YMMV: Ben 10: Alien Force

  • Accidental Innuendo: The show has Kevin uttering the line "I don't know if I can pound your Grandma!" He means he's unsure he can fight her... but still.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • Gwen's and Kevin's crushes on each other are just their way of repressing that they're both attracted to Ben. Both attractions are at least partially taboo — Gwen's because Ben's her cousin, Kevin's because Ben's a guy — so the only solution is to try to force themselves to fall (however improperly) for each other. Because they're both lying to themselves and each other, they're both getting their signals returned, which is encouraging the charade. This explains why Gwen tells Kevin to ask her out without wanting him to, why Kevin tries to make himself appear attracted to Gwen without making a move, and why they both show Ben so much more subtle and genuine affection.
    • Is Vilgax a Noble Demon and a benevolent ruler on Vilgaxia who genuinely cares about his people, or just a pragmatic villain who keeps a good image to get their support? Was he always like this, or did he change during the five years between this show and the Original Series?
  • Angst? What Angst?: Despite Grandpa Max apparently dying in Season 1, Ben and Gwen's fathers don't seem to be in particular mourning over him. To be fair, they're only seen in one episode apiece, but one such episode ("What Are Little Girls Made Of") does reference what happened to Max quite a bit.
    • Also, right after he seemed to die, Ben and Gwen immediately composed themselves. No tears, no anguish, no nothing.
  • Badass Decay: Kevin and Vilgax suffer a lot of this. The general consensus is that Kevin got better in Season 3 (something that is even lampshaded in "Time Heals"), but Vilgax (ironically only featuring in that very season) never recaptured his former glory.
  • Base Breakers: The ten new aliens Ben gets at the beginning of the show started out as this, due to most of them having powers that were essentially combinations of previous forms. Some fans saw them as blatant and lazy rip-offs, other perceived it as a clever way to have Ben get new aliens while still retaining a set of powers they were familiar with, and believed the powers had been merged creatively enough to make them interesting. However, with time they have come to be accepted by the fandom (some like Big Chill even becoming Ensemble Darkhorses), and those who still criticize them as rip-off now mostly consists of really hard-core Original Series fans.
  • Broken Base:
    • The series as a whole started the split in the fanbase that would keep getting worse in the following sequels. While a lot of fans despised the show (see Contested Sequel above), some of them actually loved the Darker and Edgier take and found it an improvement for maturing the main characters (particularly Ben).
    • The retcon about Gwen inheriting her affinity with magic/mana-manipulation powers from her grandmother being an alien. Some saw it as a pointless retcon taking away diversity from the team (based on the idea aliens should be Ben's gimmick), other think it added more background to the character and reduced her Canon Sue side by finally explaining why she was that good with magic. Alternatively, other feel the idea was good, but poorly executed due to making it unclear if Gwen's powers were really magic, fully aliens or both.
    • To a lesser extent, there is a similar split about Kevin being half-alien and his father being a Plumber who was Kevin's partner, though the reasons are slightly different than the one above. While the problem about Kevin being half-alien rather than mutant and removing the diversity remains, fans against this change are mostly complaining it contradicts both the franchise's chronology and Kevin's initial backstory. Those who support it feel it gives a bit more depht and motivations to the character. This would eventually lead to an equally controversial retcon in Ben 10: Omniverse
    • As a whole, Kevin's Heel-Face Turn; some fans felt he worked better as a villain, complain this took away one of Ben's coolest and most iconic Arch-Enemies, and feel the change in his personality was forced. Others like him as a protagonist for his snarky humor, and think it developped him from a generic Axe Crazy villain to a more interesting protagonist.
    • While most fans agree about Vilgax suffering Villain Decay, there is some debate around the fact he is implied to be a benevolent ruler on his planet, and the scene of him rescuing a little girl from his species (who then hugs him). Some consider this gives him Hidden Depths and makes him potentially more interesting than a bland Evil Overlord, other see it as yet another instance of him being made less scary, and feels it seems out of character for a guy who once blew up a planet just to test his new weapon.
