Gratuitous Ninja
aka: Instant Awesome Just Add Ninja

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ninjagolf_8267.jpg

Bond: Do you have any commandos here?
Tanaka: I have much, much better. Ninjas.

Only the staunchest Pirate fanboy can deny that Ninja have some level of awesome. Any story that can reasonably fit Ninja in there, like stories in Feudal Japan, or the fantasy equivalent, will do so. Sometimes, those fantasy equivalents seem to exist solely to give them a reason to include the Ninja.

Then again, some stories can't easily fit them, but throw them in anyway. It doesn't have to make sense. It's freakin' Ninja in your story! If you want to have them involved in the battle of Gettysburg, go ahead. Want to say ninjas were the ones who really beheaded people in the French Revolution? Want to say that Stalin had a one-on-one fight with ninjas which lead to the downfall of the USSR? Go a head! Just remember, it won't be recorded in the history books, because Ninja are masters of invisibility.

Ninja can also fall under this as part of Chandler's Law. If a story drags, have a random ninja encounter and it will surely pick up.

A Sub-Trope of Ninja and Garnishing the Story.

Compare Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot, Ninja Maid, McNinja, Everything's Better with Samurai, Gratuitous Nazis (the villainous German version).


Examples: (from shows that are not focused on, or usually feature, Ninja.)

