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Franchise: Ninjago
Who will rise to become the Green Ninja?note 

LEGO Ninjago is a franchise of LEGO products introduced in 2011. The premise seems founded almost entirely on Rule of Cool: A group of ninja with Elemental Powers are at war with an army of similarly elementally themed undead skeletons. Both fight using the martial art called "Spinjitzu", which involves spinning at high velocity to channel elemental powers. To support their effort, the Ninja tame powerful dragons matching their elements, while the skeletons command high-tech vehicles like tanks and motorcycles. Later on they battle against the Big Bad's son who unleashes five ancient races of snake people who were the original rulers of Ninjago.

A made-for-TV movie, split into four pilot episodes, was shown on Cartoon Network to promote this theme, and it was apparently successful enough that a full 13-episode TV series was greenlit, with a second season released and a third one released in 2014. From the information released, it seems to focus around robots. In the meantime, LEGO Battles: Ninjago has been released for the Nintendo DS, and an iPhone game called "Spinjitzu Scavenger Hunt" and its Mission Pack Sequel "Rise of the Snakes" are available from iTunes.

Now has a Character Page and Recap Page.

Some LEGO Ninjago tropes:

  • Adorkable: Jay, especially around Nya.
    • Jay gets it from his parents!
    • Zane is this too.
  • Acid Trip Dimension: Spit from Venomari will make you see some strange things.
  • Action Girl: Nya, most noticeably in one short where she single-handedly defeats Chopov, Wyplash, Krazi, and Bonezai before Jay can realize something is wrong. Adding to that, she has a samurai alter ego with a Mini-Mecha.
    • We can also add P.I.X.A.L. to the list.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Nya's excited responses to Bizarro Jay's behavior.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Zig-Zagged. Zane showed almost every possible hint of having Asperger Syndrome, including Literal-Minded-ness, difficulty understanding the humor of others, no ability to detect sarcasm, a tendency to get over-focused when training, a general lack of the understanding of social norms, Spock Speak and Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness, among others. Turns out he's actually a Ridiculously Human Robot.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Jay catching up Sensei Wu in the episode The Green Ninja
    Jay: Zane is a Nindroid, Nya is the Samurai, and Cole's a dancer.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: The Serpentine Tribes decide their leadership in this fashion.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: A giant robot attacks Zane; in order to 'disable' it, it required attacking the robot from behind. Specifically in the upper part of its back.
    • The Great Devourer has one on its forehead. Garmadon ultimately destroys it by attacking this point with the four Golden Weapons.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Sensei Wu:
    '"Iron sharpens iron, perhaps-' *licks cotton candy* '-this Samurai will encourage you to find your true potentia... *GASP* FERRIS WHEEL!' *runs towards ferris wheel*"
  • Badass Pacifist: To make up for his past Sensei Garmadon swears to never pick up a weapon again and fights (when forced to fight) using a style called Silent Fist; using the opponents force against them without hitting them himself.
    • He eventually screws this method.
  • Bad Guys Do the Dirty Work: Garmadon leads the Skeleton Army against the Serpentine near the end of "All of Nothing".
    • Garmadon again during "Day of the Great Devourer" when he uses the Golden Weapons of Spinjitzu to destroy the Devourer.
  • Bad with the Bone: Skeleton weapons include golden bones, axes with bones for handles, golden axes with golden bones for handles, and plain old bones.
  • Band of Brothers: The ninjas.
  • Berserk Button: In "Double Trouble", when Jay found out his evil double kissed Nya.
    • Anything to do with Nya in trouble for both Jay and Kai.
    • A threat to cake or somewhat his father for Cole.
    • His friends being in danger for Zane.
    "You will not hurt my friends!"
  • Big Bad: Lord Garmadon.
    • Big Bad Ensemble: The leaders of each of the Serpentine Tribes.
    • Bigger Bad: The Great Devourer.
      • The Overlord looks to be an Even Bigger Bad.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Samurai X gets one on "Pirates vs. Ninja".
  • Big Good: Sensei Wu.
  • Big "NO!": Zane in "Tick Tock" after he discovers he's a robot.
    • Skales in "The Day Ninjago Stood Still" when the Serpentine are sealed underground. Again.
    • Kai when the Ovelord's portal bridging the Island of Darkness to Ninjago closes.
    • The Overlord when he's defeated.
