YMMV / Naruto

Here be spoilers. Any thing that has not been aired on the free versionnote  of Crunchyroll should be spoiler-tagged.


  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Many:
    • Naruto's interaction with Sasuke is definitely subject to this.
      • Is it the effort of a good friend who sees, unlike his compatriots, that Sasuke is not beyond redemption and that redeeming him is key to breaking the cycle of violence in the Narutoverse? . . . Or is it the desperate act of a deluded fool, a boy who refuses to grow up and face the fact that difficult choices are sometimes called for among ninjas, a boy whose lonely, dejected childhood has left him with an unhealthy attachment to someone who has openly threatened his home and other friends?
      • Then let's add some more fuel to the fire: Is Naruto just a completely immature kid who can't take the world's reality, despite the fact he wants to be a leader to a nation, and a rather unscrupulous one at that, if you consider what they are willing to do to keep themselves on top or because they're simply afraid. If you take all heroism and Messiah Prophecies, Naruto is just a immature brat who wants people's attention and got in a war he doesn't understand the beginning or end of it and wants to achieve peace, despite the fact such thing would render the whole point of his life as a ninja worthless(No War = No Need for Super Soldier Ninjas). Also, he is the weapon the village wanted: Completely Loyal, despite the fact few people like him, Powerful, althought not powerful or intelligent enough to turn on his masters, and has the talent for converting people to see things his way or The village's way. He does have a talent for getting people to follow what he says, no matter just how fairy tale-esque it all sounds. One could think of him as a Brainwashing Machine even!
    • Sasuke: Emotionally unstable teenager seeking justified revenge? Selfish traitor? Or, as his rant to the resurrected Itachi hints a traumatized boy who feels guilty for surviving when his family didn't and wants to die?
      • On the subject of Sasuke, there's his original Face–Heel Turn when he defected to Orochimaru. Did he abandon his friends because he felt they were making him weak as he claimed; or was it because he felt as if he was betraying the memory of his family by forming new bonds?
    • Itachi. His motives have been questionable since his first appearance, and after certain revelations the fandom has found a million ways to interprete his behaviour.
    • The Leaf Village! It can be A) A Nation of strong Ninja who believe in union and Peace, B) A Power-Hungry Nazi-esque Empire who wants to control the world and everyone in it, C) A Self-Centered and Bigot Nation who has so many people wanting to kill them it's hard to even think of them as innocent, D) A Village filled with Hippie-esque delusional fools. E)Mostly good people who have difficulty accepting those who are different or who they think might be a threat. The way they act and the things they believe has shades of all these. And most fanfic writers go for B, C and D options most of time if they're going for Dark Fics or just Naruto becoming independent.
    • One can see the Hyuga main family as jealously guarding its power against the branch relatives and promoting infighting, or the branch family as being jealous and presumably no better than the head family were one of their own number to take leadership. This may not apply to Neji, considering that his grievances with the head family were mainly based around what happened to his father, and he's willing to get along with them after learning the truth. Hanabi, Hinata's younger sister is usually characterised accordingly in fanfiction, depending on the writer's intent.
    • The Uchiha Clan. Despite few individuals being shown from the clan, most fans interpret the clan as being filled with power-hungry bastards that deserved their deaths. Curiously, Mikoto(Sasuke's Mom) is usually exempted of this (Mostly because they think she's hot and is a popular pairing with Naruto), along with Itachi because of Draco in Leather Pants.
      • Alternatively, since Mikoto seemed to be friends with Kushina, it might suggest that there were at least some who wanted to remain loyal to the village, but in response to (perceived or actual) threat of being persecuted for their supposed role in the Nine-Tailed Fox's attack, they decided to rebel.
      • Power-hungry bastards, or the sad end result of generations of war wiping out all the most emotionally stable members of a clan Blessed with Suck by a powerset that combines the worst parts of Power Born of Madness and With Great Power Comes Great Insanity, combined with ninja paranoia about keeping bloodline powers proprietary limiting the outbreeding that could dilute their hereditary cases of Love Makes You Crazy and Evil?
    • Madara Uchiha: One of the worst villains in manga history, or a senile Tyke Bomb who knows nothing but clan warfare?
      • Or neither. He's self-centered but by no means the worst even in Naruto. Nothing ever goes his way and he throws a tantrum, and now he's trying to force the world to acknowledge him as the god he believes himself to be.
    • Kabuto Yakushi, although this is probably on purpose: a Chronic Backstabbing Disorder who was waiting for the chance to kill Orochimaru himself for power when Sasuke did it for him, a man who saw Orochimaru as a God, went crazy at his death and integrated his remains into his own body, or a man who joined the first person who gave him some sympathy because he had nothing left to lose?
    • Is the Fourth Raikage an honorable, just leader who cares for his loved ones and is the right person to lead the alliance? Or is he hypocritical in seeking retribution for those who wrong him while forgetting his and his subordinates own misdeeds? And did he order the kidnapping of the three-year-old Hinata, was he trying to cover it up, or was he unaware of what one of his subordinates tried to do?
    • Jiraiya. Is he a man who stayed away for Naruto's own good while secretly helping him from behind the scenes? A lazy pervert who abandoned his own Godson to peep on naked women and only connected with him because of an accident? Or does he secretly nurse a hatred for Naruto for being the cause of his beloved student Minato's death?
      • Yet another interpretation is as a result of viewing himself a Failure Hero who only realized at the end of his life that he actually did some good by teaching Naruto, is that he didn't believe he could adequately help Naruto.
    • Kakashi Hatake is similar to Jiraiya. Is he a man who stayed away from Naruto to focus on Sasuke, a boy who was much like him at that age? Or is he a man with a guilt complex who abandoned his sensi's son because he secretly thinks he's responsible for the death's of all the important people in his life?
      • Alternatively, he chooses to help Sasuke because he's in the most danger at that point (Gaara presents a danger to his life, while Orochimaru presents a danger to his integrity and moral character). Naruto was far less likely to get killed by Neji (who, at worst, considers him a loser who can be beaten easily) or go down a dark path like revenge.
    • Obito Uchiha. Is his hatred against the world just a tantrum after his crush died and the only reason at which he wants to perform Infinite Tsukiyomi in order to meet again with her? Or did her death make him realize how unjust a world is when people need to be sacrificed for others happiness and the reason at which he wants to perform Infinite Tsukiyomi because he truly wants to create a better world and believes that this is the only way out for humanity?
    • Rin Nohara. Did she really care for Obito only as a friend, or something more, which she only realized after his death? Were her feelings for Kakashi real love, or just a childish crush in the vein of Sakura in Part 1 pre-character development? While Obito seems to insist that Rin loved Kakashi and his own feelings were unrequited, his flashbacks of her always worrying after him, her always watching over him and accepting him in spite of everything he's done and their eventual "Together in Death" ending seem to imply that she had strong feelings for Obito as well. Or it could be the case that she's a preteen girl who has feelings for two different boys for different reasons.
  • Americans Hate Tingle: Sasuke Uchiha is much more divisive in America and Europe than in Japan, and was hated by large segments of the American fanbase long before his Face–Heel Turn. This is because he's seen as a one-note 'brooding' character. As a result, American and Europeans fans were absolutely not surprised by the Face–Heel Turn.
  • Arc Fatigue: Naruto has usually been good with preventing arcs from lasting too long, but...
    • Even if some arcs kind of dragged out, none were able to reach the level of hair-tearing stalemate of the World War Arc - which took nearly three years to tell the story of a day and a half, where two of those years were spent telling the story of a single battle which was presumably a few hours long. The first part is problematic enough, but the real nugget is that last battle, and particularly its pacing. The entirety of it is a tug-of-war marathon, with each side countering the other side with increasingly effective techniques that have very few lasting consequences. The villain takes forever to finally go through all their gambits, absolute defenses, psychological warfare tracts, tragic flashbacks and final forms, and when they do - which would usually mark the end of the battle in any sane universe - the battle segues into two more battles of this exact same kind, back to back, with absolutely no letup and plenty of Myth Arc retcons about how everything has gone All According to Plan for various people, one of whom we didn't even know existed until three chapters before. When the manga finally emerges, wheezing, at the other end of this ordeal - all the villains are dead, everyone's exhausted and all the loose ends seem to be wrapped up - Sasuke promptly declares his intent to take over the world in order to reform the shinobi system, finally triggering the long-awaited final battle between him and Naruto. Oh, and to top it off, the anime has been inserting Filler left, right, and center in the absolute worst spots in the plot in order to keep the Cash Cow Franchise flowing.
    • The anime has the Three-Tails filler arc. It contains some ideas that would make for an interesting three or four episodes but instead goes on for an exasperating 23 episodes.
    • The original anime had the lengthy Filler-arc, which is technically dozens of small filler arcs and episodes right after each other. Now, a few filler episodes here and there doesn't hurt. But when the last 100+ episodes in the series are all Filler... It starts to get a bit jarring. Even the final arc, which ends with Naruto and Jiraiya leaving to train isn't even canon, but it does set things up for his return in the first episode of Shippuuden.
  • Archive Panic: Although not as bad as One Piece, let's see. 72 Volumes for the manga, Around 10 novels, 220 episodes for Naruto and 500 episodes for Naruto Shippuden. And let's not even talk about the movies. Yup, good luck to newcomers.