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    Advertising 
  • During the Pop Tarts "Hide and Seek" campain, there was one Poptart disguised as a Ninja. He was later revealed to be Vanilla Milkshake, a new flavor.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Byakuya Kuchiki from Bleach has a group of bodyguard Ninja, as seen in the Omakes. Of course, Soifon manages to subvert this trope when she summons her squad of ninja to deal with Yoruichi in the Soul Society arc. Guess she forgot about the Conservation of Ninjutsu.
  • Buster Keel!: Whats cooler than having ninja on the team, why a ninja water demon of course!
  • As if the acrobatics in Claymore weren't already enough, two minor characters include two knights who jump around on rooftops and throw knives at people. One of them is a standard lightweight rogue... the other is wearing a full suit of armor.
  • A popular first-season fan theory for Code Geass was that Sayoko, Lelouch and Nunnally's maid, was secretly a ninja who was as talented a fighter as Suzaku. The staff said "Why not?", and in the second season she was revealed as a badass ninja clan heiress who almost fought the cyborg Jeremiah Gottwald to a standstill.
    • Not just in the second season - in the audio commentary for one episode, Satomi Arai comments that throughout the first season the writers would tease her about "Sayoko's true power" but frustratingly never gave her the chance to shine.
  • Daimos: The Baam-Seijin foot tropes are soldiers wear a full-body black suit, jump around constantly in the battlefield and wield katanas.
  • The second season of Darker Than Black features a lightsaber-wielding lesbian ninja Contractor — her power is turning things into Laser Blades, and her weapon of choice is a wooden katana. Clearly a Worthy Opponent for Chinese Electric Batman.
  • See Volfogg from GaoGaiGar for another ninja mech. But unlike the Getter Robo example, he's a main character.
  • New Getter Robo features an arc where the main characters go to an alternate-universe version of Heian-era Japan, apparently just as an excuse to include ninja in a Humongous Mecha anime. One of these includes a 200ft tall ninja Oni, which doesn't sound very stealthy but is nonetheless quite awesome.
  • Ginga: Nagareboshi Gin features two clans of ninja dogs!
  • The Dating Sim Graduation had an anime OVA follow-up, Sailor Victory, which was about mecha... with ninja abilities.
  • Is This a Zombie?: What's better than vampires? VAMPIRE NINJA!!!
  • K: Missing Kings introduces Douhan Hirasaka, a clansman of JUNGLE who dresses like a ninja and walks through walls, because... why not? Munakata is amused. Fushimi is... not so much.
    Munakata: This is a ninja passing through walls. [challenging-glasses-sparkle]
    Fushimi: [challenge-accepted-glasses-sparkle] This masked man—
    Munakata: This ninja—
    Fushimi: [clears throat] This masked clansman is probably as highly skilled as Mishakuji.
    Munakata: No, this is ninjutsu—
    Fushimi: In any case!
  • What's the ninja Kaede doing in an Urban Fantasy series such as Mahou Sensei Negima!? Well, why not? She fits just as well as the Chinese Kung Fu master, Ridiculously Human Robot, and Time Travelling Martian. Don't forget the lesbian half-demon winged samurai, the Gothloli vampire who's Really 700 Years Old, and perverted talking ermine.
  • Mazinger Z: This series is a Super Robot Genre, sci-fi series. Still, in episode 46 Big Bad Dr. Hell decided changing his usual strategy and instead of two Humongous Mecha he created two three-meters-tall ninja robots (the Blazas S1 and S2 "brothers") to carry a sabotaging mission off. They could perform complicated acrobatics, and threw shurikens -as well as missiles-. There was no apparent mission for them being ninjas other than ninjas are cool.
  • Mobile Fighter G Gundam. No, it's not the Neo Japan representative. Germany's representative is a Ninja Jester Mecha Pilot clone of the main character's brother.
  • Even better example is Ninja Senshi Tobikage who even looks like a ninja.
  • While Hughes Gouli is usually just an ordinary mecha pilot in Overman King Gainer he occasionally awesome puts on his ninja suit and starts kicking ass
  • The Pokémon episodes "The Ninja Poké Showdown" and "From Cradle to Save".
    • Of course, the first episode is set in Fuchsia City, which had an entire gym full of ninja - which kinda defeats the idea of secrecy.
    • One could say Ash is quite the ninja at times, in the movies at least. In the first movie he does that cool flip thing when he gets knocked down when he attacks Mewtwo by himself, how he flips off of wooden posts in the wall and catches the Jewel of Life in said movie (while being who knows how far above the ground?). They wanted the movies to be awesome, thus they made Ash a ninja.
    • Like in the games, there quite a few Pokémon based on ninjas. Ash himself catches a Froakie, which he eventualy fully evolves into Greninja.
    • The XY Saga has a hidden ninja village in Kalos, the region which is based on France... The villagers take some inspiration from Naruto, including a Dirty Old Man and a 100-year old Kunoichi who is capable of making herself look young and attractive. And then we have a character named Sanpei who shares the same voice with Boruto.
  • The Samurai Champloo manga had Highly Visible Ninjas.
  • Science Ninja Team Gatchaman: How do you make more awesome a Five-Man Band of highly-trained spandex-suited teenagers, equipped with Badass Capes, Cool Helmets all kind of weapons, a Cool Ship and combat vehicles? You make them ninjas, of course!
  • Stellvia of the Universe features a spaceship pilot in training who dresses like a ninja and gives away shurikens for no apparent reason other than it being awesome.
  • One shows up in the anime adaptation of Zorro, of all places, where he was after the title character for a episode on request of the man who had saved his life. The ninja nearly got the hero thanks to the Shadow Pin trick... Except Zorro managed to escape the first encounter and had a book on ninjas at home, one that explained it's a hypnosis-related technique and you can counter it by not looking in the ninja's eyes when he's about to throw the kunai.
  • Sgt. Frog: They really didn't need ninja, but aren't you happy they added them anyways?
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: The Duel Monsters card game has almost every kind of theme imaginable, ranging from powerful Egyptian Gods to apocalyptic Humongous Mechas to heroes from space to circus-themed animals to Lovecraftian creatures. Ninjas are just one of their many themes.
    • Yu-Gi-Oh!: Filler character Jean-Claude Magnum is a Hollywood film star who is famous for starring in ninja films. While he himself is not a typical ninja and doesn't even act like one in person, he uses a Ninja deck, and at one point, one of his colleagues disguised himself as one of Jean-Claude's monsters to capture Mai.
    • Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL: Yamikawa is a ninja, but appears more like a samurai due to his usage of his sword and he doesn't act much like a ninja. He uses an Armor Ninja deck, focusing on Xyz Summoning his Blade Armor Ninja. Yamikawa was also the original owner of Number 12: Crimson Shadow Armor Ninja.
    • Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V: The Fuuma Clan is a Duel School that teaches young Duelists to become ninjas and how to use their ninja skills in a Duel. Due to the Action Duel mechanic where you can add Action Cards from different locations to your hand, running, jumping and other physical abilities are needed to get Action Cards. The brothers Tsukikage and Hikage are students of the Fuuma Clan and assist Reiji to fight Academia. Both of them use Twillight Ninja decks, with Tsukikage pursuing a defensive strategy and chipping the opponent's Life Points with little damage, while Hikage uses an offensive style. Their ninja skills are also helpful outside of dueling, as they can gather information and move in the shadows to support their comrades and clients. After Hikage is carded early on, Tsukikage is currently the only ninja on The Team.

