The third series in the Ben 10 franchise, following Alien Force; it was originally titledBen 10: Evolution in pre-production. The series was launched in April, 2010.Mostly similar to the previous sequel Ben 10 Alien Force, the main diffence is that Ben is now using the Ultimatrix, a prototype modified version of the Omnitrix with the ability to turn his aliens forms into stronger version of themselves. In addition, Ben's Secret Identity is revealed to the world, resulting in him to become a worldwide celebrity, loved by the kids but distrusted by adults.In the first season, the protagonists have to deal with five aliens from the Andromeda Galaxy who escaped on Earth after being kidnapped by a mysterious Osmosian (Kevin's species) criminal named Aggregor, who attempts to absorb all of them for a mysterious purpose. Eventually, it's revealed he attempted to use their powers to reach the home dimension of the Celestial Sapiens in order to absorb Omnipotent powers from a Celestial Sapien newborn. After easily reaching the Celestialsapiens' home dimension by playing the heroes like violins, he is finally stopped when Kevin commit a Heroic Sacrifice by absorbing energy from the Ultimatrix, giving him enough power to defeat Aggregor but causing him to become psycho again. The last season's episodes deal with Ben and Gwen finding a way to bring him back to normal while he goes on rampages.The second season starts as mostly made of filler episodes for the first half, but a story arc eventually emerge, involving an Eldritch Abomination named Diagon linked to the past of the Forever Knight. Its return causes causes the Forever Knight to become a threat again when their creator, Old George, comes back to face Diagon, resulting in a Big Bad Ensemble between George, Diagon and Vilgax, who survived his defeat at the end of Alien Force and attempts to absorb Diagon's power. This eventually ends with Diagon killing George and Vilgax Out-Gambitting Diagon, thus absorbing him and gaining his powers. Eventually, Ben defeats the newly God-like powered Vilgax with George's sword, and, after being tempted by him to wipe out evil using this power, uses it to repair the damage done by Diagon. Impressed, Azmuth destroys the Ultimatrix and replaces it with a new, upgraded Omnitrix he had been keeping for Ben, waiting for the day he would be worthy of it.Much like its predecessor, Ultimate Alien had a controversial reception and maintained the Broken Base amongst the fans. It was generally viewed as too similar to Alien Force to even be considered as a separate series, and is usually rather seen as a continuation of the previous one; the only major changes it brought to the franchise were Ben starting to use a new Omnitrix (which was replaced again at the end of the show) and Ben's identity being revealed to the world, confirming further his evolution as a Living Legend in-universe. It was still notable, however, for two major Author's Saving Throws : giving an explanation for Kevin's change of personality between the original series and Alien Force, and turning back the badly decayed Vilgax and Forever Knights into credible threats. It also had rather well-received Crossover episode with other Man of Action Studios series Generator Rex, Ben 10 Generator Rex Heroes United.The show ended after two seasons and was followed by Ben 10 Omniverse, which went for drastic changes and attempted to go back to the original series' roots.
More of a Studio Allusion, but Gwen's cousin Sunny is a complete expy of Blackfire, down to having a black-and-purple colour scheme and being voiced by Gwen's VA, Ashley Johnson (In Teen Titans, Blackfire and Starfire shared a VA, Hynden Walch).
In "Ben 10,000 Returns", when Kevin notices the strange fighting styles of the multiverse Ben counterparts under Eon's control, he asks Ben, "Since when did you learn ninjutsu?" Guess who else Yuri Lowenthal voices besides Ben? Sasuke Uchiha.
He puts the Car in Cargo Ship. To him? That's the most heinous.
Artifact Title: As before. The title sequence shows 44 aliens, counting Ultimate forms. Some of the aliens shown (Buzzshock, Articguana, and Spitter) were in the What If? original series episode "Ben 10,000".
But, his name is still Tennyson.
With all the aliens from the Andromeda Galaxy added, he now has 1,000,910 aliens in the Ultimatrix.
Or rather, in the codon stream on Primus.
And the Ultimatrix seems to still have the same ten minute time limit even though Ben can change a number of times before the Ultimatrix needs recharge time.
Oh, and to top it all off, the Cartoon Network Asia and Cartoon Network UK premieres of the series and the US premiere of episodes 10 and 11 aired on 10/10/10.
The first season finale aired in the US on Decembernote Before July and August were added to the calendar, December was the tenth month! 10.
Ascended Extra: Vulkanus. He appeared three times (including short appearing in dream sequence and VERY short one in future) as Six Six's helper in original series. Later Six Six comes back on The Movie but, without him. Now he's a reccurring villain. Ironically Six Six doesn't return but was replaced with Seven Seven.
"Maybe you forgotten something: I'm Ben Tennyson, wielder of the most powerful weapon in the universe. I stopped the Highbreed invasion, I defeated Vilgax in hand-to-hand combat and I've beaten the Forever Knights more times that I can count. Here's what's going to happen: you're going to release these prisoners, you're going to crawl back to whatever hole you came from and you're going to stop hunting down aliens because if you don't, I promise, you'll regret it for the rest of your very short lives."
Back for the Dead: Elena Validus makes her first animated appearance…and dies at the end of it.
Beneath the Mask: Colonel Rozum's first few appearances portrayed him as a very reasonable person who accepted Ben and company as heroes and fully cooperated with them. Then we discover underneath that he's a Knight Templar who imprisoned 775 aliens in inhuman conditions under Area 51 for five decades without due process of law.
Berserk Button: Once again, Gwen shows just exactly what will happen to you when you piss her off… Well, sort of, because we never know anything beyond Gwen and Zombozo "coming to an understanding" at the end of episode 3. If anything, it seems Gwen has a handle over her Anodite form.note Which is curious in itself, given that the last time Gwen went Andonite, she nearly didn't turn back.
Julie for Ben. Poor Captain Nemesis, you kinda feel sorry for him. Kinda.
All of reality is one for Rath.
Especially when you destroy Mr. Smoothie in front of him.
Black and Grey Morality: "Viktor: The Spoils" has this. Both King Zarion and Prince Gyula are villains, and it's suggested that the rebels may not be any better then they are.
Blessed with Suck: Kevin 11's species and Kevin himself in particular, in that what is by far the most useful aspect of their innate ability (Power Copying the superpowers of others) also causes rampant sociopathy.