  • Asspull: "Plot no Jutsu" (PNJ). This is an accusation often thrown when a character's abilities are suddenly more powerful, less powerful, function differently than you'd expect or just get made up on the spot as a justification for a character winning a fight the plot needed them to win.
    • The Gaara vs. Lee fight; Gaara managed to get away from Lee's Initial Lotus by slipping out of his sand armor, leaving an empty shell, and burying himself in the ground A.) while rather high in midair, B.) while he was getting the crap beat out of him, C.) in the time it took the person hitting him to wince for a second.
    • Sasuke's egregious Great Snake Escape. He summoned a giant snake, hypnotized it, jumped in its mouth and teleported it and himself out of harm's way all to avoid a massive 10-kilometer-radius explosion. All of that was done after said explosion had already gone off a few feet away from him, and in spite of both techniques consuming massive amounts of chakra, after Sasuke was observed to be out of chakra.
      • Sasuke has many asspulls attached to him, ranging from random allies suddenly gaining healing powers, to random hawk summons. The author is lampshading this practice when it comes to Sasuke's new moves. Even know-it-all Obito is left wondering when he had time to acquire the summoning contract.
    • Itachi's true reasons for killing the entire Uchiha clan (they were planning a coup and Itachi was ordered to kill them all by Danzo).
    • Hanzô giving Mifune the antidote to his poison at the conclusion of their battle, because from their initially diametric philosophies they seemed to reach some sort of mutual understanding during the course of the battle by a process nobody was able to follow.
    • The Hokage's three guardsnote  knowing Flying Thunder God. Note that it was never stated before that Genma, Raido, and Iwashi were once Minato's guards (the closest thing to a hint of this is Raido being in the Hokage's box during Konoha Crush), and they know, albeit poorly, how to use an ability he never taught anyone else. Also, all of said guards were actually previously named characters, though they were Living Props.
    • Itachi Uchiha suddenly uses Izanami. Izanami is only useful against Izanagi users and Kabuto or those like him, whom the user happened to be fighting at that moment. The fact that Izanami was (in-universe) created solely for a very specialized purpose (countering the extremely rare Izanagi) yet turned out to also be the perfect counter to a completely different threat seals the deal.
    • Madara Uchiha's abilities usually fall under this. Pulling out very large meteors out of deep space, summoning Susanoo without eyes, extracting a 9 Bijuu in mere minutes, despite the fact that previously was necessary 9 members of the Akatsuki and 3 days to extract at least one, using Kamui as the Ten-Tailed beast container despite the original wielder being incapable of doing such a thing. He is also able to terminate the contract with Edo Tensei, despite the fact that even the original creator this jutsu does not know how to do it. And the list goes on...
    • Hagoromo Ōtsutsuki appears out of space-time when Naruto and Sasuke are on the verge of death to meet with them and to grant massive power-ups to Naruto (the Ten-Tails Jinchuuriki level abilities & a powerful seal) and Sasuke (Rinnegan & a powerful seal). Whilst the two are revived by other parties, Hagoromo appeared out of nowhere and gave them the means to defeat Madara & Kaguya Ōtsutsuki.
    • Everything about Kaguya is a concentrated storm of these for some people. Her very first mention and backstory retcons chakra from being the inherent life force in all living things to a type of energy stolen from a magic tree by Kaguya, which was passed down to all living people afterward. In fact, some people think that her entire fight against Naruto and Sasuke should fit into this trope, given how unexplained and random things were. A notable example is the apparent appearance of Rin's spirit during the fight, who proceeded to seemly assist Obito and Kakashi in pulling a save against Kaguya's ash-killing bones, saving Naruto and Sasuke and subsequent ability of the eyes Obito to transfer his soul and chakra Kakashi which fully manifests a Susanoo in its stabilised perfect form in the first try. Her relationship to Black Zetsu also retcons him from being a creation of Madara Uchiha to being an entity that has been working under her orders for the past few hundred or thousand years, which includes tricking the Uchihas into turning evil and pretty much everything else that's ever gone wrong in the Naruto universe.
  • Author's Saving Throw: The ending to the manga made Sasuke look like a Karma Houdini as his crimes were all pardoned and he walked free. When the anime reached that part, we see that Sasuke did in fact serve time in prison, even wearing a straitjacket and blindfold of his own volition.
  • Awesome Ego: Madara Uchiha was clearly an attempt at this. How successful it was depends on the reader.
  • Badass Decay:
    • Sakura Haruno starts off the timeskip as the first member of Team Seven to go up against a Akatsuki, Sasori. She was hailed as the second coming of Tsunade, who'd she'd eventually surpass with her talent. Come next arc...she's knocked out at the starting bell after Naruto roars Kabuto into her. Come next arc...she does nothing, she doesn't even get to fight. Come next arc she still isn't able to land a blow on Tobi. Subverted in the Invasion of Pain where she knocks out one of Pain's summons with one blow and organizes the survivors while Naruto fights Pain one on one. THEN in the next arc she hits her lowest low: First she's treated as a ragdoll by Karui and Omoi, getting knocked out. Then she 'confesses' her love for Naruto to get him off Sasuke's trail. Then she decides to kill Sasuke on her own...and can't bring herself to do it. Then she gets strangled by a weakened Sasuke despite having Super Strength and needs Naruto to save her from the stab of her own kunai.
    • Uchiha Sasuke is also strangely another contender for Badass Decay. At the start of Part II, he was on another level than Naruto, Sakura, and Sai together, and he took over Orochimaru's consciousness when he tried to transfer his mind into his, battles the powerful Akatsuki member Deidara one on one and wins (Ass Pull escape notwithstanding) and then fights Itachi and manages to impress him and force him to use his trump card, Susano'o to survive his Kirin. Then he faces the awesome Killer Bee and...gets pwned even with his full team AND is humiliated when he takes a tentacle of Killer Bee back to Akatsuki. Then he faces the Kages, and puts up an impressive but futile fight against the Raikage, A before Gaara needed to save him. He fights Gaara who blocks all of his Amaterasu strikes without even moving while simultaneously protecting his siblings and Darui. He is then nearly killed by Mei Terumi despite having a higher level of Susano'o available, needing White Zetsu to save him. And then Obito while playing Madara had to save him from being atomized by Onoki. He managed to get some badass credentials back when he fought and beat Danzo Shimura despite Danzo holding back, the very fact he could hold out against Izanagi spam even Itachi complimented on. Then come Kakashi...he loses his sight fighting him when he gets Susano'o's final armor. And is nearly stabbed by Sakura in the back. Then in the War Arc he takes down all Zetsus alone but is limited from fighting Kabuto with all power by Itachi.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • The Uchihas in general. Either they're the epitome of Evil is Cool with badass skills and are well-characterized or they're the epitome of Spotlight-Stealing Squad who were treated as merely misunderstood in spite of all the unforgivable things they have done and always having a random power out of nowhere.
      • As explained above, Sasuke is a massive one in the Western fanbase. Although he doesn't get a complete free pass in the Japanese fanbase either.
      • Itachi was insanely popular at the start of the manga, and still is in many circles, but he's also become a much more divisive character as his true nature's been revealed. Fans are now divided over whether Itachi is a cool, stoic badass with an interesting character arc or an insufferably preachy and insanely overpowered character that exists purely to make everyone else look bad in comparison. A huge part of reaction to Itachi is whether people view his character as a Deconstruction of The Ace, where his overwhelming power and near-invincibilty in battle highlights his many shortcomings as a human being, or The Ace played depressingly straight and absorbing a disproportionate amount of praise from others despite the many terrible things he did, only admitting his failings to look humbler and even more praiseworthy.
      • Madara is either seen as a complex Well-Intentioned Extremist and the embodiment of Evil is Cool who managed to become one of the heroes greatest threats, or a boring Invincible Villain with rather petty motives, and broke too many rules of established canon.
      • Obito Uchiha. Is he a legitimately sympathetic character with understandable motivations or a whiny brat whose weak backstory fails to justify all the atrocities that he did?
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment: Episode 101 of the original series. The village idiots conspire to exact revenge upon Kakashi by means of hiccuping, laughing and crying powder.
  • Broken Base: Being such a big and popular Long Runner, the series is bound to have lots of these.
    • The ending and the subsequent spin-offs are very hot topics among those in the fandom. And we shall leave it at that.
    • Sasuke and Sakura's relationship, especially after they officially get together in the ending. Not so much in the sense of them getting together (albeit that's another big point of controversy too) but rather whether or not they're an actual functional couple. Some people think that the problems they face are justified, and that the fact that they stay together is a testament to how much they truly love each other. Others think that the pair is together just out of sheer delusion (specially on Sakura's part), and that it should be bound to fall apart sooner rather than later.
    • On a similar note, whether Naruto is a good family man after he becomes Hokage. Again, some people find it justified, and a testament of how much that family loves each other. Others think he is being completely neglectful, and that is bound to bring some serious problems.
  • Can't Unhear It: Many fans consider Megumi Han's performance as young Obito to be a lot more memorable than that of his original voice actor, Sosuke Komori.
  • Captain Obvious Reveal:
    • The identity of Naruto's father. Didn't see THAT one coming.
