[[quoteright:332:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ben_10_02.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:332: [[CatchPhrase Going hero!]][[note]]Clockwise from bottom: [[KidHero Ben Tennyson]], [[ShorterMeansSmarter Grey Matter]], [[AngryGuardDog Wildmutt]], [[SuperStrength Fourarms]], [[OurGhostsAreDifferent Ghostfreak]], [[BigCreepyCrawlies Stinkfly]], [[PlayingWithFire Heatblast]], [[GemstoneAssault Diamondhead]], [[FragileSpeedster XLR8]], [[AlluringAnglerfish Ripjaws]], and [[MechanicalLifeform Upgrade]].]][[/note]]

->''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!\\
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 slimy, creepy, fast and strong, 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!''
-->-- '''ThemeSong'''

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. [[ClingyMacGuffin 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 NeverSayDie or push the ThouShaltNotKill [[AnAesop Aesop]], "[[WhatMeasureIsANonHuman people]]" in this show get killed with reckless abandon with hardly anyone batting an eye. The show's also infamous for the KissingCousins vibe between Ben and Gwen. Plus, it has plenty of [[NightmareFuel/{{Ben10}} Nightmare Fuel]].

Currently, the ''Ben 10'' franchise has four separate series: the original show, the [[TimeSkip Time Skipped]] sequel ''WesternAnimation/Ben10AlienForce'', the sequel to ''Alien Force,'' ''Ben10UltimateAlien'' and the sequel to ''Ultimate Alien'', ''WesternAnimation/Ben10Omniverse''. The foursome who created the original series, known as [[Creator/ManOfActionStudios Man of Action]], went on to create ''GeneratorRex'', and later work on ''WesternAnimation/{{Ultimate Spider-Man}}''.

Movie-wise, this (the original series) has three based on it. A LiveActionAdaptation ''Film/Ben10RaceAgainstTime'' (Notable for starring Lee Majors as Grandpa Max), a regularly animated hour long flick ''WesternAnimation/Ben10SecretOfTheOmnitrix'', and an all CGI film called ''WesternAnimation/Ben10DestroyAllAliens''.

Not to be confused with the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bren_Ten Bren Ten]].

----
!!This show provides examples of:

* AbortedArc: 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 SequelSeries.
* AbusiveParents: 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 [[TheStarscream comes back to bite him in the ass.]]
* ActionGirl: Gwen, sometimes. More so in the future.
* TheAlcatraz: Incarceron, the prison satellite.
* AliensAndMonsters: Pretty much every MonsterOfTheWeek.
* AliensSpeakingEnglish: Most aliens are able to speak perfectly in English without the use of a translator, and not just the ones that Ben turns into.
* AllBikersAreHellsAngels: The biker gang in "The Alliance."
* AllCGICartoon: The "Destroy All Aliens" film.
* AllMythsAreTrue: On average, for every five or six that can be attributed to aliens, there's one ''that can't''.
* AllThereInTheManual: 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.
* AlternativeForeignThemeSong: The show has a different ending theme for the Japanese version called [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tWajprtWpf8 "Ladybird Girl"]], a love song, which is not very fitting for a show about transforming into multiple aliens.
* AnAesop: Remember, [[{{Spiderman}} with great power comes great responsibility.]]
** BrokenAesop: Over and over and over again.
* ArgumentOfContradictions: What some of Ben and Gwen's conversations boil down to.
* ArmorPiercingSlap: 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.
* ArtifactTitle: From the moment Ben discovered the eleventh alien in the Omnitrix.
* ArtisticLicenseBiology: In an episode, some cows and a human were turned into mutant monstrosities due to exposure to an alien mutagen. Fortunately [[spoiler:they were 'only briefly exposed', so the mutation reversed itself by the end of the episode!]]
* TheAtoner: Tetrax.
* AuthorAppeal: ALIENS AND SUPERHEROES...COMBINED!
* AuthorAvatar: The kid Ben tries to save in the pilot episode? That's Glen Murakami.
* AxCrazy: Kevin 11 is shown to have sadistic and violent tendencies.
* BadassFamily: Max Tennyson and his grandchildren travel the country fighting world-threatening aliens.