  • Bluff the Impostor: Sensei Wu tells the Bizarro-Ninja about how Lloyd must be having a good time at an amusement park, when Lloyd is at the boarding school.
  • Body Horror: A flashback of Sensei Wu's reveals that Garmadon looks like he does because, just before falling into the underworld, he got struck by lightning, which pretty much fried his skin and exposed his bones. Even in LEGO form, it's quite disturbing to see.
    • Garmadon being possessed by the Overlord and the resulting transformation.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: The victims of the Hypnobrai's gaze and the Overlord's dark matter.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Lloyd Garmadon, up until "Never Trust a Snake".
  • Brought Down to Normal: After losing their Golden Weapons, the Ninja, while they still have Spinjitzu, have lost the majority of their elemental powers along with them.
  • Built with LEGO: Played straight, being a LEGO toy line— all the characters are LEGO minifigures. However, in some media it's subtler than in others. For instance, most of the scenery in the TV episodes is stylized heavily so there are no obvious LEGO elements.
    • LEGO Battles: Ninjago plays this straight as a tack.
  • The Cake Is a Lie: Cole laments this in "Double Trouble" after being lured to Darkling School.
  • Chekhov's Classroom: At the beginning of "Once Bitten, Twice Shy" Nya is giving a lecture theorizing that Fangpyre venom in a person's body can be counteracted by the victim increasing their heart rate, which is how Jay cures himself later on.
  • Chekhov's Gun: "Ninjaball Run" has two: first Nya puts a feature in the Ultra Sonic Raider that allows the cockpit to detach and become an airborne vehicle, which the ninja use to catch up to Lord Garmadon after he creates a fissure to stop them. The second is Jay's lucky piston which he attached to the front of the Raider and allowed them to technically pass the finish line before Garmadon.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Zane comes off as a bit spacy to the other ninjas.
    • Sensei Wu might count as this. For example, he asks a Serpentine to pour him some tea. In the middle of a high speed chase. Keep in mind, though, that he then punches the snake off the vehicle he's riding on.
  • Colour Coded Armies: Hypnobrai are blue and gold, Fangpyre are red and white, Venomari are lime and dark green, Constrictai are black/grey and orange, and Anacondrai are violet.
    • Colour Coded Elements: The clothes of the ninjas and skeletons: red is fire, blue is lightning, white is ice, and black (or dark grey) is earth.
  • Cool Bike: Kai's sword can transform into an awesome motorcycle.
  • Cool Car: In the 2012 sets, Cole gets what amount to a ninja-Batmobile. Most of the skeleton rides count as well, especially the monster truck.
  • Covered in Gunge: After the Great Devourer is destroyed Ninjago City get covered in green slime.
  • Cain and Abel: Garmadon and Sensei Wu are brothers, and the sons of the first Master of Spinjitzu. Garmadon is the older brother; Wu is the younger brother.
  • Cute Little Fangs: When a victim is bitten by a Fangpyre, the first sign of change is a pair of tiny fangs.
  • Cyber Punk: The third season has Ninjago City rebuilt into a futuristic city named New Ninjago City, complete with flying cars and robots. Unfortunately, the Overlord's spirit infiltrates the computer network and turns all the automations evil.
  • Cyborg: Cyrus Borg. Sensei Wu also becomes this.
  • Dem Bones: The skeletons.
  • Death Is Cheap: Zane's father is revealed to be alive in episode 22.
  • Demonic Possession: In episode 25, the Overlord reincarnates himself in Garmadon's body.
  • Demoted to Extra: Nuckal and Kruncha appear as extras in several episodes before fighting the Serpentine alongside the other skeletons in "All of Nothing".
  • Does Not Understand Sarcasm: Zane. Justified in that he's a robot, and his humor switch is usually set to "off".
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Four elemental warriors who have been training for sometime to protect another warrior who has the abilities to take down a major villain. Also they have no clue who that warrior is.
  • Diving Save: Cole saves his father in episode "The Royal Blacksmiths", and also gains his true potential.
  • The Dragon: Samukai, King of the Underworld, to Lord Garmadon, Skales to Pythor, Lord Garmadon to the Overlord, then later General Cryptor to the Overlord.
    • Dragon Ascendant: After the death of the Great Devourer and the disappearance of Pythor, Skales tried to become this and lead the Serpentine, but Lord Garmadon won them over before he did, leaving Skales with only the other generals.