Only if they absorb energy or the powers of others. Absorbing minerals doesn't do that.
Big Bad: Aggregor, up until the mid-season, where's he's replaced by energy-insane Kevin.
In Season 2. First the Forever Knights, then Vilgax, now Diagon.
Big Badass Battle Sequence: The Forever Knights versus the the Flame Keepers Circle in "The Beginning of the End." Ben tries to come in on the side of the Knights only for it to turn into a Mêlée à Trois.
The series is full of allusions to the show itself. Young Ben accuses Swampfire of being a ripoff of Wildvine, someone tasting the Ben 10-themed smoothies after his identity is revealed says that the Alien X flavor was something of a letdown, a villain in Sumo Slammers is suddenly an ally in the new version and Ben isn't buying that... it goes on.
And Professor Paradox has a habit of warning people not to give out spoilers. However, he's a homage to Doctor Who, taking much from the Doctor (with "I walk in eternity" and gumballs = jelly babies being direct Tom Baker shout-outs) and a little from River Song (he's not meeting the gang in the order they're meeting him, "spoilers.")
Brick Joke: In "Prisoner 775 is Missing", the teaser features Ben explaining that he doesn't have an alien called Overkill (due to him believing Gwen was referring to Swampfire). At the end, when he scans and obtains a new form, ChamAlien, he shouts "Overkill!", much to his friends' annoyance.
Broken Pedestal: Ben's former idol Captain Nemesis, who becomes the villain Overlord.
To be fair, Zombozo didn't menace him after their first meeting, so it's understandable he'd forget him.
Word Of God is that Ben said that because he didn't want to admit (to Kevin) he used to be scared of clowns.
Call Back: Might be accidental, but in "Absolute Power" Gwen tries to talk Kevin out of his rampage in a game arcade. If you remember the original series, they first met in a game arcade in New York, bringing their relationship full circle. Both arcades even look similar.
In "Ultimate Sacrifice", Ben activates Ghostfreak who, like the Ultimates, wanted out of the watch.
Car Fu: Kevin uses ferris wheel fu on Charmcaster in the third episode.
In the cold open of the next episode, Fourarms returns and makes a car-sandwich out of a baddie breaking his parole.
Cassandra Truth: After an episode of taking credit for Ben's various acts of heroism, J.T. and Cash get their act together and actually save Ben's life... which no one sees them do, and having outed themselves as frauds mere minutes earlier, no one believes them when they try to take credit this time.
Cerebus Syndrome: The later parts of season 2 get rather dark. The main characters are murdered (then revived), and Captain Nemesis straight up murders several people in his reappearance. Ben also broke his arm in that same episode, a rare instance of such a damaging injury sticking.
Cerebus Rollercoaster: However, the episode after "Catch a Falling Star"note "The Eggman Cometh" was mainly a comedic episode, then the episode after thatnote "Night of the Living Nightmare" brought it back to scary.
Charles Atlas Superpower: Humans may not have any superpowers, but with enough Plumber training, they can jump as high as Fourarms or Spidermonkey.
Chekhov's Gun: Kevin spends most of "Video Games" blowing spitwads at people. Guess what he has to do to help stop the Stalker robot?
Also, in "Andreas Fault", the Forever Knights use some new teleportation power in the first few minutes for a quick escape. Considering that they had just stolen a smoothie machine, it wasn't really important. They use it again to escape the self-destruct near the end.
In the beginning of "Night of the Living Nightmare", Ben knocks over his smoothie while he sleeps. This saves him from getting a Cassiopean Dream Eater stuck onto his face when Albedo trips on it instead.
Cool Car: Ben's still got the DX Mk10 that Kevin made for him in the Alien Swarm movie, and Kevin naturally has his own ride, as well.
But for some reason, Gwen and Ben like driving Kevin's. Backfires on them in "The Enemy of my Enemy."
Cool Ship: Kevin personalized an old Plumbers' flyer, christened the Rustbucket-3. It can slice US fighter jets in half like a hot knife through butter, and travel interstellar distances in uber-short amounts of time.
Turns out NASA's been building their own ship called the Orion, which can travel at 15% the speed of light. (Truth in Television. Project Orion was the first design study of nuclear pulse propulsion, which is what is used here.)
Combo Platter Powers: Kevin's got his matter-absorption back, and can still shift his body into weapons!
Though according to Word Of God, he's always had them, but up until now was afraid to use them.
Aggregor gets this once he absorbs the power of the five Andromeda aliens.
Continuity Nod: In "Where the Magic Happens", Kevin calls Charmcaster "Caroline", the alias she used in the Alien Force episode "In Charm's Way".
In "Absolute Power", Kevin blames his stepfather for convincing his mom to kick him out, forcing him onto the streets and into the mindset that led to Kevin 11. His stepfather points out that Kevin destroyed the house on a rampage and they were ill-equipped to deal with a superpowered adolescent.
"Moonstruck" is a double whammy by alluding to both previous shows: Max was given the opportunity to be the first man on the moon, but ultimately declined in favor of becoming a plumber. Though already established in the original series, it was revealed in this flashback that he got the offer from Labrid, the magister from Alien Force's premiere.
In "The Purge", Driscoll, the Forever King from the original series as well as Enoch, his subordinate appear, as does Patrick, the Forever King from the Alien Force episode "Be-Knighted."
Sunder, the Terrax-like bounty hunter from the Alien Force episode "Single Handed" reappears in "The Transmogrification of Eunice", only this time working for Azmuth.
Ben as Big Chill notes to Ma Vreedle that "[he's] a mother too!". Viewers will recall that Big Chill produced offspring back in Alien Force.
Curb-Stomp Battle: Kevin gives one to Aggregor after absorbing Ben's aliens again. It comes at the price of his sanity…
Dangerously Genre Savvy: Aggregor seems to put the word 'Dangerous' in this trope. He's not impatient, waiting until just the right moment to make his move. He knows enough not to go after the four fragments of the Map of Infinity without the proper abilities and seeks out the aliens with the exact abilities he needs. He employs Mecha-Mooks that won't turn against him, and knows that his operations are too important for said mooks to do and instead handles everything personally. He's clever enough to subvert Talking Is a Free Action, such as when he murdered the Plumber who had boarded his ship when he was citing the violation code. One of the major things he does is that he actually tracks the Ultimatrix's signal to locate Ben and his prisoners. He subtly manages to recapture his fugitives without Ben and the others knowing until it's too late. He was well prepared for a Plumber ambush, and was clever enough to leave a squadron of his robots and his damaged ship that was set to self destruct as a decoy while he carried out his real plan. He pretends to let Ben think he's pummeling him when he isn't feeling a thing and strikes back when Ben stops. Finally, he lets Ben and the others do all the work in collecting the fragments of the Map of Infinity, stealing them after they've finally reached them.
