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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. It was replaced with the more sci-fi Hero Factory, which boasts "From the makers of BIONICLE!" on the label.

However, Lego has announced that the line will be rebooted in 2015. Taking place in an Alternate Continuity, the action now shifts to the island of Okoto, where two powerful mask-making brothers, Ekimu and Makuta, came into conflict and fell into slumber on opposite sides of a now-divided island. The new Myth Arc will involve the original Toa (also known as "Masters") going on a quest to find the legendary Mask of Creation, one of the three most powerful masks in existence.

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 

    Common 2001 Series Tropes 
  • The Abridged Series: this video puts the 2001 to 2010 plot in under 2 minutes.
  • Absent Aliens: Inverted. No humans are ever seen in the series.
  • 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.
  • After the End: It's been a very long time since that end though and the whole point of the story is the heroes trying to reverse it.
  • 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: Races from both worlds are partly-organic and partly-mechanical, but good luck telling which parts are which. Officially the Matoran-verse races are more mechanical while the Bara Magna ones are organic with cyber-implants, but you can't tell just by looking.
  • 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: Used often. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 pull 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.
  • Conlang: We only get words (and a single two-word phrase), but one enterprising fan has created an absurdly extensive dictionary from those alone — complete with its own rules of grammar.
  • Constructed World: Notable in that it doesn't even have any humans. Part of the reason the series hasn't had any films or animated series that weren't handled in-house is because the pitches LEGO kept getting always involved humans getting transported to the Bionicle world or added Earthly elements, which was the exact kind of cliché LEGO wanted to avoid.
  • 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
  • Defanged Horrors: The serials.
  • 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.
  • The Epic
  • 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).
    • According to Greg Farshtey, he based Barraki Takadox's personality on a character named East from one of his earlier novels.
    • Vezon starts off as a murderous maniac, but gradually becomes a sinister Cloud Cuckoolander. Deadpool, anyone?
  • 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 atom 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.
    • Zaktan was also blown to oblivion by then-god Makuta.
    • The Bohrok-Kal have their powers boosted beyond control by the Toa Nuva, resulting in a few of these. Special notice goes to Nuhvok-kal, whose gravity powers crush it into an event horizon.
  • 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?)
  • The Full Name Adventures: All three Matoran arcs had this sort of title for their accompanying book series; and Bara Magna probably would have if it had enough books to warrant a unified title.
  • 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
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Comes with the territory of being the most violent Lego franchise ever.
    • During the final battle of Web of Shadows, bits of dead Visorak can be seen strewn all over the Coliseum floor. During the same battle, Whenua destroys a Keelerak's head and another Keelerak kills a Vohtarak to keep Nokama pinned. Given that Keelerak spinners have acidic powers, it's probably not a coincidence that the camera immediately cuts from the Vohtarak after impact...
    • It's implied that Hakann has massacred Voya Nui Matoran for his own amusement, and the Barraki have eaten Matoran from time.
  • 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.
  • Hobbits: The Matoran and Agori
  • Hold Your Hippogriffs
  • 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 Barraki 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 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 names given to every character in the game (as it had an Open World), many of whom had never been seen previously, and - being mostly background characters - mostly did not appear in subsequent stories. There were some human-seeming names (albeit slighly modified), such as Kai and Marka. There were a few which don't seem to fit perfectly in either world, such as Nixie.
  • 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: 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. While characters did die in those years, 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 cyborgs, for all intents and purposes.
  • No Hugging, No Kissing: [[Handwave Handwaved]] for Matoran, at least, by the fact that they're cyborgs with no need for romance in the human sense, as they cannot reproduce sexually. There was a Hewkii/Macku pairing and some Jaller/Hahli teasing in the flash animations of Chronicles, as well as the films, though they didn't really have any significance as the storyline progressed. 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).
  • Parodic Table of the Elements: The Periodic Table of Imaginary Elements has Antidermis, Exsidian, and Protodermis in it.
  • Red Is Heroic: The leader, representing fire, is usually red.
  • This Resolution Will Only Be Televised: Occasionally happens in the comics because they can't cover movie material.
  • 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 portrayed 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 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 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, 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 villain 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 exclusive, 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 Matoran of Water (and by extension Toa and Turaga of Water) 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 Glatorian. 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 females were present at all. The second wave came with one... then proceeded to release almost a dozen other male Glatorian.
  • 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.
  • Transforming Vehicle
    • The Codrex Vehicles have an alternate form that extends and exposes more weapons
    • Thornatus vehicles can extend their side blades, while the Kaxium V3 has a detachable and drivable sidecar.
  • 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.
  • 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 
  • 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.
  • Ancient Order of Protectors: The Order of Mata Nui.
  • 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).
  • 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.)
  • 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: Matoran script.
    • 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
  • Day Hurts Dark-Adjusted Eyes: Matoran of Earth typically live underground, so light stings their eyes.