    • Devour the Dragon: The Overlord taking Garmadon's body in episode 25.
  • Dragon Riders: The Ninja.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: After the final battle Garmadon is made good again.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The Great Devourer worshipped by the Serpentine Tribes. Its said that if unleashed, it'll consume the world in The Night That Never Ends.
  • Eldritch Location: Apparently the site where the Overlord was. Building on it allowed the Overlord to possess the computer which starts the conflict of the new season.
  • Elemental Powers: The ninjas, skeletons and dragons each have one of four elemental powers: Fire, Ice, Lightning and Earth. Each element also has its own magical golden weapon.
    • Playing with Fire: The ninja Kai, the skeleton Frakjaw, the skeleton king Samukai, the Fangpyre Serpentine, and the Sword of Fire.
    • Shock and Awe: The ninja Jay, the skeleton Krazi, the skeleton general Nuckal, the Venomari Serpentine, and the Nunchucks of Lightning.
    • An Ice Person: The ninja Zane, the skeleton Bonezai, the skeleton general Wyplash, the Hypnobrai Serpentine, and the Shurikens of Ice.
    • Dishing Out Dirt: The ninja Cole, the skeleton Chopov, the skeleton general Kruncha, the Constrictai Serpentine, and the Scythe of Quakes.
    • Light 'em Up: Sensei Wu.
    • Casting a Shadow: Lord Garmadon.
  • Eleventh Hour Superpower: Lloyd becoming the Ultimate Spinjitzu Master, turning his uniform gold and allowing him to form a dragon out of light to annihilate the Overlord.
  • Enemy Mine: Wu and Garmadon have one when the former needs the latter's help to save Lloyd.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Lord Garmadon genuinely loves his son Lloyd.
  • Everybody Laughs Ending: In the episode "Wrong Place, Wrong Time" after the ninja realize they were successful in setting right what once went wrong.
    • Really, you'd have an easier time listing the episodes that don't end with everybody laughing.
  • Everything's Better with Spinning
  • Evil Tastes Good: During the montage of Garmadon's stay with the ninjas in "The Green Ninja" he is shown eating "condensed evil". Apparently it's low-fat.
  • Evil Versus Evil: Garmadon against the Serpentine.
  • Exact Words: When his students ask if one of them will become the Green Ninja if they prove themselves better than all the others, Wu replies "If that's what it takes to get you motivated to train..."
    • Also, when Cole claimed he didn't fear anything from their world, Zane pointed out Cole was afraid of dragons. Cole said dragons weren't from their world.
  • Expy: Samukai is similar looking to General Grievous. He even has similar fighting moves and four arms.
  • Extreme Omnivore: The monster starfish in "The Last Voyage".
  • Face-Heel Turn: Sensei Wu does this in the 2014 line when he's turned into a cyborg by the Overlord. He eventually gets better.
  • Fangirl: In the episode "The Last Voyage", before sailing off Sensei Wu points out that Zane has fangirls as well as fanboys.
  • Fantastic Fruits and Vegetables: The "Book of Ninjago" on the official website lists exotic flora and fauna for most of Ninjago's key locations. Their exotic qualities are often wildly unrealistic and Played for Laughs.
  • Fantasy Kitchen Sink: What the 2012 sets amount to.
  • Fantasy World Map: It's in the shape of a dragon's head.
    • Patchwork Map: Ninjago has a lot of adjacent locations with stark, unexplained contrasts.
  • Felony Misdemeanor: In "Home", when everyone's upset by their home being destroyed, Jay is fixated on the fact he's lost all his high scores.
  • Fembot: P.I.X.A.L.
  • Fighting a Shadow: While he was sealed in the Underworld, Lord Garmadon could project his shadow to the real world. The only way to fight it is with your own shadow, otherwise it can hit you but not the other way around.
  • Five-Bad Band: The Serpentine generals can be organized as one.
  • Five-Man Band:
  • Flashback: In Tick Tock after activating his Memory switch, Zane remembers his past and his father.
  • Forgot About His Powers: The Ninja don't use their True Potential (NRG) forms at all between "Darkness Shall Rise" and "The Last Hope".
    • For most of these episodes this makes sense, as they have lost their Golden Weapons, and with them most of their elemental powers, but even after they have regained their elemental powers from the four Elemental Blades, they don't think to enter these forms. And there are a lot of instances in "The Last Hope" when magic levitation would have really come in handy...