  • Character Rerailment: Vilgax's characterization and voice (though the voice was done by John Dimaggio rather than by Steve Blum) were a bit closer to how he was originally portrayed in the first series in the video game Vilgax Attacks!.
  • Copy Cat Sue: Albedo is a possible parody. He got a second Omnitrix, helped create the original, comes back with even more powerful version of it and he got an incredibly simple design.
  • Contested Sequel: Quite a few people treat Alien Force as this and thus Fanon Discontinuity, mostly because of stuff like making Gwen's magic powers into alien energy manipulation and that a lot of things in Alien Force don't match up and even ignores stuff established in the original series. Still, some fans did appreciate this sequel, as noted in Broken Base above.
  • Crazy Awesome: Rath practically runs on this trope.
  • Creepy Cute: Big Chill ould be considered this. While his Reaper-like mannerisms and monotone voice do tend to be rather disturbing to some, it is mostly offset by eerily beautiful color scheme of his wings and body, as well as an almost feminine slender appearance.
  • Creepy Awesome: Darkstar was complete Nightmare Fuel in his first episodes, and it definitely played in his favor to make him popular.
    • To a lesser extent, Big Chill.
    • Axe Crazy Ben in "Above and Beyond". It was all an act, but it's amazing how Ben can make a surprisingly good villain.
  • Critical Backlash: While the show is by no mean flawless, it's definitely not as bad as Original Series fans tend to describe it. The first two seasons, especially, are considered quite good of their own by a lot of fans.
  • Crossing the Line Twice: Jarret eating the Tiffin? Not funny. Kevin fainting after seeing this? Hilarious.
    • In the same episode, Kevin implying that Argit not only actually sold his grandmother, but got a top price from her.
  • Crowning Moment of Awesome: Rath diving into the giant Trigonesque alien to rescue the Tiffin and escaping by punching the guys teeth out from the inside and threatening to "knit [his] organs into a sweater" if he tries to retaliate.
  • Damsel Scrappy: Julie is perceived like this by some fans, but it's mostly an undeserved reputation caused by What Measure Is a Non-Badass?; she actually got kidnapped only thrice over the course of five season, which is fairly low as far as Super-Heroes' Love Interests go, and, by the time she got Ship, she was perfectly capable of defending herself of her own.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Albedo, though easily explainable due to his Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain status.
    • Darkstar is an even bigger case, and unlike Albedo, he doesn't have any sort of redeeming features.
  • English Love Alien Force: While the show is seen as a Contested Sequel in USA, it generally was a much bigger hit than its predecessor in the United Kingdom.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: You like Rath, dontcha? Everyone likes Rath! You know what happens to people who don't like Rath? LET ME TELL YOU SOMETHING, GUYS WHO DON'T LIKE RATH!!!
    • Big Chill also is fairly popular amongst fans for his cool design, similarities to Ghostfreak and good voice.
    • Swampfire, who was Wildvine and Heatblast combined, with an arsenal of powers and impressive design was also well received.
    • Albedo, who rarely appears (he only had two appearances in this show and two more in Ultimate Alien), is surprisingly popular among the fans too, as mentioned previously. In fact, he was so popular, Ben 10: Omniverse raised him to Big Bad rank for an entire arc.
    • And let's not forget time-travelling the Doctor Expy Paradox, whose even most of the Alien Force haters actually love.
    • Darkstar, one of the scariest villains in the series and an Expy of Raven and Doctor Doom.
    • Fangirls and the furry fandom consider Argit as this.
    • Reinrassic III; granted, he is an important character, but he only had three appearances in the whole show. Yet you would be surprised to see how many fanart there are of him.
  • Evil Is Cool: Not as many cases as the Original Series, but the show still gave some fairly memorable villains. The Highbreed, Darkstar and Albedo come in mind.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Still Charmcaster. Ben and Kevin even lampshade it in the episode she appears in.
    Ben: Was she cute?
    Kevin: More than cute; hot!
    • Michael Mourningstar too, when he doesn't have his zombified face.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: If you haven't already noticed that there's a large fanbase who hates Kevin/Gwen and wants Ben/Gwen, this is probably the first time you've ever visited TV Tropes (though oddly, Ben/Julie isn't quite as reviled after Julie got Rescued from the Scrappy Heap.)