    • Tobi is Obito. After it was confirmed Tobi wasn't Madara, he was the most obvious choice. So obvious, that many were pushing other Uchiha (most notably Izuna) as an alternative identity. This eventually died down when the chapters leading up to The Reveal made it so blatantly obvious that it was him that it literally could not have been anyone else.
  • Common Knowledge: Obito/Tobi is absolutely not the mastermind of Mist's policy to exterminate bloodline users, largely because no such policy actually existed. While bloodline users were persecuted in the Water country, that was by ordinary people, not the Mist village; the only clan the Mist wiped out was the Kaguya clan, and that was only in self-defence. Nowhere in the manga is it stated that the Mist conspired to annihilate bloodlines or that he had any problem in particular with non-Uchiha bloodlines.
  • Complete Monster: Naruto, while idealistic, does have a few irredeemable characters, who surpass all the others in heinousness:
    • Hidan, unlike the rest of the Akatsuki, has no real Freudian Excuse. An Ax-Crazy Psychopathic Manchild and member of a Religion of Evil, Hidan worships violence and death, and sees mercy (or indeed, anything other than full-scale slaughter) as a sin. He and his partner, Kakuzu, corner and capture the Two-Tails jinchuuriki, Yugito Ni, delivering her to Pain for draining and, eventually, death. The two of them subsequently slaughtered a temple's worth of monks in order to collect the bounty on the head monk, Chiriku. During the battle at the bounty station, Hidan engaged Asuma Sarutobi in combat, and used a religious ritual to bind their souls together, then began mutilating himself in order to torture Asuma, ultimately leading to the Leaf Ninja's painful death. When Asuma's student Shikamaru confronted Hidan, Hidan mocked his mentor's memory, and attempted to inflict the same fate on Shikamaru.
    • Naruto the Movie: Legend of the Stone of Gelel: Haido. See the work page for more details.
    • Naruto: Shippuden: The anime-only character Kazuma is a former member of the Twelve Guardian Ninjas and was a friend and comrade of Asuma Sarutobi and Chiruku. He saw the Hokage, and by extension, useless and threats to the figurehead Fire Daimyo in the Land of Fire. Originally, he convinced half of his comrades to try to assassinate the Hokage while Asuma stopped him, and seemingly killed him. Years later, after it was revealed he implanted Kurama's chakra into his son to create a weapon to destroy Konoha, he attacks dozens of border towns with his men. After killing thousands of people, he raided the tombs of his former comrades and would use them to make a Weapon of Mass Destruction to incinerate every man, woman, and child in Konoha to the ground, all the while constantly beating and manipulating Sora to turn on his new friends. The people he killed on the border towns were used to create a small-scale Zombie Apocalypse around Konoha to distract, and trap, everyone in the village. Finally, when that plan failed he triggered his son's Super-Powered Evil Side and sent him to destroy Konoha, and as he died at Asuma's hand he wondered how the Land of Fire could do him.
    • Boruto: Naruto the Movie: Momoshiki Otsutsuki. See the work page for more details.
  • Crazy Awesome: The entire Hidden Cloud Village, from a Jinchuriki of the Hachibi who prefers rapping over fighting, the Raikage who uses wrestling moves and being able to play Sasuke like a fool, to his bodyguard who seems lazy but is actually a strong and capable bodyguard who is next in line for the Raikage.
  • Creator Worship: Masashi Kishimoto gets a bit of this, but in particular gets a lot of it from the video game company CyberConnect2, who makes a lot of good licensed games based on the Naruto that even Kishimoto himself loves and approves of.
  • Creepy Awesome: Many villains; Zetsu, Sasori, Deidara, Hidan, Kabuto, Kisame, Shino, Orochimaru, Itachi, Pain, Konan and Madara. For a non-villainous example there's the Tailed Beasts.
  • Critical Backlash: Having such a massive fanbase as well as a large, and vocal, hatedom (a portion often holding it up to Double Standard for things they may let slide in other series) means that in addition being possible to suffer from Hype Backlash, hearing about the series from its haters means having Critical Backlash can be just as likely.
  • Critical Dissonance: Among casual manga/anime fans and the general public, it’s a merchandising juggernaut with a massive and rabid fanbase. On the critical side of things and amongst the more hardcore anime/manga fans, it’s generally treated as a fairly average and generic Shounen at best.
  • Draco in Leather Pants:
    • Sasuke Uchiha. Many girls in the series had a crush on him or expressed interest, probably some pre-emptive Truth in Television. There are even fans who think of him as more of a Chew Toy than a Jerkass, and then there are fans who think he is just as justified in his actions as Naruto is.
    • Most of the Akatsuki are delusionally painted as the good guys in the eyes fangirls.
      • Sasori's human puppet form is quite attractive, but some forget he's killed hundreds, maybe even thousands, of people, and maybe provoked a war by abducting and killing the 3rd Kzekage.
      • Even before The Reveal, Some fans tried to rationalize Itachi's participation in the Uchiha massacre, saying that he was under orders. To a degree, they were right. It still does NOT justify the repulsive extremes that the fandom will reach to excuse his Moral Event Horizon crossings, and there's also the fandom's extremely creepy refusal to aknowledge that his actions are a big part of the reason why Sasuke is now fucked up to the degree that he is.
      • Despite being one of the least sympathetically portrayed of all the Akatsuki, Hidan has some of the most die-hard fangirls. Yes, that Hidan. Apparently it's okay to sadistically murder people if you have white hair and walk around with your midriff exposed. As long as you're sexy enough, the Fangirls will go to any lengths to justify your sociopathic behavior, up to and including: inventing sympathetic backstory where there was none; pulling Freudian Excuses out of their asses; and coming up with lame excuses to vilify your victims. The problem is that Hidan is not only monstruous, but so damn fun while being a monster; specially in the anime, which makes him a Large Ham who acts almost like a Psychopathic Manchild and has very amusing interactions with Kakuzu. That alone will bring lots of fans... too bad they simply refuse to admit that his charm is how much of an amusing bastard Hidan was, and try woobiefying him. COME ON! Hidan was amusing and all, but he was an asshole, and a very unapologetic one at that - making him a Woobie misses the point and the fun of his character.
  • Ending Fatigue: Final battle went on for about two years. That's one battle taking multiple books to finish. It doesn't help that who the characters are primarily fighting against changed at least seven times from start to finish, with Tobi and Madara (and, to a much lesser extent, Kabuto, Orochimaru and Sasuke) becoming the focus more than once each. It also doesn't help that the "final" arc, the 4th Shinobi War of which this is the Final Battle, began in early 2011, i.e. the war went on for over three years, and Naruto was engaged in a single fight with Tobi and Madara for two of those years. And then a THIRD villain shows up in the form of Kaguya, the Rikudou Sennin's mom. And once all of these are finally dealt with, with plenty of Alas, Poor Villain and other denouement? Sasuke—who over the course of the battle had finally decided to abandon his revenge obsession and also pursue the position of Hokage and protect Konoha like his brother Itachi had tried to do--declares that the only way to ensure this never happens again is to tear down the whole system (like Tobi and Madara had tried to do) by taking control of the Tailed Demons and killing the Kage (and the demons as well once he's done). To be perfectly fair, the author had stated the manga's final fight would be between Naruto and Sasuke, but this was jarring beyond belief especially when much of the readership had long since gotten sick of Sasuke in general.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Has its own page
  • Epileptic Trees: Fans who dislike the ending like to theorize that Madara really did win and every event since Tsukuyomi's activation has been an illusion, with the heroes still imprisoned in the dream world.
  • Esoteric Happy Ending:
    • Sakura Haruno's ending sees her married to her longtime crush Sasuke Uchiha with a daughter, Sarada. Great! Except for the fact that in the intervening years Sasuke had pulled a Face–Heel Turn, abused Sakura both physically and psychologically on several occasions, tried to murder her friends, and even after turning Face again and marrying her he abandoned her while she was pregnant with a rather flimsy justification and has never even met Sarada. Many fans felt this plot point came uncomfortably close to an endorsement of Domestic Abuse, especially after a Word of God statement said that if Sakura had gotten over her crush on Sasuke even after all he'd done, she would be the one at fault.
    • Many fans were also unsatisfied with the fates of the villains. Of the Big Bad Ensemble members, only Danzo, Kaguya and Zetsu receive severe punishments; the rest are either forgiven in death (Nagato, Obito, Madara), get a slap on the wrist (Orochimaru or just plain aren't punished at all (Kabuto).
  • Estrogen Brigade: The sheer amount of pretty boys definitely helped the series to have a fairly big female fanbase.
  • Evil is Cool: All members of the Akatsuki fall under this in varying degrees. Also Madara Uchiha though it depends on the reader.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple:
    • Naruto and Hinata ("NaruHina"), as mentioned above. Especially in the western fandom. It got to a point where a video game adaptation decided that these two were "secret lovers", despite not being too much canon support at the time. Cue the angry shippers! Which got Hilarious in Hindsight, since they became an Official Couple by the end. Needless to say, fans went nuts on both sides.
    • Also, Minato and Kushina. Not in the sense of other potential pairings involving them (there were none), but rather of people preferring them over other ships due to being considered the best written couple in the story.