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Kai is choleric, Jay is sanguine, Cole is phlegmatic, and Zane is melancholic.
  • Friend or Idol Decision: Near the end of "The Green Ninja" when the Fire Temple is flooding with lava and about to erupt, Kai is forced to decide between saving Lloyd and saving the third Silver Fang Blade. Take a wild guess which one he picks.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: A couple of them, including:
    • Signs that are extremely similar to a KFC sign are found on Dareth's dojo building in "The Day Ninjago Stood Still".
    • Again, on top of the building in which Dareth's dojo is situated, there's a billboard that you can see at one point in "Pirates vs. Ninja". Take a good long look at it and think back: Who rode a rollercoaster in one episode? Hmm...
  • Fun with Acronyms: P.I.X.A.L. (Primary Interactive X-ternal Assistant Life-form)
  • Garnishing the Story: The episode "Pirates Vs. Ninja" of the second season.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: In the episode "Snakebit", there's a brightly-lit sign reading "Ed & Edna's Scrap N Junk." The S in "Scrap" flickers out. Literally getting "crap" past the radar.
    • In a Freeze-Frame Bonus in the episode The Royal Blacksmiths, you can catch a brief glimpse of the Announcer's notes in the talent competition. They're very... interesting, to say the least.
    CHARM !
    • Not to mention this exchange between the ninja and Skales in "The Curse of the Golden Master.
    Kai: Wait, you have a son?
    Skales: Well, we've been busy since you last saw us.
  • Glowing Eyes: When a ninja's true potential is unlocked.
  • Godzilla Threshold: The fight with the Great Devourer is so great a threat that giving Garmadon the Golden Weapons becomes the only option to destroy it.
  • Grand Finale: "The Rise of the Spinjitzu Master"
  • Heel-Face Turn: Lloyd Garmadon.
    • Heel-Face Revolving Door: Lord Garmadon. Though its not actually his fault, considering he literally has evil in his blood thanks to being bitten by the Great Devourer.
      • He does a true Heel-Face Turn after the defeat of the Overlord purges the venom from his body.
  • Heel Race Turn: The Serpentine actually did this after being sealed away again, having started families and generally trying to become better people and live peacefully. The Ninja are naturally surprised by this.
  • "Hell Yes" Moment: The Ninja getting their upgraded Elemental Powers, meaning the Stone Army's Nigh Invulnerable status just expired.
  • Henshin Hero
  • Heroic BSOD: Zane in "Tick Tock". See Big "NO!" above for why.
  • Highly-Visible Ninja
  • History Repeats: The Serpentine hid underground when the series started, then they escaped, then they got sealed underground again, then they escaped again.
  • Hollywood Tone-Deaf: The Serpentine during The Royal Blacksmiths.
  • Humongous Mecha: Nya has her Samurai X mech, and Lloyd also has a Golden Mech that belonged to the First Spinjitzu Master.
  • Idiot Ball: Sensei Wu sending the four ninja away so he can face Pythor alone, because "it's his destiny". Yeah, letting yourself be killed in front of your students and friends is kinda stupid.
    • Not to mention that all of them together against Pythor alone would've been a Curb-Stomp Battle, all but guaranteeing that the Great Devourer wouldn't be revived. Of course, his students then proceed to pick up the Idiot Ball themselves, by forgetting that they've got their own vehicles and a Humongous Mecha which can fly, instead waiting for Lloyd to show up with the airship several minutes later before chasing after Pythor and Wu.
  • Implacable Men: The Stone Army.
  • Informed Ability: According to the product description for her spinner set, Nya has psychic powers. This is never even hinted at elsewhere— the closest suggestion is the official website's statement that her specialty is "intuition."
    • This was later shown, but only when she had turned evil. Just for fun, note that this is also the first time she ever uses Spinjitzu.
  • Instant Sedation: The Samurai's Knockout Gas.
  • I Am the Noun: In volume nine of the comic books, Zane boasts to Jay "I am power."
  • I Know Karate: In the episode "Snakebit", the lights turn off in the junkyard, leaving Jay's parents Ed and Edna in darkness. Feeling danger about, Ed musters up the courage to yell to the darkness: "Whoever you are, my son knows Spinjitzu!"
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Lloyd has one with Lord Garmadon when his body is stolen by the Overlord. He fails.
  • Law of Chromatic Superiority: The Green Ninja, the being destined to defeat Lord Garmadon.
