YMMV / Ninjago

  • Angst? What Angst?: No one (excluding Lloyd) seems very torn up over Garmadon's banishment, and later, death. Wu and Misako, his brother and wife respectively, seem completely unaffected by it, and even the Ninja who had gotten close to Garmadon during the Tournament, and... nope, no real emotion there.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: In Volume 9 of the comic, was it always Zane's plan to stay loyal to the ninja? Or was Nya bursting in at the last second just a back-up plan he made in case the Overlord could not deliver what he promised, giving him the opportunity to both remain loyal and betray the ninja to potentially become human with no consequences?
  • Badass Decay: Lloyd after his final battle with the Overlord. He goes from being the Ultimate Spinjitsu Master and an immensely powerful force for the heroes... only to be kidnapped and depowered the very next season.
  • Cliché Storm: Albeit one done right. Less so as the series went on as the plots began to become more complicated.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: A lot of the music made for the show is incredible, but some stand out in particular.
    • The theme song, 'The Weekend Whip' deserves a special mention. Done by The Fold, it's stylistically mid-late 2000s Pop Punk at its best, mixing the sounds of We The Kings' song 'Check Yes Juliet' and All Time Low's 'Dear Maria, Count Me In' and is catchy as all hell. Starting from the third season onwards, it also gets remixed into various styles ("Weekend Whip Remix" for the Rebooted arc, "Anacondrai Remix" for the Tournament of Elements arc, "Ghost Whip" for the Posession arc, etc).
    • "Falcon Chase", the music as the Ninja pursue the falcon in "Tick Tock", makes the falcon's strings-based Leitmotif incredibly dramatic.
    • A Leitmotif, first heard in "The Fire Temple", which appears to be a theme for Lord and Lloyd Garmadon as it plays in scenes where they are together. Quite fittingly, it's a tragic-sounding melody due to the destined battle between father and son. It also receives an espeically epic arrangement heard in "Fall of the Green Ninja" when Lloyd pleads to his father to help him fight back against the Overlord.
    • The Fold's Rise of the Vermillion is a dramatic rock theme song for the Mooks of the Hands of Time that accurately portrays their bloodthirsty and violent Hive Mind nature.
  • Draco in Leather Pants:
    • The Serpentine, especially Skales and Pythor, receive extensive treatment of this by the fandom. Somehow, these bloodthirsty and treacherous villains are interpreted as innocent Woobies who only want a hug. Season 3 makes this canon (Pythor excluded).
    • Lord Garmadon suffers from this to a degree as well, though it's more justified given how he is depicted as a Tragic Villain from Season 2 onward.
    • Morro gets this the most from the fanbase. This was bound to happen given his easily Woobie-fiable backstory, his sexy voice, and the fact that he's one of the show's younger villains despite being a ghost.
    • Acronix also gets this to a lesser extent; with his Adorkable obsession with technology being played up in some fanworks.
  • Ear Worm: The opening song — "Nin-jah-go, Nin-jah-go!"...
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Flintlocke is currently getting the most votes in "Who is the best Sky Pirate" poll on the Ninjago's Wikia front page.
    • Despite only appearing in one of the comics, Seliel is loved by the fandom, and many want her to have an appearance in the show.
    • Echo Zane. His adorable mannerisms immediately won over many fans.
  • Growing the Beard: The first 13-episode season marks an improvement over the Pilot Movie, which some reviewers found generic and un-engaging.
  • Ho Yay: Although it doesn't happen often thanks to the show's Target Audience, it still occurs on occasion.
    • In "Can of Worms", Zane rode on Cole's back the entire way up a mountain, despite the fact that he was more than capable of doing it on his own. Then, there was this particularly lovely exchange upon facing one of the Serpentine Generals.
    Skalidor (to Zane): Look who's calling who pathetic... Pinky.
    Cole: Only I call him Pinky!
    • Not to mention in "Darkness Shall Rise", there was this:
    Cole: Nindroids first!
