Western Animation / Samurai Jack


"Long ago, in a distant land, I, Aku, the shape-shifting Master of Darkness, unleashed an unspeakable evil! But a foolish samurai warrior wielding a magic sword stepped forth to oppose me. Before the final blow was struck, I tore open a portal in time and flung him into the future, where my evil is law! Now, the fool seeks to return to the past, and undo the future that is Aku..."

So begins the introductory sequence to Samurai Jack, an animated series created by Genndy Tartakovsky (Dexter's Laboratory).

As a young boy, the titular samurai watches as the demon Aku emerges into the world and lays waste to the boy's entire kingdom. The samurai escapes with the help of his mother, then spends years training with warriors from around the world. As an adult, the samurai returns to his kingdom so he can defeat Aku—but as the opening monologue says, Aku flings the samurai many years into the future. Thanks to the absence of the samurai, Aku has gained control over the entire world (and possibly others). The displaced samurai adopts an alias ("Jack") inspired by jive-talking locals and travels the world once more, this time searching for a way back to his own time so he can defeat Aku for good and prevent this future from ever happening.

Fans of Samurai Jack hold the show in high regard for its outline-free art style, impressive action sequences, and long stretches of animation without dialogue. The show took numerous stylistic risks (especially in the fourth season), such as the episode where Jack fights a ninja entirely in light and shadow.

Cartoon Network ended the show after four seasons (fifty-two episodes); the original Toonami block aired reruns during the block's third and fourth incarnations, and the show also ran as part of Toonami's final pre-cancellation block. The revived [adult swim] version of Toonami brought back Jack in February 2014, and a re-release of the series on DVD began in the same year.

Rumors swirled around Tartakovsky's desire to conclude the story with a film for years. Though the film supposedly entered pre-production several times, it never went into full production. Comics publisher IDW published an official comic book based on the show starting in October 2013. (Jack and Aku also appeared in the IDW Crisis Crossover comic book event Cartoon Network Super Secret Crisis War, released in June 2014.) The comic ended on the in May 2015 after twenty issues; the last issue functioned as a Distant Finale to the series, but it was a Bolivian Army Ending.

In late 2015, [adult swim] surprised everyone when it announced a revival of the show, with Tartakovsky returning as the show's executive producer in a case of Growing with the Audience. This ten-episode "limited series" season will feature a storyline that finally concludes Jack's journey. It will begin airing on the 11th of March 2017; this trailer from February 2017 gives away a few details about the revival, particularly its Darker and Edgier nature—and the fact that the story picks up fifty years after Jack's having been flung into the future.

Here's the page for the fifth season; Samurai Jack 2017.

This show now has its own Best Episode Crowner.

Samurai Jack contains the following tropes:

    open/close all folders 

  • 0% Approval Rating: In a notable subversion, "Aku's Fairy Tales" shows Aku as aware of how his subjects view him, which leads to a clumsy attempt to persuade children to like him. Outside of that instance, Aku seems not to care (since nothing his subjects could do can hurt him). The only reason his approval rating hits zero percent, however, was Jack — he showed people that a world without Aku could possibly exist.
  • Abnormal Ammo: The snake arrow in "Jack and the Hunters"
  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: Most of the swords and other bladed weapons are capable of cutting through robots made of metal easily. Of course Jack's blade is supernatural in origin, immune to damage and able to cut through anything. Only a handful of items in the series are able to counter it, the Scotsman's sword had magic runes that prevented Jack's sword from breaking it. In one episode, a series of Elite Mooks made of Unobtanium were too dense for Jack to damage, but only for lack of physical strength. A Powered Armor arm made up for that and, when the gauntlet ran out of power, called upon the spirits of his ancestors for a Finishing Move.
  • Action Cartoon, Quiet Drama Scene: All over the place, it would probably be more effective to list scenes where he isn't brooding and staring down his enemies for long stretches of time.
  • Action Girl: The Scotsman's wife; she single-handedly beats an army both her husband and Jack — two of the greatest warriors ever — had trouble fighting, and starts off said fight by punching a god in the gut. Just because said god called her fat. Did we mention that she was entirely unarmed?
    • She is also one of few people Jack, without question, ran away from a fight with. And this was after the Scotsman gave him some friendly advice, warning him it was a battle he would never win.
  • Affectionate Parody: The Duck Dodgers episode Samurai Quack. Not only did Genndy himself have a hand in writing it, he actually shows up for a brief live action cameo!
  • All for Nothing:
    • The winter segment of "Four Seasons of Death". An extended Forging Scene for a tribe of orc/yeti creatures to make a sword, then the sword is rammed into a pillar while the orcs fight for who gets to wield it. The winner takes that sword, which now can apparently throw lightningbolts, then goes to wait in the raging blizzard outside. Jack comes by, they fight... and the sword is instantly cut in half.
    • A similar thing happens in "The Princess and the Bounty Hunters". The titular princess and bounty hunters are hunting for Jack (each for their own reasons, mostly money) and they form a complex plan on how to take him down. Each one is also given a brief intro of how badass they are and their prior contracts. Like the above, when they actually meet Jack, the Samurai defeats each one without breaking a sweat, and all before a single drop of water fell from a melting icicle.
  • All Myths Are True: Jack's sword was forged by the gods Odin, Ra, and Vishnu, from Norse, Egyptian, and Hindu mythology, respectively, and another episode, "Jack and the Swamp Monster," mentions the existence of Cronus and Zeus, both of Greek mythology.
  • All There in the Script: Many of the characters other than Aku and Jack are only named in the end credits.
  • Amazon Brigade: The Daughters of Aku, the half-demon spawn of Aku cultists that are major antagonists in Season 5.
  • Ambiguous Ending: The ending of the comic book by IDW Publishing, much to many fans' dismay. We only know one thing for certain; Jack never found a way back home, and is now concentrating on the future and defeating Aku.
  • Ambiguous Robots: Any time Jack slices someone/something up, it's usually mechanical. Word of God is that it was intentional so he could get a lot of gore in a children's cartoon just like in old samurai movies that inspired it without falling foul of censors. Where things aren't mechanical but bad, it's likely to be something Made of Evil like Aku himself or his demon minions. Though many of his enemies are just clear-cut robots, others don't show any signs of being mechanical until we see the stumps of their dismembered limbs crackling and spewing oil.
  • Ambiguously Human: Due to the setting, Jack will meet characters who appear human, but have odd features that would make one question what they are. Such as the three men he first meets in the future, due to their physique and purple, blue and pale skin.
  • Anachronic Order: The backstories of Jack and Aku are shown out of order.
  • Anachronism Stew:
    • Jack's own time period; the equivalent of Feudal/Edo Japan seems to co-exist with cultures based on the Vikings, Classical Greece and Rome, Medieval England, and even Ancient Egypt, for a range that spans thousands of years in the real world.
    • Aku's Bad Future is a stew as well; much of the Earth is primitive to various degrees, so that stories involving gangsters, cowboys, cavemen, or robots can coexist. The occasional piece of Schizo Tech also appears.
  • Ancestral Weapon: Jack's sword, forged from the pure spirit of his father by mystic monks and first wielded by him to stop Aku the first time.
  • Ancient Grome: Jack learns Greek wrestling in the Collisseum.
  • Animation Bump: The jump from Seasons 1 & 2 to Season 3 is staggering. In the first season the fight sequences were choreographed in a fashion that saved money while also being appealing. Season 2 fallowed suit with even more fight sequences in general. Said sequences showed more of Jack than prior. By the third season, the budget was high enough to show Jack and the assailant(s) up close and personal. Also worth noting is that season three added smoother animations (noteworthy are the close-ups of the cowboy boots in the western episode). To top it all off, Aku was given much more expression and liveliness, like having a mouth that droops, or even properly smiles. And let's not even discuss the lip-synching on him...
  • Appropriated Appellation: "Jack" is not his name, but rather a slang term much like "Guy" or "Dude" that he chooses to identify himself by.
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: There are lots of them. Da Samurai is the only one who gets some Character Development.
  • Artificial Gill: Jack is given a device before swimming underwater to the Humongous Mecha.
  • Art Evolution: With Season 5 being digitally animated and produced 13 years after the hand-drawn original, it's to be expected.
  • Art Shift:
    • Used to great effect to make the visions Jack experiences (and the episode as a whole) in "Jack and the Haunted House" more terrifying.
    • In "The Princess and the Bounty Hunters", when each bounty hunter tells his or her plans for defeating Jack, the animation is rendered to closely represent the art styles of each bounty hunter's homeworld: traditional Oriental brushstrokes for the Hive Mind cat hunters, a sepia filter to give the effect of an old-timey black and white western film for the gentleman hunter, childish animation for the rather simple Russian bounty hunter, traditional Aborigine art for the Aborigine hunter, and blue with white outlines for Princess Mira, giving it a science-fiction feel.
    • Not to mention the 4th season episode "Samurai Vs Ninja" where the entire scene changes to purely silhouettes of black and white for both the fighters and the environment.
  • Backstory: Quite a bit for Jack and Aku which is slowly presented over the course of the series in Anachronic Order.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses:
    • Jack and the spartan king vs the machine leader.
    • Jack and the Scotsman fighting through hordes of countless demon robots and coming out (exhausted, but) pretty much unscathed?
  • Badass Boast: Many. Jack only does so occasionally, but almost everybody he fights has one.
    Jack: "Do not worry... I have only begun to fight."
    Aku: "Who dares to summon the master of masters, the deliverer of darkness, the shogun of sorrow... AKUUUUU!!!"
    The Scotsman: I'm the most wanted man on the planet!
    Demongo: "I am the dealer of destruction, the merchant of doom... and I seek you, Samurai Jack."
  • Badass Family: No doubt Jack is as badass as his own father, they are a samurai family. Another one is The Scotsman's family. Himself, his wife and the other scotsmen are all strong warriors.
  • Bad Future: The setting of the series; one where Aku has ruled the world for thousands of years.