  • Fandom Berserk Button: Outside of shipping-related issues, make a joke how "Kishimoto ripped off Hunter × Hunter" and watch the fireworks fly.
  • Fandom Rivalry: With One Piece and Bleach, especially since it has a Dueling Shows dynamic with the former.
    • It also has one with Hunter × Hunter, with some fans even accusing it of ripping it off. Ironic, considering Kishimoto and Yoshihiro Togashi are friends in real life.
  • Fanon: There are so many fanfic cliches in the fandom that they have their own page.
  • Fan Wank: Naruto fanfiction is very nearly the most written anime fanfiction on ffnet, mostly due to what Kishimoto decided to wait to reveal: the name of the Fourth... Fans thought his name was "Arashi ___" with the common idea being "Arashi Uzumaki" because everyone thought he was Naruto's father. In truth, his name is Minato Namikaze, his actual situation (reincarnated as Naruto after sealing the Kyuubi in himself?), village laws (the idea of "Clan Restoration Act" for a dying clan), the concept of a council (sometimes split into a Shinobi Council and a Civilian Council), shipping of characters, Naruto's mother, bloodlines, members of Akatsuki etc.
  • Foe Yay: It has its own page.
  • Franchise Original Sin: Even in early episodes you could already see that Sasuke was going to be really important and tips about how the Uchiha clan's Myth Arc is key were dropped. Then Sasuke became really important, and the Uchiha clan's Myth Arc swallowed the plot. It's a sore spot between fans whether this is a good thing, a bad thing, or something in between.
  • Friendly Fandoms: With My Hero Academia, due to them covering similar themes, the fact that the manga started around the same time Naruto's ended, leading to some looking to it as something to fill the void, and the fact that Kohei Horikoshi was a fan of Naruto and named it as one of his inspirations.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: While the anime is popular in Japan, it's even bigger in America and Europe (and the manga is comparatively more popular, though as with all manga sales they are much lower in foreign markets).
    • Special note for the anime is it became quite the crazy Cash Cow Franchise not seen in America since the Sailor Moon / Dragon Ball Z / Pokémon craze of the 90's.
    • Orochimaru and Kabuto are met with better reception in the west than they do in Japan, with many fans seeing them as far more interesting villains than the Uchihas.
  • Gotta Ship Em All: Every character in this series is shipped with somebody, EVERYONE.
  • Growing the Beard: Any moment in part 1 that serves the methodical advancement from crass jokes/filler to epic sacrifices can qualify, but the introduction of Orochimaru and his ambitious plot are probably the turning point.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • When Naruto first defeated Neji in the chuunin exam, he convinced him that he isn't bound by fate, just as Naruto is able to defeat him even though he is a failure, while Neji is born with a pedigree that makes him strong. Later we learn that Naruto's father was the Fourth Hokage and his mother came from a clan that was related to the first two Hokages, making his pedigree even better than Neji's, and meaning that if fate existed, it was fated for Neji to be defeated by Naruto. What makes this worse is that Naruto is The Chosen One of a prophecy, destined to either save the world or destroy it. No matter which way you spin it, Neji turned out to be right in the end.
      • Neji does, however, think to himself after learning the truth behind his father's death, that it's not always certain whether a person's actions can change their destiny, and regardless of what they do, the outcome might be the same. He undergoes Character Development, but with the caveat that he still seems to believe that there are some things that are impossible to change.
      • While it is true Naruto is eventually revealed to be a Messianic Archetype from a prophecy, thus leading Neji to be fatefully defeated, and also taking his stronger pedigree into account as well, it actually means nothing if you don't work for it either. This is the true point of Itachi's message to Naruto during their conversation.
    • Nagato/Pain's plan involved using the combined power of all nine Tailed Beasts within the Gedo Mazou statue, so that he can use a kinjutsu powerful enough to wipe out a nation, pressuring people to peace, for prolonged periods of time. Already it sounds disturbing, so that could possibly be worse than that? Well, later Tobi revealed that the Gedo Mazou is a vessel for the Ten-Tailed Beast! And now let's think about how Nagato could use a demon whose chakra is so evil and which according to Kurama, can create entire continents and swallowed whole oceans? How he planned to use it as a weapon to use to wipe out a nation and leave it until war broke out again and one side got to it first, would have reintroduced the world to unspeakable horrors, all in the name of world peace? When Minato told Naruto that Nagato was probably an Unwitting Pawn to Tobi, he wasn't wrong.
    • In Chapter 244, after Kakashi passes out while fighting the Rock ninjas, and having to leave Obito behind under a pile of rubble, two sentences come up, "Have I died?" and "Where am I?" The first happened on a black screen after Kakashi passed out. The second appears right after that on the next page on a star filled sky, we see Kakashi wake up, and assume he thought those words. In Chapter 601 (YEARS later in-story and in the real world) those words are repeated as Tobi flashes back to when he awoke half-dead, and missing his right half of his body, Madara having saved him.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • In the Shippuden dub, Chiyo is voiced by Barbara Goodson. Her grandson, Sasori is voiced by Johnny Yong Bosch. That's right, Rita Repulsa and Adam are doing role reversal (Goodson as one of the heroes, and Bosch as a villain).
    • There's also the joke when Choji sees Naruto's Rasenshuriken and assumes, based on the name, that it was a projectile attack (it isn't). Nearly one hundred chapters later, it shows up again and now it is.
    • Naruto the Movie: Road to Ninja is the newest Shippuden movie set in an alternate universe (or something), the difference? Naruto's parents are alive and Sakura's are dead. Now remember that comment Sakura made in the beginning of the series about Naruto and his behavior because of a lack of parents and it turns into Gallows Humor.
    • Back in the first chapter/episode, Naruto is doing graffiti all over the Hokage Monument. One of them is his dad.
    • Chapter 599 revealed that Obito is the Big Bad Tobi, while in the English dub Obito was voiced by Vic Mignogna who also voiced "serious Tobi" in one of the video games. Consequently, Tobi might not be a good boy now, but he once was one.
    • In the preview for episode 25 attached to the end of episode 24, Naruto is freaking out over Part 1 of the Chuunin Exams, worried that he'll be "the oldest living Genin". As of now, Naruto's still a Genin and it looks like he's gonna stay that way. Not that it really matters.
    • In one Omake, Sakura calls out the staff because the current ending only features Hinata. The omake ends with her angrily demanding her own ending - which she got for the very next ending.
    • Naruto's fight with Gaara has him and Gamabunta due a joint transformation into an image of the kyuubi, though just to use its tails and claws for gripping. During the Fourth Shinobi War arc, Naruto gains the ability to turn into the real thing.
    • Akira Ishida (Gaara of the Desert's Japanese VA) is the defacto voice actor in Japan for Luke Skywalker. Luke was raised in Tatooine, a desert planet. Also overlapping with Relationship Voice Actor, Hiroshi Iwasaki (Shukaku's Japanese VA and Gaara's Tailed Beast) is also the defacto Japanese VA for C-3PO in the same franchise. Extra hilarity both Shukaku and C-3PO are the opposite of each other. Even more hilarious is the fact Gaara's life is basically what could happened if Luke was raised by his father Anakin aka Darth Vader, rather by his uncles and killing (a resurrected) Vader by himself, rather than Emperor Palpatine.
    • Tessho Genda's role as the Kurama The Nine-tailed Fox is pretty hilarious if you take into account he voiced some roles with some odd relation with him voicing a giant-sized fox.
    • There are a number of dramatic scenes where Naruto proudly proclaims he's going to become hokage no matter what. Which kinda gives the impression that being the Hokage is awesome. Well, Naruto eventually becomes hokage and it turns out the job isn't all it's cracked up to be in the slightest.
    • One FOX "Animation Domination" short had the idea that Naruto and Sasuke's final battle would just be them screaming each other's names and literally kissing and making up. The final battle is pretty much this, but the "kiss and make up" part is metaphorical.
  • Hype Backlash: This is probably the most popular ninja-based anything ever and also one of the most looked-down upon in terms of how much of a "generic shonen manga" it is, and the backlash from both directions is proportionate.
  • Idiot Plot: The way Konoha treats its prized Nine-Tails Jinchuuriki Naruto borders on many layers of idiocy:
    • For starters, in spite of the risk of Naruto unleashing the Nine-Tails out of rage, they apparently thought it's a good idea to push him around for no reason aside from the hatred of the Kyuubi, somehow not realizing that the obvious similarities between Naruto & Fourth Hokage makes him Minato's son and essentially insulted his legacy.
    • Adding to the idiocy even further, there is also the fact that Hiruzen, Jiraiya, and Kakashi knows Minato and his son and yet in spite of being fully aware of his terrible childhood, did not lift a finger in not only giving him a proper childhood and care but also train him in how to use his Nine-Tails chakra.
    • Speaking of that, why in the world would be a good idea for Hiruzen to forbid anyone from Naruto knowing the truth from his statues and family anyway? Apparently he claimed that he wants to protect him from outside forces but considering the huge risks of Naruto unleashing the Kyuubi, you'd think he would prioritize taking good care of Naruto by now.
    • Konoha is very lucky that Iruka managed to gave Naruto proper parental care or else he would have snapped and become a psychopath killer like Gaara.
