YMMV / Samurai Jack


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    General YMMV 
  • Accidental Innuendo:
    • Just before Jack fights the Shinobi robot, we get this exchange.
      Jack: Shinobi, warrior of the night. Trained to use the darkness of the shadow. I know your arts as well. (proceeds to strip off his robe)
    • EXTRA THICK! became one twelve years after its airdate, thanks to 2016's "THICC" meme.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • The Aku Infection from the titular episode. Aku sneezes on Jack and accidentally corrupts him into a Jack-Aku hybrid. Is Jack-Aku just a pawn manipulated by Aku himself to take over Jack's mind? Or is Jack-Aku just Jack being twisted by the evil that Aku is made of? Or is Jack-Aku the beginning of a new creature that is Aku's spawn much like how Aku was the spawn of the formless evil from before time?
    • Due to their similar designs the robot hitmen from "Jack and the Gangsters" are often speculated to be members of the X-Series from the "Tales of X-9." Either as a faction of similarly retired robot mobsters or an offshoot of the models that were dismissed from service once the Beetle Drones were distributed.
  • Angst? What Angst?: Subverted, at least at first. In the second episode, Jack isn't too disturbed by the idea that he's been sent centuries, if not several millennia, into the future and notes the significant differences as merely peculiar, mostly because he's too focused on vanquishing Aku to be overwhelmed by it. Come the revival, however, we see that 50 years of no success and without aging eventually takes its toll on him.
  • Awesome Art: The show has a cinematic visual style meant to evoke classic Science Fiction, Akira Kurosawa films and anime. The geometric character designs and impressionistic/abstract backgrounds really pushed the artists to rely on color to make everything look distinct, and it really shows. One could argue that other, similarly ambitiously-designed TV shows from this era and beyond owe a lot to how big a risk the artists took with this show.
  • Awesome Music:
    • James L. Venable's entire score for the first series. Honestly, with all the other sounds telling the story, you won't miss dialogue.
    • Rave in the Forest.
    • The opening for "Jack and the Three Blind Archers" is also pretty cool. Sounds a little like something from Red Alert with the marching/stomping going over into the beat and all.
    • The Sirens' song is hauntingly beautiful.
    • The pitch-perfect noir score for "Tale of X49" is one of Venable's finest hours, and has been proven to make people cry.
  • Better Than Canon: It's not impossible that there are some that actually prefer IDW's comic book continuation over season 5, since it provides its own ending to Jack's story.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment:
    • In that episode where a rabbit steals Jack's clothes (that episode on its own was kind of a Bizarro Episode), there's a scene where an... elephant... fairy... thing randomly flies by with this ghostly, wailing noise. Never mentioned, never explained. What's worse, at the end of that episode, right before the credits start, it flies past The Stinger AGAIN with that same creepy noise!
    • The last we see of the metal eating family is the family literally eating each other. No mention of them is ever made again (it's unknown if they were sent by Aku).
  • Bizarro Episode:
    • "Jack and the Farting Dragon". There are no words.
    • Also, "Chicken Jack". As the title suggests, Jack is a chicken for this episode.
    • "Jack is Naked". Literally an episode where Jack has lost his clothes, and ends up wandering into a homage to Alice in Wonderland. Jack even dresses up like Alice at one point, minus the shoes.
  • Broken Base: Now has its own page.
  • Common Knowledge: Jack has never said that an innocent person can't be hurt by his sword because it was made with the essence of a purely good person, just that an evil person can't use it to hurt others because of its pure properties.
  • Counterpart Comparison: Has its own page.
  • Crazy Awesome: While many characters are strong in spite of their eccentricities, others are strong because of them.
    • The Scotsman, a ridiculously muscled Large Ham of a man with a machine gun peg-leg, penchant for bad music, and a claymore bigger than Jack. He's got a wild and erratic fighting style wherein he opts to tank hits that would kill normal men simply because he thinks he's beefy enough to do so. Then he becomes a ghost, which gives him the ability to fly and use celtic magic ghost bagpipes to form a road for his daughters to ride into battle on giant reindeer. Said celtic magic ghost bagpipes pack enough punch to repel Aku.
    • The Scotsman's wife to a degree even more so than her husband. When you piss her off she becomes a savage force of nature capable of tearing multiple armed opponents apart with her bare hands in a blind berserker rage.
    • Mad Jack representing Jack's evil side is an unhinged, Ax-Crazy and savage fighter.
    • The Guardian, a beefy blue dude who looks like Morpheus on steroids and has bodied everything from colossal robot titans to puny bruisers, surrounded in an entire junkyard of their remains. And he took down Jack, too.
  • Creepy Awesome: The show has its share of comedic villains, but there are a handful whose chilling presence left an impression.
    • Demongo. His demonic design, oily voice, and the seemingly limitless amount of warriors he can summon made him this.
    • The Minions of Set may have brought Jack to his most desperate. They were relentless, powerful, and unable to be harmed by conventional methods. They kept Jack on the run in-between handing out a savage beating.
    • The demon Jack encounters in the house. The episode was decidedly horror themed with this thing having invaded and consumed a family and paraded them around to consume Jack as well. There's nothing we know about this creature other than how scary it can be.
    • The Ninja. Totally silent and absolutely deadly in both his methods and stalking down Jack. He actually forced Jack to change tactics from fighting like a samurai, stop relying on his base fighting style, and switch to fighting like a ninja, in a battle of ninja versus ninja.
    • Aku in his more serious appearances can be this way. His surprise entrance in the latter half of "Jack and the Zombies", where he manages to take the sword from Jack and goes all out trying to kill the samurai, is a big example.
  • Crossover Ship:
  • Designated Hero: Odin, Ra, and Rama. Despite their effectiveness in the extremely rare note  times they do act directly, they're nearly-always All-Powerful Bystanders who seem content to just watch the Puny Earthlings note  struggle for millennia to overcome Aku themselves. Combine that with The Reveal that their Failed a Spot Check was responsible for Aku's birth to begin with, and one can wonder why anyone ever wanted to trust/worship these guys in the first place.
