Western Animation: Ben 10
It started when an alien device did what it did And stuck itself upon his wrist with secrets that hid Now he's got super-powers
, he's no ordinary kid
He's Ben 10
So if you see him you might be in for a big surprise, He'll turn into an alien before your very eyes
, he's every shape and size
He's Ben 10
All new powers, he's on the case
Fighting off evil from Earth or space.
He'll never stop 'till he makes 'em pay, 'cause he's the baddest kid to ever save the day! Ben 10
An action cartoon franchise from America; this entry covers the first series.Ben 10
revolves around the adventures of Ben Tennyson, a 10-year-old boy. While on summer vacation with his grandpa Max and cousin Gwen, he comes into the possession of a mysterious alien device - the Omnitrix - that allows him to change into a multitude of alien heroes. At first, there are only 10 aliens (hence the name "Ben 10"), but more forms were eventually discovered.
Why isn't the device in more capable hands? Well, once it attached to Ben, it was stuck there. It won't come off.
There's more to this show than meets the eye, however. For example, while this and most other American cartoons either Never Say "Die"
or push the Thou Shalt Not Kill Aesop
" in this show get killed with reckless abandon with hardly anyone batting an eye. The show's also infamous for the Kissing Cousins
vibe between Ben and Gwen. Plus, it has plenty of Nightmare Fuel
Currently, the Ben 10
franchise has four separate series: the original show, the Time Skipped
sequel Ben 10: Alien Force
, the sequel to Alien Force, Ben 10: Ultimate Alien
and the sequel to Ultimate Alien
, Ben 10: Omniverse
. The foursome who created the original series, known as Man of Action
, went on to create Generator Rex
, and later work on Ultimate Spider-Man
Movie-wise, this (the original series) has three based on it. A Live-Action Adaptation Ben 10: Race Against Time
(Notable for starring Lee Majors as Grandpa Max), a regularly animated hour long flick Ben 10 Secret Of The Omnitrix
, and an all CGI film called Ben 10: Destroy All Aliens
Not to be confused with the Bren Ten
This show provides examples of:
- Aborted Arc: The episode "Permanent Retirement" ended with a Limax escaping in its spaceship and another remaining at large at the retirement resort, but nothing was made of it, not even in the three Sequel Series.
- Abusive Parents: Kevin's, who apparently threw him onto the street. Later Kevin himself, using his son Devlin to get his revenge on Ben.
- It's hinted that it's not the case with Kevin: he either ran away on his own and was thus lying, or his parents threw him out for being freaking nuts and not because of his powers, but in Kevin's mind, his "freakish" powers were the reason.
- Also, Hex serves as an abusive parental figure to Charmcaster, which comes back to bite him in the ass.
- Action Girl: Gwen, sometimes. More so in the future.
- The Alcatraz: Incarceron, the prison satellite.
- Aliens Speaking English: Most aliens are able to speak perfectly in English without the use of a translator, and not just the ones that Ben turns into.
- All Bikers Are Hells Angels: The biker gang in "The Alliance."
- All-CGI Cartoon: The "Destroy All Aliens" film.
- All Myths Are True: On average, for every five or six that can be attributed to aliens, there's one that can't.
- All There in the Manual: Pop-up commentary by the creators during a Ben 10 marathon revealed a lot of facts that aren't stated in the show, most notably an extensive backstory for Ghostfreak and even a true name for him: Zs'Skayr. They also spoke about certain characters that would appear in later series, like SevenSeven, older brother of SixSix.
- Animesque: The art style is like an anime.
- Alternative Foreign Theme Song: The show has a different ending theme for the Japanese version called "Ladybird Girl", a love song, which is not very fitting for a show about transforming into multiple aliens.
- An Aesop: Remember, with great power comes great responsibility.
- Argument of Contradictions: What some of Ben and Gwen's conversations boil down to.
- Armor-Piercing Slap: Gwen smacks Ben-as-Four Arms on the arm after he accidently wrecks a town fooling around with a giant ball of rubber bands. Given Four Arms' size and strength, it's surprising that a ten year old girl could hurt him.
- Artifact Title: From the moment Ben discovered the eleventh alien in the Omnitrix.
- Artistic License – Biology: In an episode, some cows and a human were turned into mutant monstrosities due to exposure to an alien mutagen. Fortunately they were 'only briefly exposed', so the mutation reversed itself by the end of the episode!
- The Atoner: Tetrax.
- Author Appeal: ALIENS AND SUPERHEROES...COMBINED!
- Author Avatar: The kid Ben tries to save in the pilot episode? That's Glen Murakami.