    Comic Books 
  • One issue of the Astro City "Dark Ages" story arc starts off with a martial arts fight between two kung-fu superheroes and a team of flying jetpack ninja.
  • In some continuities, Batman learned some of his skills from ninja.
  • The entire backstory of Daredevil was retconned to include Ninja when Frank Miller became his writer.
  • One of the classic moments from Mark Waid's run on The Flash; our hero is out at a restaurant with his girlfriend, who is showing signs of wanting to talk about their relationship. Suddenly, ninja attack!
    Flash: Thank god.
  • The Kingpin uses "more than the usual amount of ninjas" to threaten the Runaways into giving him a MacGuffin, during Joss Whedon's run.
  • Sin City: "Deadly little Miho. You won't feel a thing unless she wants you to. She twists the blade. He feels it."
  • X-Men:
    • Psylocke is practically the Anthropomorphic Personification of this trope. As the equally British sister of Captain Britain, she was moderately attractive and loved by fans... but when she was put into a female ninja's body, her attractiveness and popularity went through the roof, as she became the team's Ms. Fanservice.
    • Similarly, Kitty Pryde, during a trip to Japan, was abducted and mind screwed by the demonic Ogun, who downloaded a lifetime's worth of experience into her head, turning her Brainwashed and Crazy. Once she got her mind back, she retained much of her ninja skills.
  • Snake-Eyes of G.I. Joe started out as a badass mute commando with a badly scarred face and an impressive collection of spike-knuckled trench knives. But then, Storm Shadow enters the mix, and Snake-Eyes is upgraded to Ninja Commando From Hell. Later in the Marvel run, established characters Scarlett, Firefly, and Zartan were added to the growing ninja rosters.
  • Y: The Last Man follows the last man on earth after a gendercide and must contend with a post-apocalyptic Lady Land. One of the main villains is, rather inexplicably, a classic Hollywood ninja who dresses in black and uses swords, throwing stars and smoke bombs.

    Fan Works 
  • In the Ultimate Spiderman AU story Spiderman Black, Peter Parker is recruited and trained by a clan of ninja after the Green Goblin kills everyone he cares about.
  • The fourth story in The Vinyl And Octavia Series in a nutshell. Vinyl and Octavia are attacked by ninjas, so they end up having to fight them. In the author notes, the author flat-out says that he wrote the story because he just wanted to write a story with ninjas in it.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Dungeon Siege film. Ninjas in an ostensibly medieval European fantasy setting? Yeah, we're not sure why Uwe Boll added them either... but still. Ninja! Which just goes to prove not even Ninja can make anything produced by Uwe Boll awesome.
  • Eliminators wasn't content with its cyborgs, mad scientists, flying robots, boat chases and cavemen, but adds a ninja character two thirds of the way into the movie to complete the set. The gratuitousness of this is even lampshaded by one of the characters:
    Harry: What is this, anyway? Some kinda goddamned comic book? We got robots, we got cavemen, we got kung fu...
  • Ella Enchanted has the Crimson Guard, which is basically a group of MEDIEVAL NINJA. In a European fantasy kingdom. Given the other anachronisms already shown, it's not that farfetched. The fact that they are summoned by breaking the glass on a button box just makes it better.
  • The Gamers: Hands of Fate has the Show Within a Show Ninja Dragon Riders. It is later clarified that both the dragons and the dragon riders are ninjas. Presumably, the awesomeness of all that ninjatude is why the show has such a devoted fanbase.
  • G.I. Joe:
    • Ripcord and Duke from G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra pull off some pretty awesome stuff in their Alpha 6 Accelerator Suits. Snake-Eyes, pulls off the same and/or more awesome stunts, without them. The audience doesn't question that because he's a goddamn Ninja.
    • In G.I. Joe: Retaliation a lot of ninja mooks show up, and Snake Eyes challenges them with his protege Jinx while on a MOUNTAIN.
  • The driving logic behind the Godfrey Ho Ninja Movies, which takes existing film and splices in ninja scenes woven into the plot via dubbing and Cut-and-Paste Translation.
  • The Last Samurai. The movie is going along like "Dances with Samurai" when suddenly a Ninja vs. Samurai battle breaks out halfway through the movie.
  • Vin Diesel film The Pacifier featured ninja as home invaders in a relatively family-friendly film. They were actually North Korean terrorists. Vin's character, a badass commando who fights the ninjas off, dismissively says to himself, "Ninjas," implying that this isn't the first time he's had to deal with attackers in black pajamas.
  • Ninja appear in Speed Racer. Oddly enough, they attack the Japanese racing team, rather than working with them as one might expect a ninja to do.
  • This exchange from You Only Live Twice sums things up:
    James Bond: Do you have any commandos here?
    Tiger Tanaka: I have much, much better. Ninjas.

    Gamebooks 
  • In the Fighting Fantasy book Deathtrap Dungeon, one of your competitors is a ninja despite the book being set in a pseudo-European medieval world.