  • Designated Villain: The Elemental trio from "Jack and the Gangsters." Sure they try to kill Jack, but only because he's trying to steal the jewel they're guarding which they're trying to keep out of Aku's hands. It's almost odd that the show treats them as monsters of the week while similar characters like X9 were given a sympathetic POV. Perhaps this is why they're ultimately incapacitated after accidentally shooting each other rather than killed by Jack.
  • Ear Worm: Gotta get back, back to the past, Samurai Jack! WA-CHA!
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • The Scotsman, the fact that he's got a machine gun for a peg leg should show how cool a character he is.
    • Ikra, Aku's female alter-ego, is popular enough to be shipped with Jack. Despite the fact that, you know, "she" is really Aku.
    • Exdor, who seemed very similar to Dexter. He later appeared in the 2004 video game.
    • Demongo, apparently enough to get him a profile on Cartoon Network's site at one point in their old shows archive. He also makes an appearance on the game FusionFall. He returns in "XCVII", with no explanation on how he survived his apparent death by Aku.
    • The Guardian is well-liked because of how badass he is; he's the only antagonist to single-handedly defeat Samurai Jack and get away with it. Many are hoping that he and the time portal he's guarding will once again become relevant in Season 5. Tragically, the sorting algorithm of power got to him first, and Aku, proving himself to be even more powerful than the Guardian, took him out of the picture long, long ago.
    • Og from Jack vs Mad Jack is particularly popular for his memorable scene but more so because of his Wookie-like appearance.
    • Da Samurai has also been picking up some steam as well. People seemed to enjoy his change towards the end of his episode, and some even hope he comes back for Season 5. They got their wish in "XCVII", though it turns out he's become a humble bartender.
    • X9. His episode was an excellent neo-noir story, and he had an delightful 1920's mobster theme. Shame he was forced to go against Jack... which only meant one thing.
    • The cricket-chasing girl whom Jack befriends in one of his flashbacks in "Jack Remembers the Past" is well-remembered for giving him his first kiss. Quite a bit of fanart and fanfiction has been written about her, and some fans hope that the two will reunite when Jack returns to the past.
  • Esoteric Happy Ending: Played for Laughs in "Jack and the Farting Dragon", where Jack saves the day only for the baby dragon to basically set the town on fire. Everyone is too busy celebrating to stop it.
    • Even Jack questions if what he did was a good thing.
  • Estrogen Brigade: Jack, very much so! It should come as a surprise to no one that a character who is not only ripped, but loses half his clothes and has his hair come undone in a flowing, sweaty mess at least Once per Episode was greatly appreciate by many of the show's heterosexual female fans.
  • Evil Is Cool:
    • Aku. He has ruled the world for centuries and defeated many warriors in his way, as well as determined in his war with Jack. However, what makes him truly awesome is that he's different from other "dark" villains. He's capable of being an epic and ass-kicking villain, while still being fun and hilarious at the same time.
    • There's also Demongo, the Collector of Souls.
    • Let's not forget the coolest villains in the show, the Minions of Set. They're demonic creatures from the past who are too strong for Jack to face head-on.
    • Shinobi, a deadly ninja who takes advantage of the show's lack of outlines to seamlessly blend into the shadows. His duel with Jack is well remembered for how beautifully stylized the whole thing was.
  • Evil Is Sexy:
  • Fanfic Fuel: What adventures was Jack up to in the 50 year timeskip? Genndy says it's up to you. And to help with that, the episode number skips from LII (52) straight to XCII (92), allowing fans to fill their stories in with the numbers in between.
  • Fandom Rivalry: Samurai Jack has quite the rivalry with Star Wars: Clone Wars even though they have a similar style.
  • Fanon: There are an alarming amount of people who think that Samurai Jack takes place in the same universe as Dexter's Laboratory and The Powerpuff Girls, due to the fact that the remains of what looks like Townsville are seen in the first episode, and some people have commented on how Professor Utonium and Jack look a lot alike. Some people have even made some pretty interesting theories here and there.
  • Foe Yay:
    • Oh God, when Aku disguised himself as a beautiful woman named "Ikra", (s)he seems to actually show growing chemistry with Jack. Urgh, how far would Aku have kept up the ruse?
    • Believe it or not, Aku pulls this off a second time in one of the CN Action Pack comics. He takes the form of a beautiful geisha for what is implied to be several months, only to change back right after Jack confesses his love for her. This time there wasn't even any threat or time portal involved; he just wanted to screw with the poor guy. His last words?
    Aku: "You will always be alone. HA HA HA HA HA!" (returns to his lair) "But I will never be alone... as long as I have you."
  • Fountain of Memes: Aku, for obvious reasons, is just so damn quotable.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
    • In "The Aku Infection", Aku was sick with a horrible coughing fit, and he spits out a virus that infects Jack and slowly turns him evil. Mako (Aku's voice actor) would later die of esophageal cancer.
    • "Aku's Fairy Tales" had Aku trying to brainwash children with stories of Aku being the hero, and Jack being the villain. It was Played for Laughs and is a light-hearted episode overall. But then Season 5 introduced the Daughters of Aku, seven women warriors who were raised under harsh conditions by an evil cult, which brainwashed them into believing that Aku is their lord and savior; thus reminding the viewers that while Aku's first attempt at propaganda was an Epic Fail, the motive behind it is still terrifying.
    • At the end of "Jack and the Baby", the Baby has a scowl on her face, and Jack says it's because she had "witnessed death" and now has the spirit of the samurai. Then in "Episode XCIV", we learn that Jack had literally witnessed death when he saw his father kill off a gang of bandits, which also ended his innocent outlook on life.
    • The opening narration for Seasons 1-4 of the show sounds like Aku is narrating from the past about how he sent Jack to the future, where the hero is now searching for a way to get back home (the narration sounds completely harmless at best). Come the final season, and we discover that what we thought was Aku's harmless narration from the past is actually him chronicling in the future about Jack's escapades there up to the time that Aku has defeated and captured him (and is about ready to straight up execute our hero too!).
  • Genius Bonus: In "Samurai vs Samurai," Da Sa-Mhoo-Rai is boastful, arrogant, flashy, loud, and generally an insufferable jerk. In short, he acts like a typical historical samurai.