  • Left the Background Music On: In episode "The Last Voyage" Cole begins to hum the background music heard throughout season 2 and gets stared at by Kai to which Cole replies "What? It's catchy!"
  • Lethal Joke Item: In the "Spinjitzu Scavenger Hunt" iPhone game, the outfit with the second highest defense rating is a set of pajamas. The second strongest weapon is Kai's toothbrush.
    • It may be worth noting that, in the pilot episodes, Kai defeats three fully-prepared, well-armed, and stereotypically-clad ninja (who were actually Jay, Cole and Zane in disguise) while wearing his pajamas and wielding his electric toothbrush.
  • Lightning/Fire Juxtaposition: Jay and Kai. Kai is rash and impulsive like fire, Jay is... erratic and spontaneous like lightning (in contrast to the usual for this trope).
  • Logic Bomb: In "Child's Play", Zane begins to fritz when presented with a question with no obvious, logical answer.
  • Locking MacGyver in the Store Cupboard: In the fifth graphic novel, (which is an AU type of thing) the Serpentine capture Nya and put her to work blacksmithing weapons. What does she do with all the scrap metal? Why, she builds her iconic Samurai Mech of course!
  • Love Triangle: In the third season, Nya uses a matchmaking machine and learns that her perfect match is Cole. Problem is, she is Jay's girlfriend. This causes her to have second thoughts about their relationship.
  • The Man in the Mirror Talks Back: Played with in "Wrong Place, Wrong Time" when Kai poses as his past self's reflection to distract him while the other ninja kidnap Nya.
  • Meaningful Name: The theme name itself. The meaning of "Ninja GO!" is obvious, but it's also a portmanteau of Ninja and LEGO. The skeleton names also have fairly obvious meanings.
    • The Serpentine tribes all have names referencing their racial traits; Hypnobrai can hypnotize people, Fangpyre (portmanteau of "fang" and "vampire") can use their fangs to create vehicles and transform people, Venomari can spit venom into people's eyes to make them hallucinate, Constrictai are, well, constrictors (though their main talent seems to be burrowing and Skalidor is the only one with a tail to constrict, so they may be the odd one out), and Anacondrai are the largest tribe just as anacondas are the largest species of snake in real life.
    • The Green Ninja, Lloyd, is also the least experienced of the ninjas - literally making him a 'green' ninja.
    • Cole. Sounds like "coal", which is both of his element (earth), and his color.
  • Mecha-Mooks: The villains of the 2014 line. In the third season of the TV series, the Overlord takes over New Ninjago City and creates an army of Nindroids to track down the ninjas. They're surprisingly powerful and are more than a match for the ninjas.
  • Merchandise-Driven: Being that this is a Lego series...yeah.
  • Mid-Season Twist: "Tick Tock" reveals that Zane is in fact a Ridiculously Human Robot.
  • Morality Pet: Garmadon's protectiveness and love for his son Lloyd is generally the only thing that can make his original, good personality apparent.
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous: Samukai.
    • Later on Garmadon grows a second pair of arms so he can hold all four Golden Weapons at once. Unlike Samukai, he isn't destroyed by attempting to do so.
  • Mundane Utility: The first episode of the series has Kai using the Sword of Fire as a makeshift oven.
  • Mushroom Samba: Happens to victims of Venomari venom. When the combined forces of the Venomari and Constrictai are attacking the ninjas Kai sees them as angry elves and gingerbread men, and also becomes convinced there's a rope they can use to get to safety (though then an actual rope appears). Later on when they get back on the ship he sees Wu's beard moving.
  • My Future Self and Me: Happened is the climax of the episode "Wrong Place, Wrong Time". Even though they tried Never the Selves Shall Meet, it didn't work.
  • Mysterious Middle Initial: What exactly does the P stand for in Pythor P. Chumsworth?
  • Mythology Gag: In The Royal Blacksmith, Cole mentioned that the Silver Fang used for the Blade Cup was found by someone named "Clutch Powers".
  • New Season, New Name: The third season is named Ninjago: Rebooted because of its cyberpunk setting.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: So Lord Garmadon, because Lloyd is your son, rather than kill him, you wanted to prevent him from reaching his full potential by killing his ninja bodyguards, and in trying to do so, you bring about a monster who only gets defeated by a method that...ends up having Lloyd reach his full potential fast. And he does so in an unwelcome method no less. You idiot, you better hope Earn Your Happy Ending happens.