David vs. Goliath: Ben ultimately defeats Harangue's Omnidroid knockoff by turning into Nanomech, his smallest alien (and incidentally the only one the robot didn't have on file) and tearing it apart form the inside.
Deal with the Devil: Gwen promises Michael Morningstar enough mana to remain at full strength for a year if he'll help her restore Kevin to normal.
Julie's been getting it too. See Idiot Ball on the main page for her biggest screw up, but she's also been getting a lot snippier (beyond what's justified as stress from having a famous boyfriend). And she suddenly decided that Earth Needs Alien Tech NOW, despite all the people who have gone after Ship, you know, her pet, because he's effectively an alien super weapon. All this really started, oddly enough, after they introduced Eunice...
Deus ex Machina: Calling Grandma Verdona to help stop a cousin without previous obvious warning is rather a good way to address the fanbase with their incessant questioning of whether she (Verdona) will ever show up again onscreen.
Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: In the backstory, Sir George defeated Diagon, banishing him to another dimension. In the finale Vilgax baits Diagon into attacking an energy draining device. This kills Diagon since he is an Energy Being.
Kevin: Look, Gwen, you have to treat a car like you treat a woman! Gwen:(pops a Fascinating Eyebrow) Go on. Kevin: *beat* No. I sense I've made a mistake of some kind.
Diminishing Villain Threat: Zombozo inverts this completely. He was from season 1 of Ben 10, upon his return he's as scary as ever and may have just buried someone when he shows up.
The Hive's return also subverts this. While they don't conquer the world like in the movie, they're even more deadly than they originally were because they're smarter. Instead of making their Queen act differently than a human, she pretends to be their ally to earn their trust and attempt to bring Ben to their side. They're so deadly they nearly kill Ben and it takes Elena's Heroic Sacrifice to defeat them. Even then, The Stinger reveals they were just Playing Possum and are still out there.
Subverted again by the Forever Knights. They spend a good chunk of the series degenerating into cold open villains and perennial punching bags, but when their founder, Old George shows up, he quickly goes about reunifying them and whipping them back into shape as a competent and effective extremist group.
Played straight, with Darkstar. Compare his appearances in Alien Force, where he was a competent, dangerous, Manipulative Bastard, to his appearances here, where he's forced to hide out in alleyways and leech off of animals' energy, makes plans that the heroes see right through from the start, and who is always left in the most pathetic state possible by the end of the episode.
Albedo. As Gwen put it, "He's not a threat anymore, he's a... nuisance."
Distaff Counterpart: Sunny can be considered this to Albedo, as she and Albedo are Evil Twins to Gwen and Ben respectively. To begin with, both have the same powers as their Good Counterparts. Much like the case with Albedo to Ben, Sunny's appearance is similar to Gwen's, and both she and Gwen share the same VA. Like Albedo, Sunny is highly jealous of Gwen.
Dude, Where's My Respect?: Played straight and subverted. Younger people (kids, teenagers, etc.), generally takes Ben's deeds for what they are. Mass media portrays him in a thoroughly negative light, and thus adults have a much lower opinion of him. The government is cool with him, though, having recognized the Plumbers as the authority in such matters for a long time now.
And it's not just the US government; every government in the world recognizes a Plumbers Badge, and is immediately willing to let them have full authority in the matter.
Element Number Five: Ra'ad, the fifth alien, has the unorthodox power of electricity while his comrades have powers over the other four traditional elements. Still, his mastery over the electromagnetic spectrum makes him just as powerful as his comrades, if not the strongest, considering he possesses a unique form mind reading.
Elemental Powers: Many of Ben's alien forms, but specific mention goes to his newest five:
Enemy Civil War: The Forever Knights have so many factions that hate each other that when another group showed up, Ben and company had to ask which Forever King they were aligned with. And then it turned out to be yet another faction they hadn't met.
Energy Absorption: Aggregor, Ben's newest addition to his Rogues Gallery, has this power. Somewhat ironic considering that he's of the same alien race as Ben's former-enemy-turned-ally Kevin, who also did this in the original series.
We find out that Kevin still has this ability, but prefers to utilize his matter assimilation abilities for obvious reasons. He tries to warn Aggregor about this, but the villain says that it's a lie the powerful have spread to keep civilians from realizing their true potential.
Evil Power Vacuum: In "Enemy of my Frenemy", it's revealed that after Adwaita was overthrown the rebels immediately began to fight each other for control.
Evolution Powerup: Though to be fair, it's not like the evolution is natural in the first place.
Word Of God says the evolutionary process works by having the chosen alien in a simulated "worst case scenario" planet-wide civil war for an extend period of time, about a million or so years, and the dominant form at the end of the simulation is what Ben evolves into.
Fourarms new appearance is highly similar to Goro.
P'andor's form outside his suit is similar to the 10,000-Volt Ghost, an old Scooby-Doo villain.
Ultimate Echo Echo's form has a design scheme very reminiscent of Shriek's sound suit, particularly the design of the arms, with same looking sound disks and with the ability of sound manipulation it only just makes the expy even more apparent.
Way Big is a huge one for Ultraman, from looks to energy beam firing style.
Jennifer Nocturne, a very talented girl who has serious problems of self-esteem, falls in Mad Love with Nemesis, a perilous psychopath who only could think in killing his archenemy. It’s dubious if he loves her, but he certainly wants her to believe it. This could be applied to the relationship between Harley Quinn and the Joker.
Face Heel Turn: Kevin makes one after absorbing the power of the Ultimatrix and defeating the Big Bad solo. A bit of a subversion in this case, and might even qualify as a Heroic Sacrifice (of his own character development) since he knew the risks of With Great Power Comes Great Insanity but took the chance as a last desperate bid to defeat a villain about to become a living god.
10-year-old Ben's reaction to Swampfire: "Plant guy? That's just a copy of Wildvine."