  • Ham and Cheese: Aku, to Narm Charm levels.
    Aku: (into the phone) "Thirty minutes or it's free? Excellent! HA HAAAA HA HA HAAAAA HA HA!"
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • In "Jack and the Three Monks", Jack came dangerously close to abandoning his quest after one too many failures, until the titular monks reminded him of all the suffering Aku has caused and what he's fighting for, rejuvenating his spirit to carry on. But then Season 5's premise was revealed, and Jack has pretty much abandoned all hope after 50 long years of still being trapped in the future with Aku also still alive.
    • In the episode "Jack, the Monks, and the Ancient Master's Son", when Tam Sung expresses awe that Jack has apparently remained unchanged despite all the centuries that have passed, and believes that Jack had achieved a level of chi even beyond his own, before Jack hastily corrects him that he had merely been displaced in time. Come Season 5, and we find out that a side-effect of the time-travel spell that Aku used to send Jack to the future has also turned him biologically immortal.
    • In "Jack vs. Aku", the episode is kicked off by Aku having grown tired of the static premise of the show, and how he and Jack can never decisively kill each other, resulting in a perpetual stalemate. Aku even has a Leaning on the Fourth Wall speech about how his plans to kill Jack, and Jack's plans to return home, will always inevitably fail week after week, "And then we'll do the same thing all over again." While this is a largely comedic episode, it gets a lot darker after Season 5 premiered. Turns out that fifty years of doing "the same thing all over again" hasn't been kind to either character: Aku has crippling depression, and can't even be bothered to run his own empire; and Jack is struggling with PTSD, hallucinations, and suicidal thoughts.
    • In "Jack and the Warrior Woman", Jack befriends "Ikra", a beautiful woman whom he was slowly growing a romantic crush on; but he is very shocked and dismayed to learn that "she" was actually Aku in disguise this whole time. And later, if you count this comic story, Aku pulled off the same trick twice. And much later in Season 5, Jack finds himself caught in a very eerily similar problem; it turns out that his first real girlfriend (Ashi) was unwittingly the daughter of Aku this whole time. And Ashi is forced by her dad to betray Jack.
    • In "The Aku Infection", Samurai Jack was somehow infected with a mutagenic disease that gradually turned him into a mini-clone of Aku, until he eventually managed to purge the illness from his body, mind, and soul. Later, in the same episode where Ashi's long-lost father was revealed, Aku forces Ashi to go through a very similar and painful transformation into an Aku-like demon herself. But because the curse is in her own genes, this will be very difficult to reverse.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight: The children in "Aku's Fairy Tales" playing Samurai Jack, then telling an awesome story about him at the end, all reads like how actual fans of the series talk about it in real life.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Has its own page.
  • Ho Yay: Nearly-naked Jack tickling a nearly-naked sumo wrestler.
  • Iron Woobie: Jack goes through hell and back to try to return to his native time, and comes out of almost all of his fights worse for wear. And yet, he trudges on. Season 5 further emphasizes Jack's plight, showing a tragic hero who's become ever so close to losing all hope and giving up.
  • Love to Hate: Aku, he's just so hilarious and entertaining, but it's so easy to forget that he's supposed to be utterly loathsome and irredeemably evil.
  • Magnificent Bastard:
    • Aku when he gets taken seriously.
    • There was also the ninja who followed Jack unseen all the way.
  • Memetic Badass: Jack himself.
  • Memetic Molester: In "Jack and the Warrior Woman", Jack learns to his horror that Ikra, a beautiful woman whom he was clearly feeling love for, was actually Aku in disguise. In these comments, there are so many jokes speculating that the disguised Aku must've had sex with an unwitting Jack. note 
  • Memetic Mutation: Has its own page.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Aku crossed it in his introduction when he destroyed Jack's home city while laughing maniacally. Something which he would repeat in many other lands for thousands of years.
  • Older Than They Think: The ignorant would think that "Jack and the Spartans" is a blatant rip-off of the more Memetic Mutation movie 300, even including many of the same sepia tone visuals. But the episode was made years before and was inspired by Frank Miller and Lynn Varley's 1998 graphic novel, of which the infamous film was an adaptation. It's more likely a Whole Plot Reference to the 1962 film The 300 Spartans, which inspired Miller to write 300. And of course, all these works are based on the Real Life Battle of Thermopylae , which happened in 480 BC.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Very few characters recur, so there are a few of these.
    • X9 spends his entire episode as the protagonist, and deconstructs What Measure Is a Mook?, making him a memorable tragic character.
    • The Princess and the Bounty hunters were also protagonists, and they spend their episode preparing to fight Jack. Their group dynamic was interesting, they all have unique and interesting designs, each have his own musical leitmotiv, and Princess Mira has an interesting backstory, but they are defeated at the end of their episode and don't come back.
    • Imakandi, the hunting pack who were one of the few groups who bested Jack.
    • Also, The Guardian of a Time Portal, who is the only person to best Jack in single combat.
    • The Minions of Set, who are remembered as some of Jack's most formidable opponents. Relentless, powerful, and unable to be harmed by conventional methods, they kept Jack on the run in-between handing out a savage beating and may have brought Jack to his most desperate.
  • Padding: The show is very slow-paced and often filled with long segments where very little happens (for example, the first minute and a half of "Jack versus Mad Jack" is just a bunch of bounty hunters playing the knife game, and it takes another minute for the main character to show up) or have prolonged shots of repeated animation. Of course this is usually seen as an example of Tropes Are Not Bad, as it helped give the show a unique cinematic style that has been well-received.
  • Periphery Demographic: Tartakovsky said outright that they went to make a show anyone could enjoy. It has aired on both Toonami and [adult swim], a block meant for adults. And now the show is being revived, but will be airing on Toonami... which is now airing on [adult swim] hours instead of regular Cartoon Network hours.
  • Signature Scene: The first two minutes of "Jack Learns to Jump Good", where Jack seemingly finally reaches a time portal, after which, with absolutely no warning, Aku appears out of nowhere, snatches the portal, and then dangles the portal just outside of Jack's reach. It's generally seen as a good summary of the first four seasons.