    Literature 
  • Discworld:
    • Spoofed in the book Interesting Times, which has a scene where an entire training hall of ninja are soundly defeated by a half-dozen barbarians, one of whom is in a wooden wheelchair. The youngest barbarian is about 75.
    • Also spoofed in Witches Abroad. Magrat Garlick briefly takes up the martial arts, but being both a witch and a Lancre girl at heart she doesn't quite get what beating the stuffing out of people with your bare hands has to do with getting in touch with the universe and thinks "Ninja" would be a nice name for a girl.
  • Erast Fandorin exiles himself to Japan after the disastrous ending of the first novel. Guess whom he meets there and learns crazy martial arts from...
  • In "Fire and Fog" by Dianne Day, after surviving the 1906 San Francisco earthquake the heroine is kidnapped by ninja.
  • In Matthew Reilly's book, The Five Greatest Warriors, the Japanese Special Forces are apparently modern day ninja. They keep their ninja stars, but trade their other weapons for guns.
  • The Yahtzee NaNoWriMo novel Fog Juice starts with the protagonist being chased by ninja. The actual plot of the novel is the result of a desperate action he takes to get away from them — namely, drinking Fog Juice, which is guaranteed to solve any problems you have now (the ninja) and replace them with interesting new ones.
  • There is at least one mention of a need of ninja to raise 5 daughters in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.
    Lady Catherine: My dear girl, I suggest you take this contest seriously. My ninjas will show you no mercy.
  • Sisterhood Series by Fern Michaels: Oh, yeah, the author has got that right! In the book The Jury, Jack Emery calls some in to beat down men with presidential gold shields. The book Final Justice has Bert's friends call them in to launch an attack on him and the soon to be stepping down FBI director, so that Bert will defend the director and get the position as FBI director!
  • Averted in Ranger's Apprentice; the 10th book takes place in the Orient, but there aren't any ninjas (though they do have samurai).
  • Ninja are hallmarks of works in the Cyber Punk genre, in spite of taking place in a high-tech future. In works written in the '80s, when Japan was about to take over the world, the Yakuza enforces its authority with vat-grown ninja assassins, often armed with high-tech versions of traditional weaponry.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Spanish TV show Águila Roja is pretty much "Ren-fair Zorro — with Ninjas!"
  • An episode of Angel featured ninja-cyborgs for no apparent reason, which blew up if you tried to examine their corpses uncautiously. It was awesome.
  • Blue Heelers had a case where a mate of Tom's from Vietnam is found murdered, his wife is a Japanese national, and a witness claims to have seen someone clad head to toe in black. Nick amusingly but in all earnestness suggests he was dressed like a ninja, making Tom think he would be transferred if he reported it.
  • How I Met Your Mother: one of the character is talking about his work and a boring report. His friends complain about it... so he ends up calling it the "ninja report" instead, and everyone goes "Ninjas are awesome" everytime it's mentioned.
  • MADtv once had a Take That sketch directed at Steven Seagal, with the actor starring in a remake of Kung Fu. When Seagal completely botches Kwai Chang Caine's Zen philosophies, he distracts the issue by shouting "NINJAS!" which causes several ninja to attack him, resulting in a frustrated David Carradine walking off the set.
  • The Moonlighting episode "Atomic Shakespeare" was a wild Anachronism Stew very loosely based on The Taming of the Shrew. It included Petruchio being attacked by, first, Renaissance swordsmen, and second, four ninja (they were referred to as "kung fu assassins"), before he even spoke his first line.
  • In "Tangled Web" of R.L. Stine's The Nightmare Room anything the protagonist claims comes true. He says he has ninja bodyguards.
  • Super Sentai frequently rotates between several Rule of Cool-inspired themes, and ninjas is a theme that has come up multiple times; used in Ninja Sentai Kakuranger, Ninpuu Sentai Hurricaneger, and Shuriken Sentai Ninninger. Power Rangers follows suit in Season 3 of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, Power Rangers Ninja Storm, and Power Rangers Ninja Steel. Ninjas sometimes appear in other seasons as well:
    • Season 2 of Mighty Morphin' occasionally had the characters compete in "ninja competitions" — martial arts contests that included the stereotypical costumes. Rocky, Adam, and Aisha were introduced this way.
    • Power Rangers Wild Force tries on the trope for size with the ninja Duke Org, Onikage. During his all too short tenure as The Dragon,note  we even had ninja outfits on Toxica and Jindrax and even the footsoldiers. However, they served a purpose - the outfits let them board the Animarium undetected.
    • Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger was a Pirate-themed series and Crisis Crossover with previous Sentai series, so they made a special point to feature the Hurricanegers in a "Pirates vs. Ninja" episode. This led to the Gokaigers getting a Hurricanger-themed ninja Mecha Expansion Pack on a permanent basis, and at least the mecha carried over into Power Rangers Megaforce.
    • This trope goes double for the Alien Rangers arc of MMPR Season 3, where the Kakuranger suits were used. The Alien Rangers are fishy Rubber-Forehead Aliens from a distant water planet called Aquitar, but their battle footage comes from Kakuranger, so it's full of Hand Seals and Flash Step and other ninja-ness that defies the "Alien" theme. There were two moments that serendipitously matched the water theme, though (Cestro runs on water in one episode, and creates a waterfall in another. You'll notice it's just him, the Blue Ranger, who does that... just like Tori from Ninja Storm. In sentai it's for the same reasons - ninja Rangers have Supernatural Martial Arts, and Elemental Powers often accompany those.)
  • Kamen Rider Fourze. Its theme is astronomy, and you've got a Rider with a rocket-shaped helmet and a base on the moon fighting constellation-themed villains. What are the Mooks? Ninjas. Why? Because they can.
  • The Algorithm March's awesomeness is cranked Up to Eleven when they started hiring ninja
  • Spin City. Charlie daydreamed of winning the World Series, and fighting ninja to make it more awesome.
  • My Name Is Earl : Randy's story in the season 3 episode "Creative Writing."

