the Mata Nui Online Game has Takua's team surrounded by Rahi, only for Matoran armies to arrive just in time to save the day.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: First with Kanohi Masks, then again with Krana, then Kanohi Nuva again; though each one had less emphasis placed on it than the one before.
  • Grappling-Hook Pistol: the Volo Lutu Launcher from the Quest for the Toa video game.
  • Hammerspace: The Toa Mata/Nuva's extra masks are explained as being stored in their Suva shrines (and later, Metru Nui's Great Temple) when not in use, with the Toa able to mentally switch them at will. They couldn't switch in Karda Nui because the place's special properties interferes with this.
  • Ground Punch: Onua does this twice, once in the Mata Nui Online Game and another in Mask of Light.
  • Herald: Takua was "the Herald of the Toa of Light" before finding out he was to be the Toa of Light.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Jaller Taking the Bullet for Takua in Mask of Light. Takutanuva brought him back soon afterward.
  • Holding Out for a Hero: The Matoran of Mata Nui were threatened by Makuta's forces for 1000 years until the awakening of the Toa Mata.
  • Horde of Alien Locusts: the Bohrok
  • Horse of a Different Color: Ussal crabs, specifically Takua's pet, Pewku. The nature of the BIONICLE universe makes this cross over into Mechanical Horse as well.
  • Human Popsicle: the Toa Mata prior to Chronicles
  • I Know Madden Kombat: The final battle of Mask of Light pits Takanuva against Makuta... in a game of Kolhii. However, the sequence plays out somewhat like an actual fight, and ends with Takanuva using his special technique to slam Makuta into a wall.
  • I Know You Are In There Somewhere Fight: Toa Onua to Toa Lewa twice.
  • Implausible Boarding Skills: lavasurfing
  • Instant Runes: appears when Onua uses the Mask of Shielding in the Mata Nui Online Game.
  • Interim Villain: The Bohrok swarms. Before their introduction, Makuta had just been defeated by the heroes and disappears. Shortly after their story arc was finally wrapped up with the defeat of the Bohrok-Kal, Makuta returns to the spotlight. Although it was later confirmed via Retcon that Makuta was responsible for awakening the Bohrok, he did so to distract the Toa and thus buy himself some time to recover from his previous loss, thus directly invoking this trope.
  • Ironic Fear: Tamaru, an Air Matoran, is afraid of heights, and given his village of Le-Koro is in the treetops...
  • It's X. I Hate X.
    Kopaka: Your Turaga speaks in riddles. I hate riddles.
    Various: Tunnels. Why does it always have to be tunnels?
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: subverted with the Toa Mata; the Laser Guide was off a bit so they forgot more than intended.
  • Lava Adds Awesome: Lavasurfing
  • Levitating Lotus Position: Gali has a similar pose to this while meditating in the first movie, managing to levitate despite not having psychic powers of any sort, other than telepathy between herself and Takua.
  • MacGuffin: Despite all the emphasis there was on collecting the Kanohi and Kanohi Nuva, they never affected the plot in any meaningful way. The only exceptions are the Vahi and the Avohkii, which were also the only two masks that the Toa were not tasked with finding.
  • Mage Killer: the Rahi Nui was created to hunt Toa, and one of its abilities was feeding on Elemental Power, thus being invulnerable to it.
  • Meaningful Name: Most names and terms introduced in the first year were actual Māori words. Lego stopped the practice and switched to Foreign Sounding Gibberish when Māori activists criticized Lego for the use of Māori words as a trivialization of their culture (though most of the original names still survive).
    • A lot of the Matorans' names in Mata Nui Online Game 2 were foreign words that were in the theme of the place they were in (example: in Ko-Koro, names meant things like winter and snow). At least Hungarian, Finnish, Chinese and Czech words were used.
    • My Nayme Is: some of the source words got changed to alternate spellings: "Jala" to "Jaller", "Huki" to "Hewkii", "Hali" to "Hahli", "Maku" to "Macku", "Puku" to "Pewku", "Koli" to "Kolhii"
  • Midseason Upgrade: The Toa Mata become the Toa Nuva.
  • Mind-Control Device: infected Kanohi Masks and Krana when worn.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: the Rahi Nui, a creature that combines elements from several Rahi species: the head of a Kane-Ra bull, the arms of a Tarakava lizard, the body of a Muaka panther, the stinger of a Nui-Jaga scorpion, and enlarged wings from a Nui-Rama wasp.
  • Monumental Damage: in-universe example: the Pahrak destroying Naho Falls (which gets rebuilt later, and destroyed again).
  • Mythology Gag: In Mask of Light, the Matoran begin their kolhii match by wishing each other "Play well". The name "Lego" comes from the Danish phrase "leg godt", which translates to "play well".
  • No Rahi Were Harmed: this is mentioned at the end of the credits of Mask of Light in the Matoran Language.
  • Noisy Robots: in the Mata Nui Online Game, its sequel, and the web animations.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: Shows up with techno in web animations, and during momentous moments in the movies.
  • Only Mostly Dead: Jaller and Toa Takanuva in Mask of Light
  • Opponent Switch: done by the Toa Mata against the Shadow Toa.
  • Phlebotinum Breakdown: why it took the Toa Mata a thousand years to arrive on the island of Mata Nui
  • Pillar of Light: In the online animations, when the Bohrok were defeated.
  • Puff of Logic: During the Bohrok arc, Pohatu and Onua, both the strongest of the Toa Mata, struggle to break a rock wall to escape before the room fills with lava. However, they're unable to make a single chip in it. Lewa realizes that there's nothing the two of them are unable to smash, which means the wall cannot exist. As soon as they stop believing the wall exists, it disappears.