  • 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.
    • Makuta tried to appear as this when the Toa Mata first faced him, turning into a mass of swirling pieces and tentacles. After being defeated, he tried to be more direct in later confrontations (largely because the Toa have then learned what he really was).
  • 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 Toa who become Turaga have gained 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.
  • 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 a late arc revealed his name is "Teridax"), "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 since they're Energy Beings, 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're former 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 (meaning areas below Mata Nui's waist) are said to be so dangerous that not even Makuta go there.
  • Sentient Cosmic Force: Destiny, spiritual Light and Shadow as well.
  • Stars Are Souls: Spirit Stars appear before a Toa is created or when a Toa completes a certain task.
  • 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 is treated as one.
  • 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.)
    • Heart Is an Awesome Power: 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 
  • 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.
  • Amnesiac Hero: The Toa remembered little beyond their names and powers upon arriving on Mata Nui.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 Matoran of Air 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.
  • Citadel City: Ta-Koro, a walled city that is surrounded by lava, within a volcano.
  • 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; his features and name are only revealed in the end of the 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.
  • Forgotten Phlebotinum: Kaita fusions, once this arc ends.
  • Fusion Dance: Various "Kaita" fusions and Takutanuva.
  • 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; guess what they're used for.
  • 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.
  • Handy Helper: In the Mata Nui Online Game, Takua becomes Pohatu's eyes when the latter was blinded by a Nui-Jaga scorpion.
  • 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 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).
    • Armor Is Useless: The Exo-Toa block their users' Elemental Powers. They also have the AI to act autonomously, but haven't exactly been shown to have a stellar track record in this regard since they frequently fall victim to The Worf Effect.
  • 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: By the end of the arc, the Toa Nuva had tired of the Turaga's secrecy and began to confront them on it.
  • 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 straight 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).
  • 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.
  • 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:
  • 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, an immensely powerful fusion of Takanuva (Toa of Light) and Makuta (a being of Shadow).

    BIONICLE Adventures 

    BIONICLE Legends and Afterward 
  • Adaptive Armor: Worn by Toa Nuva. Not officially the Trope Namer, but might as well be.
  • The Alcatraz: the Pit (though they skip the common "good guys have to break out" plot; the prison was long destroyed and nearly abandoned (it's been fixed since then))
  • Almost Dead Guy: kicking off the Mahri Nui arc
  • Alternate Universe / Alternate History
    • After the End: "The Kingdom": The heroes failed to save Mata Nui's life in Legends; a number escaped the doomed "universe" by making their way to the planet surface
    • Bizarro Universe: appears in "Brothers in Arms"; Mata Nui never had to be built and roles of Toa and Matoran are switched. Oh, and the Makuta embraced the light instead of the shadows.
    • Mirror Universe: "Dark Mirror": Toa have become Knights Templar, and the Makuta and Dark Hunters are part of La Résistance (though calling them the "good" guys would be a stretch)
  • Amplifier Artifact: Antidermis can strengthen Brutaka's species.
  • Arc Villain: In order: the Piraka, the Barraki, the Brotherhood of Makuta (with Makuta himself absent)
  • Ascended Extras: The Toa Inika/Mahri, who were Matoran supporting characters back in Chronicles
  • Assimilation Backfire: In the Kingdom Alternate Dimension, Makuta is killed after he absorbs Matoro, who fights back successfully due to Makuta's weakened will due to his plan's failure in that dimension.
  • Atlantis Is Boring: Debatable with the Mahri Nui arc; while it featured mutated fishmen, psychotic robots and all manners of sea monsters, the location of Mahri Nui lacked the development and variety of the previous locations.
  • Awesome Personnel Carrier: the Toa Terrain Crawler, a living example. It was only used once.
  • Back from the Dead: Hydraxon subverts this trope. He's a copy who thinks he's the original.
  • Badass Normal: The Voya Nui Resistance Team, although they owe it to their weapons.
    • Mazeka. He specifically requested that the Order of Mata Nui train to use any kind of weapon, how to win clean, and how to win dirty.
    • Goes double for Hydraxon, who also lacks elemental powers and instead relies on a bunch of weapons, a bunch of training, and enhanced hearing (which doubles as a weakness) to get him by.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: The conclusion of the "Waking Mata Nui" Myth Arc and serves as the whole storyline's Darkest Hour.
  • Ball of Light Transformation: Umbra has this ability and uses it offensively.
  • Beyond the Impossible: At one point, Jaller sets Mantax ablaze on the ocean floor. It's Handwaved with the Wizard Did It rule; he has power over fire, and if he wants fire underwater, he can do that (not easily, but still...). Further justified by Greg on an online Q&A when he pointed out that it's possible to have fire underwater. It just takes either certain chemicals or a lot of energy.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: The Piraka. Yes, they're considered the main villains for an arc, but they got put in their place real fast.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Onua arriving just in time to give Tahu and crew back up against a group of Exo-Toa in "Reign of Shadows".