* BadassGrandpa: Max Tennyson, aside from literally being a grandfather, is a retired member of an organization known as the Plumbers, who specialize in policing aliens.
* BadassNormal: Also Max.
** Ben himself in [[spoiler: 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.
* BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor: 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 [[spoiler:Negative 10]] episode.
* BerserkButton: Let's just say that if you ever hurt anyone Ben cares about, you're going to regret it. A LOT.
** [[spoiler: Kevin]] learned that the hard way in "Ken 10".
* {{BFG}}: Some of Max's guns.
* BigBad: Vilgax in season 1, Kevin 11 in season 2, Ghostfreak in season 3, and the Forever King in season 4.
** Vilgax, being the ArchEnemy, ''also'' had the role of secondary BigBad in seasons 2 and 4.
* BigDamnMovie: Secret of the Omnitrix.
* BikerBabe: Rojo, who's also a HotBlooded (bordering on AxCrazy) BadassBiker.
* BizarreAlienSenses: As Wildmutt, ''WesternAnimation/{{Ben 10}}'' [[EyelessFace 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 ''WesternAnimation/Ben10UltimateAlien'' 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.
* BlackAndWhiteMorality: The show is mostly this trope, but the main hero's character flaws can push it slightly into BlackAndGrayMorality at times.
* BlackBox: The Omnitrix itself. Even its ''creator'' doesn't know exactly what he's made.
* BlackMagicianGirl: Charmcaster has magic powers.
* BodyHorror: Kevin after he is forced to be a conglomerate of Ben's original 10 forms.
* BrakeAngrily
* BrokenAesop:
** In the Ghostfreak two-parter, tries to do an Aesop about teamwork. Unfortunately, this fails when TheHero is armed with one of the most powerful artifacts in the universe; try as they might, Gwen and Max ''really'' [[WeAreTeamCannonFodder don't compare]]. It's like [[Anime/DragonBallZ 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 BigBad 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.
* CameFromTheSky: This is how Ben got the Omnitrix.
* CantGetAwayWithNuthin
* CantLiveWithoutYou: Ben and Kevin in the ChainedHeat episode -- their shackle is set up so if one of them dies, so does the other.
* CanonImmigrant: Eon, a movie villain, would later appear in the sequel shows.
* CapeBusters: The Forever Knights often target Ben because of his Omnitrix enabling him to assume different alien forms.
* CaptainErsatz:
** Waybig, for Series/{{Ultraman}}.
** There's a shocking number of comic book characters in "Ready to Rumble" getting the treatment: ComicBook/{{Wolverine}}, ComicBook/{{Cyclops}}, WonderMan, [[Franchise/{{Batman}} Killer Croc]], even a gang boss based somewhat on Kingpin. The clincher? [[spoiler:Wolverine and Killer Croc were adopted by [[SpiderMan Aunt May]].]]
** Fourarms actually switches to [[MortalKombat 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 ComicBook/DialHForHero.
* CatchPhrase: "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 [[Ben10AlienForce teenage]] [[Ben10UltimateAlien years]]).
* CentrifugalFarce: [[ItMakesSenseInContext BenMummy and a Werewolf-esque alien fight]] next to one of these
* CerebusSyndrome: While the series never loses its humor side, it gets a lot more serious and dramatic in the second half. Last chapters? Fighting the KnightOfCerebus. First chapters? Fighting Mega-Whatts, a bugman, and a doctor who has a device that basically destroys any laws of biology through use.
* ChainedHeat: "Grudge Match" had Ben and Kevin chained together for most of the episode.
* ChristmasEpisode: During the summer, no less.
* CircusOfFear: One-shot antagonist Zombozo runs one.
* ClingyMacGuffin: The Omnitrix latches onto Ben's wrist and sticks there for the remainder of the series.
* ConspicuousCG: Max's mobile home.
* ConservationOfNinjitsu: Ben's alien form Ditto.
** Kevin 11 as well.
* ConveyorBeltODoom: "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.
* CoolCar: The Rustbucket.
* CouldHaveBeenMessy
* CousinOliver: Debatably, Cooper.
* CowardlyLion: 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.
* CreepyChild: Meet Kevin, eleven years old and willing to kill a subway load of people without a second thought.