  • Ninja
  • No Pronunciation Guide: Is it pronounced Ninja Go or NinJAHgo? The designer videos tend to use the latter pronunciation, while every significant Title Drop uses the former. The animations, however, use both: Ninja Go before spinning, and NinJAHgo when referring to the location.
  • Not Now, Kiddo: When the ninjas were turned into children this constantly happened when trying to warn people about the beast on the loose.
  • Not Quite Dead: Pythor survives being eaten by the Devourer, but not without becoming an Evil Albino.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Kai escaping a volcano and saving Lloyd, gaining his true potential in "The Green Ninja".
  • One-Winged Angel: Becoming the leader of one of the Serpentine Tribes results in taking on a more snake-like form.
    • In the second season finale the Overlord becomes an enormous dragon.
  • Only One Name: Almost all of the main characters and villains except for Lloyd Montgomery Garmadon and Pythor P. Chumsworth.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: The elemental dragons that guard the weapons of Ninjago. Each of them can utilize a different element based on the weapon they guard. Later, they perform a fusion dance (off-screen) and become one four-headed dragon.
    • The golden dragon Lloyd summons.
    • The Overlord's true form.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: In "The Snake King" Lloyd disguises himself as a Hypnobrai with a cap (which happens to look like the one on the Rattla figure), pair of glasses, fangs, and two maracas. Surprisingly it fools Skales, who was shown to be quite competent before, and his disguise isn't blown until he drops his maracas watching the Slither Pit match in Ouroboros.
    • The Serpentine during the talent show in "The Royal Blacksmiths".
  • Parental Favoritism: As Garmadon points out to Wu before he leaves the Underworld "You were always [their father's] favorite".
  • Pet the Dog: Lloyd can generally make Garmadon's original, non-evil self shine through for a while. After all, Lloyd is Garmadon's son.
  • Plot Coupon: The four Silver Fang Blades.
  • Plot-Relevant Age-Up: Lloyd is aged to adulthood by a magical tea in "Child's Play".
  • Punny Name: Cyrus Borg.
  • Put on a Bus: The ninjas' dragons leave for an indeterminate amount of time for what's basically dragon puberty.
  • The Psycho Rangers: Lord Garmadon creates a team of evil ninja in the second season using the Mega Weapon, but they're destroyed at the end of the episode.
  • Psycho Serum: The dark matter on the Island of Darkness.
  • Reality Ensues: During the beginning of the second season when the ninja lose both their weapons and home to Garmadon, they have to live in a run down apartment, get part time jobs (that they quickly lose) and ride the bus.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: All the skeletons as well as Lord Garmadon have glowing red eyes, rather than the Black Bead Eyes typical of LEGO minifigures. The Hypnobrai tribe also have these.
  • Relegated Mentor: While he remains on hand to dispense advice, by the end of the first season Master Wu feels there's nothing more he can teach the boys about fighting. The focus shifts from Master Wu training the boys to the boys training Lloyd to become the green ninja.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: The 2012 wave.
  • Ret Gone: Almost happened to Lloyd in the Time Travel Episode.
  • Ridiculously Human Robots: Zane the Nindroid
  • Robotic Reveal: See above.
  • Rule of Three: Kai, Zane, and Cole consecutively losing their jobs in "Darkness Shall Rise".
  • Samus is a Girl: "Samurai X has come to help the ninjas fight off the evil snakes, but won’t reveal his identity." Of course, the official images of the set don't exactly do a good job hiding the character's identity. Here there be spoilers.
  • Scenery Porn: The land of Ninjago has plenty of amazing scenery, particularly the areas where the golden weapons are hidden.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Lord Garmadon was sealed in the Underworld, but manages to escape at the end of the film.
    • The Serpentine, who as pointed out were sealed away in rebellion against their rule of Ninjago.
    • The Great Devourer.
  • Secret Identity: Cole kept his secret of being a ninja from his father.
  • Sensible Heroes, Skimpy Villains: The ninjas are typically wrapped up head to toe, with Nya being the only protagonist with an even marginally revealing outfit (her arms are exposed). The skeletons usually have body armor, but other than that tend to wear nothing but a colored loincloth and maybe a hat (granted, they ARE skeletons). Lord Garmadon seemingly has no clothing but a purple belt.