- Ax-Crazy: Kevin 11 is shown to have sadistic and violent tendencies.
- Badass Family: Max Tennyson and his grandchildren travel the country fighting world-threatening aliens.
- Badass Grandpa: Max Tennyson, aside from literally being a grandfather, is a retired member of an organization known as the Plumbers, who specialize in policing aliens.
- Badass Normal: Also Max.
- Ben himself in the episode "Gwen 10" where Ben loses his powers, Ben still proves to be pretty badass, even using Grandpa Max's BFG with no problem.
- In "Grudge Match", Ben manages to defeat an alien robot even after his Omnitrix times out. Admittedly, he already weakened it as Diamondhead, but it was still more than capable of killing him.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: The beginning of an episode has Ben easily thwart a robbery. At the end of the preview, he outright states if there's anyone who can give him a challenge. Just so happens, it was the Negative 10 episode.
- Berserk Button: Let's just say that if you ever hurt anyone Ben cares about, you're going to regret it. A LOT.
- Kevin learned that the hard way in "Ken 10".
- BFG: Some of Max's guns.
- Big Bad: Vilgax in season 1, Kevin 11 in season 2, Ghostfreak in season 3, and the Forever King in season 4.
- Vilgax, being the Arch-Enemy, also had the role of secondary Big Bad in seasons 2 and 4.
- Big Damn Movie: Secret of the Omnitrix.
- Biker Babe: Rojo, who's also a Hot-Blooded (bordering on Ax-Crazy) Badass Biker.
- Bizarre Alien Senses: As Wildmutt, Ben 10 lacks eyes, yet still experiences "images" of what's around him. This perception is probably scent-based, as the images grow sharper when he takes a breath and he had trouble navigating when Ben changed into him while having a cold.
- Clockwork from Ben 10: Ultimate Alien has a temporal sense that sees into the past. He can project this effect into a whole area by winding the key on his head.
- Black and White Morality: The show is mostly this trope, but the main hero's character flaws can push it slightly into Black and Gray Morality at times.
- Black Box: The Omnitrix itself. Even its creator doesn't know exactly what he's made.
- Black Magician Girl: Charmcaster has magic powers.
- Body Horror: Kevin after he is forced to be a conglomerate of Ben's original 10 forms.
- Brake Angrily
- Broken Aesop:
- In the Ghostfreak two-parter, tries to do an Aesop about teamwork. Unfortunately, this fails when The Hero is armed with one of the most powerful artifacts in the universe; try as they might, Gwen and Max really don't compare. It's like Tien and Yamcha trying to teach teamwork to Super Saiyan Goku. Also, at the beginning of Part 2 ("Be Afraid of The Dark"), Gwen tells Ben "We don't need your help". Frankly, the story makes it seem like she's jealous of the Omnitrix, and having sidekick issues. Max has a lesser case, but, not being ten, he knows when to shut up and get on with things. At the end of the second episode, Ben ends up learning his aesop about teamwork after... he uses his Omnitrix to save Gwen and Max's asses as they plummet from space to Earth.
- She is also guilty of a Broken Aesop in the opposite direction. The first season episode "Lucky Girl" revolves around her becoming a superhero based on a magical charm she finds. After losing it and finding out that the Big Bad of the episode possesses many similar charms to augment his magical power, she opts to destroy them rather than use them herself, justifying it as a decision to "just be me". Unfortunately, this Aesop is broken for two reasons. First, her stance on not relying on such power tends to be overshadowed when her cousin keeps using that Omnitrix thingy, especially since she benefits from it as much as everyone else. Second, what does she do in later episodes? She readopts the persona briefly after finding an even better charm. Then she learns that she is capable of using magic, and (with a few tools stolen from one villain) starts regularly using it herself. In fact, in the future-based episodes, she carries and uses the exact same charms that she destroyed in that first episode! It seems those powers are just too cool to pass up after all.
- Came from the Sky: This is how Ben got the Omnitrix.
- Can't Get Away with Nuthin'
- Can't Live Without You: Ben and Kevin in the Chained Heat episode — their shackle is set up so if one of them dies, so does the other.
- Canon Immigrant: Eon, a movie villain, would later appear in the sequel shows.
- Cape Busters: The Forever Knights often target Ben because of his Omnitrix enabling him to assume different alien forms.
- Captain Ersatz:
- Waybig, for Ultraman.
- There's a shocking number of comic book characters in "Ready to Rumble" getting the treatment: Wolverine, Cyclops, Wonder Man, Killer Croc, even a gang boss based somewhat on Kingpin. The clincher? Wolverine and Killer Croc were adopted by Aunt May.