Fantastic Racism: Anti-alien bigotry has been the Forever Knights' hat since Alien Force and arguably the first series, but it isn't until "The Purge" and the return of Old George that they actually start living up to their creed. After being the butt of jokes for several seasons they ditch the dorky armor and ineffective weapons for better Power Armor and weapons to use against any aliens living on Earth and our heroes. They become so dangerous that Ben has to threaten to kill them all if they don't stop their crusade - and there is no doubt that the wielder of the Omnitrix is fully capable of doing that.
Fastball Special: Kevin has Humongousaur throw him at a pair of Forever Knights.
They try another version with Lodestar's magnetism and Kevin in metallic form. It works, but is so rough on Kevin that Gwen makes them promise not to do it again.
Are we not going to mention Paradox's warning at the end of "Ben 10,000 Returns" concerning the Lucubra and Old George?
Some parts of the fandom theorize that Paradox even hinted at the upcoming Ben 10 and Generator Rex crossover in "The Forge of Creation":
Gwen: "What's that?"
Paradox: "Oh, that's the next universe over. I don't like it at all."
His explanations of alternate realities, separate universes, and the time/space continuum in "Ben 10,000 Returns" makes this particular foreshadowing even more plausible.
What Colonel Rozum was like Beneath the Mask was foreshadowed back in Paradox's first appearance in Alien Force when he implies he wanted to use Paradox's time machine as a weapon against the Russians.
In "Night of the Living Nightmare", Ben nearly slips on a discarded Mr. Smoothie cup in his messy room. When it's revealed the nightmare of the episode was Albedo's, not Ben's as seemingly hinted, the three protagonists mention he slipped on Ben's Mr. Smoothie cup.
Freudian Excuse: Charmcaster took over Ledgerdomain and temporarily killed everyone in it, including the Power Trio, because she just wanted her daddy back alive again.
Oh, and before that, her goal was to free Ledgerdomain and everyone in it from an evil alien tyrant. She succeeded... and then promptly all the denizens of the realm started a war over who gets to take control of it. Poor Charmcaster, nothing she works at ever ends up right...
Forgot About His Powers: A necessity for Ben to be even the least bit threatened by any villain, though it helps that the Ultimatrix isn't exactly reliable. A particularly egregious case occurs in "Where the Magic Happens", where Ben never thinks to use Terraspin, an alien immune to mana, in the dimension made entirely of mana and against the opponent whose only weapon is mana. In general, any time Ben doesn't use his obviously overpowered evolution function to curb-stomp his foes on the spot counts.
Fusion Dance: This is basically how Aggregor gains the power of the five Andromeda aliens, resulting in portions of their bodies making up his new form.
G-Rated Drug: According to Darkstar, energy is like this to him and Kevin.
Genre Savvy: Kevin while teaching Gwen how to drive. He tells her a car needs to be treated like a woman, but when she asks for an explanation, obviously displeased by the comparison, he immediately stops himself from continuing.
In the season finale, no one is surprised that Darkstar tries to betray everyone at the end, and he's promptly dealt with in less than 2 seconds. No cliffhanger for you, buddy!
A government Man in Black displays this in "The Widening Gyre":
MIB: Standard operating procedure is to show up unannounced, then demand you come with us. But we know we're dealing with Ben Tennysonnote (who is liable to respond to such a thing with, shall we say, force) so, we're asking. Would you please come with us?
Getting Crap Past the Radar: Zombozo and Kevin face each other with mallets, and Zombozo tells Kevin "Mine's BIGGER than yours!" Kevin naturally counters with something that amounts to "It's not the size that matters, it's how you use it."
Ben's wearing a motion-capture suit, and one of the spherical markers accidentally detaches and rolls away.
Humongousaur: Uh... one of my balls fell off...
Gwen refers to her post-teleportation headache as a hangover.
Regarding Aggregor's weapon:
Ben: Boy, I hope that's not one of those alien probes you hear about.
In "The Forge of Creation", Kevin begins to explain to young Ben from the past where baby Alien X's come from. Gwen stops him.
"Nor Iron Bars a Cage" had drug references.
When she first appears in "The Transmogrification of Eunice", Eunice/the Unitrix is in her/its spaceship, unconscious, completely naked except for a Censor Steam.
The first part of "Revenge of the Swarm".
Validus: We're here because of what you wanted to do with Elena!
Godzilla Threshold: Crossed in "Forge of Creation". So the good news is, Evil!Kevin kicked Aggregor's ass and stopped him from taking over the universe. So the bad news is, Evil!Kevin is back.
Green-Eyed Monster: Julie showed signs of being one when Ben entered into a completely professional relationship with an attractive actress (though she obviously wanted more out of it), despite the fact that she's fully aware he was doing it to get closer to his idol, Captain Nemesis.
Gwen does it a lot better. After the actress tries to move in on Kevin:
Heroic Sacrifice: The episode's called "Andreas' Fault"; who do you think it was? Also Ra'ad in the following one.
Kevin sacrifices his sanity to stop Aggregor and save the universe.
Heroic Vow: After Aggregor recaptures the last of his escaped prisoners, Ben makes one to save the aliens and stop Aggregor. He doesn't manage either, and though Kevin does manage to stop Aggregor at the end, it costs him his sanity.
He Who Fights Monsters: Harangue quotes Nietzsche's line about the abyss in regards to Captain Nemesis going bad, but he's obviously just trying to spin the whole thing against Ben.
Charmcaster becomes this in her quest to bring her father back to life, in the process becoming worse than the one who actually killed him. Her father calls her out on this and she realizes all to late the error of her ways. She's shown to have gotten better after this, though, working at being a better ruler and person.
How Do I Shot Web?: Just like in the original series, Evil!Kevin 11 prefers to pretty much just either smash stuff or blast stuff instead of utilizing his full array of abilities. Ben even has to point out to him that he can use his "Mothman" powers to phase through objects. He does seem to get more creative with his usage of powers after realizing he has access to so many, though.
Fourarms: Why are you shouting your name out? It's stupid!
I Know You Are In There Somewhere Fight: Gwen's preferred approach to try dealing with Crazy!Kevin and she was right. He was in there somewhere…just not able to hold off the crazy for more than a few seconds at a time.
Kevin: …I've been trying to stay away from you!
Kevin: …Because I know what I'd do to you if I got the chance.