    • The Serpentine being snakes have little to nothing unless you count their weapons.
    • Averted with the Nindroids; being based off of Zane, each one is fully dressed in a black ninja suit. Even Pythor wears a full on robe.
  • Ship Tease:
    • When Jay learns that his team will be rescuing Nya, Kai's sister, his interest piques...
    Jay: You never said anything about a girl! Is she hot?
    Kai: She's my sister.
    Jay: Hey, just wanted to know what we're getting ourselves into. Does she like blue?
    • It turns out that blue is her favorite color, and the website confirms that Jay is her favorite ninja. Whether this leads to anything remains to be seen, although being a toyline aimed at young boys anything beyond flirtation may be too much to hope for.
    • "Once Bitten, Twice Shy" ends up taking this a step further by having the two go on a date, and also has Nya kissing Jay, with the two bordering on Official Couple by the end of the episode.
    • In the third season, Zane gets a love interest in P.I.X.A.L. the Fembot. You can see the interest in their eyes when they first meet.
  • Shout-Out: The uniforms worn by the students in Lloyd's boarding school appear to be heavily based on the Hogwarts uniforms in the Harry Potter franchise. Namely, they look like the uniforms in the LEGO Harry Potter line recolored with a skull emblem printed on.
    • In "The Royal Blacksmiths" Cole mentions Clutch Powers, the main protagonist of a previously released LEGO film. This seems to imply that a lot of LEGO franchises are set in the same universe.
    • Instead of her regular outfit Nya has in the victory party scene at the end of "All of Nothing" the torso/leg design of the Willie Scott figure from LEGO's Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom line.
    • In "Day of the Great Devourer," Zane predicts they have only an eight percent chance of getting away from the Devourer; Nya snaps, "Never tell me the odds!"
    • When Lord Garmadon assembles the Mega-Weapon at the Golden Peaks in "Darkness Shall Rise", the camera zooms to Sensei Wu, who says "I feel a disturbance in the force."
    • In "The Last Hope", when the Ninja are trying out elemental one-liners (mostly puns), Zane tries "Ice to meet you!" on for size. One of the other ninja replies that he thinks he's heard that one before.
    • The team get a Mid-Season Upgrade called "ZX". Ninja themed super hero called ZX? Sounds familiar?
    • Cole moonwalks and dances just like the King of Pop in "Island of Darkness."
  • Show Accuracy/Toy Accuracy: Kai's hairpiece in the Rebooted sets slightly differs from the show, being less "sharp" and covering the head a bit more. This was presumably done due to the difficulty in replicating the show's hairstyle (which covers the head less and sticks up a bit differently.). Everybody else's hairpiece in the toyline, however, are accurate to the series, due to all of the pieces having been used before.
  • Sixth Ranger: Well, fifth in this case; in the 2012 storyline they introduce a ninja clad in green and the other ninjas assume that one of them will become him, when in actuality it's a whole new team member. And it's Lloyd. The Anacondrai count as the Evil Counterpart of this for the team.
  • Snake People: Lots of them.
  • Sssssnake Talk: the Serpentine.
  • The Starscream: Samukai to Garmadon.
    • Skales acts as a Starscream to three people; Slithraa (challenges him for control of the Hypnobrai and wins), Pythor (stands by as he screws himself over), and Garmadon (throws him into the ocean and becomes leader of all of the Serpentine).
  • Stealth Pun: The blue ninja is named Jay. (Blue jay, geddit?) And the 2012 line adds Xtreme Kool Letterz to the characters' names, so Jay becomes... Jay ZX.
    • The black earth ninja is named Cole, guess what else is black and come from the earth? Coal, geddit?
    • The red ninja is named Kai. It's a short form of Akai, the Japanese word for Red.
    • Zane is...well, zany.
    • Lloyd is the green ninja. He's also the newest and least experienced ninja.
  • Sticks to the Back: LEGO ninja headwraps include a clip on the back for swords, so this was inevitable in the toyline.
  • The Stoic: Zane, despite being a Cloudcuckoolander, very rarely inflects or raises his voice.
  • Technicolor Ninjas: Red, blue, black, white and green.
  • Temporal Paradox: Garmadon uses his Mega Weapon to try and change time so that Lloyd doesn't become the Green Ninja. The Ninjas undo the changes brought about, both by his involvement and theirs, by sacrificing the Golden Weapons of that time period to destroy the Mega-Weapon. Now everything involving the Golden Weapons, including the Devourer's death, somehow still happened...