    Sure enough, the projectors of said wall, the Bahrag queens, are able to create illusions at will. Several of the Toa again end up fighting false opponents, being helped by their teammates that can see which Bahrag aren't real.
  • Power-Upgrading Deformation: Hordika venom causes this.
  • Power of the Void: Makuta claimed to have this power early on. He wasn't shy about it, either.
    Gali: How are you like the sea? The sea bears life! The sea bore us!
    Makuta: I bore you! For I am Nothing. And out of Nothing, you came. And it is back into Nothing that you shall go.
  • Powered Armor / Mini-Mecha: the Boxor (which can strike with its arms) and the Exo-Toa (complete with Boxing Claw and Electro-Rocket).
  • Praetorian Guard: most notably the Bohrok-Kal.
  • Psychic Link: Gali establishes one with Takua in the Mata Nui Online Game, so that he can witness the battle from afar.
  • The Psycho Rangers: The Shadow Toa.
  • Rage Against the Mentor: the Toa Nuva eventually tired of the Turaga's secrecy
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Naming Day was introduced as a way to change characters' names to non-Maori words (see "Meaningful Name" above).
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The Bohrok play with this; it seems to be played straigt before it turns out (six real-world years later) that they're just doing their Great-Beings-given job (and therefore Sealed Neutral).
  • Sealed Good in a Can: Very literally with The Toa Mata (see Phlebotinum Breakdown, above), who were sealed in Toa Canisters.
    • The Mask of Light (encased in a rock).
  • Sentient Cosmic Force: Destiny, spiritual Light and Shadow as well.
  • Shield Surf: In Mask of Light, Takua and Jaller use Kopaka's Ice Shield to escape from Rahkshi in Ko-Wahi.
  • Sinister Geometry: Pohatu comments on the tunnels leading to the Bohrok Nest as being rather smooth and not dug by Matoran or even the Bohrok.
  • Smash The Symbol: In an online animation, the stone used to represent Mata Nui explodes, representing the Bohrok razing the island.
  • Sixth Ranger: Played straight in many series. Beginning in 2003 (and arguably ending in 2009), Lego sold an extra basic toa-sized figure (usually referred to as a "Seventh Toa") packed in with a vehicle and sold at a higher price point, and usually joined the main team of heroes in-universe later in the story, though almost every year deviated from this in some way;
    • 2003 - Takanuva was a new member who joined the team just before the finale of the first movie (and stayed with them afterwards) and was packed with the Ussanui (which existed for about 30 seconds before being destroyed in the movie) and is considered the basis for the seventh toa in the rest of the franchise.
    • 2004 - Toa Lhikan was packed in with a Kikanalo, though in-universe, he existed before the main heroes and is the one who gave Toa Metru their powers.
    • 2005 - The only year without a true Seventh Toa, though the special edition "Toa Norik" and "Toa Iruni" were sold on the side and fill the seventh toa slot (though both were sold at the same price-point as regular figures, neither had a vehicle, and were completely disconnected from the main story in-universe).
    • 2006 - Vezon filled the seventh toa slot but was a villian instead of a hero. Vezon was packed with the mechanical spider Fenrakk, and (in-universe) was a clone of the Piraka Vezok (Vezon is even the Matoran word for "Double") and fought both the Piraka and the Toa Inika.
    • 2007 - Lesovikk filled the seventh toa role toy-wise (being packed with a "Sea Sled"), but never met the main heroes (the Toa Mahri) in-universe.
    • 2008 - Toa Ignika, packed with a "Skyboard" was, in-universe, the Mask of Life given a physical body who joined and fought beside the team after initially being questioned.
      • Ironically, the original Seventh Toa, Takanuva, also made an appearance (though in a much larger, Titian-sized form).
      • It should be noted that there was another villian, Murtan, who was also a basic figure and was packed with another smaller figure (Vican) and was sold as an exclisive, though Ignika more closely follows the Seventh Toa formula.
    • 2009 - It could be argued that Fero falls into the seventh toa slot as he was a basic figure (though he was matoran sized, not toa-sized) and was packed with a large reptilian steed, Skirmix.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Thankfully averted in the main story Toa teams. The Toa of Water (the only female of the six in all 3 of these teams) were often one of the most involved characters in the team next to fire. (the leader)
  • Special Effects Failure: Invoked. Word of God states that several of the choppy movements of Makuta and the Rahkshi in Mask of Light were inspired by Ray Harryhausen's work.
  • The Swarm: the Bohrok
  • Sweat Drop: Occurs once in an online animation by Hewkii.
  • There Is Another: The Wham Line leading into Adventures: "You are not the first Toa!"
  • Trauma-Induced Amnesia: Takua during the first year
  • Tunnel Network: there were tunnels throughout and underneath the island of Mata Nui, made by the Onu-Matoran.
  • Under City: Metru Nui to Mata Nui.
  • Video Game Settings: Each "wahi" (region) of the island of Mata Nui has this kind of theme:
  • When Trees Attack: Morbuzakh and Karzahni
  • The Worf Effect: Three Toa merge into Toa Kaita Wairuha and corner three Bohrok-Kal. The bug-monsters fuse into their own giant monster which proceeds to kick Wairuha's butt in five seconds.
    • Worf Had The Flu: The Bohrok had already neutralized the Toas' elemental powers, leaving both the individual Toa and their fused form at a disadvantage.
  • Yin-Yang Bomb: Takutanuva

    BIONICLE Adventures 

    BIONICLE Legends and Afterward 

    Bara Magna/Spherus Magna 

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