      • Of course, it's less of an Idiot Plot than Early Installment Weirdness once you realise that, pre-time skip, Jinchuuriki didn't exist in the story, and Naruto certainly wasn't one. The original concept of Naruto was a living prison for an unkillable demon, not a living weapon. He wasn't supposed to be able to manifest any dangerous powers as a result of the Kyuubi being sealed inside him, let along that being what he should be doing.
  • Internet Backdraft: Don't bring up any of the following issues on a Naruto forum. Just don't.
    • Who's more powerful- Itachi or Jiraiya? When Itachi said he and Kisame could have fought Jiraiya to a draw, was he telling the truth of bluffing to convince Kisame to back out of the fight? What about the fourth hokage in his prime? Where does he fit in all of this? (To further exacerbate things, the databooks have them tied...)
    • Geez, are the girls in the manga getting the short end of the stick or what? Are we ever going to get a female character who 1. Actually has impressive abilities and can win important fights here and now, 2. Has more than a tangential bearing on any important plot at all beyond being a Love Interest of the male and a pure eye-candy and 3. Is alive?
    • And, last but definitely not least, who should have Naruto ended up with- Sakura or Hinata? (see below, in Ship-to-Ship Combat).
  • Iron Woobie: Kakashi for most of the series, till he faces Obito. Even he couldn't not let that get to him.
  • It's Popular, Now It Sucks: Before the anime's release in the West, Naruto was hotly anticipated, beloved by the anime/manga fandom, and heavily requested for import, second only to One Piece. After its release in the West and subsequent evolution to Cash Cow Franchise, Naruto started to suffer large amounts of Hype Backlash with detractors deeming it a "generic shonen series" and bashing popular characters such as the Uchihas and the Akatsuki at every possible opportunity, essentially turning Naruto into the anime equivalent of Call of Duty. However, this has subsided as the franchise's heyday has come and gone.
  • It Was His Sled:
    • Tobi not only isn't the real Madara Uchiha, he's also Obito. Both were huge spoilers when first revealed, but by the time they were animated, both facts had become almost impossible to hide. The fact that "Tobi is Obito" is a very popular fan theory ever since Tobi's introduction is just icing on the cake.
    • Naruto's father is the Fourth Hokage. This was regarded as common knowledge long before it was officially confirmed.
    • The final Official Couples: Naruto/Hinata, Sasuke/Sakura, Shikamaru/Temari, Sai/Ino and Chouji/Karui.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Many, if not most, of Naruto's opponents over the course of the series, notably:
    • Neji is introduced looking down on his teammate, Lee, and hating Hinata enough to Breaking Speech her about her inferiority and trying to kill her. It is later revealed that he believes that his father was killed for the main branch when he was young, and he can be punished at any time, potentially fatally, if the Main Branch members activate the Cursed Seal on his head. Once he learns the truth, he overcomes his previous belief that You Can't Fight Fate, which results in him working to improve his relations with the main family and getting along with Lee when he isn't acting too eccentrically.
    • Kimimaro nearly claimed the life of Naruto, Rock Lee, and Gaara, and was willing to kill his teammates if they disobeyed him. However, considering that he suffered from a terrible illness, was kept isolated by his clan before Orochimaru came along, and that Orochimaru happily sent him to die along with Kabuto, it's hard not to feel sorry for him.
    • Sora in the Fire Temple Filler arc, who is incredibly rude to most people, but has a dark past and an even darker present, as the host of much of the Nine-Tailed Fox's chakra.
    • Itachi Uchiha. He doomed himself to a life of being hated by his only remaining family, who he truly loved all along, along with the stigma of being a missing-nin AND part of an evil organisation, all while hating violence and combat. He was ordered to kill his family in order to prevent another war from breaking out, but he spared Sasuke. His actions were partly motivated by love for Sasuke, but he put on a cold emotionless front, acting like he just wanted to kill Sasuke and take his eyes (which wasn't true, of course); but one cannot deny that his methods of helping Sasuke (Mind Raping him twice) were a bit extreme. In short, you hate him for some of his actions, but once you learn the reason, you also want to hug him. That or kick him in the balls because of how big a mess he ended up making of things in spite of how much you might pity him.
    • Karin. She used to be one of the most hated characters in the manga and she was a bit of a jerk before she started to genuinely care for her other teammates, and then her being so badly hurt by Sasuke and her warning Sakura about Sasuke intending to kill her made her turn into a Jerk Ass Woobie for a good fraction of the fandom. Still, die-hard SasuSaku fans remain firmly in their Die for Our Ship position. The fact that she actually got over Sasuke after all he did to her has also helped pull her out of the Scrappy pile.
    • The Nine-Tailed Fox. You'd never believe it, but after the asskicking that it endured, to have its power taken from it and locked away again is very depressing. It openly expresses its bitterness over humans imprisoning it and using it as a power source for decades and not even acknowledging him as a person and not a thing, something even Naruto's mother Kushina is guilty of. This sentiment is starting to be recognized by the fandom. Even Naruto feels sorry for it, and apologizes for trapping it in its prison again.
    • Utakata, the Jinchūriki of the Six-Tailed Slug. He is quite aloof toward Hotaru and tries to rid himself of her at every opportunity, but this is largely the result of him being a fugitive for killing his master when he tried to extract his Tailed Beast, an experience that left him quite bitter and unwilling to trust others. And just when he comes to terms with this, Pain captures him and extracts the Six-Tails, killing him.
    • Kabuto has become one. He had a deep existential crisis after Orochimaru's death (Naruto inspired him to continue) and he is shown thinking that all he wanted was for someone to notice him. He just wanted to be acknowledged. Still doesn't excuse his monstrous moral event horizon crossing moments though.
      • Even before that he was one considering how horrible his life was. Meeting Orochimaru was actually the best thing that ever happened to him.
    • In the pilot, Naruto is even more of a brat than at his worst in canon, having no friends or social skills. He traps another youkai boy in a hole for bad-mouthing him, although it arguably edges on Kick the Son of a Bitch when the boy goes from insincerely claiming to be Naruto's friend to trying to blackmail him in a matter of seconds. And yet, when he's framed for murdering Takeshi, his horror and grief over the death of the man he was starting to befriend is heartwrenching. You also have to wonder what he went through when he is almost completely unable to understand why Kuroda would be willing to trust him enough to go to prison in his place.
    • Sakura Haruno in Part I, yeah, she constantly beats up Naruto, and broke her friendship with Ino, but she was picked on because of her gigantic forehead and most of her attempts on hitting on Sasuke end in failure.
      • She got it even worse in Part II, yes she is the same girl that clings to Sasuke despite him constantly acting like a jerk and tried to kill her twice, make a false confession to Naruto as well as suffering from a bad case of Aesop Amnesia at times but no matter how much she tried to train to keep up with them, she is looked down upon by fans and other ninjas simply because compared to Kakashi, Naruto and Sasuke, she is completely neglected by the author to the point that could not catch up with them.
    • Hiashi's jerkass tendencies can be at least partly explained by watching the Caged Bird Seal tear his family apart, the fact that his daughter was nearly kidnapped, setting in motion a chain of events leading to his brother's death, which he was helpless to prevent, the fact that his nephew nearly killed his daughter, and the strong implication that his wife is dead. To drive the point home further, when Neji died on him and Hinata, Hiashi felt crushed in that he failed his brother again.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Naruto. While most commonly shipped with him have varied from Sakura (whom he canonically had a crush on), Sasuke thanks to the massive Ho Yay between them, and Hinata thanks to feelings for him, it doesn't stop there. He's shipped with almost everyone in the cast; from Tsunade (whom is old enough to his mother) to Temari, Ten-Ten and Ino (all of whom he has never spoken to on-screen), and almost any other character you could name.
    • Hinata surprisingly. She used to provide the trope image in fact. Shipping her with Naruto is the most common, but she's also been shipped with Kiba and Shino, Neji, Gaara, and Sasuke, among others. For the record Hinata barely has any interaction with Sasuke in the series.
  • Like You Would Really Do It: Averted; fans seemed resigned to the idea that Choji, Neji, Kiba, Shikamaru, Kakashi and Hinata were going to die, each in turn, despite them being relatively important and well-loved characters. Neji actually did die, as it turns out.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Obito Uchiha. While Madara was the one who started the Moon-Eye Plan and imparting Obito with the knowledge needed to implement the plan so that he could resurrected in the future and become a Physical God. Obito in turn decides to use this for his own interests to become a Physical God himself and never had any intention of reviving him. So from the time of Madara death practically everything was directed by Obito. This includes the manipulation of Nagato and Sasuke, reforming Akatsuki of the peace organization in organization consisting of dangerous criminals, leading this very organization from behind the scenes, and as a bonus he infiltrating in his own organization pretending to be and convincing many people that he was silly, goofy Tobi without particular reason except fun. He also manage to deceive the whole world forcing everyone who met him believe that he a "true" Uchiha Madara pretty much goads the entire world into a war against himself. When his plans to start slowly to fall apart because of unforeseen circumstances, he shows very good skills in Xanatos Speed Chess. So when Kabuto put his at a disadvantage threatening to bring back Madara to life and forced him into an unstable alliance, he uses the army Kabuto to his own advantage for the battle with the Alliance and gathering the tools in which to sealed two resurrected shinobi owning Nine-Tails chakra as a fallback in case if he will not be able to catch the remaining Tailed Beasts and to resurrect the Ten-Tails in any case. And even returned from the dead Madara not able to stop him since he outsmarts him, using Kakashi in order to remove seal established on his heart and becoming the first man from the time of Sage of the Six Paths who seal in himself the Ten-Tails and became Physical God.