  • Spoiled by the Format: Averted hilariously in the second part of "Scotsman Saves Jack". A heated battle ensues with the sirens with about 10 minutes left of the episode. They defeat them in about 2. The rest of the episode is devoted to a set of competitions set by the Scotsman on who would row the boat to get off the island, since the pirates who brought them there left without them, despite Jack and the Scotsman saving their lives. See More Hero Than Thou in the main page.
  • Squick: The Reveal at the end of The Warrior Woman, even if it was obvious.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song
    • One cue often used for tragic scenes is borrowed from John Williams' score for A New Hope from the scene were Luke looks out at the sunset.
    • In "Jack vs. Mad Jack," a female patron of the Bad-Guy Bar dances to sound-alike of Quincy Jones's "Soul Bosso Nova" (more commonly known as the Austin Powers theme).
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Come on, who else would've liked to see Ra himself take on Aku? Curb-Stomp Battle or not.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: The show has some incredibly impressive 2D effects animation, but special mention goes to Aku's body burning, meant to resemble inflamed film celluloid, whenever he's being defeated in "The Birth Of Evil."
  • Woolseyism: Occurs occasionally in the Swedish dub. One memorable instance is with the announcer of the Dome of Doom. In the English original he states the line "Well, there you have it folks" in a somewhat disappointed tone. In the Swedish dub he states "Ja, så kan det gå"note  in a flabbergasted and excited tone, changing the context of the scene into something that suggests that whatever happened, it looked painful.
  • What Do You Mean, It's For Kids?:
    • The series is known for using heavy robotic gore, show realistic examples of slavery, some swearing and sexual comments which is not usually shown in a Cartoon Network show (at least, not at the time).
    • Tartakovsky has acknowledged the freedom with Season 5 of the show being on [adult swim], but he knows full well how the show is also watched by kids then and now. It will be edgier, but not to a significant degree.
  • The Woobie: Where do we start? Jack falls under this in all five seasons alone.
    • As a child, once Aku awakens, he loses his home and his sheltered lifestyle pretty much ended. When he's in the future, he sees the ruins of his homeland and the only words he can utter is "My home...".
    • In Season 5, when things appeared to give him hope, Aku destroys the very last portal which puts him in a rage that he accidentally kills three small rams who helped him to the top, and loses his sword. When 50 years passed, the weight seeing innocents die takes a toll on him and he Took a Level in Cynic. He then reacts badly when he kills his first human, since he thought she was a robot and went out of his way to protect Ashi. When they try to save the children who were under the control of the Dominator, Jack reacted very badly when he thought they died. And once he reclaims his sword, things seemed to come his way, until Aku appeared and finds out that Ashi is a literal daughter of his, forcing himself to surrender. And finally, after being able to get through to Ashi, she then helps Jack return to his time, kills Aku, and frees his home. And when he was about to marry, he loses Ashi due to being born through Aku's essence. Jack really needs a hug.

    Season 5 YMMV 
  • Accidental Innuendo:
    • In the first episode, one of the first things Scaramouche tells Jack is to "whip it out" when referring to his sword.
    • Episode nine, when Aku sees Ashi for the first time and notes she shares his blood:
      Aku: "Yes, I smell me inside of her..."
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Is the mysterious samurai a real being that Jack may have faced at some point during the Time Skip or nothing more than a personification of Jack's guilt and shame that exists because he is dwelling on past mistakes and failures? Or, even worse, is it a manifestation of what Jack is afraid of eventually becoming: a servant of Aku?
      • In Episode 6, the mysterious Samurai is revealed to be a ghost/Shinigami that tempted Jack to commit ritual suicide (Seppuku) for his perceived failures, and Jack almost does so until Ashi snaps him out of it.
    • Does the cult worshipping Aku truly believe that he's a good deity, or have they been brainwashed into believing that he is? Or do they know that Aku is evil and don't care?
    • Is "Inner Jack" the embodiment of Jack's doubt and despair, Mad Jack, or at least born from the same part of Jack's psyche as Mad Jack? The parallels between the two reached their zenith with Inner Jack's fourth appearance with a lot of his actions and lines mirroring Mad Jack's along with taking on a similar red and black color scheme and being defeated in a strikingly similar manner.
      • When Jack seems content, he speaks with a reflection of his older bearded self in episode C, was that image Inner Jack? If it was, did his calm demeanor show how Jack has managed to control and soothe his inner rage or was he just there to plant seeds of doubt in Jack's mind about his relationship with Ashi?
    • The Daughters of Aku dragging out their deceased sister and simply stating "Death is failure." A callous dismissal of someone close to them as a failure, or a Pet the Dog moment filtered through their warped morality? They did take the time to bring the body with them rather than leaving it in the rubble after all.
  • Angst? What Angst?:
    • Ashi doesn't seem to hold any resentment towards Jack for killing her sisters. Though granted, Ashi's harsh upbringing by her mother made her repress any empathy for her sisters. Also, she might understand Jack's actions were justified because he was only defending himself.
      • In "Episode XCVIII", during the duel between the High Priestess and Ashi, the High Priestess points out that despite the fact Jack killed all her sisters, Ashi decided to befriend him anyways; which is counter-argued by Ashi, who points out her mother's cruel abuse of her own daughters, that she was the one who turned them into killing machines, and thus was responsible for leading Ashi's sisters to their deaths. Ashi does seem upset about her sisters, but (rightly) pins the blame on her mom.
    • The Scotsman is rather jolly while rising as a ghost shortly after being scorched to death by Aku, and in front of his daughters no less. Granted, if anything he's better off than before (he now looks like he's back in his youthful prime rather than as an old cripple, and his daughters can still interact with him).
    • We never see how Jack reacts to the idea that everyone he's ever befriended in the past may or may not have been erased from existence just like his lover Ashi, which is unfortunately never addressed since we only see him feeling hurt over Ashi's death and no one else's.
  • Anti-Climax Boss:
    • The Dominator, who was defeated by Ashi without much effort.
    • The Omen is built up throughout the season as the only thing that can instill paralyzing fear in Jack, and it finally leads him to attempt Seppuku at his lowest moment. Ashi's brief fight with him also reveals him to be a Humanoid Abomination and far stronger than most opponents Jack faces. However, once Jack is inspired to finally turn on him, he's taken out in two sword strokes without much resistance. One could argue, though, that the point was Jack's mental recovery enabling him to effortlessly defeat the embodiment of his torment.