    • During Makuta's reign, Artakha manages to intervene right before Toa Helryx tries to destroy the universe in order to stop him before showing up in person to berate her for her methods.
    • The Toa Inika defeating the Piraka, after three disastrous attempts by both the Voya Nui Matoran and the Toa Nuva.
  • Boxed Crook: in "Federation of Fear" and other Karda Nui web serials.
  • Brainwashed: the Voya Nui Matoran by Antidermis.
  • Break Out the Museum Piece: A variation; instead of technology, it's dangerous wildlife in the Archives. It's revealed that long ago, (then-"good") Makuta did this to end the Metru Nui Civil War. The results were gruesome.
  • Brick Joke (dramatic variant): In Legends, Makuta disappears at the end of the Mahri Nui arc, and remains almost completely absent while the Brotherhood is waging war in Karda Nui. Then comes the final book's epilogue... (Undermined just a little by the fact that a web serial features a search for him, but played straight concerning the other media.)
  • Brown Note: A Klakk's sonic scream can cure Shadow Matoran.
  • Cain and Abel: Axonn and Brutaka also count during Brutaka's brief Face-Heel Turn, though they don't refer to each other as "brother."
  • Cataclysm Climax: In Karda Nui. The end of Mahri Nui has a bit of this as well.
  • The Charmer: According to Jerbraz, he was one of the Order of Mata Nui's "most handsome and dashing" members, before he was rendered permanently invisible following an accident. Now he has to get by on just charm.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Makuta's ability to take spiritless bodies.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: Consciously averted with the Brotherhood of Makuta - when the Toa faced more than one at once, Farshtey added Drama Preserving Handicaps to give the Toa a legitimate chance.
  • Continuity Nod: Several.
  • Cool Garage: The Codrex.
  • Cursed with Awesome: some of the Mask of Life's curses end up being this (and once or twice it actively tries to do its bearer a favor instead, leading to Blessed with Suck).
  • Darkest Hour: When Makuta pretty much assumes control of the universe, rendering all the Toa's previous battles and struggles rather moot.
  • Death by Irony: Makuta Mutran thinks of a way to try and control Karda Nui's energy storm, only to be zapped to dust after declaring he figured it out.
  • 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 afterward, as the purpose was a test of courage. 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.
  • Death Mountain: A rock accidentally left behind by Mutran on the island of Xia became this. It happens to be also alive ad eats whatever tries to scale it.
  • Designated Girl Fight: Gali vs Gorast in the Swamp of Secrets.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Subverted with Carapar, who tries to kill the Lovecraft Shout-Out Tren Krom and gets disintegrated by the thing's Eye Beam before his attack even hits.
  • Diminishing Villain Threat: 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 Makuta 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. That said, it is explicitly stated that being hypnotized repeatedly by Takadox did a number on his mental faculties.
  • Doing In the Wizard: At the end of Legends, a number of mythological aspects got explained away. The biggest one is that Mata Nui, revered as a mystical Physical God by the Matoran, was actually a giant robot that they lived inside. About the only things that didn't were the Great Beings - we learned more about them here and on Bara Magna, but they're still mysterious Precursors.
  • Don't Celebrate Just Yet: the Toa Nuva return from Karda Nui to Metru Nui to celebrate Mata Nui's awakening ... only to find out they were Unwitting Pawns in Makuta's Plan, meaning Makuta has taken over Mata Nui's body.
  • Drama-Preserving Handicap: the Makuta invading Karda Nui. The "Phantoka" team was blinded, the "Mistika" team suffered Shape Shifter Mode Lock and lost some of their multiple powers, and Icarax was painfully devolved back into a physical being. (Mutran was unaffected, but was more of a Mad Scientist than a fighter anyway.)
  • Egopolis: Makuta renamed the Matoran world the "Makutaverse" upon taking it over.
  • Empathic Weapon: the Mask of Life
  • Enemy Civil War: the Toa Mahri provoke one within the Barraki
    • Also, the Piraka.
    • The Order of Mata Nui convince the Dark Hunters to war the Brotherhood of Makuta.
  • Enormous Engine: Jetrax T6 has two huge engines.
  • Evil Twin: inverted - the good "Anti-Makuta" from the Bizarro Universe has been recruited to help fight the main universe's evil one
  • Evilutionary Biologist: Every last Makuta has at least a little background in creature creation, as that was their original job; with Chirox and Mutran still focusing on it.
  • Exploring the Evil Lair: The Piraka doing this is what starts all the trouble.
  • Field Power Effect: in Karda Nui, where beings of Light grow larger than normal.
  • Final Battle: basically the 2008 storyline was called this, and it was part of the title of a comic and a book.
  • Flanderization: Vezon went from a creepy and insane Gollum-esque villain at the end of the Voya Nui arc to a Cloud Cuckoolander in Karda Nui-era web serials.