    Music 
  • DragonForce:
    • During the early days, ZP Theart and Sam Totman established a side band, Shadow Warriors, as a gag project and a general parody of indie bands then prevalent on mp3.com. The band was presented as a quartet of heavy metal ninjas.
    • There's also the bonus track from Ultra Beatdown, the truely awesome "Strike of the Ninja".
  • The Midnight Beast's song "Ninjas", which is about being drink-stealing ninjas...'OF THE DANCEFLOOR!!!

    Music Videos 

    Pinballs 
  • Gottlieb's Street Fighter II pinball has the "Roaming Ninjas" mode... even though the original arcade game didn't have any.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 rulebook Complete Adventurer introduced the Ninja base class, just for this trope (unfortunately the class just kind of falls flat compared to a good rogue or monk).
  • An in-universe example, one published Shadowrun campaign includes an amusement arcade containing the ever popular games: Little Mutant Vik Ninja Cyberboy 3, Orbital Ninja Death Commando 5, The All New Ultimate Bike Race Ninja Street Duel and Street Fighting Magical Ninja 8. Then again, this is in a world in which two common character archetypes are "Street Samurai" and "Physical Adept" (almost always described as "magic ninja" in the flavor text, and possibly possessing some ninja-like abilities). However the fact that every named game had "ninja" squeezed into the title appeared to be invoking this trope.