- Fourarms actually switches to Goro's wardrobe later in Ultimate Alien.
- Ben being able to use the Omnitrix to take on the forms of many aliens and use their powers to fight crime is rather similar to the Hero Dial enabling people to turn into different superheroes in Dial H For Hero.
- Catch Phrase: "Goin' hero!" and variations, when Ben uses the Omnitrix; and "Oh, man!" when he does something stupid or realizes he did something stupid (the latter of which would carry over to his teenage years).
- Centrifugal Farce: BenMummy and a Werewolf-esque alien fight next to one of these
- Cerebus Syndrome: While the series never loses its humor side, it gets a lot more serious and dramatic in the second half. Last chapters? Fighting the Knight of Cerebus. First chapters? Fighting Mega-Whatts, a bugman, and a doctor who has a device that basically destroys any laws of biology through use.
- Chained Heat: "Grudge Match" had Ben and Kevin chained together for most of the episode.
- Christmas Episode: During the summer, no less.
- Circus of Fear: One-shot antagonist Zombozo runs one.
- Clingy MacGuffin: The Omnitrix latches onto Ben's wrist and sticks there for the remainder of the series.
- Conspicuous CG: Max's mobile home.
- Conservation of Ninjutsu: Ben's alien form Ditto.
- Conveyor Belt-O-Doom: "Ready to Rumble" - The mother of two mutant kids was tied to a conveyor belt in an old wood mill. She was heading towards a wood saw that's right between her legs.
- Cool Car: The Rustbucket.
- Could Have Been Messy
- Cousin Oliver: Debatably, Cooper.
- Cowardly Lion: Gilbert in "Camp Fear". When he's not running around screaming his head off, he's quite helpful fighting off the mushroom monsters and protecting the younger campers.
- Creepy Child: Meet Kevin, eleven years old and willing to kill a subway load of people without a second thought.
- Crossdressing Voices: Tara Strong as Ben.
- Cute Monster Girl: In "My Big Fat Alien Wedding" the majority of the shapeshifting aliens are very ugly non-humanoid sludge monsters in their true form. The non-evil one (who's marrying a human) oddly looks like a fairly attractive purple-skinned woman in her true form. Despite being the daughter of the episode's villains.
- Daddy's Little Villain: Charmcaster to Hex (though it's more of a case of Uncle's Little Villain).
- Dark Action Girl: Rojo
- Dark Magical Girl: Played with in regards to Charmcaster. She does sincerely have the background of a normal DMG (raised and trained by an evil, abusive guardian,) but she actually chooses to be evil rather than join her Magical Girl counterpart. Since, you know, Evil Is Cool (not to mention sexy.)
- Determinator: Vilgax.
- Description Cut: Vilgax, in the first episode, prattles on about how no one in the universe can stop him. Then the scene cuts to Ben, in school, throwing a paper airplane at his teacher before the bell rings.
- Disney Death: Happens multiple times in The Movie.
- Doting Grandparent: Max Tennyson.
- Eldritch Abomination: The Great One from "The Big Tick".
- The Mycelium in "Camp Fear".
- Elemental Powers: Several of Ben's alien forms have powers based on a specific element, the most obvious one being Heatblast.
- Emerald Power: The Omnitrix glows green when active.
- Empathic Weapon: The Omnitrix.
- Enemy Without: Early on, Ghostfreak was implied to have a mind of his own and even secretly possessed Ben. In the second season, he finally escaped the Omnitrix.
- Evil Counterpart: Kevin 11 to Ben, especially after he copied the powers of Ben's original ten alien forms by draining the energy of the Omnitrix. Charmcaster to Gwen because they both have magic powers.
- Evil Sorcerer: Hex is a sorcerer and one of the show's recurring villains.
- Expository Theme Tune:
It started when an alien device did what it did
And stuck itself upon his wrist with secrets that it hid
Now he's got super powers, he's no ordinary kid
He's Ben 10! (Ben 10, Ben 10!)
- Expy: Zombozo demonstrates similar behavior to Pennywise, he even turns into a giant spider in a hallucination(?)!
- Extra-Strength Masquerade: As a Fantasy Kitchen Sink show borderlining on World of Weirdness, it's really inconsistent with regards to whether the existence of aliens, robots, and mutants is commonly accepted knowledge, or whether such things are supposed to be regarded as myth by the general public.
- Also, JT and Cash seem to resemble Toji Suzuhara and Kensuke Aida from Neon Genesis Evangelion
- Face Fault: Look hard enough, Gwen in Charmcaster's body in "A Change Of Face" has these.