    • A justified example occurs with Aku, who goes down more easily than he did in previous one-on-one fights with Jack. Jack goes back to the point before he was flung into the future, where Aku was at his weakest due to just barely surviving his first battle with Jack. In any case, the earlier fight with Aku in the future more or less compensated for this.
  • Awesome Music:
    • The Omen's theme is incredibly creepy and disturbing.
    • Some of the music for the trailers counts as this, such as Carpenter Brut's "Hang 'Em All" from the main trailer and Lorn's "555-5555" for the teaser to Episode 3.
    • Tyler Bates' hauntingly beautiful "Ecstasy of Gold"-esque cue from the scene of Jack hiding in the tombs.
    • The soundtrack that plays when Jack and Ashi ride the sea serpent back to land is also very pleasant to listen to.
    • "Samurai Drop!"
    • The rousing bagpipe chorus that heralds the Scotsclan's arrival to give Jack's allies their second wind.
    • The sweetly beautiful melody that closes the end of the series.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Ashi became this based on the amount of Character Focus she has, leading some to fear she's become a Spotlight-Stealing Squad. There is also a divide in the fanbase between those who wish for her and Jack to develop a father-daughter kind of bond, and those who ship them romantically.
    • The Omen was one of the most mysterious and terrifying new characters of Season 5 and fans were caught up in the mystery behind him. The show's decision to make its identity and purpose subject to an Un Reveal either made fans accept it due to his mysterious nature or felt cheated due to the mystery building to nothing but a fight. Others feel like they can determine what its purpose was through the show's context clues.
  • Better Than Canon: A fan made a slightly-altered version of the ending, hoping to make it a bit more on the sweet side of a Bittersweet Ending.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment: In "XCVII", Demongo's cameo has absolutely no impact on the plot (which is a Continuity Cavalcade) and only seems to be included due to the character's status as an Ensemble Darkhorse. Not to mention that he's nowhere to be found in the finale. Da Samurai even lampshades it.
    Da Samurai: (whistles) We got some straight-up freaks comin' through this place...
  • Catharsis Factor:
    • Not like fans weren't hoping for it; after all the scenes with the High Priestess brutally torturing her own daughters, the scene in "XCVIII" where Ashi finally strikes her down is very fulfilling.
    • Unsurprisingly, after all the times that Aku has tormented Samurai Jack, along with all his atrocities against nearly everyone in the galaxy, Jack finally killing Aku in the series finale made it all worth it.
    • Another moment from the finale: After Aku had spent most of the episode tanking all of the army's attacks, the robots from season 4 arrive piloting the Robo-Samurai. Aku proceeds to taunt it for about two seconds, before it begins viciously kicking his shit in. It doesn't last long, but it's satisfying to see Aku knocked down a few pegs.
    • For Samurai Jack at large. After waiting THIRTEEN LONG YEARS for the series to reach its conclusion, many people who watched the show as children and/or teens are now adults, some with children of their own. Now, a once-unfulfilled dream of their youth has been realized.
  • Creepy Awesome:
    • Inner Jack in general.
    • The Omen. A creepy, mysterious entity who appears every time Jack has an Heroic B.S.O.D..
  • Complete Monster: While Aku himself is Made of Evil, this duo proves that, sometimes, Humans Are the Real Monsters:
    • The High Priestess is the leader of the Cult of Aku, and a zealot dedicated solely to appeasing the dark god she worships by any means necessary. Drinking Aku's essence and giving birth to septuplets with Aku's dark energy within them, the High Priestess dubs them the Daughters of Aku and proceeds to horribly condition them into unfeeling weapons whose sole purpose is to kill Samurai Jack. The High Priestess systematically abuses them for years on end, searing their flesh with hot coals while they're still young and putting them through brutal, life-or-death training routines where every slight distraction means torture and beatings—sometimes simply for things as minor as looking outside. Having the Daughters graduate by having them massacre her own devoted followers, the High Priestess sends the Daughters into the world to kill Jack and callously brushes off the deaths of most of them at Jack's hand, furiously attempting to kill Ashi, her only surviving daughter, with her own hands after she finally turns on the High Priestess. An unfeeling fanatic able to rival her own dark god in evil, the High Priestess justifies her cruelty simply by stating Jack must die at any cost—regardless if that cost is her own flesh and blood.
    • The Dominator, from "XCVI", is a sadistic Torture Technician seemingly motivated purely by a desire to hurt people. Slaughtering a village of innocents and abducting all of their children, the Dominator painfully transforms all of the children into psychotic killing machines to be used as weapons, and tests them out on Jack and Ashi once they try to retrieve the children, with complete knowledge Jack's refusal to hurt innocents makes him easy prey. The Dominator brutally tortures Ashi upon capturing her with clear lascivious intent, gloating that children are easily manipulated tools— and that Jack's refusal to hurt them only makes him a "righteous fool."
  • Crack Ship: Demongo and Scaramouche are often paired up due to their hammy personalities, despite having no interaction onscreen, nor evidence that they even know each other. This skyrocketed when they both reappeared in the same episode, still never having seen nor spoken to each other.
  • Cry for the Devil: Not even an episode in, and many viewers feel genuinely bad for the Daughters of Aku. As vicious and dangerous as they are, they're ultimately just seven women who were raised from birth in horrible conditions (including being brutally beaten for the smallest slights by their own mother) to become the Tyke Bombs they are with zero choice in the matter. It says quite a lot that instead of being excited for their eventual battle with Jack fans actually dread it, not wanting either side to be hurt. And it only got worse in the second episode, in which Jack kills one of them, not knowing that it's a human being and not a machine until he does so. In the third episode, Jack kills off the rest of the Daughters (save one). Granted, he did give them a choice to give up their pursuit or to be eliminated. After Episode 3 it got so bad that fans have actually called Jack a murderer, accusations that Jack himself actually ends up hallucinating in Episode 4. While he did give them a chance to leave, many would argue the daughters aren't of sound mind to actually be able to choose, in fact Jack's ultimatum is probably the first choice they ever had. That said, Jack would have no way of knowing that, and in actuality if someone is to be blamed for their deaths it falls squarely on the High Priestess. In episode 7, when Ashi is fighting with her mother, Ashi in fact does this and lays that blame at her mother's feet, making it clear that whatever role Jack had in her sisters' deaths, she accepts without question that it wasn't his fault.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Subverted. The Daughters of Aku gained a lot of sympathy from the fans who saw them as tragic villains who've had no choice over their own fate in spite of their ruthlessness and lack of empathy. Then, during a climactic fight, Ashi more-or-less states that they never had a choice of what they would do with their lives from the day they were born when confronting her mother, indicating that the sympathy for these characters was an Intended Audience Reaction.