I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Cooper's crush on Gwen has not abated in the six years since they met, but he still stepped up without hesitation to help her save Kevin, even going so far as to reassure her.
I Want My Jetpack: In-universe example: When kid Ben shows up, he asks where the jetpacks are.
I Was Quite a Looker: Though her actual form hasn't changed any (seeing as she's an energy being and all) Verdona's younger human disguise back in her and Max's younger days was... attractive to say the least.
Idiot Ball: All three main characters hold this on various occasions. Aside from "Duped", there's "Too Hot to Handle" and "Andreas' Fault."
Aggregor's prisoners in "Escape from Aggregor". At the end of their escape, they have Aggregor's powers nullified using his own device. So why not, you know, just kill him instead of fleeing? That was the one time that Aggregor unambiguously screwed up to date, but nobody was smart enough to make him pay for it. Galapagus, being a pacifist, has an excuse for not thinking of this. Andreas, being an openly acknowledged moron, does too. Bivalvan, Ra'ad, and P'andor have all been shown to not mind killing, though, and aren't normally shown to have below-average intelligence.
It was probably meant as an indication that Ben is noble for valuing life, but come on, if he and Gwen had to go back and save the old Sentinel, why not give the last piece of the Map of Infinity to Kevin so he could take it to the RB3?
It was stated earlier that the Map of Infinity acted as a guide throughout the Perplexahedron - they couldn't use the Plumbers' Badge because it was attuned to the jet.
Ben himself grabs it, in "The Perfect Girlfriend", not putting together that Julie is an imposter. Despite all the obvious hints(Acting weird, not caring about tennis wearing a different outfit, mere moments after they parted) it doesn't hit until he sees a replay of Julie playing tennis on television. Though that at least could be justified by Ben being too happy about being on good terms with Julie again to notice anything amiss.
C'mon, Darkstar, you honestly couldn't remember a hot girl's name when it's just a simple word from the English language? It's not like it's the first mistake he made in the episode, but it's the most glaring.
Inferred Holocaust: Charmcaster's home dimension, in which all of her people were either killed or imprisoned.
Season Two: Ship sees things out of focus after crash-landing and losing consciousness.
Imported Alien Phlebotinum: The Ultimatrix, given to Ben in the finale to Alien Force; it's essentially an upgraded Omnitrix which allows Ben to access more powerful forms of several of the aliens he transforms into. See Super Mode below.
Irony: Geochelone Aerios are revealed to be immune to mana, which is the power Aggregor uses from Galapagus to render Gwen's powers useless. Some episodes later, we meet Adwaitia, who highly resembles a Geochelone Aerio; He uses magic, which is powered by Mana.
Adwaitia is also worshiped by Galapagus' race, which is how Aggregor knew Ledgerdomain's secret true name - he read it from Galapagus' memories.
It's Been Done: Ben invokes this when Inspector #13 tells him to think of what an army powered by the Ultimatrix can do.
Karma Houdini: Kevin after "Absolute Power" and Charmcaster after "Enemy of my Frenemy". Both are somwhat understandable, as the two are both examples of Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds, but it's jarring that they recieve NO punishment for their deeds other than themselves feeling bad about it.
A far better example is Will Harangue in "Computer Games", after attempting to kill Ben for no reason, he's not only not arrested but has turned the event against Ben.
Knight Templar: Colonel Rozum. He's quite possibly worse than the Forever Knight's with their dragon when it comes to aliens. You know what they did to that alien dragon? Rozum imprisoned 775 aliens in worse conditions, while adding more to it.
As the return of Old George/The First Knight has transformed the Forever Knights from laughable Monty Python-referencing villains to a "proper" order of fanatics who strong-arm innocent aliens into leaving Earth.
They KILLED Pierce, probably planned on killing all those aliens waiting for supplies, and Ben needed to threaten to Kill 'em All to make them leave. As in, actually say KILL. Even their appearances and weapons have become Darker and Edgier. And now, most likely Old George will wind up somehow involved with The Lucubra.
Humongousaur: If you're never going to give me the alien I ask for, why do you even have a dial?
In "Prisoner Number 775 is Missing" Kevin asks Ben why he shouts the name of his aliens. Ben's response? To strike fear in the hearts of his enemies. Kevin deadpans that Ben can keep on believing that if he wants to.
Then Gwen announces Wildmutt's name as Ben is transforming later in the same episode, then remarks, "He can't talk. Someone had to do it."
Laser-Guided Karma: A literal case of it. After taking credit for being the brains behind the heroes and the heroes going along with it, J.T. and Cash actually save Ben using an energy draining laser weapon. But, after putting up with them all episode, Ben, Gwen and Kevin finally tell them off and don't believe them. Worse, the weapon shorted out the camera recording the said saving. The episode ends with J.T. sadly yelling "We're heroes!"
Kevin: Great idea. That way Aggregor can pick us off one at a time.
Lightning Can Do Anything: Ra'ad, one of the five prisoners of Aggregor, possesses electrical powers which allow him to fire lightning blasts, transform into electricity and travel electrical devices, and even read the minds of any life form.
Limited Wardrobe: Finally justified. The Ultimatrix, and the Omitrix before it, apparently scanned in Ben's outfit when it scanned in his biology, and no matter what outfit he was wearing when he goes hero, he detransforms wearing the one outfit we always see him in.
He states this explicitly for the Ultimatrix "ever since I got the Ultimatrix…" implying that the Omnitrix didn't, leaving that one still unresolved.
Justified for Gwen in "It's Not Easy Being Gwen" as we see that her outfit is her prep school uniform.
Loads and Loads of Characters: About 63, all in one guy! Almost everyone Ben's turned into throughout the three series (plus Nanomech from the Alien Swarm movie, and a few we've never seen), except for Eon, can be found in the title sequence.
Logical Weakness: Ra'ad, and by extension Ampfibian, is highly vulnerable to water, being an elecromagnetic being, This is ironic, as the species is an Electric Jellyfish. The writers apparently thought better of the weakness later on, since Ampfibian was able to swim underwater with no problems in "Deep".
Lotus-Eater Machine: The Cassiopeia dream eater puts whoever it attaches to into one, then feeds off the chemicals in their brain related to stress as they try in vain to fight off the resulting nightmares.
MacGuffin Delivery Service: How Aggregor retrieves his first three escaped prisoners. Subverted for the last two: he had to make a token effort for the fourth, and the fifth gave him a lot of trouble while performing a Heroic Sacrifice.