  • Macekre: The German dub, to the extreme. No visible wounds, erased weaponry, Bloodless Carnage (which becomes especially grating when for example Neji gets shot through with two gigantic arrows), Never Say "Die", and blood changed into sweat, tears and spit. Additionally, the dialogue is atrocious.
  • Memetic Badass: Many. Aoba, Iruka, Kisame and the Raikage come to mind.
  • Memetic Molester:
    • Orochimaru, for his tendency to lust over the bodies of teenage boys.
    • The 5th Mizukage, for her tendency to cuddle her teenage bodyguard and the rather interesting comments she makes about Gaara and Sasuke.
    • Itachi. While his interactions with Naruto and Sasuke gave off this vibe, a certain event in chapter 386 cemented his status as this.
    • The infamous SURPRISE BUTTSECKS panel before Sasuke fights Danzo.
    • Hinata of all people who don't let her stalking habits go.
  • Memetic Mutation: It has its own page.
  • Moe: Hinata is one the most popular examples of this.
  • Misaimed Fandom:
    • Many fans wanted to see Naruto kill Pain/Nagato just for the sake of revenge. The entire point of the arc (and most of the series) is that revenge is a form of cheap satisfaction that never solves anything, which just leads to more revenge, and that some problems are best solved without violence (and if Naruto killed him he would have proved his belief that people are incapable of overcoming their hatred or showing mercy to those that have hurt them to be completely right). Oddly enough, these fans also seem surprised by his tragic backstory, even though it had already been mentioned, and even though Naruto never accepted Freudian Excuses as justifications for misdeeds, often criticizing the logic behind them.
    • Another example is that whilst many Naruto fans see Sasuke as a Smug Snake who eats babies and enjoys kicking puppies, others see him as a badass with absolutely no flaws, who is not emotionally unstable in the least and who simply does bad things because he's "cool" and "badass" and "evil". Both sets of fans are wrong, as it's pretty clear that while he's supposed to be sympathetic, or to have been sympathetic once before he crossed the Moral Event Horizon, most of his life choices are shown in quite a negative light.
      • In an interview, Kishimoto finally weighed in on what he thinks of Sasuke's Misaimed Fandom; While he denies Sasuke being an actual villain, he also slammed anyone who tried to rationalize his actions and said they were not justifiable.
  • Mis-blamed: Most complaints about Naruto English voice being "so annoying" ignore the character is a Bratty Half-Pint and state that it just doesn't show up as much when listening to his voice in another language. Instead of sounding like he has a sore throat in English... he sounds like he has a perma-screech in Japanese.
    • In fact, let's just throw in any example of an English dub voice that is called "annoying" despite the fact that it's supposed to be annoying and the Japanese voice was played in an equally irritating way... But it's not in a dub, and that makes it okay.
      • You wanna know one funny thing in the eternal subbing and dubbing wars? Well voice actors often get blamed for how a character is written.
    • Another common complaint is that the dub replaced a swastika on Neji's head with an X. Except the anime did that originally.
    • The dub even got blamed for some art changes made for the Japanese DVDs!
    • Upset shipping fans have accused Studio Pierrot of Executive Meddling for the final Official Couple; when in reality the author, Masashi Kishimoto, has said in several interviews that Naruto ending up with Hinata was entirely his idea and it was decided from a while back.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Orochimaru probably crossed it in his fight with the Third Hokage for the viewers. In-universe, that's peanuts compared to the extremely perverse things he had been up to long before that.
      • In fact, nearly everything that he does, but the kidnapping and experimenting on multiple people, callously discarding them when they became unnessary and taking over their bodies, takes the cake.
    • One aspiring Big Bad Tobi, aka Obito Uchiha held a newborn baby under the threat of death at the ripe old age of one minute. That's not very nice. And add the fact that the boy is his sensei's.
    • Kabuto has the power to resurrect dead ninja. Using that power to zombify the dead Akatsuki makes sense, and they're all villains anyway. It gets worse when he starts resurrecting other fallen ninja, including Zabuza and Haku. Then he has the gall to resurrect the good guys like Asuma, Chiyo, Neji's dad, and the Jinchuriki. All of these ninja gave their lives defending their family and friends, and now they're brought back from the dead as zombies, fully aware of their actions but unable to do anything, for the purpose of killing the people they died to protect.
    • The real Madara was already considered unsympathetic by a decent portion of the fanbase for being overpowered to the point of incredibility and coming of as petty and unreasonable in later flashbacks, but any sympathy that was left goes out the window when he casually murders both main characters, treats the Bijuu like mindless cattle, and then later reveals that he was the one who orchestrated Rin's death years ago and manipulate ninja from the hidden mist to do it all to twist Obito into being his replacement.
    • Black Zetsu with his manipulating Indra and other Uchihas, being at least partially rsponsible for their Curse of Hatred, instigating wars and conflicts all to free Kaguya Ootsutsuki, also deserves mention.
  • Never Live It Down:
    • Naruto is forever connected to his narmworthy catchphrase "Believe it!" for english fans.
    • Sasuke's "Great Snake Escape" was what really started turning fans away about characters surviving death by Plot no Jutsu.
    • The supposed rape that Karin planned, which was actually the result of a mistranslation. Nonetheless, the allegations are still being brought up years afterwards.
    • Many people consider the adult Naruto to be a terrible father, based almost entirely on the scene where he sends a shadow clone to Himawari's birthday party instead of going himself. He's shown to be competent but busy the rest of the time, but those scenes aren't as dramatic or memorable.
    • Many fans accuse Hinata of being a stalker. We only saw her remotely act like one because she was too much of a Shrinking Violet to talk to Naruto face to face in her early appearances. Apart from being nervous about seeing him for the first time post time skip, she dropped this behavior.
  • Older Than They Think:
    • Jiraiya, Tsunade and Orochimaru were characters in Japanese mythology long before they showed up in this manga. They show up in the story Jiraiya Gōketsu Monogatari (literally "The Tale of the Gallant Jiraiya"), a Japanese folktale. In it, Jiraiya is a ninja who has the ability to transform into a giant toad. He falls in love with and later marries Tsunade, a beautiful young princess (in contrast to the manga, where she is Older Than She Looks) who is a master of snail magic, and battles his arch-enemy, Orochimaru, a master of snake magic who used to be his follower.
    • Many elements of this series are actually drawn from old Japanese folklore or other fiction. Some of these include: Bunshin, Kagebunshin (including the distinction between the two), using these kagebunshin in a combo, Windmill-Shuriken, Kusanagi, XYZ-Release-techniques (XYZ-ton in Japanese), ninja called Sasuke, Sarutobi, the Element-Kage as ninja leaders, ninjas being able pin shadows to the ground or otherwise manipulate their or other shadows, Ninja Log, etc.
  • Padding: Anime does this when it doesn't just decide to fill out episodes with nothing at all. For example, when Suigetsu joined Sasuke in the manga they went to the Land of Waves to get Zabuza's BFS which was right where they expected it to be and it only took up a few pages. But in the anime someone else took it, and the two spend the episode retrieving it, eventually making a game out of it (as well as spending a rather amusing scene in a restaurant). This also serves the purpose of demonstrating Suigetsu's abilities much earlier than in the manga (where he doesn't get to properly demonstrate his power for nearly fifty chapters). The same thing happened with the other two members of their team, but with flashbacks. Earlier in the anime series, during the attempted rescue of Gaara, there were flashbacks to things that had been covered in previous and recent flashbacks, as well as flashbacks to things that had happened five real-time minutes earlier. While this is done in an attempt to not outpace the manga, it gets painful during fight scenes.
    • The War arc has taken Padding through so many turns of the dial that listing all the examples would take up several times as much space as this entire page. The most notable example is the rampant Obito flashbacks that are extremely repetitive and pad out several panels to several episodes, and the reveal's flashback padding actually derailed to show an entire arc of Kakashi's and Yamato's post-Rin-death history.
  • Popularity Polynomial: During its initial English manga release in Shonen Jump, Naruto was beloved by the anime/manga fandom and its anime was heavily requested for import, but it was very obscure outside of it with Yu-Gi-Oh! being the predominant force in anime at the time. When its anime was finally dubbed and imported, Naruto's popularity exploded, causing it to become very popular with the mainstream but also for it to suffer heavy Hype Backlash with the anime fandom, and its general perception with older core anime fans became less unanimously positive. Naruto finally ended in The New '10s, and with that, its mainstream popularity also faded; however, it also had a cyclic resurgence of sorts with core anime fans, due to the Hype Backlash not being as prominent and many fans having grown up with the series as kids or younger teens during The Noughties.
  • Replacement Scrappy: The main characters (at first) hated Sai for replacing Sasuke on Team 7. Some fans too. Since among a sizable segment of American fans Sasuke is considered a Scrappy himself (in stark contrast to his overwhelming popularity in Japan), this gave Sai a slight fan following in America.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Sakura, during the Rescue Garaa arc before Chickification and Aesop Amnesia returns her back the scrappy heap... until she grows out of it in The Last.