  • Ending Aversion: There's been a massive debate over whether or not Jack should've actually returned to the past to kill Aku in the finale. While many considered it a Catharsis Factor, it soon set in that by killing Aku everything about the future would be changed, including all the beloved Ensemble Darkhorses in the series. This has led to accusations from some of the series ending with an Esoteric Happy Ending.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • There's a lot of fan art of the Emoji Family (this name was allegedly used by Genndy at Comic-Con) that Jack saves, despite them only appearing in the beginning few minutes of the first episode. While their designs alone are very cute, most agree that it's because of the way they communicate a la Atom Ant.
    • Surprisingly enough, the White Wolf that serves as a metaphor for Jack in "XCIII" is rather well-liked, mostly because of how badass its fight scenes were. Some fans began to rejoice when it was revealed that not only was the wolf real, but it somehow survived.
    • The Scotsman's Daughters got a lot of positive attention for how little time they got in their debut episode, all for being very attractive yet heroically built young women.
  • Epileptic Trees: There are a lot of fan theories and questions running around now that the series are over. Who or what is The Omen? Who is the mysterious stranger that helped Ashi find Jack? Who is the High Priestess and what does she look like? Where is the Guardian and is he truly dead?. Is Ashi truly gone for good now that Aku is dead? Is the dying old Spartan King who met Jack the same king from the final battle? If so, how was he able to remember those events? Does the Bad Future still exist? Now that the series is truly over, these questions can only be answered by Genndy himself.
  • Evil Is Cool:
    • Scaramouche from the first episode, partly for being the comic relief to break up the heavy drama and tension for the rest of the episode, and for how his fight with Jack is the perfect blend of intense, creative and ridiculous. Suffice to say, a lot of people were happy when it turned out that he survived as a disembodied head. And many were sad to see him die permanently in "Episode C".
    • The High Priestess is the living embodiment of this trope during her last fight with Ashi.
    • Ashi's demonic form under Aku's control is getting this reaction from the fanbase.
    • Aku. During his last fight with Jack's allies, he's practically unstoppable.
  • Evil Is Sexy:
    • The High Priestess has amassed a large male fanbase, largely due to her youthful, well-build body and the fact she's voiced by Grey Griffin.
    • The 7 Daughters of Aku are beautiful, shapely female ninja warriors wearing skintight catsuits later revealed to actually be a magical symbiotic-type substance covering their nude bodies with tragic backstories and can actually give Jack the fight of his life. Naturally, this gained them a lot of fans before they actually appeared on the show.
  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop: Jack's battle with the Daughters of Aku forces him to accept that Killing In Self Defense is justified. As his memories of his father's deadly encounter with a group of bandits drive home, everyone is ultimately responsible for their own choices and the ensuing consequences.
  • Fandom Berserk Button: Don't ever mention what happened on April 1st of 2017... oh and Ashi's death.
  • Fandom Rivalry: The fandom developed one with Rick and Morty within hours of the latter show airing its Season 3 Premiere. On any other day this would be fine, but as an April Fools' Day joke Adult Swim chose to air it unannounced on a loop until midnight, delaying Samurai Jack until next week. Needless to say, fans were less than thrilled.
  • Fanon Discontinuity:
    • As far as "Episode CI" is concerned Ashi's death never happened.
    • Likewise, as far as "Episode C" is concerned, Aku never cheaply invoked Killed Offscreen on The Guardian or his portal.
  • Foe Yay:
    • Scaramouche playfully calling Jack babe/baby throughout their fight, along with his generally flamboyant demeanor caused quite a bit of this.
    • Depending on how you prefer their relationship, Jack and Ashi have a lot of tension between them, even as they find themselves working together prior to Ashi's full Heel–Face Turn. They eventually become an Official Couple in Episode 8.
  • Growing the Beard: Not to say that the show wasn't already great before, but for at least some of the base, the revival takes it to new heights. And Jack has literally grown a beard, too.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • The Daughters of Aku sure are sexy with their skintight catsuits that look like they were painted on, right? Turns out it is painted on... or rather charred on after some rather extreme torture with hot, burning magic.
    • When Ashi asked Jack why he left her while being understanding, he tells her all the happier times he had would be just become memories, and doesn't want her to be just a memory. And then she ceases to exist on their wedding day and all he can do is see her as a memory.
  • He's Just Hiding:
    • Already some people are having this opinion regarding The Guardian, after "Episode C" shows the portal he was guarding destroyed and no trace of him left except his broken glasses. The final episode leaves his fate ambiguous, as he's one of the few characters not to come Back for the Finale. Even after the finale, some people are saying that the Guardian is possibly alive, considering how he's been guarding a time portal for many millennia.
    • One of the Daughters of Aku (the one with the Naginata) suffers no obviously fatal wounds during her fight with Jack and is only (seemingly) killed by being thrown off a cliff. Jack and Ashi also go over the cliff a few moments later, and they both survive, so there was some speculation she might still be alive as well. She was never seen again, and even if she did survive, she presumably would have suffered the same fate as Ashi after the finale.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: When Jack is trying to save himself and Ashi from the belly of the megalithic beast, and she fights him every step of the way, his subconscious chides him with "What did you expect? A hug and a kiss?" A few episodes later, and...
  • Inferred Holocaust: In the finale, Jack finally goes back to the past and kills Aku just after their original battle. While Ashi, who goes back with him, is explicitly shown to fade from existence, what's not shown is that now nearly every character in the show will never be born.