Played straight again when retrieving the first piece of the Map of Infinity; Aggregor lets the Power Trio work through the traps in the Temple of Doom so that he can take the Map piece for himself at the end. Same with the third.
Made of Iron: Ben is this entire trope. He's able to survive getting kicked by Bivalvan's Powered Armour, hit by another alien powered suit, blasted by Pandor's radioactive beam, and kicked by Aggregor's "Ultimate Form" without any broken bones or scratches ALL IN HUMAN FORM. Kevin has an excuse because of him being Osmosian allowing him to be more resistant to damage. And Gwen probably used a spell to make herself more resistant to harm.
Magical Land: Charmcaster and Hex are revealed to be from one much similar to the Null Void dimension, only with a purple backdrop instead of red.
Magic Skirt: There have been many time in the series where Gwen (and sometimes Julie) are show falling legs first or huge gusts of wind are present. Everytime, it results in their hair blowing up, but their skirts stay in their place.
Male Gaze: The camera seems to focus on Gwen's rear at times.
Me's a Crowd: The second episode involves Ben using Echo-Echo-created clones of himself to do a little multitasking. Unfortunately, they suck at the Combination Attack.
Mid-Season Upgrade: Aggregor transforms into a conglomerated form of the five aliens after he absorbs them. He reverts back after Kevin takes his power for his own.
Midway through season 2, Ben 10,000 gives present Ben every alien he'd ever turned into up to that point (thus making the title sequence correct) along with several that he hadn't yet gotten.
Mind Control: Lucubra can control people while eating their thoughts. The real Diagon can do this to anyone that was a victim of Lucubra. Both also involve a hefty amount of Mind Rape, if Gwen's reaction is any indication.
Mind Rape: By the titular "Creature from Beyond" in season 2.
The real Diagon can also do this to anyone who was ever a victim of the above creature without warning.
Mix And Match Creature: Aggregor's new form consists of the legs of Bivalvan, the arms of Andreas, the torso of Galapagus, the face plate of P'andor for a neck, and a head much like Ra'ad's. And as of "Forge of Creation", Kevin has done the same thing with Ben's entire alien set, minus the Ultimate forms and Alien X.
Mondegreen: In-universe example; Jimmy thought Jetray's name was "Jeffrey".
Monster Clown: Zombozo makes a triumphant return in the third episode.
For no logical reason, Harangue challenges Ben to a battle next to the Washington Monument. This leads to the Monumental Damage below.
The final fight with the garbage monster in "The Widening Gyre" takes place at the San Francisco Bridge.
Monumental Damage: Harangue manages to topple the Washington Monument and put holes in the Capitol Building with missiles inside of five minutes on live television. He even manages attempts to pin the blame on Ben.
The Multiverse: In "Ben 10,000 Returns", Paradox reveals this exists. Among universes he listed are the Gwen 10 universe, a universe were Ben never had to destroy the Omnitrix to beat Vilgax, a world will Albedo ended up trapped in Alien X for over a year, the universe were Ben 10: Race Against Time took place, and the original Ben 10,000 universe, but it's stated there are others. Its also revealed that the Eon they're fighting came from a universe were Ben turned into him.
Murder Is the Best Solution: Captain Nemesis in "To Catch a Falling Star" is very quick to kill people to get what he wants. He seems to think that killing Ben will solve all of his problems.
My Future Self and Me: Ben teams up with his younger self from the original series in "The Forge of Creation". While the younger Ben gets a mind-wipe of the events, the subliminal memory of it is what makes him trust Kevin so quickly.
Ben teams up with another version of his future self in "Ben 10,000 Returns," which is an entirely different Ben than the one in the original series episode "Ben 10,000." So technically, Ben has met four of his future selves so far.
Another example of breaking: Kevin accidentally releases P'andor, a highly-radioactive energy being, from his containment suit. This leads to an Oh Crap face.
A very notable case is that Ben and the others were unaware that they were unwittingly giving Aggregor back his captives each time they helped them. The last of the five finally pointed it out, and he too was caught. Just goes downhill from there.
No Celebrities Were Harmed: Think of every TV news pundit you know of; Will Harangue has traits of all of them, though no real political affiliation. He just really hates Ben.
No Ontological Inertia: Somewhat justified with the Andromeda aliens. Aggregor had converted them into energy so he could permanently absorb their powers. Once all the energy returned back to their original owners, they turned back to normal. (Then again, how it knew to convert them back into their physical forms is still unanswered.)
Nothing Can Stop Us Now: In what has to be one of the fastest fulfillments of the trope's promise ever, Darkstar has the nerve to proclaim this after absorbing Kevin's excess energy, which was a considerable amount. Ben naturally saw it coming, pushes a button on a nearby panel, and takes it from Darkstar before a minute has passed.
Old King Xarion of Zarcovia, his throne usurped by his own son with the help of Dr. Viktor's dead body, calls in Ben and the gang to help him… after which he turns on them and uses the Ultimatrix as a conduit to bodyjack Dr. Viktor.
Ssserpent when he appears in "The Perfect Girlfriend". Before, his sole role was to get his tail kicked by Ben in a few seconds, this time he'd studied Ben thoroughly and set a trap that almost kills Ben. He also manages to avoid being captured the entire episode, something few of Ben's toughter villains can't say they managed.
Not So Stoic: Imposter Kevin doesn't hide how much he finds Jimmy Jones annoying or that he prefers to kill him personally. Yet, he doesn't even say "told you so" when Jimmy helps free the real Ben, Gwen and Kevin.
Gwen says that carbon rods will "absorb excess neutrons and control the rate of the nuclear reaction". Indeed,carbon rods are great neutron moderators,(second only to heavy water),and they do control the rate of which the chain reaction occurs and increase the nuclear fission, thus, making a violent exothermic reaction...that liberates the neutrons' kinetic energy, instead of absorbing them. To absorb neutrons,it would be needed control rods,such as boron,or even carbon doped boron.
Dwayne McDuffie,one of the show's main writers who was alive at the time,had a Master degree in Physics,but he didn't wrote this episode.
Obfuscating Stupidity: Will Harangue acts like a typical TV news pundit while on the air, but off the air he's actually quite calculating and sinister.