  • Ron the Death Eater:
    • Danzo has the recurring habit of being Flanderized in Fan Fics. Yeah, he's horribly ruthless and has crossed the Moral Event Horizon, but he's far too complex for the label.
    • Hiashi isn't exactly a total Jerkass considering that he is given a lot of sympathetic moments but fanfic writers very often ignore this and have him raping and abusing either Hinata, Hanabi, Neji or even Hizashi For the Evulz.
    • Being the Base-Breaking Character he is, Sasuke gets this from the opposite side of the fandom he gets the Draco in Leather Pants treatment from. Many fanfics have him as an irredeemable evil bastard even in the beginning of Part One, when the worst he could be called is rude. Even in post-series material, he also gets a lot of accusations of being an abusive husband who hates Sakura and never was redeemed, ignoring his Heel–Face Turn and the fact that the narrative makes it clear that for all of his many faults as a father, he does love his family.
    • While it could be argued that Kakashi could have been a better teacher, and he did teach very little to Naruto and Sakura in Part I, many Fan Fic writers love to turn him into an incredibly negelctful teacher who only cares about Sasuke and doesn't mind if Naruto and Sakura get killed on a mission due to not training them properly.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Sakura has had varying shades of this throughout the series, especially in the first half. Out of Team 7 she's had by far the least characterization drive plotted into her (Naruto wants to become Hokage; Sasuke wants to avenge his clan; Sakura wants to... win Sasuke's heart?). Though she has her moments and a solid fanbase (mainly thanks to her immediately-post-time-skip bout of Character Development), her subsequent reChickification and Aesop Amnesia has not been very well-received by her fans, let alone by her non-fans. And even if she gets Rescued from the Scrappy Heap again in the The Last, many fans have mixed opinions on her as a whole.
    • Karin is also hated for due to being characterized as only being obsessed with Sasuke, essentially being a rip-off of part 1 Sakura. While initially Rescued from the Scrappy Heap after being stabbed by Sasuke just to kill Danzo despite healing him just now, after she reverts back to being obsessed and quickly forgave Sasuke, she becomes The Scrappy again to the point that fans hardly reacted when she was in tears over the fact that Sasuke is stabbed by Madara.
    • Kaguya Ootsutsuki has joined the series' scrappydom right after her reincarnation. Immediately after she makes her debut she's already despised for hijacking the plot completely out of nowhere, shifting the storyline unnecessarily to a new villain arc and making the already horrendously convoluted plot even more so. Add to the list, her resealing about only 30 chapters after her first mention, meaning she never gets any characterization beyond her lust for power and contributes essentially nothing to the story aside from extending its length and killing off Madara and Obito, meaning some will hate her due to her sheer pointlessness. The anime is attempting to rectify at least some of these issues by devoting a short filler arc to showing her backstory and giving her some actual characterization, though it's too soon to say whether this will be enough to pull her out of Scrappy-dom in the eyes of the fanbase.
  • Seasonal Rot:
    • For the original series, literally everyone will say that it's a pain to sit through the 84 filler episodes that capped off the show. Though the 4-episode Bikochu Search Mission arc gets a lot of love for being a Hinata Took a Level in Badass moment, and the final 5-episode Sunagakure Support Mission has the welcomed return of the sand siblings, and for returning the story to the main plot in the final episode.
    • For Shippuden, the lengthy Three-tails filler arc was tiresome for some folk. However, the general consensus among fans is that quality began to dip after the Pain arc due to filler arcs that returned to episodic one-offs, and canon material being filled to the brim with flashbacks. The War Arc being a nadir for the series is a common complaint due to being vastly extended with "war filler". The infinite tsukuyomi spell at the tail end of the war ended up with several dream fillers, and two filler arcs being shoved in it, which caused the year of 2015 to be almost entirely filler episodes. Hardly anyone was pleased. This wouldn't be a problem if it weren't for the fact that at that point, the manga had finally ended. There was really no excuse to keep doing filler, much less over a year worth of it.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat: Thanks to the prominent use of the Two Guys and a Girl trope in the multiple teams, Naruto became one of the first martial arts Shonen series to tend towards a more balanced male-to-female ratio in its cast compared to previous works in the genre, which tended to feature just a few token females. That created a recipe for fans to start shipping characters like there was no tomorrow. Straight ships or otherwise. As the series got longer and longer, these arguments got bigger and bigger.
    • By far, the biggest one were the ships involving Naruto himself. Especially with his two potential Love Interests, Sakura and Hinata. The on-and-off dynamics, and the sheer amount of Ship Tease that Kishimoto put all over the place during the run of the series seemed to be explicitly designed to make the fans go nuts: Naruto not having a talk with Hinata after she confessed her love to him (while trying to save his life at that!), Sakura's allegedly fake confession to Naruto, all the Hinata-centered Ship Tease in the anime adaptation, the expectations the fans had out of the conventions in the genre (which pointed to Sakura), etc, etc, etc. Something that went on, and on, and on... AND ON, for the 15 years the original manga ran, making this one of the longest, most intense shipping wars in manga and anime history.
      • Finally, Hinata ended up being the one. The details about how she and Naruto ended up together were described in the canonical film The Last: Naruto the Movie. Turns out the Ship Tease WAS indeed deliberately designed to mess up with the fans, since Kishimoto admitted he made up his mind way long before he fully conceived the end of the story, and the dynamics involving Sakura were a Red Herring more than anything else. And although this made the debate to cool down, there are still some remnants that treat it as Fanon Discontinuity, albeit they're a tiny minority at this point.
  • Shocking Swerve:
    • Itachi Uchiha, the man who murdered his entire clan, joined the evil organization the Akatsuki, and Mind Raped his little brother twice turns out to be a loving brother and under orders from his village the entire time.
    • The entire plot involving Kaguya, as it was not even hinted at until late in the World War Arc and less than fifty chapters after she was first mentioned she was made into the series' true Big Bad with Black Zetsu as her Dragon who set all of ninja history in motion solely for her resurrection to occur so she could take over the world.
  • Squick:
    • Kisame's suggestion they cut Naruto's legs off so it would be harder for him to get away, and almost does this to Killer Bee before he grabs the pencil he threw at the start of the fight.
    • In Chapter 513, finding out that armadillo's gender was not necessary. Kishimoto evidently didn't agree, so he treated us to another panel full of it in the next chapter. Yes, we love biology.
    • Coupled with Nightmare Fuel.
      Sasori: Do you know how I add to my collection? First I tear out the organs. Once I've washed it clean, I drain out all of the blood. After I've made sure it won't decay, I fill it with weapons and traps, and add it to the collection. As grandma said, Hiruko is part of my collection. With you and Chiyo, I will have exactly 300 puppets in my collection! This is my art!
  • Strawman Has a Point: During his brief stint as acting Hokage, Danzou officially declared Sasuke a missing-nin, which is one of many policies he endorsed that are used to suggest he's up to no good. But he did have a point. Sasuke abandoned Konoha and the village was in bad enough shape already. Having a top-class ninja running around planning to further run it to the ground was not a good idea. And considering Sasuke immediately afterwards kidnapped the Raikage's brother (as far as anyone knew at the time), if he weren't a missing-nin and were still considered one of Konoha's ninjas it would have even worse.
  • Stupid Statement Dance Mix: Kabuto's ninja info cards.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: Part of the melody for Orochimaru's theme is borrowed from Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, and the opening to Sarutobi's battle music is an almost exact copy of Ozzy Osbourne's song "Bark at the Moon."
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Many Akatsuki fans feel this way about those who were killed off, at least before those who were resurrected by Kabuto's Edo Tensei spell returned. Notable examples include Hidan, Kakuzu, and Konan.
    • Dosu Kinuta. He was powerful, intelligent, and stealthy - he would have been a force to be reckoned with had he not fought Gaara.
      • His teammate, Zaku, was the only Sound Genin that had a backstory. However, after his fight with Shino, he was unceremoniously killed off via Edo Tensei.
      • Most of the Sound Ninjas in general, especially the Sound Four. They all had interesting designs and powers and it would have been interesting to see their backstories and how Orochimaru was able to convince them to join him. But they all were killed off before the Time Skip and the return of the Sound Four when they were resurrected by Kabuto didn't make us learn more about their backstories.
    • Team 8 of the Konoha-12 lost a lot of time in the spotlight by the time of Shippuden that you would almost forget that Kiba and Shino were a part of the core group.
    • Rock Lee is also a major contender of a wasted character, especially by the time Shippuden comes around. In the original series, he's built up to be a major rival of Naruto and Sasuke being able to prove himself as an incredible supporting character who fights against Gaara and Kimimaro as a ninja who's limited to using just taijutsu. However, he ends up getting forced to the background for the Shippuden sequel, and no longer received any further Character Development or Next Tier Power Ups.
    • While a Base-Breaking Character, it's easy to feel this way about Madara Uchiha, who despite being built up for the majority of the manga as this unstoppable warrior and ultimately SUCCEEDING in his goal of casting Eternal Tsukoyomi on the world, gets anticlimactically killed off by Black Zetsu so Kaguya can replace him and doesn't even get a fully fleshed out battle with the main characters in the manga.