  • Bad-Guy Bar: Jack frequently drinks water or tea at these places, and they're always filled with bounty hunters wanting to collect on his bounty.
  • Baleful Polymorph: One episode saw Jack transformed into a chicken after accidentally bumping into a foul-tempered wizard on the street. He was then swept up and placed into a cockfighting match, but proceeded to kick all kinds of (chicken-sized) robot butt nonetheless.
  • Berserk Button: Several characters have fallen into this:
    • The Scotsman's wife: Do not, under any circumstances, insult her weight.
    • The wizard from "Chicken Jack" does not like being jostled in a crowd, and will respond with a Baleful Polymorph.
  • BFG: In Season 5 trailers, Jack wields a pretty big machine gun when he's attacked by a group of assassins, not like it does him any good.
  • Big "NO!":
    • In episode 23 Demongo uses one after Jack defeats him.
    • Jack does this in the Pyramid Heist episode when it looks like The Suit has abandoned him to be killed by the pyramids guards in a sealed room.
    • Jack's father in "Birth of Evil", when Aku restrains and forces him to watch as he lays siege to his village.
  • Big Brother Is Watching: Aku has a system of automated spies that let him track Jack's movements almost constantly, no matter where he is, though this mostly adds up to him complaining about his minions failing to kill him.
  • Big Good: A few times we are shown actual deities from mythology like Odin, Ra and Vishnu in the show, who are incredibly powerful and aid Jack at specific times. The Prequel episodes reveal that Aku was a fragment of a Cosmic Horror creature that was destroyed by them millions of years ago. It's strongly implied Aku is so below their own power that they don't see a need to get personally involved, but provide Jack's father the sword to handle the situation himself.
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: Or rather, GREAT FLAMING EYEBROWS!!
  • Blatant Lies:
    • In "Jack and the Gangsters", the gangsters give Jack a job to deliver a package with a bomb in it, but Jack seeing the sorry state of the victim, helps him escape, which is imposed over him telling gangsters that he did everything as planned. And later in the episode, they tell him that they're eager to reform and ask for the Jewel of Neptune so they can 'restore it to its proper place'. Jack, unexpectedly, finds this quite plausible.
    • In the episode where Jack and Aku agree to a duel, Aku agrees to several conditions which he will honor for the duel. He's a terrible liar. (See I Know You Know I Know.)
  • Bloodier and Gorier: Season five's second promotional image is one of Jack covered head-to-toe in blood. As the trailers show, the show is not afraid to show blood though it stays mostly subdued.
  • Bloodless Carnage: At the end of "The Princess and the Bounty Hunters", Jack kills five of the six bounty hunters who were after him. Most of them were human, and none of them were robots. Though no blood is seen being shed.
    • Averted in season 5. People do bleed and Jack does get pretty badly cut up by the female assassins trained to kill Jack for Aku.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: The Scotsman. Da Samurai to a lesser extent, though he isnt nearly as skilled as he thinks.
    • Villainous example with Gordo The Cruel, the first gladiator champion Jack fights in the Dome of Doom.
  • Bounty Hunter: Lots of them, they're one of Jack's most common type of enemies.
  • Boring Insult: At the end of episode 8.
    Jack: I know you're watching. These tricks are starting to annoy me.
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: In the 16th issue of the comic book by IDW Publishing, there is a sign forbidding pets, robots, and robot pets.
  • Brawn Hilda: The Scotsman's wife.
  • Bullying The Dragon: One would think that Jack's annihilation of entire armies would be enough for every bounty hunter in the world to understand that going after him is a death sentence, but there is still no shortage of them ready to try.
    • Da Samurai from "Samurai Vs Samurai" is worthy of special mention. He knows Jack's story and watches him easily dispatch three robotic assassins sent by Aku in a matter of moments, and still decides to antagonize Jack into giving him a fight.
  • The Cameo:
    • In "The Good, The Bad, and the Beautiful" Quick Draw McGraw and Baba Looey make a brief appearance. Quick Draw is even voiced by his original voice actor.
    • In "Jack vs Mad Jack" Huntor shows up as one of the bounty hunters hired by Aku.
  • Canon Discontinuity: If IDW's comic book continuation was ever canon, season 5 essentially replaces it, since Word of God confirmed they're not following the comics.
  • Captain Ersatz: The wolf in Aku's version of Little Red Riding Hood is basically Yogi Bear, but as a wolf.
  • Carnival of Killers: A lot of episodes feature bounty hunters contracted to take out Jack.
  • Cat Folk: The Imakandi are Proud Warrior Race Guys from a distant world. Aku seeks them out to capture Jack. And they do. Until they let him go.
  • "Character Name and the Noun" Phrase: Out of the 52 episodes, 20 are titled: "Jack and the X." Another 5 are titled: "Jack, the X, and the Y."
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder:
    • Aku, any time anyone ever trusts Aku: the fish people, the scientist who makes the assassin robots, and Jack himself when they duel.
    • Zeke and Josephine Clench (from the Western-themed Episode XXIX). It is implied they love each other, but are so obsessed with money that they regularly betray each other, especially Josephine. Zeke even has a restraining order on his wife, but he forgets it when she sweet talks him. They actually manage to capture Jack, but Josephine is unable to resist trying to cut Zeke out of the profits by shoving him off the moving train - unaware that Jack has just tied her to Zeke. They're left dangling comically in their own chains as the train disappears up the track, with Jack still aboard. Josephine then says that she didn't mean to betray Zeke...
  • Cliffhanger Copout: Episode XIV begins with Jack about to enter a Time Portal, when Aku shows up and puts it out of Jack's reach. During the episode Jack learns how to "Jump Good", and the episode ends with Jack leaping up to attack Aku and reach the Portal. The next episode begins like any other, and doesn't even mention the events of the previous episode. Strangely, Jack's ability to "Jump Good" is mentioned in a later episode, so clearly something happened, we're just not shown what.
  • The Comically Serious: Jack. He has yet to crack a joke, although (funny) insults are frequent. This is what makes certain bizarre episodes like an Alice in Wonderland homage where Jack ends up crossdressing.
    • Except for the episode where he fights the stone viking.
      Jack: Surely he takes me for a fool to follow deeper into his trap.
      [Spiked ceiling starts to lower]
      Jack: A fool I be!
    • Or in "The Scotsman Saves Jack, Part 2." After Jack's memories are restored following his Surfer Dude amnesia:
      Jack: I am forever in your debt.
      Scotsman: Ah, don't mention it. So, how ya been?
      Jack: (in surfer voice) Like totally cool.
      Scotsman: What?!
      (they laugh)
    • Or in "Jack vs Mad Jack", Jack delivers a deadpan line after being attacked by a cross between Chewbacca and Domo-Kun in such a manner, it's almost impossible to think how he could have said it with such a straight face.
      Alien: Googolplex... (he falls unconscious)
      Jack: (he stands over him) Looks like there will be no money for you, crazy round man.
    • In "Samurai vs. Samurai", Jack completely ignores Da Samurai's bragging.
      Da Samurai: Didn't you hear who I am?
      Jack: I believe everyone heard who you are.
  • Complaining About Rescues They Don't Like: The Scotsman's wife is quite... abrasive... when Jack and her husband come to rescue her. She spends nearly the whole time yelling at them, forcing them to carry her and calling them sissies, and then ends the whole thing by knocking them out of the way and beating up the entire evil army that kidnapped her single handedly.
    • Granted she calms down considerably after being insulted and defeating the army with her bare hands so she probably just had a lot of pent-up annoyance which turned into anger.
  • Continuity Cavalcade:
    • The scene in the episode "The Aku Infection" where Jack's parents remind him of his good deeds and the strength they give him features brief appearances by many of the allies Jack made and the people he helped out by that point, such as the Scotsman, the Woolies from "Jack, the Woolies and the Chritchellites", the canine archeologists from the Pilot Movie, the wish-granting fairy from "Jack Tales", and the Monkey Man and the Tribe he lived with from "Jack Learns to Jump Good".
    • In the 20th and final issue of the comic book by IDW Publishing, many of Jack's allies and the people he helped out appear among the resistance group he's formed against Aku.
  • Continuity Nod: Pretty rare, in this show.
    • The blue Thing that was briefly Jack's sidekick shows up as a child's doll in a later episode.
    • There is a sudden barrage of them in the episode where Jack fights off an infestation of Aku's evil - almost everybody that Jack has helped in prior episode is shown.
    • During Scotsman Saves Jack, when Jack and the Scotsman are competing to see who will row the other back to shore, they engage in a high-jump contest. One that Jack wins handily.
    Jack: (smug smile) Jump good.
    The Scotsman: Yeah, yeah...
  • Cowboy Episode: Episode XXIX is set on a train, where Jack is pursued by a (married couple) of bounty hunters.
  • Crapsack World: The future Samurai Jack gets thrown into. It's ruled by Aku and there's little to no hope.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Jack in "Jack vs. Aku."
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The series alternates between this, One-Man Army, and Worthy Opponent.
  • Damsel out of Distress: The Scotsman's wife. Presumably they managed to catch her without enraging her enough to set her off on one of her destructive rampages. She does not even need a sword to take down an army of robots right after being rescued by Jack and The Scotsman.
  • Dance Battler: DJ Salvatore from "Jack and the Rave".
  • Dark Action Girl: Ikra in "The Warrior Woman" (who is obviously Aku). They get along remarkably well until she manages to pry the Idiot Ball out of his hands.
  • Darker and Edgier: The revived fifth season will premiere on the [adult swim] / Toonami block instead of the normal Cartoon Network and as such is noticeably darker, particularly its use of actual blood.
  • A Day in the Limelight: The Scotsman gets some focus in XLV and XLVI ("Scotsman Saves Jack"). X9 in "Tale of X9".
  • Days of Future Past: Aku's world is one where robot Vikings exist side-by-side with cyber-bayous, hidden Spartan villages, futuristic versions of 1930s Chicago and a lot of other distorted fragments from our history.
  • Deadpan Snarker: This is Jack's usual coping mechanism for the absurdities of the world.
  • Death Seeker: The Norse warrior cursed with immortality by Aku. As a follower of the Norse religion, he needs to die in glorious battle to join his people in the afterlife, something forever denied to him. Being placed in a nigh-unbreakable crystal prison, from which he cannot attack or be harmed, really makes it hard to die in combat.
  • Divine Conflict: Aku's backstory is that he is a tiny surviving fragment of an Eldritch Abomination that was fought against by the combined might of Horus, Odin, and Indra.
  • Divine Intervention: Happened literally in "Birth of Evil", the origin of Aku. The sword that Jack would later use was forged by the gods Odin, Ra, and Rama, using part of the Emperor's (Jack's father's) soul, to grant him a weapon that could defeat Aku.
    • A very direct example in "Jack In Egypt", Jack gathers three pieces to build a tiny scarab which flies off... and summons the Egyptian god Ra, who eradicates the Minions of Set that were pursuing Jack.
  • The Drifter: Jack. He once came across the lands he called home as a child; he was nostalgic for awhile... then moved on.
  • Ear Worm: An in-universe example appears in the comics. As long as the leprechauns' song remains stuck in the Scotsman's (and later, Jack's) head, he's affected by their spell and cannot think straight.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Aku on many occasions. In Aku's Fairy Tales, it shows that he doesn't like hurting children. In The Aku Infection as well, he refused to fight Jack due to getting cold out in the snow.
  • Eye Scream: In the Season 5 trailer, one of Aku's minions stabs someone in the eye.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Aku chalks down all of Jack's good actions to being a "FOOOOOLISH SAMURAI!!!" and is almost always completely flabbergasted when Jack defeats his plans.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Aku. See Large Ham below.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: Oddly subverted in "Jack and the Minions of Set". Aku releases the titular monsters, an evil at least as powerful as himself if not greater , and while they slaughter the robots he brought with him, they don't lay a finger on him. Possibly prohibited by some sort of Literal Genie rule.
  • Evil Knockoff: Mad Jack.
  • Evil Overlord: Aku again.
  • Expy: The "crazy round man" in "VIII" greatly resembles Domo-Kun with Chewbacca's shoulder-belt and shagginess.
  • Eye Beams: Aku seems to have a whole range of abilities stemming from those awesome peepers; thus far, abilities include force blasts, incendiary force blasts, alchemy, summoning, teleportation, transformation, necromancy, and general spellcasting. Basically, whenever Aku's feeling lazy, he'll just use his eyes.
    • There's also the giant sun guardian dude (presumably the Egyptian god Ra or Horus), who zaps away the three minions of Set with no trouble.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: Jack's attempts to return to the past. They always fail for whatever reason, the means to return gets destroyed, or he blows his chance due to his Chronic Hero Syndrome. Likewise, his and Aku's attempts at killing each other never work, which Aku even lampshaded in "Jack versus Aku".
  • Fairy in a Bottle: In one episode we hear a legend of a fairy can grant any wish, but only one on her entire life. When Jack tries to acquire her so he can go back to the past, his hand ends up trapped in the magic sphere where she was captured and the key to open it was destroyed in the fight with the fairy's captor. Jack uses the wish to set them both free.
  • Fairy Sexy: The fairy Jack rescues in "Jack Tales." The Spring Maiden from "Four Seasons of Death" is a significantly more sinister version.
  • Fantasy Kitchen Sink: Since it's set in the distant future, there's the expected sci-fi fare of aliens and robots (lots and lots of robots), but the world is also filled to the brim with zombies, elementals, demons, mystical guardians, and at least three pantheons of air. Hell, half the episodes revolve around trying to reach some magical artifact to achieve the Series Goal.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Jack and the Scotsman initially mock and fight each other, but after beating down some bounty hunters together, they become fast friends.
  • Fish People: The Triceraquins from "Jack Under the Sea".
  • Foregone Conclusion: At least until the series finally reaches its intended conclusion, it's inevitable that every episode where Jack has a chance to return to the past will either end with the method of time travel having a catch that makes Jack decide against using it, Jack sacrificing his chance to go home to save someone in need, unexpected circumstances preventing the way back to his proper time from being used, or the whole thing turning out to be a sham.
  • Forged by the Gods: Jack's sword was forged by the chief deities of multiple religions using the pure spirit of his father, making it the only weapon able to kill Aku.
    • Jack gets an upgrade in "Jack vs The Ultra-Robots" when his sword doesn't prove powerful enough to defeat the last bot. He actually prays to the gods to help him out and they respond with a brief power upgrade to the sword.
  • For Science!: X9 gives this as the reason to why his Mad Scientist creator installed an experimental emotion chip in his hardware
    X9 He was.... funny like that.
  • The Future Is Shocking: Jack is transported into a big city in the future and the first place he goes in is a nightclub with a rave going on inside. However, Jack is more disturbed by the fact there are aliens there than anything else, so it might not count.
  • Future Badass: While Jack is already quite the badass, see below on Gate Guardian.