    • It's warranted, though. He lost the Mask of Life and pretty much any other power he had. He's smart enough to know that he doesn't have nearly as much of an advantage as he had, so he is likely to be at least partly Obfuscating Stupidity.
  • Get A Hold Of Yourself Man: twice in a single book to a corrupted Toa Takanuva in Legends
  • Getting Smilies Painted on Your Soul: the first Toa of Psionics, Orde, was created by the Great Beings to do something like this to the Zyglak. Unfortunately, due to Orde's violent temper, he made them in an Unstoppable Rage. Thus, the Great Beings made the rest of the Toa of Psionics female from then on.
  • Giant Spider: The big-enough-to-ride Fenrakk (which incidentally gets...
  • Going to Be One of Those Days: Lewa after having his body stolen, being turned into an Eldritch Abomination, getting Thrown Out The Air Lock, ending up in a jungle full of cyborg dinosaurs that shoot laser beams and finally getting captured by savages:
    Lewa: Oh. It's going to be this kind of day.
  • The Great Flood: Gali unleashed a Nova Blast that completely flooded Karzahni.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: Reidak breaks up a squabble among the other Piraka by throwing Hakann at Avak. Hakann pays him back in the same way (to Avak's displeasure) during his A God Am I phase.
  • Handy Helper: The Phantoka Makuta were permanently blinded by the light after the Mask of Life fell into Karda Nui. Thus, they have Shadow Matoran to be this for them.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Toa Matoro, Toa Ignika
  • High-Tech Hexagons: In pretty much all the graphics of Voya Nui, plus a large amount of the graphics from Mahri and Karda Nui, 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 the last arc, when the futuristic city of Metru Nui was the main setting.
  • Hijacked by Ganon: Again. Three guesses who.
  • 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.
  • The Igor: Vican to Makuta Mutran
  • 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!
  • I Like Those Odds:
    Kongu: Five of us, 5000 of them. I like your idea of fair odds, Hahli.
  • I Would Say If I Could Say: Makuta to Carapar
    "You couldn't snap your fingers without help ... if you had fingers."
  • Jetpack: the Matoran of Light use these. Lewa has these in his Adaptive Armor, Sky Form.
  • The Kingdom: The Alternate Universe in "The Kingdom", ruled by Turaga Takanuva.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Inverted with Makuta Icarax (he's a Leeroy, but his actions would've saved the Makuta instead of dooming them)
  • Let's You and Him Fight: Toa Mahri vs. Toa Hagah in a web serial, complete with Lampshade Hanging
  • Lightning Can Do Anything: the Toa Inika's origin and powers
  • Lock and Load Montage: in a commercial featuring Piraka Avak, Avak builds a gun and test fires it, only for the recoil to knock him backwards.
    • In commercials for the Toa Mahri, the Toa Mahri are equipped with their Kanohi Masks, Toa Tools, and Cordak Blasters inside the Toa Terrain Crawler.
  • Losing Your Head: Occurs to Hahli in an outtake animation for a non-canon commercial.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: Toa Lesovikk and the Toa Hagah went through these.
  • MacGuffin: the Mask of Life in Legends
    • Probably not, since it actually DOES something. I'd say that the Vahi fits this a lot more.
  • Meaningful Name: Some of the various landforms on the island of Mata Nui are Maori for different parts of the face: Mount Ihu=Nose, Lake Naho=Eye, Mangai Volcano=Mouth
  • Mêlée à Trois: the Mahri Nui portion, with five different sides.
  • Midseason Upgrade: Toa Inika into Mahri.
  • Mirror Morality Machine: Shadow Leeches used by the Makuta turn victims evil. Fortunately, they can be cured by a Klakk's scream.
  • Missed the Call: Word Of God suggests Makuta was destined to replace the Great Spirit at some point, but he did it at the wrong time for the wrong reasons.
  • More Teeth than the Osmond Family: Botar, Fenrakk/Kardas, Gadunka, and ANY Skakdi
  • Morph Weapon: the Toa Nuva's Adaptive Armor
  • Mysterious Mist: the Akaku Nuva is unable to pierce through the mist in the Swamp of Secrets of Karda Nui.
  • Narrative Profanity Filter: Used for the Piraka, like when Avak flips Reidak out of a boat. His response is strongly implied to be the Matoran version of a Cluster F-Bomb.
  • Neck Lift: Kalmah does this to Jaller with his tentacle, although this is done underwater.
  • Nice Job Waking It, Heroes In the Toa Nuva's defense, there's no way in Karzanhi they could have known that Makuta had already placed himself in control of Mata Nui's body so that all he had to do was wait for the Toa to reactivate it.
  • Noodle Incident: Invasion, a canceled (but still canon) Legends book bridging Voya Nui and Mahri Nui. We know it involved a Body Snatcher plot and Vezon.