* CrossdressingVoices: TaraStrong as Ben.
* CuteMonsterGirl: 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.
* DaddysLittleVillain: Charmcaster to Hex (though it's more of a case of Uncle's Little Villain).
* DarkActionGirl: Rojo
* DarkMagicalGirl: [[PlayingWithATrope 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 [[HeelFaceTurn join her]] MagicalGirl counterpart. Since, you know, EvilIsCool (not to mention [[EvilIsSexy sexy.]])
* {{Determinator}}: Vilgax.
* DescriptionCut: 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.
* DisneyDeath: Happens multiple times in TheMovie.
* DotingGrandparent: Max Tennyson.
* EldritchAbomination: The Great One from "The Big Tick".
** The Mycelium in "Camp Fear".
* ElementalPowers: Several of Ben's alien forms have powers based on a specific element, the most obvious one being Heatblast.
* EmeraldPower: The Omnitrix glows green when active.
* EmpathicWeapon: The Omnitrix.
* EnemyWithout: 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.
* EvilCounterpart: 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.
* EvilSorcerer: Hex is a sorcerer and one of the show's recurring villains.
* ExpositoryThemeTune:
--> 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 [[Literature/{{IT}} Pennywise]], he even turns into a giant spider in a hallucination(?)!
* ExtraStrengthMasquerade: As a FantasyKitchenSink show borderlining on WorldOfWeirdness, 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
* FaceFault: Look hard enough, Gwen in Charmcaster's body in "A Change Of Face" has these.
* FamilyUnfriendlyDeath: [[EvilCounterpart 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.
* FamilyFriendlyFirearms: 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.
* FranchiseZombie: Creator/ManOfActionStudios only worked on this series. The ''three'' following sequel shows were Cartoon Network's doing.
* FreakyFridayFlip: Gwen and Charmcaster in "A Change Of Face".
** Later on happens to Gwen and Ben in the same episode.
* FieryRedhead: Gwen has red hair and is often ill-tempered.
* TheFreakshow: Source of the Circus Freak Trio.
* FreudianExcuse:
** Kevin being abandoned by his parents and mocked by peers for being a "freak". Once he couldn't take it no more, he decided "[[ThenLetMeBeEvil to show them just how much of a freak he could be.]]"
** Also, Charmcaster being raised by her [[AbusiveParents blatantly abusive]] uncle Hex. He did his job too well, and she [[TheStarscream ends up betraying him for her own evil goals.]]
* FullContactMagic: Played perfectly straight; mixing a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and [[strike: magic]] alien energy-manipulation powers gives Gwen dynamic and fluid fighting scenes.
* FutureBadass: Ben 10,000, Gwendolyn, and cyborg Max. That is all.
* FutureMeScaresMe: When Ben and Gwen go to the future, Future Ben is pretty much a jerk.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar:
** In "Camp Fear:"
--> 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".
* GrandFinale: "Secret of the Omnitrix", as WordOfGod 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.
* GrandTheftMe: Charmcaster can't get the Omnitrix off Ben, so she's just going to do this instead.
* GreenSkinnedSpaceBabe: Xylene.
** With NonMammalMammaries, 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.")
* GrowingUpSucks: ''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.
* HandsOnApproach: Done with Gwen teaching Ben to dance in "My Big Fat Alien Wedding." See RelationshipWritingFumble below.
* HarbingerOfImpendingDoom
* HenshinHero
* HijackedByGanon: 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 SequelHook. 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 TheDragon to [[spoiler:Ghostfreak/Zs'kayr, a villain who had been introduced in a previous season 2 episode]].
* HourOfPower: 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.
* HumanoidAliens: Many of the aliens vaguely resemble humans.
* HurricaneOfPuns: Witty one-liners make up a good 75% of dialog, mainly when Ben is in alien form.
* HypocriticalHumor: 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.
* IAmNotLeftHanded: 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.
* IHaveComeTooFar
* INeverSaidItWasPoison: 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.
* ImplacableMan: Vilgax. No matter what happens to him, he won't let it stop him from hunting down Ben and trying to get the Omnitrix.
* ImportedAlienPhlebotinum: The Omnitrix.