  • Gate Guardian: One episode has Jack discovering a working time portal, and a guardian who is sworn to not allow anyone other than the one prophesied to defeat him to use it. Jack's repeated pleas that he needs to use the time portal to defeat Aku are met with indifference. Jack finally decides to take the portal by force, and battles it out with the guardian. Jack is completely outclassed in every way, and after being given several chances to leave unharmed, the guardian loses his patience and Jack is brutally beaten unconscious and almost killed before the portal sends a vision to the guardian. The guardian looks into the portal and sees an older Jack leading an army against Aku. He then loads Jack onto a bird creature to be carried off, muttering: Not yet, Samurai Jack... Just not yet...
  • Gatling Good: In Season 5, the Scotsman returns with a chaingun as his new weapon.
  • Gender Bender: In the comics, a band of leprechauns turns Jack and the Scotsman into "Samurai Jacqueline and the Scotswoman".
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar:
    • When Jack first meets the Scotsman in "Jack and the Scotsman", Jack offers to climb under the bridge to get past him. In English the Scotsman replies with "So you can look up under me kilt!?". The Swedish version is a bit racier in that he replies with "Så du kan kicka upp under min kuk!?", Kuk being a crude slang for the male genitalia. How that got past is anyone's guess.
    • The wish-granting fairy in the third story of "Jack Tales" is essentially naked. In some shots, you can even see her rear.
    • In "Jack and the Rave," Jack pulls a Mugged for Disguise on one of the ravers. The outfit he takes on includes a pacifier. In rave culture, pacifiers are used to prevent common side effects of ecstasy use, like drying mouth and gritting teeth.
    • The word "damn" apparently slips by the censors in "Robo-Samurai vs. Mondo-Bot", according to the DVD captions. It's muttered in a robotic voice and hard to catch, which is probably why.
    • Characters are more prone to swearing in the comic continuation by IDW Publishing. The thief from "Jack and the Labyrinth" even says "crap" a few times in the 17th issue.
  • Gondor Calls for Aid: The comic by IDW Publishing ends with an older Jack leading an attack on Aku's fortress. Among those joining in the fight are many of the allies he's made and the people he's helped out throughout the run of the show, including Extor from "Jack and the Ultra-robots", the Woolies from "Jack, the Woolies, and the Chritchellites", the thief from "Jack and the Labyrinth", and the baby from "Jack and the Baby" as a grownup.
  • Good Versus Good: Jack and the Scotsman fight in their first encounter due to the latter being a short-tempered egotist who constantly berated Jack. However, the Scotsman is a full-fledged Hero of Another Story with Aku putting a bounty on him second only to Jack.
  • Grand Finale: Genndy has confirmed that Season 5 will be the last and bring closure to Jack's journey.
  • G-Rated Sex: In one episode, Jack wanders into an enchanted forest where he's greeted by a beautiful plant nymph who offers him "nourishment" and invites him to rest with her, all the while rubbing his legs with her feet. Jack does exactly that, laying down to sleep with his head in her lap, while the camera pans upon a lush green meadow and a sparkling brook nearby.
  • High Pressure Oil: Not only do the robots Jack regularly obliterates have oil come out of them, they have oil come out of them very profusely.
  • Heroic Lineage: Jack's father was no slouch himself, as proven in "Birth of Evil", being the one to defeat and imprison Aku in the first place.
  • Honor Before Reason: One of the more prominent examples of this is in "Jack, the Monks, and the Ancient Master's Son" where he chooses to save the lives of two monks instead of entering the portal to the past and preventing thousands of years of Aku's rule.
  • I Know You Know I Know: Turns out that Jack is too smart to trust Aku when it comes to honoring the conditions of a duel.
    Jack: You see, I am smart. And you are pure evil.
  • I Know You're Watching Me: At the end of episode 8.
  • In a Single Bound: In "Jack Learns To Jump Good" Jack learns, and does, this with the help of the blue apes, in exchange for teaching them to defend themselves. Complete with a training montage.
  • Inertial Impalement: Several enemies are defeated this way, notably in "Jack and the Spartans" and one where a charging elephant robot keeps going after running over Jack holding his sword in the air and its guts spill out from its belly.
  • I Take Offense to That Last One: In "Jack and the Farting Dragon", the villager Jack encounters at the start takes offense to being called poor. Jack makes sure not to use that descriptor again.
    Villager: Hey! I'm not poor! This necklace is genuine fox tooth!
    Jack: Those poor- Those unfortunate villagers!
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: The Scotsman is hilariously unpleasant, but a steadfast friend, and is also extremly nice and helpful to Jack. Da Samurai, who is largely a Jerkass, shows at least a trace of a better nature.
    • Even Aku may fit under this trope, as he's the evil of all evils, but doesn't hurt children
  • Jerkass: Lots of characters, most notably Aku himself. It actually cost him victory at least twice (most notably when he pulled the standard "Agree not to harm someone/thing if you do X for me, then do it anyway" with the scientist who made his assassin robots, who then gave Jack the means to destroy them.)
  • Jerkass Genie: The spirit of the magic well in "Jack and the Blind Archers". The three archers told Jack that when they wished to be the "greatest of warriors", it did fulfill that part, but also blinded and enslaved them. Jack promptly destroy it in response rather than use it return to the past.
  • Jive Turkey: 'Da Samurai' is an unabashed parody of this trope. There's also the three bystanders in the pilot who gave "Jack" his name, and are Jack's first taste of the future's culture.
  • The Juggernaut: The Minions of Set. They're fast and strong enough that Jack struggles to land even a single blow on them... and when he did manage to hit one it recovered from the damage almost instantly. He spends the rest of the episode running from while desperately trying to find a way to stop them.
  • Just One Man: "Jack and the Three Blind Archers"
    General: There are only three archers, yet they decimated my whole army. You are just one man. Do the math.
  • Karma Houdini: Of a sort - the series' abrupt cancellation left Aku undefeated, although the episode where Jack fights the Guardian for the time portal at the end shows a future version of Jack and implies he has been victorious.
  • Large Ham: Aku (just listen to the opening monologue). The late voice actor Mako makes this a crowning example of Large Ham done right. Said monologue is actually what an opening to a traditional Japanese Kabuki piece would be like if it were translated into English. The Scotsman, the other character Jack plays off of regularly, is also hammy.
    • Some one-shot characters are hams as well, such as the SAH-MUH-RHAI and Gordo the Cruel.
  • Laughably Evil: Aku, also Faux Affably Evil. He's one of the few genuinely, irredeemably evil villains who can come across as funny while simultaneously being threatening.
  • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: "Jack Remembers The Past" has a scene where Ogami Itto, the protagonist of Lone Wolf and Cub and his son appear, and in fact inspire Jack to take up swordplay. They're never named, but it's apparent who they are.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Aku does it once in a while.
    Aku: ...I'll fly off saying something like "We'll meet again, samurai!"... and then we won't see each other for about a week. And then we'll go through the whole thing all over again.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: Jack and the Scotsman fight in their initial encounter.
  • Light is Good: Almost entirely played straight. Jack, the biggest paragon of virtue in the desolate future is almost always dressed in white, and can also use the light like a ninja would use the shadow.. There's also the peaceful white-furred ape tribe from Jack Learns to 'Jump Good'.
    • In commentaries Genndy has said that the art theme of Samurai Jack is simple: 'white against black over red [background].'
  • Little Red Fighting Hood: Aku in one of his Self Insert Fics.
  • Loophole Abuse: The Scotsman accuses Jack (who is fond of Take a Third Option) of this.
    The Scotsman: "Okay! This is gonna be fair! So don't you cheat!"
    Jack: (offended) "I don't cheat!"
    The Scotsman: "Well... okay, you don't. But you don't play by the rules either!"
  • Lovecraft Lite: The world (and, slowly, the universe) is under the totalitarian dictatorship of an Eldritch Abomination with nearly Complete Immortality. That said, a lone warrior wields the only weapon able to kill it, and is slowly winning a one man war against said Eldritch Abomination.