  • Internet Backdraft:
    • As mentioned above, not a lot of fans were happy at Adult Swim for the April Fools prank they pulled by delaying the next episode ("XCV") in favor of airing Rick and Morty on a loop until midnight. The television program listings gave no advance warning of the joke, so it burned many a fan to see a listing of the next episode only to find themselves graced with an unwarranted invasion of the Toonami block (ironic on two fronts, as it was an episode about alien invasion being looped, and Toonami itself was brought back in its current form all because of a well-played, well-timed, and well-received April Fool's Day takeover of the adultswim block that sparked joyous commotion all across the many fandom circles of the Internet.)
    • Upon the premiere of the eighth episode, a vocal section of the fanbase was furious at the revelation that Jack and Ashi become romantically involved while the other camps either more or less reveled at the outcome, or were indifferent to it.
  • It Was His Sled: Any major plot-point or plot twist in this season spreads like wildfire on social media within days.
  • It's Short, so It Sucks: Some fans really didn't like that the final season to conclude the series was only 10 episodes, feeling that the short episode count made the season feel rushed in particular, the finale.
  • Jerkass Woobie: The main 7 Daughters of Aku were just girls who endured Training from Hell from their abusive mother so they could be raised as child soldiers who would kill a man they knew absolutely nothing about all for the sake of carrying on the Jerkass God Aku's revenge while having no lives of their own and just being living weapons.
  • Like You Would Really Do It:
    • Due to the fact that Ashi gets the most characterization out of the Daughters of Aku, very few doubted she actually died from the fall in Episode 3, especially since Jack was going to survive it. Indeed, she not only survived, but furthered her Character Development.
    • Episode 5 featured the Scotsman being reduced to nothing but ash less than two minutes after he appeared. However, due to the suspiciously short amount of screen time and his massive popularity with the fandom, it was quite easy to guess that he'd still be around in some form.
  • Love to Hate: Aku, Scaramouche, The High Priestess, The Dominator, The Omen. Basically, all the villains in Season 5 were memorable for being incredibly scary and chilling or funny or both.
  • Memetic Badass: Jack's beard is this to the fans who loved its look, to the point they see it as its own character rather than being part of Jack's face. When Balanced Inner Jack appears, his appearance changes to his bearded self, making as if "the beard lives within him".
  • Memetic Loser: The 7 Daughters of Aku being hilariously curb stomped by Jack has people questioning, jokingly or not, if their training was even all that efficient. Might be disappearing for Ashi at least after XCVIII, where she curb-stomps an entire army by herself and defeats her mother in combat, showing that yes, it was efficient, just not against the likes of Jack.
  • Memetic Molester:
    • In S5 E4, a crab-like monster kidnaps Ashi while Jack's back is turned. One would think it just wants to eat her, but the way it whisked her off suggests it had other motives in mind.
    • In S5 E5, the Dominator kidnaps hundreds of alien children, drains them of their energy like batteries, and uses mind control to turn them into his enslaved minions. He also grabs Ashi's pretty face with obvious perversion. You can't be the only one who got a pedophile/rapist vibe off this guy.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • The High Priestess crossed it with the ruthless training of her daughters, turning them into bloodthirsty killers.
    • Scaramouche crosses this as soon as he appears, casually massacring an entire village (of innocent men, women, and children) just to draw out Jack from hiding.
    • Aku has an easy Moral Event Horizon in XCVI. The episode largely deals with coming in terms with Aku's effects on the world and how Aku's twisted rule has allowed, in Jack's words, catastrophe, devastation and carnage. Even scarier is knowing that this is a routine occurrence under Aku's rule.
    • The Dominator slaughtered a village, kidnapped its children so that he could, well, use them as an energy source. When Jack and Ashi came to their rescue, he uses mind control to make them attack Jack, knowing he'd be unwilling to fight innocent people against their will. And then he tried to torture and kill Ashi with several thousand volts of electricity.
  • Narm:
    • The reveal that Ashi and the other daughters were naked the entire time and that their catsuits were actually a layer of charcoal/ash has been seen as silly rather than creepy by many, largely due to the Fridge Logic involved in that.
    • The Deranged Animation around Inner Jack and his pointed angular design is frightening for some fans whilst for others it brings to mind the Jack caricatures from "Aku's Fairytales."
    • The way everyone forms their hands into a perfect "S" in tribute to Jack at the rave Ashi attends comes off as rather silly.
    • A big reason why Ashi's death left many viewers uncomfortable was because of how it was handled. After Jack slays Aku, he and Ashi prepare to marry some distant time in the future, but on the exact day of their wedding only then does Ashi die as they realize that without Aku's existence then she would never have been born. It sure is strange that time allowed Ashi to live so long before conveniently having her erased from existence on such an important day to give dramatic impact.
  • Narm Charm:
    • The dancing montage during the Samurai Drop had Awesome Music to make it flow well.
    • Jack killing three sheep in anger is what made him lose his sword. Sounds pretty ridiculous, but given the sheep were innocent, helpful, and adorable creatures that were turned into monsters and died horrifically by the hands of the hero, that still manages to make it pretty bleak and tragic.
    • The ending of "Episode XCIX". Jack and Ashi kiss each other suddenly while "Everybody Loves Somebody" plays instead of the ending theme. It can be very cheesy, but it certainly qualifies as this trope for Jashi shippers.
  • Older Than They Think: The 2017 season is produced by Cartoon Network Studios... for airing on Toonami on [adult swim]. Shocking as it seems, this isn't the first show that Cartoon Network Studios has produced a season for that aired on [adult swim].
  • Relationship Writing Fumble: Quite a few viewers felt that Jack and Ashi's relationship, especially at the beginning, came off as closer to father/daughter than anything romantic.
  • Shipping Bed Death: While a lot of people were hoping for Jack and Ashi to be romantically paired up a lot of them found the execution too rushed to enjoy it.
  • Ships That Pass in the Night: The are quite a few people who ship Aku with the High Priestess despite them only seeing each other once.
  • Shipping Goggles: Already, fans are starting to see Jack and Ashi growing into a couple thanks to him relentlessly saving her life out of the goodness in his heart and how she performed a Heel Realization thanks to his noble influence.