Also Ben himself in the episode "Basic Training". He spends the entire episode acting like he's ignoring Drill Sergeant Nasty's every order and not reading the debriefing manual… and then gets a 95 out of 100 on the tests. He's not doing it to trick anyone, though; he just didn't feel like acting like he was paying attention, even though he was.
Oh Crap: When Gwen informs her crazy cousin Sunny that she is strong…but her Grandma Verdona is stronger. Cue an Oh Crap look from Sunny.
In "Where the Magic Happens", Adwagia is apparently ready for anything except Ultimate Humungosaur.
In "Nor Iron Bars A Cage", one of the Null Void robo-jailors actually goes "uh oh" at the impending prison revolt.
Panty Shot: Gwen in 'Andreas Fault' when she is preparing to kick Sir Dagonet. They're the oddly enough...the same color as her tights?
Playing Possum: Argit, to save himself from Crazy!Kevin's wrath at Plumber Academy.
Pokémon Speak: Ship. In "Eye of the Beholder", he learns a new word, "Julie!".
Power Copying: The Ultimatrix can scan any alien it doesn't have a copy of in the database and add it to Ben's repertoire. The downside is that he can't transform while it's doing this.
Unless he's already transformed when it happens.
Ben actually starts doing this actively in "Prisoner 775 is Missing".
Aggregor and Kevin, being Osmosians, can also do this with anything they touch. Although it comes with a With Great Power Comes Great Insanity drawback, so Kevin never actually uses this aspect of his ability until he turns evil, that is.
And for the trifecta, Eunice can absorb the abilities of Earth animals by touch due to being the living avatar of an Omnitrix prototype.
A more standard version in "The Forge of Creation" by young Ben after Kevin goes insane again.
"You're a jerk. You've always been a jerk. People try to be nice to you, but you can't ever see it. You're too busy feeling sorry for yourself."
Reveal Shot: Ben is shown on the therapist's couch in "Eye of the Beholder" - zooming out reveals his therapist is Jimmy Jones.
Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Prisoner 775 goes on one of these and tries to kill Colonel Rozum's family in revenge for Rozum's actions resulting in the deaths of his family and leaving the poor guy trapped in a horrible prison for who knows how long.
Sadistic Choice: Captain Nemesis tries to pull this on Ben with Julie and the hot actress. Ben unflinchingly saves Julie. After a tender moment, Julie finally brings up the actress. Cue the camera cutting to Gwen and Kevin rescuing her.
Schizo Tech: "Duped" features Ben and Kevin having to fight a Forever Knight wearing a suit of ancient Aztec Powered Armor.
Sdrawkcab Name: Easy to miss if you don't pay attention. In the most recent episode (as of this edit), Ben, Gwen, and Kevin, with the aid of Charmcaster, go to the dimension of "Ledgerdomain", where all mana comes from, through a "Door to Anywhere". Ledgerdomain is just what the natives call it, though. If you watched with closed captioning on, the name was spelled there as Yahwahtacsip, which is part of what makes it easy to miss.
The real Diagon is sealed in another dimension, and the source of his power, his heart, was torn away from him and sealed by a magical sword.
Self-Deprecation: This series seems pretty fond of poking fun at its own flaws and the flaws of the series in general. For example, at the opening of a smoothie shop doing a Ben 10 promotion, a kid calls the Alien X flavor "filler".
Let's not forget about "Video Games", where Ben talks about the multiplayer function in the game not being a good idea.
In "Forge of Creation" Young Ben looks through the 16-year old Ben's alien repertoire, and calls most of them lame.
Senseless Sacrifice: Elena Validus kills herself to stop the Hive and save Ben, because she was the queen. However, The Stinger reveals while she did save Ben, her sacrifice didn't stop the Hive and they're still alive. A later episode reveals that even SHE is still alive and back in "queen" mode again. The sacrifice was indeed entirely pointless.
Serious Business: Julie takes her mini golf super seriously. So much so, that when a killer robot interrupts her game, she tries to attack it!
The following ep, "Perplexahedron", has the Sentinel, an ancient alien guarding the last piece of the Map of Infinity - the entire setup looks an awful lot like the last Templar guarding the Holy Grail in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, complete with the place caving in on itself at the end.
The setup of the entire station even more closely resembles the movie Hyper Cube, with sterile white cube-shaped rooms that move around throughout the station, distort gravity, and contain various deathtraps.
In "Nor Iron Bars a Cage", we have a corrupt warden who kills a prisoner to avoid him helping another prisoner out. Never seen that one before.
The fight at the end of the episode is pretty much exactly what you'd expect from an episode of Ultraman, complete with heroic music, the group's attacking the garbage monster with the Rustbucket much like the Ultra support teams, and Way Big pulling out a power he was never previously shown possessing to win. The only thing missing would be the Omnitrix timer going off right before the finale.
One of the Plumbers in "The Mother of All Vreedles" is an obvious homage to Don Knotts' role as The Incredible Mr Limpet.
In "Solitary Alignment," Azmuth tries to explain to Ben and the gang how they can't interact with anyone in (what we know as) a Pensieve Flashback, but eventually stops and tells himself that they probably can't understand what he's trying to say. Ben's response is that it's "pretty simple if you've ever seen A Christmas Carol." Azmuth has no idea what he's talking about.
Stern Chase: The 2nd and 3rd chapters of season 1 (the Map of Infinity and the search for Kevin) have elements of this.
Stockholm Syndrome: Jennifer Nocturne suffers a serious case of this in "Catch a Falling Star", falling in love with her former kidnapper Captain Nemesis and becoming his accomplice.
Stop Helping Me!: In "Prisoner #775 is missing", Gwen uses her powers to help Kevin fight said alien who has chameleon powers. Unfortunately, her directions come a little too late as the alien keeps moving. In the end, Kevin is knocked to the ground and he sarcastically thanks Gwen.
Story Arc: Season 1 has the "Prisoners of Aggregor" arc, followed immediately after by the "Map of Infinity" arc. Now the remainder will be dedicated to rescuing Kevin from himself.
Then we get into Season 2, which starts to look like a subversion (ala Season 3 of Alien Force) until Paradox's warning in "Ben 10,000 Returns".