  • Made of Good: Jack's katana was Forged by the Gods from his father's goodness and righteousness.
  • Made of Iron: Jack.
  • Made of Plasticine: The robots are made of a material which can be easily cut, kicked or even punched through.
    • Averted with the assassin robots, which are invincible until their creator upgrades Jack.
  • Mad Scientist's Beautiful Daughter: Ikra. Memorably subverted, when the daughter is Aku in disguise. However Evil Is Sexy was in full effect.
  • Magitek: The robots in "Jack and the Ultra-Bots", which Aku used his own power to bring to life.
  • The Magnificent Seven Samurai: Jack does this one solo in a jungle-set episode. Jack meets a friendly bunch of high-jumping simians who share food with him, and are then attacked by a rival group of apes. Jack drives them off, and teaches the friendly apes to defend themselves with bamboo staves, in exchange for lessons on how to "jump good."
  • Martial Pacifist: Jack.
  • Meaningful Name: "Aku" is the Japanese word for "evil".
  • Mecha-Mooks: To get past censoring, most enemies Jack encounters are machines, allowing them to be graphically mutilated. Quite bizarrely, some baddies he fights don't even look like robots until he slashes them open.
    Dodgers: Robot! Robot!! ROBOT!!!
    Genndy Tartakovsky: Stop! Not a robot! Not a robot!
    Dodgers: (pauses) You're lucky I didn't cut you to ribbons.
    Tartakovsky: Not with a Y-7 Rating, you won't.
  • A Minor Kidroduction: The series begin with a young Jack witnessing Aku's return, his father being kidnapped by the villain, and spending the rest of his childhood training in order to one day fight and defeat Aku.
  • Morality Pet: Lulu...sweet thing.
  • More Hero Than Thou: A variation demonstrating heroic courtesy. The last ten minutes of "Scotsman Saves Jack Part II" is devoted to Jack and the Scotsman going through a bunch of contests to see who rows off the island in a two-man rowboat. But it isn't the loser who rows. Probably not a big surprise, but Jack wins.
  • Morphic Resonance: No matter what form you take, Aku, you cannot change your original colour motif!
  • Moses in the Bulrushes
  • Mr. Fanservice:
    • Jack frequently gets his clothes ripped off in battle (though this happened more in later seasons than it did in season one). If his clothes get a single cut or tear on them, off they go!
    • There are also all the times when his hair comes undone or he gets Covered in Gunge.
    • Jack wears a fundoshi under his robe. We know this because he's been seen sans robe more than once.
    • And in the aptly-named 'Jack is Naked,' Jack is. That scene with Jack under the waterfall... He spends much of the rest of the episode either naked or nearly so.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Jack and the Scotman's thumb-wrestling match at the end of "Scotsman Saves Jack Part II".
  • The Musketeer: A trailer for the 2017 mini-series shows Jack using a variety of weapons, both ancient and very modern, including firearms. Clearly he's expanding his skills. (Oddly enough, his sword seems absent.)
  • Myth Arc: The whole point of Jack's journey throughout the series is to find a way back to his proper time period so he can go home and defeat Aku in order to prevent him from conquering the universe in the future.
  • Mythology Gag: In episode 2, the archaeologist dogs take Jack to the excavated ruins of Townsville.
  • Necromancer: Demongo the Soul Stealer, supposedly Aku's most powerful minion.
    • Although thanks to Never Say "Die", the words "soul" is only used once, at the very beginning, and afterwards replaced with the slightly less sinister word "essence".
  • Never Tell Me the Odds: When told a unit of Aku's robots have a 1 in 325 chance of hitting their target with their only shot, Jack immediately bails out to destroy the robots.
    • Justified from his perspective: the exact same statistician told him the odds of "defeating three Mantoids using only a sword" — a feat he pulled off perfectly — was 1 in 6923. So Jack probably wasn't inclined to trust the "math" during that episode. Notably, they did seem fairly close to hitting the rocket; and of course, the robots were threatening them regardless, which Jack would never abide.
  • Nice to the Waiter: Jack is respectful toward all. (In the episode with Da Samurai, he's literally nice to the waiter.)
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: The Time Portal Guardian in "Jack and the Traveling Creatures." Jack manages to hit him with two of his own missiles, and it only manages to piss him off because the explosion ruined his favorite suit.
    • The Minions of Set, even Jack's sword doesn't hurt them.
  • Ninja: Jack fought a robotic ninja assassin called Shinobi in one episode. Jack himself also reveals that he's been trained as one.
  • Noir Episode: Two - the gangster episode and the Tale of X9, the robotic hit man.
  • No Ending: Although now that it's been Un-Cancelled, that may change.
  • No Immortal Inertia: In the comics, the queen of a small mountain community has a magical thread woven into her hair that prevents her from aging. When taken away, her years rather quickly catch up with her.
  • No Name Given: Jack's real name is never revealed.
  • Not Himself:
    • In "The Aku Infection", Jack gets infected by Aku's evil. One of the first signs that something's going horribly wrong is that Jack acts completely out of character. He steals priceless gems from two miners. Then he expects a reward in return for saving a stranded climber. Worse yet, Jack kills an innocent robot over a small offense.
    • "Aku's Fairy Tales" parodies this: To win the children's' approval, Aku tells them fairy tales that center him and twist Jack into the villain. In Aku's twisted tales, Jack acts nothing like his actual self.
  • Obviously Evil: Aku. Huge black figure with spikes for shoulders, chevron-like horns, a quite unusual set of teeth and GREAT FLAMING EYEBROWS!
  • Oh, Crap!: Several, including a few from Jack. Aku's particularly prone to these moments. No better way to describe Aku's face after Jack learns how to 'jump good.'
  • One-Man Army: Jack again.
  • Origins Episode: "Birth of Evil" explains the origins of Aku, gives a more detailed account of Jack's father battling Aku, and also shows Jack's birth.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: "Jack and the Farting Dragon".
  • Outfit Decoy: In ''Jack and the Three Blind Archers", Jack figures out the eponymous archers' blindness by waving his hat in front of them without it getting shot, and then dropping it on the ground to see it immediately hit with arrows when the archers heard it hit the snow.
  • Outlaw Couple: Josephine and Ezekiel Clench of "The Good, The Bad and the Beautiful."
  • Parrying Bullets: Jack is virtually invincible with his magic katana, occasionally deflecting all the bullets from several machine guns fired at him at once.
  • Personality Chip: Poor X9...
  • Phlebotinum Killed the Dinosaurs: The fragment of primordial evil that would eventually become Aku killed the dinosaurs.
  • Plot Hole: In episode Jack Learns to Jump Good, he learns to jump really high after lifting heavy rocks. The later episode, Jack's Sandals, literally has Jack incapable of jumping high while wearing heavy shoes.
  • Pre-Explosion Glow: In episode 23 this happens to Demongo after Jack releases the spirits trapped inside him, leaving him a burned out husk.
  • Proud Warrior Race: A recurring theme. Aside from those in the past (most of whom contributed to Jack's training), the future includes the Highlanders and the Imakandi.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Jack and Aku have been going at it since the days of medieval Japan, after all. Meanwhile, Aku is a tiny piece of a larger Eldritch Abomination killed by the gods Odin, Ra, and Vishnu before human history began.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Scotsman and Jack, respectively.
  • Rewatch Bonus: In case Ikra's appearance somehow doesn't clue you in on the fact that she's really Aku, there are some hints early on in "Jack and the Warrior Woman" as to her true nature, such as the shopkeeper claiming that Jack doesn't understand what he meant when he detected an evil presence, the robot assassins apparently being okay with Jack and Ikra getting away, and a small rodent-like creature recoiling in fear when Ikra tries to offer it food.
  • Ridiculous Future Inflation: It's not mentioned what currency Aku's empire uses, but any future economy where the bounty on a fugitive's head can be measured in googolplexes (go ahead, look it up) has to fall into this trope.
  • Robotic Reveal: A common occurrence on the show is for a seemingly organic opponent of Jack's turning out to be a robotic being after Jack slices at them with his sword. One particular example is in the second story of the episode "Jack Tales", where the family trying to take Jack's sword are revealed to be metal-eating robots.
  • Rock of Limitless Water: A MacGuffin of an episode. Created by a water deity and guarded by deities of wind, earth and fire, Aku would try and fail repeatedly to get his hands on it. Jack has to steal it for The Mafia for a chance to kill Aku. The Mafia end up with it, and are selling water it produces at the end of the episode.
  • Rule of Cool: Why are there demonic Celtic robots, high-tech pyramid vaults, cowboys riding jet-propelled horsebots, volcanoes possessed by Viking princes, boisterous highlanders with machine-gun legs, 'unlimited' class cockfights, bayou cyborgs, immortal monks, carelessly scattered time portals, etc.? Because awesome. It was all but outright stated in a featurette that Rule of Cool dictated the writing sessions for Tartakovsky and his creative team. They would sit down and ask: What cool thing can we invoke this episode that we saw on TV when we were kids?