    Video Games 
  • Covering all their Moe bases, Arcana Heart includes Konoha for the ninja-girl fanboys, the dog girl fanboys and the gym uniform fanboys.
  • Aero Fighters / Sonic Wings has Hien, a ninja fighter pilot, in every game.
  • Bad Dudes has the president kidnapped by ninja. You have to fight hundreds of them hand-to-hand to save him.
  • Midway through Castle Crashers, you get attack by a band of ninja pirates.
  • Early on in Charlie Murder you start to encounter zombie ninjas in a couple of different flavors.
  • While Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 is best known for Soviet Superscience and Bears, it does feature Ninja as the Rising Sun infiltration unit - equivalent to the Allied Spy, except armed with a giant sword and throwing stars. Despite having one of the least plausibly deadly weapons in a game full of implausible weaponsthrowing stars? — they could one-hit-kill any infantry and throw smoke bombs, although they were worthless against tanks.
  • A secluded clan of ninjas shows up in Cook, Serve, Delicious, of all places. They serve as the perfectionist challenge-givers surrounding the mysterious golden tickets that the player has been receiving throughout the game.
  • Dance Central has the Pink Ninja, Ttiw Tolrep, as an unlockable dancer.
  • Dead or Alive has the only thing more awesome than ninja. Female ninja!
  • Lampshaded by Crypto in Destroy All Humans! 2 when he arrives in Japan Takoshima City and is told that there are ninja in it.
    Crypto: They got ninjas? In 1969?
    Natalya: Eh, go with it. Who doesn't love ninjas?
  • Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories had ninja generics, and it also had two Ninja siblings, Yukimaru and her older brother Fubuki.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Way back in Final Fantasy I, when your characters got their classes upgraded, the Thief suddenly became a Ninja.
    • Ninjas can be inexplicably encountered as high-tier enemies in Final Fantasy III. They also show up again in V and VI.
    • Edge in Final Fantasy IV
    • Shadow in Final Fantasy VI, and he didn't even have any apparent connection to the Wutai setting.
    • Yuffie in Final Fantasy VII. Complete with the Wutai setting, of course.
    • Any Final Fantasy that uses a ninja job class (or Samurai and Monk for that matter). Occasionally handwaved as a job from a foreign land, but there still seem to be an extraordinary number of ninja running around medieval-Europe-inspired Ivalice in Final Fantasy Tactics, and, as mentioned above, often there's no token Far East village to justify it, mentioned or otherwise.
  • Fruit Ninja. Fruit, meet sword. Sword, fruit.
  • The Golden Sun series has a set of Ninja classes among its Class and Level System options, available in full to Venus and Mars Adepts while the Ninja class itself is also available to Jupiter Adepts. It's usually one of the best combat options for Squishy Wizard types, since it gives them a high Attack multiplier, useful boosts to Defense, Agility, and Hit Points, and its only detriments are to Luck and Psy Points, which these characters typically already have in abundance, but it's quite tricky to access and maintain, since it requires a lot of Djinn and unleashing even one of them can result in a class change to something less favorable.
    • In Dark Dawn, Shrine Maiden Himi turns into a Ninja if given the Djinn arrangements for the Samurai class. Mostly though it's to prevent her (who has caster like base stats) to turn into a pure physical class.
  • The third stage of the old Capcom game Gun Smoke, which gave you Ninja in The Wild West.
  • Hitman 2: Silent Assassin has 47 visit a Japanese castle. Guess who can be found stalking around the walls and hiding in the rafters.
  • Web Game I Am An Insane Rogue AI features, among the Elite Mooks, teleporting ninja hackers. It doesn't get much cooler than this.
  • Just Cause 2 has Ninja being used as henchmen by the corrupt president. Why? Just 'Cause.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time has Sheik and her teacher, Impa. Probably most of the Sheikah race, but these two are the only ones seen on-screen. Impa is portrayed this way in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword again.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask has an enemy race called the Garo which appear in the Ikana region