    • There are quite a few who want Kevin/Ben as well.
  • Fanfic Fuel: The whole Plumber's Kid is based around the idea that a lot of alien-human hybrids exist on Earth due to former Plumbers mating with humans. This makes for an excellent justification for fans to create their own half-alien Original Characters.
  • Foe Yay: Gwen with both Darkstar and Charmcaster. Ben and Kevin qualify as "Former Foe Yay".
  • Franchise Original Sin: While the overall story arc was well-received, there were many Filler episodes often seen to the detriment of the story arc, some going at odds with the tone being established, but were able to be freely ignored if the viewer so pleased. These problems (too much Filler and goofy plots) have since become the biggest criticism of Ben 10 Omniverse, where later arcs have so much Filler, the arcs are shorter and developments become abrupt due to it.
  • Fridge Horror: Imagine being Alien X. You're all-powerful, capable of bending time and space... and unless the voices in your head agree to do anything, you're stuck in place, forced to stand by while horrible things happen.
  • Genius Bonus: The Tiffin. If you know what the term means then it's no surprise that he's going to be eaten.
  • Growing the Beard: Season 1 didn't really have a clear story arc and included many fillers. Season 2 improved things a bit, continuing previous episodes, giving a slightly clearer progression, rescuing Julie from the Scrappy Heap and actually concluding to a real finale. Sadly, season 3 didn't work that well.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • You might have to squint to see it, but Professor Paradox's status as an Expy of The Doctor seems downright prophetic if you think he looks like a younger Peter Capaldi.
    • Psyphon was created as an expy for Desaad. His voice actor, Dee Bradley Baker, voiced Desaad in Young Justice.
  • Like You Would Really Do It: Nearly averted with Max, whom they were planning on killing off, but decided not to.
  • Love It or Hate It: The show is either loved for bringing a new more mature approach to the series and making Ben significantly more badass than in the Original Series, or hated for its difference with the Original Series and the poorly-written romance. Everybody, though, seems to agree about hating Season 3.
  • Misblamed: When many of fans of the original Ben 10 complained about the questionable changes, they often blamed Man of Action Studios for it. Despite the fact Man of Action has little to nothing to do with this show or any other beside the original except serving as executive producers.
  • Memetic Loser: As noted in Never Live It Down, Vilgax is constantly seen as a poor villain and a joke in this series due to the Villain Decay he suffered. While said decay is real, it's nowhere near the level fans tend to attribute him.
  • Memetic Molester: Darkstar could almost rival Slade in this department. Really, you could make reasonable arguments that fanfics despicting him as a rapist are not that Out of Character with him.
  • Memetic Mutation: "BRING ME CHILLI FRIIIIIIIIES!"
    • Also, Rath's "Lemme tell yah something" catchphrase have become quite popular.
  • Narm: Vilgax's so-called ultimate form? A giant green octopus. Sad because it could have been a great scene if not for limited efforts on the design and a fight that is not even seen onscreen.
    • Ragnarok pretty much loses all credibility when itís revealed the key he was looking for goes in his forehead.
  • Never Live It Down: While Vilgax did suffer Diminishing Villain Threat in Alien Force, he still had his share of Bad Ass moments, including having a Curb-Stomp Battle with all the Plumbers Helpers and Max, defeating several of Ben's most powerful alien forms (Jetray, Big Chill, Humongousaur and Chromastone) one after the others, destroying a whole ship of his own to free Ghostfreak, having a decent fight with Ghostfreak (which he won) and actually getting the Omnitrix in the finale, which led to the show's Darkest Hour . However, the only things most fans retain about his Alien Force incarnation are that he was following a Galactic Code (even through both the series and Word of God shew he did it only out of Pragmatic Villainy) and that he got defeated by Diamondhead, who couldn't even scratch him before.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Ben turning evil in "Above and Beyond". It was all a test put by Max in order to see if the kids could handle the Plummer Academy, but it was still pretty unsettling to see Ben act like a complete psychopath as he toys with the recruits.