  • Samurai: Obviously, but also a very specific example. In the third episode, Jack takes on the full samurai mantle against an oncoming horde: longbow, spears, katana, and full "splint" armor, riding atop the closest thing to a warsteed available. As the episode's battle progresses, he slowly gets pared down to the essentials: a katana, some skills for wielding it, and lots and lots of oil.
    Jack: "No. There is no escape."
  • Samus Is a Girl:
    • Princess Mira. Her true gender is not revealed until she takes her helmet off.
    • In "Jack and Farting Dragon", the dragon seems male at first, talking to Jack in a masculine voice. When Jack decides to help it by crawling inside its stomach to find out what's making it sick, he eventually learns otherwise: the reason is a baby dragon that is partially hatched, lodged in the obviously female dragon's womb.
  • Scaling the Summit: One episode has Jack climbing up the mountain to the top in order to search for the truth that the three monks offer to help him with.
  • Science Fantasy: The main character is a samurai with a magic katana who is trying to defeat an all-powerful demon lord after being sent into the far future, where the Earth has been turned into a anachronistic dystopia that has attracted the attention of the greater universe. As a result, he commonly faces off against numerous stock fantasy and sci-fi creatures in the process, aliens, demons, dragons, rock monsters, elementals, talking animals, cyborgs, faeries, and lots and lots of robots. He may occasionally also face off against some combination of the above.
  • Scotireland: In the comics, leprechauns are living in the highlands.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: After Ra easily obliterates two of Set's minions, the last one attempts to escape. He doesn't get very far.
    • A bounty hunter looking a lot like a humanoid lion does the same in "Jack versus Mad Jack" after Jack easily cuts through his large robotic elephant that he sicced onto Jack.
  • Series Goal: Return to the past and undo the future that is Aku. Dealing with Aku in the future as well seems to be entirely optional to Jack.
  • Shockwave Stomp: The Scotsman's wife can do this.
  • Shout-Out: Lots of them. The episode referencing Star Wars gets the most.
  • Sliding Scaleof Silliness Versus Seriousness: All over the place, some episodes don't have a single joke to them while others have almost everything Played for Laughs.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Da Samurai. His brief encounter with Jack sets him down the right path though.
  • Space Jews: In one episode Jack encounters an alien race with large noses who wear what look suspiciously like yarmulkes, and are being mistreated in horrible conditions by cold, uncaring oppressors who believe they are naturally superior to other races. Remind you of anything?
  • Status Quo Is God: Jack's never going to get that time-portal. On the whole the show had very little serialization with most characters being one off and the episodes never having all that much continuity so things would simply return to normal by the end. Though a few things, like him learning to "Jump Good" and befriending the Scotsman, managed to be permanent on the show. Season 5's focus on a more serialized narrative threw a wrench into Jack's status quo and changed it up.
  • Sword Sparks: Taken to its logical conclusion in "Jack versus Mad Jack" - the ferocity of their Sword Fight leads to the forest they're in going on fire from the sparks flying out. Which is actually all in Jack's head, as the forest is perfectly quiet and tranquil after he calms his anger and causes Mad Jack to disappear.
  • Symbolic Blood: Jack's usual mechanical or demonic foes spray oil or black very fiercely.
  • The Mirror Shows Your True Self: Happens when Aku takes the form of a hermit to travel with jack to retrieve gems of power that make the wielder omnipotent. When they are on a raft travelling down river, Aku sees his true self is reflected by the water so he makes the excuse that Jack is moving to slow and fly's them to their destination.
  • The Corruption: Allowing even a sliver of Aku's evil mass into your body will rapidly destroy both your body and your spirit, turning you into something soulless and evil just like Aku. Even Jack was almost helpless in the face of the infection, stealing precious gems from a group of miners, demanding cash payment in exchange for rescuing a stranded mountaineer, and killing an innocent robot in cold blood just for bumping into him on the street. And this was before the infection really set in.
  • The Stoic: Jack, though he does slip into being Not So Stoic every so often. Also, Jack's father, a.k.a. the emperor of Jack's home village.
  • The Unintelligible: Seems to be a staple of Genndy's, but specifically in "Jack and the Scotsman", we have the redneck boss pig, "BLA-BABADUGORBLUBURDEERBLAGOLBADU!!!" Brilliantly performed by the VA, Kevin Michael Richardson, with a few actual phrases like "IKEELYU!", "GOFASTER!", and most obviously "BANGBANGBANGITYBANGBANGBANG!" thrown in to make it sound like it's all dialect and not just gibberish.
  • This Cannot Be!: When Jack takes on a series of super-robots that can only be defeated by a specialized cybernetic arm, he manages to destroy the last one, despite said arm being disabled, with the power of the Japanese Gods.
    Robot: ''Unbelievable!" [is bisected]