- Family-Unfriendly Death: Kevin 11 killing sentient robot Slix Vigma by impaling him on his Diamondhead arm, and almost give the same fate to Ben. Another example includes villain Ghostfreak, who was burnt to ashes. Twice.
- Flanderization: Early on, the Omnittrix is fairly reliable, only transforming Ben into the wrong alien once every few episodes, and Ben is justifiably surprised when it happens. Fast forward to the Season 3 finale, and out of the four times Ben transformed in the first part, he only got the alien he wanted once, and he's reduced to frantically begging the Omnitrix to please cooperate with him this time...
- Justified in that he totaled the controls a few episodes back to keep it from falling into the wrong hands.
- Family-Friendly Firearms: Sometimes justified by the sci-fi setting, but really...where are ordinary gang members, mall cops, and other assorted armed Muggles getting their sci-fi firearms?
- Foreshadowing: There are many hints that Max wasn't just a normal Plumber, such as knowing that Heatblast is not a monster but an alien, and mentions of Vilgax making him tense.
- Franchise Zombie: Man of Action Studios only worked on this series. The three following sequel shows were Cartoon Network's doing.
- "Freaky Friday" Flip: Gwen and Charmcaster in "A Change Of Face".
- Later on happens to Gwen and Ben in the same episode.
- Fiery Redhead: Gwen has red hair and is often ill-tempered.
- The Freakshow: Source of the Circus Freak Trio.
- Freudian Excuse:
- Full-Contact Magic: Played perfectly straight; mixing a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and
magic alien energy-manipulation powers gives Gwen dynamic and fluid fighting scenes.
- Future Badass: Ben 10,000, Gwendolyn, and cyborg Max. That is all.
- Future Me Scares Me: When Ben and Gwen go to the future, Future Ben is pretty much a jerk.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar:
Ben: "You guys know way too much about mushrooms!"
- In the first episode, Ben's grandfather's car has the license plate "S81Z1M".
- In "Ben 10,000", in the new Rustbucket, Man says that Ben Ten Thousand has "other priorities".
- Grand Finale: "Secret of the Omnitrix", as Word of God confirms it takes place after "Ben 10 vs. the Negative 10." However it was aired early on in Season 4's run rather than later.
- Grand Theft Me: Charmcaster can't get the Omnitrix off Ben, so she's just going to do this instead.
- Green-Skinned Space Babe: Xylene.
- With Non-Mammal Mammaries, even after she states that her race does not take care of their young at all ("On my planet, once you hatch, you're on your own.")
- Growing Up Sucks: Ben 10,000 has Ben decide that being an adult isn't cool if he's going to be a jerk. This statement causes his future self to change his ways and become a better person.
- Hands-On Approach: Done with Gwen teaching Ben to dance in "My Big Fat Alien Wedding." See Relationship Writing Fumble below.
- Harbinger of Impending Doom
- Henshin Hero
- Hijacked by Ganon: Season 3 introduced in one episode an werewolf-like alien who was seemingly killed at the end of his episode, but was revealed to have built a machine as a Sequel Hook. A mummy-like alien is then introduced in a later episode. Both come back and are revealed to work for a new villain named Dr Vicktor in the first part of the season finale...and then it turns out Dr Vicktor himself was The Dragon to Ghostfreak/Zs'kayr, a villain who had been introduced in a previous season 2 episode.
- Hour of Power: The Omnitrix only allows Ben to be an alien for a limited time. After the time limit runs out, he returns to normal and has to wait for the Omnitrix to recharge before he can change into an alien again.
- Humanoid Aliens: Many of the aliens vaguely resemble humans.
- Hurricane of Puns: Witty one-liners make up a good 75% of dialog, mainly when Ben is in alien form.
- Hypocritical Humor: A bit of it in "Gwen 10", where Ben keeps telling off Gwen for doing things he knows perfectly well he did in the past.
- I Am Not Left-Handed: A couple of occasions, but possibly the most awesome is in "Grudge Match", where Kevin 11 has Ben trapped, and boasts that he can handle any of Ben's 10 aliens, since he IS all those aliens combined. Ben then reveals that he's unlocked a new form since Kevin last saw him: Cannon Bolt. Kevin gets hammered.
- A similar, if more subtle version comes from "Ben 10,000", when Vilgax makes the same boast about all TEN THOUSAND of Future Ben's aliens, except that Future Ben has one form Vilgax overlooked: human.
- I've Come Too Far
- I Never Said It Was Poison: Max inadvertantly reveals that he wasn't a normal plumber when he tells Ben he doesn't want him fighting Vilgax - unfortunately, he mentions Vilgax's name before Ben tells him what it is.