    Manny:I know you're in here. Come out and show yourself! The others might be afraid, but I'm not scared of you!
    Ben: That's because the others are smarter than you.
  • Pandering to the Base: Season 3 is this to fans of the original series who didn't care for the more mature direction that Alien Force went with in the first two seasons. This... didn't work out quite well.
  • Paranoia Fuel: The DNAliens can use ID masks to disguise themselves as whoever they want in order to infiltrate and invade the humans right under their noses. They can literally be anyone, and Max Out reveals they can turn humans into more of them. They can basically be anyone and anywhere.
  • Portmanteau Couple Name: Gwevin (Kevin and Gwen), Benlie (Ben and Julie), Bevin (Ben and Kevin), Bwen (Ben and Gwen).
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: General opinion is that this happened to Julie midway through season two, thanks to the show developping her bound with Ship.
  • Romantic Plot Tumor: Gwen and Kevin, quite often.
  • The Scrappy: Julie was this for a while, but got Rescued from the Scrappy Heap midway through the second season. Though some fans consider she fell back into this territory later (See the Ultimate Alien YMMV page for more details)
    • There are many who don't like the Anodite species as a whole, due to what is felt to be a pointless, as well as sometimes incredibly confusing Retcon, with the representatives of the species not being very well-regarded either.
    • Humungousaur is very unpopular in the fanbase, due to Ben overusing him in favor of the more popular aliens like Big Chill and Swampfire, while there are countless Super Strength aliens who are more creative than him. Doesn't help that his one unique power (growing bigger) was seemingly forgotten starting with season 3.
  • Seasonal Rot: The third and final season seems to be the least popular overall. Fans of the first two Alien Force seasons mostly dislike it because it took a lighter tone, focused on filler episodes rather than having a story arc and started making Ben immature again, while Original Series fans mostly dislike it due to bringing back Original Series villains only to give them completely different designs and inflicting a major case of Diminishing Villain Threat to Vilgax. Not that it's entirely hated though, as it did introduce us to RATH!!!
  • Strangled by the Red String: Gwen and Kevin — The ship is dropped on the viewer with absolutely no set-up, no basis, no rationality in the very first episode. Kevin almost wrecking his precious car to tell Ben not to be rude to Gwen could be attributed to his Badass Decay, but "I'll follow you anywhere"? Were the writers afraid that if they took the time for some actual development, the show might be canceled before their new favorite couple actually got together?
  • Tear Jerker: Magister Labrid's death in the pilot.
    • At the end of Alone Together, Reinrassic III choosing to stay on the planet rather than just come back home with Ben. He gets better fortunately.
    • Ben's Heroic Sacrifice in Time Heals.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: The whole "Form A Team Of Plumber Kids".
    • And even what they did of this plot didn't amount to much. For a series called Alien Force, the only major things thing they did was fight the Highbreed at the end of season 2, get their asses handed to them by Vilgax at the beginning of season 3 and then got sent off to the Plumber Academy after "Above and Beyond". One must wonder what the point to this plot was when pretty much everything important amounted to Ben, Gwen and Kevin (and Max after season 2) doing all the work.
    • Some people complained about things that are established, but are just dropped, or otherwise not elaborated upon (Why Ben decided to remove the Omnitrix, which could have tied into him wondering if his job as a hero is worth it, Kevin being Easily Forgiven and almost entirely trusted, among a few other things.).
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: Everything has been blamed to be this at least once, from Gwen's alien origins to the Omnitrix's new shape, without forgetting Vilgax's new design, the characters' change of personality (especially Kevin), and the list goes on.
  • Ugly Cute: Argit. There are some people out there (mostly fangirls and furries) who adore him.
    • He is adored by 4chan's /co/, mostly due to this trope.
  • Unpopular Popular Character: Argit again. In-universe, he is despised by almost everyone, and seems to have people who want him dead in every part of the galaxy. On the fandom side, on the other hand, you would be surprised to see how many fans love him. Even Derrick J. Wyatt, the one in charge of Ben 10: Omniverse, admitted he thought Argit was the best thing that came out of the Alien Force/Ultimate Alien era.