    • Before their deaths, the other tailed-beast hosts not named Naruto, Gaara, or Killer Bee, would have been nice to see more of since the effort to protect them from the Akatsuki jumps from Gaara's One-tail all the way up to Killer Bee's Eight-tail without ever seeing much of the other host characters between the two of them. At the very least, the Six-tailed host, Utakata, got some development in anime filler.
    • A lot of people feel that Sakura could have made a good Tritagonist, a natural position considering her two teammates are the two most important characters in the story, but she was never really placed in this role. In regards to character, she is characterized mostly by the fact that she is on the same team as Naruto and Sasuke, but never really has any impact on either of their characters in return. On the combat end of things, outside of the Sasori fight and a few scattered moments, she never really helps or does anything in a combat situation, having come down with a nasty, albeit somewhat understandable case of Can't Catch Up with Naruto, Sasuke, and others.
    • Anko, who was Orochimaru's apprentice and test subject for the Curse Seal, pretty much became an afterthought throughout the majority of the series.
    • An example comes from two characters who don't even have names: the other two Genin in Team Jiraiya. You'd think that being former students of one of Naruto's mentors and team mates of his father would have at least been given a name in the story. Another thing to note is that while the one with the buzzcut had a generic design, the androgynous one with black hair had a bit more detail to his/her design, so it's possible Kishimoto had some aborted plans for the character.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • Neji's father had to die because of a diplomatic incident with the Hidden Cloud Village. At the time they were Hufflepuff House and we weren't expecting this to be anything more than background for Neji's grudge; but later the Hidden Cloud Village actually becomes prominent in the plot and even forms an alliance with the Hidden Leaf, with Neji working in the same division as a Cloud-nin. We'd expect to get a resolution on the inevitable hard feelings, but it doesn't even get an obligatory "we're at war here, let's let old grudges go" exchange. On the other hand, Neji has already made his peace with what happened, and from an In-Universe point of view it would be ridiculous of him to start rambling about old grudges and people who've been dead for over ten years in the midst of a world war when the people he's rambling to are his allies.
    • Kiba's dream to become Hokage could have made for an interesting rivalry between him and Naruto had it been developed beyond their Chunin exam match. However, Kiba was pushed so far into the background following the Sasuke Retrieval Arc that it became a laughable joke whenever he brought up that he still one day wants to be Hokage.
    • There are many who believe that Choji and Neji surviving their brutal fights against the Sound Four's Jirobo and Kidomaru in the Sasuke Retrieval Arc was a missed opportunity to add an Anyone Can Die tone to the story that would have the fans legitimately worried that their favorite characters could possibly kick the bucket at some point. Their survival instead caused the opposite effect that would then remain throughout the rest of the series.
      • Then like Kiba above, both characters got left by the wayside following the Sasuke Retrieval Arc, receiving no character development and virtually no plot relevance (outside of anime filler) for many years; so when Neji actually did die in the Fourth Shinobi World War Arc it fell flat for some fans as there was no build up to it, making it feel like Kishimoto was just offing a disposable yet established character for cheap shock value. The missed opportunity in the Sasuke Retrieval Arc robbed Neji of a more meaningful death.
    • Danzo. So many questions surround him: Why he was after the Kyuubi, how he got the Sharingans, what role he exactly played in the Uchiha massacre, the extent of his involvement with Tobi and Orochimaru; not to mention his rise to power as acting Sixth Hokage and his ideology being the opposite of Naruto's— all this could've made for an interesting plot. Instead he is sacrificed to hype up Sasuke's new powers before any of this gets resolved.
    • Kabuto, like Sakura, is a Medical Ninja. There was a good opportunity for him to be an Evil Counterpart and personal rival to Sakura that sadly was never explored beyond the fillers.
    • Nature Releases. Introduced early on in Part 2, the idea of different ninja having different elemental releases, and combining them to make even more interesting and powerful new jutsu combinations, provided enough content to allow for dozens of new jutsu and techniques through kekkei genkai that would make for interesting and challenging powers for new foes and friends alike, especially being introduced just prior to the massive cast expansion with the other four nations. Instead, nature releases past the primary five get pushed to the background until the Final War (which goes on to introduce the idea of kekkei tota, THREE nature abilities) at which point many combinations were relegated to single uses by minor or one-off characters (many of whom were already dead) and ultimately ending without even revealing two of the combinations (Fire+Lightning and Lightning+Wind) leaving the entire idea underutilized.
  • Too Cool to Live:
    • Minato Namikaze is a particularly notable example. He was hailed as one of the strongest shinobi ever, saved the Leaf village from the Nine-Tailed Fox's attack, was shown to be able to wipe out whole platoons of shinobi in the blink of an eye (to the point where enemies were ordered to flee on sight from him), and could teleport anything, even a Spirit Bomb level chakra blast miles away without breaking a sweat. Needless to say, a lot of potential threats to the Leaf would not be deemed so dangerous if he was still alive.
    • Jiraiya the Toad Sannin has become this over the course of Part II since his death. Possessing a high amount of badass skill, his own Super Mode, and being able to fight the Disc One Final Boss and temporarily defeat him, as well as his own wisdom being used to redeem his fallen student through Naruto Uzumaki, it's easily to see why he's cool. Even Kabuto lamented his inability to use Edo Tensei on him.
  • Values Dissonance: The core reason why a substantial part of the western fandom hates Sasuke moreso than the Japanese fandom. Many eastern cultures place greater emphasis on respect and honoring one's extended family. As Sasuke's revenge quest can be seen as piety to his clan, many Japanese fans are more willing to accept decisions as honorable or at the least understandable. While a point can be made about the author saing that he is self-centered in an interview, it doesn't change the fact that since it is not clearly said in the story his actions will look a lot more understandable for people in the japanese fandom not aware of said interview, hence the different reception.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion:
    • Haku acts like a female, looks like a female, and even dresses like a female, yet most official material went with the concession that Haku is male. However, Kishimoto has never been quoted as saying if they are right.
    • If it weren't for the fact that names ending in -maru indicate that they're male, Gaara's uncle Yashamaru would have most people fooled as well. To the point that in some translated versions of the manga, the producers mistook him for a woman.
    • Deidara deserves a mention too. Seriously, he looks like Ino's evil older sister.
    • Sai was mistaken for a girl by some fans at his very beginnings. Admittedly, his midriff T-shirt isn't helping his manliness.
  • Wangst:
    • Many readers found Nagato's backstory uninspiring and weak compared to those of several previous antagonists. Or simply poorly told.
    • Many consider Obito's reason for turning evil - the death of Rin, his childhood crush - to be poorly executed as a Freudian Excuse.
  • What an Idiot: So many idiotic moments that it has its own page.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Badass?: Aside from a small pool of elites, a lot of sympathetic characters (especially girls) constantly get the short end of the stick in their fights and appear to be physically incapable of accomplishing anything that matters. This generates resentment from fans who every once in a long while find themselves subjected to the hopeless, pointless, doomed antics of these characters failing at life until the Big Damn Heroes show up to save the day. "Character X is too weak/useless to deserve screentime" is a common sentiment in forums.
  • The Woobie: Gaara, oddly enough, post Not So Different moment with Naruto. This started happening even before his Heel–Face Turn. Naruto strays into this every so often.
    • Gaara's getting a new level of Woobiedom piled on him as of Chapter 547.
    • Rock Lee is meant to represent on how hard work pays off but aside from his first showcase against Sasuke, he kept losing all his fights against more talented ninjas while Lee in the meantime, could not catch up to them at all, as in a world where Hard Work Hardly Works, he is simply not gifted or even born lucky leaving the poor deadlast as forever a deadlast, never able to match against even the other members of Konoha 11 (aside from females).
  • Woolseyism: The Viz translation of "Sexy Jutsu" has it translated as "Ninja Centerfold". However most people like "Sexy Jutsu" Better as it's something more people would get without realizing what "Centerfold" is a reference to.
    • In fact, almost EVERYTHING. One prime example is the term "Jutsu" (which is Japanese for art or technique) being left untouched in the more currently popular English dub of the anime to this day.
  • Writer Cop Out: A common accusation hurled at the ending of the Pain arc, which basically undid nearly every shattering twist of plot that had happened during this huge Wham Arc, including several major character deaths.
    • Especially of note is Hinata NOT dying during this arc, instead being shown to only have been heavily wounded. It comes off as a cop-out because like the above says, major character deaths were overwritten en masse at the end anyway so from a writing standpoint the only reason Hinata didn't die was so fans wouldn't complain about her getting killed off for the 2 chapters worth of time before she'd just get revived anyway since the longterm is identical.
      • Speaking of Hinata during the Pain Arc, there's her confession to Naruto. Fans were hoping that, after everything calmed down, Naruto and Hinata will have a talk in which Naruto would either accept Hinata's feelings and become a couple, or reject them and stay just as friends, hopefully to put an end to the neverending Will They or Won't They? and Ship-to-Ship Combat. Except none of that happened. Not only the story progressed as if such moment never happened, future interactions between Naruto and Hinata also happen without taking into account this game-changing moment. It isn't until The Last: Naruto the Movie, in which Naruto and Hinata finally become a couple that this moment is revisited.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/Naruto