  • Not So Different: Makuta to Toa Matoro in Legends
  • Only Mostly Dead: Toa Matoro (or not), Mata Nui
  • Outrun the Fireball: The Toa Nuva escape Karda Nui's growing energy storm using flying vehicles
  • Outside Ride: How the Toa Nuva and Takanuva escape from Karda Nui on the Codrex vehicles (they seat three, with four more hanging on).
  • Painting the Medium: In "Reign of Shadows", Artakha's telepathy is represented in italics, and Tren Krom's in bold.
  • Pardon My Klingon: the term "Piraka" is the main one, though a few others show up (like "Go to Karzahni!")
  • Precision-Guided Boomerang: Axonn can do this with his Great Axe.
  • Place of Power: Karda Nui to Matoran of Light, which is why they're much bigger than other Matoran. Takanuva, a Toa of Light, also became much larger in Karda Nui.
  • Portal Cut: "Dark Mirror" Toa Tuyet
  • Pretty Spry for a Dead Guy: Hydraxon
  • Punny Name: used increasingly in Legends; for example, the axe-wielding Axonn, the stingray-like Barraki Mantax, and the energy-sucking Makuta Vamprah.
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad: any villain group of six that aren't Mooks; the Piraka and Barraki are the best examples. They might also qualify as The Psycho Rangers.
  • Real Song Theme Tune: All American Reject's song "Move Along" was used as the theme for the Toa Inika. There was even a non-canon Alternate Reality Game with the storyline of the band being kidnapped by the Piraka.
  • 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.
  • Rocket Ride: the Codrex vehicles
  • Room 101: the "Chamber of Truth" in the Piraka Stronghold
  • Set a Mook to Kill a Mook: Used in the climax of "Destiny War", pitting Bohrok against Rahkshi. (Adventures also had a Vahki/Visorak scuffle, though not triggered by the heroes)
  • Shout-Out: During the "Brothers in Arms" serial, Vultraz remarks that he doesn't think he's in Karda Nui anymore and tries clicking his red feet together three times to get back to the main universe.
  • Sickly Green Glow: Antidermis/Makuta energy
  • Slasher Smile: The Piraka (and by extension, their species, the Skakdi), in spades. So much that it's part of their head molds. The teeth in the sets also glowed in the dark. Charming.
  • Smash The Symbol: On Voya Nui, Axonn carves a picture of a Hau on a rock to represent Mata Nui, then destroys it to represent how much danger the Great Spirit Mata Nui is in.
  • Split Personality Takeover: in the Kingdom Alternate Universe, Matoro does this to Makuta when the latter absorbs the former into his armor.
  • Someone Has to Die: used regarding the Mask of Life, though subverted in one instance.
  • Soul Jar: the Mask of Life is one for Mata Nui at the end.
  • Strange Bedfellows: Makuta forces an alliance with Toa Matoro in Mahri Nui.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: Toa Takanuva during the tail end of Legends
  • Sword and Gun: The Inika, Mahri, and most (adaptive armor-equipped) Toa Nuva all have this as their armament.
  • Tempting Fate: Toa Takanuva's blog telling of his hopes for a new era of peace. Especially when you realize it's set right before the Wham Episode.
  • That's No Moon!: Mata Nui as the Matoran Universe.
  • Thrown Out The Air Lock: Makuta teleports a group of heroes out of the Matoran Universe into space. Don't worry, they were rescued.
  • Trauma-Induced Amnesia: the Mahri Nui Matoran
  • Tuckerization: Order members Jerbraz, Johmak, and Tobduk, who were credited as providing pictures for the Order's atlas, were named for the guide's real-life illustrators Jeremy Brazeal, John McCormack, and Toby Dutkiewicz respectively.
  • Twist Ending / Wham Episode: two in the Matoran saga's conclusion: the books and comics first show that Makuta wins, then the web content adds the revelation that the Matoran world is inside Mata Nui.
  • Unpredictable Results: Kongu Mahri's Mask of Summoning; you never know what will be summoned.
  • Unwitting Pawn: the Toa Nuva in Legends
  • Upgrade Artifact: as mentioned in Amplifier Artifact, Antidermis strengthens Brutaka's species, but when Brutaka fell into a pool of Antidermis, he gained increased power along with many abilities of the Makuta, in addition to physically strengthening his body to the point that his muscle cracked his armor at several places.
  • Videogame Settings
  • The Virus: Antidermis
  • War Arc: Destiny War between The Order of Mata Nui and Brotherhood of Makuta.
  • Water Is Air: Consciously averted in Mahri Nui, where characters like Jaller and Kongu had tremendous difficulty using their powers, and combat took place in a 3D environment. (Kongu decided just to go with more guns.)
  • Weapon of Mass Destruction: the Ignika, which can suck all the life in the Matoran Universe in cases such as war, plague, etc.