* InstantExpert: 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.
* IntangibleMan: Ghostfreak.
* JadeColoredGlasses: Ben 10,000 has been wearing a set for years, apparently.
* JokerImmunity: Vilgax. Helps that he's NighInvulnerable, of course. It's a bit hard to kill somebody who survived [[spoiler:being nuked]]. And has upgraded himself since then.
* JumpedAtTheCall: Ben was quick to accept the idea of using the Omnitrix to save the world.
* JumpingOffTheSlipperySlope: Kevin's "crash a passenger train" plan. Fastest partnership breakup ever.
* KidHero: Ben is only 10 when the show starts.
* KidHeroAllGrownUp: 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.
* [[KillItWithFire 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.
* KnightOfCerebus: The series, at it's heart, is about a kid who does heroics and stupid things with his Omnitrix, but when [[BigBad Vilgax]], [[EvilCounterpart Kevin]] and [[EnemyWithout Zs'Skayr]] appear, the episode's gonna take itself fairly seriously.
* LamarckWasRight: Averted in "Ken 10"; Kenny needs his own Omnitrix to get his own powers.
* LaughablyEvil: Many secondary villains such as Dr. Animo, Charmcaster, or the Circus Freaks are this, contrasting to the more serious Big Bads.
* LawyerFriendlyCameo: An alien version of [[WesternAnimation/TheGrimAdventuresOfBillyAndMandy Billy]] in Ken 10. Even shares the same VA.
** Don't forget versions of Konohamaru and Team Ebisu from Manga/{{Naruto}} in the Christmas episode.
* LegionOfDoom: 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 SkySurfing that happen a few times over the series.
* LimitedWardrobe: 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.
* LotusEaterMachine: "Perfect Day" had Enoch attempt to trap Ben in one so that he could easily remove the Omnitrix.
* MagicalGirl: Gwen.
* MagicMisfire: Gwen, too. She even figured out how to ''use'' the misfire to her advantage. Sort of.
* MagicPants: 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.
* TheManBehindTheCurtain: 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.
* ManHug: When Max runs into his old plumber buddy Phil, the two greet each other with a hug.
* MerchandiseDriven: The show had a LOT of toys.
* TheMenInBlack: The Plumbers, who are a ''[[{{Masquerade}} 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.
* MissedTheCall: The Omnitrix was intended for Grandpa Max and not for Ben.
* MonsterClown: Zombozo.
* MonsterOfTheWeek: The show lives on this. Considering the strange and [[DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment varied varieties]] of trouble that tend to occur wherever Ben goes, one feels sorry for this kid's hometown if summer vacation ends.
** [[DoomedHometown 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''.
* MookHorrorShow: 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 [[spoiler:literally scares Zombozo to death as Ghostfreak.]]
* MotiveDecay: 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.
* TheMovie: ''Secret Of The Omnitrix.''
** There's also the live action movie ''Race Against Time''. Now if only the guy who directed Film/MenInBlack directed this movie and Tommy Lee Jones played Grandpa Max, the movie would've been a thousand times cooler.
*** Still, the movie is Creator/CartoonNetwork's most-watched premiere ''of all time.'' It was also [[GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff a huge hit overseas.]]
** And [[http://www.toonzone.net/news/articles/37845/ben-10-headed-to-the-silver-screen it's getting a theatrical movie, too.]]
* MultiformBalance: Theoretically, each of Ben's alien forms have powers applicable to specific situations. In practice, due to [[KidHero 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.
* MundaneUtility: Sometimes Ben uses his alien forms to do something as ordinary as looking for a prize in boxes of cereal.
* MyFriendsAndZoidberg "...and leave the rest to the game pros... and Ben."
* NegativeContinuity: 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 FreakyFridayFlip, etc.)
* NeverSayDie: All the deaths are either offscreen, not outright stated, or obscured by explosions, with a good dash of WhatMeasureIsANonHuman to 'lighten' it further.
** It's a touch jarring when Ben says "Gwen's dead" in the movie ''Secret of the Omnitrix''. [[spoiler: She's not.]]
* NewSuperPower
* TheNightThatNeverEnds: 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.)
* NoHoldsBarredBeatdown: How Vilgax says hello.