  • Time Skip: Season 5 takes place fifty years after the first four seasons. Jack has not aged during this time.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: When The Scotsman first appeared, he was a violent, barbaric and egotistical destroyer who wanted to start a fight with Jack because of an argument over crossing a bridge. After becoming friends with Jack, he showed a more humble side and became one of the friendliest characters on the show.
  • Translation Convention: Considering how Aku has ruled the world since ancient Japan (with Japan being the first under his dominion), it can be assumed that the reason why Jack is able to talk with everyone is that everyone canonically speaks Japanese.
  • Un-Cancelled: After being cancelled in 2004 with No Ending, the show returned for a new (and final) season in 2017.
  • Underequipped Charge: In one issue of the IDW comics, Jack's sword gets broken, and all of its power goes away. Naturally, Aku swoops down on him as soon as he finds him—whereupon Jack, who up until this point was constantly on the run, accepts his fate and attacks Aku with his bare hands.
  • Unusual Eyebrows: Aku's flaming eyebrows (or if you prefer, his GREAT FLAMING EYEBROWS!)
  • Valley Girl: More of a "Valley Guy" variant as Jack adopts the accent and mannerisms due to amnesia in "The Scotsman Rescues Jack, Parts 1 & 2."
  • Villain Episode:
    • "Aku's Fairy Tales" and "The Birth of Evil (Part 1)", both of which focus on Aku (though the latter later switches focus to Jack's father). Jack appears indirectly and is referenced, but the episodes are all about Aku.
    • "The Princess and the Bounty Hunters" and "The Tale of X9" are rare examples focused entirely from the point-of-view of minor one-shot villains, with Jack eventually appearing as a Hero Antagonist.
  • Violent Glaswegian: This is essentially the Scotsman's most notable characteristic (although he's got Hidden Depths), and his wife as well.
  • Vision Quest: In the IDW comics, when Jack's sword breaks, the three gods send him on a spiritual journey to prove he's worthy of wielding it in the first place.
  • Vocal Evolution: Phil LaMarr's vaguely-Japanese accent for Jack starts off sounding like... well, an African-American man trying to do a Japanese accent before solidifying into something more distinct by the second season. Of course, the character never spoke much to begin with.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Aku's main power.
  • Weak, but Skilled: Jack himself is not very large and can't offer the same physical strength as many other characters in the show, but compensates by being exceptionally well trained. One example comes from meeting the Scotsman's clan and being forced to compete in throwing a large stone. Unfamiliar with the sport, he did poorly on his first attempt. But after noting his opponent is much heavier than the stone, he used a martial arts move of redirecting weight and energy to fling him an equal distance.
  • Wham Line: After The Guardian completely demolishes Jack in combat, he tells Jack that he will never defeat him and use the portal. Just before The Guardian can finish Jack off, the time portal communicates with The Guardian. Afterwards he sends Jack away on a giant bird then looks at the time portal, viewing the vision it showed him. The episode finishes with this haunting line:
    The Guardian: You can't use this portal yet Samurai Jack. (Epic music begins, the vision showing a much-older Jack as a leader in the fight against Aku) Not yet... not yet.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?:
    • Violence against Mechanical Lifeforms is shown in full detail, violence against organic enemies is always obscured in some way. This is due to Cartoon Network's censorship rules, which don't allow any blood to be shown. Tartakovsky still got away with a lot of Symbolic Blood with the robots, though.
    • Deconstructed, along with What Measure Is a Mook?, in the episode "Tales of X9;" A Day in the Limelight for one of the assassin robots that Jack routinely confronts.
    • Jack himself subverts this trope in "Jack and the Ultra-Robots:" He's appalled just as much by the violence perpetrated on robot villages as on human and alien ones.
  • Whole Plot Reference: The episode "Jack and the Spartans" to The 300 Spartans.
    The King of the Spartans: They will forever be remembered... The 300... plus one.
  • Womb Level: The inside of the dragon in "Jack and the Farting Dragon." It's also much, much Bigger on the Inside.
  • World of Badass: Given the number of super villains and monsters that roam the planet, you have to be rough and tough to avoid just ending up as a victim. Still won't always save you though.
  • Worthy Opponent: In one episode, Aku sends a tribe of hunters to capture Jack. When they triumph, they describe Jack as the hardest-to-catch prey they ever hunted and respect him for this to the point of allowing him to go free.
  • Wretched Hive:
    • In "The Samurai Called Jack", Jack finds himself in one that's a futuristic cross between this and Coolest Club Ever.
    • Many episodes later, the Scotsman brings his amnesiac buddy to the seaport of Heck's Bucket and uses those exact words (yet another Shout-Out).
    The Scotsman: Ye will never find a more wretched hive of scum an' villainy! An' the crab cakes aren't too bad either!
  • You Monster!: "Jack and the Flying Prince and Princess" has Prince Astor call Aku a devil, a fiend, and a villain in reaction to the evil being destroying the robot Chitron 6.

Watch out!