  • What Could Have Been: Some alternate plans for Legends:
    • Makuta was originally going to get pissy over his defeat in Mask of Light and throw a Suicidal Cosmic Temper Tantrum, but Farshtey successfully invoked The Villain Makes the Plot and made him The Chessmaster instead, whose Evil Plan required the world to come to the brink of death in order to work.
    • Jaller's team was to have the starring role the whole time, but it was agreed that the heroes who started the saga should finish it, so the Toa Nuva were brought back for Karda Nui.
    • Also in Karda Nui, they would've taken the shadow corruption to its logical extreme and introduced a Toa of Shadow, but the plans for a toy set fell through so there was little reason to include one in the story.
  • What If?: Karzahni can show other characters what would have happened if a significant event in their lives played out differently. For negative results, it results in a Mind Rape, but if it has a positive outcome, it turns into a Lotus-Eater Machine.
  • Why Are We Whispering: A variation is used. Jerbraz and Mazeka have entered a village of De-Matoran. Jerbraz mentions that the locals can probably hear them whispering due to their acute hearing. Mazeka asks why they even bother whispering. Jerbraz replies, "Out of respect"— it turns out that their hearing is so strong that normal noise levels are painful to them.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Both Hewkii and Kongu in the Mahri Nui arc, as they both come from tribes that don't like deep water (Stone and Air, respectively). In an interesting inversion, the Toa of Fire was relatively unperturbed by the environment.
  • The Worf Effect: The Toa Nuva got beaten pretty bad by the Piraka in Legends...
  • The Worm That Walks: Priaka Zaktan was composed of microscopic Protodites.
  • You Are Too Late: Sixth kind of use - By the time some of the heroes catch on to what Makuta has been planning and try encountering him at the place he needs to finish his Evil Plan they discover Makuta has already taken over Mata Nui's body.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Makuta sent Brotherhood members into Karda Nui without telling them the place would become a death trap once the Evil Plan played out.

    Bara Magna/Spherus Magna 
  • After the End
  • All That Glitters: "The Secret of Certavus"
  • Arc Villain: Rock tribe leader Tuma was this before Makuta asserted himself. The Element Lords were going to lead the next arc before it was scrapped. There are a few new bad guys emerging since Makuta's defeat, but none have asserted themselves as the "main" villain.
  • Ascended Extra: Mata Nui
  • Attack Its Weak Point: Mata Nui defeats Tuma in the movie by hammering on a back injury. (The novelization instead has Mata Nui study Tuma's strategy, then use Tuma's lack of speed to his advantage.)
  • Audible Sharpness: Oh how often in the movie of The Legend Reborn.
  • Barbarian Tribe: the Bone Hunters
  • Bavarian Fire Drill: The novelization suggests that this is part of the reason the Agori traitor is able to take control after Tuma's defeat; the Skrall are so panicked by the thing attacking them that they'll listen to anyone giving orders.
  • Beam-O-War: occurs between Kiina and Ackar using their new Elemental Powers of water and fire respectively in The Legend Reborn.
  • Behemoth Battle: In the final battle between Mata Nui and Makuta, both of them are inhabiting enormous, multi-million-foot-tall robots.
  • Beware My Stinger Tail: A promotional description for the Vorox is the Trope Namer.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The heroes destroy Makuta once and for all and Mata Nui reforms Spherus Magna, allowing the various Matoran races to finally begin a new age of peace. However the strain from the battle and reformation are too great for Mata Nui and he goes dormant once more, using his last words to tell the Toa and Glatorian to seek out the Great Beings. And that's not mentioning how many have died in the battle against Makuta, making the victory a costly one.
  • Break Out the Museum Piece: Mata Nui has to use the prototype for his old body to fight Makuta.
  • Canis Latinicus
  • Cannot Dream: the victims of the Dreaming Plague.
  • Cave Mouth: The entrance to Roxtus, which isn't surprising as it's the head of a Humongous Mecha Prototype.
  • Character as Himself: Click in the movie
  • Colossus Climb: Sort of. Mata Nui grabs the Skopio's leg as it winds up to try and stomp him and uses the momentum to throw himself onto its back.
  • Combat by Champion
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: Averted with the Skrall, rather noticeably. Strakk even gives a perfect setup with "We could barely beat one, how do we beat an army?" Answer: They don't.
  • Continuity Nod: the Hero Agori from the My LEGO Network game is briefly mentioned in the first book.
  • Cool Bike: Cendox and Kaxium vehicles
    • Cool Sidecar: Kaxium V3 has one, which also has a mounted Thornax Launcher and is detachable.
  • Cool Gate: Spirit's Wish, an ornate archway that teleports whoever passes under it to wherever he/she desires.
  • Dangerously Genre Savvy: Tuma, who raises an army while everyone else is distracted with the Serious Business.
  • Desert Punk
  • 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.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: Tuma in Legend Reborn. Everywhere else, he's portrayed as the main villain.
  • Dream Stealer: Annona, who was responsible for the Dreaming Plague that wiped out the Iron Tribe.