- Implacable Man: Vilgax. No matter what happens to him, he won't let it stop him from hunting down Ben and trying to get the Omnitrix.
- Imported Alien Phlebotinum: The Omnitrix.
- Instant Expert: Gwen when she gets the Omnitrix in an alternate timeline. Subverted with her magic, which she bumbles through for many episodes before getting good at it.
- Intangible Man: Ghostfreak.
- Jade-Colored Glasses: Ben 10,000 has been wearing a set for years, apparently.
- Joker Immunity: Vilgax. Helps that he's Nigh Invulnerable, of course. It's a bit hard to kill somebody who survived being nuked. And has upgraded himself since then.
- Jumped at the Call: Ben was quick to accept the idea of using the Omnitrix to save the world.
- Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Kevin's "crash a passenger train" plan. Fastest partnership breakup ever.
- Kid Hero: Ben is only 10 when the show starts.
- Kid Hero All Grown Up: Every iteration of the series has featured at least an adventure with Ben meeting himself as an adult, usually going by "Ben Ten Thousand". Gwen as an adult is usually featured in such stories.
- Fight Fire With Fire: Present in the very first episode, Ben accidentally starts a fire, Grandpa Max tells Ben that in order to stop it, he should start another one.
- Knight of Cerebus: The series, at it's heart, is about a kid who does heroics and stupid things with his Omnitrix, but when Vilgax, Kevin and Zs'Skayr appear, the episode's gonna take itself fairly seriously.
- Lamarck Was Right: Averted in "Ken 10"; Kenny needs his own Omnitrix to get his own powers.
- Laughably Evil: Many secondary villains such as Dr. Animo, Charmcaster, or the Circus Freaks are this, contrasting to the more serious Big Bads.
- Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: An alien version of Billy in Ken 10. Even shares the same VA.
- Don't forget versions of Konohamaru and Team Ebisu from Naruto in the Christmas episode.
- Legion of Doom: The Negative 10. Several of their members were villains Ben had previously fought, even ones that hadn't been seen since the first season like Clancy and Rojo.
- Leitmotif: Several, including ones for Ben's aliens and a one for the occasional instances of Sky Surfing that happen a few times over the series.
- Limited Wardrobe: A subtle nod to this in "Gwen 10": Ben throws several shirts identical to his own out of his suitcase while he's searching for a lost item.
- Subverted in the live-action movie of course. But Ben wore this very shirt later in the movie.
- Lotus-Eater Machine: "Perfect Day" had Enoch attempt to trap Ben in one so that he could easily remove the Omnitrix.
- Magical Girl: Gwen.
- Magic Misfire: Gwen, too. She even figured out how to use the misfire to her advantage. Sort of.
- Magic Pants: ANYTHING that Ben was wearing before he goes alien - no matter how badly it was ripped during the transformation sequence - will be back, in perfect condition, when the Omnitrix runs out of juice.
- The Man Behind the Curtain: In Secret of the Omnitrix Ben and company confront the creator of the Omnitrix, a giant alien with a booming voice. It turns out to be a biosuit. Azmuth is tiny.
- Man Hug: When Max runs into his old plumber buddy Phil, the two greet each other with a hug.
- Merchandise-Driven: The show had a LOT of toys.
- The Men in Black: The Plumbers, who are a secret organization
- Subverted a bit with the Special Alien Containment Team (or SACT) because they are obviously government-affiliated, but one can't help but notice their similarities to the Plumbers.
- Missed the Call: The Omnitrix was intended for Grandpa Max and not for Ben.
- Monster Clown: Zombozo.
- Monster of the Week: The show lives on this. Considering the strange and varied varieties of trouble that tend to occur wherever Ben goes, one feels sorry for this kid's hometown if summer vacation ends.
- Yeah, it gets toasted.
- Sometimes inverted in a few seasons, where the Monster Of The Week wasn't just what Ben faced, but what he became.
- Mook Horror Show: Ben sometimes invokes this on criminals. This includes one time when he was fighting two robbers as Ripjaws. However, the most noteable time is when he literally scares Zombozo to death as Ghostfreak.
- Motive Decay: In his debut appearance, Dr Animo wanted to get a price that was taken from him; all his next appearances in both the original series and the sequels has him either wanting to conquer or mutate the world.
- The Movie: Secret Of The Omnitrix.
- There's also the live action movie Race Against Time. Now if only the guy who directed Men In Black directed this movie and Tommy Lee Jones played Grandpa Max, the movie would've been a thousand times cooler.
