Pirates Versus Ninjas

The eternal battle continues.

Pirates are cool, and so are ninjas, so pirates fighting ninjas must be awesome!.

Pirates' most hated enemies usually seem to be ninjas, and vice-versa, even though in real life Caribbean pirates and Japanese ninjas didn't even live in the same time period, much less the same hemisphere. Apparently its just for the Rule of Cool. (For added irony, some bands of ninja even operated as pirates on the side in Real Life. Go figure.)

Compare also Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot and Elves vs. Dwarves (though the Pirates are more likely to be the Dwarves).

A Sub-Trope of Cool vs. Awesome. May be involved in a Cavemen Versus Astronauts Debate.


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     Anime And Manga  

  • In the Samurai Champloo episode "Bogus Booty", Mugen (who isn't a stereotypical pirate but has done some 'pirating') squares off against some ninjas.

     Card Games  

     Fan Work  


     Live Action TV  

  • An episode of Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger has all three core members of Ninpuu Sentai Hurricaneger turn up, demanding their powers back. The episode is actually called Pirates vs Ninjas.
  • Deadliest Warrior averted and defied this trope. While the aim was to solve rivalries like this, they didn't do this one, though both pirate and ninja were featured (Ninja vs Spartan and Pirate vs Knight: the Ninja lost, as it turns out the Spartan shield is truly something to behold—with the spear being none too shabby either—while the Pirate beat the Knight, as firearms gave a decisive advantage).


  • Back Through Time by Alestorm has pirates going back in time to fight vikings. They also mention having fought ninja in passing.

     Professional Wrestling  

  • Defied by Pirates And Ninjas Are Totally Awesome, the first tag team title holders of New Zealand's Impact Pro Wrestling.
  • Leva Bates showed up for her SHINE match against one half of the Canadian Ninjas, Portia Perez, dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow.

     Tabletop Games  

  • As mentioned above, in Ninja Burger one of the obstacles is rival food delivery company Pirate Pizza.
  • Pirates and Ninjas are two of the factions in Smash-Up, a card game where the players combine two decks representing a faction like "Aliens" or "Dinosaurs" and fight it out against another player's combination. So you could have Pirates and Tricksters vs. Ninjas and Aliens, or Pirates and Ninjas vs. Dinosaurs and Robots.

     Video Games  

  • The King of Fighters XI has B. Jenet, a Pirate girl vs. Mai Shuranui, a Ninja girl, which is quite possibly the hottest Cat Fight in gaming.
  • AdventureQuest Worlds and DragonFable both have an ongoing conflict between Pirates and Ninjas... Amongst other supernatural things.
  • Saints Row 2 has the "Fuzz" Activity, a side quest where you're a Cop on a reality TV show, and you have to stop randomly generated crimes. One of them is to "Break up the Fight of the Century," which when you arrive at the checkpoint turns out to be a gang of pirates fighting a gang of ninjas.
    "Attention all cars, this is dispatch, we have Pirates vs Ninjas, repeat, Pirates vs Ninjas."
  • On one quest in World of Warcraft ("Our Mortal Enemies") where you've infiltrated a pirate band, the pirates send you on a mission to attack their mortal enemies... ninjas!
  • A Google search reveals multiple Flash games on the theme.
  • There is a game for Nintendo Wii called "Pirates Vs Ninjas Dodgeball".
  • The first Tenchu game has a mission where your ninjas are to destroy a band of bloodthirsty pirates who sailed in from Europe.
  • Atari's 1989 game Skull & Crossbones is the Ur-Example; it allowed the players to play as pirates fighting against ninjas.
  • League of Legends usually uses this trope to hype on the announcements of certain Champions. So far they have 2 pirates, Gangplank and Miss Fortune (the latter is more like Pirate Hunter rather than true pirate, however) and 4 ninjas, Shen, Kennen, Akali and Zed (the last one is evil). While they do not interact much in the lore, there was once an event about the Noxus attacking Ionia, where the ninjas were stationed. Both Gangplank and Miss Fortune were included in the Noxus pool of champions, whereas the ninjas minus Zed (who wasn't announced yet when the event took place) were included in the Ionia pool of champions. The result: Ionia wins, thus the Ninjas win.
  • Chivalry: Deadliest Warrior allows you to play as ninjas and pirates (out of 6 classes), so you could easily settle this debate with your friends.
  • In the Scribblenauts games, spawning a pirate and a ninja close to each other will cause them to fight. In Scribblenauts Unlimited, this is required to get one of the starite shards.
  • A Neopets Games Master Challenge used this exact theme. The Ninjas came out on top in the end.
  • Splatoon had the Halloween 2015 American Splatfest themed after this. The event's introduction called out the sheer silliness of this "rivalry".
    Callie: It's time to settle a rivalry as old as time itself!
    Marie: Yeah! Wait... What?

     Web Animation  

  • This trope is a major plot point of How to Kill a Mockingbird, where Boo Radley's pirate crew has to battle armies of ninjas in order to uncover the secret to killing the mockingbird.

     Web Comics  

  • This Order of the Stick comic references the Pirates Vs. Ninjas debate.
    Haley: Ah, Ninja vs. Pirate, the age-old debate.
    Belkar: And by "age-old" she means "showed up on the internet like two years ago, at most."
  • Questionable Content has Pintsize (the AnthroPC—a PC/robot) steal Faye's panties and pretend he's an Underwear Ninja. Faye responds by sticking a bra 'round her head like a pirate eyepatch, thus becoming, in Pintsize's words, "A Bra Pirate! The nemesis of all Underwear Ninja." Marten's response? To paraphrase, "WTF?"
  • In The Adventures Of Dr Mcninja:
    • According to the doctor, pirates and ninjas originally became rivals because the ninjas thought it would be funny.
    • And the McNinja clan got started when a pirate band attacked Ireland in winter and the villagers counterattacked using frozen four-leaf clovers as shurikens.
  • The "Ninjas vs. Pirates" wallpaper from the Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures download page is a uniquely Amberish take on the subject. There's actually a funny story behind it...
  • Saudia Arabia and Somalia's fight in Scandinavia and the World, considering that Somalia is a pirate, and Saudi Arabia is a 'ninja'note 
  • Subverted in 70-Seas, the ragtag crew of Privateers includes a ninja, ten-year old Nikol Mimagi. Who has some disagreements with the others, particularly concerning Honor Before Reason (or just a child rebelling against adoptive parent, considering her age and how Serra tends to treat her), but she doesn't particularly have anything against pirates.

     Web Original  

     Web Video  

     Western Animation  

  • One episode of the animated TV series Ninjago has the ninjas fight undead pirates.
    • They used the theme again in the sixth season.

     Real Life  

  • The direct action conservationist group Sea Sepherd has been called pirates by whalers, and they actually fly a flag with crossed trident and crook under a skull. On the other hand, Sea Sepherd has described some Japanese security guards being "dressed like ninjas" [1].