  • Duels Decide Everything
  • Dynamic Entry: Double Subverted. Mata Nui doesn't Goomba Stomp Strakk, he lands normally... and then goes for a more standard "jump in from the side" deal.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: The baterra and the Element Lords appeared in the '09 web serials and would have showed up more prominently in the original 2010 story.
  • Eldritch Abomination: As noted in the Matoran section, the Energized Protodermis Entity that existed within the planet until it was moved to the Mata Nui robot. There's also something that looks like a miniature sun that feeds on dreams.
  • Evil Overlord: Tuma
  • Featureless Protagonist: The Hero Agori of the My LEGO Network BIONICLE Campaign.
  • Field of Blades: or rather it's called the "Forest of Blades", only the corpses are still holding their weapons and being fused with trees, some jutting halfway out.
  • Five-Man Band: In The Legend Reborn:
  • Flawed Prototype: The giant broken robot on Bara Magna; a prototype to Mata Nui himself. He fixed it up to fight Makuta, but it still has a lot of problems.
  • Foreshadowing: An early and possible hint to Metus' betrayal? In the My LEGO Network BIONICLE Campaign, he's friends with Atakus of the Rock Tribe!
  • Gladiator Games: This is how the tribes in Bara Magna resolve disputes, though it's heavily regulated and doesn't descend into Blood Sport.
  • Grim Up North: The rock tribe (and even they were driven south by the baterra)
  • Hate Plague: The Dreaming Plague's first symptoms included irritability, which then grew to hatred and violent behaviour, finally leading to complete insanity followed by death.
  • Hollywood Cyborg: unlike the Mata Nui races, the Bara Magnans are mostly organic but have a few cybernetic implants
  • Horse of a Different Color: the Bone Hunters' Rock Steeds
  • Incendiary Exponent: After being given the usual "A Storm Is Coming" warning by Malum, Gresh punctuates his response by setting his shield on fire.
  • I Surrender, Suckers: Strakk pulls this in the movie and in the comics.
  • Invading Refugees: 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.
  • King Incognito: One of the Great Beings has been masquerading as a member of the Matoran Universe for the past 100,000 years. Well over a year after the story otherwise stalled out, Word Of God revealed him as Velika, a Voya Nui Matoran.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Mata Nui was a victim of Grand Theft Me and exiled.
  • The Magnificent Seven Samurai: "Raid on Vulcanus"
  • Make Games Not War
  • The Maze: the Valley of the Maze
  • Monumental Damage: In-universe; the Skrall destroying Arena Magna.
  • Mystical Plague: The Dreaming Plague, caused by Anonna, a being that feasts on dreams.
  • Neck Lift: Stronius does this to a Vorox that managed to free itself from its shackles.
  • No Need for Names: The Skrall for the most part; names have to be earned.
  • Nonchalant Dodge: Tarix performs a type 1 when Vastus tries to shoot him with a Thornax in Legend Reborn
  • Oh, Crap: At least three in The Legend Reborn:
    • Ackar's reaction to seeing the Skopio
    • General reaction to seeing a swarm of beetles forming a giant
    • Metus' reaction to the Vorox tossing him out of his getaway vehicle and into a pissed-off Mata Nui
  • Opposing Sports Team: the Skrall
  • Outside Ride: Mata Nui, Ackar, Gresh, and Berix on the Thornatus that Kiina drove in The Legend Reborn.
  • Phlebotinum Bomb: the Golden Armor was designed to destroy all solid Antidermis.
  • Power Source: Mata Nui goes to the Valley of the Maze to find said object in order to power the assembled Humongous Mecha on Bara Magna.
  • Put Their Heads Together: Done by Ackar on two Bone Hunters in The Legend Reborn.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: the Skrall, and what the Vorox used to be. Used word-for-word in the Vorox's introduction, save the word "Guy".
  • Sapient Tank: Subverted with the Skopio, it may look like a sentient scorpion tank, but it was actually just a giant scorpion modified to be like a tank by the Great Beings.
  • Scavenger World
  • Serious Business: The arena matches. Explained that rather than waste precious supplies on armies to fight for resources, it's better for all sides to settle disputes with Combat by Champion.
  • Shield Surf: In The Legend Reborn, Mata Nui uses his Scarabax Shield to surf down a canyon.
  • Shifting Sand Land
  • Spider Tank: the Skopio, which were made more tank-like thanks to the Great Beings' tampering
  • Stock Scream: The Wilhelm shows up in The Legend Reborn when some Bone Hunters get crushed by rocks.
  • Superhero Trophy Shelf: Ackar shows one off in The Legend Reborn.
    In that case...(casually tosses Strakk's shield into lava pit) Eh, I got plenty of shields.
  • Sure, Let's Go with That:
    Metus: I was going to say "earthquake", maybe "volcanic eruption", but uh, "evil" works.