* NoOntologicalInertia: The episode "The Big Tick" features an EldritchAbomination 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.
** This one is a little [[JustifiedTrope justifiable.]] [[ApocalypseHow If your world was being destroyed]], but you killed the BigBad causing it and everything went back to normal, would you complain?
* NoSenseOfHumor: Adult Ben, as seen in the episode "Ben 10,000". He gets better in the end and continuing into "Ken 10".
* ObliviousMockery: Early in the WhatIf episode "Gwen 10", Gwen gets the Omnitrix stuck on her wrist and turns into [[MagmaMan 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.
* OffModel: At the end of "Side Effects" Ben has Gwen's eyelashes.
* OneWingedAngel: Both played straight and nastily subverted.
* OnlySixFaces: Averted. Even with cousins Ben and Gwen.
** Very visible here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1RVZFB2I0s#t=134s
* PapaWolf: Grandpa Max towards Ben and Gwen. Ben himself in the future, where his son Kenny is concerned.
* ParentalHypocrisy: 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.
* PhantomZone: The Null Void. Unusual in that things were let ''out'' before the viewer was let in on it.
* PlantAliens: Wildvine is an example of this.
* PositiveDiscrimination: Used toward Gwen with annoying frequency.
* PowerPerversionPotential: The Naljian Destructor copies everything it sees and mimics the intention behind it.
* PowerEchoes
* ProductionForeshadowing: One of the Vilgax drones causes Rojo to mutate [[GeneratorRex like an EVO.]]
* ProWrestlingEpisode: "Ready to Rumble".
* PsychoForHire: 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.
* PunyEarthlings: Humans are the only species that doesn't have at least one ability that would be classified as a superpower.
* PuppyLove: Ben and Kai.
* RealityEnsues: 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. [[AndTheAdventureContinues Followed immediately by Vilgax thrashing his house]], because [[Fanfic/LittleMoments the summer is over. They aren't]].
* RecycledInSPACE: ''ComicBook/DialHForHero'' [-WITH A GUI INSTEAD OF AN RNG, AND WITH ALIENS-]!
** The episode is Permanent Retirement = InvasionOfTheBodySnatchers.
* ReTool: Into WesternAnimation/Ben10AlienForce, which itself later got retooled into Ben10UltimateAlien.
* RedOniBlueOni: Ben and Gwen.
* RetroactivePrecognition: 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 IdiotBall, 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.
* RuleOfCool: 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.
* RuleOfFun: Especially compared to its DarkerAndEdgier [[ContestedSequel Contested Sequels]], but actually less so compared to its DenserAndWackier ContestedSequel.
* RunningGag: 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.
* SchmuckBait: "It" in "Tourist Trap".
* SciFiWritersHaveNoSenseOfScale: 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 ([[CriticalResearchFailure 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 BigBad finally absorbs this ultra-powerful energy source into his PoweredArmor, 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.
* ScrewTheRulesIHaveSupernaturalPowers
* SealedEvilInACan:
** 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 ClingyMacGuffin 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 EnemyWithout.
* SecondPersonAttack: At least OnceAnEpisode.
* SecretLegacy
* SelfGuardingPhlebotinum: 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 [[EmpathicWeapon Empathic]] nor [[LoyalPhlebotinum 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.
* ShoutOut:
** [[Franchise/StarWars "I find your lack of faith disturbing."]]
** [[Film/{{Casablanca}} "We'll always have Roswell."]]
** Former Plumber Driscoll's armor resembles that of Golbez from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIV'', except [[spoiler: he's actually evil instead of mind-controlled.]]
** Ben and Gwen's alien disguise in TheMovie is a cross between [[WesternAnimation/MonstersInc Boo's monster suit and Randall Boggs.]]
** Grampa Max piloting the space shuttle in "be Afraid of the Dark"
--> Grampa: "Yeah. I still got TheRightStuff.
** And of course one to ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'' at the end of the Christmas episode.
** The Pisciss Volann (Ripjaws) Plumber in "The Mother of All Vreedles" looks and sounds like TheIncredibleMrLimpet.
* SignificantGreenEyedRedhead: Gwen.
* SilverAge: The show looks almost like a love letter to the Silver Age.