Suicide by Cop: It becomes apparent that Prisoner 775 was attempting this by holding Colonel Rozum at pretty much knife point. He doesn't defend himself or attempt to kill Rozum when Ultimate Wildmutt charges him, he just lets himself be attacked and begs to be killed so he can rejoin his lost family…
Summon Bigger Fish: Gwen can't beat her full-Anodite cousin, Sunny, so she calls her grandmother Verdona, who easily puts Sunny in her place.
"Albedo" means "mirror." In this case- a mirror image of Ben.
This Is Unforgivable: The entire cast's reaction to Rozum's imprisoning 775 aliens for decades in horrible conditions with no good reason other than "national security" and without due process of law, instead of handing them over to the Plumbers for a proper trial. The audience probably agrees.
Time Skip: According to Word Of God, the time between the finale of Alien Force and the beginning of Ultimate Alien is only a few weeks; Ben and Gwen have their birthday in that short time frame. This means, according to information from the first series, that the starting point of this new story is roughly some time after New Year's. note For those who don't remember, Ben was arguing that Gwen was obsessive for planning her birthday party 6 months in advance, in the middle of Summer. This places their shared birthdays in winter, and Kevin's apparently not too long before.
Unusual Euphemism: Kevin had to learn "astrophysics" on the street. The context makes it clear he's talking about sex.*
He was asked where little Celestialsapiens - cosmic superbeings of Alien X's race - come from. He answered "When two constellations love each other very much..." and gives the "astrophysics" line when given a glare by Gwen.
Very Special Episode: Mild case. In the episode "It's Not Easy Being Gwen", Kevin and Gwen directly talk about how he dropped out of school, and she encourages him to go get a G.E.D. They haven't followed up on that.
Villain Episode: Kinda-sorta with "Where the Magic Happens"; next to Gwen, Charmcaster is the main character of the episode.
Similarly, "Couples Retreat" focuse more on Charmcaster and Darkstar then it does the heroes.
Villain Teamup: Zombozo, Charmcaster, and Vulkanus in the third episode.
Later, Charmcaster and Darkstar, though Charmcaster isn't a full-out villain anymore, and ends up literatelly showing Darkstar the door once she realizes he's using her for her power.
Kevin, Gwen, Sunny, and Aggregor as well, unless shapeshifting is only used to describe going between more than two forms.
Was It Really Worth It?: Max, and to a lesser degree Ben, confront Colonel Rozum with this question after his actions lead to a vengeful alien trying to murder his family to take revenge for all the horrible things he'd done to him. Rozum responds that it was, but Max and company clearly don't agree.
Weaksauce Weakness: The plant monster that dissolves on contact with peanuts, though it's more likely the fact that they were salted that made them dangerous. Still, it worked ridiculously well.
Wham Episode: Both "A Knight to Remember" and "Solitary Alignment" reveal a lot about the leader of the Forever Knights, among other things.
What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Invoked by Ben in season 2 in regards to Eunice. Azmuth says she is a construct no different than the aliens Ben transforms into, Ben disagrees.
Colonel Rozum's opinion on the aliens he imprisoned in Area 51 without due process of law (as when Ben and company capture an alien, they leave it to the Plumbers to give them a proper trial) is they aren't human so he doesn't have to treat them like them. Ben and company strongly disagree.
The Forever Knights' creed is basically their answer to this question.
What the Hell, Hero?: Grandpa Max and Gwen call Ben outnote Max out of curiosity since he agrees, Gwen incredulously since she doesn't on how his "the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few" attitude towards Crazy!Kevin doesn't fit Ben's usual optimistic perspective. Ben responds with Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!.
Ben's entire group, including Max, call out Colonel Rozum when they discover he's been keeping aliens prisoner in horrible condition for over 50 years without due process of law. Not only is this morally wrong, it violates interplanetary law. He "justifies" his actions by being his duty to serve and protect his country, no matter the cost.
In a "What the Hell, Anti-Villain" moment, Charmcaster's father calls her out on using life-exchanging black magic to resurrect him. Apparently, it didn't occur to her that he might not approve of her killing 600,000living beings just to bring him back. Then he sacrifices himself to undo her work, leaving Charmcaster in a mix between Heel Realization, My God, What Have I Done?, and Villainous BSOD.
With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: The reason why Kevin was such an evil kid in the first series. Osmosians are driven mad by absorbing energy. Aggregor claims this is just a lie by the powerful, but given how unstable he is already he's not exactly a reliable source.
Kevin did it again, though it was a Heroic Sacrifice to save the universe and defeat Aggregor. It cost his sanity, but he got better.
Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Prisoner 775 from the self titled episode. He was imprisoned for years for doing nothing more than being exiled to Earth for trying to save his homeworld from a brutal tyrant. By the time he got out, the rebellion had lost and his family was dead. With this on top of being confined to horrible conditions for whoever knows how long, one can't blame him for going on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against the one responsible for doing that to him...
Meanwhile, the last leg of Season 1 gave us Kevin, who absorbed energy to save the universe from Aggregor at the cost of his sanity and body. Lacking almost virtually any sense of control, he promptly goes on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against everyone that wronged him. Most of his targets did things that were quite minor, but a few actually do deserve it.
"I'm the one who gets turned into a monster! I'm the one nobody ever trusts or cares about! ... Face it, Gwen! Whatever I look like, I'm a freak!"
Charmcaster, after becoming a near Heel Face Turn before, becomes a near literal example of this in "Enemy of my Frenemy" when her desire to revive her father drives her to sacrifice all the souls in her home world to bring him back, and breaks down crying when he calls her out on what she'd done and is left broken and alone. Even Gwen, whom she betrayed, can't bring herself to hate her after this.
Charmcaster, over and over again. She's able to return to her realm? She ends up trapped in it. She frees her realm? It's people proceed to fight a civil war over it. She ressurects her father? He goes back to being dead so that the souls sacrificed to bring him back can return. She finds a boy who likes her? He doesn't, and is using her for her power.
You Called Me X, It Must Be Serious: Inverted. Charmcaster asks Darkstar to call her by her real name rather than "Beautiful" to prove his insistence that he truly cares for her. He fails this test spectacularly.
You Will Be Assimilated: Kevin's finally gone full-on Sylar in the season finale, hunting down and apparently killing the other Plumber's Kids and assorted other aliens on Earth to gain their powers. What's really terrible is that, unlike Aggregor, his ability lets him take another person's powers without killing them. However (to quote the other power-stealing sociopath from New York City) he just likes killing people. The characters even mention The Hunger analogy.