  • Sword Plant: Mata Nui does this to cut part of a cliff to fall on a Skopio.
  • That's No Moon!: The Prototype Robot on Bara Magna, whose parts were used as shelter by the Agori up until its reassembly.
  • "This Cannot Be!! I AM THE MIGHTY TUMA!" ...yeah.
  • Throw Away Guns: the Thornax launchers used by Tarix and Vastus in the movie. Justified since Thornax are pretty rare.
  • Tournament Arc: the Glatorian are gearing up for one at the beginning but subverted when the Skrall just come in and raze the place.
  • Translator Microbes: Mata Nui gave everyone escaping the Matoran Universe the ability to communicate with the Bara Magna natives.
  • Tron Lines: Skrall tribal markings
  • 24-Hour Armor: To quote Greg, "they are on a dangerous world and shedding armor would be pretty stupid."
  • Unobtainium: Exsidian
  • Upgrade vs. Prototype Fight: Makuta Teridax in Mata Nui's original body vs Mata Nui in the Prototype Robot.
  • Weaponized Car: many vehicles have Thornax Launchers.
  • What a Piece of Junk: vehicles, such as Thornatus, are this, but they are still functional to be used.
  • The Worm That Walks: The giant made of scarabax beetles that appears in the climax of Legend Reborn.
  • Wrap It Up: The decision to end BIONICLE was made in 2009, but the Story Team pleaded LEGO for the chance to provide some closure to the plot. The sequels to The Legend Reborn were canceled, so two years worth of story had to be compressed into two comics, a serialized ebook, and an illustrated audio-blog. Numerous subplots had to be aborted or cut entirely.
  • Xanatos Gambit: Makuta Teridax's Magnum Opus, which is just called The Plan and is so massive and complex that written down it fills a massive chamber and a character goes insane from trying to read and make sense of it. The Plan has a ridiculous number of contingencies, and backups ranging from setting a insect horde on the city of Metru Nui to deliberately engineering his own defeats in the 2001-2003 arcs to make the heroes think that he's gone for good. The only thing things that he doesn't foresee are Interdimensional threats and the re-use of older and/or discontinued systems, like Tren Krom and the prototype robot body on Bara Magna.
  • You Fool!: Tuma says this when some Skrall managed to get lumber into the fortress, because the "lumber" is actually Baterra in disguise!
  • You Have Failed Me: Tuma is intolerant of failure, which pressures the Skrall even further in succeeding in their assignments.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle: The Twist Ending. That is all.
  • You Won't Feel a Thing:
    Brutaka: But if you want people to believe you caught this dangerous criminal, you will need to look like you've been in a fight. A light tap to your head would do the trick, perhaps. My colleague, Vezon, can handle it — you won't feel a thing.
    Vezon: Ever Again.
  • Zerg Rush: The Skrall's attack on the Grand Tournament, though unlike most examples of the trope the Skrall are actually stronger than their Glatorian oppenents, not weaker.

     2015 Reboot 
  • Adaptation Distillation: Besides going back to a setting resembling the early years and shedding later continuity, there seems to be an effort to streamline things. Most of the foreign-sounding jargon has disappeared (masks are simply "masks" and not "Kanohi", for example) and the Toa's powers are simplified as well (Tahu was a Toa of Fire with a Mask of Shielding; now his power is fire, period).
  • All Your Powers Combined: The Mask of Ultimate Power, created by Makuta to hold all six elemental powers.
  • Ancestral Weapon: The Protectors' masks and titles have been passed down from father to son for generations.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: The Skull Spiders aren't as big as, say, the Visorak from the previous continuity, but they're still rather large for bugs.
  • Cannot Tell a Joke: Gali, according to her bio on the site.
  • Composite Character: Ekimu and Makuta appear to have traits from two Cain and Abel pairs from the original continuity: Mata Nui and Makuta (Big Good and Big Bad respectively, the villain is named "Makuta") and Artakha and Karzahni (master craftsmen, portrayed as relatively normal beings rather than unseen mythical gods, the good one wears the Mask of Creation).
  • Continuity Reboot: The backstory to the relaunch mirrors the original 2001 storyline, but with some key differences: For one, the island and person of Mata Nui have been replaced with "Okoto" and "Ekimu", respectively. The Toa have also been described with character traits they didn't have before.
  • Face Hugger: The Skull Spiders, in proud tradition of the previous continuity's infected masks and Krana.
  • No Sense of Direction: Kopaka along with being The Klutz.
  • Skeletons in the Coat Closet: The Skull Spiders.
  • Top-Heavy Guy: Onua's new design, especially in the animation style.

    TurnOfTheMillennium/ToysBratz
SlizersToys/LEGO ThemesHero Factory
Biker Mice from MarsTurnOfTheMillennium/Western AnimationDa Boom Crew
Big Guy and Rusty the Boy RobotScience Fiction Western AnimationBlaster's Universe
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alternative title(s): Bionicle
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