- And it's getting a theatrical movie, too.
- Multiform Balance: Theoretically, each of Ben's alien forms have powers applicable to specific situations. In practice, due to Ben's lack of tactical thinking and the Omnitrix's tendency to be uncooperative, whether an alien will be used in the appropriate role is never certain.
- Mundane Utility: Sometimes Ben uses his alien forms to do something as ordinary as looking for a prize in boxes of cereal.
- My Friends... and Zoidberg "...and leave the rest to the game pros... and Ben."
- Negative Continuity: Later in the series, almost all the time, ranging from changes in height to more plot related problems (Stinkfly's sudden inability to swim in They Lurk Below, the event noted in the Ben 10 entry in "Freaky Friday" Flip, etc.)
- Never Say "Die": All the deaths are either offscreen, not outright stated, or obscured by explosions, with a good dash of What Measure Is a Non-Human? to 'lighten' it further.
- It's a touch jarring when Ben says "Gwen's dead" in the movie Secret of the Omnitrix. She's not.
- New Super Power
- The Night That Never Ends: Ghostfreak (to whom sunlight is fatal) tries covering the sunlit side of the earth with a shell of radioactive material in "Be Afraid of the Dark", so he can rule it as his domain. (The fact that this will mutate the entire population of the Earth is an unfortunate side effect to him.)
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: How Vilgax says hello.
- No Ontological Inertia: The episode "The Big Tick" features an Eldritch Abomination which completely ravages its surroundings for several hundred meters around. After it's destroyed, the local area returns to its former state immediately, despite there being nothing to suggest that the destruction was illusory! For some reason, the characters find this to be perfectly acceptable.
- No Sense of Humor: Adult Ben, as seen in the episode "Ben 10,000". He gets better in the end and continuing into "Ken 10".
- Oblivious Mockery: Early in the What If? episode "Gwen 10", Gwen gets the Omnitrix stuck on her wrist and turns into Heatblast. Ben, who remembers going through this before, warns her about the danger of using fiery powers in the middle of a forest. She immediately responds that only an idiot would set the forest on fire. Naturally, that's exactly what Ben did in the first episode.
- Off Model: At the end of "Side Effects" Ben has Gwen's eyelashes.
- One-Winged Angel: Both played straight and nastily subverted.
- Only Six Faces: Averted. Even with cousins Ben and Gwen.
- Papa Wolf: Grandpa Max towards Ben and Gwen. Ben himself in the future, where his son Kenny is concerned.
- Parental Hypocrisy: Ben's future self Ben 10,000 becomes a hypocritical parent in the episode "Ken 10". When his son Ken is excited about getting his own Omnitrix for his 10th birthday, Ben tells his son that saving the world isn't kid's stuff, despite the fact that he himself first became a hero when he was his son's age. Later, Ben 10,000 asks where his son gets his attitude shortly after Ken gets angry with his father and acts the same way Ben did whenever he got into a disagreement with his grandfather Max. Both occasions hang a lampshade by having Grandpa Max give a scornful look at Ben whenever he makes his hypocritical statement.
- Phantom Zone: The Null Void. Unusual in that things were let out before the viewer was let in on it.
- Plant Aliens: Wildvine is an example of this.
- Positive Discrimination: Used toward Gwen with annoying frequency.
- Power Perversion Potential: The Naljian Destructor copies everything it sees and mimics the intention behind it.
- Power Echoes
- Production Foreshadowing: One of the Vilgax drones causes Rojo to mutate like an EVO.
- Pro Wrestling Episode: "Ready to Rumble".
- Psycho for Hire: Kevin 11. As noted in "Grudge Match", while his main desire is revenge on Ben, he likes to seek any excuse to fight, brutalize, or even kill various opponents.
- Puny Earthlings: Humans are the only species that doesn't have at least one ability that would be classified as a superpower.
- Puppy Love: Ben and Kai.
- Reality Ensues: How the tv series concluded. After several weeks of crazy adventures, what brings it all to a halt is not Ben messing up and watching people die, or getting an alien unsuitable for the presented, but simply his summer vacation ending. Followed immediately by Vilgax thrashing his house, because the summer is over. They aren't.
- Recycled In SPACE: Dial H For Hero WITH A GUI INSTEAD OF AN RNG, AND WITH ALIENS!
- Re Tool: Into Ben 10: Alien Force, which itself later got retooled into Ben 10: Ultimate Alien.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Ben and Gwen.
- Retroactive Precognition: Ben has this in "Gwen 10" when he gets mysteriously transported to the past, and remembers everything that happened over the past several months, but nobody else does. Gripping the Idiot Ball, it takes Max a while to believe Ben, despite the fact that Ben now knows about Vilgax, who only Max has met, and the Omnitrix, which is unknown to most people on Earth.