    • The episode strongly implies that by destroying the Mega-Weapon, the Ninja were able to stop the time-travel adventure from ever happening, and thus prevent the alternate timeline from even being created. It's still a paradox, but if you accept that this consequence is possible, it makes sense that the actions up until the time travel adventure (or as seen at the end of the episode, up until the morning before) would still have taken place.
    • Come "Codename Arcturus", it turns out that the paradoxed Golden Weapons of the past were shot into space, putting the whole issue into confusion yet again.
  • The Night That Never Ends: A mural in the Constrictai's tomb predicts that if the four Serpentine Tribes unite and find several Artifacts Of Doom, they'll be able to summon the Great Devourer to trigger this. Subverted when the Great Devourer turns out to be a Daylight Horror.
  • Time to Unlock More True Potential: The second season has the Ninjas unlocking this. Kai and Jay become Elemental Embodiments, Cole becomes Nigh Invulnerable, and Zane gains the ability to fire a powerful Freeze Ray.
  • Title Scream: The theme song "The Weekend Whip" uses the lyrics "Ninja GO!" in a song that otherwise has no obvious connection with ninjas. The Spinjitzu gameplay instructions included in the toys also instruct players to shout this as they spin their characters.
  • Toyless Toyline Character: Kai's father, the First Spinjitzu Master, Misako, Dareth, and both Jay's and Cole's parents.
  • Tragic Villain: Garmadon revealed to be this over the course of the series. The Great Devourer corrupting him was his start to evil and he literally can't fight that side of him. Despite this, he does want to be a good father to Lloyd, which makes it all the more sadder that his own fate has been decided despite feelings towards his family, who he must fight in future.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The teaser for episode 26 clearly depicted the Overlord having become a giant dragon and Lloyd's uniform having turned gold.
  • Tunnel King: The Constrictai tribe
  • Unable to Cry: Surprisingly averted by Zane. Despite being a robot, he still shed a Single Tear when all his memory came back to him.
  • Un-Canceled: As Ninjago: Rebooted in 2014.
  • The Underworld: The base of operations for Lord Garmadon and the skeletons.
  • Vague Age: It's hard to place whether the ninjas are young adults or teenagers.
    • Zane's real age is even harder to figure out, due to the fact that he is actually a robot who outlived his father and should be several decades old, judging by his creator's own age in the flashback.
    • It gets more difficult when you look at Lloyd. He starts out as a vague-aged kid, then gets aged up via Applied Phlebotinum to a vague-aged teenager.
  • Villain Decay: The Serpentine get hit with this hard after episode 14, partially justified since season 2 does not focus on them like season 1 did.
  • Villain Override: The Overlord takes control of Lord Garmadon's body near the climax of episode 25.
  • Villain Team-Up: The Overlord eventually teams up with Pythor after the snake rescues him.
  • The Virus: The Fangpyre's venom can create snake-themed constructs or mutate organic lifeforms, though with the former it's instantaneous and with the latter it's extremely slow acting. They do this in episode 3 to Jay's parents and some of the vehicles and piles of junk his dad made, out of which is a wrecking ball (which also appears in one of the levels of "Rise of the Snakes") and a giant ninja robot (which Ed claims he made in Jay's honor).
    • Later in "Once Bitten, Twice Shy" Jay becomes afflicted after getting his hand pricked on a fossilized Fangpyre skull. It's suggested that the time it takes for it to affect organic lifeforms depends on their complexity since shortly after Jay leaves a fly drinks the venom from the skull and instantly mutates.
  • Visual Pun: In "The Royal Blacksmiths", Zane got butterflies in his stomach... literally.
  • Wham Episode: "Tick Tock". Luckily, in this case it's an awesome wham.
    • The Titanium Ninja: Zane sacrifices himself and is seemingly dead...until the end, where he is (seemingly) now part of Borg Industries.
  • Wham Line: The Titanium Ninja:
    Zane: (to Pixal) Are we compatible now?
  • Wham Shot: In episode thirty, when Pythor removes his hood. Lloyd's extreme Oh, Crap face only adds to the wham factor.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Like almost all LEGO properties, the good guys are humans and the bad guys are inhuman.
  • World-Healing Wave: Lloyd lets one loose when he destroys the Overlord.

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alternative title(s): Ninjago
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