  • So Cool, It's Awesome: Not that the original show wasn't awesome, but the final season gained the advantage of no longer fearing censorship, prompting the writers to go all out on the final story arc without any restraints. It helps that the series maintains a pretty strong connection to the original show's run and has achieved critical acclaim from most critics.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: People's beliefs of right and wrong cannot simply be changed, if they can be changed at all, simply by making them "see the light." It's something they have to come to terms with on their own. Ashi couldn't care less about Jack saving her life, as she values his death over it, and still wants to kill him once he brings both of them to safety. It isn't until she sees that he's equally kind to others and not only her that she starts questioning her beliefs.
  • Stoic Woobie: Jack has lost his idealism and grown into a nearly emotionless warrior who still carries on saving others despite his life falling apart and losing hope of ever returning to his home time. Whenever he's Not So Stoic you could expect the worst.
  • Strawman Has a Point:
    • Inner Jack in episode XCV suggests leaving Ashi behind to die and go look for the exit himself. Sounds selfish until you realize Ashi did try to kill him earlier and isn't cooperative in escaping together.
    • Mad Jack (as envisioned by Jack as a reddened monsterlike version of himself to the part of cartoonishness) in Episode XCVIII may have cost Jack the battle and have no redeeming qualities about him... but he does bring up a good point: Jack has waited too long for this and others have suffered because of it.
  • They Copied It, So It Sucks: Part of the Broken Base for the ending is based in viewers drawing unfavorable comparisons to the similarly controversial ending of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. Many fans see Samurai Jack's ending as a poor imitation to said show due to the lack of Foreshadowing and the rushed ending, as we had fewer episodes to know Ashi than we did with Nia and therefore we couldn't feel for the character more.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Scaramouche. He wouldn't be this had he been just a one-off character whom Jack faced and defeated in the first episode, but then he's suddenly revealed to have survived and got turned into a comic relief character. Even as he made it back to Aku's lair and got his body back, he's promptly Killed Off for Real when Aku finds out that Jack already got his sword back, making all his misadventures after his encounter with Jack pointless.
    • Despite his return being heavily hyped up, the Guardian does not actually return, having been killed offscreen and his portal destroyed.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • Some were disappointed that The Scotsman was killed off despite being a Handicapped Badass Grandpa who could've received a lot more character from his life experiences in war. True, he returns as a ghost, but still...
    • Some felt this way about The Omen. Many were disappointed that he was actually real and not inside Jack's mind, which had many hyped for an interesting Enemy Within or Enemy Without fight between Jack and the Omen.
    • Many fans are also upset over the Guardian being unceremoniously killed offscreen and the prophecy that Jack would use his portal to return to the past being retconned out.
    • That admittedly as cheesy it may sound, a popular opinion is that the ending should've had an ending montage showing the good future of the future characters and how their lives are different without Aku or Jack being directly in their lives. Especially if it showed the High Priestess as a good mother and the Daughters of Aku note  being healthy Samaritan hero worshipers of the Samurai instead.
    • Fans were also upset that Demongo, one of Aku's most powerful henchmen, only appeared as a one-off joke. Many viewers wanted to him to appear later one, possibly possessing the dead Daughters of Aku and forcing them to fight Jack and Ashi.
  • Too Cool to Live:
    • Played for Laughs when the fandom cried how Jack's motorcycle didn't last long.
    • Scaramouche for many people who Love to Hate the character since he was a comical, highly skilled assassin who almost posed as a threat to Jack himself.
    • Aku, since his death marks the end to an iconic Laughably Evil cartoon villain many grew up with.
    • Ashi, one of the most epic, female fighters in the show who nearly took down Samurai Jack himself, only to undergo a change of heart and develop into the only woman he ever loved, also gaining god-like powers herself thanks to being revealed as Aku's true daughter and assisting Jack in finally killing off the ultimate evil in the universe, gets erased from existence after the death of her Mad God father Aku. Needless to say, tears were shed on this one.
  • Tough Act to Follow: It's generally agreed that the first three episodes were the best and that the last three was where this season began to fell off.
  • True Art Is Angsty: Much like the final season of Moral Orel, another [adult swim] program, this one is much darker and bleaker than the earlier ones and has received praise from most critics, audiences, and fans who claim it to be an animated masterpiece and one of the best shows of 2017. Then again, the original seasons were famous for having many somber and atmospheric moments, and the new season still has its fair share of comedy, so the praise could mostly be attributed to the fact that the show is allowed to break loose and not be held back in any way by a Y7 rating.
  • The Untwist: The reveal that Ashi is half-Aku. Any direct involvement Aku had with the cult worshipping him was glaringly obvious prior to the season's airing, yet once it aired, the audience was to believe the idea that he had any direct contact with them whatsoever to be a Red Herring, only for those predictions to turn out to be right to a degree.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: Advances in digital technology has been kind to this show and the more streamlined process has allowed for some incredible animation, especially any of the battles in the dark where the characters are illuminated with each blow, as well has a handful of chase sequences animated on ones. The ride on the water dragon in "XCVI" is particularly beautiful.
  • We're Still Relevant, Dammit!: The presence of the Emoji Family is the only aspect of the show that seems as if it were shoehorned in to make the revival more relevant after several years. Unlike most examples of this trope, though, the Emoji Family quickly garnered popularity among fans for their sheer adorability.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?:
    • It has the same animation as the first four seasons, but in the second episode one of the characters gets their throat slit, a giant beast mauls a wolf with blood spilling everywhere, and Jack wants to commit ritual suicide. It's one of the biggest examples of Darker and Edgier and Bloodier and Gorier, as it was a TV-Y7 show upgraded to a TV-14 rating, and it airs on [adult swim]. There's also a middle ground where the show ends up being TV-PG in both the old and new seasons, but another big change is that the flexible use of profanity and crude indecent language allotted with the TV-14 tier finally crept into the show by the sixth episode and pushed the envelope well past what standards would ever allow to be used on the precocious.
    • Episode 8 takes this to a whole new level with the whole episode being a metaphor for sex with moaning and lots of female nudity. Yet somehow it got a TV-PG rating.

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