    Zane: Oh, you are such a gentleman!
    • And then after the stressful Final Battle, the two clearly hug. Complete with Cole referring to Zane by an Affectionate Nickname!
    • Lloyd and Kai are also getting some tension. Especially in the fifth season, where the latter behaves as if he is heartbroken upon the former's possession and repeatedly tries to reach out to him.
  • "Holy Shit!" Quotient: The Titanium Ninja. Zane, a main character no less, dies onscreen, and the scene is immediately followed by a funeral that seems to imply he is Killed Off for Real. He is then implied to be alive at the very end of the episode.
  • Idiosyncratic Ship Naming: Interestingly, only same-sex pairings tend to use this:
    • Kai and Lloyd: Greenflame (Kai's elemental power is fire, while Lloyd's associated colour is green)
    • Zane and Cole: Glaciershipping (ice + earth = glacier)
    • Kai and Cole: Lavashipping (fire + earth = lava)
    • Zane and Jay: Technoshipping (both characters are associated with technology; Jay is a tech whiz and Zane is a robot)
    • Kai and Zane: Steamshipping or Oppositeshipping (the former: fire + ice = steam; the latter is due to Kai being impulsive and hotheaded in contrast with Zane being calm and collected)
    • Cole and Jay: Bruiseshipping (black and blue are colours used to describe bruises; alternatively both seem to get into fights with each other more than with other ninja)
  • It Was His Sled: People love spoiling that Zane is a robot and that Lloyd is the Green Ninja. The toyline also makes no effort to hide this, turning them into Late Arrival Spoilers. A slightly more recent spoiler is that Cole turned into a ghost in season 5.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Lord Garmadon while he's still an antagonist, and is a textbook example of Being Evil Sucks.
    • Nadakhan is a selfish Jackass Genie. However, on the other hand, in the course of the story, he lost his loved one, his father and his whole kingdom.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Pythor P. Chumsworth. He is obsessed with restoring the Creation Devourer and ensuring Serpentine dominance over Ninjago. He is an extremely cunning and manipulative strategist, and is incredibly cruel and ruthless to his enemies. He even willingly ate his own kind in order to survive. He constantly keeps up the Affably Evil veneer, which only cracks in moments of extreme stress. He's also the oldest and most recurring villain in the entire series.
  • Memetic Mutation: GOLDEN CHAINSAW STAFFS!!!
    Lloyd: I'm a ninja. And you are wearing make-up.
    Jay: Hey hey hey, it's concealer!
    • "I have to scratch my face."
    • "No Pizza for you!"
    • "THAT'S... MY... MOM"
    • From the season 5 trailer, we've got this exchange:
    Cole: How are we supposed to fight a friend?
    Possessed!Lloyd (with a much deeper voice): Let me show you!
    Jay: Whoa, Lloyd's gone through puberty!
    A HOARD OF SKULKINS run past the foreground and plot their sneak attack on Zane— but they get surprised when the Black Ninja GHOST through a solid wall!
    • From the end of the Day of the Departed trailer released in late September 2016, which was overall very dramatic and serious, we have this exchange (made funnier by the moderate lack of context):
    Wu: Is this good, or bad?
    Morro: Bad. Very bad.
  • Moe: Nya and P.I.X.A.L. are both pretty cute to look at.
  • Narm: The scene where Skales tries to capture Lloyd...by slowly descending down on a window-washing lift... outside. His knock on the window during the same scene only adds to the Narm factor.
    Garmadon: "And this time I will recreate Ninjago...[slows down] in moy oowwn immmaaaggggeee..."
  • Narm Charm: It's a little hard to take the plot twists seriously when the characters are still cute-as-a-button minifigures. This doesn't take away from awesome moments however, and the characters behave normally instead of acting like they live in some toy chest.
    • It's possible that if you've watched Ninjago for the past four years, you're no longer quite seeing them as mini-figures, particularly since the stories keep getting better and better.
  • Periphery Demographic: Not just older, but a surprising amount of the fandom is female as well.