  • The medieval style Sega Genesis game Light Crusader has an area where you fight ninja who use earthquake magic and teleport.
  • The Lone Ranger NES game has our masked hero fighting a clan of ninja. Yes, in the Wild West. Where else?
  • Jean in Lunar: Eternal Blue goes from Gypsy dancer to Ninja.
  • Mass Effect 2:
  • Mass Effect 3's Cerberus Phantoms provide a straighter example. They're basically cybernetic ninja, cartwheeling around the battlefield until they get close enough to shank you. This follows with the increased focus on Melee combat in the third game.
    • There's also Kai Leng, the Illusive Man's new enforcer, another cyborg who favors Sword and Gun style.
    • Multiplayer mode has two ninja-esque classes: the N7 Shadow Infiltrator (based on the aforementioned Phantoms) and N7 Slayer Vanguard (based on Kai Leng).
  • In Mega Man X 6, the player has the option of assembling the Shadow Armor which is modeled after a Ninja, complete with a pseudo-katana Z-saber.
  • The Cyborg Ninja in the Metal Gear series might seem a bit out of place. But who cares, they can slice bullets in half!
    • Back in the old days, FOXHOUND was described as a group of "modern-day ninja."
    • True to the trope, The Scrappy Raiden from MGS2 returned as a cyborg ninja in MGS4, and instantly became one of the most awesome characters in the series.
  • Ninja Golf on the Atari 7800 is exactly what you'd expect. (It's also marginally less gratuitous than usual, as ninja aspect is roughly half the game, and actually sorta kinda makes sense, in a Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot way.) Here's a Classic Game Room review.
  • N, Metanet Software's Flash platformer, lists 'Ninjas. Come on!' as a feature amongst 'physics-based' and '500 levels'.
  • Overwatch has Genji, a cybernetic ninja who wouldn't look out of place in Metal Gear Solid.
  • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Justice for All managed to sneak ninja into the series with the introduction of the "Jammin' Ninja" Show Within a Show. Kay Faraday from the spinoff Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth prefers the Jammin' Ninja to the Steel Samurai (Miles Edgeworth's franchise of choice), which she seems to pattern her "Great Thief" persona on.
  • As mentioned above, the Fuschia Gym in the first and second generations of Pokemon games. In the third gen, there's a trainer class called the Ninja Boy; the fifth gen has the Bug type Accelgor and the Shadow Triad; and gen six introduces the Water/Dark type Greninja, which throws shuriken made of compressed water as its signature move and learns various other ninja techniques.
  • Secret Agent Clank has a fair share of ninja robots.
  • Red Alert 3 has Shinobis as the Empire of the Rising Sun's anti-infantry infiltrator unit.
  • Deconstructed in Rhythm Heaven for the DS, where Dog Ninja trained in the art of ninjitsu, but then learned that "ninja" isn't a job anymore. As a result, his game is about cutting fresh produce.
  • In Saints Row: The Third, you can have Ninja in the Saints. They act just like other gang members, though. No Stock Ninja Weaponry or invisibility.
  • In the DS game Scribblenauts, you can type in ninja and get one. Great fun, especially if you want to shoot a robot zombie ninja with a large laser gun.
  • Secret Agent has both Ninja and Ninja Masters, two kinds of Mooks. The Ninja, clad in black and wielding nunchucks, is the fastest mook in the game and deals typical Collision Damage. The Ninja Master wears blue and is slower, but has a gun instead of nunchucks. Apparently, the true master of ninjutsu is one who realized that there's no point in using traditional melee weapons when ordinary firearms are more effective.
  • StarCraft: The Protoss Dark Templar, who are psionic alien ninja
    • And the Ghosts, who are psionic cyborg ninja!
  • Suikoden is set in a fantasy world version of China with some medieval Europe added to the mix. Oh, and each game gives you one to three ninja to recruit in your army (Suikoden IV gives you five).
  • Sheena Fujibayashi in Tales of Symphonia.
  • Warframe has you play as a band of space ninjas to fight off a fascist dictatorship that conquered the Solar System.