- It seemed less like disbelief and more like denial.
- Unfortunately for Ben, things have changed enough that his knowledge of future events is limited in its usefulness.
- Rule of Cool: The show stars a ten-year-old boy with a watch-like device stuck to his wrist that enables him to assume a variety of different alien forms, which he uses to fight crime.
- Rule of Fun: Especially compared to its Darker and Edgier Contested Sequels, but actually less so compared to its Denser and Wackier Contested Sequel.
- Running Gag: How many times was a hotdog cart knocked over again?
- "It's too quiet...Where's Ben?"
- "Greymatter?! Aw, man..."
- The many, many times Ben tries to turn into one alien but ends up as one that's more suited to the situation.
- Schmuck Bait: "It" in "Tourist Trap".
- Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale: In Negative 10, the power source has "as much power as the sun." Then Max goes on to say that if it goes off, it can blow up a continent the size of Texas to outer space (Good thing every single one of them is a lot bigger than that by definition...). An energy source that powerful would blow up more than a continent.
- Not to mention the fact that, when the Big Bad finally absorbs this ultra-powerful energy source into his Powered Armor, the most he can think to do with it is use it to shoot rather mediocre eyebeams.
- And in Ben 10,000, to unlock ten thousand alien forms in thirty years would require an average of one new alien form every single day for the entire time, though that would leave a bit of extra time.
- Or once you unlock master control, a few thousand aliens come with it. Let's go with that.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Supernatural Powers!
- Sealed Evil in a Can:
- Vilgax, tends to be put in a can of whatever sort between appearances, be it a healing chamber, a block of ice, or a pocket dimension. He's slightly unusual in that we see him out of the can first.
- And in the same show, Ghostfreak/Zs'Skayr is an odd example of evil that got sealed in a can accidentally, his DNA sampled for the show's Clingy MacGuffin so that the wearer can turn into him, and the personalities of his species being encoded in their genes somehow. Eventually, he gets loose and becomes Ben's Enemy Without.
- Second Person Attack: At least Once an Episode.
- Secret Legacy
- Self-Guarding Phlebotinum: The Omnitrix generates a small field around itself when someone who is not the person who it is currently attached to tries to touch it. However, it should noted that the Omnitrix is neither Empathic nor Loyal and only tries to protect itself; in fact, one way you can obtain it is to kill the current user and then take it for yourself.
- And of course one to Naruto at the end of the Christmas episode.
- The Pisciss Volann (Ripjaws) Plumber in "The Mother of All Vreedles" looks and sounds like The Incredible Mr Limpet.
- Significant Green-Eyed Redhead: Gwen.
- Silver Age: The show looks almost like a love letter to the Silver Age.
- Snap Back: Ben never seems to learn from the Aesop in any episode and at the start of the next episode continues behaving like an idiot bent on doing things his way no matter what, despite his level of intelligence and understanding to the contrary.
- This is actually lampshaded at the end of the CGI "Destroy All Aliens" film.
- Space Cadet Academy: The Plumber's Academy from the later series.
- Spiked Wheels: In "Ben 4 Good Buddy", Turbine has wheel spikes as one of the weapons on her Weaponized Car.
- Status Quo Is God: Ben gaining mastery of the Omnitrix? Reset Button time.
- Steven Ulysses Perhero: Ben Tennyson has access to ten alien forms in the beginning of the series.
- Sword over Head: Ben to Kevin in "Framed".
- Synchronization: Ben's alien form Ditto.
- Tastes Like Friendship: Subverted. Feeding theobromine compounds to an extra-terrestrial may not be the best idea...
- The Group: The Forever Knights' cover name is The Organization.
- Theme Naming: Ben Tennyson is ten years old. Kevin E. Levin is eleven.
- Ben gives his alien forms extremely marketable names based on their appearance or powers.
- This Looks Like a Job for Aquaman: In "The Big Tick", the episode where Ben first unlocks Cannonbolt, he initially hates the alien form for being unwieldy and uncontrollable, and refuses to use it again. Guess which alien turns out to be the only one capable of defeating the Eldritch Abomination threatening the Earth that episode?
- This Loser Is You: Ben, especially within the later seasons.
- Thusly, Flanderization.
- Nowhere is this more obvious than in the 3-minute shorts that frequently appear on Cartoon Network.
- Those Two Guys: J.T. and Cash.
- Time Skip: Ben 10: Alien Force skips ahead five years.