  • Portmanteau Couple Name: Frequently used for the heterosexual couples. Jay and Nya is called Jaya, Cole and Nya is called Nycole or Colenya, Zane and Pixal is called Pixane, and Kai and Skylor is called Kailor.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Lloyd wasn't very well-liked in the first half of season one, being an annoying brat as a villain and The Load as a hero. Having Took a Level in Badass and generally becoming a more responsible character in later episodes may have changed that.
  • Seasonal Rot: Seasons 1-3 are generally considered to be the best among fans, especially those who have grown disenchanted with the show. The later seasons, while still enjoyable, tend to have more plot holes, and characterisation is noticeably less in-depth and consistent.
  • Spiritual Licensee: It's certainly a better continuation to BIONICLE than its reboot.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: When Season 8's first clip was released online, many criticised Lloyd's new design, being too similar to The Lego Ninjago Movie.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: The entire Possession story arc can be considered this, due to the overall interactions between the Ninja and Morro. Each individual ninja had, at one point, possessed the same ambition Morro had (wanting to be the Green Ninja), at times taking extreme lengths (especially Kai), before accepting their true roles as defenders of the Green Ninja. At best, it would have paid to see a scene where the ninja (particularly Kai) attempt to reach out to Morro over how they also wanted to be the Green Ninja, before finding satisfaction in being a part of something bigger. Yet there is no such scene, with the Ninja constantly regarding Morro as an enemy throughout.
  • Ugly Cute: Some of the Serpentine fall under this on certain occasions, when they're serving as a comic relief rather than serious villains.
  • Uncanny Valley:
    • Lord Garmadon having glowing red eyes and paler yellow skin when he was younger. This comes off as unnerving in comparison since the other characters have standard LEGO faces.
    • When Lord Garmadon is possessed by the Overlord, something about his face looks... off. Given that this series gave us cool reptilian faces such as the Great Devourer and, eventually, the Overlord's final form, there's something not quite right about the design of this face.
  • Unfortunate Implications: If this thread is anything to go by, Ninjago's westernization of Japanese culture does not go over so well with some fans.
  • Villain Decay: Lord Garmadon. His personal greed caused him to betray his father and turn him against his brother Wu. He then became an evil mastermind who overthrew the lord of the underworld and spent years plotting and playing everyone involved to escape the Underworld and have his revenge. In the first season, he is recast as a Tragic Villain who did not choose to be evil but was forcibly turned evil by the venom of the Great Devourer. When he isn't lamenting how Being Evil Sucks, he acts as a goofy Card-Carrying Villain who brushes his teeth with knives, laughs at sad movies, and literally eats evil, a far cry from the Knight of Cerebus he was in the pilot episodes. It's odd to see him change from the dark and sinister plotter from the shadows to crying and whining and accusing the ninjas of cheating in a racing competition.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome:
    • The rise of the dark half of Ninjago is an awesome blend of style and 3D animation.
    • The entire final battle between Destroyer-possessed Garmadon and the ninja is made of this. Lloyd's Golden Dragon is particularly impressive.
  • The Woobie:
    • Zane's No Social Skills and his frustration that he can't be like other people because of him being a robot can make him this at times.
    • Lloyd is also a woobie. He was tricked and kidnapped by Pythor as a misguided kid, and then thrown into his prophecy of defeating his father and devoting most of his life to training. His entire childhood was then literally taken away from him in a single night. He also had to watch his father banish himself into the Cursed Realm, and was unable to save him when they met for the last time. And thanks to Morro, was a victim of Demonic Possession. Seriously, the universe seems to have it out for him.
    • Iron Woobie: While it may have started as early as season 2, Garmadon falls firmly into this trope in the second half of season 4. From being painfully transformed against his will (once again!) into an Anacondrai to Chen taunting him about his past deception in front of Wu and Misako to having to make a Heroic Sacrifice, the last three episodes are basically a Trauma Conga Line for him.