* SnapBack: Ben never seems to learn from the [[AnAesop 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.
* SpaceCadetAcademy: The Plumber's Academy from the later series.
* SpikedWheels: In "Ben 4 Good Buddy", Turbine has wheel spikes as one of the weapons on her WeaponizedCar.
* StatusQuoIsGod: Ben gaining mastery of the Omnitrix? ResetButton time.
* StevenUlyssesPerhero: Ben ''Ten''nyson has access to ten alien forms in the beginning of the series.
* SwordOverHead: Ben to Kevin in "Framed".
* {{Synchronization}}: Ben's alien form Ditto.
* TastesLikeFriendship: Subverted. Feeding theobromine compounds to an extra-terrestrial may not be the best idea...
* TheGroup: The Forever Knights' cover name is The Organization.
* ThemeNaming: Ben '''Ten'''nyson is '''ten''' years old. Kevin E. Levin is eleven.
** Ben gives his alien forms extremely marketable names based on their appearance or powers.
* ThisLooksLikeAJobForAquaman: 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 EldritchAbomination threatening the Earth that episode?
** More than a little bizarre, given that the Great One's worshipers claim that [[spoiler:[[FridgeLogic it just recently "cleansed" an entire planet full of Cannonbolt's species]]]].
** More literally, Ripjaws is completely awesome during underwater episodes, and (almost) completely useless otherwise.
* ThisLoserIsYou: 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.
* ThoseTwoGuys: J.T. and Cash.
* TimeSkip: WesternAnimation/Ben10AlienForce skips ahead five years.
* TokenAdult: Grandpa Max, being the only adult of the group, and an [[ParentalSubstitute authority figure]] to Ben and Gwen.
* TotallyRadical
* TransformationConventions
* TransformationFiction
* TransformationSequence
* TransformationTrinket: The Omnitrix
* TravelingAtTheSpeedOfPlot:
** [=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 MonsterOfTheWeek 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.
* TreeCover: In "The Visitor", Ben eavesdrops on Max and Xylene by turning into Wildvine and merging with the tree.
* TuckAndCover: Cannonbolt's function in a rescue operation.
* TheUnchosenOne: See "MissedTheCall" example above.
* UnexplainedRecovery:
** 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.
* TheUnintelligible: Wildmutt and Sixsix.
* ThirdPersonPerson: "No-one boos Technorg! Technorg is champion!"
* UnspokenPlanGuarantee
* UpToEleven: Played straight with Kevin's entire villain premise. Complete with [[ThemeNaming Thematic Naming]].
* VengefulVendingMachine: 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 [[SmallAnnoyingCreature Grey Matter]] to get the candy bar. The only problem is when the Omnitrix times out, leaving Ben's [[ExaggeratedTrope ENTIRE]] [[UpToEleven BODY]] trapped in the machine.
* VillainTeamUp: Kevin finding Vilgax in the second season finale.
** And the Negative 10 later on.
* VoicesAreMental: {{Averted}} for the aliens (with the exception of Upgrade), but played straight in the FreakyFridayFlip episode.
* VoluntaryShapeshifting
* WeAreTeamCannonFodder: Version two, Gwen and Grandpa Max.
* WebcomicTime: The summer road trip lasted nearly the whole of the original series.
* WeirderThanUsual: 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?
* WhamEpisode: "Secrets", which resolves the MythArc hinting at Max's past and formally introduces [[KnightOfCerebus Vilgax]] to Ben's life.
* WhatIf: 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.
* WhatMeasureIsANonHuman: Uncomfortably applied at the beginning of the series,given that Ben isn't human half of the time.Subverted in later episodes
* WheresTheFunInThat: In the WhatIf episode where Gwen was the one the [[ClingyMacGuffin Omnitrix]] attached itself to, [[BigBad 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?
* WhyDidItHaveToBeSnakes: In Ben's case, clowns. In the case of the clowns, Ghostfreak.
* WouldHurtAChild: 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.
* WrenchWench: Road Crew member Turbine is a villainous version.
* WretchedHiveOfScumAndVillainy: Incarcica in TheMovie is described as this, even though it's technically a prison.
* YouMustBeThisTallToRide: 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.
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