    Web Animation 

    Web Comics 
  • According to Buck Godot Zapgun For Hire ninja are just about the only thing every sentient species has in common. Many aliens species have wildly different definitions for such basic concepts as rest, food or death, yet every single one of them has a type of warrior that fits the "ninja archetype". Usually they tend to dress in black pajamas and wield katanas.
  • NJ from Electric Wonderland uses the screenname "Night Ninja". When Trawn asked him what "NJ" stood for, he answered, "NinJa, I think..." (A later comic revealed that the "N" actually stands for "Nate".)
  • In Everyday Heroes, Jane's mother, Hannah Anne Weapons is a ninja. Hey, she's a villain and she knows martial arts, so it's the only possible occupation, right?
  • Although we haven't seen ninja in Grrl Power, the trope is referenced.
    [Sydney screams and takes Kung Faux pose]
    Sydney: You're not a ninja.
    Reporter: You're expecting ninjas?
    Sydney: Always expect ninjas.
  • Junpei in MegaTokyo. Not so l33t when it comes to video games, but in 'real' life he roxxor. Case in point.
  • The Order of the Stick: When the gods remade the world, the Monkey decided he wanted Ninjas. So there they are. The ninja goblins, may be a bit much. But everyone loves ninja half-orcs and waitresses.
  • The ninja mafia in Sam & Fuzzy started out like this (or appeared to) but became a major plot point.
  • Schlock Mercenary: In the Mallcop Command plotline, a ninja unexpectedly shows up and starts jumping his way through the shopping mall. However, four "ninjas" are no match for a guy with actual combat training.
  • In 0 0 0 This Comic Appears First Alphabetically, A ninja is added only because the author thinks this.
  • In Knights of Buena Vista, Mary wants to play one, but there are no ninja in the Fairy Tale setting they are roleplaying. She settles for the closest thing, and acrobat class. As this is a Campaign Comic covering Frozen, this explains a lot of Anna's skills.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • Katara and Zuko dress in all black and stealth their way around several Fire Nation navy commands, seen by no-one until they attack, in order to get information on the man that killed Katara's mother. It's all kinds of badass.
    • The Dai Li are Earthbending Ninja. While they don't do the all black attire normally attributed to the profession, the training and combat style they use fits the bill perfectly. Given that unlike most Earthbenders, or any capable bender in the series, they use hidden weapons and misdirection in their combat style.
    • Also, Zuko in Blue Spirit mode. Silent, stealthy, wears all black, incredibly badass, one of the only characters to be actually deadly in each appearance... total ninja right there.
      Blue Spirit: If you don't want to end up like him [the training dummy he just demolished], then do as I say.
  • Batman: The Animated Series episode "Night of the Ninja has Bruce up against a ninja and former schoolmate. Not quite as awesome because it's the bloody Batman.
  • Bubbles, the Big Bad in the Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers episode "The Case of the Cola Cult", has Ninja mice as Mooks. Although Gadget disposes of them quickly, they do add to the amount of awesome in the episode.
  • The Fairly OddParents: Timmy fights ninja after he wishes the world was like an action movie. Also: Ninja Bunnies!
  • Family Guy:
    • In Peter Griffin's version of The King and I, A.N.N.A. is a robot ninja from the planet England.
    • When Peter imagines himself in the opening sequence of a fictitious 1980s sitcom called "My Black Son", at the end of the theme song — like, the last second — he sings: "Also he's a ninja!"
    • In "Wasted Talent", Peter and Joe win a trip to the Pawtucket brewery in a spoof of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. One of the other winners is an amiable ninja.
  • U.S.Acres:
    • First, the instance on the quote page, where Orson adds ninja to Rumplestiltskin to please Booker and Sheldon. In another episode, those two decide to retell The Tortoise and Hare. They consider turning the tortoise into a ninja, but reconsider, saying "Who would want to see that?"
    • A third instance came up before those two: When Orson reads them a gender-swapped version of "Cinderella", they insists that the stepsisters stepbrothers be ninja.
  • Gi Joe:
    • G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero has Storm Shadow (Snake Eyes hadn't been outed as one in time for the original cartoon) who was by far one of the most popular characters of the time.
    • G.I. Joe: Renegades follows in the comic's footsteps, making Snake Eyes a full-blown ninja in addition to Storm Shadow, and has the young female ninja Jinx for good measure.
  • MAD sketches occasionally contain this trope and they do it with a humorous style. There is a quick sketch named "Everything Is Better with Ninjas". Indeed.
  • The Problem Solverz episode "Hide and Seek Ninjaz". In it, the solverz must rescue a girl's mother who was captured by ninjas. They then face off against the rainbow-clad head ninja in a life-or-death match of hide-and-seek.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars:
    • The Commando Droids are basically robot ninja.
    • The Season 4 episode "Bounty" introduces the Kage warrirors, a group of ninja in space!
  • As if being giant alien robots wasn't enough, Transformers boosts its awesomeness factor reguarly with giant alien robot ninja.
    • The Transformers has the episode "Enter the Nightbird", a Transformers-sized female ninja robot, made by a Japanese scientist to benefit society. Yeah, watch those nunchucks "benefitting" their way through society all through the episode.
    • Transformers Headmasters has Sixshot, Decepticon City Ninja Commander Consultant.
    • The Marvel comic had Bludgeon, who contrary to his name (and undead samurai appearance) was one of the last surviving practitioners of Metallikato. This was because he'd killed all the others.
    • Transformers Animated has three Robot Ninja - The Stoic Prowl, the Jive Turkey Jazz, and The Mentor Yoketron (aka George Takei.) Yoketron is technically dead. However, it turns out Lockdown was one of his students, making him a ninja as well.
  • The Venture Bros. loves this trope.
    • The pilot has a ninja villain with a technology fetish named Otaku Senzuri who gets caught masturbating to Dr. Venture's Oo Ray.
    • Brock's vision in the Joy Can (see Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot for more details) has ninja raining from the sky. ** Brock himself is "two ninjas taped together to make one giant ninja", according to the Monarch henchmen. Also, according to the Monarch, the only reason he was defeated in his first attempt on Dr. Venture's life was because Doc had a bunch of "ex-Navy SEAL ninja gorilla witches", and a tank. (In reality he just had the one Myra Brandish. Better than ninja.)
  • Laney Penn's superheroic alter ego Live Wire in the Grojband episode "Super Zeroes" is "one sassy ninja you don't wanna tangle with!"
  • In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "MMMystery on the Friendship Express", while throwing accusations for who could have ruined her cake while she was asleep, Pinkie Pie envisions one of the possible culprits as a ninja who snuck in and sliced the cake to bits with a katana.
  • The Season 1 finale of Code Monkeys traveling to Japan to rescue Benny, who had been kidnapped by ninjas back in America while out driving with Larrity; Larrity briefly mistook them for black people, and got his ass kicked. Turns out they were sent by Takeda Matsui, head of Protendo, whose brother had committed suicide earlier in the season as a result of a Batman Gambit by Larrity. When Larrity confronts Matsui, he summons a bunch of salary men, who quickly turn into ninjas (Larrity promptly comments "I knew it! Always with the goshdarn ninjas...")

    Real Life 

Alternative Title(s): Everythings Better With Ninjas, Instant Awesome Just Add Ninjas, Instant Awesome Just Add Ninja, Ninja Out Of Nowhere

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/GratuitousNinja?from=Main.InstantAwesomeJustAddNinja