- Token Adult: Grandpa Max, being the only adult of the group, and an authority figure to Ben and Gwen.
- Totally Radical
- Transformation Conventions
- Transformation Fiction
- Transformation Sequence
- Transformation Trinket: The Omnitrix
- Traveling at the Speed of Plot:
- XLR8 is exactly as fast as the plot calls for, and no faster. Sometimes it's literally too fast to see, most of the time not so much. Thus, aliens with nowhere near its speed can still hit it.
- The Omnitrix's "ten minute" time limit is usually quite a bit shorter than that, to ensure that Ben can't beat the Monster of the Week too quickly.
- From the moment when the Omnitrix starts beeping and flashing red, there is variable time until the moment Ben returns to his human form - sometimes it is almost instant, and sometimes... it takes a while.
- Tree Cover: In "The Visitor", Ben eavesdrops on Max and Xylene by turning into Wildvine and merging with the tree.
- Tuck and Cover: Cannonbolt's function in a rescue operation.
- The Unchosen One: See "Missed the Call" example above.
- Unexplained Recovery:
- The third time Kevin shows up (despite apparently being killed previously), his explanation of how he survived boils down to this, as well as a recap of what happened last time. He doesn't actually use the phrase, but it's implied.
- At the end of Tough Luck, both Hex and Charmcaster's powers were sucked by the destruction of the Charm of Bezel. Yet, when we see them come back, they’re powers have come back without any clear explanation. Averted with Hex turning back into a child however, as it's specifically said that the Fountain of Youth's effect were temporary. Played straight in that we never see how Charmcaster retrieved her magic bag after the end of A Change of Face, though it's shown to have a level of sentience so it probably made its way back to her on its own.
- The Unintelligible: Wildmutt and Sixsix.
- Third-Person Person: "No-one boos Technorg! Technorg is champion!"
- Unspoken Plan Guarantee
- Up to Eleven: Played straight with Kevin's entire villain premise. Complete with Thematic Naming.
- Vengeful Vending Machine: In a short episode, Ben tries to get a candy bar from a vending machine, only for it to fall against the glass. Ever the Determinator, Ben decides to go Grey Matter to get the candy bar. The only problem is when the Omnitrix times out, leaving Ben's ENTIRE BODY trapped in the machine.
- Villain Team-Up: Kevin finding Vilgax in the second season finale.
- And the Negative 10 later on.
- Voices Are Mental: Averted for the aliens (with the exception of Upgrade), but played straight in the "Freaky Friday" Flip episode.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting
- We Are Team Cannon Fodder: Version two, Gwen and Grandpa Max.
- Webcomic Time: The summer road trip lasted nearly the whole of the original series.
- Weirder Than Usual: In "Last Laugh":
Gwen Tennyson: Ever since we decided to go to the circus, you've been acting weirder than normal. What are you scared of?
Ben Tennyson: I'm not scared of anything.
- And Again in "A Change Of Face" when Charmcaster was inhabiting Gwen's body.
Ben Tennyson: Grandpa have you noticed Gwen has been acting weird lately? I mean weirder than usual?
- Wham Episode: "Secrets", which resolves the Myth Arc hinting at Max's past and formally introduces Vilgax to Ben's life.
- What If?: The out-of-mainstream-continuity episode "Gwen 10".
- Not to mention the show's last episode: "Goodbye and Good Riddance"
- Also, the ''Ken 10" episode is one of "many possibilities" of the future.
- What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Uncomfortably applied at the beginning of the series,given that Ben isn't human half of the time.Subverted in later episodes
- Where's the Fun in That?: In the What If? episode where Gwen was the one the Omnitrix attached itself to, Vilgax has her restrained and selects from a range of sharp-looking tools to forcibly remove it from her.
Gwen [nervously]: Couldn't you just slip the watch off?
Vilgax: And what fun would that be?
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: In Ben's case, clowns. In the case of the clowns, Ghostfreak.
- Would Hurt a Child: Subverted in the sense that whenever Ben transforms and does battle, he gets beat up pretty graphically, which would look unsettling if it was happening in his human form. Played straight when he reverts back to Ben and his enemies don't hesitate to take advantage of his vulnerability.
- Wrench Wench: Road Crew member Turbine is a villainous version.
- Wretched Hive Of Scum And Villainy: Incarcica in The Movie is described as this, even though it's technically a prison.
- You Must Be This Tall To Ride: In the episode "A Small Problem", Ben is told he's too short to go down a water slide, which he immediately decides to rectify by turning into Ripjaws. Maybe it's for the best that he ended up as the less-noticeable Grey Matter instead.